Tag Archives: renissance

Eye candy update

Check out the Fb page for a preview of things at the studio.

Heirloom lace skirt- for Missy S.


https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003201624999

When I die, I say just pile all that lace on top and leave me naked.
Remember the saying “She who dies with the biggest stach wins.”…???

Yeah, It’s like that.

Anyway

Grand-baby coming in a couple of weeks and this place is not baby proofed. Gotta get busy wrapping some things up and fast! I spent 2 hours removing antiques from the guest room this morning (things that little hands can demolish). Jeff is going through and rehanging things with SCREWS…he envisions her to be a spider monkey capable of scaling walls with suction-cup like fingers. Ha!

Have a great day and enjoy the eye candy!

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Excellent problems, it’s all about perspectives

Posting bum, here. But… I have been designing and pattern making and fabric selecting, sewing, ironing and writing.

Ironing spilling over into the study!

I HAVE TOO MUCH LIFE!
What an excellent problem! It’s really a luxury problem now isn’t it?
I am so very blessed.

I look at these and think "Wow, thank god I don't have to spin & weave this stuff" like my ancestors just 4 generations back!

I look at these and think "Wow, thank god I don't have to spin & weave this stuff" like my ancestors just 4 generations back!

Spring is almost here and so is faire season. Pictures coming for that in about a week, is my guess. Selling off all my old stock for Faire and going through them all has been interesting. I have lot’s of memories in those boxes . I still have people I met back then in my life. It was a wondrous time to remember, being just 40 and newly married to my soul mate. Living just for the day and the time when he would get home. Uhmmm, memories!

Well, Faire cloths never change! They are historic replication and it’s just not possible to change history. They are timeless. You know…Good quality fabric lasts for years . I still have my original Chemise and my daughters origin chemise for then. Washed and softened so beautifully. Practical, practical, practical.

Gaffed chemise now called smocking

Designing for “fun and pretty”, is challenging for me. This is a time of growing for me in so many ways. A time of reflection and adaptation to the world around me at my age where it comes to just about anything, clothing or fashion in particular. We are all a collective of experiences now aren’t we?

I’m the kind of person that thinks you should only have to buy cloths and tires once and they should last. Never the mall shopping gal when young, I always went for the classics.

Oh there was a time when I went very fashionista back in the 1987 and then again in 1992. The cloths were such beautiful styles and cost enough to require credit (which I knew better than to DO), and then, I had to watch them dwindle away in my closest. I have 3 classic suites that Lady Iris Jean and myself shopped for back then, out of about 7 that we bought. I can STILL wear them and get comments on them.

Classic wool suit now 25 years old

I don’t know if the “classics lean”, came from Lady Iris Jean or my practical Taurus personality. But it’s there and I am glad. So is my husband. I think his experience with paying shopping bills of his ex’s left him quiet relieved when he met me and noticed I had the old time tenants of :

1 – You get what you pay for and
2 – Quality over quantity always.
3 – Take care of your things and they last
4 – Be grateful for what has been given you and
5 – Pretty is as pretty does not as pretty wears

They sewed those cloths folks! That's 1952.

Mediating on it all I think it came from growing up with Grandmother Vi during the school breaks. No electricity, no air conditioner, hauling water and bathing in a trough in the kitchen or dressing room, lined up from cleanest child to dirtiest. Hmmm how about, using kerosene lamps and cleaning/trimming wicks and (my all time favorite) trekking to the outhouse in the middle of the night and removing the chickens so you could pee. My fathers side thought it atrocious. Mother was ashamed but WE thought it all great fun! Damned but KNOWBODY took a picture of the outhouse! What memories that brings!

I have only met one person in all my years that even talked about it all and had the same views. A 60 year old Colonel from Puerto Rico got deployed with me a couple a years ago. We had to live “rough” for 4 days, for several interesting reasons I shall not go into at this time. Our upbringing made us very “seasoned”. We both LOOKED rather delicate bu, we both of us ended up looking rather fantastic compared to our compatriots. Now this was in the 1960’s for me and him, not 1910 folks. The media magazine and movies are very glamorized. The statistics for 1942 in many rural areas of the USA show that only 15% had electricity or running house water.In the 1960’s it was still just 50%!

The camping rough is what the sporty folks do for a weekend or week at a time. Actually “living” that way…, well, it has a way of “growing you up” different. This man and I, who would never have been friends actually bonded. Shocking to say the least…. We were both operating and interacting in the old way. As only one raised in “it takes a village” theology can do.

