Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fun With Fur and The Original Sewing and Quilting Expo

My first introduction to working with fur was when I attended fashion design school. I loved every moment of my fur classes. 

Since then, I am always on the look out for a fur that is in good shape and can be restyled. The piece below was purchased when I was in school and originally made into a coat that had hand knitted bands around the neckline, sleeves and the bottom of the coat. I loved it and wore it for a number of years until I grew tired of it and decided to make it into something different.  The coat is now on it's third metamorphosis.

I think that seeing the inside is always a treat. The seams show where the skins have been sewn to each other. Take note that there are no seam allowances.

The outside of the fur. None of the pieced together seams show.

This is just a preview of the finished coat. One of the fun things about working with vintage fur is that you can mix and match and come up with something you will truly enjoy.

If you are coming to the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Schaumburg, IL, or Fredricksburg, Virginia, I will be teaching a class on working with fur. As intimidating as it may seem, I think you'll find that it's really a lot of fun. 

Over the next few days, I'll give you a few more glimpses of my coat.

Hope you can make it to one of the expos. I would really love to meet you!!!

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Maria Pinto Shapes

Around this time of the year, I begin to look at my summer wardrobe and feel quite bored and tired of it, I'm ready for a change. Although it's not quite cool enough to change over to my fall wardrobe, it's a nice time to begin looking around for a few new pieces that I will enjoy wearing once the temperatures do fall. 

I love the designs of Maria Pinto, a Chicago based fashion designer. I've showcased her work her a number of times. A week or so ago, I took a look at her new fall collection. What I especially like is that she doesn't come out with an entirely new collection. She builds on the last collection, so rather than start all over, her clients are given the opportunity to purchase a few pieces that will work with pieces they have bought in the past.

Last fall she showcased a new denim collection that was great. This year, she has added pieces that are especially interesting. 

Love the shape of this jacket. 

I love working with geometric shapes and this one really special!

 Looks like a fun piece to wear.

The collection also includes some striped pieces. 

Love the definition the stripes give to jackets.

I really like this piece with one exception, the front neckline. I understand why the point is there, it just looks a little bothersome to me. I think I would either have to cut it off or fold it down.

One last piece from the collection. A great little top that works with jackets for day, or on its own for night.

Here's to fall!!!
Have a wonderful week :)

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Night Reflections

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Sunday's Salad/Vegetable Slaw with Blackeyed Peas and Roasted Sunflower Seeds

A friend of mine will come for lunch or dinner, sit down to eat, and more often than not ask, "Is this recipe on your blog?" My response will typically be, "No." And then she'll ask rather emphatically, "And why not???

So today, in honor of my friend :), you are getting a very simple recipe that I love, but would typically think it to be too mundane to post.

Here in the U.S., we have a store called Trader Joe's. The environment is kinda happy hippy for lack of a better description. What I especially like is that a healthy lunch can be had with just the combination of a few ingredients, and even easier, because all the preparation has been taken care of. With that said, everything for this salad can easily be prepared as well.

I purchase a bag of broccoli slaw, pretty easy to find these days. A container of chopped vegetables. This is a combination of chopped broccoli, carrots, jicama, green and purple cabbage, radishes, celery, and green bell pepper. Of course, you can add or delete depending upon your taste if you are chopping your own vegetables.

I love Melissa's steamed blackeyed peas, but a 14 oz. can of blackeyed peas that have been rinsed and drained will work just fine. 

And finally the dressing. I like the Asian Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette, but any dressing would actually work, depending upon your taste.

Not pictured above is 1 last ingredient, 1/2 cup of toasted sunflower seeds. With the combination of the peas and the seeds, the salad is chock full of protein. If you would like, 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa would make a nice addition and add more protein.   

Couldn't be easier, just dump everything in a bowl, stir and enjoy. With a lot of salads like this, it's advised to allow the salad to sit so the flavors can intermingle. I never wait, I dump, stir, and serve!
If you would like a printable recipe, you can find it HERE.

Last winter, I tried out a cottage cheese pancake recipe that I found at A Garden For the House. These pancakes have become an absolute favorite in my house. I made a batch this morning, and my husband literally stood over the stove waiting with anticipation!!!

Rather than strawberries, I did a mixture of peaches and blueberries. My husband said that he thought he liked the mixture better than the plain strawberries. I had 6 peaches and about 2 cups of blueberries. Added 1/2 cup of sugar and then poured the fruit and sugar mixture into a baking dish and roasted at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

A note on skinning the peaches...
I boiled a pot of water and then placed the peaches in the boiling water for just about a minute or so. The skins are then quite easy to remove. 

So, I think my friend will be happy ;) And hopefully you as well! The salad is really quite nice and makes a great lunch during the week. 

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Live Well/Live Beautiful

I am an early riser. Usually up at 5, I love the peace and quiet of the early morning. My day begins by going downstairs to make a big cup of tea. I then head back upstairs to my husband's office where I crawl into my favorite chair and then spend the next 30 to 40 minutes writing. It is by far my favorite part of my entire day. It's my time to dream, plan, and get out my frustrations.

I'm a big believer in making life as beautiful and peaceful as possible. For years, my writing has been done in a basic spiral bound notebook. One day it occurred to me that this special part of my day should be a little nicer, so I decided to make a cover for my notebook. Bright and pretty, in my favorite colors, my little book cover makes me smile :)

It's just a simple little book cover, with piping around the edge.

