Monday, August 20, 2012

Vintage Baby Clothes, a Gift

I was recently gifted with these absolutely gorgeous baby clothes....they are so delicately beautiful.
So, you must hear the story!  I have a great friend, Susan, who grew up in the upper midwest.
She now lives in Little Rock.  Susan's best friend....her lifelong best friend, is Karen.  They went to school together....and have maintained a very special friendship all these years.  I say 'all these years' because all three of us are close in age.  Chronologically, we are on 'the older side' but in our minds we are still quite young.  On good days.  Well, Karen has moved to Little Rock too!  And, has joined our little monthly sewing/beading group.  She fits in very nicely!!
Are you seeing where I am going with this story?  I bet you are.  Karen told me she had baby clothes from her grandparents and asked me if I would be interested in having them.   (She had been told by Susan that I was 'into' that kind of thing.)  Of course, I said YES!  She explained to me that she had no children and was not 'into' the baby clothes thing, so she would love for me to have them.  OMG....was I all over that!  She also said they needed to be cleaned, but she had no idea how to do it.  Of course, she was thinking they were just so delicate, they must require great care in cleaning.    When I first saw them, I knew I could handle the cleaning and couldn't wait to do so.
Here's what I did:  I soaked them in water and liquid OxyClean for four days.  Not wringing at any time...just soaking, then rinsing well.  This little christening dress and slip were dingy, but not awfully dirty...and came out just sparkling white...and SO SWEET!!!  It is quite long, has beautiful lace, tiny tucks, and sweet little embroidered flowers here and there and also a full length slip too.  So very precious!
Here's a little peek at the little floral embroidery motifs 'here and there.'  So soft, so sweet....and so beautiful!
 The ruffled hem is quite wonderful......and this garment was stitched entirely by hand!  Oh, my!!!
Gorgeous little medallions of lace stitched on in Satin Stitch, then the back fabric removed...my oh my....with little flowers and leaves scattered here and there.  Simply divine!
Here's the back of the dress.  Look at all those tiny tucks across the top!!  
When my children were babies...I made much of their clothing.  Do you remember little batiste 'diaper shirts' and little 'morning dresses?'  So, I actually have sewn on tiny buttons such as these.
So dear.
Here is another little dress from Karen's collection.  This one was sewn on the machine and is much simpler than the previous dress, so I expect it was a dress worn often......but look at all the tucks...so very sweet!
 Love the yoke of this little dress.
And, all those little tucks around the skirt.  And, I remember when deep hems were just 'the thing.'   I had a couple of organdy pinafores myself, but have no clue whatever happened to them.
Well, of course, I've left off a photo!!!!  This garment is a little coat in a silky fabric (but I don't think it IS silk).   There is a FULL photo of it at the end of this post.  It is really, really special!!!!  When I first saw it, the color was kind of a peachy light brown.  But, I knew it was something really special.
After washing and ironing, it turned out to be a very soft peachy color, on the light side.  And so very soft!!  Just look at the floral applique and embroidery here on the lower front.  And, the lace insert.....
just takes your breath!!!  And, every stitch on this coat is by HAND!!!
I know YOU know to click on the photos so you can see them larger...please do so you can see all the gorgeousness!
The sleeves are so pretty....with tucks and all that lace....you can see the hand-stitching......no telling how long it took to make these garments!!
 The made-by-hand tucks......I could go on and on......just imagine the time it took...
The collar is just beautiful too.....of course!  More appliqued and embroidered motifs and that gorgeous lace.

Then, here is another view of the sleeves with the lace edges folded back over the ruffle....a whole lot of work on the sleeve's edge, for sure!  And, of all the most wonderful work on this little coat...look at the button and the stitched button loops!!!  All thread.  There are three of the buttons and the loops which 'hide' behind the front placket of the little coat.  OMG!!!

