i totaled my car :(


i totaled my car :(, originally uploaded by gracefullady.

First accident in my life. In fact, I've never even been pulled over by a cop. Ever. No more cute little lavender car with that cool little green bumper sticker that says "my other car is a sewing machine." sigh. The first car I ever owned and I'm still paying it off. BUT, at least I am not hurt and I didn't hurt anyone else while my car was spinning all over the place. It's just really really inconvenient and a little frustrating. But that is life and ya know, it could be worse. It could be MUCH worse. So I'm not complaining.

bathing in the river - 1860s style

{swimming in the Des Moines river at Athens,Mo 2005.}

I'll be heading down to Athens, Mo in a little while for a living history event. While we're there I plan to go bathing in the Des Moines river like we did three years ago. We got in a little bit of trouble {note the men in the picture - we did not realize there were several men in the nude and although someone was supposed to inform them we were coming, it didn't happen.} Should be a good time. I'm going a day early since Silvana will be there and we'll basically have the place to ourselves. I imagine we will be doing a bit of partying and perhaps we'll spot a haint while we're on the battlefield. ;-)

Have a great weekend! I'll try not to get into too much trouble while I'm away.

{Note: A little more info on 1860s bathing costumes.}

sewing shoes


Video I took earlier this evening. My fingers are already sore and I still have to sew around the sole one more time and then I have another shoe to sew. Fun. :)

a hot day


We finally turned on the AC. It's amazing that we haven't really used it much this summer. It's usually on all the time and turned up way too high (I'm usually freezing my butt off in this house). It is a hot day today. I put off some things that I should have done because of it. I think hot weather must make me sleepy and groggy and a big loss of inspiration.

On a side note, Saturday I made myself a pair of linen sailor shorts. Think 1930s. You thought I had forgotten about the 1930s? Not so. I'm still sucked in. I tried taking pictures yesterday, but I look ridiculous in every single one. So I'll take them another day. {There is something about posing in shorts that just feels weird. I want it to look like the cover of a 1930s French fashion magazine {you know, like circa 1931 on the beach}, but instead I just look dumb. Besides, I feel somewhat narcissistic {yes, THAT word} taking pictures of myself. I feel like cutting off my head in every picture because of it.}

The above text I wrote earlier this afternoon. It's now past midnight and I've already gone to bed and then gotten up again because I couldn't sleep. I even had an Oreo and a glass of milk and yet I am not sleepy. There's something lacking. I kept thinking of looking for inspiring images and I really haven't come up with too many. I guess it was just one of those days where your brain does not seem to function properly and everything you want to do gets thrown to the wind. I did get stuff done, but not nearly as much as I wanted. I was even going to get to bed early so I could wake up early tomorrow to catch up. And what do I do? I can't fall asleep. I was really tired all day and all night so I thought it would be easy, but no. So here I am up late rambling away in my journal. Hm...I know it's terrrribly boring to read so I should stop.

I'm going to get another glass of milk. Maybe another Oreo.

{p.s. Now that the AC is on I am freezing again. Go figure.}

it's friday again


Last weekend did not turn out to be the greatest it could possibly be. Friday I was feeling a little weird and by Saturday morning I discovered something was definitely wrong. I'm not sure what I had, but I know I felt pretty dang awful all weekend! Luckily it only really lasted through Sunday, so I was back to my mostly normal self on Monday. I'm still a little "blah" where the throat is concerned, but otherwise I'm fine. I did some mad rushing earlier this week finishing up a dress for a client. That was an intense situation, but I won't go into details here. But it all ended well. She got the dress on time, she loves it and that makes me happy. :)

1850s dress for a client
{1850s dress - more pictures on flickr.}

Also managed to make myself a new linen dress out of some stripey linen fabric. I haven't taken pictures of that. And I made a quick linen skirt using this tutorial by Angry Chicken.

quick linen skirt
{linen skirt}

AND I even finished crocheting the neckline on a white t-shirt while I was sick. I had to do SOMETHING! No pictures yet, but I'm happy with it and feel good that I can now wear a shirt I couldn't wear otherwise. Makes me happy.

And while I haven't been spending money on factory-made clothing, I have been spending on this...

{the thin man}

But I just could not help myself, seeing it was on sale and all... heehee. I have many weaknesses, and this is one I will admit to. I don't exactly know why, but I love old movies so much.

