Friday, September 30, 2011

{calm in your heart}


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


Happy Friday, friends!

xoxo, Anita

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fly The Friendly Skies, 1963 Style

When I tuned into the new ABC drama Pan Am on Sunday night, it was not with the expectation of great content; I barely gave that I thought.  I watched for what I hoped would be wonderful period styling, and I was not disappointed!  And for the record, the storyline is pretty good, also.  Global travels, espionage, family drama and a wife/mistress confrontation, all in the first episode.  But I digress.

I love the 1960's!  Everything about the look of the time is fabulous, from the hair so perfectly styled to the beautiful pointed toe shoes with the thin, high heel.   What's not to love about the fashion of a time when no outfit was complete without gloves and a hat? 

xoxo, Anita

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Missoni Love

When Target announced the impending arrival of their Missoni line I didn't get excited.  Not because I don't shop at Target: I do.  And not because I don't like Missoni designs, because I adore them.  ADORE!  But I didn't get excited because I made a conscious commitment earlier this year to use the dollars that I spend on clothing to support Indie businesses.

 I blogged about this in my post supporting the Red Velvet Spring/Summer line, which I continued by my purchase of two pieces from the Autumn/Winter line.  I will share my purchases in future posts, but in the meantime, give them a visit! 

But just when I thought that Missoni fashion was going to remain out of my reach forever, Linda at Emma One Sock listed a few of their amazing sweater knits on her site.

This is not the exact colorway that I got, but it is the same otherwise.  And bonus ~ this one is available right now, and more are promised in coming days.

I took a look at some Missoni dresses on line for sewing inspiration, and this one is my favorite:

I don't want to copy it, but it is a good starting point as I contemplate sewing patterns. 

If you have any ideas for my dress, I would love, love to hear them!

xoxo, Anita

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekend Snippets

Nothing major happened here this weekend, just lots of little things to keep us busy.  Getting caught up on chores and naps were high on the to-do list!  I hope that you had a productive and restful weekend as well!

perfecting my banana bread recipe ~

planting fall flowers ~

nap time! ~

some long overdue time for stitching ~

while sipping spiced (and locally produced!) wine ~

~ ready for some football! ~

And in a perfect end to the weekend, the Ravens won today against the Rams, 37-7.  It was a much more enjoyable game day than last weekend's loss to the Titans.  Do you follow football?  While I follow primarily in support of the misters obsession, I have to admit that I really enjoy it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fruits Of The {Autumn} Harvest

One of my favorite things about Autumn is the farm stands and farmer's markets nearby that are overflowing with amazing organic produce, grown locally!

I thought that I would share one of my favorite easy to make dishes, in the hopes that you will grab a few of your favorite reusable shopping bags, and head out to a farm stand near you ~

You will need ~

5 large or 6 medium tomatoes (diced)

     1/2 of a sweet onion (chopped)
     1 shallot (minced)
     2 cloves garlic (minced)
     6 tablespoons fresh basil (coarsely chopped)

     4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
     2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
     freshly ground black pepper, to taste
     dash Tabasco sauce (optional)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

Spoon over fresh spring leaf lettuce and top it with some freshly shredded cheese, as I have done here, for a delicious salad. 

It is also delicious on top of toasted garlic bread or freshly cooked pasta.  Mangia!

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Perfect Life {Of Dogs}

I completely understand why dogs are referred to as man's best friend.  These two keep me company every day!  They follow me around the house from room to room, and relax on their beds while I web surf, cook and create.

Phoebe is six years old, and resisted a crate every inch of the way.  She happily curls up anywhere, but most often on this bed, which is right next to the crate.  Dawson loves his crate!  If he can't be in a lap, it's his curl up place of choice.  At three years old, he still runs right in whenever I pick up my purse and keys, and wags his tail as I latch the door.


When they first began to play together I thought they were fighting; it sounds so menacing!  But it's all in fun, and neither has ever emerged with so much as a scratch.

 The mister just loves that his putting green does double duty as a feeding station, as well as an ear scratcher for the boy!

I hope that you enjoyed meeting the kids, as we refer to them.  Do you share space with furry creatures?  I would love to hear!

XO, Anita

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sew On A Singer {1949}

Adorable mother - daughter dresses, perfect for fall.  Singer Sewing Centers coast to coast for all of your sewing needs.  Have your machine serviced, a belt or button custom covered, shop for notions.  Eight sewing classes included in the cost of the machine!  I am in love with sewing {1949 style}.  In love! 

xoxo, Anita

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Inspired Sewing {Current Patterns}

I've noticed that I am really loving knits for fall!  I am a big fan of natural fibers, but my allergies are in high gear right now (much worse than normal, thanks to excessive rain, flooding and mold) and wools are just out of the question.

These are the patterns, selected from current offerings, that I am really loving right now.  I've paired them with the fabrics I plan to make them up in.

Anthropologie used this fabric in a draped dress for Spring/Summer.  The colors are so vibrant!  I think that the fabric has a perfect year round look, so I paired it with this stunning 3/4 sleeve dress from Tracy Reese.

