Sunday, December 23, 2007

My First Love!


When I was little, I can remember asking my Mother and Grandmother to teach me how to embroider. They took an old raggedy dresser scarf that was stained and torn, wrote my name on it in simple letters, and gave me a threaded needle and showed me how to make a simple back stitch. I finished my name, and I thought I was just the greatest because I now knew how to embroider!

I wish I still had that little scrap I completed that day. I would frame it and give it a special place in my home -- only because of the special memories it gave me to hold on to forever and always.

I guess that is why I just love the simple stitcheries with sayings on them. I can just envision children living during the turn of the century times learning to make their stitches even and perfect on all kinds of old linens -- dish cloths, doilies, dresser scarves, etc. Over the past few years, I have stitched literally hundreds of these myself. I think I became obsessed with them! And most are done on dresser scarves, doilies, etc., that already have some type of vintage embroidery already done on them.

The Lord told the parents of the Isrealite homes to be sure that they taught their children the ways and words of God. They were to "Write it upon their hearts" and "Write it upon their walls" so they would not be forgotten. Well, I have taken Scripture verses, hymns, little poems and rhymes and have made these stitcheries so He would never be forgotten.

In the next few weeks, I plan on listing many of these stitcheries on Ebay. I really hate to part with any of them. They became a part of me as I was stitching them!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Never Give Up!


I had some errands to run today, so I thought I would take Buster with me for the ride. He's been so good lately, a little more settled, and listening more intently to me when I speak to him.

I had to go and pick up a new Gentle Leader collar for him that I had ordered when attending the obedience classes several weeks ago. When I told Buster we were "going to school," he was soooo excited. He hasn't forgotten, believe me!

As we drove, Buster laid his head on my chest, and I began to pet his face as I talked to him. It all sounds so stupid now, as I'm sure he knew nothing of what I was talking about. But I told Buster how I went to look at the puppies, and this was the only chocolate one there. The man wanted to "get rid of" this lively little boy as he was getting older. I kissed Buster's head as I explained to him how much I loved that little happy boy and paid a lot of money just so he could come home with me. And then. . .he got a name all his own! And now he was special because he belonged to someone and had a name! Buster! I whispered in his ear about how bad he became, but Mommie never gave up on him, even when others told me to get rid of him. Buster gave me little kisses, as if he knew what I was saying, and I was sooooo glad at that moment that I had stuck it out through all those horrible days of puppyhood.

I just couldn't help but think of myself, leaning on my Savior, and Him telling ME how He chose me, paid a great price for me, had a name for me, and made me a member of His family. And even through the days of my rebellious times, He loved me, held on to me, and never let me go.

Somehow, I just knew how Buster felt at that moment -- loved, secure, safe, thankful, and blessed. Now, when I look at him, and he looks at me with those big brown eyes, I know we are friends forever, just as the Lord is to me.

Buster may never be the best at all the commands he was supposed to learn, but he has taught me how to love again, has given me something to wrap my arms around and hug, and those big wet kisses mean all the world to me.

Thank you, Buster, for filling my life with sunshine, bones and balls, and for teaching me that every moment of every day can be filled with exitement and fun. We made it, didn't we?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Great Day!

It's days like these -- and they don't come very often -- that you just know that God has sent a group of people into your life for a very special reason. The women of "Glad Tidings Primitives and Folk Art are just that! Even more than special!
We are a group of ladies who joined together on Ebay - first, because of our love for our Savior, and second, because of our love for everything primitive. A day never goes by when I don't thank the Lord for these wonderful, talented people who have walked into my life and taken over my heart!

Many of us have our own blogs, our own websites, and we all sell and buy on Ebay and other places. But we have come together and formed our own Blog -- a place where you can meet us ALL AT ONCE and IN ONE PLACE!

Please click the link below and check out this great group of ladies, go to their blogs and websites and ebay pages and I'm sure you will agree that these are just great crafters and artists. You will be glad you did!

Monday, December 10, 2007

A free Pattern!

Here is a free primitive stitchery pattern for all my blog readers. You can enlarge this pattern to fit an 8x10 or even an 11x14 frame opening size. This comes from a set of of 7 patterns available in my ebay store: Pattern Collection #26.

Right click on the pattern, click on "save picture as" and name it. Then, you can edit the size in your picture editing software, print it out and use as a pattern.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Great friends and selling on Ebay!

Some of the most wonderful friends I've ever made have been in our Ebay community group, Glad Tidings Primitive and Folk Art. They have been such a blessing to me, and I thank the Lord every day for each and every one of them. I just don't know what I'd do without them, really.

I was listing this 8x10 on Ebay today, and I just couldn't help but think of the friendships I've made. Some are very casual, fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. Some are distant memories of the past. Some, just pick up and take off from where you left them last. and some. . . .they just click, and you never knew what you did without them before you met them. They are pure miracles sent from God.
That is what this group of friends means to me!

There's a miracle called friendship that dwells within the heart
And you don't know how it happens or where it gets its start.
But the happiness it brings you always gives a special lift,
And you realize that friendship is God's most precious gift.

