Gingham and a Tiny Teacup


wearing a gingham skirt and a navy t-shirt paired with a cognac leather tote standing outside beside a flowering lilac hedge

I’m ready for a miniature tea party in my new gingham wrap skirt and tiny teacup necklace! After I took these photos I thought I really should have paired this outfit with my new basket purse, to lean into that picnic vibe. Oh well; I will make sure to wear it next time.

tiny teacup and saucer charm necklace

wearing a cinnamon coloured gingham wrap skirt paired with a navy top posing beside a lilac hedge in bloom

I sewed this skirt last September, which was rather late in the year, so I only wore it once before the weather changed, and never got pictures of it then.

I’ve had this fabric for over ten years, and was originally planning on making a shirtwaist dress out of it. However, over the years my body changed, and my ideas changed, and I never got around to actually drafting a pattern. And then sometimes the longer you have a piece of fabric earmarked for a project, the more you realize that you want to make something different out of it. This happened to a few pieces of fabric in my stash last year when I did colour draping and discovered that some of my favourite fabrics weren’t my best colours. Not all of them were bad, but this one (and a coordinating calico that I bought at the same time) were much too warm for me. I had already made the calico into a dress that I didn’t like on me (it’s now a lovely apron!) so I knew that it was time for a change of plans for this gingham.

gingham wrap skirt waistband tie

While it was a bit of a “safe” choice, I settled on another wrap skirt, this time a 1/2 circle. I keep making these skirts (I now have four!) but they are just so easy to make, comfortable to wear and are adjustable. The reality is that in the summer my default uniform is a skirt and a t-shirt, so that’s what is practical for me to spend my time making. That’s not to say that I don’t have plans to sew other things as well, but for this fabric, a 1/2 circle skirt was the perfect quick, easy and useful thing to make. I cut the skirt in one 1/2 circle piece, added another 1/4 circle piece for the wrap underneath and finished it off with a simple tie waistband. It only took a couple of days, and I now I’ve got another piece of fabric out of my stash and into my closet!

For this outfit I paired it with a navy t-shirt, leather tote bag, flats and a teacup necklace. My Gramma gave me these charms, which I think were from the craft store beading section and I simply threaded them onto two chain necklaces. I like wearing them on two chains, although they do tangle, so sometimes I just wear the teacup and skip the saucer.

delft blue and white miniature teacup and saucer necklace

a portrait surrounded by bright purple lilac blooms

The lilac blooms were stunning this year, especially compared to last year’s tiny blooms that came in the middle of a hot and dry spell, although this year they fully opened right in the midst of a rainy week. Even though this might not have been the most colour coordinated outfit to go with the purples (blogger problems!) I was glad to be able to catch some outfit pictures right at the end before they started fading.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer, and Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians!

bright purple lilac blooms

a portrait surrounded by light purple lilac blooms

holding a cognac leather tote bag, paired with a gingham wrap skirt and navy tshirt, walking beside a flowering lilac hedge

a navy t-shirt paired with a miniature teacup and saucer necklace

single dark purple lilac bloom surrounded by leaves

Beautiful Books & Lilac Bouquets | Anne’s House of Dreams First Edition

cover of the 1917 copy of Anne's House of Dreams book surrounded with lilac blooms

I love old books. There is just something beautiful about them. Not only have the stories survived through the years and hopefully brought much pleasure to many readers, but the books themselves have become an object of interest outside of the story held within their pages. If you want to read the story Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery, you can pick up a paperback copy at your local bookstore or borrow an e-book for your e-reader. However, it’s a completely different experience opening the cover of a book that was held over 100 years ago by someone also eager to read about Anne’s next adventures.

anne's house of dreams 1917 first edition book open on a table with cup of tea and a bouquet of lilacs beside it

I’ve never thought particularly much about collecting books. By that I mean, seeking out copies of specific books. I’ve always picked up pretty books at thrift stores and the like, but most of them are not my well loved favourite stories. I have a friend who collects the Anne of Green Gables series. She owns a first edition of Anne’s House of Dreams, (and another in the series, but I can’t remember which) so when I saw a listing on Poshmark for a 1917 first edition, it made me think of her. I was in love with the cover of this book, and then the more I thought about it, I realized that it made me think of…me. Why couldn’t I begin a collection of antique, or at least old, copies of the stories I love? I thought about it over a few weeks, periodically clicking on the listing and admiring it, and then when I saw that the seller was closing their closet and accepting offers, I made an offer and purchased the first of my very own collection of L.M. Montgomery books.

