Sneak Peek!

Just a little glimpse of what we’ve been up to on the "business" side of life…

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By the grace of God, our Etsy Shop is finally up and running. We still have quite a few items to list, but Etsy is very easy to work with (even for my technologically challenged blonde head!).

By the way, the pictures are of soon-to-be aprons! Notice all of the pink. We just can’t help ourselves, I guess.

posted by Apphia

Pillow Talk!

Family_thanksgiving_day_laundry_012 Here they are… I thought the day would never come that I would actually finish these pillows and put them on the bed!  You see, I finished the pillows a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't want to put them on the bed until I'd finished the dust ruffle topper(I have a white dust ruffle that hangs to the floor, but I found it just wasn't zippy enough for me so I sewed on some velcro and then made different detachable dust ruffles to hang down over the top of the white).


Well, I finished it at the end of last week and thought I'd save it all for sheet changing day (see my little quirk???).  So, a week ago tomorrow, I was able to put it all together.  I think the fabric is beautiful and makes a special bed.  By the way, I bought all of my fabric from a dear Christian lady who owns a quilt shop down in Camp Wood, TX. 

posted by Kristie

Seven Gifts That Don’t Cost a Cent

We hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! We did, and in true Long fashion, our day was not dull. Lord willing we will be posting pictures soon. But, since the day after Thanksgiving is said to be the busiest shopping day of the year, we thought we’d post a list from Mrs. Dunwoody’s Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping that’s titled…

Seven Gifts Which Do Not Cost a Cent

1. The gift of listening… But you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

2. The gift of affection… With appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handholds. These small actions demonstrate love in a powerful way.

3. The gift of laughter… Share amusing stories, humorous cartoons, and clippings from newspapers. Laughter establishes a bond between people and is one of the most effective medicines I know.

4. The gift of a handwritten note… Kind words change lives and last a lifetime.

5. The gift of a compliment… A simple kind and sincere remark can change how a person feels about himself.

6. The gift of a favor… Every week try to do at least one small act of kindness outside your family. (Acts of kindness are so hard to give away bacause they are almost always returned.)

7. The gift of a cheerful disposition… The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Look him in the eye and speak kindly from the heart with sincerity.

posted by Achaia

Just wondering!

What are you thankful for?

Does your family have any special Thanksgiving traditions?

Maybe a favorite recipe you’d like to share?

We’d love to hear about them!

Precious In The Sight of The Lord

I know I just posted something, but I am asking for prayers for my friend, Megan. Early this afternoon her older brother Scott, age 20, went to be with our Lord. Scott had cerebral palsy. I ask that you please pray that Jesus will give Megan, her parents, and her younger brother and sister comfort and strength. Thank you.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psalm 116:15

posted by Achaia

Pincushion Party!!

I love pincushions!! And I love to sew! No matter what the project… I love doing it! Pincushions are a fun and bright way to add a splash of color across a room or add a fresh smell at your studio table.  With the sweet fresh smell of lavender (we find our lavender at…. very refreshing!! Here’s a little sample of the ones I make:Pincushions_sick_closet_002

I’ve found several patterns of pincushions, but none exactly suited our taste, so we came up with these. Aren’t they pretty cute? I love picking the fabric to use on them and putting together odd combinations (everybody says I’m real good at that part!). We are planning to sell them. I can make about any color combination imaginable!

posted by Abigail

Family Film Night

Friday nights around the Long house are always hopping! It’s the one night a week that we spend doing absolutely nothing but holding down the couch. And watching old movies. And eating pizza and drinking soda pop. And just being together. Does it get much better than that?

Even though we love Dominos pizza, our homemade pizza is a real treat… even Dad (who generally dislikes pizza- imagine that!) loves the stuff. Chewy crust and dripping cheese and lots of pepperoni. Yes, Family Film Night with homemade pizza is a family tradition.

Here’s our secret recipe!

Long’s Friday Night Pizza

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1- 1/4 oz. package active dry yeast

1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (plus extra for dusting the pizza pans)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 3/4 cups unbleached flour (you can use half whole wheat white flour)

pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese (organic tastes best!), pepperoni, and your choice of toppings

Pour yeast into a large mixing bowl. Pour lukewarm water over yeast; let dissolve 5 minutes. Beat in 2 cups of flour and all of the cornmeal. Beat vigorously for one minute using a wooden spoon.


Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap; set in warm spot for 10 minutes. Stir in salt and olive oil. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour, a little at a time until you have a soft, kneadable dough. Turn onto countertop and knead vigorously for 8 minutes, adding sprinkles of flour to prevent sticking, until your dough is smooth and elastic.


Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for an hour. Lightly dust two pizza pans with more cornmeal. Divide dough in half and punch out into circles (we like to use a rolling pin). Place on pizza pans. Top with pizza sauce, meats, and mozzarella cheese.

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Bake at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

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Voila! Long’s Friday Night Pizza. Can you make it in time for supper next weekend?

posted by Apphia

Handy Storage Solutions

After spending some time settling into my new room, I realized that storage (that is, attractive storage) can be a real problem. So after struggling for not a little while to find something suitable, we came up with these solutions….

Cigar Boxes- oh, I know that seems funny. But you see, when my mom was in junior high, she knew a girl whose father owned a cigar store. Mom still has boxes that her friend gave to her in the late 70s! And they are really very cute and colorful. Not to mention very inexpensive. Be sure to get the wooden kind… they are most durable!


Glass Cracker Jars- these are so cute, and a very convenient way to store pretty objects like ribbons or buttons or beads. At $3 to $5 dollars each, cracker jars are perfect for the frugally minded. However, I must warn you… the lids are silver. So I spray paint them! These want to be turquoise, I think.

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Plastic Woven Baskets- I found these Rubbermaid baskets on clearance and bought them before I really had any idea of what to do with them. But they have turned out to be such a blessing! They now house sheets, extra sweaters, papers and memorabilia, Christmas presents (those go on the very top shelf!), and other little items.

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Little Flea Market Finds- This category is definitely most fun! The little jars and dishes found at flea markets or garage sales are often so unique that they really make a statement. And they can be bought for literally pennies! Some of my favorites cost me less than $1 a piece. They are great for things like pens, pencils, scissors, seam gauges, jewelry, and hair barrettes.


Photo Storage Boxes- These are great, too! We have them in the sewing room for miscellaneous notions like thread, zippers, adhesives, embellishments, and purse handles. Both JoAnn Fabrics and Hobby Lobby carry these in a wide assortment of colors. (The boxes shown below are in the sewing room, but I plan to find some colored ones for my bedroom.)


Once you really start looking, storing those little odds and ends becomes easier. It’s always exciting for us to discover some clever way to hide our less-than-pretty necessities!

The Lord continues to bless us in ways that astonish me! After struggling with the advertising dilemma, He has graciously dropped a wonderful opportunity right at our feet. Sometime in mid to late December one of our pleated cottage aprons will be in a giveaway on Crystal Paine’s blog! We have been encouraged by Crystal’s blog for quite some time now, and are very excited about the giveaway. We’re working on a diaper bag for her as well, and in return are receiving a whole month of free advertising! It’s been such a joy to work with Crystal… she is so sweet. I am very thankful for this opportunity. In the last several months, the Lord has prospered our work so much and allowed us to do things that I would’ve never imagined!

posted by Apphia

“Then Let Them Eat Cake!”

Ever had a hard time finding something to eat for breakfast? For us, with so many things to do in just ONE day, breakfast needs to be quick (and yummy!). What’s one of my favorite solutions? Blueberry Cake! Mom kind of "came up" with this idea so we could save a little bit more time by not having to clean out muffin tins from blueberry muffins (see the theme? We’re always looking for good ways to save a smidge of time). So, Mom took our homemade blueberry muffin recipe and came up with this delicious cake. And the best part about it is that you cook it the day before, then in the morning all you have to do (and this is optional) is to warm it up for a few seconds and put some butter on it. (I always do that!) Here it is:

Yummy Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Cream: 1/2 cup butter with 1 1/4 cup sugar

Add: 2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

Mix just until "Add" things are moistened. Add 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries and stir gently. Spray 9 x 13 cake pan and pour batter in. Bake at 375 degrees for at least 20-25 minutes. Use toothpick to check for doneness.

Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? I highly recommend giving it a try!

posted by Achaia

This one’s for you Mom!!!