This 8x10 is available for sale from me on Ebay. Just click on the picture, and it will take you there!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


One of my all time favorite. . . .cookies???. . . . has to be BoterKoek. This means Butter Cake in Dutch. But to me, it's more like a butter cookie bar. Crisp on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside. A little more dense than a brownie. Why they call it cake is beyond me. My sister made this yesterday and it is just too good . . .melt in your mouth good . . . .who care's if you get fat good . . . .!!!!!

12 servings 50 min 20 min prep

2/3 cup butter or margarine or half-and-half
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (I like 2 1/2 teaspoons in mine!)
1 egg, beaten (reserve 1 tsp)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
sliced almonds, for garnish (optional but not the same with it)

In medium bowl, mix together butter, sugar and almond extract.
Add beaten egg except for 1 teaspoon.
Sift flour and baking powder, and add to bowl, mixing with wet ingredients.
Put dough in greased 9 inch pie plate.
Mix the reserved 1 tsp of beaten egg with 1 tsp of water, and brush over dough.
Sprinkle with sliced almonds, if desired. (My Oma always used the almonds, it looks pretty and adds a nice touch!).
Bake at 350 degress for 25-30 minutes or until done (firm to the touch).
This is a dense cake (like a bar cookie or hard brownie), but should be soft on the inside and hard on the outside, but not too hard!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Dutch Christmas!

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As a child, I can never remember there NOT being a Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) Day. Both of my parents were born in The Netherlands, as were all my relatives. It was their desire to carry on some of the traditions of the old country, giving all us children a taste of the Dutch ways.

It was so much fun, though a little scarey, too. Every December 5th, we prepared for the big event. The story goes that Sinterklaas came every year on a boat from Spain to Holland and gave nice gifts to good children, and those who had been bad, either got beaten with a switch or were left a piece of coal in their shoe. I always related it to "judgement day."

I remember always having new pajamas for the event, as this Sinterklaas always came in the evening. Along with him came a smaller black person called, Zwarte Peit. He carried the switches, just in case Sinterklaas needed to give someone a spanking. Zwarte Peit never said a word and we always thought that maybe he was a mute or something. Sinterklaas himself wore a long flowing red robe with a high red hat that had a cross on it. He looked like a priest. I remember my little brother being scared to death of him and starting to cry. The scariest part was THE BOOK!!!! You knew you couldn't lie about being bad or good, because Sinterklaas had a BIG book with our names in it, and he checked to see if we were telling the truth!

The tradition went on from there somewhat like our Santa Claus today -- telling this stately, serious man whether we had been good or not. If we had, Zwarte Peit took a gift out of a bag and handed it to us. Of course, we were always good!!!!

After this "ceremony," we always had goodies to eat, mostly ollie bollen, speculaas cookies (a hard spicey cookie), and other sweets along with hot chocolate.

When the "reading of the book" was over, we were told to put our shoe outside by the door. What a sight! 5 shoes lined up by the door, and Mom's and Dad's old wooden shoes. Shortly after Sinterklass left, we would go out to check our shoe. We would find and apple, or an orange, or some other little goodie in our shoe. Of course, we were supposed to be afraid of getting a piece of coal! We all believed that Sinterklaas had left them on his way out.

Those were wonderful times for our family. Memories that will never be forgotten. I'm so glad that my sister was able to salvage the 8 mm movies my mother had taken that last Sinterklaas Day before she died. More than 50 years have passed since that day, but it could have been just yesterday. . . .!

I think I'll make some ollie bollen tonight. And I think I'll find out once and for all if Sinterklaas is real. . . .

I'm going to put my wooden shoe out by the door!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Oliebollen - My Favorite Dutch Recipe!

Nothing brings back memories of wonderful childhood experiences like helping my Mother make Olie Bollen! These little dough balls were full of apples and raisins, fried to a golden brown, and drenched in powder sugar. I can still our little faces full of powder sugar -- but it was well worth it and we didn't care! Start a family tradition with these wonderful treats! They were traditionally served on New years in Dutch families!



2 pkg. yeast
3/4 c. warm water
6 c. milk, scalded
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice or extract
6 c. flour or more
3 c. raisins
3 c. peeled and chopped apples

Soften yeast in warm water. To cooled milk, add the eggs, sugar, salt, and flavoring. Add yeast mixture and then gradually beat in 6 or more cups of flour and raisins and apples. Dough should be stiff.
Let rise until double in bulk (covered with dough cloth). Stir down and let rise again until double. Fry in deep fat at 375-400 degrees. (Use ice cream scoop to drop dough into hot oil.) Drain on absorbent paper. Dip or serve with powdered sugar. (Bollen will usually turn over by themselves while in hot oil.)

The Robins!

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I can remember it like it was yesteday! My first day going to kindergarten. Mom had crocheted for me a new little red skirt. It had straps that went over the shoulder and buttoned in the back. I had a new little white blouse, white socks and new shoes. I felt so pretty.