And Deborah, if you are reading this, here is a sneak peek at the progress of your shoes. I'll get these babies made if it's the last thing I do! {They better fit this time...}

deborah's shoes - in the making
{shoe "upper" made of black silk taffeta with black leather "foxing."}

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! And please don't get sick like I did!

week's end



Oh wow! It's already Friday! I've been rushing around the last few days so I'm kind of pooped. Last night I threw a party for my friend who is getting hitched next month. There is a reason I don't throw parties anymore. It's a lot of work. And it's not as if I give these grand parties either. I usually try to make them as laid back as possible. Yesterday afternoon I also got with the bride to alter her wedding gown, had a hard time figuring out the bustle (it's been awhile since I've done this and every gown is different) so I had about 20 minutes to throw together something for her and I to eat before the others arrived. I made that Farfalle with Zucchini that I blogged about a few days ago, only instead of adding the cream I decided to grab a jar of marinara sauce. Yum. It was really good. I must admit. :)

{i forgot to take pictures during the evening, so dirty plates and bad lighting will have to suffice.}

Dessert consisted of a chocolate jelly roll filled with coffee ice cream, drizzled on top with fudge sauce and strawberries. I set out some Jarlsberg cheese, crackers, dark chocolate and sliced peaches before we started on the dessert. I admit, I kinda like throwing these parties because it gives me an excuse to make some of the things I never would make otherwise. Besides, how often would I go to the store and pick up Jarlsberg? Like never. And it's like...so tasty.

annie, stop taking bad pictures of me
{annie, stop taking bad pictures of me! seriously.}

Well, I'm going to have to end with this picture because I'm too out of it to think of anything else to write. Even though I've been up for a couple of hours and I've already had my coffee plus a good breakfast (which never happens), I still feel like I've been hit by a train. Well I better get off this thing. Gotta get some work done before I head out for lunch. Have a great weekend!

edit: Oh man! I forgot to mention the day before yesterday was Ginger Rogers' birthday! Not that she is alive or anything, but still...it's GINGER ROGERS! I celebrated by watching Carefree. Anyway, just had to say that. :)

oohh me want


I found out this book by Lena Corwin just came out today and I reallllly wannnt ittt! I'm thinking I should get it for a present and then flip through the pages, but then I know for sure I would end up keeping it for myself. sigh. I might just have to break down after my next paycheck. mwahaha. Hah. Maybe I could use it as "business expenses." And honestly, I bet I could. I think it would be awesome to get into screen printing and make things to sell. hmmm... In any case, go check it out.

Last night I was up looking at patterns. Drooling, I might add. I want this and this and this. Oh cool, and this too. Wait, I'm not done. THIS would make an awesome summer dress. I'd hem it shorter, of course. Maybe in linen! Oohh. Damn. I need more time in a day.

Speaking of time. I found this great article {via The Boss of You blog}. In the article she talks about using these printable CEO forms. Sounded interesting to me because I find it difficult not to get distracted during the day. So I thought I would give this a shot. You time yourself every 15 minutes and then write down what you were doing during that time. I think it will help me get to work when I find myself straying. We'll see.

as my mouth waters


It's noon and I'm hungry. Stomach growling and all. A few minutes ago I was reading my blog feed when I noticed this amazing recipe for Farfalle with Zucchini. Um...growl. Think I'm gonna have to try this one out, because pasta and vegetables are definitely a weakness for me. :)

summer sandals


I kinda like those red ones up top the best. Probably won't actually get them, but window shopping is fun.

This is all Casey's fault, by the way. ;-)


Take the personality test. here. it's fun. {via smosch}

My results:

Quiet, kind and conscientious. Can be depended on to follow through. Usually puts the needs of others above their own needs. Stable and practical, they value security and traditions. Well-developed sense of space and function. Rich inner world of observations about people. Extremely perceptive of other's feelings. Interested in serving others.

Interior decorators, designers, nurses, administrators, managers, secretaries, child care/early childhood development, social work, counselors, paralegals, clergy, office managers, shopkeepers, bookkeepers, homemakers, gardeners, clerical supervisors, curators, family practice physicians, health service workers, librarians, medical technologists, typists.

we made it in the paper!


Here's the article in the Webster-Kirkwood Times.

I just realized this day makes one year of blogging. Woohoo! :)

Sorry for the short post, not a lot to write about today.

Looks like rain. Tut tut.

you know me, random


{yeah, that skirt again.}

So I should be in bed right now because I'm tired, but I'm here blogging instead. Go figure. Had a lovely time in St. Louis this past weekend for the 4th of July. Lots of activities and got to see some great friends again. I'm starting to get pretty good at driving down that way. It was also a much needed break and although I was exhausted by the time I got home, it was more of a mental break than a physical one. :) There are times when you just need to detach yourself from work and your everyday surroundings. It was nice. Pictures to come shortly.