I stumbled across the contrast fabric I have chosen for this wrap dress when I was looking for a fabric similar to the one used for the dress pictured on the prior pattern.  {I ultimately decided not to make the Tracy Reese dress as pictured; I have a few animal print jersey dresses in my collection already.}  It is a light weight jersey with a great drape.  The fabric I chose for the dress is a mid weight hybrid jersey/crepe.

I am in love with this silk twill chevron fabric!  And since I believe that a difficult fabric deserves an easy pattern to balance it out, I chose this simple Vena Cava design for it. 

A pretty ikat jersey is paired with a drapey Very Easy Vogue pattern.  Because I love the dresses that you cut in the morning and wear in the afternoon!

Another Very Easy Vogue, and another wrap dress.  This jersey is a pretty light pink with a black feather print.  Of all of today's selections,l this is the one that I can best picture completed.  Does that mean that I should make it first, or last?

I hope that you are having an amazing weekend!

XO, Anita

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Inspired {1970's} Sewing

The sudden dip in temperatures has me anxious to do some Autumn sewing!  Without a project in mind, I've put together a few pattern and fabric pairings in search of a perfect Fall dress.  Today was all about the 1970's, and I thought that I would share a few here. I'm open to any and all suggestions!

This ivory and black Dior fabric has a fun vibe!  I was thinking of doing the dress in the chevron design, and lengthening the jacket pattern to dress length and constructing it in a coordinating fabric. 

This camel and black dupioni silk is so crisp, and would look very pretty in the short sleeved red and white version. Alternately I was thinking of using the long sleeve style shown in the floral print, but in a sheer black fabric instead of the plaid, which I feel is too crisp for that sleeve.  My third option is to do it long and sleeveless.  I think that all three versions would work for fall into winter; the short dresses with tights for colder weather, or a black cardigan added to the sleeveless version.

I fell in love with this mustard colored organic bamboo/cotton/spandex blend on sight, and bought yards without having any idea what to do with it.  I've had this pattern in my stash forever, and it feels like a perfect match for the extra wide width (64") of the fabric.  The skirt is just two pieces, and to be long enough for me (I'm 5'10" tall), the extra few inches will come in handy!  And again, a short black cardigan and ballet flats will make it perfect for fall.

It's no secret that I am in love with (and collect!) Diane von Furstenberg dresses, wraps in particular.  When I found this {uncut!!} pattern on Etsy, I snatched it up!  The first fabric I have it paired with is a 70's polyester that I also found on Etsy, and there is just enough to make the short version. 

I will definitely be making the long version in a black silk jersey.  I was thinking of making it in the tie dyed jersey shown here first, as a trial run.  A wearable muslin, as it were! 

Have you started sewing for your Autumn/Winter wardrobe yet, or are you still in the planning stages?  I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sewing For America ~ The National 9/11 Flag

There is so much to watch, talk about, write about and listen to on this day of remembrance, 10 years after our country was rocked by the acts of terror that have changed it, and all of us, forever.  All of us old enough to remember it can tell a unique story about where we were, what we were doing and how we felt at the moment we first heard what was happening.

I well remember this image of our flag waving in the wind across from ground zero in the days following 9/11/2001.  Torn, tattered, but still THERE.

In all that has been done and is being done to commemorate the day, it's causalities and it's survivors, perhaps there is one that has a special place in your heart.  For me, it is this grassroots movement ~

I love everything about this.  It is about community, paying it forward, and sewing a flag. 

About the flag, from their website :

Currently on a journey across America through the 10th Year Anniversary of 9/11, the goal of The National 9/11 Flag Tour is to display this historic flag at leading venues nationwide, to empower local service heroes in all 50 states with the privilege of stitching the flag back to its original 13-stripe format, and to inspire 300 million Americans with the flag’s rich visual history in order to deepen our sense of citizenship and national pride and bolster the spirit of volunteerism on the 9/11 Anniversary and year-round.
When complete, The National 9/11 Flag will become a part of the permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial Museum being built at the World Trade Center.
Restore. Empower. Inspire.
Thank you for supporting The National 9/11 Flag and the historic grassroots restoration of this unique and inspiring National Treasure.

At the core of the New York Says Thank You project is an amazing group of FDNY Firefighters and first responders who join with other New York City volunteers to go out to areas all around the country and assist in recovering from disaster as a way of saying thank you for all of the support the city received in it's time of need.   Their message is simple ~ "What we do is not about 9/11.  What we do is about 9/12".

If you would like to join me in sponsoring a stitch in support of this amazing movement, visit here ~ Rebuilding America One Stitch At A Time.

Sending you love and prayers on this day of remembrance.

xoxo, Anita

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Effects Of Hurricanes and Tropical Storms {On My Sewing}

You may have picked up in my writings that I had been working on setting up a sewing space in the lower level of my home.  I purchased beautiful vintage wallpaper, fabric for curtains and chrome shelves for storage.  It was very slow going, as I have spent most of the time I budget for home improvement projects on yard work, but it was going.

