An Inspirational Read

Phyllis Inspiration, People 15 Comments

Sometimes I just need to read something to encourage me as a woman, mother, grandmother, and wife. One of my favorite books to read and re-read is Time Alive by Alexandra Stoddard. As you know she inspired the name of this blog because my dear friend always puts a ribbon in her books when she autographs them. Peeking out of …


Brian’s Coupe Collection

Phyllis People 11 Comments

One of life’s simplest pleasures is cultivating our surroundings with the little things that inspire us. Many of us have our own collections of special items that we consider to be exquisite or rare, and certainly of great personal interest. I have a fondness for vintage sewing tools, which I’ve written about before. My son, Brian Hart Hoffman, has a broad and remarkable collection …


Dahlias by the Sea

Phyllis People 9 Comments

By now you probably already know that I love beautiful gardens and have a special affinity for artists. You can imagine my excitement to read this article from the Cottage Journal Summer 2016 issue about Sus Miller and her gorgeous dahlias. She is a Maine-based artist who brings her colorful garden to life through watercolor.  Text by: Tovah Martin Photography by: Kinda Clineff Sus Miller admits that she’s …

Spring Dresses

Spring Dresses

Phyllis Lifestyle, People 22 Comments

Well, it’s that time again—spring, and that means spring dresses! Specifically, an Easter dress for my granddaughter. It always takes me a long time to make my decision before I begin sewing. I remember Easter dresses that Mom made for my sister and me. One year that particularly sticks out in my mind is the one we had dresses with …

Phyllis Hoffman DePiano and Kathy McMakin on the launch of Classic Sewing Magazine

Get to know Kathy McMakin, the woman behind Classic Sewing

Phyllis People 31 Comments

As you know, we announced the new Classic Sewing magazine last month, and the results have been phenomenal. Now, I am excited to reveal the cover of our premier issue.  A Sneak Peek at the Classic Sewing Cover Do you recognize our little star? That’s right, it’s my granddaughter Amelia. And it was so special to share the creation of this magazine …

Lakeside Pottery from Victoria Magazine

Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Lakeside Pottery’s Home Studio Creations

Phyllis People 10 Comments

Guest post from the editors of Victoria. Surrounded by acres of orchards and vineyards, artisans Ron and Barb Zimmerman draw inspiration for their work from the shifting kaleidoscope of autumnal beauty that unfolds beyond the doors of their home studio in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Since opening Lakeside Pottery a quarter-century ago in the Canadian countryside, they have developed a loyal following …

Asher Riley - needlepoint accessories company

Custom Needlepoint Creations from Asher Riley

Phyllis People 7 Comments

If you know me at all, then you’re well aware of my entrepreneurial spirit and the special connection I feel to others who have been bitten by the business-building bug. There is something so rewarding about creating a business—whether on your own, with a spouse, or with a wonderful team—and then watching it grow into something that others can love …

Illustration of strawberry plant for Ann Dorer essay

Former Southern Lady Editor Ann Dorer Shares Her Charming Stories

Phyllis Lifestyle, People 14 Comments

We love reading essays written by Ann Dorer. She captures the South like no other can. The first time I met Ann was at an afternoon tea at my house that I hosted for my niece Beth. Ann’s daughter, Kate, is friends with Beth and was one of our honored guests. We let the young girls sit in the dining …

Father's Day

Father’s Day Thoughts

Phyllis People 29 Comments

My dad is 86 years old and still going strong. He is quite the character and delights in any lighthearted moment. He is a retired executive and can now spend time doing what he really loves: gardening! He and mom have wonderful flower gardens and vegetable gardens. My grandchildren love being in their gardens with him almost as much as …