Silver Lining?

My oldest boy moved to another country a couple of weeks ago.  He went from living in my basement one month to living in another country the next.  Mommy is not happy.  Because of the empty room I found myself with,  I decided to make something good come from it.  I finally have my very own sewing/craft room.  photo 1

 I have a table for my projects and sewing machine.  There is room for my computer if I am wanting to watch movies while I work.  The table folds down if I’m doing smaller projects and want it taking up less space.  The shelves have some of my hats and will have things that I might want to be handy when sewing.  I’m thinking of adding some sort of hooks to the shelves so that my scissors would be in easy reach.  The dresser will hold my fabric stash, patterns and perhaps my trimmings and hat making supplies.

photo 3

There is room for Trudy now.  She doesn’t need to lurk in my closet or at the foot of my bed.   To the right of Trudy there is a  closet and it is jammed to the top with my costumes and accessories.  I really don’t have much more room for more costumes and yet I persist!

The bed is staying.  I can use it as a guest room if I need to. The other reason I’m keeping the bed is I have some hope that the boy will eventually come home and will need a landing place until he resets up his life here in Canada.  If if he needs to stay long term…well Mommy will have this room unpacked in a half and day and she will be doing it with a smile on her face! For now I’m thinking of getting huge pillows so I can make the bed into a day bed kind a thing so I can sit and do hand sewing.

Finally, I want some pictures on the wall.  I’ve been looking for things in a flea market but not having much success.  I want something that will act as inspiration for the sewing and doesn’t cost a fortune.  As I sit in here, I think I might not actually need to buy anything.  I have a drawer full of cabinet cards.  I could pick out my favorites and hang them up.  SAM_1699I think they would be safe.  There is a window in the room but it faces the wall of the next house so there isn’t any direct light.  There is a 50% off sale at a local thrift store…maybe I can pick up a dozen little frames…. I could also get some hooks and get more of my hats out of the closet and hanging on the wall.  I have to find that delicate balance between inspiring stimulation and offensive mess!

The room is not finished yet but I’m already enjoying it.  With out the sewing room, this would have been running down the middle of my dinning room table at supper last 2

It is my project for the terminology challenge in the Historical Sew Fortnightly.  It is due today.  I don’t think that will happen!


Fall is in the air

The nights are getting cooler now…one small mercy…and the leaves on some of the trees are starting to turn.  I actually like fall.  It would be my favorite season if it weren’t for the fact that winter comes rapidly after.  When winter comes…well lots of good things go away.  I have a man-made lake outside my kitchen window that has been attractive to some birds that will not be hanging out once winter comes.SAM_2324


It is a bit hard to tell from these photos but this is a family of pelicans.  There are fish in the lake and that is what they are hanging around for.  Odd birds aren’t they!

Chinese Victorians

I was at the Costume Museum of Canada last night and this is the coolest thing I found for the 5

It is, of course a Chinese shoe for a woman who had foot binding and is dated as 1900. It is both beautiful (in terms of the embroidery) and ugly when  you think of the years of pain that must have caused!photo 2

There is only the one shoe.  I haven’t found the other and don’t know if there actually is another.  Both sides of the shoe are 4

I have no idea how a woman would have walked in these.  The heel of the shoe is near my thumb in the above photo.  That means the ball and toe end of the shoe is EXTREMELY narrow with the actual foot twisted in on itself inside the shoe!  It is also very short.  This one is 6 inches long but I’ve heard the desired length was 3 inches.  And some folks think corsets were bad!

But before we go thinking we are ever so much better at treating women and their bodies humanely, I have 3 words for you…stilettos and under-wire bras.  We’ve progressed, but we still seem to think that a woman has to suffer to achieve good looks.

ALS/MND and the Ice Bucket Challenge

I’ve been thinking about ALS a lot lately.  Not because of the Ice Bucket Challenge that has gone viral here in North America. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about go to YouTube and type in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.) I’m thinking about it because a member of my family has had his diagnosis confirmed 3 weeks ago.  This is one of the reasons I’ve been having problems getting myself interested in blogging and other hobbies.

ALS is a brutal disease where the nerves that allow us to control the muscles in our body are damaged.  Over time (and in the case of my family member it seems like not a very long period of time) the person becomes weaker and weaker and they begin to lose abilities.  Abilities like combing hair, picking up a cup, getting out of a chair, walking, and standing in a shower become more and more difficult and finally impossible.  Once the disease had finished laying waste to the muscles in the arms and legs it moves inward and goes after the muscles involved in breathing.  It is usually respiratory problems that finish them off in 2-5 years.  It affects not only the person with the condition.  It affects the people they live with.  Who thinks that in their late 40’s they will be caring for their spouse?  Sure, you think that might be your life in your 70’s but not in your 40’s.  What kid thinks that they will need to make life choices in their 20’s based on the physical needs of their declining parents?  That is something you start thinking about in you 50’s!

So when I was asked if I’d take up the challenge, I agreed.  I don’t particularly care to dump ice on my head and perhaps I wont.  I have a choice.  I will do the most important parts though.  I will tell others about the disease because they might not know about it.  I will tell them how they can donate money and I will tell them where.  I WILL DONATE MONEY BECAUSE I HAVE A CHOICE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO DUMP ICE ON MY HEAD BUT PEOPLE WITH ALS DIDN’T GET TO CHOSE WHETHER OR NOT THEY WILL GET IT!

So I challenge my readers to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and you can donate here:

ALS Society of Canada
3000 Steeles Avenue East, Suite 200
Markham, ON
L3R 4T9

or here

The ALS Association- 1275 K Street NW – Suite 250 – Washington, DC 20005

or here

Motor Neurone Disease Australia Inc.
ABN 52 650 269 176
PO Box 990 Gladesville NSW 1675



Costume Museum of Canada: library

The Costume Museum of Canada has some books that other volunteers have been patiently cataloging.  When they come across one that I might be interested in, they pass it down to me.  Here is one that I think I would like to add to my Christmas wish list….SAM_2355

It has some real gems in it that should encourage some creative sewing!SAM_2358 SAM_2357 SAM_2356

And there are many more than just these! The above photos are only a random sampling!  Buy the book! I’ve found it on eBay!

HSF 14: Challenge #15 the Great Outdoors

During this time of troubles I am in, I do find that knitting (and watching hours and hours of movies) has been soothing…takes my mind off of it all….which worked out wonderfully for the last Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge.  It is a bit of a challenge to imagine any scenario where I’ll be wearing this thing as it is summer and I may be starting hot flashes!  I break out in a sweat just looking at it!


What the item is: sontag

The Challenge: The great outdoors

Fabric: n/a

Pattern: Godey’s 1860 which was up sized and dated by this blogger.

Being more fluffy than the blogger, I had to do some guess work to up size it even more. I think I may have gone to far. It seems a bit baggy.

Year: 1860

Notions: 1 button about 600 yards of blue and 100 of white.

How historically accurate is it? Wool is acrylic but pattern and tecnique is correct. It would have been hand made by the lady wearing it or giving it as a gift. Plausible that all types of ladies could have worn it…working class to upper class. I guess an upper class lady would have worn it puttering in her yard on a cool day. So about 80%

Hours to complete: @40

First worn:not yet

Total cost: $30 in wool. Pattern free and I had the needles for years.