Friday, December 30, 2016

A Year in a Nutshell (Plus Next Years Goals)


Like so many others at this time of year I like to look back over the last 12 months and give it some thought. I'm that sort of person. Sometimes I berate myself on my mistakes or cringe at my regrets, but more often I am astonished at how God has worked when I wasn't realizing it.

Since I have talked about a lot of this over the last year I'm going to keep this simple and brief, a kind of conclusion to the year, before talking about my expectations for the new year.

This year held a lot of unknown for me. After quitting my job in October of the year before I wasn't sure where I was headed, I just knew that I wanted a change. My plans for the last new year were little and undefined. Throughout January I had my thoughts set on entering a contest from the Master's College in the (somewhat) hopes of winning paid tuition. I was not too optimistic about actually winning but I knew entering the contest would be a good experience. But unfortunately they were unwilling to extend the prize to online tuition as well so I'm afraid I had to let that idea go.

Beginning stages of my header

In February I had a slight breakdown over not knowing where God intended for me to be. I have always had so many interests, narrowing it down to something solid has been insanely difficult. I finally committed it to God and let go of my future. While waiting for Him to show me where He wanted me I decided to focus my attention on upgrading my blog. This ended up taking a lot more time than I expected.

For many months my main focus was on my blog. I made so many changes: name, design, purpose, goals. I designed my own header and background, rebranded, and much more that I can't even remember now. The list seemed endless for so long that I still have a few awaiting the new year. During that time I researched ways to make money with my blog. And let me tell you, there are many.

But just because there are options doesn't mean those options are for me. I've often tried to make myself conform to a type of business only to end months later strained to the max and at my wits' end. If it is not for me then I can't make it work, at least not in the manner I have been trying. I dismissed many of the ways for making money with my blog, but a few of them seemed a little plausible, such as affiliate work.

By the last half of the year I was working on affiliate programs with Knit Picks and Joann's before finally getting accepted by Leisure Arts. There is still so much to grasp, I haven't even begun to reach my full potential.

Teddy Bear Toddler Tote

Then I discovered Ravelry's option for opening your own shop and took off in that direction. In no time I had myself an Etsy too and from then on spent my nearly every waking minute building it and understanding it.

At the beginning of this year I never would have guessed that I would end up in this direction, owning my own business and managing my own craft blog. I have a lot of options for the future in this new direction, we'll see what comes of it.

With only a few remaining days left in the holiday season, I've been endeavoring to restrict myself from actually doing any business related work. I began planning to finish and post one last holiday pattern earlier this week but checked myself and let it go. The next pattern I share will be a puff stitch cap and scarf set sometime next week.

Now for the new year. I don't make resolutions, I set goals. My theory on New Year's resolutions are: if you can't do it the rest of the year then you most likely will not in the new year. No, I prefer to keep a list of expectations and try to meet them year round.

Poinsettia Shimmer Garland

Business wise, this coming year I hope to start selling physical crochet products as well as their patterns, such as actual hats and scarves, garlands, bags, and anything else that finds its way onto my Etsy. I have been hesitant before about it for various reasons, but I think it is time for me to step it up to the next level.

As I said, I have a few things left in my blog design that I will do in the new year, and I plan on getting more involved in affiliate work. And once I get some of these things under control I'm hoping to begin sculpting again. I have some great ideas, a few of which I shared some posts back. We'll see how that turns out.

But I still haven't forgotten about taking online college courses. I am especially interested in Answers in Genesis science courses and I love how God's Bible College is including it in their programs. Money is obviously short due to being unemployed for a while. I didn't make a lot before but then again my "bills" have been few since I live simply and still at home. I have further thoughts on the subject of business but am not ready to specify just yet. Ginger Peachy Store is obviously slow-going, as all beginning businesses are. I'll just have to wait and see what God has in store for me this year.

*Cue radio voice*
Will Amy succeed in building a successful online business? Will she finally discover her purpose in life? And will she eventually find the schooling that is right for her and the money with which to do it? Tune in after 12 months to find out!

Thanks for reading everyone! You may not believe it, but frankly, I hate talking about myself. I can't help thinking I bore my readers. But then again, if you've gotten this far then maybe you aren't as bored as I feared.

