Showing posts from 2009

Joyeaux Noel!

Wishing you all a most blessed and wonderful Christmas Day! For unto us a child is born... unto us a Son is given! Rejoice greatly!
Happy Christmas, dear ones!


I'm staying in a friend's apartment this week prior to returning home on Sunday, since the dorms closed last Saturday. And sometimes, when I'm left alone with few commitments and a lovely kitchen on my hands, things happen.
Sometimes, this happens: lovely sunlight breakfast, with candles just because I can.

Sometimes this happens. Dinner made for a friend is always better than dinner for oneself.

Sometimes, these happen. Such a silly name, monkey bread, but such a sweet treat.

Or this. Oh, this is just one of the best cakes I've ever tasted.

And sometimes, I have time to knit an entire sock in the space of two days.

Christmas Meme

Well, I was looking for something to post on my blog, and as both Sarah Jane, Rachel, and Serena have posted this meme in the last few weeks, I thought I'd give it a go :-) I enjoyed it - I hope you will as well!
~~Christmas Meme~~ 1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? I enjoy eggnog sometimes, but hot chocolate is always a favourite. It's best when it's made my dad's way: sugar and cocoa powder blended together and heated, on the stovetop, with milk. (As we got older, sometimes he'd add a splash of peppermint liqueur - fantastic!)

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We never really "did" Santa Claus - we joke about him, but I don't remember a time when I thought he was real. But our presents are always, always wrapped. (The last several years, I've helped my mother wrap the family gifts - we spread out the wrapping paper, ribbons, boxes, and tape in the basement, pop in a movie, and set up a screen between us while we wrap each…

Bits and Pieces

This is just to say: I am FINISHED with finals!
I have had one of the longest semesters of my entire life (rivaled only, perhaps, by last spring) but I am happy to report that I have survived with my sanity and my GPA both still intact. I'm spending this next week in a friend's apartment before going home; I'm entirely alone, which I love -- nothing to do unless I want to do it, nothing to keep me from sleeping when and for how long I want. In celebration of this I went to bed at 6:30 last night.
That was probably the best thing I've done in weeks!
In other news, I found my camera charger (logically, in the front pocket of my camera bag, where I haven't been able to find it for three months) so hopefully I will soon have some pictures to share with you! I find I blog more regularly if I have photos to share.
In the mean time, I hope you all have a lovely day and a blessed third Sunday of Advent!

The Brass Hussy GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

The Brass Hussy GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!
Gorgeous jewelry! Go check it out and link for a chance to win this gift certificate yourself!
(And one of these days I promise to write a proper update. I promise!)

Rough Week

This has been a very difficult week for me... on top of the usual stress of 18 credit-hours of classes, and the unusual stress of the weeks leading up to the opening of the musical, my paternal grandfather passed away on Tuesday. We were aware that this could likely happen at some point in the near future but I know I at least was not really prepared for it... and added to that the sorrow that he was not (so far as we know) a believer, and I've not had a very good week. I'd appreciate prayers for my family, especially my dad and his brother, as we grieve and work through this. Also I covet prayers for my grandmother, who is suffering from dementia, wanders in her mind a lot, and most likely does not have too much more time in this world.

I'm attaching the obituary Daddy wrote for his father: it says things better than I can.

Rest in Peace, Dad

Andrew Joseph Frank, 84, of Woodbridge, VA died Tuesday, November 3, at Birmingham Green Nursing Home.

Andrew was born on October 2, 1…


I read Grosgrain's blog frequently, sometimes for the giveaways but more because I am absolutely in awe of her creative genius and the fabulous things she makes. This time though I'm linking to a giveaway, because these are just too cute! If you like red jewelry too, check out this link :-)
Becky Mae Poppy Fields Necklace and Earring Set GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

The problem with college... that I never seem to find time to update my blog. *Sigh* I promise, I have been doing very many memorable and possibly document-worthy things in the last month or so; so many in fact that I have not made time to come and tell you about them. I do apologise. I shall try to do better in future.

The other problem with college is sleep deprivation.

Briefly, then, here are the things that have been happening in my life:

1.) 18 credit hours, consisting of 10 classes/applied lessons, all but one class of which are music and happen in the music building. I love it!

