Monday, October 25, 2010

How to make Crumpets

Crumpets are a delicious breakfast or tea-time treat. I first heard them mentioned while watching a British  movie - and I wondered 'What are crumpets??' So, I looked up a recipe and suddenly we had a new favorite! Basically crumpets are a small, round yeast pankcake that goes perfectly with butter and honey!

So - here's how to.....

6 Tb dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
3 t. sugar
1 c. warm milk
12 Tb butter melted, divided
3 eggs
3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt

In a mixing bowl, dissolve  yeast in warm water. Add sugar, let stand for 5 minutes. Add the milk, 3 Tb. butter and eggs, mix well. Add flour and salt, beat until smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. (note - do not cover with a towel - the dough will stick to it like crazy! Plastic wrap would probably be better)

After it rises it will be very bubbly, runny and 'alive'. It's sort of creepy, actually.

Brush griddle and clean wide-mouth jar rings with butter. Place rings on griddle; heav over medium/low heat.  

Ladle bater into each ring. Leave some room for it to rise. cook until bubbles begin to pop and the tope appears dry. Remove rings, turn crumpets and cook until stides are golden brown.

Serve warm or let cool on a wire rack and toast before serving.

Inside they are very soft and porous, so they are best split open and topped with butter and honey or jelly!

Friday, October 22, 2010

50s Pink Formal Dress

This is one of my famous 50 cent vintage dress. It's a beautiful candy pink chiffon with a ruched bodice and lovely neckline and sleeve draping. I love it.

Recently I've been hearing that the Awards night of the San Antonio film festival can get quite all-out formal. So - should I wear it? Or is it too much of a good thing??

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Two Blue Dresses - Jane Eyre and Felicity

So - what have I been up to lately?

Sewing like a maniac. But - it's over for a while! (I think....) All the Halloween orders are completed and ready to ship. *sigh of contentment* Now I can start thinking about other things than thread, satin, and buttons!

I did have particular fun sewing two of the costumes this week. They both happened to be blue....

First, I had a lovely lady contact me who's young daughter had recently discovered a love for Bronte and Austen - and had requested a 'young Jane Eyre' dress for a costume. How much fun is that? I was only too happy to oblige!

Next - I had a request for a blue Felicity dress. The fabric was a lovely lovely polyester taffeta from (honestly  - it's the best synthetic taffeta I've ever worked with - mimicked shot silk perfectly!!)

I had way too much fun with the sleeve ruchings and all the lace detail. I'm officially addicted to 18th century now - I'm longing to make an actual historical reproduction (in my size!)

San Antonio Film Festival?

Is anyone attending the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival  this year? My family and I will be there! It's our first time, and I'm so excited!

Is anyone going to the Academy?

Monday, October 18, 2010


Now that the voting is over we have our winners chosen!

Congradulations.... Alexandra of Trims and Frills and Furbelows Elizabeth and Abigail
with their Fairytale Bodice

...and to Kelliie of A Maiden's Musings
wth her Retro Sailor Dress Photo Shoot

Again - each and every entry was so beautiful and well done! Thank you to all who entered and participated! I look forward to the next Historical Costume Inspiration Festival in August 2011!!!

Each winner please email me to claim your $10 gift certificate!

Friday, October 15, 2010

One more day to vote!

You have one more day to vote in the polls on the left hand sidebar! Let us know your favorites from the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival!!  To decide your favorites, click here to see the finalists.

And- I think it's decided. Let's do the festival again next year! Only - I think I need to decide on a different time of year to have it. Fall is just way too busy for me already. I'm thinking about either August, early September, or January. What would be the best time of year for you?

Also - please feel free to brainstorm and let me know any ideas you might have for improving the festival! I've got several new ideas....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dress Design for Shabby Apple Dare to Design Contest

My entry for the lovely contest hosted by Shabby Apple Dresses!

Dress design for Shabby Apple dresses

Vintage-inspired, swingy and fun! Perfect for spring and summer wear. Comfy and chic.

