Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

This is the third and final installment of Christmas Rhyme Time with Caroline. I've written many others, but ya gotta know when to say when ;) Besides, I still have to get started on 2009's poem!!!
This poem I wrote in 2005 after I had my twins. They're almost five and sooooooo excited this year for Christmas. I'm not sure we are going to make it through the day...

It’s been a different year,
What, with twins and all.
No more “quick stops” at Target
Or long trips to the mall.

With the holidays approaching
I needed a better plan --
I’m not nearly as mobile
With two more kids in our clan.

I tried on-line shopping
A sort of “cyber St. Nick”
All of my gift shopping done
With just a few easy clicks.

JCrew, Amazon
Toys R Us and more!
All of my favorite dot coms
Delivered right to my door.

The postman, the FedEx guy –
They all brought my things.
Everyday was like Christmas
Each time my doorbell would ring.

The mall at my fingertips.
My shopping done in no time.
But the best part of all:
No crowds and no lines.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish
While your little ones take naps.
Who knows – maybe next year?
I’ll even get it gift wrapped.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another rhyme...

Time for poem number two. I wrote this one in 2001, after my first son Will was born. He's almost nine now...

Christmas of yesterday
Was quite a different story
A husband and a dog
Were my only two worries.

Office gatherings, parties....
What should I wear?!
Jewelry and makeup
And don't forget hair!

Holiday hangovers
From a nip of the nog
And shopping at Petsmart
To get gifts for the dog.

Up late Christmas Eve
Sleeping in Christmas Day
Presents galore!
The VISA I'll pay.

It sounds pretty good
And certainly not a bore
But I started to feel that
I wanted something more...

Along came a baby
In March of '01
Who made the holidays more special
And certainly more fun.

Now time is a premium
But what really matters?
More ease or more joy?
I'd much take the latter.

I still have all the baking
And the presents to wrap
But unlike before
I do it all while he naps.

Big gifts may be less
And budgets may be tighter,
But the tree seems much prettier
And the lights shine much brighter.

Traditions are more meaningful
Simple things bring more joy
Christmas is more Merry now
Because of one little boy.

The meaning of Christmas?
It has become very clear
And it will only get better
Year after year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Time Rhyme

Every year (well, most every year;) I write a little holiday poem for my family. Writing has always been my first love and this is just a way for me to share my thoughts at the holidays.

This first "poem" I wrote back in 1998 -- pre-kids! I will try to share a rhyme each day this week... Enjoy!

A Woman's Version of Christmas
Well, it starts in November
With the holiday sales
And browsing through catalogs
To shop through the mail.

Next comes the decorating
It's time to deck the halls,
And the mantles and the staircases
And every inch of the walls.

Then it's hours of baking
Enough for a crowd
Twelve batches of cookies --
Martha Stewart would be proud.

We sew homemade stockings
And make holiday crafts
We bake breads and make fudge
Just about anything from scratch.

Did I mention the cards?
The hundred plus we send
And the "small" gatherings we host
For family and friends.

We wrap all the presents
Make our own holly wreaths
And in the middle of all that
Prepare the Christmas Day feast.

And as much as we want
To cut back, to start over
We'll do the same thing next year
But start in October.

A Man's Version of Christmas
Hang the lights on the house
Spend an hour at the mall
There's more cookies than usual
And two straight weeks of football.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Glutton for Glitter

My sister and I hit the mall today for some final holiday shopping. No kids, coffees in hand, hours to ourselves. It was bliss.

Before departing the mall, we decided to hit Forever 21. If you have not been to Forever 21, it's like walking into a club, but with the lights up. Booming music, glitz and young girls everywhere. And although I tend to skew a little higher in age than the average customer, I must say I have to at least peek at their accessories. So much fun.

Of course, I couldn't go home empty handed. I'm like a cat when it comes to shiny objects -- especially anything with glitter or sequins. Don't get me wrong. I grew up in the "preppy era" and still worship the fashion gods of J Crew. But all girls need a little touch of sparkle.

