Sunday, November 4, 2012

Is there a wedding coming up in your family?

Sometimes our friends will not "toot" their own horns and we must do it for them.  I have a friend who makes gorgeous bridal headpieces and I keep telling her she needs a blog to get people to her Etsy shop.  I know she will do a blog eventually but in the mean time, I am doing some horn tooting and flag-waving for her, to promote the exquisite things she makes.  I met her because she translated and reworked French sewing patterns for a doll named Bleuette, and converted these translations into kits to sew.   I won't go into how many of her kits filled with vintage fabrics and trims are sitting in my closet waiting to be made.  Messing up terrifies me because I cannot just go out and get more of her vintage fabrics.  Suffice it to say she has an "eye" for beauty whether it be in doll clothes or bridal headpieces and her fabric and trim choices are beyond compare.
Anyway, back to her bridal headpieces.  If you know someone getting married, please refer her to my friend's Etsy shopped called Joy & Felicity.  The link is here:
Should the link not work, just go to Etsy and look for a shop named Joy & Felicity.  Her work is perfection and her designs are exquisite.  Thanks!
And here is a bit of the beauty she creates:

Wonderful quilting hoops

A very quick post today.  I came across this website today and think that both quilting hoops look wonderful  - beautifully made - and since they were made in Northern Maine, I would think they will stand the test of time.  All because a quilter had an idea.  Be sure to visit the website if you are in need of either a floor based quilting hoop, or a "sit upon" kind.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Jan Naibert
Thursday, October 25 brought news that our dear friend, Janice Naibert, had died.  For years I knew she had trouble breathing and we would wheeze together through brief phone conversations, and even though she considered slowing down of late, never once did she disappoint by not sending out an order.  While I know that other "doll people" depended on Janice too, it was my love of a little French doll called "Bleuette" that brought me to Janice first as a customer, and then as a friend.  While I never did get to meet her in person, that did not matter during all the times we chatted about dolls and dogs, Beagles in particular.  She mourned with me over the loss of my rescue Beagle in 2007.  When I was in Maine, we would always talk about meeting at "G Street" - a fabric store near Washington, DC.  Unfortunately, each party's health kept that from happening. 
From Janice I bought fabric and trims, patterns and sewing kits, doll bodies and wigs imported from France, but came away knowing I was more than a customer, as were so many others.  One has only to read the posts on the various doll groups - Bleuette, Rosette, French Fashion - to know the loss we are feeling.   I am saving all these posts in the hope that I can print them out to send to her son and her husband, so they know how much Janice was loved, and how many lives she has touched.  No one came away from knowing Janice without a smile.  Toot, Toot, dear one.  We are tooting your horn for you, in ways you never did for yourself, in your humility.  The doll world would not be what it is without the things you did for us.  Rest easy, dear friend, and know how much you are missed, and how you were treasured.
My prayers go out to Janice's family, especially her son who is doing his very best to send out the orders his Mom could not get to before this final illness.  What a son!  His Mama would be so proud. 


FRANKENSTORM - another "Perfect Storm" (a/k/a "Hybrid Nor'easter"):
Tomorrow, 10-29, will be the 21st anniversary of the sinking of the Andrea Gail (note the movie "The Perfect Storm" with George Clooney).  How strange that this almost identical storm system is to hit the east coast on the same day.  The last I saw this type of weather-wrath was in Maine in 2007, also on or around 10-29, as I watched the bay churn just off the boat house in Belfast.  There were seven of us there, knowing we should be on much higher ground, but we were mesmerized by the power of the sea.  There had been 25 boats in the water that night.  The next morning, only 10 remained to be seen.  I guess the others were on the bottom of the bay as I am sure no one came to take them out at the height of the storm, in the dark.

I have long loved the sea, even her power, and so love to sit on a quiet beach and watch the waves as they gently flow to and ebb from shore.  One of my earliest memories is of being on my father's shoulders as he took me "out past the waves".  At four or so, I thought he was kidding, that the waves did not end but went on forever and ever.  He was right, and after a brief walk (on his part) through the waves we were in calm seas.  It was amazing to me that I could be behind the waves, watching them roll towards shore.

Nothing so gentle is planned for this area tomorrow.  I am about 20 miles due north of Philadelphia, only a little over an hour from the Jersey shore I so love, which will undoubtedly be changed greatly after Sandy is done with the coast.  Atlantic City and surrounding towns, as well as the casinos were subject to mandatory evacuation by 4 PM today.  Tolls out of shore towns have been suspended and roads in and closed to all but emergency personnel.  Philadelphia has issued a pending state of emergency with evacuation of low-lying areas. 

