Wednesday, December 24, 2008

peaceful and content at home for Christmas

~the dearest place on earth to those that live there~
The old farmhouse is dressed in her best. A snowy white winter gown edged in glistening cedar and fir. She smiles knowing her rooms glow... with shining wooden floors and flowers bloom in old pots.
Candles are glowing in every window,
there's a good crackling fire in the hearth and wood smoke curls from her chimney.
The scent of cookies baking and
the fir tree shining with tarnished silver and gingerbread.
The music of laughter and love of old friends & dear family fills every corner. The old farmhouse wraps herself around us and sighs... peaceful and content. ~~ As we begin our family Christmas here on Deerfield, I wish for you the blessings of family and home, the Merriest of Christmases and a most joyous and peaceful New Year.
~~
with love to you my Dear friends on this Christmas Eve,
Christine & family Deerfield Farm

Monday, November 24, 2008

peace & plenty

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
sending my wishes
for a blessed Thanksgiving to you all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a gentle heart



" Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics,
when women of high thought and accomplishment love to sew....
especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts

while so occupied....
~Nathaniel Hawthorne~

Friday, November 14, 2008

a little bit of Christmas for you in somerset and romantic homes

Somerset Studio December 2008

there's a little story in the December issue of
Somerset Studio about my dollies and how they came to be.
I'm so very pleased with it, they made it so pretty,
I hope you enjoy it.
~~~

romantic homes~ December 2008
I've been making these old paper candy containers for a long time. During Christmas especially to hold special
gifts and treasures
and as sweet little gifts themselves. ~~~
I've hung them on the Christmas tree, and made them for the dolls to carry their own little chocolates. (see my Queen Anne in Somerset with her little candy container?) I bet you didn't know that Queen Anne dollies need lovely chocolates just as much as we do!
~~~
I've hung them with ribbons from the back of each dining room chair as a small favor for guests during holidays. ~very beautiful by candlelight when hung from the crystals on the chandeliers~
~~~
You could cover your boxes with beautiful old fabrics, color copies of beautiful old pictures or use treasured sepia photos.
I have used these beautiful little glass encased pretties made for me by my dear friend, Cathy, as the centers of the paper rosettes, as beautiful dangles hanging from silk ribbons ties and as gifts nestled inside the tiniest boxes.
the pattern is found in Romantic Homes for you to use. I hope you enjoy making lots of them for your loved ones.

~Merry Christmas!~

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

being the light

"There are two ways of spreading light;
to be
The candle, or the mirror
that reflects it."
~
edith wharton
1862-1937
~
I've been thinking quite often about the kind of light I want to reflect ...
...that I hope I reflect
for myself, for my friends and for my family. I have two little grandchildren and a new little one is coming!
I want so much to give.
To be a light for them in all the ways I can.

~

When my grandchildren are all grown, I want to be remembered as
being full of life & light. That I shared what I love with all of them, that living simply and joyfully is important.
and most of all, To be Kind.
~ That our actions are important. To be happy, optimistic and full of light.
To be a gift to ourselves and to others.
~
In our family, the gifts we give are most always a gift of an experience. Spending time together doing something special. Not so much a wrapped present, but one that they can remember with a smile for the rest of their lives.
~
I spent part of this summer gathering things together from here & there.
My best find was a huge old cast iron kettle. I waited until our bee keeper friend could melt down our wax for us. The the proper candle wicks were found, cut saplings for our dipping sticks and drying racks & lots of dry apple wood for the fire. Finally, the day came when everything we might need to make this
a special time for our family was gathered and ready.
~ The fire under the old kettle was lit and had to be coaxed. The huge cakes of yellow beeswax were carefully slid into the hot water and began to melt.
It was working!
and so, we all dipped bees wax candles down in the old apple orchard. I could see the faces of all my family as we gathered around that smoky fire on a beautiful autumn afternoon, Smiling and laughing as they all took turns at dipping their wicks into the huge pot
of melted wax.
