Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Little Bliss {List~Ten}

Hello friends!  The arrival of the weekend brings with it another opportunity to link up with the Choosing Beauty Little Bliss List and share some bliss.  Please join; you can link your post until Sunday at midnight central time!

The eye candy that is Mad Men has returned for another season!  There are so many reasons that I love this show, and the fashions are not least among them.  I am already on the hunt for bubblegum pink fabric to recreate Betty's dress!

I walked outside the other day and saw that the violets had returned.  Spring Bliss!

Brand new green leaves and a few remaining white blossoms against a perfect blue sky equals a very colorful bliss.

Unexpectedly catching this bird in flight brought bliss to this fledgling photographer!

I just discovered that there is a Vintage Pattern sewing contest going on at Pattern Review, and that there is just enough time left for me to take part!  It ends on April 15, so I choose this pretty simple wrap dress from my stash as my first choice.  I'm hoping that a tissue fit shows that no major alterations will be required.  If all goes well, I'll be making the sleeveless version from this animal print, a linen silk blend, with the contrast from black radiance, a cotton silk blend. 

I hope that you'll come back next week; I'll either have progress pictures of this one, or details about my second choice.  And as soon as I finish this, I'll be starting one of my choices for That's Sew Cinematic

What's bringing you bliss this week?  Please share; I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Bit Of Creativity

I finally got to dig into some of my craft supplies and make something!  I signed up for a Stitch Swap hosted by Mollie on her blog Wild Olive, and with the mailing deadline of March 31 fast approaching, it was time to get to work.

The guidelines said to make a 4" hoop suitable for hanging. The recipient of my finished hoop had purple on her list of favorite colors, and owls on her list of favorite motifs, so I came up with this:

Whenever I create an embroidered piece after being away from it for a while, I am reminded of how much I enjoy it.  So as soon as the hoop for the swap was complete, I started on another project, this one a tote bag with (yet another!) owl on it.  I have a real thing for them these days!  I'm thinking that if I keep an embroidery project going that I can work on when I have some free time, it will help me to move into other things.  Seeing the creative process at work spurs the creative process, don't you think?

Do you have any special tricks for getting into a creative mindset?  Please share, I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Monday, March 26, 2012

In Need Of Some Creativity!

Friends, things have been pretty crazy busy here!  I seem to have a lot of demands on my time right now, and the things that I need to accomplish are of the variety that is the opposite of creative.  Necessary, but totally lacking in any sort of creative fulfillment.

I decided that before any more time passes, I really must call on the creative muses and do something that nourishes my artistic spirit.  And it's good for my productive side as well; the more artistically fulfilled I feel, the better I am at accomplishing rote life tasks.

Creativity is the invisible force behind all things seen.   The innate ability of a living element to recreate itself.  The spiritual faculty of potentiality.  The ability of human beings to bring forth onto the physical/visible level that which is conceived at the mental level (both consciously and unconsciously) and the emotional level.  (Iyanla Vanzant, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up)

I think that these words do a pretty good job of capturing what drives my need to create.  To make something that didn't exist before I brought it into being makes me very happy!  And we don't have to be a world class artist to do it; anything that we make with our own hands, even if we are following a recipe or a pattern, becomes ours alone.  No one else will do it quite the way that we do.  And that is cause for celebration! 

Have you celebrated your creativity lately?  If you haven't, I suggest setting aside a small bit of time and create something that makes your heart sing.  It's good for the soul!

xoxo, Anita

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bliss {Nine}

This stunning green outside of my window makes me happy every time I see it!  {It has filled out quite a bit since I showed its first blooms in my week seven post.}

I spent a few blissful hours treasure hunting at a nearby co-op, and found some lovely things!  Shown here is a case that I bought to store some film cameras in, a Golden Book of crafts and other fun things to do from 1975, two postcards postmarked 1909,  a beautiful mid century black silk and velvet hat, and an early 1900's dressing gown; just one of the several that I have recently acquired.  {In case you have a love of Victorian linens, I will be showing them in detail in an upcoming post.}

More owls!  This time in the form of an embroidery project for a hoop exchange I am taking part in.  {More details about this later, also.}  And don't you just love the owl embroidery scissors?  Owls in many forms are bringing me bliss these days.

Rounding out my bliss this week is the completion of my most recent web related undertaking; getting landing pages up for mister and I.  Though not actual web sites, these pages contain links to sites where we maintain a presence on the Internet.  Mine can be found at, and the mister's is at

I'm linking up with Liv Lane on her Choosing Beauty blog for the little Bliss List link party.  Please consider joining us!

