Monday, December 10, 2012

More Wedding Sewing....

I've been slowly but surely checking a few more things of my wedding sewing list.

What's that??
Oh - er, no. Still haven't started on *the* dress yet. I know, I know! I need to get cracking.  :)

However, I did finish my sis Aspen's dress - you can see a peek of it above in the picture, lying ont he bed with one sleeve. :) It's the most gorgeous shade of robin's egg blue cotton lawn, with a really full skirt decorated with 3 tiny tucks, a fan front, and petal sleeves with a white puffed sleeve underneath.

And the best part! We also came up with the idea to make a swiss waist to go over the top. A *pink* silk swiss waist. I think it will be awesome.

I've also been working on my corset. It's nearly finished! Just have some of the edge binding left to do. That's one reason I haven't started on my dress yet, didn't want to start it without my new corset to fit with!

I'm using a different pattern than I have before. The last two times I've made myself a corset, its been from the 'Silverado' option of the Laughing Moon corset pattern.

This time I chose the 'Dore' option. Even though it's supposed to be better for fuller figures, and the Silverado is supposed to be good for thinner figures, I think I like it better. I also ended up adding bust and hip gores to give it more shaping. So far I'm liking it alot!

And I actually splurged and got the real-deal corset material - some lovely strong white cotton coutil. Wonderful stuff! I've never had it in my hands before now, but I can easily see why its considered tip-top for period corsets. :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

1860s Dress Christmas Ornament Free Pattern

Head over to my dear friend Amy's delightful new blog, Thistle and Lilly, for a festive surprise!

An adorable Christmas tree ornament, inspired by an 1860s fashion plate!

Download the pattern for free!

Just beautiful.

I'm printing off the pattern right now, I think it will be a fun project for Carolina and I this evening,
cozy around the fire.

Thanks Amy!

If you aren't already, make sure you follow both Thistle and Lilly, and Amy's other blog, A Day in 1862

She's planning to have many new forthcoming patterns for historical garments,
 that you won't want to miss out on!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday!

Friday, December 7, 2012

American Girl Doll Beds

Our American Girl Doll Beds are available for Christmas delivery! 

The most sturdy and authentic metal 18" doll bed on the market!
We currently have three different metal Amerigan Girl bed styles available. The classic Victorian Style, pictured above, the Shabby Chic style, and of course the Canopy Bed!

If you would like to shop our Store, take a look here:

or visit our brand-new website:

The Shabby Chic:

A unique vintage style bed for your American Girl or other 18 Inch doll. Looks and feels just like an antique iron bed from the turn of the century! A perfect addition to your collection of American girl doll furniture, adds a beautifully realistic touch. Cute decorative knobs accent the vertical bars. So sturdy and high quality, it will be handed down for generations!

The Victorian:

A beautifully authentic addition to your American Girl doll furniture collection! Welded by hand from strong steel, this heirloom quality piece is sure to please. Victorian style doll bed for 18 inch dolls looks and feels just like the real thing - a perfect miniature replica of antique Victorian metal beds. You won't find a finer quality American Girl bed anywhere.

I think these definately look like they could be taken from the past, don't you?

The Canopy:

Every little girl's dream! A beautiful antique style American Girl canopy bed. Fit to be the centerpiece of a doll collection, this heirloom quality piece is sure to please. Welded together by hand of strong steel, the canopy bed has vertical bars which transition into the square canopy frame. This 18" doll canopy bed is ready to be all fitted up into a luxurious Victorian bedroom. You won't find a finer quality doll bed anywhere, meant to last for generations.

Our beds also work beautifully for newborn photography and toddler photo props!

A perfectly adorable photo prop. Looks and feels like a miniature antique iron bed. Welded by hand from steel, and carefully constructed, this heirloom quality peice is the perfect phography accessory. Lend an authentic touch to Victorian, Vintage, Retro, Country, Infant and Toddler photo sessions!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Craigslist Adventures! or....Preparing for a House of Our Own

I have never used Craigslist in my life before the last couple of months. However, when one is building and furnishing a house on a budget, I'm finding it can come in very handy! I've found many of my treasures there.

The most recent was something we weren't even expecting, and consider it to be a Providential gift.
Jordan had been pricing windows bought new, of various different kinds. We of course both prefered the more old fashioned, wood frame kind, double hung with separate glass panes. Because an old fashioned log home needs windows to match, right? But, windows of any kind, especially what we wanted, were way more expensive that we had been counting on. One place quoted us a price of between $300 and $400 a piece. And we need 16 in all. Yikes!

So, that was somewhat discouraging, we had about decided we'd just have to go with something cheaper and modern for now, and hope to be able to replace them with something more historic in the future.

Well - I got a hunch to do a quick search on (where else..?) Craigslist. I found only one listing that I thought looked really worthwhile. It was for 11 new wooden windows, and they looked 'right' to me, but I hesitated about showing them to Jordan, because they might 'not' be

However. I did show him, and he said they were perfect - just the exact style that should go in a 19th century house.

So, the next day we were driving up to Oklahoma city to pick up our windows! They were even better in person. They were brand-new, never installed handmade window reproductions that someone had ordered for a period house restoration, but then changed their mind about at the last minute.

So -  we got 11 windows for roughly $70 a piece. Plus we got 2 more half windows for free that we are planning to use for the bathroom! 

