Thursday, May 31, 2012

In The Shop | Denim Half Circle Skirt + upcoming summer line

Now in the Shop - the custom Denim Half Circle Skirt!
This really is the perfect everyday denim skirt staple - I wear one of mine at least four days a week.  It can go anywhere, and yes, pretty much do anything!  For a Farmgirl, that includes quite a bit... :grin:

But the exciting part?  I've been working night and day on a new Summer Line, which will include a stock of ready-made skirts and muslin petticoats, truly awesome canvas totes, bunting banners galore, and lots of hair accessories.  So stay tuned, and be thinking about the endless possibilities for updating your Summer look in Kellie Falconer Originals! =D

I am planning a full-blown photoshoot for all the lovely things ready to go in the shop, and I put together a Pinterest board for styling ideas.  I am so excited to see how this is starting to come together! I just ordered in some custom fabric labels - pictures of those soon.

Life has been very full and very difficult lately for my family and I, and working on this project has been a sort of lifeline, so to speak.  It's given me something to dream about, work for, press toward.  Helped give me perspective, too - sometimes circumstances come along that make you feel as if you were fighting for bare life, hour by hour, but even in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty, don't forget to live the life you're fighting for.  There's a time for everything, and seasons of rest and seasons of growth are a part of everyone's life.  But life is too short to be always waiting for the right time.  Pursue your dreams, harness them and discover the lessons they hold for you.

The upcoming collection is so much more than new listings in the shop.  It's a victory.  It's a reminder of the truly marvelous grace of Jesus - and the endless blessings this life holds when you pour your heart into something and see it triumph over adversity.

It is well with my soul.
(all photo credits found here
 Check out the rest of the KFD Photoshoot Inspiration board!

From the Kitchen | German Chocolate Ice Cream

 This is a little piece of bliss.  Homemade, Alpenmilch Schokolade Noisette peppermint ice cream.

A friend and neighbor recently returned form a trip to Germany, and bless her, she brought back a goodly bundle of the most delicious Schokolade ever.  We've had a surplus of milk lately, as well, so what could be more reasonable than to whip up some ice cream?

We made this four days in a row.  It's that good.  (Not to mention, there's that much cream that has to be dealt with!)
 Guaranteed 100% Swiss milk.
12.0z Chocolate  (We used less - it was still phenomenal) 
1 1/2 C sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
5 drops peppermint oil
3 3/4 C heavy well-chilled cream
Melt chocolate and milk over the stove
Add vanilla, salt, & peppermint
Whip cream till stiff peaks form
Very gently, fold chocolate into half the cream, then fold the rest of the cream in, a little at a time.
Pour into a freezer tight container
Freeze for exactly six hours.  Give a little longer if you need to, but it's peak of perfection is 6 hours.  Ice crystals start to form after that, affecting the texture.
Grab yourself a bowl before it's all. licked. up.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Wall Tent Spa

Just four weeks ago, as the trees were beginning to bud and the grass to green up, and well before it stopped regularly freezing at night, I set up The Spa for the third consecutive spring.

I consider a good hot bath one of the greatest luxuries life has to offer, and in the fairylike setting of a cedar forest, with an antique clawfoot tub, hand-hewn sapling frame, and tulle netting draped over all to exclude mosquitoes and allow stargazing, must be one of the most luxurious of baths.

Three years ago, I started experimenting with the idea,and came up with this design.  It's remarkably easy, and if you have the good fortune to have access to a clawfoot tub or other soaking receptacle, I can't recommend that you try this highly enough!

.:. Setting up an Outdoor Spa .:.

1)  First, find a good location -  a wooded spot is ideal, but if you don't have even a small stand of trees, anywhere semi-private will do!

2)  Bring the tub onsite.  Make sure it is level and has space to drain properly (without flooding the rest of your space!).

3)  Decide on what kind of flooring you would like to have.  I used a wooden ramp we built years ago to get the pony up into the back of our truck - but anything will do!  A level patch of grass or even dirt would work, but it is so nice to have a little spot of flooring to help create that spa-like atmosphere.  Paving tiles, a large space rug - get creative with what you have!

