Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oscar and Vintage Dresses

The 83rd Academy Awards airs tomorrow, and I'm all set to watch.  I must confess though, that I am mainly watching for the fashions.  I don't  generally watch award shows, opting instead to read Internet recaps of the winners, but I tend to make an exception for the Oscars.  Everyone really goes all out for that one!  What I look forward to most is the red carpet parade of bea-ut-i-ful dresses.  I especially love it when someone chooses a vintage gown, and go all kinds of crazy trying to see it at every angle in all of its sspectacularly preserved glory. 

This stunning Vintage Valentino worn by Julia Roberts in 2001 when she won for Erin Brokovich remains my all time favorite.

Pure glamour, and pure class.

Speaking of glamor and class, I can't resist an opportunity to mention my favorite leading lady of all time, Bette Davis.  There are several stories about how the Academy Award statuette came to be dubbed "Oscar", but my favorite credits Ms. Davis, claiming that she named him for her first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson, when she won her first Academy Award in 1935.

Here she is in the stunning dress from Jezebel, for which she won her second Oscar in 1938.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!  For my part, I'm hoping for some great vintage dress sightings!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Inspirational Friday--Blog Love!

I find inspiration all around me; in my books, from my friends and family, from the music that my love plays, from the boundless joy of my puppies. 

I also enjoy searching for and discovering new sources of inspiration to challenge me and make me better at whatever I am doing.  Yesterday I found that in an e-course on blogging.  I am so happy about this discovery!  I can already tell that it will challenge me to further develop my own voice and style, rather than to just follow a mold set out by someone else, as some of the blogging tutorials that are out there seem to do.

First challenge: identify theme for blog.  Easy-peasy! As the title suggests, my intended themes are vintage and sewing, and fun with both.

If my life had a mission statement, it would be to find the joy in the moments. It is there in all of them, but sometimes you have to work to find it, and that is where the challenge comes in.  It is easy to find the joy in the moments like a Christmas morning surrounded by family and friends.  Not so easy in moments like saying goodbye to a beloved friend, pet, job, home.  But it is there; in the person by your side that won't let go of your hand, the wagging tail of a new puppy waiting to be loved, the sunshine that warms your face and dries your tears. 

I intend to write about the things that I love and now have time for in my life; my passion for all things vintage, making things for myself, my home, and to share with others, and a commitment to a lifestyle that centers on things that are earth friendly and healthy for mind, body and spirit. 

I hope that you will take this journey with me!

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bringing Vintage Into Your World

Love vintage, but not sure how it fits into your style?  Play with accessories!

Think about the way that you accessorize your outfits, and replace a key piece or two with something vintage.  Do you change your earrings with every outfit?  Add a few vintage pairs to your collection.  Do you make sure that your handbag matches whatever you are wearing?  Collect vintage bags!

As you start your vintage collection, look for pieces that fit easily into your wardrobe, which will insure that you will actually use it.  Even if that minaudiere you just found is both the most beautiful thing you have ever seen AND priced to steal, if you're like me and need a minimum of a compact, lipstick, keys, license, bank card and cell phone everywhere you go, it's just not going to get used.  On the other hand, this small-ish, black patent Kelly style bag gets taken out to dinner almost every week:

I have paired it with the daytime dress that needed a quick update for an evening out, more than one LBD, and even the stunning Diane Von Furstenberg jersey gown that I wore to the Kennedy Center on New Year's Eve. 

As you begin to experiment with vintage, have fun!  Also, don't forget that the most important "rule" of fashion is to wear what you love!

Friday, February 18, 2011


it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  it means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart. (unknown)

i love this!
wishing everyone peace,
xo, a.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Basket of Vintage Baubles

A small sampling from my collection of vintage costume jewelry, that I am in the process of photographing to add to my Etsy shop.  Most of these are mid-century, meaning that they are 50 to 60 years old! Things from that era were so well made that they are able to be collected, worn and treasured by vintage loving women today.

Think about the costume jewelry currently being offered in your local department store for a moment.  Will it survive 50 or 60 years?  Will it be treasured, or trashed? 

I don't know the answer to that question, but I bet that a few of these pieces will still be in use.

Have a happy and treasure filled day! XO

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine giveaway loot!

Sending a big thank you to Katy and Maureen of Sew Lovely Embroidery for these beautiful buttons and earrings that I won in a giveaway on their blog:

And I just love the note that came with them, too; so festive!  I wore the earrings on Valentine's Day, and they are now a part of my regular rotation.  Cute and comfortable makes them tops in my bauble collection!

As for the buttons, I have several vintage fabrics chosen to go along with them already.  Now I just have to decide what to make.