We weren't sure that we were doing it right, but it didn't matter. Seeing the rows of beautiful candles hanging up and cooling in the wooden racks, my grandson dangling precariously from a branch in the old cherry tree overhead, my little grand daughter hanging tight onto me, watching closely as I helped her dip her candles,too...
everyone was smiling and laughing, smoky and happy.
It was just right.
the best light of all.

an afternoon's worth of candle dipping

made from our own bees wax

Friday, October 31, 2008

on this cold, dark and rainy All Hallow's eve....

wandering from room to room in the creaky old farmhouse,
Sukey makes sure that all
is well this dark, cold & rainy All Hallow's Eve.
The hour is late.
A good fire is crackling in the kitchen hearth & just one candle is lit.
The wind howls down the old chimney and blows billows of smoke out into the room.
a cold rain pounds against the old farmhouse & rattles the windows...
There came a knock at the old kitchen door.
It blew open with a great gust of wind and rain
sending a swirl of wet leaves into the warm & dark kitchen...
and with it came
visitors.....
please join Sukey at the old Deerfield Farmhouse
for a bit of All Hallow's Eve story telling
later today...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

an almost sleepy hollow day

It was almost a sleepy hollow day, but now the ghostly mist
that rose up
from the pond early this morning
has faded into the nearly bare trees.
Pale leaves swirl past my windows. I can't help but lay my sewing down and step outside.
The air is chill and the leaves are crisp underfoot.
I made a fire down in the orchard, burning some of the leaf piles
so I can plant bulbs in the orchard gardens.
It's very pleasant,even tho it's grey and dark...
my favorite kind of day.
an almost sleepy hollow day.
Days like these remind me of places and people I love.
I wonder what they might be doing this very minute
as I pile more leaves onto the smoky fire.
I send my thoughts to them as the smoke rises into the air
and swirls around the bare branches
of the old apple trees.
I wonder if my thoughts arrive in a swirl of smoke
to my loved ones...
do they know it's from me?
Wading ankle deep through yellow leaves, hands in my pockets, I feel
renewed and almost giddy.
I walk back
into the warm dark house,
to my chair by the fire.
I'm like a little child looking out of the school room window. I'm bent over my needle work and sew another seam...
I look out at the yellow leaves floating past my windows.
Just one more seam and another knot tied.
I have to lay my sewing down and go for a longer walk through the leaves...
while the air is crisp and chill.
While the light is just right
and the leaves swirl all around me
I love each season but none so much as when fall comes.
There's a peacefulness to it, a serene and quiet time
to enjoy things more slowly.
I hope that you are enjoying this lovely fall as much as possible.
yrs,
Christine

Monday, October 6, 2008

wooded path

~walking into the past~
wooded path into Williamsburg
the autumn wood the aster knows,
the empty nest, the wind that grieves,
the sunlight breaking thro' the shade.
the squirrel chattering overhead,
the timid rabbits lighter tread
among the rustling leaves...
dora read goodall
~~~
from the very moment I step onto the broken shell path, the world behind me falls away.
no sounds but for breeze in the trees and sheep in the pasture below.
life moves slowly here
giving way to breathing free, my spirit opens,
hope gathers.
my feet want to fly down the path,
but then I stop and gather it all in ...
savoring
wood smoke trailing from a chimney,
the sound of birds chirping in the berry bushes...
this is where my soul lives.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October

Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
There's the sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn....
~a verse from the Autumn equinox~
~~~
This has been one of the longest summers I've spent since childhood.
the days were achingly beautiful under deep blue skies,
the sight of deer bringing their fawns to live in the fields.
15 pairs of ears and eyes
peeking up over the endless waves of wheat waving in the wind.
no sound but for the hum of crickets, the scent of hot sagebrush and juniper in the breeze
and meadowlarks darting from creek to nest.
the fields seemed to grow overnight, stretching towards the gold pink dawns
drinking up every bit of water we gave them, hot in the mid day sun
cool and wet at dusk.
every field of wheat, every leaf of fragrant tumbling mint and rows of
pungent garlic are harvested.
now safe and sound and under cover.
We sit and rest on the edge of the earth and watch the red sun going down over
mountains on fire.
The deer,now grown, walk gingerly through the stubbled wheat.
another season has passed.
and I am grateful that this summer has been as blue skied and never ending
as those summers we knew as children.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the road to Tasha's

~the road to Tasha Tudor's home in the woods of Vermont~
~~~