Great Granmommy May at GM Vi's house

My dear hubby trained for his war and was left in swamps to survive for weeks, and weeks. He has a different seasoning. He left home at 14, and different “camping places” in the 1960’s and improvised hygiene in gas station bathrooms. It’s sort of the same type of planning and logistics to get all THAT done and get to work on time, now isn’t it. He is very proud of his “seasoning”. You have to have a work ethic, and some ingenuity and hudspa to live, survive and prosper like that. I think my favorite story he tells is of not having a car jack and rolling his truck up on a downed log to change a tire. I wouldn’t have though of that in a million years.

Color TV didn’t come to our home until 1972. Our 10 inch black and white was the family prize in 1968! And Grandmother not only did not have a phone until the late 1970’s but also didn’t have a color TV until the late 1980’s.

My mother made our cloths until I was 13 years old and she went to work. We got new cloths for birthdays, school and for Christmas. We got toys from relatives who lived in the city, or hand me down cloths and toys from neighbors.

An actual toy for a Birthday or Christmas? Why that just wouldn’t be practical now would it?

We got dolls and doll bed that mother and an uncle picked up from a second hand church bizarre and were repainted and re-clothed for Christmas when I was 5. When I was 6, I got a store bought Walking Betsy. She died 3 weeks later and I remember the discussion my parents had about the practicality of the money spent only to have my heart broken.

(Damned program says THOSE photo’s aren’t allowed due to a security risk? Well there had to be some computer issue now didn’t there!)

I remember how quiet is was at Grandmother’s house, and hearing Mrs Mackbeth coming over the cow catcher and down the road to knock on the door to tell us that Daddy had “rung up” at her house to check and make sure we had made it safely. The only sound we heard was what I thought was thunder for years. laying in be one night, hot with the cool night air billowing the curtains I again saw the flashes and the rumbles. It rolled over and asked Grandmother Vi why it rained every night at her house. She became very still, “Honey, that’s the boys at Fort Hood. It’s called artillery practice.” That was 10-15 miles east of her place, it was on the land that used to hold our family safe from 1858-1942. I remember her stillness. I understand now.

A REAL old problem, How to get the mule to keep moving to grind stuff!

I can’t really think of any place THAT quite since that time. Even when we pack it in or “biv-wack” in the wilderness, the sounds of the forest are so loud and are really all I hear. We only see maybe 3 people in a weeks time, and it’s not the same calm quiet like living far off on a farm even now.

120 miles in looking at a Million acres of Peace

We lived on a farm when we got married surrounded by goats, cows, chickens and lots of horses and cats and dogs. It was a huge place, with 3 houses full of people who worked the place. There were hired folks coming in by the droves to work, vets to check animals, sales folk to sell stuff…. Late at night, it was quiet but never during any day of the week or on the weekend.

Oh did I mention wild Turkeys outside the windows?

No, that quiet is gone. I think the only place that I have seen it written about or described is in the book Harder than Hardscrabble: Oral Recollections of the Farming Life from the Edge of the Texas Hill Country (Clifton and Shirley Caldwell Texas Heritage Series)

I read it because my family is in it, including pictures. But there is a place in it were it talks about the lose of actual sounds. Ahhh, Sounds that will never be heard again. I think that quiet sound I am talking about is like that what he describes,… things change. Lady Iris Jean grew up hearing a trendle sewing machine at work. I grew up with the sound of a Singer buzz. My little work shop has the hammer sound of a serger or the hum of a fancy German piece of work!

All that's left of the trendle machine

A hum or a hammer, depends on what I want to do! Luxury problem.

Yes, we have luxury problems these days. Problems like, the dogs are in our yard pooing again and eating the daisies, and the cable company is thinking of not carrying our favorite station…. OMG well THAT just needs a petition!.

Or my cell phone wont’ hold a charge, I’m going down to that phone store right now and making them fix this or else! Or how about we forgot to pick up batteries for the remote control and one of us must get up, walk to the TV and change the channel! Urgh, it’s just AWFUL and we are so put upon!

No, seasoned folks don’t think that way ….much. We laugh, find another way, don’t plant daisies in the front yard, put in a movie instead, and have a cup of tea with the water from the microwave! Ha! Never daunted much, I just pick up a piece of hand work or a pad and paper and get busy.

Pink 1930s sketch

Butterfly pocket hand work

New modren meets Old Battenburg! now how to incorporate that , what an excellent diversion!

I am a bit lazy compared to the last 5 years of go-go-go, but I am enjoying it. It is hard to slow back down without coming to a complete stop. It is an adjustment that I am sure my soul has needed. And it means change in pretty much all areas. To somehow piece my practical side into a whimsical side just for the fun of something is…
Uncomfortable. Oh, poor me!

