Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winter (plus a Cyber Monday sale!)

It is really starting to feel like winter. We got a fresh blanket of snow and I couldn't resist taking my camera along on my normal walk to snap a few quick shots. It is always prettiest right after the snow. 

My shop is having a Cyber Monday sale. To save 20% off any purchase over $40, use the coupon code: CYBERMONDAY. I'm starting it early, so you can take advantage of this deal anytime from now until 11:59pm on Monday. 

That's All.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY Photo Backdrop (for under $30!)

With the cold weather now upon us, photographing garments for my shop is no longer possible to do outside. My house doesn't have any good spots for photographs so I was in need of a photo backdrop. I went to a couple camera stores and was shocked how expensive most photo backdrops were. The only one I liked was $170. Yikes! Luckily I'm rather resourceful and made my own for under $30.

The best part of this backdrop is that is can be hung from any curtain rod. Which again saves a lot of money (the backdrop stands I saw started at $200). I did my photoshoot in my parents family room and hung the backdrop from the rod above the window. My only complaint about the set-up was the lighting but that was entirely to do with my rather pathetic old camera lights (I reeeeeeally need new ones).

The fabric you choose for your backdrop should be an upholstery or drapery fabric. They are wider and made of a thicker weight of material. I bought mine from the sale section of my local fabric store and the final cost was about $25. Neutral fabrics are the most versatile but fabric in a fancy colour could look really great depending on what you are photographing. However try to avoid busy patterns that will detract too much from what you are photographing!

-At least 3 meters of fabric (see above notes)
-3 ties at least 17" long (I used t-shirt yarn, but something strong like a shoelace will also work)

1) Finish the top and bottom edges of your fabric. You could do a fancy hem, but I just pulled the last few rows of threads out to make a fringe. This part shouldn't be visible in your photographs so it doesn't need to be too neat.
2) Sew the center of ties to the top of the fabric. Place one on each end and one in the middle. Make sure it is well secured.
One of the corner ties. 

And that's pretty much it. To put up your background, just tie the ties around the rod. Happy photographing!

My setup

 And here is a sample of what it looks like in the photographs:

That's All.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

First Snowfall

We had the first dusting of snow last night. The air was delightfully chilly today and just what I needed to get rid of my headache. I've been inside too much lately. 

I wore my snowflake brooch and reindeer/snowflake skirt in honor of the changing of the seasons. I always wear the brooch on the first snowfall of the year. The skirt was inspired by some 1950's sweater skirts I saw in an old magazine. The fabric I used is knitted on the outside and "sweatshirt-fuzzy" on the inside, making it perfect for cold weather. I went petticoat-less since the extra bulk wouldn't fit under my coat!

Outfit Details
Snowflake brooch: Gift
Skirt: Made by me
Flats: Bigleys
Hair Accessory: Micheals (it's from the floral arrangement section)
Everything Else: been in my closet too long to remember

I love this old coat. I've had it for at least 8 years but it had been neglected at the back of the coat closet for a long time. It was missing half the buttons and  the waist detailing was falling off (basically a strip of fabric on either side of the waist. I'm sure they have a more technical name...) Last year, during a declutter, I was about to throw it out when I stopped and thought "Wait! I can fix this!". Some "new" vintage buttons later, I have what seems like a new coat. I love the pop of colour the buttons give it, and I re-positioned the waist pieces so there is only one at the back. I prefer garments with buttons, rather than zippers, since they are much easier to repair. 

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

That's All.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November Shop Update

Yikes! Where does the time go?! I was shocked to realize that November is already nearing and end. I'm sure only yesterday it was August.

I've been busy making some new dresses just in time for the holiday season. Britt came over a couple days ago for a photoshoot. I must admit, I'm still getting used to photographing indoors. I love shooting outside but it is just waaaaaaayyy too cold for that now. After trying a number of different locations, I ended up making myself a backdrop. It was super easy and I will be posting a tutorial on it sometime in the next week or so. Now I just need some better lights....

