Friday, September 10, 2010

Boudoir Hangers

"Remember, always dressing in understated good taste is the same as playing dead."
~Susan Catherine
That's one of the quotes from something I've just finished that I must show you! I'm going to be making/giving these to the girls in my life for Christmas, I think, most of which don't look at my blog, but if you do, try to forget you saw them! ;)

Actually these are for sale in my shoppe, HERE, and I'll be making new ones for Christmas gifts!

I LOVE having satin padded hangers in my closet. There is something about hanging a pretty dress on one, or heck...even a simple t-shirt on one that makes me feel good. I started printing little sayings/quotes on fabric and then sewing them into the necks of the altered art clothing I sell but the other day I had the idea to sew them onto little "mini-quilts" with a little ribbon loop and hang them from the necks of padded hangers. They turned out so sweet!

There are four for now, with more coming soon. They are only $9.99 each, so grab them while you can!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Luxe...and Saucy

A few "luxe" treats you can find my shoppe, HERE. :) And one slightly shall we say...saucy....item, too. It doesn't HAVE to be saucy. You could always just cook in it... ;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Studio Pics & A Peek...

Want to take a peek inside my studio?

To be honest, this is just a corner of my studio and I've left loads of clutter/mess out of the photos but this is the pretty part and what the rest of the studio will look like soon!

I share an art table with my husband who does some small-scale modeling, so lately some of our favorite evenings are sitting across from one another, working on art stuff or sometimes one of us reading to the other while the other works. You can see just a bit of James' stuff in this photo...

Here's a little shelf full of some of my favorite things. If you've followed my other blog at all, you may even remember some of these pretties!

Here's a shot of the burlap curtains I made for the studio window last week. I love them but they need some ruffling on the edges before I show the full view!

Here's some paper "lanterns" I decorated/embellished using cheap pink lanterns from the party store. This is an idea I got from Heather Kowalski when she did this for one of her tutorials in our Sweet Six Studio. You can see some of her lanterns HERE.

I did no sewing with these! It's just ivory muslin and a hot glue gun, plus pieces of yummy ribbons and vintage trims I have in my studio. James hung it up in the corner for me and I love it.

Here's one of the circular Japanese lanterns I didn't add to at all, except for some simple ribbon/trim and a vintage millinery rose I've been saving for just the right thing. THIS was it! :)

 more thing....can you keep a secret....

Here's a peek at some things I've been making in my studio (or my dining room table, depending on what time of day!) that is going to arrive in the shoppe tomorrow....if you want to find them, go HERE.

Lots more where that came from, including the "Gossip Gloves" I'm wearing above, several more one-of-a-kind bags and (gasp) even a sexy apron! :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Messy...But Beautiful...Night

She turned 9 a few weeks ago when I wasn't looking. I can't believe I have been her mama for more than 9 years now! Amazing!

Emily is a wonderful person. A delight. Smart as a whip. A natural beauty. And stubborn as the day is long.

Tonight I realized this incredible girl just might be more stubborn than her mama. If you know me personally, you know that's saying something!

Tonight Emily and I had the first of what I know will be dozens, if not more, of battles of our wills. O.k. maybe it's not the first. In a way, the first one was when she was not even three. But something was different about tonight. It wasn't Mama and Kid the whole time. There were moments when it was two women.

This was a significant battle. It was over her bed sheets. Now, bed sheets are something I feel pretty strongly about, don't get me wrong, but this wasn't REALLY about the bed sheets, if you know what I mean. Impeccable bed-making skills is something that I take pride in and hope to pass down (my grandfathers on both sides were in the service and brought home their taste for "army corners"...the sort of bed that is made so tightly you could drop a coin on it and it would bounce and is just heaven to climb into). But tonight wasn't about a perfectionist mama wanting to pass the torch.

Tonight was about being a woman. I know that sounds dramatic. But let me explain.

There was calm explanations, advice, a helping hand, but let's just say our Miss Em did NOT want to learn to make her bed. Granted, it's a top bunk and I KNOW from personal experience that's hard. Even painful. The wood slats, etc. I don't care for it myself. But regardless, there was shall we say...


That's what this was all about. It started with whining, escalated to hysteria, sobs, digging in of heels and finally, getting it. But not wanting to acknowledge that she got it. Yup. You know what I mean. It's THAT combination most of us women are quite familiar with:

Loss of Control of Emotions

This was an important discussion. This was an opportunity to begin learning a lesson I will see that she learns. Even if she doesn't like it. Even if she comes along, kicking and screaming. Even if she never acknowledges she learns it. As long as I know she learned it, I will be satisfied. I don't mean that she will learn to do this perfectly. In fact I know she won't. But I want to know that she knows when she chooses helplessness over capability that that IS the choice she is making.

