Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and have a blessed New Year, dear followers!

"For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace." ~ Isaiah 9:6

Friday, December 21, 2012

Emotional Attachment to Things You Create

I'm sure that title rings a bell with many of you crafters out there.  Whenever I finish making something, it's like there is a part of me in that thing.  A little bit of my soul.  And, when you are doing this as a business, that little creation will not be in your hands forever.  One day you will open up your email and see that little "Congratulations on your Etsy sale of ...".  Of course, your heart does a little leap for joy; someone bought your piece!!  Someone actually admires your work enough to buy it from you!  But then, there is that little twinge.  That little voice that tells you you will have to send it away.

It depends on what types of things you make.  For example, one would probably not be as emotional over the sale of a few bars of soap as they would over, say, a handmade doll.  Some things just have... personalities. 

For example, yesterday, I shipped off this little nun habit for someone's little girl this Christmas.  It was the habit of the Sisters of Nevers; St. Bernadette's order.  

Farewell, my little Bernadette. :) 

I know this may sound a bit silly, but some of you may understand what I mean.  It's like sending a little bit of you somewhere into that vast world.  

Love always,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pinecone Ornaments!

Today, my sister and I finished our latest Christmas project..... pinecone ornaments!

It was her idea.  We scavenged the woods for pinecones ready to be plucked from their fragrant, prickly branches. 

It did not take long before the basket was full.  We even threw in a few other things we found while exploring in the forest.

Then they went inside the warm house to be dusted with some sparkles, and hung from ribbons, ready for the tree. 

So, here you are; the latest tutorial from the Country Handmaiden. :)

What you will need:

~ Pinecones - these can be in any shape or size
~ Mod Podge
~ Medium sized paint brush
~ Glitter (we used gold and white)
~ Ribbon
~ Hot glue gun
~ Paper cup
~ Paper plates
~ Newspaper

How to make them:

Pour a small amount of Mod Podge into the paper cup and stir in a little bit of water to thin it out.  Dip the brush into the mixture, and lightly brush it along the outsides of the pinecone.  Brush in the direction that the pinecone is pointing, so if you are holding it from its stem, brush downwards.  Take care not to get too much glue on the pinecone; just enough to touch all the edges.  Now hold it over a paper plate, and sprinkle the glitter all over it.  Holding it by the stem and sprinkling from the top works nicely and gets the glitter where it needs to be.  Lightly tap it, then set it on the newspaper to dry completely.

Once they are dry, take a length of ribbon (about a foot long), fold it in half, and tie a bow halfway down the double length of ribbon.  If your pinecone has a stem, you can tie the ribbon directly to the stem.  Some of them don't.  If that is the case, put a drop of hot glue at the top of the pinecone, and press the bow firmly in place. 

Be creative with the colors of ribbon and glitter you choose!

 I used white glitter on this one, made it look like frost. :)

 Hope you are having a wonderful time preparing for Christmas as well!

God bless,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Dreams

I have seen many girls in the blogging world write out their list of dreams that they would like to accomplish someday.  I just realized, quite recently, that I never have made one myself, so I have decided to, since I am a big dreamer, and mean to do many of these things.  So here it is, my bucket full of dreams.  I will be adding to this list as new dreams are born, and will be crossing things off as I reach some of them.  But for now, here are the starting ones, and I'm warning you, there are lots. :)

- Write a book and get it published

- Own a horse

- Climb to the top of a cliff, or a mountain, or something like that and just sit by myself, in silence, listening to God.

- Marry the man of my dreams

- Have the children of my dreams

- Live in a Victorian farmhouse

- Live entirely self-sufficiently.

- Meet Richard Armitage in person

- Visit Rome

- Visit England

- Visit Ireland

- Visit Scotland

- Visit Pompeii

- Visit Egypt and venture into a pyramid

- Adopt an orphan (or maybe more than just one. :)

- Visit the Shrine of St. Philomena in Mugnano, Italy

- Be a nanny to some adorable children Achieved on June 4, 2013: Started working for a family of seven (now eight)

- Gain 200 followers on my blog

- Reach 200 sales on my Etsy shop

- Reach 100,000 pageviews on my blog

- Own a Border Collie

- Go on a honeymoon camping in the wilderness of Canada

- Go on a trek across the wilderness (anywhere, so long as it's wilderness) with only a horse and what you can fit on the back of your saddle

- Sew my wedding dress

- Become a skilled photographer

- Sing "I Dreamed a Dream" in a big, empty place by myself with nobody listening.

