Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Morning Inspiration

We're getting near the end of my pile of Modes Royale pattern catalogues. I think I have enough to take us through the end of January. If you enjoy, or love as I do, vintage fashion, this has given you an opportunity to put together a very nice collection of ideas. At least I hope so. 
Today's catalogue showcases the patterns from the Modes Royale Spring/Summer 1952 collection. There are some really pretty pieces in this collection, like the piece on the front cover.

 Check out the way the pocket is part of the front vent in the skirt above.

The jacket on the left above has a lovely collar and princess line detail.

I'm not a huge fan of the above dress, but I think the caplet is a rather interesting idea.

I'll see you back here next week for another visit with Modes Royale!
Have a great week and Happy New Year!

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Night Reflections

A New Year's Prayer
Dear Lord, please give me...
A few friends who understand me
and yet remain my friends.
A work to do which has real value,
without which the world
would feel the poorer...
A mind unafraid to travel,
even though the trail be not blazed.
An understanding heart...
A sense of humor.
Time for quiet, silent meditation.
A feeling of the presence of God.
And the patience to wait
for the coming of these things,
with the wisdom to know them
when they come.

                                                                       W. R. Hunt

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Sunday's Soup

New Year's Prosperity Soup
When I was growing up, it was a tradition to eat blackeyed peas on New Year's Day. In the south it is believed that this little pea brings about prosperity. I was told that for every pea I ate, an extra dollar would come to me in the new year. Now that may just have been a ploy to get me to eat them, but I wasn't about to take any chances and ate as many as I could. I still do!!! 
Today's soup is a mix of lots of good things, cabbage,
carrots, celery and leeks. So if the soup doesn't bring about prosperity, at least it may aide in a healthy diet. This recipe makes a VERY large pot of soup. I like to freeze it in smaller containers and break it out over the winter.
The ingredients;
1 16oz. package of dried blackeyed peas
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium head of cabbage chopped
1 pound of carrots sliced
2 leeks chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 cup of uncooked wild rice
2 cloves of garlic chopped
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of dried sage
3 large cubes of Knorr Vegetable Bouillon
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by soaking the peas overnight. If you by chance forget to soak overnight, put them in a pot and cover well with water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place lid on pot, turn off heat and allow to sit for one hour. This method works really well.
Once the peas are ready, saute the leeks and the celery in oil until tender. Add the remainder of the ingredients and 20 to 24 cups of water. I know this sounds like a lot, but remember that the rice is uncooked and it will soak up some of the water. This is also a rather large pot of soup.
Bring the soup to a good rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for approximately 1 hour or until rice is cooked and the peas are tender. If you would like a meat version of this soup, add some ham or a ham hock to the mix.
You'll end up with a soup that is very rich in vitamins, great for the winter months, and who knows, it just may bring about a little luck in the New Year. What do you have to loose?

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

I'm Honored

This is a rather unusual post for me as I usually don't post on Saturday evening. Before I went to bed last night,  I checked my email and saw that there were two posts I must take a look at. One was from http://themahoganystylist.blogspot.com/2012/12/lovely-blogger-award.html and the other was from
http://satinbirddesigns.blogspot.com/2012/12/inspiration.html. Both, within minutes of each other had given me this award,

Incredible. I shared with each a little something my grandmother would say. Whenever we were out for a shopping trip and would find a parking space right in front of the store, my grandmother would always say, We must be livin' right today!" Precious memories for sure, but it also reminds me of the incredible blessing it is when something special happens, even something as simple as a parking space. Here's what Andrea and Cennetta had to say. The first comment is from Cennetta and the second is from Andrea.

"The super generous and acutely talented Rhonda Buss. The is one phenomenal creative woman. Rhonda's "online design school" is priceless. It has inspired me to experiment with pattern drafting. Every week she features a free pattern and showcases fellow creative souls. Rhonda is a gem."

"Rhonda is a veritable cornucopia of creativity, and is the most sharing, lovely blogger I've found. I always look forward to reading her blog posts, whether it is Sunday Soups, and inspirational post, or her FFPF (Fabulous Free Pattern Friday). A gorgeous jacket she made is in the March issue of Threads!"

