Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in Penny’s Crafts

 

A very merry Christmas from our house to yours!  ♥

 

 

Penny and I have been enjoying trying our hand at making gingerbread houses this year.  A new experience for me.  Thanks to Google, we found a good recipe and set to work mixing ingredients, kneading lots of flour into the dough to make it very stiff, and then rolling it out to cut into shapes to create our little houses.

 

 

I am thankful to have found the tip saying to hot glue the house together, rather than relying on just frosting, and it sounded like a good step to make things simpler.  So that’s what I did, with no regrets, though it would not be purely edible.  I wasn’t planning on these getting eaten.

 

 

You can see here that I drew lines on the roof with a pencil for the “shingle” pattern.  Penny and her pets wanted to run in and out to explore the cute little house.

 

 

Another tip I learned was to make the candies available in a muffin tray.  Good idea!  We had red and green M&Ms, white chocolate wafers, gummy candies, little cinnamon drops, pretzels, pecans, and dates.  And of course, candy canes.  Go easy on the sampling here!!

 

 

And now for the little people to begin.  I made royal frosting from egg whites and confectionery sugar that is meant to dry quickly.  I gave the workers each a sandwich bag with the tip cut off so they could pipe it on as they wished.  Here the pencil lines are roughly followed with frosting and M&Ms applied with little fingers.

 

 

This is a busy gingerbread house construction site with kids very intent on their labors.  So cute!

 

 

Someone got carried away with candy cane ridgepoles here, but no fear, there is nothing that a little more frosting can’t fix!  How do you like it now, Penny?

 

 

First we decorated the fronts, then the sides got candy accessories too – bright little Christmas bushes and white chocolate wafers.

 

 

Oh, here is a good idea, a pretzel log sidewalk to the front door.

 

 

I added frosting to the roof edges and some dripping icicles to complete this masterpiece.

 

 

This home belongs to the gummy snowmen who wonder if you won’t step inside and join them for a cup of cocoa?

 

 

After a busy day, here is Penny posing by the finished houses.  A big one for the children to take home, and a littler one for their Grandma.  Merry Christmas one and all!

In the background is the recently made Christmas banner celebrating “God with us”.

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”    Matthew 1:23

And that’s why we celebrate Christmas!!

 


 

We have taken part in the Samaritan’s Purse ministry Operation Christmas Child the last few years.  What fun it is to pack a box of special items to gift to a needy child in another land.

 

 

Here is the website all about Operation Christmas Child.

 

 

Our church ordered these festive printed boxes and this flier explained what to include while putting together your shoebox gifts.

 

 

Penny had a lot of fun trying out some of the items, like riding this toy jeep.  Whee!!

 

 

Imagine the fun some little boy will have with this harmonica, making music wherever he goes.

 

 

I love the warmth of handmade items, so Penny and I found a way to personalize the little 4 X 6 inch sketchbook with colorful washi tape and fun animal stamps decorating some of the pages here and there.

 

 

Here is the scrapsheet displaying the variety of critters now decorating the inside of the sketchbook: monkeys and hippos, giraffes and alligators.  I hope they will delight some little fellow who receives this.  He can fill out the rest of the pages as he wishes with the box of crayons we included.

 

 

Another homemade gift is a drawstring bag we called a “Possible Bag” as kids.  It can hold anything possible, and be a great place to store treasures.

 

 

Penny inspects the final stitches to be sure they are even and strong to hold up to lots of use.

 

 

Admiring the finished product.  This bright blue print is cheery.  I wonder what it will hold in its lifetime?

 

 

And now to try to fit it all in the shoebox!  The sketchbook, a yo-yo, a toothbrush, a new plaid shirt, sunglasses… a nerf football too!  How can we make it all fit?

 

 

We did it!!  The possible bag is tucked on top, then with a caring prayer that God’s love will bless whomever this will eventually belong to, Penny must sit fiercely on the lid while I wrap the bulging box with a couple of rubber bands.

 

 

Next, it gets a green label for a BOY, and we check the box for a child 5-9 years old.

 

 

And now it is ready to send!!

