Nellie"s Needles

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gifts In the Spirit of "Earth Day"

My new cyber friend of Quilt or Die made a series of ATC's from the leftovers of her February challenge for "Interpret This".  I'm the lucky recipient of this one.
She calls this series "Take Home From Shanghai".  Her challenge piece was titled "Dinner In Shanghai".  Someday she'll get an ATC featuring the lake in return.

Our younger son and his family visited from Oak Park, Illinois over the Easter holidays.  I took this opportunity to present two of my all time favorite dresses to our daughter-in-law.

This silk beaded dress was made in France.  I purchased it from a resale shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin about thirty-five years ago.  I wore it for many years ... the years that I was the age my DIL is now.  It looks so perfect on her and I hope she feels as good wearing it as I did.  Nothing moves nor feels as good a beaded silk.

This one has a story.  I had decided to spend  $100 of "my own money" for my husband's birthday gift.  After four shopping trips in Holland and Saugatuck, Michigan I hadn't found anything worth spending my money on.  The one thing I saw that was worth buying was an aged black beaded silk crepe dress in an antique shop.   It, too, was from France. The gift to my husband for his 47th birthday was this dress that I planned to refurbish so I would be beautiful for him on my 40th one.  Consequently, our DIL had to ask him if she may have "his" dress.

The silk in the layers of the bodice had shattered.  Quite a lot of the beading was still there.  I redesigned the dress with a bloused top that is constructed of silk satin.  The skirt was relined as well.  I even bought a tambour needle to redo parts of the beading design.  To this day it still "drips" tiny glass beads.  I should give my DIL that tool and one of the instruction books for how to bead with that technique.

She has an entry in an art show that has an opening this next week in Chicago.  One of these dresses will make an entrance there.  I'll post a photo here when I get one.

Here's hoping that you enjoy the receiving or the giving of repurposed and, or, passed on gifts.  Those have been some of the best presents that I have  received through the years.


Michele Bilyeu said...

This is all so lovely! The dresses are incredibly unique, and on your beautiful daughter-in-law, quite amazing! These look like photos out of Vogue, or Marie-Claire or something...what a lovely setting, too!!

Beverly said...

Those dresses and your DIL are lovely- she will indeed make quite the entrance! Love the histories that accompany the dresses also!

Kay said...

So classy and lovely, both the young woman and the dresses. Isn't it great she can wear them?

Dianne Durand said...

It was a beautiful Easter and to see Jeanette in the beautiful dresses that Nellie had so carefully saved was amazing. Jeanette was truly beautiful. What a fun gift! I know Brian will be proud of both his mother and his wife. Congratulations Nellie! Well done.

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

A lovely gift for a lovely family member. Hope you will share her show in Chicago with us too.

Heather said...

Love the ATC Nellie and your daughter-in-law looks very elegant in both those beautiful dresses. Lucky girl to have been given them.

Julie said...

Beautiful dresses Nellie and your DIL looks lovely in them too.

Karen said...

Love the dresses! How fantastic that you can hand them off to your DIL! when and where is her show?

Nellie's Needles said...

Here's a link to the art show:

There's an opening reception (free) for the public on April 24th from noon to 4pm.

Jeanette Jancius Durand said...

I love the dresses from my MIL. I am planning to wear the French beaded dress on Tuesday evening, I have an oil painting at the "Chicago Art Open" there is a fundraiser for the Chicago Artists Coalition that night.


April 20 through May 7, 2010
River East Art Center
435 East Illinois Street
Chicago, IL

The Chicago Art Open features over 350 professional, emerging, and student artists with artwork in all media selected by guest curators.