Tuesday, November 6, 2012

O Christmas Tree....

So to take my brain and emotions off all things political for the moment.....I've been hunting down some of my favorite Christmas tree items on Etsy and made a Treasury.

I wish that more people would realize the quality of handmade items that are available on places like Etsy and Ebay, and support local artists, and the more we spread the news......the


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Baby Face - You've Got the Cutest Little Baby Face...

Oh how sweet is this lil girl? I love her so much, I chose her precious little face to adorn my banner for Etsy!

Maybe you had a doll baby just like this when you were little and thought you'd never find her again, well here she is.   I almost hate to give her up, but I just know there's someone out there who just "needs" to adopt her!


She's now living in my Etsy Shop, along with a few other vintage treasures I happened upon.

Check out the newest listed items.....a little of this and a little of that

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Loadin Up...

So  I'm back to doing some of my favorite things that I just never had the time or the resources to do while living up in Nashville.....buying, collecting and selling vintage goodies and hopefully pulling out the sewing machine again to make a few things here and there.

Just loaded up a few things into my Etsy shop today - some vintage buttons that are wonderful, and also a cute set of three vintage tea cup saucers.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Southern Comfort....

I have several passions in my life, and one of them is cooking......I call it Southern Comfort, because ...
  1. I'm southern 
  2. Certain foods comfort us....they usually bring back warm memories of someone we have loved deeply, who nourished us in more ways than one....and WHO doesn't like comfort food?  
So when the temps start to drop,  my "need" to cook kicks into high gear!

As I said yesterday, it's a little chilly for us here in the "Sunshine State", because Senor Sunshine has disappeared, and his friends Wind and Cloud have paid us a visit.  

Now I don't mind this for a little while, but we Florida crackers live here because we LOVE the sunshine and warmer temps for the most part of our year.  If we want to see the leaves turn and experience that little nip in the air that a good portion of these great 50 states enjoy, we load up the car and drive north a few hours, or if we wanna make snow angels as the temps continue to drop, we forego trying to drive through that, and find the best deals that Southwest or Delta has to offer!  Once we've had our "fix" of seasons, we head on back home to where we can once again put our arms down, after they have been sausaged into sweaters and long johns, and we don our tank tops, shorts and flip flops, hopefully at least until February!

So while the temps are a little lower than normal, I've gotten out the cast iron Dutch oven, the soup pot and have been cooking up a storm since getting home from church today.

The Menu:
Farmer's Casserole, except I tweaked it.  I prefer sausage over ham, and used sweet Vidalia onion instead of green onions.  The amount of frozen hash browns it calls for is WAY too much, so I reduced that amount by 1/3.  
Here is my version...

SUPPER, today and tomorrow:

Homemade Bread made from this recipe I found on Pinterest....
Here is my version...

I will be dipping mine into a mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, garlic and fresh grated Parmesan....Hubby will dip his into a big bowl of this...

Homemade veggie beef soup...

Now I think it's time for a nice Sunday nap, so my soup can simmer a little longer

Hope you are having a blessed day..


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Chilly But Beautiful Day in Florida...

Lakeland, FL

Today we traveled about an hour south of here to Lakeland, to the Monster Planes show.  The smallest planes weigh no less than 35 pounds, and there is no top weight limit that I know of, so these are appropriately named monsters!  I've seen some in the past that were big enough for me to sit in, and they are RC (remote control).

The weather was a little chilly for my taste.....although 70 is normally nice, today I was about to freeze,   as the sun was nowhere to be found, and the wind gusts that are remnants of Hurricane Sandy, were cutting.

And I'm a little more than miffed at this hurricane making an appearance this weekend, as it kept several of my good friends away, who normally don't miss a show.  And although I love to watch the planes, and see the amazing abilities of the pilots and builders of these beauties, it's the friends that I've made from not only around our country, but from around the world, that I enjoy the most when I go to the shows.

