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Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Suit

I have to admit that last year's offering, although the fabric was absolutely fabulous, did absolutely nothing for me. I thought the dress and jacket pattern was wonderful. But when the fabric was put to pattern, it just didn't work for me. But I was told over and over that customers loved it. They couldn't keep the fabric in the house. The fabric was re-ordered over and over. When i took it down today I repaired the snaps because there was a list of customers who wanted to buy the garment. Well, that's nice.

But this suit. The fabric vendors usually show their offerings in the classroom as they need a lot of room to lay out their samples. I try to peek at the books and layouts when I can to see if anything jumps out at me. i was really taken by this one which appeared late summer. I asked the vendor if he would front us three yards for a display. Usually they jump at this because they know we are a big store and can really sell a lot of fabric from our displays. But this guy seemed a little hesitant. Then I matched it up with a coordinating fabric for lining and pant and he saw that we would be selling probably an unmentionable sum of fabric as a result and he acquiesced. Then it seemed like forever for the fabricto come in. I like to get that display done by the beginning of November. Customers begin thinking of their holiday outfits at that time. Then it came in and no one could find it. The lining and pant fabric never came in. Problem with manufacturing. I didn't give it a second thought. I just pulled other fabrics. After all, it was the jacket that was the focus from the beginning.

It is a Vogue Very Easy pattern and very esy it is. It took me just an afternoon. It is short, cropped, unstructured, and very flattering. I made a twelve. It looks really small but when I had women try it on, it really fit the size. I paired it with a high waisted pant that is also a very easy vogue pattern that is not even lined. I used a stretch sating that I reversed so that it is shown on the flat crepe side. The satin side was too shiny and limited. I thought a customer would find this side more sofisticated and might even wear it with other outfits.

There are no darts. Princess seams that have very little bust curves. The collar detail is simple and artistic. It has the only interfacing. The front of the jacket is not interfaced because the jacket is designed to not even have a button. I put a large snap there because it would be too simple for a customer to run with this piece. A large tight snap deters theft. Sad but true.

I only make one suit a year for the Home Decorating department using an upholstery fabric. I will do little things for them, but this is the major garment display for them. This is going to be a good one for them. They originally purchased 60 yards. Within a couple of weeks they will have to triple that order and continue to do that now throughout most of the year.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who is this?

Not a pretty sight.

I know. This is the face without the teeth. I am reminded of the hundreds of times in our youth when we would come in the presence of a grandparent or an uncle and they would push out a denture and we would run screaming, just scared to death. And the street bums without teeth. I very much associate this look with the ravages of age and poverty.

I will have to give my teeth a whole new take on life. I have to re-"view" them so that I don't get caught up in the negative stereotype of getting dentures.

I think I am just a little blue today. I am not eating enough and it is wearing me down. I have lost now 12 pounds. That is nice but at what cost. I forced myself to eat a whole bowl of oatmeal for dinner tonight. It was a real push. And I love oatmeal. But it was difficult.

Now for a lighter note. Let us talk CHEESECAKE!

I was commissioned to make a cheesecake for a woman in the office. Georgia bought the ingredients. Lemons, sour cream, cream cheese (the one she bought was a bit too salty and I had to do some finagling with that.) So I left the ingredients out for a few hours to get them room temperature. I separated eggs and began to make the crust. I am looking for my pan when it comes to me. I can't find it because Beth still has it! In New Hampshire I have 6 springform pans. I can make a cheesecake any time. Here I have one. If the pan is not returned before I have to make another, what to do. Now, how often do I even have to make a cheesecake? Let alone two in two weeks? So, this whole thing is odd. It is 11:30 at night and I am standing in my tiny kitchen and I am thinking - well, Beth is a night owl too..... So I called her and her Martha Stewart voice answers the phone. We chat, we laugh as usual because we love to make fun of everyone, then we talk about the cheesecake. God bless her, she is willing to put on her coat and bring the pan over. Luckily, she only lives ten minutes from me. She gives me the pan, I give her chocolate. She treasures chocolate as much as me. And then, when the cake is cut on Friday, I will snag a piece for her.

