Thursday, February 26, 2009

People are funny.....

Or odd...or just different, I guess. We're condo owners here at our winter residence in sunny Florida. So many personalities and dispositions living in close quarters. Our complex is rather old, but is in a terrific location just steps across the street from the Atlantic. Because it's an older complex, and not all that big, it's always been operated under a rather loose set of rules. For the most part, folks here like it that way. But then, there are always one or two broken rules that are so blatant, they can't be ignored. To bring things into compliance, our board has hired a property manager which creates a whole new set of issues. The jury is still out on the success or failure of this new approach to governing and managing but I'm guessing there will be plenty of fireworks in the meantime. Which leads me to my quest to make smart decisions on designs and fabrics for my aprons and tops. Often, I need someone to slap me and remind me that I can't possibly please every buyer out there, (much as our board can't please every resident in our condo complex). I have to keep my focus on the strengths that I bring to each choice make. I have to discipline myself to stay in my comfort zone and fashion my creations the way I see them in my mind's eye. At times, this is difficult. Although I want to be current, I try not to get caught up in what's merely popular or trendy. Even though I draw on my own imagination, it's hard not to be influenced by what I see and hear. Sometimes, I almost feel the need to slap myself to get back to "Me" and what I do best. Managing and directing the ins and outs of a condominium is surely more difficult than deciding on a fabric or a design choice for an apron. But, some of the same conflicts apply because in reality, people are funny..or odd...or just plain different. After spending the week making a special order of two half aprons, (Sweet Field of Flowers pictured here), I've decided to get busy and make a couple of new peasant tops in the beautiful filmy, sheers that I brought with me from Cape Cod. Watching "Housewives of NYC" on Tuesday night, (my secret vice) I couldn't help but notice that one of the housewives showed up for two separate events wearing two different versions of a peasant blouse...very similar to the ones I make! Now, if a NYC housewife who is spending her summer in the Hamptons is wearing something that looks like one of mine, I must be on the right track. Or so it would seem. Stay tuned to see what I come up with.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Whole Cloth....

I'm wrapping up another two aprons for shipping today. Love Me Tender and Hot Chocolate for Men will have new owners. I always imagine the people who will wear my aprons. Some buyers have etsy online shops of their own which gives me a peek into their personalities. But others, are simply shoppers who register on merely to make a purchase. Often, a buyer will write me what's called a "conversation" on etsy. I love this. It makes me feel connected because, you see, I get rather attached to the aprons and tops that I create. Handmade means something sort of special. When you start with whole cloth, you take something with no identity other than the color and design of the fabric. In my world, it could end up as virtually anything....a pair of drapes, a tablecloth, a pillow sham or an apron. The fabric almost always dictates its own fate. There's an odd sort of communication that no one else hears but me. My fabric corner holds so many beautiful batiks and paisleys and calicoes. And oh...those gorgeous Amy Butler prints. What a world of colors and designs. I love them all but they are each very different, which is why I'm always compelled to give the finished item a name. Sometimes I wonder if the name of an apron draws the buyer as much as the finished product. Does our Cocoa Beach apron ignite a memory of a spring break in sunny Florida to a northerner who is slogging through a bleak New England winter? Does our Buttercup Batik tickle the fancy of a pure romantic who dreams in fields of buttercups and daisies? Is Falling Leaves in Russet reminiscent of what some find to be the most beautiful season of all? It's any one's guess. But, it's my little fantasy because fabric is a wonderfully inspiring thing.

Friday, February 20, 2009

When the Going gets Tough, the Tough get Going....
Are the economic woes having an effect on Aprons Gone wild? Who needs an apron when they can't pay the mortgage? Because we hadn't had an apron order since the end of January, I wondered. But, there's a bright there usually is, even in the darkest of times. We wrapped up Chocolate Drizzle and Baby Doll Brown this week, and took a special order for two half aprons so apparently, things are still on track.
Sometimes I wonder if the woes of the nation are a self fulfilling prophesy. Just about everyone I speak with says they are afraid to spend any money. However, in reality, we still can't get a seat for dinner at any of our favorite restaurants unless we get there by 5pm. Even on Cape the dead of winter, the local spots are bustling and all the tables are full. what's going on? I for one, feel fortunate that as a family we have always enjoyed the simple things in life. We're not fancy folks. Give us a nice pair of jeans and a good looking shirt and we're all set for anything. Dinner "out" to us, is usually a pizza and a pitcher of beer. We enjoy a good movie now and then and we really love the beach. We're easy to please. I guess it's harder if you've become accustomed to a more grandiose way of life.
Not to deny that many folks out there who have simple tastes are hurting nonetheless. Often, through no fault of their own, they fall on hard times. I'm just not sure if the constant barrage of negativity doesn't feed upon itself, making things worse. When you feel often give up. I hope that's not the case, but I somehow fear it might be.
In the meantime, I'll continue doing what I enjoy...sewing things for my etsy shop with hopes that orders continue to come in. This is my first winter on, so I have nothing with which to compare. As I check off Chocolate Drizzle and Baby-Doll Brown as "sold" I'll continue to be optimistic that even in a bad economy, every girl needs an apron.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Prints & Chintz and all that....

A Warm Up! Finally. Temps should be back up in the 70s this weekend. Yeah! I need my vitamin D. A little sun bathing is in order. We've decided to do a couple of small projects here this winter since we're feeling a bit "spent" from the kitchen remodel back home. Rich is going to paint the upstairs bathroom vanity and put new tile down on the floor. This condo complex is nearing 50 years in age. The fixtures are a bit dated, to say the least. We upgraded the kitchen a couple of years ago but the bathrooms are still wearing bell bottoms and beads, if you get my drift. Our bathtub, sink and toilet are a very Robin's Egg Blue! Yikes! Not ready to tear those out yet, so the vanity will get a nice, clean coat of white paint and the floor tile will be white with a little gray/blue tinge. I'll use my camouflage talents to dress it up with some nice towels and soaps and it will be just will be terrific. I'll post some pics on that when it's done.

I decided I have enough aprons for the time being which leads me to my other chronic disease....making blouses and tops. I experimented by listing several in my etsy shop this past year and they seemed to be well received. I've got some absolutely beautiful Amy Butler fabrics that will be spectacular in our Aprons Gone Wild baby-doll top design. I'm working on number one today. A fellow etsian emailed me about making one of my halter tops in Michael Miller's "carnival" print, so I've ordered the fabric from my favorite fabric suppliers, Charlie and Lindsay of Fabric Supplies on the Internet. The lightening speed with which Fabric Supplies ships out an online order is something to marvel at. I actually got a bit carried away on their etsy web site the other day and ordered several beautiful prints. Fabric always inspires me. But, I can't decide which one to pick first! Look for something new soon in one of these beauties on

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why Do You Write That Blog?
Blogging! What fun! It's like keeping a diary...writing about small stuff that goes on each day, and big stuff that happens occasionally. It's good therapy. Everyone should have a blog. I like reading other blogs about homes and decorating, but there's a blog world out there of topics that surpasses even the wildest imagination. I inadvertently came across a blog the other day that was about women's health. It made me realize that folks who are going through a medical crisis can hook up with other folks going through the same thing...share their experience and help lift spirits.

For me, blogging is therapudic in a different way. It helps me keep a record of my etsy apron shop. It gives me feedback on what's working and what's not. I look at the apron photos in a different way on the blog. I analyze the colors and the patterns through the eyes of a reader, not a buyer. I gain a better feel for how they fit into the world in which I see them.

Blogging helps me critique the work we're doing on our old house, as well. We're here in sunny Florida now for the winter, but each time I share one of the photos of our new/old kitchen, I am reminded of the transformation that took place and all the work my husband did to make it happen. I am always right there in the forefront with ideas and musings about what we should do and how it should look. But he's the one who actually makes it happen. We're a good team.

There's only one problem with blogging. It takes a lot of time out of my day. I get caught up in reading other blogs and looking at pictures. This morning, I've already spend nearly an hour looking at pictures on a Canadian blogger's site. She often has a slide show of a house tour and I can't tear myself away. I haven't even opened our daily newspaper yet and it's already 8:25am.

I did, however, produce a new item for my shop yesterday. I'm not totally useless! It's a really pretty turquoise colored peasant top made up in an Amy Butler fabric called Royal Garden. I also made a string of turquoise colored beads on rawhide to go with the top. I think it looks perfect. You can check out the details at

The sun is shining. It's already 70 degrees outdoors. I think this will be a beach day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Match it up!
Matching your apron to your kitchen? Sound a bit hokey? Well...think about it. You're apron is no doubt, either hanging around your neck, at your waist, or hanging on a hook somewhere in clear view. Don't you coordinate your dish towels with your decor? And, your curtains? Well...your aprons are no different. Once you don them or hang them in plain sight, they become part and parcel of your color scheme. So why not wear something that compliments all the other things you work so hard to coordinate?
At our little cottage industry that we've named, Aprons Gone Wild, we try and offer a uniquely special selection of fabrics, colors and designs so that your apron becomes an addition to what you've created in your home. We put a lot of thought into our work. Often, while I'm sewing an apron, I develop a mental image of the person it might be going to and the home that it might end up in. Our aprons and ditty bags hang in some of the prettiest and most stylish kitchens. Modern kitchens, country kitchens, primitive kitchens, and old cottage kitchens. We've seen them all and we love them all. That's why we try and create aprons that add something to your home. We aim to put a smile on your face when you tie one of our aprons around your neck and waist. We are convinced that our beautiful selection of batiks, with their deep rich colors and intriguing patterns will kick things up a notch whether you're cleaning, cooking, entertaining, gardening or taking care of those gorgeous little ones. There's nothing dull about an Aprons Gone Wild apron. Check out our etsy online shop at and let us know what you think.
Our photo here today is of our Black Tea Paisley Apron. It's a sophisticated black and tea-dyed look paisley print that's hand sewn in a sturdy, one hundred percent cotton. We think its pretty special.
I'm discovering that the blog world is unending. So many wonderful sites with gorgeous pictures and heartfelt personal stories. It's a window into a world that has introduced a new facet to my life. A "thank you" to those I've already come to know and those I hope to meet in the future. There's never a dull moment on the Internet!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

An Apron A Day.....