Don't forget to leave me a comment! And come back soon to be the first to see my latest projects!

Best Wishes for the New Year!

Amy

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My Favorite Part of Christmas


Simplify Christmas, celebrate Christ.

A few years ago my mother bought a lovely Christmas plaque with the above saying written on it. She has placed it over our mantle as a temporary seasonal replacement for a picture that reads, "Home -- Where Each lives for the other and all live for God." Though it has never been voiced, I feel like this spot is the focal point of our home and our family. Placing this new saying there reminds us of what Christmas is really supposed to be like, and I find it reassuring.

I will not remind everyone of the nearness of the day. No, wait, yes I will! Five days! Five days away! No, four, if you count Christmas Eve. As usual, I am in denial, but not because of the responsibilities yet to be done, but because of all the fun I haven't yet had.

Two Sides of Christmas


You are, no doubt, familiar with the difference between secular Christmas and Christian Christmas. But there are two more sides that we could note. Responsibility versus Joy.

This is us: busy with what we must do and looking wistfully at what we would like to do. We get so caught up in the needs of the season that the fun always falls to the back burner. And thus gets burned up. As the day draws near I have noticed that all too familiar feeling creeping in. As Sally from A Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving says, "I haven't even finished eating all of my Halloween candy!" In regards to Christmas, my sentiments exactly.

Christmas Traditions


Growing up we had a score of fun traditions. In the evenings we would paint what is now Christmas village (read more here), or work a Christmas puzzle. At night we'd have hot cocoa or hot wassail and watch our favorite Christmas films (find reviews for some of these here).

At least once in the season, we would all hop into the vehicle and go a few miles down the road to "Christmas City," a campground that is famous (locally) for elaborately decorating their entire grounds. Also not far from our house was a tree farm. Like most families, we would take our time traversing the entire field for the perfect tree and come home with the "best".

And then there was gift shopping. Mom and Dad buy their gifts for us separately and then later we would all go together to buy gifts for each other. This usually involved a trip to Walmart, coats tossed into the buggy to cover gifts, and a desperate attempt to not look at what you know was selected for you.

But time and tide, you know, and responsibilities have come to overshadow the fun. In spite of this there is still one aspect I never fail to take the time for.


Reliving the Christmas Story


I am a history lover, as I have said before. Even though I love watching period movies I am one of their worst critics. Facts are very important and if I notice the creators have fudged on a few facts to make room for drama, I am ultimately disappointed.

Being the writing addict that I am, I long ago took to journaling while reading my Bible. I take notes of thoughts, questions, specific study notes, favorite verses or quotes from godly men and women, and anything related. Around this time of year I come back to the account of Jesus' birth and try to read it with fresh eyes. Granted, this is hard having heard the account multiple times a year, every year of my life. Familiarity can sometimes be your worst enemy.

I like to put myself in the characters places and imagine what it was like experiencing them firsthand. I hadn't given it much thought before but I really look forward to this. The song, "I am Joseph" by Steven Curtis Chapman carries the same thought (listen to it here).

This year, as I was reading and thinking about it, I began asking myself what exactly it was that I found most intriguing about Mary and Joseph's characters. I thought I would share it with you.

Mary
She was engaged to Joseph but not yet "married". Like most soon-to-be brides, she was probably making plans for their future home together, preparing for her life to change. Little did she know just how much her life would change. When she received the staggering news that she had been elected to bring the Messiah into the world, everything changed. Her reputation and integrity were suddenly questioned, she was at risk of losing Joseph, and in the eyes of the law, deserving of death.

What did Mary do with all of this facing her? If you don't know the story, you most likely would never guess.

Mary accepted the news as the ultimate blessing God could give her, and praised Him. She ran to her older cousin, Elizabeth, and the two rejoiced together. We could say that Mary tottered on the brink of indecision, struggled long hours, debated over what she would lose, before deciding that the right way to handle this was in leaving it to God. But honestly, I don't think Mary even had to think about it. Her Creator had chosen her. She was honored.

She accepted whatever God chose for her, knowing that it would be the best.


Joseph
Joseph often gets passed over in light of Mary but his role is just as important. Aside from the royal inheritance Jesus received by Joseph being his official father, Joseph was Mary and Jesus' protection. Over the beginning years of Jesus' life, it was Joseph to whom the angel came in urging them to flee from Herod. But before Jesus was even born, Joseph had to make some serious choices.

