Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dancing Bears

Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas! I hope everyone who celebrates had a lovely few days. I've been crazy busy over the last few weeks, and haven't had time for much of anything. I was way behind on Christmas prep due to the colds I had earlier in the month, and on top of everything my best friend is (unexpectedly) moving to the other side of the country. Between spending extra time with her, planning and cooking Christmas dinner (I go all out), decorating the entire house, and shopping/making/wrapping gifts, I have thoroughly worn myself out. It will be lovely to spend the next week just relaxing and finally getting a chance to enjoy the season. 

Before the holidays, another friend treated me to dinner and The Nutcracker in Toronto as part of my Christmas gift. The ballet was lovely and the restaurant was really good as well. It was a lovely day out, even if I was rather tired and almost fell asleep during dinner. 

Of course I had to go in costume to the ballet. I would have loved to go as the Mouse King or Sugar Plum Fairy, but I couldn't find a suitable outfit in my closet. In the end, I decided to go as Marie (who is sometimes also called Clara. She was Marie in this production). I wore a vintage light mint-green nightgown and turquoise bow in my hair (plus matching waist-tie). I put on a pair of flats that look like ballet shoes for the photos, but I actually wore a pair of boots as they were more comfortable for walking around in. The dancing bears were much more graceful then I will ever be, but it sure felt fun to dress up as a ballerina for a day.

I had a bunch of compliments on my hair from random strangers. I originally had wanted to have my hair down in ringlets, but pinned it up for practicality. I may post a Youtube tutorial for this style as it is super easy to do, if I can get my webcam working again (it's having issues at the moment...).  It's such a great holiday style as it lasts all night and looks ok if it gets a little messy. 

I haven't had a chance to photograph many of my gifts and I was neglectful in taking photos of the gifts I made for everyone. However I did manage to snap a couple quick photos of my early Christmas gift to myself. Can you guess what it is?

Yup! I bought myself a corset from What Katie Did!!! It was a fairly expensive purchase, but since I wanted it mainly for back support, I figured I could justify it as a "health expense". I am basically using it as a pretty back-brace, and have no intention of tight lacing it, but I admit I love the shaping it gives. I bought the Lily corset, as it was supposed to be more comfortable for sitting in. I'm still "seasoning" it, but here is a snap of what it looks like on:

Isn't she pretty? I tend to wear her on-top of my blouses instead of under, as I am loving the Victorian/Steampunk look it gives. I was quite surprised how heavy it is compared to most "corsets" I've tried on before. You can definitely tell it's properly made, and not just a costume piece!

One other gift I did manage to snap a picture of was one of my homemade chocolates for my mother. I made her a bunch of different chocolates, but this one looks pretty neat. Actually my first attempt was better, but I made it too thin and it broke. Try two wasn't quite as good, but I think you can still tell what it's supposed to be:

It's a chocolate Buster Keaton! He is a little rough around the edges, but I thought it was pretty good for a first attempt (well, second attempt..) at a chocolate portrait. My mom loves Buster Keaton as much as I do, and she really appreciated the effort.

I haven't taken many photos of my decorating either (yes, I have been very neglectful with my camera), with the exception of my Christmas village. I've always wanted a Christmas village, but am waaaaayyyy too cheap to pay hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to create one. Those cute little buildings are so expensive! So instead, I found some vintage printables and made my own from paper. I added in some little trees and lights from the dollar store, plus some white feather boas for "snow". I love the final result!


I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

That's All.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Wave Clips and Soft Hands

I've finally been healthy long enough to film a couple of Youtube videos! Yay! For those of you who were curious about my 1920's/30's wave clips, I made a video demonstrating two different types of clips. I also posted a super simple Edwardian recipe to keep your hands soft. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sun Frock in November

I finally finished my version of the Sun Frock for the sew-along Miss Dixie O'Dare was hosting. I had planned on sewing this dress weeks ago, but it seems like I've been on a merry-go-round of sickness and colds. All my tutoring students are sick and have been generous enough to share their germs with me. Yeah.....Not fun. I'm finally over the latest cold, so I worked well into the evening to finish the dress on Friday. It had it's first outing on Saturday to Port Hope for antique shopping and coffee. It was a lovely day and I picked up some great new hats that you will probably see over the next few weeks. 

The dress itself wasn't too hard to construct. I don't do a lot of 1940's patterns, so it was a bit of a change for me, but it went fairly smoothly. Well, it went smoothly until I had a final try-on and realized it didn't fit right. The waist fit well, but it gaped oddly around the neckline. I moved and angled the straps, which seems to have helped. My weight keeps going up and down with my health issues (I likely have a genetic immune/endocrine system disorder), so clothes have been fitting me oddly lately. I think may have changed sizes since I cut out the pieces a month ago.  Oh well, I fixed it for now. I may change it again before summer if it still doesn't sit right.

