Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sneak Peek

This beautiful summer day is the inspiration for my next "Touch of the Past" apron. There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a tall glass of fresh squeezed lemonade!

Coming....."Fresh Squeezed!"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cherries Jubilee

Well, I think I might be possessed!! I am having a blast with this batch of fabric and vintage embellishments. Here is today's apron....Cherries Jubilee. I have placed this into my online catalog along with the rest.
Shall we bake a pie today?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mmmmmm, Warm Bread

There is nothing better than a loaf of warm, homebaked bread right out of the oven. And I cannot think of a better way to serve that delicious bread than this little apron. Yesterday's antiquing yielded this bread doily. I used it to embellish a rather large, double pocket and further embellished with vintage crochet lace, vintage buttons and a vintage key. Oh my what a sweet apron to wear to greet "hubs" at the door after a long day! (In heels of course!) This apron is available through my online catalog. Please visit!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Isn't It Romantic? (Artful Aprons)

Hot off the ironing's project had its start with a vintage hankie, some vintage eyelet lace and two soft,yummy fabrics. Add lots of embellishment and this is the end result.
It just might be my favorite yet! Oh my, should I sell it or keep it?

Isn't it romantic???

This apron is available for sale. Visit my online catalog here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Satisfaction is a weed-free garden at the height of blooming...filled with butterflies and honey bees! But oh, the hours it takes to accomplish this. Sad to think that this garden that I have worked so hard to cultivate over the past few years will cease to exist after this summer. A new front porch will occupy this space in the next year. And so, I will start over....a new weeds.

Such is life.....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In Another Life

It has always seemed to me that I must have lived another life as a pioneer/cowgirl. I am drawn to the types of pastimes that a woman of those days would have done... deriving much pleasure out of needlework, and gardening, and preserving the food I have grown. I am even drawn to the fashions of those bygone days and would feel quite at home in bloomers, petticoat and prairie dress with apron. Once a month I would hitch up my horse to the family wagon and head on into town for staples such as flour, sugar, molasses and whatever else we needed to get by. Then I would return home and use the flour sacks to fashion myself a new prairie dress. I would spend my days herding the cattle and tending the gardens. Some days I would make time for making soap or doing the laundry by washboard or churning the butter. Although this lifestyle seems like hard work, it is so much less complicated than life in 2008...and possibly more satisfying.

To celebrate the cowgirl in me I made this apron to match my pink cowgirl boots.

Yee Haw! Now I better go rustle up some breakfast!! Ya'll have a great day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rainy Day?

Thankfully, was supposed to be a day of blueberry picking and garden weeding, however, the weather has dictated otherwise. I tried to make good use of my free morning by spending a little time on the sewing machine. I have been saving this yummy fabric for a new apron. A little pattern tweaking, and this is the reversible that I came up with:
I keep changing my pattern...this one evolved into a sweetheart neckline with unusual pocket detail. Embellished with yo-yo's, buttons, doilys....whatever I can find! size fits all!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pastries, Anyone??

Wouldn't you just love to serve dinner guests a luscious home-baked cake in this apron? I love embellishing with found objects such as this vintage crocheted doily...repurposed into a pocket.

Anyone for Cake??

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thank You Gracie!!

Last weekend I received a surprise package in the mail from my friend Grace in Spokane, Washington. Grace and I are kindred spirits and share so many common interests. Grace is a Lavender farmer and makes the most heavenly sachets (which occasionally she sends to me.) She inspired me to plant a row of lavender in my vegetable garden to section off the strawberry patch from the rest of the garden. Well, back to the subject of the gift. Along with some wonderful lavender goodies, she sent me two beautiful fabrics. I used these fabrics along with some vintage lace and hankie to fashion this apron. I call it "Grace".

Taking Time to Appreciate...

There are scenes from some movies that stay with you forever and become part of who you are. Perhaps the reason for this is that they were already a part of you before someone else added them to a movie. One particular scene that resonated with me was from the movie "City of Angels." Do you remember that one? The scene(s) were of the angels along the coastline lining up each morning and each evening to watch the sunrise and sunset. I have tried whenever possible to be aware of the beauty of each day's sunrise and sunset, although sometimes I am just too involved in other activities. But, it remains a personal goal.

A couple of nights ago, we hit the local bike trail with dogs in tow with the expressed interest in catching the sun as it set over the cornfield. We were held up slightly by a passerby with another Newfie like our Maddie (of course we had to stop for pictures!) (Yes, that is Maddie on the left!)

We eventually said goodby to Maddie's new friend, Jerry, and found just the perfect spot....and the sun began to set.

