happy christmas


Sorry I have been absent on here lately. I got sick earlier last week and haven't been able to knock it. I'm still not feeling the best, but I'm hoping I will be able to last tonight and tomorrow without feeling too ill. Really strange that I'm getting sick all of a sudden. Ah, well. I hope you all are well and enjoying the holidays. And don't get sick! Take my advice! It's no good!

new music playlist


I just thought I'd drop in to say I added some new music. In case you still want to listen to the old list, you can find it here.


i love the snow:::

{fresh snow.}

It is late and I should be in bed, but I have been trying to catch up with some emails I've been putting off. I absolutely love getting mail, whether it's emails or real live mail (of course I always enjoy the latter a little bit more). However, sometimes it can be hard keeping up with it all and whenever I put it off, I find it even harder to sit down and respond to everything. I suppose that is procrastination on my part. A very bad habit. Something I must break. Possibly a New Year's resolution? Oh yeah, I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions. Well, the idea of them appeals to me, but when it comes to actually doing them, well, that's when the evil procrastination sickness sets in. And I never really do anything on the list. Then it's all just so depressing. It's a wretched little cycle. Although, it never hurts to write down things to work on and change, even if you don't necessarily get them all accomplished in one whole year. Alright, moving on... I can tell this is going to be filled with pretty much useless information. But lo! I have pictures! A few anyway.

loving the snow

wool yarn

my first knitted sock

I am simply loving the snow we are getting! That's probably what will help me get up tomorrow morning. The fact that it is going to be gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. Also a few cups of strong black coffee will help as well. I'm not really a morning person, though I like the idea of being a morning person. I don't even really eat breakfast that much (again, I like the idea of it), but I love my coffee. I love it good and strong. But (and this sounds like another New Year's resolution coming on) I would love to be able to change that and become a morning person again, with the occasional late night on a weekend. I usually try this for about a month and then somehow, someway, I find myself getting back into the same old rut again where I cannot seem to get to bed at a sane hour and then find myself sleepy all day. How is it that I can be completely worn out during the afternoon, but when it hits 10p.m. I'm all wide eyes? Oh, well. I'll figure out that whole thing someday. Yeah, maybe this year is the year I figure it out...maybe.

I've also been knitting up a storm. I decided to knit or crochet most of the gifts this year. A lot of people will be getting hand warmers. I've also got a few other things up my sleeve, but I hesitate to write them out here. I have no idea who reads this and I wouldn't want to give away any surprises! I just hope I can get most, if not all of them completed before Christmas. Next year I need to start a heck of a lot earlier. This whole last minute business just isn't cutting it for me. As much as I love having a bunch of projects to knit up while it's all cozy inside and snowing outside, I don't really have the time to lounge about all day making gifts. So next year maybe I will start at least a few months before, instead of waiting until after Thanksgiving...ehem. Did I mention I'm a procrastinator?

Most of you will probably be reading this in the morning (oh wait, it IS the morning), so good morning! Have a lovely week and stay cozy!

busy time


It is that busy time of year. I will write more soon, but until then, I thought I would share this lovely song with you. It makes my heart sing.

long weekend


knitting gift

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday! It's always hard to get back into the swing of things after taking off several days of work. I worked a little bit here and there, but pretty much got off schedule from Thursday through Sunday. But it was a nice break. And it snowed Saturday night! When I woke up Sunday morning I felt sheer joy looking out the window to the winter wonderland. I hate driving in the cold icy weather, but I love how bright it gets outside when it snows. And it encourages me to drink more hot coffee and tea while knitting to keep my fingers warm.

the fat cat
The kitty in the antique shop. You could hear him purring and when I went down to pet him, his fur was incredibly soft and he just purred louder. Oh so cute.

kitties in the antique shop
Look! Another kitty! They were all over the place.

mandy and dayna
Sunday morning we went to coffee with Dayna, a good friend who lives in Chicago. And we met her friend Mandy. It was wonderful.

I also discovered this coffee shop in Mount Vernon. It's called "fuel" and has amazing coffee and atmosphere. I will surely be back.

Have a nice week!

these things, they make me smile


knitting plaid bed

::moka pots
::burt's bees lip balm
::crocheted necklaces
::leg warmers
::wool scarves/cravats
::my blue 50 cent sneakers
::long hair
::short hair
::fair trade coffee beans
::the smell of freshly ground coffee
::hand written letters
::red wine
::wool skirts
::real christmas trees
::"charlie brown" christmas trees found at garage sales for $5 and used for 15 years
::"how-to" books
::vinyl records
::french press
::leather riding boots
::dandelions growing through cracks of concrete
::kittens that like to snuggle
::people who like to hug
::wool stockings
::flannel sheets in winter
::hot tea
::cold cheeks to kiss
::old books
::swimming in lakes
::old quilts
::the quiet of late night and early morn
::gin + tonic
::old buttons
::printed fabric
::pretty old dishes
::and you

it's gettin' colder


mismatched, but cozy
{mismatched, but cozy}

Today I wore a summery skirt, just because I felt like it. Pair it with some thick leggings and voila! Summer skirt turned winter skirt. I want to get wool tights, though. That would be so nice.

spring skirt::winter skirt

Look! The kitties want a peek!


