Tuesday, November 03, 2015

November


"November is the pearl-grey month, the changeling between warm crimson October and cold white December; the month when the leaves fall in slow drifting whirls and the shapes of the trees are revealed. When the earth imperceptibly wakes and stretches her bare limbs and displays her stubborn unconquerable strength before she settles uneasily into winter. November is secret and silent." --Alison Uttley



"It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park, and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul." --L.M. Montgomery

Friday, August 21, 2015

These Last Summer Days (and an important shop announcement)

Where has summer gone to? It seems like it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was putting my garden in, or going outside every two days to weed after the heavy spring rains. Was it actually 6 days a week that I worked in three different towns? And I'm truly going into my 4th year of college? How has all of this taken place? and so fast?


Time has a way of slipping by in slow, circular intervals at times and at other times, rushing by so abruptly that it takes your breath away...


It was great fun to ride the Ferris Wheel at our local county fair this summer after  a long space between childhood and adulthood. 

And now to wrap this post up, I will be closing my etsy shop for the next several months since I really don't wish to bring all the items with me along with packaging supplies. My mom doesn't need to have me calling her up with "can you send this out to…" while I'm away, either. As much as I hate to actually close it temporarily, I can't think of a better solution.



So to lesson the blow, I'm offering free shipping all day today and part of early tomorrow morning in order to make any last minute runs to the Post Office before they close for the weekend. Just use code SHIPFREE while checking out when purchasing stateside. The shop will be officially closed tomorrow since I leave for school this weekend.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

The Terrarium from the Thrift Store

Well, I should be completely honest by saying that the terrarium was bought empty for a couple dollars at a favorite local thrift shop. Pictures of them on pinterest or plants displayed at fun stores like Anthopologie have peaked my interest in tiny little living plants.


Having no clue where to start, I took the glass container to a greenhouse that sells an amazing selection of houseplants and asked the master gardener there for ideas. She gave me the layered soil for free and I only had to buy the little "plugs" for it.


It's a good thing my college roommate like houseplants.


If only I could get her to like cats...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer




It's hard to believe how fast the summer has been flying by. Part of the reason for the rate of speed at which it feels is most likely largely due to working so much. Tomorrow will close out my work week at nearly 50 hours of work. Though I'm around a constant supply of caffeine, my days mainly consist of sleep and being a barista. If there is any spare time it's usually squeezing in violin lessons between work and naps, or spending a few moments in my gardens. Oh the quiet and much-need havens they've become this summer!

With working so much I haven't been in the sewing room as much as I had originally planned for the summer, but that's okay. I think I should be able to eventually finish the 1930s frock I started, sew up another 1940s Gracie apron, and sew some Tasha Tudor styled-aprons before I head back for school in a few weeks.

If you only follow my blog and not my etsy shop, I'll make a quick note to mention that I eventually found time to list the rest of my historical stash online. The 1914 white dress is in my etsy shop here and then my Edwardian shoes had to be listed on ebay.

Enjoy the rest of your July!

Monday, July 06, 2015

Goodies in the Shop!

It was time to sort through some things that have been just sitting or hanging around. The result was that I added some of my vintage-inspired clothing and some vintage patterns up in my shop tonight.


Take a look!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Popping in, Wearing Aprons

Tonight my youngest sister and I are trying a new-to-us recipe (thanks to Pinterest) using some all-natural bison that she bought. We both donned aprons and then it was my idea to get a picture to post for the blog. So yes, I really do wear aprons, not just make and sell them. :)

I'm wearing my favorite vintage original "Ethel" apron, and Molly is wearing a vintage original "Gracie" apron (same as the Grace style, but for ladies who wear an extra small/small).


Yay for sisters who like to cook with you and is catching onto the idea of wearing vintage aprons. ;)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Their Last Name is Rose

This year was the year for planting roses, thanks to my local greenhouse having fantastic sales and membercard savings. Having fallen in love with English-bred roses from David Austin, I chose different varieties and colors. They deserved to be properly introduced and I have two pictures of each variety with a link for each one for more details if you wish to know more about them.


"...She wanted a quiet place where she could be alone when she wanted to be; to listen to the wind telling her strange tales, or hold the big spotted shell that murmured of the sea to her ear, or talk to the roses in the garden.” ~ L.M. Montgomery





"Thou visitest the earth and waterest it…Thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest the springing thereof." ~Psalm 65:9,10




“Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.” ~L. M. Montgomery





This is my first David Austin rose that I bought last year, but I couldn't post pictures of all the others and leave this one out. :)


"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." ~Anne Frank

Friday, June 05, 2015

Back in the Sewing Room (with some Humble Pie)

Now that the vegetable garden is in, the flower beds are finished, and three new English roses found their way into my bench garden, I've had some time for sewing. I finished up another apron this week and will hopefully finish up a dress for my mom before Sunday. Once that is completed, I'm anxious to start on some vintage dresses from patterns that I bought last year. The plan is to make them for the shop, but I sort of fell in love with the designs and fabrics as I was cutting them out. We'll see.

With being home for the summer, I've been looking around for a summer job and the other day a lady from church told me of the local bridal shop that she works for and how they were looking for another seamstress. It sounded a bit daunting, but I got brave and went in to talk to the store owner. The conversation went like this (after introductions):

Owner: You are going to have to be extremely OCD with sewing, because brides can be super finicky about seams that are unseen. Every seam you sew will have to be checked by me for awhile.
Church friend: Oh, Cheri is a better seamstress than me. (She boosted my confidence when it was beginning to melt)
Owner: Can you do a roll hem?
Me: As in on a serger?
Owner: No, like this. (And then showed an example of a 1/8" hem on the edge of a satin wedding gown)
Me: Oh. No, I don't know how to do that.
Owner: Well, it's the one thing a seamstress must do if they work for me.
Owner: Have you done a bustle before?
(Me thinking dryly: never needed one before…haha!)