Aren't they great?? I can just imagine looking out of them already!

They are a bit dusty right now, but will clean up nicely. :)

They even use the old-fashioned system of cast iron weights, ropes, and pulleys inside the frame to open and close the window. Sweet! We couldn't have asked for anything more perfect or period-correct.

Here are a coule of examples of old fashioned windows, inside and out:

Back at the beginning of October, I really got to thinking about the 'big' items we still didn't have for the house. I had looked in our area craigslist before for clawfoot tubs, and either hadn't come up with much, or the ones I had seen were really expensive. But, I decided to look again, this time I saw several affordable options, but finally decided to call about this one:

My cast iron bathtub!! The enamel inside is in perfect shape (forgive it being a bit dusty!), not a nick or scratch to be seen. The outside has been painted cream colored, and there is a small scrape in the paint. I may repaint it a brighter color someday, but I'll wait and see. I bought it for $150.00, which considering the other prices I'd seen for tubs in this good of shape, seemed like a deal. The man I bought it from said it was taken from a turn of the century farmhouse in Oklahoma.

I'm envisioning our small bathroom to look something like this:

Or this:

Or this:
...something looking quite simple, clean, and bright.

Since we were going to be driving 2 hours away to pick up my bathtub in one of the bigger towns in our area, I decided to comb through anything that was described by the word 'antique' in the town's craigslist just to make sure I couldn't make the trip more worthwhile. And I found a sure-enough treasure:

I loved this bathroom sink/vanity from the minute I saw the picture. It's absolutely perfect in every way for what I wanted . The hinged mirrors on the side are so cute, and I love how the small sink makes me think of a china bowl-and-pitcher on a cabinet.

The piece isn't actually antique, but a very well made, sturdy modern-made antique style. :)
 Isn't the carving pretty?

The two top drawers hide the plumbing, but the bottom drawer actually works.
Jordan wants to eventually replace the faucet with something a little less shiny. :)

I've been so thankful that over and over the right pieces for the house have fallen into place just at the right time! :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

One Very Sticky Adventure

Jordan never ceases to amaze me. Every time I turn around, I'm learning about some brand new thing that he's apparently done for years, that I know nothing about. I'm completely serious, and not being sarcastic a bit! I've love learning new things. He is the most talented, skilled person, and I'm so blessed that I get to be his helper! He keeps telling me that 'he's not handsome, but he's handy', and I  keep telling him that he is most definitely both! :)

Okay. So, while Jordan has been staying down here, welding on the doll beds in the work shop, a problem began. A hive of bees has been dwelling in the outside shop building wall for many years, so far they haven't bothered us too much, so we did't bother them. Until they started coming through the inside wall, so much that Jordan could no longer work out there!

So, after some discussion, it was decided to order the items we needed to start a domestic bee hive, and see if we could transfer the wild bees into it while Jordan was here, because he's had bees for many years and knows all about it!

Little brother Stockton was very excited, as he's decided if it's successful, and once he learns the ropes, he will take over the 'bee business' and hopefully eventually produce enough honey to sell. 

Stockton, me, and Jordan

So, after Jordan and Stock had constructed the hive boxes over several days, we chose one particularly warm day to try and move the bees and break into the wild hive. Under Jordan's direction we put on over jeans and a thick shirt our winter coveralls and leather gloves. Then we had to duct tape our ankles and wrists....then put on our straw cowboy hats and a homemade fabric 'veil', which was then also duct taped down.

Good thing I'm not claustrophobic.

Oh wait. I am....

Yeah. So it was stuffy...and four or five hours was a long time to be in that crazy get-up, but we survived. I hesitated about posting the above I sincerely hope it is the worst possible outfit I will ever be seen in...hope I don't ever show up in anything worse! lol. But- the good thing is neither Stockton or I got one single bee sting. (Jordan did get two :(

First Jordan had to rip the wood siding off the shop wall to expose the hive. It was huge! The honeycomb went down vertically, and was covered with busy workers.

The bees were not happy to have their home invaded, but they actually didn't attack us very much. It was so very interesting to see the inside of such a complex and wonderful 'factory'. The design was amazing! I'm afraid during the whole process Stockton and I distracted Jordan with endless questions about the hive and the bees! I feel like we learned a lot.

Jordan began cutting out sections of comb and rubber-banding or wiring it into the frames for the boxes that he and Stockton had made. We put about half the comb in the new hive, and half we kept.

The dark, rich honey was literally dripping out of the comb when we got inside the wall.

When we finally got done with the bee move, and brought all the leftover honeycomb inside, we had every single big bowl and pot in the house full up!

Jordan showed us how to squeeze the honey out of the comb.

It was such very sticky work - but everyone wanted to get in on the fun!
And it smelled so heavenly and rich!

After all the comb had been squeezed, we strained the honey to remove any trash.

We ended up with (almost) two beautiful gallons of raw wild honey! The flavor was delicious, actually much deeper and stronger than any I've tasted before.

And, Jordan also showed us how to melt down and strain all the leftover comb and we ended up with a lovely sweet-smelling cake of pretty yellow beeswax. Mom and I have been coming up with all sorts of plans to use it....


So, it was a very very long day, but so worth it! We of course had biscuits for supper that night so everyone could have their fill of the delicious honey!


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