Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the Mail...

I happen to live on a road referred to by our town as a "private way with public access" and as such we are prohibited from having mail boxes on our properties. Instead they must be posted out on the main street a short walk from our home. While some may consider this situation a nuisance I have found it to bring a bit of a village air to our block. More often than not a fellow neighbor is encountered along the way and several minutes are easily passed exchanging pleasantries.

The delivery of a package, however, is a different story. Our mailman is kind enough to provide doorstep drop off on these rare occasions resulting in an uproar of excitement amongst the wee ones as his truck passes down our road. Small faces are pressed against the windows and squealing voices wonder who the lucky recipient could be. Today, by chance, it was little Lucy's turn! A lovely brown parcel, tied with string and labeled "Handle With Care" was delivered in her care along with a small envelope addressed to the "Proprietor" of #22 Wayside Cottage.

The envelope was quickly opened and the letter revealed. "Dear Proprietor," it read, "I have heard tell of your jumbled cottage for rent. Being a bit of a fixer-upper myself I feel we would be a very good match! Most Interested, Lily Red."

The rest of the afternoon was spent in joyful anticipation. Lucy was most anxious for Lily Red's arrival and sat right down to her ribbon work. It was a bit difficult for her to keep her mind on the task at hand due to her curiosity concerning the contents of the brown box. Luckily another book selection had been posted as entry to the Sweet Heart Giveaway and we were both quickly swept up in the adventures of dear little Hitty!

It's amazing how one thing leads to another and how easily distracted I can become. By page two I was hooked on the Hitty book. By page four I was dreaming that my husband would carve me a Hitty doll out of mountain-ash wood being that he graduated from college as a sculpture major and all. By page seven I faced reality and accepted the fact that he would do no such thing. A few more pages and I remembered a name, a name of someone who did make Hitty dolls. The book went down, the computer went on, and Lucy was on her own. Within moments I was there...Gail Wilson Designs! Oh how I love her Hitty dolls and their accessories too! It was a delight to browse through her site until I browsed one step too far. I found myself looking at her Early American Doll series within which is included the Basic Doll kit. Not only did I have that kit but I started it two years ago. A walk upstairs to my sewing closet followed by a brief search and she was discovered. The poor thing is still in pieces...and her little doll too! How could I be so cruel? I'm afraid now dear Hitty will have to wait as a guilty conscience will not allow me to ignore my poor "Basic Doll" any longer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I truly feared my only audience left would be the family dog! I had so much fun with my previous post that I recklessly shared it with my children later that evening. As I read it out loud to them I watched their faces for expressions of delight and anticipation. Would anyone rent the cottage? What reading list would we acquire? And who would win the Sweet Heart Giveaway?

I have to say my teenager's look of perpetual boredom had disappeared...unfortunately it was replaced with extreme bewilderment. Was I now going to start building houses for squirrels? Did I really think I could rent them? And deep inside I'm sure he was questioning his mother's sanity. My preteen, never one to tip toe around issues, asked me outright, "Aren't you worried people will think your crazy?" My seven year did give me some hope! His bright eyes and smile, however, soon faded when I told him under no uncertain terms were we getting a real lizard to live in the little cottage!

While their reactions gave me some cause for concern it was short lived thanks to all of your lovely comments. I'm having such fun reading each and everyone of them. Lucy and I are making a list of all of the doll books mentioned. Some of the titles are already in our possession while others are easily gathered from the local library. Lucy said she is not one bit afraid of heights and so hopes the pile grows very tall!

While our good intentions are to read one book a day there is one bit of business that must first be attended to. For lurking in the back of my mind is the pesky fact that I never got my Christmas cards out. If you recall I had resigned myself to having them posted by New Years, but that too has come and gone and long distance friends are now calling my mom concerned for my well being! Luckily my card selection this year featured a pair of mittens on the front. With some slight alterations to the message inside I was able to transform them into "Winter Cards." And just to make sure I remove all traces of guilt from my conscience, I am now in the midst of creating tiny gingham envelopes and filling them with morning glory seeds from my garden. I plan to attach them to the cards along with a note about the promise of spring to come which means I better have them posted by March 20th!

Although not very timely with my own correspondence, I seem to be doing very well on the receiving end of the mail box this week. I'm supposed to be making more "Sweet Hearts" to post in the shop but I keep getting interrupted by fun surprises. As if receiving the new issue of Mary Jane's Farm wasn't enough, the fabric I so wanted from T-Party's shop arrived as well. It's very hard to focus on the task at hand when all I want to do is dream up new projects to make with it! I've got some interior decorating ideas in mind which opens up any number of creative decisions to be mulled over...paint colors, curtain design, furniture rehab. There really aren't enough hours in the day!

Meanwhile...somewhere far away, yet another correspondence is in the works...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Giveaway Merriment!

The decorations have all been packed away, school has resumed, and there's not much going on around here except for snow, snow, and more snow. Being stuck inside a very quiet house all day has made my little friend Lucy wistful for a bit of merriment. With an ever growing list of sewing projects ahead of me I knew I would not make for the most entertaining of company...but I did have an idea! For squirreled away I had a house, a tiny house in need of some tender loving care to bring it to life.

" What if," I said to her, "we put it out to rent in exchange for that care? Perhaps someone would respond, a wee someone who could clean it up and possibly give it a coat of paint. And with your fine scissor skills you could cut a beautiful ribbon for the cottage key. Who knows, you might even become the best of friends!"

Lucy was tickled with the idea and so we got right to work. I found a small pole while she made a sign. It only took a few moments before we had it posted and Lucy sat down to wait...and wait...and wait. I knew she was anxious to get to her ribbon work but we hadn't yet had any responses. What to do in the mean time? Luckily I had another idea!

"What if ," I suggested, "we have a Giveaway? Faraway friends would see it and send us messages that you could read right away. I'll even let you pick the prize!"

Lucy thought it was a lovely idea and knew immediately what she wanted to give. A pair of "Sweet Hearts" were selected. I definitely approved as they are one of my favorites...especially this pair with the red check and periwinkle rose print. They were patchwork pieced, stuffed, and adorned with ribbons and tiny buttons. Hanging from those buttons are removable tags with the words "Hugs" and "Kisses" written on them.
And then we had yet another idea, only this time it was Lucy's.
"What if," she said, "we ask that they enter to win our giveaway by leaving a message telling us their favorite book about dolls. Hopefully we'll get a big long list and what fun it would be to read them all!"

What fun please, do leave a message! Share with us a favorite book or maybe even two. As long as they are about dolls and are received by the first of February consider yourself entered. A winner will be selected at random on February 2 which should allow plenty of time for your "Sweet Hearts" to arrive by Valentine's Day.
Good Luck Everyone!