Friday, September 23, 2016

The Gift of Solitude

["Turn your loneliness into solitude, and your solitude into prayer." -E. Elliott]
In the busyness of college life, sometimes there is a great struggle to find solitude. Perhaps my mommy-friends can relate, or my friends who work full time jobs and come home to spend the rest of their time in some kind of ministry or community outreach. Go, go, go. Do, do, do. Hurry, Hurry, Hurry. At times it can seem as if life is a never ending cycle - whether its the washing machine, the online assignments to turn in before midnight, or the phone than never stops notifying...

A college friend of mine shared with me one of their favorite spots, a lake I never knew existed until just a few weeks ago. I've discovered a time in my weekly schedule to where I can put everything else down and spend a couple of hours down at the beautiful waters. As I scribbed away in my journal this morning, my thoughts and prayer were parallel to the words penned by Horatius Bonar, words with which I will leave you this weekend:

In the still air the music lies unheard;
In the rough marble beauty hides unseen.
To make the music and the beauty needs
The Master's touch, the Sculptor's chisel keen.

Great Master, touch us with Thy skillful hands;
Let not the music that is in us die;
Great Sculptor, hew and polish us, nor let
Hidden and lost, Thy form within us lie.

Spare not the stroke; do with us what Thou wilt;
Let there be naught unfinished, broken, marred;
Complete Thy purpose that we may become
Thy perfect image - Thou our God and Lord.

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Thankyou Gift

Sewing for Mrs. L. this summer was such a blessing for me. The fun chit-chats, good conversations and fellowship, countless cups of coffee or iced tea, "bonus day," and her passing on her bridal sewing skills and expertise have left me so, so grateful. A card saying "thankyou" could not suffice.

Would it be flowers, a plant, or an apron? It seemed like an apron would be the most practical since flowers would die within a few days and even the choicest greenhouses have next to nothing nice this time of year in the way of something that would come back next year (unless one would want fall flowers).

Using an apron pattern from Sew Liberated has been my go-to for making aprons as gifts. It is a little bit more stylish and modern than what I make and sell for etsy, but still lots of fun with it being reversible. Mrs. L likes cheerful things, but without being to wild and crazy, so this fabric by Free Spirit of spring colors and birds seemed like a good choice for the one side.




The other side I used some fabric that might look familiar if you've seen this apron in the shop. It didn't have a name on the selvage, and almost seems vintage, but really high quality, if that makes sense. Mrs. L. likes the color blue, so it seemed like a good choice.



I was able to get the apron finished and wrapped up to give to her on my last day of sewing for her. Looking forward to next summer to hopefully be able to sew for her again! In the meantime, there is much to be done as I seek to organize my life before classes officially start on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

As I Promised

In the last couple of posts I've eluded to "the last apron" and this morning I finished the last apron made for the shop. It was fun to put together with vintage lace and rick rack. I even found a golden button from my stash. It certainly has an autumn-ish flavor to it, one that you haven't seen yet this summer. :)
But think of the pumpkin spice lattes, the apple picking and fresh donuts at the local orchard, nippy weather for plaid scarves, boots for jumping through autumn rain, potted mums on the front porch, or the smell of pie in the oven. This apron seems to embody all of the delights of an autumn in the country.
See it in the shop here. And one last reminder that the coupon code 15SALE will expire at 5pm on the 25th (that is tomorrow) if you're wanting to place an order and save money at the same time! ::wink::

Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer Reading and Other Things

When I picked these books up from the thrift store for literally pennies, I knew they would be on my summer reading list. It turns out "New Chronicles of Rebecca" is supposed to come after "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" so I have refrained from reading that one until I can get my hands on the one written first. If you're unfamiliar with the other two, I jotted some thoughts down on each, and can recommend both!

Half-A-Dozen Housekeepers, by Kate Douglas Wiggin, is a hilarious tale of school girls enjoying a two-week break from school and coming up with the grand idea of being housekeepers at Bell's home (Bell having strong skills in leadership). From kitchen attempts to putting on drama productions in the upstairs ballroom, you'll be laughing right along with them in their endeavors. If you have read any of Kate's other books, you'll be sure to enjoy this one!

