Saturday, June 13, 2020

An Online Lecture on Mary Todd

Those of you who know me, know that I enjoy studying Mary Todd Lincoln. She is a fascinating person and I have read many books written about her. My husband Jim was born in Springfield, Illinois and grew up there. Most of his family still lives there. When we visit, I love to go to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and the Presidential Library across the street. It's a fantastic place to visit.

I receive the online newsletters from the museum. I was just looking at it on Thursday and saw a notice about an online lecture about Mary Todd. How exciting. I signed up for it. It was called " Much like an April Day". It was out on through a group called Road Scholars. The state historian of Illinois  Samuel Wheeler gave the presentation.

These are some of the books Mr Wheeler mentioned at the beginning of the talk. He said Mary has been put into two groups....those who think she was insane and those who defend her actions. He wanted us to really look at who Mary Todd as a person and then try to understand her and her time through knowing her. It was a fresh look and I appreciated that very much.

This is her father and her step mother. Her father had 16 children between his two wives. Mary did not get along with her step mother. She was sent off to boarding school very close to home to get her out of the way! As a result, she was very educated, more so than most young women at the time.

This is the quote from her sister Elizabeth. It is now thought that Mary may have been bipolar most of her life. Read the quote and think about it.

Mr and Mrs Abraham Lincoln and their four boys. Mary raised them like little gentlemen and made their clothes. But, they were boys and acted like boys!

I so enjoyed this online lecture and I learned so much. Online offerings have been a plus from this virus.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Wade Creek House is OPEN!

Jimmy and I went for a drive and found that a favorite little shop was open! We wore our masks, they provided lots of hand sanitizer and we stayed away from people. It was soooo fun to go into a store.

The day was very wet and stormy but stayed dry while we were at the store.

Jimmy sitting on the porch!

This sweet little building used to be a chicken coop. I missed the chickens, but it's really a cute little booth with garden goodies!

There 's a large building out in the back. There were some cute displays this time. I think there is a new owner who had made some nice changes.

I really liked the little red hutch! Good thing I didn't have any place to put

We found some cute things for flower containers. I loved the tea kettle.

I chose some bright yellow and orange flowers as those are the colors I use in the backyard. The front is done in pinks and purples.

The finished projects! I will share more about the in another blog post.
Stay safe during these crazy times.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Thursday Dolly Day

So here it is Thursday already! We have been spending so much time working in the yard. I was sick so many summers and had surgeries and then last summer we were gone for 2 weeks. Our yard has been neglected for 5 years. With sheltering in so much, we have been working on the yard and gardening. Jimmy has taken an interest in it again, so it's been something we can do together. I just forgot how much time it takes and how little time you spend inside when you work outside!

My doll came.  I got another one of the Tudor china heads that were once sold at the Enchanted Dollhouse in Vermont. I used the rest of my Etsy Mother's Day gift card for her. She was put together and is a bit larger. She came with her dress and pantaloons.

Her name is Emma. She is about 15".

I did make her a little slip using a larger item vintage item. It already had the pin tucks and I added the tiny lace.

I didn't like the collar, so I tacked it down inside. I also turned down the belt and added a little button to change the look. I added some lace along the bottom for a bit more length.

I do love the under sleeves. I need to add these to some of my doll dresses.

So here is her dress with the changes. I think it's much better around her neckline as you can see her face.

Here's the family!





My Tasha friend told me there was one more...Molly. I found her on a Tasha Tudor book site...the Cellar Door in CT. I know the owners and they are sending her to Portland tomorrow. I will have to make the doll's body and her clothes. I think she is larger too. It will be fun.

I hope you are all well. The doll world is a bit of a pause from all the sad things happening in our world. I am still trying to be safe. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Blog Catch Up!

It's been busy at my home! I haven't been blogging due to other projects that have been waiting. I decided to catch up with a post to show some of my fun projects.
Jimmy and I have both been trying to finish up our gardening. My friend gave me this little rose from her rose from Tasha Tudor's garden in Vermont. My first one died and she graciously gave me a second one to try again. It's doing well this year. Can you see the little rose blooming? So exciting.

After some gardening, I decided to finish up a doll and make her an outfit. There was a doll shoppe in Vermont called the Enchanted Dollhouse. They used to sell these little china head dolls. You would make the body and her dress. There were 5 doll kits made. They are dated and named on the back of their breast plate. They are cute, nothing real special, but fun. Several Tasha fans have a collection of these. So this is Nell and it was time to finish her. My friend Carla has Sally and she made her undies out of the same fabric as the dress fabric. I thought it would be fun, even if it isn't traditional.

I love the tiny lace on her pantaloons and slip!

Working on the puffy sleeves and bodice with some antique lace.

Her's Nell in her new dress. I think she is quite happy with it.