Then there is the little handmade bonnet.  Well, no coat would be complete with it's own special bonnet!!!
Gathered around a delicate circle motif in the crown of the bonnet.....with even more hand stitching and tucking!
 A closeup.........I wish the photos really showed the actual color better....it looks beige-y here, but it isn't...just that delicious, soft, pale peachy color!
And, here is the little coat with the bonnet laying on it...........look it over carefully....it is so very special!  And, how about my new friend, Karen?  She is such a special person to give away these beautiful garments...and, to me, a person she barely knows.  I am very lucky to have received the garments and to have a very kind and generous new friend!!!  I hope you have enjoyed seeing these lovely treasures as much as I've enjoyed telling you about them.  Y'all take care out there....hugs, pat

Sunday, August 5, 2012

That Funky Chair

In my last post, I said I'd next show you something 'crazy' and here it is.  A regular sized kitchen chair I purchased from a flea market in Beebe, Arkansas, a couple of weeks ago.  When I saw it there, it made me smile.  So, I hope you smile too!  I did sit on it in the flea market to 'try it out,' and it seemed pretty sturdy,  but I wouldn't want to sit on it for very long, as there are support pieces missing on the front and back legs, but here is what I thought when I first laid my eyes on it:
We could put it in the downtown studio and use it for an easel!  Well, really, can you imagine how that crossed my mind?  I've no idea, but there it was, and because it made me smile, I had to buy it and because it didn't exactly 'break the bank @ $12.00....it promptly was purchased and the next time I went to work at the studio...it went with me.  I smile every time I look at it. 
There are maps all over it, quotes, all kinds of painted 'effects'...notice the polka dots on the inside of that leg.
We have some 'vintage' stuff in the studio now....because Cheri and I just can't keep our favorite flea market finds from showing up down there.  Some of them are for sale too.  Anyway, one of her pieces is this great old table, all chipped up and in our window.  We display artwork on it all the time, and so I thought putting the chair up on top of it was a really good way to display some artwork.  And, it is at eye level, which might make people walking by smile too.
If you click on the photos, I'm sure you can see these photos up close and perhaps read a few words here and there.  I'm especially fond of "Come away with me" a quote from Norah Jones.  Notice it up top of the chair in the photo below.
So far, I think I've sold two items because that chair was in the window.....maybe it catches the eye....
yes, I'm sure it does, but then, so does the artwork.
I certainly wouldn't call it the most well-made item I've ever seen, but it has lots of HEART....something that means a lot to ME.  And, it's FUN!   And, NO, I have no idea who actually had this idea and did the work on the chair, but I think I like them a lot.
I lust after that little old table.......perhaps I may 'wheel and deal' with Cheri sometime in the future and put it on my front porch!  Meantime, it has become a very cool part of the studio, if you ask me.
So, would you notice the chair if you walked by?  Would you stop and look or would you just walk on by?
No matter which...I bet you would smile too!!!  Take care out there, pat

Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Indulgence of Pink

It's been a weird week here at the backyard studio, as I can't seem to get 'in the mood' to accomplish anything.  Maybe it's the HEAT.....the humidity....the summer doldrums, or some such thing.  I had
intended to show you something on the crazy side...you know....something FUN!  However, I just
couldn't get myself together to do that.  Instead, I have spent most of the week chewing myself out because I can't seem to FOCUS!
Whenever I get like this, I like to spend some time looking at something pretty  until my mood improves, so today, I decided to share these pretty Gerbera Daisies with you.  They came from Walmart, of all places, and I think they are just gorgeous!  The day I bought them (yes, during an equally yucky week in the Spring),  I saw them, so bought some to bring home and admire...they lasted a long time and I don't remember if they improved my mood any....but I DID enjoy looking at them, so I guess it worked!
Well, of course, the color is just wonderful...love PINK...and I know a lot of you out there, love PINK too!  Now, this amazes me....look at how many kazillion little petals are in this one flower!  Isn't that amazing.
I could never tire of looking at flowers......any of them...but I must say, these are so very special.
It's fun to buy some flowers once in a while....these were an inexpensive little 'pick-me-up.'  And, I always like the way my mind justifies a little purchase like this!
As you know, I always say my flea market visits and fabric purchases, bead and embroidery thread buying are considered, by me, to be a form of therapy.  Yes, I certainly do!  And, I feel the same way about these little occasional  bouquets of flowers.  Therapy!!  
Yeah, I think I'm feeling a bit better already!  Some pink flowers looking pretty beautiful in a few photos.....hope you feel better too.  take care, pat

PS.  Maybe I'll show you that item you missed out on today in my next post.  It won't be 'pretty' but it may make you smile!!

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio
Right in My Backyard

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.