I scored the above belt for $2.50. That's not a typo or a sale price. The photo does not do it justice. It is a shimmery bronze and almost exactly like the one you'll find at the aforementioned favorite of mine, J Crew, but for a tenth of the price.

Next up, a sequined tank in very a classic navy and black rugby stripe. This will look so fab under a black blazer and paired with jeans and boots. The price: $7. Yes, it was on sale and for that price I should have bought ten and worn them as pj's, but Colorado's a little chilly this time of year.

So for less than ten bucks, looks like I'm going to have a shiny new year. Merry Christmas to me!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Magazine Junkie

I love to read. In fact, just had book club with the girls last night (we read "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy). Books will always be my first love, but magazines are my constant companions.

I think I subscribe to about 20 magazines. What I don't receive in my mailbox at home I usually read second-hand from someone else, or while getting the hair or nails done. This can be a bit of a problem when you're perusing the shelves at the airport book store for a good distraction and realize you already have read/seen every single issue.

Of course I lean heavily toward fashion and interiors, but I do get magazines that I can actually read, and my dad passes on his copies of The New Yorker to me when he's done.

Just got my copy of W in the mail today. I like W because it is quite different from most fashion mags (larger format, bizarre photography...) but I just LOVED this issue. There was an amazing 20 page spread just on the Spring '10 fashion lines alone. I was like a kid in an eye-candy store. This one is a keeper and will not be making the rounds to female friends, or the recycle bin.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Check back with me in about a month, and I so won't be singing this tune. But currently in Colorado it is frigid (9 degrees F), frosty (it snowed off and on yesterday) and fantastic (more light snow to come). I love it.... right now.

Our Thanksgiving was 70 degrees F and sunny. So not my style. And the sad thing is, I host Easter every year for my large family and it is usually 40-50 degrees F and possibly wet. So right now I am loving this wintery weather for our holiday season. It is picture perfect. We finally got it right! :)

Moving from weather to weddings, as you know by now, I sell upcycled cardigans. Awhile ago I did a post about wearing a cardigan with your wedding gown. I have actually sold some white and cream embellished cardigans that are going to be worn by a bride or someone in the bridal party. I found another fabulous photo to showcase the look:

So how does this all tie together? I actually have a sweater on my Etsy shop named "Winter Wonderland" and it would be the perfect little cover up for the bride, or her party, or even guest. I'd keep it -- I just don't have any weddings on the horizon. Hurry up and grab it if you do...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Flowers in December?

Let me explain. We are experiencing frosty temps and snow in Colorado -- which really is quite lovely for the holiday season. But sometimes you need a little pretty pick-me-up.

This post is dedicated to someone I know who is recovering from knee surgery, and she is also a wonderful gardener. So to lift her spirits a little (and give her something new to look at ;) I wanted to spread a little spring flowers among the holiday holly and mistletoe.

Aaaaah.... now back to snow and winter wonderlands...

These pictures came from my dear friend Mary Jane, whose brother grows amazing flowers up in the Northwest. Everyday he sends a pic to his family -- their daily "flower-gram".

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Have A Happy Thanksgiving!

I love this photo. Of course, I did not take it (I'm not the best photographer). This was done by a wonderful photographer Lindsay B. These are my twins Bridget and Teddy (a year ago) and I just love how she captured their joy. It makes me happy and thankful everytime I look at it.

Of course, I have THREE children, so not to slight Will -- the oldest at almost nine years old -- I wanted to include a photo of him too. This is the three of them at the beach in May. This will also be our Christmas card photo too, so you're getting a little sneak peek.

In honor of Thanksgiving and the start of the magical holiday season, I wanted to share what I am most thankful for -- my three wonderful kids. Happy day to you all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Sweaters on SALE

It's Thanksgiving week -- the "unofficial" start of the holiday season. Honestly, it gets earlier and earlier every year. Pretty soon Christmas items will be displayed with back-to-school supplies.

