Sunday, December 27, 2009

1795 Silk Round Gown…

I finished my Twelfth Night gown this afternoon. I’m quite happy with the results. I used my Frankensteined version of the Sense and Sensibility Drawstring pattern. Here are a few pics on my dress form. As usual, it looks better on me that the form. However, you will have to wait until Twelfth Night to see me wearing the gown. God Bless!

Love Lauren





Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas, a day late…

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day. We had a quiet day at home, just us, birdie boy, and the pups. I decided, after reading your lovely comments, that I was going to dress up in costume for the day and enjoy myself. Aaron didn’t dress up for the entire day, but he did join me in costume for dinner. After dark, we went for a stroll with the pups. It was lovely. Here are the pictures. God Bless and thank you Jesus for sending your son to save us.

IMG_0003 Cooking over “Ye Old 18th Century Stove”


My feathery helper.


My furry helpers. They made sure that the floor stayed crumb free.


Cranberry Walnut Tart.

It was an interesting challenge learning how to cook again. Since I found out about my allergies. I think I finally have it pretty well figured out. This tart is dairy, gluten, wheat, and egg free and it was very tasty.


Pear Upside-Down Cake


Our Feast. We had roast lamb, maple carrots, caramelized butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, Yorkshire pudding, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. It was yummy.


Here we are. We decided to dress more casually, no frock coat for Aaron and I’m wearing a day dress, since we had a quiet dinner at home.


A Christmas smooch…


An after dinner game of two-player Whist and a little brandy.


Merry Christmas… God Bless and Have a Wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Latest Happenings at Portland House….

I hope you all had a wonderful week and are having a wonderful Christmas Season. This year the Lord and Lady of Portland house are going to be doing things differently. For the first time in our marriage we will be spending Christmas together without family. We have decided to stay at home this year and our celebration will be  just the two of us. I am making preparations for our own little Christmas Feast and starting to collect recipes. We decided to do a lamb roast instead of Turkey and I am working on side dishes that will go with it. I’m really looking forward to a calm Christmas, but it is bitter sweet because I really miss my family.

hall_buffet_table Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Feast

We also had some troubling news this week. I won’t go into too much detail, but if you can please keep my Grandfather in your prayers it would be much appreciated. He is ill, and the doctors are not sure what is going on. So we are all worried, but we know that God is in control.

Now for the good news… Aaron officially graduates from Dental School on June 18th!!! It’s so nice to have a final and set date. Now we are praying that he will find a job and have it set before graduation. :-)

On the sewing front, I have been working on my ball gown for 12th Night. I have been sewing a little slower these days. I have quite a bit of fabric in my stash, and our wardrobes are pretty well rounded, so I can take my time. The gown I am working on is a 1795 draw string round gown. It’s made out of a gorgeous turquoise-blue silk and I plan to trim it with a small netted lace. I will post pics of the dress after I’m finished. For now, here are a few pics to give you the idea of the finished product, hopefully.


This is the shape of the gown.


The gown is almost the same color as the blue shawl in  this painting :-)

I hope you all have a wonderful and Merry Christmas. God Bless!

Love Lauren

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Blessing…

It never ceases to amaze me how God provides for our needs and even, sometimes, our wants.

Aaron and I had decided not to get a tree this year,  we just couldn’t justify spending the money on it. I was a little bummed, but I decided I would make my own wreath and garland and just make the best of things. Well, Wednesday afternoon I left work a little early to feed the dogs and get ready for an event at our Tigard store. I had been home not ten minutes when I heard a knock at the door. I was waiting for own of my co-workers to swing by so we could carpool to the event. Well, to my surprise our good friend Ryan was standing in his military uniform on our doorstep. Then he told me he had a tree for us.  Apparently, the military base nearby had extra Christmas trees and Ryan had been giving them to our friends. Let me tell you, I was so surprised and grateful. Not only do we have a tree, but it is huge. So huge, in fact, that it is residing in the kitchen. So, thank you Ryan and Jess for blessing us with our tree. God Bless you guys :-)

Love Lauren


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas Meme

I saw this lovely Meme on Sarah Jane's blog. I just had to try it. So here goes :-)

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Neither I’m allergic to dairy, eggs, and chocolate. I like apple cider.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We don’t do Santa Claus in our house. As a kid, my mom taught my brother and me that Santa Claus lived a long time ago and is now dead. So, we went around telling our friends that Santa Claus is dead. Yeah, we were popular J

3. Colored lights on the tree/house or white? I prefer white lights on my own tree. I like the colored lights, if they’re small. But, again, for my own tree I prefer white lights. I like how peaceful and calm the white lights look.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I have never hung mistletoe. I grew up in the desert where mistletoes don’t exist J

5. When do you put your Christmas decorations up? As a kid, we put our tree up the weekend of Thanksgiving. I still like to decorate at that time.

