Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Headin' for the big "A" and don't mean Atlas....

Hmm...that doesn't sound quite right. Anyway, as I set forth on my journey down south to--AmericasMart!!--Atlanta, I thought it would be appropriate to blog my preparation checklist for the trip.

 Obtain mani/pedi
o French for both

 Pack 9 favorite pairs of heels for 4 day trip
o Even the really uncomfortable ones

 Pack line sheets and order forms
o Hopefully, I won’t be returning with any

 Spontaneously awake at 3 A.M. and return to sleep at 5:30 A.M.
o Rampant thoughts powered through the Tylenol P.M. like a freight train

 Console crying children because Mama’s leaving for a few days
o Tear :’(

 Stop at roadside flea mart(s) on the way there
o Check-in is not until 2:00 P.M. anyway

 Put aside wild butterflies in my stomach and enjoy the anticipation of an awesome beginning
o Still working on this one

Today’s Happiness: Okay, through all the craziness of the past 24 hours, this is in fact, a very exciting time! I know that once I’m rolling into downtown, I’ll shift into career mode and live off of the buzz that fills the air. Until then, I’ll tell you what I’ll be doing. Enjoying 5.5 hours of solitude of windshield time. Maybe 6.5 if you account for the flea marts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

All together, there are a dozen of them.

Not eggs, but throw pillows, rather.  A baker's dozen if you want to count the "throw" blanket.  I know I'm not the only one,either.

Love the look?  See James at

So why do we do this?  Why do we take the time to gingerly place each pocket of fluff in its exact GPS location, day in and day out, only to be (appropriately) tossed onto the floor every night?  Well, I can't answer for you, but I can answer for me.  If you come to my house, you will likely find several toys laying about and intermingling with the dust that's settled across the wooden floors.  But there are two other things you will also find.  My dishes are done.  My bed is made. 

Jeff and I had "the talk" yesterday.  The talk that outed the fact that I am no longer a stay-at-home mom, but rather a work-at-home mom.  Given this, let's go back to the toss pillows.  You see, it's the last bastion of Orderliness for me.  Before kids and before á La Modish, even when I was working my corporate job, my house looked so tidy!  Not so anymore!  But at least when I walk into two of the most important rooms in the house--our room and the kitchen--I can dupe myself into feeling like I still have it together.

Today's happiness:  On the note of morning routines, I urge you to try this:  Wheat Thins dipped into black coffee.  I don't even like black coffee, but there's something about the bitterness of dark java mixed with the semi-sweetness of a salty Wheat Thin that's just perfect.  Had it this morning, in fact.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hair ornamentation and other sundries

I struggled with what to call this because a) "hair piece" was already taken by that thing that some follicly challenged men resort to and b) "head piece" conjured up images of either a blushing bride or a Native American headdress.  So we go with "hair ornamentation."  It makes it sound like a present, anyway.  So I give to you:

To be attached to a head band

I made this last second when my recent client, J, asked me to make something to go with the party frock I just sewed for her daughter, W.  So I whip this up and think, "Gosh, this is really cute!  I wonder if I should offer accessories like this in my collection?" 

Okay, this is where I really want your opinion.  I am not asking if you like it or not, although feel free to comment on that!  My question is:   (Scenario)  You are going boutique shopping for your daughter and find her a stellar dress.  Perched prettily next to this dress is some hair ornamentation made from the same fabric as the dress!  Would you: 

a) not notice it
b) think to yourself, "Oh, that's sweet." 
c) grab it immediately before someone else scoops it up
d) none of the above 

My quandary with this design gig is balancing the love of designing with the business side, AKA, what will sell.  So any thoughts are welcome and appreciated!  Please send them my way.

Today's happiness:  Baby W!!  J brought her by today.  I got to squeeze her toes, and she smiled at me :) !  Yay for mamas that get to stay home with their babies when that's where their hearts really want to be.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

PLEASE do not feed LION.

Does anyone know what today was?  Well, besides just another Tuesday...Okay, no answers.  It was Francie Day!  A.K.A.  Mom's Day Out for me.  Which means that I can do whatever I want, be it work or play, without the lovely hindrance of my children.

Stop #1:  11:00 AM haircut appointment with the smashing Emily of Vocé on Clay Avenue. I highly recommend her if you are looking to look fabulous.

