Gorgeous Little Things

24 May

Apologies for the lack of posting this week. I had a plan all laid out and then come Monday I get a huge new work assignment dropped in my lap and everything went out the window after that.

The other day I was scrolling through my pictures and I came across something I wanted to share with you. What you may not know about me is that my first and most abiding fashion love is the styles of the 1920s. Something about that era speaks to me in a way other eras do not. Unfortunately, I am a VERY pronounced pear shape and my fashion love looks terrible on me. So I stick to a lot of what you see here which is ’40s through early ’60s.

So when I was scrolling through my photos I came across pictures I had taken of a gorgeous beaded “flapper” dress that a very generous friend had gifted me years ago. It’s the loveliest thing, but very delicate and so I don’t take it out too much.

SAMSUNGAs you can no doubt tell, it’s pretty difficult to photograph it in any way that captures its true beauty. It’s a slight rusty color. The beading is amber, gold, and blue. I can find no maker’s tag inside. The silhouette is your typical 1920s straight tubular sheath with ties on the side, giving slight hip definition.

231Here is a close up of the beading from the hip area. I feel like it has a slight Egyptian feel to it; perhaps the maker was inspired by the finding of Tutankhamen’s tomb and the subsequent craze for all things ancient Egyptian? You can see how tiny the beads are and how delicate the fabric really is. I think the fabric is a sheer silk crepe as the poor thing is shredding in the way silk will at the shoulders. This is why one should store these dresses flat rather than on a hanger. Mine resides in an acid free box, with acid free paper between the dress folds for good measure.

SAMSUNGI especially enjoy the way the beading compliments the lines of the garment and emphasizes the popular ’20s shape of the day. Long, linear, emphasis at the dropped hips, continuing into more linear beading at the skirt.

For now, this dress resides, as I said, in a box. I have thought about displaying it since something this beautiful deserves to be admired. An idea I’ve toyed with is having it mounted and preserved under glass for me to hang up. My house was built in the 1920s and so it would compliment it very well.

What would you do, or what have you done with one of these beauties?

Eileen

 

 

The Most Expensive Shoes I Own . . .

18 May

Look like nun’s shoes.

Nun Shoes

Nun Shoes

Here’s the story. Last Summer, my family and I attended the local Celtic Festival. While there we saw amazing Irish dancing. Having both Irish heritage and having come of age in the mid ’90s I was aware of this form of dance and had always wanted to try it but never made much of an effort to really seek it out, so when one of the schools who were performing stated that they were doing a summer sampler, I signed up the kiddos thinking that I could live vicariously through them.

When their Summer sampler was through, I found out that not only were the child beginners starting in September, but there would also be an ADULT beginner class starting at the same time too. My son decided not to continue dancing, but my daughter loved it (yay!) and so I figured, since I would be at the school anyway, why the heck not?

Fast forward to the present. Folks I am an Irish dance devotee. In such a short time I have learned a reel, light jig, slip jig, treble jig and hornpipe. The last two dances use the funny shoes pictured above, called hard shoes. The first three use soft shoes called ghillies.

 

Ouch

Ouch

Peeps, these things HURT. I wear an 8.5 shoe, and these things are 5s! No joke. Granted, they are Irish sizing, but they fit them to you super tight because they are soft leather and eventually they stretch out. When I first got them though, I seriously could only wear them about 20 min before I had to sit or take them off. I felt like I was having my feet bound at times! Lest you think I’m exaggerating, let me show you how my feet look when I take them off.

Double Ouch

Double Ouch

That being said, Irish dancing is a wonderful way to celebrate my heritage. I practice near daily for a minimum of 45 min. A happy by-product of all this dancing is that I have dropped 20lbs and I have more energy and feel happier than I did this time last year. It got me through our long cold winter (which feels like it’s still hanging on, I have the heat on people!) when I think I would have otherwise been depressed.

The new svelte me ;)

The new svelte me ;)

So that’s it, just when you thought I couldn’t possibly have ANOTHER hobby, there I go and pick one up. I think life is just to short NOT to learn and do all the things one would like to.

