Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Soft Grey and Corsets

Hello everyone! I'm rather behind on posting both here and on my youtube channel, but I was pushing myself too hard in June and my health suffered for it. Two years later and I still don't have a firm diagnosis, but it looks like I most likely have chronic fatigue syndrome. I've been doing a lot of research and think the condition may have been triggered by a horrible flu I had in 2014. Some of the research suggests CFS is either a virus that never really goes away or somehow messes up the immune system (or possibly the gut bacteria balance). Not much is really known about CFS, but I am researching all I can. Most sources suggest if I feel the need to rest I should rest instead of trying to "push through it", as overexertion can cause the CFS to get a lot worse (which is what happened...oops...). So I've been taking it very easy the last 2 weeks and am slowly getting a bit better. 

I haven't really gotten dressed up as often as I would like, but I managed this cute Victorian inspired look a couple weeks ago. My original outfit was very different, but the humidex was very high that day and I needed something lighter. I settled on a Victorian underwear look instead of the prim-and-proper look I had planned. The "dress" is actually a nightgown I've had since I was a child, which I tried to dye black a few years ago. That obviously didn't work, but instead turned the material a soft, mottled blue-grey. I paired it with my What Katie Did corset, a cameo necklace I made from a broken earring, and a pair of Victorian inspired boots. 

I have so many videos planned for my youtube channel, but just haven't had time to film them. I'm hoping in the next few weeks to start a series about making vintage perfume from old recipes. I also just bought some awesome new 1920's wave clips I want to try out (I think I have a wave clip addiction! They are so neat!). For those of you who haven't seen it, I posted a video over on my youtube channel on how I did this hairstyle a couple weeks ago:

I hope everyone is having a good week!

That's All.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Victorian Summers

I have been feeling very inspired by Victorian and Edwardian style lately. I would love to add a few Victorian/Edwardian inspired pieces to my wardrobe, assuming I have time to make some or can find some to thrift. I suppose summer isn't the best time to don such clothing (especially during this heatwave!), but nonetheless I have been gathering inspiration images and trying to decide how to incorporate elements into my wardrobe. 

Here a few of my favourite summer inspiration images:

In other news my Etsy shop is on temporary hiatus due to the looming postal strike. I just haven't been able to find a good alternative shipping option, so have made the decision to close down for a couple weeks. 

However, I have reopened my second Etsy shop! I had big plans last year for my second shop, but didn't have the time/energy to follow through with them. But since I can't ship anything at the moment, I decided to at least add some more printables to my shop. I have some more designs in the works, but for now I have added some new Victorian/Edwardian inspired printables using images from my antique magazine/postcard collection. I've also listed three knitting patterns I wrote several years ago (they are also still available on Ravelry). All my printables are only $3 CAD (approx $2.40USD) or less.
To check it out click here!

Hopefully this postal strike is resolved soon and I can get my main shop back open. It really couldn't have happened at a worse time, since as a tutor I don't have much income during the summer. My Etsy shop provides the majority of my earnings during the lean months and I really hate having to close it. Oh well, I may be on the path to fixing some of my health issues so there may be a career change in the not-so-distant future.

I hope everyone has a great weekend (and a happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians)!

That's All.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Almost Birthday

While technically my birthday is tomorrow, I did a lot of my celebrating today. I didn't want my actual birthday to be too hectic, so I shifted most of my birthday plans back a day. Tomorrow will still feature a nice dinner and gift opening, but today I wandered around Port Hope/Cobourg, antique shopping and sipping coffee. It was very relaxing and an excellent way to spend my "almost birthday" day. 

I haven't worn anything 1920's for ages, despite it being my favourite decade. I sew mostly for my Etsy shop now and have been very neglectful of my own wardrobe. My lack of summer clothes became apparent during the first heatwave, so I quickly made a couple lightweight pieces including this 1920's style dress. The plaid fabric was leftover from a skirt I helped a friend make, and I combined it with leftover grey material (from the half-circle skirt I wear all the time). For a "scrap" dress, I am quite happy with how it turned out. It feels so good to finally have a casual 1920's outfit. Once I finish some stuff for the shop, I will have to make myself a few more dresses!

My friend, Jochen, and I already celebrated my birthday last week. He treated me to a lovely day out and gave me a couple adorable Buster Keaton themed gifts, including a movie poster and a necklace! I have proudly displayed Buster above my desk and can't wait to wear the necklace.

I've been feeling a wee bit better this week and have done some sewing for the shop. Once I get back, I will be listing a bunch of new items. For now here is a mini sneak-peak of a couple garments:

While working hard, I've been trying to not over-do it and have been relaxing with Ruth Goodman's "How to be a Victorian". It's quite a fascinating read and, even though I've read only a small portion of it so far, I've learned a lot of interesting tidbits about Victorian life. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the nitty-gritty of the daily life of the Victorians.

Aggie doesn't normally sit still long enough for me to take pictures, but I was so happy to finally get a good shot of her the other day. 
Poor little Aggie is going to be lonely for the next week. I'm off to the cottage first thing Monday for a bit of R&R. Agg's technically isn't going to be alone, but with only my dad for company she is going to be extra needy. She gets upset when I'm gone for a few hours, so I'm not sure how she is going to do for almost a full week... Being a shelter cat, she has abandonment issues. I will be sure to bring her back a couple new toys as an apology for my absence.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

That's All.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Edwardian Pomade Recipe

I just posted a video for a great vintage hair pomade on my youtube channel, and thought it would be a good idea to have a set of written instructions as well. This pomade is seriously the best I've ever tried and love the look it gives my different vintage hairstyles.