For an honorable Jewish man, hearing that his wife-to-be is pregnant was beyond scandalous. Her story about the child being the Son of God was incredible as well. Jewish law demanded he have her stoned for her unfaithfulness. He obviously was hurt and confused by these unexpected events, but his devotion to the law was second to his love for Mary. He didn't want any harm to come to her, and decided on what amounted to divorce.

But what a perfect plan God had. In sending Joseph his own heavenly visitor, Joseph realized Mary's story was true after all, and it was his responsibility to care for her and her son.

If you are rating famous love stories, I think Mary and Joseph's would have to be the best. This is definitely a marriage with God at the center. How could it be any more beautiful?

Debunking Common Misconceptions


I love learning new facts about the Christmas story that debunks common misconceptions. It is one way that makes the account new to me. For example, Mary was not a grown woman as illustrations would have it but a young teen. Then there's the fact that the "stable" Jesus was born in was instead a cave. Something I just "re-learned" was that the shepherds the angels gave the announcement to were priestly shepherds, caring for sheep that would be used for Jewish religious practices. Every bit of scripture contains subtle symbolism, perfectly placed just so by our Creator. Everything has a reason.

And that is what I love most about Christmas.

Simplify Christmas, celebrate Christ.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Poinsettia Shimmer Garland | New Crochet Pattern


As I am writing this, a pre-Christmas turkey is baking in the oven, and cranberry sauce is cooling in the fridge. Above the computer where I am working, my mother's famous Christmas Village covers two small book cases and the entire entertainment center. At night the warm, white lights glow inside the hand-painted miniature houses and almost seem to reflect off the white felt ground where old-fashioned people walk about town with presents in hand. Over the speakers the melodies of my ultimate favorite Christmas album, Ferrante and Teicher's Snowbound, creates a rather dreamy aura as I prepare to share with you my latest Christmas crochet pattern.

After designing my last Christmas garland, the Snowflake Shimmer Garland, I grabbed a skein of Caron Simply Soft Party in Red Sparkle and set to work on my next idea, poinsettias. I was inspired with this idea and designed the motifs without too many do-overs (as opposed to the chunky hat I have been working on over the last few days where I have ripped at least three times in one day).


Last time I used Vanna's Glamour which is a size 3 yarn, or sport yarn, whereas Caron's Party is medium weight. But I didn't think this would be a problem. With the finished product at hand, I am pleased with the resulting thickness, though Vanna's Glamour does offer a more delicate garland.

I attached them as before and made the garland strand with double strands as well, but since the yarn was thicker, and I used a slightly larger hook, I had to cut back on the number of stitches for the length of the strand. I possibly could have worked the garland with one strand instead of double, but the double strands give me confidence that the piece will have adequate drape.

For the pictures I envisioned draping them on a lovely mantle covered in Christmas decorations. We have a mantle and we have Christmas decorations but I didn't get around to it. Instead my sister took these amazing pictures for me so that I didn't have to strain my brain. I am after all a photographer of necessity instead of hobby. But I have grown to enjoy it more than I used to.

All right! So lets share the pattern.


Poinsettia Shimmer Garland

Skill Level easy


Finished Size 

72in/183cm long (motif measures 3in/7.5cm in diameter) 

Material

Medium Weight yarn (approximately 70 yards) – I used Caron Simply Soft Party in Red Sparkle
Crochet hook E (3.00mm) and G (4.50mm)

Gauge

Round 1 of motif measures 1in/2.5cm

Picot: ch 2, sl st in previous st.

Motif (make 7)

Round 1: ch 4, 11 dc in 4th ch from hook, sl st in ch-3: 12 dc
Round 2: ch 2, 2 hdc in each dc around, sl st in first hdc: 24 hdc
Round 3: ch 1, skip first hdc, (sc, dc, tr) in next hdc, picot, (tr, dc, sc) in next hdc, sl st in next 2 hdc, repeat from * around, make last sl st in first ch-1, sl st in next 4 sts: 47 sts
Do not finish off.

