A big Texas WELCOME! Thank you for taking the time to visit...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rascal Rabbit...

Did I mention that I love rabbits? I have been working on this RASCAL in my spare time for weeks. There were many quiet hours of gentle hand stitching; sewing on layers and layers of tatters and frays. The rabbit is my style applied to a design by Jill Maas. I love her quirky whimsical patterns. The turnip was made using a pattern by Tammie Everhart of Make Me a Memory. Tammie does wonderful fruit and vegetable patterns that look so real. I love hand sewing so I hated to see this project end but I do like the way he turned out. Creating is healing and good for the soul...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Our Bonnie Plants that I ordered online arrived late last week in very good condition.  How did we ever get along without computers?  They certainly do come in handy when one is home bound most of the time.

The Old Farmer's Almanac said Sunday and yesterday were fertile planting days, so with storms forecast and coming on Sunday, I opted for Monday planting.  All of the plants are now in the ground, plus seeds have been sown.  Now we wait and water...

Our cat, Dinky Sugar thought Momma had made her a gigantic litter box, so the first thing I had to do was put up netting as protection from her and the various other birds and critters that like to nibble on green things.

We still have some more things we want to plant in the raised garden, but what we have now will do for starters.  With the raised garden underway, I have enlisted the help of my Studio Assistants,(Poppa, Sassy Alice, Dinky Sugar) while we wait.  Things are coming right along nicely with all this help!

Make the very best of every day and count your blessings often.  ~E~

Friday, March 24, 2017

Green House and Raised Garden Project

Hello Friends and Welcome SPRING!

I am happy to report that reclaiming our green house is finally finished.  Poppa put new screen in the window screens and we put them on the windows, completing our Green House project, except for exterior painting which will be done when we repaint the exterior of the house.  It has taken many months but it was a labor of love and hopefully the flooding issue has been solved.  Time will tell.

...and I am tickled with our Raised Garden!

Here are the BEFORE pictures.  It was a problem to weed eat this area.  Our goal is to simplify.

Confucius said, "The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." That is exactly what I did with this project.  Small baby steps and wee increments of time. All of the debris was removed, then I put down a weed barrier, put down concrete blocks and caps next to the green house to hopefully prevent flooding.  Then I started moving 12" x 12" concrete pavers (purchased and delivered from Lowes), a few at a time with the help of my trusty Hustler Zero Turn Lawnmower.  Starting at the back wall, once I got the pavers in place so I could tell where the garden was to be, I put together our sweet 4' x 8' raised garden kit from WalMart.  It only took about fifteen minutes to put it together. After it was in place, I called in help!  Our neighbor put 4 bags of mulch, 20 bags (40 #'s each) of top soil dirt and 6 bags of humus into the raised garden.  He screwed on the top caps for the raised garden and also put several pavers in place on the east side of the garden. He did work in a matter of minutes that would have taken me days to do.  Thank goodness for neighbors! A few days later I decided to put more pavers down so Poppa can get all around the garden in his Wheelie.


I am so pleased with how this project turned out!  A raised garden has been a dream of mine for a long while.  Now we are waiting on the weather to settle down.  Grandma always said there will be a *cold snap* right before Easter and Grandma was usually right. We have a late Easter this year. Seeds and plants have been ordered online.  How did we ever get along without the internet?  It's a sweet day when you can dig in the dirt!  Slow down, enjoy your life what ever it may bring.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Easter Eggers and Plant Update...

I wish we had chickens, but we don't, so we will depend on our friend Jerri Pickering for these big, beautiful delicious fresh eggs! Love the brown ones and the green ones are a special treat. Thank you Jerri.  There are several breeds of chickens that lay blue, green and even pink eggs; and some are speckled.  These chickens are called *Easter Eggers*.


I planted our first deck planter with beet and lettuce seeds.  The beet seeds were suppose to take 12 to 21 days to germinate.  Both the beets and the lettuce were visible in four days!  We were tickled!!

On March 6, Poppa and I planted spinach and lettuce mix in the second planter.  As you can see, they are already beginning to sprout on March 11.  Tickled again!

And how about these beauties?  Husky Red Cherry Tomatoes from Bonnie Plants.  Can't wait to munch on these.

