Sunday, July 10, 2016


Lately I have become obsessed with quilting and the thought of quilting. 
So in typical Pat fashion -- I google quilts. 
Pinterest is a wonderful thing.
Look at these beauties.

Beautiful, beautiful work. 
Really pieces of art.

I also like the type of quilt called "Civil War Quilts."
They are very old fashioned and more subdued in colors.

And then there are the more traditional quilts -- today called "vintage." 
These are the quilts I  remember. Made from scratch with the quilting done by hand.

I want to start a simple quilt project but there are so many choices. I am really having a hard time deciding which pattern to pick and what colors to use. 

Have any of you made a quilt? 
Suggestions and thoughts are appreciated.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Made in the USA - Part 2

I am still working on my project to buy Made in USA products. It is not easy; however, I have found several sources for women’s clothing I want to share with you.

As I stated before in a previous post, with the advent of H&M, Zara, Forever 21, TJ Maxx, Marshall's and others, we have become addicted to and slaves of fashion trends, cheap prices and poor quality. I have come to feel strongly about buying American Made products.

While they do tend to be more expensive, I am happy with the high quality of most of these items and I am content to have less and because the quality is better, I can wear longer.

Here are some brands to look for. (all pictures from the companies' respective websites)


Comfy USA

I just love cozy fabrics, easy fit and flowing silhouettes. Designed and manufactured in California, Comfy is prized by women who value comfort as much as style.


Clara Sunwoo

Out of New York City many of Clara Sunwoo’s clothes are made here in the USA. Of course, most are made from imported fabric as almost all clothes but that is changing.


American Pretty

For younger more trendy styles, check out American Pretty. Their prices are also very reasonable for American Made goods. 



Salaam… a word for peace… a beautiful line of comfortable, versatile clothing that fits everybody. Timeless designs made with the finest European fabrics, with an eye for affordability, comfort, and fit. Salaam is fashion for all ages, styles, and figures.

These people have cute, cute, cute clothes.


Karen Kane

One of my favorite standbys, Karen Kane. 

Karen Kane makes everyday clothes for real women and can be found in most department stores.


And for that little touch of luxury, look for nightgowns made in the USA. If you are like me, you are cruising through Target or Walmart and spot a nightgown, not too bad looking, for $14 and you grab it. Then you were it to death until  it is shabby, misshapen and belongs in the rag pile.

Well, my fav sis-i-law bought me a nightgown while we were having our little vacay. (Was it because mine was so ragged she felt sorry for me?) It was an Amanda Rich; a brand I had never heard of, but it was made in the USA. I fell in love and have since thrown out the cheap, made in China raggeds and bought a second one. 

I have to admit, finding an online presence for this company was hard -- but with perseverance and lots of googling, I found these gown in boutiques.

Absolutely lovely. Here are few of the styles. 


For list of Made in the USA Women's clothing, you may want to check out this link. 

This is an interesting, informative website with lots of sources. 

More to come as I continue my Made in the USA project.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Planning a Little Vacay

My fav sis-in-law is coming for a visit in May and we are planning a girl's get away to Savannah and to Beaufort, SC.

In all my trekking around on the southern coasts, I have never been to Beaufort. Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and South Carolina Low country.

It is Pat Conroy country.

Garden and Gun

One of things I am really looking forward to is seeing the beautiful houses in Beaufort.
I wanted to share a few with you. 
Trust me, they are drool worthy.

We will be staying in the Rhett House Inn:

The beauty below is the Joseph Johnson House 411 Craven St.

The William Waterhouse House - 212 New Street

The John Archibald Johnson House - 804 Pinckney Street

George Elliott House – 1001 Bay Street

And then there is this one. Couldn't find much about it except that is it called Old Point. We will be hunting this one down for sure.

I just can't wait. 

Have you been? Know of any good houses to hunt for? 


Monday, February 22, 2016

Alcove Beds

Just tripping along visiting various sites that are related to my newest obsession -- learning more about Scandinavia, specifically Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Anyway, I kept seeing these interesting bed on various blogs and websites and thought I would share them with you.

I think they are ever so interesting. Take a look.....

Catalano Architects

And this

And this

And this

And this 

And another 




Monday, February 15, 2016

Nordic Noir

At work we were talking about various TV shows we are watching and a much younger, trendier co-worker said, " I think it so cool that you like Nordic Noir."

