Okay, ENOUGH with this weather!
I SHOULD call this my January “BLAAH-G!” All I did was wear my PJ's backwards two times this month…and look what happened here in Duck! IT WORKED! So, despite some comforting steaming mugs of hot cocoa and marshmallows (LOTS of 'em!) I'm ready for January to be OVER -- probably you too (WHEREVER you live, but FOR SURE here on the Outer Banks). We've "enjoyed" (really, Becky? ENJOYED?) more snow here in the last 2 1/2 weeks than we've seen in years. ADO was closed for 5 1/2 days with the first storm and another 2 days with the second, which means that what was the "SNOW-Y-est" January on record in Duck has also been the "SLOW-Y-est" for the shop.
Now, I have to admit that I ALWAYS start tearing my hair out about this time of year anyway, but it's definitely been worse this year (you can almost see SCALP!). Many of you have asked me if I shut down in the dead of winter -- and I don't, although I have started being closed on Mondays (in addition to Sundays) until the Monday before Easter. In Mid-March I'm going to go down to Florida for a long weekend of Washington Nationals Spring Training Baseball, which was an annual tradition my husband and I enjoyed starting back when the NATS first came to DC. Yes, I’m a fan…I even got to throw out the "First Pitch" at a Spring Training game in 2007 (okay, it bounced…but only once!) I've not been back since Paul's been gone, but after the wintry weather with the fact that the Redskins (yes, I love THEM, too, dysfunctional though their leadership be!) blew another season, I'm READY FOR SOME BASEBALL!
More on my trip in a future Blog...
To date, my BLOG has spotlighted a different artist each month whose treasures I carry at All Ducked Out – AND -- who is doing something to make a difference in our world. Of course, I am proud to carry the creations of ALL my artisans, but it's especially meaningful to me when they are also doing things on the side, through their work, to help make people's lives better. This month, my featured line is Steel Pony and my good friends Joanne Litz & Dennis Wolk, whose Studio & Shop are located in the heart of the Philadelphia Fabric District. Jo is the Chief Designer and Dennis does a lot of the specialty dying, plus he crafts a line of incredible leather journey bags (I don't carry them in the shop, but you can see them online at www.steelpony.com). In 1992, after years of working in the Fashion Industry and seeing its harmful impact on the environment, Joanne and Dennis decided to create their own specialty line of clothing using all eco-friendly processes, fabrics, and dyes...everything 100% crafted in the USA.
Steel Pony pieces are NEVER SOLID – instead, they are always individually garment-dyed. Just as one of Joanne's mantras is "Why Fit In When You Were Born to Stand Out?” each Steel Pony item is truly one-of-a-kind. What's more -- they NEVER go out of style. I have been wearing Steel Pony designs for over 20 years, and was determined that they would be a centerpiece of All Ducked Out when it became a reality.
Steel Pony pieces are truly "art-to-wear.” In addition to mixing and matching not only with other pieces, they can be dressed up or down, and are great add-ons to items already in your closet. Many serve more than one purpose like a really cool skirt in stock right now, made from a variety of fabrics, featuring fascinating angles and ways to tie the bottom, which can also be worn as a poncho! Jo says she gets her ideas for her all-original scrumptious colors from nature, and the shapes from architectural designs she sees around her. But she also admits that her dreams bring her best ideas…which make her truly a 24/7 ARTIST! Many of my customers have become avid Steel Pony-lovers, so you'll be happy to know that I'm in the process right now of choosing pieces from their 2018 Spring/Summer Collection for this season at ADO.
Now, a BONUS from Steel Pony…
In addition to the ways in which they are committed to positively impacting the environment, they are ALSO strong supporters of 4 local Charities. Joanne calls the Program "Give a S#!*t" – and she designs special T-Shirts, donating $5 from the sale of each shirt to one of the organizations each month. In addition, they host an event spotlighting their designated charities. (She has given me some great ideas to use as I continue to build my own program in support of Autism Speaks.)
The Charities SP has chosen are:
Women Against Abuse (womenagainstabuse.org), which provides Safe Havens, Resources and Counseling to women who have experienced all manner of abuse
Paws.Org (paws.org), championing the many animals who cannot speak for themselves, finding them shelter and loving homes
Living Beyond Breast Cancer (lbbc.org), a supportive community for those who find themselves having to deal with the many aspects of this dreaded disease
Philabundance (philabundance.org), which feeds over 90,000 individuals in the Philadelphia area EACH WEEK, including 33,000 children!
Check them out -- and come in soon to see the awesome Steel Pony Collection I've put together for you at All Ducked Out. Try them on, and let me help you imagine the possibilities for your wardrobe.
This month's Becky-Rec, in addition to being sure that you are watching The Good Doctor which is back on again with new episodes (Mondays at 10 PM on ABC) is an EASY recipe to serve for the Super Bowl on February 4th. Aptly named, I call it "Everybody's Favorite” because TRUST ME, while everyone’s gobbling 'em up, they’ll also be asking: "But what's REALLY in 'em?"
1 lb. sliced bacon, cut in half
12 oz. cream cheese
Partially fry the bacon slices, just to get rid of most of the grease, and to cook/firm it up a little. Cut cream cheese into small cubes (or use a dollop of the pre-softened kind), and roll a bacon slice around it. Secure with a toothpick. Broil 'til the bacon is done (this won't take long, and the cream cheese will get nice and oozy!) Be sure to make plenty, because they WILL disappear!
Talk to you next month,