Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Journey With Mary

To properly tell this story I must go back a few years first. No not that many years, just almost twenty. The year was 1996, and I had just turned 5. I didn't know it then, but I was sitting in my future Mother-In-Law's Kindergarten class at the little private Christian school I attended.
December came around and we were going to put on a little nativity, just us kindergarteners for that year's Christmas play.

My best friend and I (Who coincidentaly is still one of my dearest friends), had ,had a rivalry going on all year, and this moment was no different. Both of us knew we were contenders for the part of Mary, and the competition was fierce.
This was a year or two later when we got along just a little bit better. lol!

The day came when we were to find out our parts, and written on the chalkboard was easch of our names and the part we had been given.

But there at the top was something that set my little heart to anger, Jessica's name next to the part of Mary, and mine but a lowly angel.

Well I just decided I'd fix that, surely there had been a mistake! Mrs. G. left the room and I promptly pulled a chair over to the blackboard and switched our names in my large, uneven, childish script.
I'll never forget my beloved teacher's reaction, though. Instead of anger, or punnishment, she simply explained to me the importance of the angel Gabriel, and the part that he played in delivering the good news.

I supposed after that, that I could endure the part, for her sake mostly.

Now fast foreward back to 2015. This year our church decided to put on a little nativity for the children's service. A very simple affair with Mary and Joseph, a Manger, and the three wise men. Naturally, being 8 months along myself, I was asked to play the part of Mary. I couldn't help but feel a little thrill of excitement, twenty years later and It would be my name on the black board!
But today I must admit, it was a different feeling all together.

The one silly selfie I got to send to Jessica. (Captioned "Nanny Nanny Boo boo")

There was a flurry of silly costumes, and a sad female baby doll wrapped in a towel, but I couldn't help but be awed by it all.

As this mother, "Great with Child" was escorted down the aisle by my husband, I began to tear up.
I imagined Mary, a much younger girl than myself, being told that she would have a child out of wedlock, in a time when that meant almost certain death. I can imagine being completely overwhelmed by it. Having to tell Joseph, her parent's, her friends.

I can imagine the relief that Joseph believed her, having been told himself, but still having the humiliation of the community looking down on her, shunning her, maybe even hating her.
I imagined that later, just when her time was upon her, ready and scared to death of bearing her first child, being told by a distant monarch that she had to leave everything familiar to her and go to a place she had possibly never seen before.

I thought of how blessed I am to be able to look foreward to giving birth in a clean hospital environment with kind and knowledgable nurses and doctors, ready and waiting if anything goes wrong, and I imagined how frightened she must have been. Feeling the beginnings of her pain and not being able to find a place to stay, and finally being offered a place in a barn, the dirtiest place in the world.

But then as I sat down next to that manger and sad looking baby doll, I watched the "Wise Men" come down the aisle and lay their gifts before it. Though I know they came later, the shepherds still came that night. I can't imagine how awestruck Mary and Josheph must have felt that night. People came to worship this tiny baby that had been hated and shunned since the moment it was conceived, but this child would soon save the world, one heart at a time.

Oh yes, it was a powerful feeling.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How NOT to Treat Someone With a Food Allergy recently joined up with my local "MOPS" group, here in my new town. It has been such a blessing and I'm so glad I took the plunge to find out more about it!

But that's not why I'm posting. At our bi-weekly meetings one or two of the ladies will bring a few light breakfast items for all to enjoy while we're there. Because of my gluten intolerance, I tend to go into meal gatherings with a grain of salt. I usually eat before hand, and then if I find something I can have, I'll have just a little to keep from seeming rude. At the last meeting my allergy finally came to light as I had to decline to take any of it home with me.

This morning I was amazed to find that the two ladies who brought breakfast this morning not only remembered my allergy, but made sure they had something I could eat! (If you're reading this, Thank you all so much!! I can't tell you what it meant!!)

It took me until I got home to realize why I was so overwhelmingly grateful. For the rest of this post I'm going to explain why. This morning was a rarity, normally I don't get treated like that. So here are some tips for how NOT to treat someone with an allergy.
1. Don't treat it like a fad.
This may not happen with the more dangerous allergies like peanuts or shellfish, but it happens quite often with Gluten. I have a lot of friends that are Celiac, which  is a more intense version than what I have, and most have stated hearing the same reaction. Too many people have heard of a gluten free diet and are following it simply because of the craze. It really won't help you lose weight, that's still going to be carbs and sugar and a gluten free diet won't necessarily keep you away from those two. You may even gain weight.