So here's what I said:

"Emily, this isn't really about learning to make your bed, sweetie. This is about being a woman. It's important that you learn this: We are women. We are strong. We are smart. We can do whatever we want to do. That doesn't mean we don't need help. It doesn't mean we don't ask for help. It doesn't mean we know everything and we don't need to learn things. No! It means that we accept help and when we "get it," we acknowledge we get it. When we can do it, we say, 'Thank you for your help. I can do it myself now.'

"Emily, do I let Daddy take care of me? Do things for me?" I asked.

"Yes," she said.

"You're right," I said. "I want to let Daddy help him and he wants to let me help him. But do I NEED Daddy to do things because I'm not strong or smart enough? Could I live on my own? Could I take care of myself? Would I die without him?"

She shook her head. "No."

"That's right," I said. I can and do and will keep asking for and letting Daddy help me. I will help him. But I KNOW inside that I am strong enough and smart enough to take care of myself and THAT is what I want you to learn."

"Emily, there are women who don't know they are strong enough to take care of things. They don't know they are smart enough or wise enough. They don't know because they've never tried. And many of those women were once little girls who cried when they didn't understand something right away, or whined that they couldn't do something because it was too hard, too new, too uncomfortable. And someone said, 'Oh, honey, don't worry about it. I'll do that for you.' They knew inside, just like you do, that they could do it. But the older they got, the more they began to believe their own words. 'I can't do it,' they told people, acting more helpless than they were, until one day, after years of this, they really began to BELIEVE they can't. You are not going to be like that, Emily."

You see now why this was such a watershed conversation. Also why this is the first of a conversation we'll have many times. Why?

Emily is stubborn. When she knows what she wants or doesn't want, everyone knows it and getting her to back down, change her mind to suit someone else or (heaven forbid) admit she is wrong is...almost impossible.

And that stubbornness is wonderful. I love it. I am so glad she is that stubborn.

A lot of Christian parenting books I've read urge me to "break" her. She should should bend before her parents out of respect. But here's the deal. I don't want to bend her. And I certainly don't want to break her. I want her to be respectful of authority. I want her to know when to shut her mouth. I want her to learn to apologize when she needs to. But I want her to keep that stubborn spirit. That knowing that guides her now and will continue to, I hope.

I want Emily to learn to humble herself when she realizes she is wrong. But when she is right, I want that little woman to fight til the death.

She learned how to make the bed. She didn't want to admit it. She didn't want to admit that she had not tried her hardest or that she acted helpless beyond the point when she understood what to do. That's o.k. I told her I might have done the same under the circumstances...she is my daughter, after all! But I admitted that I had gotten too angry, too upset. I apologized. And she apologized, without prompting, for "whining." That was more than good enough for me.

Tonight was important.
Tonight was painful.
Tonight was loud and emotional.

Tonight Emily learned something.
Tonight Emily learned she can be strong...that her own strength is something she has my permission to claim.
Tonight a mama reinforced what she already knew about herself.
Tonight a mama and her daughter connected in a real way.

Tonight was messy. But beautiful. The best kind.

A New Fall/Winter Pattern

Just wanted to pop on and let you know we have an adorable pattern, perfect for your little one's Fall/Winter wardrobe! It's a darling quilted jacket/vest pattern by Pink Fig, some of my favorite patterns around. This one is for girls' size 12 months to 10 years and is a great way to use some of your favorite fabrics...even your remnants. It's a wonderful alternative to expensive, store-bought outerwear and so much more special. It would make a perfect Christmas gift! Find it here.

I made some little jackets when my girls were about one and four using some beautiful vintage pink and white chenille, a reproduction rosebud calico and covered buttons I embroidered mysef. Oh how I love those! They are in the box of "heirloom" clothes the girls wore that I want to save for grandbabies. :)I'll have to find them and take a photo for you! I made them in Spring to go over their Easter dresses, but I want to make some this year using this pattern for Fall/Winter. I'm imagining fabric like this one:this one:
and this one:The pattern shows the jackets paired with embellished jeans. This sweet jeans pattern would be adorable and you could embellish in coordinating fabrics! Find it here.
I think for my girls I'll embroider some little kitties like these little guys I've embroidered onto countless baby onesies and then use that as part of the jacket construction. You can find the baby layette sets I make here.
I'm all excited now! Looking forward to making some pretty jackets for my girls. If you make one using this pattern, will you send me a photo? I'd love to post photos!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Friend

"Friendship is the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person having neither to weigh thoughts or measure words, but pouring all right out just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful friendly hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping and, with a breath of comfort, blow the rest away." -Dinah Maria Mulock Craik