Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Downton Abbey at the Taft Museum

In late August, I had the pleasure of viewing the Downton Abbey Exhibit at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati. I'm so used to looking at and examining extant garments that I was quite taken by how tall the garments were - I forgot for a moment that I was looking at clothing meant for actors rather than historical persons (there are a couple of extant pieces in the exhibit, but most were created by the show's costumers using vintage and antique fabrics). A magnificent exhibit, to say the least. I won't prattle on - I'll let the garments speak for themselves.

Cora Crawley's Costumes

Mary Crawley's Costumes

Violet Crawley's Costumes

Sir Richard Carlisle and Robert Crawley's Costumes

Martha Levinson's Costumes

Thomas Barrow's Livery

Virginia Woolf's Evening Gown

Matthew Crawley's Service Uniform

For more photos of the Downton Abbey Exhibit at the Taft Museum of Art, please visit my Pinterest page. Blessings and happy sewing!

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Change in Pace...

~Enjoying my lunch hour in the sun~
In January, I took on a Nine-To-Five at a prestigious local men's haberdashery (whose name and location I am not allowed to disclose on my personal blog, Facebook, or any other social media outlet, according to company policy - they think I'm joking when I tell them that one day I will come to work in a bustle...) as a "service provider" (aka "sales associate"). I really like my job and the people I work with, and while I was not hired as a tailor, my expertise behind the needle has come in quite handy when recommending fabrics, suit designs, pinning up a customer when the master tailor is assisting another client, etc., etc. Of course, my personal sewing time has been significantly reduced, but I'm still at it, although projects will roll off the machine a little slower. 

So, what have I been up to, aside from spending a large portion of my day in hosery, heals, and professional dress, enabling men to part with their wages on fine wool suits, silk ties, and leather Bluchers? Let me tell you...


I was standing in my attic right after Christmas putting away all the holiday decorations when it struck me how much stuff I owned. Do I REALLY need all of these decorations? And, it started from there. Starting at the tippy-top of my house and working down to the old cinder-block walls of my basement, I tore my house apart getting rid of everything from ancient plastic Halloween pumpkins, to dishes, to small appliances, to books, to fabric, to patterns...

~Sorting through the piles~

~Boxes and boxes of patterns to go~

~Apollo, napping on the job~

Caring for Kittehs...

~Maxy Girl~
Ahh, you know me and my love for felines. Last summer (2015), a new stray appeared in the neighborhood, and by the looks of her - she's a full breed Thai Manx, she was dumped (What is wrong with people?). We came to call her Max (the neighbors and me, we give all the strays names) and it took me months of coaxing and wooing to get her to trust me. She was starving and missing an eye (it was infected and bleeding), and honestly, I knew she wouldn't last through the winter if I couldn't get her medical treatment.  Sure enough, Max became my buddy, and after a couple of rounds of antibiotics and good nutrition, she was in good health...and then promptly became pregnant. 

On May 16, Maxy Girl gave birth to five kittens on my sun porch, all of them solid black and only one born with a tail. They are the sweetest babies, like their mommy! They are so snuggly and love belly rubs - I could have kept them all! 

~Precious babies!~

From left to right, we have Luigi, Poppy, Deuce (he was the second one born and the only one with a tail), Little Girl, and Wee Baby Seamus (it's required that you say his full name). Collectively, they are called Monkey Butts, even Deuce (guilty by association, poor fellow). Maxy is doing very well and was recently spayed - she's such a sweetheart.

Finishing A UFO

This quilt. It took me three years to hand sew together 400 blocks and top stitch the whole thing. I wanted to know what it was like to do it. Now I know and I'll never do it again. I finished it two weeks ago and the hubs says, "I thought you'd never finish that thing!" Either did I. But I did it, and I have a new found respect and admiration for the women who hand-piece quilts. These were BIG blocks (6" x 6"), not the tiny 1-1/2" hexagons like my great-grandmother's quilt (gives me anxiety just thinking about how long it took her to put it all together, assuming she did it herself). It feels great to have the quilt finished - yeesss!


Blessings and happy sewing! Oooo, and guess what? The Downton Abbey costume exhibit is finishing up its run in Cincinnati, and guess who went? I'll be posting pictures very soon - so excited to share!