Alternative Wedding Gowns created with vintage lace and fabrics. A portion of the proceeds are given to Destiny Rescue to rescue children from human trafficking.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Another New Spring Wedding Gown, Wildflower Fairy Tale Gown with Embroidered Corset

"We want something else that can hardly be put into words-

To be united with the beauty we see,

To pass into it,

To receive it into ourselves,

To bathe in it,

To become part of it"

C.S. Lewis

I'm so delighted to introduce another new wedding gown design this spring!
This design was custom made for a bride who loved my unique style of layering laces and embroidery, and wanted a layered skirt with a unique corset.

She was so easy to work with as she trusted my artistry.

Gathering embroidery pieces and placing them for design possibilities is quite the satisfying challenge. I think it must be close to the feeling of looking for and finding a puzzle piece....
times one hundred.

The process is one of building layer upon layer of shapes and colors and textures, until after countless hours I see it has all come together into a delightful visual feast.

I've tried to photograph the details; there are so many various vintage laces ,both delicate and crocheted ,that I have visually connected all the embroidery with to be enjoyed.

The photo shoot for this dress couldn't have been more perfect!

This amazingly inspirational wildflower meadow is just at the end of my driveway.

If you are considering having me create a custom gown,
please don't hesitate to contact me through my Etsy shop,
I'll be happy to answer any questions!

Because something well said is worth contemplating  more than once.....

"We want something else that can hardly be put into words-

To be united with the beauty we see,

To pass into it,

To receive it into ourselves,

To bathe in it,

To become part of it"

C.S. Lewis

Hoping you're wrapping yourself in beauty everyday!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Celebrating My Two Year Anniversary with Etsy, Selling Custom Bridal Gowns, Shoes and Accessories

This month I'm celebrating two years 
of a successful little business on Etsy, 
and I'm so delighted!

I'd thought I'd take a moment to share the journey with you.

I honestly can't remember a time when I haven't been busy using one medium or another artistically; painting, sewing, crocheting, embroidering and flower arranging have been in my life a long time.
Knowing this  a sweet friend asked for me to create a very special sign for her daughter who was getting married. 
When I finished the commission,
 I realized it was a season in my life 
when I once again could dedicate more of my time to being creative.

I painted signs for, and began making sashes and veils to sell at the local bridal store to be sold on consignment; what a wonderful group of encouraging women I found there. 
The owner opened up an opportunity for me to rework a few of the gowns 
and I discovered I LOVED the process of cleaning up and redesigning gowns. 
It was truly a childhood dream come true. 
However, living in a small community the dream of designing and selling unique wedding gowns seemed rather farfetched. 
Never the less, I continued to dream and design.

Just about that time a wonderful "local girl who made good" was offering an Etsy workshop.

My kids had helped me open a shop and list a couple of signs, but I hadn't really put any effort or even tried to understand how Etsy worked.

Wow! What a world she opened up to me by being willing to give a couple of hours to teaching a handful of local women over coffee and scones. 

She shared her success story and carved out a little corner of each of our hearts with her sweet honesty. And then she simply shared a beginners "How to get started on Etsy".  A few weeks later, she followed up with a shipping and marketing helps class.

Next, I spent many hours learning how to use the computer, photographing, and reading Etsy help articles, not to mention the hours spent creating my products and researching what was happening in the bridal industry.
I read a great book that helped me put the unpaid hours into perspective, it was just part of my education and part of working on becoming excellent.

Each of my children took on more responsibilities around the house, 
and they helped me with understanding the computer and photography, 
and my husband  has been my biggest cheerleader all along the way.
My first sale was a hand made sash of big beautiful Magnolia flowers 
with rhinestone centers that was sent off to New York! 
I was over the moon!
I began making ballet slippers, 
something I was fascinated with as a girl, 
and had made for each of my babies. 
I made sashes and veils,  
flower girl dresses, 
baskets and pillows, 
and bouquets, 
garters and gowns.

Having reworked bridal gowns, 
I thought creating lightweight gowns built right on a corset,  
using upcycled and fine materials, 
and being inspired by history and nature would want to offer in my little shop. 
I set my heart and mind to it and my first dress sold in less than two weeks!
Coming up with new designs and making existing orders has been something to learn to manage, 
but every season has had it's lessons, and every one has been valuable.

I'm so incredibly grateful for the opportunity Etsy has opened up to me and to my family. 
My kids have watched me build a business by putting in long hours, 
working hard, learning new concepts and skills, 
using and refining my gifts and talents 
and trusting God with the outcome. 
They've seen me make mistakes
 and learn from them, 
and they've seen the incredible satisfaction 
of a job well done.

On this two year anniversary, because of the income generated from this business, 
my husband and I will be taking our family to Italy. 
We will be visiting family and touring the country, 
and we are all beyond excited! 
I am truly grateful for the opportunity Etsy 
has given me 
and for the people 
who have encouraged me along the way!

Thanks for visiting!
I hope you are encouraged to follow your dreams!
You can follow me on instagram,

I'm pretty sure we'll be sharing some Italy photos there! Caio bella!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Spring Wedding Gown, Custom Creations Made with Love

This early spring has been so wonderfully full of new growth.
I've had a few custom gowns I've been working on and wanted to share about each gown and the process of creating them.

This particular gown was made for a bride who contacted me because she loved my style and trusted I could create what she was envisioning.

After getting to know her,  and her love story,  I was able to gather the necessary elements she was trying to convey.

Her key ideas were:
Lots of color

I was able to gather linen possibilities,  lace possibilities and confirm likes and dislikes through photos.

Once I started on this gown it was really hard to pull myself away,  it was such a joy to work on.
So much preparation has gone into just getting to this point.  I have collected linens and laces for years, and recently have been collecting them specifically to use for this purpose.  Often times they are in need of much gentle cleaning and care before they can be used.
I just love putting these pieces together,  it's something that has been in my heart creatively since I was a girl.

I spent hours considering color and shape placement,  and rearranged several times before feeling peaceful with the final design.

Once the embroidered pieces were placed,  
vintage laces were hand cut and carefully placed to visually connect all the various linens.  Layering the laces and completely covering the bodice makes for a visual feast.
Finally,  I've created a visual canvas by adding a back to the corset
 on which I personally hand embroidered the stag she requested, 
once again cutting and layering vintage laces to make a one of  a kind dress.
This bride will be taking her vows outside and enjoying her special day in her own unique way,  and it was such an honor to create a dress so specific  and as distinct as she is.

I thought having the bodice modeled with a few skirt options would be helpful to future brides.

Photography courtesy of Christine Dibble Photography