Stop #2:  Peruse the racks at Calypso on East Maxwell.  Score 3 Indie pieces that are all on sale.

Stop #3:  Scour vintage patterns at The Salvation Army on E. New Circle Road, but  return with--JACKPOT--2 yards of this:

"New" vintage fabric for $0.99

What am I going to make with this fabric, you ask?  To which I ask you, "Does it matter?"  I mean, which of you didn't have at least a blip of happy come across your being when you saw the balloon trio in trademark shades of the 70's?  Or surely the ice cream umbrella did it for you.

Today's happiness:  After raving about the joys of what I like to call "thrifting," I thought I should share some of my personal pointers on this underground skill:

1.  Keep hand sanitizer nearby.
2.  Have an idea of what you're looking for, or you'll get overwhelmed with all the junk.
3.  Remember that some of that junk is good stuff.  Especially if you can think outside of the box on an alternate use, or   if  you have time to refinish/repair/refurb it.
4.  Don't pay with a credit or debit card.  It lowers your credit score.  Or so my mom says, anyway.
5.  Finish the trip with said hand sanitizer (This is the worst part for me!  I still get the heeby-jeebies when I'm rifling through used stuff.  But it's produced so many good finds that I'm willing to bite the bullet on this one.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Models in the making

Sabrina wearing the Queenie Dress in the Dotted Roses colorway

Okay, you MUST click on this link herePriscilla Baierlein put together a slideshow of the photo shoot set to music.  True love.

So, a big part of going pro with this clothing line has been to learn to do things I know nothing about.  Exhibit A:  orchestrating a photo shoot that consists of about 9 toddlers.  The closest thing I've ever come to a photo shoot was when I was about eight years old, and my parents sent me to modeling school.  It didn't pan out.

So what does one have to do to pull off a photo shoot?  Well, lucky for me, either all the girls' moms were equally unschooled as I, or possessed so much grace that I couldn't tell the difference.  First, all the little gals had an appointment time ranging from 9:00 AM to noon on a Saturday last month.  They were all perfectly punctual, arriving precisely every 30 minutes.  They tried on some pretty things without too much cajoling.  It was not by accident that I had poufy, frilly gift bags placed right at their eye levels--their dangling carrots.

They then gathered on the evening of the shoot at my if-we-get-rained-out backup plan:  Talon Winery.  I couldn't have asked for it to go any better.  There were NO tears, NO rain, and NO sugar.....ha, ha.  That was a little joke for all those involved :)

Today's happiness:  Sure, the clothes are pretty.  Designing them really does give me a charge.  But there's nothing like seeing pretty clothes become more than beautiful because of the vibrant little lives wearing them.

Friday, August 13, 2010

And the winners are....

So in a desperate attempt to gain readership, I shamelessly posted that I would give a free pillowcase dress to one of you once I got to the magical number of 25 followers.  Well, I actually just think it's fun to give stuff away, but it did produce a nice by-product of new followers :)

Last night my husband, Jeff, asked me if there was anything he could help me with.  To this end, I promptly assigned him the task of drawing a winner for my fancy little contest.  He actually drew more than one.  So of course I had to give you both a prize!

Here is the dress for winner #1:


And the dress for winner #2:

Okay, enough suspense already!  The winner of the first dress is Meredith Lovelace Houlihan!   And the winner of the second dress is Eli Mitchell!   Yay! Cheers! Woo hoo! Congrats, ladies!  Contact me, and we'll arrange for pick up or delivery. 

Thanks to everyone for being a loyal follower :)  Like I said, I think it's enjoyable to give stuff away, so look for more contests in the future.  And if you have an idea for one, send it my way!

Today's happiness:  It's Friday.  We have the entire weekend before us!  I hope yours is filled with relaxation, accomplishment, and fun.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ask again later...

Who doesn't remember the Magic 8 Ball?  I think they might even be making them still.  But "ask again later" has been my response lately to requests of custom work.

I am always both flattered and appreciative when one of you lovely people asks me to create a custom piece for your little one.  This is my latest custom piece:

It was created for my friend's daughter; she is having a Toy Story 3 themed birthday party.  However, I'm a little sad to say that I am working on my last custom piece right now.  The wonderful buzz that has surrounded á La Modish has generated lots of requests for one-of-a-kind items.  The problem is that with the clothing launch, I don't have time to do them :( 

So I say, "ask again later!"  I'm not ready to completely shut out the idea of custom work because I enjoy it so much.  But more importantly, I want to be able to invest all the creative energy into those pieces to make them special for you. 

