Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Life Gives Us a Present, and It's Called Today

Come to find out, the typical person wears 20% of their wardrobe, 80% of the time. 

Since last July, I have been on a journey to wear my handmade wardrobe each and everyday. There have been a few days here and there where I just didn't feel like dressing, stayed in my running pants, no shower, no makeup, just me in the raw ;) But, I think we all need a day like this from time to time. 

I have learned so much about myself, about my wardrobe, what I like, what don't like, and what I need. As extensive as my wardrobe is, I think most would wonder what I could possibly need, but by being so focused, I have seen the holes in the puzzle of my wardrobe. 

It's no secret that I absolutely LOVE Ted Talks.They inspire me, make me laugh, and give me so much to think about. I recently came across a talk that was done by an emergency room nurse. Her talk is entitled, "Change Your Closet, Change Your Life." She talks about how we "save" things for a day that may or may not come. There's a comment that she made that I so loved. She equates clothes, our good china, a special bottle of alcohol, even a candle as presents that we leave wrapped. But, what's on the inside is always better than the wrapping. In other words, using what we have is a better gift than saving it, and potentially never using it. If you have a few minutes, I invite you to grab a favorite cup of tea, or coffee, and enjoy her video.

With me posting my outfit of the day, each and everyday on Instagram, what I have found most interesting is that so many want to see inside my closet. I had forgotten that I did a video peek into my closet 4 years ago. In the video I talk about Jennifer Scott of  the Daily Connoisseur, and 3 of the books she wrote on living well. You can find her YouTube channel HERE. I also showcase a few of my favorite pieces from my wardrobe. If you missed it 4 years ago, or would just like to see it again, I have included it below. When you grab that cup of tea, make sure it's a big one ;)

Another "closet" video is in the works, so it should be up soon :)

What I have found interesting is that COVID is what inspired my journey, and it is what has prompted me to live as I really want to live. I do my best to dress each and everyday because I know all too well that this could easily be my last day. I have learned to focus on what I can do, and not on what I can't. Many or shocked when I saw that this past year has actually been one of the best years of my life. 

I love this quote from Gillian Dunn;

When we put excuses on hold, we find that the other side is joy, confidence, and freedom.  

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A Languishing Project Finally Finished

I have been lazy!!! As my grandfather used to say, 

"Pure dee ol' lazy!" 

That just might be the worst kind of lazy!!! I just love when some of those old sayings come back to me :) Not so much though when they fit me to a tee :/

But, here I am, back once again :)

Back in January, I was doing a bit of cleaning in my studio, emphasis on "a bit." Trust me, it is FAR from clean. I came across a jacket that I would like to tell you how long ago I cut it out, but it was so long ago that I have absolutely no idea! So, a long time ago. But, the good news is that I finally got it together, and I actually wore it out to dinner last night. 

The fabric is a double-faced faux fur. I was actually able to make the jacket so that it's reversible. For the edging, I pulled away the faux fur and just used the wool. The seams were basically done the same way. I cut 1 side of the seam down to the stitching. On the other side of the seam, I pulled away the faux fur, cut it away, and then stitched down the wool so that it's similar to a flat-felled seam. The wool does not fray, so I didn't need to turn it under. 

I know that the pattern has to be long out of print. And no, I am not a size 18, but I liked the pattern, so I just cut it down to fit me.

I forgot to add that I made a loop and covered a button for a closure. You can see that in the video. I really didn't want a tie belt. It just seemed as though it would be too much.  

I had enough left over to cut a little pencil skirt. The pieces are so interchangeable with other pieces in my wardrobe. I keep kicking myself about allowing this to languish for so long. But, it's done now, and I guess that's what really counts :)

Hopefully I have inspired you to pull something out that is long overdue. It's just the greatest feeling when something old finally comes to life!

Have a wonderful day!

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Saturday, February 13, 2021

A New Writing Adventure!

Over the years that I have been writing this blog, I have shared that I am involved with the American Opera Society of Chicago. I was president for 6 years, the first in the history of the organization to hold that position for that length of time. And too, a position that I felt quite honored and humbled to have held as Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick was the first president. The organization has evolved over the years, but what has remained the same is the desire to promote young artists.

Each year, AOSC holds a scholarship competition in March, well sadly, except this year. In fact, when COVID raised its ugly head back in March, we had just completed our competition for 2020. So, we were quite fortunate to have gotten it in before everything shut down. 

Like everyone, figuring out how to function during COVID posed quite the challenge. Thanks to Zoom, we have continued to have board meetings. But sadly, we have not been able to hold any of our events, and showcase our scholarship winners. So, what to do?

The answer was to start a blog, and once again, I am quite honored to have been asked to write the blog. I love everything about music, so I see this as a wonderful addition to my creative life ;)

This past summer I had the opportunity to fly with and become friends with our top vocal award winner for 2020. He has an over the top personality that just draws one in, the kind of person that makes everyone in his presence feel special. The board felt that a video of the 2 of us talking about opera and what he has been doing during COVID would be especially interesting to our membership. 

So many of you have been so very kind to me over the almost 11 years that I have been writing this blog. You have stuck with me during the times when I just haven't felt like writing, and encouraged me to keep going. Don't worry, I am not abandoning this blog, but I wanted to share that I will be writing a weekly blog for the American Opera Society of Chicago. And, I felt that the best way to make the announcement would be to share the video that I made with the amazingly talented Christopher Kenney. The video is about 28 minutes long. Be sure to stay to the end as Chris will have you laughing...at me ;)       

I hope you enjoyed the video! 
If by chance you too love opera, and would like to follow my weekly posts, you can find the AOSC website HERE. The blog is entitled "Bravo," so just click on that link in the header. 

Before I go, I would just like to once more say thank you to all of you who have followed over the years. Your support has meant the world to me!


Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Friday, February 12, 2021

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday/The As You Choose Top, Wrap, Skirt

I can't remember the last time I did a Fabulous Free Pattern Friday post!!! At any rate, it's been quite some time, that's for sure :)

This is not a new post. I actually did this skirt 9 years ago :/ Wow, how could it be that long ago?!! I wore the skirt just a few days ago, posted it on Instagram, and a number of people commented on the shape, and loved it. So, I thought I would do a reminder post of the skirt. It is nothing more than a rectangle. It needs to be made in a knit. The end result is a piece that is quite versatile, and packs like a dream. And too, it's quite easy to wear.

Here's the picture I posted on Instagram. Since I originally made the skirt, I wear it with the drape on the side.   

Me 9 years ago ;) As you can see, I am wearing it with the drape in the back. 

I really like that I started doing videos to go along with my Instagram posts as it gives you a better idea of how the garment looks on the body, and how it moves.

And here's the magic of it all. It's just 2 rectangles with 2 ties. It cannot get any easier!!!

If by chance you would like to make 1 of your own, you can find my original post HERE.

Over this upcoming year, I am going to revisit a number of the pieces that I did for the Fabulous Free Pattern Friday series. It's been brought to my attention that they can be a bit difficult to find. In the event that you would like to take a look at some of the pieces I've done, you can find most of them HERE on my Pinterest page.  

What I love about this series is that it shows that fashion does not need to be complicated. Of course, complicated can be fun, but easy and fashionable is always a win, win situation in my book :)



Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This