Friday, August 31, 2012

Guess where I went today?

Oh, yes!  Kindergarten field trip!

 It was fun.  I spent time with my daughter.  Met all of her classmates.  Got dirt and other stuff all over my tennis shoes.  One field trip was probably enough...but there will be more.  Many more.  I'm not sure how it's all going to balance out this year. 

On a light-hearted note, I have to leave you with the best conversation of the day.  It occurred when this one little boy was going on and on and on with "I love to eat pig!"  Finally, another kid was curious enough to ask, "What is pig when you eat it?"  The first boy responded in a know-it-all way, "It's turkey!" 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fashion Origami

My daughter and I are loving our new books.  Fashion Origami has been a great sick day distraction for her -

I would highly recommend it for any child interested in fashion.  It is a little challenging.  I have had to help her a little, but fortunately it is fun for me, too. 

And I am excited to get started on my people-sized fashion origami -

It is full of IDEAS, which I love.  The instructions are not extremely detailed, so it will be an exercise for my brain to fill in the gaps.  Already, it is encouraging me to stretch my boundaries in the construction of a "normal" dress, which is starting to feel like a geometry project.

Once I finish my geometric print dress I will tackle a geometric shaped top.  I think I will start with this one -

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ready for anything

Last night I spent 3 hours in school meetings finding out all of the many commitments I will have during the next 9 months.  And my child is sick this morning.  And it is raining.  I could easily be "under the weather", but as my high school chorus director used to say, "Why are you under the weather? Get above it!" That used to really get on my nerves, but today I'm going to take his advice and rise above it all with cheerful expectations. Here is my ready for anything outfit -

Where are we going? I'm ready.

Forever New cocktail prom dress
$125 -

Saturday, August 25, 2012

On the other hand...

Yesterday, I mentioned the benefit of imbalance - mostly because I have learned a lot this summer from some "imbalancing" situations.  However, I don't want to encourage you to lounge in a stagnant imbalance.  Learn from your imbalance...but don't stay there.  Analyze and make a change.

Note: This post has been highly modified from its original version, which I'm sure is still available elsewhere on the Internet.  I want this blog to be helpful but not overly depressing, and that is why I have dispensed with most of my previous post and will just leave you with this quote about love, which in Woody Allen style takes you one step past truth into hilarity -  

"To love is to suffer.  To avoid suffering one must not love.  But then one suffers from not loving.  Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer.  To be happy is to love.  To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy.  Therefore, to be happy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness."  - Woody Allen

Friday, August 24, 2012

The benefit of imbalance

Balance is very desirable, but often it is imbalance that keeps us on course.  When imbalance steps into our lives, we are forced to re-evaluate our focus and our methods.  Change, challenge, disagreement, sickness, and death can quickly show us what is really important and streamline everything.  It's the most unusual and difficult parts of life that give us the most perspective.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New floral dress

I finally finished the dress I have envisioned in my head for months -

When I ordered the fabric, large scale florals were all the rage with designers in New York.  Now, they have generally moved on to more geometric patterns.  But how can flowers ever go out of style?

I thought the structured silhouette would make the dress feel restrictive to wear, but it is actually very comfortable.  The tencel jersey knit sleeves make it feel like a really soft t-shirt.

Now on to my geometric print dress... 

Monday, August 20, 2012

The beauty of reclaimed brick

This is the brick on my house -

From far away, it just looks like a red brick house. 

But when you look close up, you notice all of the variations.

Some people might think the bricks look messy, but I think they are beautiful.  They give our house a history.  Where have these bricks been before?  Since so many of them are charred, it looks like they came from a building that burned down.  It would be interesting to know the story.