Wow, how lucky am I?!!
So...I am supposed to share as I understand, seven things about myself. Here we go..........

1. I love the opera, but I cut my teeth on Wolfman Jack and The Midnight Special!!! By the time I was maybe 10 or 12, I could stay up as late as I wished, but I had to be in my bed and I had to be quiet. I had an earpiece for my radio so I could listen and oh how I loved to listen. The strange thing though was that Wolfman Jack and his Midnight Special program ended at 10. Oh well, it was fun. As I listened to the music I would read Edgar Allen Poe. What kind of morbid kid was I?????
2. President Lincoln will forever be my hero. He is probably the only person that I hope to meet in the after life. Just a few years ago I read the book, "Lincoln The Unknown" written by Dale Carnegie, a book that is sadly now out of print. By far the most wonderful book that I have ever read. As I read the book, I came to realize just how fortunate Americans are that he was our president at that period of time. When it came to the point in the book that he was assassinated, I cried and felt a loss just as if he were my current president.
3. My patron saint is Our Lady of Guadalupe. Seven years ago we were doing some extensive work to our home. A steal beam was attached to the house and tied into the chimney. This was done because the front of our home is very close to the river and the land is quite narrow. In order to hold the house in place, an exterior foundation was added as well as the steal beam. The morning after the beam was attached, I came out to look at the work, looked up and couldn't believe what I saw. I went and got my husband who has no imagination when it comes to art and asked him what he saw. He said, "Well, look at that." Not wanting to influence him I asked, "What do you see." He said,"It's Our Lady of Guadalupe."  Where the steal beams had been sautered together, the image was quite obvious. I immediately called our contractor and told him that he needed to come immediately. He is NOT  a religious man, but he took one look, looked at me and said, "You are going to have to keep your mouth shut. If you say anything your house is going to become a shrine and we will never get this project finished." When the guys arrived for work, I said good morning and went about my business. Some months later I shared with them what I saw. They were very disappointed that they did not see the image and couldn't understand why they didn't see it when they were so close to it while they worked. Then one of the guys said, "I think we didn't see it because She wasn't here for us, She appeared for you." This year on my birthday when I knew that I would be hit by the car that raced toward me, I felt that I was saved by a power much greater than myself. So, a very long story to say that yes, I believe in miracles.
(By the way, this is harder than you may think! I still have 4 more things  to share)
4. For something super silly, I love a good fart joke. I'm laughing now just for admitting this. Bet that woke you up!!! I told you this was more difficult than it looks ;)
5. I play the flute and had first chair in The DuPage Youth Symphony. That was a million years ago, but hey, I still play.
6. When I was 9 years old I saw and realized racism for the first time. We had moved to a small town in Mississippi where everything was still segregated. I hated it then and I hate it now.
7. My husband says that I have "little dog syndrome." Big dogs evaluate the situation before they bark and run into a situation where a little dog just reacts. A few years ago I was stopped at a light when I saw a bus hit a woman and knock her off her feet. Without thinking, I jumped out of the car, left it running with my purse on the seat as I ran to the woman with my cell phone in my hand frantically dialing 911. I was able to calm her and keep her still until the fire department arrived. So yes, "little dog syndrome!"

This morning I looked at a post from http://prttynpnk.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/5-inspirations-from-2012/ and once again I was honored. Here is what she said,

"Rhonda is like a sewist Power Ranger! She flies, she designs, she solves problems and she makes soup! If she doesn’t post for a few days, I assume that she is on a secret mission and that we have been unknowingly saved from a Godzilla attack or a Tsumani by her hands!"   Wow, now I'm a super hero to boot!!!! .....Not!

I understand that I am supposed to nominated 7 other bloggers for this award. I have been working on a little something special for the next Wednesday Showcase, so you'll have to come back on Wednesday to find out who I pass this award on to.

