Tag Archive: Monday Morning Inspiration

Monday Morning Inspiration/Murder On The Orient Express, the Costumes

It’s a cold, sunny morning in Chicago, 28 degrees. Fog has rolled in over the city like a blanket that promises warmth. The fog is a sign of warmer temperatures that will fool many into thinking that winter is still far, far into the future. But…wint…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Not Your Grandmother’s Fur Part 2

Best laid plans, and then things don’t go as you had hoped. Gracie and I were just about to head out for our Sunday morning hike when I noticed that she was holding her head to the left, as though her ear was hurting. Upon closer inspection, I found th…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Not Your Grandmother’s Fur

Monday is beginning on a rather gray note here in Chicago. Rain is supposed to move in. Gray days are great days to do a little cleaning, so always a silver lining 🙂 Last Saturday, I was so honored to be the guest speaker for the Chicago Are…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Stephen Burrows

It was quite the weekend here in Chicago. The weather forecast was for 1.50″ of rain…we had over 5″! I watched as the river rose, and rose, and rose. Thankfully, the rain did not come all at one time. The river is still very high and has a very …

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Pants, Pants, and Pants

Good Morning!!! Oh my, I have been missing in action. Last Wednesday, I was up early so I could head to Fredericksburg, Virginia to teach at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. I had such a wonderful time. Met lots of wonderful, enthusiastic ladie…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Fancy Pants

Last week, I did the Monday morning post on children’s wear designer, Florence Eiseman as I was especially inspired by her story. Well, you never know who may read a blog post…I actually received a message from one of her grandchildren! Here’s the no…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Florence Eiseman

It has been horribly hot in Chicago the last few days. Last night, I walked Gracie, came home and began getting ready for bed all along thinking about how I couldn’t wait for the temperatures to change and the lovely days of fall to return. As I laid&n…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Maria Pinto Shapes

Around this time of the year, I begin to look at my summer wardrobe and feel quite bored and tired of it, I’m ready for a change. Although it’s not quite cool enough to change over to my fall wardrobe, it’s a nice time to begin looking around for a few…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Wearing It Well

Today is September 11th. Sixteen years ago today, the unimaginable happened. When we think of that day, our thoughts take us back to the horrific images that played over and over for days, weeks, months. But the unimaginable also happened in so ma…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Oscar de la Renta Resort 2018

This is my week to turn the television off :/ A little daunting, at least for me. I like television! I enjoy turning the television on in the morning to catch the latest news, and again in the evening as I prepare dinner. I’m very bad about turning the…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Timeless Fashion and Resources

Two weeks ago, I found out that the yoga studio in my neighborhood offers a weekly restorative yoga class. The first week, I had an excruciating headache. I hate when I get these headaches. They last for 48 hours, regardless of what I do, or what I tak…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/The Roddis Collection

When I crawled into bed last night, I told my husband that I was putting a period on last week. Done.The finale of the week happened yesterday afternoon. My husband and I had gone out for an afternoon drive. Sheridan Road is amazing. If you’ve seen the…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Contemporary Threads

A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law who lives near Milwaukee, sent me an article about an exhibit at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. It’s located in West Bend, a small town about 30 minutes north of Milwaukee. Although it’s a bit of a drive from Chicago, it…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/The Iconic White Shirt

I like to begin the week on an upbeat note, but this morning, I’m sad. As a child, I always knew that my father’s mother had been adopted. She wasn’t adopted as an infant, so it was no secret. The earliest census that I have found shows her to be livin…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Fun, Fresh, Effortless

A friend of mine was so inspired by a past Monday Morning Inspiration post that I did on Carolina Herrera that it prompted her to recreate one of the dresses. She did a beautiful job, and I think it is now one of her favorite dresses. Nice!My friend’s …

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Pantsuits Are Back!

