Monday, February 25, 2013


TUESDAY -- I will once again be at Pike Place Market. This year --with my cousin Jackie from Oklahoma City (she was maid of honor at my wedding). We're rolling with Rhonda Pierce (who has never been to the Market) from Chicago and Anne VanderKley from Australia.

Last year, I had three sisters come to Sew Expo. Here's my favorite picture of my sister Deborah at the market...



Last year, we took a "foodie tour"...and WE HAD THE BEST TIME...

So -- if you are going to be anywhere near Pike Place Market Tuesday afernoon (it will be late) -- I'M DOING IT AGAIN...



We are sooo excited about listening to that Australian accent all day long!!



So if you see a group of women setting up a "shoe shot"-- look again -- because IT COULD BE ME..!!


This will probably be my last post for awhile...It's very difficult for me to blog from the show. Although, this year we have a new BLOGGER LOUNGE -- which just might help me out. Although the problem is I can't quit talking long enough to do any actual typing... SEW EXPO IS THE BEST PARTY of the year. I have always said if I could give one gift to every woman I love -- I would make her Rita Farro for one day in Puyallup....it is so much fun!! And this year -- I HAVE ACTUALLY MADE EIGHT RECYCLED T-SHIRT DRESSES. Wow...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pinterest Picks

You know that I actually enjoy cooking. But it wasn't until Pinterest that I even realized a person could MAKE THEIR OWN CRACKERS...!! Really?? When Linda P. made these star shaped crackers during the Christmas holidays, my first question was, "Did Nabisco burn down?"

Of course, I can count on Pinterest to put things into perspective...

For my sister Ronda....

THIS is how I feel about leaving next Tuesday for Sew Expo...

AND...no matter how hard I try -- I am the woman at the other end of this telephone...
I am leaving on Tuesday for Puyallup...so I'VE GOTTA GET PACKIN!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Zebra Journey

For me -- 2009 was the year of the GREAT Zebra gift...
Ann Sagawa told me she when she saw this zebra watch -- she just HAD TO buy it for me... (and I wore the band OUT!)

AND -- no list of Rita-loves-zebra- would be complete without a picture of the HEY RITA TOTE...designed by fabric artist Jan Potter. (who, as one of the Inspired 2 Sew girls -- HAVE A DEAL WITH SIMPLICITY to design totebag patterns!)

In 2010 -- I wore zebra on the RECYCLED DENIM DAY... (great pic, Charlotte!)

And in 2011 -- the Ya Ya Stalkers actually MADE ME AN IRONING BOARD COVER out of zebra fabric (and red t-shirt fringe!!)


That year -- Claire gave me my favorite zebra scarf (which I wear all the time) -- AND I also got a zebra jewelry case...



My point is -- HOW MUCH FUN IS THE ZEBRA??? so -- BRING IT ON, PEOPLE...!!! JOIN ME IN MY ZEBRA FOLLIES...
I have heard from lots of Sew Expo fans -- and they will BE PLAYING THE RITA ZEBRA GAME. On Friday -- Bonne and Jan, and Linda, Lisa, Amanda, Molly, Laura, Deb, Carol, Amanda, Amy, Diana...

IF WE ALL WEAR ZEBRA -- THINK HOW EASY it will be for us to FIND EACH OTHER...I am sooo excited!!
Counting the days now...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Celery Fabric Painting

This dress started with a gray size M top. I liked the different animal prints...how they combined the leopard print with the zebra print...but, obviously, there was not enough fabric for a MAXI DRESS...

No problem. I found some plain gray knit....

And my friend Sandy suggested I use celery to paint the leopard print...hummm...

PERFECT..!! And soooo much easier than trying to use a brush....very uniform...there are different size celery stalks...WOW.. WHAT A GREAT IDEA...

This will be the ZEBRA DRESS I wear at Sew Expo next week. ON FRIDAY...
BECAUSE I AM ASKING ALL MY PEOPLE TO WEAR ZEBRA ON FRIDAY...that way -- I'll be able to tell WHO YOU ARE....even from a great distance!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

History of Fashion


Yes, I have an exciting life here in IOWA. Sometimes, even I AM AMAZED at the interesting, first-quality events I have to choose from.   On this certain day -- the location was the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa.

First -- there was a luncheon -- in a beautiful atrium room with a view of the Mississippi River...

This was my birthday present to my cousin Linda. Here she is, in the elevator with her Mom...my Aunt Adda... The actual event was a lecture called "History of Fashion"

The classrooms at the Putnam are beautiful. There was a really big crowd...(and two men, too!)...

