Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shop Update: Baby Dresses




Oh wait - this isn't a baby dress! :D It's new in the shop, though.

I did the embroidery on the dress in the close up; the "daisy chain" dress. The last dress, the all-grown-up baby dress, is one my mom bought years ago to re-fashion and we never did. I was going to remove the huge piece of lace at the shoulders and replace it with sensible straps. Now I can't fit into it. So it's pointless to re-fashion it now.
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Perfect Evening.

It was such a perfect evening.

I had to work all day but when I got off at five and headed to the barn, it became the perfect evening.

Perfect for sitting in an old barn and looking out at the pouring rain; the same rain pounding on the metal roof like artillery fire.

Just warm enough to be able to get soaked while feeding 30 horses on three different farms and not get cold.

Perfect for puddle splashing.

I could see the grass becoming greener as I watched, it seemed. I could almost see the leaves popping out of their buds.

Even with all the thunder and pounding rain on the metal barn roof, it was like peace and quiet for me... just because I was alone.

I enjoy being alone sometimes. I know it's unusual for a married person in love to want to be alone, ever, but both my husband and I treasure times alone. He likes to go hiking in the woods alone, or do tractor work in the fields alone; I like to go to the farms alone and just walk through the fields, or sit in the grass, and be alone. I guess we're quirky that way.

I enjoy our horse farm, with our huge new barn, but most of all, when I need my peace and quiet, I love to go to my friend's farm - way off the road, you take a secluded trail to get down there. I have keys to the gate, because I feed the horses.

You can't hear the road. You can't hear anything. It's where I go when I need to slow it down and take it all in.

After about an hour of sitting in the hay, looking out at the thunderstorm, I realized
It wasn't going to let up anytime soon, and I was missing Kevin after my hour of "alone time" so I ventured out of my old barn perch and promptly got soaked through.

It really was a perfect evening -

Perfect for eating pasta leftovers, so I didn't have to cook anything;

Perfect for polishing off birthday cake,

Perfect for frumpy sweats,

Perfect for cozy fires and kitty cuddles on the couch with a fuzzy blankie;

Perfect for a good movie....

Who knew a rainy, chilly, stormy day could be so perfect?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Look for Spring

I pimped my blog.

Yup, I'm a blog primper. I change my background with the seasons, like I change my clothes and home decor around with the seasons.

I've also updated my blogroll so you can see who I read all the time. I added a couple of links to coolness in my "Favorite things" links, as well.

I took off the things I have done from my resolutions list, and stuck my annoying music allllllll the way down at the bottom of the sidebar.

I gave myself a new profile pic.

I also posted a new posting about cooking influences and memories over at my neglected cooking blog, if you're interested.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Springtime Sights





I went straight out to pick this bucket full of daffodils this afternoon when I heard that it was going to be almost freezing tonight - I didn't want them all to be lost before I had a chance to enjoy them. There are two varieties here; and they all smell like....oh, I don't know.... honeysuckle, and sugar cookies, and strawberry jam......
I brought them home to make arrangements for my dinner party I am having tomorrow with my family for my brother and I's birthdays. (Our bDays are a week apart.)

My husband bought me 24 baby chicks for part of my birthday gift. Well, actually, we were going to buy them anyway, but seeing as we bought them the day before my birthday, I called them my birthday gift. :D They are so stinking CUTE!
I wanted ducklings, too, but Kevin said no..... ducks make a bigger mess, and go in the road, and eat flowers and vegetable gardens, he says. Of course, chickens do all this too; but apparently ducks are worse. I guess. I just love fuzzy yellow ducklings. I just love spring! Even though it's going to be 30 degrees tonight! I don't care! It's Spring!!
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vintage "subcultures" Pt. 2 - Steampunk

Before you skip reading this post because of the "punk" in the title, rest assured - there are plenty of "grown ups" who participate in the steampunk subculture. Not just "punks".


Steampunk is really, really unique and interesting. There is not a steampunk scene in my area; so I had no idea this existed until I started research into the vintage world. If there were a steampunk scene in my area, I might just have to make an outfit and attend a "steampunk" tea! I love the look. Of course, true Victorian pieces are considered antique, and therefore, quite pricey. So most Steampunk wardrobe pieces will be vintage inspired.


You've probably seen steam punk and didn't realize it - if you've seen movies like "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", "Wild Wild West", "The Series of Unfortunate Events" among others.