Today's happiness:  Freebies!  Be sure to check back in the next day or two because I'll be posting a picture of the pillowcase dress that I'm about to give away.  Only six more followers to go, and I'm drawing one of your names out of a sewing basket.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Shaking in my boots, but smiling :)

It's kind of like in junior high, when you know you're about to get your first kiss, and you're scared to death that you're going to get it all wrong, yet you still go for it--smiling (at least on the inside!).

So that's what today has been for me.  Ever since my techie, awesome web design girl, Kate, emailed me today with shouts of, "It's alive!" (, I have been scared to pieces, but happily unaware of that fear all at the same time.

What if people don't like the site, or worse, the clothing?  Well, it's out there now.  There's no turning back.  Here it is world.  Bland or brilliant.  But whatever comes of all this, I did it.  It started from nothing, and my dream's come to fruition.  An extension of my raw self.  Eek!  Be kind, my friends :)

Miss Emmy wearing the Candy Stripe Set.

Today's happiness:  Friends that go above and beyond the call of duty because they believe in you, love you, or at least like you ;)  Thank you, Katie, for enduring all my emails and for working on my website during your vacation!  And thank you, dear Priscilla, for making my clothes come alive with your gift of photography.  See more of Katie's work at and Priscilla's at

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I love trash.

Another man's, anyway.  Especially the trash of some older lady that used to sew, like sixty years ago.

And so I say, "Oh 127 Yard Sale, how do I express my love for thee?  Shall I fold love letters from maps bearing your crooked line? Shall I plant floral works of beauty alongside your miles of shoulders?  Or Perhaps I shall simply write of your exquisite untold treasures?"

Okay, so I'm really not into Shakespeare, but I really AM into this treasure hunt that would make even the wealthiest pirate say, "Argghhhh!" with envy.  Here are just a couple of examples of some trashy treasures from last year's trip down 127 Yard Sale Ln.

Both the antique mirror and the old bi-fold doors you see in the reflection came from the trip last year.  And there was so much more!  If you love old stuff, new stuff, weird stuff, blue stuff, you should go.  It starts today, and ends on Sunday.  The northernmost part is up in Michigan, and it goes all the way down to Alabama.  Take a cooler and stay a while.

Today's happiness:  The anticipation of a day full of fun finds.  Not the least of which will be a tiny country café on Some Town's corner of Main and Broadway.

Check it out:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

He's cooler than the flip side of my pillow.

In the words of Uncle Kracker.  He wrote that song for me to Jeff.

I cried today.  Not a happy cry.  Not a sad cry.  But I'm-just-so-tired-and-overwhelmed cry. 

When I used to work for corporate America, I missed being at home with my kids.  And then I stayed home with my kids, but missed dressing up in my suits everyday.  And so here I am in between, working from home, starting a business.  Living the dream for my children to see.  Being inspired and hopefully inspiring others.  But I'm tired.  I feel like my husband and family are strangers.  My bed is just a pause between working hours.

And then I think of him.  And then it's a happy cry.  I love him, I need him.  He cheers me on.  He tells me I'm great and that he's infinitely proud of me.  He understands when I get out of bed at 11:00 p.m for just one more email. If not for him, than none of this.  I love him.

Today's happiness:  Jeff.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

When life gives you lemons...

Go back to the ol' drawing board.

So a few months ago, I designed a fab-u-lous outfit for my daughter.  I sewed it out, and it looked so fun and girly on her.  Loved it!  So much so, that I designed a second one in the fabrics from my up and coming collection.  Enter the lemons.

I get the sample back.  The fabric combination that looked so interesting in my head was down right dull in real life.  Not to mention it was sewn completely wrong.  It was very un-fun and dowdy. 

So what to do with a sample that I loved half of but loathed the other part?  Make some fresh-squeezed lemonade, of course!  In other words, keep what I liked, and redesign the rest.  Much like most of life, eh?  That's the good part.  We get to choose what we do with our lives.  Keep what we like, and change what we don't.  And what we can't change, we can usually find a way to make it liveable, don't you think?

Today's happiness:  I have actually seen this design sewn out since this sketch, and it turned out beautifully!  Thank you to Little Miss Emmy for making it come alive for photographs (to be posted soon!).