Desperately Seeking Persephone

Desperately Seeking Persephone

Fashion and style are two completely different sensibilities.  Young girls can dress as they please, and are very likely to be complimented on their originality.  But contrary to the recent revelation that 40 is the new 20, dressing well is truly the best revenge to unleash upon aging, and dressing stylishly hip is easy to do once you embrace a few basic creeds.
Successful personal style means you don’t ever have to think about what you’re wearing once you’ve gotten dressed.  First requirement is to get professionally fitted for a bra.  This is actually the most important part of dressing successfully, since nothing will look good unless your undergarments fit well.  Since most women haven’t a clue what size or shape bra they need it is best to go to a professional.  Reputable department stores usually have a knowledgeable staff if there is not a lingerie shop near you.  You’ll need several types of bras, including a smooth style to wear under tee shirts and summer blouses.
Next, go through your existing wardrobe and bag clothing that you haven’t worn in the last year (dressy items are the exception).  Be critical of items that don’t fit well, or may be a style yo have not felt completely comfortable in and will probably never wear again.  Someone somewhere is going to love it, and you’ll get a warm feeling and a tax write off for your generous donation.
Once you’ve gone through your closet, make a list of the new clothing you’ll need to buy for spring/summer.  Depending on your lifestyle this could mean jeans and tops and/or more formal clothing for work.  You figure will determine best how you should dress.  Accentuate your best body part.  For example, long slim legs-if you’re over forty, choose slim knee length skirts, and top with a bright colored scoop or boat neck tee(the most flattering styles for all body types).  Add a pair of sandals, flat ballet shoes or a low heel and you’re good to go to work, brunch or an afternoon event.  If you wear a jacket, a short peplum or jean style if you are petite or slim will show off your waist; go to a longer hip length if you are curvy or pair the top with slim trousers or jeans.  Add a straw Trilby hat.  A slightly higher heel will take your into the cocktail hour evening.  To pull the look together, a nice bit of color such as a long floral scarf knotted loosely at the neck or thick gold hoops are perfect.
Be inventive.  Change the buttons on a shirt or jacket to make it one of a kind.  Buy a long white cotton shirt and put if over a pair of leggings and a boyfriend jacket.  Add a beautiful necklace of colored stones and silver, a pair of flat black kids shoes.  Easy, timeless, chic.
Your eventful goal is to put a complete wardrobe together that you will use for years, adding a few pieces in here and there to update.  When shopping for new pieces, choose two anchor colors such as navy and chocolate brown for trousers, skirts and jackets, and three or four accent colors or patterns to pop the look for tops and dresses.  Soon you’ll have a closet full of pieces that don’t fight.  Getting dressed will not be at all stressful and packing or a trip will be very simple.
As you get older, the way clothing hangs on your body will change.  Find a good tailor who understands how to tweak off the rack pieces to fall perfectly.  This is an investment that must be considered, no matter how good your figure is.  The look of custom made clothing is a luxury that can be achieved and is well worth the effort.  A lot of dry cleaners have tailors, and the cost is usually minimal.
Spring is a good time to consider a new hair style or color.  Discuss this at your salon or be adventurous and try a new one that has gotten good reviews from your friends or a magazine.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  It might be fun to put in a few face framing highlights or lighten your color for the upcoming summer.  Do the same with your make-up.  Change your winter foundation and blush.  Have a free makeover at the make-up counter and try a new lip color.  Be fearless.
Visit the spa for a manicure/pedicure and a body scrub to get rid of old winter skin.  Join a yoga class or a Pilates workshop.  Take a long walk and smell the fresh air.  It’s time to get your mind and body moving toward spring, don’t you think?

skipper

Put a little skip in your summer with some nautical touches. I have often thought that it would be fun to find some bright outdoor patio furniture upholstered in a sailcloth and some high gloss all weather furniture.  Does summer put a skip in your step?  

(Today is “Creative Thursday” and I am enjoying the on-line pod casts which I will post about next week!  Marisa’s voice and words always put a skip in my step!)

skipper

Put a little skip in your summer with some nautical touches. I have often thought that it would be fun to find some bright outdoor patio furniture upholstered in a sailcloth and some high gloss all weather furniture.  Does summer put a skip in your step?  

(Today is “Creative Thursday” and I am enjoying the on-line pod casts which I will post about next week!  Marisa’s voice and words always put a skip in my step!)

easy care

pve design – summer shore usa
Summer is a time when life slows down and cares should be easy.  I have always loved the shore at summer, where one finds canvas totes, terry towels, lots of navy and white and just being out near the ocean. Thick head bands, easy-care cottons, perky prints, striped swimsuits, sandals, sunscreen, seagulls soaring and the sound of sails flapping, buoys buoying and the laughter of children playing in the waves without a care in the world, except catching the next wave or ice cream truck.
I do indeed hope that you are having an easy-care summer day, sand and all.

