Category Archives: Inspiring Women

Penguin Threads {Jillian Tamaki}

And the Christmas gift list begins! I am absolutely blown away by these beautiful hand-embroidered Penguin Classics book covers by illustrator Jillian Tamki!  I can think of so many people who I would love to give {and who would love to receive} one of these for Christmas!

The books will be available starting this month. Unfortunately, they will not be individually embroidered, as you could imagine how terribly time consuming for the artist and expensive for us, the consumer, that would be!  According to Jillian’s blog, “they will, however, be beautifully produced, printed with a sculptural-embossing technique that will emphasize the stitches.”

Here are a few photos from Jillian’s site

I especially love all the detail… like the quote you see on the back cover of Emma. “One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”

The books can be purchased here at the Penguin website. They are also available now for pre-order on Barnes & Noble’s site.

{I do apologize for using the words “Christmas list” in October. It’s ok~ catch your breath! There’s still time Mrs. Claus.}

Gracious Gal


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Filed under Art, Books, handmade, Inspiring Women

Doing what you can, with what you have…

My mom, who is such a gracious gal, came up with the most wonderful idea.  She started baking goodies last week and taking them to work to raise money for Susan G. Komen. So far, she has sold out of rice krispie treats and carrot cupcakes, raising about $20 for the cause. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot. But, Imagine how much we could give if one person in every office in your city did this- just one time! That could multiply to be a pretty big number!

I put my mom’s idea into action at my office with these pumpkin pie bars

By 11:00 they were all gone! Maybe together, she and I can raise $100 this month! It’s really a win-win… these bars are yummy!

{Here is a link to Susan G. Komen’s breast self awareness page. Prevention is just as important as the fight.}


Gracious Gal

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” {Theodore Roosevelt}

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Filed under Food, Inspiring Women, Reflections

Nest Pretty Things {p.s. happy autumn}

You know that feeling you get when you see something a crafter has made on etsy, or a blog, or at a show, and it’s so wonderful your heart skips a beat and you sigh quietly to yourself in awe?  Well, that’s the feeling I got when I saw the creations of Tamar for her line Nest Pretty Things.  And her images make her creations even more desirable, if that’s possible!  Take a look at some of the pictures from her Etsy page…

Isn’t it lovely?  Check out her blog for more amazing-ness!

Oh, and happy Autumn!  It officially starts today!

Gracious Gal

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Filed under Art, Blogs, Crafts, handmade, Inspiring Women

Lovely Quotes: J.K. Rowling

“It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
— J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

(photo via goodreads)

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Filed under Books, Inspiring Women, Quotes, Reflections

Anna Maria Horner {Southern Women Wednesday}

Sometime, somewhere, you have without a doubt seen the colorful, and gorgeous designs of Anna Maria Horner.  She is by far one of my favorite fabric and pattern designers.  But, what is so interesting to me about Anna Maria is not just her beautiful line of textiles, gift items, and sewing books {to name a few}, but the fact that she runs this successful business while being a wife and mother to 6~ yes, SIX~ kids!  I read her blog, I visit her site, I see the projects she works on… how does she have the time?!  And on top of it all, she seems to do it so gracefully!

Speaking of grace, Anna Maria has such a gracious heart.  In response to the 2010 Nashville flood,  {Nashville is where Anna Maria lives and my home away from home}, she started the Rainbow Around the Block quilting project for families in Middle Tennessee who lost so much in the flood.  The project brought quilters from across the country together to give flood victims a piece of art made with love.

“It is a simple mission, but it’s one that we hope will be far reaching and one that will give homemade comfort to as many people as possible.”

Watch this video to see some of the quilt blocks that were donated:


To keep up with Anna Maria, follow her blog… and prepare yourself to be “wowed” by this amazing, southern woman!


Gracious Gal


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Filed under Art, Blogs, Crafts, handmade, Inspiring Women, Nashville, Sewing, Southern

Lovely Quotes: Kathleen Winsor

“Charm is the ability to make someone else think that both of you are pretty wonderful.” — author Kathleen Winsor

(Image via goodreads)

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Filed under Beauty, Inspiring Women, Quotes

The Long Thread: Ellen Luckett Baker

Lately, I have been thinking of a way I can incorporate themes into my blog {think “Tuesday Shoesday”, “Follow Friday”, Etc.}  So many amazing female artists, stylists, bloggers, and entrepreneurs that I love are based out of New York or LA.  But, many are right here in the South!  So I have decided to dedicate Wednesdays to women in the South who inspire me- loosely themed “Southern Women Wednesdays”.

So, Happy Wednesday!  And let me introduce you to Ellen…

I follow The Long Thread on Twitter, but not until recently did I realize, Ellen Luckett Baker, the creator behind the The Long Thread’s website, tutorials, and inspiration lives right here in Atlanta!  Ellen offers great sewing tutorials on her site, and shares those she finds on other crafter’s sites as well.  She has been posting her creations on The Long Thread for four years now, and recently published a new book, 1 2 3 Sew, which includes 33 simple projects to help you build your sewing skills.  I really enjoy her “Long List of Crafty Links” page, where she shares other great DIY blogs.  And I love even more her “Sewing Tutorials” page!  She has her projects categorized into Baby and Kids, Home, Pincushions, and Accessories making it really easy to find a project that fits what I’m in the mood to create.

Watch the trailer for her new book here…



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Filed under Art, Blogs, Books, Crafts, handmade, Inspiring Women, Sewing