As I think about our kitchen design, I am wishing we had an exposed brick wall on the inside of our house.  Wouldn't it be cool to have a little bar at the end of our dining room backed by reclaimed brick?  Kind of like this -  

Photo obtained from La Brutta Figura

I actually found several places on the Internet from which you can buy reclaimed brick including one that sells "thin brick" which can be used like tile on a wall.  I'll let you know if we end up giving any old brick a new life in our new kitchen/dining room.  Well, I won't really have to "let you know".  You will start hearing all the gory details of the renovation very soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Portland architecture

In my series on Portland, I forgot to tell you about the church we attended.  We always try to go to church on Sunday when we are traveling, which garners us a lot of funny church stories - like trying to help a cabbie figure out how to get from the Las Vegas strip to a church and then after the service telling a nice little old woman that we don't need a ride because we are just going to walk the 2 miles back to Caesar's Palace.  Our church experience in Portland was actually the most normal we have ever had and was great on several levels.

First of all, we walked there from our hotel (and it wasn't 2 miles).  Second, the building is beautiful.  We found out that it was built in 1882 and is carpenter gothic architecture.

Intown Presbyterian Church

The building was saved from demolition in the 70's and is especially interesting in contrast to the surrounding modern buildings -

The service was as beautiful as the building is.  Even though the rest of my family thought the music was too melancholy, I thought it was complexly beautiful.  I wish I could have taken pictures of all the hipsters inside.  It would have made for an even more interesting scene. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thinking about origami

This couple at the museum has a cool overall style, but I am particularly interested in her skirt.  As I am making a dress for myself this week, I am realizing that I generally stick to very simple silhouettes.  Simple, streamlined clothes look best on me, but I wonder if I am playing it too safe and not pushing myself enough.  I am fascinated by the designers who can fashion fabric into interesting shapes - almost like origami for clothes.  Thinking about this makes me want to order the book Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi and create some art for the body.  While I'm at it, I will probably order Fashion Origami for my daughters who are continually creating little people and clothes out of paper.

A bag full of paper dolls

Monday, August 13, 2012

What are these? - Part 2

As we were leaving the High Museum on Friday, I noticed these green things on all of the windows of this building next to the museum.  What are these? 

What are these? - Part 1

I saw this scene downtown on Friday and thought it was intriguing.  What do you call these vehicles that they are riding? And where are they going?  Two of the women are dressed as if they are exercising, yet they are not.  I have seen the cops at Atlantic Station ride these, but touring downtown is taking it to another level. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Looking forward to Monday

A stack of new fabric makes me so happy.  I can't wait to get started on my outfit for New York Fashion Week (starting September 6).  Geometric prints and boxy silhouettes are big right now.  While boxy doesn't look that great on me, I love the geometrics.  And the sweater material on the bottom was inspired by Beatrice on Project Runway.  Although she has already been kicked off, she reminded me that you don't have to knit a sweater from scratch. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Balance - Know thy limits

Our last outing before school starts -

We went to the High Museum.  We didn't necessarily need an educational trip.  We needed to get out of the house.  I love my kids, but this summer has shown me my limits.  My balance will come on Monday when the children go to school.

On a side note, the Picturing New York photo exhibit is totally worth the trip to the museum.  If you are interested in photography at all, you should go before the exhibit leaves on September 2.  However, Picturing the South is everything about the South that makes me want to move to New York.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stumbled upon

We were walking around Chinatown in Portland when one of the children suddenly realized they had to go to the bathroom - "NOW".  In Atlanta, that is an annoying yet solvable problem, because there are bathrooms available in every store.  However, in Portland every store has a sign on the door that says, "No public bathrooms - Don't even ask"  (probably due to the large homeless population.) 

So, we went from store to store trying to figure out what to do.  Finally I realized I was just going to have to make a deal.  We walked into a restaurant and I said to the hostess, "Can I pay you to let her use the bathroom?"  The hostess was a little taken aback and mumbled some words as she pointed to where the bathroom was.  I don't think she quoted a price, but as we were coming out of the bathroom discussing what size tip to give her, we realized how good it smelled in the restaurant.  Instead of handing the hostess money, we asked to be seated. 

They had some unique food, and it turned out to be a really cool place.  Of course, we weren't able to eat much of our dinner later, but at least we got something yummy for our bathroom fee.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Whimsy in design

We had the pleasure of staying at the Hotel Monaco in downtown Portland. The hotel is beautiful and prides itself on being "artful and eclectic".

There are so many whimsical details, and every corner showcases a mixture of color and print and pattern -

It was certainly a feast for my eyes.