A Fascinating Craft

My latest crafting experiment is the making of fascinators, those jaunty little bits of fluff that adorn the society elite when they go to tea or a wedding.  I want to make several for a special occasion coming soon and so I have been trying my hand at constructing some with a few things I have on hand: some headbands in various colours, coloured felt, ribbons,tulle, artificial flowers, felt maple leaves, buttons and anything else I can find.  Here are the first results:

I’m having great fun making these and I have been hand-sewing them together.  I have some large barrettes to use as well, but I will need to use the glue gun to construct them.




Finger Puppets for the Truck Page

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These are the finger puppets I made to go in the truck for the quiet book.  The top ones are of the carrot, corn, peas and tomato.  The one below it is the farmer.  I am sorry there is so much glare in the photos, but I think you can see what I intended.   Finger puppets were a challenge because the details are so small but they were fun to make.  2016-05-03 23.04.03 The book is now finished and bound so all I need to do is take it to my grandson and see if he likes it.

The Train for “Things That Go”

I was a bit stumped about making a train.  Then I remembered that I had bought some plastic mesh canvas.  I cut out the sides and ends of each of the cars and sewed felt to it. I thought about using buttons for the wheels but worried that they might pull off, so I made the wheels out of grey felt. I used an empty thread spool for the engine and covered it with black felt. I attached velcro between each car so that the train would stay together when it was pulled. I sewed bias tape to the bottom of each car so that the elastic could be threaded through it and the elastic is sewn together on the back of the felt background. Eventually the pages that back each other will be sewn together around the outside edges so the sewing won’t show. The train isn’t beautiful, but it does move on the elastic along the short track.

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Train Page for “Things That Go”

I am presently working on the quiet book page about trains.  This is the train track, tunnel and background for the page.  All I need now is to make the train.  Hmmm… that will need some more thought.Trains ride 22016-04-13 16.27.32My plan is to put part of the train through the tunnel on a length of narrow elastic cord much like the car on the car page.  I want the train to be more three dimensional though.



More”Things That Go” Pages

I have added three more pages to the quiet book for my grandson.  The teddy bear comes partly out of the rocking chair.  The jet plane can “soar” along the elastic and the fish can jump out of the waves.  I’m having fun thinking of ways that the objects on the pages can move.  I think that it will make the book more interesting for a one year old boy.

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The Other Cat

This blog post gave me lots of chuckles. I know you will enjoy reading it as well.

Around ZuZu's Barn


Having written A Berkshire Tale with a kitten, ZuZu,  as the main character (ZuZu is my own little  tabby I rescued from under a barn.), I’ve found whenever I write a post with a feline tag, cat lovers tune in. They are a loyal audience.  So, today I’m writing just for them.

Often, people who know me and who read A Berkshire Tale solemnly advise that I should write about “the other cat”. They seem to feel I’m favoring one furry child, ZuZu, over the other, Roxie. They apparently are concerned about her self-esteem. They worry she might IMG_0115develop an inferiority complex once the book hits the best-seller list.

Now,Roxie is a bit quirky in a perverted sort of way. She spent the first few weeks with us atop the refrigerator, swatting wildly at me when I climbed the step-stool to pet her head and  coming down to eat at night…

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Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal: July 1815 (part 3)

Tuesday, July 18. 1815



silohuette of Ada Mae

Dear Janetta,

I went to Charles’ grave in the orchard today and told him that I plan to send our boys to England to protect them.  It will be an arduous journey and I am anxious whether I am risking their lives more by the voyage or if I were to keep them here with me.  When I told Evvy my decision she was horrified and begged me to reconsider, but Mr. O’Meara’s visit has reinforced my decision though it breaks my heart.  I have told my parents and they too, tried to dissuade me, but I am certain Charlie and Andrew must be protected from harm. 