Yes, life and luxury problems are remarkable and our current perceptions are astounding. So much LIFE! So many options, and not enough time in a day to write a blog about it all. How silly.

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Lists of all the lists I need to make!

Anybody ever have artistic block?

I have so many ideas it is blocking me! What to do first, next, ….
I have the day to my lonesome. Hubby’s at work of 1 day and I have about …a ga-gillioon things on my list to do and work on.

The holidays put me into “Turkey mode”. You know that feeling after Christmas dinner? Where you just stare into space and feel peaceful?
The house is still clean from not being here and the studios are spotless.
I took about 20 idea mags with me to design some stuff and still writing stuff down!

Well good grief it’s been 7 days almost and I’m still in the lull of total inactivity. Here is the last thing I did before I left. Don’t like it much but friends oohhed and awwed when I messaged it around. Maybe I’ll put it up anyway. A nice apron dress to get dirty! Oh what fun!
Bloomers though…got them done but can’t figure our how to take a picture of them!

White arpon pinafore/Sundress


Anywho…

Found some awesome old timer Paper dolls from the 1930’s while up in the mountains. We were snowed in for 4 straight days! My one day out was awesome! I just stare at them and wish i had the paper artist gene! Maybe I’ll give it a try for the children’s books. I have the illustrations….Ahwww there I go again!

Now what to do,what to do? A list, that’s it.

I’ll make a list of all the lists I need to make! (That’s so totally Lady Iris Jean )!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/mackenzieprince

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etsy sewing and and my closet

Cleaning out my closet because I had lost my favorite jeans last week I was thinking about taking the old ways into the 21st century certainly gets me to thinking. I lined it all up like I was taught…let’s see how long it stays that way!

Anyway….

As far back as the 1100’s a decent “wardrobe” cost the equivalent of a years income. Can you imagine spending your entire years earnings on one single member of your family? I can’t. Even when It’s a year to replace things or I’ve gotten a huge job/promotion, I could not even play act that one! Maybe those with money to burn can like Paris Hilton but still…

The interest on her trust fund makes it so she doesn’t match THAT in wardrobe alone. But lets not go that way here and now. My point is where would you put it all now???! In history we are talking about 14-21 full dresses with underthings. Or for Men several serviceable suites, formal wear and hunting cloths.

When I started doing historical and heirloom sewing it fascinated me that THAT could be a fact, and how unnecessary it all was. I spent hours creating “cheaper” ways to sew stuff. And what I got was cheap clothing. Yes it lasts, still have my original chemise and it holds together but there is a “feel” to a well made garment. Think about going to “Needless mark-ups” and looking at their peasant blouses. Bare minimum is around $120.00 and you CANT wash it. If you’ve got that much money then you probably take stuff to the dry cleaners I guess. But the feel of the fabric, the tight weave, and the detailed construction makes you pause at the Wally world Serged shirt from Asia and think, “YUCK”.

Now what do you do about kids?!!! Their cloths have to last through what they get into but just long enough until the next growth spurt. It does make you appreciate the throw away stuff that you can buy, that is “in style”. But I still cringe and think about dropping that $5 bill in the trash when I find that shirt that didn’t make it through the laundry!

Sewing for them is not even possible most times now as fabric now costs the same $10-20 that it would cost to just buy it and get back to work. So what is a Mom to do?

Well how about “have it made” here on Etsy, sure it’s a little more but the kids resale shops are more than willing to help when they grow out of things. If they have tags and are professionally made they are still worth something. I have looked and looked. And these are a few things that I have learned from the real Lady Iris Jean!

1. What was passed on to me and, that I have passed on to my child, about quality and “you get what you pay for”…People pick up my example not my words. Any parent know this, or figures it out FAST.

2. Me and my daughter chose our own style and colors for our cloths and our house not from What NY,NY runway or even from Cosmo’s idea about what I should be wearing.(Ever seen The Devil Wears Prada?) We got it from quality- minded choices. Conscious thought out choices about what/how our hard earned funds could be stretched to last. We also did not want to conform to the masses.

3. We wanted what WE wanted and loved. Things that felt right, were comfortable, expressed our individuality. What we all found was that our choices were usually one the Paris and NY runways and home décor stores with in 3-5 years. They got it from us has always been the joke at our house!

3. We found affordable fabrics that LAST, and low and behold they were the natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk. We found people and shops in the market place that understood this and bought that $120 shirt for $80. One at a time, in our personal color schemes and Viola’, We all ended up with cloths that only need to be replaced every 4-7 years. Talk about budget! If I only buy jeans and NICE tee-shirts that I can mix with my classics then my budget has more for, gas, those tires that need replacing, that tutor that my child needs and a loaf of bear and milk.