Thank you so much ladies for honoring me in such a special way. As much as I appreciate it, awards aren't needed as I am honored on a daily basis just by the fact that you take a few moments of your time and spend them with me.
Thank you,

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

It's been a while since we've met for Fabulous Free Pattern Friday. Too long actually! It feels good to be back.
Today's little pattern is just a series of rectangles. Five to be exact. I'm calling this dress the
Hanging On A Cliff Dress 
 You can see that one side has a very deep drape.
You can get a better idea of the rectangle shape in the above picture.
 With my arm in the cuff of the draped side.
Here the dress is flat. On the right hand side of the picture you can see that I tapered the side seam in order to have a little shape on that side. This is done once the dress is finished. The dress needs to be made in a knit fabric as it is very close fitting, except for the draped area. I used a knit that only has crosswise stretch. If you would like to use a knit wise lengthwise as well as crosswise stretch, it will be fine. No woven fabrics though.
To begin, measure from your shoulder down to about 3" below your waist. The skirt of the dress does not sit at the waist. My fabric was 60" wide and I used the entire width of the fabric to begin with. You will cut a front and a back.
 For the skirt, measure your hips and do not add ease. The skirt should have a close fit. Measure from your waist to your desired length. the skirt does not sit at the waistline, but I would rather have a little extra and cut if off than to not have enough. I cut one piece for my skirt so I only had one seam at center back.
 Once you have cut the rectangles for the bodice, you will want to turn them on an angle.
 Sew the center back seam of the skirt. Now, match it to the bodice rectangle as you see above.
 Cut off the angled area where the skirt will be sewn to the bodice. The 60" width of the fabric was too long on me so I cut approximately 12" off the side. You may have longer arms than I have, so please wait to cut the side off until you have sewn up the bodice.
The hash marks that you see in the above picture represent the opening that you will need to leave for your arms on either side and for you head on the top line. On the shorter side seam of the bodice, measure around your bicep. Use this measurement to determine the opening for your arm.
On the longer side of the bodice, measure around your fist. This measurement will determine the amount of that opening for your hand. 
Along the top of the bodice, from the side seam, stitch in 9". Leave an opening approximately 8" for your head and then sew to the other side.
Sew the skirt to the waist opening. 
At this point, try the dress on and determine how much of the drape you would like to cut off. You want to be able to sew on a cuff and not have the drape, draping over your hand. While you have the dress on, measure from the edge of the non draped side to your wrist to determine the length of your cuff.
Once you have the drape the length that you like, cut a small cuff for that side.
Once again, use your bicep measurement to determine the width of the cuff for the non draped side of the dress. This cuff will be fairly long as you can see above. Mine was 15" long. Once you have the width and the length, measure your wrist and add a little ease, not too much is needed. You just want the cuff to sit comfortably on you arm. From the bicep end of the cuff, taper the side seams down to the wrist. For the smaller cuff this is not necessary as the cuff is so small. Just a rectangular cuff will be fine.
Once you have you cuffs sewn in, hem the dress and make a small binding for the neckline and sew in place. And you are finished!
I plan on wearing the dress this afternoon to a party so I should have pictures later.
Good luck if you decide to give it a try. It really is very easy to put together.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

100 Years OF Fashion In 100 Seconds

Just a quick hello :)
I plan to be back later this afternoon with a little post, something fun and a little crazy as well.
Hope everyone survived Christmas.
The video that's attached is lots of fun, 100 years of fashion in just 100 seconds. If you haven't seen it, I think you'll enjoy it. Made me think a bit about some of the things I have thought to be so wonderful and new.
See you later this afternoon.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!


It's snowing in Chicago! I'm so happy!!!
I've attached a little of my sillyness. You wouldn't believe how much joy such a crazy little thing has given me. At the end, check out the tail action. It's just so cute. Listen closely and you'll hear a groan at the end from my dog :-)
Hope you are all having a glorious day.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Morning Inspiration

Good Morning Everyone!! It's Christmas Eve, a busy day, but a fun day. I have a group of people coming for dinner tonight that I love to see and spend time with, so a good day indeed! I had thought of not doing a Monday Morning post today, but then I thought that you may want to take a moment to yourself and look at something rather pretty. And if you don't get a chance to look today, it will be here when you do.
Today's pictures come from the Modes Royale Spring/Summer 1951 catalogue. There are some truly beautiful ideas here. Enjoy!

If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a lovely time spent with friends and family.

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