Happy Monday All :)Last week, my husband purchased a regular bird feeder, and a hummingbird feeder. I have feeders out in the garden, hanging in trees. More often than not, regardless of what I do, the squirrels have a heyday, but…they need to eat to…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/A Soldier’s Story

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States, a day to remember those who have fought for our country. It’s a gorgeous day here in Chicago, and I will most likely spend most of my day outside. Rather than my typical Monday morning inspiration p…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration

Happy Monday!I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was spent cleaning and clearing out. We had our neighborhood garage sale yesterday. Thankfully, the clouds parted and for the most part, we had a lovely day. Nothing I sold was of any grea…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Spring Stripes

Happy Monday Everyone!!!Did ya miss me?…naaaa ;)I’ve been missing in action for about 10 days. Just a lot on my plate, so I decided to be good to myself and just not put too much pressure on myself. What pushed me over the edge was a phone call from …

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration

It’s Monday, and it’s also the first day of the month. May 1st is my personal kickoff to spring, so this is a very happy day for me. We had SO much rain over the weekend. My garden is quite happy, weeds and flowers alike 😉 The blooms have finished on …

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Write On!

I have always loved to write. Now yes, I love to tell a story, but when I say write, I mean actually write on something. When I was just about 5 years old, the writing bug really got a hold of me! And, for some reason, the floor seemed like the perfect…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Victoria Beckham

This past weekend, the temperatures here in Chicago were FABULOUS!!! If you’ve seen the video, you know that I was out at the airport on Saturday. So sorry about the poor quality of the video, but hopefully you get at least an idea. There was a ti…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/The Beret

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine and I were shopping, not for anything in particular, just going in and out of some fun shops. We popped into a store that sold shoes (I can’t walk past a shoe store without going in!!!), tights and hats. We both s…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Shock Wave

While I was in Denver, I had the opportunity to go to the Denver Art Museum and see a wonderful exhibit on Japanese designers who began a fashion revolution during the 1980s and 90s.  The exhibit is entitled Shock Wave. It was fascinating and…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Cocktails With The King and Queen of England

This will be a departure from our usual Monday Morning Inspiration post. 


Last December, I invited a few friends over for a small holiday gathering. During the evening, as usually happens, the subject of sewing cropped up. A friend commented that his uncle had been stationed in England during WWII and had continued his post for some time. He said that in 1949, his uncle was invited to have cocktails with the King and Queen of England, and had written a letter home detailing his experience. He thought that I would enjoy the letter for the description of the clothing. While the description is not elaborate, it’s still quite interesting. 

So many of you are Downton Abbey fans, so I thought you would enjoy a real life account of an extraordinary evening. I asked my friend for permission to share the letter and he was honored to think that others might enjoy it too!