4. Vintage and repurposed items are cost effective. They also are VERY individualized to a specific personal style. They are awesome for the tween and the teens and again so cost effective. One of my favorite Mom sewn dresses was a multicolored pieced prairie dress with lacing up the front and back in 1970. I loved Laura Ingrams dress on Little House on the Prairie so she grabbed some old cloths and Tada!!! It was very unusual and with in 2 years the style hit the runways and stores! Tres’ chic !

5. Kids clothing unless home schooled these days, are usually uniform based for most of the week days. Individual style is lacking. They crave expression. They love comfortable natural fibers for play, but they like to get dressed up. So look for those $1-3 dollar play cloths at the resale shops. And buy quality accessories and clothing for play dates and outings. They like to feel pretty too.

I remember the time when I said I would NEVER buy anything but the best and Wally could get lost…. Pretty much have done that only in a little different way.

I do not have the funds for the $120 dollar shirt. I know only maybe one Lady in Dallas that can do so these days. But, what I Did start doing was buying classic construction and fabrics that cost 3 times more per item. What happened was I now have a closet full of cloths from the last 8 years that are like new.

I learned how to care for them in a meticulous but reasonable manner. Learned it from THE Lady Iris Jean herself we called her “THE Mimi”.

I would walk in her closet and her skirts shirts and jackets would be hanging inside-out in a little section, another section held those she had just aired out9turned right side out), another section where those needing pressed next and the last section was just from the dry cleaners. She said that if you wore your stuff once and didn’t get into a sweaty situation and took them off when getting home then each outfit could go “3 wears” before she had to send it off or steam it herself.

Lady Iris Jean was quite brilliant. I still wish I could get so organized!

The care of natural fibers takes time. Decadent time.!

My general clothing care does not take as much time as it seems. My products are sent with those instructions in each package from my etsy store because it is information that is getting lost in the world of “made in (you name a country”).

I tend to procrastinate doing it myself but I remind myself that I am not running all over town on stressful shopping trips either, burning gas and buying stuff . Stuff I will never wear more than once. I am at home passing it on, living by example and I am shopping with those in my community (state and country) who need the business and care about my individuality.

As I finished my closet I thought, wow, Thanks Lady Iris Jean for all that you gave us!

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Lace, machines, old fashioned cleaning and Lady Ga Ga

Going to finish those 2 Baby girl dresses today.
Yummy Battenburg lace with some type of soft satin sash and a baby slip with heirloom layered lace skirt to dress up any dress, not just this baby dress.

Yum, Yum lace. Love it and the collection is still growing. I admit the craving and the manageability of it all. Oh I miss that tatted collar I put on that wedding dress. It was so heavenly and delicate!

I have looked and looked for some nice old fashioned aprons to keep grand babys dresses clean looking and can’t find any. Also can’t find any baby girl slips that are made of natural fibers. Ick! the thought of scratchy polyester next to a baby girls skin still just doesn’t sit right with me.

The only one left in my family that remembers what I remember…ironing, vacuuming the ceiling and dusting shelves…says that “that generation(our Mom’s) had the time to do that and we just don’t we have a life”. Hmmmm, yeah….I still do it even working and in the Military!

There is just something special to walk in your home with a clean smell and…a glow…just aren’t words. It’s called spring and holiday cleaning.
I simply can not create unless things are at least ordered in stacks!

Mom …she did contributed to the economic stimulus by hiring someone to do it. I would if I could find someone but haven’t since 2000 when maids stared banding together for the quick clean companies.

Well That new serger is calling my name but the dreads have got me.
No, no computer on the thing but this week my kinetic energy related to electronics has been cursed. Not as badly as usual but still, makes me nervous.

The hand drafting is so easy compared to actually getting a machine to work sometimes. I did take the 1960 machine into the Gromms sewing center and they were amazed at how it looked and sewed. Nice tight seams…picking stitches out of one of it’s work is nie-on-impossible. They just don’t make them like that any more! All metal parts and attachments gallor. The machine guys were fascinated and told me it had been years since they had seen a complete set that looked like new. Mom serviced the thing herself for 50 years…made me so proud!

I was amazed at the things the new serger could do. It’s basically the 1950’s machine with 2 needles and 4 spools of thread. My old one just did straight edging. It was so old they said the serial number couldn’t even be tracked!

As for this computer blog funny for today:
When I hit the proofread button on my posts it says I am BIASED to use the word “Lady”…. Hummm yeah….since when did using the word Lady become politically incorrect and offensive? What has Lady Ga GA done now???!!!

Guess I should go play with the new serger thingy Huh? Something hilarious is bound to occur, I assure you.

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