Garland Strand

With size G hook, hold two strands together, ch 5, sl st in fifth ch to form ring, ch 1,
10 sc in ring, sl st in first sc, ch 265, sl st in fifth ch to form ring, ch 1, 10 sc in ring,
sl st in first sc, finish off.

Attaching Motifs

Find the center of the garland strand and attach one motif by slip stitching to chain. Attach
motifs on either side of first motif at even intervals (or more specifically, 7” apart),
leaving extra space at ends. Weave in all ends.


What I love about making crochet garland is how simple it is to make. Each motif takes around an average of 15 minutes or less, and the garland strand probably only 10 minutes. All in all, I'd say this project from start to finish takes roughly 2 hours. I can't work for hours straight anymore without injuring my neck muscles, but if you can, then bully for you!

If you decide to try this pattern, make sure and send me some pictures. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Or email me even! A PDF version is available for purchase on Ravelry and at GingerPeachyStore on Etsy!

Meanwhile, don't forget to leave a comment letting me know what you think!

Right now I am working on some chunky hats that I just adore. I can't wait to share them with you! Come back soon! Until then, merry Christmas! 

This is an original pattern created and designed by Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. You are welcome to copy the pattern for personal use but do not sell the pattern, distribute, or reprint it. Feel free to share a link to the pattern. You can sell products made from this pattern but please credit me, Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. Do not mass produce or factory manufacture using my pattern. Thanks for respecting the wishes of the designer, and be sure to ask me if you have any questions regarding this copyright.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Old World Christmas Plaque | A Mixed Media Project


Here I am again with an old-fashioned inspired piece I call Old World Christmas, made with scrapbook paper, ribbon, and lots of vintage charm. If you are interested in how I did it and what inspired me, then read on.


Inspiration

A few years ago, when I was still creating patterns for Rachel at CrochetSpot, I was looking for inspiration for my crochet designs and I ran across a cute little picture in this Christmas traditions book that I really liked. I made a similar sketch and fiddled with it before coming to the conclusion that I couldn't use it for crocheting. And yet there was a semblance of an idea lingering in my head, so I tucked the sketch away for later reference.

A few months ago I was looking back through the book for inspiration for a different outlet and I remembered this picture. I found the sketch in one of my old pattern draft tablets and started thinking.


This project is the culmination of those ideas, and I am proud of the outcome. Originally, it was going to be a framed picture but after the Give Thanks Plaque, I saw this smaller plaque by Jillibean Soup at the store and, on a whim, decided I wanted to go with the plaque instead. As with the last one, I sanded the "character" of the wood down a bit to prevent splinters.

Creating the Elements

The tree was hand drawn (by me) and bears a lovely little unique lopsidedness. I found the distressed poem on another piece of scrapbook page and decided to use the tree as a frame. Those shiny rhinestones? I've had them in my collection for probably 5 years. I used a few some time back but have had these rolling around waiting for the day I found something worthwhile to do with them. I found they make great, but simple, tree ornaments.


The little girl was harder. I re-sketched her on medium drawing paper along with the tree to get an idea of what I wanted the finished piece to look like. But unfortunately the little girl wasn't so cute. So I tried again. This time I liked it. She was little, and cute, and chubby, with the perfect original bow on her head. In an effort to make the colors bold and seamless, I used some craft markers of my sisters. Long story short, I did not like it and furthermore, ruined my best sketch. What to do? Back at the literal drawing board, I traced the ruined sketch on a thin piece of printer paper and went over it with my drawing pen. Now I was back at the same problem, how to color her. I eventually chose colored pencil and was careful to make the color as bold as I could. So far so good (though maybe not perfect), I cut her out and proceeded onto the next step.

The presents took some thinking, mostly with color choice. I love a good red and green traditional look, but I already had so much red and green on the page as it was. I think pulling blue from her dress and purple from the dolls dress added some balance to the picture.


To top it off, I dug around for some Christmas ribbon I had found recently at the store and played with a few styles of bows for the top left corner. Did you know that just because Pinterest says it works and the idea is presented with snazzy graphics, it doesn't necessarily mean that it does work? But I had some good practice. And I expressly like how this bow looks. It's kind of a typical bow with a twist. Literally.


I added a strip to the bottom as well, making it look kind of like a present itself. It may be a little difficult to see, but I stretched the ends of both ribbons over the sides of the plaque to enhance the 3D look of the picture.