"Steampunk" has it's origins in the 1980's and is based on works of fiction by the likes of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. The style is based on what "Victorians" at the turn of the last century thought people in the future would live like. They had no concept of nuclear power, jet travel, plastics, or any of our modern materials or sources of energy and power.


Modern steampunk uses elements of typical Victorian style, as well as turn of the century science fiction/fantasy in the form of ray guns, goggles, gears, mechanized objects, weapons, technology, travel, etc. etc.


Gentlemen's outfits consist of trousers, waistcoats, over coats, smoking jackets, top hats, pocket watches, gun belts, gloves, mechanised accessories, etc.



OH! If only I could get my husband into an outfit like this..... oh, my. MmmmmHummm.

Ladies outfits include all kinds of different styles: more traditional long, high-waisted skirts and gowns in dark colors that include buckles and other "hardware",


As well as shorter skirts typical of "can-can" girls of the era


Frilly hats and veils


Top hats, duster jackets, walking sticks, and plenty of velvet and lace


Corsets, and Edwardian styled dresses and tops



Most "Steampunks" are do-it-yourself -ers and re-fashioners who choose to make their own outfits using a mix of vintage, antique, and handmade items.

I hope you have enjoyed this little informative venture into the vintage fashion world. If you know of other vintage "subcultures" let me know because I am always ready to learn more.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Misc. Stuff


I have been updating my shipping options in my Etsy shop to include international rates. So instead of having to convo me for rates, if you are outside the USA, you have a shipping option right from checkout on my Etsy. I guessed at a lot of the rates, so I may come to regret this, if I under charge for shipping. On the other hand, if you are overcharged, I always, always refund your pay pal account for amounts over $1.00


I listed this robin's egg blue square dancing dress. Before I did, I threw it on for a few shots at my barn with my horse Halley. Even though the dress is not my personal favorite style, I thought it was cute. I think it would rock out with a crinoline, for a swing party or as a rockabilly outfit.


And as promised, here are pics of my patio. We dug out the area to be "paved" , and then I brought in all the bricks and rocks.


It's taken me a week or so, or arranging rocks and bricks this way and that, but we finally settled on this design, and now we'll bury the rocks so they're level, and then spread the dirt all over the top. Then we'll grow grass on it, to hold everything in place. Then all I have to do is mow over it, and keep the grass to a minimum. I still have to do some tweaking of my raised bed wall there, and plant the thing full of flowers for my butterfly/hummingbird garden.

Oh and the spot where there are no small fill-in bricks? I just hadn't brought in the last load yet. It's now filled in. :D

Every rock and brick in the raised bed and in the patio is recycled from old chimneys on our farm. I put not one red cent into this, except for bedding plants and herbs.

What do you think?
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Flower Children

The weather has been amazing these past few days; in the 70's, and warm enough for short sleeves. Eli and Noah (my brothers, that is) brought their kids over Friday afternoon when they were working on Eli's car. Of course, I did auntie things with them when they were here.... I taught Abi o ride a bike without training wheels; we hauled more rocks and bricks for my patio; and we got some bunches of daffodils when we were up by the old house foundation getting those rocks and bricks. The place is blanketed with purple periwinkle flowers, several varieties of daffodils, iris, hyacinths, all kinds of blooming things. I'm having a problem with my Photobucket account today so I am only sharing these few pics with you for now....
Emilie handed me a couple purple periwinkle flowers. "'Ere ya go," she said. I accepted them. Then she said "'Appy Birday," ..... it was soooo cute. Priceless. She doesn't even know it's my birthday this week - she just associates giving pretty things with Birthdays. Awwww.
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Brendan asked me to put his flowers in his front pocket of his overalls. So I did. He was very, very serious about it.

May I just say these are the cutest nieces and nephews a person ever had?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Is Here; Now Let's Clean Something

Do you do "Spring" cleaning?

I mean that deep, intense, move all the furniture, roll up all the rugs, strip everything kind of cleaning?

I never fully appreciated the concept of "Spring" cleaning till I moved into our 1920s farmhouse, that we heat with wood burning stoves. Now I understand the "old fashioned" concept of "Spring" cleaning.


When the days start getting warmer and things start getting greener and the days longer, I get in a cleaning kind of mood.

The thing of it is, I don't always know how to begin; and once I get going, I don't exactly know where to go with it.


(I've been snitching photos off the net recently. Have you noticed?)

