Monday, December 31, 2012

I dreamed a dream.

Anne Hathaway's I Dreamed A Dream scene alone
is worth the price of the ticket. 


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Letter

Dear Friends,

In between unwrapping gifts and cooking Christmas lunch, I wanted to stop and take a minute to wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

I've had a really wonderful 2012.  This has been, hands down, the  most interesting year I've had in a long, long time.  So many times I have been faced with new opportunities I didn't expect (not all that turned out the way I originally hoped they would), found strength to accomplish things I didn't know I had the ability or stamina for, and made friendships that I didn't expect to find or love quite so much. 

Many of you have been a part of my incredible year, either directly or indirectly, or possibly you've only followed my progress and journey and cheered me from the sidelines.  In whatever capacity you find yourself here with me, to all of you, I thank you. 

May the love and peace of the season be with you today, and all days.

Merry Christmas,


Monday, December 24, 2012

Texting Santa

Mashable got ahold of Santa's phone this year.  Santa should really be more careful.  Here are my favorite convos...

Justin Bieber:

Morgan Freeman:

An overly attached girlfriend:

Mariah Carey:

Mars Curiosity Rover:

Just a little holiday humor to get you through this beautiful Christmas Eve!  I still have a gift to buy.  WHAT?? 

I know, Santa. I know.

Safe travels to those of you on the road this holiday season! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From our house, 
to yours,
we wish you a 
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Baby K, future heartbreaker.

We have a Christmas baby this year in our family! Meet my brand new nephew, baby K.

I'm enamored.

I got approved to visit the NICU tonight to get my first peek.  (Which, when they say "scrub in", they mean SCRUB IN.  There's a timer and everything.)

His mama had just gotten the opportunity to hold him for the first time in a day or so (he was born on Thursday).  She was very excited. :)  He's had a bit of trouble with his O2, so please keep him in your prayers for a speedy recovery so we can get him home and snuggle him up in person. 


Monday, December 17, 2012


Eighteen years ago today I met one of my two favorite people on the planet.

G, 1 week

He used to stare at me like that, like he was puzzled by my very existence and if he looked deep enough, long enough, he might just figure this strange world out. 

I was content to just stare back.

When he was a baby, he never cried. He was mostly content to watch me watching him, and listen to my voice. I used to sing 'A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes' as I rocked him to sleep.

As a toddler, his favorite book was Green Eggs and Ham.

When he went to school, he always looked after the smallest kid on the playground, took care that no one was left out.

He's funny.  We spend a lot of time laughing around here, much of it inappropriate. 

He loves Tom Hanks.

His favorite movie is Black Hawk Down.

He would probably actually go to prom if Hayley Williams from Paramore would consent to be his date. 

My boy wants to be a soldier.  A friend of mine asked this weekend when it was he started talking about this (the military), and I said, truthfully, "When he was four."

Wherever life leads him, I have faith he's smart enough and strong enough to make a difference and find success.  I might have slightly different goals for he and Lu than most parents; I want them to be happy, and I want them to go out in the world and see what's waiting just around the corner, to not let fear hold them back.  After that, it's cake. 

We've come a long way, G and I and Lu.  I wouldn't trade a single second of it. 

Love you, baby. Happy birthday. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cinderella's Dream Closet

If I were Cinderella, and a suave and handsome prince happened by on occasion to ask me to a ball, I would accept demurely.  And then I would flit away to my singularly amazing closet filled with the kinds of dresses that set all my competitors' teeth on edge.

Dresses, like these.









I need that prince now.

Or at least a lovely formal event so that I can recreate one of these gorgeous dresses...aren't they spectacular?


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dustin's Dream

One year ago today, a former student of mine lost his life in a senseless tragedy.  He was an amazing kid, so full of peace and happiness that you couldn't help but smile when you saw him.

Dustin was a pre-med student at Baylor, and his dream was to work in the medical field and to participate in mission work both at home and abroad.  His strong, beautiful family is continuing Dustin's legacy, with the formation of a foundation in his name, Dustin's Dream.

I was honored to participate in one of their first major projects this month, when they asked my graphic design class to design a poster for their fundraising efforts.

The student designer is Chai L., a senior, and he is simply amazing.  He has a wonderful eye for layout and I gave absolutely no direction on this project until the very end when I made two tiny, miniscule suggestions.  This is Chai's work, and it is gorgeous.

