Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I recently went through an "apron phase" and thought I would share pictures of the aprons that I made. I will always love the way a pleated apron looks-- so crisp and smooth, yet with a feminine ruffle to it. This one was made with what scraps of fabric I had laying around (thus the unusual fabric combination).
Speaking of ruffles...
This light blue apron took a while to make because of the time it took to gather the ruffles, but I was pleased with the outcome.
This is my "hostess" apron. The lace encompassing the edges was tea-dyed to match the fabric.

I enjoy making half-aprons because they don't require any binding. The insets in this one give it more fullness.
One of my favorite features of this apron are the pockets (positioned at the top of each inset). Since they are made with the same fabric as the rest of the apron, they are rendered almost invisible.
And my favorite apron...
The fabric is so colorful that it matches anything! And it has rick-rack-- which is always fun. And paisleys. I love paisleys.

Thank you for reading! Which apron is your favorite?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Monday, February 28, 2011

Outside My Window... I am presently in the basement, and therefore, there are no windows in sight.

I am thinking... that it's lovely to start one's day with breakfast in bed, while listening to Andrea Bocelli's operatic arias, and reading Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew .

I am thankful for... love and patience.

From the kitchen... the clatter of dishes being washed.

I am wearing... a mismatched collection of pajamas. Yes, at 1 in the afternoon.

I am creating... an apron-- so excited about it-- and I have many ideas for future projects, including some bags and totes, and hopefully a purse or two. And some more aprons. I love aprons.

I am going... to step out into the warm morning air soon.

I am reading... Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, Under the Sea Wind by Rachel Carson, The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, When People are big and God is Small by Edward T. Welch, & Guidance and the Voice of God by Phillip D. Jensen and Tony Payne.

I am hoping... to see Josh Groban this spring!

I am hearing... the parakeets singing upstairs.

Around the house... the time for spring cleaning approaches!

One of my favourite things... spending time with friends and talking about books while we sew, bake, or do other fun things.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Read books, write letters, sew, practice violin, and prepare for my final orchestra concert this Saturday.

Here is picture thought I am sharing... a renaissance shirt and cape I made, donned by my brother and a friend.

Thanks to the Simple Woman for hosting this.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January Sewing

I've been inspired of late by a book that my mom checked out from the library for me, entitled Zakka Sewing. I thought I would share pictures of the projects.
The first I made were some applique pot holders-- an excellent way to use up little scraps of fabric.
The next project was a basket-- made of some batik left over from a skirt-- to hold all my sewing tools that I so easily misplace.

This sparrow pot holder is one of my favourites:

I loved the basket I made so much, that I decided to make another.

This one quickly found its way to my dresser.

Using the same fabric as for the last project, I made a "purse" for a pair of headphones my brother gave me for Christmas.
Other projects, not from Zakka Sewing:

A strawberry for pins:

And another ever-useful hot pad:Hopefully you are inspired. I intend to make an apron soon from another find at the library, A is for Apron. Happy sewing!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Outside My Window... glossy wet pavement and grey skies.

I am thinking... it's a mystery why my dental floss is made in Ireland.

I am thankful for... the privilege of hearing my husband preach each week.

From the kitchen... a languishing bowl of sourdough starter. I should feed it.

I am wearing... yellow-green t-shirt, black gored skirt, lavender Ugg boots.

I am creating... a home-life full of books, music and laughter.

I am going... to step out into the warm morning air soon.

I am reading... A bit of this, a bit of that. This morning, I've read three portions from the six books in my stack. Newest book, Three Men on the Bummel.

I am hoping... to think of a plan for lunch before the time comes!

I am hearing... chirping birds.

Around the house... the colour red.

One of my favourite things... a crisp piece of toast sprinkled with Gestampte Muisjes.

A few plans for the rest of the week: write a letter, go to Saturday prayer breakfast.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Christmas brunch

Thanks to the Simple Woman for hosting this.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Books to Read in 2011

This is a list of thirty-one books I plan to read this year. Many thanks to my wonderful friends and family who helped me get it all together!


Chicot the Jester by Alexandre Dumas
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini

The Imitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome

Children’s Novel
The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett


Invisible Cities by Itelo Calvino
Watership Down by Richard Adams

General Fiction
Utopia by Sir Thomas More

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Historical Fiction
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Science Fiction


Biblical Studies
Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy


Christian Apologetics
Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton

Christian Living
Guidance and the Voice of God by Phillip D. Jensen and Tony Payne
Start Here by Alex and Brett Harris

Living the Simple Life by Elaine St. James
Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald

Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Under the Sea Wind by Rachel Carson

Religious Literature
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

Reformed is not Enough by Douglas Wilson

Monday, January 3, 2011

Books Read in 2010

Total Count: Thirty-four books, favorites are italicized

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Duels, secret missions, ambushes, romance, etiquette, the power of good over evil, and love against anything! How could I not love this book? I have never read a book so gripping. Never has a book called my name so insistently. Never was it harder to do anything but read.

Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas

My four friends from The Three Musketeers reunite. And twenty years hasn't done them any harm-- they are more mature, wiser, and stronger. But this time... they aren't all fighting for the same cause. It was heart-rending to watch them as they struggled between what they believed while still wishing to remain friends with each other. But with the son of Milady planning revenge, there's never a dull moment. I think, though the story is slower, this book tops The Three Musketeers.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

This book stretched me. Near the end, the Count is saying to trust him-- but how long do I have to trust him? Especially when the story keeps going, and going, and I don't see him doing anything to make it have a happy ending! A beautiful story, that was so worth the wait. My favorite line:
"There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss."