In honor of the upcoming holidays, I have marked my holiday collection sweaters down. And when I say holiday sweaters, I don't mean the ones decorated with Santa's reindeer and elves. They are a special collection of cardigans, embellished with vintage metallic trims. Gotta add a little sparkle to your season! Plus they're really fun the rest of the year dressed down with jeans.

Browse through my Etsy shop to see if any suit your fancy. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nice Girls Finish Third...

Sadly, this season of Project Runway has come to an end, and now I need to figure out what I'll be doing on Thursday nights. While I must say winner "Meana Irina" did have a great fashion show, I really was rooting for southern sweetheart Carol Hannah. She is a dress girl all the way and her designs are so elegant and charming -- the dress above even has pockets! I'd buy one of her designs any day.

Good news though: the next season of Project Runway starts in less than two months (January 14)! And hallelujah, they're back in NYC -- the fashion capital. No offense LA, but it just wasn't the same, even if there was a West Coast Mood.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm Blushing...

I "teased" in my last post that I would be part of a special giveaway at the end of the week. So here's the gist: one of my "Scarlett Aprons" is this week's prize over at Miss Mustard Seed's Weekly Giveaway.

You must check out her blog and her work. Truly amazing before and afters -- and extremely creative ideas. Plus I love anything that is "upcycled" and "recycled". I need to go thrifting with Marian -- she has a knack for finding the potential in anything and making it so.

And I must say thank you to Marian for her very generous praise of my items. So sweet and so supportive. It's hard to read nice things about yourself sometimes :) Thank you very much! Please take a look at her blog -- you will become an instant follower and be amazed at her knowledge and creativity.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Best Part About Blogging....

I have "met" and befriended some amazing women because of blogging. I follow local blogs (my very talented friends Kara Rosenberry, and Emily from Fern and Flora), blogs from other states (Cari in California, Marian in Pennsylvania, my Aunt Rizzi in New Jersey) and other blogs from all over the world (Frederica in Italy, Kellie in Australia, Sabine in France, and the wonderful Koralee in Canada).

Koralee's Bluebird Notes blog is charming, sweet, uplifting and just the daily dose of cheer everyone needs. She is sponsoring a giveaway over at her blog, so if you haven't visited her yet, this would be a wonderful opportunity:

And while you're there entering, make sure to take a peek at the interview that Little Monarch did on Koralee. It's an "intimate" look at her life in Western Canada -- and who doesn't want to get to know people better? Especially people like Koralee.

More to come on another fellow blogger later this week: Marian from Miss Mustard Seed Creations will be conducting her weekly giveaway on Thursday evening.... and I'm somehow involved in it. Stay tuned.... :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Animal Attraction

Because it's the holidays, I decided to warm up the color palette of my aprons a bit. Who doesn't love a little leopard print? Like all my aprons, I make them from recycled sheets. A bit too feline for my taste, but someone enjoyed these in their bedroom at some point. Now ruffled and tiered, they make a sassy fashion statement in the form of a lovely hostess apron. Feeling wild?

Note to Self: More Towels Next Year

So my show over the weekend went really well. The weather was quite festive (snow!) and it really got me revved up for the holidays.

Every year my twin sis tells me: "You need to make more hand towels. They're great hostess gifts." So this year I made more -- what I thought was more than enough. In addition to the appliqued ones I featured a couple of posts ago, I also made these towels. They're recycled vintage linens and table cloths that I embellished with heat transfers.

Sure enough, sold out in about the first half hour. So this time I'm putting it in writing: more towels for 2010 Gifts for Yule show. I'll start scouting recycled linens today!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Second Chance Charm

Before the aprons and sweaters, I was "dressing" inanimate objects -- still do. They're just harder to sell and ship on Etsy ;)

I love to recycle fabrics and items, and give them a "second chance" at charming others. Most of my fabrics are from recycled linens, including the cover on the chair above. I've been selling these lined bushel baskets for a few years now and they are great for storing all your stuff in style. Of course I add a ruffle or pom-pom whenever possible.

