So for Sarah’s birthday we decided she needs a new dress!  And I knew what I wanted.  Er… well, sort of.  I wanted a peasant dress.  Well, I wanted a peasant dress OR I wanted an apron dress.  And I couldn’t decide which and they were just SO adorable that I spent hours on Etsy and Hyena poking through ideas to figure out what I wanted.

And then I was a little frustrated.  Because I knew I was going to have to end up taking three patterns and piecing them all together… My idea of a good time?  Not so much.  And then I found it!  “IT” being the PERFECT dress for Baby Sarah.  And Abigail.  And I’m pretty sure Rebecca and Elizabeth, lol.

Few things inspire me to sew these days.  But this did it.  And I was able to find the pattern locally!

This is the dress that inspired it all.  It’s made by Joline of Hibiscus Baby.  She also stocks at Venus Vanguard, a very talented group of women.

Apron Dress by Hibiscus Baby

Apron Dress by Hibiscus Baby

Popular much?

Now, I’m not good with mixing and matching fabrics.  Sigh.  But, I’m hoping with help, I’ll figure something out.  I want to the dress with a blue apron and a blue mix by the face as Sarah’s eyes are shockingly blue and she looks so pretty in blue.   I’m thinking crisp little white bloomers need to be an accessory too. 🙂 Oh, and you might find it helpful to check out the tutorial I found from The Green Wife on hair clips.   See what one pattern can inspire?

The actual pattern, for those looking, is “Claire” by Sandi Henderson a.k.a. Portabello Pixie.

Portabello Pixie's "Claire"

Portabello Pixie's "Claire"

 

Can’t wait to post pictures!  I’m going fabric shopping tomorrow unless we’re all still dreadfully sick.  We’re fighting some kind of bug here and it isn’t pretty.  But we’re working on Day Six, so we have to get better some time, right?

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I’m not a shopper by nature.  I don’t enjoy the hunt, I don’t enjoy spending money, I don’t enjoy hours of walking.  Nothing about shopping, unless it is in a bookstore, is enjoyable to me….

But, I will say that handmade holds a special place in my heart.  WAHMamas have been a love of mine since 2000 when I sewed my very first cloth diaper.  And the recognization that there are amazingly talented women out there, who choose to stay home and be with their family while they “do what they do” deserves recognition.

Most of these mamas have a sincere passion behind what they do.  The motivation is so much more than just financial, and if you look very carefully, you’ll see what that is in their products.

I will gladly admit my favorite Work at Home Mama is Lori from Beneath the Rowan Tree.  Her toys…..  They’re art, pure, simple, and amazing.  Full of wonder…..  I’ve been blessed to speak with Lori before and I know that Rowan (her daughter) has been a source of inspiration and joy.  And I wonder how someone can translate such beauty to silk, or clothing, or toys.  She did something recently that just absolutely took my breath away.  I didn’t know wool could become, well, this:

Beneath the Rowan Tree Wool Sculpture

Beneath the Rowan Tree Wool Sculpture

BTRT's "Mother & Daughters" Sculpture - Back

BTRT's "Mother & Daughters" Sculpture - Back

I have never in my life seen such a beautiful handmade object.   What Lori did with this….  It’s breathtaking. 

My children are very blessed to own a few things Lori has made for them.  Two of the girls have matching shirts, Sweetest Pea has a handpainted dress that doesn’t fit her anymore, yet she refuses to give it up… It’s more of a smock top now, lol.  She also made us a set of incredibly vibrant playsilks.

Lori's Silks

Lori's Silks

My children don’t own many toys.  The only plastic is some Schleich animals. 😉  In our home, there is no toybox.  There are no shelves of toys.  But there is one very special picnic basket.  It contains a tea set, 7 silks, and crocheted food.  And it can keep three little girls entertained for hours….  Playing, dreaming, imagining.  I was skeptical of play silks.  I bought the first one from EllieBelly when Lizzie was just a baby – 2002.  And it became her lovey.  Now, with more, the girls can make princess dress, sling their babies, have a picnic on them, wear a turban, tie on an apron…  You are only bound by your imagination.  Open ended toys create a sense of wonder, they grow the seed of creativity into a sapling, they inspire.  With natural playthings you’re giving such a gift, so much more than a plastic something….  And moreover, it’s been created by loving hands.

Give more than a gift…. Inspire wonder. 

Two links for you today – one is the one of the finest collaboration of WAHMama artists I’ve ever seen and I’m proud to link to them…  Fresh Congo.

The other is Lori’s store at Etsy… Hours of window shopping enjoyment.  Do look through her past sales.  You’ll go back over and over again.