Normally, a stick of glue is my mate when I scrapbook because it is so less messy than a bottle of glue. This time I already had Mod Podge Paper on hand for attaching the first page to the wood so I went ahead and used it for the rest of the picture. Aside from having to mop up corners, it worked really well.


Although I haven't yet sold any of my mixed media pieces, I am questioning whether I want to add this one to my Etsy shop. At least this year. I have such a list to complete before Christmas that I would kill myself if I added to it. And yet I tell myself that it is business and I should do it anyway. Eek! We'll just have to see. (Update: you can order this piece now! Click here to see it!)

As always, I would love to know what you think about my work. Send me your thoughts in the comments below or in an email! I plan to add request orders to my site really soon.

If you are a crocheter, come back soon to see my next Christmas garland pattern! PDF copies will be available for purchase at Ravelry and Etsy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Snowflake Shimmer Garland | New Crochet Pattern


Winter makes me think of a great many things, and I am sure you can name them with me: cold, warm drinks, sweaters, fires in the fireplace (if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace), and of course, snow!

Since I live in the Mid-South, snow is often a "lucky enough" item as well. We've had some lovely winters before, but our snow still only comes in January or February, and then normally in light dustings. I can't help but envy those who can count on feet of snow before Christmas. Instead we surround ourselves with lovely winter images from Thomas Kinkade and Terry Redlin and watch live cams from Colorado and other such places.


All of these good, wintry feelings must involve Christmas, and Christmas activities. I talked about a few of my latest projects in my last post, most importantly, my crocheted garland.

Thus I am so happy to be able to finally present to you my free pattern for Snowflake Shimmer Garland! In fact, it is my first ever perfected garland. I am so happy with the way these turned out.


I tried making a strand of shamrock garland earlier this year but I didn't like the way it turned out, and then the holiday was over and I just put it aside for the next year.

This Snowflake Shimmer Garland worked out quite well. I sketched a few ideas of motifs for Christmas garland, knowing that some would probably end up in the trash bin, and then set to work with a ball of Vanna's Glamour in Diamond and a very small hook. I chose to make 7 motifs, although a more dense garland would work just as well I think.

For the garland string, I knew a single strand of Vanna's Glamour would be too light, so I tried it with two strands held together and a larger hook. This worked beautifully! Unfortunately, I didn't like the idea of just ending it. What do other people do? I did some research and found this lovely method of crocheting a circle at each end and decided to do that.

Have I piqued your interest? The pattern is quite easy and only takes a little time to work up.


Snowflake Shimmer Garland


Skill Level easy

Finished Size 72” (182 cm) long (motif measures 2 3/4” (7 cm))

Materials
Fine Weight Yarn (about 70 yards) – I used Vanna’s Glamour in Diamond
Crochet hook B (2.25mm) and G (4.00mm)

Gauge
Round 1 of motif measures 3/4” (2 cm)

Motif (make 7)
Round 1: ch 4, 11 dc in 4th chain from hook, sl st in beg ch-3: 12 dc
Round 2: ch 3, 2 dc in first dc, * ch 1, skip next dc, 3 dc in next dc, repeat from * around, ch 1, sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch-3: 24 dc
Round 3: ch 3, dc in first dc, dc in next dc, * 2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc, repeat from * around, sl st in first ch-3: 30 dc
Round 4: ch 1, (sc, ch 3, sc) in first dc, sl st in next 2 dc, * (sc, ch 3, sc) in next dc, sl st in next 2 dc, repeat from * around, sl st in first and in next ch: 24 sc
Finish off, leaving a long tail.

Garland Strand
With size G hook, hold two strands together, ch 5, sl st in first ch to form ring, ch 1, 12 sc in ring, sl st in first sc, ch 285, sl st in fifth ch to form ring, ch 1, 12 sc in ring, sl st in first sc, finish off.

Attaching Motifs
Find the center of the strand and attach one motif by slip stitching to chain. Attach motifs on either side of first motif at even intervals (or more specifically, 6 1/5” apart), leaving extra space at ends. Weave in all ends.


String your new garland from the mantle, or the entertainment center, or anywhere you like. Just be sure to show it off! Because it is so festive, you can even leave it up for New Years Eve. Of course, I leave my Christmas decorations up until the middle of January sometimes. Or give them as gifts! That is what I'm doing with mine.

