Welcome...

Grammy's House is a term affectionately used by our two grandchildren, Xavier and Sophia. Our sweet Sophia, resides here with us. We named our 100 year old Victorian home Rose Water Cottage when we moved here, in June of 2011. It is quite a haven for grownups who are weary of being grownups. So, welcome to our storybook world...where magic happens every day.
Blessings,
Christie

Storybook Cottage Crafts

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tell me a story, Grammy….

We take walks through our Storybook Town…

…and we pass Storybook Cottages…



  …and I take photos with my phone ..that has a cover.. that looks just like a book..




So on this particular day…of sunshine and blue skies…
Little girl, garbed in nightgown and Elsa costume and Bunny hat and black fuzzy boots…
running and playing before our walk…
took a tumble and scrubbed her knees.
Big Daddy Tim doctored them and we were on our way…

But those knees hurt…and she wanted to show me …and wanted all to see her boo-boo's...


We continued on our walk ...and decided a visit to the Starbucks on the Corner of Main Street…
in our Storybook Town..
for a Blueberry Yogurt "Nuffin"
and a drink box of Apple Juice
was just the thing to make us feel better.




"Let's go, Grammy…" she says….


…but Grammy is posting these sweet photos and says, "I'll be right there…"

To which Sophia replies, as she heads back to the tiny table where I sit, "Grammy, tell me a story…."

So I open my Storybook Cover to my phone….
and I pull up the photos …
and I commence storytelling…

"Once upon a time there was a little girl named Sophia (She always likes to hear stories about herself)
…and having had a terrible tumble, she suffered with her bandaged boo-boo's.
She wanted all to see, just how terribly terrible they were…

She looks at the photo and grins…


Grammy the storyteller, continues…

"It is decided that a treat is in order. A Blueberry muffin and Apple Juice is found to be just the thing for making boo-boos feel better…"

Again, she looks at the photo, smiling….


"When the muffin is eaten and the juice is sipped….all is well, and little Sophia is ready to climb into her carriage for the ride through our Storybook Town…."


The "book" is closed and with a bit of a hop…lacking the usual bounciness…our girl is ready for the remainder of our walk…
back to our very own Storybook Cottage…


The mail has arrived, and the long awaited Storybook Fabric has arrived, along with a vintage dress pattern…


Sophia is off to the park with Big Daddy…after her afternoon nap…

and Grammy begins the pinning and cutting…


I haven't created a garment (using pattern and fresh new fabric) in many moons…and what memories flood my mind. Singer sewing classes in Junior High…sewing seersucker skirts as a young bride…making maternity clothes during my first pregnancy…more seersucker tops and skirts created, as a young mommy…and Laura Ashley dresses and jumpers in the late 80's and early 90's…
…and then life got busy….
…and the sewing machine was packed away…

What a glorious feeling to be back at it, at this stage in my life. How I wish I had had the time to sew for my little girl, but alas, she followed two boys…and my time was spent going back to school to become a teacher.

So, now, there's this little granddaughter…
and we live in this little house…
and we read and tell and act out stories and nursery rhymes…and there's time..
Time to create and sew and write and paint.

Sophia arrives home from the park and runs through the cottage to find me…to tell me all about the fun she's had with her Big Daddy…and she sees this project on the farm table.
I tell her, "This will be your Easter dress…see? It's Alice in Wonderland! and there's foxgloves and roses and rabbits and teacups…"
And she is beside herself with joy…."…and doze are awww her frwiends!" as she points to the other characters.

And I think to myself….  I am so thankful that these efforts in story telling and nursery rhyme reading and imagination encouraging are the very thing this little girl needed.

I am mindful of the grace and mercy God is showering over me, at 53 1/2 years old, to have the energy and physical strength to continue this daunting task. …raising one tireless, bouncing, chattering, never slow down ever, little girl.

Blessings, from this Grammy …living life in our Storybook World

Monday, March 16, 2015

Come, as we walk along the streets of our Storybook Town

"On a fairly lovely spring day, when all the trees wore flowers and all the flowers were abloom…"


So begins the story… the little book I wrote and illustrated in 2012 celebrating our life in Franklin, Tennessee… A Whimsical Tale of our Storybook Town…(Inspired and encouraged to write this tale, by our friend Dale Powell. She and her husband have a wonderful shop on W. Main Street…William Powell Home & Garden)

 ….and this is Fair Street…


….and the "flowers were abloom.."



"Felicity spies the glittery candles and velvet pumpkins in a French Boutique."


Avec Moi, with it's owner/designer extraordinaire, Bob, is one of our most favorite shops along Main Street. He creates tablescapes that are truly a sight to behold…



The velvet pumpkins…and now velvet strawberries... by Hot Skwash are sheer sweetness. We love the vignettes Bob creates….




"As they come upon the toy shoppe with such delightful window displays…"


Sophia loves this shop on Main Street..as it carries her beloved Calico Critters.

"…in search of packets of Foxglove seeds in the garden shoppe. He loves to look at the beautiful flowers on the envelopes."


You've never seen a cozier, gardener friendly shop…with the dearest owner, Sherri…and Sophia loves that she carries a line of items for our resident Fairies.

Our little granddaughter has fallen in love with the beauty that surrounds us in our little town…
…and she says she must snap a photo, as well…


We love that our neighbors write beautiful quotes on the chalkboard hanging on their front porch…


It reads…"Spring rains woke the dormant tillers, bright green shoots sprang from the moist earth and rose like sleepers stretching after a long nap." The Infinite Sea

Then we come upon a darling frog…sitting 'neath his umbrella…as the fountain gurgles and spills and splashes…


This stone "Falling Leaf Cottage" is straight out of a storybook…


…and the entryway of this home….well, my goodness… I was enchanted and could only think of the Secret Garden…


Looking up at the pristine steeple against a cloudless blue sky …the varying shades took my breath…and the birds fluttering about, were singing praises to our Maker….


So to walk…pushing a buggy/stroller…with a chattering, hopping in and out, jumping, skipping, "the sun's in my eyes can we stop and pet that puppy did you see those flowers can you run with me do I have to hold your hand I want to hold Grammy's hand I want to hold my own hands" 4 year old little girl, is going to provide enough cardiovascular/get yourself-back-in-shape exercise. Don't you think?


…and along the way…I'll snap photos…and be thankful for that man's hand that holds the little hand of that little girl….


*********

When we arrived home, with a fresh dose of energy, I searched through dusty boxes and tubs and finally came upon the container that had served as home to my childhood friend, Mrs. Beasley, since our move, here, 4 years ago….


I have been so anxious to find her,
as I want to add her photo in the pages of my new book ..
Eliza Meets Ella Grace Louise,
for it is dedicated to that wonderful librarian I loved as a new student in a new school,
who helped me discover a whole new world…
Miss Beasley…
who also had a Mrs. Beasley doll in her library at Eastern Elementary School, in Red Oak, Georgia.
She later married and became Mrs. Dean.
Oh, how I would love to find her.
If you know her…hug her…and help me get in touch.

Blessings

Remember…all my books and pretties and Grammy & Marmeé items are available on my "Storybook Cottage Crafts" Etsy Shoppe. Look for the link at the top of the post. Many Thanks!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Bridal Fair….

The Grammy & Marmee Effie Belles and Wedding Belles (my embellished ballet slippers named after my Grandma Effie Belle) are creating a bit of a stir….and we were invited to have a booth at Rippavilla Plantation's Bridal Fair.

Last Saturday night I began working on a custom order for a little flower girl -to-be….
I had relaxation instrumental music playing on the computer…
The cottage was quiet ...sweet little Sophia was off to a cousin's birthday party…
Notions and ribbons assembled…
Commence...



The colors for the roses were to be browns and gold…




Husband brought home an old picnic hamper from the Antique shop down the lane, and it became the perfect place to stash ballet slippers and a sewing basket holding all the silk ribbons and notions…


I love this antique set of tiny boxes, pin cushion, and needle keeper..
A gift from Marmeé….last summer…before we knew we would collaborate...


While I was working, an order came in for a Miss Opal's Thimble necklace with Hand-Dyed hydrangea blue silk ribbon…


 I was so tickled with the tiny "Belles"… that come with my linen lavender-filled sachets tucked inside…


So before I would send them out by post…
I would be able to display them at the Bridal Fair today.

