Thursday, March 29, 2012

Simplicity 2511 - A 1958 Casual Blouse

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The kimono sleeved blouse's description on the back of the package describes it as "simple to make." They were not incorrect in this assumption! It really has been one of the easiest things I've put together in the last two years.

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 It went together in under four hours, it would probably be closer to three except I had to stop and make pancakes for breakfast today. 

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I actually followed the directions for this and was surprised to find out how much I like finishing the sleeves, collar, and bottom hem with bias binding. It really gives a clean seam when you flip, iron, and sew it and it makes the inside of the blouse look really neat and tidy, too. 


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Monday, March 26, 2012

Little Mysteries

I found a calling card once while flea marketing. I bought it for a dollar and brought it home. I pinned it up and forgot about it until I started moving things around to spring clean. I decided to google the name on the calling card and turnes out Charles was at one point the postmaster of Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Little mysteries like that are half the fun of unearthing bits of paper from bygone eras. 

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Antique paper clutter is the only type of clutter I like. 

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I'm busy spring cleaning. I'm up to my elbows in suds and murphy's oil soap. Furniture is being re-arranged. I threw the living room rug over the clothesline and beat it with a tennis racket. I moved all the furniture and washed the entire living room floor. I took lemon oil to the old built ins and scratch cover to any of the nicks on it. 

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I only do this once a year because it is really quite a taxing job to do such a thorough cleaning. I make sure that I only clean a few hours in the morning and I do relaxing things in the afternoon. On Saturday I cleaned in the morning and then made my way up to Louisville, Co. 

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Louisville is one of those sleepy towns that probably sprang up by a railroad depot as is cut in two by a railroad that still rattles it's residents awake every few hours. 

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My friend Isabelle was selling her gorgeous macaroons up there and I figured it would be a good time to drive up, say hello, and explore the town.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vintage Tennis

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Vintage Tennis is our new favorite sport. It's easy and cheap to get into. The rackets cost of all of three dollars at a thrift store and my super-fabulous vintage tennis outfit ran me another ten or so. We are very terrible tennis players but we get a workout chasing the tennis balls all over creation when we hit them out of the court. 

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The weather here has been gorgeous - in the mid 70's and sunny. I'm very thankful. We've done some hiking, a little biking, and of course a tennis match (I won one, JR won one).

Here are some of my favorite things:

 - Screenwriter Robert Pirosh sums up my feelings about words.
- This home is one of my favorite house tours on Apartment Therapy - It captures what I'm trying to do with my own home. 
 - At some point I'm going to get 4 or 5 pewabic tiles to use around the house. This one that says "Life is worth living in Detroit" sums up my feelings exactly! 
- I've transitioned from a linear planner to the Chronotebook and I've been loving it! It gets me thinking about my day in a different way and has lots of room for sketches, lists, and places to think. 
- Here are 55 lovely ways to take care of yourself when you are busy. 
- We love national parks, especially the ones close by. We visit them on a monthly basis and I've started collecting the National Park walking stick badges you can purchase at each park. I'm planning on shadowboxing them at some point. 


Monday, March 05, 2012

I answer quite frankly, when they stop building roads...

These past two weeks I've been busy being deliberate in my happiness. 

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What a difference it's made. The house is more peaceful, my husband is more amiable and agreeable. I sleep better. 


This week is Denver Restaurant Week. My husband and I love this week because we get to take advantage of some of the restaurants that we typically can't afford. I also take the opportunity to dress up in one little black dress after another (I have about four).

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Over dinner, tucked in the back room of a cozy bistro here in Denver we talked about all of our dreams and whether or not there is room for happiness when you are contemplating all the sorrows of the world. 


At the end of the night we decided there was room for happiness, and even more than that, that if you need to firmly see and fix and work towards fixing the problems of the world it is best that you are happy. When you hold happiness and mindfulness together your happiness will comprise not just of happiness, but of forgiveness, love, grace, compassion, patience and it will be a complex shade, gossamer even, changing in the light of different things. You will become much more able to approach the problems because you know that if you want to be happy you must forgive. To preserve it you must have patience and let things run their course. You will give grace undeserving because in doing so you are coercing your happiness out of the cover of bitterness and injury. 

So in light of Syria, which weighs so heavily on my heart, in light of the grief that never seems to completely leave, in light of the impending instability and poverty of our small lives I chose to give reverence to the sorrow by covering it in happiness. 

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