Music to Sew By.


You know, awhile back I told you all about my embroidered pillow project, and made you guess where the title came from.  I really had intended (cross my heart) to give away the answer sooner than now, but everything got in the way.  Today I'm finally giving in! 

Several of you guessed it was a song of some kind, but no one was sure who sang it.  Until, of course, my Paps (via my Nanny) informed us that it was a country song by Hank Locklin that came out in 1958.  He was right.  I should have known he would know.  "Who sang that song?" – ask Paps "Did such and such sing with anyone else?" – ask Paps.  I could go on…. 

However, I was thinking of the Dean Martin version that was released in 1965.  Both were extremely popular.  So, there you have it!

Is there anything in particular you like to listen to while you sew?  Anything you like to watch, do, stand on your head (that would be impressive) while sewing?  I'm a definite movie watcher when it comes to handwork.  Anyone else?  I'm usually sewing to the hum of the dryer or one of us yelling to someone from one end of the house to the other.  

Off to do some yelling….Happy Wednesday! xoxAchaia                                                    

The winner is…


…Katrina Culp!

We'd like to thank everyone who entered our "Reclaiming Beauty" giveaway!  We wish we could give each of you a subscription.  Anna Sofia and Elizabeth have opened the first session to the public – completely free! – so click here to sign up.

Katrina, we will be forwarding your contact info to the Botkin ladies!

xo, the Long ladies 

“Reclaiming Beauty”… a giveaway!

Like most girls, we'd have to admit that beauty is something we think about a lot.  So when we first heard of the Botkin sisters' webinar, "Reclaiming Beauty", we were VERY excited.  (We'd read both of Anna & Elizabeth's books and loved them to pieces.)  Of course we signed up right away! 

Just imagine our delight when Anna & Elizabeth offered to allow us to give away a free subscription to one of you!!


{Elizabeth & Anna Sofia Botkin}


What is beauty?

Some say beauty fits in a size 0. Some say beauty comes in all shapes
and sizes. Some say beauty is only skin deep. Some say beauty is only a
quality of the heart. Some say beauty is truth. Some say beauty is a
lie. Some say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some say beauty is
as beauty does. Some say Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly are beautiful.
Some say everyone is beautiful. Some say beauty is divine. Some say
beauty is corrupting.

From all this confusion, one idea emerges clearly: The world knows
beauty matters. They talk a lot about it, write poetry and paint
paintings celebrating it, and spend $160 billion dollars a year on it.
But what’s equally clear is that they don’t know what it is. The
question is: Do we?

Today’s young Christian women have grown up in the most
image-obsessed generation in history, a generation that worships some of
the most twisted ideals of beauty the world has ever seen. But whether
we love them or hate them… they tend to shape our own perceptions of
what beauty is. Some of us accept its ideals, and struggle to fit into
its mold – others of us are repulsed by it, concluding that physical
beauty itself is immodest, worldly, and unspiritual, and reject the
realm of beautification completely. But when all we’ve ever seen is the
counterfeit the world offers, we can sometimes forget that the world did not create beauty – God did. And though we all know the world has a lot to say about image, we sometimes don’t realize how much God does too.

Fashion though history

It’s time to reclaim beauty. For thousands of years, believers,
pagans, Gnostics, Humanists, Neo-Platonists, iconoclasts, and creators
of culture have battled over this critical turf called “beauty.” Today,
we have only to look at who designs the fashions, markets the beauty
icons, rules the red carpet, adorns magazine covers, crowns Miss
America, and designs clothes-and-makeup advertisements, to know who is
currently holding the turf.

It’s time to take beauty back. When faced with an industry that runs
on photoshop airbrushing, plastic surgery, starvation diets, grotesque
catwalk styles, and billions of squandered dollars, our response can no
longer be, “Beauty is not for us.” It’s time for our response to be,
“Get your flag out of our ground.” It’s time for us to be a light in a
culture that uses beauty as a weapon against God. It’s time for God’s
ambassadors to make His principles – such as modesty and femininity –
look as beautiful as they really are. It’s time for us to show the
world: Ugliness is not beauty. Emaciation is not beauty. Androgyny is
not beauty. Immodesty is not beauty. Unnatural distortion is not beauty.
From Genesis to Revelation, God paints a different picture of the inner
and outer beauty of a woman, and it’s time to show the world what it
really looks like – one soul, one body, one face, one closet at a time.


