Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Jane Austen Regency Dress

When I spotted this fabric well over a year ago at an estate sale, right away I knew that it would be perfect made in a Regency dress. On the selvages it says that it's from London, so "it was just destined to be" as the saying goes. :)
Using my favorite standby of the Elegant Ladies Closest pattern from Sense & Sensibility, it only took two days to complete. That said, I obviously didn't sew this one by hand, but it went together nicely.

It was purposely made not to fit me, since it is always to tempting for me to keep everything I sew. :) Instead of selling it on ebay as I have always done in the past, I now have it listed in my etsy shop right here!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Burning the Midnight Oil

It has been FAR to long since I've made a Regency dress. It seems as if the dozens I made a few years back wore me out being "stuck" in that time period with limited other projects for variety. The fabric I'm using this week is perfect for a Regency dress. Pictures will most likely be up tomorrow or the following day.

Earlier today I sewed up a toile bodice of a 1940s Swing Dress. One of my sisters will be going to a Retro-Diner themed dinner at P4C2013 with Vision4Living Ministries later this fall, and I'm in charge of sewing up her dress. She chose a gorgeous fabric and I can hardly wait to cut into it! However we were both SO glad that the time was taken to sew a mockup. Not only did it help in knowing where alterations need to be done, but also a trial run through with a new-to-me pattern.

Sometime before I leave in the next couple weeks I have hopes in sewing a white Edwardian afternoon dress (similar to this one that I have regrets in selling!), but there is so much to be done that it may have to wait until next summer. One of these days a full set of "unmentionables" is on my "to-sew" list.

What are all my friends and blog readers working on this week?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Preparation for Playing House

For the first two years of being a college student, I was blessed to live with good families who kindly took me under their wings. For the remainder two years, Lord willing, I'll be sharing a house with good friends, who are also college students. With four other girls of various majors, it will certainly be a fun experience. Just a couple more weeks!

One of the girls is bringing a couch from their family basement, and I am in charge of bringing pillows for it.

My aunt gave me this piece of yardage when we were at her place a few weeks ago. The stripe is actually the "wrong side" of a very ugly 70s looking textured plaid, but when flipped to this side it looks quite modern. I added some black trimming to help break up all those lines.

The smaller pillow was simply made from two home décor swatches from JoAnn's that were on sale for $1 a piece, and then I got 20% off that with my student discount this month. Yay for cheap prices!

With each of us needing our own personal space to study and/or practice music, we are all each so thankful that we'll have our own bedrooms! Whether it was out of the goodness of their hearts or it being the last bedroom available, they've given me the master bedroom and bathroom. I won't pretend to lie that it has been great fun looking in thrift stores or the clearance racks for items to bring. While I was never one of those girl's who collected everything but the four walls of a house, I have tucked away a few things for "someday" that now will make themselves useful. Though some things will remain behind at my parents house, such as the paper-thin dessert glasses from Grandma, my antique silver plated tea service and serving dishes, or my collection of antique and modern books.

I saw this picture on Pinterest a few weeks ago and it's my inspiration for my bathroom.

Grey washcloths in an antique silver-plated wire basket is a start.

I picked up this antique mason jar at the thrift store the other day for my cotton balls

Many years ago a friend once told me after she had gotten married and was setting up housekeeping, "I feel like a child playing house!" It has somewhat felt that way, though thankfully I'm not on my own with having to set up the house. We're all bringing what we can, and it has been neat to see how we all have things that no one else has. God is at work, even in these small details, and we're so thankful!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Holiday in Pictures - Part 5

Finally, the last few pictures of worth to share online. Trust me, a large family being cramped in a 29' RV for two weeks one can get many, shall we say, interesting pictures. ;)

Ah well, here are the last few favorites up on Lake Huron.

The sunset the following day from the above picture. One night we had an electric, stunning sunset and the following a calming one. I love Michigan. :)
Mackinac Island seen from the mainland.
I promise that the two bugs/spiders (?) were not seen until after I had taken this picture!
We visited my dear Grandma and Grandpa Fred a few days, and they had massive thunderstorms come in everyday. The violent downpours and large hail "ruined my flowers" Grandma bemoaned, but I thought these begonias still looked lovely even after all the rain.

The day before we left the state while we were visiting my aunt, we toured a 19-teens home not to far from the southern end of Lake Michigan. It was a beautiful, cozy home decorated as if she was expecting guests. My aunt, who is a neighbor to this lady, said she lives like this all the time. I couldn't help but notice that there was a tea service in nearly every room, with a couple of antique books within arms reach. Her décor style is exactly how I've always envisioned my own home to be and now I wish I would have snapped a few pictures since I don't know how to describe it. :) At the time, I wasn't sure if it would have been impolite to take pictures of her home so I refrained from asking. The elderly lady has lived in all sorts of interesting places, many of which she has restored. At one time in her life, she owned a large estate that Abigail Adams (yes, wife of John Adams) once spent the night in. Such an interesting, yet gracious woman is this neighbor lady of my Aunt's!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer Holiday in Pictures - Part 4

I've been anxious to share the following pictures with you. While up in the northern part of Michigan, we went to Mackinac Island for a day. We took a morning ferry over to the island where there bikes, horses, and your own two feet are the mode of transportation. It's like going back in time.

Speaking of which, here is some Somewhere in Time theme music for you to listen to if you wish, while browsing this picture-heavy post. :)

Riding on a ferry that went under the Mackinaw Bridge before dropping us off at Mackinac Island was a treat!

