blog facelift



Thought I'd play around a bit with fonts and headers. I don't know about the title. Still trying to figure that out. But I am sorta going back to the original "wildflowers are pretty." I swear I'm going to stick with something and not change it again.

Okay, back to work! It's so cold and windy today. It's been lovely out and all of a sudden we got a whoosh of cold air. But that's okay. I have a lot of mock-ups to make this afternoon. :)

some random photos for absolutely no reason


need to put these away

I guess this post is a reminder that my desk needs to be tidied once again. It's this never ending process of cleaning + cleaning + c l e a n i n g. . .



My brother sent me this article from Business Week. Might be an encouraging read for those of you who can relate to it, as I can. (Though I will note I've never been tested for dyslexia.)

In another note, I saw the first fly of the year buzzing around my head this morning. gross.

this is what...


scares me.


In many cases change can be a good thing and I realize that, but it also can be very hard for me to accept change in certain aspects of my life. Reading this is a good reminder to me that I need to learn to "accept change as inevitable." This kind of goes along with being scared of new situations. I couldn't think of a way to capture "new situations" on film and as I almost forgot to even TAKE a picture today, this is what I came up with. Believe me, there's lots and lots more I'm scared of...but we won't go there today.

If you are interested in joining the little game "this is..." find new themes each Wednesday on this blog.



I've been compiling some pictures of bags that have caught my eye in the last week or so. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am in dire need of a new purse. I love the one I've got, but the seams are starting to rip open and I figured if I am ever going to take a pattern off of it, it's going to be the easiest if I take the whole thing apart. So before I do that I'd like to have a bag to take its place. Knowing me, I'd take the bag apart and then lose interest for a couple of weeks. Besides, I'm ready for a different style.

Here are some pictures of the purses that I may want to replicate. They aren't all high quality bags, but for some reason I like the shape or the fabrics used. I am really leaning towards the one made with the plaid wool, though I adore leather purses. I'm just not sure I have enough leather to make one fully of leather. Perhaps I will break and get one of those cheap imitation purses from forever21, only I know I'll regret it because there's a huge difference between faux leather and real leather. But I must say, they don't look that bad from the pictures.

Lovely handmade bag which was found on Simply Olive.

Image from The Sartorialist. Love love love the bright red color. Wish I had some red leather sitting around. Or come to think of it, a nice green wouldn't be a bad idea either. Always need a bit of color to brighten my life. :)

This is the bag I'm thinking will be the easiest to copy. Plus it sort of reminds me of those old carpet bags from the 19th century. Only problem is what fabric to use. I have some nice wool which I thrifted awhile back that may be a good candidate for this. There should be just enough wool for a bag, but I'm not sure I want to use this particular wool for this project. I rather thought it would make a nice jacket. It's made of two narrow woven stripes of dark and light gray. So it's not exactly as bright or colorful as this orangey plaid. I do have some burgundy/cream patterned wool that may actually work better. Oh, decisions decisions!

Another image swiped from the Sartorialist. I thought about doing a simple patchwork similar to this. I have some nice velvet in my stash that would work. I thought about using velvet for one color and maybe wool for another. Eh, but I'm not sure that I really really want a bag like this.

When it comes down to it, I do prefer an all-leather bag over cloth. Of course this is another one of those cheap imitations from forever21 and I think I do like the brown one up top a little better than this one. But my biggest fear is that if I were to get a cheap bag like this, I would regret not making my own bag with the materials that I've got. Thus saving me money and making me feel a heck of a lot better about using what I have (that includes these two hands here, which are blessed with the ability to handle a needle...) I've gotta say, there's something about making my own garments that give me great joy and satisfaction. I believe in today's society we buy far too much STUFF and forget about that which we have sitting around our house. I know I can make my own bag, it will just take a little bit of my time and patience. And what's so bad about learning a little patience?