So I started this week with some Spring cleaning. Part of what made me make up my mind to do this is the fact that we have a plague of Ladybugs in our guest room. It is very disturbing to walk across one's hardwood floors, crunching on lady bug carcasses. So, first, I decided to to clean all the floors, all at once.
Then I was going to clean all the windows at once. Then I was going to clean all the furniture all at once; wash curtains, dust, clean out the fireplaces, etc. etc.

But I don't think this is a good method after all. I got them all clean, but with the other half of the rooms not clean, and it felt like I had done nothing at all. I decided to try the method of totally cleaning one room at a time. I think this is a better plan for me.

So today I began in our bedroom. The first thing I do in all the rooms as soon as the weather is nice is throw open all the windows and let the fresh air in!!

Next I strip all the bedding, pillow top mattress cover, duvet, everything. Oh and the cat's beds, too. Into the washer they all go. Then I proceed to vacuum, dust, mop, scrub, and polish the room. I was shocked - shocked! - about all the cat hair, fuzz balls, dust bunnies, and other mystery particles found under and behind my bed. Ugh. It was like I couldn't see all of it until the windows were opened, or something.

Then I did the hall between the bedrooms. And I will proceed with each room until it is all done - and then it'll be time to start all over again!


Part of my Spring cleaning also entails doing a huge purge of all my clothes, junk, stashes, etc.
I stared this a few weeks ago. In fact, I started with my attic stash in January. Last week I was so proud of Kevin when he went through his drawers and clothes racks and made a huge donation pile. I was so happy to see some of those old t-shirts go....

When I start getting out my spring and summer clothes, and putting away my winter ones, I do a huge tossing. I make piles: "Fix and Repair", "Ask my sister if they want", "Goodwill", "Yard Sale", "Etsy/eBay", "Abi and Lexy Dress up", and the biggest pile of them all: "Cannot bear to part with". I also decide at this point what I need to go shopping to buy for my warm weather wardrobe.

I go through old magazines and catalogs and recycle the old ones; I clean out my desk and office space and shred old documents; I wash all the curtains and vacuum out the sofa; I put away the afghans and throws. I pack away all the heavy Carharts and Outback coats; heavy, bulky outer wear. I also stash away the heavy chore boots, hats, and mittens.

I usually brighten up the decor with lighter fabrics: put away the flannel sheets, thick bedspreads and blankets, velvet pillows, and heavy place mats and napkins; and I bring out the light, floral, cotton things.


I even sit down with my recipes and work out new menus and pick new recipes to try. No more stews, chilies and soups. No more heavy stick to your ribs dishes we like when we're trudging around in the snow feeding animals and hauling wood.
Soon, it'll be time for cold suppers, cooking on the grill, and eating fresh from the garden. YAY! (I already planted a good crop of early lettuce!)

What do YOU do for "Spring Cleaning"? What's your method?

(And no - I do not do any cleaning wearing a fresh and floral dress and high heels, with my hair do perfect and a cute apron. Sorry. When I am cleaning, my appearance is totally lacking in any kind of loveliness.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

" Vintage 'Subcultures' " - Pt. 1: ROCKABILLY

So, as a person who collects and sells (sometimes - things are slow these days) vintage, I do a lot of research into the vintage fashion world and see a lot of stuff. I like to know who is buying vintage, so as to improve my marketing, and to aid me in my purchasing of items. I don't want to spend a lot of money buying vintage inventory no one is going to want to buy! So - recently I have really delved into this as I try to take my e-commerce (Etsy Shop) to the "next level". In doing so, I have found out about a couple of very interesting "subcultures" that rely on vintage and vintage inspired clothing pieces for their fashion statements.

The first one, and my personal favorite thus far, is Rockabilly!

I always knew about rockabilly music, but in my research these past few weeks, I have a whole new outlook on the term Rockabilly.

First of all, let me just say, my own personal vintage "style" leans more towards the Rockabilly scene, with a little bohemian and Victorian thrown in here and there. I think my summer style is more Rockabilly, and my winter style tends to go "Victorian". I'm a seasonal kind of Gal; I don't know why. I don't wear white shoes before Easter, and I quit wearing them on Labor Day, no matter what anyone says about "silly old southern traditions." Anyway..... back to Rockabilly!

"Rockabilly" is a style of music; which began in the late 1940's and 1950's. it is a Rock n' Roll and "hillbilly music" (Country) hybrid. Think Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc. Rockabilly's influences include swing and boogie music. According to Wickipedia, it had it's roots in the American South.

In the 80's, this style of music enjoyed a comeback (Stray Cats) and also became wildly popular in Europe.

