Playing Dress-Up on My First Year Anniversary

My studio Is finally taking shape, almost a year after moving to our farm in Maple City, Michigan.  I’ve had such fun making it a home, full of light, color and pattern.  Just like my clothes! 

At special request from a few of my stores, I actually put on mascara, combed my hair and modeled two pieces for their ads.  This is like torture for me. At age 62, I don’t really recognize the person in the photo, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.IMG_2065

The Mitten Tunic IMG_2056The Flip-out Tunic

A Loyal Fan is happy once more!

sharon's photo

Kay Martin and husband at her son’s 2005 wedding wearing Staley / Gretzinger.

Dear Meg,

I thought you might be interested in the saga of this top.

In 2005, when my son was about to be married in Tuolumne Meadows, I found a wonderful dress in a small local boutique (Ellyn’s – since closed). I love this dress, and when my daughter decided to get married this September, I asked her if I could wear it to her outdoor wedding on the banks of the Skokomish River on the Olympic Peninsula where she and her fiancé live. “No,” she said, “I want you to wear something different.” I looked in every store I knew in Cleveland. I kept telling salespeople that I wanted something that felt like this dress. They all proceeded to show me what they had. Nobody “got” it.

Then I decided to look at the tag in my outfit. And, I found your blog. And I found Kaye-Louise in Florida. They were kind enough to send photos of the tops they had. And I chose the one I am sending to you. I love this top. It is playful, it is fun. I’ll feel wonderful wearing it.

But, last Sunday, I went to a local arts fair (Cain Park Arts Fair in Cleveland Heights) to look for jewelry. As I put the top in a canvas bag, I had a brief moment when I thought I should bag it separately from the book and newspaper I was carrying, but ignored that. When we were caught in a brief and welcome downpour, it didn’t dawn on me to pull the top out of the bag and put it in something else. I can only guess that the newsprint bled onto the top.

What perseverance!  I was so impressed that Kay Martin tracked down Meg Staley Handmade at one of my best stores, Kaye Louise, in Boca Raton, Florida. Kaye Louise caters to women like Kay, going to any lengths to satisfy their need to look and feel uniquely comfortable and beautiful.   The piece Kay chose from Kaye Louise was easily repaired and this fall she sent me another picture from her daughter’s wedding this September.  Doesn’t she look relaxed and happy?


Arty Party Fun!

Last weekend Meg Staley Handmade travelled down to the DC area to visit Suzanne Armstrong at her annual holiday Arty Party!  Suzanne has developed a loyal following of clients who never miss an opportunity to collect my one-of-kind art clothing.  Thanks to Suzanne’s enthusiasm and talent, fabulous helpers (Kim, Hermine, Gayle and Paul) and crazy fun customers, we sold out in 24 hours! Thanks ladies (and man….)

Karen rocks the applique patchwork holiday tunic!

This is Suzanne’s glitter shoe. Tired but happy designer home at last, cozying up in my  Giant Snowflake Hoody

Chicago, Chicago

I love Chicago.  Especially in the fall, when you can cozy up in a colorful sweater jacket and scarf and hit the streets for a day of walking, looking at art, architecture, shopping and eating.  We ventured forth while taking my granddaughter, Violet, to visit colleges (!!!) nearby and while Jerry and Violet explored the U of Chicago campus, I toured the Robie House, a Frank Lloyd Wright – designed home finished in 1910. What a treat!  After that, we visited Millenium Park  to see the Bean (officially entitled Cloud Gate Sculpture.)  The experience was unlike any other. Here we are gazing at our contorted selves in the giant sculpture:When you go under the sculpture and look up, this is what you see.  I can pick Jerry out of the image because he’s taking a picture, but otherwise I’m lost.  What you can see, though, are 3 replications of a sweet 16 party, dressed in emerald green satin finery, posing for photos.  Mind-boggling and a total crowd pleaser.  I love Chicago.

PLAYING HOOKY at the Traverse City Film Festival

JUST GREAT MOVIES  is the Traverse City Film Festival‘s by-line and last week between feeding the goat, lamb, turkeys, chickens, cats, dogs and ducks, I WENT TO THE MOVIES!  Michael Moore and friends started TCFF 7 years ago and rehabbed the old State Theater on Front St. into a state-of-the-art flagship for movie-going year around.  Over 1300 volunteers staff the festival and serve as hosts to an incredible spectrum of film types from all over the world.  This year Jerry and I sponsored a film from Cuba, HABANASTATION, and gorged on shorts, docs and fiction films galore.  WHAT I WORE:A NEW PEPLUM JACKET.  black and white pattern play with sparkley flower accent, shirt cuff pockets and a casual attitude.  Lots of compliments.  This style is currently at Magic Jacket in Fish Creek, Wisconsin and at Kaye Louise in Boca Raton, Florida.  (If there are any left!)


Suzanne, from Mad Mad Hatteras in Avon, NC,  sent me a picture of her good friend, Barbie, who also happens to be a long time Meg Staley Handmade fan.  She’s donned my muu-muu-licious dress, replete with hand-dying and handprints of cool, crisp watermelon slices, pineapples and giant tropical blooms.  She looks relaxed and full of pizzazz after a beach day on the Outer Islands!  

Fireworks Finale!

Explosions of color going every which way, this tunic just made me smile! I hope someone at the Magic Jacket in Fish Creek, Wisconsin takes it home for a terrific 4th of July celebration…that’s where this one-of-a-kind headed earlier in the week. (Good grief, can’t these people at Meg Staley Handmade find a real model?)

Longer Patchwork dress

I know. It’s kind of old school. But I love how easy and free the shape is (without the self-consciousness of bellies and other misbehaving body parts hanging out!) In the summer, nothing’s easier to pop on and this dress goes over crop pants, leggings or bare legs with equal aplomb. As an artist I get to play more with fabric juxtapositions, print accents and such. Right now I’m into an old botanical sketch of a kiwi cross section. Crisp black on white. Ahhhhh… summer.