720 in the books…

July 2017 Books
Summer time and the reading is fine

It’s been some time since I made a ‘9 at a time’ book purchase.  I’ve been relying on my local library to satisfy my reading needs, often with limited success.  If you use your library then you can relate – the shelves don’t always offer the books you’d like to read, so you make ‘will do’ choices which aren’t always as engaging as the cover art and book flap accolades led you to believe.

Thanks to a very thoughtful – and completely unexpected- thank you Amazon gift card I just placed an order for nine books that I hope will take me through the dog days of summer and keep me from playing library ‘book roulette’ until the fall.

How about you?  Do you prefer buying or borrowing books?  What are you reading now? What are you looking forward to reading in the next few months.  I’d love to know…

*720 in the Books – Ella Fitzgerald

My sweet potato pie…

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Eat your veggies

I no longer plant my own vegetable garden (thank you deer!) but it hardly matters since I have access to three different farmer’s market close to my home from May through October.  I love to wander the stands and load up on corn, tomatoes, herbs, eggs, melons, and baked goods.  One of my favorite things to make with my fresh veggies is a summer vegetable tart….. Continue reading “My sweet potato pie…”

Got a pocket full of dreams…

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Amaranthus Faux Flowers

A few weeks ago, I attended the Porter Flea Summer Market Preview Sale.  Porter Flea started a few years ago as a way to showcase the millennial craftsmen (and women) moving to Nashville.  I’m a crafty fox and spend a lot of my daydreaming moments trying to come up with ways to market and sell what I make, so I am always curious to see what other people are making – and asking – for their products… Continue reading “Got a pocket full of dreams…”

She sewed my new blue jeans…

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Tools of the [sewing] trade
I have started to teach 6 co-workers, who range in age from 26-40, how to sew. We meet each Friday afternoon and spend a few hours sharing lunch, chatting, and discussing all things sewing.  Three are novice seamstresses and the others rank somewhere along the beginner spectrum.  I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember so I had to really think back to what my grandmother and mother taught me, and combine that with what I learned during my fashion design training to create my own ‘learn to sew’ series.  In other words, always begin with the baby steps.

The first baby step will be to assemble a basic sewing kit, which will come in handy whether one ends up sewing or not.  I’ve suggest visiting JoAnn or Walmart or surfing Amazon to purchase the following:

Over the summer my plan is to teach the group hand sewing stitches and techniques, sewing machine use and maintenance, fabric and pattern skills, and help the group with their first sewing projects (which include a pillow/comforter set for a doll, making a throw pillow cover with a zipper, a full skirt, and a table runner).

Are you a sewer?  What sorts of things do you like to make? Do you have any tips or wisdom I can pass along to my sewing circle? I’d love to know…

*House of the Rising SunThe Animals

6-24 Ephemera

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Lucy Sparrow Felt Bodega

It’s been awhile since I posted ephemera gathered from around the web.  That’s because I am just about over the unceasing onslaught of ‘The One [fill in the blank] you MUST have’ or ‘The 10 Best [fill in the blank] You Must Try’ articles, emails, and posts I get inundated with.  That said, there have a been a few things that have managed to capture my attention and led me into the time suck that is the world wide web, if you’d like to waste some time of your own…

Finally, if you are staying inside because of the crazy high temperatures, I recommend watching the newest season of The Great British Baking Show and/or GLOW!  Hope you have a lovely weekend and can find some time to get lost exploring ephemera of your own!

Pennies from heaven…

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A penny saved

Parents amaze me with the unending list of things they do and sacrifices they make to ensure the best for their children, mostly with no notice and little praise (except on days like Father’s Day). I’ve written before about the gifts my mother and father gave me (here and hereand I doubt my dad would mind me sharing what I think of as his ‘Wheaties Wisdom’ this Father’s Day… Continue reading “Pennies from heaven…”

Sure plays a mean pinball….

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Pinball Power Play

I’ve been a pinball junkie since I walked into the back room of our local hoagie shop and put a quarter into the slot of Gottlieb’s Wizard.  My habit quickly developed and I spent years hanging out in smoky game rooms and working arcades down the shore perfecting my playing skills.  Those skills have waned over the years and I haven’t seen, much less played pinball in a long time.  That’s why when I had to deliver a load of furniture to Indiana this past weekend I decided to detour to Lafayette and drop some quarters in the machines at Main Street Amusements Continue reading “Sure plays a mean pinball….”

Long cool woman in a black dress…

BohoGown

Last weekend I made myself a kimono dress.  Next up is a dress guaranteed to remind me of 70’s summers spent attending concerts like Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, and the Dead.  I had at least 3 different versions of this dress as a teen and loved each one.

The Alice & Olivia Spring 2017 runway look pictured above reminds me of those maxi dresses of my youth.  To recreate the look I plan on using lightweight solid rayon challis for the skirt, a contrasting embroidered cotton print for the bodice and straps, and some complimentary jacquard and satin ribbons for the trim.  All I need to complete the look is a pair of hoop earrings, some espadrille wedgies and a concert ticket (or two)!

*Long Cool Woman (in a black dress)The Hollies

Twelve eyes of evil…

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Do you ever have high hopes before starting a book but after beginning realize you’re already familiar with the plot, even if the cosmetic details like name, location, and time differ?  I often find this is the case, especially since I tend toward books with themes of love and family in their many iterations. I count myself fortunate to have recently read a number of books with plots that are markedly different and excellently written (including Moonglow and The Book of American Martyrs).  Now I can add another unique read to that list – The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti.

‘Twelve Lives’ central theme of family and love is told in alternating chapters voiced by Samuel (a very successful career criminal) and his teenage daughter Loo (a bit of a criminal herself).  Watches, whales, and wounds all feature into the plot, along with Samuel’s brother-from-another-mother Jove and Loo’s boy/friend Marshall Hicks, and each propels the story forward until it culminates in Samuel’s 12th, and Loo’s 1st, life tale.

Have you read this book? I liked the story so much I am going to read Ms. Tinti’s The Good Thief next.  If it is half as good as ‘Twelve Lives’ I will have yet another book to add to my 2017 favorites list!  Keep reading….

*Twelve Eyes of Evil – The Broken Family Band

Summer’s here and the time is right…

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It doesn’t matter what you wear

Even though summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st the season always starts on Memorial Day weekend for me.  I can finally pull out my lightweight clothing, go to the beach, and work in the garden (and on my tan) until the skeeters drive me inside.  I tend toward no-fuss easy pieces, with dresses being my ‘go to’ item to wear – or make.

With rain in the forecast this weekend I plan on recreating one of my favorite looks from the Spring 2017 runways – the kimono wrap dress.  It’s such a classic style that flatters most wearers regardless of size or shape.  Plus, kimonos are incredibly easy garments to make.  You can find patterns at Burda and Vogue, and almost any solid or print fabric from gauzes to embroidered cottons to silks will work.  After that, all you need are some sexy shoes and a minimalist piece of jewelry to be ready for dancing in the streets (or anywhere else your summer takes you).

*Dancing in the Street  – Martha and the Vandellas