-Lightly gathered bodice with faux button-front and rounded neckline.
-Cute and comfy flutter sleeves.
-Contrasting 'belt' attached to dress
-Tiny white or cream lace accents the neckline and hem.
-The circle skirt is slimming and smooth at waist, and full and swingy at hem.
-Easy fastening with a hidden zipper in back.

Click on the pictures for a larger image!

 Fabric ideas:

I'm envisioning the dresses in either mod printed cotton lawn, or solid colored linen. Both are excellent fabric choices for warm weather.

Thank you, Shappy Apple for hosting this fun contest!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pears, pears, pears.....

We finally got our huge tablefull of pears all put away. It was quite a job, and stretched out over the whole week.
Some of the pears we canned plain ready to be put into pies, etc:

Halving and coring


Slices sitting in a solution of water and ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder) to keep them from browning

Jars packed and waiting for lids. Next we will pour a hot solution of water, sugar, and spices into the jars, then they go into the canner for 10 minutes of pressure.

Finished! Canned pear slices in a light syurp.

Out of  16  jars, only one didn't seal. So - we made a cobbler that night to try them out. It was yummy! Looking forward to lots of pear desserts this winter...

Next I'll share a recipe for pear mincemeat......

Monday, October 11, 2010

Finalists! - Historical Costume Inspiration Festival

It is here! Time to announce the finalists of the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival!

First - let me say that I had a very difficult time choosing the finalists!
 Every entry was so beautiful - each one deserved to win!
Thank you so much for making this event so wonderful with all the delightful entries!
I am very inspired. How about you??

Please take the time to click on each link to read the full story and see all the pictures before you vote on your favorite. (polls will be found in the left hand sidebar)

Now - the finalists (in no particular order)......

Best Reproductions:

1. The Wire Royals

The amount of work that must go into each of these pieces is breathtaking! I was awed by the closeness of the reproductions to the originals. So beautiful and royal - yet not overdone or gaudy. Absolutely lovely!

The attention to detail in the dress is truly impressive! The hand sewing - the careful placement of the diamond fabric pattern to replicate the moive - sleeve bands, back fastening, - just everything so meticulous and beautifully done! A gorgeous reproduction!

Such a magical dress, and such a good representation of the original! I love how it looks all white from a distance, then when viewing the details one sees beautiful shades of sliver, gold, peach and blue. I think miniature reproductions must be harder than full size - such tiny detail work!

Aren't those skirt poufs and ruchings just scrumptious? This is such an elegant dress, and follows the original inspiration so closely! What a beautiful piece.

Most Creative:

This is just the most adorable thing! I love how they have taken very sketchy inspiration from animated princess movies, and then actually created a practical, versatile, and flattering garment to wear for both costume and everyday!

You can't get much more creative than this! It's so neat how she used recycled items to create the darling accessories - and of course the dress itself is too cute for words!

3. Mandie's Sailor Blouse

It's great how this seamstress took something as obscure as a book cover and did such a lovely inspiration piece! It looks so comfy and fun to wear!

I just love how the different sleeve treatments and bodice fastenings completely transform this regal ensemble to three distinct looks. Very creative - and a great thrifty use of a beautiful dress!

Best Photo Shoot:

1. The Retro Sailor Dress

What could be better than a delightful vintage dress in soft sepia photos? All the accessories are pefect to complete the period look! Altogether lovely.

2. Bella Wilfer Dress

Each one of these photos is a gem! The romantic country settings are the perfect compliment to the elegant yet fun blue Victorian dress! I love the pleated ruffle accents!

Some lovely Maria inspiration! The back lacing on the bodice is so pretty, and the majestic hills and perfect lighting make for a very nice photo shoot!

A classic, lovely blouse and  beautiful photographs! The sunshine glowing around the snow-white blouse and the pretty blond hair remind me very much of some scenes from the 'Anne books!' I love the sepia tones, too!

Well - there you have it! Please go vote for your favorite in each poll on the sidebar.
Polls will close next Saturday!

I had so much fun this week, and I hope you did too! Should we do it again next year??


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