I have thyme started in peat pellets on my kitchen windowsill.  These are old seeds from 2011 and they are coming up nicely.  These were also planted on March 6 which was a good day for planting above ground crops according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.  Thyme is suppose to repel mosquitoes and cats.  It's exciting to watch things grow.  It doesn't take much to make us happy here in the country.

I hope you can find some time to dig in the dirt.  It's healing and good for the soul.

Until next time...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Green House Project Update...

The first week in February I decided to rearrange the greenhouse and purchase some deck planters to grow some veggies inside. It has been a fun project. Here is the progress and how it looked when I started.

I removed the love seat.

Moved in a table that Poppa built me years ago as a display table when I had my shop.

Brought in two 36" x 15" deck planters, with the help of my assistant Miss Beebs.

Positioned them on the table.

Filled the planters with dirt.

Planted beets, turnip tops and salad lettuce in the top one yesterday.  Our neighbor brought us fresh turnips.  I cut the tops off and put them in water.  Overnight they had started to grow so I planted them as an experiment to see what happens.  My mother use to garden by the different phases of the Moon and she always had the most wonderful garden.  Root crops by the dark of the Moon and above ground crops for the light of the Moon.

This green house project has taken me several months of working in very small increments of time. I'm amazed and what can be done in just a few minutes if worked at methodically.  We had a problem with flooding and I'm hoping I have taken care of that problem with some work that I have done outside which I hope to show you soon.  For now the green house is finished except for redoing the window screens.  Next I will be tackling my Raised Garden project!  Don't we have fun?  Get out there and play in the dirt.  Digging in the dirt is healing and good for the soul.  ~E~

Monday, February 6, 2017

The simple things...

In our world of rush, rush, rush and instant this and instant that, constant communication with a phone stuck to your ear all day or glued to FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, it's nice to find the simple things in life that give us comfort.  I'm all for comfort.  I'm a homebody by choice. We don't own a cell phone any more, by choice.  One of my favorite things to do is sit on the front porch in the swing or in my comfy chair with a mess of green beans to snap.  Weird, I know, but it's comforting and we have a nice fresh veggie with our meal.  It brings back memories when life was lived at a slower pace.  I challenge you to uplug from electronics for a while and find some things in your life that bring you comfort.  It's the simple things that have been lost.  Search your soul and find what matters.  Reconnect to them, be good to yourself and stop to smell the roses.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Green House Project Continues...

I severely trimmed back our Bougainvillea last fall and was afraid it would not come back, but it is loving our greenhouse this winter...and so is our sweet cat Dinky Sugar. She use to stay in here during the winter before she became a house cat last year. The smell of Petunias is heavenly. I have ordered two 36" deck planters to go on the table and packets of vegetable seeds in hopes of getting a head start on our growing season. I can taste those home grown tomatoes already!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Design A House Challenge...

In an attempt to start off the new year on a creative note and make time to play in my studio/nest, I joined in a challenge offered by Connie McBride Johnson and Sharon Mitchell, administrators of Cloth Doll Artistry on FaceBook.  For the first challenge of this year we were given a template of a house and invited to design our own house using what ever materials tickled our fancy.

Here is the template...

...and here is what I came up with...

My house is made using an old block of wood, a small piece of tree branch, card board, paper twist, pine cone petals for shingles, Spanish moss and dried potpourri flowers.  It is home to my sweet sleeping needlefelted mouse made of raw wool.

This was a fun project and a great way to get the imagination going again after such a long hiatus. Mouse House is currently in my personal collection.  Do something creative even if it's cooking up something good in the kitchen.  Creating healing and good for the soul.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Winding down...

As we approach the end of the year, things are winding down here as I settle in for a long winter's nap so to speak.  I have put away my sewing machines and cleaned my studio-nest in preparation for things to come in the new year.  There are still several things on my house To Do list!  They will get done in due time with a little patience on my part and baby steps.  Our home has been neglected for many years while I was making dolls and designing patterns and it will take me some time to get things back in order.  Caregiving and our home are my first priorities for now.  Wee bits of free time are spent learning to punch needle embroidery thanks to Doreen Frost of Vermont Harvest Primitives who makes this craft look so easy.  Punch needle is very relaxing to me, it's portable and takes up very little space.

As I snuggle into my comfy chair by the fire wearing my hand knitted warm socks of many colors, looking at my twinkling Christmas tree and flickering candles, visions of sugar plums and new adventures dance in my head.