I will sit in a third floor aerie (apartment) and watch the show, probably without power, reading with the help of my "hug" light which goes around my neck,  but mostly, I pray for everyone in the path of this terror, the effects of which it is said will be felt into Ohio and far north.  I have personally experienced only one hurricane before - Hazel in the 1950s - and she did terrible damage to areas not nearly as built up as now.  My Mother told stories of being evacuated from Ocean City, NJ in a boat because the bay came in to meet the ocean. 

 As beautful as a calm sea is, If you are in an area to be affected, I pray you and yours are safe and dry elsewhere, and that your homes are spared damage.  Perhaps we can all spare a few prayers for the souls who went down in the Andrea Gail 21 years ago too.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Very quick post.  If any of these interest you, please drop me an email and we can talk about them.  I know only that they are either Effanbee or Tonner Toni dolls from the 2005-2007 era .  Sometimes medical bills necessitate the passing on of things we might wish to keep otherwise.  Thank you.

This skater has been sold.  Only Red Riding Hood remains for sale.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

He is risen, Allelujah!

Happy Easter to all my followers. 

Rest in Peace, Thomas Kinkade

How did I not hear of this, watching the news last night?  I am so saddened to hear of the early passing of a man who brought so much beauty and light into people's lives, but how glorious for a man of his faith, that he died on Good Friday and is home with his Lord for Easter.

I was a member of his Collector's Society for several years and treasure the members-only prints that I was able to buy, or which were gifted to me by my children, each year.  Always beautiful, but now in sorrow, even more so.

A light has truly gone out with his passing.  My sincere sympathy to his family and my gratitude to God for the gift that was Thomas Kinkade.  Now he is painting the heavens.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Can you help me find a fabric?

When I left Maine to move back to PA in the winter of 2008, I put special things by the door, to remember to load them into the car right before I left.  Sadly, in my haste to leave before yet another snow storm, these special things got left behind - including a small bear my son made me (by cutting up his sister's bathrobe when he was 6 and had poison ivy), a bunny that I pulled off a shelf at Bonwit's when I was 2 (much worse for the wear), special family photos and a bag of beautiful doll clothes that I had received in various Bleuette Round Robins.  While I miss them all,  I could recreate one of the doll outfits IF I could find the fabric.  It might have been purchased at JoAnn's, 2008 or before,  and while we all try to sew with natural fiber fabrics for these dolls, this may have been rayon or polyester.  The doll is 10-5/8 inches tall, so that should help you with the scale.  If you have 1/4 or 1/2 yard of this I would be so grateful and will gladly pay for it.  The ribbon trim was added separately and thus is not part of the fabric.  I tried lost fabric sites but they all seem to be for quilting fabrics. Thanks so very much!

On another note, I see that my number of followers is increasing.  Perhaps it is time for more blog candy.  Hmmm, at 125 or 150?  I will think about it and will post when I have decided on the magic number.  Nancy

Can you help a young Amish boy?

I just received a blog post from Amish America which told about a benefit for a young Amish boy, Amos Hertzler, who was born with an esophageal problem that has required expensive surgery.  There has been a benefit breakfast to help the family cover the balance of what is owed on the hospital bill. 

For the past 40 years, I have lived a little over an hour from the Lancaster Amish community and have long admired the Amish and their life style.  I don't think I could live it (I like TV too much, and my car), but I do admire them.  I feel so bad for this little boy and for the struggle the parents are going through trying to cover the balance of a very high hospital bill. (The Amish do not have health insurance and others in the community generally rally to help cover expenses like this). 

If you have a minute, please read the story about the benefit breakfast here: and if you can spare a few dollars, I am sure the family will be most grateful.  The information about the fun to help Amos is in the article.  It's nice to have someone help when we are up to our necks in alligators.  Thanks for listening.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Flying shuttle - maybe

Every once in a while I will find something at the thrift store of which I have no need, but am sure there is someone who will want it.  Now, I know nothing about weaving, other than the barest minimum of how it is done by hand.  What I got yesterday is a shuttle - possibly a flying shuttle from what one weaver told me - and while I can read the name of the company, extended searching for information about the company has revealed only one citing - in the business directory of a journal called Posselt's Textile Journal, in the November 1910 issue.  The company which made this shuttle is the Pavia Shuttle Co. and it is marked accordingly on the bottom of the shuttle, carved into the wood.  Towards one end of the top of the shuttle is the word "Left" and the number "1". 

Here is the article which mentioned the company:
Perhaps there is a business ad for the company but I was perusing this at 2 AM so may have missed it.

