A Walk in the Woods

two-cabins, a walk in the woods, the artyologist

I am not a camper, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, this image here¬†is actually a picture of me. ūüėČ However, every once in a while, I do go camping, or off to camp, and my church’s Family Camp weekend is one of those exceptions. And so, I spent Canada Day long weekend (which also happened to be Canada’s 150th birthday!) at a camp in the woods, getting attacked by killer mosquitoes, getting sunburned, getting heat exhaustion, avoiding a roaming bear and experiencing a¬†severe lack of sleep. Despite all of these things though, I had a great time, and ironically out of my whole family (who do enjoy camping) I ended up spending the most time at the camp. I brought my camera along, which I was glad about, as there were so many pretty sights. Here are a few snapshots from my weekend at camp, and from a walk in the woods. (A quick walk in the woods, as we didn’t want to meet up with that bear!)

butterfly, the artyologist

dock-and-flag, the artyologist

canoes, the artyologist

cabin-2, the artyologist

white-flowers-and-rock, the artyologist

tree-and-lake, the artyologist

wild alberta rose, the artyologist

dock-1, the artyologist

fireworks, the artyologist

butterfly, the artyologist

forest-flowers, the artyologist

flowers, the artyologist

reeds-and-rosebud, the artyologist

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac, long dress

Psychedelic 70’s¬†

Back when the lilac hedges were in bloom (three weeks ago) I decided that it was time to do another fashion moment with my Creative Hands books, and this time to do a lilac theme. Lilac is not a colour usually associated with the 1970’s, so I extended my palette to any purple, and pink as well. Surprisingly there were a fair amount of pastel shades, including some lovely ensembles¬†in pinks and purples, and some more questionable¬†ones too. Sometimes you just have to wonder what they were thinking. But then I think that all the time nowadays too. ūüėČ

I am not particularly drawn to purples and pinks myself. Though I like them in nature, (I love lilacs!) they don’t find their way very often into my wardrobe or decorating. I do have a few pieces that have pinks in them (such as floral prints) but I have no purple pieces. The only¬†items I have had that are purple have since made their way out of my wardrobe. Do you find that you like certain colours in¬†nature, but are not drawn to them in other places? Anyways, here are some lovely purple and pink vintage inspirations for you today!

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac, fashion illustrations

Aren’t these great illustrations? They outline some ways here to add knitting to your dressmaking pieces, such as adding collars and sleeves, or piecing a knitted bodice to a skirt to make a dress.¬†

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac, pink and kaftan dress

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac, dress with petticoat

I love the pattern of the¬†fabric in this dress! Isn’t it crazy, but super fun? That is a separate petticoat too. It’s rather a nice idea to have matching petticoats, as that way you don’t have to worry about it showing.¬†

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac, coats

A classic coat never goes out of style. Though how you style it might. . . 

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac, pink sweater set

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac, knitwear

Nothing like a backless knitted evening gown in angora paired with silver shoes . . . 

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac, knitwear and skirt

I really like the simplicity and subtlety of that pink plaid skirt. I could totally add that to my wardrobe. 

A Fashion Moment with Creative Hands: Lilac, baby outfit

I couldn’t resist including this adorable baby set!¬†

Which of these outfits or pieces is your favourite? Are you drawn to lilacs and pinks and pastel shades? Would you be tempted to add any of these outfits to your wardrobe?

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Attire

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, holding-teapot

Since the Ladies Garden Tea was supposed to be in a garden, I had originally planned to wear one of my big pouffy 1950’s style floral dresses. However, because the party was moved indoors, I decided (for the second year in a row) that crinolines and petticoats, crowds of people and fine china don’t make the best of friends. I also decided that, even though it can be incredibly fun to dress in all your vintage finery,¬†because I was hosting, it might be a better idea to wear a simpler style for ease of movement and comfort of the¬†guests. This¬†floral dress, which is so bright and vibrant that it coordinates with hardly anything else in my wardrobe, and is completely contrary to¬†anything else I own (I was planning on creating a more cohesive wardrobe, but you know how that goes . . . ) is what I decided¬†to wear instead.¬†I got this dress¬†just at the end of summer last year, and hadn’t had a chance to wear it yet, so the party was the perfect place to “debut” it. Not that anyone cares about that but me. (Do you like to save new garments for the perfect occasion?)