Enjoy 🙂

Cocktails With The King and Queen of Great Britain

“Sculthorpe was the closest base to Sandringham, where the royal family occasionally stayed.  At that time, George VI was the king. He was married to Queen Elizabeth, the present Queen Mother.  I was a ‘neighbor’ of the royal family. They invited various neighbors to Sandringham for a ‘sherry party.’ The occasion was on Feb. 22, celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.”  Sal wrote home about this experience in a letter that was subsequently published as follows:
92d Group Commander Tells Of Visit With King and Queen
The following is a letter received from Col. Salvatore E. Manzo, 92nd Bomb Group Commander, describing his recent visit to the King and Queen of England.
24 February 1949
In this letter I want to tell you about my visit with the King, Queen, and Princess Margaret at the King’s residence, Sandringham.
On Tuesday morning, 22nd Feb., I was having a staff meeting in my office when I was interrupted by a telephone call from Sandringham. It was an equerry in the King’s household inviting me to a cocktail party in the name of the King at Sandringham that evening at 6:00o’clock sharp. I was asked to bring one other officer with me. He made it a point to make sure that I understood the exact time.
You can imagine my reaction to that invitation. I was flabbergasted! I never expected to be invited to any affair attended by the Royal Family, let alone a cocktail party at their home. None of the Americans who have been here before me in the rotation of B-29 Groups have been invited, and no one from the other units presently here was invited. I have no idea why I was so fortunate to be selected. Lt. Col. Bill Norvell, my executive officer, went with me.
I told the driver of the RAF staff car we have to find out how to get there and to pick us up at 5:00 P.M.  Sandringham isn’t far from here. When I told the driver, an RAF airman, where we were going, he was astonished and immediately took off to polish the car and make preparations.  He was the envy of all his fellow airmen. A short time later he returned and suggested that we leave at 4:45 just to be sure.
We left at 5:00 and arrived at Sandringham at 5:30.  Since we were early we drove around the countryside to kill some time. At 5:45we approached the gate to the grounds and were stopped by a tall, immaculate bobby.  I told him we were expected at 6:00. He asked me my name, and when I replied he recognized that I was a guest without even referring to a list.  We went into the beautifully landscaped grounds and up to the enormous mansion.  Another bobby showed us where to park. Since we were early we sat in the car and waited for 6:00 o’clock.  In a few minutes the bobby said it would be all right to go in, so we actually entered the house about 5:50.  We were the first guests to arrive, and we were met at the door by two doormen who took our coats and checked our names against their list. The doormen were in uniform, of course. We waited there in this large entrance hall until the equerry who had called me came out. In the meantime some other titled guests had arrived and were waiting also. The equerry took me by the arm and led me to the room in which the party was to be held. I was first to enter.
The Queen and Princess Margaret came forward to greet me as I entered. Bill was right behind me. The equerry introduced me and they extended their hand in greeting. We chatted for a minute or so when the King walked into the room.  The Queen said, “Ah, here’s the King.”
Then she presented me to the King, who also extended his hand. Other guests were beginning to come in so we moved away.
It was a lovely room. The rugs, furniture, tapestries or paintings which covered the walls, and the swords and shields on the walls were all exquisite.  It was a very warm and friendly atmosphere. The waiters, of which there were six, wore uniforms of the King’s regiments with his monogram embroidered on the chest. They kept coming around with drinks and delicious canapés. They served whiskey, sherry, and gin. For the first time in England I got some ice in my drink.
There were 27 guests plus the Royal Family and a few members of the household [ladies-in-waiting, etc.] The party was small enough so you could meet and talk to everyone The guests were grand to us.
About 6:30 Lady Peale, one of the Queen’s favorite ladies-in-waiting, came to me and said she wanted to show me the drawing room across the hall. It was a lovely room with beautiful furniture, etc., fireplace at each end of the room with roaring fires in them, a lovely piano, and many trinkets. She said it had been the favorite room of Queen Alexandra, the King’s grandmother. Most of the objects in it were things that she had collected around the world. There was a large cabinet with tiny figurines of all kinds of animals in different types of stone, ivory, jade, etc. They were a collection of Queen Alexandra’s. Lady Peale showed me a full size painting of her.  She had been a beautiful woman.
About 6:45 I was able to make my way to where the King was sitting on the arm of a chair talking to some people. As I approached he saw me and stood up. The other guests then moved away and I was left talking with the King alone. We talked for about 15 or 20 minutes. Lady Peale had previously told me that Kings of all ages, they like people who amuse them. She said the King liked funny stories. I’ll be darned if I could think of a one.
We talked of many things; the past war, the present world conditions, the Atlantic Pact, our presence in England, his health, Eisenhower’s book and his recent appointment as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pheasant hunting, and a few other things. He is very concerned about the condition of the world today. He was afraid that the American people might still regard the ocean as too great a security factor when actually in this modern age it is not. I assured him that the American people, if anything, were more frightened of the prospects of another war than were his people because the British people have been so close to the threat and source of war for so long that they are better disciplined and more used to it.  He agreed with that. About Eisenhower’s book, he said that it was very well written, easy to read, and very fair. He likes Ike. He said that it was very interesting to read about other people’s reactions to the big decisions that were made during the war.
He told me that his health is much improved and that he is “now back on a full engine, all four cylinders.” He looked very fit.
All the time we were talking he was standing. The Queen and Mr. Keith were talking to Bill not far from us. About 7:00o’clock they came over. The Queen was concerned that he might be tired after standing so long, but he said no.
Bill and I worked on them a bit to visit the Group at Schulthorpe. Brazen Americans! Actually they said they’d love to but they were leaving on Thursday, the 24th, to return to London. The Queen said that maybe they could make it early in May.  I said we were leaving early in May and suggested April if they could. She said, “Can I climb up one of those little ladders and see the B-29 inside?”  She is wonderful.
I know you’re interested in what the ladies wore so I’ll try to describe it. Since it was an informal party the ladies wore cocktail dresses and no hats. The Queen had on a beige cocktail dress, solid color, with a silver fox neckpiece over her right shoulder down to her waist. She had on a 3-string pearl necklace of huge pearls, and a diamond and emerald clip on her left shoulder, earrings and bracelet to match. She had on a moderate amount of make-up and no fingernail polish. She looked beautiful, always smiling. Princess Margaret had on a cocktail dress. I believe it was chartreuse in color with brown dots on it. She was very attractive and not as short as I had pictured her. I didn’t talk to her much but I liked her.
The King wore a sport suit of tweed, predominately gray. He had on a blue shirt, a red and black tie, and brown suede shoes.
The person who impressed me most was the Queen. She is lovely, and charm personified. She was a perfect hostess, circulating among her guests, and always smiling. She appeared very interested in anything anyone said to her and she made us feel right at home. As a matter of fact, they all made us feel at home. Never once were we uncomfortable.
I forgot to mention, all the men wore business suits except Bill and I and Air Commodore McKee, the only RAF officer there.
To go on with the final events, about 7:05 guests started to take their leave. I was still talking to the King, Queen, and Princess Margaret. I moved away so they could bid their guests goodbye and got in line with the others. Then Princess Margaret’s dog came in and she started feeding it canapés. I went over to watch for a moment and lost my place in line, so I got on the end of the line. As a result I was the first to arrive and the last to leave. Their Majesties and the Princess shook hands as we left. In my conversations with them I called the King “Sir” and the Queen “Ma’am,” which is proper for an officer in uniform.
Back in the entrance hall I obtained the list of invited guests that the doorman had. I asked him if he had to retain it, and he asked me if I would like to have it. Of course I said, “Yes.” It has the royal crest and the words Sandringham, Norfolk engraved on it. Preceding the names of the guests is the following heading: “Their Majesties’ Sherry Party, February 22, 1949.”
Needless to say, the experience was one of the most thrilling of my life. I was greatly impressed with everyone and everything. It was a great honor for me, and I shall remember it the rest of my life. –  Col. Salvatore E. Manzo


