Wednesday, September 30, 2009

uncle johnny.

My sweet Uncle Johnny passed away last night. He was 85. His wife, my Aunt Ruth, inspired in me a love of medicine...she was a nurse. I wanted to follow in her footsteps for most of my teen and early adult years.

My Uncle Johnny had a sweet disposition and jolly, rosy cheeks. His voice was raspy, the way you sometimes get after a bout of laryngitis, but his was that way all the time. I loved to hear Uncle Johnny talk.

When I was little, I used to go with my dad to work (my dad is a retired phone man) and I loved to go to Johnny's office. He had a big leather chair and a shiny, polished desk. But my favorite thing was his small-scale, leather-bound collection of Shakespeare.I loved the smell of the old leather covers, and the intricate gold tooling on the cover. And the crinkly sound the paper made when I turned one of the delicate pages. I was careful, because I knew these books were something special.

I read Romeo and Juliet curled up in that big leather chair in his office, and A Midsummer Nights Dream (my two favorites of the Bard's.) And others... I stumbled through the unfamiliar cadence and language at first, but eventually I found my rhythm. And fell in love.

Thank you Uncle Johnny, for the memories that will stay with me always, and for inadvertently introducing me to a great passion. Writing.

He who has gone,
so we but cherish his memory,
abides with us, more potent,
nay, more present
than the living man.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I crack myself up. Now if only BWOF was a reality show and not another incarnation of "octo".

Anywho...what a shocker to get the Burda World of Fashion in my mailbox today! (I refuse to conform to the "Burda" minus "World of Fashion" cover name. Boo!) On first flip through, I love this (even tho the neckline would look hideous on me):

Dress #119
And I don't plan on chopping down any trees (or whatever else the Brawny man does in his free time) but I really like this top (pictured below in the non-flannel version):

top #105

I'm a sucker for a cropped plaid jacket. Plus, faux fur!

jacket #108

Is it wrong that I like this?

Dress #104

And wait...are those REAL PEOPLE modeling? Surely that was a trick of the light. (But I really like this dress, it looked much more "stylish" on the person than in the line drawing! Typical BWOF).

Dress #117
And this top in the plus section is actually very pretty too:

Top #133
And this vintage-y suit is really cute. Or is the hat seducing me??

Suit #124 & 123

That's it for my first run through. I'm sure someone will make up something I didn't look twice at and I'll find more to love!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This is the MOST fun to watch! The crowd is on fire too!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Who doesn't love Harry Connick Jr?

Did you catch him on Oprah today? SO cute, and that voice! If you hurry you can grab a download (free) of one of his new CD tracks--All the Way--on Oprah's site! It'll only be up about 18 hours longer!

While in New Orleans a couple of summers ago, I snapped this picture of his Musician's Village housing development in the upper Ninth Ward. I was on a tour of the Ninth Ward and the devastation made my stomach hurt. Then the last thing we saw before returning to the French Quarter was Musician's Village. It was very uplifting in the midst of the all the sorrow. This is what I think of when I think of HCJ.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

yikes & yays.

Pam Anderson still models.

No, seriously. Pammy is 41. I'm 38. Please, God, tell me I'm not going to look like this in 3 years!!!

Better news...This starts tonight at 8/7c!!!

It stars the spectacularly yummy Joseph Fiennes, and right off the bat they hook me: battered, bloody, form-fitting denim. Holster. Rawr.

Add some death, destruction and mayhem, with a twist of the unexplained a'la Lost, and I'm plumping your target demographic numbers. (At least for another year or so. See Pammy and me above.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It's not really that time of year yet...but it will sneak up on us nonetheless. I don't mention this to instill fear and loathing (Shannon, I'm talking to you) but rather to --hopefully-- inspire you to participate in an amazing, fun experience I joined last year.

It's called the 2009 World Wide Christmas Toy Drop and is sponsored by the Toy Society.

In a nutshell, you create a handmade toy (mostly stuffies or plush toys, dolls, etc. but the item is up to you!) and you choose a place "drop" it off, someplace it will be easily found, dropping a bit of unexpected happiness and handmade joy into someone's lap.

Picture from the Toy Society blog

Here's the Toy Society's flickr if you'd like to view some of the fun for yourself. And here is their flickr group.

Picture from the Toy Society blog

Last year the Toy Society provided tags to download and print to place with your toy, so that the finder will understand the gesture. All the finder is required to provide is the LOVE.

I hope you'll join me and the rest of the Toy Society gang this year! Be watching the Toy Society Blog for more info. They just sent out the join information on their newsletter (so sign up for that too while you're on the blog!)

Monday, September 21, 2009


"My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite."
--William Shakespeare

The bounty of love I have for this voile and lace confectionary Edwardian blouse is...endless.

And here I've been wondering what to do with all the lace and Nelona I've got lying around since my lovely Lu outgrew heirloom.

There's also this gorgeous corset cover in the current issue of Sew Beautiful, with lace-shaped bows...
Speaking of vintagey gorgeous, how beautiful was Drew Barrymore at the Emmy's last night?

I'm stalling on grading papers. Can you tell?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

hair, hair, hair, hair, hair

Now you can sing the song too. oh, by the way, I cut my hair off.

well, Lu & I did it together. We started out trimming. Then we graduated to bobbed.

Which became layered.

And needed to flippy out, else I look all bowl-ish.

Now I'm stuck somewhere between flapper and rock star.

(But we already knew that.)

ps...I'm all a-twitter. Like, literally. Who's twittering with me so I can follow you? (I'll put a badge over on the right for mine!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

a capelet plan

My planned topper for the PR swap was #116 from the 9/07 issue. I'm still working on a full plan for my swap (in case by some miracle I do decide to enter), and the capelet is still most definitely in the mix (SWAP or no.)