Finally, myself and the other beginner had our very first stage performance last night and it was an exhilarating time. I would upload a video but I’m too cheap frugal to shell out the $60 to be able to do so. Let me tell you I was just SO relieved that I didn’t screw up because the crowd was massive! And I’m also planning to compete at a Feis (fesh) in my reel, light jig and slip jig this summer so I will let you know how I do! I’m obsessed!

So tell me, do you have any new hobbies?

Eileen

 

The Crazy Chicken Lady

16 May

They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have a problem in the first place. Hi, I’m Eileen, and I’m a crazy chicken lady.

When I first brought home the first batch of a dozen little fluff balls, little did I imagine that a short year later they would have multiplied, through purchases and natural means, to the point where we nearly have thirty, yes thirty total chickens!*

Aww they were so little!

Aww they were so little!

I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed keeping chickens. If you’ve not been around them, they really are delightful creatures. I am now to the point where I can distinguish between different clucks and noises they make; they range from “Hey! I just laid an egg” to “back off lady, this is MY worm.” See? I’m crazy about chickens.

All the single ladies  . . .

All the single ladies . . .

They’re also delightful to watch scritch and scratch in the barnyard. Sometimes, when the rooster is particularly interested in a lady, he will do the funniest dance that makes me think of a rooster tango. He’ll also alert the girls when he’s found a little tidbit that is particularly interesting to eat to win their favor.

The fullness of my craze became apparent when I found that one little hen was particularly popular with the menfolk, of which I had three total. I say had because we sent two of the three to “freezer camp” a few weekends ago, and the barnyard has been much more peaceful since then. But I digress, so this hen was popular to the point where her back was basically cut open because of all the mating going on. We separated the poor dear and then I did something that solidified my status as crazy chicken lady. I sewed what’s called a chicken saddle for the girl so that the rooster’s spurs would no longer hurt her. You read that right; I sewed for a chicken. We then treated her wound and put the saddle on her. I wish I could say that I had a picture of this, but the durn girl kept running from me after her traumatizing experience and I failed to get anything but a blurry hen running from me so you’ll have to  be content with the saddle itself. If you want to see what it looks like when a hen is wearing one, just give “chicken saddle” a google. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Funny stuff, right?

 

If sewing for chickens doesn’t make one a crazy chicken lady I’m not sure what does! Funnily enough, I’m contemplating sewing blankets for my sheep to keep veggie matter out of their wool after I shear them in a few weeks! So just go ahead and add crazy sheep lady to the list as well.

Let me know folks, have any of you sewn for any barnyard animals?

Eileen

*Our hen Amelia is currently sitting on a whole batch of eggs so this number is set to increase soon. She is the only hen at all interested in being a Mother so we just let her do her thing. It’s pretty adorable actually.

Happy Mother’s Day

11 May

Mom's DayDear readers, whether your kids be two legged or four, near or far, or only in your heart, I wish you all the happiest of Mother’s Days. My Mom left me all too soon so take the time to call your Mom if you’re able and tell her you love her.

 

Playsuit Sew Along

7 May

Hello!

Anyone out there joining in The Girl with the Star Spangled Heart’s Playsuit Sew Along? I intend to participate. The only trouble is picking just which one of my playsuit patterns to use! As of right now, I’m thinking of making this cute vintage Vogue pattern:

Vogue Playsuit

Vogue Playsuit

I’m guessing this pattern is from the late thirties to early forties. It consists of a shirt, shorts, and overskirt. I’m thinking that to make it extra playsuit-y, I’ll just stitch the top to the bottom to make it an all in one, though I really could use more vintage separates. The truly amazing thing here is me actually contemplating wearing shorts; something that hasn’t happened in over a decade! (I credit my new passion for Irish dancing for this, but that deserves a post all on its own).

I’m not sure yet what fabric I will use, or if I even have any in my substantial stash that will work (isn’t that how it always goes?). While there are no good fabric stores in my immediate vicinity, this weekend I’m heading to Florida where one of my favorite apparel fabric stores happens to be and I’ll see what they have. They usually have cute nautical prints and whatnot. I wish I could find fabric similar to the gal on the left’s. If you look closely, it looks like a pattern of net with fish caught in it. How cute is that?

I’m excited about this sew along so stay tuned!