it's been over a month now since our dear
Tasha Tudor went home. I still find myself feeling as though I have lost a dear friend.
What an extraordinary person she was, what a wonderful life she made. Living her dreams in every way following her heart.
If only we all were so brave.
~~~
I took this road with my dear friend, Gayle, one hot summer morning and found myself in another world, as though I had stepped back in time and was a part of it all. The woodsmoke in the air, no noise but for bird song and the slight rustle of leaves.
I was not ready for how loudly my heart sang that morning
~~~
may God bless you, dear Tasha.
you've made a beautiful and indelible mark on my life and the lives of all those who found you.
a warm light,
bright and shining in our hearts.
~~
I hope that this finds that she is right where she wanted to be.
Gone back to her life in the 1830's,
enjoying her flowers by the kitchen doorway this beautiful morning, Canton tea cup in hand with corgi puppies at her feet.



Friday, July 4, 2008

let us then live in peace

a wonderfully wise man,
our
Thomas Jefferson
~
born in Shadwell, Virginia
on Apr. 13, 1743
and died at his beloved home, Monticello
in Charlottesville, Virginia
July 4, 1826,
the 50th anniversary
of the Declaration of Independence

Saturday, June 7, 2008

and then....sun

after a long grey day
the sun slipped
below the clouds as she went to wake up the rest of the world
and gave us a smile before she went on her way.
it seemed a much longer sunset than usual,
it made the fields a honey gold and long shadows across the grass
and so
my Bella & I sat together
and let it soak in
~*~
the thankful heart
...will find, in every hour,
some heavenly blessings
Henry Ward Beecher

Saturday, May 24, 2008

remembrance

of those that live in our hearts.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

mothers day

I keep this picture in my purse.
it has lived in every purse I have had for 28 years.
the little people here are my children.
my son, 2 years old and my daughter is 5 years old,
and the way you see them here...their bright and shiny spirits...
is how they are today.
oh, yes, they may be a little taller...
still, the same bright shiny little faces.
they have so much love for each other
and for those around them.
when they were very small, it was just the 3 of us
for quite sometime.
they saved my life every day.
without them life would have been a vast open sea
without land in sight.
it has been a glorious garden with them in it.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

our sunday

warm sun,
soft and fragrant air,
royal anne cherry
clouds of spectacular bloom,
frogs content in the pond,
hens asleep under the old lilac,
a double white narcissus between them,
a tiny pansy
blooming by the old gate
balm for a winter weary soul

