A little bit Nature and a little bit Nyssa…

Please don’t forget about Felicity’s dress set, “Winter Garden,” ending this evening on Ebay. You can see it by clicking the picture at the right side bar or you can click HERE.

I’m so sorry I didn’t get to your comments on Saturday. I had so much fun reading what you all had to say and thank you for everything. I had my hands full…I was raking gumballs! I wish I had taken a “before” picture of all the gumballs on the ground, but I had already started raking when I thought I might use these pictures to show you what I had been doing. This is the HUGE Sweet Gum tree that drops these balls every year…

It’s such a HUGE tree and they drop and go ALL over the back yard. You have to rake a really big area to get them all. I tried to make it into a little bit of fun, so I raked them in rows and circles. My hubby looked outside once and asked me if I were making “crop circles.”

Here’s a close up of the things…little spiky balls…

I raked for over 3 hours on Thursday and many more hours on Saturday and still have quite a few piles to scoop up and carry away to the back where they are put in a wire container.

Look at all the gumballs left on the tree!!! *sigh*

CLEARLY I’m not as crafty or creative as some people… look at what I found when I googled Sweet Gum Ball Crafts…

The wreath was actually found on a Martha Stewart website… I could be a millionaire…one $5.00 trinket at a time… :o)

Okay…NEW SUBJECT…something more fun than gumballs… How about I show you how much I managed to get done on Nyssa’s new dress…

I showed you 2 patterns I bought from Marsha, at TRENTSATION on Etsy…

…and picked this pattern for Nyssa’s dress…

It’s a very nice pattern and Marsha’s instructions are very well written…

I’m not finished with the dress… I still have to hem it and do a little “embellishing” on it. I was wondering if you have a preference on the buttons? I was thinking of putting them on the front…

Black? Blue? or Red?

If you think one color looks better than the others, I’m open for suggestions…

I’m going to have to figure out a stand for Nyssa… She isn’t sure footed enough to just stand on her own. Her legs are a little loose and I don’t want her to crash on her face when I’m taking pictures.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh, those sweet gum balls! Aren’t they a mess when we have a lot of wind and get all over everything, clutter up the yard and streets? Yes, we have them here too, but like I may have told you, we cut down our Sweet Gum tree before it got too big, nothing like yours! They do clog up the lawnmower, don’t they, and NOT fun to step on. I do something similar when I rake leaves, make a circle around the tree, then onto piles here and there.
    I love the little Christmas ornaments you pictured, especially the Cardinal ornament! You might make some of those, as if you don’t have enough to do already! I had a sweet gum wreath that my aunt gave me long ago, but don’t have anymore. Yes, you COULD be a millionaire if you could figure out a way to use them and sell!

    I love Nyssa’s dress! Why won’t that girl smile in that adorable outfit? I like the red buttons best, but the black are a close second. I don’t think the blue stand out well, at least not on my monitor.
    Have a good day, dear Jeanne Marie!

    • Linda Doyle says:

      Jeanne, an afterthought here, I thought the dress was a Valentine dress, and cute little red heart buttons would look good, but yes, for year round, black ones would be the better thing to do.

    • Hi Linda,
      Those gum balls are terrible to walk on and it’s very easy easy to twist your ankle if you step on them wrong. I have a cousin who rakes them up from his mom’s yard and he burns them in his wood burner…
      After you’ve raked as many as I have…the last thing you want to do is “craft” with them!

      Nyssa’s dress could certainly be a Valentines day dress but not exclusively…
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Charlotte A. says:

    I’ve never seen the gum balls before! I thought leaves and pine cones were a pain! As for buttons, I would choose the black (1st), red (2nd) and blue (3rd). Like the previous comment, I don’t think the blue popped.
    Have a good day!

    • HI Charlotte,
      I just came in from finishing up raking the gumballs up and disposing of them. I bet in 2 weeks I’ll have just as many again…there’s still lots on the tree.
      I think I like the black best too… but I might see about something Rebecca might have that sparkles….
      Thanks Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. I think I have seen gum balls, but not lots of them. That’s a magnificent tree. I guess we pay for everything we get. I have beautiful crab apple blossoms in spring, and lots of crab apples to rake in fall. There was a rabbit hanging around last fall, and he or she loved the crab apples but couldn’t eat nearly enough to help.

    Maybe gum ball wreaths and gum ball cardinals could be a church craft project — you could sell them in early November for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Your contribution would be the gum balls. You might even help a little with the sales. Someone else could do all the crafting and storing.

    I’m going with Charlotte on the buttons — I like black. I wonder if there are tiny black buttons that are faceted and sparkle.

    • Linda Doyle says:

      Marilyn, I kind of laughed when you wrote about selling sweet gum balls! I think people around here would pay for someone to TAKE them away. Don’t think there would be too many buyers around here for those dang things! Right, Jeanne?

      • HI Linda,
        You are so right… I don’t know ANYONE who would want the things… what a pain they are! I’m done….at least for now! I told my hubby let’s check into a lawn vacuum next year. :o)