2.) Opera Workshop. It counts as one of those 10 classes, but has taken on a life of its own quite apart from class time. I'm singing the role of the young up-and-comer in Mozart's one-act opera The Impressario, and I'm terribly excited about it!

3.) The musical! Union's theatre department is staging "Zombies from the Beyond" this semester, and I got a leading role in it. (Don't write it off…


I missed out taking WIFD photos yesterday - sorry! And I'm not sure I'll get to them today either.
You see, tomorrow I leave for another year of college, 12 hours and about 700 miles from home. Which means that when we drive away tomorrow, my whole life has to be in the car - books, clothes, music, kitchen stuff, sewing and knitting supplies... everything I'll need for the next 9 months or so.
And this being me (Procrastinator Extraordinaire) I neglected to start packing until this morning.
(Feel free to insert incredulous laughter and copious scolding, here... I'm sure I deserve them.)
Anyway, it's going fairly well, I suppose. All the clothes and books and bedding and kitchen odds and ends are packed up (along with a sampling of home-made jams), and I'm down to sorting through my yarn stash to decide what I'm taking, and rounding up the odds and ends in some semblance of order. That's always the part that takes longest, though. I was going for down-s…

WIFD Day Four

Today was a going-out day; we made a stop at IKEA on the way to the airport to pick up my brother, who has been in Arizona with relatives for the last two months. Boy, was it good to see him! He hove into view looking like the stereotypical beach boy... cargo pants, loose, brightly-patterned shirt (untucked), his hair shoulder-length and topped with a backwards baseball cap, and very "cool" sunglasses. My little brother's getting all growed up! But he's still the same David - silly jokes, unique mannerisms, charming smile and all. I'm glad to get him back!
Here are photos of the day's outfits for Kate and me!
My skirt is a $2 find from Salvation Army this week, but the tag says Covington. It's a wee bit on the short side for someone of my stature, but I really love it - I just wear shorts underneath.

Kate's shirt is a hand-me-down; the tag says "Wayne Diamonds Designs". Her skirt, also a hand-me-down, is minus the tag so I can't he…

WIFD Day Three

Well, yesterday I didn't take pictures, and anyway I just wore jeans, but today I took double-duty photos!
Double-duty, because they are both photos of what I wore today, and documentation of another newly-completed sewing project! (Please excuse the photo quality; I can't find my camera charger and my mother's was objecting to the dusky lighting outside.)
Here it is: Simplicity 4086, view B, in a lovely, slightly stretchy denim. I flat-felled all the seams and topstitched in a tan thread, so it has a "storebought" look, but nicer! It fastens with pewter buttons and is very comfortable and fun to wear.

About the rest of my outfit, for the WIFD: I wore a black knit shirt from Old Navy (a size small, but strangely it fits me!) over a camisole from Kohls; the sweater is a garage sale find, perfect for cool summer evenings as it's mainly openwork, and the sandals (which I shed to climb our apple tree) are from Sketchers; I bought them on sale this summer for abo…

WIFD Day One!

This being the first day of the "Week In Feminine Dress" over at the S&S forums, I thought I'd get in on the fun and post some pictures here!
Here's the dress I wore today: Vintage Vogue #2858 in $1.50/yard navy crepe from Wal-Mart. I made it up a few weeks ago and despite having to size the pattern up it went together like a dream. I love it! It's a 1944 pattern and it just cried for a hat. A couple weeks ago when this first photo was taken I wore an old hat of my grandmother's - probably circa 1950, although I'm no judge of hats.
This one's actually from today, again with a hat! This one I made myself, with leftovers of the dress fabric and using a Vogue pattern. It was quite a challenge - buckram is quite interesting to work with! - but I got through it and I love it.
My only disappointment is that this style of hat does not look good with straight hair. And mine is certainly not naturally curly. So I take advantage of the days when I slee…
I find I've been quite lax in posting lately, for which I apologise!  I have, however, been busy in other ways, so I have several sewing projects to share with you over the next few days (whenever I can find my camera battery charger so I can upload photos!)  My 1830s stays are all but finished (must sand the busk and stitch the openings for it and the two back stays), and I have a lovely 1940s dress to share as well.
I also spent a good part of yesterday and today cleaning, tidying, sorting and organising my bedroom, and I'm SO pleased with it now!  It's been terribly untidy all summer - I got home from college, half-way unpacked, got distracted and never finished, so it's been full of piles and half-emptied boxes and clutter all summer.  It's so nice to have the floor free, the tables and my sewing machine clear, and everything in place again!
So - I hope to upload some photos of my latest projects over this weekend.  I'll try to be more regular in posting in f…