Friday, May 2, 2008

thank you

Thank you everyone who sent such lovely notes & emails telling me how
much you've enjoyed your time
while visiting me here at The Pastoral Doll maker this past year.
~
Thank you from my heart.
~
I have to say that many of your letters
put a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.
I'm so glad to know that you have enjoyed
my writings, my stories and images about our life here
on Deerfield Farm .
I loved reading every one
of your letters.
thank you all so very much.
~
with love
on this day
and always,
Christine
~~~

Thursday, May 1, 2008

the first of may


from my humble garden to you
happy first day of May

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

my first year blog anniversarie celebration & news

One evening, over a year ago now, I sat with my daughter on her bed playing
with her lap top...
"oh, I've got to get one of these!" I said, emphatically.
Speaking of her lap top, of course, and exclaiming over her then new blog
How luxurious,I thought to myself. To sit upon your bed and sail the world over!
To visit exciting places and wonderful people,
seeing such things that I had no idea even existed.
things that can only be dreamt of.
and so~~~~~
with Katie's help,
The Pastoral Doll Maker was born that very evening.
From my chair by the window I can see our farm unfolding hill upon hill, dressed in her best soft green gown of spring...
the twittering of the meadow lark, the sound of contented frogs
singing from the newly filled pond.
oh! there's the scent of crab apple blossoms catching me by surprise while I write.
and I can share it all first hand.
This has been a wonderful year of learning, of growth & discovery and I am grateful for all of you, my dear friends, new & old, who have come to Deerfield Farm
for a visit & peppermint tea on the porch or
for a walk through the fields with me.
I have visited & made new friends in countries all over the world from my old wing chair.
all while sitting here, snug, by the crackling fire on snowy winter evenings.

~*~

To celebrate my First year blog Anniversarie,

I invite you to write a sentence or two, a paragraph maybe and tell me what you have enjoyed most while visiting me here this year...

and what you would like to see & hear more of.

This is your entry into the First Anniversarie Celebration.

Mr Fine Pigg is away for a few weeks away to visit his family at the neighboring farm
and so I will be drawing the name of a lucky someone who leaves their kind thoughts.
There is a lovely Paper Trifle to be given away~
hand made especially for this occasion.
The winner will be chosen on Friday, May 2, 2008 shortly before my
Sweet Springe Celebration
beginning at 5 pm that First Friday of May.
I hope that when you do come for a visit,
that you'll feel comfortable and please leave a comment.
~please leave your name and a way for me to contact you~
I love to hear from everyone and will do my best to do the same for you.
I look forward to hearing from you~
with love
on this day,
Christine
~*~
ps. I have heard from a little bird that the newest issue of Artful Blogging may contain
a little something about The Pastoral Doll Maker.
April 24***after traveling for hours and miles
and spending my children's inheritance for gas...
I have not yet found the newest issue of Artful Blogging.
We sat on the floor in front of the artist's & crafter's
magazine shelves
at Barnes & Noble
had wonderful mocha's.
We basked in the heady coffee aroma & delightful atmosphere
of a real live book sellers .
Spent some delicious time looking through
all the newest magazines,
but did not find the one issue
I was looking for.
it surely is coming ... and it is somewhere...
my little bit of being published is not in the Spring 2008 issue.
but rather the Summer 2008 issue
on the newsstands May 1.
I can be patient....being surrounded by rows upon rows
and piles of books
and other bookish people was heaven.
double mocha's and patience...do they mix?
ah yes, they do for me.
I have not yet seen this little bit of story about the dolls myself,
but I hope to very soon.
love,C

Sunday, March 23, 2008

a blessed easter

early spring garden in Colonial Williamsburg
~~~
Easter has come very early this year...
most times there are enough tiny blooms
to make my own bouquet for Easter brunch,
but this year,
just one tiny daffodil is bravely
blooming down in the orchard.
My treasures, the old black hens,
are fluffed and snug under the old budded lilac.
The promise of spring is evident,
just not yet here.
In my heart I visit a peaceful, green,
lovely and serene brick walk
in one of my most beloved places to visit.
From my home,
I'll share a fragrant and fresh bouquet of
white crabapple blossoms
from the old knarled crabapple tree
with you.
sending wishes to you all
for a beautiful
Easter with those you love all around you.
and hopefully -
a lovely chocolate bunny
who is most definitely hard of hearing.
with love to my friends,
on this blessed Easter day,
Christine
Deerfield Farm

Thursday, March 13, 2008

more love letters of home

I adore this early mirror. It belonged to a wonderful old friend
who spent her life collecting early things.
She lived her love of early.
Everything she did was connected to another time.
The first time I visited her, I was put to work washing lambs wool
in an old trough. She was busy making mead that day.
My chalk ware lamb is precious,
Netty made her for me a long time ago.
early morning light falling on my favorite
linen toile pillow.
I have had this lovely old brown linen toile
in my home since we first came to
Deerfield Farm...it's all in pastoral farming scenes.
I do love it.
Notice the young man ....
in every vignette
he is lazing about while the ladye works hard
at harvesting the wheat, tending her lambs,
turkies & hens and milking the cow.
I can't help but laugh at the look she gives
him.
I'm quite sure he's imagining the wonderful supper she's going to be
making for him .... just as soon as her
chores are all done, of course.
what was the old broom closet at the end of the hallway.
I took the door off
and fitted it with shelves
and painted it all a creamy white
to display some of my old white ironstone.
Perfect.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

