Well, I got samples of all the fabrics that I ordered and I loved all of them except for one. The brown. I thought it was going to be more of dark chocolate brown. Instead, it wound up being a milk chocolate brown. Thankfully, they still have it on backorder, so I went to a store in Atlanta that carries all the fabrics and found an alternative. The only problem is I have ordered two new fabrics now instead of just the one. I loved both of them. They are both shown above. I just can't wait to get them all here so I can begin working. :)
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
You may wonder what my title has to do with aprons. Well... let me tell you.
For those of you that are old movie buffs you are familiar with the movie Life With Father. We were brought up on the classics - thanks to my mother - and we watched this movie repeatedly. We thought it funny and amusing with all the many wonderful stories that spun around together within the family featured in the film.
My most memorable part of this movie comes from the scene where the older son, who was courting a young lady (Elizabeth Taylor) was wearing a "hand-me-down" suit worn previously by his father. Earlier in the movie we learn that the boy feels uncomfortable in the suit because he feels like his father in the suit. Anyway, the couple is alone and about to make their parting wishes. The young man sits down and Elizabeth Taylor's character plops in his lap and throws her arms around him. He immediately pushes her off of his lap and screams - not the reaction most young men would have while a young lady they are interested in shows them attention. We later find out that this reaction solely came from him feeling like his father in that suit. He felt his father's presence around him and therefore was extremely uncomfortable at the advances of the woman he had feelings for.
So why do I say all this? I was thinking about my history with aprons. I remember wearing aprons as I grew. I remember wearing a smock as a child while painting, wearing an apron while baking cookings and icing them, wearing my mother's apron as a young adult helping out in the kitchen. With all of this experience you may think that aprons have always been a part of my kitchen ware. Unfortunately, they were not. Why? Because my biggest and most outstanding memory of aprons is watching my mother cook for the last 28 years in one of her many aprons.
So... whenever I put on an apron, I, like the boy in the movie, feel like my mother. When I was younger (late teens and early twenties) this sincerely bothered me - because I was too immature to appreciate it. :) Now, it comforts me to know that everytime I put on an apron, I can feel my mother - the messy cook that she is - cooking away in our home kitchen in south Alabama.
I was so excited today to receive my first ever wholesale shipment. Three out of the four prints that I ordered from Freespirit are here! They are beautiful and I can't wait to begin cutting and sewing. I will keep you posted as designs emerge from my freshly painted studio. I will also include pictures of my studio once it is completed - I still have a lot of work to do, but I am getting there.
Monday, February 19, 2007
What does it mean to live well? This afternoon I realized probably more with my heart than my head what it really means to live well.
Many of you know of my personal struggle recently with my job. I quit a job where I was burned out to start a new venture, only to discover that I hated it. With my husband pursuing a life-long dream I had to quickly find another job to help pay the bills. I found one, but was so distraught about the whole situation. Then I realized, why am I so upset about this? Look what I have around me. A lovely home filled with anything I could ever need, food, a car with which to go to work, another job (three jobs in less than a month - more than what most could dream of), options, the ability to have my husband pursue his dreams, the ability for me to pursue my passions in my off-time, a loving husband, a wonderful family, great friends that let me cry on their shoulder, a God who is ALWAYS looking out for me. What more could I need or even want.
So... this got me to thinking this afternoon, what does it mean to live well? Ironically, my mind normally goes directly toward money, but money is not needed to live well. Wealth is so much more than just money - it is family, health, love, friendship, faith and whatever brings life to your soul. In my case - a good meal, finishing a sewing project, decorating a room, hosting friends for dinner, a good glass of wine, a cup of coffee in the morning, the beach, a sunset anywhere. Enjoying those moments I realize is the meaning of living well. So my friends... every once in a while when you feel that life is overwhelming you, stop, breath and cherish this thing we call life because we have everything we could ever need or even want. Cheers!
