Monday, April 30, 2012

Mystery Solved

Posted by, Paulette

For the last few months I have been feeling like I'm going crazy. My brain tells me to eat healthy, but my body is craving salt and vinegar potato chips and sugar. I know I should be making smart food choices and working out, and I just don't feel the motivation to do so. I wish I did. Good things are happening in my life; I'm selling dolls, and I' going on vacation in a week to Florida to visit family. And I get to stay for two whole weeks! I should be so excited to go, right? All I can think about is how I'm about to bust out of my size 16 jeans. I do not want to be a size 18 again! 
My usual mood has been a little depressed, which is totally not like me. I am a really cheerful person. And my hubby is feeling so neglected in the bedroom. Again, not like me.  And I've been exhausted all the time, even when I've had a full night's sleep. And then I woke up one morning covered in sweat. Things are starting to make sense. Looks like my 39th year will be the one that I start perimenopause.
I wouldn't have even known what this was except I remember seeing an episode of Oprah years ago about it. Thank heavens for Oprah. 

The things that I remembered were, cut out the sugar and caffeine, to reduce the hot flashes. Hot flashes? That's a joke. It was 103 today in sunny Arizona. It always feels like I'm having a hot flash here. So I guess I'll be sticking my head in the freezer soon, huh?
 The good news is that I've been doing some research, and there's a lot to be learned from the internet. I'm already drinking soy milk every day, and that's supposed to help. Time to wean myself off the sugar...and maybe the chocolate. I'll have to confirm that one too. At least I don't have to stop smoking, because I never started. and I guess the girls and I will be visiting the gym more often. And maybe getting to bed before 11pm won't be so bad.

Friday, April 27, 2012

No Tomato Marinara

Posted by, Paulette

I've been experimenting with this for a couple of months and I'm pretty excited to share.

So what's a girl to do when she can't eat tomatoes and she LOVES spaghetti sauce? 
Find a recipe online for no tomato marinara sauce and tweak it.
I'll bet you didn't even know that you could make a red sauce with no tomatoes, did you? And why would you? Unless you have an allergy to nightshade vegetables. Sounds pretty awful, huh? When I hear the word nightshade I think of deadly nightshade, the poison. 
To some people tomatoes are poison. They get migraine headaches, joint pain, and maybe even hives. That's me...and a couple of my friends too. 
 My favorite food growing up was spaghetti. Mom used Prego in a jar, and ground beef. I learned how to make my own sauce by simmering down tomatoes for 4 hours, and then sauteing up some garlic and onions and whatever else I wanted to throw in there. I've made all kinds of red sauces, and I would eat them for breakfast lunch and dinner!
 And then I started having reactions to foods. And my life changed drastically.  This recipe will fool you into thinking that you're eating tomato sauce if you've been off of tomatoes for a while. 

2-14 ounce cans of pumpkin puree
(the original recipe calls for canned carrots, but, alas, I run into another allergy. So use whatever you want. Sweet potatoes would work well here too)
2 small or 1 large beet(s) peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 celery stalks chopped
1 large onion chopped fine or 1 large fennel bulb chopped fine 
(Again, onion is one of my allergens. So use what you like)
1 whole bulb of garlic peeled and chopped
4-5 large lemons
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, or apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar
(the idea is to get a ton of acid into the mixture. All of those will work, just use what you have on hand.)
Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 
a big handful of fresh chopped basil 
Leave the basil out if you want to use this mock tomato sauce for all kinds of recipes.
some kind of sweetener, I use stevia or honey to taste

Peel and prick your beet, and put it in the microwave to cook until you can easily insert a fork into it. When it's done, throw it into a blender with about 2 cups of water and 1 can of the pumpkin puree.
Heat up a large stock pot and saute the onions (or fennel bulb), celery and garlic. When they are soft, add the juice from 4-5 lemons, and mix in the pumpkin puree and the beet and pumpkin mixture. Stir in the vinegar, salt and pepper and the basil. Add water to make the sauce to the consistency that you like, and then add the sweetener to taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Just long enough to meld all those tastes.

This makes a good size pot of sauce. I like to use it over the top of homemade gluten free meatballs. I also add it to soups instead of tomato sauce, and it makes a great gluten free, vege lasagne. 

Last night I made a chili with it from some leftover black beans soup. The soup was really easy.
1 LB black beans
1 bulb of garlic  hand full of dried oregano
1 TBS cumin
enough water to cover, and then more water later.
Sea salt to taste. About 1 tablespoon for the whole pot

This I cooked in the crock pot all day. 
Last night I browned a pound of ground turkey, and a couple of zucchini chopped into 1/2 inch pieces. And then about 3 cups of the sauce.

