Dec 24, 2012

all is calm || all is bright.

i stepped outside to-day and collected bits of winter to be put into a glass jar - a tradition established three years long past. as i gathered pine twigs and berries, the wind tugged the loose hairs from my messy braid and viciously pricked my skin. i was reminded in my simple task that as winter progresses, the wind becomes a more wilder creature than ever - a lonely wanderer, soughing piteously, searching every hearth and home for warmth that might be sympathetically imparted.


these past few days have been tossed by a merciless tempest, howling pitifully while rattling the four walls of our home. the wind furiously swept the shimmering prickles of the evergreens in the midst of the storm, while it excited the icicle lights dripping from the eaves of our cottage. I fell asleep to the lullaby of rain for two nights past and woke up to brooding skies, bleak and despondent each following morning, I was beginning to believe that Christmas was to be a rainy one again. 

spirits were barely effected by the tempest blowing through this little glen o' ours, though, for christmas approached steadily, and even the thought of this holiday is an ever cheery beacon that cannot help but make the iron-cold wintry-ness appear full of warmth. and each evening has been heartened by skyping with beloved faraway friends as we took turns opening handmade christmas presents. but to-day was different. as soon as my eyes opened, soft wintry light diffused a flow of beauty into my room as naught a breeze was stirring - the entire day it has been quiet. hushed. silent. like the night before christmas should be. where there is silence, there is room for pondering and reminiscing and much laughing and merrymaking and the drinking of warm tea and the playing of card games around the coffee table and sipping chocolate by the fireside as we remember the birth of our wonderful Emmanuel.


>> merry christmas, darlings!!! << 
love you {like a lot},
the girl in her wintry wonderland. 
postscript :: some of my wintry thoughts from last year were published in this issue of my favorite magazine thanks to the beautiful miss elizabeth!!! 

Dec 23, 2012

:: stitched with love sundays // simple stitchin' with miss kellie ::

to where did time fly?!!! my mind simply cannot grasp that christmas is in two days. so...I have reserved the best for last, as the beautifully stunning and wonderfully talented miss kellie of accordion to kellie takes "center stage" and shows you gals how to stitch up a darling {not to mention incredibly easy} needle case that can be whipped up for those last minute projects. enjoy, m'dears, and be sure to take a minute to leave miss kellie some love for her hard work. ;) 


Greetings, and Merry Christmas, ladies!
Today it's my delight to share a little festive crafty project that's perfect for gift giving, stocking stuffers, or simply just because.
I first saw this darling idea when my grandma gave me her special needlebook, which a little girl had made and given to her long ago. It was composed of two pieces of soft purple felt, stitched together in the middle to form a simple little book. It even had a jaunty Scottie dog on the front, complete with enormous button eye. Have I ever mentioned how partial I am to Scottie dogs?

I have come up with my own version of the little felt needlebook, and I think it's the perfect gift for all of your crafty friends... it would even make a darling baby's picture book with felt shapes stitched on each page.

To make one needlebook, you will need:

one 9 x 12" piece of wool or acrylic felt 
scissors, or rotary blade and cutting mat
embroidery floss, needles
extra embellishments such as buttons, beads, different colors of felt, etc.

Step by Step:

1).  Select your material.
2).  Cut it exactly in half crosswise.
3).  Take one half, and cut it exactly in half crosswise again.
4).  You now have the two leaves of your needlebook, composed of one half of the origional 9 x 12" felt square.

Either by hand or machine, stitch the two leaves together in the exact center, crosswise.
 I like to use my sewing machine first, and then topstitch by hand over the machine stitching with embroidery floss. 
 It is more securely fastened that way, while still preserving the "handmade" look of hand-stitching.
Voilà!  |  Now take your finished booklet and trim the edges even.
Now for the fun part - embellishing!

For applique, here are several templates you may use - simply right-click on one to save it to your desktop. Remember, when cutting out your felt appliqué,  decide which side of the felt you wish to be on top. Most felt has a different texture on each side! The same applies when sewing your booklet together.
Here are step-by-step photographs for creating my "Literary Heroine" needlebook for those of you who are new to embroidery and appliqué, but your imagination is really the only limit to the way you can dress your pinkeeper up!