I got to sport my F 111 Aardvark hat today...given to me by my friend Mike Selby, who built one for Top Gun a few years ago.  Unfortunately he and his beautiful wife Lek couldn't be at this show, as they live in Thailand! Wanted them to see this pic though, so they would know I was thinking of them...

This is my precious friend Ana....today I got to finally see her and  hubby Eduardo, whom I haven't seen in several years.  They live here in the states part of the year, and the rest of the year is spent in their native Brazil.  She's a hands on girl too....right there at Eduardo's side doing whatever it takes to get his planes ready to fly.  She's also his spotter/caller out on the field.
Today was Eduardo's birthday, so it was extra special getting to see them.

A new friend I made today....David, who drives all the way from Vancouver, British Columbia,  just to fly his big ole Waco bi-plane at Monster Planes.  His is 40% scale, which means it's 40% of the size of a full size airplane.  

Waco's are probably my favorite vintage airplane...and here's another flown by a friend Scott. His is also 40%.    Bill just told me that they have a 12 foot wingspan, so that gives you some idea of the size of these babies!  It's painted in a way I've never seen before, and my hubby was quick to tell me that it's painted military style.

This is a P 38 Lightning, owned by Brian O'Meara, from Denver.

All in all, it was a really good day.  The fellowship of friends and just getting outside to enjoy the world the Lord has made, made it beautiful.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Time to Sew!

Now Available in my Etsy Shop

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes......

WOW...it seems like an eternity since I've sat down and posted anything on my blog.  I would attribute that to all the CHANGES that have happened in my life since my last post of April, 2010.
Within a few weeks after that post, we had Mother's Day, and my gift from my daughter Sarah, was to let me know that in a few short months, she would deliver my present to me, all wrapped up and swaddled in baby blue.  :)  On November 21, 2010 Leo Rinella came into this world and it's hard for me to believe that in a few short weeks from now, he will be celebrating his SECOND birthday!

Two months after Leo was born, I was blessed by my husband with a two week vacation to Lugo, Spain, where Leo, Sarah and Jon were living at the time.  I cherish this picture!  I could have spent my entire vakay just like this...

And here is my beautiful lil man, almost two years later - running full throttle.  Those days of Grandma getting to hold him for long periods of time are LONG gone...lol   Isn't he BEAUTIFUL?!

They continued to live in Lugo, Spain up until August of 2011, when they came home to the USA and settled in Atlanta, with Sarah landing a teaching position at Georgia Tech.  I loved only being a few hours away from them, and got to visit Atlanta a few times. 

Here is Leo at about 18 months old when I was visiting them, singing a Leo rendition of James Brown's, "Baby Baby Baby"...

 I had a feeling deep down that they wouldn't be staying in the states for long....I would hear them talk about how much easier the pace of life in Europe was for them, so when I got the news that Sarah had once again been offered a position abroad, it came as no surprise that they would soon be moving back.
They now live in Portugal, only a few hours away from Lugo; a place that I could go about for hours on end. As soon as I got there, I could understand why they loved it so much.  It was beautiful, and just the perfect size.  If you love history, Google Lugo, Spain sometime.  
Here are a couple of black and white photos I took, and since coming home, have enlarged and framed them so I can reminisce daily of my "European Vacation".  

The entrance to the old part of Lugo, which was built by the Romans almost 2000 years ago!  Inside the walls are restaurants, shops and OMG shoe stores everywhere!  I was in Heaven.

I have this photo enlarged and framed.  Where the little table is on the left, is the first pub they took me to, where I tried the local delicacy - octopus!  The meat of it wasn't bad, but ewwwww the tentacles were rubbery and I just couldn't handle choking that part down.

This also hangs in my living room.  I saw these old guys from across the park and luckily had my zoom lens with me.  I love how you see the three old guys telling their stories, with the young kid whizzing by on his bike, and I didn't notice until I enlarged it, that there is a man sitting on the steps who looks to be in deep thought.   If one is gifted with the ability to write stories, there could be a really good one written just by gazing into this photo.

