Drama, Romance, Intrigue...

Love. Early American Style.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Virtual Home Tour

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We've just updated our "About Us" page on our website with new pictures and a virtual tour of our 1827 farmhouse here in Springville, PA, and we would be honored if you went over to our website to view it!

Visit www.FineCountryLivingPrimitives.com and click on the "About Us" page to read about our family and our home, and view the virtual tour!

Enjoy, and Many Blessings,
Mary Jo

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My dress is done!

As you may have read in my previous post, I was in the midst of making my very first dress for myself, and was a bit frustrated. It was a daunting task for this doll maker, but I never gave up, and am pleased at the results!

The next day, I sat down and relaxed a bit, and began the process of adding sleeves and finishing up the bodice. When I tried it on, I was amazed that it actualy fit! This gave me the boost that was needed to keep on keepin' on!

With added confidence, I actually wizzed through the rest of the dress without many difficulties. This morning, I finished the cuff on my sleeves and the bottom hem.

The dress fits, and it's actually wearable! I will not be ashamed to wear this in public, I am quite pleased with myself!

I still ordered two new dresses from the Scarlet Thread, and have picked out my fabric selections for them. Sarah was also kind enough to offer one of her fabulous hand embroidered aprons that she had previously made, so I took advantage of that offer as well!

I now have one new dress that I made, and two more on the way for the upcoming Spring weather, and I am so happy! It feels good wearing something that you made yourself, or had someone else make with such love and care, and I always treat these garments with the special care they deserve. I feel that having only a few of these clothes is better than having a whole closet full of articles that I bought off the clearance rack "just because it was a deal". I have found that so many times, I don't even care for them, but they were 70% off, or only a few dollars at the thrift store, so I couldn't pass them up. Now, I'm beginning to feel differently. Just my two cents.

Many Blessings,
Mary Jo

Monday, March 9, 2009

Making my first dress....

A few of you know that I dress pretty plain. I enjoy wearing skirts and simple shirts or blouses, but I especially love my handmade dresses.

I have purchased a few cape dresses on ebay, and I love to purchase handmade dresses from taylorsscarletthread.com. I pick out my style, send in the measurements, they send an email with fabric selections, I spend days trying to decide on a simple pattern, and in a few weeks..POOF..I have a new dress made just for me!

I really wanted to try to make my own dress. I purchased several patterns from Joanns, and a few from online modest shoppes. I've decided to try to make one from Common Sense Patterns, who specialize in modest dresses.

Now I know why I make dolls, and not life-size dresses!

Three hours into the project, I almost have my bodice complete. Yes, it took me that long! Wow, it's been a long time (since 7th grade Home-Economics) since I made something from a life-size pattern! I'm exhausted.

So, here I sit, thinking of the bonnets, dolls, make-do's I could have made in the three hours today, and the 5 hours (more or less) left to finish the dress. If I spent $40 on a handmade dress from the Taylors, I could have profited more by using my time to make primitives! LOL!

I will finish this dress, and hopefully, it will be nice enough to wear. But I certainly will leave it up to the experts next time, I know where I stand! A dollmaker is what I was meant to be!

Many Blessings,
Mary Jo

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The first robins were spotted......

Finally, we spotted the very first robins this morning in our yard! I NEVER thought this day would come, it seemed like such a long winter! What a pleasure it was to spot two of them hopping along, looking for worms in the wet soil. Happy, happy, happy!

Later on in the day, as I was chatting with one of my customers in the shoppe, she glanced out the window and in mid-sentence spit out "ROBIN"! Yes, she was just as happy as I was to see them.

I know there's another snowfall (or two) in our near future, there always are in March and even at times, April, but what a positive sign we saw today. And yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Many Blessings,
Mary Jo

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Goodies coming very soon!

Even though I'm exhausted, and quite hungry, I just have to post about my great shopping trip in Lancaster! Wow, did I get some great primitives! WooHoo!

I have some super handpainted and handcrafted items for the retail shoppe here in Springville, and some for the website as well! I've restocked some old favorites of the handmade goodies, but be on the look-out for new ones also!

Not only did I come home with a van full, I also had two big boxes from suppliers when I came home....I think I know what I'm doing the next 4-5 days! There are some incredible new woven throws in just the absolute BESTEST (yes, it's a word) colonial style pattern. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! I'm so excited, can you tell?

I stopped on my way home at the Countryside Roadstand on Stumptown Road in Ronks, PA. This is a little place that my sister, Wendy, showed me and I've been hooked on it ever since. It's all Amish made goods, so do you want to hear what I brought back? How about dilly beans.....jarred pickled green beans with lots of garlic and dill. My mother canned these when we were kids, and they take me back to my childhood! Oh, also brought back homemade butter. Two big logs of it! It's churned and rolled into these logs, then wrapped in butchers paper. This stuff is as good as gold! I love using this butter for my vegetables and for frying eggs in the morning. I divide the logs into smaller sizes and freeze them, then take out the smaller portions as needed. Also brought back fresh bread, sticky buns, whoopie pies and snickerdoodle cookies. Yum, Yum, Yum. NEVER shop at an Amish store when you are hungry!

I'll tell you about my other stop another time. Gotta run, grab a sticky bun for a snack, then off to bed. I'm tired! Luckily Russ (hubby) is off and can put the boys to bed tonight, Mom's beating them to sleep for once!

Check back in a few days to see the new items, okay? Don't miss out, their fabulous!

Many Blessings,
Mary Jo