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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Naming My Wedding Gowns, Honoring the Ladies in My Life

                                  Once I had a small collection of gowns accomplished,
                                       it occurred to me I probably should name them.

Listing them all as "Vintage Lace Wedding Gowns" would not only be confusing for ladies looking at them, it didn't seem complete.

I considered naming them after flowers, roses particularly.
My dresses aren't roses though, so that didn't seem right.

Then I considered naming them after types of laces;
I researched that a bit, but that seemed too general.
So I prayerfully asked,
"How shall I name them?"
         Then as I quieted myself,
                   that sweet sound that
                          whispers to my heart said......

                       " You know so many heroic, inspirational, beautiful women;
                        you would never run out of names if you named your dresses
                                                       in honor of them."

So my mind filled with the beautiful smiles and memories of women in my life who have truly had effect on me. My mom, of course, aunts, my daughters and daughter -in-law, friends and authors who have written books that have changed me.

These ladies in my life have spoken lovely truth to me through their words and actions. I've seen these ladies through joyous times, and painful times. Everyone of them chooses joy. Every one of them chooses compassion. Everyone of them chooses honor. Everyone of them fights for love.
Honoring them by naming a wedding gown for each of them is just a small way to say,

                                                               "Thank you"
                                 for choosing to be a lady, and treating others with dignity.

                                           When I typed in the Name for the first time,

                                           Lady simply came first. I'll tell you why.

I believe with all my heart, that every little girl born on the face of this planet, is meant to become a lady.  She's meant to have honor and dignity and respect. Our world, circumstances and personal choices being less than perfect, often steal that title , so that very few realize they truly are Ladies.

So often, little girls are unable to understand the world and adults around them,
and so believe a lie, that they are unworthy, unloved or unimportant.
They grow up, and don't even realize they believe this lie.
They grow up and don't realize they are Ladies.

It took me a long time to realize I was making grown up choices,
from a belief system that this little girl had bought into.
I'm grateful for the grace that opened my eyes to see the truth,
that I have value and honor and I could chose to walk and talk
and live life as  a Lady.

And so, my hope is that every bride who wears one of my gowns will know, without a doubt , she is a Lady. And that each of these ladies will choose to impart that truth to every other lady they know, with their words and their actions.

                             My hope is that little girls all over this world will know the truth,
                                              that they have dignity and are beautiful.
                              That's why I'm committed to giving ten percent of the profit
                                                from my gowns to Destiny Rescue ,
                                 an organization that rescues children from human trafficking.

                                      Photos courtesy of Christine Dibble Photography

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The First Dance of the Rest of Your Life, Beautiful Bridal Shoes

Thank you for taking a moment to visit and find out the story behind the shoes I make.

I remember looking for beautiful shoes to compliment my wedding gown , and comfort being high on my list of desires for my shoes. I knew I wanted to dance every dance, and enjoy every moment. I found many beautiful shoes, but nothing comfortable. I wish I had, and so I decided to offer both beauty and comfort to brides who were looking for just that.

When I began making shoes to offer in my Etsy Shop, I traced everyone’s foot that came through my door, and then measured and made shoes to work out my design and techniques. Once I felt confident with my work, I began to offer my bridal ballet shoes.

I believe deeply in making a choice to....See beauty, and enjoy peace.

For wedding shoes this means creating uniquely beautiful shoes which are unique to the bride wearing them. And it means purposing to make them comfortable, which gives great peace. Each pair of shoes are completely custom made. Specific measurements are taken, a custom pattern is created and I then begin the process of making the shoes.

I want every bride who wears the shoes I make to enjoy every step she takes through her wedding day. I want her to dance every dance, to run to the joy before her and to wake up the next morning ready to step into a beautiful future. I want her first steps as Mrs. to be sure , confident and peaceful. No worries of tripping or falling , just focused on being his. No distraction.

It’s all very metaphorical for the hope I have for each bride, for her married life.

Be beautifully you!
Choose peace! 
Walk confidently!
Run toward joy!
Look forward to tomorrow! 
Focus on being his!

                             This set of shoes was made for a bride and her daughters.

These shoes were made for a ballerina who had danced from the age of three
to attend her prom.