But that's beside the point, The Fad is making those of us with an allergy look crazy. Walk into a restaurant, ask for the gluten free menu, and watch the waitress sigh. My Celiac friends then have to further inconvenience the staff by asking that special care be taken with their food. Clean utensils, separate preparation space, ect. If even the tiniest amount of gluten gets in their system they could get very sick. So, no, it is not a fad for us.

2. Don't treat it like an inconvenience. one goes along with the one above. I'll Start by saying I am NOT a picky eater. I'll try anything once.... well almost anything. Anyways, before I found out I was intolerant, I prided myself in being able to find something at any restaurant, that way no matter where someone wanted to go, I wasn't a bother. Now I have to be. There are some places that no matter how carefully I choose I get sick. There are other places that I simply cannot make work, there's just nothing that isn't breaded, or slathered in a sauce I can't eat. This has actually cut out a few places that I used to absolutely love, which is no fun I tell you!

So believe me when I say, I know it's an inconvenience when everyone wants to go to the Olive Garden and I have to say no. I would LOVE to be able to go and have Alfredo and bread-sticks with everyone, but I can't. It's also no fun to go and just have coffee... The staff kind of look at you funny when you do that.

So please don't sigh, I really can't help it!

3. Don't treat it like a contagious disease.
Now, here's the other extreme. There are people that are too cautious, at least in my opinion. Unlike the more severe food allergies, my personal symptoms when I eat wheat are not life threatening. I get a severe headache, a runny nose, I sometimes get sick to my stomach, but in the short term, it probably won't kill me. A celiac will have those ten times worse among others, but for the most part, they still won't go into shock and die. You also cannot catch it from me. I may try to convince you to get checked for it, if I see symptoms that are similar to my own, but that doesn't guarantee that I'm right.

You can also eat gluten free food! A baked potato is gluten free, so are all other fruits and vegetables, so you have already eaten gluten free food in your lifetime. As for the items such as pasta and soups that have to be made with a different kind of flour, manufacturers really are getting better at it. You can hardly tell the difference! If I or someone else have put gluten free food on the table, Go for it! I'll be glad to know what you think! It's not some kind of kibble that poor little old me is forced to eat. I also certainly can't eat the entire dish myself, don't be afraid to take a helping.

4. Lastly, DO make the effort. I said above, I can't tell you how much it means to me when you try! You have gone the distance! I don't have to be the outsider at the meal! I don't have to have made it myself from scratch!! You're awesome!! It's a complete and utter luxury, and be sure I will repay you somehow! Grocery stores are making it easier and easier to find things that I can eat. A lot of them will have a little label on the shelf. The back of the package will also have an allergy label beneath the ingredients. The allergens will be listed in bold.  I always say that I can eat anything I like, I just have to go back and make it from scratch. Which sounds complicated, but not so much anymore, there are mixes, and ready made items already on the shelves. Have a recipe you like, but it calls for a tablespoon of flour? Just use a gluten free version, I like "Bob's Red Mill," which I can get at Big Lots for a fraction of the cost of anywhere else.

Anyways, to wrap it up, a gluten free life is really not all that bad. It takes an extra effort sometimes, and others one has to be the odd man out, but in the end, it's not a bad thing. It will teach you patience, and discipline, and... well... how to cook from scratch. To use the old adage, a person with an allergy is no different than anyone else, there are just things we can't eat. We don't mean to be an inconvenience, and we don't mean to sound rude, so please be kind. We really do appreciate it.

Much Love!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Just in Time For Christmas!

Everything in the Etsy store has been re listed!!

Stay tuned for new items, Christmas discount codes, and maybe even a giveaway!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Remembrance Poppy

Ninety- seven years ago today, they fired the last rounds of the war that was to end all wars. The people took a moment of silence on that day to remember all those who had made such a huge sacrifice for their countries. Today we still honor their memory on what we now call Veteran's Day. 

The poppy became the symbol of remembrance and is still used in British society today. 

Above pictured are the more than 800,000 ceramic poppies surrounding the Tower of London to commemorate each British and commonwealth life lost during WWI

This morning I decided last minute to see if I could create a poppy of my own. My family and Joshua's are steeped in Military history and I wanted something to remember each of them with. 

I just so happened to have some red  satin scraps in my stash, with them I cut three circles of varying size. 

I then melted the edges with a candle just until they curled a little. 