It's far too cold for sun dresses in Canada at the moment, so I paired it with a pair of thermal tights, boots, jacket, and a 1930's hat. I had on a thick wool coat too, but I took it off for the photos. I tried to be summery by the beach, but brrrrr it was cold!

She's a little wrinkled after being worn all day, but I threw the dress on Mabel (my dress form) and took a few shots. The lighting is not the best, but hopefully you can better see the purple trim and the cute purple vintage buttons on the back. I had to buy the trim, but everything else was from my stash. It was great to use up some of my fabric that had been sitting around for a while. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

That's All.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Photoshoots, Craft Shows and Coffee

Apologizes for my lack of posting/video making. I seem to be in this terrible cycle of getting sick, working overtime to catch up, then getting sick again from working too hard! The last few weeks have been very busy, but I'm hoping now I can catch my breath and get back to normal. 

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I finally bought an autofocus lens. I am quite impressed with how much it is helping with my photography (yes, being able to focus seems to be important. Go figure!). I took it out for a practice spin and got some adorable shots of Britt and her new puppy, Neeka. I won't bore you with tons of photos, but here is one of my favourites:

Of course the reason for the new lens was not to take puppy photos, but rather so that I could get some better quality photos for my Etsy shop. I've been working hard to create more items and was booked to attend a craft show last weekend. Well the craft show was a total bust (I only sold one piece!) despite my careful planning. however that left even more for the online part of my business. Britt was kind enough to model for me again, and we spent a full day shooting the new items. I've added over 30 new items to the shop. Here is a preview of a few of them:

(It's a young Buster Keaton in the photoframe, just in case your were wondering)

There's even more over on my Etsy shop, but those were some of my favourites. 

The organza snowflake scarves, which I shared a sneak peak of a couple weeks ago, are now available in the shop. We normally go for a 1920's look for the photos, so it was fun to experiment with a more "pin-up" styling with the scarves. They have this great midcentury vibe to them, but they would also work for an ethereal 1910s/1920s style. There is a bunch of different sizes and colours available, and they start at only $10CAD (or approx $7.50 USD)! I have plans on adding a bunch more dresses and capes, but my serger is having some issues at the moment so there might be a bit of a delay before I can finish them.

Ok, done with the shameless self promotion!

What else have I been up to? Well due to my cold, most of the time I've been emulating this lady:

November is an excellent time for snuggling under a warm blanket with a good book, especially when one is under the weather.

I have managed to get out a few times for coffee with friends. I don't normally eat anything sugary, but I even treated myself to some pumpkin pie (it's been a long few weeks!).

 I also tried out a new nail polish colour. I haven't been able to use nail polish for years due to my chemical sensitivity, but I found a water-based nail polish at a local eco-store that I can acutally use! There's a few companies that make water-based nail polish, but this particular one is by "Piggy Paint". I have a purple one, a red one, and a mint green one so far. The purple was nice for a change, but mint green is still my favourite.

I tried to get some outfit photos when I was out, but it started raining (and my friend doesn't know how to take a photo without chopping off my feet....), so I just have this quick snap I took when I got home. Everything in my outfit is me-made and 1930's inspired. I cut one of the blouses meant for the shop too wide at the neckline, so this striped beauty made it into my wardrobe. I really love it. Once I have more time on my hands, I really need to make some garments for my own closet. Things are starting to get a little threadbare!
I hope everyone is having a great weekend and staying warm now that winter is fast approaching.

That's All.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Puuurrrrfect Halloween

Happy Halloween! I've been fighting a cold on-and-off for the last couples weeks, but luckily I was well enough just in time to celebrate. My friend, Britt, and I always watch a movie and hand out candy. This year was my turn to pick the film and we ended up watching "The Princess and the Pirate". I love 1940s Bob Hope movies! It wasn't really a "Halloween" movie, but Britt was dressed as a pirate so we decided to just go with the pirate theme. She put a lot of work into her costume! I, on the other hand, picked out my outfit the night before from pieces in my closet. I think we both looked pretty good!

 I dressed up as a witches familiar. My costume was going to be 1910s inspired, but the hemline of the dress makes it look a bit more 1950s than intended. Oh well, I was quite pleased with the outfit regardless. The look was "black cat" inspired, but I played with it a fair amount. I didn't want solid black, so I paired my "web" dress with a sheer red skirt (worn as a dress) and a cute pair of tights. I tied my pearls to resemble a collar and leash.  

We went to pick up some coffee for the night, and stopped by the woods to take some photos. It was cold, but we had so much fun!

Britt's pirate costume:


Of course every witch's familiar needs a witch:

Aggie was not amused. I thought she looked adorable, but she didn't seem to share my sentiment. Continuing my theme of last minute costumes, I made her hat on Halloween morning. It only took about 5 minutes and was all scrap material. I found it much too amusing. 

I hope everyone who celebrates had a great time yesterday. I can't wait to see everyone else's costumes!

That's All.