love letters of home


late afternoon light dances
across the walls
glowing golden on
early quilted petticoats and bonnets.
I like to think of the quiet little corners of my home as love letters to myself and my family.
You know, when you put together a little place that feels just right, with your treasured things. and then, when the light comes through, it surprises you with just how pretty it is...
the feelings that come from experiencing it for the few brief moments that the light comes through and you know how much you love where live...
then looking forward to the next little moment when the light changes again.
these are my love letters of home.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

every doll has a story


Every doll has a story.
And for as long as I can remember my dolls have told me their stories, their dreams and secret wishes and thoughts. Long before they were dolls, they were stories in my thoughts, sketches on paper, most of the time they come to me in my sleep.
For me, the dolls have lives just as interesting and varied and as real as you and I.
and so, I would like to share these stories of the dolls with all of you.
All of you, my dear readers, who have written such wonderful letters to tell me how much you love & enjoy my dolls and their stories, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I have begun something special for all of you that you may continue to enjoy the dolls and their stories from Deerfield Farmhouse.
a window into the Deerfield Doll House the dolls & their stories
Here you will find all the adventures and goings on with the daily lives of
the Ladyes of Deerfield Farm;
Mr. Jefferson, the handsome gentleman farmer from Virginia
who, besides his great desire to experience farming on the western frontier,
has come to call on the Ladyes of Deerfield Farm
along with a wonderful and interesting cast of characters throughout.

*a small note*
~and this is all in good fun~
~not wishing to injure any Dear Reader with delicate sensibilities~
Life for the dolls is not unlike that of real folks, with the joys and trials of everyday life and perhaps,
a secret romance may be found.
So, my dears, if it is just a pretty doll story that you want to read,
you may wish to avert your eyes from the story and gaze upon the pretty pictures I have thoughtfully added just for that very reason.
again, this is all in good fun
I hope you enjoy!
sending love,
Christine
and
the Deerfield Dolls

Monday, January 28, 2008

winter morning




There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you....
In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other;
only in the winter, in the country,
can you have longer, quiet stretches
when you can savor belonging to yourself.
~Ruth Stout

Thursday, January 24, 2008

poppets & trifles

hello dear Friends,
This evening
begins my first
website offerings for this new year.
In Celebration of the
Sweets of Love
with
Poppets & Trifles
We hope that you will come for a visit to Deerfield Farmhouse
this evening
January 25
5 pm pacific time
and for especially lovely handmade paper trifles and dolls
Valentine's Day will soon be here....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

pretty girls

why hello young ladies, don't you look pretty!
May I take your picture? well, I would love to...what do you think, Elisabeth?
just let us get prettied up first...oh dear...let's get Sophie's
crown back on again...Elisabeth, you look nice....
hold on while I
fluff my hair a little
we're ready!
oh, such pretty girls!
smile!
my grand daughter, Emma, who is
2 1/2
~thank you very much~
and playing nicely with my
old German papier mache dolls

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

the road not taken...

Whenever I'm out walking in the hills around our farm,
the wind in my face, the sky overhead
and the hills around me.
It's then that the beginnings,
the middles and endings of poems
that I love...
by
Thoreau or Robert Frost come to mind.
maybe you do this, too? I hope so.
When I first saw this picture that my little grandson, Ethan, took,
my first thought was
"wow...just look what Ethan did"
and then I heard
"I took the one less traveled by
and that has made all the difference."
You see the old farmer is "precariously perched"
on an unfamiliar road
and yet he looks quite satisfied with the view....
ah yes,
The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost