To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Blogiversary Giveaway Drawing!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the Giveaway!  I loved reading all of your costuming stories and getting to know you a little bit better!  I believe that that's what the costuming community is all about!  Enjoying each other's company, learning from each other and admiring others creations!!

Colton and I did a live filming of the drawing on my Beauty from Ashes Facebook account and I will link to that below. 

Beauty From Ashes Facebook Page (OHMYGOSH I am such a dork, but that Colton sure is handsome!)  *Edited*  I couldn't get the individual video to play, so I just linked the BfA Facebook page and it's currently the top post*

Aaaaaaaand the winner is:

Geri Royer!!!!!

Congratulations to you Geri!  I hope you enjoy the pocket and all the bits and bobs!!

I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed rest of your week!!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Blogiversary Give Away!!

Hello and Happy New Year everyone!  

I hope that 2017 is starting out wonderfully for all of you! So far, so good here at the White house!  It has been snowing quite a bit.  I just measured the accumulation on my bird feeder and it measures 7.5".  That is snow pack from when it first started snowing before Christmas with the warm melting days and so forth... As I look out my window, it is once again snowing!  What fun and we here in the Treasure Valley need it as we have been in a drought for some years...which is nothing new for the high mountain desert known as Idaho!!

A fun thing about today!!  It is my actual 25th wedding anniversary which I think is fun because I'm choosing today to post about Beauty From Ashes' Blogiversary Give Away!  Yes, 25 years ago today, I married my sweet, Gregory Robert Martin White!  I cannot believe it's been 25 years of joy, pain, fun, hardship, happiness, contentment, irritation...all of the human emotions all rolled up into one 25 year package!  25 more years, here we come!!!  (I will post our wedding picture so you all can see what young things we were. I was 20, Greg was 19.  I totally robbed the cradle!)  This is what I wrote on Facebook...

"25 years. Silver wedding anniversary. (WHEN did that happen!!!) This to me is so beyond comprehending at times and at others "oh ya... It's been 25 yeeeeaaaaaars." There have been struggles, tears and heart break. But there has been joy, laughter, love and contentment. That's what you get when you mash two separate lives coming from two entirely different backgrounds together under the same roof, til death do you part . Marriage is hard work. It's struggle. It's human. It's having to be unselfish and giving and forgiving. It's not always the "happily ever after" of novels. is also happiness, safety, funny, dependable, secure, accepting of flaws, peace, caring, love, comfortable, home, a blessing. Knowing that whatever crap is going on around us (or yes, between us), we will get through together and on the other side we'll still be smiling and laughing and enjoying each other's company and holding on tightly to each other, because there is another 25+ years of being together! I wouldn't want to go through it with anyone else! Happy Anniversary to you my beloved. I love you so much!! Thank you for being my safe place, my strong hero, my sound reasoning, my support and biggest fan, my irritation, the one who makes me laugh loudest and longest, and the delight of my heart!"

I'll also add on here (cause it's my sewing/costuming blog) the man who lets me be my creative self without nary a complaint or harsh word.  Who says, "It's ok!" when the hours have gotten away and dinner isn't ready and the house is a wreck (I am after all a professional house wife!).  Who let's me dress him up for when we go to a costuming event and who totally and completely supports me in all of my costuming, creating, artistic, and business endeavors.  You, my sweet, are a true blessing!! 

Ok!  On to why this post is being written!!  Waaaaay back on December 16, 2011, I wrote my very first blog post for Beauty From Ashes.  There were no pictures, just a threat about keeping up this blog for my memory and notes and ideas.  Since then, I have written 382 posts.  Some have been about ideas, some have been about completed projects, some have been Throw Back Thursday posts because I hadn't made anything because I had been involved in projects that weren't mine and I didn't want the blog to fall into misuse.  Some posts didn't have anything to do with sewing or costuming, but about antiques and cooking.  It has been a real mismash and I have enjoyed all of it!  I have gained quite a few followers and for you all, I am most grateful!  You have encouraged me and lifted my spirits with your lovely compliments and I count many, many of you as friends!

I have learned a lot during my "career" in blogging.  One of the biggest things I have learned is that not all people are alike in their preferences and "likes".  There sometimes is a huge difference between what I think is awesome and what my followers think is awesome!  That is so fun to observe.  My writing style and what I post about has changed over the years...sometimes I wax poetic and other times I just write the bare minimum.  I believe that all depends on what is going on in my life at the moment of writing and how I am doing emotionally.  Or if I am super excited about a project, of if I'm feeling just "meh" about it.  

Here are the top 10 viewed posts from #1 - #10

A very fun, educational, entertaining, emotional, satisfying time have I had writing and keeping up with this blog!  And I thank you all for joining me on this wild ride!

On to the Give Away!!

(This giveaway is open to US residents only...sorry!!!!!)

I have decided to go ahead and open this up to anyone who wants to the husband just weighted it and it is under a pound....Huzzah!!!

As part of my Blogiversary and as a way of saying thank you to my wonderful, supportive followers, I am wanting to offer you a gift!  While I was making my pocket for my 1830s cotton print dress a couple years ago, I thought "this would be a fun gift to give someone if I ever did a Blogiversary give away!"  Then, just this November as I was making one for my dear friend's birthday, I thought the same thing and hello!!  My blog's anniversary would be next (December) month and I could make one!  Huzzah!  Well, then the back went out and  all thoughts of sewing flew out the window!  Grrrrrrr...  Well, the back got better and the time for making a pocket was at hand.  It is now finished, made with silks and cottons left over from previous dress projects of mine.  This pocket along with some bits and bobs I've had in my collection/stash are what I would like to offer by way of "Thank you!!!".

Because I am so not computer savvy and because the thought of having to learn how to do Rafflecopter causes my brain to hurt, I am just going to do it the old fashioned way.  Write the names of the entrants on a piece of paper, put them in a hat, and have my Colton draw a name out!  We will video it so that you can watch us do this...the drawing out of the name part that is!  

The rules are so simple!  You can enter up to 3 times...

1.  Answer this question in the comments below:

"Why did you get into costuming?  Was it to get in touch with your ancestors?  Do you just love sewing/creating and you had to make something that made your heart sing?  Were you impressed upon by one of your friends to do what they were doing?  Or was it that fabulous dress from a movie that you just felt the urging to recreate?"  

Any answer will totally do!  I just really like knowing what drives other people to create!

2.  Post a link to this post on your blog if you have one.

3.  Share this contest on Instagram if you have an account...  tag your share with #beautyfromashesblogiversary

If you would be so kind as to let me know how many times you entered along with the answer to the question in the comments, that would be great!  I totally trust you and won't go and make sure you did what was needed!

You have until next Tuesday, January 10th at 8:33 pm Mountain Time Zone.

The winner will be announced Wednesday, January 11th!

Pocket of silk dupioni, silk taffeta, printed cotton, and cotton lining.  I will send along cotton twill tape so you can make the waist tie to your measurement!

Back...made using the cotton fabric from my 1830s cotton dress!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this fabric!

Roughly 15" long!  Nice for holding phones, gum, money, ear plugs, snacks, camera, scissors, thimble, acorns...whatever you think you'll need!

Bits and Bobs include vintage buttons, laces, two Victorian photographs, black leather gloves, three vintage handkerchiefs, a set of vintage garter clips, and a card of antique hooks and eyes.  I don't know why I have chosen these to be part...just felt they would be fun!

 Again, thank you all so very much for following along with me on this fun, crazy, entertaining and educational journey into costuming and blogging about it!!



Look at those babies!!!  Oh yes...My Mama and I made my dress!!  It's still hanging in my closet...I need to see if it still fits!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

All The 2016 Things!

Good Thursday to you all!  I hope that your last full week before the week before Christmas is going swimmingly!  I thought I would write my 2016 round-up now while I have the time...also, I am needing something to do while I'm still laid up with the stupid back thingy.  

This past year was a year of costuming weirdness, as far as my personal makings were concerned.  Last year, I made from scratch or re-purposed then decorated 11 hats or bonnets.  This year, only 2 were made!  Well, four if you want to count the wedding headpiece and the tea gown cap.  But still, I find it most odd especially considering the fact that hats and bonnets are my utmost favorite objects to make!  Then there was the fact that I made so many things of underwear.  Last year 6 objects of underwear were made, this year 14 things were made.  Seems like the hats and underwear objects did a swap!  Then I made some shoes, Edwardian swimming boots to be exact!  That is thrilling and totally satisfying knowing that I can look at them and say, "I made those!  How cool!"  

Several different things, costuming wise also happened this past year.  The first several months of 2016 were taken up with costuming the musical "Guys and Dolls" for NNU, and that meant that my own personal sewing was totally put away.  While I truly enjoyed working on the musical and working with the wonderful cast and director, it was a happiness when the musical was completed and I could start on things that my imagination had been running away with!  I also started, along with my sweet Mama, a new business endeavor, The House of Whyte.  The House of Whyte does historical fashion education programs.  Mom and I had been doing Victorian Underwear Shows for 5 years and finally decided that we needed to expand it and make a business!  I am so happy that we have, as it has opened doors to bless other people with the fun and beauty of Victorian clothing!  

Things also happened that had nothing to do with costuming, and had everything to do with family.  My sweet oldest son, Cody, graduated from high school.  I am so proud of this young man...most of his school career, we homeschooled, then his senior year he took dual enrollment college classes at CWI!!  Watching him during his graduation was such a surreal event as I am only about 10 years old (ok, in my mind).  I had such a wonderful time sitting in the audience, feeling pride, joy, and wonder as I watched this young man, whom I have known his entire life, take this next step into adulthood.  My youngest son started a new Homeschool Co-op (a classical education schooling format).  This new type of education was so foreign to both Colton and I that I started going to school with him on his "at a school building" day on Wednesday and had to make myself more available to him during his at home days.  That was a really different way of schooling from the past and was something we both sort of struggled with adjusting to.  Now things are wonderful and Colton loves his new Co-op!

All in all, 2016 was a tremendous year!  A couple of sadnesses I personally experienced were the loss of my Aunt LaVonne and Greg's Grandma Fay.  LaVonne was my mom's older sister and a fun aunt to have.  She will be greatly missed!  Fay was 98 and had lead a most wonderful life!  I'll miss her chipper personality and charm.

 We did do some fun things...Mom and I went to Utah, stayed with Jennifer Rosbrugh of Historical Sewing and went to tea with Jennifer and Lisa Hiller at the Grand America.  It was a really delightful weekend!  Greg's mom, Pam came for Cody's graduation and we had a total and complete blast!  Mom, Colton and I went for a long weekend visit to my brother and his family's.  I love hanging out with them and seeing their new house was very awesome!  Dad, Mom, Colton and I went hunting in the mountains of Idaho.  I find it quite satisfying to be able to provide nutritious, healthy meat for my family and I also like hanging out with my parents without the distractions of "town".  I am sure that I did some other fun things (I did take Colton on quite a few photoshoots) but right now as I am writing this, I can't seem to bring them to mind!  I can't wait to see what this next year brings!

2016 Creations

This year, I really wanted to work on building several new Historical Fashion Education Programs.  These new programs were:

Dressing the Victorian Bride
Dressing The Victorian in Mourning
Women in Sports 
The Stages of a Woman's Life

The Bridal and Mourning program wardrobes are completed as is a good bit of the Women in Sports wardrobe.  There are still more sporting outfits that I have on my "to do" list and a few more pieces for "The Stages of a Woman's Life" program.  We shall see if 2017 is the year to see these completed!!

1898 Wedding Trousseau

I want to start off the list with my most favorite, and the most intensive and time consuming project I have ever undertaken, Dressing the Victorian Bride.  I have to say that this project filled me with great happiness, giddiness, fluffy girliness, a little bit of frustration and rapturous joy when it was finally completed!!  

For the most part I used natural fiber fabrics for the bridal trousseau.  Silk dupioni, silk chiffon, silk ribbon, antique ribbon, antique lace, cotton batiste, wire, crape paper, bees wax and poly bridal satin (for the skirt lining)

The Dress

Inspiration dress :  Antique Gown

The Underwear

The Wedding Flowers

Mother of the Bride

(Mom made the skirt and did a fabulous job!)