This is the third one I have in my home.  We took about a 3 mile walk out to a restaurant which sat on this river.  Not only was the walk beautiful, but the restaurant looked like something out of a story book.  
Thought I had a photo of it, but can't seem to locate it.

I failed to mention that Bill and I also ventured up to Nashville for a two year period.  Five days after moving there, my husband up and had another heart attack and had to have emergency bypass surgery. We were surrounded by loved ones, who helped nurse him back to health.
It didn't take too long for us to both start getting real homesick for Florida, in spite of being around the kids and grandkids.  They have their own lives, and we left ours back in Leesburg, Florida, so now we are  at the end of October 2012, and have been home for about 4 months.  We are hoping and praying to get back into the Rock House where we used to live, but for now, we are wayyyyyyy out in the sticks. 
It's pretty out here in the country - I have neighbors who have all kinds of farm critters that are cute as can be, but the DIRT is about to drive this OCD girl over the edge!!!  My poor lil car hasn't been clean in four months, so I'm counting the days until I can be a city girl once again.

I haven't sewn but a few things in the past few years, but am starting to get the itch again.  
I have opened a new Etsy Shop under the name of "JanelleFrancine"....my given name. 
I have four of my best selling patterns listed for now, but will add in some handmades, and also vintage treasures and collectibles that I find when I go out "thrifting and scavenging" with my sister LaLa each week.  Seeing as how I don't just make dolls anymore, as I did under the name of Little Sister's Dolls, I just wanted something simple....I figured my name was just that......simple.....


Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Blessed Easter to You

Well they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and frankly, I don't think there are enough words in all the languages of the world that could say what this one picture alone says.
I'm so grateful that as our Lord hung on the cross - he did it for me.....AND...for YOU!
When I try to wrap my mind around his life and even though he was fully God, he was fully man, who faced all the same kinds of trials and temptations each of us do, and lived it for 33 years WITHOUT sin.....and he did so because he was totally dependent on God.
When I think about all that he went through - the beatings with whips made from leather with spikes in the end (to where his body probably looked like hamburger meat), ripping out his beard, spit all over his body, bruises and welts from being punched in the face, a crown of sharp thorns jammed into his skull, ...then to finally have huge spikes driven through his wrists and feet....and a sword shoved into his side....
It brings me to tears that someone could love me THAT much...
Which reminds me of something I saw years ago - it said,
"Jesus, how much do you love me"? and his answer was...."THIS much" and he spread his arms and died....
I pray that on  this Easter, if you don't know this to be true in your life, that you would ask Him to reveal himself to you and be welcomed into the body of Christ.

If you do know him, remember all He did for you and has done for you throughout your life since coming to know him and give him THANKS...

Have a BLESSED Easter!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Top Etsy Shops

Found a great new place on Facebook and also a blog for those who love Etsy, and especially for those who sell on Etsy, to get their name out there.
Go to Top Etsy Shops and follow the directions on how to get your shop in the running for one of their top shops monthly!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LOTS of Vintage Goodies

So my sister Kathy (aka LaLa) and I tend to do weekly outings in search of vintage finds and we rarely come home without having found something good!

I now have in my Etsy shop, a lot of these vintage finds.

A few of the recently listed items:

Old U.S. Army copper buttons
A really cool tin from a candy shop in Chicago (1958)
Chilren's playing cards (1956)
Wool plaid blanket

Oh just so many things - hop over and take a peek :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Ebay Listing

Well I think I'm starting to get my "groove" back....I haven't done much in the way of doing the faces on my dollies, and wasn't sure I could even draw eyes anymore, but I'm real happy with the way this OoAK Easter Bunny has turned out, and have listed him on Ebay.
I found this adorable vintage basket last week, and think it is perfect for him to sit in!

I also listed this Bunny Head Make Do earlier today on Ebay. What's so funny about this one is it started off to be a full rabbit, but I got frustrated and ripped its head off, and walla - a make do....lol

Sunday, February 28, 2010



TDIPT Mercantile is celebrating its 3rd birthday, and we invite you to join in the celebration!

