Sewn Garments for a New Little Baby

On the bottom is a romper I sewed for my new grandchild due on November 21st.  This was a fun garment to sew and I love the cotton knit fabDiaper Shirt and Coverric that I found at Joanns.  It is wonderful to sew on.

RomperThe garment at the top is from the same pattern and is a little diaper shirt and diaper cover.  I used the same type of fabric and embroidered an elephant on the top and blanket stitched the faced seams.


Our Tears are in G-d’s Hand

My mother died on Mother’s Day 1975 right after I had turned 18 years old, 2 months before my high school graduation, 1 year before I got married, and 3 years before I had my first child.

That was a rough season for me and there were times I didn’t think I would make it.  I took  some leave from work and school and shut myself off from everyone.  I didn’t think I could go on and I felt that G-d had let me down.

The only person I really spoke to during that time was an Aunt who was especially close.  She was very close to my own age and yet older enough to have a lot of wisdom.  She also was able to keep things light even though I felt so dark.  That kept me from really going over the deep end.  Somehow during that time of darkness and searching I found this verse: – Revelations 21:4:

…and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

I clung to the promises in that verse and the knowledge that one day I would feel my Heavenly Father’s fingers on my cheeks.  Just thinking about that made me feel so much better for some reason.  Believing and realizing that He understood my pain seemed to comfort me and I did not feel so alone or confused.  I believed His promises and I believed with all my heart that He really spoke to me that day and met me in my hour of need.  That was enough to keep me going.  The days following I kept returning to that verse and I felt myself getting stronger and I began feeling angry at my mother for leaving me.  But I realized later that the anger was the beginning of the healing and eventually I was able to laugh and smile again.  The pain would remain with me for many, many years but it lessened over time.  Each stab of pain was accompanied by the remembrance of how G-d helped me and comforted me.  Psalm 34 is true:  He IS close to the brokenhearted.  We are never alone.

Today I heard a song that reminded me of this promise and I realized that G-d’s hands must be very large to hold all the tears of His children for so many of us have felt this kind of pain or have cried for so many various reasons.  The song is “Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns.

And I’ll praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are no matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand
You never left my side and though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm

If life finds you in a storm right now, the only thing you can do is Praise Him.  He will turn your ashes into beauty and He will reward your faith with a beautiful testimony of His love and sustenance.  Your tears are not falling unheeded – He is catching every one of them and is holding them in His hand and one day…….. He will wipe away every tear we ever cried and we will never cry again.


The name of my blog, “maizydoats,” may seem strange if you’ve never heard the silly song written in 1943 by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston.  The actual word in the song is “maiRzy doats,” but I did not realize this until I read it in print.  “MaizyDoats” is what my EARS heard and that is the point of the blog name.  Many times our ears do not pick up certain sounds and letters that are actually in the words we are speaking.  I believe this is one of the most difficult things in learning a new language also.

I always find it so adorable to hear children repeat what they think they hear.  Their version is so comical at times and conveys so much more than what they are actually saying.  A great example is a little incident that occurred several years ago.  My daughter Amanda was trying to teach her 2 year old nephew what to do in case of an emergency. 

Amanda:  Dial 911 and tell them your address

Alex:  Tell them I’m a dress?

You can imagine the guffaws and rolling on the floor that little conversation produced.  There are many incidents I can recall just like that with my children as they were growing up and my grandchildren now.  Those moments are so adorable and so joyful to recall and share with each other.

But back to the song and my blog name.  The song, Mairzy Doats perfectly communicates the play on words that I so love and have loved for many, many years; in fact, the bridge lyrics express it wonderfully,

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey, sing “Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.  A kid’ll eat ivy too, wouldn’t you?

I always thought I must be weird to enjoy something like “words” until I read an essay/book by Anne Dillard entitled, “An American Childhood.”  It has always been one of my favorite essays and I find myself recalling portions of it from time to time.  The essay is a beautiful tribute to Ms. Dillard’s mother and the reader is treated to “see” this special woman through the eyes of the author’s words.

And that is what I think is so cool about language – the connection between hearing, reading, and seeing. 

I have a lot more I’d like to share on this topic but it seems too much and too broad for one post.

Mairzy doats and dozy doats

And liddle lamzy divey

A kiddley divey too,

Wouldn’t You?


Zakka and Utilitarian Items

I love Zakka!  It is a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan.  The term “zakka” is a Japanese word that doesn’t seem to have a real definition but rather refers to something.  Wikipedia defines it this way and I think they do a pretty good job of it:

The term refers to everything that improves your home, life, and appearance.  It is often based on household items from the West that are regarded as “kitsch” in their countries of origin, but it can also be Japanese goods, mainly from the 50’s, 60’s, & 70’s.  Zakka can also be contemporary handicraft.

I found it interesting that zakka includes goods from the 50’s, etc. because when I find zakka patterns and project ideas, I am transported back in time to when I was a young girl in the 60’s.  The types of craft and household items in stores like Woolworth’s and Neisner’s are so reminiscent of zakka type articles.

I follow all the zakka blogs I can find and have begun applyng the design concepts back into my sewing projects.  I sense a new inspiration and love of home that I’ve been missing for a while.  I’ve been wishing I had hung onto some of the items from my past that I remember but am so happy that I am starting to see them in stores again.

For instance, in Walmart yesterday, they had a package of dish towels for embroidery that were exactly like what I remembered.  Coarse cotton with utility stripes bordering the sides and room in the middle of the towel for embellishing.  So utilitarian which is my style.  I love pretty things but not if they are only pretty and not useful.  It makes no sense to me to have something just sit and look pretty while it collects dust.

I am also starting to notice that Joanns has an area of their store devoted to “utility” fabrics.  These include pillow ticking, muslin, waffle cloth, and huck toweling to name a few.

Huck toweling is awesome as well as the waffle cloth.  Both are good for towels and both are great for embroidery.  Huck is typically used for a type of weaving called “Swedish or “huck” weaving.  The craft uses a tapestry needle and either embroidery thread or DMC pearl cotton.  The latter is my preference for huck weaving.  I like waffle cloth for softies (stuffed play toys) and potholders.

Both of these fabrics sort of puff up after they are washed making them soft, fluffy, and absorbent; just like a towel is supposed to be.

Another great utility fabric I forgot to mention in the Joanns utility category is “Osnaburg.”  It resembles a coarse linen (though it is 100% cotton) and can be used as such.  I’ve seen it used for curtain/drapes and shower curtains as well as small delicate embroidery.  I also use it for frontiersman shirts for my husbands 18th century re-enacting wardrobe.  I always keep a supply of osnaburg on hand and I am always looking for ways to use it.  Someone told me last year that it can also be used for toweling which I thoroughly agree with.  In the 18th century they probably used linen which would be very expensive for us to use today for toweling.

As the Zakka craze grows, I am hoping my understanding and appreciation of all things utilitarian will grow too.  I want to be able to see beauty in the mundane and get back to the art of “making do.”

Here are a few of my favorite zakka sites: