Bemusements

Thoughts for the day and musings on day to day life news stories

Less is More when Dressing Well

Few men are as well dressed as Barack Obama. He has a formula for his classic style:  one part perfectly fitted dark suit, one part crisp white shirt and one part conservative tie, usually in a solid red or blue.  The result:  he always looks confident and stylish. I’m sure he feels like he puts on a  uniform everyday; he has infinite choices, but he wisely sticks to “his” look. And he consistently looks more pulled together than other politicians. (more…)

How Sharon Stone Stays Looking Great

sharon-stone.jpgI found this article on Fabulous after 40, it’s originally from the UK’s Mirror. It has some good common sense advice on eating right and looking good without trying to hang on to a too young look.

I don’t think there are many good role models for women over 40. I appreciate women who just want to look good, at any age, not necessarily younger. One of the biggest surprises of middle age is how I still want to look my best. I guess I thought that as I aged it wouldn’t matter so much. I’m definitely going to keep trying because my 93 year old mother-in-law still makes a great effort to look good, so I guess the desire to look good never goes away!

Check out the full article here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/showbiz/yourlife/2008/05/26/the-age-defying-diet-how-sharon-stone-is-still-fabulous-at-50-89520-20430146/

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My Trip to India

Hi Everybody!

I’m so excited to have returned from my “medical tourism” trip to India!

When we began making arrangements for my hip surgery (I had bone on bone osteoarthritis of the hip which has been hampering my life for the last five years), each step we took led us to this Indian adventure. And what an adventure it has been! I’m convinced we made the right choice to travel to India for the surgery and now, 10 days post-op, I’m home and feeling great and able to do so much more than I expected.

Because I didn’t have health insurance, a glitch that I should have fixed somewhere between my 1998 divorce and 2004 second marriage, when I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis we were faced with some tough decisions. A good friend who is an orthopedic surgeon (a hip and shoulder guy), took an x-ray of my hip and recommended a relatively new procedure called hip resurfacing, at somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000. He recommended his partner, who has done five of these new procedures.

After some dedicated investigation, my dear husband found some very interesting information via the Internet (what an enabling medium!). We’ve been doing hip resurfacing in the US for about five years and many doctors here still recommend full hip replacement instead because of the newness of the procedure.

Hip resurfacing was developed in England about 12 years ago and the doctor who performed my surgery was on the team that developed it. It removes no bone compared to the hip replacement in which the head of the femur is removed and replaced with a pin and ball. The hip resurfacing prosthetic fits much tighter than the hip replacement apparatus, therefore it doesn’t dislocate like the replacement is prone to do, and performes just like a real hip. It was designed with younger, active people in mind.

I’m 50 and developed pain in my groin which I thought was a running injury when I was training for my third marathon almost exactly five years ago. It progressed to the point that I could walk only 50 yards or so at a time with much loss of range of motion (haven’t been able to cut my own toenails for a few years!). Not to mention lots of pain, because the hip joint was for all intents and purposes fused, it threw my body mechanics off and EVERYTHING hurt.

We decided that hip resurfacing was the way to go and again, thanks to the Internet we found several chat groups led by people who have gone overseas for this procedure. To be able to talk to people about their experiences was invaluable and we decided to go to Chennai India to have Dr. Vijay Bose perform the surgery, who has successfully performed 1,200 hip resurfacings. And, secondarily, with travel and accommodations, the cost was a fraction of what the surgery alone would be in the US.

We spent about 9 months in communication with the doctor and his staff planning the trip. Then a couple of weeks ago the day had arrived to depart and naturally, we had a little trepidation heading off to a culturally different country for something like this, no matter how thouroughly we had researched it.

I’m thrilled to report that every step of the way the adventure went without a glitch, and the worst I can say is that the towels in the hospital were too soft and left fuzz all over you after a shower! :-) 

Here is a photo diary of the trip:

The first two nights we stayed at The Raintree, a lovely business class hotel:

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The first two days we did some sight-seeing and fabric shopping! (More on that tomorrow.) The traffic is unbelievable–pedestrians, motor cycles, cars, buses, bicycles, auto rickshaws, traditional bicycle rickshaws and cows–all intermingling in an orchestrated symphony that to the Indians makes sense but to a westerner seems like utter chaos!:

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An auto rickshaw:

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We stopped to see a temple:

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A view of Chennai (FKA Madras) from our hotel window. One foot firmly planted in the present, one foot firmly planted in the past:

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The next seven days we spent in the hospital in a modern wing built with western patients in mind. My room had a private bath, kitchenette, wi-fi access and a cot for E., he was able to run his business from India! Ready for surgery:

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A successful experience, every step of the way was superbly organized and the epitome of compassionate care. Part of my medical team:

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The next four nights we spent at a fabulous resort, The Fisherman’s Cove, on the Bay of Bengal. There is no better place for recuperation!:

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I’ve never experienced people who are so caring and devoted to service! I’ll never forget the people who were so kind to me:

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Well, as positive an experience as that was, I’m thrilled to be home with more energy and mobility than I dared hope for.

I have a month off of work for some R & R–time to get sewing!

Ta-ta for now!

New site gives new designers the chance to network (from Style Dash)

Here is something interesting from style-dash.jpg , a new social site where designers can promote themselves and sell their creations.

Here’s the article:

Forget Facebook and Myspace (and Bebo and Linked in and Xing…) if you’re a funky fashionista who wants to publicize your talent and break into the industry in a big way, you may find the best way forward is to apply for Project Runway sign up to the most fashion-forward social networking site on the net.

 

Read more…

Sew it yourself (from The Thoughtful Dresser)

Here’s an article I’ve been waiting to see, it says that sewing machine sales are way up. You can tell that interest in sewing is increasing just by going to a local JoAnn or Hancock Fabrics. Those stores used to be ghost towns and now they’re buzzing. 

The consensus is that the renewed interest is because of a lack of original boutiques and clothing and for economic reasons. I’ll add to that and say that I think Project Runway has had a big impact on exciting want-to-be sewers. 

Now, to see the reemergence of independently owned fabric stores that offer top quality fabric and knowledgeable staff…

Here’s the article:

courtesy of the Sewing DivasI know some readers will be delighted to hear that there has been a huge jump in home dressmaking,

 

Read more…

The Makeover Guy-New book with boomer make-overs

I saw Staging Your Comeback on one of my favorite blogs, Fabulous After 40. I like this concept and can’t wait to get the book in May. One of my biggest complaints is that there are few good middle-aged role models. Either women seem to want to keep their college look or they give up completely and look matronly. This book looks like it promotes looking good, not trying to look younger.fabulous-after-40.jpg

Read more…

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Another recent book,  How Not To Look Old is all about trying to look younger. From the author’s point of view, we live in a youth obsessed culture so smart women should try to look young. From what I’ve seen it has some good ideas but I just want to look good no matter what my age. Young doesn’t really have anything to do with it. I’m finally at a point in my life where I want give my look a little effort. I want to dress nicely instead of always grabbing for my favorite jeans. I want to do my hair and make-up every day. But I don’t mind looking my age (50).
 Ta-ta for now.

Welcome to The Feed Dog!

I’m excited to come to a time in my life when I can make sewing a top priority. I’m an almost empty-nester (youngest of three kids is a senior in high school) and my honey is supportive emotionally and financially. My working life is very tolerable and I have a loving ear to which I can bounce ideas off of and crazy plans for becoming a famous blogger.

I want to use my stash, try new patterns and techniques, update my sewing room, organize my tomes of magazine and web pictures, find new fabric and notion resources and establish relationships with other sewing bloggers.

Where to begin? I need and outfit for an evening out on April 12th and I want to look good! It’s always easier for me to design an outfit when I have an occasion in mind and this is a good one. I look for opportunities to dress-up a little and we’ll be going into the city for dinner and a concert.  

I bought a great black silk skirt by TSE at Off Fifth (Saks Fifth Avenue outlet), marked down from $675 to $54. I can see why no one picked it up, it’s very long and lean, only a six foot 100 lb. string bean could wear it. This is one of my favorite advantages of sewing–I’m going to cut it off at the waist (to keep the pleats at the bottom) and shorten it to knee length. This will make the waist bigger (it is currently the hip area). I think it will work.

Then, I’m going use a fabric from my stash to copy a top by Nanette Lepore that I saw at Nieman Marcus.com. As soon as I figure out how to post pictures I’ll show you everything I’m planning on.

Then the piece de resistance–accessories. I bought a great pair of booties ($75) at the end of the season sale at Macy’s and I can’t wait to wear them. (Especially because I’m afraid they’ll look dated next winter.) And the fun stuff, because this outfit will cost less than $150 to pull together, I can splurge on some new earrings or other jewelry to top it off. (I love being able to sew!)

 Ta-ta for now!

Nanette Lepore at Neiman Marcus