Friday, October 30, 2009

The Year I was a Fairy Godmother

This photo sits on Mary-Alice's living room shelf next to books from her childhood. It is was taken when she was in the first or third grade; who can remember!??! She'd managed to get the role of Cinderella's Fairy Godmother in the school play. Her mother sewed the costume; lace, tulle and a lovely hooded cape, then created a magic wand from a dowel painted silver, a doily and some glitter. Feeling so, so lovely she wore this for the following Halloween. Happy Halloween to everyone.

Stay tuned and see what Mary-Alice has been up to at work with Children's Couture ... next week we are back posting about the Studio and Showroom.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Extended Showroom/Design Studio Hours!!!

In anticipation of the approaching winter the folks at Children's Couture are splitting wood, airing out blankets, and oh joyous shopping time extending visiting hours to include Sundays!! To accommodate clients during the busy holiday season, Children's Couture has extended showroom hours to Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST or by appointment.

Watch a master craftsman at work and explore the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, one of the prettiest areas in New England year-round.

Children's Couture is located at 445 Province Road, Route 107 in Belmont, NH. Showroom and design studio phone is 603-524-8801.

We look forward to seeing you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do Good Feel Great

Some pieces are meant to be kept forever, held on as heirloom pieces passed down generation after generation possibly being lent to one's dearest friend or relative after time. Children's Couture pieces tend to be in that category. However, so many other pieces are not - relics taking up valuable space. Rental space one might think, and who pays rent on an unused space? Well, Mary-Alice finally decided it was a good enough time as any to tackle the clearing out of the clothes and shoes closet. The switch from summer to fall/winter can no longer be denied so into storage trunks go sundresses, sandals, short sleeve blouses, and capris. Into garbage bags went pieces that have not been worn in two years, pieces that no longer fit, and pieces that well just never did fit just right and/or fit the right occasion.

Rather than toss those garbage bags into the trash we carted them off to Goodwill. As the popular saying goes, "one man's trash is another's treasure," or something along those lines. Goodwill Industries accepts clothing, children's toys, furniture, computers and appliances in good/working condition.

A place we've donated suits to in the past is Dress for Success, a nationwide organization that provides professional wear for those who may not be able to afford the "polished look" for an interview. They also accept slacks, jackets, blouses/tops, shoes, and accessories.

Whatever you do, donate a piece or two and help someone out this season ... it won't cost you a dime and will provide someone else such a sense of "relief" ... that is definitely worth a million bucks!!

A few photos from the dearly departed Domino Magazine on taking advantage of closet space. Now that Mary-Alice knows which items she is sticking with she can have fun redoing her closet. Who knows what spring cleaning will find! Just remember to give, give, give to charities what you don't need. In good condition of course!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rare Bird of Fashion at Peabody Essex Museum

As creative individuals who appreciate culture wherever we go and are especially keen on those slanted in a fashionable direction we scan museum websites from time to time in search of the next show we need to see. We say need, because when you are as passionate about a craft as we are and respect so much what other designers and muses are doing it really is more of a need than a want. A new exhibit we were so excited to read about and as thrilled to share is at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA through February 7, 2010 is Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel

The exhibit presents more than 80 dramatic ensembles from the personal collections of legendary tastemaker and style icon Iris Apfel. Known for her eclectic mixing of haute couture with costume jewelry and exotic baubles, Apfel has inspired bold developments in the fashion industry through her spirited irreverence and pitch-perfect taste. Now in her 88th year, she continues to challenge visual culture with radical juxtapositions of disparate influences. These spectacular and unexpected wardrobe combinations are exhibited with inventive staging and playful displays that underscore Apfel's inexhaustible creative spirit.

Visit the website for details on visiting the museum and the fun interactive game where you get to create your own Iris inspired paper doll and print the results. So Iris and so fun!!

Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Love the book, can't wait to see the movie. The two reviews we read, and we purposely don't read many, said the adaption of this children's classic will be felt by adults and "features moments of transcendent beauty and profound silliness." We're in!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quality vs Quantity

Recently a friend shared a story about shopping for boots. She had been looking for a pair of grey boots for a while, not intensely just now and then peeking into shops. The other night after dining with friends she walked past a shop with what she thought was the perfect pair and for only $59.00! Half-way to the register she paused and recalled a conversation we had not that long ago about investment pieces and put them back. They were not real leather and she was about to go on a trip where there could well be a shop with the perfect pair, albeit more expensive, and that pair would have a story attached. The purchase would become an experience and the feel of the real leather crafted by a master craftsman would add a personal touch.
We have a lot of customers who return to us for the same reasoning our friend used. They are choosing quality over quantity. Spending more, but investing in a piece that has an "organic" story behind it and will last a long time. Fortunately our pieces are reasonably priced and machine washable so our customers can enjoy them without even a tinge of guilt.
Recent economics have caused consumers to pay attention more than ever to what they are spending their money on. Rather than purchasing three blazers they can only get one, same thing with shoes, jeans... Each circumstance has cause for different reasoning, but in the end we hope fine craftsmanship and an experience/a story will win over the short term.

P.S. we got this photo from our friend who found the perfect boots in a small shop, finely crafted and real leather.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Touring the University of Virginia, Vacation Photo Album

While in Fredericksburg, we took a drive to Charlottesville, VA, home of the University of Virginia. David and Beverly's granddaughter, Jocelyn, is a first year student there and gladly met us for lunch, then provided a wonderful guided tour of the beautiful UVA campus. She has only been there for a few weeks but was so knowledgeable about the campus, architecture and it's founder, Thomas Jefferson. Impressive!

Photos from our tour with Jocelyn:

Boston Children's Museum

This sounds like fun!

October - December, 2009 at the Boston Children's Museum

Nature Explore Traveling Exhibits help children discover nature through multiple perspectives and will inspire them to get outdoors, explore the wonders, and develop connections with the natural world.

While visiting these exhibits, children can experience a glimpse of the wonders that await them outside their own backyards and neighborhoods. These interactive exhibits use multi-sensory and innovative visual spatial experiences to bring a taste of the outdoors inside.

The Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation have developed the Nature Explore traveling exhibits based on years of Dimensions’ research on visual-spatial learning, along with an understanding of what is appropriate for children ages 2 – 8.

Leaf & Slide Pile

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Visiting with Relatives

Mary-Alice here. After just one day at Bethany, we get back into the car for a sidetrip to visit relatives, David and Beverly Brumbaugh, in their new home in Fredericksburg, VA. Though I always tell them they are not old enough to be my parents, I do fondly refer to them as my "parents without punishment" as they have always been a part of my life and I am grateful for that. They recently moved from Arlington, VA to Fredericksburg, VA where we spent two days enjoying their gorgeous new home. It is beautiful, spaceous and not far from the historic downtown of Fredericksburg, with cobblestone streets, chic boutiques and charming restaurants.

Historic Fredericksburg, Virginia

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bethany Beach, Delaware

Bethany Beach sunrise ... what a way to start the day! A quick walk along the beach reveals many "treasures" thrown
up onto the shore as a result of a recent hurricane passing by out to sea ... shells, seaglass, rocks smooth as silk, and what appears to be a mini shipwreck. Taking time away is heaven on this beach.

Bethany Beach Sunrise
Miles to walk before I sleep
Oops...shipwreck on the beach

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back From Vacation

Please pardon our absence from posting the past two weeks as Children's Couture has been on vacation, at long last. Our destination: The Delmarva Peninsula, specifically Bethany Beach, Delaware, where Mary-Alice's relatives generously offered the use of their townhouse, just a block from the beach. With the car packed we headed south to Victorian Cape May, New Jersey (the southern tip of NJ), a charming town of Victorian houses and shops. But no time to sightsee here as our goal was to catch the the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, which would transport us across the busy mouth of the Delaware Bay to historic Lewes, Delaware (the northern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula).
Full disclosure, Mary-Alice is not fond of long bridges and prone to motion sickness. Not to worry, the ride was uneventful. During the relaxing 90 plus minute ride we spotted dolphins and seagulls playing amongst the many tankards and shipping vessels that travel through these busy shipping lanes.
Prior to arriving in Lewes, Delaware, on the ferry, we passed a noteworthy spit of land jutting out into the sea; Cape Henlopen State Park. Once we depart the ferry, we headed out to explore the picturesque shoreline.

Let's Rock n' Roll (and roll!!)

Leaving Cape May, NJ

Delaware Bay Shipping Lanes

Another ferry heading north

That a way captain!!