1).  When you have all of your appliqué/embroidery supplies, etc assembled, you're ready to sew!

2).  I used a simple running stitch to appliqué my silhouette to a square of white felt, which will form a darling little pocket on the front of the book.  For instructions on making various embroidery stitches, is a wonderful resource!
To visit their embroidery stitch library, click this link.

3).  French knots were used to fasten the pocket to the front cover.

4).  Make sure that the back of your embroidery is as neat as possible, because it will be in plain sight whenever you open your needlebook!  If I find that the inside cover is simply too messy, I like to sew another piece of coordinating felt on top to hide my under stitches. It also forms an extra pocket inside!
5).  Satin bows are always in style!
There you have it - a simple, useful, and adorable project I know you'll love to create.
Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your beautiful garden, dear Grace!
Happy Sewing!

speical thanks to dear miss kellie, for composing such a lovely tutorial!


thank you, dearies, for joining me in my third annual christmas event!!!
I am quite aware that during the "most wonderful" time of the year, everyone is running around in circles attempting to complete everything on their list. so I want to take a little moment to specially thank the sweet young ladies who have been following my posts {whether you commented or not}, and the beautiful young ladies who had sweetly agreed to compose posts for my event. I pray that this event has aided you in your 2012 holiday plotting and inspired you to make this christmas...
An Old Fashioned, Handmade Christmas. ;)
 with love,

Dec 20, 2012

:: crafting by the tree thursdays // baby, it's cold outside [part ii]::

here are a few different projects that are perfect to keep your loved one's from jack frost's chill...

Dec 19, 2012

pour a cup o' atmosphere.

unlike brown paper parcels that can be tied easily with ribbon, there is no one-word description that can be wrapped around this little holiday. there's warmth. there's a bit of cold. there's singing and merry-making, and it would be a lie to say there aren't a few tears thrown into the mix. there's cold winter sunlight and little falls of rain, if not snow. there's wisps of steam from the multiple cups of warmth and cold pieces of peppermint bark. there's memories to be kept close and traditions to be followed. everything is a muddle stirred around by busyness, but amidst the whirlpool there seems to be life therein. 

so, pour yourself a cup of atmosphere, darling, and breathe in its contents. sip slowly. take in every scent and flavor. savor the warmth each ingredient of this precious season is composed as this it comes only but once a year. 
baby, it's cold outside," is quite an understatement of sorts. one cannot simply step past the threshold without the frigid air grasping your very breath! but, it's a pure kind of chill - "clean" as *so-and-so* described it. everything is still. I can feel it in my very bones and not just the cold stiffening them. the world is stiff, as well as my hands most of the time. despite my attempts of taking a step back from my sugar intake, I have drunk three decently large cups of warmth to remedy my chill {and tea, always calls for a spot o' honey, verdad?} yet 'tis a type of chill that cannot be shaken off quite so easily. even Lily [my cat] cannot shake the chill off of her warm charcoal coat and stays indoors {on the living room carpet} most of the time. I only wish snow would fall gently from the bleak firmament so as to comfort the chilly souls that attempt to ward Jake Frost away... 
>> scribbles from my journal, "emma."

{one} making peppermint bark to be shared with friends.  
{two} christmas/birthday parcel + letter for this sweet girl
{three} three cups of tea {preferably vanilla chai or vanilla cinnamon} each day are a must. 
{four} red and white striped twine is an essential for every wrapper. 
{five} finally finding making time to read a girl of the limberlost
{six} scattered pine needles. 
{seven} documenting the little things in the twelve days preceding christmas. 
{eight} I crocheted my first shawl. tell me what you think, love! 
the girl in her
wintry wonderland. 