The lilacs were in full bloom there, too! Did you know that among the hundreds of bushes and trees on the island, there are 68 varieties in 18 different hues? We picked up a pink-purple variety called Palibin and the kind shop owner gave me a free white one called Mt. Baker.
Mom, moi, and my youngest, but taller sister Molly

The beautiful Grand Hotel

Part of the Grand Hotel gardens. It was around this time that I dreamily spoke, ""I'm going to stay here for one week and then another week in London on my honeymoon," and Mom replied, "You'll be living the rest of your life in a garage!" ;)
Another view from the Grand Hotel gardens. Notice the porch ceiling painted a sky blue color to prevent birds from making their nests on the porch.
Where I was sitting when I took the above picture.
A birdseye view (after getting off of a lovely carriage ride) of the Roundhouse Lighthouse on Lake Huron

Can you imagine seeing such beauty on a daily basis, right from your own back yard?

I have one more installment of pictures to share with you. Hope you all aren't bored to death with these pictures! Some of you may remember these pictures from Mackinac Island from four years ago. If you ever are up in northern Michigan, I highly recommend saving all your pennies to visit this lovely place!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Holiday in Pictures - Part 3

Spending most of our time on the shores of Lake Huron, these are just a sample of the many delights we were blessed with:

The lilacs were in full bloom near our campsite. We were ticked pink!

Lake Huron at twilight

A favorited spot to sit in silence and watch the beauty

One obviously must abandon shoes, sandals, and flipflops when by the lake!

Lakeside beauty

Ladeside beauty
Getting ready for s'more making! An eerie fog rolled in one evening, making for some enchanting views of the full moon and some creepy campfire stories.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Holiday in Pictures - Part 2

Today I stationed myself by our kitchen counter to cut out some sewing projects. If I could only complain about two things related to sewing, it would be cutting out  and sewing hidden-side pockets. It's strange, I know.

Here is another installment of pictures:

One of our afternoons spent in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was at Tahquamenon Falls

We decended 116 steps to get another view of the falls, and right before we ascended them, Mom took this picture of us. L to R: Stephen, myself, Molly, Evan, and Dad. My other sisters Erin and Leah, and brother Ryan, were not able to join us on the trip.

While we were in the neck of the woods, we stopped at the Whitefish Point Lighthouse that is apart of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise, MI.

We took the tour and went up in the lighthouse. It was overcast that day, but feeling the dampness, the wind, and the beating water drive against your face was what one wants to feel at a lighthouse. If we had not had a schedule planned out, I think we would have stopped at other lighthouses. We were all wondering the same thing: "Why has it been so long to finally visit one??"
Mom and I ran into a fabric store in Paradise. The prices were outrageous on everything, but they did have some high quality quilting fabrics, and some gorgeous skeins of yarn. Were I better at knitting and crocheting, I think I would have been sorely tempted to pick up a color or two.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Holiday in Pictures - Part 1

For any of my readers who would be interested in seeing a bit of what I was blessed to enjoy for two weeks, I'll be posting some pictures of our summer holiday that was spent in the beautiful Midwest:

Passing the driving time with books was fun. (No worries. Dad was driving the RV, not me!) I could actually complete a book in two days! :)

The sunlight danced and played on the beautiful green hills along the road

Finally on the lovely shores of Lake Michigan

How good it felt to feel sand between my toes!
We stayed along the shore as the moon rose over Lake Michigan

Back at our campsite, we celebrated our first evening in Michigan by roasting marshmallows as we heard the small waves lap up against the sand, the night calls of birds nearby, and the distant voices of other campers. No doubt ours were the loudest with laughter.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

Considering that it has been years since I've had a giveaway and over that time my blog has been somewhat silent at times, having 46 entries was a good number to have!

Rafflecopter provides a handy button that says "Pick the winner" and it uses Random.org to choose it. Just moments ago I pushed that button and up came:

Alicia of cookinganne@...........

Congrats to Alicia! You should have an email in your inbox by now asking for your mailing address.

As for the rest of the ladies to entered: thankyou so much for your thoughtful and kind comments! My sincere apologies that you did not win, but as a little "thankyou" for entering, I have a coupon code for the shop of 15% off your purchase through Saturday. Use the code 15SALE.

Monday, July 08, 2013

It was a year ago...

It was a year ago June that we remodeled the upstairs bathroom. When I say remodeled, perhaps I should say that we didn't completely re-gut it, but rather update it. Some of you may remember this post of when we were taking down that wallpaper.

Just last week it dawned on me that I never shared the "after" pictures here on the blog, so I grabbed my camera and took a few to share.

We went with a blue-gray paint, though it turned out more blue than what it looked like on the card. It worked out well though since the flooring has blue in it, and blue is practically the Cross family color!

On the long wall we put up some beadboard, wainscoting, or whatever you wish to call it. We heard at least three different names for the same wood paneling. :) We like the coastal/cottage feel it gives. We said goodbye to the ugly towel racks, and put up this functional one with hooks for the towels, washcloth's, or as one sister uses: a shower cap. 

The factory mirror that extended to the edge of the counter was replaced with two squared beveled mirrors over each sink. It took some getting used to, but now everyone loves them.
And on a different note, if you haven't entered the giveaway, you have until Tuesday at midnight to enter!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

GIVEAWAY: a summer kitchen collection!!

In celebration of a wonderful vacation and the goodness of coming home, I'm excited about hosting a giveaway! It has been far to long since I last had one, so I'm throwing in a couple extra goodies besides the apron.

A lovely half apron made out of an upcycled Laura Ashley sheet and pinstripe white cotton.

A charming notepad and a brand new tin of one of my favorite teas!

With all these, you'll be set this summer! I'm trying out rafflecopter for the first time, so let's hope it works. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Back on the Plains

We have arrived back to the plains. My sister and I broke out with "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plains" from My Fair Lady. ;)

It's to bad these plains look as though they need rain!