Father has sent word to all our neighbours north of Johnstown to be alert for any sign of a stranger.  The Randalls and the Branch family have promised to come to our defence, but everyone is haying now.  This is the beginning of our busiest time and none can be spared to watch over us. I keep as busy as I can making meals for the men and watching my two little ones.  I am storing up memories and Evvy has not stopped her attempts to change my mind.  I plan to send word to Persephone as soon as possible …

Thursday, July 20, 1815medicine bottles

Adeline is very ill.  She felt ill  early yesterday and took to her bed with a raging fever.  Mrs. Randall was summoned and has been at her side all night.  I have been looking after Charlie and Andrew, but they are constantly calling for their Mamma.  I don’t dare let them see her for fear they might get sick also and they need to be in good health for their trip to England. 

I know my sister is afraid they are 
in grave danger here, but I fear the ocean voyage might be much more of a trial. They need their mother.  Robert drove his mother here and stayed to keep the boys amused while I tend to the meals.  I think he is more concerned about my sister’s health.  It is very plain to see how much regard he has for Addie.  Father and William carried Addie over to the cabin so that the rest of us will remain healthy.  I know that Mother is anxious because she is humming hymns while she works. 

Hector stopped by today, but understood immediately I had no thought in my head but of Addie.  He is the most considerate of men.  He promised to take a message to Everett and his sister if I wished, but although I know Addie wants to tell Persephone that she has decided to give the children up to her, I am praying it shan’t be required. 

Now, I must take some broth over to Mrs. Randall and Adeline.  I do hope there has been some change in her health.

Later: Father has sent William to Fort Wellington for the army doctor.  Adeline is delirious and Mrs. Randall is very worried.

So am I.


Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal – June 1815

A fictional account of a young woman’s life during the War of 1812

© 2012 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

The story so far:

Adeline is the young mother of twin boys born after the murder of her husband, Sgt. Charles Houghton, a member of the English infantry, stationed at Fort Wellington in Prescott (Upper Canada).   Before she was married she was abducted by American spies and taken across the St. Lawrence to Ogdensburg.  In order to escape she wounded one of her captors, Jake Bourke.  Bourke has sworn to get his revenge and in doing so murdered her husband, and burned her home.  He was captured and sent to Brockville to face trial but, escaped with the help of two of his confreres.

Sunday, May 21, 1815

Thistledown Farm

Dear Janetta,

I have not had two minutes together to write a line, until today.  Both my babies were sick with croup after my last entry and as soon as they recovered we were busy preparing the garden.  Planting will begin as soon as the evenings are warmer.  We have a much shorter growing season here in Upper Canada than we had in England.  Evvy and I spent a number of days hoeing, digging and pulling up weeds.  It will be wonderful to have fresh vegetables again. 

Charlie and Andrew are growing stronger, getting sturdier and more curious.  I have to watch them every minute.  Andrew is especially mischievous and manages to get himself into more scrapes now that he is walking.  Charlie is still creeping mostly, but he is trying to copy his brother in every way, so it won’t be long before he is tottering around after Andrew. 

Robert hasn’t visited us since that awful day he came to tell me about Bourke.  He  has stopped by to see father and Henry once or twice, but whenever I approach he makes an excuse to leave.  I must admit it wounds me and the children miss his visits.  Mother and Father have not mentioned this to me, but Evvy has.  Evvy says that Robert, Henry and William have taken turns scouting the woods each night for fear of Bourke.

Truly Janetta, I have nightmares about Bourke.  One night, I dreamt Bourke had snatched my babies from their cradles and I woke up screaming. Mother and Evvy came running over from the main house with Father, armed with the flintlock pistol he’d confiscated in Ogdensburg.  The babies were frightened too.  I felt so foolish for letting my fears get the best of me but my babies are my dearest treasures.  I am wrestling with the idea of sending them to England where they will be safer.  Persephone Houghton Norris wrote to us  in April to say that she would be arriving in Prescott in early June if the tides are in her favour.  I must make a decision before then.





