Friday, August 31, 2007

To My Poor Neglected Friends...

Phew! It's HOT here! But I'm taking a little breather with you and my diet coke while Baby naps and Daddy has the girlies over at his grandfather's for a couple hours. So nice to sit in the quiet...

ACK! My last post was Monday and this is FRIDAY! How did this happen? You have probably just about given up hope of seeing anything new here, haven't you? Poor dears! Well here I am, better late than never... Thank you for waiting so patiently for me, Sweets!

Today's post has a sort of theme. It's actually not one I planned, but one that basically just happened, all on its own! It does happen to be a favorite of mine, and hopefully of yours, too.
That's right: Dolls!

I have long been a lover of dolls. I had more than my share as a little girl and then having 4 younger sisters....well let's just say there were A LOT of dolls around! My mother had her dolls from when she was a little girl which she kept on a high shelf on the tippy-top of my bookshelf. I would beg her to get them down and let me just "look" at them and we even referred to them as "look-at dolls." She had one of the very first Barbie dolls, a Betsy McCall, a Ginny, a bisque baby and several baby dolls, at least one of which was composition. She also had a collection of doll clothes, many of which she had made herself as a child with the help of HER grandmother, Catherine, who worked for Singer and had quite the stash of tiny fabric scraps. Mama also had a collection of miniatures that would have been just the size for a dollhouse and were quite the tempation for little girls!
I started making my own doll clothes very early. In fact I started at about Emily's age, doing just exactly what I saw HER doing last week: cutting slits in little squares of fabric for armholes and making "dresses" for her dolls! What a delight that was to see! I got a Cabbage Patch sewing machine for my 8th birthday and I began lying awake at night, dreaming up fancy dresses I wanted to make. I remember having to FORCE myself to think about something else in order to fall asleep!
My fascination with dolls never really ended, even when I became "too old" to play with dolls. I made tiny shoebox dollhouses, as I'm sure many of you did, and fashioned furniture out of matchboxes, spools and the like. Contact paper made great wallpaper and furry fabric was the perfect carpet. I spent hours creating these little vignettes.

When I had my first daughter, Emily, I bought her a Madame Alexander baby doll for her first Christmas. As all you mamas know, this doll wasn't really for Emily; it was for ME! But she dutifully chewed on the doll's face and we named her "Anna." Anna was soon naked along with all the $10 baby dolls from Wal Mart but she was and is well-loved. Bitty Baby is now the favored baby here in our house and has almost as many pretty frocks as her mommies do! She inevitably ends up naked in the doll cradle with the rest of them but gets dressed for special occasions! All this to say, I love dolls. My current obsession is with tiny bisque dolls. The older and smaller, the better. You may remember this doll that is going to Miss Jennifer and her sweet little Vivian's house on Monday, along with this fabric heirloom book. Isn't she sweet? I spend WAY too much time these days surfing eBay with search terms like "vintage bisque baby" and "antique bisque doll." I promise I won't become one of those crazy doll ladies that sets life-size dolls up in life-like poses...yikes! But I may spend a little too much time and money on teeny tiny old dolls that could fit in the palm of your hand! This is another one I altered...her name is Rosalind and she is never without her faithful friend and guardian, Sugar...

So a few weeks ago, while searching on eBay with said search terms, I came across an auction with this photo. Now I couldn't tell exactly what these dolls looked like but I could tell they had molded hair, they were the "right size," and the price was right! So I bought them. I assumed they had dark hair, wouldn't you?

When they arrived I was so disappointed to find that they did NOT have dark hair! They had light hair that had been drawn on with a marker! Here's the "before" of the girl doll from the front... And this is the same doll from the back:

I immediately set about cleaning this marker off, which was not an easy task. But after awhile it began to come off! I was thrilled because the hair underneath was lovely! I expected a stain or something bad that had given the seller a reason to think they weren't cute or valuable but there was nothing like that. Here they are after their EXTREME MAKEOVER!

Aren't they just DEAR???? I don't care for their clothes but they are sewn on so I will have to really sure of what I want them to wear before I cut the clothes they came in off. Any ideas, Sweets??

I also wanted to draw your attention to my etsy shoppe where I have marked down the "Little Mama" Dress for Dolls down to 50% off. guessed it...that's Bitty modeling the dress! A bit overshadowed by her beautiful "Little Mama" there, don't you think?? But then I'm biased since I'm Little Mama's Mama! ;) I also added a new item a customer of mine asked me to make for her daughter since the little girl's mama was about to have a new baby brother or sister for her. It's a little sweetly-wrapped bundle of a doll-sized receiving blanket and burp cloth in the prettiest pink flannel print! See my etsy store for both these items.