For more details on any of the dresses please visit my shop (just click the Phonograph Fashions image in my side bar ----->)

That's All

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to tie a turban (1926)

(Open image in a new tab to view larger)

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Royal Winter Fair

I was so excited to go to the Royal this year!! I have been to the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair before, but I don't remember it at all. I have a sneaking suspicion that's because I was two years old at the time. I went down again a couple days ago and it was a lot of fun. I have farming aspirations and loved seeing the different breeds of animals up close. The fair was geared more towards "city folk" but there was plenty to hold my attention. I took a lot of photos and thought I would share a few of my favourites. Warning: This is a very, very photo heavy post!

But first, my outfit! I wore a blouse based on a 1940s design, which I made during the summer. I paired it with a thrifted navy skirt, warm stockings, a wide belt, and a blue three-stranded necklace (made by me). On my feet I wore my riding boots (I don't actually ride anymore, I just like the boots). I'm glad I wore the boots since some parts of the fair were a little *ahem* "messy". 

Now on to the fair!

You have no idea how much I want chickens. As soon as I move to an area that will allow
them, I'm buying myself a small flock!

I realize it looks like a giant puff ball, but this is actually a Silkie. This is a type of chicken I've wanted
 for a long time. They are so fluffy and supposed to be very gentle birds.  

I love the feather pattern on this bird. It almost looks like polka dots.

I just had to feed the alpaca at the petting zoo. Unfortunately the goat kept shoving the sweet
little alpaca out of the way!

Cuddling Cows
A spinners dream: massive pile of award winning fleeces.
This angora bunny was the softest animal I have ever felt. 

Sleepy Sheep


Apparently the sheep wear these outfits to prevent their fleece from getting things stuck in it.
I was kind of disappointed as it meant one type of sheep looked more or less like another.
It is really hard to check out the differences between breeds when they are all wearing hoods and jackets.
They kind of reminded me of little executioners. 
These sheep had slightly more stylish outfits. 
My one purchase of the day. I love getting yarn as a souvenir. It's a sock yarn in a alpaca/merino blend. 
I resisted the urge to post all 200 chicken photos. You're welcome. 

Attending the fair only reaffirmed how much I want to move out to the country, and how much I don't want to work in the city. We are starting the property search once again this weekend, and checking out a few places. We were bitterly disappointed about the last property we saw and almost bought, so a rest was needed to get over the heartbreak. However, I am now looking forward to again searching for the perfect country property. And getting some chickens...

That's All.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Slipper Smart

Those are certainly stylish slippers! I'm in need of a new pair of slippers but I doubt mine will be as cute as any of those. My slippers are always very practical and warm. What sort of slippers do you prefer? Cute slippers or strictly practical? I have a cute knitted pair of "Mary Jane" style slippers for special occasions (I used this free knitting pattern), but everyday slippers tend to be just for warmth and comfort. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Vintage Nurse

 My Halloween outfit was thrown together in a hurry. I just spent the night watching movies with Britt and handing out candy, so I decided not to spend any money on a costume. Just dressing as "1950's girl" or "flapper" seemed too much of a cop-out (that's how I dress most days!), so I dressed up as a "vintage nurse". 

The cape and cap are part of a real vintage nurses uniform from the Galt General Hospital. My best guess is that they date from the 1950s/60s. I paired them with a long skirt and white button-up blouse, which was as close to a nurses uniform as I had. It was more Victorian nurse inspired but there was definitely a lack of any historical accuracy (which sort of bothers me but hey, it was a free costume!). 

Pardon the socked feet. As we were just watching movies on the sofa, I wore a pair of comfy knee socks instead of nurse-like footwear. 

Britt only wore part of her costume. She dressed up for work as a fox, but took off the tail before she came over. I helped her make the tail and can attest to it's awesomeness. It was huge!

That's All.