This is why I make such a large pot. I use little bits of it all week in all kinds of dishes. And I have no allergic reactions!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sometimes We Just Need To REST

Posted by, Paulette

Today this is what I feel like,

 This is actually what I look like.

A friend of mine posted this in her Facebook notes today.

The Girl in a Whirl
 by 'Dr. Sue'
(a.k.a. Vickie Gunther)

 Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
 You could do what I do
 If you only knew how.
 I study the scriptures one hour each day; I bake, I upholster, I 
scrub, and I pray.
 I always keep all the commandments completely; I speak to my little 
ones gently and sweetly.
 I help in their classrooms!
 I sew all they wear!
 I drive them to practice!
I cut all their hair!
 I memorize names of the General Authorities; I focus on things to 
be done by priorities.
 I play the piano!
 I bless with my talents!
 My toilets all sparkle!
 My checkbooks all balance!
 Each week every child gets a one-on-one date; I attend all my 
meetings (on time! Never late!)
 I'm taking a class on the teachings of Paul,
 But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all .
 I track my bad habits 'til each is abolished; Our t-shirts are 
 My toenails are polished!
 Our family home evenings are always delightful; The lessons I give 
are both fun and insightful.
 I do genealogy faithfully, too.
 It's easy to do all the things that I do!
I rise each day early, refreshed and awake; I know all the names of 
each youth in my stake!
 I read to my children!
 I help all my neighbors!
 I bless the community, too, with my labors.
 I exercise and I cook menus gourmet; My visiting teaching is done 
the first day!
(I also go do it for someone who missed hers.
It's the least I can do for my cherished ward sisters.) I chart 
resolutions and check off each goal; I seek each "lost lamb" on my 
Primary roll.
I can home-grown produce each summer and fall.
 But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all .
 I write in my journal!
 I sing in the choir!
Each day, I write "thank you's" to those I admire.
My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
 My kids get straight A's!
 And their bedrooms are clean!
 I have a home business to help make some money; I always look
beautifully groomed for my honey.
 I go to the temple at least once a week; I change the car's tires!
 I fix the sink's leak!
 I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread; I have all our meals 
planned out six months ahead.
 I make sure I rotate our two-years' supply; My shopping for 
Christmas is done by July!
These things are not hard;
 'tis good if you do them;
 You can if you try!
 Just set goals and pursue them!
 It's easy to do all the things that I do!
 If you plan and work smart, you can do them all, too!
 It's easy!" she said
 and then she dropped dead.

Okay, I'll give you a moment to clear the tears from your eyes from laughing.

I am so thankful for my talents. I am thankful for my family. And I have to tell myself that I am thankful for this:

 (That's just the clean laundry. The dirty laundry is still in the hall.)

And this:

 (Sink full of dirty dishes, dirty floor, a counter of stuff to be put away.)

The towel by the back door is there because one of the kids turned on the sprinkler and it was spraying that door. I had to open it to turn off the water. Again, another reason I am glad we don't have carpet there anymore.

And why should I be thankful for all of this? Because it means that I have a lot of family around to love me, and they are healthy to be making messes, and eating all of the good food that the Lord has provided. I should be thankful to be living in prosperous times, where I am more concerned about eating too much, than with where our next meal is coming from. 
 My house doesn't look like this all of the time, but often this is the state of things, and the other rooms aren't much better. But you know what?
We are all happy, and very busy! My friends feel comfortable about asking to spend the night on the fly, and they know that they are welcome to share dinner with us too. 
I do a lot of things, but I cant do them all at once. None of us can. 
The funny thing about the above poem, is I pretty much used it as a check list, and then laughed at myself for even thinking it!I find it interesting that exercise isn't mentioned in the poem....
 Today, I've decided to rest. Just a little bit. So please excuse the mess. If you drop by today, you're welcome to fold some laundry or wash some dishes. Make yourself at home!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Moster Book of Monsters

Posted by, Paulette

You've already seen pretty much what Hagrid looks like completed. I thought I'd show you the finishing touch. the Monster Book of Monsters!

It's made in the traditional way of book binding. The pages were cut to size and then sewn down the fold. Then they were glued to the spine, and then all of the fun stuff happened. I used fake fur glued to the outside of the book and then using scraps from Hagrids coat, eyelids were hot glued to some doll eyes and then glued to the front and center of the book. 
The tongue is a piece of ribbon clued to the inside of the book. I'm so glad I cut the buckles off an old pair of little girl's shoes before throwing them out, because they came in handy for making the belt that holds the book closed.