I had acquired a vintage Laura Ashley prairie style wedding dress, last fall…
before I knew I would be creating Wedding Belles …

(forever thankful to my college friend Denise Patnode, for spying my silk-embroidered sachets …requesting a ring bearer's pillow, as her son would be getting married this past February and then inquiring if I could make some white-on-white "Effie Belles".. which led to the term "Wedding Belles"...for the flower girls and her daughter-in-law-to-be.
Do you see what wonderful adventures are in store when you say YES …and try something new?)

...and before I even dreamed that I would be asked to be a vendor at a Bridal Fair…


It became the perfect prop …on the old victorian dress form I've affectionately referred to as "Old Gal."

Now It was time to prepare my ensemble for the event, and I had just a bit of help from little sidekick seamstress, Sophia.
She said, as she measured…"Da wace is 57 8 9 2 wong…Da back is 59 big…"
Okie Dokie.
I didn't argue.


My sweet girlfriend, Embi had given me instruction to keep some of the Victorian Lace for a project of my own.
This strip was the perfect length (as measured above and found to be perfectly perfect)
I attached it with a blanket stitch and placed our label above…anchored with vintage buttons…


Marmeé had originally created the dress as a nightgown, from a vintage damask tablecloth.
She gifted it to me, and I had embellished the front with a lace panel, a salvaged monogram from the handkersniff that had wrapped Eliza Mouse on our journey to Martha's Vineyard, and a ribbon embellishment from a Victorian crocheted piece…
….this was before we knew we would be collaborating…and I would need to change the label from "Little Cowgirl" to "Grammy & Marmeé"….



The car is packed, and we are on our way…
Smile sweet girl…


Husband/Big Daddy led the way in the truck and would take little missy to spend the afternoon with family in neighboring Thompson's Station.

We arrive at Rippavilla Plantation in Spring Hill, Tennessee, on the most gorgeous day of all …blue skies…birds singing…
and I find my table…and I position Old Gal in her Laura Ashley…and I drape the bunting…
the bunting that waves hello...


….and Eliza sits in her daybed…and greets the brides-to-be…and the mothers of the grooms…and the mothers of the brides…and the fiancés of the brides-to-be…and she is so proud that all love her little books and recipe cards and coloring books….


Sachets and Effe Belles and Wedding Belles…"blanks"…"in the works"….complete.... All can see the stages from start to finish….


….and the mothers of the brides-to-be spy Old Gal…and they remember these beautiful vintage dresses…and Laura Ashley…and they Sigh….


There are vendors with beautiful cakes …and flowers…there are photographers…and honeymoon planners….


and we congregate under this massive white tent that covers a bricked courtyard…
with the loveliest fountain…
trickling and setting such a delightful ambience for the afternoon…


…and there are even more vendors inside the Mansion.
But I come to this cake.
It is magnificent.
The creator began his craft after he turned 50…
hmmmm…
a kindred spirit.
His handmade roses were exquisite…


At the end of the fair…I wandered inside and found the florists as they were dismantling their magnificent displays. As I was melting into a puddle…she asked if I would like one of the Cabbage Rose blooms.
Be.Still.Heart.


As we were leaving the courtyard…all packed up…Sophia chattering and twirling along the path…
the vendor's husband walked by with an arrangement, saw twirly chatter bug, and offered her one of the very same blooms I had tucked in my basket.
She loved on it and sniffed it and tucked it in her carseat cupholder and sniffed it some more.
Can you guess which bloom is hers?

What a lovely event
on a perfectly glorious day
on the weekend before Spring.

How happy is my heart, for I was reacquainted with a beautiful grandmother who had purchased my little books 2 years ago…for her granddaughter Eliza. That beautiful little girl is about to turn 2!
Such serendipity. Or as a friend once said, "Some call these Co-incidents…I call them God-incidents."

I am most thankful for God's blessings, as He brought me through this week that involved 3 nights in the hospital, a CT scan and MRI…and finally a clean bill of health.
Life is fragile.
We count our blessings.
We give God the Glory.
We love well.

Blessings to you and yours!