Monday, November 15, 2010


Two evenings in a row I had Opening parties for my little workshop.

One was private and one was public.

It was fun.
Lots of people came by!

Thank you to everyone who could stop by and see what I am planning!

Such a good positive response!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Heading Off in Either of Both Directions

My latest artsy project is my Arts and Crafts Studio, "Off the Beach".
I am actually having a Grand Opening Open House tomorrow.
So as they say, "Let the Stress Begin!"
I am just a teeny tiny bit excited as this is an idea that I have had for a long time.

But now that it is tomorrow, I am freaking out.
(I already used my "Am I a Chicken" picture on another post, too bad.)
It would have been fitting today.

OK So we are going to have wine and crackers and cheese. It will be fun.
AND, hopefully this will make it so everyone will think of my store when they have a gift to buy (or make), need a messenger bag (I have about 30 made up, I think), have bored friends or family in town, or the weather is bad and they need something to do!

Here in Penasco, there are lots of retired people who come to winter here on the beach.
While the esposo goes out fishing or to watch the "Game" at a local bar . . and,
Well, What's a girl to do?

Many of these ladies are avid beachcombers and have collected treasures from the beach (which I call Sea Debris) so come and do something with this stuff!
OK so that was my plan.... A craft studio, a work shop and a gift shop of my SeaDebris creations, too.

So my husband built me this little shop and handed it over to me to fill with up with my "Junque" about the same time I started writing for an online Travel Guide called Nile Guide.

So with glue and paint on my fingers, sticking to the keyboard while I madly type reviews about restaurants and hotels. . .
I have gone headlong in two completely different directions!

Is this not the Story of my Life?

Here is the Nile Guide link to what I have been doing for the last 6 weeks:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lemon Squeezy Purse Week!


A Lemon Squeezy Home Reviews: Purse Week!
OK So I entered two of my Messenger bags in this Purse Contest.
The deadline is October 8th.
Then 2 judges will pick their top 10 favorites.
Then, and only then they will open up voting to the public.

The Contest:

Flickr Purse Week Group (All contestants):

My entries:

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Discipline Your Thoughts!"

"Apply discipline to your thoughts
when they
become anxious

over the
outcome of a goal.
Impatience bre
eds anxiety,
fear, discouragement
and failure.
Patience creates confidence, decisiveness,
and a rational outlook,
which eventually leads to success."

I reached the deadline of September 15th for my Altered Couture creation. I decided to submit the project by email with attachments of the photos and an overview of my project.

On September 14 there
was a local women's networking event called "Uncommon Women" - by coincidence it was "Show Your Wares" night and I had already volunteered to help out a bit. Kim, who was hosting the event, told me that I should wear the dress! Well, I decided that I was not the modeling girl (refer to last blog entry) and besides I wanted to make sure not to get the slightest spot, stain (excuse the coarseness) or sweat mark on my dress before the magazine contacted me (of course!) to send it off to them!

Well, I ended up taking the dress on the dress form. I received lots of compliments and a few ladies mentioned that it was much more beautiful "in person" than it had appeared in the photos.

The photo above shows me explaining the project and you will notice the Altered Couture magazine in my hand...
So if you haven't seen the magazine - you should go check it out:

Back to the story...
So there it was.
My first clue.
My first moment of disillusionment.
I had chosen wrongly!

That evening I got home and checked my emails.

An email from a lady living in Mazatlan who also submits items to the Altered Couture magazine. She had just wandered across my blog and had a few insights. Perhaps some of you have read her comments.

In part she wrote:
"It's not to late and instead of emailing or snail mailing the pics and waiting for them to get back to you, pack up the dress all the other descriptions explanations along with a picture of the piece you altered and send the whole shebang to Beth. Trust me on this. They make their decisions to publish or not when they see the item in real life. So if you send in the pics. all they will say is sure go ahead and submit it and we'll take a look. SO get that beauty tagged,identified, wrapped up and in the mail!!! Also meeting the deadline doesn't always mean it will come out in the issue you think. Sometimes they wait and use it in a different issue sometimes they decide to publish it in a different publication. They try to place your submissions in the best publication and issue that will show off your creation. If they choose to wait they won't exactly tell you that. You just won't hear from them until they do place it."

BUT! It was too late. The deadline was the very next day! No time to get it in the mail to them in 24 hours.

Do you know how I was feeling?
That big, fat, ugly "OOPS" feeling.

Today is September 24th.

And I haven't heard anything.
Some of my friends have emailed me wondering if my dress was accepted.

The thing is I don't know.
How long does the selection committee take to decide?
Was mine just set aside because it was emailed?
Were those cheesy photos of me just waaay too creepy?

The worries.
The fears.
The second guessing.