Merry Girls of England, by Mrs. L.T. Meade, will make anyone with a sister or two or three be entertained by the dynamics of Underhill sisters as they go from city life to country life. Their country friend, Hero, becomes like another sister and joins Barbara Underhill as they secretly runaway to make life in London. Without spoiling the book to much, they end up realizing that hearth, home, and family are the dearest of all in life.

The close of summer break is officially next week, so I've been trying to get things together or wrap up things here at my parents house before I make my way down to the south east. 

The thunderstorms and sunsets here have been great the last several months: 

This is the view coming out of the evening church service a week ago

So was the county fair a few weeks ago. To be completely honest, this time I only went for the dole whip pineapple ice-cream. It's a guilty pleasure I don't mind indulging in once a year. ;)


And before I head back to college, here is a little coupon code for my etsy shop if you wish to indulge in having 15% off your order; just use the code 15SALE when checking out. 

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Accustomed to Tea

More often than not this summer, I've heard "Would you like some tea?" while sewing in the mid-afternoon. Mrs. L makes her own iced tea, and always sticks in a wedge of lime in it. Sometimes when we've needed the caffiene, she'll fix a pot of hot coffee and is always so kind to put a bit of cream in mine, no sugar.


Needless to say not only have I been spoiled, but have grown accustomed to having a little bit of a pick-me-up in the afternoon. This morning I already cold-brewed some of our favorite iced tea (Good Earth's Sweet & Spicy) so all I had to do was slice a lime from the fridge.


I'm home sewing today since wedding season has drastically slowed down in the last couple of weeks. On Monday I finished a custom-ordered apron, and I'm currently finishing one for the shop. Although it may not get listed today, since I am short about a foot of bias tape. There is one more fabric for an apron, and then that will be it for the rest of the summer.



Signing off for now...

Friday, August 05, 2016

In Season: Blackberries

It was a few months ago that it was obvious that we were going to get alot of blackberries, but of course a gardener doesn't know exactly how many until late summer. The early ones are riping now, but the big crop will come in another month or two. Obviously, I took pictures of the ones ready to pick.






"Summer afternoon, summer afternoon, to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." -Henry James

Monday, July 25, 2016

1920s Vintage Apron Pattern

To confess, I comb through the ebay and etsy vintage patterns continually throughout the week. Not so much for something just to add to my pattern box, but for patterns that really stand out as unique and for something that I'd actually wear. Once a friend asked me about my sewing projects and I said yes, that way if no one else is interested, then I get to keep them all. :)

In the last couple of years I've been quite bored with what I'm seeing available for vintage apron patterns, but earlier this spring my heart fluttered at two that I had never seen before. Sadly, one got away before I could pay for it, but I was more than happy to purchase this one!

It's from a no-name company and one that I should do some more research on. Wonder what other treasures they produced nearly 100 years ago. But this pattern? Ladies, it has sleeves!  I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if I could make and sell aprons with sleeves. Thinking of my other apron patterns and modern patterns from the Big Four companies, no one puts sleeves on their aprons. But, why not?



It kind of makes sense if you think about it. The other practical thing about this apron? The back of the apron catches all the splatters when your back is turned from the stove.

On this particular apron I was happy to find two huge buttons from my stash for the back. I'm kind of lazy when it comes to knowledge about what my buttons are made of, but I'm guessing some kind of really high quality plastic like material. They are not light and flimsy, but then they aren't heavy like glass, or mother of pearl. 


The backs of these button are metal, however, which told me right away that they are vintage. The buttons are not functional to this particular apron, but if I make more aprons from this pattern in heavy fabrics, they'll most likely be working buttons. The pattern says you can do either or. Those are my kind of patterns; do what you feel like doing. :)
But here she is. All finished with one more confession: I had to slip it on before taking pictures, and it's a keeper of a pattern.