Hey mama….

bouquet

I really believe that all mom’s try their very best but it is such a tough, all-consuming, unselfish and demanding job that it can occasionally – or permanently – overwhelm even the strongest amongst us.  Some would argue Mother’s Day is a ‘Hallmark holiday’ but who really cares?  If it reminds us to take a few minutes out of our increasingly self-absorbed lives to reach out to a woman (or man)  who gave you unlimited love, unstinting encouragement and ever-constant support to make you the person you are today then it can’t be all bad.  To all the mom’s I know – whether biological, adoptive, step, or foster – thank you and here’s wishing you a day full of laughter and love this Mother’s Day!

*Hey Mama – Kanye West

Who are you? Who, who…

expressyourself
Ashley Mintz ‘Express Yourself’  (Acrylic on Wood)

It was my pleasure to help Nashville artist Ashley Mintz hold a series of workshops this past winter and early spring, which culminated in the April 20th opening reception for her ‘Who Am I?’ project… Continue reading “Who are you? Who, who…”

Lavender blue dilly dilly…

lavender-Recovered
Lavender Love

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13th. You could wait until May 12th to get your mom a gift, or you could take inspiration from 2018’s ‘color of the year’ and get your mom something  uniquely lavender before her big day.   You and I both know what your mom really wants is a few minutes of your time, hearing about your life and maybe sneaking in a hug or three if she’s lucky! That said, it never hurts to ensure you remain her favorite by gifting her a little something something that say’s ‘thanks’.

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*Lavender Blue – Sammy Turner

Everywhere around the world…

worldbookday

Being a voracious reader with almost no topic boundaries I am an indiscriminate reader of books from any country in the world.  It started many years ago with Russian and Spanish authors, before I branched out to include middle Europe, African and Asian writers, and in the last ten years Middle Eastern autobiographies and fiction.

Amazingly, I am drawn to the same sorts of ‘foreign’ as ‘American’ stories regardless of the author’s nationality: anything about the quest for freedom, education, family, and/or love keeps me engaged and invested in the plot. Turns out, these universal themes have persisted and prevailed over thousands of years, in fable, fiction and fact.

Along with comedy and music I believe books to be our greatest unifiers.  We really aren’t that different although the details of our individual experiences can be staggeringly unique.  On this, 2018 World Book Day (#worldbookday), do yourself a favor and pick up a book about someone in China, Ecuador, Iraq, Botswana, or one of the other 191 countries that make up humanity – you may be surprised at how much you have in common with someone on the other side of the world!

*Dancing in the Streets – David Bowie & Mick Jagger

4-17 Ephemera

ooops
“Oooooops” – part of the “Who Am I?” Installation

I’ve been working without a day off for a few weeks now, preparing for “Who Am I,” a community writing and art show featuring the works of 42 participants ranging in age from 6 to 90.  Between packing up the old show, matting and framing the new, and preparing the show materials I haven’t had time for much of anything except a few stolen moments wasted on the web, looking for my next adventure.  Here are a few items that held my attention long enough for me to want to experience each in person…

How about you?  Do you have the itch to get away somewhere?  Where would like you to escape to for a few days…or weeks?  I’d love to know…

 

In the library garden…

books
Due by April 24th

How serendipitous that I scored ALL of these books from my local library yesterday, which coincidentally was also the first day of National Library Week!

I grew up in a house full of books and was reading before I entered first grade.  At age 7 I was given free rein to roam the reading rooms of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library while my dad explored the microfiche reels for his aviation research.  By 9 my sister and I were riding our bikes to the Ridley Park library to get our weekly reading stash, which we would devour during lazy summer afternoons after our chores were finished.

There were numerous trips to D.C. and the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum archives, where I helped my mom and dad research pre-WWII insignia (and once opened a drawer to find a logbook from Charles Lindbergh).  I worked as a help-desk clerk at the Baltimore County Public Library during my first year of college.  I even spent one year organizing bake sales, weekly Friday dances, and monthly Parent Night Out events to restock our local elementary school’s shelves with $12,000 of new books.  If all of that weren’t enough, my momma was a librarian for close to 30 years. So when I say my love for libraries runs deep I am truly speaking from the heart.

Think about it.  Anyone, of any age, color, sex, sexuality, income level, education level, or any other descriptor you care to identify with can access one of 119,487 US libraries and learn a new language, brush up on computer skills, watch a movie, take part in community activities, surf the web, vote, or even check out a book.  For free.  It’s really quite amazing!