Got this magazine a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had a chance to look at it a lot. There are two skirts in there that I want to make up for the winter. I am thinking wool and corduroy. Yesterday I picked up a corduroy skirt and a bias plaid Christmasy looking skirt at Salvation Army. All together it was something under $5. That felt good. They need washed, though. And I might change the lining in the cord skirt. I love winter clothes and bundling up. I'm still knitting up a storm, but have decided I'm a very loose knitter. I think I need to use needles two sizes smaller than the patterns recommend. Luckily, the garment I am knitting right now will look nice in the looser knit, so it should be fine.

Stay warm!

working girls


I love this image from Shorpy. And this and this one. Hope you are having a nice Monday!

knit knit


yarn love
{from webs.}

Look, more yarn! It's always fun getting things in the mail. I also stopped by our LYS to pick up a few needles and a few more skeins for presents. I'm getting excited about making gifts this year, though I just hope I can get it all completed in time! Tomorrow morning I'm off to make more gifts at a local shop. I hesitate to write what it is I am making, though. I'm not actually sure who all reads my blog! :)

By the way, thank you for all the blog love recently! I love it when those of you who read my blog write and let me know who you are. It's nice to know people actually read my blog and find it somewhat inspiring.

A few of my favorite blogs and some I recently discovered:
An interview.

Have a lovely weekend!

knitting goodness


making the cap with double point needles

I still haven't quite recovered from the weekend. Abby mentioned in her blog the other day about feeling like you need a vacation after a vacation. I agree. It is hard to get back into the swing of things after I'm away from home, even for a couple of days. And it doesn't help that it's been rainy, dark and dreary around these parts all week. I'm tired of it! To lift my mood, I knit this hat. But somehow I messed up and it ended up being pointy on top. I guess I wasn't thinking straight when I was decreasing! To fix it, I just added a tassel and voila! Instead of "Le Slouch" it's now more like "Le Elf." Actually, it kinda looks like one of those white chocolate candy kisses. :) I used a lovely skein of wool/silk yarn I picked up when I was in Chicago. I was worried I wouldn't have enough, because there was only 130 yards and the pattern calls for something like 200 yards, but I ended up having plenty. I used size 9 double point needles and it's definitely big enough for my head, maybe a bit too loose. I haven't blocked it yet and could probably make it just a tad bit smaller. I should have used my size 8 double point needles like the pattern calls for, but they were being used for another project. So I cheated. heehee.

"le slouch" turned "le elf" with tassel

You'll have to forgive me for the poor quality of picture here and my messy sewing room in the background. I don't know why I even bother to take pictures when it gets dark out. The lighting is horrid.

hand dyed wool by linda little

I picked up this yarn at the living history event I attended over the weekend. A lady who attends several of our events likes to hand dye her yarns with natural dyes and she also spins (though these yarns are not hand spun). I wanted to swipe every skein of yarn she brought with her, but I resisted. By the time I got around to purchasing some, most of them had been taken anyway, but I did end up with some lovely colors. The red and pink will probably turn into striped leggings and the green I am thinking of making into some toasty wrist warmers as a gift. We'll see, though. I may decide on another project for them. But they are soooo soft and lovely.

Tonight the Pioneer Woman updated her terribly addictive love story. Hey, what girl doesn't like a good love story? And it's a true story to boot. I'm hooked. And she keeps you hanging! For months at a time! It's cruel. Then again, it's worth the wait, 'cause it makes me feel all warm and gushy after I read it. Tonight I went over to the sitting room, turned on a lamp so it has that cozy warm lighting. Curled up on the couch and read the next chapter. I know I know, I'm pitiful. Well anyway, I'm off to try and be more productive. I'm trying to think up ideas and it's been slow going today. Maybe tomorrow the rain will stop pouring down. I hope! Take care all and stay cozy!

going for a walk


I have a bit of time before I hit the road, so I'm sharing a few pictures from my recent walk. Today is rainy, but a few days ago it was gorgeous out. I ran out the door right when I finished my work for the day. It felt so good.

going for a walk

going for a walk

going for a walk

going for a walk

going for a walk

I'm listening to Sarah Wood. She's lovely.

weekend jaunt

{Boonesfield, November 2007.}

I almost forgot to mention I'm going away for the weekend! I cannot wait! I'll be out in a lovely little village outside St. Louis. It's the most beautiful place. There will be banjo lessons, sewing, knitting, laughing, possibly some weeding in the garden, Thanksgiving dinner, singing and dancing...! It's just what I need and it could not have come at a better time. Funny how these events tend to do that for me. :) I'm sure I will be taking loads of pictures. Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

go vote!


