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      AdelaBellaBlog

      Nancy's Levi's Jacket

      Nancy's Levi's Jacket

      The most prized possession in my closet right now is a Levi's denim jacket that I inherited from my mother-in-law Nancy White when she passed. 

      I always admired Mom's cool style and the first time I saw her wearing this jacket, blinged up with beaded fringe, pins, glitter and colorful flowers, I was impressed. Grandma was a parrot head way before I even knew what a parrot head was!

      I wear my blinged-up jacket with love and pride, and it feels like I'm getting a  hug from my sweet mother-in-law. The jacket expresses my love for Nancy and my fondness for denim.

      As a native Texan, I grew up with denim - jeans, cut-offs, jackets, and the more worn out the garment, the softer the denim.  My Dad and brothers wore jeans daily, as did most farmers or ranchers in Texas. I remember helping Mom do the laundry, jeans had to be hung on the clothes line to dry - pockets out.

      A word about denim. It's a sturdy, tightly-woven cotton fabric, and new denim undergoes a water-intensive process before its ready for the market. It takes a lot of water to grow the cotton plants too.  Not great for the environment.

      I believe using recycled denim is much better for our natural world, so this is my reason for repurposing, or "up-cycling" denim jackets. I spend much time browsing Goodwill, resale or consignment shops for used jackets that I think my customers will like. Sometimes I'll buy a new jacket if it catches my eye.

      Jackets are embellished with vintage tropical fabric, rhinestones, embroidered patches and pins, brooches.

      Not just any fabric. I like to recycle Jams World fabric from used tropical shirts and dresses. Jams World is a line of unique and colorful island wear patented and cut in Hawaii. The company I worked in Grand Cayman owned an exclusive Jams World retail outlet, so we grew to love the brand.  Many of our older items, especially James' tropical shirts, have been used on some of my jackets.

      Friends with their own small businesses help me make each jacket special. 

      Nancy Monahan, Cut-it-out Crafts in Bothell, Washington, is the creative talent behind the themed embroidered patches that are affixed to some jackets. Nancy also helps create the rhinestone cutouts I use to place crystal designs on the jackets.  

      Aubrey Neher is the young artist who hand-paints beautiful designs on jackets. She's painted mermaids, plumerias, hibiscus, margarita's and more on back panels.

      Annie Uselton of Granbury, Texas sews colorful fabric panels into jackets, making them one of a kind. Annie also adds special touches to the jackets she works on - sewing reused buttons from the shirts or dresses.

      Debbie Jackman of Venice, FL is a long-time friend who also sews tropical fabric on my jackets. 

      Tish Carney, also a friend and business owner in Tampa FL embroiders cute patches for me.

      We all work together to make these one-of-a-kind jackets, which can now be found in wardrobe closets across the country - Texas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Florida and many more.

      When a jacket finds its new owner, no matter where, I always take a photo of the buyer's smiling face because this makes me happy too. And I know Nancy would be so proud.

       

      Feeling Optimistic about the Next Chapter

      Feeling Optimistic about the Next Chapter

      We had company for lunch this week! Our friend Sharon Morris and her sister Connie came to visit and we enjoyed being together in our backyard in beautiful Florida weather. We had not seen each other since December and Sharon opened up the cards and letters I had collected for her from many of you. She really appreciates the kind words and love sent her way. This special visit is a hint of our return to some kind of "normalcy" as we hopefully emerge from this dreadful pandemic and our long quarantine.

      We sheltered at home, only making necessary runs to the post office or grocery store, and of course wearing masks. We all know the loneliness, frustrations and challenges of this past year, what I like to call our "lost" year. Because we normally book James's schedule and our special events, 12 months out, it was difficult to look ahead, to plan.  

      Now I am feeling hopeful and excited about going out again, seeing our friends and hosting live music events - we have missed you!  Although I am fully vaccinated and James has received his first shot, I have to remind myself that we need to take baby steps because the pandemic is not over, the coronavirus is still out there. Unfortunately, there are virus variants showing up, causing worry for public health officials.

      Whatever your beliefs on covid, masking and the quarantine, it's a very serious matter to me. Covid has ravaged our hispanic community in South Texas. Several of our family members have gotten sick and recovered, but other families are not so lucky.  It is so encouraging to hear that many of you are now fully vaccinated, and at least here in Florida, things are picking up. Both James and I got calls today to accept vaccination appointments, which of course we didn't need.  Hopefully, someone else will take them.

      Sharon got her first vaccination shot today, which is great news. If you'd like to send her a card, please send to: P.O. Box 1535, Osprey, FL 34229

      We are looking ahead and making plans, something we haven't been able to do in a very long time.

      Stay safe and mask up!
      Adela


      Warm Wishes from Sharon

      Warm Wishes from Sharon

      James, John Patti and I visited with our friend Sharon Morris and her sister Connie Morrell a few days ago, and we're happy to report that she is in good sprits and celebrating the holidays with family and friends, including Mojito her pup.

      Sharon wants to thank everyone who has sent cards and good wishes during this difficult time, your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated. She also wants us to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season. If you would like to send Sharon a card, please send it to me and I will make sure she gets it.

      Sharon Morris
      c/o Adela G. White
      P.O. Box 1535
      Osprey, FL 34229

      I wish you all the best this holiday season and thanks for your support during this covid time. Looking forward to seeing you again in person some time in 2021!

      Best Wishes
      Adela

      Spreading the Music This Holiday Season

      Spreading the Music This Holiday Season

      A really good thing happened this week. I received a request from a new Sunny Jim fan, Nathan in Raleigh, NC, for a large number of CDs. Nathan is gifting Sunny Jim CDs to his family, friends and business clients this Christmas.

      Saying he's enjoyed James's CD The Request Lines are Open so much, Nathan decided to give the gift of music instead of the usual holiday gifts. We had a great conversation on the phone, sharing our common experiences with the pandemic and how the music has helped us through this difficult time. I really look forward to meeting Nathan in the post-covid era, I have a feeling we are going to be friends.

      As I watched James sign the CDs for Nathan, I once again marveled at how his music affects people, and through Nathan more will discover his music. I love this organic growth of his fan base and our small business. I shouldn't be surprised after all these years because I meet people all the time who share their stories about how one of Sunny Jim's songs impacted their lives.

      Our friends Paul and Annie Uselton heard James song Just Write on Radio Margaritaville, looked up our website and signed up for our trip to Hawaii. Just Write became "their song" and James played for their wedding a few months later. We have been friends since then.

      Our friend Deb, who has been a big source of support during this covid time (like many of you), says Sunny Jim's music helped her during a very difficult time in her life. I am looking forward to meeting her next time we are in Texas.

      There is a gentleman in the UK, a relative of a good friend, who watched James' livestream show from his hospital bed and heard Sunny Jim dedicate a Beatles song to him and wished him a speedy recovery. Dave was very sick at the time, and I later heard he had tears in his eyes, and the music had cheered him up.

      One day, shortly after we moved back to the States from the Cayman Islands, I received e-mails from two Moms in different parts of the country. They just wanted to let me how much "Those Little Shoes" has meant to them because they had young children. The e-mails came in on the SAME day.

      I could go on and on, because are there so many stories, but maybe another time. You are all special to us and we miss seeing you during this quarantine. Let's all stay safe so we can enjoy our music events, house concerts and gatherings when covid is in our rear view mirror.

      Thanks for buying and sharing Sunny Jim's music all year long! If you want to gift some CDs please visit our website for bundle deals and a 10% discount on all our purchases until Christmas. 

      Share the Music!
      Adela