The Blue Gardenia

And now for a non-pattern moment, let's admire a canine pal! July 30, 2014 22:54

His Bertness and Atchison enjoy a lazy Saturday afternoon.
His Bertness and Atchison enjoy a lazy Saturday afternoon.


I haven't shown any pictures of Atchison and Emma lately, so let me rectify part of that dilemma. This is Atchison, enjoying some time on His Bertness's lap. Emma, by the way, is not the camera hog that Atchison is — that is why I show fewer pics of her on the blog.

Aren't you feeling more relaxed now? Sort of like you've meditated for 5 minutes?

Atchison lazes. No Topeka or Santa Fe in sight. December 8, 2013 22:30


Atchison spent a lazy Sunday in bed without the New York Times.

He would have gotten up for brunch, if we had served it. Alas . . .

If there's no food, why get up until it's time for walkies?

A moment for something personal: 21st wedding anniversary! October 26, 2012 10:48 3 Comments

His Bertness and I celebrated our 21st wedding anny this week! Isn't that something? Yes, I think so. Definitely. Naturally, we had cake. Naturally, we shared it with the pups! I would love to share a pic of all of us together. Alas, we haven't unpacked the tripod.

Emma, alas, is not the camera piggy that Atchison is. She's bored with sharing her beauty. Oh. Well.

She did have a small slice of cake. She adores frosting. Never finds buttercream dull in the least. My girl indeed!

My canine pals: Meet Atchison, the formerly white Lab. July 10, 2012 07:28 2 Comments


Oh my. It rained here in ABQ yesterday. We needed it. Desperately. Drought. Heat. All that. After it stopped, I let the little guy outside (and I use that adjective loosely, considering he weighs 86 pounds) to do his business. This is how he returned. I only wish that my memory card had not been full and that I had taken a better picture so that you could see his face. It was much worse than it looks. It was. Ever so. Mud from nose to tail. Thick. Dense. Undercarriage black. It took many washcloths to get him clean. (He refused to get in the bath. Yes, I'm puppy-whipped. And picking him up and putting him into the tub? Not hardly.) At any rate, he had a very good time outdoors. He did. And I spent 40 minutes getting him clean. Yes, 40.

Learning to sew: How a hand-picked side zipper should look! March 23, 2012 01:18 8 Comments

At least, in my ever-so-humble opinion. This was done by my former dressmaker in Houston. It's a Vogue Special Design from 1947, complete Sidezipred
with huge handmade shoulder pads. (I have lost about 20 pounds since this dress was made back in the '90s. Hence, the less than perfect fit.) This is also an excellent illustration of pattern pieces and the pattern illustration not quite matching. The drawing showed a pencil skirt; the pattern pieces were A-line. My dressmaker pointed this  out to me before she cut the fabric, and I told her to go with the line drawing. I'm not sure that was the correct decision. But. I love the dress anyway.

Back to my original subject, the one I touted in the headline: Didn't she do a terrific job on the zipper? You can barely see her stitches. Look closely. One day . . . Of course, this is a side-lapped zipper. Mine is a centered one.

(And, yup, that's Atchison's rear end.)

Why let sleeping dogs lie? Because they are so cute. Absolutely. March 19, 2012 16:30 2 Comments

Oh. Oh. Oh. He's so full of cutitude! I adore my little Atchison. Yes, he does shed. A lot. Look closely: You'll see dog hair on His Bertness's slacks. You will. Won't even have to use your magnifying glass. Still. Atchison is worth it. So very. Yes indeed.

And, yes, I have been sewing. I have. Pics to come. Later.

You asked for them. You got them: Pics of pups. At play. February 5, 2012 08:22 2 Comments

You did ask for them, right? Some of you, anyway. So. Never say I don't listen. Never say I am not eager to please. Never say I don't try to be in tune to your desires. Never.

This happens several times a day. The pups wrestle.

Atchison, the Lab, looks fierce. Don't believe it. At least not where Emma is concerned. He adores her. He does.

Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. They love this game. Yes, indeedy.

And that, my friends, is my Sunday. That, and homemade mocha, and Out of the Past, my favorite movie. Robert Mitchum. Snappy dialogue. Life just doesn't get any better. Does it?


My canine pals: A boy without his cone January 26, 2012 23:41 6 Comments

Atchison is enjoying the cone-free life. Absolutely. Thoroughly.

He's a total camera ham. He is.

And he loves the changing of the bed linens. Snuggling into the clean laundry. What fun. Just ask him.

Look at that cute puppy face. Humor me. Please.

The last is my favorite. Yes indeedy. So. Be a good reader and oooh and aaahh over the little guy. All 65 pounds of him. You'll make me so happy. You will.

My canine pals: A boy and his cone January 12, 2012 09:40 5 Comments

I'm waiting. Waiting for the washing machine repairman to arrive and do his job. So. What better thing to do than share some pictures of Atchison and his cone. Isn't he the cutest? A regular cat's meow?

Don't worry. He's fine. He simply underwent that male dog rite of passage. Yes. He was neutered. I think it was tougher on His Bertness than it was for the little guy. (Yes, that is our moving and packing chaos behind Atchison.)

Meet a wild pal in our outdoor cafe. Cute? Cuddly? You decide. August 15, 2011 13:36 3 Comments

This lone javelina enjoys a tomato peel near our deck. Isn't he rather cute? To cuddling, I say no. Loudly. Firmly.  By the way, he refused to eat the tomatillo. Perhaps because of the worm that jumped out of it? Of course, that is the reason I tossed it. 

I know. There are those who frown on feeding these peccaries, which normally travel in packs. But. They were here first. They were. Absolutely. And the pups do so enjoy watching them from the safety of our deck. And how.