Lastly, but definitely NOT least, I want to mention my friend, Linda, of Lola and Dahl, since she is almost done making my etsy store banner ( yippee!!!) and I want all of you to know who she is and stop by her funny-as-heck, sweet-as-can-be blog and say hello! She is also the incredibly talented graphic designer behind my hang tags and garment tags, which I just ADORE. She designed my ME page on eBay as well, which whe are currently working to get updated since it is quite dated and doesn't show any of my newer designs. And she has made loads of GORGEOUS custom eBay auction templates for me.

Look at these FAB and totally delicious tags!!! She is sooooooooo talented!

Besides being incredibly talented, Linda is a dear friend I have so enjoyed getting to know. We can hardly believe we have only been friends for a little over a year and a half! She and I are so much alike, it's uncanny, and we feel like we could have ALMOST been twins separated at birth. She is a lovely wife (our husbands even have the same name!), mom of 3 (2 girls and a boy, just like me!) and has a plane ticket in her possession to come and visit me! YIPPEE!!!!!
Well Friends...that's it for now. Missy Ballance is updating Glitter & Grunge tonight and I am SOOOOO excited about my new offerings for September! Can't wait to show you tomorrow but I don't want to spoil the meet me back here tomorrow and I'll do Show & Tell for you!

Hubby is making peach crisp later this evenning from peaches he picked at his grandpa's......mmmmm....with ice cream on top of it....who needs dinner????

Hugs to you all....

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's Monday and I've Got Yummies!

Good Morning, Sweets! It's Monday and I have so many delicious treats to show you today! Did you bring empty shopping bags and your drool bibs? I sure hope so! You're going to need both.
Hop on in my little cyber-car and let's ROLL!

YUMMY THING ONE: Bunny Keepsake Boxes by Sweet Eye Candy Creations

Oh you should have heard my squeal of delight when I first saw these DARLING boxes! Aren't they just as sweet as can be? Jenn of Sweet Eye Candy Creations has done it again! She's the artist behind those delicious shadow boxes I've shown you recently. And just when you thought you had her pegged, she surprises us with something completely different but equally YUMMY. She is going to list these in her etsy shoppe today and I have a feeling they're going to go FAST! That's me at her etsy shoppe window with my nose pressed against the glass....WAITING...WAITING...

YUMMY THING TWO: Itty Bitty Cupcakes by Pukashell

Now these are what I call YUMMY...almost edible, really! And look how itty bitty they are! Just adorable. I think I know a couple of girls that would love to play with these....and my daughters would like them, too....hehehe! ;)

Isn't this yummy? My mind is spinning with things I could do with a piece of this delicious paper! I love the contrast of the elegant wallpaper with the whimsical cupcakes. Just delightful! Karla's a doll, too...

YUMMY THING FOUR: Tickled Pink - A Candy Necklace for the Crafty Gal by Me! ;)

This is the Crafty Gal's equivalent of a candy necklace! Chock-full of many tones of pink new and vintage buttons, beads and baubles, this yummy collection of pretties will make her eyes light up.

Please note: I don't make jewelry! This is not a wearable necklace; components are on thread and do not include any clasps or jewelry hardware. She might actually LIKE it more than jewelry, though! ;)

I've got several of these in my etsy shoppe right now...well actually they're hanging in my room looking very yummy indeed! But you can buy them in my etsy shoppe.

Isn't this precious? Pat of Summersdarling has made yet another gorgeous pillow with French lavender inside and a matching tag to boot! I just ADORE this little image on the front, don't you? And so true...the little darlings really DO rule the house when they're small! Their cuteness rather makes up for being bossed around, though...

YUMMY THING SIX: Pink Bird Pincushion in a Teacup by Charming Designs

I just adore these. I've been admiring them for months. She also makes a slightly different design that features a little bird sitting on a tiny pincushion in the "bowl" part of a vintage spoon. To die for!!!

And guess what? These dear little creations are going to be featured in Somerset? So exciting!!! She's got several items on ebay right now, so hurry and check them out!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This lovely story is from an email forward my dear friend, Lianne, sent me HAVE to read it...

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Pick me up right around 5:30, please."I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -- but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going ... she's going ... she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read -- no, devour -- the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals -- we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of m y own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.? That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Yummies...on Saturday!