Natural Form Era Maternity Dress/Tea Gown

When it was a Maternity Gown
When it was a Tea Gown

The MET Moire Mourning Gown

Inspiration Source:  The MET

1850s and 1860s Underwear



One Hat, One Bonnet


1897 Fencing Outfit (And Cody's Graduation Pictures!!)


Well, that's it!  I still have to do a photo shoot wearing the Riding Habit (Can't wait to do this Michaela My Soul Is Fed With Needle and Thread!!) and the 1850s Mourning outfit.  Those could happen after the new year, we shall see!

I hope you all have a most wonderful week and I'll chat with you later!!



Sunday, December 11, 2016

1850s Second Mourning Bonnet

Good Sunday to you all!  I hope that the week was good to everyone and that you did fun happy things!  Me?  My week was going fine and dandy until I woke up on Wednesday to discover that my back had gone out.  Like the "big go out" that long time readers know plagues me at least once a year.   This event lands me in bed with pain so severe that walking up stairs, sneezing, coughing or laughing reduces me to tears.  And forget about any sewing or having any sort of fun. My crime this time around?  Waaaaait for iiiiiit!!! 

I. Was. Sleeping.  

Yup.  Nothing so exciting as lifting a car off a child, oooor climbing Mount Borah, ooooor wrestling an alligator.  Nope.  The activity I was participating in this go around was catching some z's.  Exciting huh?  Bet you wish you could live my life! hahahahahahaha!!!

Anyhoo, I had planned on getting one more sewing project in before the new year.  Well, two actually.  You see, my blog's anniversary is December 16th and I was hoping to make an 1830s pocket as a give-away gift, along with some other fun things.  Well, I am going to have to do that probably after the holidays and certainly after my back heals.  I also wanted to make a yellow bonnet using my new Timely Tresses pattern.  At present, my time is taken up with lying in bed, watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and YouTube, binging on Pinterest, stretching my back muscles, and generally feeling sorry for myself.  Pretty sad huh?  Pain is not my friend and the presence of it, specifically this kind of horrific pain does a real number on my psyche and plunges me into a deep depression.  This time around however I have been using my HiDow T.E.N.S. unit and it is really helping and I believe it is bring healing about much faster than in the past.  Plus, my chiropractor is back from his vacation this week so I will be paying him a couple of visits!!  I am looking for that silver lining and praying that the duration of this round of back issues is greatly diminished!

One of the things I felt up to today was taking pictures of my 1850s second mourning bonnet.  This bonnet was my first use of Timely Tresses' patterns.  I used the Flora Francine pattern and can I just take a moment and gush over how fabulous this pattern was?  I have made patterns for my own bonnets in the past, but really wanted a true to the era look for my MET moire mourning ensemble.  First of all, the pattern came with a book for its instructions.  A BOOK!!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  And it's quite the lovely papaer back book!  I wish I had happened upon these patterns when I first started out making hats and bonnets as I wouldn't have had hardly the frustrating time I had in the past!  If you are a visual learner and wish to make bonnets, I strongly suggest investing in Timely Tresses patterns.  The Flora Francine came with three different brim choices for mid 1850s to early 1860s.  Perfect!  Having made many bonnets, I adjusted some things like adding tabs to the brim to sew it to the crown (not 100% sure if that is era correct) as that is the construction step I am used to, but there are instructions that are different in the book (I still can't get over the fact that they have a book for their instructions!!!!!  EPIC!!)

The inspiration for my bonnet came from the FIDM Musuem.  Sarah Elizabeth Craft's Easter Bonnet to be specific.  I have made an 1863 half mourning bonnet and an 1840s mourning bonnet and was looking for something different from these previous ones.  I was perusing Pinterest (shocking, I know) and came across little Sarah's sweet yellow bonnet and fell in love.  I knew it would be the perfect one for what I was wanting.  Happily, I was making my ensemble second mourning, so I could add the white, some flowers and add a little bit of flourish to the bonnet itself!

Made of black Thailand Silk (very similar to dupioni silk) gifted to me by a lovely lady who purchased it on a trip to Thailand from the factory that she toured!  How cool is that?
White dupioni silk
Antique black moire ribbon
White antique lace
Antique soft silk flowers
cotton cording

After I put on the dress with the bonnet, I'll see about the length of the ribbon tails.  For right now, I like them long!

