Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Spring is here, as well as spring break for me.  And as I was potting herbs on our covered, screened back deck, I notice that there was a young Robin family building a nest in one of our fur trees that grow just on the other side of our screens. 

 I know nothing about Robins, but it appeared to me that the mother was happily eating bugs and worms in the grass below, padding her already wide gerth, while the father was the one busily gathering bits of twigs, grass and moss. 

His nest building skills were impressive. There was a sort of rythmic pattern about it all.  He would bring the twig to the nest, poke the middle of it into the side of nest, then pull down the ends, one at a time, always the right side first then the left, and tuck them under the existing twigs.  Very much like weaving.  It looks just like a little basket.  But, before he took off to find more, he would squat down in the nest, use his chest to push against one side while fluffing his feathers and kicking his feet on the other side.  I can only suppose that he was tightening his work.  You can see him doing this in the picture below. 

Very soon there will be eggs.
It is a delight for us to be able to watch this display of nature from such a prime viewing spot. Though I think it is rather unfortunate for the young family because I'm sure we will be a bother to them.

(sorry the pictures are so fuzzy...it was hard to get a good shot through the screens!)

contest and fabric

I thought I would mention that I bought a lot of my fabric for purses and aprons from a group of ladies who have a LOVELY sight called  Marie-Madeline Studios.  And on a blog I follow called Amanda-Beth Online, there is a contest to win a $30 gift certificate for Marie-Madeline Studios!  Go check it out!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

an impressionists skirt

I had some linen stashed away for a summer skirt, and today, while staying home with my sick daughter, I made myself a quick skirt.  To jazz it up a bit, I decided to bespeckle it with a few little flowers.  When all was said and done, it reminded me a bit of the impressionists...slight waterlily-ish meets japanese ink-drawings....
(sorry the pictures aren't that great, the light was fading fast with the gray skies outside)

and a close up...

A little tunic dress

To take a break from making purses, I made a small linen tunic dress.  Originally, I had planned to make it for my daughter, but then, after looking at it again, decided I might try to make a few of them for the Art Fair.  Why limit myself to purses and aprons?  Let's give them a smattering of what I'm capable of doing, see what sells best, and then go in that direction in the future!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

making her mark

My daughter Jane was given a goody-bag at the church Easter Egg hunt on Saturday.  Inside the bag, unknown to me, was a blue stamp......

Along with the walls, carpet, furniture, her clothing and skin, she also managed on her quest to claim the world as her own, to brand our cat Zimu.
(notice the back paw)
Zimu doesn't look too pleased to belong to anyone now.

more craft fair creations

A couple more things that I've made for the May Arts and Craft Fair in Madison, IN.

#1 A VERY Fussy Purse. (I almost tossed it in the bin before I was finished with it.)

#2 A Reversable Apron, with what I hope has a Retro feel to it...(The ribbon at the waiste is temporary. I didn't have time to make a trip to the store today for the ribbon I plan on using as the waistband, and I was so pleased with the apron that I wanted to get a picture of it and post it right away.  So, I borrowed one of my daughter Jane's ribbons and pinned it in place for the photo.)

The apron was a lot more fun to make, because it is much more along the lines of clothing design, which is what I enjoy most.  Purses-smurses...blah!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Busy as a Bee

As you can see, I've been busy as a bee.....

Though I like making purses, because it will eventually make me money, my heart is constantly drawn to period costume...*sigh* ....some day soon I will get back to Laura's Regency Gown.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Regency Short Stays

So, I sort of did things a little backwards.  Last summer, I made my first Regency gown.  Then, I made the Chemise in the fall.  And this winter I've been working on the Short Stays.  Well, after many gruelling weeks of hand sewing gussets and eyelets, the Short Stays are finally done. 

For those of you that don't know what Short Stays are, they are the turn of the 18th century version of a bra.  A friend of mine tried them on and remarked that she felt a little bit like a foot ball player.  I suppose that's because they lace up the front and are generally very stiff from three layers of fabric...as they should be for support.  But, in all actuality, they are very comfortable, and soft.  Even more so that many of my modern bras.  They are boned in the front with white-boning, and gussetted to give you that oh-so-desired "shelf" look of the Regency era (which my dress form does not do justice...the poor flat thing).  They aren't at all constricting as a Victorian corset would be. 

I've been told that the Short Stays were a sort of 'transitional' undergarment.  They were trying to get away from the uber-flat front look of the Elizabethan-Rococco era, but didn't quite know how to make that shapely, molded form of the Victorian era.

The Short Stays certainly weren't easy to make, but they were the best way I knew how to dip my toes into the murky waters of Period Undergarments.  I actually feel more confident now in my ability to do the crazy stuff, and am excited to some day soon start working on a Victorian corset and ensemble.


I'm preparing for my first craft fair in May.  The goal is to sew, then sell, a few purses, bags, totes, aprons, and maybe a few skirts, if their is time.  I've made purses in the past for family members, but last weekend I made my first purse to sell at the craft fair.  I think it is a nice light and airy sort of bag...perfect for summer.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


My daughter just turned 3 years old, and has been able to talk very clearly since she was about 10 months.  But, recently she has come up with a sort of 'play' language.  I'm not sure if she is secretly conversing with the house elves or what, but it is quite amuzing and bewildering....  When I hear her speak a word from her own language, I'll ask her what it means and her answer is always a very complicate one.  Here's an example of one of her words.

"Trafelgotin" she says.

"What's a 'trafelgotin', Jane?" ask I.

And she replies "Its a dog that flies like a bee with butterfly wings and he licks my nose and sits in my hand."