Do I email them?
Is that too pushy?
Do I just wait?

"The waiting is the hardest part"
~ Tom Petty?

So, you all know what I know.
And believe me. . . if anything changes - I will let you know!

In the meantime,
I am going to enter the "Lemon Squeezy Home Purse Week Contest."
It is a purse design contest.
I have my new hand-painted beach seashore messenger bags.
So, why not?
Oh, the only way to enter is by submitting photos.

So, if I get selected as one of the top 10, I will let you know.
If my bag does not get chosen -
We will never speak of this again!


And, if indeed my messenger bag got into the top 10...
Then you would naturally feel compelled to go onto the contest site and review all of the purses and (honestly) pick your favorite.

(Which of course, may or may not be mine!)
Just saying....

Until next time....

OK So check out the contest:
Click here for the contest page.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


It is finished.
And with only 10 days to the deadline,
I have to say that I am slightly relieved.
There was kind of a stall there in the whole creative process for a bit. Hmmmm
Let's see. . . where did I leave off?
Oh , I think I had finished the rosettes.
connected the skirt to the lined top.
This allows the dress to be an easy-to-wear pullover style.
I think in a previous post, I showed the change in the neckline.

I was just unhappy with the squared off front neckline!
So, it is now a more attractive V-neck!

The tough part was after I got the dress on the dress form, pinning & re-pinning the gold lace and the rosettes.
I just could not be happy with it for ever so long!

I finally was satisfied with how they were scattered
over just one shoulder, across the bodice top and
spilling onto the skirt.

Then, I also added the gold strands of beads.
I had cut them into various length strands.
And, placed 3 each at the back of the shoulder

and then on the opposite side of the skirt.

I used gold thread to sew the lace on
and then with tan thread completed sewing
the rosettes on.

Finally, to complete each flower,
I glued a single bead into its center.

Well, there you have it.
My final result is a golden collage of texture and color!

But then came the moment of truth...
I tried the dress on.
And that is where it all has fallen apart for me.

I am not a model. Nope. Never have been.

(Once, a hundred years ago or so, I was doing some sewing for a dress shop in Cottonwood, AZ and the lady was going to have a fashion show. She asked me to be a model. Needless to say, that was a catastrophe. Apparently, models are supposed to have a special walk, pose, stance, posture... Not me! I bolted down the aisle and across that stage and was outta sight before those poor, little unsuspecting ladies eating their chicken cacciatore knew what happened!)

First and last time for that!

So all I can say, is no matter how I try to angle my chin and suck in my waist, "it is what it is."
A 46 year old woman in a dress. Nothing special.

What to do... What to do...

I know that if they accept my submission, I will be asked to actually send the completed dress to the magazine for them to take professional photographs of it. So this is reassuring! I just have to submit photos that make the review committee want to see the dress! I guess I just have to do it. Huh?

Overall, this has been a fun adventure.
I hope that you enjoyed following along as I pursued this little dream of mine!

I have the write up finished which describes procedure & techniques that I used for my project. I am actually all ready to submit this project. So, I am going to go for it!

"You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities
no doubt
crept in;
forget them as soon as you can."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Plans, Pins, "Moodling" and Me

"Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness. So you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.”

~ Brenda Ueland

So it turns out the word Moodling was thought up by this Brenda Ueland person way back in the 1930's. I found some insight on this concept of moodling at this website:

Here is a quote from that site. It is pretty scientific for me (alpha, theta and delta waves and all). But take a minute and see what you think. . . Can you moodle for a moment?

(Isn't that great? "Moodle for a Moment." - I made that one up myself...)

"In order to moodle we need to make space for alpha waves to operate in our brain. If we are too exhausted our mind will quickly move into theta (drowsiness) then delta (deep sleep). If we are too focused on a problem or given objective we are using beta waves (consciously focused). Alpha waves bring in that in-between, meditative state where our mind can gather together conscious thoughts and unconscious information in order to create something brand new. Inspiration occurs with a great burst of alpha waves. I personally believe that every one of us is a creative person. We simply need to find ways to let go of the demands of our culture for a while and just moodle."

Needless to say, I guess I have been moodling a bit.

And of course, I have been a procrastinator for most of my life. (Yeah...years ago, I really, really wanted to put off being a teenager indefinitely...)

That is another story for another day.

Back to the subject at hand... The deadline for this project is September 15th!!! (Deep breath).

So to be completely truthful, I did have a creative moment or two (in between all of that moodling) and I have been busy.

I just have to get the final photos ready and I will "unveil" my finished design: my first Altered Couture!

In the meantime, here are a few photos of the embellishments being pinned on the dress. That was one of the biggest problems that I faced. I probably pinned and re-pinned about 7 or 8 times before I was happy with the results.