Okay, enough ranting about that! I could go on forever on that topic. whew. I've got a cupping to go to in about an hour and lots to do before then. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. I know I sure am!

i'm in love


Yesterday I discovered minä perhonen on Lena Corwin's blog. Wow. So much inspiration on that site. I'm absolutely in love with every single garment. The fabric is just wonderful. Last night I got out a little notebook and started sketching some ideas that popped into my head after perusing all the lovely images on that website. I'm thinking of adding some hand embroidery to garments I make for myself. Nothing too elaborate. I'm still thinking about what I really want to do. I'd love to screen print some small geometric designs on fabric as well. Hmm...I suppose it's all just a jumbled mess in my head. As per usual. :) Hope everyone is having a lovely week. Here are a few pictures I took this week.

afternoon repast

last cup




macchiato, originally uploaded by gracefullady.

This is my favorite drink to get when I go into the coffee shop. They recently acquired these lovely little cups and I think they're wonderful. Looking at it makes me think of dark chocolate. So much goodness in just one cup. mmmm...

Also, I noticed the cupping we did awhile ago has been blogged. Check it out on the Brewed Awakenings blog. That was so much fun. For those of you in the area who would like to participate, they're doing it again January 26th. For more information click on the link to the blog above. This is something not quite often done around these parts, so if you get the chance you really should try it out.

food + fabric

i made soup

I don't know what's with me in the last two days, but I've really felt like cooking more. Yesterday I finished (crossing my fingers) all the accounting and taxes so I was desperate to get out of my little office. I found myself home alone on a Friday night with nothing to do. So instead of wasting away my evening, I decided to make two humongous pots of soup (hopefully will last awhile...) and these wonderful No Bake Cookies which I found a recipe for on Design*Sponge.

no bake cookies!

I put in The Gay Divorcee last night while I was baking, as I sometimes like something in the background to "set the mood," if you will. Since Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire movies are mainly song and dance, it's the perfect type of movie to "listen" to. Of course I have to pop in every so often. It's a cute movie. But then I love all their films.

james coviello jacket

Then later in the evening, because there was nothing else to do, I decided to get out my knitting and put in another movie. I'm kind of partial to old 1930's movies, maybe because they always seem to make me feel fantastic. They're tried and true and I know I can be safe that when I watch it I'll be happy. I know, I'm pretty much hopeless. Some of my friends actually think I only watch old black and white films. It's not true, but I admit, I sometimes prefer films from a different era to films from this generation.

french press + pancakes

I know this sounds ridiculously corny, but there is a scene in Libeled Lady where Myrna Loy is making flapjacks and every single time I watch this movie I want to make flapjacks. So that's what I did this morning. Yesterday I was reading another blog and found this recipe for Swedish Pancakes and I couldn't resist. Even though today I got up late and didn't actually start making these until well after 10a.m. I was determined to make breakfast. :)

all mine

Hurray for tidied sewing rooms! I still haven't finished cleaning my sewing space, but I'm almost there. I have another closet I need to clean out and a few more boxes of fabric that I need to "unearth". It's been kind of fun "finding" all of this fabric I had forgotten I had in my stash. I try to keep my business fabric separate from my personal stash, but I admit it is hard sometimes.

my tidy little closet

I've assigned this tiny closet as "my" closet. Of course there are still a few cuts of fabric and odd pieces in there that are mainly used for business, but at least my fabric is all laid out so that when I want to make something for myself I don't have to dig around looking for fabric "I thought I had." Today I'm going to see if I can't fit in some more fabric I have in boxes.

wall of fabric

More fabric and I actually was able to fit in a few books up at the top! I really hope this will stay neat like this for a long time. I'm trying to be more diligent at folding the fabric after each use instead of stuffing it in. It's so easy to just drop my work when I'm in a rush. I also have a few large bags of scraps I need to go through and determine if they'll be of any use. So many scraps. Maybe I need to make another quilt...

Happy Saturday!

::images on flickr::


I know I shouldn't be on here right now, but I couldn't resist. I've been meaning to post some inspirational images I've found in the last few days, but I've been caught up with work. But then, what's new?? I also have inventory to do before I finish up all that wonderful tax crap (as I like to call it). I hate doing my taxes with a passion. But we won't fill up this small space with the joys of the yearly tax hell. As much as I love talking about my hateful passion for it...

No, we're going to talk about things that make us happy. Or at least things that make me happy. Here are some images I recently found on flickr that made me smile to excess.