- Sew my first baby's Baptismal gown

- Buy my own car - Achieved on July 30, 2014 - bought a white VW Jetta and named him Marshmallow

- Own a white Sonata

- Travel to a third world country and help the people there

- Work at a living history village as a reenactor Achieved on 4/26/13 - Began working at an 1880s historical working farm as a reenactor

- Give demonstrations on historical crafts - Achieved in July 2014 - began working at Carillon Historical Park

- Sell my handmade pieces at a craft show

- Crochet a lace shawl with homespun yarn

- Direct little children in something, not sure what.  Just teach them all something that I'm good at.  Achieved on 1/13/13: Directed the music (both vocal and instrumental) for a children's Christmas play

- Buy my own laptop - Achieved December, 2013

- Buy a really nice sewing machine. Better than the one I have now, at least. Achieved on 5/30/13: My parents bought me a beautiful, brand new Janome for my graduation

- Grow my hair out long enough that I can wrap it in a braid all the way around my head.  Achieved November, 2013

- Build a wall tent and live in it

- Film a movie that I direct, write the script for, sew the costumes for, and compose the soundtrack for

     ... but most importantly, I want to be able to be fully happy and content in the amazing plan God has laid out for me and my future.  Because it doesn't matter what I think I want to do, or what I think is best for me.

    God knows all things, and He is the Master Planner of my life.

"For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience. And you shall call upon me, and you shall go. And you shall pray to me, and I will hear you."  Jeremiah 29:11-12

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Button Earring Tutorial!

I had purchased these adorable polymer clay buttons from Dolly Madison a while ago, hoping to sew something to showcase them on.  But no matter what I tried, I couldn't seem to find that perfect spot for them on something where I could really appreciate their uniqueness.  So, today I had a wonderful idea!  Make them into earrings!

It really was very simple to do, here is your supply list:

- Polymer clay buttons; here is the shop I got mine from (or I suppose you could use any buttons, but these ones are so cute :)
- Blank post earrings; I got mine on sale at Hobby Lobby
- Hot glue gun

All you do is put the blank posts in your ears, and hold up the buttons to position them where you want on the posts.  Then take the posts off (do not attempt to glue them while they are still in your ears! :) and put a dab of glue on them, placing the button firmly on top where you had positioned it.  Let dry a few seconds, and they are ready to wear! 

Dolly Madison has so many cute buttons in her shop and her inventory is constantly changing, so hop on over and grab some for yourself!

Have a lovely day!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wuthering Heights 2009

The worst of this insufferable illness is at last behind me (I think).  Goodness, that was probably the worst sore throat I have had in my entire life!  I couldn't swallow, couldn't talk, couldn't sleep... it was terrible.  I sat at the computer on Saturday, trying to think of something to post, while sipping cup of tea number 5,962, but I couldn't focus.  So, now I'm feeling much better and my mind is clearing up, thus allowing me to write a post!

During Thursday and Friday, when I was pretty much confined to bed, I certainly watched my fair share of period dramas.  It started with a Love Begins, Love's Enduring Promise, Love's Abiding Joy marathon where my sister and I watched all three in a row.  She loved them, which is surprising, since she generally doesn't go for the romance type of movies, but I suppose they had enough adventure in them to keep her captivated. I also watched Northanger Abbey, and fell in love with Mr. Tilney all over again. :)  We also watched Cranford, from beginning to end.  But there was a new drama I watched that I had not yet seen before.... Wuthering Heights. *smile*

Cathy and Heathcliff

Now if you are not fond of darker stories, then I definitely would not recommend this to you.  It's pretty dark. :)  I think they did a very, very good job on the cast. Heathcliff was just as I imagined him in the book: tall, dark and mysterious.  Cathy was fairly good, though she was a bit over dramatic at times I think.  I would also say that if you have not read the book, it might be a bit difficult to follow the movie. They do a lot of jumping around in the beginning, starting with events that happened towards the end of the story and then jumping back to the beginning of the book. 

The Heights.

There are also some significant scenes that are not appropriate which I had to skip over, so you may want to avoid this movie altogether for that reason.  I had to do quite a bit of skipping when I watched this, and probably will not watch it again because of that.  I liked their choice of characters, and they stayed fairly accurate to the book, but they took the romance between Catherine and Heathcliff and made it appear more physical than what it was in the book, which was very deep, yet untouched. Therefore I would be leery to recommend this movie because of some of the scenes where this was shown.

