A New Apron for a New Year!

Announcing our newest design… the "Chic Sisters Apron"! We are really excited about this adorable full apron. It’s both feminine and flattering, as well as practical! The "Chic Sisters Apron" features a lined bib (for soaking up spills, of course), darts for a neat fit, and a snazzy flounced hem. Pair that with up-to-the-minute fabrics, and you have an unbeatable combination. By the way, did you know that it is an undeniable fact that wearing a cute apron makes you a better cook?

Apron_full_with_flounce_002 Apron_full_with_flounce_006

Apron_full_with_flounce_013 Apron_full_with_flounce_017

Apron_full_with_flounce_022 Apron_full_with_flounce_036

Apron_full_with_flounce_041_standar Apron_full_with_flounce_029

Come, Let Us Adore Him

Christmas_stockings_001_3 Christmas_stockings_004_4

May The Lord Jesus Christ bless you all with a wonderful joy-filled Christmas Day!

Love, The Long Family


Apphias_pillows_009 Apphias_pillows_005

Apphias_pillows_010 Apphias_pillows_008

Apphias_pillows_007 Apphias_pillows_005_2

At last, by the grace of God, my bed pillows are finally finished! It's taken me a long time, but I think the results are worth the effort. After picking out some of my favorite fabrics for the fronts of each pillow, I used a less expensive white material for the backs, which tied the pillows in very well with my white quilt.

Just wait 'til you see the results of the project that Dad and I are working on for the empty space above my bed!

posted by Apphia

What do you think?

Apphias_pillows_002Here’s a sample of the materials that we plan to use in next week’s giveaway!

We’re hard at work on it now… so give us a couple of days…

“I’m hungry, Mom!”

I’m sure that everyone who’s reading this likes to eat regularly… we all have that same habit… but one thing I find hard to do is think about what exactly I should make for this big family of mine.  Before I started menu planning, I would get out of bed and be hit with the realization that it was entirely up to me to see that we were all fed…. what a chore!  I must ashamedly admit, that it wasn’t a job that I really enjoyed.  So, after I could no longer think of anything to eat, I started planning a menu for a month at a time.  What freedom!!!  In this already-too-full brain of mine, I have one less thing to think about!  All I have to do is look at the menu and say, "Girls, we’re making cheeseburgers and fries tonight".  Not to say that we don’t ever change the menu, and not to say that everyone likes all that we eat.  But, everyone eats all that we serve without complaining.  Here is a sample of our December menu.

Menu_and_book_covers_006 Menu_and_book_covers_013

If I change my mind and we eat something unplanned, I’ll circle what we DIDN’T eat and write in what we ate instead.  This way I’ll know what we have on hand to eat at another time. I also try to keep a balanced menu to make sure that we’re eating healthily.

One thing that we’ve been doing lately is making plenty of extra to freeze.  For instance, I’ve found that making two meatloaves is not much more work than one, so we make two and freeze one for another night.  Then all we need is some green beans and potatoes and bread and we are good to go.  As life seems to move by more quickly and we seem to always be busy, I think planning ahead is a great way to help take the stress out of feeling-hungry-and-not-knowing-what-to-eat days.

posted by Kristie

New Design Coming Soon!

It does seem like so many people have asked us about making diaper bags. Introducing the "crystal" by marie-madeline studio! Made out of sturdy denim with an adorable ruffle around the top, and lined with deep, ticking striped pockets. How fun is this? (And confidentially, we have an idea for a matching changing pad… hmm…) The best part about "crystal" is that it doesn’t look like a diaper bag. All of us Long ladies decided years ago never to carry a looks-like-a-diaper-bag diaper bag. It just isn’t our style. So we came up with this pattern! It’s cute enough to be carried as a tote as well, which was exactly what we wanted. (By the way, sorry about the packing paper in the last picture… the bag was on it’s way out the door when we snapped these pics!)



Also, for those of you who have asked about full aprons, yes, we are working on them, too! So many ideas are swirling about in our minds right now. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do next!  

Ice Storm Warnings….

It may be that we’re in for another ice storm. As if the one we had last year wasn’t experience enough! We just want to let everyone know in case we lose our power and are unable to blog or return emails. Last January we had an ice storm that left us without electricity for ten days! Please be praying that this too shall pass…

Deck Those Halls! (and Windows and Doors and Walls)

Decorating for the Christmas season is always lots of fun. But coming up with ways to use all of those cast-off ornaments can be somewhat challenging. Here are some of our favorite ways to bring a "zapper" (as our dear great grandma would say!) to holiday decor.