My White Knight

"As knights in shining armour on white chargers go, mine seems to be the lowest of pages clad in a rusty tin can, and rides a black donkey.Okay, okay.  Maybe that's not quite fair.  Maybe my knight hasn't gotten here yet, and all I've run into is his advance entourage.  Maybe I just need to be a little more patient.  But if this is the case, then what it means is my knight is hopelessly, irrevocably and forever lost in the forest.  Probably fell asleep astride his horse, got the reins tangled in a thicket, and hasn't been able to extricate himself yet.  Now there's a comforting thought."
~excerpt from my latest attempt at novel-writing, "My White Knight".

Cole Porter

As I mentioned singing in my last post, I thought I'd put this up for you!  This was with the jazz band at my college this May - it's not opera, but it's a start ;-)  

This is Cole Porter's classic "I Get a Kick out of You" (with all references to champagne removed because it's a Baptist college!)  I had a blast singing with the band and I hope I get the opportunity again!

Honest Scrap Award!

Clare gave me this award - thanks Clare!  I'm sorry it took me so long to get to it, but here goes at last!

The Rules:
* Thank the person who gave you the award
* Post 10 honest facts about yourself 
* Pass the award on to 7 others  - we'll see if I can find 7!

1.  I am first and foremost a musician (after, of course, being a Christian!  Which is so much a part of me that I almost forget to mention it...).  Specifically a singer.  I cannot imagine life without song... and I want to pursue that passion to the opera stage.  We'll see!
2.  After singing, my other great passion and delight is writing.  I write fiction, and I write all sorts - from fantasy to historical fiction to "romantic comedy" type stories.  I'm nearly finished with - not my first novel, for I started 3 before this one! - but my first that has any promise at all; I'm pretty excited about it!
3.  Anyone who's spent any amount of time with me knows I can't go without needlework - whether i…

Thoughts on Clothes

Reading through my blog subscriptions, I came across this post ( by my friend Clare.   Read it.   You'll get something out of it.
I hope you've read it now - my post was sparked by it.
I've experienced something of the same thing Clare did... when I went to college two years ago (a small, conservative, Baptist college, let me add) I was a little nervous about "fitting in".   So I wore all my jeans and little knit tops and things for the first couple weeks, leaving all my homemade skirts and Regency dresses buried in the back of the closet.   A little ashamed of them perhaps.
And then one day I said "Ah, who cares.   I want to wear a dress today."   So I pulled out one I'd made, pink and flowery, full-skirted, using a vintage 1950's pattern, and wore that.
And I got the same reaction as Clare and her friend did.   *Everyone* looked at me.   People I'd never spoken to in my life stopped …

Happy Independence Day!

I feel that I ought to write something profound today... but I am not good at profound, so I'll merely say that I am glad that our founding fathers built this country on such a solid foundation... and God help those who are trying to govern it now!  God bless America!
I seem to have a knack for not being home on the 4th.  Two years in a row now I've accepted house or pet-sitting jobs over this weekend.  Last year was great - I'd just gotten my driving license, and I had a job, and I borrowed the car, so all in one fell swoop I acquired a car, a house, and a dog!  Independence day for sure ;)  This year the experience is not quite so thrilling, although it is novel - I'm sitting for a family with a dog, a cat, two guinea pigs, and somewhere on the order of 50 chickens.
I really love house-sitting.  I get a chance to be completely alone for a period of time - just overnight, or a whole weekend.  I get time to write, to sew, to read, all interrupted; most importantly though…