Most of us who remember the Queen Mother only remember her as an older woman. I was intrigued, so I did a bit of research to see her in her younger days. 

Her wedding day.

In the movie, “The King’s Speech,” the Queen is depicted as a woman who truly loved her husband. That sentiment comes through is the above letter as well. 

I think she was also a very devoted mother.

I just had to include this picture. Here she is fishing, but, take note of the pearls!!! It must have been a signature piece for her as it is mentioned in the letter, and if you look at each picture, she is wearing pearls in all.


I hope you enjoyed the letter.

Have a wonderful week!
Rhonda

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Flower Power Fashion

Jill of The Denver Sewing Collective recently shared a link to a very interesting website, Moomooi. Now it’s no secret that I love flowers, so…this was right up my alley 🙂 

Moomooi is the work of Meredith Wing. Her training and background is in fashion design as well as architecture. In 2014, her #SomeFlowerGirls illustrations rapidly gained a huge following and now her client list is mind boggling. She combines illustration with flowers, vegetables, and other found objects. I’ve included a few of my favorites below. You can see more HERE

Check out this video that showcases accessories featuring her delightful designs. I think she needs to start designing a fabric line!!!

Just goes to show…

“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.”

Ray Bradbury
read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Oscar de la Renta Resort 2017

Last week, I told you about a book that I was reading, Gary, The Most American of All American Cities. I found the book to be extremely interesting, and enlightening. Rather than watch the Grammy Awards last night, I finished my book. How are you when …

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Not Your Grandmother’s Lace Part 2

Last Friday I received an email from Mood Fabrics showcasing a piece of red lace and a red polka dotted tulle. The dress below was the inspiration piece, and I was in love. If you are wondering…yep, I bought the fabric!!! HERE’S a link to the lace, a…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/Stella McCartney Resort 2017

Terri of Virginia’s Daughter posted some pictures on Instagram that caught my attention. The pieces that she posted were from the Stella McCartney 2017 resort collection. Since I liked them, I thought you might too :)Love the lines of this dress.Anothe…

read more

Monday Morning Inspiration/The First Ladies

The events of this past weekend prompted me to take a look back at past inaugurations. What began as simple curiosity, turned into admiration as I looked back at the gowns, and more so, the wives of past presidents. I looked at their smiling faces, wea…

read more