I adore this image from Bird in the Hand.It gives a contemporary touch to the otherwise boring plates-on-the-wall. Usually I would not like hanging plates for decoration, but I really love what this lady has done with hers. I have been noticing a lot of great art that has been created simply by how odd pieces are arranged.

I love these embroidered slippers I found on ana ventura's flickr. They remind me a little bit of the square toed slippers from the mid 19th century. I would love to have a pair of these. I bet they're cozy! (Also loving those stripey stockings. I have a weakness for stripes.)

More plates! These unique dishes were discovered on the lovely hanne::'s flickr. I'm not sure how they were made, but I like the idea of sprucing up old dishes like this. Now I'm going to have to figure out how to do this myself! I bet they would make great gifts.

I've always wanted to print my own fabric. This looks pretty simple. It'd make a lovely bag or if I really got into it I could make enough for a dress. Hm... So many ideas, so little time. This image found on gee, nicole's flickr.

Always thought it would be fun to make one of these cute clutches from one of the Japanese craft books. Not that this is something I really need or would use a lot. But it's just so dang cute. It would probably sit on my desk just so I could look at it. Speaking of purses, I really need one. My old leather thrift-find purse has about seen its last days. I'm thinking of taking it apart to make a pattern off of it, since I love it so much. But then I may want to go with a different style this time around, just to switch things up a bit.

Watch for a post on purses in the next few days. I'd like to lay out some ideas and this blog here is rather convenient for doing just that. :)

Well that is all. for now. I need to go figure out a way to organize this tiny sewing room and the massive amounts of fabric. I'm really hoping I'll find a way to store all this fabric in the small space that I have. I figured what better time to organize than inventory day? Having a clean and organized space not only gives me a good attitude to start the day, but it also helps me be productive. I just hope I can find some way that is still pleasing to the eye. I hate the idea of using all plastic tubs to store my fabric. I already store a great deal in plastic tubs stacked on each other. But I do need a way so that I can *see* the fabric or else I tend to forget I have it!

listening to:: sufjan stevens - come on! feel the illinoise!

new day, new week


I've completed the first week of my new schedule and for the most part, I've stuck pretty close to it. Still trying to juggle things like replying to emails and still getting in that eight-hour work day. It's hard, let me tell you. I keep switching things around. I thought I could reply to emails after work, but I'm finding I'm too tired to think after work and thus it's very hard to concentrate. Most of the emails I get are from people wanting an estimate on a dress, or asking me for advice on a particular style. So it takes some brain storming and after sewing for eight hours, my brain is pretty much fried. I'm sure with time I will get used to this strict schedule I've given myself. I'm only on the second week and I'm beginning to drag my feet. Oh, boy...

My new favorite tea is Black Cherry Pomegranate. I was over at my friend Jared's house a few weeks ago and that's when I discovered my love for pomegranate tea. His version was an herbal tea, but I couldn't find that in the stores. This version is better anyway, because it has caffeine in it! And we all know how much I love caffeine....... For some reason right now I am obsessed with this beautiful fruit. I love the scent, the flavor and its deep red color. Burt's Bees even has some pomegranate shampoo/conditioner. Must try. The lip balm they have is fabulous as well.

earrings on old button card

The other day I was thinking how I could use all the old button cards I have. I hate to throw them away. They have so much character and charm. So I thought about using them for the earrings I've been making. These I gave to my friend Laura as a late Christmas present. I should have used pen + ink to inscribe her name on the card, but I didn't think about it until it was too late. Oh, well. I'm still thinking of ways to perfect how I attach the earrings to the card. If you have any ideas for me, I'd love to hear them!

friday night

This is what my friends and I do on the weekend. Goof off.

Alrighty, back to that schedule of mine. I may post some inspirational flickr images later today or this evening. I've happened upon quite a few these days.

...the dot and the line...


