Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Step Back to the Old World

Author's Note:  I apologize in advance because this post will undoubtedly become one of those long, rambling posts that's filled with wistful looks back on the past.  One of those posts that make you, the Reader, envision a specific topic based on your interpretation of the title, but after reading a paragraph or two, realize that you're in for a whole heady trip through my transgressing consciousness.  No diy tips here.  No pretty images to pin.  No links to other fascinating web pages that will fill the minutes until quitting time.  If you're looking for fluff, click on, my friend. If you're in a quiet, contemplative mood, scroll down memory lane with me.

This past week I visited a living history museum in the southeast corner of the state called Old World Wisconsin.  It was on the list of Summer Must Do's, and I knew the kids and I could squeeze it into the last hectic weeks of vacation.  This was not my first trip to the museum, however.  I had been an employee there for three glorious months, a Summer long ago between high school and college. This was my first trip back since then.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

1930s Dressing Gown

This past month one of my good friends got married.  She and her new husband were already settled in a house and didn't need the proverbial china and silver, so I decided to take a less traditional route.  Using the 1930s Butterfly Blouse pattern from Decades of Style, I opted for a romantic Dressing Gown.

It's even on sale!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Beyond the chores

The Little Rancher has made it through her first winter.

Breaking ice, hauling buckets, pitching hay, shoveling manure, brushing, picking, none of it seemed to slow her down.  But now that Misty is on pasture and has access to an artesian spring, chores have taken on a new meaning.

Setting her alarm for 6:10am, the Little Rancher continues to go out.  One day I asked, "Are you still feeding hay in the morning?"  She replied, "Only if she needs it.  There's not much to do anymore, but I still go out just to talk to her."

Most mornings Misty comes running when the Little Rancher calls out.  It seems even horses appreciate a daily routine, and you never know when a pan full of grain might be waiting.  But one day she wasn't quite ready to wake up and stayed in the back pasture.  The Little Rancher wandered back and had a seat.  Sharing the warm Spring sun is the reward for those long, dark Winter mornings. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lederhosen braces

Since taking up leather tooling, my husband, Hank, has come up with more crazy unique ideas than I thought possible.  It all started quite innocently with belts and can coozies that were handed out by the thousands this past Christmas.  Simple keychains led to talk about cuffs, collars, corsets and wouldn't the guinea pig love some Viking-styled armor?  Maybe just a helmet and a saddle...?  I knew I had to redirect this creative energy to a more useful end (only, if for no other reason than, to spare the poor guinea pig), hence, the suggestion of traditional Lederhosen braces.  If Hank would supply the braces, I would supply the Hosen.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Quick before the snow melts

It seems that Winter in Wisconsin is finally on the wane which, honestly, couldn't have been better timing for this sewing project: a fur-trimmed vest.  It's warm enough for cooler temperatures, but would be bulky and uncomfortable to layer under a coat.  Here's the story...

Friday, March 6, 2015

loved to shreds

four months old
I knew my second child would be a boy.  I didn't need an ultrasound to tell me that.  So I chose a nice royal blue, acrylic yarn and found a knitting pattern for a baby blanket that perhaps, just maybe, I could finish in nine months time.

"What if you end up with a girl?" my mother asked.  "You'll have to knit a pink one."  Raising one eyebrow, I said, "she'll learn to love blue."

After my son was born, I finished up the final rows there in the hospital, he swaddled on my bed while I stitched the pattern from memory.  It was the largest knitting project I had ever undertaken, and I was quite proud of myself.  Not every stitch was perfect, but it finished off to a nice 40 inch square blanket.  And since that day in the hospital, he has quite literally loved his blanket to shreds.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Draped in plaid

Earlier this Winter I decided to take a scissors to some wool and try my hand at draping.  I am confident enough to alter a pattern, sometimes quite drastically, to suit my taste, but never had I just draped the fabric off a dressform in hopes that it would magically transform in a couture garment.  In my collection were three pieces of lightweight wool in coordinating colors.  The problem:  I only had one yard of each.  I decided to put all three together and play with the possibilities.