Holidays in recap, no such thing as too late!

This post is crazy late but oh well. Can't thrash myself too much for that or I really will never blog again. Who knows who reads these mutterings, anywho, right?
This year marked the first time I stayed in MN instead of traveling home to NJ and Philly. I gotta say, it was a little weird. Here is a view of walking into work Christmas week. Minneapolis is home to the great Skyway, a human habitrail... Usually hoppin' with people in the morning. Bustling along to work, furiously thumbing their smartphones. On this day, however, I saw exactly 2 people in the Skyway. I dub this season in the habitrail, the sky-pacalypse!

Outside of the working world, though, it was all twinkle lights, wrapping paper and cookie dough. The night we decorated the tree we snapped a few pictures and I have to say this one of the three of us is my most favorite of us ever. It’s pretty much how it feels when we are home together.

Christmas Eve the Pickle had neither school nor un-school coverage so we got to spend the day home in our pajamas. I tried in vain to work and found myself being pulled away from my laptop by an overexcited 5 year old many times. Go figure. It must have been a holiday or something…! We made two batches of chocolate chip cookies and holey moley I thought the spooning and baking would never end! The recipe made enormous batches. Next time we’ll know better. Batter. Dough.

It was my first year playing Santa and I only snagged this one shot of the wrapping paper bonanza. I loved her exclamations of, “He knew just what I wanted even if I didn’t write it down!” Yep, that Santa’s a sneaky one…

The New Year brought a new vintage hat, an airport visit with my Uncle Evan(!) and seeing in the change with a smashing of plates at a friends’ house. I won’t say that we were wild or unruly but I wouldn’t deny that alcohol may have made us more enthusiastic. My friend’s lady friend didn’t like those plates anyway and was happy to see them go. Hurrah! *smash

We rounded out the holiday season with a trip to Racine to see my dude’s family. I was enjoying the couch and the company too much to be snapping pictures the whole visit but I did happily snap this one of the Pickle and her cousin building one of the largest forts I have seen in all my fort building days. They told me it had two floors. And No Grownups. Except for a brief tour for daddy.


Some of my favorite bits included my first purple Bakelite, this stunning and large brooch from the Pickle and a necklace,  and my first ever Malco Modes petticoat! My mom also sent out a package with some very sweet, thoughtful treats. Watching my dude and the kiddo opening the packages was fun and the items she sent made me a little teary. She included a cast iron bottle opener she’d found with dad on their honeymoon antiquing trip, a maiden size Bakelite bracelet for the Pickle and a carved black bangle for me. Each item felt laden with sentiment and I missed her more than anything seeing each item emerge from the tissue.

It was a great holiday season and it was nice to have everyone trickle back in to work after the holidays wrapped. Now we’re looking forward to the end of the month when we depart for a two week adventure in… South Africa! So pumped! Capetown and an intrepid trek to Lesotho to visit the village where I served in the Peace Corps. Just days away. And I promise there will be more pictures when I get back!


Hoppity Hop, snatched from Dolly Clackett

I was reading over on Dolly Clackett today about the blog writers blog hop and decided to throw myself in the ring. (She called it the cowards way out but I take it as a chance to dive in!)

If you are not familiar with Roisin's blog she's a delightfully funny lady in the UK who makes all manner of well-fitting novelty and bold printed dresses. I envy her shoe collection and have a crush on her geographic location (who wouldn't when a trip to Paris doesn't mean a small loan from the bank?! Except for the fabric I'd be hauling back...)

Anywho. Here I go taking up the gently set down torch:
1.) Why do I write?
Oh the lameness but it’s pretty basic. I like it and I think I am pretty good at it. I know I need to work to get my voice to come out in my blog the way it does when I write articles, cover letters and that sort of thing. But the short answer really is that I like it.

Why I write a blog is a little different. I have pretty strong feelings about personal history and leaving a mark. I’ve never had any interest in fame or renown but I do want my kids or future generations to have something they can look back on. I created my grad school thesis on the idea of memory as a tangible thing. It’s why I love vintage and antiques and thrift. Tiny, handmade poodle skirts made for some lucky kiddo. It’s all got history.

I just about gave up the ghost when I saw these. Right on the heels of, "How adorable?!"
I thought, "What a sweet gesture to make these for a kid you love..."

2.) What am I working on now?
Right now I’m actually working on planning some future blog entries on Fall/Winter sewing, working up the gumption to do some photos in my many dresses and also a modified Gertie’s Portrait blouse pattern that I’ve redrafted as a kimono-sleeved dress bodice. The new dress is cut from a hot pink waxed cotton I picked up on my summer trip home to Philadelphia. 

Here you can see that #jacknamedcat is also excited about the possibilities.
3.) How does my blog differ from other sewing blogs?
I don’t really know how to draft patterns but I do it anyway. I don’t follow many rules like pre-washing my fabrics or documenting the making process very thoroughly. But I freaking love sewing my own clothes. I completely lose myself when I sew. Hours gone by without feeling it. It takes me out of myself. Since I moved in with my Dude he’s actually given me a bunch of ideas for blog posts. I get going talking about something and he’ll inject a, “THAT’s what you write about!” He sees what sewing does for me and can draw out all sorts of observations that I have a hard time stepping back and seeing myself.

My fabulously stylish Dude and I at a friend's wedding this summer.
Such a hottie!

How does my writing process work?
In front of the TV, on lunch at work, notes in my phone… I’ve just started creating outline blog posts to keep track of various ideas. When I think about whether I want to write something down I think about whether I would want to read it. Is it worth the time writing it out? Would I want to be able to find someone blogging about something like this? Don’t I wish I could have found this info without having to slash up a pile of fabric and snarls of thread and… so forth and so on. 

Some posts brew away a long while, weeks even, before I think they are worth posting up.

I hope this was one of those thing! The enjoyable, glad I found it kind. Coming soon... thoughts on Fall/Winter sewing plans, re-evaluating my closet and how to stay warm this winter!