Monday, July 29, 2013

50 Years Later

As a boy, my grandpa, David, lived across street from the aunt and uncle of my grandma, Karen. When David and Karen were young, Karen came to visit her relatives. One day during her visit, Karen's Uncle Perry gave David some money and asked him to take Karen to the soda shop. David, a friendly kid, was probably delighted by more than just the free ice cream money, and they became loyal friends. Since Karen didn't visit her aunt and uncle very often, David and Karen began writing letters back and forth (starting out with lines such as "It sure was swell to meet you!"). Fast forward a few visits and several letters to when David and Karen were 13 years old. While Karen was visiting, David casually asked her to marry him, and she replied with, "Sure!"  It was a childish but completely honest proposal. During their teen years David regularly hitch hiked across the country to see Karen, and wrote (actually very beautiful) love poems to her while fighting in the Vietnam Conflict.
 Finally, on July 29th, 1963, my grandparents were married after their technical 10 year engagement! 
They were energetic, creative, thoughtful people who were clearly meant to be together.
They fulfilled their wedding vow of  "till death do us part", and today I am celebrating their 50th anniversary for them by sharing these photos!
50 years later, my grandma's wedding attire, which I inherited, is still functional.
The sturdy, pretty simplicity of her dress is a perfect reflection of their marriage, as their childhood sweetheart romance grew naturally into lifelong love. A marriage like that should remembered and, above all, emulated!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I've been going on some family antiquing road trips lately! So, for this week's "Highways and Byways" themed Spoonflower contest, I made a fabric design portraying antiquing.
Unfortunately we haven't made it out to any giant antique shows or fairs recently, but we've been stopping at independent stores. One place we visited is a store called Carousel Antiques in Franktown, Ontario. The following photos will give you and idea of what it's like.
An amusing picture in the entrance is always a good welcome.
This bright green shutter would add some jaunty color to a room. There are many ways to use shutters as décor.
Sparkly glass knobs are such a pretty detail on furniture!
I love this lemon yellow floral hat box.
This dress looks like a cupcake.
A classic sewing machine ad would make a great craft room poster.
These strawberry glasses are the segue into the photos of the (in my opinion) best part of the store: the kitchen section. It is packed with beautiful white cabinets full of pink, red, aquamarine, mint, and yellow housewares, mostly from the 1920s to 1960s. There also happens to be an abundance of fruit print items! I was drooling!
So. Much. Fruit.
Beautiful cabinet.
Do you see the cute gingham bow bowl?
I really like these stools.
Ah, there's the typical cheerful housewife!
This pale, scalloped, dotted Swiss curtain is so buttery and sweet.
Overall, Carousel Antiques is a store with tons of intriguing items, and with more places to visit, the treasure hunt of our summer antiquing continues!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

DIY Double Bow Shirt

You've likely seen this shirt idea floating around Pinterest, so here is my tutorial for how to alter a basic shirt into a fashionable bow back shirt.
Matching thread and needle
Sewing scissors
Step 1: Try the shirt on, and use the chalk to mark a line on the back of the shirt. You'll need really flexible arms or a friend's help for this step! Draw around your bra strap perimeter. The line will help guide you later on with centering the bow, and prevent your straps from being totally visible.
Step 2: Divide the section roughly in thirds. 
Step 3: Cut down the lengths of the two lines.
Step 4: Pinch together the fabric in between the two cut lines to make a bow. Make sure you pinch the bow so the middle is centered on the shirt.
Step 5: Sew the bow together at the pinched mark.
Step 6: Pinch the fabric between the neckline and the first bow. Sew it in the middle to create the second bow.
There you have it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

DIY Shell Pendant

Next time you're at the beach, keep an eye out for a shell with a hole in it to create this simple, pretty pendant.
Shell with a natural hole in it (or carefully drill a hole in a perfect shell you found...I leave that to you!)
Needle nose pliers
Jump ring
Acrylic paint in the color of your choice
Paint brush
Step 1: Paint the inside of the shell, and let it dry.
Step 2: Use the toothpick to paint along the ridges of the top of the shell, and then let that dry.
Step 3: Use the pliers to secure the jump ring in the hole of the shell.
Step 4: Turn your pendant into a keychain, a bracelet, a necklace... 
Whatever you decide on, the mermaids will approve!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Reading

It's always nice to have some books to flip through while sitting on a lawn chair, or to toss into a suitcase for portable entertainment. Here are a few books I recommend:
Found, Free, and Flea by Tereasa Surratt: The story of a man and wife who bought and renovated the husband's childhood summer camp and discovered forgotten treasures throughout all the buildings. It's full of anecdotes and features homey, rustic style ideas.
Shabby Chic Interiors and Shabby Chic Inspirations by Rachel Ashwell: Full of girly, ruffly, floral pictures! Any book by Rachel Ashwell is visually amazing!
Cheap Chic by Emily Chalmers: Super cute ways to use thrifty finds.
Restore. Recycle. Repurpose. by Randy Florke: The pictures are fresh and abundant, and if you're interested there is oodles of information on eco-friendly décor possibilities.
Style Me Vintage--Hair by Belinda Hay: Fun and visually appealing! This book contains great vintage inspired hair style tutorials. I'd say they're a bit complicated for daily wear, but, if you're that enthusiastic about them, go for it! I have yet to read the other books in the series, but I will be hunting them down soon enough.
Vintage Jewelry Design by Caroline Cox: Lots of great jewelry history.
Art School by Patricia Monahan, Patricia Seligman, and Wendy Clouse: Sometimes I find art books to be too extensive, but this book has several useful techniques for painting different textures.
Edith Head by David Chierichetti: Great information on Edith's life and successful career as well as vintage Hollywood and its starlets. This book also mentions some of Edith's costume design tricks for making every outfit look perfectly proportioned.
A Stitch in Time Volumes 1 and 2 by Susan Crawford and Jane Waller: Fabulous vintage knitting patterns. At the moment I can't knit more than a circle scarf, but these patterns make me want to practice and learn! If you start knitting these up now you'll have some lovely garments come fall!

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