I have written to three weavers requesting information, and have forwarded the photo to them today.  If you have any information about this, or the Pavia Shuttle Co., I would be very grateful for the information.   Should it be something in which you are interested, it will be in my Etsy shop here:

Thanks for looking:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Matt

Just a quick post to wish  a happy thirty-second birthday to my youngest, my son Matt.  His birthday is officially 11:07 AM on Valentine's Day!  He was my preemie so the fact that he is hale and hearty is a double blessing.  Time to go to bed but wanted to post this early.  From preemie baby to little boy to handsome man!  In the first photo he is at the Philadelphia Zoo and his older brother, Ronnie, is keeping him from climbing in the enclosure.  In the second photo, Matt tried to copy the facial expression on the bronze status of Massa, one of the long-term gorillas at the Zoo.  In the third photo, all grown up and his Mom is proud.  Of course, I am proud of all three of my children but it's Matt's BD.  Matt spent the first nine days of life at the Neonatal ICU at a Philadelphia Hospital, about 10 miles from where I had delivered him.  Since I had had a C-section, I spent 5 days in one hospital with him in another.  So hard and I was so scared.  It was on my birthday on the 16th, that the neonatologist called me to tell me Matt was going to be okay.  He had hyaline membrane disease which affects many preemies because their lungs have not matured.  Aside from a touch of asthma, which all three have, he is strong and healthy and this Mom is grateful.  The sad part of all of this is that his early delivery was due to an error on the physician's part but he was a friend and I also knew he was only human.  Matt did well, so all was forgiven.

When Matt was a teenager, I heard of a wonderful organization called "Carewear" which provides for babies in NICUs.  I knew I had to form a Carewear group to provide for the NICU babies at one of the poorest hospitals in the Philadelphia area - Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ.  Should you ever want to help, go to yahoo groups and look for Caring for Cooper or use this link:   We have patterns on our website but there are also many on the Carewear website:  Of course, you can always help one of your own local hospitals and I believe there are lists of hospitals with needs on the Carewear website.  If you are interested, you can ask for a pattern booklet and to be signed up for the quarterly newsletter on the Carewear website.  It is a wonderful organization that does so much good. Good night!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Almost a year later - sorry!

UPDATE:  My apologies to my blog followers for the time between posts.  In this past year I have come to feel that my address is c/o my local hospital rather than my own home.  To sum it up, my knees are shot and I am not a candidate for knee replacement surgery because of other health issues.  The most recent admission was scary.  For two days my legs would not allow me to stand up so I spent a weekend in my recliner.  When I developed a high temperature and skin mottling, it was time to call the doctor on call who sent the ambulance.  In the ER the doctors really wanted to find a brain or spinal cord process as the source of the problem but deep in my heart I knew it was my knees and begged them to call my rheumatologist.  It took three days but they finally did call my rheumatologist and he tapped my knees (my right knee went down 2 inches in girth!) and instilled steroids.  I have to accept the fact that this is my life now, so it's a slow down, but not a stop.  I will not give in and if it means an assistive device to get around, then that is what will happen. 

SEWING: On a better note, in late summer I was given quite a gift - the task of turning a wedding gown into a boy's Christening outfit as well as a girl's Christening gown and a Christening coat.  I've been sewing since age 17 (at least 1000 years ago), so I thought I would not have any problems.  However, I had never dealt with "pick-ups" before or what was left when they were removed.  It took three weeks to take the gown apart and with each stitch removed, my heart sunk a little more.  When the pick-ups were released, I was left with 4 inch holes in the skirt fabric where each had been.  It was tricky, to say the least, to find enough solid fabric to cut the pieces needed.  The hem was another problem because it was a balloon hem and had dragged on the ground.  While there was a lot of fabric on the inside, the hemline was badly soiled.  A highly recommended dry cleaner would not touch the gown because of all the beading and sequins, so I had to work with what I had.  Fortunately, since I was cutting an infant pattern,  many of the pieces were small. 

I had started on the gown first but the baby was a beautiful little boy - so I put the gown aside and really got busy on the boy's romper.  The pattern was one piece but since the baby's parents are very tall,  I was afraid of "popping crotch" from diapers, etc. I made it as a two piece garment, adding two inches to the bottom edge of the shirt part, so it could be tucked in the pants.  The Mom liked it so much as it was, that she left the shirt extension out over the pants.  I never had a chance to try it on the baby, but it fit him perfectly.  Sadly, I did not get the coat done in time for the Christening.  The knee incident happened while I was working on it and once I got home, I got a wicked flu (I think we always bring something home from the hospital and it is not always as pleasant as a new baby).   I now have time to finish the gown and the coat for the next baby!  The holes in the skirt made it hard to match beading patterns but I could come close. Here are photos of the gown as I received it, and the resultant boy's outfit which took every inch of plain fabric on the gown. I will post the photos of the others when they are done.   The gown was exquisite and I hated cutting into it but doing so allowed me to create items that can be passed on through the family so that is good.  You cannot see it in the first or second photos but the entire bodice is covered with a very fine champagne colored mesh and  then beaded on top of that.  I was able to leave the bodice intact in case it can someday be used for a little girl's First Communion dress. 