Eileen

 

The Girl Wore a Blue Dress

5 May

Hi!

Some of you may remember when I became enamored with this picture:

 

Image

I finally finished it up in January; you know, just in time for those -18 temps that we had here in the Midwest, but I was finally able to wear it to work about a month ago. Sorry for the crappy phone pictures and the lovely “government bathroom” background but it was the best I could do. It’s been so rainy and gloomy lately that whenever it is nice out, I have stuff to do in the barn/outside and I’m wearing work clothes so throwing on a dress is the last thing I do!

Side View

Side View

SAMSUNG

Front view

I had planned to try to re-creat the chic model above but these silly work bathroom photos will have to do instead. I used the pattern that I posted in the linked post above, Simplicity 5022. The color isn’t EXACTLY like the one in the original photo, but it’s close enough and I’m pleased with it. The fabric is just a basic cotton broadcloth that I think I picked up at Joann’s or Hancock’s shortly after I saw the photo. I did make a self fabric belt which I think is great and really ties the outfit together.

Here it is May and I have still only worn this dress the one time. It’s just been too cold for thin cotton sundresses. I know I’m going on about the weather like an old person, but I can’t help it, I’m ready for SUMMER!

Eileen

The Lost Weekend*

28 Apr

Hey peeps! Dropped off the blogosphere there to take a weekend trip with the Hub. We celebrated nine years o’ wedded bliss this past Saturday. My super generous friend watched our kiddos and farm animals for the weekend while we headed off to a lovely little cabin nestled in the Hocking Hills of Ohio.

When my friend first told me about this place he said, “You’ll never believe this place is in Ohio!” and he sure wasn’t kidding. There were woods, rolling hills, twisty roads, hiking trails, caves and generally nature galore. It made me nostalgic for my home state of California! Here are a few pictures of some of the natural beauty that surrounded us:

This was at Old Man's Cave

This was at Old Man’s Cave

The view from the deck of our cabin

The view from the deck of our cabin

Ash Cave was super impressive with its waterfall

Ash Cave was super impressive with its waterfall

The scenery was just amazing.

The scenery was just amazing.

But we don’t want to see NATURE stuff do we?? In the area there was a plethora of antique malls and so when we weren’t hiking or eating or partaking in  . . . other activities we were antiquing.

The first night we were there I found the most amazing lady head vase to add to my collection. I’ve never seen one like her before.

Such a fetching little face

Such a fetching little face

I think her fan and mantilla are so interesting

I think her fan and mantilla are so interesting

Close up of the artistry; look at the lace detail!

Close up of the artistry; look at the lace detail!

Isn’t she amazing? I’m trying to find ANY information on her. She IS marked on the bottom with what looks like a T M and the numbers 5-28. I’d love it if anyone has any idea who painted her or any of her story. I would have gladly paid $50 for her, but I got her for a steal at $5 and could NOT believe my luck. She is now the crown jewel in my steadily growing lady’s head vase collection.

All the single ladies, all the single ladies . . . .

All the single ladies, all the single ladies . . . .

In the same antique store I found a cache of pretty vintage buttons all on their original cards. These are destined for a shadow box which will one day grace whichever room ends up being my sewing room.

Which is your favorite?

Which is your favorite?

Finally they had a glassware outlet that had Homer Laughlin Fiesta ware at deep, DEEP discounts. I’m not even kidding. I got a platter and veggie bowl that matches my now discontinued Flamingo set (not pictured), and I this pitcher that I’ve had my eye on forever but could not justify the $60 price tag. This one cost me $11. No joke!

Red Fiesta Jug

Red Fiesta Jug

Doesn’t it look gay there on the Sellers Cabinet?? Can you folks believe how good the vintage hunting is here in Ohio? Seriously, it’s the best state that I’ve lived in for it and I’ve lived in more states than most folks (California, Texas, Florida and Ohio for those of you wondering). Seriously the best finds for the lowest prices.

Hope ya’ll had a great weekend and here is a picture of the Hubs well, just because I think he’s a cutie. It’s been a grand nine years and I’m hoping for nine times nine more!

Whatta face!

Whatta face!

TTFN!

Eileen

*Extra points if you have seen this film with a perhaps overly tidy ending!