Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Love Love Lanetz Living!

Due to my voracious web surfing I find cool sites, products, ideas, and advice all the time from all over the world. Today I want to tell my fellow sewing friends about one of them.

I read A Dress A Day daily which is literally what it sounds like. A discussion or presentation of some great dress (usually vintage) found online and why it appeals to the writer.

Well, sometimes she uses vintage patterns as examples, because since she can sew, it is possible for her to recreate some of these dresses that she presents. She mentioned one source of vintage patterns about a month ago; Lanetz Living, and how they were offering a discount to her readers.

I started stalking the site looking for gems. She has so many patterns and most of them have never been used. Maybe the cover isn't as pretty as it once was, but the pattern pieces are like new. One Sunday morning, I ordered three patterns online using my discount. I also received free shipping because I had ordered three or more items.

Wednesday afternoon, I came home for lunch and there they were. In a tiny Manila envelope, each in its own ziploc baggie with a sheet of stationary notepaper ready to jot down all the pertinent details of each project.

Yes, they are very simple and I could definitely sew more advanced garments.

However, these are so classic in style and with the right fabric they could be spectacular! Most of my clothes are in solid colors, but with these simple shapes I am going to take advantage of the great patterned fabrics out there now. Hello, Cia's Palette or Reprodepot!

Check out Lanetz Living, their selection is great and the customer service is the best I've encountered on the Web to date.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Finding Inspiration

When you are about to tackle a HUGE project it is best to be inspired for success.

1st Inspiration:

While searching for sofa reupholstering information, I found the above sofa image. See the similarity between that and mine...the rolled arms? I prefer rectangular block arms so I needed to find a rolled armed sofa that I liked for inspiration purposes. I like the way this sofa looks without all the cushions, which in my case are lumpy cushions.

2nd Inspiration:

A great redo of a traditional sofa showed up in the pages of the fall/winter 06 issue of Real+Life Decorating, unfortunately, they don't have pictures available on the Web so I had to scan it in. They not only covered a camelback sofa in an incredible chili-red velvet color but they also gloss painted the wood legs to match. Then they added a great patterned gold/red/brown bolster to lay across the back.

I am thinking that if I take my loveseat above and...
    • Strip and recover the base of the loveseat in a great solid color,
    • make one bench cushion for the seat; eliminating the sliding around that the two cushions do now, and
    • remove the lumpy back cushions and replace them with one fabulous funky bolster across the back...I just might be able to fall in love with my loveseat.
    What do you think?

      Monday, August 21, 2006

      Peaches and cheese?

      I scooped this easy recipe from the blog Something to Say. I must try this. It's a weird combination but my mouth is already watering.

      Cut some peaches in half and grill them or cook them in a cast iron skillet until heated throughout. Immediately fill the hollows with 3 tablespoons of gorgonzola or blue cheese and some walnuts. If desired, you can drizzle them with honey too.

      Sunday, August 13, 2006

      Respect mah authoritah?

      Sunday Morning did a feature about South Park, and I felt inspired to finally create my own South Park character. I had seen personalized versions on other blogs and wanted to try it out.

      I like the tool on the official site much better but for some reason they don't make it possible for you to copy or save your creation. So after a very simple Google search I found the CustomSouthParks generator and made my doppelganger. It is as good as it could get using the options available. For it to truly look like me, the hoop earrings would have to be silver and bigger, the hair curlier, and the glasses a different shape. I was also very disappointed that this was the darkest skin color possible. That definitely would not work if you wanted to recreate a Chef-like skin color.

      She is cute, however, the original is much more edgy and unique.

      I did try everything I could with the code to get rid of the sign, but no luck.

      Thursday, August 10, 2006

      Glorious glorious day

      After almost two weeks, I finally mustered up the courage to see how I did in my very last Spanish class. [If I pass this class, I will have fulfilled my foreign language requirement for my major.] This class was so hard, it was not wise to take on a subject that you don'’t feel strong in during an accelerated summer session. There were only five weeks to learn about five different ways to describe something that happened in the past.