I offer many choices of velvets, laces and embroidered linens to create beautiful and unique shoes.

                                       Photos courtesy of Christine Dibble Photography

I've wanted a pair of wooden shoes for as long as I can remember. I wasn't sure why, but I did.
So when I happened upon a pair at an estate sale, I bought them. They were bright red, but just my size. I crackle painted them and embellished them with bits and pieces of gold and bridal lace, and my hand made flowers and leaves. I added pearls and beads, and I'm quite pleased with them, and now I know why.

Recently my youngest daughter watched Snow White for the first time, and I had an epiphany.  Snow White, that sweet example of joy, contentment, diligence, and forgiveness,  wears wooden shoes as she sings her song by the well, as she's wishing and waiting for the one she loves. She must have made quite an impression on me as a little girl, because as a grown woman my heart wants to wear her shoes.

As silly as it may seem, these shoes make me happy, and  are a sweet reminder to be joyful, content, diligent and forgiving!

The Romance of My Gowns, Unique Wedding Gowns with a Story

Whether you are considering purchasing one of my wedding gowns , or are just curious about my process, I’m thankful you’re taking a moment to read this story. I hope you’ll be glad you did.

When I decided to start my Etsy business, I prayerfully asked, “What is this suppose to be about? Why I am doing this? How should I do this?”  I imagined, and created and waited for some insight. Quietly, the sweetest answer came, “Make it beautiful. Make it meaningful.”
Those  words have guided me since.

My children know , as we go through our day, driving to a ball game or gymnastics, if there is a second hand store, an estate sale , or a sign that might have a remote possibility of leading us to vintage lace or linens, we will find our way to it. I love being able to help support our local community by purchasing many of the fabrics and laces I use from them. One store in particular is run by our local school, which 
means my dresses are helping with the education of the children in my community. My gowns are lovingly and peacefully created one at a time here in my home on a mountain top.

I often see life in metaphors. When I find pieces, I‘m as excited as if I’d come upon a secret treasure. Most times, the pieces need some love and care, soaking, washing, airing and ironing. Someone else might not see their value, but I do. 

I see treasure. 

Sitting on a shelf, or buried in a basket, they seem to call to my heart, “Save me! I’m still beautiful, I just need a little of your hard work..... your heart work. I’m still useful. I still have worth.” 

When I hold a piece of crocheted lace, or  embroidered linen, or pull and tie work, I see my mother’s hands, my grandmother’s hands and million other hands diligently creating beauty. 
I know the heart of that work. 
I know the simple truth that every woman who has worked on these pieces desires to create beauty in the everyday simplicity of life. While the world rages on, seemingly out of control sometimes, in their space, they will share beauty. On the tables where they serve you, with the kerchiefs that wipe your tears, on the pillow that you peacefully lay your head, these women desire with all their hearts to wrap it all up with beauty. So they find a way to embellish life.

I take all this beauty, all this heart work, and carefully and reverently, wash, line dry, iron, design, cut  and puzzle it all together to create a dress that is a poem. A poem that the bride who wears one of my designs will understand. When she walks down the aisle, or through the meadow or across the sand to her man, she knows that finding each other was the treasure hunt of their lives! Others may have overlooked or passed by this treasure, not seeing the value, but they have become rich! 

She is adorned in the hope of making each day beautiful, every meal, every night, every tear and every smile. She is wrapped up in the beautiful promise of puzzling together their lives, and believing the truth, that love is the greatest treasure.

“Save me! I’m still beautiful. I still have worth, ” calls to my heart in another way. Ten percent of the profits from my gowns goes to an organization who rescues children from the horrors of human trafficking. I feel passionately about somehow helping rescue these children. Just like the forgotten treasures I find to create meaningful gowns, these children deserve to be found; to be washed;to be cared for and given a chance at a beautiful new life. I hope that the bride who choses one of my wedding gowns, will be not only be blessed to feel poetically romantic and radiantly beautiful in her unique wedding gown, but she also will know that the beauty of helping those in need whenever life presents a choice to do so, is both beautiful and meaningful.

I hope that this story sings to your heart and you are inspired to ........

“Make your wedding beautiful ......
make it meaningful.”

Photo: courtesy of Christine Dibble Photography