I know...this is going to disrupt the balance of the universe...but I CAN NOT wait until Monday to show you a few things! Don't worry...we'll still be having Yummies on Monday, as well. But here is a lovely pink snack to tide you over until then!

Since all of these Yummies are HERE and not out in cyberspace I won't be picking you up for our cyber shopping trips as I do on Mondays. Instead I get to invite you in!! So come on in, my Sweet Friends, and make yourself comfy!

Pull up a chair, pour yourselves some coffee and grab some snacks. By the way...cute hats, girls!

YUMMY THING ONE: Cupcake Pants from Wal Mart!

Aren't these the cutest???? These were at Wal Mart in the "jammy" section! Naturally, I had to have them! They are comfy knit and even have that great thick elastic waistband that helps reign in the "pooch" (you know that extra handful of....let's call it skin...that we would like to have removed and perhaps even relocated???). The fact that my six-year-old said my pants are "cute" made me wonder for about 2 seconds if they were too juevenile. But that thought went out that window real quick...they're CUPCAKE pants!!! Who CARES if they're juevenile? Not me!

YUMMY THING TWO: Gorgeous Fabric and Luscious Lace

I picked these out at JoAnn fabrics and am just IN LOVE with them. I have the fabric and the trims in a pretty little pile I keep looking at happily and occasionally touching! They are really beautiful and I can't wait to use them. I bought them to use for the item I'm making for the auction I told you about yesterday...can't wait to make something lovely out of all of this, which will hopefully help a little SOMEONE LOVELY called Ava Grace!

YUMMY THING FOUR: "Dream" Collage by Icing on the Cake Studio

I won on Sweet Karin's blog and look what she sent me!!!! I really, really loved this when I saw it in her etsy shoppe and I even blogged about it. Then yesterday I got the prettiest package from her and when I opened it up...there it was! And you know's even prettier in person than it is in the pics! That glittery part on the edges looks like it is sugared! It truly looks good enough to eat. And isn't it pretty on my shelf?

Thank you so much, Karin! She has more of these so head on over to her shoppe and grab one before they're all gone!

YUMMY THING FIVE: Strawberry Shortcake Dolls!

Last night sister, Ray, gave Emily two new Strawberry Shortcake dolls that are both currently "too busy" to have their photos taken. They have kept the little people around here quite busy all morning, Aunt Ray! Woo-hoo! It brings back so many memories...I was a Strawberry Shortcake FANATIC as a child. I had a SSC (I just can't keep typing "Strawberry Shortcake"!) bedroom, which included sheets, bedspreads, pillows, floor rug, huge strawberry-shaped toybox, the gi-NORMOUS SSC dollhouse...need I go on? Somewhere there is a photo of me dressed up as SSC with a HUGE plastic SSC hat. Strawberry Shortcake was the Polly Pocket of the 80's, at least in my world. Happiness was being able to locate every single shoe, green-striped pair of tights and "pet," which needed to stand next to the appropriate owner during play. Yes I was THAT kind of little girl!

Since the new dolls are currently (very happily, I might add) playing quietly in their bedroom I went looking online for photos of these new dolls since they are quite adorable and yummy! I couldn't find the exact ones Ray gave Emily but I did find some similar ones to show you. But in my searching I also found a site with vintage SSC dolls! JUST EXACTLY the ones I played with!! Look at the 1982 version next to its 2007 counterpart:

Brings back SUCH fond (and YUMMY!) memories! Next time you're in Target, take a jaunt down the pink and purple aisle and stick your nose in the new SSC THAT'LL take you back!

YUMMY THING SIX: My Little Dumpling

Last but not least, here's the yummiest of yummies...Andrew!

He IS yummy, isn't he?? He's just a few days shy of 9 months and he crawled for the first time yesterday! What a big boy he is getting to be! I am so enjoying him.

Well that's it! I hear said little dumpling waking up from his nap. But this has been SUCH a lovely visit, hasn't it? Hope your Saturday is wonderful...

p.s. One last yummy just came! Look (I just squealed that "look!") at this sweeter-than-sweet little miniature cake!!!
Rosalind and Sugar are just delighted, as am I! I have a plan for this little cake, but of course you'll have to wait and see what it is! And be sure and check out the "Fairy Dreams" heirloom book I have in my eBay auctions, which includes Rosalind and bids yet, low starting price and no reserve! What a sweet treat it would make for you or someone special!