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

Archive for May, 2013


 Here is Penny feeding the chickens early in the morning.  These are my pet chickens, they are silkies, a special friendly and pretty bird.



 “Hi there, you’re kinda little.  Wanna be friends?”



 A big puffy cloud of chickens, all gobbling up breakfast.  Don’t eat Penny!!



 The faithful hen ignores the call to eat as she will not leave her eggs.


 A collection of eggs waiting to be set on.  Penny does not find the job to be very exciting, and soon tires of it.



Ben watches over as the little girls take their turn feeding chickens.



One soft, poofy hen eyes what Emma has to offer.



                                                       Audrey loves the chickens, what a sweet grin!















Penny loves life on the farm.                                                                             Emma found an egg!


IMG_3684                Ethan has got this hen in a head lock.


Ben took Audrey out to see his horses.



Emma offered Penny a swift swoosh down the slide by the swingset. 



Fritz is relaxing in the yard near the lilacs.  It was a beautiful year for the lilacs, they were full, sweet smelling and long lasting!  A big favorite of the Dart family.



Take a BIG WIFF!!



Thanks for coming for a visit!



And now for how to make a Penny Doll dress…  Pick out a pretty color fabric with a small print, cut:

skirt – 8 x 3″  fabric

bodice – 3 x 4 1/2 “

bodice facing – 1 1/2 x 2 “

From the four corners of the bodice piece cut away 1/2″ x 1 1/8″, that will form the sleeves.   Then draw a 5/8″ oval for a head hole in the center of the bodice, and draw a straight pencil line down the center to the edge.


As the above picture shows, press each hem up two times, and stitch.

One along the bottom of the skirt, and one on each short end of the bodice to form sleeve hems.



Now place the facing centered over the bodice, with right sides together.  Stitch up one side of the center line and around the neck hole and back down the other side of the center line.  This makes a keyhole-shaped  seam.  With fine scissors clip the neck hole seam into little tabs so it will turn well.

Then turn the facing right side out, press, and top stitch.  You may now trim away the sharp corners inside.  This gives you a very neatly finished neck and back opening of the dress.




The fun part is adding the pretty trims.  Here I used a narrow ribbon, and a cream-colored lace.   Trim the sleeves and the dress hem.  And while you are stitching, you will need to baste the upper edge of the skirt so it can be gathered in a ruffle.




Sew the underarm seams of the bodice, first on one side…




Then on the other.  Now you see it looks like a little shirt!




Turn the bodice right-side out and see what you think!  Find the center front of the bodice and pin to the center front of the skirt.   Draw the skirt into a ruffle and pin well to the bodice.




Sew the bodice to the skirt.




The final seam is to hold the back together.  Fold the dress right sides together, and sew from the bottom hem almost up to the waist, leaving enough room for the doll to get into her dress.




Now it is finished!  You may add small snaps to the back of the dress if the doll will be changing clothes occasionally.  I usually just stitch the back shut by hand once it is on the doll.




Here is Penny modeling her new dress in our sewing room, with Ruby nearby to give her approval.




Beneath the dress I have a little petticoat made of eyelet lace cut 2 3/4 x 8″.

I double fold the top into a hem, and I place the drawstring inside before I stitch it.  (Sooo much easier!)  See, below it is only partly sewn to demonstrate that the string is inside the hem before I stitch the hem.

Once the top edge is sewn, fold the ends together to sew, and draw the drawstring around the doll’s waist and tie in a bow.




Little bloomers will keep the clothespin doll legs covered underneath.

To make these, cut the fabric, 2 1/2″ x 5 1/2″.

Sew the drawstring into the top hem as with the petticoat.

Press the bottom hem up once and add a pretty trim.  Sew in place.

Fold in half, sew sideseam, then the partial center seam about halfway up.  Snip center and turn.

These also I tie around the doll’s waist.




Farmer Andy poses with the team

As Farmer Andy travels with Mr. Bill Brown for the Fellowship of Christian Farmers, he got to attend the Bluegrass Fest in Brooksville, Florida.  The show was held at Sertoma Youth Ranch on March 22-24, 2013.

Here he is posing with the FCFI team that weekend ready to share the Gospel:  Herb and Mary Hait from Hobart, NY;  Bill and Kathy Brown of Marcy, NY;  and Tarry and Janet Johnston, from Renfrew, Ontario, Canada.  Learn more about their work at   I like that little cow kettle on the left!



This picture is of Ron Harold from Indiana, the Secretary of FCFI board. He is using Farmer Andy to share the Gospel at The Pioneer Days in Zoflo Springs, Fl.  These children are learning the Bead Story that tells the basic story of Scripture:  Who is God?  Who are we? and Why did Jesus come?  All told with 5 basic colored beads.  Read more about that here – the Bead Story.  See the walking sticks in the milk can in the background?  These have the beads attached and are handed out freely to listeners.


Below is a sample page from a little booklet I have called Dwelling In Him, Helpful thoughts from Hudson Taylor.  It is a very old printing, and I thought you would enjoy seeing it.  The thoughts on these pages fit well with the green bead, that stands for growth.   Once we have opened our hearts to Christ as our Lord, the way that we grow in Him is by reading His Word, the Bible, feeding our souls.   And we want an obedient heart that God is eager to bless!








After visiting Tim’s three big greenhouses, and filling our greenhouse, Penny was anxious to get hers going.   She gathered her little clay pots and arranged her flowers to catch the sun.  What a joy to get all the gardening things back into use after a cold grey winter.  Life is springing forth all around us and there are new discoveries to make every day!  The birds are all singing and the song is catching!




































This is my Father’s world,   And to my listening ears

All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world:   I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas –

His hand the wonders wrought.




This is my Father’s world,   The birds their carols raise,

The morning light, the lily white,  Declare their Master’s praise.

This is my Father’s world:   He shines in all that’s fair;

In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,

He speaks to me everywhere.




This is my Father’s world,  O let me ne’er forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong,  God is the Ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:   The battle is not done; 

Jesus who died shall be satisfied, 

And earth and heaven be one.

 – Maltbie D. Babcock