The Priesthood Blesses the Whole Earth

Posted by, Paulette

I was asked to give a  talk in sacrament meeting. This is my talk.

                    The Priesthood blesses the Whole Earth

When I was asked to give a talk on how the priesthood blesses the Earth, I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the topic. I was raised in the church and as a small child I remember the blessings my Dad gave me. I treasure my patriarchal blessing as my own personal scripture, and I have felt safe in my home after it was dedicated by my husband. My husband and I went together to pick out fabrics to make blessing gowns  for our precious babies for their blessings. I've had the privileged of watching three of our children be baptized, and confirmed by their father. Their tender father puts his hands on their heads before school each year to bless them. These blessings are a comfort to me as I send them away from home. There have been scary moments in hospitals when a blessing has helped in the healing of a very sick child and been a calming influence to me as an overwrought mother.  I have been blessed to have the influence of the priesthood in my home as a child and now as an adult.

But what of the other peoples of the Earth who are not members of the restored church of Jesus Christ? How does the priesthood bless their lives?
Our Father in Heaven loves all of his children regardless of religion. He blesses them in ways that they are not aware of.
If we think of the beginning of time, we realize that God's influence has been felt all over the Earth.

Robert D Hales said:
"Before this world was created, the premortal Council in Heaven was held under the direction of the priesthood. The formation of the universe and of the world upon which we live was brought to pass—not by chance, but through the power of the priesthood. The great Creator spoke, and the elements obeyed. The processes of nature that enable us to exist on this planet, the resources of this world that sustain life—all were set into motion and continue their course through the power of God’s magnificent priesthood. While most of the earth’s inhabitants do not recognize this priesthood power, all living creatures are its beneficiaries."

Adam had the priesthood conferred upon him by God and his descendants after him.
When Moses spoke with God in the Mount, he was shown all of the creations of the Father. And after speaking with Him, fell to the ground utterly spent and weak. He said that he hadn't realized until that time how man was nothing.
Imagine having the heavens opened to you and you can see all of God's creations. The beginning to the end of time! Only a few prophets speak of the experience, but through them we come to understand the greatness of God. He said, that his glory was to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal life of man. His plan encompasses all of the Earth and it's inhabitants. In order to accomplish this goal he has endowed man with the priesthood, which is the power and authority to act in his name.

We are told in the scriptures that God is the source of light and truth. He is intelligence.

When Jesus established his church, he called apostles, and after his death, and resurrection, for a time, the apostles that died, were replaced in the same way that they are now, An assembly of the Saints was called and the name put forth, and agreed upon. After a time this discontinued and the outlying leaders of the church were taking too much power upon themselves, and weren't listening to the council of the prophets of God. The church was corrupted by the teachings of man, and soon after, around 200 AD, the great apostasy occurred. For almost 2 thousand years, there was no living prophet to give us council from the Lord. The line of priesthood authority was broken. This time is referred to as the Dark Ages by historians. It was called a time of intellectual darkness. Is it any wonder that the light and truth of God would be held from man in the absence of the priesthood authority?

I try to imagine what it would have been like to live at that time. Satan was bound, but there was no authority to baptize, oversee the blessing of the sacrament, and no revelation from a prophet of God. These people had no opportunity to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ in it's fullness. Life was hard, and short. I wonder at the lives of these people who had no access to the word of God. The scriptures were not available for them to read in their homes. They didn't have the Holy Ghost to whisper to testify to them of Christ. There were no temple covenants to take comfort in and remember when life became discouraging. Child mortality rates were high and people didn't live as adults to old age. The church at the time told them that their families would go to hell if they weren't baptized, or hadn't received the last rites.

When the restoration of the priesthood took place in 1830, that light and knowledge returned to the inhabitants of the Earth.
In the two centuries following 1800, the world's income increased over tenfold, while the world's population increased over sixfold. Conversely, in history the only time the common people prospered was when there was a decline in population.

Between 1800s and 1900s the population of Europe more than doubled. This was not because of larger families. Actually families were having fewer children.. This was because the death rate fell. People started eating better, mostly because farming methods improved and there was more food. The biggest reason to why the death rate fell though was because of Medical advances and improvements.

Around the same time that Joseph Smith received the priesthood, about 1830, the industrial revolution and medical advances began to occur. The light and knowledge of the Lord had returned, and God was ready to pour out a blessing on the whole Earth.