Although somewhat "springy" in color (the palette I'm constantly drawn too), these will also be available at my holiday show this weekend.

Have a great weekend, and if you're in the Denver area stop by:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Scrap Happy

And finally, for those of you who don't know what to buy for the holidays, a gift card is always a wonderful option. But why not package it in an adorable fabric "gift card sleeve"? I make these from scrap fabric -- have a hard time wasting any fabric. Just call me scrappy.
I'll try to take pictures at Gifts for Yule and post them next week. And remember, my Etsy shop will still be open this weekend selling sweaters. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Need a Holiday Hostess Gift?

I wish I was a better (or more patient) photographer. This picture does not do this hostess towel justice. I made these from "recycled" fabric, added the crimson and white pleated trim and appliqued fabric images on the towels. I have bunches for my holiday show this weekend. Weather is looking "wintery" too! Let's hope the snow puts everyone in a holiday shopping mode, and not a "stay at home and hibernate" mode...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Stockings Were Hung By...

Just a simple ticking stocking with a few embellishments to make it a little more special. Can't get enough of those fabric flowers these days. Just a sample of what I'll be featuring at Gifts for Yule this Saturday and Sunday...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Merry merry!

Another large down pillow for my upcoming holiday show. I gotta say, these early holiday shows really put you in the mood for Christmas. It can't come soon enough, but I'm savoring all the days leading up to it...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fa la la...

One of the items I'm selling at Gifts for Yule this Saturday and Sunday... (Excuse my poor photography skills) Burlap and ticking pillow with down insert. Crown and "fa la la" graphic and vintage red sequin trim. See -- I actually do make other things besides aprons and sweaters ;)

More to come in the days ahead...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Little Lace

I added some new sweaters to my Etsy shop. Love this one. The lace came from a vintage skirt. The best part was the skirt was lined in satin, so I have tons 'o fabric to make other "embellishments and adornments".

I will be participating in a big holiday show this upcoming Saturday and Sunday. I love this show and it has an amazing following.

Unfortunately I cannot sell my sweaters at the show. There is another artisan who does upcycled clothing. But my cardigans are always available on Etsy, and you don't have to come to Denver to get one. Just click a button.

I have a bunch of other items I'll be selling at the show and I'll try to give you sneak peeks this week at some of the things I've created just for this show. Have a great Sunday!

P.S.: it was 70+ degrees this past week and our 27" of snow are gone! Colorado is home to some strange weather :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like..... Halloween?

It's Halloween in Colorado. The snowstorm is long gone, but it left us with 27" of snow -- yes more than two feet. The sun is out and the snow is melting, but rather than the crunch of fall leaves beneath our feet, we have soggy piles of leaves and slush. The kids don't seem to mind, but now my mind is on Christmas...
Happy Halloween all!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The "Holidays" Are Here!

I consider myself a pretty good multi-tasker, but I gotta admit my blogging has fallen by the wayside this week. I added 15 new sweaters to my Etsy shop today, and among them are the new "Holiday '09 Collection".

Included are some fun little cardi's that I embellished with the most gorgeous vintage trims. They're all metallic and shimmery and glitzy. These sweaters are great to dress down for everyday, or don one for any number of holiday events. They are certainly one-of-a-kinds and extra special, thanks to the hand-sewn vintage adornments.

Take a peek! Before you know it, we'll be putting the Halloween costumes away and you'll be thinking about what to wear this holiday season.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Some Like It Hot Pink

I gotta admit, I'm not really a "hot pink" girl. Maybe it's my more fair complexion, but magenta and I don't mix well. However, I was born again when I tried this sweater on. I rescued it when it was just a "plain Jane" cardi. But after some vintage flower appliques and a few vintage buttons, I felt I was channeling Joan from Mad Men (granted, Joan fills out the sweater a little better).

