Friday, July 31, 2009

Ooh, pretty!

I've mostly given up on blog giveaways, mostly because I never win. Hehe... But! This one is just to pretty not to try for. The ladies over at marie-madeline studio are giving away this delicious quilt!

Isn't it lovely? I have never been brave enough to venture into quilting, but there are so many talented ladies out there making beautiful ones, and I'm excited about the chance to win this one! Pop on over to their blog for your chance to win it, too!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tempest in a teapot

It was time for afternoon tea. The table was laid with delicate china and delectable treats. As the guests and their hostess were enjoying the repast, their discussion turned to a controversial topic. One guest became very agitated and stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

After an awkward silence, another guest laughed nervously and remarked, "Well, he's gone."

"No he's not," the hostess replied, "that's a closet."

How often I do the same with God. Our "conversation" isn't going well. He isn't listening to my side of the issue. I get up and storm out, but all I'm really doing is going into the closet. I'll have to come out again sometime, and He'll be there waiting for me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A bit of history

For Mother's Day this year, our church did an historical wedding theme. They asked the ladies of the church to wear their own wedding gowns, or their mothers' and grandmothers' gowns for a "fashion show" of sorts. There are quite a few newlyweds in our church, and I think the ladies had fun getting their gowns out again to wear. Many of the...ahem...more mature brides aren't quite the same size they were 20 or 30 years ago, so many daughters wore their moms' gowns. (I was one of them. :-))

There were three truly antique gowns, all in incredible condition. The one you see above was purchased by a Denver bride at the Denver Dry goods store in 1914! It was modeled by a *very* petite lady from our church. This incredible gown is still in pristine condition, and complete with its box of tissue-wrapped underthings, handbag, and shoes, which actually fit the lady from our church!

The gown has the most lovely bead work down the sleeves and all the way around the underskirt. The sleeves also feature an intricate pleating pattern.

Made mostly of light, sheer cotton, it also has accents of fine cotton net, and the underskirt is in champagne colored silk. The back of the gown has two fabric rosettes at the waist.
The bodice is accented with lace and a beaded medallion at the neckline.

Pure loveliness!

The modern brides in their strapless, a-line gowns were, of course, all lovely and blushing in the remembrance of their special days not too long ago, but there is just something so alluring in a soft, elegant gown with timeless embellishment.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finished pillows

I got the pillows all finished this week...I was waiting until our JoAnn's coupon went into effect to get the 18" pillow form, but then my mom discovered one under the guest bed! Heehee...

I had a minor disaster with the 18" pillow...I tend to get a leetle crazy with the serger and not pay attention to what I'm doing and... But! I think I satisfactorily solved the problem, and no one (expect me, of course!) should be able to tell.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sewing projects of the day

I just finished altering four pairs of pants for a 92-year-old customer (and I thought my serger was a goner for a minute there, trying to cut through all those layers of elastic at the waist!), and now it's on to the fun project...a tote bag! I know lots of you make these all the time, but I've never made one. Here's my fabric:

It's vintage-y fabric that I inherited from my grandma who passed away nearly 20 years ago. The solid blue is for the outside and the plaid is for the lining. I'm thinking of using one of the embroidery patterns on my sewing machine to stitch a motif on the outside to dress it up a little. This is the pattern I'm using.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A garden full of thoughts...or something like that

There is something about gardening that it teaches me in many, many ways. Some ways are more profound than others. Some are simple life lessons.

The simple life lesson of late that I have discovered is that yes, April, you are in fact a flake. Sad, but true. Just ask anyone to whom I have ever owed money. ;-) This is my third summer as an American gardener, and I have at last come to peace with the fact that I am best suited to about 95% perennial gardening. I am just too much of a flake to deal with fussy annuals every year. Plants that are hardy and sprout themselves every spring are The Thing for me.

There is a garden center about 10 minutes from my house that has been family owned and operated for over 60 years, and all their plants are grown with organic fertilizers and no pesticides. Yayness! The only sad thing is that they are only open from March to July. Whoever would've thought that a planting season could end in July?! Not this sub-tropical baby. The garden center's last day is this Saturday, and all their plants are buy two, get one free. Can't pass up them sales, eh? My mom and I bustled over there bright and early this morning to partake of the saleness. I built up my perennial collection with Scabiosa, Canterbury Bells, Asters, creeping Phlox, and a big fat Echinacea.

I really really really wanted one (or, more specifically WAS buy two, get one free, after all) of their delicious rosebushes, but I restrained myself. I have absolutely, positively, incontrovertibly no place to put one more rosebush, much less three. They were the most delicious climbing roses, too. ::sigh:: But...another thing I have learned in my gardening endeavors is that greediness when it comes to plants is just as unhealthy as greediness in any other area of life. Buying plants with no appropriate place to put them just makes me end up with a jungle of poor, weak, pathetic plants and less money in the bank. It's far better to buy only what you know you have space for and have a few beautiful, healthy plants. And so it is in life in general.

Isn't gardening educational?

Monday, July 6, 2009

What I'm doing today...

Several months ago, we had custom draperies made for our living room, dining room, and kitchen. I now work for the company that made them :-), but today, I'm doing a bit of freelance work, using the scraps that were leftover to make matching pillows for our living room. Figuring out how to use every square inch of remaining fabric was good exercise for my brain! I have a medium-ish sized piece of luscious gold silk and a small piece of multicolored stripe to use, and, if my figures are right (!!!), I should get three pillows out of it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer in Williamsburg

You may remember my Colonial-style Christmas decorations from last year. Colonial-style Christmas decorations are Christmas, of course. But as the months warm, the blood starts rushing to my green thumb (or something like that...). In any case, I start thinking about my garden. Yesterday, The Gardens of Colonial Williamsburg arrived in my mailbox (from, which I WILL shamelessly plug in probably nearly every blog post about books, since the only "new" books I get are from that can still click in the link on the right to join yourself!). I know it's definitely too late this year to start a new garden plan, but it is so delicious to look through the illustrations and photos in the book and dream of changes I might make to my gardens next year! I know I'll never have a strictly traditional colonial garden...the climate difference between mild and humid Virginia will exclude plenty of plants from my high desert garden, but I know there will be principles and ideas I can include. That's the fun of it anyway, isn't it? To take elements from things you love and change them to suit your style or situation?