Our lives took a new direction this summer. We have been campers for the last 20 years. During that time we have had 10 different camping rigs. Number 10 has been lived in for the last four months as full time volunteer campground hosts at Trap Pond State Park in Laurel, DE. Surprising to both of us we were very comfortable. Amazing how much space you really need or don't need to be comfortable.
It has been quite an adventure and an awesome re-acquaintance with nature for my husband and I both. Living in the woods and near a pond have been soul food for us. The pond is the northern most natural bald cypress swamp in the US. The cypress trees grow in the water and are quite beautiful.
I was also fascinated with the different kinds of mushrooms that we saw in the woods around the park.
I have no clue if they are safe to eat. They were just so pretty to look at and they don't live for very long. The fall leaves and crisp air have also been a joy to experience.
Delaware is most known for boardwalks and beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. The secret gem of our state is Trap Pond State Park. There are bike and hiking trails, a disc golf course, kayak and canoe rentals, and pontoon boat tours. If you get over this way spending a day or a week at Trap Pond is worth it. There are 148 camping sites, 8 cabins and 2 yurts. There is also a beautiful Nature Center with interactive information and history of the area situated near a playground and picnic area.
I am having a hard time adjusting to the fact that winter is almost here. Living in the motorhome makes me think it is still summer! Hope you are having a great autumn... it feels more like winter here today!
Msplace on Etsy is again open for business. I have been making cabochons for bead embroiderers. They have been selling at bead shows through Bead My Love beads. I decided I would open my Etsy venue again and stock it with my polymer cabachons. I made a mold from a belt buckle with a horse head on it and added some flowers. I have been having fun with chalk and guilders paste.
Stop by MsPlace and check out the other cabs I have listed!
I finally finished the first bead embroidery project that I started! My friend Meg from Bead My Love gave me a lesson in bead embroidery several months ago. I make polymer cabochons and they use them in the bead embroidery kits that they sell.
I cannot of course do what everyone else does and make a circle with a nice little circle of beads around it. It was very pretty and simple with just beads around the cab. I always have add some gypsy to my work!
Check out the bird dangling from the top. I also added polymer tube beads on the bottom mixed with check glass rondelles.
Last Saturday I was invited to be part of a needle felting "Heads Up" class. My friend Carol Messick of Flat Mountain Studio is an award winning and amazing doll artist.
Our day started with looking at all of Carol's creations. She makes dolls, animals and all kinds of amazing things out of needle felted wool from alpacas and sheep.
Please check out the rest of her creations in her Gallery of photos!
We decided to make a head like the one Carol is holding here called Aunt Grace.
After a few lessons on face and head anatomy we started our needle felted heads!
Her nose looks really big to start with.
There were three of us in the class and this is a picture of our noses. We all decided that maybe we could actually do this!
Glasses help position the head and face anatomy! Somehow I am thinking I won't be having an Aunt Grace. Looks more like my brother Dave right now or my dad! So now we are all talking about our men we are making!
Gotta get some fat cheeks on there!
Definitely not a female so I made the eyebrows heavier!
Well I'd say we have some gentlemen friends for Aunt Grace. We all ended up with men doll heads not women! Carol did say they take on a personality of their own as you go. And because this was our first "felted head" she wanted us to make them big to learn the concept. She also said if we continue to condense the felt they could get more feminine.
I really enjoyed spending the day with other creative women! If you are interested in taking a class check out Carol's website for more information about her classes. Now to decide if I am going to make a body for him... I think he needs a cap like this one:
What do you think? I also need a name for him. Any ideas? I am thinking I may call him Henry. That was my dads name and he makes me smile and think of him!
Yesterday was a fairy tale kind of day. I enjoyed the day with two friends at the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. We viewed the Downton Abbey costume display and also toured the 5th and 6th floor of the museum.
Our journey started with a discussion of the Downton Abbey show a few weeks ago. We all had gotten the DA bug just in the past year. We have not seen all of the seasons yet but have seen enough to fall in love with the show. What is it about the show? They are taking a survey at the DA exhibit as to what is it that intrigues you about the show? The history? The costumes? The plot?
The exhibit was well presented as is everything at Winterthur. The staff and accommodations are incredible. Everyone was very welcoming and knowledgeable about what they are presenting. They have trams and shuttles to take you from the Visitors Center to the Museum and offer cafes and cafeterias in both locations. I want to go back again to see the gardens when in bloom and the other exhibits.
Back to Downton Abbey. The costumes are made from period fabrics when possible and have a tremendous amount of handwork on them. My favorite costume from the shows that I have watched is in the following picture. Not my favorite because of its beauty but because of the sassiness of Sybil when she first wore it! You can see a clip of her in the background.
I can't decide on a favorite of the other costumes because they all have an amazing story and lots of creative handwork behind them. I was surprised at the gauziness of the fabric that had beads sewn to it. It is amazing that the beads stayed on the dresses. We use Nicoles Beadbacking or Lacys Stiff Stuff to keep our beads high and tight! These dresses our made with wisps of fabric. It would seem to be difficult to do the beading on them. Yes that is all beads decorating this dress!
The backs of the dresses are as decorated as the fronts of the dresses.
The costume designers have 7 weeks to complete all of the costumes for each season. They use some vintage fabrics and add to or design with them to create the fabulous dresses that are worn on this show. I was very surprised at the authenticity they use. When you view the show on TV you don't realized the detailed beading and embroidery that is part of these dresses. Even the Housekeepers dress!
The chains hanging from the clip on her waist have skeleton keys on them. The "V" in the bodice is embroidered and trimmed with lace.
In today's world I can get beads on the internet. There are some options at the major arts and craft stores but anything unusual can only be found online or at a local bead store if you still have one in your area. My question is where did their beads and fabrics come from? How much time did it take to make one dress? By the way, they were expected to change 4 times a day. Ha! We decided we may have 4 different colors of sweatpants but really... who wants to do all of that laundry. Of course most of us don't have a staff to wait on us so they didn't concern themselves with the care of things. It is understandable that tussie-mussies were a necessity. How could you launder these dresses?
They also had the men's costumes. Many of them don't look much different from what is worn today. Functional and tailored. I did learn what a "club tie" is. Have you heard of them?
A gift shop is open near the exhibit with teas, cookbooks, hats, jewelry, velvet shawls and lace coats!
If you are in the Wilmington, Delaware area I would encourage you to go to Winterthur. The Downton Abbey exhibit will be there until January of 2015. The tickets are a reasonable price and the walk back in time is enchanting!