And here are the instructions:

You will need:
  • A clean glass jar
  • Small pot 
  • Cocoa butter
  • Castor oil
  • Essential oil (optional) 

  1. Measure out the cocoa butter and castor oil, in a ratio of 1 parts cocoa butter to 4 part castor oil.  Exact measurements will depend on your jar size. (I used 10ml of cocoa butter and 40ml of oil for my small jar, which filled it about halfway.)
  2. Pour the mixture into the jar and stir well.
  3. Fill the pot with some water then place the jar inside. The water level should reach an inch below the top of the jar. 
  4. Slowly simmer the pot, while stirring the mixture, until the cocoa butter has fully melted. Then carefully remove the jar from the water. 
  5. Add 10 to 20 drops of essential oil (if using). I opted for 10 drops of bergamot oil, to give my pomade a light scent, but you can use whatever scent you prefer.
  6. Stir until mixture has cooled and thickened. (I cheated and popped mine in the fridge to speed the process along)
  7. Add a label and voila! Fantastic homemade hair pomade!

I've designed a free label for the pomade, using an actual vintage label as the base. Save the below picture, and print to size on label/sticker paper. Alternatively, you could print on normal paper and glue in place. If you use label paper, I would recommend doing  a test run on normal paper first to make sure it fits your jar lid. 
Let me know if you give this recipe a try!

That's All.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Summer Already?

Opps, I have been a very bad blogger lately. I do have a good excuse though! We have been property hunting and almost bought a house. It didn't end up happening (due to concerns with some of the mechanicals of the house), but I have been away quite a bit lately as a result. 

Things should settle down for a bit after the last few stressful weeks. Time to relax! I am enjoying the lead-up to my birthday (mid-June), and am scouring Etsy for possible birthday gifts. I'm on a tight budget at the moment, so my birthday is a welcome excuse to do some online shopping. Due to a possible mold allergy I have stopped collecting antique books, magazine, postcards, etc, and switched my focus to antique hair devices. I just adore vintage hair styling and am hoping to add at least a piece or two to my collection. 

At the moment it's too hot to do much of anything, including complicated hair styling. This morning, I had one curl from a Victorian-style curler experiment, which I simply pinned back and added a beret to cover the rest. I paired it with t-shirt and 1930's style skirt for a casual Sunday afternoon look. It was too hot for necklaces, so I opted for a simple pair of earrings as my only other accessory. When did it become summer? Even the air conditioning is having a hard time keeping up in this heatwave. 

 Despite my lack of blogging, I have still been fairly regular posting Youtube videos (that's a switch!). Here are a couple of my recent favourites from my channel:

I have plans to launch a series of vintage perfume tutorials after having so much fun filming this one (at about 2 am which I why I look so tired!):

I have so many videos planned and am looking forward to filming a few of them over the next couple weeks. I wish I had a bit better equipment, but I am still very much enjoying the process of creating videos. My videos take a lot of time to make (often including hours of research), but I love making something which I hope is at least somewhat educational. I'm working on a really great hair pomade recipe at the moment, so stay tuned for that!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

That's All.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Forest Friends

My best friend, Britt, is home for two weeks! Yay! You may remember she used to be my model for my Etsy shop, and her and I used to hang out quite a lot. She moved to the other side of the country at the beginning of this year, which made us both very sad. However she is back for a little holiday and we are making the most of her short time here. 

We realized we don't have many good photos of the two of us together, so we remedied this by a photoshoot in the woods. Of course we couldn't just do a "normal" shoot. We played around with a few themes, and finally decided on a forest spirit/witch theme. It gave me a chance to play around with some special effects and made the afternoon a lot of fun. I won't share all the final photos here as there are too many, but here are a few of my favourites:


I love the mix of "proper", fun, silly, and slightly spooky shots we ended up with. We still have a few days together before she returns out west and we plan to make the most of it. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

That's All.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Saturday Adventures

Last Saturday was full of fun and adventures, as my friend Jochen and I wandered around the countryside. Our first stop was not planned, but we came across a random shed with a sign saying it was the site of the original McLaughlin homestead (i.e. Robert McLaughlin, the founder of McLaughlin Carriage and McLaughlin Motor Car Company, which would later become General Motors). We stopped and had a look. The shed was filled with several beautiful old carriages!

 Next stop was Tyrone Mills, which is Canada's oldest operating water-powered mill. I bought some local honey, stone ground organic flour, and of course donuts! I don't even like donuts, but their donuts are homemade and completely amazing. They were super fresh and still very warm! 

We then continued on to Orono and then Bowmanville, for antiques and coffee. I was hoping to find an antique dress form to use for my Etsy shop, but no luck. I actually didn't end up buying anything, but it was enjoyable none the less. We stopped outside one antique store (housed in an old armoury building) to take some photos. My hair started the day very Veronica Lake-ish, but it was super windy and my style didn't last long enough to get pictures. 

I dressed more for comfort than style, but I tried to incorporate some vintage elements into my outfit. The skirt is a me-made full circle skirt. I made it from a leftover piece of fabric and added the lace to make it a bit longer. I'm so used to longer skirts that this skirt feels really short, even though it isn't. The sweater has been in my closet for years, and the cameo necklace I made from a broken set of earrings. 
See what I mean about the wind? I wore my hair down to show off the colour (I just had it hennaed again), but it got very tangled. I love how the second henna treatment deepened the colour. I didn't really need to get it redone quite yet (it was first done about a month ago), but I'm doing a photoshoot later this week and wanted to look my best.

I convinced Jochen to pose for a photo. I think this is the first time he has appeared on my blog, although we hang out most weekends. Maybe he hasn't appeared before because he makes me look so short? He's just really tall, I swear!
I have no idea if this is still an operating club, but I've always loved the vintage sign on the side door.

It was a lovely day, and one of our best adventures to date (although that might have had something to do with the donuts...). 
I hope everyone else had an enjoyable weekend!

That's All.