:: pin it up wednesdays // 5 last minute gift ideas by jo ::

I simply cannot believe that Christmas is next week!!!! T menos sies dias hasta navidad!!! ONLY SIX DAYS! *panting* even though, I have been preparing for Christmas since this past summer {yes, since this summertime}, this holiday still seemed to have sneaked up on me! :P so, for the procrastinators out there, this post is dedicated for you thanks to the lovely Miss Joanna of i love.... ;)


Everyone gets a little busy this time of year, you know... CHRISTMAS time and everything... and are often in a time crunch to find or make nice Christmas gifts.  This is why I put together a few simple yet beautiful DIY's that I thought would be perfect to give as gifts.  All of these DIYS I found from the amazing place called Pinterest that we all know and love.

Make someone you love these unique, inexpensive, and darling Beeswax Candles via Kryn's Pinterest

Everyone would love these personalized Vintage Photo Pillows via my Pinterest

What about giving a friend a bright and fun Neon Striped T-shirt via Ellie Be's Pinterest

Get crafty and have fun making someone this Silhouette Canvas via Hannah Margaret's Pinterest

Make someone this colorful and unique Paint Sample Calender via Janelle Putrich's Pinterest

Hello lovely people!  My name is Joanna (Jo for short!) and I live on a farm in the state of Ohio.  I'm the youngest of six kids and enjoy baking sweets, taking pictures, blogging, and making crafty things.  My blog is called I Love... and is a place where I share Diys, my photography, recipes, and tidbits from my life.  I hope you take the time to check it out! 


special thanks to Miss Jo for composing this lovely post! be sure to leave her some love. ;) 

want to join the pinning? 
post some pinterest finds or two on your blog, copy the link of your post, and leave it in a little note below. make sure to give proper credit to the creator {we all work really hard to compile these things, and it'd be a shame not to give credit to hard work ;)}. happy pinning!
the girl distracted by pinning. 

Dec 18, 2012

:: personal project // what a simply SMASHING idea by miss elizabeth ::

Hey, my name is Elizabeth. I am 17, soon to be 18. I live on a farmette in KY with my siblings, two dogs, and eight cats. I am homeschooled, which I enjoy extremely. I am a total book worm and history geek. I also enjoy drawing, sewing, spinning, crochet, knitting, writing letters, making jewelry, and any other kind of craftiness. God has given me a heart for encouraging younger girls in their walk with him, and I love my savior, Jesus Christ!!! You can find my blog at A Little Bit of Heaven.

This year, for Christmas, I wanted to make my best friend an amazing present she would always remember. I wanted something that we could both do, but that would show my appreciation for her in the time I spent on creating it. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, including scrap booking, and some pictures of the  both of us, as well as our favorite pins from pinterest, and other things we wanted to do together.
I headed over to Hobby Lobby in search of a journal or booklet that I could use. I found a Smash Folio by K&Company, which was perfect for what I had in mind.  

For the first page I created two collages using PicMonkey, an online photo editing site. I also bought some silver Best Friend ornaments like the one in the middle of the page above.

I also made a profile page. I printed a picture of my BF and also asked her to pick out three pictures that she liked or described her.
Then I asked these questions:
Eye color:
Middle Name:
What makes you happy?
What is your favorite flower?

Are you an organized person?
Are you a morning or night person?
Favorite ice cream?
What do you fear?

The great thing about the Smash folios is that they have a lot of fun pages already in them. For instance, they already had a "to do" list. I just added the "Together" type and filled half the list with things I want to do with her, leaving the rest blank for her to fill in.

I continued filling in with pictures that I had stored up, creating a travel page,
 a letter writing page, 
and a blessings page.
I hope you are inspired to create your own Smash folio for someone special. You could make it for a sibling, a parent or a grandparent. The possibilities are endless, and I'm sure yours will turn out even more beautiful then mine.
Miss Elizabeth

special thanks to dear miss elizabeth for composing this lovely post!!!
this post evokes the memory of miss johanna and I pasting photographs with blue glitter tape in our pink SMASH folios in July. these journals are such an enjoyable pastime and just beautiful keepsakes {so beautiful, I have three *smile*} for creatively documenting your life to sharing the story of kindred spirits. 

the girl in the garden.