Nordic Noir? 

What is that? Well, I googled it and found: 

Scandinavian noir or Scandinavian crime fiction, also called Nordic Noir, is a genre comprising crime fiction written in Scandinavia with certain common characteristics, typically in a realistic style with a dark, morally complex mood. According to one critic, "Nordic crime fiction carries a more respectable cachet... than similar genre fiction produced in Britain or the US". Language, heroes and settings are three commonalities in the genre, which features plain, direct writing style without metaphor.

With its roots in the ground-breaking TV dramas The Killing, Borgen, Wallander and The Bridge, Nordic Noir has become a genre in its own right, influencing screenwriters far beyond the Scandinavian Peninsula.

I just love Bron/Broen (The Bridge). I find it refreshing and not at all like the overly fake US crime shows. The main female character may have Asperger's Syndrome, they just never tell us anything, except she can be difficult.

You find yourself unable to stop watching this show.

Nordic Noir covers a whole lot of shows and geographical areas. There is even one in France that would qualify. Witnesses.  Set in the small coastal town of Le Tréport in northern France, it has all the markings of Nordic Noir.  The characters are interesting and you see just enough of their inside lives to be interesting.

And Finland contributes with Easy Living. It is an odd show with a unique story line.  The husband is a criminal in disguise, the wife a self indulgent and deceptive social climber, and the children not as oblivious as their parents think.

Another show I like is The Sandhamn Murders. It is actually more of a drama than a crime show, but I just love the beautiful summer outfits the women wear. And unlike Nordic Noir, it is not dark -- either physically or emotionally. It takes place in the summer time on an island where Swedes have the most adorable summer homes.

Check them out -- it is worth your time to watch a few and who knows, you may find yourself binge watching.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Made in the USA

For several months now I have been very conscious about what I buy. It seems like each time I look at an article of clothing, shoes, household items, etc., it has the ubiquitous tag "Made in China."

So I made myself a promise -- try to buy Made in the USA.

This has proven harder than it sounds. For several reasons:

  • You have to hunt for Made in the USA items -- Nordstrom's has a Made in the USA search that will bring up various items -- but few other departments stores do. Reading through various research most department stores carry less than 2% of US made clothing. 
  • Made in USA items are often found in the high end stores -- Neiman Marcus, Barney's, Bloomingdales's, Von Maur. Many of us don't even consider going to a high end store because of the prices.
  • What I want is just not made here --Sure you can find socks, some jeans, men's wear, workout clothes, t-shirts and stockings, but what about clothes to wear to work? Almost nonexistent.

So what is a girl to do?

Dig around. Check smaller boutiques and local stores. 

And Google, Google, Google.

And be prepared to pay more.

Pay More?!?!

Yes, pay more. But the trade off is that most Made in the USA clothes are a better quality and will last longer.

With the advent of H&M, Zara, Forever 21, TJ Maxx, Marshall's and others, we have become addicted to and slaves of fashion trends. And brand names.


Yes. Just google fashion blogs.

One blogger who has a regular Fashion Over 50 column in her blog states " I headed to one of my favorite shopping spots, TJ Maxx and Marshalls to see what they had.  I scored at Marshalls this time and found 3 summer dresses that I’ll enjoy wearing this year. I found 2 knee length and one maxi dress.  These will be perfect for so many occasions and they are in between sort of dresses and can be dressed up or down. ... The best part, all of these were $30 each, definitely a good deal. And you know how I love a good deal."

The good deal. That is the perception of today's discount fashion stores.

But is it really? Most people today do not know how to recognize quality clothing. This blog caftans&malbec has an excellent post about identifying quality in a garment.

The wastefulness encourage by buying cheap, throw away clothes and chasing the latest trend has hidden costs that most consumers are unaware.

According to one source: "The average American throws away about 65 pounds of clothing per year, and along with other textiles that get tossed, like sheets and bedding, the total comes out to 14.3 million tons of textile waste per year. That’s almost 6 percent of all municipal waste. While some of those textiles get recovered, most of it remains in the landfill, posing a variety of problems."

So what is the answer? 
I don't know, I don't have a good answer.

But I do think that perhaps buying less, buying better quality so it lasts longer may be part of the solution. And when I buy, I am checking for the tag. This tag:

If you want to learn more, read this book: