hi hi.


homemade ice cream::

tomatoes from mom's garden

  • Homemade blackberry ice cream is delicious.
  • Tomatoes from the garden are five trillion times better than the ones from the store. I've been making caprese salad like crazy.
  • Ideas for a fall/winter line that I have been working on since last winter. Somehow I need to bring all my ideas together and find out how on earth they will all go together. Oh yeah, and the time?
  • I made that linen smock and am thinking I might sew up a few to sell. Just have to finish a few deadlines first. Agh...you think maybe I could invent something that would create more TIME???
  • OMG, my big brother turns 30 today! And tomorrow it is August 1st. What the heck? Where has summer gone?!
  • It's FRIDAY!



caprese salad.

jewelry making.

linen dress.

pound cake + blackberries.

Just pictures today. Click on them for more text. :) Happy Monday!




I made panzanella salad, fresh basil pizza and pound cake topped with black raspberries (mixed with a little sugar and squeeze of lemon juice). After making that salad, I have a feeling it's going to be a staple for my lunch the rest of the summer! It's so good!

brother john.




This is my little brother John. Maybe not quite so little anymore. I told him to stand there so I could get his picture, 'cause I liked his outfit. He and I talk about clothes music and movies. And he took those other pictures of me last week. He wants to be a cinematographer when he grows up. I think he'll be good at it. And that's not just 'cause I'm his sister. :)

to do.

to brighten the window.

i make lists.

Lots to do today. I have guests coming!

cleaning, new-old necklace and food!


clothes, most of which i don't wear

what i wore.

pizza pockets.

oatmeal pancakes!

  • cleaning out my drawers again. it's harder to get rid of stuff this time.
  • a necklace my mom used to wear that she gave to me.
  • pizza pockets {click on picture for recipe}.
  • oatmeal pancakes on saturday morning {click on picture for recipe}.

1930s inspired bathing suit.


1930s inspired bathing suit, originally uploaded by gracefullady.

I don't know, but I feel a slight bit nekid posting this picture. But I decided to post it nonetheless. I'm kind of excited about this suit made from a dress and I wanted to share in case some of you might like to try it yourself. I actually wanted a more simple suit and it would have been, but then I screwed up by cutting a low back. And guess what? You cut a low back and suddenly there is no support for the front and sides! So I had to cut off the top/front, gather it and attach this woven binding I happened to have on hand. I was seriously about ready to throw the dang thing across the room. But yay, it worked out after all! And I modeled it off of my original wool bathing suit from the 1930s.

Notes from flickr:

remember this? using this dress from forever21, i transformed it into a bathing suit similar to this original wool suit i own. i had some problems along the way and initially thought it would be much more simple, only shortening the skirt and changing the straps into halter straps. but i was stupid and cut the back lower and suddenly, the front didn't fit right. anyway, it worked out in the end.

{pardon my whiteness. i'm not used to showing this much skin! unless i'm at the lake, where 99% of the women there are wearing bikinis!}

my thoughts on... weddings.



Okay, you asked for it. Well, a few of you asked for it. That is, my thoughts on weddings. I'll try not to rant too much here. Basically, lots of my friends are either engaged or will soon become engaged or are already hitched with 10238747 kids (not really). So this is something I've thought a lot about. Not to mention I altered wedding gowns for about a year and have made gowns over the years for clients. I hesitate to write anything here because a lot of my friends read it and I don't want them to think that I am in any way putting down their wedding. With that said...a few of my thoughts on this subject. (And pleeeeease, no flaming. Otherwise this will get deleted and no more talk about weddings ever again. I promise. Sort of.) ;)

I used to work at a bridal shop when I was 18 altering wedding gowns. It was a great experience for me to work with people and learn how to alter a garment, as altering is completely different than sewing a garment from scratch. But it also was a bit of a rude awakening as I'd never really knew much about the bridal industry at this time. You see, I'm not what you'd call the type of girl who has been dreaming of her wedding day since she was 12. I love pretty dresses, don't get me wrong, but I always thought planning your own wedding before even having a man in the picture was pretty silly. (Not to mention my idea of the perfect wedding gown would change drastically over the years.) I still think it's pretty silly. I also think people get a little crazy when they do finally get engaged and start planning a wedding. As if it's the one day in your life that will make or break you. The fact is, it's not. It's one day. It's really just a party and meant so you and those you love can join together to celebrate a special day in your life. I never understood the brides who turn crazy over one day. I mean, where's the love? Isn't that why we have weddings in the first place, because two people love each other so much that they want to spend the rest of their lives together? And why does everyone feel they have to do all the little wedding things for the sake of tradition? What tradition? You mean the little traditions that date back to the 1960's? Who decided the bride's maids would pay for their own dresses? Who decided the parents of the bride would pay for the wedding? Why a diamond? Why spend thousands of dollars on one ring? And please tell me, why on earth do people spend tens of thousands of dollars on one day, ONE day out of their life?