Well, I do hope you ladies all have a lovely week, and I will hopefully be posting more often as Christmas approaches and we start getting ready for it!

Yours truly,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ginger Mint Tea for a Sore Throat

Today I am sitting here inside the cozy house, looking timidly out the window at the frosty haze covering the world, and sipping tea. I came down with a sore throat a few days ago, convinced myself it was gone yesterday, went to a 2 hour choir practice last night, and woke up this morning worse off than before I went. Smart, right? But, I have decided I'm going to go after this cold the all natural way. *cheers* No tylenol, no motrin, no ibuprofen, no nothin. See, my brother bought me this book called "Country Wisdom and Know How: a practical guide to living off the land" for my birthday (he knows me WAY too well :) and I have recently been intrigued by the section on home remedies. So I have been trying different things out, and have come up with this tea which really helps sooth your throat, bring down the swelling, and generally make life a tad bit easier.

Ginger Mint Tea

2 tsp tea of your choice
1 tbs dried mint leaves, crushed
1/4 tsp dried ginger OR a few thin slices of fresh ginger root
 Dash of lemon juice

Put the tea, mint, and ginger into a tea ball, or a bit of cloth, and steep it in a cup of steaming hot water for about 2 minutes. Add a small dash of lemon juice, and stir in some honey to taste. 

The the ginger acts as an expectorant, providing quick relief to the soreness, the mint is cooling and soothing, the lemon cuts the mucous in the back of the throat which causes soreness, and the honey coats the throat.  I have been using this for a couple of days and it has definitely helped reduce the pain drastically.  

I also read that gargling with cayenne pepper is very beneficial and provides instant relief, so, being my usual insane self, I tried it, and I'll just say I wouldn't recommend it.  While it did, in fact, relieve the pain greatly, it basically felt like my mouth was on fire. Thanks, I'll stick with salt water. :)

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ideas for my shop's future...

Being in my last year of school, I have had little to no time to be making things for my shop or even posting on my blog very often.  But I have set my sights on next spring when I will be graduated, and ready to dive in to my business and make it what I always dreamed of it becoming.

So, I have been busily pinning all my ideas and inspiration on my Pinterest board I created for that purpose.  On there you will see either things I would like to make or ideas that would help me make things.  Here are a few things I want to do in the coming year...  (note: all photos on this post are taken from Pinterest)

 Glitter Cotton Twine - Gold & Silver 
Come up with a standard, cute way to package and ship all of my things.  Right now I get pretty creative, but I would like to have that signature look that is unique to me and my shop.

pressed wildflower resin necklace yellow golden flowers from my farmhouse cottage woodland fall 
Start a line of nature-themed jewelry.  I just love nature, and I've seen so many beautiful ways to incorporate it into jewelry (like this bit of dried wildflower encased in resin in a pendant).

Coffee Date Dress: free burda style dress pattern
Possibly, possibly, possibly..... a clothing line?  Maybe?  We'll see.

Redoute's Rose   - Vintage Book Plate - 1978
Start using my watercolors to make stationery.  Imagine how cool that would be.

So, this is all a ways off, but I figured I might as well start planning now, and I'm so excited about it I thought I would share some of my ideas with you!  What do you think?  Would you like to see some of these things in my shop?  Do you have any other suggestions?

Love always,

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving in Philadelphia

Why hello again!  Goodness we had such a lovely Thanksgiving.  We were able to see my brother and stay at my aunt and uncle's house in Philadelphia.  While we were there we visited the Miraculous Medal Shrine, and Valley Forge.

 Walking down the street to the shrine.

 We had the privilege of attending Mass while we were there

 There were so many beautiful statues of Our Lady throughout the church and shrine building

 After visiting the shrine we got lunch and headed over to Valley Forge.  This was our first time there, so it was so exciting.  I couldn't wait to take lots of pictures. :)

 Replicas of some of the barracks the soldiers built

Inside one of the cabins

 The land was so beautiful

 Washington's house

 This. Place. Was. Epic.

 I want this bedroom. 

 The kitchen! *swoon*

 Mom took this picture of us three in the doorway of one of the outbuildings. 

More barracks closer to Washington's house

Another shot of the land.

This was a very memorable Thanksgiving!  I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings with your family as well.

Yours truly,

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