Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Liza, Where have you been?

We were working on taking in some of our netflix queue this past weekend; manfriend and I decided to watch the original movie "Arthur". We know that there is a new version coming out with Russell Brand but we both are admittedly no where near interested in seeing this newer version... but were curious to see what the fuss was all about the first time around.

The movie was much more entertaining than we thought it would be but more importantly I think that I have grown a little crush on Miss Liza Minnelli. I never really grasped what all the gay men are getting all worked up about... until I really took a look at how captivating her looks were/are. This woman had something that made people love her. I don't know where I have been!

Her cute stylings and quirky attitude in Arthur are what made me look at her full body of work, something that really surprised me. Of course, there is Cabaret but I think I need to sit down and take in a little Liza... and see how long it takes for the man to really be sick of me!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Starry Eyed Fashion Inspiration

I am totally digging the star themed things floating around the designers' new collections. Obvi, I have some favorites, ALL of which are far too expensive for this girl to buy, but it doesn't mean I don't want to share with you some of my favorites! The following are honorable mentions in the race to be my favorite star themed item ever:

Galaxy Print Biker Jacket by Christopher Kane
Multi Colo Star Necklace by Max and Chloe
Star Rolled Sleeve Tunic by Richard Chai Love
Printed Dress by Rodarte
Charm Bracelet by Aurelie Bidermann

But my all time favorite? I don't even know how much this is, because you have to request the price, that's how expensive it is... but it doesn't mean I love it any less.
 Star and Moon Dress from Yves Saint Laurent

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Dreams Have Wings

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead." -Louisa May Alcott

When Stephey from Marked by the Muse first created the Courage to Fly blog hop, I was immediately inspired by one of the questions that she posed. This particular question fit the landscape of my life in the last year to an absolute T!OK, here is the question/s she posed:

Have you ever had anyone push you "out of your comfort zone" and in so doing freaked you out or made you resist in anyway? BUT! After that push, once the fear was breached, were grateful towards? Looking back, why did you resist? And to whom are you grateful for that - push?

A couple of years ago, I met my boyfriend (who I hope will become my husband in the coming years). When we first started dating, I didn't tell him that I liked to sew and craft... I mean I told him that I dabbled in painting but I was almost embarrassed to tell him that I was interested in something that seemed not artistic but more so something an old woman would do... I didn't want to tell him because I was afraid he would think it was stupid; what I found out was that this was my own insecurity.

After seeing him for awhile, we started talking about what our dreams of all dreams were. I told him I had always dreamed of being a Fashion Designer and he a Game Designer... I mean, before telling him, I really didn't tell anyone what my interests were except for my roommate... She did see me doing it afterall, my crafty stuff that is. Anyhoo... yeah so my boyfriend listened to me talk about all the things that I liked to do and not only thought it was cool but pushed me to take it further.

He told me that I should start blogging about it and to really hunker down and invest in what was an underdeveloped hobby and could be more in the future. So that's what I did. In the very beginning, it was just the man who read my blog. I didn't want to share with friends or even family what I was doing because I mean, I was still embarrassed and sort of scared of what people would think.

But as the months went on, my man kept on encouraging me, encouraging me to share my projects, get out there and throw myself into the creative community, which I did. He bought me a new sewing machine and dress form but more importantly he listened to my ideas even though sometimes they seem really stupid to me. He reads every blog post that I write. He even created a nook for me in our master bedroom so that I have my own space to create. He told me that others would think what I was doing was cool too, if I just gave them the chance to see it. He was right. To make a long story sort of shortish, this guy is my biggest fan.

I have been blogging now for almost a year now. In that year, I have put myself out there on Twitter and Facebook, the blogging world, asking people to be my friend, showing them what I do and learning what I can, here and there. I have made friends, I have gotten a small following. I have a voice. It is my hope to make it to The Creative Connection Event this year, which this time last year wasn't even on my radar. The possibilities are endless when you actually have someone who believes in you and makes you believe in yourself. My man helped me to give my dreams wings and I am lucky to have him.