The inspiration for the placement of the flowers came from the below image from The MET

For some reason, the fact that the flowers on the inside of her bonnet weren't perfectly even made my heart happy!

The flowers have been in my stash for years and I was thrilled that I hadn't used them before now!  I hate it when I have flowers already on hats or bonnets that would be perfect on the one I am currently creating...because I can't use them!

When I tried the bonnet on, I LOVED the way it framed my face.  The bonnets I have made in the past have never done this and it just seemed so very sweet!

There are 12 layers of cording and pressed ruffles on this bonnet.  Needless to say, I was thrilled that the silk was super thin!

View from above.  This makes me happy!

The "C" shape of the brim can really be seen here.

Inside.  I'm pretty sure the inside isn't historically accurate as the gathering goes clear to the back of the bonnet.  The gathers should stop where the brim and crown meet, then non gathered fabric should go from the crown to the crown tip.  At least that is what I have seen on the extant examples from the internet.  I really didn't want to fiddle with that, so just took the gathering all the way to the back.

Close up of beautiful antique lace.  It's so fun to have such pretty things in the stash!

Fabulous, fabulous pattern booklet from Timely Tresses.  I have since ordered the Verretta Louia 1847-1854 bonnet pattern!  I can't wait to make it up!

I hope that the coming week is a great one for you!  If you celebrate Christmas, do you have your house decorated and ready for the holidays?  Happily, I got my decorating done before the back went out.  Hey!  Maybe that is why my back is in rebellion!  hahahahahaha!!  

Be Blessed my friends!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Natural Form Era Tea Gown

Greetings to you all!  I hope this finds everyone happy and healthy and getting ready for Christmas!  Is your house all decked out and ready for the holidays?  Mine finally is, although I have misplaced 5 wreathes that I use in my decorating, which is quite vexing to say the least.

Lately, life has been really busy and sewing has been slow and sometimes non-existent, but it is only a season and soon (like in a couple of weeks when Colton gets three weeks Christmas vacation!!!) things will pick up again!  Huzzaaaaaaah!!!  I have been putting the finishing touches on my 1850s mourning bonnet to go with the dress then that project will be completed.  Next up will be an 1840s stripe silk taffeta gown and I so cannot wait to begin it!

Today at my church we had our annual Christmas tea and Mama and I were table hostesses.  I thought long and hard about whether or not I would wear my Victorian Tea Gown.  Since we were using Mom's Royal Albert Old Country Roses china set that is very Victorian looking, I decided to go ahead and wear the gown.  I am so happy I did too as it was a great place to wear it and it was after all a tea party!

Back in June of this year, I wore the dress as a Natural Form Era Maternity Gown for the centennial celebration of Mary Hallock Foote day at the Boise Public Library.  I knew as I was making it that one day I would be ruching the front panel and moving the tab that goes across the front down to the natural waist line to make a Tea Gown.  Can I just say that the plum mean satin, was a total and complete pain in the neck to ruche!  AND there were 12...TWELVE!!! new rows of ruching that needed to be sewn.  It took me something like 3 days to get all the rows ruched and then backed with the same fabric so the threads wouldn't pop.  Because, had those threads popped, there would have been a crater where my house is because I would have become apologetically cross and exploded.

Oh ya, and I also made a lace cap like the ladies would often times wear during tea time! Since my tree is up and happy, I thought it would be fun to do the photo shoot around it and not with my tea cart as the tea cart is currently in storage. Hahahahahaha!!!  Many thanks to my fabulous husband for being my photographer today!

Sweet Rosie Dog is always wanting to get in the pictures!  She is such a sweet heart!

Mama and I at our table.  Aren't her dishes beautiful?  Just like her!!!

Before I sign off for now, I want to share with you the pictures that we took of my side of the family this Thanksgiving.  I am so truly blessed to have these people in my life.  They are so fun and I love it when we are all together!  It is loud and crazy and hectic and awesome!  Having my parents' house full to the brim with everyone does my heart very, very good.

The Grand kids.

The Grand kids with Papa and Nana.

Oh my delight my heart!

What a crew!

My sweet family.

The Girls.

The Guys.

The delights of my heart!!!

I hope you all have a most fabulous week my friends!

Be Blessed!