Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A new house and a re-styled outfit

Outside kitchen window
How to get to the front door
You asked for pictures so here are some.   This is a contemporary house in a private neighborhood off a private road just outside the Asheville city limits.  We have almost an acre of all trees so I don't need curtains on any window.   In addition to these wonderful windows, there are many skylights and clearstory windows that let in lots of light - even in the bathrooms!   There is lots of open space with room for my carpets on the lovely oak floors.    My sewing room is on the lower level - you can see the stone patio in first photo.   I donated much, and kept only minimal furniture and other necessary items.   My goals were no clutter and easy to clean.   And I have no trouble going up and down those, or any other stairs, even carrying a grocery bag with handles in each hand. 

I'm wearing a knit Anything But Ordinary top from Louise Cutting's pattern that I restyled by removing the sleeves in 2009, and a Loes Hinse Tango skirt I sewed in 2006.    Can't remember where the variegated knit fabric came from.

Windows looking onto front deck
With a pair of Turkmen prayer rugs
And here's how big the wild turkey chicks are now ... with mom always watching over

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mid-summer and what have I been up to

It has been nearly two months since I posted.   I continue to get stronger and have been doing all sorts of things - yardwork, moving and unpacking, housework, driving a car -  all the necessary things I wasn't able to do a year ago.    Yesterday, Monday the 16th was my last physical therapy appointment.    I had only been going once a month since May anyway but now I'm on my own.    I've signed up for weekly Tai Chi classes based on the program designed by Dr. Lamb, an Australian physician.  These begin in August and are taught by an instructor who is also a physical therapist.

We've had our share of hot and humid days here in the mountains of western NC.   It gets hot and then just about every afternoon thunderstorms move through - some have been pretty destructive, although we've had no damage.   We have had our share of hail too.   Here's a photo of some along a stone wall that beat up my flowers that day.    Those evening primroses took a beating.  We've been busy redecorating our new house and keeping cool like the chinchilla here.  The older gray is inside the house and the youngster lies on top watching me.   The cuties are right outside my sewing room in the lower level of the new house that stays very cool.   

Mr Cool
I'm now able to do everything I want to do, weed my gardens, cook, drive, paint.  I can stand on my toes and my ankles are strong so I can even wear heels, but am unable to do any serious walking in them.  My knee reflexes are back and I can bend, lift, climb stairs carrying heavy bags, and even climb up on the stone walls.    I love to cook, something that I was not able to do for some time because I could not lift pans or carry things.  Here is a sample of what I've been cooking this summer from the photos I posted on Flickr.

Chicken piccata with capers
Southern tomato pie and corn

I'm working on my sewing room.   It's all set up and functional but I'm now in the decorating stage.   Here's the color palette for my sewing room.    My cutting table and all the wood furniture is painted the lavender blue. 

Since the room is very large and has two large closets with shelves in the back, I'm also using it for my rolling racks of clothing for out of season clothing.   Instead of building bookcases, I moved some tall pine Ikea bookcases from our former den and am waiting for the blue paint to dry.   I will have pine room dividers in the blue with the two fabrics here to partition the room.   I also have a day bed and a cabinet in that room - my refuge.   These fabrics match the Laura Ashley fabrics I used to decorate, and are the same colors I painted the second floor, the trim, and my former sewing room.   The lightest yellow is the wall color and the darker blue sample is the trim.   They are relaxing and cheerful at the same time.

I haven't sewn anything new but have done some repairs and refashioning.    I have enjoyed mixing and matching the coordinates I've sewn and bought over the years.    Remember when I posted about some snoop shopping finds in January 2011, especially this fabulous  Etro cotton lace cardigan jacket with the linen trim at Neiman Marcus?   The price was over $1,200 as I recall.  
Detail of Etro lace cardigan
So I'm looking at the QVC website one day for something a month or so ago.  I rarely look at their site or buy anything from them, and lo and behold, there is a jacket that this Dell'Olio guy claims he designed for them that is almost an exact copy of the Etro - lace, colors, trim, pockets, buttons, everything  and they were selling it for $50.   Look at the photos of the Etro and judge for yourself.   So I decided to order one in the terracotta color to see the comparison.    

They probably paid $5 to get it made because the lace and linen trim quality is definitely not the same as the Etro, and neither is the workmanship.  The only design difference is that the Etro doesn't have the trim around the neck and the brown check trim is not on the bias.  Other than that it's a pretty darn close copy.   I kept it because it pulls my orange and brown coordinates together.    Here it is with an asymmetrically pleated Burda Style skirt and a similar style skirt by Gunex, both with Louise Cutting's Anything But Ordinary top in mocha silk noile.   It's an interesting cardigan jacket that I didn't have to sew.

I don't spend a lot of time sitting around, or looking at the internet.  I do like to look at the many excellent and informative blogs written by talented women with real style.   Sometimes, when I try to comment, decyphering those letters and other games you have to play makes what I typed evaporate.   After all I've been through,  I just can't relate to the whining and excuses I see on some blogs and on a sewing board.   I post if I think I can be helpful,  but I'm not an attention seeker, and I never played the victim when I was dealing with this crazy, rare disorder - that's just not who I am.   I don't care to deal with the same phonies and mean-girl cheerleaders who relished in the organized bullying of me when I was at such a low point in terms of my health and mental state.   You'll notice that after the bullying came the shunning behavior ...   Bullying of anyone, anywhere, is disgusting, but that was particularly reprehensible, given the age of the bullies and the ringleader(s).