Lunch - Eggs & Oranges

Lunch - Eggs & Oranges

 

Eating Lunch

Eating Lunch

Air Freshener - Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, Leftover Orange Peels

Air Freshener - Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, Leftover Orange Peels

 During lunch time is crunch time.  It’s the small period of time right before naptime.  It’s really important that I use this time to get as much lined up as possible so that I can cram as much into naptime as possible, because all the little ones are asleep.   Mixing up the bread for naptime baking…

Making bread

Making bread

Mixing up tea for packaging and for me!

Mixing up tea for packaging and for me!

Naughty Little Brother gets to sit by my feet.

Naughty Little Brother gets to sit by my feet.

 Sweetest Pea had been helping me.  See the stool?  I turned around and she was gone.  Yet, her clothes remained?  Was she zapped?

What happened to Sweetest Pea?

What happened to Sweetest Pea?

 Nope a potty break.  Apparently it required the removal of all clothing?

Time to read before naptime.  They're ready!

Time to read before naptime. They're ready!

One's Out!

One's Out!

Two Down!

Two Down!

Mission Accomplished.  Three all asleep.

Mission Accomplished. Three all asleep.

Little Girls and I finish up the bread.

Little Girls and I finish up the bread.

Oldest two read history for today.

Oldest two read history for today.

Then it’s time for Mama and oldest two to feed the baby goats lunch.  They get fed three times per day.  One more month ’til weaning.  I’ll be glad.  It’s fun, but a lot of work.  The little girls are listening to Mary Poppins on CD.  We have a very strict family rule for naptime.  You read or you sleep.  If you choose not to read, you choose to sleep.  Period.  There are no other choices.  Often, the older kids and I will do science or history in this time frame.  Today I’ve got work to do.  But for the benefit of the “school room” discussion, let me show you our science room! 

Designated science area

Designated science area

Not only are we blessed with a designated science area, but we also have our very own Home Ec room! 

Home Ec Room

Home Ec Room

Tongue in cheek, sure, but also goes to prove that ANY size home is suitable for schooling.  You do not need to feel like you can’t suitably school your children without a designated area.  Oh hogwash!  Can it be nice?  Sure it can.  If it fits your family’s lifestyle.  I can say that I like our situation right now better than I have at any place we’ve lived (military CA, two houses, moved back, then to town, and now) since we began homeschooling eight years ago and this is the smallest home we’ve been in in the last eight years.  Or possibly the last 13 years.  And it’s perfect for us, for our lifestyle. 

Off the soapbox, back to the day…..

Gotta get a little work done.

True Vine Stuff

True Vine Stuff

Sold a lot of lip balms and Drench bars last week and need to restock.  Must be chapped skin and lips… That time of the year I suppose.

Mixing up Drench

Mixing up Drench

Decided to try something a little new for someone’s little boy and ease of application instead of a tube…

Drench Drops... Hmmm....

Drench Drops... Hmmm....

Cutting Labels

Cutting Labels

Stamping Soap

Stamping Soap

shot47bigkidsA little snack while journaling.  The little ones will be up shortly.  Time for clean-up.  Packaged up a few orders and ran to the Post Office.  Called Daddy on the phone and he’ll be home after a bit.

Back home in time to do some clean-up before Daddy comes home. 🙂  Um, like fold some laundry?

Blech.

Blech.

Girly Girl helped me make supper (baked salmon, fried potatoes, green beans) and we picked up the kitchen.  Princess and Pumpkin Head cleaned the living room.  Big Brother vacuumed and corralled Shortie Pie. 

Daddy came home, mama milked, and Little Brother helped me feed the babies.  Girly girl finished up supper and it was almost ready when I came in from milking. 

Would have LOVED to put these up last night, put DH tells me they can wait for the weekend.

My new laying boxes!!!!

My new laying boxes!!!!

He’s right of course.  The chickens could care less.  I think they’re lovely and he did such a nice job on them.   I’d lay twice as many eggs if I were a chicken!

We watched American Idol and tucked the kids in bed with all their blessings.  I admit I sat up and watched the Duggars last night.  They never fail to fascinate and inspire me.  Can you even imagine 18 children?? 

Have a great day!!

Wow, what’s going on?  36 hits before 6:30 this morning?  You all must be dreadfully bored!  Well, it’s Friday for me.  (For ya’all too I suppose.)  I need the day to prep for a sweet and peaceful weekend of staying home and ENJOYING each other with no where to go!   May you all have a very blessed weekend with those you love and those that love you.

 

This is a reprint from my old blog and was almost exactly one year ago. 

Date: March 2, 2007

Our little business has really begun to take off.  We have shipped out approximately sixty orders since the last week of January.  That is impressive to us… It pretty much tops the amount of things we shipping in 2007, not counting wholesale orders.

This was a bit of a shock to me.

Also, we had the flu two weeks ago.  It is not a generic “we” that people use when talking about themselves.  It was a collective we.  I had the flu.  Ana had the flu.  Timothy and Christian had the flu.  Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Abigail had the flu.  And it was not pleasant.  I’m pretty certain the last time a bug knocked me down like that was 1999.  Only one child threw up and I consider that a rejoiceable success.