As we have done in the past, we are once again celebrating our birthday with a fabulous giveaway. All of the prizes have been generously donated by our fabulous TDIPT artists. The celebration will begin on February 28th at 10:00 pm (ET). This is also when the 1st of the month artists will present their new offerings on the Mercantile for March. You will have until 9:00 pm (ET) time on March 21 to get your entry in for the drawing. The winners will be drawn at 10:00 pm on March 21!

There are 3 ways to enter the drawing:

1. Purchase an item from the Mercantile (either from the 1st of the month artists or the 15th of the month artists) and we will enter your name for each purchase you make.

2. If you are already on our mailing list to receive the TDIPT newsletter, you are automatically entered to win. If you are not signed up for the newsletter, please be sure to sign up on the Mercantile or on our TDIPT Blog.

3. If you are signed up as a follower on the TDIPT Blog, you are already entered to win. If not, please be sure to sign up to become a follower.

We hope you will join us for this festive occasion! We appreciate your loyal patronage and support of the artists of TDIPT Mercantile!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Itty Bitty Hummingbird

So I had to make just one more birdie for the TDIPT Ebay launch tomorrow....
I'm so excited to see what all everyone in the group has come up with for this
"Birds of a Feather Create Together" theme.

Check out this awesome goose done by Karin Pender

and this beautiful bird done by Audrey, who is a master at making birdies of all kinds!

Type TDIPT into your browser on Ebay, to see all the other great creations by these highly talented artists!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's for the Birds

I just finished another couple of birds that will be listed on Ebay come Sunday, Feb. 21 for the TDIPT launch, "Birds of a Feather Create Together".
The bluebird is a little more simple than the painted Robin.....but I'm liking the way it has turned out :)

I've taken a sneak peek at some other offerings by the other artists, and lemme tell ya -
there are some awesome works
making the Ebay scene Sunday!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Birds of a Feather Create Together Launch

Surely Spring is just around the corner....at least we girls in TDIPT are hoping so!
This Sunday, Feb. 21, we will be having a launch on Ebay -
"Birds of a Feather Create Together".
I'm so excited to see what all everyone has come up with for this one.....think of all the possibilities!
Here's a sneak peek at one of my offerings...it's a new design from Little Sister's Dolls, and the pattern is also available on Patternmart

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Etsy Listing

Today I listed this Bluebird of Happiness make do on Etsy.
It sits on a vintage wooden bobbin and is priced at $18.00

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Update on the TDIPT Mercantile Tonight!


Tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern, I will be updating on the TDIPT Mercantile .
My offerings this month are two Lizzie Lapp Amish Style Dolls.
Hope you'll take time to stop by and check out all the other great items offered by the TDIPT artists as well.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

From the Heart of a Soldier's Mom

In the spring of 2009, I got the news that my precious son Dude, was going to be deployed. Over the last 10 months or so, I dealt with so many emotions. I knew that my son had made the best decision of his adult life, by joining the 278th of the Tennessee National Guard, but knew that this was not only a test of strength and endurance for him, but a time for me to rely on the strength of the Lord's arms to hold me.

I spent a lot of time on my knees asking the Lord for His peace....that which "passes all understanding", and He was and is so faithful to lovingly grant that on me.

As time drew closer to prepare for the trip to Camp Shelby, Mississippi - just outside Hattiesburg, I contemplated calling my doctor to get a prescription for a tranquilizer, for that moment when I would have to say that last good-bye before his deployment.
The Spirit of God spoke to my heart and said, "I can handle that". Being the sometimes stubborn child, I said, "OK Lord - I'll just ask for a couple in case I need them". Again He said, "Trust me....I can handle that for you". Well let me tell you - He was faithful to his promise!

Of COURSE I cried!