My canine pals: She's even cute when she scratches. June 7, 2011 01:52 3 Comments

And that's good. Because Emma scratches quite a bit. Fleas, you ask? No. Dry skin. It's so arid here. This is, after all, the high desert. Humidity is low. Today, for instance, it's 11%. And that is not unusual. Emma is on a strict fish oil regimen. Still, the beautiful one itches.

One blue eye. One brown. Emma the Malamute guards the deck. June 3, 2011 18:16 2 Comments


Emma watches for javelina from our deck. They often wander through our backyard. Isn't she gorgeous? She is. Absolutely. And I am not a biased parent. No way.

Puppy! (Cute, of course.) And his beautiful older sibling. March 25, 2011 14:46 4 Comments

Caninepals1 Atchison and Miss Emma played on the deck today, under the pine trees. They love the cool air. They love the sunshine. So do I. 

Caninepals2They love each other. They do. So very much.

Caninepals3Are they not adorable? They are. Absolutely. Totally. I am one proud steward of our pups.

Atchison weighs — gulp! — 41½ pounds. Yes, that's 41½ pounds. And he's only four months and one week old. He's so big. He is. And need I say that he loves food? Breakfast. Dinner. Snacks. He loves them all.

He's winking at you. March 15, 2011 16:40 11 Comments

My  little canine pal Atchison celebrates four months on the planet tomorrow. He's quite the handful. He is. He knows how to sit. He knows how to fetch. He knows how to shake hands. (Or should I say paws?) 

I love puppy pics. Don't you? Humor me. Say yes.

Be glamorous. Be cute. But whatever you do, do it in style. March 13, 2011 18:08

Vcd_509 It's that time. It is. Time to stop procrastinating (a natural talent, if you will) and add patterns to The Blue Gardenia. His Bertness has been scanning, Photoshopping, etc., just for you. A few of my own personal favorites:

Vogue Couturier Design 509 from 1949. Totally gorgeous. Totally sophisticated. Unusual seaming. Unusual asymmetrical skirt. It's in Bust 38.

Vpo_1162_lanvin-castillo Vogue Paris Original 1162 from the early 1960s, designed by Lanvin-Castillo. Cocktail dress or evening gown, stole and flounced half-slip to make the skirt hang to perfection. So sexy. So beautiful. So red-carpet worthy. Again, a Bust 38. (Aren't you curvy women lucky this update? You are. Absolutely.) Again, you can find this fabulous style at The Blue Gardenia.

Elephant_apron_mccall_509 McCall 506, copyright 1937. Cherries, flowers, pink elephants. Do aprons get any better? I think not. This fabulous apron offers so many choices. To pleat or to gather? To pocket, to not? 

And, of course, there are many more patterns just added. You'll find new additions in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, aprons, maternity and lingerie sections. And The Blue Gardenia happily accepts American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Paypal and Visa. And, yes, we ship abroad. We do.

The puppy ate my blog posts. February 9, 2011 08:08 16 Comments

Well, not exactly. But there is a new member of our family, Atchison, and that particular member has proven to be a time Hoover. Truly. He vacuums all my time right up.

He's ten weeks old. He's a Lab. He's adorable. (Stating the obvious. I know.) He's mischievous. He's annoying. He has that irresistible puppy scent. He always has a better idea. And he is oh-so-very lovable. Absolutely.

Oh. Let me not forget: He's stubborn. He's energetic. Yes indeed.

I love him. His Bertness loves him. Miss Emma loves him. (And some skeptics say there is no such thing as love at first sight. Oh, you doubting Thomasinas and Thomases.)

And. Yes. Miss Emma is a saint. She is. Oh, sure. She adores him. She does. I know it. But. Sometimes —  in those rare moments — I think she'd really like to snap at him. I do. But she is forbearing. Long-suffering. Patient. A perfect older sister.


Ms. Emma the Malamute is a snow bunny. Absolutely. December 30, 2010 10:11 7 Comments

The East Coast had its blizzard. And we had a winter storm. Very cold. Lots of snow. Definitely snuggling weather. Down coat weather. Or if you are a Malamute, perfect weather. None better. Yes indeedy.

A slight smile, I think. Ms. Emma enjoyed the great outdoors while Bert shoveled a path for dinner guests who braved the storm. (And did not get pecan pie for their efforts. Alas. We can be such lazy hosts. Oh so. But they did get gumbo, which was excellent. His Bertness cooked up a very tasty pot of it. Chicken. Andouille. A nearly black roux. Yum bunnies. And did I mention cornbread?)

A moment of sadness, I think, for her beloved brother, Henry Jones. She misses him. Terribly. As do we all. But we were so very blessed to have him for 9 years and 7 months. So very. We love him so. 


Save the chaise for Henry Jones. (Yes. I adore Johnny Mercer.) June 12, 2010 15:18 5 Comments

Indulge me, dear readers, for a moment. Or two. Or three. Please. Our oldest dog, Henry Jones, usually watches over me as I do The Blue Gardenia shipping. Today was no exception.

He seemed especially adorable today. So. Naturally, I had to get the camera. Naturally, I had to share. Because you want to know. Right? Of course you do. Say you do. You don't want to make me cry. Do you?

You can tell he is having deep puppy thoughts here. Doubtless, he is pondering what I should make next. After all, I am almost finished with the Asian skirt. Almost. So close. The hem, and I am there.

Oh my. A potential threat. 
 On the street below our window. It could be an innocent jogger. Or it could be a terrorist disguising himself as a senior citizen in a baseball cap. I cannot tell the difference. I can't. But Henry can.

Oh. Thank Henry! Disaster averted. Shipping's ready. A quick trip to the post office, and I can return to sewing. Absolutely. I have needle and thread close at hand.