Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Seeing With New Eyes

For someone who loves to write, words sometimes seem not to exist. 

First and foremost, I want to thank all of you who have sent such lovely, heartfelt notes. I can assure you that they have been read, and greatly appreciated.

It's interesting how the events of life can affect us. Over the last 5 months, I have come to realize that events that may have happened 40 years ago, can come back and teach us very important lessons about who we really are.  

Over the last 5 months, I have been confronted with things I could never have imagined. I have been shocked, brokenhearted, afraid, tormented, and angry. Just to give you an idea of what happened, back in November, I spoke with a friend who is an attorney, an attorney who felt he had heard everything, that is, until I told him my story. It was he who told me that I MUST report this person. He has since told me that in all his years, he has never been as shocked. 

When I made the report, I felt as though I was David going up against Goliath. Actually, that story gave me the mental strength I needed  to stand up. After the report was made, I had a sense of relief, like it was all over, but I really didn't expect what came later. As the weeks went on, and seemingly nothing being done, I grew all the more angry. But finally, just a little over a week ago, I learned that the situation was being handled as it should be. Without thinking, I told my husband that for the first time in months, I felt that I could breathe. When I said those words, I realized just how paralyzed, just how devastated I have felt. 

Life can be like an angry ocean, disturbed by a storm. One wave comes crashing in, and before you can pick yourself up, another comes crashing in on top of you, and then another, and another. Finally, I knew that I just had to be quiet for some time. 

A few weeks back, I spoke with a friend and told her that I had nothing to give. I was tired. In her very sweet manner, she encouraged me, softly, gently. She reminded me that my blog is entitled Rhonda's Creative Life. It's not just a sewing blog, or a cooking blog, or a writing blog, it's a blog about living a creative life. She said that while at the time, my naming the blog as I did may have seemed like a declaration, stepping out from the shadows and declaring that yes, my life is creative, she said that it was no accident. "Take it one step at a time, just post what is on your heart, one post at a time, and in time, your strength will return." She went on to tell me that from the messages she has read, she feels that I have no idea of the lives that I have touched. I hope that is true. 

Many of you may know that I am an early riser, usually up between 5 and 5:30 every morning. I love the early morning hours. I make a cup of tea, then make my way to my favorite spot in the house, and begin to write. What began years ago as a task has now become an integral part of my day. Without those early morning moments, when I am alone, where I can think, where I can cry, where I can find joy, my day is just not the same. And, it is there that I have found comfort, rest, and healing. It's there that I have begun to see myself with new eyes, or maybe...just a little more clearly. 

I love the mental image of a phoenix rising from the ashes. It's how I feel at the moment, burned wings, struggling to fly. Thank you again to all of you who stop by, who encourage. I know my wings will heal and that in time, I will fly again. 

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Morning Inspiration/Grommets

It's a gray, snowy day, and I don't have to be anywhere!!! I LOVE days like this, winter's blanket all around, a nice cup of tea in a big mug, and a fire in the fireplace. Now, that's heaven :) Well, add one more thing to the mix, I get to sew all day...now that really does make it heaven!!! The only outdoor activity will be to take Gracie out for a hike. It would be a sin to not allow her to enjoy a snowy day.

I recently came across this detail on Pinterest. The jacket is from the Kenzo 2016 Fall collection. I love finding alternatives to using buttons, so this caught my eye. We are so fortunate now to have access to such fun alternative pieces. Grommets now come in lots of sizes and colors, so why not make use of them in our clothing designs?

Another fun piece from the same Kenzo collection. Love the top stitching!

Once I started clicking around, I found that Proenza Schouler used grommet details in their entire 2016 Fall Ready To Wear collection. While the designs may not be for everyone, I think they offer some great inspiration. 

This is also from the Kenzo 2016 Fall collection.

Thought this detail was rather interesting. The grommets are on a backpack. Love how they used a smaller grommet and threaded the elastic cord through it and then through the button. Great detail!

We saw this detail when we were taking a look at pant designs, but I thought it was worth repeating.

So, the next time you visit the fabric store, be sure to head over to the Home Dec section and check out the grommets. Like I said, there are lots of colors and sizes, so the sky is the limit as far as design is concerned. If you want a specific color, you can always head over to the auto parts store and pick up some paint and paint the grommet to match your fabric!

Have a wonderfully creative week!

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Wednesday Showcase

A few nights ago, I watched a fascinating documentary on the Public Broadcasting network entitled, "Unrest." It's the story of filmmaker Jennifer Brea's struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome. For quite some time, she had been told that there was nothing wrong. She went online and found that there are many all over the world who struggle as she does. It was shocking to see how some have been treated in other countries. Many think that it is all in the patient's mind, and so should be treated for mental illness. 

Jennifer shows what her life was like prior to chronic fatigue, and then documents her life now, as well as the life of so many around the world. For her, it all began when she had a very high temperature, over 104 degrees. From that moment on, her life has never been the same. 

As I watched, I thought about the word tomorrow. We put too many things off until tomorrow, a day that does not exist. I highly recommend the documentary. It's streaming now on the PBS Independent Lens site, but only until January 23, 2018. You can find it HERE

I had intended to continue with the Wednesday Showcase 2017 roundup today, but I thought that you might be interested in something a little different. 

