Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm baaaack!

The trip was everything we needed! Saw many of the sites, walked lots of beaches and swam in tons of water. I didn't get as much reading done as I would have liked, so guess I'll wait for the rainy days at home to accomplish that. All rested and, back to work.

Have you forgotten to sign up for the July drawing? If so, run right over to and sign up NOW. Tomorrow is the drawing and my granddaughter will do it this time. I will announce the winner on Wednesday!

I thought you might like to see a photo of part of the goodies that I got on my trip! We covered the area antique shops and little flea markets for some unusual treasures. Here are a few.....

Some will be displayed in my own home, some will be put in the cottage for sale, some listed on ebay and some will be given as gifts. I love the little jelly bowls with silver rims and matching silver spoons! I'll probably keep those for a while. Won't they be great for my next tea?

I'll keep and frame some of the Currier and Ives prints, sell some and give some away. I've already kept aside some favorites I picked up especially for my PRH secret sister so those items will be a secret from everyone!

Watch here for the August giveaway item and the sales that will be going on next month in my web store. Have a great day all. I'm off to take more photos to post!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Girl's Vacation

This year we decided to start a new family tradition and I hope it continues for a long, long, time. I am going on a "mini" vacation with my daughter, granddaughter, granddaugher-in-law and great granddaughter. We call it the "Girl's Vacation".

We've had a couple of meetings about this and everyone thought it would be nice to stay local our first time, so we are visiting a place in our home state of Michigan......Boyne Mountain. Now, the mountain is well known for it's ski resorts and wonderful golf courses, but we won't be doing any of that. We are hitting the little shops, antique stores, flea markets, eateries and beaches in the area. It is, after all, a GIRLS vacation and who could resist a place named the "Flatiron Deli"?

No men allowed! No toilet seat always up! No cooking! No cleaning! No laundry! My 10 year old granddaughter says we won't have to hear any grunting or cussing, put up with greasy hands or dirty smells, watch sports, weather or the Military Channel or kiss anyone's sweaty cheek for a whole week! How divine!!

Dear hubby has consented to let us use our time share for the event. We will be staying in a wonderful Inn called Mountain Run. Because it's all girls, we need lots of bathrooms so we are getting a combined suite and two bedroom unit; three bathrooms, three balconies, two kitchens, three bedrooms, two living rooms, five TVs, and two fireplaces. How cool is that??

I have not had time to read any of my magazines since about February and I have several books I need to crack the bindings on, so I plan to relax and read, watch some old movies on TV (hubby hates those) and maybe not get dressed at all for a whole day. There are some historic sites I wanted to see also. Did you know Ernest Hemmingway had a home up there? It's now a museum on the "must see" list. Then there is Petoskey, which is only about 10 miles from the mountain. This is a little town steeped in history and lovely old Victorian homes. Although, it's oldest structure is a mission built 11 years after our home was.

Also planned is a trip to the largest indoor waterpark in Michigan which is almost across the street from where we will stay. Now, here comes the hard part....I've not been in a bathing suit in over 10 years! I don't even own one (unless you count the black and fucha, size seven, packed away for when I lost all that weight)!

Do I just "let it all hang out"? I don't know anyone there and probably will never see any of them again. Or, do I act like the lady my Mother raised; be reserved and dignified and sit on the sidelines, smiling sweetly, holding the towels and let everyone else have all the fun?

Think I'm going bathing suit shopping this afternoon!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fabrics play such a HUGE part in Victorian decorating! The opulence and “over the top” approach of the time was partially created by the lavish use of fabric. Draperies often used at least three layers, and often times up to eight or nine layers of fabric. In my many visits to Historic Victorian Homes, I have seen three valances, two layers of outer draperies and three layers of under curtains on their windows.

Draperies, valances and under curtains were also used to surround the Victorian bed. In addition to making a grand statement, they were used to keep out drafts and to add to the warmth and comfort of the sleepers. Coverlets and several layers of quilts, spreads and sheets were also used. Most were heavily embroidered or edged in fine lace. Then, there were the pillows of silks, satins, damask, velvet and lavishly embroidered cottons, most with heavy edged trims of fringe, lace, binding or tassels. Window fashions and bed draperies would often puddle on the floor by more than 12 inches.

Parlor chairs, chaises and settees would be draped with wraps and quilts in the finest fabrics, many of them imported from Europe and the Far East. The furniture items would often be covered in the same fabric as the draperies and sometimes, the walls would be softened with the use of fabric or padded insets of fabric.

Throughout the 18th century, Americans depended almost completely upon imported fabrics. British fabrics were most often used because they were protected by the high tariffs imposed by England on goods imported into the colonies from other countries. Indian goods were also imported under the protective arm of the British East India Company. The qualities of British fabrics varied, but for the most part, were far superior to anything made in Colonial America at that time.

Remember to use fabrics lavishly in your Victorian decorating. They will give that illusion of grandeur to your home.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

And the winner is..........

Kathleen Grace

The winner of Aunt May's Cottage June drawing is Kathy Grace from MICHIGAN. I was amazed, when my daughter pulled her name from the hat, that the winner lived in my home state! I'll bet that won't happen again.

Congratulations, Kathy! Next month it may be one of you that wins! It's so easy to enter.....just go to my web site,, and sign my guestbook! It's as easy as that. The winner doesn't even have to pay the shipping! So rush right over and take a little look around. Then sign the Guestbook to enter.

July's drawing item will be this sweet little lamp shade! It's made from a bridal gown bodice from white satin and a lovely, very heavily beaded lace overlay. Also adorning the shade are several satin ribbon roses and pearl drops.

This shade has the heavy beading on all sides. It can be used on a boudoir lamp, a nightlight or a votive candle holder with stem as shown here. I've even used these on stemmed glassware with a floating candle! So sweet and a wonderfully warm glow.

Just look at the detail on this beauty! I love working with these beautiful fabrics. How can you end up with anything less than spectacular with fabric this lovely?
All beading is done by hand and it takes hours to accomplish this look.

If anyone wonders why I make items from bridal fabric and trims, it's because I am addicted to them.

For over 22 years I designed and made bridal gowns and evening wear. I've always had a love for fine fabrics.....satins, silks, brocades, organdy, embroideries, velvets and lace of any kind.

In a day of career women, I was a stay at home mom. I wanted to see my children on and off the school bus, be there with milk and cookies when they got home and be available for any problems they might have and help with homework.

To make extra $$ for the "wants" of the family, I began sewing. First for the family, then for friends and soon for complete strangers. I lost count on the number of weddings I did, but I believe it to be around 240. A few were just the bride's gown, but most were the bride, bride's mother, groom's mother, maid of honor, bridesmaids and flower girls. Many included the decorations for the wedding and sometimes the reception, too.

More about my "sewing" days at a later time. I have dozens of stories about people for whom I've sewn and designed costumes over the past 40 years. Some of them are hilarious!