Anyhoo, I thought I would share in my inspiration because you never know when someone else can give you that the branch... and you'll quickly learn to fly.

Also, do yourself a favor and check out my partner in posting crime today, Brandi from Brandigirlblog!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Appreciate Everything

I, like so many other people in the world, have turned my attention on Japan and the craziness that an earthquake then tsunami then nuclear worries have caused. It is amazing how you can expect today and then the next to be just like the ones before and then something like this happens and shatters that expectation all together. We are not promised a perfect world; it can be ripped away from us at any time and this whole week, watching things unfold, I have come to realize that more than ever. One Moment to reflect on all the sadness and destruction was not enough this week, it deserves action, even small. Here are some great things that our community has been doing to take part in even a little piece of the relief effort. Compassion is key for me and I wish for it to be key for many, many others.

Japan Disaster Relief Bracelet 100% of Proceeds, $5.00   

All items from Drenculture from 3/15-3/11, 400% of all proceeds

Bari J is raffling off a bag, among other things until March 26th
Tree of Life Pendant from Iris Jewelry, 100% of proceeds, $39.00

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” -Dalai Lama

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scarf Loving with a Dash of Buttony Goodness!

So my crafty self was looking at some of the fabric that I just had hanging around and thought that I should try to find a quick and easy project to work on so that I got some crafting satisfaction pretty quickly, ie instant gratification. Enter this little project off of the "I am Momma Hear Me Roar" blog, reconstruction-esque area of the site. Yay for fun projects whilst also being simultaneously awesomely easy! See my take on the Buttony wrap/scarfy thing. Yay!

I started with a scarf that has been in my "Ghosts of Scarves Past" drawer for quite some time. I mean, if I did a botch job on this, then well, I would give it a proper burial without shedding too many tears. Anyhoo, I took that, about a 1/4 yard of cotton fabric from "The Collection" for the pockets, and some buttons from the stash... and was on my way. (Note: Here is where I get nervous because, well, I am ashamed to say I had never done a button hole before)... Anyway, I did it and my only issue came when I realized the scarf was too short. Next time, I'll know. All in all, it was fun and easy to do!

Watch out for these guys today!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Near Perfect Day Date!

I don't know why I want to share this nearly perfect day date with you...but I will. So it's restaurant week here in Boston so manfriend and I decided to partake in a little yum yums for less than usual, ala price fixe menus at some swanky swank establishments. We made lunch reservations at The Chart House on the waterfront, planned to "wing it" in Boston until our dinner reservations at Lineage in Brookline. Well let me just say that having those two bookend meal reservations not only gave us freedom but also day date creativity for a trip into Beantown.

We got our morning coffee at Starbucks; manfriend ran in and took so long, I had a lot of time to do the following photoshoot with my Blackberry; please note that any extended amount of time waiting + brand new Coral colored lipstick = America's Next Top Model moments:

We had an absolutely lovely lunch at The Chart House. Our meals, a combination of Lobster roll and Tilapia, clam chowder and Boston Creme Pie (which we took to go), we "yum yummers" as the man would say. We took a walk around, with the wind whipping, did a mini photo shoot and grabbed our car from the valet. It was decidedly too windy on the waterfront. We headed inland.

The original plan was to try and catch The King's Speech or an indie film at Coolidge Corner but but we took our time getting there and the shows were already sold out. Oh well, there was plenty to walk around and see. We went to a comic books store (yes a comic book store) and wouldn't you know that I was the only one to make a purchase. I needed reading material for a business trip, people!

We then decided to just walk around and see where the mood took us... and the mood took me right into Pier 1 Imports, much to manfriend's dismay... buuuuuuuuuuut we did come out with these awesome fishy votive holders for our "by the sea" themed upstairs bathroom and this ginormous birdie soap dispenser that we just had to have, for our downstairs bathroom, theme be damned!