With reverence, we watched as our life-giving sun transformed to a fiery orb and decended to the horizon while washing the sky with gold and crimson watercolors. The end of another perfect day had come right on schedule, with the promise that tomorrow would bring a repeat performance.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's blueberry season on the farm. I have been picking blueberries every 3 days and making jam. So far I have canned 55 half pints of blueberry/lime jam, a dozen black raspberry, 9 red raspberry, a dozen apricot. I think this will definitely get us through the year....with some left over for gifts. I need a bigger pantry!

In between making batches of jam, these past few days, I have been working on this apron. It is a different style than I have done before. All the seams are French seams, so there are no rough edges on the inside. I think I would like to make this apron a bit shorter with a smaller, fuller flounce....making it a bit flirtier.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Amish Auction

Every year at this time the local Amish school has a benefit auction. Today was auction day...and so we headed off into the country to join in the fun. You can find just about anything at this auction....from intricate handmade quilts, and wooden and iron crafts to puppies and horses and carriages. There are food stands offering homemade icecream and pie, fresh warm homemade donuts, barbequed chicken and other irresistable treats. Of special interest is the homemade icecream which is made on site by a hand-cranked ice cream freezer that is hooked to a mill run by Haflinger ponies (like my Moonbeam). Each pony takes its turn to walk around the mill, carrying small children on its back for pony rides while cranking the ice cream freezer. You can see the pony with his young rider hooked to the mill in this picture.
Everywhere you turn are groups of beautiful Amish children playing, while their parents busily prepare food and run the auction. This event is a yearly treat I would hate to miss!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I am posting this picture for Steph who was interested in how I constructed this receiving blanket. I found the most cuddly fabric this morning a the quilt store. It is a pale green, raised dot, textured fleecy fabric known as "minky". The outside of the blanket is a soft cotton print...pale green flowers with blue polka dots. The bias binding is a coordinating fabric in blue. And of course it is trimmed in yo-yo's. The blankie measures 30 inches by 36 inches.

What I Love About Central PA

This morning I decided to take a drive through the countryside to a quilt shop I had never visited previously. I am so glad I had my camera! So much of what I saw are typical sights throughout rural Central PA.

Stately old country churches
Road-side markets
Old stone taverns
Unusual landmarks
Picturesque log homes
Amish buggies

Apron Therapy

Yesterday's weather was stormy. And when it wasn't storming it looked like pea soup outside...relative humidity that was relatively obnoxious. I am not complaining, however, because it gave me a chance to get caught up on inside work with a little time left over for sewing. Ah, yes, I remember why I love it so! I spent a little time straightening up the sewing room and vacuuming my machines (how do they get that lint build-up so quickly?)and vacuuming the floor....there really IS carpet under all those thread clippings!

Here is the result of a little sewing time...another reversible apron (my own pattern). I just love this print. I found the fabric in a little shop in St. Augustine, Florida this past Spring. I only wish I had bought more of the orange trim would have made divine bias tape. But, instead I sewed the apron with the seams on the inside and skipped the bias tape trim.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Re-purposed Glass

Lately I have resolved to consume products with recyclable packaging or packaging that I can put to later use personally. I am paying attention to boxed items such as cereal and crackers to assure that those manufacturers are using %100 post consumer recycled paper in their packaging and then returning those packages to our own paper recycling bin. I have tried whenever possible to avoid plastic containers. We buy our milk in glass, returnable bottles. Plastic deli containers are saved and re-used for leftovers. I carry my own cloth grocery bags. My goal is to eventually never buy another plastic item unless it is %100 recyclable. Although glass containers are recyclable, I have tried lately to find alternate uses for used glass containers. We often use large jars as drinking glasses and this lovely juice bottle has been repurposed as a home brewed ice tea decanter. A new label and a fancy lid cover make it quite attractive. Next time you grocery shop, think about what you are buying. Can it's packaging be recycled, or repurposed?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

All Jammed Up!

This weekend's berry picking resulted in a nice batch of blueberry lime jam, black raspberry jam and a big case of chigger bites. For those of you who spend most of your time in the safety of your own home or yard, you have no idea how treacherous berry-picking can be! There is a creature that lives in berry patches, and in the woods that can make your life absolutely miserable. That creature is a tiny, red mite, invisible to the naked eye known as a chigger. These nasty little fellows find their way up your arms and legs and settle into soft spots such as abdomen, groin, armpits and any other skin folds they can find. Then they take a chomp out of your skin and inject a digestive enzyme into your skin; producing an extremely itchy, swollen, red bite with a tiny blister in the middle. Let me tell you, if you think a mosquito bite is itchy....well, a chigger bite beats it hands down! For those of you who receive any of my jams....please appreciate them, as the process of obtaining the berries for them can be quite dangerous!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Picked a Flower for YOU!

Happy 4th of July from Bee Haven Acres. A beautiful array of flowers during the day and fireflies at night will be our fireworks display this year! I hope your Independence Day celebration is full of friends, family, or fun!
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