    • Hi Marilyn,
      We have crab apple tress around here too…but not in our yard… I don’t think I could take 2 messers!
      I just came in from finishing up the last of the piles of gumballs and there is no amount of money that could make me want to do anything with them except dump them in the wire bin and let them rot! Sorry….no crafts from me. Although I did see a little poodle spray painted black and it was the cutest thing ever!
      Rebecca just left but when she gets back I’ll ask her about sparkly beads that might work as a button.
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Gumball nightmare!!! What a picture to wake up to this morning. Imagine three of those, a bit smaller around, that are still covered with leaves as well as the seed balls raining down across the front of the house. I speculate that the leaves may be down by April. After our recent storms it is a littered mess. Rain has stopped today. Guess what we’ll be doing today? Yes, leaves and gumballs. I do love your creativity with the crop circles/rows. So glad you took a photo. And then the pan to the still lingering seed balls above. It could be a scary movie! I will have to admit that the craft projects do look nice. However, if I saw one, I’d be running the other way.
    Nyssa’s dress is just perfect for her. As to the buttons, at first I liked the red, but when Marilyn mentioned the black but with some sparkles I changed my mind. The beige button on the pattern goes so nicely with the light print. Maybe something for the future.
    My new Felicity arrived early on Saturday. She looks pretty good. Hair should probably be washed, a first for me. And she has a very tiny faint rub dash on her chin that can only be seen an an angle. The above were not unexpected because of her age. When I’m not blowing leaves/gumballs, I’ll send you some photos. Maybe with your help I can date her. She has a makers mark behind her ear and her Meet Felicity book is 1991. I believe I’ve uncovered three pincurls on each side. Her lashes are reddish Her meet outfit appear new/unused dated 1993. Perhaps a replacement. Don’t know.
    Tell Nyssa she makes me want to add someone to my collection. She is such a sweet model.

    • HI Joy,
      You are so right by calling it a gumball nightmare. I’ve been raking for about 5 days now and finally got them all up off the ground and in the wire bin in the back of the fence. I hope we don’t get a big wind or rain and wake up to that nightmare again!. I’m so OVER gumballs!

      Oh, Joy, I’m so glad your Felicity arrived and she’s nice! You’ll have fun with her, I’m sure!
      Yes, do send me some pictures… Laura, our “in house Felicity expert” will give it her best shot as to where she belongs in the AG lineup!
      Oh, my goodness, you’ve never seen anyone pine so much over a doll as I did when Nyssa came out and I missed her limited edition of 87 dolls worldwide. I still can’t believe I ended up with one! She’s my sweetie!
      Thanks Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Hi, I love the dress, and the idea of black sparkly buttons seems good!!! Thanks!

    • Thank you Robin,
      When my daughter gets home, I’ll ask her if she has something that will work.
      Thanks for your compliments on the dress.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. I loved seeing your creative gumball piles!! I agree with everyone that they are a pain but if you could market them or have ladies from church doing something fun with them as you pictured, they’d be great for church sales. We don’t have any gumball trees, thank heavens.

    Yay, Joy got her Felicity!! Don’t be intimidated by washing her hair. One of my AMG dolls needed her hair washed and once Jeanne talked about doing it to a doll of hers, I was encouraged to try. It’s a good feeling to clean up a doll and make her even more pretty than before.
    I agree with the black buttons first, then red. The shiny black buttons sounds like a good idea too.

    • HI Paula,
      As common as gumballs are around here, I’m not sure we’d get any takers for any crafts made out of them… I think I’ll just keep them in the compost piles!

      Yes, sometimes washing a dolls hair can make a world of difference! It’s an easy thing to do and the benefits are almost seen immediately!
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. I washed my Felicity doll’s hair using Jeanne’s instructions when she arrived. The ends looked very straw-like but lots of brushing has her looking as pretty as Jeanne’s doll. I’m glad Jeanne showed a good picture of her hair in her current listing. My Felicity came with a Meet dress with a Pleasant Company tag dated 1985 and has the ribbon at the base of the wig.
    A seller on eBay said she used Mr. Clean to wash off a mark on a doll she was selling and relisted after cleaning it. Might be worth a trial. I’m going to try it myself on a mark very high on the hip of a Kit doll I won on eBay recently.
    The buttons and print on Nyssa’s dress are looking blue instead of black on my computer. I’m for the black buttons as they accent the dominant color in the print. It’s a beautiful interpretation of a lovely pattern.

    • HI Susette,
      I’m glad you got your Felicity’s hair looking good. It’s nice to have a doll with pretty hair.

      As far as the seller saying they used Mr. Clean… I think they may have meant a Mr. Clean MAGIC ERASER. It looks like a piece of square white foam, usually coming in a box and about the size of a kitchen sponge. You dampen it and then rub it on your dolls dirty legs and arms and it removes the dirt. Don’t use it harshly around the cheeks or the blush will rub off and sometimes freckles will rub off. If you use it in a controlled way on the face you can clean up some areas… just be careful.

      I think Nyssa will get black buttons …maybe sparkly if I can find something!
      Thanks so much,
      blessings, Jeanne

  8. Oh wow. I just came in from working in the back yard and saw your gum tree pictures. Thank goodness I don’t have any of those to deal with. I’m trying to cut back all the dead growth from our one and only freeze. I don’t feel like I’ll ever get finished with it. Too bad it gets dark so early–only gives me about an hour to work on it each evening, and I’m so slow at it. Oh well, slow and steady wins the race.
    Nyssa’s dress is coming along nicely. I think I would use the black buttons. I like red and black together.

    • Thank you Carolyn,
      I am finished with my gumballs for at least a little while. I’m glad! As much as I love that tree when I look out my kitchen window, I sure hate it when it drops those gumballs!
      Hang in there and you’ll be done eventually!

      I have decided on black for the dress… thanks for your opinion!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Charlotte Trayer says:

    And you have this sweet gum tree because….???? We had a madrona, and that thing drops leaves all year around, and is very messy. Was really glad when we finally had it taken down.

    As to buttons, definitely the black. The red is okay, but the blue just disappears in the lace.

    This is my second try–hope this comment posts this time!

    • HI Charlotte,
      We have the tree because it “came with the house!” No other reason I guess. It would be terribly expensive to cut down and it does provide lots of shade in the summer time. it goes with our 1892 house mostly!
      The black buttons won…so they will be the ones used!
      Thanks Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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