I plan to use a classic black and white houndstooth and I'm pretty sure I have a fabulous vintage button to use for a closure.

That's pretty much the extent of my "sewing" this weekend. Baby steps.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Well, I have tried and tried...for over a week!... to form a plan for the PR SWAP.

Here were my (self-imposed) rules:
  • Sew from Stash
  • Not black and white
  • Use some of those cute patterns I keep dog-earing in BWOF or Ottobre
  • Try to incorporate the vintage look I really love (new or old)
Well, this proved nearly impossible. For one thing, I can't coordinate my stash fabrics (of which there are plenty) into the pattern choices that feel even remotely unified, AND still have the whole thing fit the PR guidelines which are:
  • 5 tops
  • 4 bottoms
  • 1 topper
  • all tops must go with all bottoms
  • topper must go with everything
  • must use a print
  • no dresses (ok, this isn't really a rule, but is discouraged by the other rules. The dress has to either go with all the tops and the topper, or be worn over all the pants.)
My biggest problem seemed to be the print. The B&W self-imposed rule was an issue for me too, since I have a ton of black and white. But the print was the hardest. I just don't have a print that goes with everything else, without resorting to a stripe or plaid/houndstooth (which felt like cheating to me).

And I keep seeing dresses I want to make. Of course.

Which brings me to...My new plan, the non-SWAP SWAP. I won't be entering the PR contest, but I'll be sewing along this fall and blogging it here. You know, assuming I actually have progress to blog about.

Here are my new rules:
  • Sew some of the BWOF & Ottobre I love
  • Sew from stash
  • Not all black and white!
  • Have some vintagey goodness
  • There are no other rules.
HAHAHAHA!!! I crack myself up. No, there are no rules. I'm MOWSAPing. My Own Sewing With A Plan.

For example, I'd like the tops to go with most bottoms, I just don't require they go with ALL of them. I want to incorporate dresses. I really like the topper idea, but I don't need it to go with everything.

Here are some pieces I've been wanting to make, but that didn't fit the SWAP rules no matter how I tweaked and fiddled. (and moaned and groaned. Ask Shannon. )

This fabulous dress from 11/08 BWOF. I even have the perfect plummy purple doubleknit for it in stash:

This great cowl top was in the newest Burda Plus magazine! LOVE it.

Same Burda Plus issue was this great dress. And, I have a great charcoal knit, but it's sort of scratchy which worries me. It's not a cotton or rayon, but some sort of poly I guess. Still, I could wear this with a cute thin turtleneck in the winter and I'll never know it's scratchy!

From the 8/09 issue of BWOF, this great vintagey top. It needs a pretty, flowing chiffon or georgette. I may have to purchase that, all my chiffon and georgette is in solids, and I'd like to see it in a great print! (Wish I still had some of that cream and black dot georgette. Darnit.)

LOVE this dress. June 09 BWOF issue maybe?? Possibly July.

I've been wanting to try these pants since last November when I got this BWOF issue! They look SO similar to my favorite Eddie Bauer pant.

I've always loved this jacket too. And the skirt is cute too! These are from the 9/08 issue of BWOF.

Just a great, fun top. Also from the 9/08 issue.

I've been meaning to make this knit top since September of 2007 when the issue first came out. Bout time to follow through!Ok, maybe you can tell I'm a little disorganized and have too many great ideas! I do actually have more bottoms too... Marlene trousers (BWOF had one recently in the plus section I think?) Possibly a denim trouser. I'll be pulling out the fabrics and looking at all my options this weekend to finish up a storyboard. So be on the lookout for that soon!!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

the "I have nothing to wear to church" skirt

Occasionally Lu still "lets" me sew for her.


Like when she got up this morning and hated all of her clothes and proceeded to eyeball a cute retro dot I had in my glass front cabinet. Sadly, I only had a 1/2 yard for a purse project that never materialized, and had already ripped said half yard into two 18 x 20" pieces.

Lucky for Lu, she's small. I didn't even alter the ripped rectangles, just seamed them on the sides, added a narrow elastic waist, and a narrow hem. (I really did pull off that hanging thread later.)

Yellow Cat: Are we still doing this?

Lu loves leggings and throws them on under everything. She wore black flats to church, not zebra flipflops. Oy.

Had to add one of my awesomely cute woven labels to the outside. **Edit for MaryBeth and anyone else who wonders about the labels. I have used Fancyweaver for a couple of years now for woven labels. They ship really fast (from Hong Kong), its very affordable (200 custom artwork, color, woven labels --not printed--for $60), and you can choose pretty much any Pantone color, any TrueType font and they will match it. Most woven label companies charge astronomical fees to do custom artwork, and most have huge minimums. He also carries sizing, content & care labels for a good price (and you can order custom font/color for those too!)

Matching fingernails? Bonus.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

korto & me

Guess what I did tonight??

I went to a runway show of Korto's new line for Dillards!!! Woohoo!! This was the most fun I've had in ages! This is Lu, me and my friend Lisa, all wiggly with excitement before the show:

And these are the emcee's shoes..which were so spectacular, I knew I better bring proof for you:

And then the fun began!!! I've never been to a "real" runway show, and this is probably as close as I'll ever get. It was SO much fun to see Korto's stuff come down the runway, with the cool tribal music bumping and flashes going off... But you just want to see the clothes, right?

So here ya go!

(ahem. He's carrying her jewelry line.
You know, in case you missed it.)

So after all the amazing clothes, they all came out and did the final runway walk...and she trailed them at the end! Just like the real thing!

And seriously? How gorgeous is she??

And sassy too!

So then we waited around to get our picture with her. Of course I fangirl-ed all over her and she was the sweetest thing! And that's how Korto & I became BFFs.