4)  Decide on what you want to use for your privacy screen.  I cut saplings to length and lashed them together with twine to make an Adirondack-style frame, about 9'x10'.  I then took some fabric (actually, the same that I used on my porch to keep my wood dry all winter!) and stapled it to the frame from the ground to above eye level.  I then took two lengths of netting and draped it over the whole, basting it in place with a needle and thread to keep out any and all insects (wishful thinking here, but it really, really helps:)
You could also use something as simple as stakes, a clothesline, and sheets, depending on the location and materials you have to work with.

5)  Now it's time to add hot water!  Investing in a portable tankless water heater is a fabulous option, and I absolutely love ours.  However, this is our only bath and shower supply from April to well into October, so the purchase is justifiable.  Unless you plan to use your spa a great deal, or go camping/other outdoor activities a lot, this might not be as practicable for you.  Another option is displayed in MaryJanes Butter's lifebook, where she shares how to set up a simple propane cookstove underneath the bath, filled with a garden hose, and heat it like a giant iron pot.
One caution of you go with the tankless heater - if the temperatures drop below freezing at night, and you have the heater connected to the garden hose and propane, it will freeze solid inside the unit, and may be damaged permanently.  If you plan to have your spa set up over a period of time and there is the slightest chance of freezing, be sure to disconnect the heater for the night!  We know this from experience...

6)  Decorate!  Get creative with an old, rustic ladder for shelving, add a nice chair to sit in, and baskets to hold soaps and shampoos.  This is your luxury spa, and every little detail adds to make the experience more perfect.  I tumbled some of my favorite bathtime accessories into a bundle and used them as props to get you started... except the heels.  Those were a random and entirely unaccountable addition.  :)
However, an mp3 player and speakers, fresh flowers, your favorite fancy soaps and bath concoctions (how I love those!), a vintage washcloth, excellent chocolate to nibble on and something cold in a mason jar to sip, and something light and delightful to peruse (Georgette Heyer is perfection for a bathtime read!) are my favorite spa picks.  Oh, and a Dietz lantern is a must for after dark - the effect is magical!  Candles are lovely, too.

There you have it - now you can discover for yourself my everlasting devotion to outdoor baths.  Once you've tried it, you'll be spoiled forever!

Someday, I have all kinds of plans for the bath of my dreams, to be situated in my house of dreams, naturally.
But for now, I ask for no greater delight than this little homemade spa in the woods.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Shop Special!

We just hit 99 sales!  I can hardly believe it - this definitely calls for a celebration.

The one hundredth order from Kellie Falconer Design gets a button badge of choice included free - hurry and be the one to get this fabulous celebratory deal!  
(Specify which button you would like in message to seller)

Monday, May 21, 2012

These Sisters of Mine

Last night, my sisters descended on me and insisted that I download the camera.
It appears that they had commandeered it for the afternoon, in the hopes of creating something that might make Kellie's blog.

Let's just say that I am very impressed... 

The following work is entirely due to Ellen, Lilly, Matilda and Clara... all I did was download the camera.  And help edit them:)

Here we have an enormous, stupendously awesome slug they discovered in the garden... I knew they were playing with the slug for the better part of two hours, but what I didn't know that they were subjecting him to a photo session, complete with dandelion & plantain arrangements...!
They put him in the duck pen later, but the ducks were too terrified to make any advances to eat him.  God's methods of self-preservation for His creatures are truly amazing.

But the crowning glory is the dollhouse shoot they created.  Most of the clay miniatures and the doll were made by Lilly.  She is planning to open up a clay doll miniatures Etsy shop as soon as 'her technique is perfected.'
Most of the photography and styling by Ellen.
The doll's .45 colt is kept in the kitchen hutch drawer... just so you know.  In case something's getting into the chicken coop.

And yes... there's even an accordion. *melts*
Happy trails, y'all!
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