Those who were born near the turn of the century have witnessed the advent of steam powered locomotives, the invention of the automobile, and jet planes which allowed travel to go further, faster and cleaner. They've seen the invention of the transatlantic telegraph which allowed communication over thousands of miles. The first radio was invented around 1894. Today we have satellite communications, and internet. Who would have thought that one would be able to sit anywhere and visit in real time with a family member who was on another continent thousands of miles away, and be able to look into their face? Those phones are pretty smart, aren't they?

People on the other side of the Earth can watch President Monson, and his counselors speak to us at General Conference. Those who don't have the technology available to them, can view it it their stake centers. And the Ensign and Liahona carry their messages after the conference.

We have surgeries now that would have been considered miraculous 100 years ago. The deaf can "hear" with the aid of electronic devises implanted in their brain. People who couldn't see without the aid of glasses can see perfectly after a simple eye surgery. Hip, knee, and shoulder replacements are common, as are back surgeries, with very little recovery time. Jesus cured the blind,deaf, and lame. Remember? He still does today, through our hands. These advances are no coincidence.
Jesus said, If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
( Matthew 7:11)

Good gifts indeed!

Construction methods have become more advanced and require less labor. We have 136 operating temples around the world with 15 in construction and 15 more that have been announced. The hearts of the children are turning to their fathers and the fathers to the children, as Isiah prophesied.

All of my life I have been told that I have been held in reserve for this time, the last dispensation. As a youth I felt very much like this was just a self esteem building exercise. Today, with the knowledge I have of history, current events, and the testimony that I have gained, I realize that this is a true statement. If we had been born at another time in history, we would be the ones wondering when our families would get the family history bug. Those ancestors who lived during the Dark Ages know that we have the technology to find them, and to act as proxies for them in the temples that dot the Earth. They urge us in the Spirit World to have that spirit of Elijah, and to help bless the world with God's Priesthood.

Robert D Hales said,
can you imagine how dark and empty mortality would be if there were no priesthood? If the power of the priesthood were not upon the earth, the adversary would have freedom to roam and reign without restraint. There would be no gift of the Holy Ghost to direct and enlighten us; no prophets to speak in the name of the Lord; no temples where we could make sacred, eternal covenants; no authority to bless or baptize, to heal or comfort. Without the power of the priesthood, “the whole earth would be utterly wasted” (see D&C 2:1–3; D&C 2:1–3). There would be no light, no hope—only darkness."

. 'Twas witnessed in the morning sky:
An angel earthward bound.
This messenger proclaimed anew
The gospel's joyful sound.
In pow'r it would be preached on earth
By men of God ordained;
All men, all tongues, all nations would
Accept and praise his name.

2. In ancient days the gospel plan
Was giv'n of God to men;
In latter days the gospel is
Restored to earth again.
By holy prophets long proclaimed,
By Saints and seers adored,
It speaks the everlasting truths
Of Jesus Christ, the Lord.

3. Apostles of a former day
To modern prophets came;
They brought the priesthood of our Lord
To bless the earth again.
The pow'rs of heav'n are opened wide
To men of God below;
The knowledge, gifts, and keys are ours,
All blessings to bestow.

I testify to you today, our Heavenly Father loves all of his children. That His Son Jesus Christ died, and lives again. Heavenly Father has blessed the Earth with his priesthood from the beginning of time until Eternity. When we take His name upon us when we are baptized, we promise to help Him in his goal to bring to pass the Eternal life of man. By honoring our covenants, and putting on the whole armor of God, each and every day, we are ready to help Him fight Satan, and take back the souls of those who have wandered from the path of righteousness. They are our brothers and sisters through all the generations of time. They watch and wait for us to use that priesthood power in the temple to redeem them. Our brothers and sisters who are still with us also watch, whether we know it or not. Wouldn't it be wonderful to let them in on the great news that their Heavenly Father loves them so much, and has provided a way for them to return to Him?


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Just a few little things to finish-Hagrid doll

Posted by, Paulette
 Just an in progress shot of Hagrid. I ran out of the brown yarn, and still have his hair to finish. He will be getting the Monster Book of Monsters and some fingernails before he's finished. 


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Christopher's Baptism

Posted by, Paulette

When my first child turned 8 and got baptized it made me realize how fast time marches on. Christopher is my third child, and such a sweet bay. I am constantly getting comments from his teachers at school and church about how sweet and helpful he is. I am so lucky to be his mom.
He was baptized on April 7th and confirmed by his father.