Music in the park

Hello again!  I have a picture-heavy post today - I couldn't decide between them, so you get the lot!  Before you accuse me of false advertising, I promise you there was music in the park - but as it's impossible to photograph music, I haven't any pictures of it :)
These photographs were all taken in the Kensington Metro Park, where my family and I went for a picnic and to enjoy the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's "concert in the park" this past Friday.  The weather was perfect - warm, but not stifling, just the tiniest whiffle of a breeze - and I could not resist taking photos of the lovely parklands!
The lakes were so still - everything reflected in them!  Trees, clouds, road signs... 
And the lighting was incredible.  Every new vista looked like it could be part of the setting for a rural, romantic film!
Here is my dog, enjoying the attention of my father after our picnic but before the concert started.  There are advantages to a dog who is going blind and deaf -…

Apron Giveaway

These are TOO cute!  I don't link to too many things but I love these :)   If you want a chance to win it yourself, follow the link to Grosgrain's blog and link to it yourself :)
Boojiboo Flirty Apron GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Most Peculiar...

I didn't think our lake was infested by piranhas - but perhaps I'm mistaken?
Let me explain.  My sister and I went swimming today, out to the raft/diving tower in the middle of the lake.  We like to hang out under the raft -- it's supported by air barrels around the edges, but the middle is clear, and is a good cool place out of the sun.  Well, we were there today, and all of a sudden something touched my shoulder.  I turned around, and there was a fish.  A little lake fish -- I couldn't tell you what kind -- no longer than my hand.  He showed no signs of fear, swimming around me once or twice.
And then he bit my leg.
I was - um - astonished.  It didn't hurt - his teeth aren't made for puncturing human flesh, apparently.  But that a little fish like that would try to bite me!  And not only once, either.  He followed me around for a while -- every so often our splashing would scare him off, but he was always back for another nibble -- my knuckle, my arm, even once …

Utter Exhaustion...

I am so tired.  My legs, arms, and lower back ache.  I might have a sunburn.  I could just sleep for hours.
But it's all in a good cause!  I have a job!!!!  I'm working in the garden of an old lady about a mile down the road, digging, weeding, doing all the heavy lifting.  Her garden is wonderful - occupying the whole of her back yard and a good portion of the front as well, she has orderly rows of irises - rows and rows and rows! - lines of day lilies, and a wonderful confusion of flowers, both annuals and perennials, in the middle.  She's been working on this garden for 30 years, she says; used to be she did all the work herself, but now she's getting older and can't handle bending and stooping, carrying heavy buckets and managing overflowing wheelbarrows.  So I have a job :)

I enjoy it.  It's not easy work - it involves a lot of bending, and quite a bit of hot sun.  My hands are almost-but-not-quite blistered from the clippers I used for nearly an hour.  I thi…

Prayer for my family

I'd appreciate if you'd pray for my grandmother (my dad's mother). A couple months ago she fell and needed hip surgery - she's been in hospital and rehab ever since. Mum told me tonight she's not doing well at all - she's not comfortable or happy in the rehab place, and so she's just not getting better.  Apparently my uncle called my dad to tell him this tonight.

If you would, pray for several things: that Grandma would be able to be comfortable, and would recover physically. And that she would through this come to know Christ - neither she nor my grandfather are believers. I am so frightened that they will die without salvation.... my grandfather is not in good health either. My dad would also appreciate prayers for peace and wisdom; his parents are a good 11 hours from us, and he is trying to decide whether he needs to take leave of work to be with them.

New Blouse

This is the beginning of what I hope will be a long line of completed projects this summer!  I've made it my goal to work through both my stash and my (very large) collection of UFOs this summer.  Here is the first!

I cut out this blouse last summer but never got around to making it.  The fabric is a mystery blend - probably cotton/poly? - from the remnants rack at JoAnn Fabrics.  I think there was just over a yard, maybe 1.5 yards.  I used Simplicity 4077, altering the sleeves to be longer, fuller, and have a sleeve band.

I decided to flat-fell the side and shoulder seams, as my fabric is quick to fray; this gave the seams some nice definition, and achieved my goal of avoiding fraying.

