Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Creative Space: Patience or four more sleeps

Patience is a great skill for creative people to acquire. Sometimes we just need to trust that all the work and preparation will lead us to our desired outcome especially when we are not sure what the end product will be. Years of gardening has nurtured the skill in me. You would not bother to plant something without the belief that it will grow but the speed and habit of that growth are never absolutely known. This peony is a case in point. This is our ninth summer in this house with much of the present garden already established by the previous owners of the house. The garden possesses another peony just outside our dining room window that has produced a profusion of blossoms faithfully every summer. There was this other plant that we were fairly sure was another peony but we had yet to see it bloom. The condition for peonies were being met in its location so it was somewhat baffling that it had never bloomed and we could have given up on it. I decided that I would give it one more year in its spot before I would move it. This year we have this beautiful solitary bloom. Definitely worth the wait!

I am pulled away from actually making stuff this week: I am processing an unfruitful appointment with a specialist about a chronic health problem, my daughter got a body cast today that will stay on for six weeks this summer to help correct a spinal problem and I am preparing for the trip to England with the Choir. Of course, I am still planning new projects and am always doings some of the mental preparations for a multitude of plans. Active creativity this week is to be found problem solving and making family meals to suit our sudden heat wave. I like to prepare food that is seasonal and the ingredients pictured here make a salad that I wait all year long for. I love fresh strawberries but would never dream of buying them out of season. We have some developing plants in our veggie patch but not enough for this salad yet. The recipe for the dressing is simple: 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 3 Tbsp. oil, 3 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. sesame seeds, 1 tsp. Poppy, 1/4 tsp. paprika, 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 chopped scallion. Whisk the dressing up and toss with spinach, sliced strawberries, and almonds or sunflower seeds. The two smaller pyrex dishes are recent thrifts and go with the Butter print bowl that I already have. I will keep my eyes open for the lids and other pieces of refrigerator sets. The cheerful prints and colours make me understand why there are obsessive collectors of pyrex.

I could not believe that I found this Emma Bridgewater Biscuit tin for $1.99 with the sugar tin inside it for free. I am sure that whoever donated the tins did not understand how desirable Emma Bridgewater is. Tucked in behind is a lovely camisole from Jacob and a blue enamelled cast iron dutch oven that I believe to be Descoware as it is marked made in Belgium and I have done a little research as to its shape and colour. I am particularly excited about this find and feel it will clean up brilliantly. More about it in a future post except to say that a enamelled cast iron dutch oven has been on my wish list for quite a long time and I really had never expected that I would find it in a preferred colour and at thrift prices.

The photo here is of the thyme carpet starting to grow in the spaces of some rather ugly cement pavers on the east side of our house. I started planting the space between the pavers with thyme three years ago with replanting when some of the plants did not survive the winter. We now have a beautiful destination in the garden that smells delicious where once there was an eyesore. The patience gardening has taught me has allowed me to know to wait for things our family uses until I can find them second-hand and give them a second life. In parenting, I know that even when an expected chore is not always initiated by my children, it is right for me to continue expect that it eventually will be.

I need this kind of patience when I tell myself there are only 4 more (three when publishing this post) until I leave with my two younger boys for their choir trip to England. I know that I will experience many inspiring sites and sounds that will fill my creative space for a long time. For other creative spaces, check out all the other posts linked on Kristy's blog

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Latest Thrifts

I hope all the fathers in your life had a great day. We had a fairly quiet day that started with me bringing my husband his morning coffee in bed. He usually does it for me so it was the least I could do. Number 3 brought him freshly made waffles with butter, maple syrup and maple flakes on them. He often makes pancakes on the weekend but this was done with no ceremony and was a bit of a surprise. I did not think to take a picture so I have put in one of my husband's favourite flowers in our garden, the poppy!

When I walk into a thrift store, I make sure I cover all my essentials that include aprons and linens, cookbooks, china, pyrex, sewing supplies and brooches. I also always look at the carts the staff are using to restock the shelves. That is where I found this two volume cookbook from Gourmet Magazine. My Mum has a slightly older(I think) version of this set. This printing is still in its presentation box and the books still have their protective plastic dust jackets. My daughter found the Christmas menu tucked inside. It is from the Carleton Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Ottawa. We have lived in Ottawa since 1990 and I do not remember there being a Four Seasons Hotel in the city while we have lived here. When we arrived in Ottawa, we were shocked to discover how few good restaurants we could find and how expensive the good ones were. I would have tried any restaurant at a Four Seasons Hotel at that time. A few years before my Nanan (maternal grandmother) treated my mother and myself to one of the best dinners I have ever eaten at the Four Seasons Vancouver. Ottawa has improved markedly in availability of good food since the nineties but we are not quite as interested in eating out these days and tend to stick with a few favourites. The tea towel has a fibre content label stating it is made of linen and cotton in German.