The reverse effect cross was a complete accident... Chai and I were both stunned when it began to emerge.

And then, we weren't.

Dustin's mom told me, after asking how he came up with the idea, that she no longer believes in "accidents".  

You have never heard more silence from a group of teenagers than the moment this 30 x 40 inch poster came off the large format printer in my room.  It's simple, quiet beauty stunned us all.

You can read more about the Guatemala City Medical Clinic project here, and if you find it in your heart to donate to their cause, I thank you.

God bless you, Dustin.  You are often in my thoughts.

Friday, December 14, 2012


My heart is broken for you, Connecticut.

Come to me, 
all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

wednesday wisdom.

whoops...didn't mean to disappear for a week!  
Back soon with fun and inspiration!

Monday, December 03, 2012

On the First Day of Christmas: Castiel

So it's not the first of December.  And it doesn't fit the song.  Or ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas.  Unless I continue to 21. 

"21 Chocolate Covered Cherries..."

I may actually do this.  It could be a new tradition.  A post a day at Christmastime!  ANYWHO.  This weekend, in spite of my very best intentions, I got NO sewing done.  (Tissue bodice admiring, yes).  That doesn't mean the weekend was totally wasted!  For example, yesterday I made another ornament for my tree.

May I present to you, Castiel, Angel of the Lord:

Since it's quite probable you have absolutely no idea who that is...Castiel is the angel on the tv show Supernatural.  His besties are Dean and Sam:

Dean and Sam need to be little clothespin ornaments too. Yes?

If you look to the right of Castiel on my tree, you might recognize those two... It's Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Complete with sideburns.  *swoon*

Or do you prefer Colin Firth? (Who doesn't?? No really.  I'm curious.  Who prefers the remake over the BBC Pride and Prejudice?  Anyone?)

Before Dean and Sam, I must, MUST, make Mary and Matthew:

*Swoon* again.

These are my favorite ornaments to put up every year.  I have 8 now, including little Castiel.  I used the templates from the Martha Stewart website.  There's also a video clip of the Christmas special segment where she and a coworker made the little ornaments.  One of my very favorite episodes of Martha Stewart; I still have it recorded on VHS!

I also made my Christmas cards this weekend and sent those off to the photo lab.  I love to send Christmas cards, even though I rarely get any in return. WHY don't people send cards anymore?  It's such a sweet little cheery envelope in my mailbox in December. 

You know what we should do??  We should have a bloggy Christmas card exchange.  Quick! Somebody make a yahoo group and we can all enter our mailing addresses and swap cards.  Let's do it! 

And now it's Monday again.  SIIGHHH.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Project Runway Ain't Got Nothin on Us

Special treat for you today...straight from my classroom!

I'm teaching Fashion Merchandising this fall, on a 4x4 block, which translates to 1 semester of class delivered in 9 weeks! (i.e. I'm locked in a room with the darlings for 90 minutes each day.  90 MINUTES WITH 27 TEENAGE GIRLS.  That explains alot, huh?   Nah, they're all really sweet and most of the time they're not giving me the eye glare of doom.)

It helps they still think I'm fashionable.  Lord help me when they figure out how old I really am.

The week before Thanksgiving, they had a project to practice their understanding of the elements & principles of design, and basic garment shapes (straight, a-line, bouffant, bustle, etc.)  I like to call it Trashy Fashion, and it was inspired by the Season 6 episode of Project Runway, where they created fashions from newspaper:

In essence, each group has two days to design a garment and accessory from newspapers, packing tape, and any recyclable materials they bring from home.  On the 3rd day, we have a little fashion show and then they get to parade through a few classrooms of willing teachers. (We've never been invited through the math hall. I have no idea why.) 

This year's fashions may be the best bunch ever!  They're amazing!  Group shot (heads chopped off for obvious reasons):

And some closer detail shots of the dresses!  The hot pink on this dress is recycled Forever21 bags:

Some of the little trims I allowed because these girls are master negotiators.  Their argument was..."but it's leftover from a previous project, so technically it could be considered trash".  Um, OK. Pickin my battles, daily.  And that's not one of them! haha!

There was so much detail on this next one, I wish I had taken closeup shots of each little piece.  It was incredible!!

Yes, this is a boy, and his girlfriend is in the class.  She insisted he be the model for their group.  He was cracking me up in his runway walk.  By far the best runway model!  The dress is beautiful. It has an intricate woven/pieced bodice that this photo doesn't do justice to.  And the fanned ruffle placement on the skirt?  So well thought out.