I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and a happy Hallowe'en! We went out and watched a scary movie. Good times. I was pretty happy on Friday not only because it was the beginning of the weekend, but also because I gave myself a new schedule and actually stuck to it. I've written my schedule and placed it right in front of my desk so every time I sit down I can see it staring me in the face. Every day I am faithful to it, I'll put a star on the calendar. May sound silly to some, but I think seeing a bunch of stars in a row will be just enough to encourage me to keep going. And I know others who do this and have said it works. I've also picked the time in the day when I can work better (which happens to be the morning) and that's when I'll get all my productive work done. The afternoon I'll spend on emails, paperwork and all that good stuff. And heck, maybe I'll have time for a walk before it gets too cold outside. Annd I'm hoping to have a little time each day to work on a project (sorry, you'll have to wait and find out). It's a little something I've been wanting to do for years, but kept telling myself I didn't have time. Well, by George, I'm gonna make time!

Well I have to scat, but I hope everyone goes out there and votes today, if you haven't already! I voted absentee, as I wasn't sure I'd have the chance to go vote today. I'm excited to see the results! Not to mention I won't miss the political ads and the million and one phone calls when the election is over. I WILL miss the SNL skits, though. Those I will never get tired of. Almost makes election time worth it. Take care all and make something with your hands! :)

sheer comfort


knitting a 1930's sweater

This is what I do to relax:
  1. Watch a good sappy black and white film. (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10)
  2. Knit a 1930's sweater which is turning out to be one of the simplest projects I've started in a long while.
  3. Pour myself a glass of red wine.
  4. Break off a piece of some amazing dark chocolate (which I admit is cheap, but still...sooo good).
  5. Continue to knit, eat chocolate, and sip wine; glancing up now and then to see Joan Crawford's knees buckle every time Melvyn Douglas enters the scene. (Um, yes, it's incredibly sappy, but who the heck cares?!)
  6. Repeat steps 1-5.

resisting the urge to consume


blouse in production
{blouse in production.}

It all started earlier this year, around the end of February (according to my receipts) that I decided it was time I made a change in my spending habits. I will admit, I love clothing. I love to figure out my "style" and wear clothes that express my personality. It's a bit of a hobby and it's also part of my job, so it's something I think about a lot. I'm not much of an artist in the sense of paintings. I barely know what "good" art is. I see what I like and I may not have a deep explanation behind why I love it, except that it makes me feel wonderful when I look at it. But I am getting off topic now. Ehem... (It's the art show I went to last night that is trying to sabotage the topic of this post; do forgive me.) Back to what I was saying... Clothing in a sense is my "art." It's my way of expressing myself while painting is a way other artists express themselves. So it can be really hard to resist buying stuff that I think will help express my personality. I know, that may sound ridiculous to some people, but I really do get excited about it. However, I started to see myself spending money on stuff I thought I "needed" when in reality, it was just something to make me feel good for the time being. I quickly realized that I wasn't feeling any better two weeks later when I was figuring out my spending habits. It's not that I've ever spent a lot of money on any one thing either. It could be little things like going to a thrift store and purchasing clothing. But it all adds up.

So I made a mental decision that I would refrain from buying anything clothing related, with a few exceptions. The gist of it is that I would stop buying clothing online or go shopping for clothes. I never was very happy with my purchases either, mostly because I don't have the money to spend on items I really would like. I have purchased some things like a pair of rad 1940s heels for super cheap that I couldn't resist at an antique store or a black slip to wear under one of the vintage dresses I got a few years ago. But other than little things, I stopped buying clothing. Instead what I have been doing is buying fabric, but even then I really hesitate until I know it's something I need or that I know I'll use before the end of the year. Part of the reason I decided to stop buying clothing was to encourage myself to make my own clothing. I know not everyone can make their own clothes, but this is something I'm good at, so why not use my talents?

Since then I have been wearing a lot of the same clothing over and over again, but I wear them different ways so it feels like I have a new outfit. And you know what? It feels great. Instead of going out to buy shorts (which I really don't like anyway) I wore skirts and dresses all summer. And when I felt like wearing shorts, I made some that I liked. I've begun making my own jeans and trousers. I'm actually happy with the way they look and fit! I've got two pairs of jeans I purchased last year that I wear on and off, but in my book two pairs is just fine. If I want more, then I have to set aside some time and make them myself. Not only does this help me appreciate the time it takes to put a garment together, but it also helps perfect my skills as a seamstress.