I have realized that as I get older, I've been adding a little more color to my wardrobe. Oh, I'll always be a cream, neutral, black, grey, brown kind of girl, but every once in a while a little color does a girl good.

Alas, I'm not keeping this cardi, but sharing the "fuchsia" with the rest of you. This cardigan, along with several others, are available on my Etsy shop (see right column). And I've been busy working with glitz and glam for my holiday collection. Can't wait to share those soon!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Paris?! Not Exactly...

It was the OTHER "La Ville-Lumiere" (City Of Lights).... Las Vegas!

And yes, this is the "Eiffel Tower" at Paris Hotel. Actually I was poolside when I took this photo. Not a bad place to catch some sun, sip some cocktails and take a dip in the pool.

Sure the real deal would have been magnifique, but this was a nice alternative -- especially for a 1 1/2 hour flight. We saw a fabulous show (Cirque du Soleil's "Love" -- all set to Beatles music), ate some great meals, relaxed by the pool and shopped. Not too shabby, considering it was 20 degrees and snowing back in Denver.

Best of all was the girl time spent with mom and the sista's. Very fun. So much so, we have to do it again. But next time -- the real Paris ;)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Project Runway + Wedding Dresses = Bliss

Image from Martha Stewart -- and no, that's not my wedding photo! :)

Project Runway was on tonight (love that show) and the challenge this week was to create a new "going out" look for a divorcee using her original wedding gown. OMG! Project Runway AND wedding dresses?! Heaven.

If it were my challenge, I would have done the above look -- just throw a sweet sweater over it and add a few embellishments. When in doubt, do a cardi! Seriously, it was a fun challenge to watch and makes me want to pull out my old wedding dress and see what I can come up with....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Picture This...

I came across this old frame at my last outdoor market (The French Nest) and knew it had to come home with me (it was a steal too)! Not sure what's going in it yet: corkboard, blackboard, ribbon board, or some amazing picture...

But now I am thoroughly convinced that it's almost impossible for me to buy something brand new. I love things that have had a prior life and a story. And it's kinda funny how second-hand has become so chic. Or maybe it only is in our little "blog" world... Let's keep it a secret ;)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not So Basic Black

Sometimes black is considered "safe" or "boring". Not these cardi's. They've been embellished with ribbons and flowers and ruffles and even numbers. I just added a few more cardigans to my Etsy shop, with more on the way.

Also coming soon: the Holiday Collection. No, these are not those crazy Christmas sweaters with the reindeer and snowflakes. I've got a special collection of sweaters that will be perfect for all those upcoming holiday events. They are embellished with the most gorgeous and glittery vintage trims. Definitely one-of-a-kinds! More on those later...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

Went looking for the Fall colors up in the mountains of Colorado this weekend. However, I think we were a little "past peak" in the area we were headed. Nonetheless, the views were still spectacular, even sans colors. The photo above is a shot I got on the way up Berthoud Pass to Winter Park. Ski season will be here before you know it.

This was the view from our balcony. We love the condo we stay in, and this time the new outdoor pool and spa were open. It's kinda fun to swim outdoors when the air temp is in the 40's. The pool was in the high 80's and the spa was toasty. Very relaxing.

We took a side trip to Devil's Thumb Ranch in Tabernash. Heavenly! I highly recommend a stay or even just a day visit if you're in the area.

Next week I'm off to Vegas with mom and the sista's for my older sister's 50th birthday. Two weekends in a row lounging at the pool in October -- not a bad life, eh? ;) I'll have some photos to share of that girls' outing and I'm guessing they'll look a little less tranquil than the ones above. Enjoy your week ahead!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's Sweater Weather!