Thursday, February 15, 2007
So, what does the avid or not so avid chef need? Accessories! One of my favorite gifts that I received when I was a bride was my own recipe cards. It is amazing when you start fixing meals for your new spouse how quickly you contact your mother for age old family recipes. You will find family staples on those recipe cards that I was given at a recipe shower - Mommy's Sweet Potato Casserole, Grandmother's Chili, Mom's Honey Chicken Marinade. Ironically, those recipe cards mean more to me now than they did the day I received them because of the senimental dishes that now are so delicously listed on them. This is one reason why I began to include recipe cards in my gifts accompanying an apron.
I also found that one of my absolute favorite gifts as a bride came from a dear friend of mine with my new initials on it. A girl dreams about the day her name will change and what better way to thrill her heart than to be the first to give a gift with her new name or initials.
Despite this fact, everyone loves personalized gifts because they are personal. We can't help it. It is always special and meaningful - this is also why I love monogramming all my apron designs. So, you see here one of the personalized recipe cards that I created and will feature on the updated website in the coming year. Even if not ordering an apron, it can be a perfect gift with a mixing bowl and a pair of wooden spoons.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Last May, Ali's Aprons was featured in its very first Magazine - Lifestyles Magazine - here in Atlanta, Georgia. It thrilled me that others would find my handy work worth writing about. The opening line of the article stated "Move over June Cleaver - you no longer have the "retro-fabulous-kitchen-chic" market cornered. Ali's Aprons are popping up in the most fashionable kitchens in the Southern Arc, making our domestic divas the best dressed chefs around..."
I couldn't help feeling sorry for Mrs. June. She was such a beautiful character in the old classic, "Leave It To Beaver." So... I decided I would pay homage to her since I so rudely stole her image. :) You see before you the June Cleaver Apron. I believe these colors are a little flashy for Mrs. Cleaver - seeing as she was in black and white for so long. But I do believe a modern version of the character would approve. Don't you?
This apron began the full line of aprons that have become so popular. This particular apron is a favorite of many because of its details. It is always lined, features piping around the edge to help accent the scallop that so gracefully appears at the hem of the garment. It is so simple, but yet can be elegant or sporty depending on one's attire.
So, Mrs. June Cleaver, I hope you are happy and forgiving of my desire to pay homage to your wonderful image - a woman of the past that still bares the sentiments and desires of many women living in today.
While waiting for my sales tax id number from the State of Georgia, I have luckily received orders from a few new clients. Fortunately, they have all been interested in the Freshcut fabrics I will feature in my retail line of full aprons.
This peach poppy was adorable and I knew when the client picked it out the apron would turn out well. I like it so much I am considering it for one of my retail fabrics. Only time will tell. The apron shown is The Carol Brady Apron (formerly known as The Hipster). This style has been my best seller. It features a kick-pleat in front and the bib is perfect for monogramming. The cream trim only accents the soft, but fun color scheme that runs throughout.
So... with a sense of accomplishment I sign off. Thankfull once again for a fabric line that I KNOW will sell. Now the deciding is a completely different story - which fabric should I choose?
Here is the Carol Brady Apron in a funky, orange floral. You will notice that this is one of the fabrics that I chose. I just love this fabric. It is fun, funky, and definitely not frilly like most florals. Let me know what you think because I really like it. :)
Monday, February 12, 2007
After much thought, careful consideration and multiple conversations with friends and family, I finally ordered the fabrics for my new line of fine hostess aprons. It did not come without some distress. All the fabrics in Heather Bailey's line are beautiful and I really didn't feel I could go wrong with any of them. The four you see here are the ones that I have decided to try and see how the market likes them. Please let me know what you think. I tried to cover color pallets and prints that would appeal to almost anyone - a little hard to do when you can only choose four fabrics. Nonetheless, it is done and the waiting begins. I got word today that it will take four weeks before the fabric will get to my house. Again, I wait...