Another thing I did was to get rid of clothing that I knew I would never wear. For some reason I kept thinking that maybe someday, down the road, I will need said item for some random reason. But had I worn said item in the last year? No. Out the door it went and into the lovely hands of Salvation Army (or Goodwill, I can't remember). Hurrah for more closet space! Hurrah for less stuff! Getting rid of stuff is totally freeing for me. It's sort of the feeling I had when I totaled my car and didn't have the insurance to pay for it. I thought to myself "one more thing I don't really need." And that helped me put it all into perspective. (Until now where I'm like... "gahhh why don't I have a car?!!") But honestly, I feel like the more you get rid of, the less you have to think about. And that is the whole idea behind not purchasing things. I even have gone so far as to not buy shampoo. I wash my hair instead with a mix of baking soda and water and it actually works! Then again, that also has to do with the fact that my hair looks like a fuzzy plush toy when I shampoo my hair. And the fact that there is a ton of crap in shampoo that just looks plain scary! And heck, I'm pretty sure baking soda is better for our environment than a bottle of shampoo. (No offense to anyone who shampoos their hair, I seriously am not judging here!)

So back to the topic. The feeling of resisting the urge to purchase stuff has made me feel better about myself and it has encouraged me to be more creative with what I have. I'm not saying I'm "cured" of the spending urge, because there are still times when I will purchase a book or a DVD and then think "oh man...did I actually need this? No? Drat." So this is ongoing for me, but I am trying. And so far, I'm feelin' pretty darn good about it.

lots of coffee and tea on this rainy day



I am bursting to the seams with ideas today! I've been doing lots of scheming lately. It has a little something to do with fabrics and old-fashioned appeal. {You are probably wondering what on earth that means.} I won't say anything just yet because I've learned that my mind changes quite frequently and we wouldn't want anyone to think I was flighty, now would we? ;-) So I will leave you with a few pictures that are making me grateful for the change of seasons. Yes, I am finally happy it's getting cold outside!




{Also! If you haven't already seen Abby's shop, you should go take a look. Her photographs are so inspiring. And if you haven't been to her blog, check that out as well. You won't regret it.}

linking friday

I read a bunch of blogs and many of them will have "Linking Fridays." Fridays are the days they will link to a bunch of cool sites they've come across in the last week. I'm not going to start doing this every week, but I do have a bunch of links I've recently come across that I think would be nice to share with you all.
  • Feel like sitting down with a cup of coffee and a good read? Well, then you might consider reading this beautiful account of two sisters who decide to take their bikes and go have an adventure. It all began in the summer of 1944. "Perhaps it was a ridiculous venture, but we were determined never to be put into the category with those who say, I always wanted to, but never did." The Lure of the Open Road. {via Elizabeth}
  • For all you obsessive coffee drinkers out there, you might be interested in these directions on how to make yourself the perfect cup right in your very own home. I've been noticing these little espresso makers around and always wondered what exactly they were. I also noticed Target now carries them. {Though I secretly think I'm going to bump into one of these little confections at a thrift store for a couple bucks.} Yes, I covet them. But Christmas is coming up and I never know what to ask for, so... :)
  • This knitted hood is freaking adorable. I'm sure it would keep me toasty warm during the cold winter months. I'm eyeing these lovely wool yarns and can't decide which one to use, let alone which color!
  • Speaking of knitting {though I think this is probably crochet}, isn't this super awesome?!
  • Thinking of having a cocktail party? Here's a helpful guide from Behind the Curtain to get you started! {Besides, I'm quite partial to the picture she used of Myrna Loy and William Powell.}
  • Oh this makes me want to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot tea. {I LOVE wood floors that have been painted white.}
  • I know I said I wouldn't mention politics again, but this is too good not to post.
  • Pumpkin cake with whiskey in it? Bring it on!
  • Love!
  • Stressing out? Pioneer Woman has some advice. Take note!
  • Speaking of Pioneer Woman. There is something about her writing style that always makes me laugh so hard. I love it. And laughing is a great stress reliever! I love how her writing is so honest and down-to-earth.
Well that's it for the links today. I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton, but hopefully these are enough to keep you occupied for a bit. Hope everyone has a fantastic Friday! I'm going to an art show tonight! My friend Vaclav will be showcasing his art. Should be a good time! I was planning to go to a Sacred Harp sing Saturday morning, but it's postponed until next month. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

japanese craft books - copyright?



Okay, this may be a dumb question, but I've just spent a good amount of time googling to see if I can find the answer and I haven't been able to find anything. So, my question: Can you make things using the patterns in the Japanese craft books to sell or is there a copyright on those patterns? I can't read Japanese and have no way of knowing whether or not this is stated in any of the books. Anyone out there know the answer to this?

knitting, cold weather, budgets, books, kitties


{random kitty picture. who doesn't like random kitty pictures? she's a little feisty, but i don't mind.}