Even though it was in the mid 80's today here in Colorado, it's always sweater weather! Our nights are getting cooler, and our mornings start off chilly, so why not cover up with a classic cardigan? I added a bunch more cardigans today, and have a few more in the pipeline, so keep checking my Etsy store to see if I can help you update your Fall wardrobe.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's a Cardi Party

I went to Catholic School quite a few years, and say what you will about the lovely plaid uni's, sometimes it was great having a uniform. You don't have to think about what you're wearing each morning. It's already been decided for you.

I find that having a "uniform" these days (as a mom, etc...) makes getting dressed in the morning much easier. My fall uniform pretty much consists of jeans, tanks and a cardigan with either ballet flats or boots.

Jeans and tanks are pretty simple, but you can have a lot of fun with cardigans. So in my quest to find "fun" cardigans, I decided to make a few and share them with all of you in Etsy world. I took vintage/thrift cardi's and embellished them with a variety of appliques: beads, ruffles, rosettes, vintage appliques -- creating a unique look for each.

So if you need to update your "uniform", or just want a sweet little sweater to wear, check out my Etsy site (click on the pics in the upper right margin). I also added a few more aprons too. And you can be sure that there will be more sweaters to come!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Little Black Dress

It's not exactly little, but it's divine. Check out the pink ruffle at the hem. This comes from Issac Mizrahi's collection. Fashion Week in NYC is almost over :(
The strange thing is that all of the featured fashions are from the Spring '10 lines. I need to go back to February's Fashion Week to inspire me some fashion for Fall '09!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fashion Week

It's Fashion Week in NYC. If only...

But I do get my fix by looking at on a daily basis. They cover every single fashion show (most of them, at least) and post photos and reviews of each collection.

Above is a look from Badgley Mischka. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I love this look. I love the mix of tailored and girly. Sure she forgot her top. And sure -- there really is no place that the majority of women would/could wear this to. But I love the concept and I think it could easily translate into a wearable option.

More to come from Fashion Week...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vogue TV Viewing

I currently have three "must watch" TV shows in my repertoire, and it's funny, they all involve fashion (ok, two definitely do, and one just has amazing clothes).

I've watched this show from the start, mainly because it takes place in an advertising agency, and my "former life" involved advertising. But I've continued to watch the show because:
a) it's AMAZING -- it really is. You have to tune in to a couple of episodes to really appreciate it.
b) the era and the fashion are just so chic -- or at least they make it look like it was. Mad Men is set in the early 60's in Manhattan and the clothes are just too much. Men in suits (and hats), women in gorgeous dresses and pumps -- all the time! Reminds me of another favorite show of mine: "I Love Lucy".

I know we're in a time where "business casual" is the rule, but I love any excuse -- ANY -- just to dress up and put on some jewels.


PR, to me, is the be-all, end-all of reality competition shows. And it has the awards to prove it. It usually wins the Emmy for best reality show.

The competition is fun, "fierce", and so creative. I know, some of the outfits look kinda crazy, but it's pretty incredible what these folks can come up with.

I love the judges (Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and several "guest" judges -- ranging from actresses to top fashion designers). I looooove Tim Gunn. What a nice guy -- don't you just want to be friends with him?

A new season is currently underway and I never get tired of it. There's always new people, new personalities, new fabrics, new ideas and amazing fashion.

Famous celeb fashion stylist Rachel Zoe just started her second season of her reality show, which follows the life of her fast-paced styling business, along with her associates Brad and Taylor, and hubby Rodger.

Sure it seems superficial and dramatic at times, but who cares!? Where else do you get a front row seat to fashion week, the best fashion designers in the world and Red Carpet moments. This show is just eye candy upon eye candy.

On that note, I think the next movie on my list is going to be "The September Issue." It's all about Anna Wintour and Vogue magazine and a behind-the-scenes look at how that machine works. I'll let you know how that one is, but I've got a feeling I'm going to love it....