 

 

Violet is interested in seeing where the shoeboxes go from here, so we send her off to find out….

First it goes to our church where they collected a total of 138 boxes.  My friend, Cindy, from church helps at our town’s drop off location where all the area shoeboxes are collected, then packed into big brown boxes to be trucked out to a processing center.  There are 8 processing centers in the United States.

 

 

 

Violet will go along with Cindy as she and her husband volunteer at the Processing Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Stay tuned for her report on what happens there!

 

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It has been such a beautiful October, so much sunny weather and such gorgeous colors in the sky, in the trees, and everywhere you look!  Beautiful Autumn.

 

 

Here are some warm pictures from around the farm.  The pretty elm tree and our dairy cows, Marmee, and Kemmie out in the pasture say “hi” to you.

 

 

We recently got guinea hens and the happy critters are noisily giving their opinion of anything and everything, whether they convince anyone or not.

 

 

 

 

As Penny was dining in the side yard, a friend dropped in to see what was up.  Care for a cookie?

 

 

Now they are good buddies.  Penny and a puppet – chicken?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now in this picture below you will see a surprising sight.  What could it be?

 

 

A chicken in a tree!  She is one of the red hens that I had let loose because she was being picked on.  Now she happily has the best of the best on the farm.  Here is where she sleeps every night, in the apple tree.

 

 

Today’s task is to plant some spring bulbs.  We have grape hyacinths and spring crocuses.  Penny, grab your shovel and let’s get to work!

 

 

You bring one of those sacks of bulbs over and I’ll dig a hole.

 

 

The directions say to plant them three inches deep and three inches apart.

 

 

And the same with the crocuses.  Aren’t those interesting papery bulbs?  We’ll have lots of color to greet us early in the spring, after our long cold, snowy winter.

 

 

As the rainy days set in, its time to spend some time crafting indoors.  Here Penny is helping me stitch a candy corn garland to decorate with.  Her little mousie pin-cushion pal is also a recent project.  What an adorable face.

 

 

Little did I know that today is officially National Candy Corn Day.  An annual celebration on October 30th.  Wow, what timing!

Happy National Candy Corn Day, my friends!

 

 

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“Sing a song, sing a song,

Ring the glad-bells all along;

 

 

Smile at him who frowns at you,

He will smile and then they’re two.

 

 

 

Laugh a bit, laugh a bit,

Folks will soon be catching it,

 

 

 

Can’t resist a happy face;

World will be a merry place.

 

Laugh a Bit and Sing a song,

Where they are there’s nothing wrong;

 

 

 

Joy will dance the whole world through,

But it must begin with you.”

Joseph Morris

 

I enjoy the happy swinging of this poem, it brings a smile to my face and a spring into my step.  Though truly our world is full of troubles, and as humans we are weak and wounded, we have HOPE in Christ.  He satisfies our deepest needs.  In Him we find forgiveness, peace, purpose, life and wonder.  He is our reason to rejoice as we look beyond our troubles and place our trust in His great Ability and Sovereignty.  Once our hearts are settled in Him, we can sing a song and laugh a bit, and folks will soon be catching it.  Spread the Joy!

 

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    His greatness no one can fathom.
 One generation commends Your works to another;
    they tell of Your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty—
They tell of the power of Your awesome works—

They celebrate Your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
    He has compassion on all He has made.

All your works praise You, Lord;
    Your faithful people extol You.
 They tell of the glory of Your kingdom
    and speak of Your might,
   so that all people may know of Your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.

from Psalm 145


 

Cloudy winter days are good for quilts and stories and quiet project days with friends.

 


 
Today, Penny got out her favorite Winnie-the-Pooh book that was my Mom’s when she was little.  This one was printed in 1961, and shows it was loved by its tattered edges.

 

“Good morning, Christopher Robin,” he said.

“Good morning, Winnie-ther-Pooh,” said you.

 

 

My friends, Sophie and Kahlan came today to play with me; together we did some watercolor painting on some Pooh drawings that I had traced onto watercolor paper.

We enjoyed the quaint sayings that are so classic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The watercolor artists

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