Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A New Look! (For me!)


As most of you well know, I've had a long love affair with Red hair. I've always wanted that Irish tone, but never had the courage to take that leap.

Well... I did. I chose something that just had more of a hint of red, rather than something that would blow people away by the change.

Personally, it's the color I've always dreamed of having.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

1940's radio!

Mrs. V. of "The Quiet Pleasures of Home" Posted about this recently, and I have been sitting here listening to it for the past few hours.

This is AWESOME!

It's like litterally stepping back in time, with vintage comercials too!!

I've had this nigh insatiable urge to dance! Even though I'm in the library... :D

Have fun listening!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book review: Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist

I've struggled with whether to post this or not, but this is my honest opinion. Please don't be angry with me if you read the book and don't agree. You will be fairly warned by the time you've read my post...

Okay, I know, this is different than what I normally do, but this is special. On a lark I picked up this novel at "books a million," Namely because it was set at one of my favourite places in the world, Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. It was on sale for just $2 so I figured what's the harm.

I was extremely skeptical throughout reading it, knowing what modern romances can entail. But I reached the end of the book, and it was completely clean! I was so excited!

It wasn't until later I found out this was a christian author... :/ Which is a mixed blessing. After reading some of the best authors in the world I sometimes find Christian authors to be sadly sub-par. Not so with Deeanne Gist. No she doesn't reach the heights of Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters, but in the world of Modern Christian authors, she's toward the top of the list.
Anyhoo, a little about the book so as to grab your attention;

A young Parlour maid, Tillie Resse, is set for a promotion. A promotion to one of the most prestigious positions in the whole house, ladies maid. A position that would occupy her entire young life. A position that would put her high up on the social pedestal, and set her for life among the wealthy.

You see, the ladies maid could wear expensive clothes, eat rich foods, and travel the world. But it still had it's downsides, as ladies maid she could never marry, and when she was older, usually when the first grey hairs appeared, she would be asked to step down.

But what did she care? She had wanted this her entire life, and she was determined to get it. Until Wild, mountain man Mack Danver stepped into service.

So there's the basics, and I won't tell more for fear of giving too much away.

Now, there is a bit of a warning that goes with this. This isn't a book to be read in grammar school. There is violence and passion alike. So if you're looking for an entirely Salvation centered, Biblically based romance, Read Grace Livingston Hill. (Whom I love by the by, so it's not a degrading remark) This is for someone who wants to read a realistic, relatable romance set in the gilded age.

The best part is, she knows her history, and she knows how to write. I believe, though she may deal with modern, human problems, that she deals with them in a godly manner.
So, if you want to read a book that's like watching a movie, Go pick up a copy of "Maid to Match"

Much Love!

Ps, I read once that books are like food, some are to be devoured (like cake), others chewed over thoughtfully. (Like a roast.) I'm paraphrasing naturally, but this book is definitely a cake book. Don't take it to heart, it's not philosophically grand, like Jane Eyre. This is a book to be enjoyed, and moved on from... though I have read it three times since I bought it...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fruits of our Labour

I realized recently that as I was spinning I was piling up, quarter skein after quarter skein of finished yarn. It was all made from different wools, since I was trying to figure out what I liked best. I sent some of it to knitting friends, but I still had pleanty left over.

So I decided to see what the web offered when it came to vintage knitting and crochet patterns. I was so happy to find This original, 1899 crochet Tam pattern. FREE!

The instructions, so far have been easy to follow, but you do need to know some basics about crocheting in the round. It gives what I call "Amish instructions" Have you ever bought an Amish cookbook, and found that they just sort of expect you to know some things? It doesn't spell everything out for you. But still, someone who has done very little crochet could work this pattern.

Mind you it is the second one on the page rather than the first. The first one is older and it REALLY expects you to know how to do things. It's more of a guideline than instructions.
Anyhoo, this Tam is (half) made with 100% Falkland wool, and I'm finding that homespun wool is the softest most enjoyable yarn I've ever worked with. It was one of the first I ever did, so it does have quite a bit of variation in size, but once it's been worked, you can hardly tell the difference. :D

We're having a women's group meeting next week, and Crochet is part of the order of the day. So I'm hoping to finish it then.

Until next time!

Ps. The yarn on my weasel is another quarter skein of Falkland, which I'll use part of to finish off the hat.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Quilt Progress

It seems like an age has gone by since I was last able to work on my little basket quilt. You see, I made the pieces from scraps of fabric. I had about a yard of this homespun gingham that I had bought at wal-mart years ago.

I made a short 1914 afternoon dress from it, and it shrunk in the wash, so I gave it to Mrs. G's Daughter Kate, who looks absolutely fabulous in it. :D

I knew when I began this quilt that I wouldn't have enough to make the whole quilt, but I plowed on ahead instead. But I KNEW that Wal-mart would have more. They only have a few bolts of "Homespun" material, a black, a blue, a green, and my marooney red. So when I finished all the pieces I returned to Wal-mart to get more. I grabbed the red, bought everything on the roll (about 2 1/2 yards) and happily toted it home.
But when I got here, even in my dim lighting I realized... Wal-mart had changed their dyes.... I thought about going ahead with it, but the hues in these two reds were just too atrocious when paired.