      As Charlie Brown said so eloquently, ARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

      Oh, where was I? Yes, I finally checked my grades. My biggest fear was that I would fail and have to take this class all over again during a normal length semester. I don'’t know how to describe it, I have had such a hard time motivating myself to learn this language. This last instructor told me after my oral exam that my pronunciation was great, I just had to work on my vocabulary (haven't learned enough words) and my grammar. So whatever I am capable of saying, at least Spanish-speakers will not laugh and point at me. I have to take it again? Did it cause damage to my rising grade point average? Or did I not only NOT fail but did I surpass my own expectations and receive a C?

      I did, I did! This particular grade, a C, is at this moment in time the most beautiful grade in the world to me! I still even ended up with a 3.0 GPA for the semester.

      I am now content. I know I will learn Spanish in my own time, only now because I will feel comfortable talking to people and not because I have to for a grade.

      Wednesday, August 09, 2006

      IKEA is wonderfully cheap

      This weekend, I was just in the general IKEA area saying goodbye to great friends who are moving to Italy for two years. They will also take two of the sweetest little girls in the world with them, my "god daughters".

      However, on my way home, I ended up in IKEA. Since going to Miami on vacation two weeks ago, I have no money. I was just going to look...there is no harm in that, right?

      Well, I did end up spending some money, but it was very little, I swear! In fact, I only spent $8.

      1. BETTAN cushion cover is to be made into a skirt much like FehrTrade did here. She inspired me to try it too. I don't wear a lot of bright colors, so I decided to take a risk, and for $6.99, how could I resist? One thing I don't understand is why they chose to show the back on the web site, when this other side is more exciting. I am going to try to make it while keeping the zipper intact and just adding a few darts, a solid color band for a waistband, and a hem. However, the zipper would be the full length of the skirt, so perhaps I need to think about this a little more. I'll keep you (If there IS anyone out there?) informed.

      2. SKOGSBAR plant pot. This is an incredible deal at $.99 a pot! Come on? I'm not talking a clay pot, which goes for about $3-4. This is a glazed stoneware pot, available in great colors for less than a dollar. I want to get them in the green, orange, and yellow. Hopefully, next time I will be able to keep a plant alive as my Calla Lily passed away about four weeks ago.

      Thursday, August 03, 2006

      Miami Architecture

      My host outside the Versace mansion.

      I wish I had more pictures. But of course, the one the day I saw the most beautiful things, the camera was on the other side of Miami Beach, up nine floors, in the condo. My host was gracious enough to bring me back the next day to catch some of the images.


      Wednesday, August 02, 2006

      Miami coming soon

      Photos from Miami!
      Like this one of the Versace mansion.

      A stitch in time...

      I have decided to do some sewing.

      Most of the sewing I have done in the last few years has been for housewares. Pillows, bookcase curtains to cover the clutter, slipcovers for my computer monitor, keyboard, and headboard. In addition, I also made, if you can call it sewing, bulletin board covers.


      Now I am getting an itch to make more clothes.

      When I was in college, I made the half of the wardrobe that I did not get at thrift/vintage stores or swaps with friends.

      These were pretty elaborate things, a wool cocoon-like coat (see below), a slinky red gown with orange lining, a sweetheart neckline tea-length dress made of baby blue brocade fabric. I had a rockabilly red polka-dot dress, a Parisian themed outfit, a revamped black leather jacket that I cropped and elasticized at the back, and quite a few wasp-waited 50'’s dresses (these I bought).

      Let us just say I had a very schizophrenic wardrobe back then. Any era or style that caught my fancy was represented. But then again, I had my mother make me Issey Miyake outfits from Vogue patterns when I was in Junior High school! Can you believe that? I actually wore that whole ensemble below in 8th grade!

      I still wear the cocoon coat for special occasions. I made it in a silky chocolate brown wool and never put the shoulder pads in so it looks more like a 1930's cocoon wrap coat than anything.

      So I just joined the SewRetro blog community, a group of retro-minded sewing enthusiasts like me. This months project is to make a back-to-school/fall wardrobe staple. One of the members listed these new Simplicity Retro patterns.

      I might try my hand at one of these, along with the dress I'm finishing from the Target Ipanema fabric.