Lately I've been thinking a lot about budgets. I know, it's not exactly a fun topic, but I came to the realization that I really need to put one together for myself. My brother is a whiz at this sort of thing and he's always asking me about my business, so I thought I would see if he could help. I emailed him (as he's living in Russia at the moment) and he sent me a list of questions to fill out. That's one of the things I think I'll be doing this afternoon. It's the kind of task I SO dread. Money makes me ill, but it's also something I need. I've been reading The Boss of You, which is a fantastic book for anyone who is thinking of starting (or who already have started) their own business. I'm telling you, this book would have come in handy when I first started my business. As I'm reading the book I keep nodding my head "yes, yes, YES!" So much stuff in that book I can relate to. From hating money (but realizing one needs it and money isn't always a bad thing) to the whole reason for starting your own business. I never ever started a business so that I could make it "big." That has never, nor will it ever, be my intention. It was very simple. I loved sewing and I loved historical clothing a TON. I couldn't find anything else that I could see myself doing in the future, so I took it upon myself to begin a business that fit my needs and my skills. As with anything (be it college, experiences in life etc.) you gradually find what you are best at and what you enjoy the most. I think I'm still figuring this out, actually. But after all this time, I still enjoy historical sewing immensely. And the more I do it, the better I get and the more confidence I have in myself. (Confidence in oneself is always a plus.) ;-)

I think now I look at what I have done, nearing on my 5th year in business; asking myself where I want to go from here and what exactly is it that I want from my business. One thing they encourage you to do in the book is to jot down the reasons you have your own business and what exactly will make you feel that your business is a success. It could be as simple as paying rent and taking a month vacation a year or whatever. But they strongly encourage you to write it all down. I've never actually done this before, because it's easy to think you've got it stored up there in your brain, so there's no need to put it on paper. The problem is you tend to forget about these goals when times are stressful and little bit by little bit, you end up changing your goals without realizing it. So having a hard copy on a piece of paper to look over every now and then is a smart idea.

I'm not even halfway through the book yet, as I'm just taking a little bit at a time, trying to drink it all in slowly. But so far it's been very encouraging and I think it's exactly what I needed, to get "back on track" as far as the vision of my business goes. So go pick it up if you think it's something you might find helpful!

Okay, enough talk about that! Let's get onto something maybe a little bit more fun. Like...knitting! I finally took out my knitting from last year and began knitting one of the sleeves that was almost completed. I knitted two rows before I realized I made a mistake at the beginning. I ended up ripping that out and haven't started it up again. But it's one of those projects where I had to take the time to figure out where exactly I left off and how I was doing it. So now I feel like I've got a pretty tight grasp on all the directions once again. SO next time let's hope I don't make the same mistake. I've got the rest of this sleeve to do and then just one more sleeve. After that comes the blocking and assembling. I can't wait for this sweater to be done!

And because whenever I have one project to finish, I always begin another, I have been looking at a lot of different projects to start on. Here's my list so far! I'm not sure which one I want to start with, except I'm really fond of Jenny's slouch hat, so will probably begin with that. :)
Doesn't it just make you feel so cozy? Since the weather is changing and it's starting to get a bit chilly, I feel like knitting everything at once. I'm not the greatest knitter ever, but I'd like to get better at it. Though with every hard project where I have to think a lot, it's nice to have an easy project to work on during movies or while meeting with friends over coffee. Now I need to run to the store and pick up some needles that I thought I already had. grrr. Another project: organize my knitting needles.

small town iowa


Check out these pictures of a small town in Iowa, 1939-1942 from Everett W. Kuntz. {via for me, for you}

Just had to post that. :)

music for wildflowers

Last night I made a bit of a mixed-tape for my blog. Inspired by Marjorie, yet again! :) I'll probably add to it and change it periodically. Mostly I am adding "easy-listening" selections. Enjoy.

After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains.
-Walt Whitman

times they are a changin'


{times they are a changin'}

sewing sewing sewing
{working hard on a project.}

I'm not really sure what I'm going to write about tonight, so bear with me! It's been awhile since I've actually blogged. I mean, I have blogged, just feel like I haven't really put much into my posts lately. My mind has been everywhere and I've been thinking a lot about everything at once. Do you ever get that feeling where you want to just put all of your thoughts on paper and forget about them for like...a month? And then by the time that month is over you can go look at your thoughts; they already will have worked themselves out and you can be on your merry way? Well, this is how I think. :) I feel like my mind is everywhere and sometimes I forget to think about the stuff that really matters. I'm too caught up with all the worries of the moment. They may even be legitimate worries, but sometimes you just have to put them aside, read a magazine, look at a pretty picture, take a walk, smell the fresh air. I think for me, those are the times when I really step back and look at the big picture. When I see that life really does go on, even when you feel overwhelmed with everything.

...Moment... I'm listening to Marjorie's beautiful music selection {scroll down} and right now it is Midlake "Young Bride" and it is perfect. Btw, I love Midlake. Yes, you should check them out.

Okay, back to whatever it was I was saying...

