I started my summer reading with a book I didn’t know was on my list.  When I picked up my books from the library,  I came across Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire. It was written by Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, which I read a year or so ago and very much enjoyed.

Guiliano was president and CEO of the champagne company Veuve Cliquot, taking it from 1% to 25% of the market share during her tenure.  The lessons she learned and her approach to life as a native Frenchwoman  inform the stories and advice she gives to working women in this fun and helpful read.

Much more than a typical business “self help” book, Guiliano is a mentor for women who want to be lovely and accomplished, stylish and interesting, and create a life that is balanced and enjoyable.

Visit Guiliano’s website to read an excerpt.

I often visit the websites of creative women for inspiration.  Here are a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!

www.rachelriley.com/us


Rachel Riley
:  “vintage style traditional clothes hand crafted in soft fabrics & nostalgic haberdashery”

Susan Branch
: author and illustrator

British Cream Tea: Delicious British Felt Food Treats made from 100% recycled felt

Kate Spade “Behind the Curtain”
: the people and projects behind the scenes at this fashion design company

Yeohlee Teng design from Fall 2009 collection

Yeohlee Teng design from Fall 2009 collection

Yeohlee Teng design from Spring 2007 collection

Yeohlee Teng design from Spring 2007 collection

I attended  a talk by fashion designer Yeohlee Teng last night, and I’m dying to see the exhibition of her work at the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas.  She spoke of the relationship between her clothing designs and architecture and between the locally-grown food movement and locally-made clothing.  She also talked about the economy of fabric, creating “zero waste” garments.

I’m taken with her ideas about space and our clothing — the space between our bodies and our garments and the relationship between our clothing and the architecture that surrounds us.  She has an independent business rather than being part of a large fashion house.  She mentioned that this arrangement allows her to explore the idea that a cube can be a skirt — and a skirt can be a cube — and that’s lovely.

I’ve been staying up way too late the last few nights, reading Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay.  I found a book of her collected poems at an estate sale last weekend, that includes the following poem:Edna St. Vincent Millay

Autumn Daybreak

Cold wind of autumn, blowing loud
At dawn, a fortnight overdue,
Jostling the doors, and tearing through
My bedroom to rejoin the cloud.

I know — for I can hear that hiss
And scrape of leaves along the floor —
How many boughs, lashed bare by this,
Will rake the cluttered sky once more.

Tardy, and somewhat south of east,
The sun will rise at length, made known
More by the meagre light increased
Than by a disk in splendour shown;

When, having but to turn my head,
Through the stripped maple I shall see,
Bleak and remembered, patched with red,
The hill all summer hid from me.

I’ve added a couple of new items to my Etsy shop: a set of four “Petite Sweet Sentiments” cards and a set of four small ivory panel cards with entries from a 1957 dictionary for bodice, bolero, beret, and blouse.  They were fun to make, and I think they turned out to be sweet and elegant.

And the last batch of photos from the McNay Art Museum…so many lovely ladies!

I just added new notecards to my Etsy shop!  These were created from ads in the 1964 Ladies Home Journal that I bought at an antique store on Saturday.  I’ve pulled out ads for Clairol, Kodak, and Chef Boyardee ravioli to highlight on these cards.  Visit my Etsy shop to see the full set of 4.

I’m going to San Antonio for part of the weekend.  It’s the first time I’ve visited, and I can’t wait to see the Alamo.  I’m stocked up with suggestions for the best places to visit for food, shopping, and site seeing.  I can already tell that I’ll need to make a return trip.  Look for these photos next week!