I just took the cake out of the oven. It looks good. No crack. Smooth. Just lovely. I love making cheesecake. I think I might create a chocolate drizzle for it tomorrow. We'll see. I will bring it in when I go to my knitting class. That way, Georgia can take it out of the fridge in the morning as a good cheesecake should be served at room temperature. If she takes it out at say 8:30 in the morning, then if they serve it by noon, it will be perfect. I don't know. People are funny about stuff like that.

OK. 1:30 in the morning. I haven't done anything on Christmas. Time to shut down in the kitchen. The plants are watered. Shut this little computer down and get to work. New pot of coffee made. Four hours. I can do a lot in four hours............

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I was really ambitious tonight. I made an apple pie without the crust. I thought that, seeing I can't chew, maybe these apples would be soft enough to eat. Or at least to suck on. I am having a really difficult time with food. I just can't seem to eat enough. The weight loss is OK, but I am tired all the time, weak and often feel dizzy like I want to faint. Apples are good. A little brown sugar, a little butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, alspice. Sounds nice. Of course, I can't eat all of this and so my neighbor and her husband will indulge in some very willingly.

Oh, and my beloved mashed potatoes. I put some in a container and surround it with a creamed soup. I can't tell you how delicious this is. I know. You are thinking this is quite boring. But really, it's not. Now, I loathe broccoli. But I have this creamed broccoli soup that I bought by mistake. So I tried it with the potatoes. Oh my gawd. It is so good.

I am thinking, that even after the healing is over, I might still eat the mashed potatoes and soup. It IS very good. Very easy, very digestible and if the soup is a good quality, then it has got to be nutritious.

This has been on my counter for awhile . Caroline, my niece, gave this to me. I don't ever hope to be able to eat something like this ever again. I have to make a cheesecake this week for a woman in the office and I may chop this up and sprinkle it on top. ohhhhh welllllll

The French General's Angel

Isn't she just adorable? The doll is from a pattern from a designer, Rosalie Quinlan, "Little Bag of Dollies", from Australia. Of course, I made changes. I gave her the high position of being an angel. So, she is wearing white pantaloons made from $30 a yard men's Italian shirting. I gave her gold shoes. Everything is tied with silk ribbons. I made her wings trimmed and tied in gold. And then, for all of her wonderness, she is holding a very expensive star made of pure gold and thousands of dollar's worth of real diamonds in the shape of a star. This is one very special angel.

Moda Fabrics is coming in today and I have highlighted a printing of their fabrics for one of our special Christmas displays. "The French General's Lumiere." I will be photographing the display after they have seen it. I just didn't have the time as I didn't find out about their visit until the last minute (of course).

No one will see the back, but there are the gold threads, white pantaloons, and shoes. I always need to know that if someone was holding my work, it would not be one sided just because it is a display.

I absolutely love this little doll. As I write this I am thinking, wearing pretty silks, maybe she is this year's ornament?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Birthday

It was such an unusual birthday this year. Since I arrived here in Oregon in 2003, I haven't really known anyone close enough to celebrate my birthday with except my sister Denise. Oh, I know a lot of people from the store and through the store, but no one who would do the 'make a cake and buy a present' thing. But it was different this year.It seemed as though every time I turned around more little groups of women were celebrating. It was wonderful. I was so moved. Little gifts, candles, hugs, conversations about age and grace.

This past year has been really quite a turning year for me. And the proof of it has shown this past week surrounding my birthday. I don't know why people are so anxious about "getting old". I think really, it is a matter of perception. I really don't think people know how to look at themselves once they begin to turn fifty, sixty years old. And I think that those fitness gurus, the age-conscious gurus out there really don't hit the mark with their philosophies. If they did, then people wouldn't be so uptight about getting old. It is very very rare indeed that I meet anyone comfortable about being 61.

I just love being 61. It was a great birthday. And it will be a wonderful year. And if you want to know why, email me.

Are you ready for a good laugh

Before. Not a natural smile.

I know. I took my own before pictures and I didn't really capture the true essence of what it was like having all the missing teeth. I was so used to never opening my mouth that I just couldn't get it right. And smiling was no longer natural for me because it meant showing the above pictures. Even with the partials in I was just not comfortable. So I was pretty serious all the time unless I threw reservation to the wind and allowed my comedy to come out and celebrated laughter at the price of my embarrassment.