Oh yes, what was I saying again? Anyway, some random thoughts. I think too much. Lately I have been appreciating the outdoors around me. Not that I have had a whole lot of time to go outside, but I am noticing the weather is changing, leaves are beginning to change and I smell the crisp air. I have rediscovered my stockings and my leather lace-up boots. {The ones that make me feel slightly Victorian.} And they make me feel taller and maybe a little older. :) I've been thinking of stuff to make for the colder weather which is creeping up on us. I have visions of flannel shirts and plaid wool coats. I picked up a Vintage Vogue pattern at the fabric store the other day while they were on sale. Perhaps I will find time to make this coat on the weekends, among all the other projects I am envisioning to make for myself. Yes, I have way too much on my plate of things to make already, but I can't help but think of new things. Sewing things for myself really does help me take that much needed break, as strange as that sounds. I sew all the time for work, but I actually have more fun sewing things for myself and I'm not ashamed to admit it! It renews my love of sewing, because when I sew for myself I sew whatever the heck I feel like sewing. It could be a top, it could be trousers, a coat, a bag, the possibilities are endless! And if I get tired working on a particular project and want to move onto another, well there is nothing stopping me! I'm totally free to be my artistic self and it feels absolutely marvelous. I'm telling you, it really takes the stress off of me. Perhaps one day I will get to the point where I am only sewing items I feel like sewing, but I honestly doubt that will ever happen. I can dream!

I am thinking, though, that I will eventually get a little more organized in what I will and will not sew {for work}. Perhaps I will actually get around to making that line of clothing or make a run of leather bags as well. In fact, I am thinking more seriously about those leather bags. I will keep you posted, as I know several of you were interested in them back when I first made mine.

I realize this is a bit of a jumbled blog this evening {er, morning} but I felt like writing and when I get those urges, it's best I take them while I have them. I'll be back. Lots of projects ahead of me and lots and lots of work to get done. I keep telling myself not to get overloaded. I think more walks are in order to clear my mind! They help very much. Very much indeed.

P.S. I love banjos {Marjorie posted this awhile back I believe - thank you!} and I also love fiddles. Music is also a huge stress reliever for me. And these tunes sooth my soul.

old town clothing


I ran across this website awhile back, I have no idea where or when I first discovered this place (maybe in a magazine??) and completely forgot about it. Until I read Casey's post. Thanks, Casey!! I'd like one of each, please. :)

right on

"Politics consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable."

-John Kenneth Galbraith

{p.s. this is probably the only time i'll say a word about politics in this blog.}

colorado girl

Oh man he's such a hippie, but I love him just the same.

into the wild


tj, dave, jay, anna and silvana
{in the parking lot before the event started: tj, dave, jay, me and silvana.}

I'm back and getting into the swing of things once again. Going off for almost 4 days in the wilderness was exactly what I needed. So far this has been the most challenging living history event I've attended. I found out I could live on a lot less and still make it through. I discovered washing your hands is last on the list when your water supply is limited and you are left with the decision to drink it or stay somewhat clean. I'll stay hydrated over cleanliness, thanks. :) My nails were packed with dirt by the second day and it stayed like that throughout the entire event.

marmaduke's raid
{trying to figure out the old flintlock.}

We scurried up sides of cliffs, ran around the woods (my skirts catching everything in our path), slept in patches of poison ivy (somehow I never got the stuff), got maaaaybe 2 hours of sleep the whole time, watched shooting stars at night, became engulfed in the nature which surrounded... and it was magnificent. The funny thing is I never really saw myself as a camping girl. But ever since I've been doing living history, I feel like I've almost got a natural connection. There are so many things we take for granted here in our convenient homes of luxury. Everything from finding water, getting enough to eat to keeping warm was a chore. But somehow we managed and now I wish I were back out there. Can't wait to do it again!

{More pictures here.}

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. Okay, I realize last weekend is long gone and it's almost the weekend again, but my schedule is all off these days so give me a break. ;) It's getting chilly here again. Think maybe it's time to take out the knitting.

OH! I almost forgot! I was referencing something in a past entry about some thrifty goodness and I never posted pictures. Well, here they are. A pair of 1940s heels that I got for super cheap.

1940s shoes - thrift find!

Here's a better picture.

fall is in the air


Well I've tried to ignore this chilly weather that is creeping in, but I suppose I should just admit that fall really is here, though I still have this huge urge to go lake swimming and wear summer dresses. Summer went even faster this year and I already miss it. But since I can't do anything about the change of weather, I might as well enjoy the colder months that are coming. Inspired by Abby, here's a smallish list of stuff I'd like to do:

-Camp out in the woods for five days in south-east Missouri, 1863 style. {NEXT WEEK!!!}

-Sew lots of my own clothing, including more jeans (I have some interesting styles I want to try out, but haven't quite found the right jean cloth to use yet), knit wear (I made my first knit sweater last Sunday with the help of this book and it turned out smashingly. Lots easier than I thought and only took me about an hour and a half from start to finish) and lots more warm clothing.

-Try printing some fabric to use in my own clothing with the help of this fabulous book.

-Start knitting again (which means finishing that sweater I started last year!!)

-Get back into reading on a more regular basis, so I actually finish the books I start.

