A Little Bit of LA

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Family, Travel

We were in LA at the start of the new year. The weather was more than I could have hoped for- a few days of sunshine goes a long way. And wouldn’t you know, Brian’s cousin Fritz, from Official Mfg Co, was in town as well! We had a great time spending the day with Fritz- he was able to show us some instillations he’d done at The Gap in The Grove a few years ago. The Farmer’s Market meets right up to The Grove, which made for an interesting new/old/high/low contrast. And of course, I can’t be in LA and not visit The Getty.

Fritz made sure to mention that his mom, Cindy, helped sew this flag. Shoutout to Aunt Cindy!

Oh man, looking at these photos, I’m wondering why I live in such a rainy place! But I know why- the rain makes our plants look so good when the sun does come out.






Maid of Honor Sneak Peek

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Family, Fashion

Tomorrow is my sister’s wedding day! Would you like a sneak peek of my outfit as Maid of Honor?

1. J. Crew Arabelle Dress  

2. J. Crew Peal Cluster Necklace (from several years ago)

3. Loeffler Randall Mignon Flat Sandal

I should have some great pictures of the reception next week. Enjoy your weekend!


My Grandmother’s House


There aren’t many things that have changed in my Grandma Ginny’s house over the years. She’s gotten new furniture and updated her kitchen, but the core statement pieces have remained the same. I was inspired to photograph her living and dining areas recently, and I found that looking at her home through a camera gave me a new appreciation for her decor. She has lived in this house since the early sixties, but nothing about it feels outdated. Take a look!

All photos by me! Gretchen Lilly


My Muse, My Man

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Family, Photos

Great Art

1,171 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Family, Inspiration, Travel

We just got back from Arizona, where Brian has family and friends.  It’s so nice to get out of the cold and the rain for a while.  To be perfectly honest, though, I’ve learned that when I live in a place where it doesn’t rain like, at least every 10 days or so, I get a bit off kilter.

For a few days of the vacation, we stayed with Brian’s grandparents, Cookie and Dottie, who probably have the coolest grandparent names ever.  In fact, I love to drop their names into conversation, like I know a celebrity or something.  Cookie’s mother was quite a painter, and her art is found all over their house.  Here are some of my favorites:


Self portrait of Margaret, Brian’s Great Grandmother, 1945.  Self portraits can show a lot of honesty, and I think this is a great example of that.


Portraits of Cookie and his younger brother, Eddie.  These paintings aren’t very big, maybe seven or eight inches high.  I imagine Margaret painting these very quickly and easily, wanting to capture her boys before they went off to play.


Pattern Crush: Busybodies

601 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Family, Inspiration, Sewing


Back in the day, it was actually cheaper to make clothes than to buy them.  My mother made most of the clothes my sister and I wore, and we loved it.  Going to the fabric store to choose a pattern, picking out the fabric for the new outfit, listening to Mom sew and sew until it was all done!  Around the early 90s, the fine people at Butterick came up with a new line of patterns for girls: Busybodies.  The clothes were fashionable, yet could stand up to some time on the playground.  This didn’t mean a thing to me and my sister; for us, it was all about the Busybodies Girls.

The same four (illustrated) girls were depicted on every pattern cover.  A cross between The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins, they were the girls my sister and I wanted to be: fashionable, carefree, and confident, with beautiful hair and killer accessories.

As anyone who sews can tell you, it is totally awesome to take something that is just an idea, or a picture, and turn it into a unique piece of custom clothing.  Busybodies opened up that door for me.  I fell in love with those illustrated girls, and my mom was able to give me my own little part of the Busybodies world.  It wasn’t too long before I began sewing my own clothing, and eventually, it was no longer about Becoming a Busybodies Girl- it was about making my OWN clothes and developing my own style.

I still have a soft spot for those girls.  I called my sister up to tell her about a Busybodies pattern I’d seen at a thrift store recently.  We still agree that they are the coolest girls we’ve ever seen.


I had my mom make an exact replica of this illustration!  Proudly wearing my new outfit on the first day of fifth grade.

PS: Thanks, Mom for the hundreds of outfits you sewed for all of us!


Vampire Weekend

669 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Family, Inspiration, Travel

Well, I was out of town this weekend for a wedding in Forks, WA.  This wasn’t a vampire-themed affair; the groom (Brian’s cousin) was born and raised there.  What a beautiful, home-made wedding it was!  The parents of the groom hosted a few dozen campers in their backyard for the days leading up to the wedding.  The ceremony itself took place across the street in a neighbor’s front yard.  There was a real feeling of community- family and friends put together the flowers and table settings, as well as the food.  I think my favorite part was the beautiful patchwork of linens and dishware that the bride and groom had been gathering from Goodwill for months.

I think you all will be just as inspired as I am by the beautiful simplicity of this affair:






Don’t you just love the kids’ table?  And what about the stump seats?  They were just as comfortable as any chair.  Anyone else feel the urge to start collecting vintage table linens?


Tea Time

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Family, Photos

About a month ago my mom and I were in Portland, OR for a baby shower.  My sister suggested the three of us get dinner at this great Thai restaurant in her neighborhood.  I snapped a few photos while we were drinking our tea:

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