Brick Fair 2014




A few weekends ago Katie and I took the boys to BrickFair in Chantilly VA. We went on a Sunday like we did last year, but this year it was even more crowded. They said that on Saturday people actually had to wait over an hour to get in because the building was at max capacity! B loved that there was so much Dr. Who stuff, one of his new interests this year. I brought home a few tiny treasures of my own which you can see in the top photo. Crying baby and lego pringles? yes please!

DIY simple star garland

Basically a super simple DIY. You need a heavy weight thread (I used quilting thread), some paper stars (mine are punched but you can just cut them out too) and Coffee Stirrer straws (I cut mine into thirds). I was inspired to make some garlands to decorate after making the strands for my pajaki. This was one of my favorite parts. I doubled my thread up so it would be extra sturdy, tie a double knot and alternate star, straw, star, straw. Then tie off at a star once you are at a length you like.



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The Mary Frances Books

I first heard of Mary Frances books when my friend Crystal gave me one of their reproduction copies. I believe it was The Mary Frances Sewing Book . She said she was finished with it and wanted to pass it on to someone else who would enjoy it. I was immediately charmed by the illustrations inside and set to work finding out more information.


I quickly found out there are many Mary Frances books, seven total, and the old editions sell for a lot of money. Jane Eayre Fryer a school teacher wrote and illustrated the books starting in 1912. The books are not only charming little stories, but contain lessons, how-to’s and recipes.
Of course being the book nerd I am, I passed along the reproduction to another friend and set to work finding some of the older editions for myself. I have had the best luck finding copies around $20 each by keeping an eye on Ebay, Amazon’s used books, and Alibris. A lot of time the listings on Alibris will not have photos so you have to read the description carefully to make sure you are indeed getting an original and not reproduction copy.
So far I have been able to collect The Mary Frances Cookbook, The Mary Frances Garden Book, and The Mary Frances Sewing Book. Now I am just keeping my eyes peeled for a bargain on the others.
So back to my original friend who introduced me to the books, she recently had a birthday and while looking for something unrelated I stumbled across these Mary France embroidery patterns by Acme Notions. I knew I had to get a set for Crystal to go with her gifts, and of course I needed a set of my own. I wish they had patterns for each of the books, the garden book has such cute illustrations inside.
if you’d like to learn even more about Jane Eayre Fryer, this website has a blog and information about all of the books.
Please note that the Amazon link above is an Amazon affiliate link and if you purchase something using it I will receive a small Amazon credit.

Garden Report: Tomatoes



The garden is simply out of control at this point, it no longer looks pretty. Our lawn mower is being difficult and the pumpkins are spread all over making it impossible to mow the grass anywhere near the garden, for fear I’ll run one over. So the garden has over grown grass all over it, cucumbers growing all crazy town. But besides looking ugly the garden is giving me gorgeous tomatoes day after day! I planted five different varieties and all but one of them have been ripening up really nicely. The other day I made two loaded tomato quiche, and have been using lots for sandwiches, but at this rate it is time for me to start checking for recipes. I am thinking a nice tomato soup or chili would use up a bunch. Do you have a garden? If so I’d love to see photos so please link any you have. I’ve already signed up for a bunch of seed catalogs to begin arriving this winter so I can plan next years garden.