Whoa... slow down Anna. I know, I'm getting a little out of hand here. Some of my friends just say I'm cynical (others tell me to embrace the inner cynicism, I prefer to embrace it). But honestly, I have to ask myself when so many people around me are getting hitched. What's the big deal? Of course I'm not stupid, I know getting married is a big deal. But a lot of it I just don't get. And as far as the dresses these days, most of them are garbage. You know when I walked into a bridal shop for the first time, I honestly thought they would all be made of silk. Wrong! Polyester more like. Silk almost doesn't exist unless you have your gown custom made or from a couture shop. What you will find is beading. Lots and lots of beading. And acetate. And lace. Oh lordy the lace. (Have I offended anyone yet?) Another thing (as I risk to further offend), why do bride's maids dresses all have to look like high school prom? Why???? And why do they all have to be matchy matchy?

The point is, why for the sake of tradition does everyone feel they need to follow the path and do as everyone else does? You know in the mid-19th century and long before that, it was quite common for brides to marry in their best dress and in many cases it was not white. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Queen Victoria was the one who popularized the white gown. And although I am partial to a white wedding gown, there's nothing that says you must wear white otherwise you are less pure if you go for something less traditional than a white gown. Oh I could go on and on. But I'll save you. Now I don't want you to go away thinking I am a hateful woman who hates all things that have to do with weddings. I think a wedding can be a great time and I'm betting if I ever get married, it would be fun to plan. But getting stressed, spending lots of money and turning psycho are all things I think many brides can do without. And that my friends, is my little (yes little) rant on weddings. Now, take me to the kittens!



irish soda bread.

Sorry I haven't been on this thing for awhile! I feel like I've been doing everything and nothing all at the same time. Last weekend I went with my friend to go wedding dress shopping and she found a nice dress and we had fun. Though I admit, if she wasn't such a good friend I'd be dragging my feet at going shopping for a wedding dress. I will save you my thoughts on weddings, because I could fill a couple dozen pages worth and probably offend some people along the way if I allowed myself to rant. :)

Instead, I will show you a picture of Irish soda bread and tell you all to go make yourself a loaf right this instant. It's pretty dang good, if I say so myself. It has been my breakfast for the last week and a half! Okay, I'm sure I'll have more to talk about in a few days. Maybe some more Polyvorin' is in store. hehehe. That thing is addictive!

1930s bathing suit


So, I saw this dress on Forever21 the other night and instantly what came to mind was a wool bathing suit from the 1930s. No, it's not made of wool, but it's a knit dress and you know what? I don't think it would take much to alter this into a '30s inspired bathing suit. I may be completely out of my mind to actually want to wear a knit suit to go swimming in, but hey, if they did it in the '30s and '40s it shouldn't be so bad. I plan to shorten the skirt, remove the metal piece attached to the back straps, criss-cross the straps in the back and then make knit under shorts (trunks) from a 1930s vintage pattern I own. If I decide to get creative, I may remove the straps and attach rope instead, cut the back lower (as seen on most '30s suits) cross the rope in the back and bring it to the front to tie at the waist. Clear as mud? I thought so. Anyway, we'll see what happens. It could be disastrous failure and in that case, I'd be out $25. Not too bad me thinks. I'll let you know how it goes.

linen frock coats and pretty dresses.


4th of july weekend.
{brandi and i enjoying a plate of berries and cheese in tower grove park.}

As I mentioned in my last entry, I went to St. Louis to celebrate the 4th of July with my history nerd friends. It was fabulous. We went on a beautiful walk through the Botanical Gardens while stopping to read poetry along the way, enjoyed picnicking in Tower Grove park, volunteered at the Old Courthouse downtown (complete with a myriad of people asking to have their picture taken with us; I do wonder how many vacation photos I'm in...), and then a lovely boat ride on the mighty Mississippi. By the end of Saturday, I was ready to change into a modern sundress and head to the cookout to listen to the neighborhood fireworks! In St. Louis, you needn't bother fighting crowds to see the display of fireworks downtown. There are people everywhere shooting off fireworks on the streets and in their yards. It was a lovely weekend. Hope you had a great 4th of July!

More pictures in my flickr.

And from my friend.

happy 4th of july!


happy 4th of july everyone!

I'm heading down to St. Louis in just a short while over the weekend. Can't wait! This afternoon we're taking a trip to the Botanical Gardens (1850's style) and tomorrow we'll be at the Old Courthouse volunteering (in costume, yes). After that I imagine some grilling out and neighborhood fireworks are in order.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!