So, as all seamstresses know, when a project becomes frustrating, set it aside, and come back later.

It's only been recently that I have been able to go to Jo-Ann fabrics (Forget Wal-mart!!) and lay a quilt piece on all their red homespuns. Though they didn't have an exact match, they had enough variety for me to be able to find something close. It does have a smaller check, but I think it rounds out the pattern very well!

I'm so excited to be able to start on it again! I've loved this quilt from the moment I saw it, and I can't wait to see it on one of the beds in the house.

I have one strip done, and another that's ready to put together.
I'll have more pictures as it progresses!
Much love!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

God's Gift of Life

For the second year in a row, God has gifted me with growth and life for Valentine's day. On Friday, I received my order from Baker Creek Seeds. It's so exciting to me, after last years struggles with all the pink GMO seeds.

(You can see another little plant in the very back of the row. Also... this has been two days ago I wrote this... they have since TRIPLED in size, nearly every cucumber is up, and I have one little onion poking out of the soil. I'm afraid they're growing TOO fast. I'll have to transplant soon, and if it doesn't warm up I don't know what I'll do with them, any advise? )

Of course the moment I could I put them in the soil. Dad had "Built" me a little hothouse in one of his cabinets, and bought one of those little plastic "Greenhouses" (sadly this one leaks, but it still keeps my seeds warm which is all that matters to me.) I planted everything that needed to be started beforehand, Tomatoes, onions, broccoli, ect. Well, I also decided to go ahead and start my cucumbers. We had a lot of trouble with them last year, and even then we'd bought plants.

To my surprise, I went to the cupboard today to plant the last three "Rows" and what do you think? I had two little cucumbers peeping up out of the soil! I was expecting them to take at least a week, but no, three days!

Thank you God, for my wonderful Valentine's gift! Here's to two years in a row!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Lovely Day

I once again had the opportunity to attend "The Summit" in Pigeon Forge with Lady Weaver over new years. I'm always extremely blessed when I find myself among these missionaries. They're always so passionate and zealous. It's a stark contrast to everyday Christians.

After the last session though, which happened to be New Years Eve, Lady Weaver and I had the wonderful opportunity to go out to eat with the woman who knew us at our worst. Our Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. G! (A different Mrs. G.) We spent the afternoon at the Christmas Place after eating at the "Partrige and Pear" (Which I HIGHLY reccomend by the way, eccelent food, awesome victorian decor, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg... at least at lunch) It was a wonderful time of fellowship and reminiscence!

L to R :
Lady Weaver's sister Raechel, Lady Weaver herself, Me, Lady Weaver's Wonderful Mum Cathy, Mrs. G, Lady Weaver's Friend and Roomate Sonya.
Had a wonderful day ladies! Hope to do it again soon!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

1911 long line corset

I thought I'd show you some pictures of one of my latest sewing projects.

I decided to join in on Bridges on the body's 1911 corset sew along. Of course... I cheated and finished it off on my own...

Though I didn't regret it, I have had to go back and make a few adjustments since I took these photos.

I'll show some update pics later... once I take them.

I've also made some new WW1 era outfits, and adjusted some old ones. I'm also planning on making more very soon.

Hopefully these sunny days will prompt some lovely photoshoots for you. :D
Enjoy these!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Just a Spinnin!

I thought I'd share a few picturtes of the best day I had last week, or one of them.

This early spring weather has a way of drawing people to front porches everywhere, and that draw hasn't avoided me.

One day last week, I had all my pretty, fresh laundry hanging on the line, and nothing else to do, so I set to plying some yarn and soaking up the vitamin D. I felt like a true mountain woman

with my hound dog beside me and bare feet soaking up the rays.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My New Toy! .... Er... Tool!

Is that what you think it is?

Oooooh Yes!!!

That is my Brand new! (To me)

Shiny! (Slightly rusty)

Ringer Washing Machine!!!

Isn't it exciting?!

Too much work you say? Probably, but let me explain.

You see, recently, I began doing my own laundry. I made my own laundry soap, using This Recipe, bought some little fabric crates to use as hampers and my own laundry basket.

Sadly a week's worth of laundry for me will only fill about half the washer, and mom was afraid I'd wear it out.

So, this new chore that I loved so much was going to, once again, become a rare ooccurance for me.

But then, I started thinking about something I had seen in my Grandad's barn. With the small amount of laundry I was doing, it would work perfectly!

Even better was, when I mentioned it to dad, he told me it was his and not Grandad's, meaning we could pick it up at any time! So here it is, in my yard and it works like a charm!

I'd like to use it through this summer at least, though I'm sure I'll have to switch back to the "Modern wonder" When it gets cold. Until then though, I'm looking foreward to getting to play.. er.. work, in the cold water on the sweltering days I fully anticipate this summer.

So as you can see, getting back to the simple life is really coming along for me.

Which brings me to my next point, I'm thinking of changing my blog name, and the look around here. I still love Avonlea, and making costumes, and still will be making pleanty of them. I find that I always feel like working "Harder" when I'm in calico, than when I'm in Denim.

But my heart now is in farming, and milling, among other home crafts. So, if sometime soon, you see the "Homespun Treadler" on your feed reader, it's still me. And I'll still be wrting about the same ole things, but hopefully more often. :D

Until next time
God Bless!