Next we went to an awesome papercraft and gifts shop called Paper Source where I picked up a card for Emma, some stickers, and some stamping materials. I was giddy with girly delight while manfriend was merely along for the ride...

Here is where we lost our steam... with nearly 2 hours until our dinner reservation, the wind a whipping and me with packing left to do, we decided to cancel our dinner reservations. We vowed to come back to Lineage very soon but just didn't have the walking and waiting in us for the rest of the day. We ended up getting Thai, watching Extras and relaxing on our last night together before I left town... Sometimes the best laid plans don't pan out but this nearly perfect day date did, even with the canceled dinner reservations.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Little Things Go a Long Way

I was over at Curating Cuteness and saw a story that I just had to blog about. I am here to tell you that this is not an easy story to read. This tough little girl has been through a lot in the last months... but I thought her story was an important one to share. We have the opportunity to do something small for people every day, and this instance is no exception. We can make a difference if we just make the small effort to pop a stamp on a card... Well, first... let's hear Emma's story, told by her Mom Leanne:

In July 2010 our 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with a tumor in her face/neck/head.   This is not the sort of news any parent needs to hear. 

Emma went in for surgery to remove the tumor on the 9th of September and after a mammoth 10 hours we finally got to see her.  The surgeons were hopeful that they had managed to remove 99% of it unfortunately it had wrapped itself around the carotid artery so they could not get it all.  They did however tell us that it was a possibility that it would not grow anymore and just lay dormant.  This was definitely our wish..... 

She had her next MRI scheduled for beginning of November which would show us if it had grown.  In November we had her back to the hospital as her jaw was not healing where they had broken it so she then went back under to have the maxillofacial surgeons repair it again.  Surgery was successful and we were home two days later (minus a few teeth and a little less jaw bone) the teeth and jaw will be fixed further down the track.

On the 21st of December Emma complained of a lump appearing in her temple.  Both Stuart and I were hopeful that it was just a hematoma or something similar but deep down I think we both knew what it was.  Emma went in for a biopsy the following day.

Results would not be available until after Christmas so at least we could get through Christmas in denial and thinking all is OK. It is a tumor again...It has grown back to 70% of its original size within 6 weeks.  They are not going to operate this time as they would prefer to see if chemotherapy would work.  She was due for her first treatment on January 5th, just one day after her 11th birthday.  

The treatment had been going well and Emma did not suffer any major side effects apart from the odd feeling of nausea.   She had 8 weeks of chemo when she noticed a lump in her cheek.  Yep you guessed it, here we go again!  They took another MRI and confirmed that the tumour had now moved down into her cheek, which meant that the current chemo was not working.   On the 7th of this month Emma was admitted to the Royal Children’s Hospital where she underwent a stronger dose of chemo.  This one is given to her once a day for 4 days per month and will last for a total of 5 months.  Both of the chemicals that she will be receiving list hair loss as the most common side effect.  She has started to lose a tiny bit and has already picked out the wig that she wants.

She is a tough little girl and is hoping that if we all get together we can make heaps of beanies and or bandanas, that we can donate to the Hospital.  They do have a few but they are very old fashioned and not very appealing to children.  Emma wants to see fun bright colourful funky ones for the children to pick from.

We managed to get a big smile from her this week as she finally got her first Blythe Doll.  And so the addiction has begun...

So I am joining lots of other bloggers in sending Emma some stickers from the States, hoping to brighten her day a little. No person should have to see this kind of struggle, let alone a sweet child. Won't you join me in bringing a little joy? Little things can go a long way...

