Friday, September 20, 2013

Christening Outfits for Twins

Baby Girl's Christening Gown

I just finished an order for christening outfits for twins, made from their Mother's wedding gown. The gown was beautiful - white silk dupioni with a midriff section that featured embroidery, beadwork and pearls. It was so pretty! The gown had a small-ish train - chapel length maybe - which had quite a bit of dirt on it (as did other parts of the gown). So there wasn't a LOT of fabric to work with.

The Mother asked that the girl's bodice feature the beadwork and the little boy's romper feature the buttons from the back of her gown. 
Baby Boy's Romper

The back of the wedding gown had covered buttons all the way down to the bottom of the train, but what was really unique was that between every three buttons there was a little beadwork flower in place of a button. I used those details for the tops of the slippers.  The children's names are embroidered on the soles of the slippers also.

Baby Girl's Bonnet and Slippers

The little girl's slip was made from the lining of gown. I embroidered the baby's monogram on it. Other than some lace at the hem of the slip, everything I used on the outfits came from the wedding gown. I knew that I wouldn't find any silk ribbon in the local stores, so I made the sash at the waist from the dress fabric. I like it better than the ribbon.

Monogram on Slip

Just as that order went out in the mail, I received another wedding gown in the mail. Thankfully this order isn't for twins! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Looking forward to Fall in the Ozarks

Tiny Crabapple

Fall is right around the corner here in the Ozarks.  Tomorrow the high is supposed to be 90, then it drops down into the 80's and even high 70's.  I am really looking forward to seeing the foilage turn colors.  I've been told that because of the rainfall this past year the fall colors will be beautiful.  In Texas the trees turn yellow just as the leaves all fall from the trees.  Not very exciting.  I remember flying into Memphis once in the fall and I was awe-struck by the beautiful foliage as we flew in.  It just wasn't something I saw in Texas.

There's an old tree behind the house with tee-tiny fruits on it.  No one knew what they were so I brought a couple in, cut one in half and googled it.  Turns out this is a crab apple, albeit tiny ones.  Maybe they're small because the tree hasn't been pruned in years.  I suppose I could make spiced crab apples or apple jelly with them, and maybe I will ... next year.  Without a kitchen just making dinner is work enough, much less trying to can anything.

The kitchen is shaping up.  The plumber has been here, the gas company, the elecrician and Marc has hung the sheetrock.  We need to put down a new floor (not sure yet what it will be) then we can install the cabinets, which are filling up the "living room" (I use that term loosely because it's really a construction zone too). 

Meanwhile I am getting bids for a chimney (or chim-lee as one guy pronounces it) for the wood stove that I want to put in the kitchen.  My dream stove is a Waterford Stanley but the budget just won't allow for that.  I looked into antique stoves but the clearances to combustibles is just too great, and they have a small firebox and I'm not sure if we would be able to keep insurance on the house with a vintage stove.  So, back to the drawing board.  I found a stove that seemed to fit the bill - the Baker's Choice.  It's not particularly attractive, but it is very functional, both for cooking and heating.  The price was do-able and it was new, safe and efficient.  When I started calling around to get info and bids on the chimney, one of the local companies had a wood cook stove they had taken in trade.  The owner said it was very similar to the one I was thinking of buying.  As it turns out, it is a very good stove - much better than the one I was eyeing.  I'm going to look at it tomorrow.  It's called a Margin Gem-Pac.  It's much more attractive than the Baker's Choice too. 

We bought a tiller and have plans for a fall garden.  We're in USDA Zone 6B, which is way different from the zone we were in previously (we were sort of between 8 and 9).  This tiller is a Troy-Bilt, much smaller than the last one we had, but being new, it runs really well and has some nice features.  I think it's also a little easier to handle. 

Along with the campfire living and home remodeling, I am working on an order for two christening outfits for a set of twins, a boy and a girl.  The mother's wedding gown is (or WAS) absolutely beautiful, silk with a beautiful beaded band around the midriff.  After cutting it up to make a slip, gown, boy's outfit, shoes and bonnet, there's not much left of her dress.  I need to get these done pronto because I have another order and that mom's dress is in the mail and will be here Friday.  I'll post pics of the outfits when I'm done.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

You May Be a Hoarder If....

As we prepared for our recent move, we were forced to clean out our rented warehouse. As we were hauling our first load I was thinking that as long as there are procrastinators and hoarders in the world, owning a storage rental business would be highly lucrative.

I realize I fall into both categories. Not bad enough to be featured on a tv show mind you, but just enough to pay $55 per month renting a warehouse in which to house stuff I wasn't able to part with. The procrastinator in me kept putting off dealing with it until one month turned  into do the math.

I do take some satisfaction in knowing that it was worth $550 to prove to Marc that he is the bigger hoarder in this family.

We had a garage sale and made just about enough to pay for the cost of that warehouse . . . I note that while I tend to stockpile furniture and craft projects that I plan to complete in the "near" future (some of these date back to the 80's), Marc hoards tools and building supplies. I'm all for having tools. The problem here is that we have at least 3 of each because a certain someone doesn't keep his tools organized and when he needs to use one he can't find it and has to go buy another.

I have to say, Marc did get rid of some stuff I thought he would hold onto forever and I made the decision to finally get  rid of old bank records.  I thought shredding those records would be a quick project and I sat on the patio and started shredding. Taking each document from the tote was a trip down memory lane (which of course slowed down the process tremendously). I had receipts from the mid 90's along with tags from clothing I'd bought. I don't know why in the world I would keep the tags unless I thought I might need to return something. Those tags were five sizes ago I might add. Along with receipts are the duplicate check stubs of literally every check I've ever written.

I come by this naturally, as my parents, or maybe it was just my mom, were hoarders and procrastinators as well. When my mom died, we found grocery bags in a storage closet that contained canceled checks from the 1950's and tax returns from the '40's.

The shredder quit working and I thought I had burned out the motor but as it turns out, you're supposed to run it for two minutes
then let it cool for 30.  Obviously at that rate I knew I would never get it all shredded.   So what did I do - why pack it up and haul it with me to Arkansas of course. At least I have an outbuilding in which to store it until I get around to burning it. Oh by the way, we had so much stuff that we couldn't shove it all in the largest U-Haul truck so we had to rent a storage warehouse for the overflow.... Hopefully we'll be able to get it cleared out before the year is out!

Meanwhile, I made a dress for journey to wear in a wedding in which she was a Flower
Girl. The pattern is what Stephanie calls "old school". It had a lapped zipper, covered buttons, darts, lining AND underlining, net petticoats and a cummerbund  I thought making it out of
Satin would be a good idea... Until I started pinning and cutting. As I was hemming it I seriously considered running out and buying something for her to wear. There was about 10 miles of hemline.  It looked huge and I was so afraid it wouldn't fit. It fit perfectly and she looked so sweet walking down the aisle in it. 

I received a Joann gift card for my birthday and I was saving it for something special and I decided to use it to make myself a maxi dress. It turned out cute -to the extent anything on a middle aged overweight woman can be considered cute. 

I have some scraps of a Lilly Pulitzer Lycra spandex fabric that I'd used to make a swim suit for rylan and its just enough to make suits for journey and Willow. I love LP fabrics but it's almost impossible to find them anymore.  I've cut out those suits and will post pics when I'm done.