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.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Wash Day, Caring for Vintage Laces

There's quite a bit of behind the scenes work
 that goes into
 creating dresses and gowns with vintage lace .

It begins with the treasure hunting for lace, which is always fun.

The next step is soaking, 
usually several times in delicate home made soaps.

Line drying and airing to maintain the integrity of the fabrics.

Ironing and organizing.

Dreaming and designing.

Beautifully romantic processes in my life 
always cause me to thoughtfully reflect
 on the process of growing
 and encouraging others to grow
 into all they should be.

So be a treasure hunter! 
Find beauty in history!
Everyone has a unique story, be quiet and listen. 
 Allow yourself to find beauty in the details.
Fine laces point to the beauty of the intricacies of life.
The way your life is delicately woven together with so many others.
If you think about it, there's beauty in work to be done,
 in the skills you possess or the ones you are learning. 
It's beautiful to be productive, to grow and to learn.

Sometimes that is really hard to accomplish. 
You have to be purposeful to find time to not be busy, but to stop and quiet yourself. 
Soaking in peace allows you to wash away all that doesn't belong in your heart,
all that's clouding your thoughts and tearing down your dreams. 
Soak in that peace repeatedly until your heart and mind are clear.

Then literally breath in the fresh air around you.

Be still.  
Breathing in life, 
deep into a grateful heart.

Then straighten and organize your thoughts and your plans, 
because now you are ready!

 Design your dreams, pray your prayers and joyfully create!

Be blessed! Happy wash day!

Lake Tahoe Jackpot! Beautifully Organized

This last summer we had the opportunity to enjoy a family vacation in Tahoe.
The days were truly relaxing. 
We had all of our kids with us, our two grandsons,
 and some friends joined us for a portion of the trip.
On one of our trips back from enjoying that amazing lake, we almost passed an estate sale. 
I made sure that didn't happen!

I acquired dozens of yards of vintage lace!
What a jack pot!
The collection was in great condition, but needed to be laundered and freshened up.
Yards and yards of lace in the laundry equals yards and yards of tangled mess.
I had my work cut out for me!
Here's how I was able to straighten and organize this beautiful mess.

I always try to.."Do what you can,  with what you have,  where you are. " 
Theodore Roosevelt

So I took some old file folders, glued them together and cut notches in both sides.

Then  I took some beautiful paper , which my dear friend had gifted me some time ago, 
it was just waiting for a project like this, and wrapped the folders up pretty.


Ready to organize.

My lace is easy to see now and easy to access.

 Handmade vintage dress available in my Etsy shop

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fresh Goat Milk Cheese

Making soft cheese is fairly simple. I make both a savory and sweet cheese. The savory cheese can be spread on toasted bread or eaten on crackers. The sweet cheese can also be enjoyed on toasted bread with honey drizzled on it, or you can fill crepes with it. and top with your favorite topping.

You'll need:
a large sauce pan.
a large bowl
a colander
mixing spoons
some cheese cloth.

In a bowl mix baking soda, salt, olive oil or butter and flavorings.

Line the colander with cheese cloth and place in your sink.

Heat 1 gallon of fresh goats milk to 102 degrees, which is just before boiling.
Remove from heat.
Add vinegar.
Stir gently.
The milk will curdle.
Stir a minute or two.
You can add a little more vinegar if the milk doesn't curdle
Strain through the cheese cloth.
Add cheese to the bowl of flavoring, stir.

Savory Cheese
1 gallon of milk
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves minced garlic clove
1-2 tbsp minced Basil
Sun-dried tomatoes to taste
This is our favorite savory combination, but be creative with seasonings!

Sweet Cheese
1 gallon of milk
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

We like to make a sauce from the peaches and blueberries we harvested and froze this summer.

Note: These recipes can be doubled or even tripled. I often triple the recipe for my large family.
Also, I use fresh goats milk , but you can substitute store bought goat or cow's milk.
I've used other vinegars, but apple cider vinegar seems to work best.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Vintage Flower Girl Dress , Made with Love

When my dear friend asked me to help her with her daughters dress,
I wasn't sure what we would come up with.