Wishing you a Magical Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

Until next time... ~E~

Monday, October 17, 2016


My dad died when I was very young.  I remember helping him work on cars.  Well, I wasn't much help other than being in the way and getting dirty, but he didn't complain.  I remember he would say, when things are not going right, back off, rest a while, don't think about it so much and try again later, just be patient and it will happen.  All through my life, as long as I can remember, I have tried to encourage others to be patient.  It's what I do.  Being patient has worked for me so far and continues to bring me to the place I need to be at the time. 

Back in early Spring I thought the future was looking very gloomy.  Step by step, over a long period of time, things have become better.  Back off on creating, rest a while and try again later; my dad's words keep ringing in my ears.  The weather is cooling.  My caregiving activities and outside yard duties are getting lighter and I have a wee bit of time to create now.

Years ago I was in hog heaven when I discovered needlefelting as a way to apply hair to my dolls.  I was recently smitten with sleeping mice.  Since I love raw wool, and needlefelting hair on my dolls, why not combine the two and learn the art of needlefelting an item from scratch.  How did they do that has always been the question that leads me on many new adventures.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary.  We got married at home, by the Justice of the Peace.  I wore khaki Bermuda shorts, a red and gold striped knit top, and leather Mexican huaraches. Actually I had planned to get married barefoot but looked down just as Judge Ruff started to speak and saw I was wearing my favorite shoes!
I am wearing my same wedding clothes today that I wore on that sweet day, and I even went outside this morning and dug a hole in our flowerbed for my new rose bush, wearing my wedding clothes.  Not many women would consider gardening in their wedding dress.
The marriage license cost was $7.50 and the tip to the Judge was $20.00.  The Judge also took our wedding picture and served the champagne just before we cut the small two tier wedding cake from the grocery store bakery.  Our simple wedding at home means just as much to us as if we had spent the price of a new house on a wedding ceremony, all for show. We left the next day on our honeymoon, pulling a small pop up travel trailer, headed for the Colorado mountains and new adventures.

If our neighbor comes over today to put a new fuel pump on Poppa's car, we may have him preside over the renewing of our vows but that really is not necessary.  The original vows took very well.  We both agree we would do it again in a heartbeat.  After all these years, it doesn't get any better than that.

Friday, July 1, 2016

And here it is July already...

Poppa hurt his knee several weeks ago and has very limited mobility for a while.  I hate it for him that he has been in pain and is unable to be as productive as he has always been.  He has always been the gentleman, the provider and spoiled me way beyond rotten.  Thanks to his tutelage, I have become quite proficient at working on lawn mowers, machinery maintenance, doing yard work and taking care of things that have always been his responsibility.  I have grown during this time.  We recently purchased a new zero turn riding lawnmower.  I love this piece of machinery!  It's more fun than operating a sewing machine.  We have also purchased a 20 volt battery operated weedeater, blower and pole saw.  I had no idea these things had so much power.  These tools are light weight and this soon to be seventy five years young woman does not have any problem using them.  I'm loving my power tools and learning that I can do much more than I thought I could.

This has been quite an adjustment for us.  Life has a way of throwing us some curves sometimes.  Poppa is on the mend and I will gladly relinquish some things back to him but some things I need to continue to do for my own well being.  Learning new things is good for the soul.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

May is almost gone...time marches on...

(Photo Source: Pinterest)

You have no idea what things you take for granted that your spouse does until they are no longer able to do...and then all that responsibility becomes yours.

May has been another busy month here at the farm.  We have called in reinforcements and got a lot of things done that Poppa and I can not do alone.  The *junk man* came and hauled off YEARS of old stuff along with what was left of the 10' x 10' metal building that use to house my porcelain doll and ceramic molds.  The molds that did not get broken when the limbs fell on my mold building are on their way to a new home.  Perhaps I will plant a shade garden where the building use to be. I understand the fairytale cottage garden Foxgloves do well in the shade.

The lawnmower that had given us trouble for years is GONE and replaced with a new zero turn riding mower.  This beauty is more fun than riding a four wheeler, plus I'm cutting the grass as I go!  Tree removal professionals are coming as soon as the rains let up.  They have a backlog of work due to the weather but we are number five on the list.

