Monday, April 25, 2011

White Shoes, Straw Hats, and Southern Traditions

Here in Tennessee, you just can't get away from Southern traditions. And why would you want to anyway? Even those that are outdated bring back wonderful memories and make for interesting conversation.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, the day we Southern girls bring out our white shoes and spring finery. Women all over the South were decked out in light dresses of pretty pastel colors like dyed eggs in a basket. Little girls had satin bows in their hair and sweet ruffles of lace on their socks. It wouldn't matter if it was raining, or cold, or snowing, the Easter outfit would be worn, even if you had to toss a white sweater over it on the way to church!

Southern fashion rules dictate that white shoes, sandals, pants, dresses and skirts should only be worn on or after Easter. That also goes for certain fabrics like linen, seersucker, dotted swiss, chiffon, and voile. The only possible exceptions are your wedding gown or if you are in a tropical climate on vacation. 
Although I didn't make an Easter dress this year, I did whip up an apron to wear with my white jeans and sneakers. Here's to straw hats and spring days, in honor of Southern ladies everywhere.

By the way, Southern tradition says no straw hats or bags until Easter. Hats haven't really made a comeback, although a few ladies can and do wear them on occasion. I mean, other than in the garden or to the Steeplechase or Derby. Caps with logos don't count. Last week my mama came to visit wearing a cute black fedora. She looked pretty sassy for a woman of a certain age, but then she always has.

So from now until Labor Day, all the above items can be worn without fear of being talked about in whispers. Of course, if you have visible panty lines or your bra shows through your blouse, we'll probably whisper about you no matter what color you are wearing.

Useful Notion: Embrace the best old Southern traditions, like pretty spring dresses, strappy sandals, chocolate Easter bunnies, and sweet ice tea. Tell stories about the silly ones, and be bold enough to make some new ones.

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!” 
– Lucy Van Pelt


Monday, April 18, 2011

Birthday Musing: Follow Your Heart and Intuition

On Saturday, my 57th birthday, I was relaxing in a peaceful campground overlooking the Obey River.

This quote is my gift to you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Camping, Crafting, and Taking Cover

Calm after the storm
Last week we were at Defeated Creek on Cordell Hull Lake, our first camping trip in the new Sabre. That's one of the reasons my blog post was late. Monday was an interesting weather day, to say the least. We were camped on a point overlooking the lake and the wind was coming right up the bank at our trailer. When the high wind and tornado warnings came, it didn't take us long to decide to head to a safer shelter. Not a minute too soon, either.  

There we were, in the sturdy block shower house, with three other campers and a dog named Willow. Strong wind, sideways rain, and a little hail pelted down hard for about twenty minutes. After the front passed, we headed back to our sites. Everyone's trailers were fine, with a few limbs and a small tree down in the campground. I didn't think of it at the time, but I'm just happy their little dog's name wasn't Toto!
I plan to take lots of digital photos when we camp, particularly of things that inspire creativity. Nature provides fantastic examples for combining color and texture.  Leaves, water (and the whitecaps on it during the wind!), wildflowers, rocks, driftwood, and clouds inspire wonderful design ideas.

Taking a break from crafting to walk around the lake, read, and hang out with my best friend was fun and rejuvenating. I packed several small projects and a sketchbook, but I never even got them out. This time was for relaxing and enjoying nature.

Useful Notion: When you're outdoors, take notice of your surroundings...really look at textures and colors of nature's portfolio. You'll find an infinite source of inspiration for your creative projects. 

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.  ~~ Eleonora Duse


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fashion Rerun: The Fun and Funky 70's

What's hip, cool, and a blast from the past? This spring and summer we're seeing a return of designs from forty years ago. Wow...can it be that long? It seems like yesterday. If I still had the little knit dresses, peasant tops, and floppy hats, they'd be classified as vintage! These are the clothes that I loved to sew and I have the patterns to prove it.

Looking through my older patterns, I found quite a few that are exactly the same as those in stores right now. The only problem is, mine are size 7 or 9 junior. Modifying those to fit my current size 12 will be a challenge for the more detailed designs. The simpler ones should convert easily. Or maybe I'll sell a few vintage patterns and buy new ones to add to my collection.

It will be fun to wear the 70's styles again, at least some of them. I don't believe I can manage micro-mini skirts this time around.

Useful Notion: What goes around, comes fashion, style, home d├ęcor, or life.  Keep the best and discard the rest. 

Remember that always dressing in understated good taste is the same as playing dead.  -- Susan Catherine

Never wear anything that panics the cat.
           -- P.J. O'Rourke


1930's accountability Accuquilt adapt addiction adjust adventure advice affirmations amazing antiques attitude autumn baby quilt balance be yourself beach beauty birthday blessing bliss BlockBase Blue Wren breathe brightness camping card trick cat challenge change chevrons chips & salsa chocolate choice Christmas closet clothes clutter coffee color contentment cooking crafts crazy creativity crochet decorating design designs distraction DIY downsizing drama dreams energy EQ8 exasperating people excitement expectations fabric fall family feed sack festivals flexibility flour sack flowers flying geese Flynn Quilt Frame focus fool free spirit freedom fun furniture garden Granny Hill Granny Rose grateful gratitude Halloween happiness hexagon imagination independence insight inspiration intuition inventory Janome joy just for today karma laughter lemon pepper lessons letting go life lists little things loose ends love magic Memorial Day memories Mother's Day motivation NASCAR nature opportunity organizing paradise passion patience peace perception perspective positive energy productivity quilt quilting quotes reflection refresh relaxation remnant renew resilience resolutions responsibility retro routines satisfaction scraps sewing sewing machine simplicity simplify snow solitude Southern traditions spring st. patrick's day stitching strawberries stress sugar sack summer sunshine thankful Thanksgiving Thoughts tropical prints useful valentine vintage waiting weather winter wisdom wishes yard sales