I do have other sewing plans for the year - the get back to sewing for my reproduction and antique Bleuettes and Rosettes, and maybe for my Mary Hoyer dolls.  For the first time in three years, I have ordered another Bleuette and she is due to arrive shortly after my birthday in February.  I sew for these dolls by hand and find it so relaxing but I have not been able to find the type of vintage fabrics that I found while living in Maine.  Maybe in Philadelphia proper.  I also want to work on the great fabric stash in my bedroom that I swear multiplies in the dark!  I have been following  Lynn's wonderful quilting blog at and ordered her Madrigal pattern.  I have never used black in a quilt but I like the look of this one and somehow think navy or hunter green would not be as effective.  She is also working on it in yellows and greens now so I may have found a use for a stash of Folk Art Wedding fabrics which I purchased in Minnesota in 2000.  

TV:  A friend here at the apartment complex has gotten me started on Korean dramas.  Of course, the two shows are on at midnight and 12:35 AM here on the east coast, but I am completely hooked.  It started when I taped the shows for her while she was away last summer.  When she came over to watch them, of course I watched with her, and that was that.  I was hooked.  One is called "To Be With You" and the actress who plays the new mother-in-law  is such a good actress (unless she is this evil in real life) that I truly hate her character and mutter under my breath at her during all her evil actions - worse than JR Ewing!  The second show is called "Happiness in the Wind" and is should be winding up in a week or so.  I missed the beginning but the episodes can be seen online.  One of the ones I taped for her was "Smile Again, Donghae" but that ended and "To Be With You" took its place.  Now, normally when the TV is on, I am doing many other things - reading, cooking, reading e-mails, etc.  With these shows I cannot do that because they are all subtitled.  I am learning so much about Korean culture and it is so interesting.  I wish I could see the Jeju island they talk about as a honeymoon get-away.  In one of the episodes last night they were preparing for a holiday - Chuseok, which is a harvest festival, rather like our Thanksgiving.  Another thing I found interesting is family heierarchy.  The evil mother-in-law has two daughters-in-law, the second of which is older than the first.  However since she came into the family second, she is now of lesser status than the first, and they can no longer address each other by their given names, but by terms that mean older sister-in-law and second sister-in-law.  Very, very interesting.  If you have a DVR or Tivo, you might have fun watching them.  Of course I get up later now, staying up so late,  but it's like getting fun history lessons!

BOOKS:  I have done a lot of reading over the last year, most recently reading a book that I read many years ago.  If you are at all interested in the origins of antiseptic care in hospitals, or if you work in the medical field, you may find this book informative.  It is called "The Cry and the Covenant" by Morton Thompson and it is about the life of Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis who discovered something that could put an end to deaths from childbed fever.  He was mocked, ridiculed and basically martyred for his beliefs and findings.  It is a powerful book with a lot of Hungarian-Austrian politics of the time (which I glossed over for the medical parts) and it made my blood boil to think that doctors could be so narrow-minded at the time, while thousands of women were dying from the easily prevented childbed fever.   In a lighter reading vein, I have discovered David Rosenfelt who writes about a lawyer, Andy Carpenter, who has a golden retriever named Tara.  The author has begun a foundation for golden retrievers called "The Tara Foundation".  While I generally prefer medical mystery type books and authors like Robin Cook, Kathy Reichs, etc., these are not so heavily into law that I find them difficult.  Good reads and if there is a dog in it, even better!   I am lucky in that the Bookmobile comes here twice a month and the woman who is in charge of the mobile library does a great job of finding the books on my long lists.  She has even read a few of them.  If you are a Jan Karon fan, read her children's books, especially "Jeremy - The Tale of an Honest Bunny" and "Miss Fannie's Hat".   

I truly am sorry for the delay between postings and thank you for staying with me.  Life just got in my way.   Sadly, I have also recently learned that a dear friend has acute myelogenous leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant.  Friends, donating is not like it used to be with bone marrow donation which was quite painful for the donor.  Now, a donor is given something to increase stem cells and then a few days later, blood is drawn as for a transfusion, with the stem cells being filtered out and the donor's own blood being put back in.  Donors can be between the ages of 18-60 and no matter how healthy the donor may be, he or she comes off the list at age 61.  If you have resisted joining the national registry because of the fear of the harvesting procedure, it is easy now, so please consider joining it.  Doing so requires you to do nothing more than swab the inside of your cheek with the swab sent by the registry.  Sadly, I am too old at 64 to help my friend or anyone, in this way, but if you want to help someone in the future, you can find more information here: 
or here: really could save a life.  

 I promise it will not be another year before I post again.  Hope you are all well.  I have missed you.