I also added white rick-rack, which I found in my stash, to the collar and cuff edges -- I think it really pulls the blouse together!  The buttons - little white flowers - were also from the stash.  They were originally bought for a dress my mum made me for my cousin's wedding, back when I was six…

Oh look! a camera cord!

Since I've now found a camera cable (although not mine) which is compatible with my camera, I thought I'd share some photos!

Here was my progress (a week ago) on the 1830s corded stays I'm working on.  Someone needs to explain to me why I decided to do these entirely by hand, because I certainly don't know!  I've made a lot more progress since then - the upper half of the left front/side is completed now.

Irises decorating the "teacup shelf" in the dining room.  We've had a bumper crop of them this year - I filled the house with them for two weeks.

This is just silly - David drew a face in the dry ingredients of corn bread, and I was amused so I took a photo.

This is my first time trying to do photos on blogger, and while it's quite easy to upload them, I need to work out re-positioning!  Maybe it would be easier to upload all the photos first and put text in afterwards, instead of trying to juggle photos around existing text?

This is just to say...

... that I have not in fact dropped off the face of the planet!  
I would have photographs to share with you - of my little garden, of my corded stays progress, of my dear family - only I cannot find my camera cable and therefore cannot transfer them to my computer.  Perhaps one of these days.
(Incidentally, can anyone answer for me WHY I thought it was a good idea to make a corded petticoat, even by machine?  Or 1830s corded stays, entirely by hand?  Didn't think so - I can't either.)


Sometimes there is nothing for it but a good quote from Shakespeare.  I can't help it -- this particular scene gets me every time.  Someday, someday, someone will say to me, as Benedick says:
Benedick:  I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?
Beatrice:  As strange as the thing I know not.  It were as possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as you: but believe me not; and yet I lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing...
Benedick:  By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.
Beatrice:  Do not swear, and eat it.
Benedick: I will swear by it that you love me; and I will make him eat it that says I love not you.
Beatrice:  Will you not eat your word?
Benedick:  With no sauce that can be devised to it.  I protest I love thee.
Beatrice:  Why, then, God forgive me!
Benedick:  What offence, sweet Beatrice?
Beatrice:  You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to protest I loved you.
Benedick:  And do it with all thy heart.
Beatrice:  I love you with so much of…

Prettiness :)

You know how it's hard to find ready-made dresses that are actually modest, comfortable, and not too short?  Shabby Apple fits the bill.  Their dresses are utterly adorable, completely stylish, and - hey! - long enough and modest. 
Grosgrain is doing a giveaway of one of their dresses, and it's just too cute.  Check out the giveaway at the link below, and be sure to check out Shabby Apple's website too.  It's worth it!


Reposted from my old blog - this is the only one I'll do that with, promise!
Much has happened since last I posted, but little of it is material for the public eye - sorry. Suffice it to say, this past semester has had both some of the best and worst moments of my entire life; times of great joy and peace, times of incredible pain and suffering. Through it all though God has been faithful, and it is evident to me that he's been using it all - the joy and the sorrow - to grow me in faith and trust. I can say with complete confidence that without prayer and without God's steadfastness I would not have made it through these times with any sort of emotional and mental wholeness. He is good.

I'm home now for the summer, and have spent this week sleeping in (noon every day? yikes!), settling back into home life, reading YA fluff just because I can, and doing some gardening and sewing. I varnished the picnic table and made myself a blouse -- and filled out more job applications…

A new blog!

Well!  I have for the past several years been blogging on livejournal - modestly and rather privately, as I believe I *may* have 3 readers!  In any case, from convenience, for more visibility, and simply because I know more people using blogger, I've decided to switch over.  I'll probably repost my latest blog from the old one, but from then on it'll be new, fresh material.  
What do I blog, you ask?  Well, it varies!  Sometimes just a brief news update; sometimes a longer reflection on some issue or question that I've been wrestling with.  My favourites are probably the photo posts though: either a brand-new creation I can't resist sharing, or photos of my garden, or places I've been that were too gorgeous to keep to myself.  There should be a good variety, and I hope it is interesting!
I'm excited for this new blog.  It's easier to navigate (and to remember to go to!) so I hope blogging will become more frequent and less boring for my readers ;)