Friday, January 29, 2010

Birthday Thriftyness........

 


 


Dearest Readers,


This post is in honor of our Darling Girl who turns 24 this very day!


It is so easy to think that one must spend a fortune to offer a special birthday present to the honored recipient...this is simply not true Dear Reader. With a little forethought and a imagination, along with a few precious hours at the charity shops, you can give thoughtful gifts that are worth more than mere dollars and cents.


One of the gifts we are giving our Darling Girl is her very own Mercantile....out of nothing but saved tin cans, thrifted bottles and a little paper and ink! Here is a peek....


These vintage looking tins and bottles will be a charming addition to the Mercantile vignette our Darling Girl is creating above her kitchen cabinets.





I just used cream colored legal-sized paper to print out labels from my Print Master Gold vol. 18 (it was very inexpensive and includes wonderful "antique" labels in the clip-art collection) then cut label to fit the can. I then turned the cans upside down and just used invisible tape on the backs to secure the paper. 



For the thrifted milk bottle, I used Epsom salt to fill it and then used an old milk cap to seal it.  The brown bottle we found out here on the farm and it was just washed and then I added a paper label with adhesive.


We also went thrifting at the charity shops throughout the last year and found a few little treasures to add to our Darling Girl's birthday box.....



The old pitcher will match a washbasin that our daughter collected years ago (inside are the components to electrify one of her kerosene lamps...she will be jumping for joy). The sweet vintage hat will not just sit idle as a decoration....our Girl wears hats everywhere!The creamer and sugar bowl (missing it's lid...but could hold spoons or tea-bags) will look charming on her antique dining room table!


Abundant love and thought went into making a special assortment of gifts for our Darling Girl, leaving plenty left over to go out to a special family dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant!


Never let money define your heart Dear Reader. 


Yours kindredly,


Shan


 

Monday, January 18, 2010

From My Sewing Basket.....A Lovely Jumper or Dress

 



Dearest Readers,


I have found a charming, easy and feminine jumper/dress pattern that I would like to share with you! (I don't think that it was intended to be a jumper, but I think it lends itself very nicely to that variation.)


Simplicity #5189







This is the jumper that I featured in my latest entry in The Art of Dressing Like a Lady series(see post below).  Although it is hard to see in the photographs, this jumper/dress has lovely princess seaming and tie-backs to make the fit very flattering. No buttons or zippers....so this is perfect for every level of sewing!


I chose view E and just left off the sleeves for a jumper style.  I also liked the ties that start on the front of the dress on view C and opted for that version. I didn't make any other alterations and the fit is wonderful.


This pattern runs a little on the small side and is sized for a B cup fit.  So if you are larger than a B cup you should choose the next largest size. 


I am in the process of making 4 more of these darling jumpers and have taken some inspiration from the Victorian/Edwardian necklines and trim ideas....it should be interesting to see what I come up with!


Here is the fabric that I have chosen:




I hope that this will inspire you to dust off your sewing machine and make something for yourself.  It is very rewarding, not to mention cost effective, to sew your own garments. 


Yours so very kindredly,


Shan

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Art of Dressing Like a Lady.....


Dearest Readers,


Today, I want to share with you my continuing efforts to pursue the very old-fashioned notion of dressing like a lady....not just on special occasions, but each and every day. 


This lovely Saturday will find me in the kitchen preparing a few special dishes to welcome the children home for the weekend.  We will all spend time together, tucked in the back parlour to watch a little football.  (Sadly, our Broncos ended their season woefully, so the "fans" in this house will have to choose a favorite among the finalists.)


It would be far too easy to slip on a pair of sweatpants and an old sweatshirt and putter around the kitchen, but I will reach just a bit further into my closet and pull out a sweet jumper to wear today....



(Sorry about the quality of this picture.  I thought I would have a little fun and enhance it in Photobucket by cropping it and adding the frame...instead it just came out grainy! )


This cozy, comfy, yet perfectly ladylike jumper fits the bill perfectly! I made this embroidered (with sparkly golden roses!)denim jumper last month and have been so delighted to have it in my wardrobe.  Just a warm turtleneck and a pair of navy tights and I am ready for the day.


Of course, I will want to put on a little jewelry so I reach for one of my perennial favorites....my "Mother's Cameo".  A special gift from Dearest years ago featuring a Mother cradling her baby...



It's always a nice touch to style my hair and today I decided to wear it down and just curl it with the curling iron...this took only minutes and always makes me feel especially feminine.


Now, I can attend to the needs of my family and home all the while dressed in the sweet fashion and attitude of a lady....



I hope you will find time in the upcoming week to celebrate the Art of Dressing Like a Lady! Please leave me a link to your blog if you are posting about your experience....I would love to pay a housecall.


Yours so kindredly,


Shan


P.S.  I will post about the pattern for the featured jumper in my next post...easy, peasy and oh, so cute!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Anticipation of a New Year.....

Dearest Readers,


I am sure that I am not alone when I say that I love the anticipation that comes with the arrival of a new year.  Crisp calendars with hundreds of unused days waiting to be filled.  Long forgotten sewing, patiently sitting next to the sewing machine, hoping to become a proud garment. The home, newly put in order after the Christmastide season, at the ready to offer shelter and comfort to all who enter.


Today, I will finish putting all the upcoming birthdays and special occasions on my calendar and note the gifts that I would like to make during the year.  Next, I plan to update my Homekeeping Binder with new pages and updated 2010 lists (everything from gardening ideas to new recipes I want to try). Finally, I will go into town and post the remaining bills for this month.


Once home, I will start working on my Valentine's vignette in my entryway.  Normally, I put out my snowman collection during the month of January, but as I have left it until so late in the month, I will just go ahead and decorate for February.


I do hope to return to my series, "The Art of Dressing Like a Lady". (I realize I said that I would post weekly and I believe I posted a whopping two times during the summer...dear me!) I have been terribly remiss in remembering to have Dearest take pictures....perhaps it is subconscious as I am very shy about having them taken, but I will talk to myself sternly and forge ahead! 


I have quite a few craft/sewing projects planned for the upcoming year and will share them with you.  I did sew up a muslin for this jumper, and let me just say....Pee Uuuu...it was just so awful on my figure.  I have since....during Christmastide....found another jumper pattern that I LOVE and need to remember to have my sweet husband snap a photograph of the finished dress so that I can share it with you....no zippers or buttons and it fits darling!


Of course, the garden is on my mind and I have been looking at seed catalogs and dreaming of rows upon rows of delicious vegetables and fruits....nothing is better than a fresh-from-the-garden tomato! I need to begin thinking of the canning I want to accomplish and plan accordingly....I may have been a little overzealous in my pickle inventory when it comes to the dill varieties!  This year I will make more bread and butter pickles as they are infinitely more popular here at Honey Hill Farm.


Lastly, I just feel completely blessed to be starting the new year with a healthy and loving family, a wonderful place to live, enough money to pay our bills and the faith to believe that He truly cares about me and mine....


Yours so very kindredly in this year of 2010,


Shan

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Start of a New Year.....


Dearest Readers,


Let us ring in the New Year with happy hearts and ever-cozy homes for our loved ones!


I have been away much due to a troublesome computer bug...but my intrepid Darling Boy/Computer Genius was able to restore things to their rightful places!


Now, I am in the process of returning Honey Hill Farm to the quiet, yet comfortable retreat, that beckons me after the dizziness of the Christmastide season. 


I will post soon, but for now I must forge ahead with my packing and storing.....


Yours so very kindredly,


Shan