I am currently working on my next garland pattern. The theme is poinsettias and the yarn is red and sparkly! But before I share the next pattern, I will be posting about my latest mixed media project. Come back soon to see what I have done!

Purchase your PDF copy at my Ravelry shop or Etsy shop, GingerPeachyStore!

This is an original pattern created and designed by Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. You are welcome to copy the pattern for personal use but do not sell the pattern, distribute, or reprint it. Feel free to share a link to the pattern. You can sell products made from this pattern but please credit me, Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. Do not mass produce or factory manufacture using my pattern. Thanks for respecting the wishes of the designer, and be sure to ask me if you have any questions regarding this copyright.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Old World Christmas, Crochet Garland, and Chubby Clay Characters


I'm chiding myself for letting nearly two weeks go by without blogging. This year I have been really proud of my blogging commitment, but with the holidays here, these commitments seem to fly out the proverbial window.

What have you missed during this time? All in all, not much. But I'll fill you in anyway.


Business Updates

I plan to go further with this on another post (hopefully sooner than later) so I want to keep this brief. Having only been on Etsy since October, I am still learning oh, so much. I try to read Etsy articles daily and monitor my stores stats too. After finally getting my postal scale (more on that later) I was finally able to list my mixed media projects for "physical" sale (since so far my listings consist of digital patterns). I am so happy about this! And soon I will have another mixed media project to sell, just keep reading for a hint at what it might be.

Blog Updates

Finally, since the start of this year, I have not touched my blog design in probably a month. As in, I am finally happy with my blog design. If you are new here, I have spent all year rebranding, going from Over-the-Horizon-sketchy-blog-design-with-little-direction to Ginger Peachy blog, store, and a clear direction for the future. I finally have that satisfied feeling of accomplishment. But lest you think I am through, I have a few more design tweaks up my sleeve that probably won't come into play until after the new year. (Is it here so soon? Do we say that every year? I will most likely say it next year, too.)


Creative Updates

But most exciting at the moment are my creative WIP's. Crochet garland, Christmas and other mixed media ideas, even clay projects. But let's talk about the garland first.

Naturally, I am a crochet fanatic, so when I had the wonderful idea to create unique Christmas garland for family gifts this year, I first consulted a sane person. My reasoning? Maybe --just maybe-- not everyone likes the idea of a complete crocheted house. Best think reasonably about this, right? But it's a go! And I am nearly finished with my first crocheted garland ever!! I will post the pattern very soon, and will follow it up with others. Lots of sparkly yarn!

(Update: find the finished garland pattern here!)


In the meantime, when my "tender" shoulders don't allow anymore crocheting, I create mixed media projects. See here and here for my latest pieces. This one will be old world Christmas and I plan to use another of Jillibean Soup's Mix the Media plaques, this time 10" x 10". I didn't take any pictures of this in progress because, as usual, I work at night and the lighting and convenience is the pits. So you will just have to wait for the grand unveiling, also coming very soon to blog and shop.

But what has me significantly delighted and yet skeptical, is my idea for clay figurines. Here is my sketch to give you a general idea.


Cute and chubby! Teeny, cartooned Star Wars characters dangling from the end of a keychain or phone jack. What do you think?! I have been greatly inspired by the cute, Kawaii creations of Momomints and really wanted to get back into sculpting. This idea came together pretty fast, and I would love to make these for Christmas presents, only there is one outstanding hangup. An oven.

This is what stopped my ingenuity years ago, not having an oven specifically for baking my clay. Naturally we have an oven, and naturally I have baked my clay in this family oven. But polymer clay leaches unhealthy, chemical laden fumes into the oven when it is baked, and when I go and use the same oven for food I might as well feed my family PVC straight from the hardware store. A little dramatic? Maybe, but I just can't do it. Alternatively, I have had my eye on a clay oven for a while now but have yet to get around to buying it, and now it is out of my budget. Eek! So delight is mingled with sorrow as I fear this excellent idea will have to fall (temporarily) by the wayside.

One thing is for sure, I couldn't legally sell these and that is a bummer. But more on copyright and trademark law later. That is a hornets nest too big for this post.

