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Monday, June 25, 2012

New regency bonnets-purple silk and green silk


Here are two new bonnets for a customer going to a Regency event.
First, a wide brimmed piece made from heavy buckram, flannel mull, silk taffeta and duchess silk satin. The client wanted a deep purple and gold piece. I used this wonderful antique silk moire ribbon in a dusky violet shade as the tie and trim. It is rare to find this kind of ribbon that is so soft and usable

This antique metal lace trim from the turn of the century also matched the ribbon, and added some gold to tie things in.

The antique plume was hand dyed with antique dyes from the 1920s. It was originally an acrid yellow shade

Lined in heavy duchess silk satin in gold.

The crowning touch is a very rare millinery piece. It is over 100 years old and features little velvet flowers in black, golden yellow, and cream

The second bonnet is a soft cap with hand sewn straw brim. The straw braid is made from hemp, which is a good match for antique braids...it does not have a shiny finish, which is better for antique reproductions. The base fabric is a lovely woven silk taffeta with raised velvet stripes and satin stripes. An antique green silk velvet trim piece from the Victorian age forms the trim on one side. It is finished with an antique brass button with a tiny star cut-out.

The other side has an ostrich plume in fern green shade, antique silk velvet bow, and antique gold metal lace

Gold metal laces were frequently used from the 1600s through the 1920s. In the evening, these metal laces reflected in the candlelight, adding a little glow throughout the night.

The back is pleated into a small circle, which is simply finished unlined through the inside

On flimsy silks, it is better to add a liner to these caps, but with silks with body, I prefer it unlined. The ribbons are vintage rayon picot ribbon pieces in dark green.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Garden growing-the vegetable patch


Erik and I are determined to grow our own vegetables this summer. Last summer was a total disaster, a harvest of bitter lettuce and a miniature bell pepper were all that were brought to the table (actually, they went right back into the compost.)
A possible problem was the lack of irrigation to this part of the yard. It required all hand watering, which is not only a wasteful way of watering, but inconsistent. Another problem may have been a lack of sun and pollination...there was a net over the bed and thick green fencing.
Drip systems have been installed, which are much easier than previously thought.
Here are zucchini and beans:

This side is spaghetti squash, japanese cucumbers, and peppers:

This is already far more progress than all of last year.
Another bed area has strawberries:

Tomatoes are already fruiting in their own pot

I actually bought some of those upside down topsy turvy tomato things, as a comparison. I did not get a photo of those plants yet.
We have two compost bins, which work better than waiting for one to rot fully before adding new material. This one is airing out right now... but there are squash seeds growing in it! We eat a lot of squash, and the seeds germinated in the compost

The rest of the yard is becoming a jungle. The hydrangeas are much happier relying on drip irrigation over sporadic bucket watering.

If you are thinking of putting in a drip system, then do it! A starter kit can be had at home depot for 20.00. This is enough to set up a vegetable bed. It's also a good way to see what you will need for additional drip systems without a large investment.