Sunday, June 18, 1815   

Dear Janetta,

Persephone arrived in Prescott three days ago.  Her brother, Everett reported that she found the travel by durham boat extremely tiring and “primitive”, but “she is a game girl” (his words) and is bearing up well.  She has not as yet visited us but is purchasing “suitable bush clothing” in Ogdensburg.  Evvy says that she must be planning on  heavy linen from head to foot.  If so she will find it serviceable but much too warm.  Evidently, she is traveling with a maid and a children’s nanny. I am trying to wean the boys to a cup for the journey, but they only turned one year old yesterday and have no interest in tin cups.  Or, perhaps, I simply am not insisting as the days of departure draw closer.  Oh how can I give up my sweet loves?  They are so affectionate and loving.  They are my only tie to Charles.  I cannot bear the thought of losing them and yet…what if Bourke were to harm them? 

Nothing has been heard or seen of Bourke, or the O’Meara brothers since they killed his guards and released him from the shackles.  William thinks they are laying low over the American side of the St. Lawrence until most of the soldiers have left the Fort.  I haven’t any confidence that Bourke has given up his planned revenge and I don’t sleep well. 

Robert’s brother, Arthur, has returned from America much to the relief of the Randall family.  He was reportedly recovering across the river from wounds he sustained in New Orleans. Janetta, I am glad he has returned and now he will be able to look after his son, Adam.  Adam is just a few weeks younger than Charlie and Andrew, but seeing them play together, you would think they were all brothers.

God’s blessings,


Sunday, June 25, 2015

Dear Janetta,

Lady Persephone Norris came calling on Friday with her brother, Captain Houghton.  He, most certainly, had an ulterior motive, that of visiting Miss Eveline Price with the sweet temperament and the mishievous dimples.  Lady Persephone is not what I’d expected.  She is quite practical and gracious.  She brought them warm knitted leggings and jackets which will fit them well in the fall.  Perhaps she intended them to keep them warm on the voyage to England, but I just cannot bear that thought at the moment.  She remarked that in England all children wear frocks until boys are old enough to be put into short trousers, but she felt pioneering required more serviceable clothes.  “Serviceable” is the word of which she is most fond.  Persephone seems anxious to begin our acquaintanceship on friendly terms and she confided in me she felt oddly conflicted about the mission with which she has been entrusted. 

“I think children should be with their parents,” she told me. “That is why I have employed an excellent tutor who boards with us. I want my two girls to know proper deportment, how to carry on an intelligent conversation and how to keep their own account books.  Half the problems in society today are caused by foolish unnecessary expenditures for fripperies. Don’t you agree, my dear Adeline?”

Before I had a chance to answer, Persephone had changed the topic of conversation to how brave I am to bear up under the grief of losing the comfort of a loving companion and helpmate.  She proceeded to tell me some of her fondest memories of Charles as a little boy, how he loved apples, climbing trees, reading poetry and playing with his constant companion, his dog , Plato.  She reminisced about Charles’ desire to see the colonies and how he joined the infantry when he was just 16, barely out of short trousers in her opinion. Although she was three years his elder, she and Charles were evidently close confidants until she got married. 

When I offered to go and get the boys up from their nap, she kindly declined the offer  saying that she would return later in the week Lady Persephone wears a silver locket with the golden curls of her children in it.  She told me her girls, Isolde and Camille, are four and five years of age. 

“It pains me to be away from them for any time,” she sighed, “so I can imagine how hard this decision will be for you.  All I can tell you is that Issy and Cammy are looking forward to having a brother or brothers to share their nursery.  My husband is longing for a son to educate and introduce into society.We will honour whatever your decision will be, but be assured my father will provide an excellent education for his grandsons.”

My distress must have been apparent for Lady Persephone squeezed my hands before she left for Prescott in the wagon with her brother. 

Mother gave me a hug and said “Goodness, Lady Norris is a veritable whirlwind talker!  She wears no frills and furbelows, I’ll give her that and she speaks quite plainly.  I hope she didn’t upset you, Addie.”

My eyes were swimming with tears.  I just shook my head and cleared the tea things off the table. My head and heart were whirling.  They still are.  Whatever will I do, Janetta?


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