Tour of My Sewing Room

Early last year, I moved my sewing room from its squishy headquarters in the laundry room to an upstairs room we'd previously used as our homeschooling room. Why I waited so long, I have no idea, because I love my new, larger space. I spend much of my week there, right inside that open door, designing and creating for my two Etsy shops, Wonderful Life Farm and Jiggety Pig.

I tidied it up just a bit for the photos, but mostly I wanted you to see what it really looks like on a daily basis. I have two 6-foot tables set up in an is my work table and one is my projects table.

Here's an aerial view of the work table. This is where it all gets done! Sitting here, I have a nice view out of the front of the house. And everything I need is within arm's reach: my trusty Singer sewing machine, scissors, pin cushion, my most often used thread colors, a tiny green glass cup that contains my most often used buttons for quickly making buttonholes, a glass of water (always!...except about 4:00 p.m. when I often have a cup of tea), bobbins, everything on my project table, and more.

To the right of the work table is the projects table. Anything I'm currently working on is here (white linen shirts), so I can grab each piece easily as I'm sewing. Some recently finished projects are hanging out here temporarily...a sneak peek at some new Christmas stockings for Wonderful Life Farm and a couple of boy's vests.

At the far left of the work table is my Rowenta Steam Station. What a lifesaver that is! When you sew as much as I do, you need a serious iron. If you've never seen one of these, it has a reservoir that holds a large quantity of water and can provide unlimited steam. And, most importantly, it does NOT automatically turn itself off, which is so annoying for people who sew.

The wall to the left of the work table has a recently installed, large bulletin board. I use this place to keep track of my schedule in a four-month spread of calendar pages, so I can see what projects are in the works, how much time I have for custom orders, reminders to do (the dreaded) accounting, etc.

I also pin visual inspirations for future projects, my classic stocking pattern, measurements for certain things, and the receipt of custom orders in progress.

You may be wondering why he is on my bulletin board. There's a good reason. Really! ;-) He's a visual reminder that, when I plan the Christmas stockings I'm making for Wonderful Life Farm for the year, to make sure I'm stocking something that a guy who looks like that might like...something wool and plaid and manly.

At the other end, I pin: patterns, more measurements, simple instructions, inspiration pictures, family pictures, and more.

Isn't this quite the couple though? I snatched this up at an antique store, because I loved the fine fit of her bodice, the great bustle, the unusual accent of that large brooch on her upper skirt, and her deadpan expression. I think she might've been a force to be reckoned with, don't you?

And if I'm sitting and sewing, straight ahead between the two front windows, is a short bookshelf filled with essentials. I prefer to find interesting storage containers to corral all the million and one things that accumulate in a sewing room. I use antique jars for thread and buttons, baskets for patterns, a hotel silver compote for brass thumbtacks, and wooden Shaker boxes for more buttons and ribbons.

In the corner and on the bookshelves (leftover from homeschooling days and still holding a fair number of books) is where I house all my fabric. I really try my best to keep only fabric that I actually use, and periodically I have a purge. A bunch of fabric recently went to the drama club of a local school for costumes and set use.

More custom storage solutions.

This is the newest section of my sewing room...the shipping station! I LOVE it! This is going to make the busy Christmas season SO much easier! Everything I need at my fingertips: boxes, tissue, twine, mailing labels, stationery, pens, tape. It's super functional and just seeing it thrills me a bit each day, I must admit. 

All my shipments receive a handwritten thank you note, because I truly just am so grateful for each and every customer choosing my shops. 

Over the shipping station is another, matching but smaller bulletin board. This one holds other inspirations that are related to the shops, but not necessarily the creative, sewing side of the some labels I find beautiful.

A sweet card from a dear friend congratulating me on my 500th Etsy sale (now I'm 800+!).

And it contains info on sources, including a photo torn from a magazine of one of my favorite corners in a truly lovely store in Fullerton, CA called Gilding the Lily. If you happen to live in the area, stop in and visit there. But since I'm 3,000 miles away, I keep this bit of velvet ribbon eye candy on my bulletin board.

I hope you enjoyed the tour! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Sabbath Rest

"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever."

- Psalm 52:8

Mother's Day Gifts from the Shops

Mother's Day is May 13th, and here are some gift suggestions from my shops, Wonderful Life Farm and Jiggety Pig. And, yes, I can ship directly to your Mom!

From Wonderful Life Farm, there are fragrant lavender sachets made from new and antique textiles. Click here.

And two different beach bags with vintage vibes. Click here and here.

And from Jiggety Pig, there are marketing totes, which is a particularly timely gift because farmers' market season is just around the corner! Here are some of my favorites...

Click here.