Here are Emma's details:
Miss Emma Love
PO Box 2849
Burleigh Waters, QLD, 4220

All pictures and sweetness comes from Emma's mom, Leanne's blog

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What we can learn from one another

So I have been thinking a lot lately about how there are so many people in the handmade/ artistic/ crafty/ creative community that I totally admire for how they have really just found what the loved and ran with it. I have taken inspiration from so many bloggers who share what they do and embrace their inner/outer artisan... and I think I want to interview some of them... maybe do a weekly or bi-weekly post with a feature of that lady that I so admire, who was willing to answer my questions (because the ladies in my bubble are suuuuuuuuper nice and supportive). I mean, I have a lot of questions, but I am sure I could narrow them down to the 5 that I think are most important... my main thing though? I want to learn things from others... everyone's creative journeys are different and lessons learned are invaluable. Is it cheating to want to skip learning the hard way? ;-)

So if you could ask your favorite creative ladies any questions, what would they be? I am curious to see what others think of this idea... is it stupid or could it be fleshed out to be a robust and awesome blog series?

Friday, March 4, 2011

OM: Normal My @$$

As I was stalking my usual Tweeps yesterday, I saw a couple of blurbs that really made me appreciate individuality even when we feel like we are similar or GASP! ... Normal. Gale at Wichser Studio started it...

@wichserstudio An old woman at the thrift shop today told me, "normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine" #agreed

I have a lot in common with my Twitter friend (soon to be real life friend) Erin of Petal and Pink... we are always joking about how we are basically the same person because we like so many of the same things (ie Bravo TV, Colin Firth, pretty jewelry, Metrowest Massachusetts). Around the same time I saw Gale's tweet, Erin and I had a silly little conversation about our shopping excursions to Marshalls:

@PrimandPropah I didn't got BBandB tonight, I went to Marshalls... bad business, I spent some $.

@PetalandPink I've been so impressed with them lately! Serious bad news lol

@PrimandPropah I went in there to look for a pair of work pants. Yes, I came out with a pair of work pants but how do I explain the 4 tops?

@PetalandPink to go with the pants, duh! I found a pair of oxfords that were over 300 for 60 at my last trip! Love!

@PrimandPropah YOU SCARE ME... I just bought a pair of brown suede oxfords...

and my point is made here:

@PetalandPink lmao! Mine are black leather. I'm glad we still find ways to be ourselves in our similarities. ;)

My moment this week wasn't something grand and really all the noteworthy but it was a special little moment nonetheless. It happened by myself, at the computer.... I just got to thinking... I love that I'm not normal, you're not normal, NO ONE is normal. We are all unique and wonderful spirits that help weave the cloth that this diverse world is made of. Our similarities can help us bond but our intricate differences are what make us who we are, the opposite of normal.

Which is more exciting to you?

nor·mal [nawr-muhl]

Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular.


u·nique [yoo-neek]

Existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics; having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable.

That's what I thought.

OM is a weekly meet up that promotes living in the moment. Whether funny, sad, ridiculous, or banal, actively looking for and sharing these moments will promote balance in our lives.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pattern Project 2011

I am currently reading/ working my way through Tina Sparkles' Little Green Dresses and as I read along, I am trying to hone my sewing by pattern skills because it is important in constructing garments to understand what the heck is going on! I have made the mistake in the past of starting a project that is far too advanced for me and then I never finish... Sooooo I bought some more Amanda-friendly patterns and have been working diligently on improving my mad apparel making skills. So my goal this year is to make one dress from each of 5 patterns that I bought on a whim. I will follow the directions and there will be no shortcuts (unless of course they are necessary)!

So I give you my most recent construction of pure sewing genius ;-) I introduce you to Pattern #1, Vogue 8631, Easy Misses Dress.

Vogue V8631

I really wanted to give you good pictures but the man took the camera to San Francisco with him and I was chomping at the bit to show you my craftswomanship... so I took a picture with my phone. Not the best quality but still it's something! I swear to you, the in person view is much more stellar! ;-)

Other patterns that I plan to make over the course of the next year? I am really excited to improve my mad sewing skills and also make clothes that other people aren't wearing! win-win. The following four patterns range from easy to average so I have definitely stayed in my range. They are in my arsenal and and awaiting being made.
Vogue 1177

Vogue 1129

Vogue 1223

Vogue 1226