The seven sessions featured in "Reclaiming Beauty"…

#1. What God Says About Beauty and Beautification
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

#2: What Style Is Your Heart, Mind, and Soul?
Pardon Me, Ma’am, But Your True Identity is Showing

#3. Getting Your Temple in Order
The Physical Foundations of Beauty

#4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
How to Work with the Build, Coloring, and Natural Beauty God Gave You

#5: Putting Things Together
Composition, Style, Occasion, Accessories

#6: Acquiring New Pieces (and Revitalizing Old Ones)
How to Get What You Need with Minimum Time, Money, and Fuss

#7: The Focal Point
Being a Good Steward of Your Face and Hair


  • What it means to represent the Lord as His ambassadors to the world
  • Where true beauty starts
  • What the Bible says about beautification and adornment
  • How we should respond to the world’s idea of beauty
  • The history and philosophy behind the most popular garments
  • The proper priority-level of beauty in the Christian’s life
  • The biblical relationship between the physical and the spiritual
  • What it means to be separate from the world
  • What we can learn from the beauty industry
  • What the beauty industry has gotten wrong

Get practical tips on:

  • Clothing yourself better for a lot less money
  • Making modesty and femininity look excellent instead of frumpy
  • Making off-the-rack clothes modest
  • Putting together great outfits with what you already had in your closet
  • Using makeup tastefully
  • Giving sloppy garments new life with minimum alterations
  • Cultivating taste and style
  • Getting out of a fashion rut
  • Creating a minimum-time-and-effort plan for looking nice every day

Let's do it!

Here's how to enter our "Reclaiming Beauty" giveaway…

    -Leave us a comment with your name and email address

    -And ask one beauty-related question (if you like!)

This giveaway closes on September 22.  We would love to see as many of you attending the webinar as possible!  Please check out the Reclaiming Beauty facebook page, and browse the archives at Visionary Daugters.  We'd also highly recommend reading Anna Sofia and Elizabeth's books, So Much More and It's (Not That) Complicated.



Happy Birthday, Mommy!



{We seriously hope we look this gorgeous when we're 48.}

Dear Mommy,

Happy birthday to you!!  We are so thankful for you today (and everyday).  We don't know what we'd do without you!  You have taught us so much about life and love and right and wrong.  Thank you for always standing at the front door to wave goodbye when we're going somewhere, and for being our best friend as well as our mother.  The best memories we have are all of you… you made them for us.  And we will love you forever and ever.

xoxo your girls,

Phi, Kay, Abs, and Budsie


{See what we mean?  Yep.  Gorgeous is the word.}

A Few of Mom's Life Lessons…

– Love Jesus first, and everything else will fall into it's proper place.

– Ugly old blankets are perfectly suitable for picnics and tent-making.  (And should never be parted with.)

– What other people think of you is unimportant, as long as you're doing the right thing.

– Always be honest and say what you think right out.  (But do it nicely.)

– Laughing at yourself can really be fun.

– When life gives you lemons, make some lemonade!

– Don't forget to kiss goodbye and goodnight, and never go to bed angry.

– Never consume an inordinate amount of cookie dough unless you can wash it all down with a cold soda pop (preferably Mountain Dew throwback).

– Stick up for each other, always.  No matter what.

– Some days it's okay to cry… but when you have three sisters, the four of you have to take turns.

– Don't be embarrassed when friends drop by and the house is messy.  (No one is perfect, after all.)

– A big smile goes a long way.

– Be cheerful and loving and you'll always be needed.


 Please wish our special Mom a big happy birthday!!

s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g i-t o-u-t


Just a couple of weeks ago we started playing Scrabble
It really is lots of fun.  I hadn't ever played it before, so it was
something new.  And would you know it?  I spelled the longest word
anyone in our family had ever done ('booking')…. sheer talent, right?  Um.  Something like that.


It does get difficult when you're running out of spaces and good letters that make up words are few and far between.  That's probably why Apphia decided 'ruglet' should be a word, and someone else comes up with the idea that 'think' should have a 'z' on the end for 'thinks'.


And, you can tell who took the pictures here, can't you?  Since she owns the fancy camera, it seemed like the plausible thing. 

What are your favorite family games?

xox- Achaia