And I’m thrilled to report we were able to completely treat all symptoms with herbs.  No Robitussen, no achy, so you can sleep medicine!   We didn’t need Tylenol to combat the fevers.  It was a major success in our home and I’m very grateful we had everything on hand.  Except lemons and fresh ginger and that was quickly remedied by a very good and doting Daddy. 

Which brings me to the title of this entry.

I Can Do All Things.

I have heard of those mothers.  I think I once thought I was that mother.  I’m no longer under such delusions, lol.  I will freely admit that my younger children watched more television in the last three weeks than most likely the rest of their short lives combined.  I only wish I was kidding.  We did accomplish homeschooling… some.  I did keep up with the business though it meant long hours and little sleep and I wonder if that is why I was sick three full days whereas the children bounced back in under two?

And I discovered something about myself.  I *can* do almost anything…. I just can’t do them all at once.

I can be quite a decent wife.  I can be a sweet and rather discerning mama.  I can be a rather dutiful homeschooler.  I can run a moderately successful home business.  I can sew, and cook, and make everything from scratch.  I can work with a designer on new labels, talk with a printer about the new labels, plan my new wholesale accounts, plan our test prep., teach one small child her letters, teach another to read, another to count, another her body parts, another pre-algebra, and another multiplication.  I can wake up at 5AM with dh and I can stay up working on work ’til 1 AM. 

BUT

You can’t do it indefinitely and you can’t do it without a cost.  And you can’t do it all at once… or at least not longterm.

I was the “can do” mama.  For many, many years, I had a can-do philosophy.  If I heard of it, I was convinced I could do it.  I wanted to learn to sew.  And I did.  I wanted to grind my flour, make my bread, and spend hours upon hours in meal prep.  I wanted to run my own business, homeschool my children, use cloth diapers, and do everything I read about in Mother Earth News, all the while being a successful soccer mom, and coaching softball.

I’m exhausted.

And I quit.

LOL, I have come to accept that there are things for this family that are a priority.  And, now we are expecting our eighth child in twelve years.  I have one sixth grader, one third grader, one K/1, one preschooler, one 3 year old, a toddler, and I am oh so very pregnant.  It is time to delegate.

I have been reading how to make yogurt in my oven.  Today I quit.  I am buying a yogurt maker!  Don’t comment on how easy it is, I don’t care.  This is my line.  I can’t plan properly so that my oven is free.  I can’t keep up with our yogurt consumption.  I am buying a yogurt maker. 

My daughter is going to learn to make the bread.
My son is going to learn to grind all the flour.
My dh bought me huge tea jars so that I don’t have to pre-mix my pregnancy and childrens’ teas every morning.
I hired someone to turn my prefolds into prefitteds.
I am switching to all natural covers for the babies.  And I am NOT (absolutely refusing) to potty train Abigail before the baby comes in May.  (I can’t decide if that’s smart or stubborn.)
Someone else is making the wool covers. 
Someone else is designing the website and the labels.
We are having a printer print the labels.
I cut out all the soaps I don’t enjoy making.
I am simplifying.

Can I do it all?  Perhaps.

And finally, the admission.

I can do many things well.  But I can’t do it all well.  And that is a fact.  And a useful fact.  It is time I admit my limitations. 

In life,  we must all prioritize.  Where did True Vine Soap originally start anyway?  The goal was to give the business a name that would remind me to stay where I needed to be.  To keep me mindful of my priorities.  I am extremely grateful that I gave it such a name, and truly believe it to be God inspired.  Thanks to that, I think I am getting back to the right track.  We are so easily misled on rabbit trails. 

God
Family

Everything Else

Lord keep me mindful that I cannot do all things.  You have given me twenty four hours each day of which I am to be a good steward.  I pray that I would be mindful to take good care of those things which You have given me.  Keep me mindful Lord, keep me mindful.

I finally had time to relist Solace again on Etsy.  It’s an Arnica balm, but this one is tweaked a bit.  I don’t add other items, like cayenne pepper, because I like to use Arnica for bruising for little ones.  Cayenne can be a skin irritant, so great for sore muscles, but not so hot on delicate little folk skin!  The Arnica isn’t infused with heat, but instead this is Arnica with months and months of time…. Quality takes patience.  Enjoy!

Solace Arnica Balm

Solace Arnica Balm

True Vine's Etsy

True Vine's Etsy

Just a little share today.  Kate of Katydid Creations made these for the girls and we love them so much.  She is just incredibly talented.  Her blog definitely shows off her best work.

The girls

The girls

 

And dollies

And dollies

By the way, these are not American Girl dolls as I have a serious thing against Mattel and their little agenda.  Do check out Vision Forum for lovely little girl dolls.