Our oldest sons had been friends since kindergarten,  and now her son was getting married,  and her youngest daughter was to be the flower girl. Of course my heart was all in,  but my schedule was beyond full.

The wedding was going to be outside at a ranch in late spring.  She shared the color palette and some ideas.  Just at that time,  I was falling in love with the idea of upcycling within my business. Repurposing has been "in my blood" as long as I can remember.  It was the only way Mom did just about anything,  creatively and frugally. When I shared  my vision of using vintage linens and laces to create dresses,  my friend gave me some very special pieces and asked if they might work.  These pieces seemed to be stained and slightly tattered,  but I told her I'd try.

I soaked and carefully worked the stains out of these delicate pieces. They were tea napkins and places mats that had belonged to her mom.  Her mom use to come out once a year and stay for a month,  so over the years,  while we raised our families,  I had the pleasure of getting to spend time with her mother.  She was one of those people who makes you feel as if she'd always known you and liked you.  She was delightful.

I prayed for her as she battled Graves Disease.  I mourned her loss and prayed comfort for my dear friend.

When these treasured linens came clean I was so excited.  Honored to work with her fabric,  excited to be able to create such a meaningful dress, I felt like I was helping their grandma to be at the wedding,  hugging her little flower girl, and smiling at the newlyweds.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Romantic Wedding Dress Design, Upcyling With A Purpose

My life philosophy is to see beauty in everything and find peace.

In dress design this translates to creative designs and comfort. Every one of my gowns is unique, romantic, elegant and meaningful. I incorporate beautiful laces, that I see for more than the visual value. I see the heart of the maker, the heart of a sister , the heart of an aunt, the heart of a mother or grandmother woven through the threads of lace, or embroidery. In the machine made lace, I see the beauty of the intricacies of life, the amazing heart threads that seem to connect us to humanity across the globe. I see the hope of human ingenuity, creating machines to create beauty.

I hope this helps you understand , appreciate and love the process that makes these gowns come to life!

My corset dresses are made from upcycled bustiers, vintage and fine fabrics and laces. I thoroughly and carefully hand wash all with gentle soap and sun dry. All of my linens and laces have been carefully laundered and ironed before construction. Once the designing begins, it’s quite a beautiful mess!

Blessings of Peace and Beauty to you,

Please be sure to read about how these gowns bring new life to human trafficking victims

Surely discomfort has a place in life, it encourages us to grow, step out of or into uncomfortable situations or work out problems. 

Your wedding dress, however should be comfortable, and I do all I can to make gowns that are lovely, unique, lightweight, and wearable. Far too often I’ve seen brides wrestle their heavy dresses, pulling them up or muscling their skirts, so I’ve made an extra effort to be sure this won’t happen for you.

When necessary, I have left the skirt separate from the bodice just for this reason.

It takes a great amount of work space to cut and piece together the skirt portion of the dress, and hours of cutting, pinning, sewing, more cutting , more pinning, trying on the mannequin and  more sewing.

For the corset portion I gather together, and regather laces and fabric I think will work well together. Some of them are applied by machine, however much of the work on the bodice is done by hand. Puzzling it together is time consuming, but delightfully rewarding. I often include pieces of fine bridal lace and Italian lace my mother-in-law graciously brings back to me when she visits family in Italy. I hope you love that piece of my heart included on your gown.

I’ve added corseting to the back of my gowns, which is simply a design feature that I love.  Some of the gowns have the corseting down the sides, again this is just a design feature, that adds a bit of romance to the gowns. With or without , the bodice stays in place because of the bustier it is built on.

As with all bridal gowns , there most likely will need to be some alterations. Gowns that are made with the bride being able to visit the seamstress have several fitting to make sure the dress fits properly. I truly wish I could have every bride in my home, however not having your body here , I am unable to do those  last detailed alterations.