Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Time in California.

Sorry if you were starting to think I'd gone missing! I'm here.... I really am.

In short, we had an awesome summer that came and went! We got a new baby in the family (my cousin and his wife adopted), what a phenomenal blessing! My best friend got married! I met a boy! Turned the big 3-0! And now we're working our way through fall.
My creative energy has been stifled for the last few month and I've been doing some soul searching in order to figure out what direction to go in. I miss creating things with my hands!
Liz made a gorgeous bride! And I made Liz a garter, out of vintage materials <3

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Heirloom 1924 Wedding Dress

Elizabeth's Wedding Dress - Worn October 25, 1924
Who could have guessed what kind of treasure hid away, inside this tattered art deco Christmas box? I lifted the lid, and what I found inside took my breath away! The most well preserved piece of fashion (and bridal) history I may ever lay my hands on. I can only imagine this is what it might feel like to win a jackpot.
As I uncovered layers of bridal attire, the story deepened. At the bottom of this box full of treasures, I found the invitation to the wedding! Thank goodness for Google Street View! You can take a look at the house where the bride's parents lived, and at the church where the wedding took place.
This bride had it all planned out. From stories I've heard, weddings were not as elaborate then as they are now. Well this particular wedding was no small affair. The bride, Elizabeth, had everything in order. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.... and a six pence in her shoe!
The only thing truly missing from this collection is a picture of the bride in the complete ensemble.
If you are looking at those pearl beads and flowers wondering how they were made and what from, then we think a lot alike! Glass seems like a possibility for the beads, but that would be very heavy! So I did a bit of research and found out that wax flowers were commonly used in clothing decoration. Surprisingly, the pearls used on the dress and headpiece are also wax. It's a miracle that all that wax is still intact after years in that old Christmas box. Some of the pearls are a little discolored, but still very beautiful. I can't find any missing beads or pearls.
Everything (except for the coin) is for sale. Please visit my Etsy shop to view the listings. I have not included any measurements. So if you are interested, don't hesitate to ask! I will measure anything you like. Click here to email me. Click here to view the listing and more details about the dress.

If you'd like to Google the church where the dress was worn, it can be found here:
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
210 E 4th Ave  Roselle, NJ 07203

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Early 1900s American Designer Dress

If I were asked which decade was my favorite for fashion, in the last century, I don't think I could pick just one. There are fashion elements from every decade that just call to me.

When I get my hands on a 100 year old dress something magical happens. To touch something with so much history is just an amazing feeling! It makes my imagination go wild!

Love at first sight when I found this amazing dress! This is the kind of dress that sets the scene for all kinds of classic novels and poetry. I can't help but wonder what this dress saw. Who wore it? I imagine the seamstress (or tailor) who created it. What a special thing to have a dress made for you, by someone else. This dress is from  a time when ladies made their own clothes.
Not only does this dress have a maker's tag, but the tag includes an address! I'm not sure if the tag displays the name of the dress maker or of the person it was made for. It says "Mme. Rizzi, 938 Rush Street, Chicago". Rush Street was first incorporated into Chicago in the 1830s. Based on the style, I believe this dress was designed around 1900.

I wish I knew what Madame Rizzi's first name was. It's hard to find any information on her.
Everything about this beautiful dress is just beautiful! The pleats, the bow, the horsehair mesh used for structure. 
Please take a look at the listing for this gorgeous dress in my shop. If you know anything else about this dress, I would love to know know more about it. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How does your garden grow?

There is probably no better classroom than a growing garden and there are countless lessons to be learned!

It's impossible to not brag a little about the phenomenal learning garden at my son's school. Those kids know more about organic gardening, composting, and the life cycle of monarch butterflies, than most adults. Every student gets to have a very hands on experience. They are involved with all the planting and harvesting, with lots of help from a very dedicated group of parents.
Each grade has specific jobs in the garden. This year I get to explore the curriculums for both 3rd and 2nd grades (because D is in a 2nd/3rd combo class). Third graders are learning about preserving heirloom plant varieties by harvesting and collecting seeds. Second graders are mastering the fine art of composting, and man they love turning the compost bins!

Who doesn't love to dig around in the worm bin? That thing is loaded with red wigglers! We also have real worm composters. You know, the kinds that separate the castings from the worm tea.

The first graders planted pumpkins in a spiral pattern. Second graders planted rainbow flower beds (cross your fingers the rest of the varieties pop up), to lure pollinators to the garden. Third graders learned about Native American planting methods and planted "3 Sisters" style beds, where they are growing corn, beans, and squash. Each year the kids learn different lessons in the garden. We have an awesome curriculum that works hand in hand with California State standards and with what students are learning in their classrooms.
Did I tell you..... The school is a recognized monarch butterfly waystation? How cool is that?! The monarch society actually came to the school and presented the students with a plaque noting the campus as a stop for migrating butterflies. Caterpillars came, ate all the milkweed, emerged from their cocoons, and have gone on their way. A couple weeks ago the garden was full of caterpillars!

Amazing things happen in this garden! The kids get to taste everything they grow. Fifth graders occasionally host farmers markets (to raise money for their end of the year party). They sell fruits, vegetables, and seedlings. Nothing tastes better than food you've grown yourself.... and I know a whole bunch of 8 and 9 year olds who would agree completely!

Reduce  Reuse  Recycle

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Something Sweet for Valentine's Day!

These fun frocks are all available right now in the shop! I think each of them would be super choices for Valentine's Day attire. What do you think? Which is your favorite?


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