Thursday, April 24, 2014

~grandma’s vintage dress repurposed~

hello friends,

Today I’m going to show you how you can repurpose beautiful vintage fabric into pretty and functional home decor and gift items!

Here’s a little ~sneak peek~ ‘cos I know you want to see the after first!!


{*please note, these photos were edited to reflect the true fabric colours, but as others of you are experiencing blogger is making all the photos darker....*}

Some time ago a friend asked me if I would sew her something from a vintage dress she had kept from her grandma. She wanted something that would be a keepsake, but more useful than a dress.

Being a lover of all things vintage I was excited to see the dress, and it did not disappoint.

{I remembered to snap a quick photo.}


They sure knew how to put a dress together back in the day, it was so well made with tucks and pleats and pretty covered buttons. I almost want to call it a frock, it just seems to suit it better than dress!

just look at the details…



Sewing dresses is fidd-il-y stuff, so hats off to the seamstresses who create such beautiful garments!

The fabric is so pretty too!
 Bold flowers and embossed stitching.


Well it was a little challenging to work with, with all the tucks and seams and pretty details there wasn’t a large piece of fabric available.

The largest piece I could salvage was a 12x16” panel for a pillow cover.


I used a smaller piece to make a lavender pillow~


~and popped an offcut into an embroidery hoop.


I couldn’t bear to part with even the scraps and since I love raggy bunting so much, I made her a little mini bunting with the scraps.


My friend loved it and there’s still a large piece of grandma’s dress left for another project one day!
I put off making that first cut for a long time, what if I wrecked the dress?? Yikes!! 

But working with vintage fabric you truly end up with something unique, all the more special when it has a special memory attached like this dress did.



Saturday, April 12, 2014

~finding my groove again, party decor and bunting~

hello friends,

Sometimes we plan a blogging break, other times life just comes along and knocks the stuffing out of you! That’s how it’s been for our family this past year, and I’ve wondered how much to share here, in my “happy place“. 


But this crazy thing called life does happen, and if there is one thing I know to be true from this past year, it's that we’re all dealing with something! 
A sorrow. 
A challenge.
 A story. 
Your story.
We all live in this real world. And sometimes that is just plain tough.
 So I’ll try and give you a little snapshot of this past year in our family.

 my three kiddos

Early last year a longtime favourite verse was so impressed on my heart, 
“Be still and know that I am God” {Psalm 46;10}
Little did I know how meaningful those words would become in the months ahead.


In early January 2013  my 19 year old daughter became very ill, and deteriorated quickly.  She was ultimately diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. There is nothing more devastating as a mamma than watching your child become sicker and sicker and not knowing what else to do. It has been a slow journey back to health, a journey we still find ourselves on. As some of you may know my daughter is developmentally disabled, so this brings with it some extra challenges. 

Hot on the heels of her illness crisis, my 17 year old son sustained a concussion playing volleyball. It ended up putting him out of school for the remainder of the school year, and out of sport for even longer. It was a tough, tough time, we adopted a cautious approach to his recovery and are so blessed to see the way he has fought his way back.

We muddled our way through all this and it seemed everytime we were about to draw a deep breath, something else was around the corner:  injury, water damage and repairs, rear ender....

 I started to enjoy a “normal” day for what it was, just plain old “normal”
I didn’t need extraordinary or wow, just normal!


We were feeling pretty worn down and looking forward to a fresh new year.

 This January “courage” was the word on my heart. I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I didn’t want to be courageous anymore. Hadn't I been courageous? 
I wanted peace. rest. refresh!
 Anything but "courage"!

In late January I underwent major surgery, not at all how we pictured 2014 starting. I am doing great, but it will be some time yet before I resume my normal activities, like hauling furntiure!!


The amazing thing is, when life just keeps coming at you, you truly are stripped bare of pretence. My faith has been shaky at times, but surer too. I have gotten to know people a whole lot better by being a little more real with them. I don’t understand it all, or any of it really, but I have known God's grace through this time, sometimes just for the next moment. And that is enough.

There have been bright moments along the way! 

Our daughter graduated high school in June 2013,  and we were involved in advocating to get a new adult program started in our community, that she is now a part of.


We had a fun little teaparty with her friends to celebrate.


It was so much fun putting together a girlie teaparty, using mostly vintage and thrifted decor items.


the vases, linens, cake stand, tea cups, and mason jars were all thrifted goodies I already had. 
I love these mirrored balls.


vintage china teacups


and lots of yummy treats


bunting made from pretty vintage linens


Yes, I’m still in love with stripey paper straws! We served lemonade in these mason jar mugs.


We also celebrated my Dad’s 70th birthday western style:

You can see I had a bunting thing going with these celebrations! This one I made from bandanas. 


we used bandanas to wrap the cutlery too! Yup, we used a lot of banadanas!


painted mason jars and white baby’s breath blooms


a sheriff’s badge for the birthday boy


those mason jar mugs again, with cowboy black and white straws this time!


We vacationed on the beautiful Oregon coast during the summer.


gorgeous unspoilt beaches


and epic sandcastle building…


We got to visit with extended family, and I participated in a couple of vintage markets.


Although I have not been blogging this past year, if you follow me on
you will know I have stayed connected. 
This creative world that we share has been such a lifesaver to me when I’ve needed a break, to just soak in the beauty and creativity you have shared, and for that I thank you all!! There have been many days I have opened instagram to find just the words of encouragement I needed for right then in that moment.

These past few weeks I’ve been sewing up some pillows and making raggy bunting and it is just so energising to be creating again!! Thanks for sticking with me and here’s to lots more beauty and creativity ahead! 

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, I hope that in sharing some of the “real” stuff in my life this past year, that you leave encouraged.

“His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me” 



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