-Watch lots of obscure classics.

-This goes along with knitting, but I have always wanted to figure out how to knit stockings. Perhaps this year is the time to accomplish it. {On a side note, whenever I meet a guy who finds out I can knit, they ask me to make them a pair of socks. Dude, they aren't easy! At least I've heard they aren't. So I'm a little hesitant to learn, 'cause then maybe I won't get out of it next time some guy asks me to make him a pair...haha.}

-Write more hand written letters. They mean so much more and I have put this off for far too long.

Well that's all I've gotten so far. I actually wrote this early this week, when it really was chilly, but didn't have time to finish it. Now the weather is nice again and I'm wearing a summer skirt. Hey, this is Iowa for ya. You never know quite what you're gonna get.

I found this video last night and I really really love this. I love the way these two girls sing this Fleet Foxes song. Makes me want to sing along. so. frickin. bad. All this good music I keep hearing, it's kinda makin' me giddy. {via}

Check out this video a friend sent to me. I want to learn to dance like that!

Today I'm going to spend the rest of the day finishing projects all for myself. I started several, but had no time to finish them and I want to wear some new things. Perhaps I'll try some hand printing today. Then again, I always say I'm going to do more than I do. If I end up finishing a blouse or a pair of trousers I started, I think that will be good. Take care and be well.

dirndl pattern


{new dirndl pattern from burda style.}

I'm quite tempted to get this pattern. I love the color combinations and prints. Also reminds me of that Vogue Italia magazine I talked about before. In fact, that magazine seems to go along more with fall fashions than spring. Perhaps one of these days I will actually get on the ball and make some clothing inspired by those fashions like I said I was going to do in the summer.

my little weekend jaunt


i'm walking in the park
{walking through the park in chicago.}

A few things I learned in Chicago this past weekend:

  1. When people parallel park, they park really close to you. I mean really dang close. Thank goodness the moment you are about to give up trying, the car behind you drives off. {How did they do it?} I swear, parallel parking is a talent. Something I haven't quite perfected yet. {I hesitate to admit the fact that I haven't technically parallel parked since I was in driver's ed. That was um...8 years ago.} It's on my "things I'm determined to learn before I die," I mean, "before I turn thirty" list. Yeah.
  2. People get pissed off by the dumbest things. We ended up going to this thing called Flugtag {never heard of it before, but apparently this thing is on TV and widely known - it's funky}. We were waiting in line for beer, it was a long line and we had been there for 45 minutes. Not to mention you had to fight crowds of people to actually get IN to the place where they were selling it. While we were in line, some more people came and discovered where the end of the line was at and began expressing their annoyance. One lady kept going up to the front of the line to see what was going on because she felt it wasn't moving fast enough. Another guy commented on how the line isn't moving because everyone is paying more attention to the show rather than the beer line. I felt like telling them to freakin' shut up. And the real kicker? Right before it was our turn to get beer, the cops came by and stopped all beer sales. The guy behind me wanted to start a riot. It was actually very amusing. But I have to admit, I sorta felt the same way.
  3. Okay, I kinda feel dumb about this one. Someone said they wanted to go to the Hancock building, and the first thought I had wasn't that it was THE Hancock building, but rather Hancock Fabrics. Yeah I know, I'm that lame. However, I figured not long after, that it must have been some other building she was talking about, because I was not with people who appreciate fabric shopping. Not in the least bit. But it was cool going up 95 floors to look at the gorgeous view of the city. And I also admit, it was fun having drinks at The Signature Room, however overpriced they were. Plus my ears never popped.
  4. I discovered I really love to walk around. My feet get tired like everyone else, but there is something about it that makes you feel more apart of the city, when you are walking around on your feet from place to place. We took the taxi a few times and since I rarely take a taxi, it was kinda fun. But I also felt that it seems kind of snooty to always take a taxi. And I thought, though there are a lot of people in the city who spend money left and right like it grows on trees, I mostly wonder if that is just a facade people put on to make themselves appear wealthy. Or perhaps I'm just a snob and think rich people suck. It could be that too. I'm not saying I couldn't live in a big city, I think it could be great, but I would definitely have to find a group of like-minded people otherwise I feel I would go completely out of my mind. Maybe I'm just a country gal. I appreciate those long country walks a little bit more these days.
  5. This kind of goes along with number 4, but I hate, Really dislike, actually I despise designer clothing, bags, sunglasses, whatever. They make me want to puke. So bad. Yeah, that's all for #5. :)

Well I had a good time. I'm really hoping the next time I'm in the city I will get to go fabric shopping and see my friend Ashe again! This trip was too swift {we got there late Friday night and left Saturday evening}. But it was a nice little break. And I love experiencing new places. There is so much to do and see in Chicago. You can't just plan one or two trips. Well I'm exhausted. Have a good week, people.