The one thing that stunned my Aunt was finding out that in the old days -- women's underwear was crotchless...
OH, YEAH -- it's important that you try to learn something new every single day!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's Day

Lillian was here on Valentine's Day -- so, of course -- we had to do some kind of heart-shaped challenge.  One of her favorite things is BAKING...so we made a yellow cake mix -- but added some marchiano cheerries to turn it pink...


There was this nifty heart shaped cutter...and the plan was to cut the cake...but, while the cake was baking -- we had to eat breakfast -- and I had this GREAT IDEA...

The cutter is very sturdy...almost dangerous, it's so sharp...

So, we cut hearts out of our toast, and our scrambled eggs, and even our ham!!

Hey -- ANYBODY could cut out pancakes! THIS IS ART, PEOPLE...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lucky Jeans

I just HATE IT when blogger decides they're gonna do something "different". It almost NEVER makes things easier for me. This time -- it's the way I upload pictures.

The blog post I wanted to write about was all about Carrie bringing me mending. On Mondays, when she comes to do my "house management" for me (it is WAY MORE THAN CLEANING) -- I go down to the basement to do some sewing. AND I walk on my treadmill. (life is all about ying and yang/good and bad/black and white/sweet and sour)...

Because Carrie completely understands how much I love to sew -- every now and then she BRINGS ME SOME MENDING.

One day -- it was her husband Steve's favorite pair of Lucky jeans. They are at least 15 years old. And they were so full of huge holes, he actually cut up a denim shirt and tried to sew a patch on himself. HYSTERICAL...

Anyway -- the pictures are a jumbled mess...but you get the idea. I am a MASTER mender -- no doubt about it...

I happily spent two or three hours working on Steve's favorite jeans. The MINUTE Steve saw them -- he put them on and Carrie told me he had the biggest smile she's ever seen.

And he's been wearing them every day....



I mean -- HONESTLY -- what do people do who can't sew??

Sunday, February 17, 2013

6th Grade Graduation

Very few people read this blog on a Sunday...and I am reposting something I blogged about almost a year ago. Since then, young Keegan has become a very confident, wonderful singer. Accompanied by my grand-nephew, Cale...well...
Like you, my life is jam packed full of people and events -- both large and small. There are the BIG occasions that you prepare for and buy a new outfit -- like a wedding or a class reunion. Then, there are the last minute events you didn't plan for-- like a picnic in the park with a 3-year old or a conversation with a stranger on a bus...

Last week, my niece Amy called to say Cale was "graduating" from the 6th grade. I didn't realize that was an "occasion" in today's world --so at the last minute -- I charged up my camera and made the 5-minute drive to the local elementary school.

And it turned out to be an unexpected special moment...

Cale and his cousin Ambrose were born in the year 2000 and they started kindergarten together. Ambrose died of leukemia in 2007.

On this warm summer night, as the class of 2018 prepares for the move to the Junior High -- Ambrose was remembered by his classmates.

Keegan is the singer and my grand-nephew Cale is on the guitar. His Grandpa Jim is helping out....great job, boys.  .click on this link if you have four minutes...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Local History Luncheon

The Outing Club is the Davenport, Iowa version of the tony "members only" country club for rich people. Like most of those clubs -- the Outing Club has fallen on hard times. The fabulous old mansion that used to host the weddings of the elite -- and debutante balls -- is not so relevant in 2013. But even though it's looking a little worn...

It is still the grandest lady in town...

And I love the fact that they've opened it up for more public events -- partnering with the local colleges to run luncheon events, etc. This is the balcony and ceiling medallion in the grand ballroom. See what I mean??


On this day in January -- the event was a luncheon with a speaker who was a local historian. Our local history involves some Indians, some corrupt politicians, the murder of Colonel Davenport...Antoinne LeClaire was a fascinating person....I LOVE THIS STUFF...

I went with my cousin Linda. The food was terrific, too! Roast pork AND a catfish fillet. Who knew??

And -- hey -- how often do you get a chance to eat in a room lit by a dozen crystal chandeliers??

Thanks for setting it up, Linda! Hey -- GREAT COAT!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pinterest Wisdom


Really?? MORE PINTEREST?? This Pinterest editing is just one more service I offer, folks.

When I read this one, I immediately thought of my niece Kelcy...

This one applies to many people...enough said...

This is for my cousin Linda. I BELIEVE THIS with all my heart...and Art can be in your cooking, or your sewing, or your knitting, scrapbooking, writing...it is ABOUT MAKING SOMETHING that didn't exist before you decided it should...

This one is SO SELF EXPLANATORY...

With my new Pinterest addiction -- this hits me every day...

And THIS is a technique I want to use on my next Sew Expo dress...

AND -- ain't it the truth??