Have you bought your copy of Beth Howard's new book, Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Recipes and Bold Tales From the American Gothic House, yet? It officially goes on sale tomorrow.
I've blogged about Beth before here and here and here, but in case you're new to this blog I can tell you that she is a great lady. She's leading an adventurous life as a pie maker and beautiful story-teller. And she chose to wear my Retro Revival "American Beauty" apron on the cover of her new book. I'm so incredibly excited and thankful for this!
Beth is originally from Iowa, and resides now in the famous American Gothic house. The picture of me in the corn field? Taken by my BFF while I was visiting Iowa. Beth and I met at the Great American Pie Festival in Florida a few years ago. Gotta love meant-to-be connections!
Hope you'll pick up a copy of her book. And take a minute to visit her Facebook page, called The World Needs More Pie.
I don't think I've ever been so happy that Spring is finally here! Winter really walloped us time and again, and, get this! Dropped another couple inches of snow on us last week! In April. Crazy.
Dare I say she's finished? The past several days have been quite warm, the birds are returning to the neighborhood, and the trees are finally beginning to bud ~ yay!
To celebrate Spring's arrival I dug out a few pieces to display throughout our home. A few decoupaged eggs from Michael's nestle next to my antique, wooden rabbit:
Here on a side table I've placed a fuzzy bunny (a gift from my BFF), one of my a vintage, jadeite vases, and the gorgeous, antique glass and brass bowl my daughter picked up for me while traveling in Japan last year.
The small, pink platter is a vintage piece I picked up years ago while in traveling in southern California.
My favorite vignettes are the ones like these ~ made from special pieces from special people and places!
I made this dress in a couple of hours for just $6.
Talk about a lucky score! I found a stash of enormous men's dress shirts at the Salvation Army for $2 a piece. I grabbed four of them in this pretty, robin's egg blue color, and another four in a soft, buttery yellow.
I normally repurpose men's shirts into aprons like these (click here for details in a prior blog post):
...But decided to give dress-making a go this time.
I started by taking one shirt and narrowed the sleeves and bodice:
I picked the pocket off of a second shirt...
...Then cut it in half, just below the arms:
I baste stitched along the cut line then pulled the threads to gather it:
Then stitched closed the button placket:
I pinned the gathered shirt to the first shirt and sewed them together.
I topped stitched the waist, where the bodice meets the skirt:
The dress was complete. Until I tried it on and realized it was way too short (at 5' 10" this is a very common problem for me!). So, I took a third shirt and cut several inches off the bottom...
...And pinned it underneath the hem of the dress. Following the hemline of the dress, I top stitched the pieces together and stitched down the button placket of the third shirt.
Dog walking on a sunny spring day was the perfect excuse for donning my new dress. Notice Twyla's collar corsage? Click here for the blog post on how I made it.
Oh, and why wear just one pearl necklace when you can pile on 7?!
I love it when I can elicit a big eye roll from Captain Project!
I finally made time to update my Etsy shop. I'm a little late doing this, since they added the "Check out this shop's about page" a while ago.
I'm still not very confident with this computer stuff ~ I'm easily intimidated by having to make changes, afraid I'll mess up and break a link or something. I really shouldn't have worried about these changes because they were pretty easy and didn't take much time at all.
Here's how I did it...
1. Under the "Your Shop" link, I clicked on "Listings Manager" (upper right on screen)
2. Next I clicked on "About" under the "Shop Settings" (about mid way down on the left side of the screen)
3. I uploaded a picture of myself as the "Owner" of my shop and clicked the "Edit" option to write a little bit about my shop (this is all under the "Members" tab). This took about 5 minutes.
4. Then I clicked on the "Story" tab, created a headline, something I think sounds engaging and interesting, and then spent about 15 minutes writing my story. Initially, I was thinking too hard about what sets my shop apart from thousands and thousands of others. Then I relaxed and just started writing and the story came naturally. Duh! It's MY story.
5. Loading my pictures and adding captions was the next step. Culling through hundreds of pictures took some time because I wanted to find the right pictures that best illustrate what I do and what I make.
Since launching Retro Revival, sales of my products have continued to climb on Etsy. 1,162 to date! From day one when I spent just $.20 and five minutes to list my first shower cap, I've thoroughly enjoyed the process. It's such a wonderful platform for selling and interacting with buyers!
My name is Cindy and I would really love to write that I live a glamorous, exotic and mysterious life, traveling the world and lounging on the beaches of Monte Carlo. In reality, I was a city-dwelling (DC and Atlanta) human resource executive for 25 years who gave that all up to become an independent artisan and farm hand.
I’ve officially joined the “country club,” that is, I’ve traded in my sleek convertible Thunderbird for a pickup truck, traffic snarls for unpaved roads, cocktail parties for working the pasture, and my gym membership for running screaming from snakes, bears, bobcats and wild boar! My old, daily routine of corporate hair, makeup and suits has been replaced with Crocs, Chapstick and bug spray and I spend my days creating treasures from my growing horde (obsession) of vintage textiles.
I will admit that occasionally, while cleaning the chicken coop (translation = mucking up the chicken poo), I nostalgically miss my pearls and heels, and wonder how I ended up here ~ then I think, pft!, my now rural, retro reality beats the rat race of my former urban life any day!