You may remember that I gave away 3 little sewing caddies during my birthday week. All 3 ladies have written and told me how much they appreciate their new little toys :) Joy of Joyful Expressions sent a picture of her sewing caddy already in use. You can see her lovely studio in the background. She said that she has ordered a pack of 12 plastic frames and will be making them for all of her sewing friends. Lucky friends!!!

If by chance you haven't checked out Joy's blog, be sure to pop over. She does lots of videos, and she always has a story to tell. 

If by chance you missed the tutorial on how to make the sewing caddy, you can find it HERE along with a video. 

During the Christmas holidays, I was out doing a little shopping. I stopped at a light, looked over, and to my surprise, I saw a sewing studio that I didn't even know existed.  

The studio offers classes for adults and children. They also offer parties for adults and children. The picture below if from a birthday party. What fun!

If you are in the Chicago area and looking for a fun place to meet up with some friends and do a little sewing, take a class, or participate in a little crafting, be sure to check out Sew Crafty Studio. They are located on the corner of Clybourn and Ashland in Chicago.  

Maybe a month ago or so, I came across this picture on Facebook. Pretty eye catching!!!

Intrigued, I decided to do a google search. Sew Houston is owned by Yolanda, a previous middle school English teacher. She has had a passion for sewing since she was a child, and always dreamed of having a sewing business. 

At Sew, she offers classes for adults and children, as well as parties. Her motto is, "Creativity never goes out of style." 

Sew Houston is located on the northwest side of town, just off of Hwy. 290. 

I never thought I would see the day that sewing studios would start popping up. Remember though, to keep them in business, we need to get the word out, and use their facilities. 

If you know of other sewing studios in any part of the world, I would love to showcase them. Many of you may be just like me and have no idea that something exists right in your own city. Just leave a message below.  

I thought I would leave you with this today;


A mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation, and achievement is stored. 

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fabric Fun

I was born in Port Arthur, Texas, a refinery town on the Gulf Coast. The first 5 years of my life were spent there, and it was rather magical as I saw my grandmother on a very regular basis. Then heartbreak, we moved away. We weren't that far away, but far enough that our visits were reduced to no more than 3 times per year. 

The night before we would leave to travel back, I would be so excited that I just could not go to sleep. I thought of how my grandmother's house smelled, the biscuits that she would make each morning for breakfast, hanging the fresh laundry on the line, and then bringing the crisp linens in and heating up her massive iron and ironing sheets, pillowcases, as well as our clothes. Everything smelled of fresh starch. Hardly Disney World, but it was all I needed. 

Our trip would come and go far too fast. As the car was packed, a big pit would form in my stomach, and then when I was told that it was time to leave, a flood of tears would poor from my eyes. My poor grandmother could not contain her tears either. My departing memories were always remembered through the fog of tears. 

Over the weekend, some friends came to visit. Their oldest daughter who just turned 5, is a bundle of energy. I soon became her best friend. We cooked together, played hide and seek, went sledding, and played make believe, As they prepared to leave yesterday morning, the tears began to pool in her eyes. What a gift that was given to me. A little child who enjoyed me so much that she cried upon her departure. As I watched them drive away, I did my best to hold on to the moment. No gift could have been sweeter.
A few weeks back, I shared that my husband took me to Madison, WI for my birthday. When I visit, I buy cheese, visit a bakery where I buy fresh from the oven bread, and most importantly, visit Gayfeather Fabrics. 

The store is located in a vintage building on Williamson Street with awnings over the front windows. 

The owner is Virginia, pictured on the left below. This woman has the most incredible sense for great fabric. When I visit, after saying hello and getting a great big hug, my first question is always, "so, what do I need to see?"  

On this recent visit, she asked me what had brought me to town and I told her that my birthday was the day before and this was my birthday trip. Her eyes grew large as though she was about to spill a big secret and she said, "Then you will get the birthday discount on whatever you purchase. The percent is half your age." As I quickly did the math in my head, I smiled and said, "Virginia, that's going to be a fairly big number!!!" Needless to say, I had a VERY good time :)

So here's what I purchased...

Sadly, my photographic skills are rather lacking as the colors are not as vibrant as they are in real life.
This piece is a chocolate brown wool that has been embroidered and appliqued with chartreuse green velvet flowers.

Virginia had started a jacket with the fabric and was trimming it with the silk velvet, so of course I have to as well ;) She also had a piece of light chartreuse green wool for pants and a matching silk charmeuse for a shell.

I fell in love with this panel print. It too is wool. 

I purchased a piece of silk velvet in eggplant to mix with the fabric.

And finally, I just couldn't resist this piece. It's a silk and cotton blend that has been quilted on to the backing fabric. She only had a 1 yard remnant left, but it's quite wide so plenty to do something fun.

If you are anywhere near Madison, I encourage you to plan a visit for your birthday. Here are all the particulars...

Gayfeather Fabrics is located at;
1521 Williamson St.
Madison, WI   

If you do visit, be sure to ask Virginia to show you something special, and she will!

Now to get busy sewing!!!

At the moment, I need to finish up my Stephen Burrows inspired coat. 

You'll be seeing it soon :)

Happy Sewing!

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