This morning I had an overflowing amount of creativeness in my head. I think it was due to the coffee. I tend to get this super creative kick in the morning when I have my coffee. Too bad it only lasts a couple hours before I'm tired all over again. Probably need more sleep/exercise. Got some ideas up my sleeve, but we'll see if I carry them through. hmmm

mount vernon
{in mount vernon with annie}

Early this evening I went out with my friend Annie to the Lincoln Cafe which is about 15 minutes down the road from me. Absolutely fabulous. My favorite place to eat, hands down. They have a wine bar down the street and you can either purchase a bottle or a glass to bring over to the restaurant. Or bring your own bottle, but there is a corking fee. And their homemade fries are to DIE for. To Die. But I imagine they are terribly bad for you too. But who cares, they are amazing!

{summer braids}

Tried out a summery hairdo today. And I rather like it. I braided my hair when it was still a little damp so when I took it out I had nice wavy hair in the front. I ended up pinning it back and looks great that way as well. If you don't take a shower daily you could probably braid your hair in the morning and leave it there until the next day, take it out and you have wavy hairs. Cool! This is my attempt at combating the humid weather which turns my hair into massive amounts of flip, in places I hate to flip. hah. Also going without shampoo and using only conditioner. Still experimenting with that. I've been reading about a baking soda wash which sounds interesting. Might have to try that. I used a baking soda face-wash for awhile last year and it worked great. I will probably update on the no-shampoo front later on.

While in Mount Vernon I stopped by my favorite organic food store and picked up a bottle of almond oil. I know I needed it for something or other but can't for the life of me remember what it was. Oh, well. Now I have 8 oz of almond oil. I'm thinking of making more homemade beauty products because I'm all into that natural thing and I kinda like to know what I'm putting on my body. :)

Ho hum. I guess it's late and I've rambled on long enough.

{edit: fixed 'summery hairdo' link.}

this is what happens when there is lots of work to be done



I tend to want to do everything BUT what I should be doing, which is working on this article then back to sewing my heart out. I'm almost finished with it, but still have quite a bit more to write I find. Still, I couldn't resist taking the occasional break to look at inspiring images scattered all over this beautiful internet.

::On an entirely different note, I'm watching little boys play baseball below my window and it's kind of sweet. Though somehow I keep thinking that ball is going to fly right through my window any second now...::

I love this video because it makes me smile. I've only watched it about fifty dozen times in the last year or so, but it always makes me happy.

Guilty pleasure lately has been listening to Girl Talk. Yeeahhh. :)

I like the shirt on the left. And it's from Target. But you know, I'm not buying anything right now so bye-bye shirt. However, there isn't anything wrong with admiring, is there? And besides, knowing me, I don't really know how much I'd love this shirt anyway. The fabric looks absolutely wonderful, but maybe it's those sleeves and the bagginess of the shirt that isn't quite so appealing. But pretty nonetheless.

Mmm it's windy today and sooo nice. And I'm eating strawberries.

Can you not just imagine yourself curling up with a good book and a glass of iced tea; a few fluffy pillows and an old quilt, right there in that corner? I can. Especially right now.

Look at this! Fabulous!

Super-duper-crochet-yoked-t-shirt! I think I want to make one with a narrower yoke. I can see the perfect airy summer top in my mind. {looks around for tutorial...} Found it! Hmm...now to rummage through my t-shirts to see if I can find something to work with...

For future reference, if by any strange chance I get hitched {...looks waaaaaaaaay way down far far far far dowwwnnnn...} I think these would be awesome invitations to send out. They are simple and sweet. I'm a simple kind o' gal. I think if this ever happened to me, I'd probably break tradition in a big way. :)

Look at these trousers! More dreamy vintage images here.

The roses are out!

I love reading this blog. She's fun and always makes me smile.

annnnd last but not least, I definitely can relate with this, from dear birthday:

today was an emotional trip, my friends. nothing dramatic, just some basic inner turmoil: what am i doing with my life? how old am i again? will i ever have healthcare? when am i going to see some pine trees or the beach?? the usual nonsense that prevents work. you know the drill. but! i shut it out with an iced coffee and a long walk around the neighborhood with one of my best friends, kathryn. oh those burning questions are still hanging in the air, to be sure. but their urgency has been at least temporarily abated. for lo! the sun it did shine and the friends they did comfort. life is good and always is. sometimes we just need a strong reminder.