I could not resist this apron. I do not believe it to be vintage which is a usual criteria but it is charming. Its construction suggests it may have been commercially probably for tourists. I am not sure if it is Russian with her headdress being a Kokoshnik or whether she is wearing an Ukrainian Vinok. Does anyone have an opinion? She would be perfect for wearing while making holiday treats.

I love finding sewing and crafting books. I really have not been to many garage sales this year but an ad at the grocery store mentioned a sale with sewing stuff! That was enough to get me out. I could not resist some of the retro kitsch in these titles as I am slightly nostalgic about the rock painting and candle making of my childhood. The sewing books are very useful but this sale just got better and better.

Twenty-five cents each for these still very current patterns. The top pattens might even entice my daughter to learn to sew. The sale got even better.

There was fabric! Lots of fabric. The four pieces on the left are Laura Ashley and the middle print in greens and purple is Daisy Kingdom. The pink print should work well to line a bag but the blue piece at the back right of the photo is three metres of silk. I think I hear a early '60s sheath dress calling out for this fabric. Maybe I even have a vintage pattern that I will not have to re size in order to make up such a dress. I forgot to photograph the more utilitarian fabric lengths I bought. It was the only sale I went to and sometimes one is more than enough: I found great stuff and I met two sisters who were very friendly and enjoy sewing as much as I do.

Many others also love garage sales. Check out what they are sharing at Rhoda's blog

Friday, June 19, 2009

Six (un)important things I love

I have been tagged by Katherine with the following rules:
Pick 6 unimportant things you love
Mention & link to the person who tagged you
Tag 6 of your favourite bloggers to play along
(don’t forget to comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been tagged!)

Well I have changed the title a little bit because everything I love is important to me even if it is not that important in the grand scheme of things. Apart from life's essentials anything can be important to someone. I am not including my family in this list because they are essential and come before sleeping and eating if needs be. After that:

For me music has inspired how I look at and respond to the world and even how I think. As a little girl, music made me dance and my days were filled with song. I loved standing by the piano at ballet class with my hand on the sound board. I was able to identify songs and ballet music and at a very early age was fascinated by anyone with the ability to play an instrument. It should not be surprising that most of my formal education prepared me to be a flutist. This path was derailed by a serious hand injury and my Father's early death but was not completely abandoned. I am married to a full-time musician who played violin professionally for the first twenty years of our relationship and has added the viola for the past two. He also conducts a community orchestra that I usually play in.
With his multiple disabilities, Number 1 does not seriously study an instrument but has benefitted from music therapy and enjoys experimenting with a variety of instruments. He is happiest when listening to music. Number 2 started to play the 'cello at four years old and became skilled enough to be learning some of the Bach Suites for solo 'cello a few years ago. She started to play the french horn at eleven in her school band and it has become her principal instrument and of course, she loves to sing and sings well. Number 3 started the violin at six and endured his lessons for a year. He was never satisfied with how it sounded and asked to learn to play the harp at eight. This past year he also started percussion in the school band and singing in the Choir of Men and Boys. Number 4 has yet to start formal instrument training. We have suggested violin or piano as we have those instruments and the ideas have been met with no sustained interest. He heartily enjoys singing in the choir and has expressed the desire to play the trumpet. Number 4 will likely start lessons on the cornet (related but slightly different than the trumpet) when we return from the choir's trip to England.
While I grew up listening to and still enjoy almost all types of music, I inevitably have favourites. If I found myself on a desert island with an old fashioned phonograph (desert island -no electricity or batteries) and one record to last me all my days, I would pick one with a Mahler symphony on one side (maybe number 4 or 5) and Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs on the other. I have done a little you-tube surfing but have yet to come up with the specific recordings that I might want.