::jane austen::

For those of you who are not aware, this Sunday begins the Jane Austen series. I've been a fan of these film adaptations (and Masterpiece Theatre) ever since I got my hands on the long 6 hour version of Pride and Prejudice years and years ago. I haven't been the same since then. :) You might also check the schedule as they're airing a few other film adaptations that may be of interest to you. Namely, Cranford and A Room with a View. I don't watch very much TV and most of the time not too many movies, but I do get pretty excited for a few programs and this one I'll definitely watch.

songs for 2007

I'm attempting to post some of my top songs for 2007 on here, though they may not all have been released in the last year. In some cases they may not even be the most amazing songs you've ever heard. But they stand out to me for one reason or another. I'm probably leaving out a great deal of music that should be included in this list, but this is all I have time for. I'm already late in the game. So we'll try this out. I will probably delete the mp3 files soon. But I'll leave them up here awhile. Enjoy the music!

::in no particular order::

Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!
Dance party at the beginning of the summer. I say no more. This pretty much says it all.

Wilco - Either Way
Wilco - Hate It Here
(sorry, couldn't just pick one.)
My sister gave me their album for my birthday last year. Many thoughts flow through my mind when I listen to this.

Lily Allen - Littlest Things
This song I'm actually a little ashamed to put on my list. It's not that she's the worst singer ever, just not someone I can see lasting for very long. She's like my guilty pleasure. "It's like eating a full bag of m&m's. You know it's bad for you, but you do it anyway." (I probably butchered that quote.) She's not a GREAT musician, but not bad. And people could probably argue with me on this one. I'm just not sure I can say she's the most talented artist out there. But I still listen to her. And admittedly, sing along. :)

Of Montreal - Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
There's something about this band that makes me happy every single time I hear them play. And you gotta love their lyrics...
"Chemicals, don't flatten my mind
Chemicals, don't mess me up this time
Know you bait me way more than you should
And it's just like you to hurt me when I'm feeling good."

Just makes me smile. Even my little brother gets into them.

Devendra Banhart - Cristobal
He came out with a new album this year ('07), which was surprising to me. He's the kind of artist you never really know what he'll come up with or when it will happen. They call his music "freak folk," which is a bit of a new genre starting to become pretty popular in the past few years. Or perhaps it has been around for a long time and I've been out of the loop. Anyways, I don't care what they call it, he's wonderful. There is something about this man that brings me back to his music every time. I can't stop listening to him.

LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum
Not too much to say about this one. I like it.

Regina - Minua Ollaan Vastassa (Tiger Baby Remix)
Makes The perfect dance song. It's absolutely the best. In my humble opinion. :) I really like the group Regina, but this remix I actually like better than the original version. Anyways, awesome band from Helsinki, Finland. I don't even know when this song came out. I heard about it early last summer and pretty much listened to it throughout most of the year.

Gentle Touch - Memories (2006)
Another dance song. I love how "New Wave" it sounds. I feel like I'm back in 1980-something. It's so sappy, but I love it. Besides, they're from Sweden. And that just makes them pretty cool.

Cat Power - The Greatest
Even though this is not a song that came out in the year 2007, I re-discovered it last year. And I listened to this song over and over and over and over again. I guess I really liked it. :) So I'm adding it in my list.

Nico - These Days
I know, another song that definitely did NOT come out in '07. I think it's from 1966. I sure gave this one a work-out last year! I adore this song so very much.

Antony & The Johnsons
This one is for you Annie and Rachel. You know what it means. :)

Daniel Johnston - Worried Shoes
I think this was one of my greatest discoveries of 2007. I had never heard of Daniel Johnston before stumbling upon several tracks on a random music blog. I feel as if I should have known about him long before. Anyway, it was great to find such an interesting and talented artist as this man. My particular favorite is "Worried Shoes" and I love the version sung by Sufjan Stevens and Daniel Smith. Sounds like Daniel Johnston is quite the interesting guy. There's even a documentary about his life. Need to get that on netflix...

I also listened to a lot of Gillian Welch last year, though she hasn't come out with a new album for awhile. Went to see her live and she blew me away. I love her cds, but seeing her live was even better than I imagined.

Old Crow Medicine Show - Wagon Wheel
How could I go without mentioning these guys?? This is an older track, but I love it so much. I don't know anyone who dislikes this song. This reminds me so much of my reenacting life. As silly and crazy as that sounds, all of my reenactor friends dig this song. It's hilarious. You go on their myspace pages and they all have this song on their profile. It's either a good thing or a really bad thing. But whatever it is, I dig it too... On a side note, I believe this song is a Bob Dylan cover, which makes me like it even more than I already do. :)

Last, but not least, a few music videos that stood out to me:

Justice - D.A.N.C.E.

Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks

another sunday afternoon


I've been told I look 16, 18 and "a lot younger" than my age quite often in the last few weeks. Every time I order an alcoholic beverage the person who is serving me makes some outrageous comment about how much younger I look. This happens every single time. And it's not that I mind they ask for my ID. It's just that nasty little comment about how I look so much younger that kind of gets on my nerves. Most of the time it's a girl who can't believe I'm over 21, asks for my ID and then exclaims that I'm older than she is! Then in an attempt to make me feel better, they tell me I'll be happy when I'm older. I'm not yet convinced I'll still look young when I hit an old age. Oh, well. It's not the worst thing in the world. Perhaps one day I will look over 21...maybe.

margaret's birthday dress

Today is Margaret's birthday. She turned 8 years old. Awhile back her dad came up to me to see if I'd be interested in making her a dress after he had heard I sew for a living. Apparently it's hard to find longer dresses for little girls. He said his daughter is very picky when it comes to clothing and that she loves longer dresses. He was telling me it's fine that she likes them long, but boy it is hard to find a dress that she approves of that is the right length. So I agreed to take on the project, although it's not something I do very often (making little girl's dresses). For the pattern, I was able to borrow Margaret's favorite dress and trace a pattern from it. I asked her what color she wanted it made in and she said pink. (Of course every little girl wants a pink dress.) She's so adorable and I really did enjoy making her a new dress. When I dropped it off her mom told me she usually wears hand-me-downs, so she'll be happy to have one specially made for her. Today she came up to me and thanked me for her new dress. What a sweetheart! These are the times I appreciate my job the most.

close-up margaret's dress

Another day for wardrobe re-mix. I don't post pictures on there too often. Mostly because I am not always happy with my outfit. Even when I do post, I'm not always happy. But it is kinda fun putting together an outfit, even if I do change it about a dozen times. Here's what I came up with today...


playing with the camera

skirt close-up

Here's my new design wire. I was inspired by port2port's pictures on flickr. I love this idea. Most of the pictures are from Anthropologie magazines, but I also added a few random pictures in the bunch.

to inspire

picture wall

Last, but not least, here are the quilted coasters I made for my grandma for Christmas. I also gave her a set of four green glass juice cups. You can find the pattern (not that you really need one, but it helps) from the Japanese Craft book, "Machine Made Patchworks 02." I really love this book. It's probably my favorite so far, though there are so so so many Japanese craft/sewing books out there. I could probably spend a fortune on these books. I want them all! On that topic, has anyone ever seen their knitting and crochet books? I'd like to get my hands on a few of those, even if it's impossible for me to read the patterns. I'm sure it's worth it just for the beautiful and inspiring images.

quilted coasters + juice cups

article for you to read :)


Just wanted to link to this article by cookie magazine. Thought it was a very nice read.

Lots more cleaning to do and need to finish a little girl's dress today (her birthday is Saturday!) I've decided to get back on schedule and be more productive starting next Monday. And this isn't just a New Year's resolution. It's a lifestyle change. It's about time I kick my life back into order. Sometimes I think it's just the fact that I'm in my twenties and life can just be plain ole depressing at times and un-motivational. But I've decided to put all the twenties-blas behind me and look to the future. There's so so so much I can be doing with my life and I've just got to get myself together and go DO it. This is the first step. Get up at a reasonable time, exercise three times a week, eat better, work without stopping every five to fifteen minutes, drink more water, drink more coffee (yes, you read that correctly), smile often and laugh even more.

Also in the next several months I'll be looking around for a couch to reupholster. I also have a 1950s chair that needs new cushions. Perhaps I will do a little section on how I go about recovering the couch and chair. I've never done it before, so it shall be an interesting experience. I'm excited!