An apron a day. That's been my goal since we arrived here in sunny Florida two weeks ago. I haven't met that goal, but I'm cranking out quite a few, nonetheless. We're having a bit of trouble photographing the aprons here because the light isn't as good as it is back home. Plus...I don't have our beautiful Emily to model them. Something about an Aprons Gone Wild apron on Emily says it all. No need for a description! But, alas, I'm left to use my plastic mannequin which leaves out a lot of personality. The fabric in today's apron is especially pretty. We've named it Jade Garden because the fabric is of the prettiest Jade Green paisley print on a dark brown background. Soft percale allows the baby-doll bib design to hang like a hankie. It's as cute as your prettiest dress. Check out the details at
We've been experiencing really cold temperatures here on the east coast of central Florida. This morning the thermometer read a mere thirty degrees. Imagine that? I finished another apron today because we're indoors again. I call this one Black Tea. I love tea and the colors in this apron reminded me of black tea. You can read all about it at
Rich decided to snap a couple of pictures of me sewing the Black Tea apron. I hate having my picture taken. But, then I thought it might be fun for you to see where I do my sewing down here. It's a make-shift operation on the dining table. But it works out okay. I have the ironing board close at hand and that's of supreme any of you who sew will agree. Our little piece of winter sunshine here is not flashy but it's cozy and has a certain flair. I never thought an old house buff like me would be content in contemporary surroundings, but for 4 months a year, I find it rather relaxing.
Tomorrow is supposed to be the beginning of the warm up here, so maybe only one more apron is in the offing over the next few days. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sometimes I think I am a master of camouflage. Maybe it's the result of living in an old house. Too often, there is no electrical outlet anywhere in sight near the spot where I want to place a lamp. It requires imagination to come up with ideas on how to hide the cord. Or there might be an oddity in the "old house" plaster where the horsehair or the crushed shells in the mix bump out. Usually, I just hang something pretty over it! Crooked walls and windows require custom curtains...something I actually enjoy making. Furniture placement in our house involves covering up bad spots or patches in the old wood floors. I often wonder about the people who made those they spent their days and how they lived their lives. We have patches in our old floorboards that my husband refers to as "Dutchmen." Little pieces of wood cut to fit the shape of a hole that was perhaps worn through by a chair leg. We've put a "Dutchman" here and there ourselves. Often it's to fill a hole left by a huge knot that has fallen out of an old pine floor board. Some of those old boards are twenty one inches wide or more. As we've been remodeling the house, we've saved the widest boards with thoughts of using them to make tables or benches. But back to my camouflage talent. I've grown so accustomed to covering up the oddities in our house that I'm having trouble adjusting to our new kitchen. There's nothing that needs covering up! Everything is in the right place! There are so many electrical outlets that I never see a cord anywhere. There is even a proper spot for each of my appliances.'s on to the bedroom I guess, where the camouflage is overwhelming. Hide the old shower, make the cranky old windows look pretty, cover up the ugly armoire that stands duty as our closet. Sometimes I think about all this while I'm sewing aprons. It's one reason why I double stitch the seams and hems. It's why I take the extra time to reinforce the pocket corners and the neck and waist ties. I want them to last for a long time. Since I have no control over the wearing out of the fabric, I guess I hope each one of them will be kept around long enough to need a "Dutchman" (of sorts) of their own. There's nothing wrong with a good patch...or I guess I should say...a good camouflage job.

Today's apron is called Baby-Doll Brown. It's our newest baby-doll design with soft shirring at the bib for a traditonal baby-doll look. The soft, dark brown percale fabric is trimmed with a contrasting Jade green print on the bib and pocket edges. Check it out at
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Super Bowl Bites The Dust!

I didn't have a dog in the fight this year. The Patriots didn't make it and even the Giants weren't there. So it was my natural instinct to root for the underdog. I actually thought Arizona had it in those last minutes. But Ben Roethlisberger is just too darned good. I don't think anyone left early!

We had a fun evening with a pot luck at our neighbor's condo. It's a lively group down here and whenever we all get together the food is always terrific and there are lots of laughs.

I didn't get any aprons made this weekend. I have them cut and they are all laid out in my work space, yet it seemed like there were so many things going on that I never got to the sewing machine. But...I haven't showed you our newest men's apron that I made last week. We've paired it with our Chocolate Drizzle women's apron but it coordinates well with any of the newest from "The Browns" series of batiks we've featured recently. So many guys are great cooks these days. It's not unusual to see two pairs of hands in the kitchen. So why not two aprons?

Check them out at

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