2. Books
Books, and more importantly reading have been (along with music) a salvation in my life. As a child, I suffered from chronic poor health and experienced more than a little social isolation. Both of these situations were made manageable by the reading of books. The physical act of looking at books engaged me long before I could read and some of my earlier memories involve the illustrations in my favourite volumes. We lived in a remote community but my house had a rich library and books were often treasured gifts. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series was a childhood favourite that helped me connect to my own Grandmother and develop my love of history. By the eighth grade I became a lifelong fan of Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. I still do not quite understand my love of Hardy at that age but the Austen makes sense. I am not capable of picking a favourite but a small library of favourites contains many of the classics of English Literature, some more contemporary fiction in addition to as many art, design and other reference books as I can afford and store.

3. Flowers and plants
For beauty (and practicality), plants are the winners. I cannot really describe my appreciation of and for flowers and other plants. Working beside my Mother in her greenhouse as a school-age child contributed to it as did observing my Father keeping bees but words cannot fully express my admiration for the plant kingdom.

4. Useful things with history
Aprons, tablecloths, kitchen utensils, buttons, sewing notions, travelling trunks, pillowcases, utilitarian furniture -difficult to specify all but if it was a useful object that shows its age and could be used as originally designed or repurposed I want to rescue it and find it a home. A careful line needs to be walked here because I could wind up with a pile of junk. My husband requires me to state a very strong case for said object and such scrutiny usually leads to something pleasing in the end.

5. Tools for creating My sewing studio, sewing machine,fabrics, notions,my batterie de cuisine, my laptop, camera and everything else involved in the creative process delights my senses and sparks ideas for new projects. For me,whether it is mending kid's clothes, making a meal, or working on a long dreamed about art piece, a creative life is essential and the correct tools help make that possible.

6. Sparkle with patina
This last thing is a little newer to me than the other (un)important things. I have always tended to wear very little jewelry and have slightly understated clothes but in the last few years I have often added a vintage brooch to whatever outfit or outer-wear I might have on. I have a few new pieces made in a vintage style that I use for winter coats, etc. but I really enjoy the vintage brooches best. I like that I am giving new life to something that was previously enjoyed and they just make me smile when I look at them.
Here is just a few of my collection.

I would like to see what these other bloggers love:
Fine Hand
Little Lovelies
Tweed Thoughts
Two Pink Possums
Thrifted Treasure
Fuzzy Dragons

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Creative Space: Out and about

Sometimes the need to be creative takes a back seat to the creative needs of other family members and lately that seems to be the case for me. In addition to all the winding up of activities, this family did a little travelling this past weekend. Numbers 3 and 4 dance but being boys they do not have a lot of male company in their classes. Last Saturday, No.3 had an opportunity to change that for a few hours when he auditioned for this production. Along with about three dozen other boys he got to put himself through his paces with others his age. He would now like to try taking some hip-hop and tap classes as well as his ballet and stage classes and he made a new friend from near London, Ontario. He is pretty sure that he will not get a call back because there were a few boys who were really advanced that were asked to stay a little longer and he is just happy to have had the opportunity to audition.

While Number 3 was at his audition, the rest of the family decided to have a picnic lunch in a nearby park. Adjacent to the park is a popular destination for Toronto families through many generations. Within this site there is a museum that tells some of the history of the area and of the immigrant experience in Toronto. We enjoyed meeting the volunteer interpreter Kay and her story. I took lots of pictures of the buildings and plants which I will put up on my flickr account. I was quite taken with this mule form of sedums.

The whole neighborhood of Cabbagetown is made of beautifully restored nineteenth century small houses or cottages. I took many pictures of all the little individually architectural details with this one very finished.

The ones I like the most show a little of their age.

Does this look like these chairs are on the curb? I was not sure and I did not have the room in the van but I was sure tempted! I have wanted some of these for awhile so maybe they will show up closer to home. My family was groaning that I was taking a picture but you find inspiration where you find it which leads to what I spotted in ritzy Rosedale.

A pink garage! I love the whimsy of this scheme but its locale reminds me that wealth can help when it comes to eccentric expression. We have a deep, lipstick pink front door but I not sure that candy pink would work in our suburban neighborhood but the ivy across the roof line might.

After the audition, the whole family did the quintessential Toronto tourist experience and went up the CN tower. We chose not to go up the additional Sky Pod as it was expensive enough just going to the observation deck. The view of the city is spectacular and certainly changed from when I ate lunch in the restaurant as a teenager in 1982. The restaurant is much fancier than when I ate there so long ago although my meal of Salisbury Steak was Canadian Haute Cuisine at the time. We chose not to feed our family a dinner at elevated prices and found an Indian restaurant nearby which was more appreciated with more down to earth prices. (Sorry for all the bad puns!)

So after getting cosy with the public sculpture, we hopped in the van to start our long drive home. While this was the farthest away day trip we would try, the kids have proven to do well with road-trips which has inspired me to think of some new destinations.

For creative spaces closer to home spend some time travelling through Kristy's blog.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Creative Space: Where my mind would rather be!

As we are presently working on our taxes for self-employed income which requires some creativity but not the kind you share, I thought that I would post about something more creative. Behold the puppet theatre that I made for No. 4. It is photographed in my sewing studio because the playroom is still suffering from the studio make-over (had to put the stuff somewhere) and the addition of a drum set. The theatre was a Christmas present that was not too difficult or expensive to make. The challenge was coming up with a design. I wanted to make something light enough for a child to be able to move yet strong enough to be used regularly.

Cardboard makes up the form and shape of the theatre. The kids had previously received an Ikea cardboard puppet theatre that had issues with stability and durability. I created the size and shape I wanted out of cardboard which I then stapled to one inch pine strapping to re-enforce its form. Using spray tack, I applied polyester batting to the panels and then used the same spray tack to hold the fabric. I wrapped the fabric around the frames and stapled into the wood. All three panels were created this way with the central one being larger and having the opening which I re-enforced with 1/2 inch strapping. The hardware for the curtain was installed before upholstering the centre panel. The panels were attached using four hinges and the staples were covered by hot-glueing decorative tape around the frame as shown.

The fun part was the decorative trims and the curtain. The printed fabric and the curtain fabric were both in my stash but the trims had to be purchased. Remember to have a bowl of ice water handy when using the hot-glue! Now sit back and watch your children entertain you, puppets optional.

I will be distracted from helping my husband finish the taxes by all the creative spaces at Kristy's blog.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thrifty Treasures

On my list of must finds has been a Liberty of London printed blouse. Last week I spotted one when I popped into the Nearly New Shop of Christ Church Cathedral and discovered that everything in the shop was fifty per cent off. My husband found a sport shirt and I found a beautiful old handkerchief and a silk square in a beautiful icy blue. Before Christmas, I found a beautiful brown patent leather Ferragamo purse and a brown printed Liberty silk scarf so I knew that this was a location with potential.

On this occasion I also found a Kasper jacket. As a student of fashion history, I have been aware of the designer for a long time with his designs being in the Vogue Patterns catalogue years. This particular jacket seems to be like many 'designer' clothes in that it is just an off-the-rack item with a designer's label sewn in but it does fit me well and it is pink!

The Liberty blouse also came with a skirt and shirt jacket. They are slightly faded compared to the blouse and the styling is fairly dated (or too old for me as my daughter said) so I think the parts are slated for a reworking. I am not a big label chaser but the quality of Liberty fabrics is well known and the beauty of the prints is almost matchless. Liberty of London is definitely a place I want to visit when I am in England with the choir. This was definitely my thrifting high of the week but I was also able to make another thrift store visit and some Saturday Garage Sale finds.

I occasionally find hand potted pieces and have a preference for blue glazes. Here is one that caught my eye shown here in our family room with Lily of the valley from the garden. The glaze matches the fruit bowl we use in the kitchen so I can see that this will be used frequently. The other photo shows another cache pot which is one of my recent thrifting obsessions. It is sitting on a new, thrifted linen skirt which combines my favourite blues with a light brown and should prove a versatile addition to my wardrobe.

Another cache pot, this one being made in West Germany with an apron in blue. Have others noticed how we often find items in themes or colours without intending to. The blue apron is beautifully handmade and if you click on the picture to enlarge it you can find the perfectly matched pocket. Sometimes the shorter stitch length used in some home sewing can create an obviously homemade look which is not the case in this apron.

Saturday's garage sale finds included some Ikea storage containers and rail system spotted by No. 3 with plans for its use for his art supplies. We used the same system in my recent sewing room makeover and it is very reasonably priced but he bought it for $2. He is already becoming quite good at finding good bargains and enjoys it like me. He just needs a little more experience in figuring out what we will actually use.

I am a sucker for vintage office supplies, so this mail scale was an exciting find. It does seem odd to me that an item (dated 1982)from the time I was in high school is vintage but I am sure that I will encounter such vintage items again. I certainly remember the postal rates of the time and remember with fondness the letters I received from my long distance boyfriend of the time. I had No. 3 study the scale for a while to figure out what it was and within a minute he had it even though the scales at the post office now are nothing like this one.

I found these jars and the carafe when I went back to pick-up a wood and cor-plast Ikea wardrobe with the van. I will use for summer storage of the snowsuits and parkas. The jars and carafe were free!!! Sometimes the best deals are the things that others have passed over. The jars will likely be used for food storage. With a family of six, I buy a lot of food stuff in bulk through a natural food buying club. It is less expensive and avoids excessive packaging. The carafe still had the tag on it and will allow us to make more than one pot for entertaining. There is also a vintage jar chopper. I already have one so I am not sure if I will keep it.

I love to share all my thrifted and garage sale finds and I have found other bloggers who like to do the same at Rhoda's blog where many other are sharing their treasures.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Clicking my heels to the Limestone City

Yesterday I went with my boys, a few other Moms, and the rest of the choir to Kingston for a concert at St. George's Cathedral.On the shores of Lake Ontario, Kingston is an historic city famous for its limestone buildings. Unfortunately for sightseeing, our trip was brief and focused on the concert. While the boys were rehearsing and accustoming themselves to the beautiful acoustics of the Cathedral, I went for a little walk with some other Moms. Many of the interesting boutiques were closed but we did find a thrift store! The March of Dimes has their ERA Modern Vintage store right downtown. Apparently the store was once a new designers and vintage store and then just a vintage store. It now seems to have standard "boutique" thrift store stock with maybe a little more than average vintage.

First I found the Laura Ashley Balloon blind and then a 70's blouse pattern. My Mum has been updating my childhood room as a more serviceable guest room. She has maintained the pink and green colour scheme and has used predominantly Laura Ashley fabrics for a quilt top she started over twenty years ago. In previous thrifting I have found other Laura Ashley pink and green and I am sure that she will find this piece useful and, priced at $2.00, I could not leave it there. The blue blouse on the pattern's lower right corner is something I desperately wanted when I was about ten years old. I think it was called a handkerchief blouse and seem to remember my Mum making one for me somewhat reluctantly. Finding these items was fun but the best was yet to come. One of the Moms found a very flattering dress and while she was trying it on, I revisited the small section of shoes. I have actually found a few pairs of thrifted shoes lately which seems far more unlikely than finding garments. I was totally intrigued with these shoes but at a size 8 1/2 AA they were both too long and too narrow for what I usually buy. When I remembered reading recently that vintage shoes are smaller than the same size would be now, I tried them on. Who knew there is vanity sizing in shoes!

These shoes fit! This is good because they are lamé which would not stretch if they were too tight. So my inner Dorothy felt right at home clicking her silver slippers in the Limestone City. (As a child I read all the Oz books and found the ruby slippers in the movies a little upsetting). The young woman at the cash seemed enthused that I was already wearing vintage (bag and brooch) and so excited by these shoes and asked if I would like the bag in which they had arrived at the store. The bag was a vintage Ogilvy's bag and in the bag were a small hand full of Simpson Sears receipts with notations on what they were for. Part of my love for vintage is that it has a history. When I know even just a bit more about something, it makes it all the better. Obviously these shoes were special enough to be saved for a long time and they have most definitely been worn.

The concert was a wonderful success and if the trip to Kingston can be thought of as a dry run for the up-coming trip to England, it bodes well for the travelling and the music.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Creative Space: the heart of my stash

Two little boys have been born lately, so that means getting into baby sewing mode. While I love the projects in Amy Butler's book with all that has been going on recently, I thought I would stick with the tried and true. I found this fabric at Ikea recently and while I try to use a lot of thrifted fabrics this collection was so cute and right there in front of me. Needless to say, I was unable to resist and as I knew there would be some baby sewing coming up, I already could see a purpose.

A hooded towel is my standard homemade baby gift in the last few years along with the occasional double layered receiving blankets. A lot depends on the season in which the baby is born. I made the first about twelve years ago after being unsatisfied with what was commercially available at the time (thin, non-absorbent stretch terry). I made that towel for our Preschool's annual fundraising auction at the request of the director who paid quite a bit of money to be the successful bidder. I had previously sewn items for the auction (over five years at that point) and the director knew that her daughter in law was expecting the first grand-daughter. It was very frilly with eyelet across the hood and lilac fabric on the hood. This lemon yellow towel was made shortly after for No.3 who was still doing internal acrobatics. I used the Hey Diddle Diddle Laura Ashley fabric for the hood and an accompanying stripe for the bias binding. The towel has faded considerably after being used by two boys for around three years each. For No. 4 I made two additional towels which I have packed away to give to the right person.

