Monday, January 24, 2011

Feeling a Little Blue? No Worries....I Have a Quick Fix

One of my favoritest all-time books is Revealed by Carlyn Quartermaine.  

 I've reached for this book dozens of times....and for every excuse I can think of, too!

In the mood to paint?  It contains colors galore!

  Feeling a little blue, but don't know exactly which shade of blue you are feeling?
Yup!  It's in there....promise! 

 Her splashes of color cover almost every page of the book from beginning to end. 

 Don't you adore her fabric designs?  I mean....who could resist them?

I'm thinking this pair of pink chairs 
will fit in my daughter's bedroom beautifully....don't you?
You just gotta have this book.....WAY better than any "mommy's little helper"!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Heart number two, more purple than blue....

I think I may have forgotten to mention the "rules" that I must follow to make these sweet little sachets.  They are simply this:  I may buy nothing.  Everything must be found in my studio or jewelry box....everything!  (Okay....I guess there is one exception--I always use newly purchased dried lavender inside.)
If you're a designer, and especially if you collect vintage items to use in your creations, this is really not such a challenge. 

You only need to begin with one item such as a piece of ribbon or a piece of jewelry that you plan to use....everything else just falls into place!
Have a wonderful weekend, and thank the good Lord for the gift of yet another day.  Rain, sleet or snow....there's still so much to appreciate.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sneaky Holiday, that Valentine's.....

I just looked at the calender with my "Where are we in the year?" frame of mind instead of "What do I have scheduled today?" frame of mind.  And, yes.....I cannot believe that Valentine's Day is on it's way!  That lovely little holiday ALWAYS sneaks up on you feel the same way????

Every Valentine's Day (and I use the term "every" quite loosely here), I make a heart-shaped lavender sachet for my wonderful friend and sweet mother, and it's time to begin thinking about what I'm going to create for her this year.  Any ideas?.....I'm desperate!

In years past, I've made her a heart in pink, or red, or purple, or even gold!....too many to remember them all.  (Well, actually I do....I have a list.....I'm a little obsessive in that way.  But, trust me, that's as far as my "organizational" obsession goes....just ask my hubby!)  I'm just not sure what this year's heart is going to look like.  But I do remember that last year I shared the one that I made for her with all of you, 

and I promised that I would share some of the ones that I had made  "next" Valentine's Day, which, of course, would be now.  So in the next few days, I'll be posting some of my fun little heart-shaped creations that I've made for my mom.   Hope you enjoy them!

Here's the first one that I made for her:

I remember it all began with a vintage pattern book that my mother gave me.  And, uh huh, it did indeed come from my grandmother as you may have guessed...chock full of curvy initial transfers...completely irresistable!  I embroidered the "P" out of gold metallic thread, and I loved how it turned out.  The outside "lace" trim is created from two layers of seed beads sewn into the seams.....very simple to do!  Try it....

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Lure of Red

Vintage Dior
A simple red dress....made of nothing but the finest of, of course!   Only because it crunches....and it has amazing shadows between its folds.  Doesn't get any better than that....except if it's vintage....then it screams!
That simple red dress exudes confidence.  It demands attention.  It lures every eye...and begs it to linger.  You know what I'm talking about....the gaze from a guy while his girlfriend is poking his side and pulling his arm....yea, that's the one.  Oh, and the one from the girl sitting at the table next to you who's longing to be in your shoes....uh huh....
I can't put my finger on it, but the thought of that simple red dress has gotten me out of many a tearful situation.  I must confess that I tear up way too easily....especially at church (the choir's special music always makes my eyes well) and while watching movies (I totally embarrass my daughters when they are with me!).  But if I must hold back tears for any reason, my mind does this automatic fast forward to my red "dream" dress.  It always gets my mind off of the situation at hand...even if it's only for a few seconds.  Those fleeting moments give me just enough time to regain my every time....try it!

An Homage to Valentino

I used to think that I could never wear red....that it just wasn't my color.  But now I believe that EVERY woman can wear red.  You just have to find the perfect shade that compliments you.  Through trial and error I have learned that "cherry" red is my perfect shade.  What's yours?  Please do share....and tell me what makes it work for you! 

PS....For those of you who prefer to carry your "pop!" of color in lieu of wearing it.....try one of these:


(I know.....audacious of me to add one of my bags among Valentino's beauties!!)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

From Whence We Come......

That I would enjoy designing beautiful things seems natural since I come from a long line of creative women on my mother's side of the family.
My great-grandmother May (pictured above) made dozens of beautiful quilts--mostly for warmth--but nevertheless beautiful, each and every one.    She also designed her own clothes as well as her daughters' Grandmother Maude and my Great Aunt Opal....
and as they became young women, they were dressed to the nines...always.....(don't the dresses on the left below look like they stepped right off Ralph Lauren's Spring 2010 runway??)

My Grandmother Maude (pictured above left in the photo on the left, and right in the "smocks" photo above), designed my mother's and Aunt Nancy's clothes, too, both casual and special occasion frocks.  They were also the "Belle of the Ball" where ever they went....complete with coiffed hair, rhinestone earrings and necklaces, and matching pumps.
My mother worked full-time as I was growing up, but she still found time to teach me to sew.  I know she knew it was inevitable when she watched me making clothes for my  Barbie dolls at age 6.  Alas, it's one of those things that's just in your blood....there is no denying it!
When I was 11, she bought my first sewing machine for old, used black Singer with gold trim, which I still have, along with our original sales receipt.....$19.95!  I still love that old machine for its memories of my first original creations, and for its own design and style.  These old sewing machines sell for a mint today.....but I wouldn't part with mine for the world!  

 (I also have my Great Grandmother May's treadle sewing machine, but have not had the confidence nor time to learn to use it.  I know,'s on the list!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ring Out the Old, Ring In the New

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850


Snowy pictures of my sister's home in Pennsylvania.....I miss her terribly and wish I were there now.....

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

~Photos taken by my mother....thank you, Mom.~