And that is a sum up of what I have and will be doing. I really didn't think I could talk so briefly about it all, it has been so jumbled up in my brain. But I guess some days bring clarity.

I really love having lots of inspiration and goals. God has blessed me once again by giving me direction and allowing me to open an online store. Now, can I remember to trust him for its future?

Come back soon to see what I have done with myself and my creations! Don't forget, I have patterns coming soon and more in my shop, GingerPeachyStore at Etsy and Ravelry!

Friday, November 18, 2016

By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) | Movie and Fashion Review


And here we are again for the list of fall favorites! For years we watched On Moonlight Bay and loved it. But more recently we were ecstatic to discover its sequel, By the Light of the Silvery Moon. Since the movie centers on Thanksgiving and right before Christmas, I consider this an appropriate time to review it.

Doris Day and Gordon MacRae are just as good in this as they were in On Moonlight Bay. It was a thrill discovering there was another movie like the first. My third favorite with these two would have to be Tea for Two.

The best thing about By the Light of the Silvery Moon is that the cast and sets are still the same. The story this time centers on Bill and Margie's plans for marriage and a misunderstanding that finds its way into everyone's relationships.


Synopsis

Bill returns home at the end of the first war with a more mature look at life. He tells Margie that they should wait until he has a job and can save some money before they marry as planned. At first Margie is angry but as usual, she soon comes around to his way of thinking. Bill gets a job at her father's bank and discovers the "beauty" of loans; only when he tells Margie that they can get married now, she is strangely unsure. Little does Bill know that Margie, Stella, and Wesley have discovered a note from their father to a French actress of an alarming nature. In truth, Mr. Winfield wrote down an objectionable speech in the actress's play that he needs to discuss with his partner before leasing the theater to her, but his family assumes the letter is from him to the actress. The situation only worsens when Bill catches Wesley trying to burn the note. He reads it and believes it is a love letter from another admirer to Margie. Margie's only chance is to take her parents back to the spot they first became engaged in hopes her father will remember his "first love". But no need to worry, everything gets cleared up and happy plans are resumed.


Fashion Review

Margie's early 1900's wedding dress is absolutely lovely. Although most of her outfits in this movie are more "contemporary" than they should be, her costumes are every girls dream vintage wardrobe.


As a great fan of browns, I really love this outfit. Margie wears a pleated, chocolate brown skirt with a black belt and brown, white, and pink striped blouse. Later she wears the same skirt and belt but with a tan blouse and a red kerchief.


Here's another great shot of Margie and Bill. He looks dapper with his pressed suit and slicked back hair, even if he does have a kind of dopey look on his face. Margie wears a blue satin dress with white neckline and red ribbon tied around the neck.


As always, the winter wear is delightful. Bill wears a heavy fur coat and a chocolate colored pork pie hat. Margie wears a deep polka dot suit with deep red velvet trim and wrap. Her beret is matching with polka dots and a red pom-pom.


This outfit is definitely early 50's, instead of 1910's, but I love it all the same. She wears a navy turtle neck and navy A-line skirt with a slender chestnut brown belt.

Another thing I really like about the movie is the decor. The wallpaper is so Victorian and the steps look like they are carpeted in an Indian blanket. But more on decor later.


Although I love the color of this gown, the flounces at the hips are amusing. The bodice is simple but lovely, and I think the embroidered flowers on the straps make the dress. Notice also her very simple jewelry --a slight touch of gold with the necklace and nothing more.


And here we are to my absolute favorite. Margie wears a red knit blouse and contrasting plaid scarf. Her beret is red as well with an extra large pom-pom. Her skirt is full and plaid like the scarf. Later she dons a fluffy, beige dress coat that comes rather short and full.

Stella wears darker plaids and an outdated mink scarf. Her beret is obviously crocheted, in brown and dark green with a tassle hanging off the side.


I talked about polka dots being popular in the 40's and 50's in my last post, and here is another example. Mrs. Winfield's dress has a 1910 style but in a later period pattern. She always has such a lovely look.


They really succeeded in the early period with this dress. Mrs. Winfield's dress for Thanksgiving Day is a chestnut brown velvet with a beige cover.


Tuxedos don't change much over the years, and it's a funny thing that this is true with most men's suit styles. Bill wears a gray pork pie with his tuxedo and looks spectacular!