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, teacup-4

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, floral dress

I got this dress¬†last August, from a¬†thrift store, which is where¬†I get the majority of my clothing. It was originally listed for a lot of money. By “a lot” I mean, not only am I spoiled by the prices of buying the majority of my clothing second hand (“They want two whole dollars¬†for this!? Oh right. . .”) but you actually could have bought a new dress, from a cheap fashion chain, for the same price, or less than this one was listed for. Oh, and the belt was missing. And, it was not from a very¬†expensive or high quality brand. I obviously was not going to go and buy a new cheap dress instead, but it really bothers me that some thrift stores have raised their prices to a point where you actually can buy new clothes cheaper. This is so irrational, and it’s so frustrating as it just contributes to the entire cheap fashion cycle, and throwaway culture we live in. There are many people who won’t shop second hand if they can buy new clothes cheaper, and there are people who legitimately can’t afford the prices of even cheap new¬†clothes, so where can they go for clothing if they can’t go to the thrift stores? I am not in this position, thankfully, but I expect to find lower¬†prices at a second hand store. I think this is one of the unfortunate side effects of thrifting and vintage becoming “trendy” – so many thrift shops have become unattainable for the very people who need them, and have drifted from their original purposes. Is this something that is happening elsewhere in the world? I see it here in Canada (not in all of the thrift shops, mostly in the thrift store chains).

Anyways, that was a bit of an aside . . . ¬†so how did the dress end up in my wardrobe after all? Well, it just so happened that the day after I saw this dress, tried it on and fell in love with it, there was a 1/2 price sale. I put the dress back on the rack, fully aware that it might not be there when I returned the next day- but it was! A couple other pieces I had put back were gone, but this was was still waiting for me ūüôā And I’m so glad. It was a lovely thing to wear on a grey and dreary day, and it does have a very garden feel about it. Because it literally has flowers on it.

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, drinking tea and bouquet

I would have paired it¬†with my white shoes (the only thing in my wardrobe that matches the dress) and a straw hat (I guess that straw also matches) if we’d had it outside, but as it was held inside I was stocking-foot and hatless (scandalous!). However, for the benefit of these photos, which we took outside half an hour after the party ended, because¬†it stopped raining (of course), I did wear the shoes. ūüėČ

Have you ever put something back at a thrift store, and gotten it later, or did it end up being the one that got away? What would you wear to a tea party?

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, tea-table-3

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, tasting desserts

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, floral dress 1

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, teacup-3

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, pouring tea

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tea table, the artyologist

I am beginning to think that the second weekend of June is marked for rain. For the second year in a row now, I have planned to host a¬†Ladies Garden Tea, in our backyard, and though we have had sun in the days leading up to, and sun in the hours and days that follow, during the hours of the party itself, it has rained. We have decided that it will now be called simply, “The Ladies Tea”, and have given up on hoping that gardens will have anything to do with it at all!

I’m not too worried about it though, because this year we planned to host it indoors, and made our preparations accordingly, so there was no last minute scramble to move the party indoors when the day dawned with grey clouds. An added benefit of holding¬†the party indoors, is that even if it doesn’t rain, you sometimes must contend with wind, sun in your eyes, sunburn, flies in the lemonade and mosquitoes that refuse to leave you alone. By setting up¬†the party indoors, you avoid all these problems, and you can always open the windows to let the fresh air in (and the bugs¬†out) ūüôā

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teapot, the artyologist

We changed things around this year, (because we were thinking ahead for once) and set up the sideboard and a table along the side of the living room, so the food and drinks would be close at hand. It worked so much better, rather than having the food in the kitchen like we did last year, as people didn’t have to break up the party in order to go in search of sweets. Last year we had so many leftovers of desserts that hardly even got touched, and this year we had very few leftovers. On second thought, maybe we should have the food in the kitchen again next year; I wouldn’t have minded a few leftovers. . . ūüėČ

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, food table

Since the party was supposed to be a Garden Tea, it had to have a summery and “gardeny” feeling to it. So, the morning of the party we went in search of flowers for bouquets. Last year we had peonies, but this year the season is late and so the peonies had not started to bloom. However, we managed to catch the very last of the dark purple lilacs. Two¬†days before the party, I thought to myself, “The lilacs are still in bloom, and should stay so until the party”, but the very next day when I looked at them again, they had started to wilt, turn brown and fall¬†off the hedges. Only one day before the party!!! We thought that we wouldn’t be able to get any for a bouquet, but fortunately the dark purple ones still had flowers. They were falling¬†fast though, and if you even looked at the bouquet, I think that petals were dropping off. We got two lovely bouquets though, and paired the purple flowers with Caragana branches. Caragana is a rather strange bouquet material, but I love how sculptural and fluid the bouquets turned out to be, and yellow and purple is such a lovely colour combination. For the rest of the smaller bouquets, which we placed on the tables, we gathered wildflowers and weeds, and came up with enough material to make several miniature bouquets. All in all, the room did have a rather summery and festive feeling to it, despite the rain.

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, lilac bouquet and menu

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacup and table

And of course, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the party! There were sixteen of us, some of whom were new acquaintances who came with friends, and we all had a lovely afternoon of tea and sweets and conversation. I can’t wait for next year!

Do you enjoy tea parties? Have you ever hosted an event? And have you ever been rained out?

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacups

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tea-table-2

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, food

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, lemons

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tablescape

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacups and bouquet

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, desserts

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacup-collection