Opoe and Mom took me on my first day. I was excited and Watchung School looked so large. The classroom was full of big windows and the room was large and bright with lots of tables and chairs. I can still remember lots of parents being there, all lined up along the wall. But I immediately let go of Mom's hand and headed for . . . . toys, and fun! My teacher, Miss Kline, was older, but I loved her.

One thing I will never forget about that year in kindergarten was centered around a little trip to the second floor of that school. We lined up, two by two, and walked through the hall and up the stairs. Then, Miss Kline told us to be very quiet and go to the window. There, on the window sil outside, was a perfect nest with a Robin sitting quietly upon it. She turned her head, saw us all there, and flew off. And I will never forget my surprise when I saw those four beautiful blue eggs sitting in that nest! We went often up those stairs to check on the Robin and her eggs. And one day, we saw the ugly little babies. And then, soon after, they were all gone except one. He was standing on the side of his nest, chirping franticly, fluttering his wings. We could all see Momma Robin in the tree a little ways away calling for her baby to come to her. Finally, after a few minutes, he did it!!! And he could fly!!! We all clapped and went back to our classroom.

I never forgot that. That memory was etched deeply on my heart and every time I saw a robin, I thought of kindergarten, my red skirt Mom had made for me, and that nest in the window.

Yesterday, the Robins came. When I opened my front door, there they were, happily eating the wild berries off my bushes and singing their cheerful song. They do not live in Florida year round, so I know they had come on a long journey from the North to find warmth, food and shelter for the winter months. Every year they come -- like clockwork. And somehow, they know the way. Somwhere, in what's left of my childish fantasies and imagination, I'd like to believe one of those Robins came from a nest built in a window at Watchung School.

If God can give directions to a Robin
And show him pathways through the endless skies,
Can He not show me where to place my footsteps,
And, as promised, guide me with His eyes?

"I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye." -- Psalm 32:8

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Can you remember the very first time in your life when you came face to face with the fact that there was a Heaven? I think I was always taught there was a Heaven, that God loved me and died for me so that I could go there, and that it was a wonderful place. But as a very small child, those are vague, unimportant things that really don't make a big impact. . .until!

I can still remember our backyard. It was small, fenced in, with a detached garage in the back. Since we lived on a corner, the side wall of the garage lined the back of our backyard. We played a lot there. And I remember being very aware of the birds building their nests in the little birdhouses that were built in under the eaves. Back and forth they would go with pieces of grass to build a nest. Soon, it seemed the nesting was overdone as it was all hanging out of the holes. Then, those little birds were carrying food back and forth in what seemed like a frenzy.

One day, I can remember being in a panic, as one of the birds was lying on the ground. It was still. And though I had not faced death up until this time, somehow I knew it was dead. I can still remember my Mom and Dad helping us through that time. She gave us a shoe box and we gently put the little bird into box. My Dad explained that God must have needed a little bird in Heaven, so now it was very happy flying around Heaven and that God would feed it and take care of it. He then said a little prayer and he buried the bird.

And that was that!

Little did I know that in a year or two, I would face death again. During that time, I know I grew up a little more, learned more about God and Heaven and angels. But I had never known a person who died. I had never been to a funeral, and didn't know what one was. I can still remember the events of that awful night. I woke up the a frenzy of activity downstairs. My sister and I went down the steps. I heard people crying. Someone told me, "Your Mother went to Heaven. Now, go back to bed."

And that was that!

I can remember thinking that this must be something very "matter of fact." No one hugged me, or told me everything would be ok. I can't remember anyone ever saying they were sorry about what happened. My Sunday School teacher never mentioned my Mom or said she was praying for me and my family. My older brother and sister never mentioned her or said they would take care of me. We were rushed away to my Aunt's home until sometime after the funeral. When I came back, another Aunt and Uncle had moved in with their family, all Mom's things were gone, and a new life began with never a mention of her name.

And that was that!

It was a long time before I realized that this was NOT normal. I think I was well into adulthood before I became aware of the fact that people grieved and were hurt deeply when someone close died. Up until this time, I just thought it was a matter of fact thing. You just died and went to Heaven! Like the bird in the backyard. Like my mother. I never forgot her. I never grieved her death. I never missed her. I never cried. But deep within my soul, even as an 8-year-old child, there was an empty hole that is still there even today.

It's not easy to look into dark, empty holes in your soul. It's like standing on the edge of a deep, dark well and being afraid of falling into . . . . .what???? Once in a while, a tear would run down my cheek and fall into that dark hole, and I would realize it was much deeper than I had ever imagined, because I never heard the tear hit the bottom of the well!

The journeys of my life took me many places. On some of those pathways, I knew God was with me. On others, I hoped He was not! And on the rest, I wondered where He was. But I now know one thing -- He was always there. He saw that sparrow fall that day, and He saw me there as I picked it up. He saw me there, alone, when my Mom passed away, And though I did not realize it, He picked ME up.

He saw me then. . .And He sees me now. . . And He loves me just the same.

And that is that!