And yes, I sobbed as I saw my son walking back to his barracks as we were leaving, but by the time we got to the back gate of the Camp, I was once again flooded with that sense of peace, and the tears were no more.

To totally trust God with your only son.....

Scary.....YES, but I'm also reaping the blessings of His Peace, in just trusting Him.

As Mary said in Luke 2: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. The Mighty One has done great things for me – Holy is His Name.”

My son, along with over 3000 other troops were given four "Family Days" and then honored at a send off ceremony on Friday, February 5.
Below are photos of my time with him....memories I'll cherish every day of my life!

Cutting up together - trying to pull out the wrinkles, like they did to Robin Williams as Peter Pan in "Hook"....lol

Hanging out at our hotel, after getting back from The Hard Rock

Enjoying steak at Outback on our last night together, thanks to my endodontist Dr. Sinopoli, who gave me $100 to take Dude out
One Nation Under God

The Army Band - who even played "Rocky Top" for all the people of TN!
Over 3000 troops in the 278th, and over 9000 family and friends to honor them at the send off ceremony

The barracks where Dude lived for 6 weeks at Camp Shelby

Kissing my soldier after the send off ceremony

As a dear friend said..."This looks like Mommy Heaven".....yes indeed!

My sweatshirt says it all.....

Ok......just one more hug before I have to go....

My last goodbye - laying hands on my precious son as I said a prayer for him

U.S. Army MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected)- what Dude will be driving in Iraq. I am so thankful that these were the last thing I saw as we were leaving the back gate - I needed to see for myself, the size of them, and how well armored and protected my son will be.

I LOVE YOU "ALL THE NUMBERS" DUDE....see you when you get home!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Order of the Spurs

So this son of mine continues to make me more proud with each day.
He keeps me updated on Facebook, as to what he's going through at Camp Shelby, MS, and today when I got up, I read this:
"David White is 1 of 5 guys who qualified to take the silver spurs challenge."

So I go do a search to read what all this Silver Spurs challenge is about. Here's what I found:

"In order for a trooper to be inducted in the Order of the Spur, and earn the privilege of wearing silver spurs, he must survive a demanding test of tactical and technical knowledge.
Known as a "Spur Ride", the twenty four hour plus event is considered one of the most physically and mentally grueling Army traditions that dates back to the beginning of the United States Cavalry.
During the event, candidates are pushed to their physical limits during a ten mile road march. The experience is conducted by the troopers' peers, superiors and subordinates, all of whom earned their silver spurs during a previous spur ride.
Some examples of minimum criteria are:
  • Score a minimum of 250 on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).
  • Meet height and weight requirements of AR 600-9.
  • Qualify "Expert" with primary weapon (M9 or M16/M4).
  • Be recommended by Troop First Sergeant and Commander."
The 278th is a huge unit, so for my boy to be 1 of 5 chosen really makes me ONE PROUD Mama!!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Now THAT was FUN!

OK...so this is Florida, right?
Well, you'd never know it by the way we've had to dress at the Thursday and Friday night's performances of "The First Noel" at FBC, Leesburg. Friday's night's temps were at about 40 degrees, with a pretty strong wind blowing in from the NE, which was at our backs......brrrrrr!!

God bless everyone who has worked so hard to pull of such a phenomenal event, all to the glory of God!
We have been graciously fed in the fellowship hall each night, thanks to Deb and her crew. And because these temps have been so frigid, the volunteers at the Men's Center prepared hot chocolate, hot tea, cider and coffee, to warm us between shows.

When arriving, one is taken on a tour through Bethlehem, where the people of the town present the good news of the King who has been born. Afterwards, a concert telling the story of Jesus from his birth to his resurrection is presented by worship members, led by Stephen Wolgamott.

Aren't they PRECIOUS???? I got to hold the little brown one, and could kick myself in the you know what, for not having my camera with me at the time!

Some of the worship team members, who were faithful and brave to endure the cold temps, to bring the story of the birth of our Lord to the city of Leesburg.....
Can't wait until next year!!! :)