Modeling_bags_nov_2007_153 Since we aren’t close in miles, I thought that I would just have to show you this quilt this way, Mom.  Do you remember our "treasure hunt" in Oklahoma several weeks ago?  Well, aside from my $2.50 glass to hold pens and pencils in the studio, this quilt was my major find.  Of course it caught my eye since it was a quilt with lots of colors… so I read the ticket that the owner had put on it… "Handmade in Kansas in the late 1800’s".  I just had to pick it up to feel it – then I saw the back of it…. my favorite shade of bright pink…and the scalloped edges…and the tiny little pieces…Well, Mom, as a quilt lover yourself, you must know what I was thinking.  I thought of the painstaking work that someone put into such an awesome quilt.  Each piece is a hexagon with each side measuring only 1/2", and each hexagon is then sewn into a diamond shape block.  Truly a work of art.  I imagine a mother made this quilt for one of her children or grandchildren… she cut and sewed each little piece with love…maybe she even prayed for each member of her family as she worked on this..

Modeling_bags_nov_2007_150 I didn’t buy the quilt that day if you can believe it.  I wasn’t in the "spending mood" so even though it was reasonable priced, I passed it by… but I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  For days I thought of that quilt and wondered if I’d made a mistake.  "Oh, I should’ve bought that quilt!" I’d say to the girls.  Suddenly it struck me… Zeb had given me some money for my birthday and I hadn’t spent it yet… why didn’t I use that money for the quilt???  Yippee!!  But, I didn’t know the name of the store that had the quilt…we’d went to so many that day…Providentially, Apphia had taken a picture of the sign outside that particular antique store so I found out the name.  I searched on the internet and found their phone number.  I then called and  explained my situation and how I couldn’t stop thinking of a certain quilt that I’d seen there the week before, would they see if it was still there and could I send them money for it.  Frankly, I thought it could be gone because it was so beautiful and so reasonable priced.  Imagine my excitement when the owner walked through the store back to where I told her I’d seen it and found it still laying wadded up there!!  Praise The Lord!!!!  I was elated!!!  She said I could send her the check and she’d get the quilt in the mail!   About a week later the quilt came and how sweet it was… worth every penny… and a very special birthday gift from my oldest son.  Thanks, Zeb!!  I love you!Modeling_bags_nov_2007_148Modeling_bags_nov_2007_146


Hope you like the quilt, Mom!  I love you too!

posted by Kristie

What’s in a name?

Many have asked us why the name marie-madeline.  These are both family names….names of two ladies that we love and admire. 

Marie is the middle name of my dear mother-in-law.  She is a real believer in our dreams and she always has a wonderful outlook on life.  I’ve truly been blessed with a mother-in-law that loves me like she does… I don’t deserve her.  Thank you, Mamie!  I love you!

Madeline is my maternal grandmother’s middle name.  My grandma (and my grandpa) taught my mom to love to work with her hands and my mom passed the same love down to me.  All my life I can remember my grandma working on some sort of project… painting, sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting…it didn’t seem as if there was anything my grandma wouldn’t give a try to.  I still remember Saturdays spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s house (we were blessed to live in the same town as my maternal grandparents)…my sisters and I would go over to help my grandma clean house.  Along with cleaning house, we watched bowling (one of Grandma’s favorites).  Grandma always had us choose the men we thought would win.  Of course Grandma always choose the winner!  Confidentially, I think we based our choices on whose shirt or shoes we liked the best!  And…Grandma always gave us a Coke!!  We didn’t get cokes at home all the time, so that made a trip to Grandma’s even more fun!  My grandma is 91 years old now and I trust that each remaining day The Lord gives her to be on this earth, will be joy-filled.  I love you dearly, Grandma.

posted by Kristie

Pattern Update! (And a yummy recipe that we know you’ll all love)

Ethans_school_diner_night_sample__2 The pleated cottage apron pattern by marie-madeline studio is now hot off the press!!! Along with our other two new patterns, "laraine" and "ilsa", this cute apron pattern will soon be available to everyone… we’ll post a link to the website where they can be purchased (God willing!) very soon. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview!


"laraine" shoulder bag                                                          "ilsa" handbagEthans_school_diner_night_sample__4                  Ethans_school_diner_night_sample__6

Thankfully for all of you non-sewers, these bags (and the aprons!) are also available ready-made from marie-madeline studio! Just email us at for more information and pricing…. we also have several other styles to choose from.

Now for the recipe….

Super Easy Peach Cobbler

2 large cans sliced peaches in heavy syrup

1 box yellow cake mix (with butter)

1 stick "I can’t believe it’s not butter"


sugar (usually 1/2 to 3/4 cup… more sugar for a crispier crust)

Pour both cans of peaches into a 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle to taste with cinnamon (we usually cover the entire top). Pour DRY yellow cake mix over peaches and cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar over cake mix. Melt butter and pour over top. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, or until topping is golden brown and crispy. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

posted by Apphia and Achaia