1. Gather up those basic shiny ball ornaments into a neat display! This little shelf above the closet door was the perfect place for vintage milk glass dishes (we have such a weakness for dishes) overflowing with colorful ornaments. This is actually a permanent decoration, because after last Christmas we couldn’t bear to part with it. Here we have used vintage ornaments thrifted from flea markets and garage sales (can you believe anyone would sell hot pink ornaments?) to coordinate with our decorating colors, but wouldn’t a collection of mis-matched milk glass heaped with shiny red ornaments be a beautiful centerpiece for your dining room table this Christmas?



2. Find a miniature artificial Christmas tree to enliven a boring corner. This one was purchased at a reduced sale price a couple of years ago. Dressed up with some inexpensive organdy ribbon, a strand of beads, old shiny balls, and some new glitter ornaments, this little tree becomes a big statement. (And is also a favorite of Ethan, age 4, who considers this tree "his size"!)


3. Use some old ornaments strung onto organdy ribbon as a whimsical window valance. Along with some beads (another thrift), this is a really fun holiday decoration. You may even try a strand of leftover Christmas lights, too! (Please excuse those roller shades…. they’re on the makeover list!) We like to hang our ornaments at varying heights for more impact.

Decorating_with_ornaments_008 Decorating_with_ornaments_007

marie-madeline studio sewing patterns

We have designed our patterns to be fun and unique, as well as practical. Each marie-madeline pattern contains full-size pattern pieces and clearly written, illustrated instructions to give your project professional results every time.

It is exciting for us to see our first three patterns in print…. we hope to release more marie-madeline studio original designs very soon, including more bags, aprons, home dec, and clothes for little girls!

To purchase one of our patterns, please email us your name, address, and the quantity and item number (i.e. M063, etc.) of the pattern you would like to buy. We will send you the total, which may be payed by Paypal, personal check, or money order.

If you have already purchased one of our patterns and have a question about anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

M063 "ilsa" handbag pattern…. $12

M063 M063_back_cover

M064 "laraine" shoulder bag pattern…. $12

M064 M064_back_cover

M065 pleated cottage apron pattern…. $8

M065 M065_back_cover

For any of you who may like to sell these patterns through your business, please email us for wholesale information. Thank you!

The Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe Ever

One thing that our family can’t get enough of is cinnamon rolls. For as long as I can remember, we’ve cooked the Pillsbury canned kind. I know, I know- very unhealthy! But in spite of their less than nutritional value, they were a necessity on every special occasion. Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines… you get the picture. However, while looking for something on the Internet a few weeks ago, Mom came across this recipe that we tweaked just a little. Now these cinnamon rolls are our very favorite. With an icy glass of whole milk, they are a yummy start to the day!

Cinnamon Rolls

Mix 1 qt. (equals 4 cups) whole milk, 1 cup oil (canola or coconut is best), and 1 cup sugar in a pan. "Scald" mixture by heating until almost to boiling point. Turn off heat and leave to cool for about an hour, or until warm.

Pour 2 packages active dry yeast into warm mixture, and let sit for a few minutes to soften.

Add 8 cups flour. Stir and let sit for at least one hour. Dough will rise near top of bowl.


Add 1 cup flour, one heaping teaspoon baking powder, one not-quite-full teaspoon baking soda, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir well.

Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Divide dough in half. Take one half and form into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough out thinly, increasing the length and width of the rectangle as you roll.

Cinnamon_rolls_002 Cinnamon_rolls_005

Drizzle 1 1/2 to 2 cups melted butter over dough, using a spatula to make sure all of the dough is covered. Sprinkle 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar over dough, followed by a generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon.

Cinnamon_rolls_007 Cinnamon_rolls_006

Now, start rolling the dough towards you in a neat, tight line. (A little oozing is fine!) Pinch the roll seam to seal.


Butter your pans. Foil pie pans work especially well. Cut your long roll into 1" thick slices. Place about 8 rolls in each pan. Repeat process with other half of dough. This makes about 7 pie pans full. Let rolls rise 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Cinnamon_rolls_010 Cinnamon_rolls_004


(Isn’t this everyone’s favorite part of cinnamon rolls?) I am going to give you a rough idea of the measurements for this icing, but really we just make ours to taste!

3 1/2 pounds powdered sugar

1 cup milk

1/3 cup melted butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

a teeny pinch of salt

Icing should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed.

Generously drizzle icing over warm rolls. Don’t be afraid of using plenty of icing, and make sure to let some ooze down the perimeter of the pans so the outside of the rolls will get iced.


After eating these, you’ll never want to eat canned cinnamon rolls again… we don’t!

posted by Apphia

Dwell on These Things

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virture, and if there be any praise, think on these things."  Philippians 4:8

Here are a couple chapters that we are memorizing as a family through song…

Psalm 127

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Psalm 43

Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For Thou art the God of my strength: why dost Thou cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise Thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Let your mind dwell on these things.

posted by Kristie