Today, there is still quite a Rockabilly subculture, in the US and Europe, and even in Asia.

The "hard core" Rockabilly followers dress in 1950's fashions - and not the demure 1950's housewife kind of 1950's, either. Think pin-up girls, greasers, and bright, fun, brave fashions of the "young people" in the 50's. Although, from what I gather, "Rockabillys" do not like to be confused with "Greasers".

And this is not your Grandmother's music scene, either. These are young people - enjoying the older generation's finest musical and fashion offerings today. Many "Rockabilly Girls" like halter dresses and sleeveless sun dresses so they can show off their "Ink". (Tattoos.)

As with all genres of music and the "scene" surrounding them, some people really go way far out there with the fashions and can be somewhat obscene; for this post, I am keeping it PG all the way.

The elements of a "Rockabilly look" include: Red. Lots of red - red lipstick, red heels, red gingham. Polka Dots. Black and white. High wasited pants. Halter tops, sundresses, pointy cone bras, animal prints, pencil skirts. Cat eye sunglasses, crinolines, old cars and trucks. Double Bass! Crop tops, white gloves, cherries, and Bangs! If you're serious about Rockabilly, you get a 1940's - 50's hair cut with the bangs.








You can find oodles of things on Etsy for this kind of look. Oodles. Just do a search for anything "rockabilly" in the vintage department. I even have a few things among my items that are tagged Rockabilly.

And, I will leave you all with a little video of a great Rockabilly singer: Imelda May, from Dublin, Ireland.

Monday, March 15, 2010


While Spring should be a celebration of new life, etc.; instead I find myself extremely somber these days.
Yesterday I spent a while in deep thought, as I harvested antique bricks from an old chimney on our property that I am re-purposing into a patio.

A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law's brother was in a terrible car accident; and in the hospital for a few weeks. He is out now, and doing fine; it's a miracle he is still alive.

Two weeks ago, our friend and neighbor's father in law choked while eating, and died.

Our elderly neighbor, whom Kevin lived with for a while after moving here, passed away a little over a week ago. He was quite old, and it was expected.

Then we lost our horses, Cavort and Major. Cavort suddenly; Major in an agonizing bout of colic.

Saturday morning we got the news that another neighbor and friend was driving to dinner with three family members, including his wife, when a metal object flew up from the road (or off another vehicle), crashed through his windshield, and struck him in the head; killing him. He was 59 years old. The newspaper called it a "Freak Accident." I thought to myself: Why did it have to strike him in the head? Why didn't it go in between the two passengers and land on the back seat? Of all the places in that SUV for that thing to strike - it hits Alex in the head?

Recently my Grandmother has been hospitalised and is now in a rehabilitation facility. I saw her a couple of times this past week; but when I saw her this past Saturday, she looked awful. It is so terrible to see her so sick and confused, lying in a hospital bed, approaching the end of her life.

As I was sorting through the rubble of the old chimney and piling my bricks in the truck last evening, I pondered these things.

And I marveled at how fragile, and how precious life is. It sounds so cliche; until a wave of death and tragedy touch your life directly - or even indirectly, and then it is no longer so cliche.

You don't know when your life is going to end. It could be suddenly.

You don't know when your loved one's lives may end.

I think sometimes God uses circumstances like these to remind us, when we need reminding, of how precious life is. Maybe we don't treasure it enough. I know I take it for granted.

And I think he uses circumstances like these to keep us aware of His sovereignty. He is the giver of life; and sometimes, the taker of it, also. And what are we going to do about it? We can't stop it.

The only thing for us to do is out our trust in the fact that He is sovereign and say "Thy will be done."
That, and be certain about where you will spend eternity.

Even if you do not profess Christ, you have to admit it: life is a precious gift; not to be taken lightly. And you have to admit, it's a good idea to spend time with family and friends while you can, because you never know when it will all come to a sudden, tragic end.

I don't mean to be morbid; but think about it.

I promise I will post photos of my daffodil fields, and my new patio, and cute vintage things I found, and other cheerfulness this week some time.

Oh cool. I just clicked on the spell check and it said "no misspellings found".

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ima Last Love


As you know, I lost my horse this past week.... if you would like details about what happened and everything, go to my blog All The Pretty Little Horses......
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shop Update

I have been letting old listings expire and am trying to get all the new things for Spring photographed and listed. I have woven hats and bags as well as some new dresses and such.
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I am also offering free shipping on all dresses and clothing from now until - ?

Thanks for looking, and stay tuned.