Sunday, September 29, 2013


  "Summer magic, the soft summer magic, drifts across the meadow. Summer magic, it weaves through the willow, right into your heart."~R. Sherman
Our summer was over. It had been a beautiful one. We had known the sweetness of common joys, the delight of dawns, the dream and glamour of noontides, the long, purple peace of carefree nights. We had had the pleasure of bird song, of silver rain on greening fields, of storm among the trees, of blossoming meadows, and of the converse of whispering leaves. We had had brotherhood with wind and star, with books and tales, and hearth fires of autumn. Ours had been the little, loving tasks of every day, blithe companionship, shared thoughts, and adventuring. Rich were we in the memory of those opulent months that had gone from us–richer than we then knew or suspected. And before us was the dream of spring. It is always safe to dream of spring. For it is sure to come; and if it be not just as we have pictured it, it will be infinitely sweeter.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Story Girl
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree. ~Emily Bronte

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Buttons for a Gibson Blouse

This week I was going through my large tub which holds my pitiful looking stash of fabric (I guess that's a good thing if you're wanting to get through to the bottom!) my historical dresses, some childhood play dresses, and original vintage aprons.

Coming across a plastic bag that was stuffed with my 1909 "Beatrix" Shirtwaist (you can see me wearing it here; the 2nd set of three pictures), a poly/cotton prairie skirt, and my Gibson Girl blouse.

Long before I had a blog or got into historical sewing, I remember making two blouses that seemed to take me out of my limited skills and slowly ease me into more complicated things. One was this Gibson Girl blouse from Folkwear Patterns. Having grown up watching Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and the TV series of Road to Avonlea, I wanted to make something lightweight and "romantic." It was more of a heavy burden trying to make it! I recall getting flustered and confused, and leaving it on my sewing tables for days before I wanted to see it again. :)

I made it out of an ecru Broadcloth fabric and used fabric-covered buttons for the back closure. I think those horrid covered buttons must have been in vogue when I made this blouse. I never did like them.

Stumbling across this blouse today, I noticed 2 or 3 buttons missing (a frequent problem with covered buttons!) so I happily took the remaining buttons off and replaced them with some buttons from my stash. Granted, they are plastic and don't lend to the loveliness of this Edwardian style blouse, they'll fit the bill until I can find something else suitable.

Now I think I should completely replace the skirt with something more refined and not so prairie muffin-ish. Should probably turn on some of those old and dear films for some inspiration!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

In Costume: a 1914 Afternoon Dress

Early this summer I took it upon myself to sew up an Edwardian dress after the similitude of dresses worn on Downton Abbey. I adore their picnic dresses worn at the end of the first season! For all the details and pictures of making it see a couple pictures here and the completion of it here.
On a lovely summer morning, I begged my siblings to take a couple pictures for you all, and here they are:

Have you any idea how hard it is to get a good picture of one's hairstyle? I myself tried in vain at least three dozen times. This one is probably the best one, thanks to my sister. I used the fantastic tutorial by Lass of Yesteryear's rendition of Lady Sybil's hair.
My shoes come from the amazingly talented woman of American Duchess. They are the Gibson style shoes that I was able to pick up when she was selling some "imperfects." I don't know about you, but I think they are as perfect as one could wish for! I'm trying not to covet her new 1930s line of shoes... Take a look at several other shoes she offers on my side bar just to the right. So many delicious choices!

Dressing up is entirely to much fun!

My brother told me to look at the tree when he took this shot, but what he didn't get was my other hand at the bottom of my hairstyle. You know, those "glam" shots that people often do? ;)
Ignore the pins sticking out of my hair. You don't want to know how many bobby pins and straight pins I used to keep my hair up!

And that my dear ladies, is all for this weekend. Perhaps sometime this fall I can do a real photoshoot of me in my Downton Abbey dinner gown and Titanic inspired accessories...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wearing My Ginnie

Tonight I'm fixing dinner, and while I was waiting for my water to boil, I ran outside to grab a couple shots as proof that Cheri does indeed wear aprons and not just sells them. :) 

"Cute As A Button" nail polish by Essie, if you were wondering. ;)
Once a customer was worried that her apron wouldn't match her clothes. I don't remember my response, but now I would say to such a customer that with all the hodge podge of mixing patterns, textures, florals, plaids, and stripes these days, not to many people will care if it goes with what you're wearing. :)

Stuffed shells, a spinach salad with cranberries and sugared pecans & a poppy seed dressing, and a five cheese garlic bread will be served tonight.
To bad my silver isn't polished and the cloth napkins remain unpressed, otherwise I might have been tempted to bring them out! ;)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

300 = Something Special!

Happy news! We just reached the 300 bench mark in sales in my etsy shop! God is so good and all my sweet customers are wonderful.

The original "Ethel" apron, my apron that is worn the most if I'm in the kitchen!

Running the risk of being ridiculous and not making any money off of such a sale as this, I've decided to put out a coupon code of 30% that is good for 3 days (get it? 300 sales, 30 percent off, 3 days) towards anything in Peasant Cottage!

Use promo code: 30SALE until 12noon on Saturday PST

Monday, September 16, 2013

Simple Earl Grey Hot Chocolate

This morning I was in the mood to try something fun in the kitchen. Not long ago I saw a recipe for Earl Grey infused hot chocolate, and was anxious to try it. But let's face the fact, we don't have any fancy ingredients that so many Pinterest recipes call for.

So, I made do with what we have in the kitchen. Things that perhaps normal people have in their pantry. ;) My recipe is as follows:

Simple Earl Grey Hot Chocolate

1 pouch of your favorite hot chocolate mix
3/4 cup hot almond milk (or any milk you use)
1/2 tsp. earl grey leaves
1/4 cup boiling water

Empty pouch in your favorite mug. Save a pinch of the dry mix for the top if you want to be fancy. Set aside.

Steep your tea leaves in water long enough to give the water enough flavor, being careful that the tea isn't to golden in color, but not a deep red color either. Maybe 3 or 4 minutes? Strain into your mug, and mix with your hot chocolate.

After frothing (use an aerolatte frother or something similar to get foam for the top), pour the milk into your mug but holding back the foam with a large spoon. Mix your drink well. Scoop foam on top and sprinkle the pinch of chocolate mix on top.

Take pictures and make a blog post about it! ;)

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Among the Geraniums

This little critter stood still long enough for his/her picture to be taken this morning. So small, but so detailed! It's a wonderful reminder to me how God is in the little details of His creation; the gifts and traits He bestows on everything He touches.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

When You Need Something Different

When some friends of mine had asked if I could help them out with their estate sales a couple winter's back, they also added that I'd be helping with handling the money alongside with making sure nothing was stolen.
Right away my mind was thinking of all the different aprons I make and realizing that none of them offered what I would find useful for handling money. Adorable, yes. Functional, yes. That is, for the kitchen or other household duties, but one having at least three big pockets? No.
With no time to make one up, I went to the thrift store and purchased a used and very ugly half apron that had three big functional pockets. Determined that I would someday make cute aprons off it, I tucked it away in my closet until I had some time this summer.
My dear ladies, before you is The Shopkeeper's Apron. Simple, functional and adorable all in one! Your fellow market ladies at the produce or boiled peanut stands will be sure to look on with envy. ;)

It's up for grabs in my etsy shop if you've been looking for such an apron!