What is bringing you bliss this week, dear friends?  Please share, I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Obsessed With Huguette

From the moment I read the first article (of what has become a series, with a book in the works) by investigative reporter Bill Dedman, I have been obsessed with the story; actually with the lack of a story, about Huguette Clark (above in 1910), heiress to the Clark fortune; one of the largest ever amassed in the United States.

Born in 1906 to former US Senator William Andrews Clark (1839-1925) and his second wife Anna (1878-1963), she lived her life as a virtual recluse after her only marriage ended in 1930, until her death in 2011, just two weeks shy of her 105th birthday.  In the photo above, Huguette, on the right, is with her father and her older sister Andree, in 1917.  Anna Clark was rarely seen in public even while her husband was still living.   Andree would die just two years after this photo was taken, from meningitis.

Huguette attended Miss Spence's school, and is shown here seated second from the left in the front row, in a 1925 class picture.  She confined to her friends that her great wealth was "a menace to happiness".

She was also prominent as a socialite in the 1920's; she is pictured here on the far left at one of many of the parties she attended during that time.

What would cause a young woman with a life full of promise {she was both a musician and an artist, and exhibited her paintings at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC in 1929} to choose to live her life in such a solitary fashion?  (Above is an undated photo from her estate, appearing to have been taken sometime in the 1920's.)

This is a cartoon illustrating a day in the life of the heiress.  Did she withdraw from public life because of the unwanted, sometimes unkind, attention?  Was it because of the failure of her brief marriage?  She was married to William M. Grover, the son of a man who had worked for her father, in 1928. It was over by 1930; she claimed that it ended when he deserted her, he claimed that it was never consummated. 

The photo above was taken by a photographer who cornered her as she was about to embark on a cruise to Hawaii after her divorce was finalized, and is the last known photo to exist of her.  From 1930 until her mothers death in 1963, they were each other's constant companions, and very few others were allowed into their world.   It is rumored that they were very distrustful of outsiders, believing that people were only interested in their money.

From what I've read, it appears that mother and daughter were kind and well liked women who simply preferred to live a secluded life.  It's such an intriguing story, and I've read everything I can find on the subject, and poured over the pictures.  All of the pictures I've shared here, as well as most of the information, comes from the series of articles on by Bill Dedman.  I will share more of the story in a future post because it intrigues me so much, but I can't recommend these articles too highly; they're that good.  You can find a listing of all of them here.

Thanks for reading, dear friends!

xoxo, Anita

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Signs Of Spring

The offical start of Spring is upon us, and the evidence is everywhere!  Trees are flowering, birds are chirping, and the air out there is fresh and inviting.  I do so love the sights and sounds and smells of Spring!

I take my camera with me everywhere, and it's definitely been spending more time out of the bag than in it these days!  And with so many great subjects around, I've been making real strides in learning how to use it out of the automatic mode.  {A WIP item from my 101 in 1001 project!}

Speaking of WIP's, I have a hoop project in the works for a stitch swap hosted by the blog Wild Olive, and I'm about to cut and fit a muslin bodice of my halter dress.  I'll be sharing progress photos of both soon!  I also need to get Spring decorations up this week.  Is it too early for bunnies and eggs?

What are you working on these days?  Are your WIP's Spring inspired?  Please share; I would love to hear!

xoxo, Anita

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bliss Of The Irish {Eight}

It's Saint Patrick's Day!  That alone is cause for bliss. 

I've always been blissful of my Irish roots.  The beautiful girl just above and below is my grandmother, a first generation American of Irish descent, from whom I get my name.

{Forgive the glare on these photos; the picture above is too large and the one below is too fragile to remove from their frames and scan.}

A family photograph this time, the woman on the far left is my name sake, and that is my mother sitting on the arm of her chair.  There is a bit of Hollywood in my roots, also!  The young girl in the foreground on the right is the actress Patricia Crowley.  She was first featured in the film Forever Female starring Ginger Rogers and William Holden, later starred in the sitcom Please Don't Eat The Daisesand has appeared in many guest starring and reoccurring roles over the years.  It has always been fun to be watching a show and have her appear on the screen!

Seeing this hand painted slate hanging next to my front door always makes me smile blissfully.  This sentiment has hung on the wall of every one of my homes, in one form or another, since I was born.  Tradition = bliss.

My final share today is these pretty shamrock sparklers that I ordered from one of my favorite Etsy sellers, Giant Dwarf, so that I could feel fancy all Saint Patrick's Day long. Pretty sparkly things = bliss!

Have a wonderful day, dear friends!  It's a Great Day for the Irish, but it's also a wonderful reminder to celebrate your own heritage, whatever that may be.  I am equally proud to be of Slovak descent, and it's impossible for me to celebrate one without the other.  If you feel inclined to share a bit about your own heritage in the comments, please do!  I would love to celebrate yours, as well!

xoxo, Anita