 I am hoping that some day I'll be able to look at these pictures and remember the happy day, and not how my dress kept sticking to my legs when I walked. Ha!

Hagrid doll gets some funny responses

Posted by, Paulette

Sometimes I'll take an in-progress doll on the road with me, and work on it in public. Usually that comments are good, and people are interested in what I' working on, and will ask for a business card (why I don't carry some in my purse is a mystery), and I'll tell them about my blog or my shop, and hopefully they remember and have a look see later.
 This week I've been working on a new Hargrid doll.  I already have someone who wants this one. Anyway, as I sat at the high school watching my 12 year old son practice dancing on the football field for a dance festival, I got some really funny looks. Someone said that she thought that I was changing my baby's diaper upside down, and then when she came around the corner, she realized that "my baby" had a really UGLY face!
Usually that's what people said, that my baby was ugly. I got a lot of second looks. Imagine hundreds of teenagers laughing and pointing at you. This would have been a nightmare! Not on that day. It was good exposure. LOL!
I admit he does have a really ugly face...for a baby. For Hagrid, it's right on. At least if he were clean shaven. After I get his body assembled he'll get his hair.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Velveteen Rose

Posted by, Paulette

While digging through my bag of scraps I came upon a small scrap of velveteen. This is one of my favorite fabrics to work with. This particular scrap was left over after making Christmas dresses for my girls years ago, from a thrifted ladies skirt. It's amazing how many lives this particular fabric has had. I used some of it for Rosa's flamenco shoes. There's still some left. I wonder what shape it will take? 

This time I decided to make a rose pin. Then when it was made, I thought it needed a little something. So, I embroidered up a bee and sewed him on there.

 A piece of cheese cloth became the wings. This pin is available in my shop.

A New Dobby is Born

Posted by, Paulette

It's interesting to me that I can use the same pattern for a doll, and they turn out so different from one another. I just finished another Dobby doll. He looks very little like the others I've made. There's something about the needle sculpting and the painting that makes each doll unique.

 I wanted him to be a bit different than the other guys, and my hubby said that he looked happier. So, he needed more clothes. That made sense to me, so Dobby has a new green  tie and a faux suede vest that he's added to his wardrobe.

He is now available for sale in my shop.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tiny Holy Family

Posted by, Paulette

I hate to sit still and not be working on something. So I pulled out my scrap bag and got to work on these tiny dolls while I watched General Conference this weekend.


 I'm working on some smaller projects to fill up my etsy shop. If they don't sell, I have Christmas presents!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poppy Tutorial

Posted by, Paulette

Making a poppy brooch is really easy. You'll need some scraps of fabrics in the colors that you want your poppy to be.
They seem to come in all colors of the rainbow, including blue!

 Fabric scraps that are at least 4 inches across
Tulle that matches your fabric
threads that match your fabrics
black and green beads
a small amount of stuffing ( a cotton ball would work)
Pin back

I started by cutting the fabrics I wanted to use into crude wavy circles. Then stacking the fabrics one upon the other. The tulle circles (3 of them) were folded into quarters, and the place into the center of the fabrics.

Then using a running stitch, sew the tulle to the center of the flower.
 Once all of the tulle triangles have been added, pull the thread tight to gather the center of the circle.
 Knot the thread on the back of the flower.
 Cut the green fabric into a circle about the size of a half dollar. Using a running stitch along the outside curve, gather the circle to make a kind of pocket.
 Put a small piece of stuffing into the center and then pull the thread tight, and take a stitch to close off the little ball.
 Place the green ball into the center of the flower, and using a ladder stitch, sew the green ball to the center of the flower. Go all the way around.
 Now that the flower is formed, you can begin to sew the beads on to the center of the flower. Use as many or as little as you like.

 When you're finished, take the thread to the back of the flower and sew  the pin backing to it.
 Tie off your thread and enjoy your new piece of jewelry!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fabric Poppy Brooch

Posted by, Paulette

I've been drawn in by the vibrant reds of poppies lately. Today I made a brooch that will be a nice addition to my black dress. I'll write up a tutorial and share it later!

Peter Pan Cloth doll

Posted by, Paulette

The great thing about doll making is being able to use up even the smallest scraps of fabric. Peter's tunic is made up of pieces of felt and cotton fabrics, cut into leaf shapes, gathered into bunches and then hand sewn onto a pair of high waisted shorts.

 His shadow is made from tulle.

It took almost as long to sculpt Tinkerbell as it did to make the entire Pater doll. She's so tiny! 
My newest little guy is available for sale in my Etsy shop.