And then she proceeded on with other things, but it became rather clear that I am not skilled in areas needed to be a bridal seamstress/alteration person. It was humbling for me since I thought I knew how to do most things. Even though I've been mostly self-taught, I've been sewing for others and running a small online etsy shop for several years and while not perfect, 99.99% of my customers have been happy and have returned.

But it's all good. Some seamstresses are cut out to work in a bridal shop and some are for working in a small basement sewing room pulling out vintage patterns, fabrics, and trims.

And I like it.

One of the vintage dresses that I intended to make last year.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Queen Anne's Lace

 
 

The delicateness and old fashioned romance of Queen Anne's Lace takes me back to my childhood days of when it grew prevalently alongside the road or when I'd be stuck playing dolls with my friend while my older sister and her best friend would go out into the woods and neighboring fields to gather armfuls of wildflowers. (My friend and I were to young to go out rambling by ourselves.)

There is a bright and cheery green dotted swiss fabric on my sewing table that is waiting to be made up into an apron. I just need to look through my laces to find just the right piece to embellish the fabric to remind the wearer of the beauty of Queen Anne's Lace. Once it's sewn up, it will be placed into my poor neglected etsy shop.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cranberry Orange Scones

You know how over the years you collect recipes, but you have no clue where it came from, how you found it, or who shared it? Such is the case with a few recipes in my recipe binder that I've printed off from websites and blogs.

I've had this recipe for a long time, but never made it up until last weekend when I was in the mood for scones. Actually, I was hungry for scones all semester, but never made any on my Friday night baking whims. My roommate was most likely entertained by my sudden creative bursts in the kitchen on the weekends.

So today on the blog I present you with the recipe I used (but tweaked from the original). If you have something similar and know of a source, I'd be more than happy to revise this blog post and give credit where credit is due. The scones are soft and moist, and are not heavy or dense. Neither are they dry and crumbly. Perfection to me, but I know everyone has different scone preferences.


Cranberry Orange Scones

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
2 1/2 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
6 T. of cold butter
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 t. freshly grated orange zest
1 large egg
1/3 c. heavy cream

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender/cutter and then finish off with pinching the remaining pieces of butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in cranberries and orange zest.

In a small bowl, beat together egg and cream. Add to the flour mixture; stir gently until everything comes together and dough is somewhat sticky. My dough seemed a bit to firm so I poured in a few tablespoons of almond milk from the fridge, but any milk or more cream would certainly work.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and transfer to a floured surface. Shape and pat down dough into imperfect circular shapes and cut it into 4 wedges. Place each triangle close by the others in a circular fashion onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake @ 425 degrees for about 12 minutes or until golden.


While baking, prepare the Orange Glaze:

1 1/2 T. freshly squeezed orange juice.
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. freshly grated orange zest

Mix together, and add enough sugar to have a glaze to your liking. I poured in a bit more sugar in mine since it seemed a bit to thin. Scoop it into a plastic bag (if you don't have any fancy decorating gadgets) and cut off a corner to squeeze glaze onto scones.


They taste especially good if enjoyed with a cup of coffee and in the company of a sister or friend.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Spring Semester is Underway!


"We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; IT IS WHAT JESUS IS, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul." — Charles Haddon Spurgeon


Before the semester began, I found myself in a coffee shop downton and was able to do some reading and journaling. Sometimes it's good to "come away and rest" as you re-group and prepare for another semester.


So thankful for the soul-rest that only Christ can provide in the busyness of studying, practicing, quizzes, tests, and just general college life. While it certainly is satisying getting good grades and progressing in musical pursuits, true happiness is found in Christ and that is what I need to continually be reminded of.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Downton Breakfast

My last morning at home before I left for another college semester, I put together a Downton-inspired breakfast for my sisters and I. A friend of my sister's had given her a box of scone mix and a some orange marmalade prior to Christmas, and it was such a hit at our house that I picked up a box of scone mix at the store to make again. :) True, I suppose I could have just made my own like I usually do, but decided to splurge. :)


I liked how simple they were to put together (shape into balls, flatten them down, cut into fourths, and bake!) and they turned out perfectly.


Ahh, so yummy with orange marmalade, but I think any other jam or jelly would do when there is no marmalade to be had. If my gooseberry bush produces enough this summer, I'm thinking gooseberry jam would be perfectly delicious.


That morning we savored and sipped the English Rose tea that was one of my gifts for Christmas. It's a lovely floral and berry flavored tea. It's similar to Tazo's "Passion" tea, but the tea container is a great deal prettier. :)


I brought a scone box with me to the Carolina's and am thinking of doing a Downton breakfast for my roommate's birthday in the spring. She'll be 30, and it will be fun to do something for her that is up her alley.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Flora Bella

Well, I decided to take the time to sew up that last apron. And I'm glad I did.


You can't go wrong with a lovely linen by Moda or a whimsical music print, can you?

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

There are Roses in the Winter


Sceptical? Well, I'm sure in other parts of the world there are blooming roses in abundance, but you can bring a lovely Frosted Rose Apron to your kitchen! :)

Later this week I head back to the Carolina's for college and while there is one more apron "in the works" on my table, there is no guarantee that I'll make time to sew it up. And speaking of time for sewing, I ran out of time to sew up my 1950s dress. It will just have to wait until later this year. But it has been a pleasure to hear the sewing machine humming while I've been home.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Acorn Tops

Most often when I'm putting together an apron; working with the fabric and fun little extras that its name comes to me.
This one sports two unmatched buttons from my stash that resemble acorn tops. I thought they were fitting for an autumnish cotton calico, and thus it is named Acorn Tops up in my shop! :)