The Face by Angela Hunt

The first book I've ever read involving the CIA. In fact, I don't think I'd ever encountered anything in this book before. With all the books by Angela Hunt that I've read, one would think that I'd finally start to catch on. To start expecting the unexpected. The ending surprised me. Shocked me even. It went so far as to make me cry. I don't know if I'd read this book again, but such a demonstration of what one does for one's loved ones will never leave me.

Unspoken by Angela Hunt

I didn't care so much for this book, but I must say that I did learn an awful lot about gorillas.

Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie

"All children, except one, grow up." I plan to read this book to my children some day. I had never suspected that Captain Hook was such a sentimental pirate.

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

The sequel to Inheart. Entertaining, but I'm not sure if I'll read it again. However, one of my favorite lines must be shared:

" 'You are crazy!' whispered Meggie. 'You're a total lunatic!'
But her opinion did not impress Fenoglio in the slightest. 'So what? All writers are lunatics!' "

Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

The last book in the Inkheart trilogy. I enjoyed despising the villains. I usually feel some remorse for their demise, but not this time. And I do love a happy ending.

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Not as well written as the Inkheart books, but I enjoyed being introduced to such creatures as the homunculus, the brownie, and the basilisk. I wondered at first if Funke was making these creatures up, but the dictionary proved me wrong.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Now I can say that I've been to Venice. Venice fascinates me-- even more now that I've read a book set there. Detectives, children, a magic carousal-- need I say more?

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

This book made me think quite a bit about etiquette and how things have changed over the years. Many critics dislike the protagonist for lack of wit-- but wit and beauty are not everything as I learned in Mansfield Park. Watching Fanny stand strong for what she knew was right, even in the face of adversity was such an encouragement to me. And good always triumphs over evil.
My favorite Jane Austen so far.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

I found myself pondering the meaning of the two words sense and sensibility throughout the entire book. At first I sympathized with Marianne, but after a while her sensibility went too far. A wide variety of characters, made this book interesting, and I mean to read it again, because I'm sure that there is still more for me to gain from it.

A favorite line:
"And they sat down together in a most promising state of embarrassment."

I will describe this book in one word-- melodramatic. I still found it enjoyable, and call me gullible, but I never suspected what was to ensue. I still need some time before I can decide whether it was a "good" book or not.

Spoiler alert!

Last line:
"Like a fallen spirit shut out from eternal life, Tempest looked at him a moment, then, as the old fire blazed up within him for the last time, he drove a hidden dagger deep into his breast and, dropping on his knees, gathered the dead woman in his arms, saying with mingled love and defiance in his despairing voice, 'Mine first-- mine last-- mine even in the grave!' "

The Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
My first real murder mystery. And the last for a long while.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
The first book I'd read by this author, soon to be followed by more.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
I am fascinated by the idea of incorporating the pattern of stained glass windows into embroidery! This book inspired me to learn embroidery so I can sprinkle my historical costumes with it. Also, I never knew that dragons collect things other than gold. Shoes for instance...

Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George
Sequel to Dragon Slippers, and another plot to take over the world.

Dragon Spear by Jessica Day George
The end of the Dragon trilogy-- at last, Creel gets her prince. :)

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Based on a Norwegian myth-- and as usual, the author does an excellent job of keeping one interested to the end.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
I was expecting the book to be more... well, miserable. Instead I found an adventure. I found love--poetically written, as it should be. There was certainly sadness entwined into the story, but for every sadness, there was joy.

The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern
Not well written. For once the movie is better than the book. However, I did enjoy the part not included in the movie about Inigo and Fezzik going into the Zoo of Death to rescue the Man in Black.

A Little Princess by F. H. Burnett
I don't know why I'd never read it before, but it was good.

" 'Whatever comes,' she said, 'cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.' "

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
I didn't like the way there was no specific protagonist. Even in third person, I think there should be more consistency of narration.

The Two Towers by J.R.R.Tolkien
I find Tolkien's Old English writing style to be hard to read. I may wait a while before I read The Return of the King.

The transformation of a mountain girl into the makings of a princess.

The Blue Cross by G.K.Chesterton
My first Father Brown mystery. His genius amazes me.

The Queer Feet by G.K.Chesterton
My second Father Brown mystery. Again, splendid.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Technically I had read this book before, but it was so long ago, that I didn't remember much of it. I love how Juster changes perfectly sensible things into the nonsensical.

Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris
The sequal to I Kissed Dating Goodbye. I shall probably re-read it when the time comes.

A Hazard of Hearts by Barbara Cartland
I liked the story, but not the way in which it was written. I felt like I was reading a next-to-last draft of the book.

This helped me understand why there is pain. One of the lines that sticks with me is, "Pain is God's megaphone."

Crazy Love by Francis Chan
God gave everything for us. Why aren't we don't we do the same for Him?

Forgotten God by Francis Chan
I never really understood the Holy Spirit, and this book was an enlightenment.

The First 5 Pages by Noah Lukeman
I have trouble editing, and this book helped me get my manuscripts into more readable condition. :)

Congratulations! You've made it to the end! Hopefully, this year, I will make shorter, monthly posts about the books I've read.