I love my cover, but I have found that I can make it even better. The book below was given to me. I love the addition of the elastic band to hold the book shut, as well as the ribbon place finder. My next cover will have both as well as a place to hold my pen. 

This past weekend, the Haute Couture Club of Chicago was invited to a wonderful sale given by the Illinois Institute of Art. The school had been given over 500 brand new patterns, many of which were Vogue designer patterns. They also had fabric, trims and thread. They decided to offer almost everything to us at $1.00 per piece. What a deal!!! The proceeds of the sale went to their scholarship fund, so a win-win for us all. And even at just a dollar per item, I think they did quite well as our ladies devoured everything ;)

I made a beeline for the fabrics and trims and found 2 packages of silk remnants. Beautiful pieces that were left over from making ties. I didn't even think twice, and snatched them up!   

Most Monday evenings, you will now find me at a restorative yoga class. Just the absolute best way to begin my week. The studio has eye pillows available to use and they also have tissue so you can cover them, but I decided it would be best to have my own. The scraps are now becoming these sweet eye pillows.

Last night I heated my pillow in the microwave for just about 30 seconds, went upstairs, laid down and drifted blissfully off to sleep.

My pillows are stuffed with brown rice and lavender flowers. I found a wonderful resource in Oregon that sells organic herbs, tea, oils, and even natural pet care products. You can find the Mountain Rose  Herbs website HERE. I ordered a number of herbs as well as some green tea and I have been especially pleased.

If by chance you would like a tutorial on the notebook cover, or the eye pillows,or both :), just let me know and I'll be happy to do a post. 

I remember going to my grandmother's house and looking through all of the lovely linens that she had lovingly embroidered and edged with her tatting. All kept in her cedar chest, waiting for that special occasion to be used, that special occasion that never came. Many of those pieces now belong to me, and they are used, and even worn out in some cases. Life is just far too short not to enjoy and have lovely things to make us smile, even if it's just a simple little notebook cover :)

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Wednesday Showcase

We have a light rain falling this morning here in Chicago. Just love mornings like this. It's as if peace is being poured out over the city :)

You aren't just seeing things, it's an actual Wednesday Showcase post! 

If you don't know Elizabeth from Elizabeth Made This, you are in for a real treat!!! In her bio, she says that she sews everything that isn't nailed down. This is not an exaggeration as you will see in just a moment. A mother to 4 young children, I don't know how she finds time for anything!!!, she not only loves to sew, but she also enjoys opera. A girl after my own heart :)

As I scrolled through her blog, I found this post where she took an old caftan and turned it into this super cute jacket. 

I just have to show you another picture of this great jacket!!! You can read more about it HERE. Love the double collar. 

Now here's the proof of her sewing everything that's not nailed down. She reupholstered this chair and made the foot stool. Be sure to check out the original chair. She did an amazing job!

Elizabeth even finds time to sew for her 3 boys. She's not just mom, she's SUPERMOM! While this is a cute picture...

I think this one is more appropriate ;)

As I said, there is a 4th little child, and this time, it was a girl :) Such a sweet Mommy and Me picture. What a lucky little girl, having a mom that loves to sew. I see lots of great outfits in her future. BTW, the super cute skirt that Elizabeth is wearing was made using the DG Addison skirt pattern. You can read her post HERE

I know you are going to love getting to know Elizabeth. For those of you who are on Pattern Review, you can find her HERE.

Well, that was fun :)
I hope to be back next week with my usual 2 fabulous bloggers.
Have a wonderful, peace filled day.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pepernoot Fashion Show

Since I shared my finished hoodless Pepernoot jacket with you, it has become my favorite go to piece. The weather has been rather cool in Chicago, so this version has been perfect. 

You may remember the sew along I did for Sew News. Whenever I wear this jacket, I get sooo many compliments. It really is cute, but the fabric pills, so I may get one more season out of it, but that's it. Really disappointed. But, it opens the door for something new, always a silver lining :) BTW, the fabric came from the home dec department at Joann Fabrics. It may still be available, so stay away! 

I really love the big, bold, flower power jacket. Also a home dec fabric, but it has worn beautifully. Not from Joann's. The hood was lined in velvet and it feels to good when pulled over my head.

The hoodless horseman ;)

So easy to wear. Over the weekend, I paired it with my Ginger jeans. The skirt is my planes, trains and boat fabric. Sadly, I didn't have enough of the lining fabric to make a blouse. But, I think I like a white top better anyway.

When I originally showed you the finished jacket, I mentioned that I did not put the zippers in the pockets. The pockets function well with the zippers and without. So another nice option :)

And my crazy, fun lining.

Be sure to visit the Waffle Patterns website. I think the world of Yuki, the designer. I have been so very pleased with all of her patterns that I have made, and she is super sweet on top of it all.

I have had a number of people ask about the shoes I am wearing. I have fallen in love with Jambu shoes. I purchased a pair of sandals last summer and wore them with just about everything. This was a new this year style and I thought they were so cute. I have gone between the pair I bought last year and this pair all summer long. You would think I only own 2 pairs of shoes!!! They are no longer available on the Jambu website, but you can find them in black leather or suede HERE, and other colors HERE on Amazon. 

Have a wonderful day!

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