Lastly I layered them and sewed them together with a black button, also from my stash. 

Sadly I have no pictures of the process, but here is the finished pin. (I simply safety pinned it to my shirt for now. Later I will get an official pin back for it.) 

My final outfit makes me feel rather French, but I suppose that's still fitting for today, eh? 

But hey! Bonus Baby Bump Pic! 29 weeks Yesterday!! (Less than 11 weeks until we meet our little E-bug!!! 0_0) 

Until next time! 


Thursday, August 6, 2015

While You Were Sleeping

While I've been ill these past few months, my absolutely wonderful husband has been hard at work. Not only has he been taking care of me, and the daily chores, but he's been a busy bee when it comes to our home improvement projects.

The last few weeks Joshua has taken most of his spare time and repaired and updated the front porch.

(I wish I had gotten before shots!)
He replaced the few boards that had seen better days, and repainted it this gorgeous emerald green!
But then he took things the extra mile, but repainting the furniture, replanting the hanging baskets, and adding these lovely sheer curtains! 

 It's so absolutely inviting now, I can't seem to keep away! And the curtains seem to keep it so much cooler!
Thank you so much dear, I love it! I can't wait to enjoy it with our little boy someday soon. :D 

 Until Next Time!

Friday, July 17, 2015

An Early Announcement

About two weeks ago, I had a routine blood test taken. From my Blood they were able to separate out Baby's and look at the DNA.

From that they were able to tell that there were no Chromosomal Abnormalities,


Baby "E" will be making his appearance sometime in mid to late January. :D 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lucy Anyone?

The Maternity top is finished, and I've gotten the chance to wear it several times now, Sadly the weather has not been conducive to taking pictures. We've had a very gloomy and rainy week here.

We made an impromptu trip to Historic Rugby, TN, and were able to snap one picture in between showers.

I'll get some more detail pictures, when the skies clear.
Until then!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Beginning of a Maternity Wardrobe

When it comes to Maternity clothes, I have been very much inspired by Mid Century Vintage styles, Such as Lucille Ball wore on "I Love Lucy"
I find these styles to be both lady-like and sophisticated, but also, thy just look downright comfortable!
A few months ago, while on an Antiquing venture, I happened across Vintage Simplicity 2705 and decided to bring it home for future use.
Perhaps I am still a bit early yet for maternity wear, but I am already finding my everyday clothes to be a bit snug and uncomfortable, so I thought why not!
Today I finally found that I had just enough energy (and I also wasn't sick!! ) to possibly begin work on it.
I have several lengths of different materials in my stash, some vintage, some new, and this one just seemed to call out to become a nice summer maternity top. My Mother picked it up on a recent trip to Lancaster, PA. Amish country.

There wasn't quite enough to get all the pieces out of it, but after having taken the cuff off the sleeve I was able to get all the base pieces out of it, and I think a contrasting white will do well for the pockets and sash. And I have just enough of the scrap left to add to a quilt. So all in all I'm very pleased.
Hopefully I can finish it and get pictures up soon. :D 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Life Brings New Projects

So here are the few little things I've been doing for baby since we got Our News.

First off, I've decided to try my hand at cloth diapering. I know it's really a bit early for me to be thinking about it, but it's something my mom did with me and I thought I'd carry on the tradition. Although my mom used Disposables, she had the brilliant idea to sign up for coupons, and every week during her pregnancy, she would buy another box of a varying size.

So I've decided every week to buy another diaper or two and in just a few weeks I'll have all I need.

I've done my research and have decided to go with a liner/ cover method. It seems to be the most flexible as baby's needs change. It also seems to be the simplest when it comes to changing and laundering.

And there they are! My first shipment! Two "Flip" one size, and Two "Rumparoos" A one size and a newborn. (I only got the "Newborn" size because I absolutely loved the pattern, and they were out of "One Size" lol!) I also got one box of "Flip" newborn liners.
It's a beginning anyways.
Has anyone else used cloth? How did you fare?
My next project, I ran across on Pinterest and just couldn't pass it up! This will eventually be a baby blanket, and using a Cable Knit technique, it ends up making little cotton tailed bunnies! 
You can see the little "Bunny Butts" Beginning to form there. Just look at the fluffy little tails!!
I would definitely call this an intermediate project. A knowledge of knitting and of cable knitting is essential. It also took me a bit to figure out the fluffy tail, but once figured it wasn't too bad. It's only fiddly for me as I hate working on circular needles. It wasn't called for, but it does make it easier to keep up with such a big project.
I had also forgotten my Cable needle and ended up working the first set of cables on an ink pen at my Father-in-laws... not recommended folks! But it did work at the time...
For those interested HERE is the pattern on Ravelry.
Anyways, things seem to be going well now. The Morning Sickness has now removed itself to a mild morning case instead of all day misery.  I'm able to eat again!
Although... it looks as though baby has a sweet tooth... Or maybe Mum does.. :D

Friday, June 19, 2015

An Announcement

So here is my reasoning for not getting all those lovely Wedding posts up like I promised I would...