I've already talked about this scene but I wanted to point out the lamp in the back. The shade is covered in a sheer and trimmed on top with a blue ribbon.


Children's Fashion

I talked a little about the boy's fashion from this period in my review of the last movie. But briefly note the newsboys hats, cardigans and short pants. The little boy, PeeWee, is too cute.



Wesley is up to his antics as usual, escaping from trouble and creating fantastic stories.


PeeWee wears a wool plaid coat and knit toboggan.


Like PeeWee, Wesley wears a plaid, double-breasted coat and his typical newsboys hat.


In comparing characters, I would say Wesley is less spoiled in this one if still just as ornery. Mr. Winfield's character is a bit easier-going I think too, but everyone is still just as enjoyable. My only regret is that they didn't make a third film where we actually get to see Margie and Bill get married. But I guess it can't go on forever.

Thanks for reading. If you have enjoyed this review, let me know in the comments below!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Vintage Polka Dot Dress and Hair Wraps | 50's Fashion

There was a time when I wanted my entire wardrobe to be vintage. At that stage of my life I was a stalwart 40's - 50's fashion advocate and I frowned upon any later period fashion. Note that I was quite young and impressionable.

I've grown out of that impractical stage, obviously, and come to appreciate aspects of fashion from all other periods. But to come back to my "first love", today I want to share with you an excellent example of early 50's, late 40's women's dress.


Polka Dot Dress

In the film The Jackpot (1950), James Stewart and Barbara Hale play a married couple by the name of Lawrence. At one point there is a polka dot dress that causes a minor stir. Having bought too many for the department store where he works, Bill Lawrence buys one for his wife, Amy (she has a great name, doesn't she?), and tells his fellow employees to do likewise. Later at a party, a fellow employee's wife finds she and Amy are wearing the same kind of dress and is mortified.

Thankfully, the situation is diffused when Bill tells the group that they have been selected as contestants in a radio program, Guess the Mystery Husband, that is about to air.


The polka dot dress in question is so typical of the 40's and 50's with its broad shoulders and wide lapels, in addition to the aforementioned pattern. Amy's style is simple while her friend wears pearls with hers.

The material for the dress is lightweight, most likely cotton, with a stiffer material used for the lapels and pockets. Where the sleeves and upper bodice are loose, the waist is fitted before evolving into an A-line skirt that reaches just below the knee. A beautiful dress worthy of reconstruction.

But naturally, I noticed some other pieces I want to point out.


Aprons

The housewives of the golden era are characterized by their aprons and high heels. I envy the day-to-day beauty of this simple style. I can't say that I would like to clean the house in heels and a dress, but I think I would hold my head higher if I did.

Aprons in general have lost their usefulness in this day and age, partially because of peoples lack of cooking skills. Either way, I think they need to come back. I would love a vintage apron to work around the kitchen in!


Amy's aprons in both of these pictures are full length whereas later she wears a half apron. The first is a plaid-- colored stripes on white. The second one is patterned, most likely floral with a darker edging. I recently found many patterns available for vintage aprons and other vintage pieces at the VintageDancer.com. I have yet to explore the wealth of information on this site, but I am greatly impressed by what I have seen so far.


Hair

I can never go on enough about vintage hair. It's curly, it's cute, and I just love it. But, I have always worn my hair long so that I can't do this hairstyle. Regrettable. Seeing the back of the head helps a person see better how the hair was done. Barbara Hale wears her hair short and parted on the side. No doubt she slept in curlers to attain this effect. Curl perfection.


Here she has her hair up in a wrap while washing dishes and doing other housework. This style is often reconstructed by vintage costumers since its popularity for practical use in the war era. It's been called a hair scarf, wrap, vintage bow, square scarf, bandana, and much else.


Although I have no specific object to point out in this picture, I couldn't help adding it. This picture encompasses the vintage housewife. Notice the flouncy curtains on the open windows. She stands at the sink washing dishes, her hair done as if she were going to the store, wearing a lovely housecoat that would pass as a dress now days. A picture of femininity and strength.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the past. I'm always finding new styles from various eras to point out so be sure to come back soon!

Meanwhile, be sure to let me know what you thought about the post in the comments below!