SO are you waiting on pins and needles?

(pun completely intended..)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cloudy days just bring me down...

We had a few cloudy days.
This in sunny Penasco! . . . and, it being Summer, too!
So that was just wrong all ways around.
And I am thinking that it got me down a bit.

I don't know, but I seemed to be in a funk. No creative nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Well! Today was a really beautiful day.
Although most people would consider it on the "hotter than heck" side of the thermometer, I have got to say that I am much happier with some sunshine!

Anyhow, I had all of these little doily circles to make into rosettes.

So, I found a chair in the shade with my legs in the sun - to get some rays - and I hand sewed about 25 rosettes.

I think they turned out pretty cute (although in the photos they look like clumps of yarn.)
Hmmm. Oh well.
I am not a very good photographer.

Nevertheless, my "doily flowers" are ready.
The dress waits patiently on the dress form. . .
We are just holding out for a wave of Creativity!

I hope it stays Sunny!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Think, Think. . . Ponder, Ponder. . . CUT!

So. . . I put the top on the dress form and pinned the valance (skirt) around it.
I left it there hanging quite askew with pins everywhere.
And I walked past it all day long.

Dress or jacket?
Long or short?
Is it going to open down the front?
Which way will the pleats on the valance go?

This morning I removed the stitching from the valance
(forming the casings for the curtain rod) and washed, dried and ironed it smooth. The piece is now much longer. I think I added about 10 inches to the length. All the stitching marks and fold lines came out nicely.

And somewhere during this process, I decided on the dress.
I am not sure why.
But it seemed the way to go.

The problem that I had been concerned about is on each end of the valance. Where the pleats are gathered up; there are 9 layers of fabric - well 18 if you count the lining! And I wasn't sure how that would hang. So, I messed around with it for quite awhile on the ironing board. And holding up to me to see the drape.

. . . And then it was time.

There is that moment when you decide to pick up the scissors and you know there will be NO GOING BACK. And so I cut.
I removed the bulkiness of all those pleat layers.

Then, I seamed up the two ends of the valance.
Now I have a "skirt". Basically, with a small kick pleat style slit in the back.

However, when I finished sewing it together,
I realized the pleats on either end had not really been exactly even. Hanging as a curtain valance, nobody would have ever noticed. But bringing those sides together to form a skirt, now created a pronounced difference in how far the pleats were from the fringe edges of the fabric.

Those pleated edges which I had trimmed off formed a long piece of nearly finished fabric. I re-ironed this tube of fabric; cut it into three equal pieces and designed 3 small bows.
The first I placed where the pleat lines did not "line up".
And now I have two remaining bows to use elsewhere on the dress.

Actually, I think I know right where to place them!

What is it that they say?
"Necessity is the mother of invention."
I think that's it.

I really hate using the seam ripper and re-doing what I already did. So my projects are full of "work arounds."

Well, check out the photos and see what you think.

I think those tiny bows look a bit classy.
And if I hadn't mentioned it .. . you'd probably think they were PLANNED!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Golden Ideas

Sooo. . .
I have a million ideas. That is not good as it seems to have overwhelmed me.
The base color of the items that I purchased was an array of golden hues. What did I find in my leftovers and scraps that would add to the final garment? Way too much (muchas mas cosas!)

Here goes with a few photos:

I recently made a wedding dress for a beautiful beach wedding.
The dress was gold and I have just a few small remaining scraps of the sequin lace and a few leftover buttons.

I have the leftover fabric scraps from a skirt that I recently made for myself.

And, I found about 2 yards of a matching suede-look fabric with a more earthy brown tone.

And, baubles of every color.
Yikes! My bead collection consists of a bowl of pearls and beads. . . I am quite the disorganized person as I notice in the photo a misplaced button and lost earring back amidst the beads and pearls. Geez! Life is way too "messy" to have everything in a place of it's own.

I would feel lost if I got too organized around here.

OH yeah I found a string of crazy gold pearls that was once upon a time supposed to be part of a retro flapper dress that I never made. And, I will throw that in just in case.

I am aiming for my submission to be for the February issue of the magazine.
Its the "Spring " issue, but it will be out during February, March and April.
Those just seem like months when you'd be still wearing a jacket in most areas.
Hmmm. An embellished jacket in hues of brown & gold with leather boots and a pair of jeans just sounds like it would look completely fantastic.
I am just kinda re-thinking my dress idea.
Perhaps a jacket. That suede fabric could become sleeves and a collar. . .

Well, here it all is:

I believe my next step is to get all of this on the dress form and see what it looks like. I am anxious to see how that curtain valance is going to hang, as I really want to preserve the funky drape of it with that great beaded fringe.

Until next time.