It's been a rough couple of weeks physically with multiple doctors visits and uncertainty, but now we have a clean bill of health (although I certainly don't FEEL well!!) and come January there will be a new little addition!

Right now morning sickness has been a real plague! I've barely been out of bed for weeks because of it. Today has luckily been one of the good days with only some mild queasiness, so here's hoping I'm on the uphill climb!

We're also very excited that due to modern technology that in just a few short weeks we'll know the gender! So keep an eye out for that announcement!

Prayers and support are always much appreciated, and hopefully I'll be well enough soon to work on the rest of the wedding posts.

Until then!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

All about the dress!!

And now for the beginning of the posts you've all been waiting for!

This first post will be all about my dress!

The day I got engaged, I did what every modern girl does and started a secret Pinterest board to begin saving all my ideas.

(Now public it can be found HERE)

It began as a "Pin all the things!" spree. I knew we both wanted an Edwardian wedding, but where to start! Ten years worth of fashions and traditions. As I started pinning period dresses I liked, I began to notice a common theme.
The bodices all had a similar feature, what I started calling, "The cross." The game was now ON! 
 I began a quest for "The Cross." Not only that, but there were several other features I knew I wanted. I had caught "Princess Kate" fever after staying up all night to watch her wedding a few years ago, and thought her long lace sleeves to be the epitome of elegance.

A few years before that I had made a purchase at Wal-mart of all places, of the softest lace I had ever felt. But there were only a couple yards of it. I bought every bit, and made a little dress with it. (Ironically, also "Kate Middleton" inspired) I vowed as I did that someday I would find it and use it on my wedding dress.

And I did!

As time went on, and things developed, The Dress began to take shape.... In my mind anyways. I still hadn't found a pattern. I intended to use a mash up of patterns until the day I found this one.
I knew I had found the one, with a few alterations, this was the dress.
I called up one of my SCA buddies who knows everything there is to know about patterning and drafting and we set to work putting the perfect pattern together.
So I now had ten yards of Dupioni silk, 8 yards of lace, and a pattern made from former 50lb paper sacks. It was time to get started.

(I took a ring shot for those who asked,
but I felt it was bad JUJU if the groom
should happen to see the fabric behind it... )

As the weeks wend by, it began to take shape for real. There were delays and setbacks, breakdowns and tears, but in the end, it all came together.
A not about the veil before I show final pictures. My veil was going to be my something new among all these old things, so I went shopping. With no results. My final stop on the store-bought veil train was "David's Bridal." I must give them a shout-out, they were so fantastic! Even though my budget was low and I walked away with nothing, they still treated me like royalty, thank you folks!
While I was there I found "The One" Unfortunately it was three times what my budget was. Eeep!
So I took some rough measurements and went to Joann's.
I also must give one final shout-out to American Duchess Shoes. Thank you folks so much for what you do! All the research and time you put into the final product! I ordered a pair of Astorias as my wedding shoes and I must say, they were so perfect! And comfortable to boot! I have worn them several times since with historic outfits and gotten so many compliments on them! (in fact in a later post I'll give more details about a trip to Biltmore that I made in them recently.)
And now, the final product. I hope you enjoy these photos, taken by my lovely photographers, Carrie and Erin.

The embroidery pattern has special meaning to the groom and I, and also matched our floral of Cornflowers and Thistles. Note the many seed pearls my mother and I sewed on. (She also helped with the embroidery, God Bless her!!)
Also note the handmade ribbon roses of varying sizes, those were sewn on with only days to spare!!

The cape was a gift from my mother. A vintage find that only needed a change of closure to be perfect! And boy did I need it! Days before the "Stormageddon"

I hope you've enjoyed this look into the details of my dress! There's more to come with the Groom's coat, and the girls dresses, and of course the Big Day itself!
Until Next time!