So, this is how it is now. Can you believe it? And I just love the scarf. When I went out for my birthday dinner with Denise and Caroline they were both wearing wonderful scarves. I thought, how lovely and why not me? The very next day at the store, out president, Trudy, had made a major buy in NY, and they were draping at least 50 styles of scarves on the conference table in the Vendor's Room. What. Providence!! So I bought two. Yeah - 40% discount. Then I bought two pieces of 3 yards each of bamboo knit which I just love to wear. They are heavy and so ample and I just look and feel fabulous in those. I chain-stitched the cut ends with special threads. Unfortunately the knit is limited in colors. I plan to pick up black next. I think that will be fine for this winter.

Now for the fun.

So my appointment for the surgery to remove my teeth was last Thursday. Denise, my patient lovely sister, picked me up and spent the entire travel time to the dentist allaying my anxiety. Then, in the end, walking into the room at Dr. Holland's office, I looked at the chair and all of the anxiety lifted. What could go wrong? Bad things don't happen to me.

It took a lot of drug to numb the mouth. Teeth breaking. Lots of pressure. Lots of noise. Everything was so fragile. Holland was trying to explain what was happening as he was going along but at times it was difficult because he was so intent in his work. This was not an easy case for him. On some teeth he had to cut them in sections in order to remove them.

I think it took longer than he had expected. First he pulled the top ones and put in the upper denture right off. Then he did the lower and set in that denture. He explained a few things and rushed out. I was not very clear on the instructions. I waited in the hallway till he was through with a patient to clarify a few things.

Rinse. Leave the dentures in for several days. Post op on Monday. Take a pain med as soon as I get home, before the numbing medication wears off. Take a pain med as soon as i get home before the numbing medication wears off.

Do you see where I am headed? Denise is kind enough to go to the pharmacist for the pain medication. Then we come home and I have to rinse because there is still a lot of blood. It is quite ugly and she leaves. I will be fine and she really doesn't need to hang out. I am just going to lay down. Next, to take the pain med. I get the pill on my tongue, fill the glass with warm water, but I can't tell if the glass is at my mouth. I am soaking wet by the time I find my mouth and by then, the glass is empty. So I refill the glass. I decide to put my left hand where my lips are and am successful at getting the glass to my lips but am not successful at getting water into my mouth as I can't seem to suck the water into my mouth. I finally get a tiny amount in and realize the pill is melting, because I can taste in at the back of my mouth. I tip my head back and keep trying to get the water in.

If he said to try to take the medication before the pain set in, what exactly did he mean? Did he know this would happen? Or did he mean that I should not forget? Surely someone must have a trick for this and should have published a perfect technique for this ordeal.There was water all over my clothes, all over the sink, the floor. And exactly what did happen to that damn pill? Did it really go down my throat or did it slide down between my cheek and teeth?

I gave up and took my bed pillows and the down comforter and layed down on the sofa. The pain came and went, was light and heavy. It was constant for several days. I have been wearing
the dentures constantly for five days. D- and I went to the market on Sunday. I bought two kinds of pastes that hold dentures in place. Two kinds of denture cleaners. A tube of ointment that is supposed to keep your mouth moist, invented for people who suffer from dry mouth. It only works for very short periods of time. I spent a fortune of product in search of the "right stuff".

The teeth are beautiful. I need to learn to open my mouth again. To smile, to speak fully. To be more expressive. It is still sore. I also need to learn to eat. I have not been able to eat much. I have managed to eat once a day and that was tomato soup, scrambled egg, or mashed potato. And very small amounts. I am now allowed to remove the dentures to clean them. I get hungry a little but am afraid to eat. I am afraid it will hurt and so I put it off. Dental therapy. Is there such a thing?

I managed to put in a full day at work on Monday. Beth cam back. She has been out since January 9th. She went to the doctor because she had a pain. That issue led to another and another and another. She used to have this lovely barroom voice and a disposition in the like. She came back to us with a voice that sounds like Martha Stewart and she is thin and fragile. I made a "Welcome Back" lemon cheesecake for her that lasted all of a half hour in the lunchroom. Beth loved it so much that I ended up wrapping the last three pieces so she could bring it home. After all, I made it for her. Everyone was in tears to have her back. She is just one of those special women - real.

So, what do you all think of the scarf look?