PS Give me some comments! Let me know what you think!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Project.....unveiled


Thrift Store Purchase for my Altered Couture Project:

Women's Lace lined top 3.99
Curtain Valance 2.99
Ecru cotton Doily 2.99
Bag of fabric scraps 1.99
Total: $ 11.96

~ "Yea!" I made it! Quite under budget for the $20.00 limit for Thrift store purchases.


Curtain Valance:
This was the first piece that I found & was my
inspiration, as it were. It has an interesting pleated
look to it (note in the top photo). I plan to retain the pleats in the garment. The fringes are interspersed with small, gold glass-look beads.

Top: Only the front of the top is lined. The lace has a daisy/floral design. It also was in need of a bit of mending at some of the seams, which I did. And it has a few "pulls" in the lace which I will have to work around.

Doily: My plan is to cut each of the small floral rounds apart. Prior to doing this, I will touch up each intersecting point with Fray-Check so it will not undo.

Fabric: I found a grab bag of fabric and trims.
None of which really matched except two small pieces of a fabric with the look of suede. One piece matches the top and the other piece matches the valance. I am not certain if or how I will use these pieces; but they are good to have.

Next: I am going to scavenge my workshop to discover what other treasures I may find to add to my Ingredients.

SO. . . What do you think? ... any ideas?
How should I put these parts together?
Comment and give me YOUR input!

(My first thought is a dress.) . . . hmmm

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I had to ReCreate my Blog Site

I had to transfer my Blog, in order to have "Followers".
Now, I did not realize that this would necessarily be a good thing. . .
Or that it wasn't just the expected thing for a Blog-Maker to have it available for you as a normal part of the set-up. But that just goes to show what I know!

Regardless, here are all of your Comments from the last week transferred here!
Thanks for All of your Positive Comments. Whenever I feel bad about myself - I am gonna come read these! Wow.

Now PLEASE become a Follower of this blog (since I went to all the work of transferring it to blogspot.)

This week I am going to post photos of my project.... Don't miss that!

wow really very impressive and a cool idea... best of luck with it.


Dear Naomi, I love the picture with you and Russ, also is amazing to know hoe little you were when you did your first dress. Like I always say, you are very obnoxious talented. LOL

That sounds like a lot of fun! I'm bookmarking your site.


Just got your e-mail Naomi, and I have to say I am not surprised at all.....Except maybe for the fact that you have not done it before. are off to a good start. I don't know about joining you in your project from the Thrift Store, But if I had the time, and I was a little younger, I would do it. Love, Vicki


Cool Naomi :)

This is so wonderful!!!
Love and Blessings to you and your new baby!!!
Nina Joy and Family


How cool!!! This challenge was "designed" (no pun) for you!!! I cannot wait to follow your creation and see how it goes! I never knew about your "scarlett Ohara" dress! Do you have pictures?? how fun!! I wish I had time to do this too.. I'm going to show it to ruthie!
love you!


This is cool! I'm soooo excited to see your "musty dress"! Love the lavander story, when I see it I think of you.


This sounds totally up your alley...have fun! Wish I had enough talent to do the challenge :-)

Wow, cool idea, you can do it, Naomi!! I'll be bookmarking this, I want to watch your progress.


I used to sew, everything..then as time went everything's a lost art...keep up the good work..


This is so you. What a brilliant project for you to tackle...or should I say conquer. Can't wait to see/hear more :)

John Nelson

Sounds neat!! You should check with Vicki for some tips. She found musty old me in some dark corner, and is still attemping to wash me enough times to soften me up. I know you'll do well with your project. john


i have followed your creations on your etsy web site and I am anxious to see your Scarlet dress as i live in greater charleston, SC where Scarlett came after Rett when he said "i dont care a damn Scarlett". So keep up the pictures and make it good. Go Girl.

Samantha R.

This is an awesome idea! I love the pic at the top of the page by the way, very artsy and cool :-)


Naomi I Loved the dress you made!! You are so Artistic and have a great eye when it comes to creating designs of any kind!! I wish you all the best in the contest and I know you will do very well!!! Can't wait to hear more!!!


A treasure of a story, i can not wait to read the ending. Great success and blessings.....LA


You are an amazing woman! I miss your beautiful face so much, and I hope to get to see you before the year's over. Great job on this site - I'll be checking back :)


Naomi, what a great idea for a contest! Your a shoe in. Keep those creative juices flowing. We sure miss you guys. Oh and that picture you guys still look the same, just a few wear marks. Me gusta! Have a great day, Greg


Love the story and what a great dress! Can't wait to see the outfit you make for the contest. Do they have a place we can go to vote on your outfit? P.S. working on coming down in Oct.

Su esposo

I love you and I think what you are doing is incedibly creative and I wish I had the same talent as you "siempe mi amor." RB