Here is another Laura Ashley fabric with just a little bit left over from some projects that I made for my first child. I am thinking of using this for one of the towels (I made one for No. 4 in this fabric). I really love this fabric for sentimental reasons and the quality which may be why I have yet to use it all up. I have no reason to hang onto it yet I have. I suspect that this may be a reason why sewers can have such large stashes. Of course, we are often addicted to buying new fabrics and could never possibly have the time to sew it all, yet some of it is truly difficult to pass on even when we know that we no longer have a purpose for it.

Here is some of my baby/child friendly stash which includes some pieces from my Mum. The fabric is two piles deep on the shelves and behind these pieces there can be found the Holly Hobbie fabric my Mum did not get to use for my sister and me back in the seventies. In this shelf there is some early purpose-made quilting fabrics which is where you might find some hidden hearts. Kristy has challenged us all to hide some hearts for us to find. I was always more interested in the hand quilting stitches than the piecing even though I love looking at other peoples traditional quilting blocks so most of my "quilting" fabrics have not been used for quilts. I am inspired by Jane's quilt and may try piecing in this way.

Another shelf two stacks deep of fabric (mostly) for children. This group contains flannelette and knits. Most of the knits were purchased while pregnant with No.4. I made towels, blankets and layette items and was thinking about some clothes but my iron died unexpectedly. It takes most sewers a bit of consideration time to figure out which iron they want to use with a fair bit of analyzing the pros and cons of the previous one. This is not a good activity for a very pregnant mother of three young children. By the time I replaced the iron, I was not doing much sewing or ironing. I now frequently review what is available in irons just in case I need to make an emergency decision.

How do you approach your stash? Is there a sentimental reaction? What about guilt? I like to look at mine and dream up projects. Look at others enjoy their creative spaces at Kristy's blog.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Brighten up the day

We have had a fair bit of cool, wet weather lately which with the anti-climatic feel after a concert and a bit of a head cold has been getting me a little down. The rain has made the garden lush and the cool temperature has prolonged the bulbs. Trillium are Ontario, Canada's Provincial flower and a stylized bloom can be found on all sorts of official Ontario documents. While the plant is protected in many parts of North America it is only protected in provincial parks and conservation areas in Ontario. The plant is very sensitive to being picked or transplanted so we leave the one under our lilac tree well alone.

When I went back to take another picture, the white petals (bracts actually) had started to turn a mauvy pink. We have a large, irregular lot with quite a bit more garden than is the norm for suburbia. Despite having so much space devoted to flower beds, I tend to leave the blooms in the garden. There are beds along one side of the house that contain the herb garden and the beginnings of a cut flower garden but when I see the plants flowering I find it really difficult to pick them for the house. I do, however, pick all the violets and johnny jump-ups (miniature violas)that grow through the lawn before it is mowed and display them in little cream jugs that I like to collect.

Pretty aprons have the ability to brighten my day. For everyday I tend to wear a bib fronted apron but I find more lovely half aprons when thrifting than full ones. This lilac one is perfect for spring and I have had it hanging in my kitchen since just before Easter. The trim of a striped fabric is pieced and perfectly mitred at the centre front point. The tie is also pieced with both solid and striped fabric with the striped fabric in the last half of the ties and showing as the tails if tied in a bow. On each side of the body of the apron there is are gathered panels which add to the grace of this apron. This little number manages to be flirty while still possessing elegance.

Here is another hand-made apron than has lovely details with the most striking being its composition of panels and the solid pink under panel contrasting with the print of the upper panels. The pocket is bound with the same pink bias binding the panels of the apron. Tie One On is a great resource for all things apron-y including links to vintage aprons on flickr. The Apronista was my first blog source of all things apron and introduced me to some of the great books. Apron•ology is a great publication which I have been enjoying that features newly created aprons and is available in a giveaway at Julia's blog.

My garden has many of these Lily of the Valley so I had no problem bringing a few blooms into the house to enjoy the heady scent. After enjoying the the Trillium, aprons, and Lily of the Valley, my day has definitely brightened up and it looks like the weather will improve later in the week.