Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am not a rectangle. I am a woman.

                                                        The aftermath of Hurricane Ella: 

I've got to confess, I was excited and nervous for my Start Close In video styling session. Monday night  was a little emotional for me. I began to fully realize how very differently I see myself vs. how I really look.  As we explored shapes and styles and fit that were best suited to me, it was like little flashes of truth and inspiration bubbles started happening in my head!  I think I’m starting to connect the disconnect that I have with my body.

At the end of our three hours, I wasn't at all nervous. In fact, I was stripping down to my foundation garments with glee!  Ella helped me to see my clothes in a whole new way. Truth be told, she helped me to see myself in a whole new way. I already have great clothes and a good eye, I just needed to see the truth of my body. No matter how many basic black pencil skirts I own, if I’m not wearing them correctly, they are just a basic black skirt…blah, ho hum, boring, sad.
Until I create a waist, and...

I am not a rectangle. I am a woman.

As the evening went on, I was feeling like that moment when Stacy and Clinton give their client the $5000 credit card for shopping…except I didn't have to leave my house! The pile of donations grew larger…like peeling off baggy layers and as we explored my closet, she helped me to see the pieces that should be altered...not only for smaller size, but shorter length. And so the alterations pile grew larger too!

Remember when I fell in love with Collette  Laurel?  In my Laurel, Version Two post, I actually said "Now, is this the most flattering style for me? Probably not, but I have to admit I am crazy about the ease of this dress for summer. I can't imagine it getting any breezier for work or weekends" 

Ella would disagree.  Before:


Before Monday, I would have disagreed with Ella. I had already taken in the side seams of this shift dress. And I need to take them in more. Add a belt and it becomes an even different way to wear the same dress.

So, I'm going to share more of our outfit transformations, because I am a total believer in wearing smaller clothes now!  And, because so many of us sew and have lost weight, I plan to explore and post about altering our own stuff and what a difference it makes. Expect to see some crazy before and afters!

Until then, I'm not going to buy another black pencil skirt. I'm going to make a floral pencil skirt. And I am going to go hog wild crazy buying belts and scarves! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

I may never be a schlumpadink again!

Well,  tonight I have my virtual styling session with Ella. Am I excited? Yes. I've told her about a hundred times!

But I’m a little nervous too. I know that part of this whole process will be the inevitable fact that I won’t be able to wear some of the things that I've been comfortable wearing.
And I know that also means I will have to face my brand new all over again fear of the pattern fitting process!  It seems like a rather daunting task, but I’m up for the challenge. I’d rather be up for the challenge than give up and where leggings and a big tunic!  Not that there’s anything wrong with leggings and a big tunic.

On Friday night, I did a major closet clean out, pulling all the stuff that doesn't fit me any longer and that I don't have the enthusiasm or inclination to alter. And we'll go from there. 

So tonight’s the night. Closet is ready, iPad is ready and I'm ready... and of course, I’ll keep you posted on this whole event.  You can check out the Pinterest board that she created for us to bounce ideas around HERE.

Please, please check out Ella’s page. She’s a real cutie with a great sense of style and a big heart for helping women change their look.

And after we've completed this fun, she and are a sharing in a give-away of one of my bags on her blog.

I did make some stuff this weekend...

Yup. I've been obsessed with pom poms lately and thinking of all the fun ways to use them.

We also decorated the tree at the shop, using some DIY pom pom garlands. 

Okay girls, that's it for now! Let's get this week off to a great start...feeling thankful, feeling blessed, feeling loved.

Monday, November 18, 2013

seriously, how many black pencil skirts does a woman need?

TGIM!  Happy Monday! Woke up this morning to see that I am the featured Pattern Review Member! How nice!

I have something to tell you that is very exciting. Recently, I've been in touch with a sweet lady named Ella, who has a fashion consulting and styling business. And well, to be honest with you, I've been a little obsessed with Ella and Start Close In Styling since I read about Miss Mustard Seed's wardrobe transformation.

I've read every blog post, drooling over her fresh eye and loving every transformation. In one of  her posts Ella mentioned she was interested in styling for women over 50,  I immediately contacted her about getting together...virtually.  So we've been emailing a little, and set up a date to get together and talk about my wardrobe...all via video. I AM SO EXCITED!

See, since my weight loss, I feel like I've lost a little style, too. Part of that is that so many of my clothes don't fit, true. But once again, I'm finding a closet full of black, black-gray, gray, and white and black. Well, let me re-phrase that.  I find that even though I have some color in my closet, I end up wearing the same stuff all the, black-gray, gray, white and black.

I've started to wonder if I have too many clothes..does that make sense?
That maybe I need to simplify.
AND fill in the missing pieces. Because seriously, how many black pencil skirts does a girl need?
I'm spending far too much time in the morning deciding what to wear and becoming frustrated.
I'm bored. and busy.

So we're getting together on November 25th and I plan to share every detail with you...because let's face it, it's fun to talk about clothes and styling.  And I really want to see Ella grow her dream and her business.

I'm ready for something new...I'm ready to mix things up a little and get a plan for my sewing and shopping!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I need a crockpot

Well here it is Tuesday. And I’m going to make dinner two nights in a row.

Somewhere drifting in the back of my jam-packed mind are memories of baking and cooking for my husband. I think I used to do that. I’m sure I’ve shared the recipes here, along with tempting photographs of my best attempts at buttermilk biscuits and homemade soup and grilled veggies and apple crostada and pot de crème. In fact, it wasn't that long ago that I made a loaf of bread every week!


I think I used to have a life!

At least more of a balanced life. But these past months, with hours at the shop on weekends, and preparing all week for the weekends, I have seriously put my home life on the back burner.

Bad wife…baaaaaddddd wife.

And do you know that I happened to be married to a guy that doesn’t complain? That’s how awesome he is.

So, while I haven’t been sewing much for myself, and I haven’t been fussing with my own decorating, and I’m woefully behind in blog reading and I let too many weeks go between haircuts, I am most sorry about the fact that I haven’t been making dinner for us.

I think I need a new crockpot. And some ideas for easy quick dinners.

Can you help a girl come back to some important balance in her life?

 (image: Anne Taintor)

Friday, November 1, 2013

because i have the most interesting girls

I've been obsessed with bag making lately. And I'm a little obsessed with my girls. Each one of them is unique and interesting. They are brilliant, energetic, practical and lovely women. So I started thinking that I wanted to make a bag to represent each of them. The first style I came up with?

The Meghan Bag: 
The description?
A perfect eclectic mix of textiles and patterns. She's a classic sling bag with a lot of personality that just dares to be worn inside out! Two roomy pockets,k one inside, one out, with a vintage button closure. Surprise! This bag just might have pompom trim!

SO happy that all but one of the bags that I've made has sold at the shop and at a recent show. I love these bags and being able to play around with lots of different fabrics.

A few weeks ago, for Amelia's birthday, we sent her
The Amelia Bag:

The description?
Cotton and linen, sleek lines, classic style and full of practicality. She can go to the market, a game or family outing and hold special finds and necessary stuff. Don't let the simple style fool you....inside, this bag is loaded with functional pockets to keep things neat. But the best part? An up-cycled leather belt as an adjustable strap!

I loved that JR got to be a part of this bag construction. I have more on the cutting counter right now, ready to be made up in navy and smokey teal fabric. LOVE this bag!

Coming next? The Katie Bag and The Rebecca Bag. I just can't wait to put them together!  Making bags is so much fun...a nice departure from fitting muslins and making buttonholes!