Christmas Dress

I made quite a few Christmas gifts this year, but getting them wrapped turned out to be enough of a challenge. So, photos did not happen. I did managed to get a few not so clear shots of Norah in the Christmas dress I made for her. I had been eyeing this pattern for a while. I just haven’t seen anything else quite like it. So when the Louisa pattern from Compagnie M. went on sale a while back I snagged it. The fabric came from Hobby Lobby.




I’m very pleased with the results and see many more Louisa dresses in my sewing future.


Kid Friendly Nativity

I really wanted to have a nativity set this year that the kids could play with. I scoured the internet and found several decent toy like options, but the prices were pretty high and the characters were caucasian. Maybe it’s a small thing, but I really prefer something more accurate in that regard. So then I looked on etsy and found some gorgeous hand felted sets that I LOVE, but cannot at this time afford. Last, I checked Pinterest and found lots of nativity sets made from wooden peg people. I decided that I could just make a set and here’s what I came up with.

The pegs came from Amazon and I soaked them in coffee to get the wood a little darker.


I painted them with milk paint, because my husband had some laying around and then drew on them with a sharpie pen. I sprayed some sort of finishing spray (again, stolen from my husband) on top so that the kids couldn’t scratch the paint off.nativity2 nativity3

I decided to make an extra little boy Jesus, because by the time the wisemen got to him he was two. I realize that peg is a little tall for a two year old, but it was as close as I could get with my options.nativity4 nativity5

I’m really pleased with how they turned out. The kids have been enjoying playing with them. Norah calls them all her babies! I can’t wait until next year when we are in our house and can have a good spot to keep them set up.

Craft Fair (upcycled sweaters)

If you are in the McMinnville, TN area and haven’t stopped by the Craft Fair this weekend, today is your last day! And if you did stop by and didn’t buy anything from our booth, get back out there 😉 It will be open today from 10 till 8 at the Civic Center. Here’s a look at some of the stuff I made this year that has not been for sale previously.cf1

My Mother-in-law and I have been busy felting old sweaters and turning them into all sorts of things. I love how these pillows turned out.


These are some of my MIL’s coasters. I think we may need some of the numbered ones for our house.


Here are some of my coasters.


Here’s a close up of my favorite set. It’s a little whimsical, with a rain cloud, snow cloud, grey cloud, and rain drop. Twice, Carson has asked me, where is the other cloud and I have had to explain that the rain drop goes with them. So, maybe not everyone will get it, but I love them!


I love these clutches and wouldn’t mind if they don’t both sell so I can keep one! Or I could just make another for myself.


This might be my favorite item. When I saw that fabric with this felt it just sort of made itself! I love when the materials dictate the finished product and I find that I make better stuff when I let the fabric take over! Here’s a close up of that cut out.


And finally some views of the booth.

cf8 cf9

As you can see we have lots of stuff I haven’t focused on here. Natural dyed scarves, lamps, cabinets, baby gowns, little girl skirts, queen anne’s lace necklaces, mugs, windows, to name a few! Come on out and be sure to stock up on some canned goods downstairs. Seriously for the same price you’d pay at the grocery store you can have all manner of canned food that is homemade and support some local folks at the same time.


None of my natural dye experiments thus far have blown me away quite like Goldenrod. As with Queen Anne’s Lace I knew to expect some yellows, but the colors were seriously deep and vibrant.queen anne's lace goldenrod3

I realize that sort of tie dye effect that you can see on some of these photos can be avoided by stirring more and putting less in the dye pot. The thing is I like that look. If it weren’t there you might just think I bought this yellow fabric. To me it gives that imperfect variation that I like to see in homemade.goldenrod2 goldenrod1

The one piece in that last picture that is pale is cotton that had not been mordanted. Obviously the silks took the color better, but even the pale piece of cotton will be nice for something.

I have to mention the goldenrod spiders. I’m not actually sure what their proper name is, and you wouldn’t even know they were there if you didn’t throw your goldenrod in a pot of water. They blend in so well with the plant. But check out the edge of the pot. They started coming out as soon as I got the dye bath started. If you don’t like spiders, don’t go picking goldenrod, because there were tons of these guys!

goldenrod spider

Queen Anne’s Lace

Summer may be the least inspiring time of the year for me. Maybe because it’s just too hot to do things or because I don’t love the colors of summer as much as other seasons. Whatever the case as soon as late summer hits my wheels start turning again. I see the Queen Anne’s lace all grey and dried up like skeletons next to the blooming goldenrod and know that the seasons are moving on. I see the sumac berries of deep, deep red and know that their leaves will be among the first to turn, easy to spot in their signature red. I see the trees heavy with growth and know that this growth must stop, lest it swallow the earth. And then in late summer, when I can see the signs that fall will come once again, my inspiration is reborn.

I also remember that I never did post about the Queen Anne’s Lace dye bath I did back during the summer. Oops. So here it is. And hopefully there will be more to come now that my soul seems to be waking up from a nice summer hibernation.