This is my Meg doll. I made this dress for her last November. I love the fabric. I am waiting for Emma to arrive from Etsy. I'm not sure if I will like the fabric of her outfit, so I may be working on another one SOON!

For Mother's Day, my daughter Gina gave me a gift card from Etsy. It was so fun looking and thinking about what I wanted to spend my money on! I was wanting a cradle for the little baby doll I posted a few weeks ago. I love the little scenes painted on the bed. Thank you Gina!

It also has little design and wooden knobs on the sides.

Baby Phyllis loves here new bed! She can sit up in it or take a nap. She just fits perfectly in it.

Isn't is just the cutest?!

 A lovely lady in Florida found my blog and sent me an email. She wanted to know if I would like this book. It's a classic and I was happy to get it! I wanted to pay for postage and she wouldn't let me. So sweet from a lady I have never met! Blogger friends are just so wonderful and do such unexpected things.

She also sent some goodies that she had made and a couple other dolly booklets.

She does such beautiful work. Thank you so much Maria.
So, that's what has been keeping me busy this week. I hope you are doing well and taking baby steps to return to a few things as we reopen. Stay safe. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Cookie Recipes From Previous Blog Post

Several people asked for the recipes of the cookies I posted . I should have included them, but really didn't know people would be that interested in them.

Italian Cherry Cookies: Bake 350 for 10-12 minutes   Makes 24 cookies

3/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1t vanilla extract
1t almond extract
1T maraschino cherry juice
2 cups all purpose flour
16 drained and chopped cherries
A few drops of red food dye if you wish

Cream butter and add sugar, vanilla and almond extract. This is where I add a bit of food coloring.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Slowly drizzle in the cherry juice and mix well.
All the flour a bit at a time and slowly beat unto a soft dough.
Add chopped cherries until disbursed.
Press the dough into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 4 hours. The dough has to be chilled or the cookies will spread.
Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking pan. I use about 1 Tablespoon of dough for each ball.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes.

These are not overly sweet cookies, but the cherries add so much. Enjoy.

Old Fashion Ginger Snaps:  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes  Makes about 3 doz

1/4 cup of molasses
2/3 cup of shortening
1 cup of sugar ( you will need a bit extra in a bowl to roll the dough balls before baking)
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 T ground ginger
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2 t baking soda

Sift together dry ingredients
Cream together shortening and sugar. Then add the egg and molasses.
Blend in the dry ingredients and mix well.
Form into small balls and roll in sugar.
Place on a parchment lined baking pan. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Cool on pan fro 2-4 minutes

I like this recipe because it is somewhat soft.

The last recipe is for Evelyn's Homestead cookies:  Bake 350 for 8-10 minutes  Makes about 3 doz

1/2 cup shortening
1 cups sugar plus a bit extra for flattening the cookies on the pan
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 t baking powder
1/4t salt
2  cups flour
1 t vanilla

Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Mis well.
Add dry ingredients.
Drop onto a greased cookie sheet and squish with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar to prevent sticking.
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until lightly brown on the bottom. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from the pan.



Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Recipes From the Past for Tea TIme

This morning I just felt like baking. My Jimmy loves cookies. I told him I was going to bake and he said if I made cookies, he's bring take out Thai food home for dinner. Well, how could I refuse?
I started to look through some old recipes to make some cookies from our past. I had fun going back in time a bit.

This is my little tea this afternoon. It's Tuesday and our Tasha group share tea things with our members...we call it Tea Time Tuesday with Tasha.

When Jim and I were first married, we used to go to Grangeville, Idaho to visit our friends Ed and Evelyn. They were like Jim's second parents. My first recipe~ginger snaps~is an old recipe from a delightful lady named Donna. We used to go visit her on our trips and she often had special cookies. I asked her for this one. It's a great cookie for tea time.

Here's the finished project. It's soft and full of great spices, so it's full of flavor.

The next recipe is one of Evelyn's cookies. It's called Homestead cookies. Evelyn would make it when we would stay at their home. She would make a big batch for Jim. I only make half of the recipe as it makes a lot!

This one is actually a cookie that I found a few years ago and never made. It's called an Italian Cherry cookie. It's yummy with almond flavoring and maraschino cherries. It's very much like the cookies Jimmy's aunt sends at Christmas. I was in the middle of making this one, when my daughter Angie stopped by with Otto! What a nice surprise. He loves to play in our backyard and the rain actually stopped for awhile. They had cookies to enjoy and that made me happy! It's so good to see them. We social distance and no hugs yet. Soon, I hope. 

It's always special to use my pink lusterware cup and saucer for a wee bit of tea. It was a lovely day and I just didn't listen to the news much. I needed a break.

Have you been baking? It's been fun to bake and cook with more time to enjoy it all.