Does your town have a library?  How often do you visit ?  If you haven’t been in awhile (or ever) take five minutes to check out what your library has to offer.  Get a card. Prowl around.  Discover all the great things just waiting for you to explore.  I guarantee – you will not be disappointed.

*Rubber Band – David Bowie

Wear your bright clothes…

brightprints
Lite brite

I’ve already shown you how to re-create some bold floral and bright looks from the Spring 2018 runways.  Clever me – today I’m combining those trends to show you a few more ‘bright patterned’ looks that would all be super easy to make.  In terms of sewing expertise, the off-the-shoulder top and pants require at least moderate skills, being the only garments made from more than rectangles and straight sewing lines.  Add a fun pair of kicks and you will be ready for anything from shopping with your friends to dancing under the stars with your boo!

Lisa Perry
print fabric | solid fabric | slingback flats
Alice + Olivia
floral print fabric | abstract print fabric | jungle print fabric | ankle strap heels
Temperley London
butterfly print fabric| abstract print fabric | ankle wrap wedges
No. 6
circle print fabric | abstract  print fabric | slingback kitten heels

 

*In the Summer Time – Mungo Jerry

 

One bright day…

brights
Fashion so bright you gotta wear shades

Last week I re-created a few Spring 2018 bold floral looks (here). Next up – the brights!  You really can’t go wrong with a bright piece of fashion regardless of season. I say this as a women who has never met a black garment she didn’t like, or buy.

Each dress would be fairly easy to make but would require minor pattern changes prior to cutting to achieve optimal effect.  The orange linen midi wrap dress needs to have the waist-to-hem length extended and extra fabric purchased to make the belt.  The blue dress requires no pattern alteration but does need extra fabric, cut on the bias, to create the neck band, tie, and horn tassels.  Like the orange warp midi, the hot pink gown also needs to have the waist-to-hem length extended and extra fabric purchased for the neck scarf.  During assembly, make sure to allow for that sexy front (or side) slit.  All you need to finish off these dresses are a pair of statement earrings, a luxe lipstick, and a pair of jeweled sandals or ankle-wrap heels to stand out in a black-clad crowd!

Badgley Mischka
hat | lipstick | fabric | earrings | sandals
Escada
lipstick | earrings | fabric | heels
Christian Siriano
lipstick | earrings | fabric | heels
*One Bright Day – Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers

 

My passion flower…

floraldress
Flower Power

Spring is almost here, which means I am ready to switch out my warmest sweaters and coats with light, fresh summertime dresses and getting the itch to re-create some of my favorite Spring 2018 runway looks.

Each spring and fall I feature ways to re-create the top runway looks (past recreations can be found here, here, here and here)  through sewing and some accessory purchases.  Some of the hottest trends this spring include boldly colored graphic prints, checks, sorbet and pastel colors (especially lavender), fringe, and florals (my favorite trend of all).

I plan on making at least one version of the Vanessa Bruno gown for the summer.  Not only is this a garment that could hide all flaws, it would also be the perfect garment for a beginner sewer to attempt.  Honestly, it would probably take someone longer to pin snd cut the pattern than to sew it.

The Cushnie et Ochs and Alice & Olivia recreations require a bit more sewing skill but would be well worth the effort to make.  How cool would that Cushnie et Ochs dress and a moto jacket look paired together? Or mixing a floral moto jacket with faded jeans, a tank top, and strappy heels for a rocking night out on the town?  The possibilities are only limited by your creativity, personal style, and flowers of choice!

Cushnie et Ochs
earrings  |  ribbon  |  fabric  |  shoes
Vanessa Bruno
tote earrings  |  fabric  |  shoes
Alice & Olivia
earrings  |  fabric  |  shoes
*Passion Flower – Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington

 

 

3-10 Ephemera

averymonkeys
Orangutan by Sean E. Avery (2013)  Image courtesy of Sean E. Avery

It’s the day before we spring forward and walk around like zombies for a day or two before our rhythms circle back into place.  It’s also the first Saturday in a while that I can ease into the weekend with a few cups of coffee and some serious web surfing.  Here are some of the things I stumbled upon that held my interest for longer than a passing glance…

Hope you have a good weekend doing your thing….and don’t forget to turn back your clock (or have Alexa do it for you!)