Click here.

Click here.

Click here.

Click here.

Currently Reading: 12 Rules for Life - An Antidote to Chaos

Since receiving my degree in human development (which is essentially a child psych. degree), I've become highly dubious of the field of psychology. It can be helpful, I will admit. But mostly it is staffed with people for whom the American Psychological Association has become their moral authority. They believe that if the APA says something is wrong, then it's wrong; and if they say something is right, then it's right. And what is right and wrong frequently changes with the APA.

As a Christian, I know that such moral authority rests with God and God alone. That is not to say that the field of psychology has not unearthed some fundamental truths about how the human brain and emotions work and has done much good. But it is important to remember, as Francis Schaeffer said, "All truth is God's truth." That being said, I am reading 12 Rules of Life - An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson. 

I'll admit that I never would've even picked this book up, except that I heard the author interviewed on the radio and found him to have uncommonly good common sense. AND, the radio host pointed out, he is not a professional in the field of psychology that dismisses the Bible. (In fairness, he doesn't dismiss any religion, but he does see how the Bible "helps" one find answers to life. Note again that, "All truth is God's truth.")

I'm five chapters into it (and may I add that the forward by Norman Doidge is stellar) and am enjoying it immensely. For the most part, I find it an excellent book for a good dose of common sense and probably a swift kick in the pants, which we all need from time to time. The fifth chapter (Rule #5), entitled "Do Not Let Your Children Do Anything That Makes You Dislike Them", ought to be required reading for every modern parent. It's a good check on whether or not you are too permissive, the most common problem today, or too restrictive. And the chapter (Rule #4) "Compare Yourself to Who You Were Yesterday, Not to Who Someone Else is Today" is thought provoking and more than a little sobering. The Christian will be able to pull God's truth out of this easily and would retitle the chapter " 'For it is God Who Works in You, Both to Will and to Work for His Good Pleasure' AND 'Thou Shalt Not Covet". But have you ever considered that comparing your personal character to someone else's may be covetousness? Sometimes a book like this, that reframes it all, makes you think anew of your sanctification and the Spirit works to convict us of sin through it.

I haven't finished the book yet, but so far...I'd highly recommend it!

Of Bridge and Butterscotch Brownies

My response to learning that our town had a teach-you-to-play-bridge group ran somewhere between tittering and excitedly intrigued. It was only a couple of years ago that I discovered a young friend, who definitely did not live in the 1950's, was part of a bridge group. To me, bridge belongs solidly in the sphere of the 1950's country club ladies' groups. Modern people really play it? How intriguing! It does sort of seem like something that any well-rounded woman ought to know how to sew and play tennis and mix a cocktail. I decided I'd go and learn!

Feeling like it was somewhat obligatory, I made sure to wear a string of pearls. I showed up right on time, only to find out it was not going to happen that night. The lady in charge nicely explained why and we chatted a bit. I told her, "I even wore pearls for the occasion," and she laughed. "I feel," I explained, "that I ought to have a plate with deviled eggs in one hand and a plate with a Jell-O in the other, just so I'll fit in." She was amused and said with a very decided air, "Oh no. Butterscotch brownies. That's it. BUTTERSCOTCH BROWNIES."  

Well, that was news to me. Is that the normal snack at a bridge club? I had no idea. But I can definitely take a hint!

Last week I showed up for bridge again. And it happened this time! Let me tell you...those 1950's country club ladies were not stupid. This seems quite complicated. As an extreme visual learner, I always struggle to learn new games...all those verbal directions make my mind shut down. But I wore pearls. And I brought butterscotch brownies. And I learned something, but realize I will have to go many more times to really get the hang of it. But the butterscotch brownies were a HIT! The recipe is a definite keeper, and you can find it here.

Summer Fruits are Here

Well...summer fruits might not be at the markets yet, but they've arrive in my Etsy shop, Jiggety Pig! I've made this marketing tote in the past, and it was a popular one. So, I'm really happy to be able to stock it again. And just in time for Mother's Day, if you're pondering over a gift! Click here to visit! 

Quiche Recipe

Recently, I took a meal to a family who just had their second child. I took quiche, a green salad, and a sweet bread. It's a good meal to take to a overwhelmed family, because it can be heated up a slice at a time, it can be eaten for dinner, it can be eaten for breakfast.

I like to have a couple big quiche-making days a year, where I make 4-6 of them at a time and pop them in the freezer until needed. Quiche is a great way to use up leftover ham from the holidays.


2 c. flour
1 t. salt
2/3 c. butter (absolutely NO Crisco!)
1/3 c. ice water

If you have a food processor, follow these instructions: In bowl of food processor, combine flour and salt and pulse ten times.
Cut butter into small pieces and add to food processor bowl. Pulse about 20 times.
Slowly pour in ice water over the course of about 10 seconds while the food processor is running. Process until it forms a ball and does a couple revolutions around the bowl.

If you do not have a food processor, follow these instructions: In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour and salt and stir to combine.
Cut butter into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Combine by rubbing with your fingertips until incorporated completely.
Stir in ice water and stir until completely combined.

For both methods, finish as follows: Remove from bowl and knead in hands for a few seconds. Form into a ball. Flatten into a 6” disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes.

Roll out on lightly floured surface and transfer to one deep-dish pie plate. Flute edges.

Makes enough for one, deep-dish quiche.


1 ½ c. meats of your choice, cooked (crumbled sausage, cubed ham, or crumbled bacon)
2 c. chopped vegetables of your choice (bell pepper, asparagus, mushrooms, onion, etc.)
1 large handful of greens of your choice (baby spinach, baby kale, arugula)
Chopped fresh herbs (opt.)
1 T. olive oil
¼ c. flour
1 ½ c. shredded cheese of your choice (cheddar, Swiss, smoked Gouda, etc.)
¼ c. Parmesan cheese (opt.)
7 large eggs, whisked (should equal about 1 ½ cups)
3 c. in a combination of: milk, half-n-half, or heavy whipping cream
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat oil in a heavy, large skillet. Saute vegetables until tender, adding meat, greens, and herbs at the end of cooking time and cooking until heated through and greens are wilted. Sprinkle flour over all and stir, cooking for 2-3 minutes more. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

While meat/vegetable/herb mixture cools, roll out pastry dough and line a deep-dish pie plate.

Whisk eggs, cream, salt, and pepper together. Add cooled meat/vegetable/herb mixture and cheeses and stir until combined. Pour into pastry shell.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until set in the middle. Test by inserting a knife into the center to see if it’s set.

Makes 8 servings.

To freeze them, just underbake about 5 minutes and freeze. To serve, thaw completely and reheat in a 350 degree oven until hot through.

An Afternoon in Newport, Rhode Island

Last week, Colette and I took off for a long-anticipated afternoon in Newport, Rhode Island. We had been watching the forecast for a week and were thrilled that temps were supposed to be in the upper-50's. It was finally going to feel like spring! We had our plans all lined up for the sights we wanted to see and the places we wanted to visit. We were off!

First stop was in Providence at PVDonuts, "Rhode Island's First Specialty Donut Shop". We don't often indulge in donuts, but when we're off exploring new towns, we treat ourselves. And it did not disappoint! The line was out the door, but the donuts were worth the wait.

We devoured a few, and brought these home with us to share: Passionfruit Filled, Maple Bacon, White Chocolate Raspberry, PVD Cream Filled, Fudge Oreo, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Our favorite, hands-down, was the Samoa (not pictured). Don't miss it if you pay them a visit.

One of my favorite things about living in New England is taking off down an unknown road and rounding a corner and discovering something unexpected and beautiful...a lake, a covered bridge, a quaint farmstand. Rarely do you round a corner, however, and have your jaw drop at the sight, which is exactly what happened when we spotted the Newport Country Club. Gorgeous!

Then it was down to the seashore. We're not sure what happened to those upper-50's temps forecast, but the wind was whipping, the sea was churning in moody colors, the sky was spitting rain, and we were freezing.

There's Colette encouraging me to come down those stairs. But I'm quite terrified of heights and a staircase with no railing on one side and just a rope to protect you from certain death on the other?!?! No way!

She had to come up and coach me down. I got to the end of the landing and that was it for me! It all stems from a childhood incident of getting "stuck" on a roof. Long story.

Nearby was the historic Castle Hill Inn. Isn't it gorgeous perched there looking out to sea? And since we were so cold we could barely feel our fingers, we headed off that direction for lunch.

Lunch views...

Back on the road and driving to our next stop, we passed Hammersmith Farm, which was the childhood summer home of Jacqueline Kennedy and the place where she and JFK wed.

Then we toured Rosecliff Mansion, the former home of a silver heiress from Nevada. It was one of the Newport Mansions that we didn't see last time we were there.

Then we drove back into the heart of the city for a little shopping. First stop was The Royal Male, where you enter through a cheery, red, Dutch door into a world filled with lambswool, tweed, Barbour coats, and all things British.

And then we stopped at the KJP store for all things preppy and nautical.

We grabbed some Starbucks for the long drive and headed towards home. It was a really fun day...a little nature and outdoors, a lovely inn lunch, wacky and tasty donuts, some historical architecture, and a bit of shopping. A good girls day out!
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