 The colors on this dress come from recycled color copy paper.  I love the pops of color!

The zebra duct tape snuck in under the radar of "is this allowed".  She was taped into that dress pretty darn fast, on the principle of "ask for forgiveness later".  haha!  It really is cute.

Pretty cool, huh?  Keep in mind, they had roughly 3 hours to make the garment (and an accessory), and they're "fitting" real people, not rail thin models or a perfectly proportioned dressform.  (well, for the most part.  Of course they're little things, they're teen girls!)

In any case, I'd say the PR folks should be paying attention. We're gunning for them.

TGIF everyone!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vintage Patterns: Wiggle Dresses

I'm a tad enamored of "wiggle dresses" right now, and I've had some fun packages in the mail over the past few days!  It's like Christmas came early!

My favorite may be this Advance shirtwaist, in wiggle form. Love love the pockets and the simple shape.  So cute!

I also won this McCalls 6778 wiggle with keyhole neckline (and bonus gored skirt) but it didn't arrive. :(  I don't know if the seller forgot to mail it or if it was lost somewhere.  I have decent luck on ebay and etsy, so I'm hoping this seller still pulls through for me!

This Simplicity 3109 suit is so cute!  It's a skirt, jacket, and pussy-bow blouse.  Love!

This isn't a wiggle, but an adorable dress nonetheless, in an unusual larger bust size.  I had to snag it!

And now for the ones I didn't win or I'm too cheap to bid on (doesn't mean I can't set up an ebay saved search for the future though!)

This mail order pattern is sooo gorgeous.  It started out really cheap but quickly escalated.  I think the final bid was $65.  Whoa.

But it's definitely gorgeous!

This is a basic wiggle with raglan sleeves and a cute little jacket.  You could make a million dresses from a pattern like this and let the fabrics and trims disguise the fact that they're all from the same pattern!

I never win the Prominent Designer patterns.  They're ALWAYS too pricy.  But beautiful.

Wiggle dresses are so fitted it's a little risky for me to start one as a new project since I'm in size-fluctuation.

So of course I want to make half a dozen RIGHT NOW.

The little Advance shirtdress is definitely on my radar though, it's exactly my current size!  That should be permission enough, am I right??

Happy Thursday peeps!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

wednesday wisdom.

Kristine, (or K2 as I like to call her)
 this one's for you.
love ya!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Long, long before Tebow found pretension, I had a torrid love affair with bows.

(We still meet clandestinely in the closet.)

Take a walk through my Pinterest Style board and you'll see what I mean...apparently this very girlish accoutrement is not easily outgrown.

(That means I bring inspiration! Holla!)

First off, did you realize little Taylor Swift is all vintagey stylish?  Me neither.  This would be the utmost of easiest knockoff ever.  A little tulle, a natural hued sweater...and presto. Auto-tune box not included.

And how about this sweet polkdot blouse with foldy sheer bow. Another easy add-on to something already in your closet, or even something new.

Don't forget the back.

This is a bow knitted into this sublime vintage cardigan, but I am thinking an applied ribbon or bias strip (a'la anthropologie) would be just as cute. And easier to accomplish.  I don't knit, but this seems rather complicated.  Which is why I don't knit.

Slap a bow on anywhere.  If it's gingham you get bonus.

Lord I love this dress.  The graduated/stacked bows are pure excellence. 
poor unknown source. :(
A pussy-bow blouse. With cheery red dots.  Love.


Another easy lace bow on a plain white tee. And would you just look at that jacket!

another unfound source

Nanette Lepore is also having closet shenanigans with her tie-bows.  It's OK Nanette.  We support your habit.


More Taylor looking adorable.  Sheer, sky blue pintucks.  Umph.  She's killing me.

Another sheer tie neckline, this one in a low V. 

And how about this knit number... This looks like something that should be in a Jalie pattern or maybe a Burda Style mag.  Bonus girl points for the peplum!

 It's probably a good thing I wasn't around in the 40s and 50s.  I don't think my closet would have held all the bows and ties and petticoats required.  I would have to star in my own radio show to support my habit.

All too much?  How about just a jaunty bow on your toes? 

My faves for the moment.  I have more to share, but blogger is being a real butthead tonight.

That's OK.  I want you to come back! 

GUYS.  We survived Monday.