So, of course a photoshoot with perfectly coordinated lilac blooms and the ubiquitous cup of tea was required. There are a lot of photos, but the lilacs were just so beautiful this year that I had to keep taking photos.

anne's house of dreams 1917 book sitting on a table with a teacup and a vase with lilacs beside it

white vase with a lilac bouquet in it sitting on a chair and an antique book sitting beside it

top view of the first edition of Anne's House of Dreams by L.M.Montgomery

a gold and white teacup beside a lilac bouquet

a white and gold teacup surrounded by purple lilac blooms

anne's house of dreams first edition book sitting on a table with lilacs and a cup of tea beside it

a gold and white teacup and the cover of Anne's House of Dreams from 1917

Anne's House of Dreams first edition book with a purple cover beside a cup of tea and a bouquet of lilacs

multi shades of purple and white lilacs in a bouquet

June Showers

purple and white iris blooms with water droplets on them from the rain

We’ve had a cold and rainy spring this year. While that means the weeds are getting watered as well as the seeds, I much prefer rainy springs to hot and dry ones. I haven’t gotten my camera out as much this spring as in past years; I’m having troubles with the focus, and need to upgrade to a new camera body (mine is 15 years old!) but until then, I’ll just keep muddling along with this one and hoping for the best. If the focus is a bit soft, I’ll just pretend it’s a vintage filter effect.

Anyway, the other day, when there was a pause in the rain showers, I ran out and took a few photos of my mom’s front garden which is currently a beautiful blend of colour, with even more to come in the next weeks.

fuchsia pink peony bloom covered in rain drops

fuchsia pink peony blooms and purple and white irises with rain drops on them

dark purple violas along a stepping stone covered in rain drops

white round blooms and a pink rosebud covered in water droplets

purple and white iris bloom with rain droplets on it

These are dandelion seed heads that have been flattened from the rain- don’t they look beautiful?

dandelion seed heads covered in water drops


Tulip Still Life

Yellow tulips in a square glass vase in front of a dark brown background

Tulips are my favourite cut flowers, and as soon as I see them in the supermarket, I bring home a bouquet. I love the fluidity of tulips- these grew at least an inch since I placed them in the vase, and this time they stayed upright (that doesn’t always happen!)

yellow tulips close up details against a brown background

I usually take photos of flowers on a white background, but decided this time to play around with a dark one. A brown throw blanket made a perfect draped background for the bright yellow colour of the petals, and the resulting photos remind me of the Dutch Golden Age still life paintings. The perfect subject for an oil painting!

yellow tulip bouquet still life against a brown background

yellow tulip petal details

tulip bloom petal details against a dark background

Peonies in Bloom

large pink peony blooms fading in colour around the edges

This is slowly and unintentionally turning into a flower blog…. there are just so many beautiful flowers in my mom’s garden all bursting into glorious colour, though, and I can’t resist indulging myself in taking tons of photos of them! And then, of course, cutting some of the blooms and bringing them indoors to enjoy. Peonies are probably my favourite flowers (if I had to choose just one), but the bad part about them is the bugs also love them. So, you always have to shake all of them off otherwise you inadvertently bring a million tiny beetles into the house. But that extra work is worth it, because they smell heavenly!

pink peony blooms, one cut and placed on a windowsill in a tiny vase

I love these dark pink ones, since they fade to light pink as they open. They are almost all gone now: short lived, but so enjoyable.

pink peony bloom from the side, dark pink fading to light pink at the tips

White peonies aren’t my favourite variety, but this variety with the dark magenta centre is so vibrant that I do enjoy them. They are difficult to take pictures of, though.

single white peony bloom opening with a dark magenta pink splash in the centre

a white pink peony bloom with a dark pink centre

We have several more peony blooms that haven’t opened yet- one new variety called “Raspberry Sundae” that I’m so excited to see. I’ll try to get some photos to post here…and then photos of all of the other flowers that are blooming right now too.

What flowers are blooming where you live? What is your favourite flower?

small pink peony bloom in various shades of pink

masses of pink peony blooms

a single peony bloom in a vase on a windowsill with a lace curtain