I was pretty blown away by the Queen Anne’s Lace. Sure, the book said it would give me some yellows, but it’s just hard to believe sometimes. It grows all over the place out here, so I didn’t have to go far to find some. I did have to get online and figure out exactly how to identify it, because I came home with what was very clearly two different plants.

I feel like this image is showing up a little warmer than what it looks in real life, but here it is.queen anne's lace

One of these is a scarf and the other is a bit of habotai. Both had been mordanted with alum.

Scrap Fabric Bean Bags

For some reason I got the itch a while back to make the kids some bean bags. There was a reason, I’m sure of it, but I have no idea what it was. I threw together some scraps, added some dried beans and there ya go.beanbag6 beanbag5 beanbag4 beanbag3 beanbag2 beanbag1



Handmade Doll

I finally finished Norah’s birthday present. Just a little over a month late! I don’t think she minded.

I’m no professional doll maker. In fact this is only my second ever attempt at a doll and the first one to not get scraped. Her torso turned out much longer than anticipated. I compensated by making her dress crazy short. I was really excited to use that Anna Maria Horner fabric for the little apron. It is just perfect. 

doll1 doll2 doll3 doll4 doll5 doll6

It seems she likes it. Perhaps there will be more handmade dolls in my future.

Baby Girl Turned 1!

A little over a month ago we celebrated one year with our sweet girl! She really was the gift that we needed, but just didn’t know it! I had fun putting together her party. I think first warrant a little extra effort and for crying out loud it was my first girl party. The theme was “You are my Sunshine”. I initially was thinking of the typical, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.” But really the later part of that sort of irks me and then I realized that one of my favorite artists these days, JJ Heller, has another equally appropriate song: “You are the sunshine on rainy days. And if I have sunshine a rainbow is coming my way.” Ok, the truth is it doesn’t matter and probably no one at the party had a clue anyway. The only place the lyrics were used was on the window decoration and the favors. Now on with some photos.

I made a fabric bunting and my MIL made the window with photos. I’m planning to use them in Norah’s room when we get into our house.one10one2A little funny. The night after the party Carson says, “The tomato mozzarella skewers must have gone fast. I didn’t even get one.” Yeah, I totally forgot to get them out of the fridge! one1I made a ball pit out of pool noodles which I sliced with a bread knife and last year’s swimming pool that now has a leak. one7 one3We played pin the ray on the sunshine because what sort of game are you supposed to play at a sunshine party?one11one9After Silas’s mess of a cake I decided to go simple with Norah’s. It was lemon and lovely.one6And perhaps my favorite part is that the platter was my Mema’s, the Evelyn that Norah’s middle name came from. I knew I’d use it for her first cake the moment I found out I was having a girl. one5The birthday girl with her cake. I had decorated the high chair, but she had no intention of sitting in it! one14 one13I need to go back and see if I got a good picture of her outfit that day, because I made it. But, I want to go ahead and get this post published lest I lose it again, so maybe I’ll do a post about the outfit later this week.

Another Blog

I had a post all ready to go about Norah’s birthday party, but it’s gone missing. I thought it was saved, but apparently not. Boo. Maybe it’s just lost in cyber space and will turn up tomorrow. Not likely. So until I find time to redo it here’s a piece of news for you. I’ve started a new blog. Because, you know, I need another blog to neglect! The new blog is where I’ll be posting photos of our house in progress. I’m not sure if anyone else will be that interested in it, but I kind of want to document it for myself. And don’t worry, I don’t expect the neglecting of that blog to interfere in anyway with the neglecting of this blog 😉  

Here’s the link to Beech Haus

The Ugliest Cake I’ve Ever Made

Not exactly sure what prompted my absence from the blog, but it probably had something to do with the three small people in my life. Like the one that is currently standing beside me with a book whining or the one across the room saying, “Mama watch me hoola hoop!”. I can kindle and I can Ipad, but get on the lap top and you would think I had put out a “Anybody need anything right now?” sign!

So anyway, the ugliest cake I’ve ever made. It was Silas’s birthday back in May and I decided to try and use only natural coloring in the cake. My blue turned out a bit more gray and then the strawberry filling sort of leaked through because it was warm out and I should have let the icing set between each layer because it was mostly whipped cream and the cake layers just wanted to slide off…. well, here’s the end product.


Since it was gray I made some darker icing to speckle on top, added a dump truck full of chocolate chunks and wa la! Better, but still ugly.


On the back side you can see the strawberry filling seeping out and the stick that was holding the layers on! At least it tasted all right. And, I’m pretty sure the birthday boy didn’t mind.

I really didn’t do a whole lot for this party. It was at a park, so I just figured the playground was the activity and the trees were the decoration! Here are a few more pictures from the party.


Silas loves this little bike!


What a cute two year old!


More coming soon!