Until Hurricane Irene hit.  All of the materials to finish the space were stored downstairs, along with all of my sewing supplies and both my machines.  The power went out here at 1:00 on Sunday morning, but it wasn't until I achieved a semi-awake state at about 5:00 that I realized that the power out meant no sump pump, which meant that the rain pouring down was probably entering my basement.  I ran down two flights of steps, and stepped down that last step into six inches of water.  Since the stairway is the width of the house away from the sump pump, this was a very disturbing development indeed.

With lighting from Coleman lanterns, the mister and I carried every single personal item from our the lower level up onto the first and second floor.  Luckily, non of my sewing items were damaged!

Ten days after the hurricane (eight of them with power!)  the basement was dry, the carpet removed, and we are were waiting for the insurance adjuster to come (from Georgia!) at the end of September so that we can begin to repair the damage.  Then it started raining again; three days straight so far.  And the power went out again.  And the water came in again.  But as I vacuum water up with the shop vac, I see images on TV of homes submerged and families displaced, and  I realise just how fortunate we are not to have had to leave our home.  And as one of my friends said, the rest is just stuff.

That said, I was going crazy not being able to sew while I was working on studio space, and I am really anxious to get at it now.  Nothing makes me happier or feel more productive than making something with my hands.  And while Linda at Emma One Sock is probably pretty amused by my stash building at this point, I have enough fabric for several months worth of sewing, and my wallet could use a break.  So when the mister suggested that I set up my machines in the dining room, it was an easy sell.  This development is actually a little out of character for me {I like things in my home just so}, but I find that leaving the stress and pressures of my former work life behind has caused me to take such things less seriously.  And I am beyond thrilled to get sewing!

Here's a little peak ~

Machines are set up and ready to go!

My collection of vintage Samsonite holds necessary supplies close by.  And I don't mind that they block the door; I like the space being closed off a bit while I am working.

A sweet little dress maker for inspiration ~

~ and a reminder to keep it all in perspective.

Where do you create?  Do you have a home studio, or have you tweaked a room to do double duty? 

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I Wore ~ From The Wrong Side

The Wrong Side is what I have heard the years past the big four-oh referred to as.  This time has actually been a great season for me thus far, and my purpose in doing a regular feature under this title is to both have fun with it and to inspire others to have fun and feel good about it as well.

I decided I wanted to do a feature like this early in my blogging journey, now just over nine months along, but I was waiting until a time that I lost a bit of weight and gained a bit of muscle tone to start.   But it began to feel that waiting to reach those goals was disingenuous to the message I wanted to share, so I'm starting before I reach them.  And maybe that is the message after all; that reaching the perfect weight, or being perfectly fit, or perfectly anything isn't what makes us happy, it's what we have inside, how we share it and how we live that gets us the happy bits. 

So without further ado, the first {What I Wore ~ From The Wrong Side}. 

When we took these pictures over the weekend, I hadn't yet made the decision that I was going to do an outfit post.  The mister wanted a few pictures in his music room for his blog, so I had him snap a few of me at the same time.  So I'm not wearing anything vintage, handmade or me made; something that I will do (most of the time!) in future posts, in keeping with the theme of the blog.

I'm wearing a sundress by one of my favorite designers, Diane von Furstenberg, and bangle bracelets by Amrita Singh, via HauteLook.

For this shot, I've added a Paul Reed Smith Electric Guitar, at the misters request.  {If you're interested in learning more about it, read the mister's post here.}

And here I've added an Eric Javits hat and Lilly Pulitzer McKim flats.  I don't know what it is about the McKim's, but I can wear them for hours and walk for miles!

So there it is, my first {WIWFTWS} post.  Wishing you a feeling fabulous, wonderfully happy day!

xoxo, Anita

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fast Cars and City Streets

Do you have a man in your life who loves cars?  Fast, sleek sports cars?  I do.  I confess that I don't really get it, but I do support it.  It's a give and take in a relationship after all ~ I go to things with him like auto races and car shows, and he goes to museums and such with me.

So off we went, to the races!

While it may look as if I am about to get in and drive this beautiful Porsche, I didn't.  I have actually never driven it, though it lives at my house and my name is on the title and the registration.  From the moment we brought it home over six years ago I resolved not to drive it ~ since cars are not my thing, I just felt that I did not have the proper reverence required to operate a machine like this one.  I have to admit that I do love riding in it, however!

This weekend was the inaugural Baltimore Festival of Speed, and the city streets, transformed by fences and bleachers and viewing screens and speakers, became a racetrack.

The convention center made a great paddock, and seeing the cars being worked on and talking to the pit crews was quite fun!

How did you spend your Labor Day weekend?  I hope that you took some time off to enjoy the holiday that celebrates American workers!

Does Labor Day symbolize the end of summer for you?  It still feels like summer here, so I tend to feel a bit conflicted about when to transition to fall. 

How about that all important debate about white after Labor Day ~ are you a yay or a nay?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

xoxo, Anita