Happy crafting!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Love

I hope that everyone had a love filled day!  I did; I spent the day with my puppy loves, and then my sweetheart and I spent the evening together.  We shared champagne and chocolate mousse, exchanged cards, and added this sweet peice of love from The Black Apple to our space:

Matted and framed, it will be a perfect addition to our own personal hiding place, aka the master bedroom.

I just love love!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Inspirational Friday--Gorgeously Green!

I mentioned last week that some of the blog posts I was reading were inspiring me to update my green living practices, and I even went so far as to pull one of my favorite books off of the shelf for ideas on things that I haven't been doing, or that I can do better.  This is the book:

They had me at the title alone, but in case additional convincing is needed, this from the back cover is sure to do it, from the forward by Julia Roberts: "...I love to shop, I love to cook, I love to feel that I have done one thing a day to educate myself making the world a better, stronger place to live in..." Here is the advice we need!

The author and I have similar motto's in our lives; one thing can make a difference. Flick off a light switch, buy an organic apple; it all counts!

The first step is to simply become aware.  What can you do today that will have a positive impact on the environment?  One of the first changes I made in my home, that we continue to do every day without even thinking about now, was to set up a recycling program.  There are countless items available to make this simple, and after doing the necessary research I found that what works for us are a few step on divided trash cans. Left side trash, right side recycled. Because of soda cans, dog food containers and the like, plastic liners are a necessity for us, but there are many options available made from recycled materials.  We have a good recycling program in our area also, which is a big help.  The parks department will provide you with all of the containers you can use, or if you are like me and they never make it back from the curb, a big "X" on the bag is all they need to know how to sort.  What amazed me the most about this undertaking is that about 2/3 of what I put out there every week is in the "recycle me please" pile.  Who knew that so much of what we use is made up of components that can be re purposed?  Talk about a positive impact on the environment people, and all that is required is separating your trash!  Simple, simple!

For me, being a collector of vintage and living green go hand in hand.  Isn't a love of vintage about finding ways to continue to use, re-style and re purpose the items already in existence?  It makes me happy to carry a hand bag or wear a pair of earrings that my grandmother, or someones grandmother wore, to be part of it's history for a while. 

Stay tuned for further musings on living green.  In the meantime, happy Friday, everyone!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

10 Not-So-Secrets

I think that every new crafty, artsy, vintage loving blogger quickly finds their way over to Red Velvet and A Beautiful Mess, blog of founder Elsie Flannigan.  I owe my path there to (no surprise here, readers!) Jenny Hart from Sublime Stitching.  Shortly after I became a regular reader, customer and stitcher of all things Sublime, Jenny introduced a tote made from a Red Velvet Art painting by Elsie, the Oh Alice! Elsie Tote.  I snapped one up and stitched it for myself, and use it to carry my current project around to my various favorite work areas.  One of the perks to having the house to ones self all day means that the whole thing becomes one big work room.  But that is a story for another post.  Here is my version of their sublime collaboration:

If you haven't been over to Red Velvet this week, get over there immediately and check out the lovely new website.  I want EVERYTHING on it!  The styling is beautiful!  The photos amazing!  And those cupcakes; don't even get me started! 

On Elsie's blog she has a picture with a link New Reader? Start Here. I did, and made a list of my own in honor of her '10 Funny Habits and Guilty Pleasures' list.  I call mine the Not-So-Secrets, because everyone who knows me even just a little will tell you that I am pretty much an open book, and these things will come as no surprise to them.  But since you and I are just getting to know each other, fellow blogger, I felt like sharing.  I would love it if you made a list, too, and shared a link in the comments section.  Happy writing!

1.  I strongly dislike dressing rooms, and shopping (in traditional, not vintage, stores) in general. I can't even tell you the last time I was in one. I make most of my clothing purchases on line, and try them on in my own lovely bedroom.  If it does not fit or is not flattering I return it (if it's new) and pass it along or re imagine it if it is vintage.

2.  I strongly dislike the phone.  I cringe every time it rings.  I LOVE every person that calls me, but I would much rather A) visit in person, or B) chat via i.m. or email.  This is because I multi task when alone, always.  I watch TV or video while on  my laptop, read while riding my stationary bike, bake and sew in tandem, and the list goes on. 

3.  I view my Maltese as my children.  Bob and I call them our kids, and they truly are.

4.  I love cheeseburgers, in all of their forms.  Sliders, big macs, hot off the grill.  In Angus, bison and turkey.  Yum.  With french fries always, hand cut if possible, sweet potato and I love you!

5.  I love chocolate and coffee, separately and together. A mug and a cupcake, espresso brownies, dark chocolate covered beans...

6.  Vineyards are heaven, and I love good wine. 

7.  This one is a little embarrassing, because I am an organic and green and minimal footprint preaching person.  I NEED Coke 0.  Before my coffee, on my nightstand while I sleep so that I can have a sip when I wake up, Coke 0 is a necessity for me.  I would love to say that I drink water all day, but there it is.  In a can or a bottle.  Coke 0.  But at least I recycle them.  :-)

8.  I collect many things; too many maybe.  Vintage; all items.  Hats, bags, clothing. shoes.  Costume jewelry and statement pieces.  Books and other print media, DVDs and Cd's.  Pretty lingerie.  Dolls.  Fabric and embellishments. Thread.  My space is filled with these collections.  Luckily, my wonderful man enjoys collections of his own, and they share space in harmony.

9.  I adore the sunshine and outdoors.  And even though I am happy with my decision to forgo the tan and rock the pale, I miss that lovely golden color that my skin turns in the sun.

10.  I saved the most important for last, because all else wanes by comparison.  I believe in God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  I feel his love fill me, and I do all that I can to live his love in every way, every day.  I believe that every person has this beautiful and amazing love inside of them, and that all they need to do is release their fears and doubts to discover it.  I pray every day that they do.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Fun With Felt!!

I made this adorable little gnome and his mushroom out of felt this weekend from a pattern by Aimee Ray.  They are going to look so nice with the quilt made from the stitch along patterns!  These are the first stuffed things I have made from felt, and they were so much fun! 

The pattern and directions were clear and easy to follow.  I cut out the pattern pieces for the gnome and stitched them together with invisible thread, traced the embroidery design onto tissue paper, pinned it onto the assembled felt and stitched away!  The tissue paper held up well for the stitching but removed easily when I was done.  Then I just rolled him, stitched half the back seam and stuffed his top half before I finished the back seam and attached about half of the bottom circle.  Then it was simple to stuff him good and full and sew up the bottom.

There is no pattern for the mushroom, but it was as easy as can be!  I used the bottom circle pattern from the gnome for the two pieces of the mushroom cap, and made the dots by tracing a thimble on white felt.  I used a spool of thread as a guide for the stem, cutting a circle for the bottom and a rectangle big enough to wrap around the spool for the stem part.  After sewing the stem seam and the bottom on I stuffed it and sewed it tto the bottom peice of the mushroom cap, then sewed on the top peice halfway, stuffed and finished the seam.

I see many fun felt projects in my future.  Happy crafting!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Friday Filled With Inspiration

Soooo many things inspired me yesterday!  With every click of my touch pad, more inspiration abounded. 

First was Nichole of the blog 'I Was Only Stitching' and her post The Thrift Interview, which not only led me to a new blog to follow, it also inspired me to go pull a book off of my bookshelf and commit to updating my green living practices.  (More about all of this next week!)

Then I spent some time on the Etsy blog.  I highly recommend it anytime you are in need of inspiration!  I was inspired to run (I can't wait until it warms up!), and to cut and sew, and plant and grow. I was inspired to write and to read and to share all of it here. 

Around the time that I was posting week three and four's Doodle Stich Along pieces, Doodle Stitch author Aimee Ray was sharing her mini quilt.  I love it!  I pulled out the Fons and Porter design wall and my box of fabrics and designed the quilt that I am going to stitch up.  My version is going to be crib sized and a gift for my friend Angel's new baby girl, arriving in March.  I will be sharing the path to the finished project here next week, too! 

And on this Saturday morning I am inspired to go make a pancake breakfast for my love, finish my list for an afternoon trip to Jo Ann's for a few supplies, and to make a dinner reservation for a lovely evening out with good friends. 

Have a wonderful, inspired Saturday, all!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Doodle Stitch Along Weeks Three and Four

I have (finally!) finished the embroidery portion of this project, and just in the nick of time!  Two designs were provided for week three:

And this is week four's:

So cute!!  The plan for the quilt will be revealed today; I can't wait to see what it is!  Putting together a project is such fun; choosing fabrics, matching threads, stitching it all together--good times!

Happy sewing, happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Personalized Krazy Kitchen towel!

I completed the embroidery portion of this project a while ago, but it took me longer to decide on how to personalize it.  I had considered machine embroidery, but ended up here:

What do you think?  I ask because I am working on getting my Etsy shop up and running, and intend to offer this, assuming that Sublime Stitching approves my licensing application!  I plan to offer it two ways; "stitched up and ready to personalize in your choice of colors", and "ready to stitch and personalize in your choice of colors". 
Thoughts?  Any and all input is appreciated!