6. Favorite holiday dish? Oooh, that’s such a hard question. I think I’ll have to say anything with pumpkin in it. I love pumpkin pie!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Every year the church I grew up in has a wonderful Christmas Eve service filled with candle light, music, and a telling of the Christmas Story. Pastor Dale invites the children up to the stage and together they tell the Christmas Story. It’s absolutely adorable and hilarious. Some of the things these kids say are so cute. My favorite is seeing how these little ones know who Jesus is. It’s awesome to hear a child say that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. What a blessing.

8. When did you learn the truth about Santa? From day one, we didn’t have Santa in our house. We knew who the historical Santa Claus was, but the Jolly Old Elf was not welcome in our home.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? As a kid we sometimes would open one gift. As we grew older we would go to our Grandparents’ home and open gifts Christmas Eve.

10. How do you decorate a tree? I like to capture as much of the 18th century in my decorations as I can. I do use bulbs, but I also use old ornaments. My tree last year had a kind of folk art feel. This year we have skipped the tree all together and I made garland and wreaths instead.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I love snow. I just don’t like driving in it, when there are people out and about who don’t know how to drive in it.

12. Can you ice skate? I can. I didn’t grow up ice skating, again the whole desert thing. Anyway, I first went ice skating when I was 13 in New York and I have loved it ever since. I haven’t been in a while, though.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Yes, but it wasn’t a gift in the traditional sense. I was 16 and my mom was going through breast cancer. She had her surgery a few weeks before Christmas and was still recovering. I remember my dad saying we wouldn’t have a lot of gifts that year, and I didn’t care. My mom’s life was the best gift I ever received. I was so happy that she had made it through surgery and her prognosis was positive. It’s been 8 years since then, and my mom is with us and healthy.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you? Remembering why we celebrate. The presents, food, and family is fun, but the real reason we have this day is to honor our Savior who came to earth to save us.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Pumpkin pie!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Well, Aaron and I haven’t really established our own traditions yet. But as a kid, I think staying up late Christmas Eve with my brother watching “The Christmas Story” 24 hour marathon.

17. What tops your tree? Normally we have a star of some sort.

18. Which do you prefer-Giving or Receiving? I like them both. Although, the giving is more fulfilling. But, I like to give useful gifts. It's very hard for me to buy for someone who has everything.

19. Favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells

20. Candy Canes-Yuck or Yum? I like a good candy cane this time of year.

21. Favorite Christmas show? The Christmas Story and A Muppet Christmas Carol

22. Saddest Christmas song? The Christmas Shoes, I hate that song.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas Season and a wonderful New Year! God Bless!

P.S. If you would like to do this meme, leave me a comment so I can go and read it.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A Lovely Ball

The title of this post says it all. We had a lovely time at the Ball. We danced, met some new people, ate delicious food, and had our silhouettes taken.  Here are the pictures. Enjoy and have a wonderful Sunday.

IMG_0017 Guess who?


Me and Charlotte


Aaron, Me and Steph, our lovely leader extraordinaire!

IMG_0021  Aaron and Me


A Lovely Dinner




Getting ready to dance


Our Silhouettes

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Love Lauren

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Perfect Morning

One of my favorite things about Saturday mornings is how slowly they move. This Saturday has been particularly lovely. I awoke to frost on the ground and a beautiful mist in the air, I’m slowly preparing for the ball tonight while watching John Adams, I had a wonderful chat with my mom on the phone, and my house is cheerily decorated for Christmas. I can’t think of a better way to spend a lovely Saturday morning.

IMG_0002 So cheeryIMG_0004Greenery plucked from an obliging tree. IMG_0006

My poor  little handmade lop-sided wreath.


Sweet Birdie Boy and me. Yes, those are rags in my hair, it’s the only way my hair will curl.


And just in case you have not already guessed, dear readers, you have chosen this lovely ensemble for the Ball tonight.

Have a lovely and blessed weekend. I should hopefully have pictures of the ball within a few day. God Bless!

Love Lauren