Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A New Direction

 Yes indeed, exciting things abound at the Hunting House!  In fact, it's high time that I introduced you all to the newest member of our household...

.... our new Baldwin Acrosonic spinnet piano!  She (or he? I've always assumed that musical instruments, like ships, were female by default) isn't quite mid-century, since the Baldwin catalog dates her to 1974, but the styling fits right in with the rest of the furnishings!  She needs a name still, if anyone has any suggestions.  Sara suggested "Baldy" but it doesn't seem quite right.

But why have I gotten a piano, and why is it such a big deal?  Well...

 Yep!  I'm learning to tune and repair pianos.  My whole family is quite musical, and this summer I was chatting with one of my aunts who is already well on her way to becoming a working piano tuner and she gave me some suggestions and pointed me in the right direction, so here I am!  Right now I'm just learning the basics, so our piano is..... well, playable, but certainly not in the best of tune.

Anyway, I'm quite excited about this newest chapter in my musical education.  It combines many things I love... tinkering with stuff, musical skill, old things... it's a win-win, right?  I have to send in my first tuning exam soon, so I can just imagine how silly I'll look on video tuning a piano in full vintage style.  I suppose that will make me a recognizable pupil?

So!  Expect to hear more of my tuning adventures soon, and since the vintage community is so lovely at window-shopping for each other, I suppose I should put it out there.... I'll be on the hunt for piano-themed novelty prints!  I've always had an eye out for music themed things in general being a singer and ex-violinist, but now I feel like I can collect some piano-print things without feeling like too much of an imposter.

Black orchid clip: Michael's
Black sweater: Modern Millie
Quilted cave painting novelty circle skirt: Antiques shop somewhere in Wisconsin
Bakelite: Savers
Black flats: someplace in the mall

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Sunday Return

 Hullo!  I'm only nearly a week late in posting these.... ha!  Yes, I finally have an excuse to get all dolled up in my best hats weekly... Church music started up again for me last Sunday!  And since there was a wedding during the liturgy I felt like I had to choose a particularly good hat for the occasion.

 Since I took these photos the weather has taken a left turn into fall, but a week ago it was still sticky and humid and hot, so I was at a bit of a loss as to what to pair my new navy hat with.  I ended up doing a little creative accessorizing so I could wear a lightweight cotton shirtdress.  I'd originally wanted to pair the hat with a navy wool dress I have, but it was far too warm for that!  Maybe next Sunday?

Hat: Antiques shop in Stevens Point, WI
Green dress: Modern Millie
Blue and silver moonglow lucite earrings: Thrifted
Bakelite and other bangles: Thrifted
Blue belt: Sears?
Green Chelsea Crew lace-up shoes: Modern Millie

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Butterick 7461: Ladybug Edition

As I mentioned in my last post, I have one more version of the Butterick 7461 housecoat to share with you!

I like the ease of dresses you can just step into for simple day-wear, especially if there's a chance of needing to get more dressed up later.  I wanted to make a version that could be worn out of the house more easily, for running quick errands or for wearing on holiday around extended family and such.  So I set about looking for a better outdoor fabric and solutions to some of the modesty problems inherent in the original design.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Buttereick 7461: The Prototype

Typical me, posting things all out of order.  Sometimes I forget to photograph sewing projects and then here we are over a year later and I'm showing you the prototype I made for a project I completed a while ago.  Still following?  Good.

A few years ago I blogged about a kimono I made with my mother when I was just learning to sew.  I had been using it as a robe around the house, but the slippery fabric never wanted to stay put when I tied it closed, and the sleeves were a bit cumbersome for daily activity.  So when my copy of Butterick 7461 came in the mail, I decided that I'd do the "test run" of the pattern with the fabric from the old kimono.  Kimonos, thankfully, use lots of nice large panels of fabric, so I took it apart and laid it flat on the floor to cut out the pieces of the dress.  They all came out quite neatly, with the exception of the skirt.... I had to piece a little extra fabric at each corner since the kimono did not have quite as full a sweep as the pattern at the hem.
Evidently I thought the pattern was a winner, since I made my huge fleece housecoat with the same pattern last winter.

I wear the robe a lot more now that it's been shortened.  And having buttons that fasten securely doesn't hurt either!  Still, the skirt has a tendency to slip open (a problem I also had with the full-length coat) so expect one more installment in the Butterick 7461 Chronicles still to come...

Dress: Butterick 7461, made by moi

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lovely Linen

The end of summer is such a tease.  Just a few days ago, when we took these pictures, the morning air had a decidedly crisp edge and our daytime walks were pleasantly breezy.  Now, of course, it's back to being absolutely stifling and humid, with no breeze to be found.  Today is off to a better start... perhaps it will cool down after all.

Doug took these photos of me at the park we usually walk at.  We went in the evening for better light, and I was (obviously!) a bit overdressed for a stroll in the woods, but I wanted to show off a few of my new purchases.  To be honest, I was having quite a bit of trouble picking out something to wear, and after sending a few partial outfits to Hannah she suggested this neutral dress and hat pairing.  After all, what are girlfriends for if not giving you suggestions on what to wear?

I very seldom wear neutral brownish shades, so I decided to pair them with bright red to add a little pop to the outfit and make it feel a bit more me!  Plus, this way I can highlight a few more goodies I picked up on my trip.  Most notably:  I now (finally!) have a pair of plain red earrings, which fill what was a major gap in my jewelry selection. And they're Bakelite, which always feels like a little extra vintage victory, especially when they're in the dollar bin of crummy costume jewelry.

On a side note... I, uh, chopped some length off my hair in frustration after getting back from vacation because sets weren't holding, so some bits of it may look... uh... funny?  for a while?  Yeah.

Linen-colored hat with lavender flowers: Antiques shop in Woodruff, WI
Bakelite earrings: Antiques shop in Tomahawk, WI
Red and metal necklace: Same shop as the hat
Linen-look dress: From Brittany's vintage stash clearout
Red bangle: Thrifted
Red Sofft pumps: Goodwill