There is always work to be done outside during the growing season so I will be playing outside until the hot Texas sun drives me inside where it's cool. Creating is on hold for now.  Take time to live each day to the fullest and be sure to smell the roses along the way, especially the wild ones.

Enjoy the peace of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. Remember and honor those that gave their lives so that we can enjoy freedom.

Until next time...

Monday, May 2, 2016


My studio/nest was originally the sunporch when we moved here to the farm.  It has ten windows and a sliding glass patio door.  This room is ever-changing!  We had an antique bed in our bedroom that I loved.  It is very tall and had become very difficult for Poppa to get in and out of over the years. So, for Christmas last year, we purchased a bed frame that does not require a box springs, making the bed much lower.  Had we known at the time, we could have just removed the box springs from our antique bed, added a sturdy system of bed slats and we would have had the same thing without purchasing a new bed frame.  We live and learn if we are lucky.  I'm loving our new white metal bed, but I did not want to part with my antique bed.

Something had to go.  My studio/nest was wall to wall furniture. I also loved the daybed that I had in my studio/nest.  After giving it much thought, we decided to get rid of the sleeper sofa in our living room.  It was uncomfortable sleeping plus we kept it covered all of the time because our big ninety pound black Lab, Sassy Alice, loved to rub against the plush fabric upholstery.  We gave away the sofa, moved the daybed to the living room to use as a sofa and set up the antique bed in my studio/nest, solving several problems.

I get to keep my antique bed.  Now we have extra comfortable sleeping space when company comes.  I have a cozy place to pile up in the middle of the bed for beauty snoozies, watching it rain, sketching new designs, watching television, folding laundry and a nice large flat surface for cutting out my dolls and things out of fabric.  I am happy with this arrangement...for now.

 And I'm not the only one that enjoys this bed.  Dinky Sugar does too!

Free Motion Machine Embroidery Doodling...
A few weeks ago when I decided I wanted to try my hand at some free motion machine embroidery, I knew I was going to need a lot of black sewing thread.  I sat down to make out my supply list when I remembered I had several large cones of black and other colors of thread that I used for my serger.  I did not have one of those large cone holders that you can purchase for use with regular sewing machines, so I turned my serger around and sat it right up next to the back of my sewing machine.  Raising the thread guide, I then threaded my sewing machine as usual.  This worked out perfect!  I saved money; I'm using up supplies and I plan on putting all of this thread to good use.

Do something creative this week.  It's healing and good for your soul.

Until next time...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Sweet Week...

We had some nice warm days and some nice cool, rainy days this past week.  I am tickled that by just working in small increments of time I was able to get all of the flowerbeds in front of our house cleaned out and some of my Elephant Ears transplanted into another bed.  The goal for this coming week is to start working on all of the flowerbeds out by our driveway.  Some new rose bushes may be in the plan.

The cool windy rainy days allowed for curling up in my comfy chair and finishing a second twisted crochet afghan to go with a His & Hers set and also to start on a new knitted project.  It has been a while since I knitted but once I got started it was like I had never left.  I also found some time to do another free motion machine embroidery doodle.  It will probably be a pillow front for the daybed sofa that now resides in the living room.  I'll leave that story for another post.

Enjoy your coming week.  You can get a lot done in just baby steps!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

It's about time...

I have been sewing for 65+ years, either by hand or sewing machine.  In the back of my mind I have always wanted to do free motion machine embroidery but it seemed like a daunting task and I never took the time to explore that form of sewing.  Modern computerized sewing machines makes it very easy to drop the feed dogs with just the touch of a button instead of having to put on a darning plate.

We have this very functional ( not so pretty ) electrical panel box on the wall in our utility room.  I finally decided to cover it up with a wall hanging and I'm tickled at my very first attempt at machine free motion embroidery.  As usual I did not follow the rules of using a stabilizer or a hoop and just did my own thing.  I love the way it turned out...and did I mention, I love rabbits?

Painter's canvas, black sewing thread, natural sewing thread, left over pieces of a quilt that I remade into something else, cheese cloth, buttons, thread fibers, twine, lace insertion, crochet, rusty safety pin, muslin; attached to the panel box with a magnetic strip at the top.  I love the frayed edges, loose threads and free flowing machine doodling.

Take some time to do things you have always dreamed of.  Discover the possibilities!  An accomplished desire is sweet for the soul.