easy care

pve design – summer shore usa
Summer is a time when life slows down and cares should be easy.  I have always loved the shore at summer, where one finds canvas totes, terry towels, lots of navy and white and just being out near the ocean. Thick head bands, easy-care cottons, perky prints, striped swimsuits, sandals, sunscreen, seagulls soaring and the sound of sails flapping, buoys buoying and the laughter of children playing in the waves without a care in the world, except catching the next wave or ice cream truck.
I do indeed hope that you are having an easy-care summer day, sand and all.

easy rider

There is something easy about riding a horse. If you have never had the pleasure of riding, then I encourage you to give it a try. If you are nervous or tense, the horse automatically senses your emotions. Being around animals always soothes me. I associate many terrific books from my childhood with animals, Black Beauty, Charlotte’s Web, and the list goes on and on. I grew up in Kentucky, near a riding stable and still love going to see the horses there and listening to the organ music of the horse shows.  I always found the riders to have a certain elegance, and the exquisite ribbons to be just glorious in color.
When this request came in to illustrate this beautiful horse, “Dewey” – I could hardly wait to capture his gentle demeanor. Here he is feeling so proud, hanging out by the barn, waiting for some carrots after an easy ride. Do you ride? If so, what are some steps you take to ensure an easy ride?

easy as pie

Fresh Peach Pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream
1 cup sour cream Cinnamon Ice Cream
3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar 2 cups heavy cream, divided
4 tablespoons flour 2 cups milk
6-8 fresh ripe peaches, peeled and sliced 1 vanilla bean
1 (9-inch) pie crust, unbaked 3 sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Fresh Peach Pie
Combine sour cream, 3/4 cup sugar and flour in a mixing bowl.  Add sliced peaches, and gently toss by hand.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Combine 1 teaspoon sugar and cinnamon  in a mixing bowl, and sprinkle on top of pie.  Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Lower the heat to 350 degrees, and bake for an additional 45 minutes.  An additional 10 minutes of baking may be required if peaches are very fresh and juicy.  Cool.  Serve chilled or at room temperature with Cinnamon Ice Cream.  
Yield: 8 servings
Cinnamon Ice Cream
Combine 1 cup of the cream with milk in a heavy saucepan.  Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise.  Scrape seeds into saucepan.  Add vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks.  Scaled the mixture.  Set aside.  In a double boiler, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.  Slowly pour in scalded milk and cream.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon.  Remove from heat.  Remove vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks.  Add the remaining 1 cup cream and ground cinnamon.  Chill in refrigerator.  Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  (The easy recipe is to just add a dash of cinnamon to your favorite store bought vanilla!)  Enjoy!
Yield: 1 quart

easy as pie

Fresh Peach Pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream
1 cup sour cream Cinnamon Ice Cream
3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar 2 cups heavy cream, divided
4 tablespoons flour 2 cups milk
6-8 fresh ripe peaches, peeled and sliced 1 vanilla bean
1 (9-inch) pie crust, unbaked 3 sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Fresh Peach Pie
Combine sour cream, 3/4 cup sugar and flour in a mixing bowl.  Add sliced peaches, and gently toss by hand.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Combine 1 teaspoon sugar and cinnamon  in a mixing bowl, and sprinkle on top of pie.  Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Lower the heat to 350 degrees, and bake for an additional 45 minutes.  An additional 10 minutes of baking may be required if peaches are very fresh and juicy.  Cool.  Serve chilled or at room temperature with Cinnamon Ice Cream.  
Yield: 8 servings
Cinnamon Ice Cream
Combine 1 cup of the cream with milk in a heavy saucepan.  Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise.  Scrape seeds into saucepan.  Add vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks.  Scaled the mixture.  Set aside.  In a double boiler, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.  Slowly pour in scalded milk and cream.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon.  Remove from heat.  Remove vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks.  Add the remaining 1 cup cream and ground cinnamon.  Chill in refrigerator.  Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  (The easy recipe is to just add a dash of cinnamon to your favorite store bought vanilla!)  Enjoy!
Yield: 1 quart

take it easy

You know the type of person who just effortlessly seems to do everything with ease.
Well one person that I know who manages to make it look easy lives here. She is a mother of four, has a wonderful business, is up all hours of the wee night, always seems to have some small words that pack a big wallop.

I sent her this illustration as a gentle reminder to take it easy. Life can present challenges in many ways, and having a sense of humor and painting as an outlet can be life-savers for making it look easy. This is a gentle reminder for each of you, “take it easy!”

Feel free to share how you “take it easy” in one small word. Does anyone around you need a reminder to “take it easy?”

easy does it

There is always something appealing about a home that has an “easy does it” sort of look. This lovely and easy on the eyes home belongs to this fine and patriotic gentleman. I am always impressed with the ease and the elegance of the life that this blogger is dedicated to living. When he is not creating an elegant dinner for company, or popping champagne with a saber, he is somehow concocting lively and sporty ensembles for a sultry Summer day. When he posted his cool “Manse” – somehow I could hardly resist in an “easy does it” sort of illustration. I am working on making things easier on me. Somehow there is something altogether elegant about just giving into an agreeable and easy life.
How about you, what are you doing to give yourself an “easy does it” Élan?