Pictures from the trip found on my flickr.

sunburned and tired
{driving home saturday night. sunburned, except my face 'cause i remembered sunscreen just in time, but otherwise i'm a fried goose, and a tired goose.}


I love this blog. Makes me want to cook all the time. I also love the down-to-earth way she writes. It's great.

Had a great time in Chicago! I'm sure I'll be back. Maybe next time I'll get to do some fabric shopping. More on the trip later. Gotta get some work done that I had to put off until after my little jaunt.

winter coats and linen trousers


Coats are on the mind lately. I still want to make that 1880's jacket, but I'm now also thinking of a new winter coat {not that I NEED a new one} made from this pattern:

{C30-4709 Ladies' Coat Pattern, circa 1933. Eva Dress.}

I haven't figured out the fabric yet. But something tells me this would be great in a dark brown mohair/wool fabric. But we'll see on that. I probably won't even have time to make it, but a girl can dream! Besides, I've got fall clothes to make before I think about winter coats.

I also finally started making a pair of trousers with my linen stripe fabric I got in Chicago several months ago. They were going to be for the summer, but I never got around to them so I'm making them longer and adding cuffs and hoping to wear them during the fall. I think I'm also going to make a matching belt. We'll see if I have enough fabric left over for that. They are, of course, long waisted. The '30s and '40s style trousers are definitely in my book of fashion right now. The picture below is similar to how mine will look, with the pleats in the front. Though I won't have a waistband and plan to add belt loops and a tiny pocket with horizontal stripes {and a real pocket in the right side seam, that you won't see}.

{I dig those white heels.}

And speaking of trousers, I really love this picture and the trousers the girl on the far left is wearing. They just look so comfy.

{I found this image on flickr, but now I can't remember where!}

A few more great vintage trousers {and just all around great vintage pictures}, here, here and here. {Did I mention I'm getting into the look: "1940s factory working girl?" Well, slightly anyway. I kind of like that look. :) }

Oh what the heck, here are a few more fun vintage images: girls' baseball, camper, great blouse pattern and awesome sailor shorts and halter top!! {Also check out the other pictures uploaded from my friend Ashe.}

I have to also add this one, just because it looks like Asta from The Thin Man series. :)

Annnd last but not least, check out Casey's post on her 1940s slacks with lots of great vintage images for inspiration!

Well hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm off to Chicago this evening for a short weekend visit. I doubt I'll get a chance to fabric shop because the people I'll be with aren't really into that thing. But will probably be checking out the art museums, which shall be fantastic! In any case, I'm sure I'll be back out that way again.

the weekend


Wish I could go to Lamoni, IA this weekend for the farb fest (aka "party"), but it looks like I will have to stay home. However, my brother is flying in from LA tonight and then we're going out for drinks. Should be fun! That is, if he doesn't miss his flight... I hear it is easy to miss ones flight in LA.

Also I really wish I hadn't miss out on the dance in Iowa City last weekend. Check out the video with the Gilded Bats playing! I hope I can make it out for their next dance, though!

Gilded Bats play the Iowa City Barn Dance

Also, I found this song ("Take me down in the night") I had downloaded to my mp3 player awhile back and just found it. I can't stop putting it on repeat. I know, I'm bad like that. :)

coffee is my vice


{image from smitten kitchen. cold brew coffee.}

Yum yum yum yum yum. I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen just now and right away I went to start my brew so that by tomorrow morning I will have iced coffee. Yes! I love coffee. I never used to, so I'm not sure what is up with my recent {as in the last two years or so} obsession. I guess it keeps me going throughout the day and I love the taste of it. ::skips off dancing and singing:: {coffee also makes me a little crazy and giddy, if you couldn't tell.}

{Also yes, I do realize I have posted way more in one day than I usually do in a week. Must be the excess amount of coffee I had today...}

fall jacket inspiration

Okay, I know this isn't 1930s, but it has been driving me crazy lately and I have to put it down somewhere so I will remember that, yes, I really do want to make this for the fall. {As in, I better get my act together before it's too late to be wearing fall jackets and winter weather sets in...ack!}

{eva dress pattern, Ladies' Serge Jacket, circa 1885. Not to mention it is the perfect size!}

Alright, I am thinking of two options on how I want to make this. First of all I am thinking of cutting it shorter. Taking off all that pleated skirt in the front, which meets up with the back peplum. I LOVE the back peplum, just don't relish the idea of wearing a massive skirt-butt-jacket. :)

Option no. 1-
  • Made of wool. {I have brown, black, dark green and burgundy on hand that I can use - now which one to choose??}
  • Buttons down the front or zipper? hm...
Option no. 2-
  • Made of jean cloth.
  • Metal zipper up the front {If I could find a blue metal zipper that is long enough, that would be perfect}
Well that's all I've got for now. I hope I have time for this one because I think a jacket like this would really come in handy.


Okay, last video clip for the day (i promise, maybe). Love this scene with Ginger Rogers fighting. Oh so good. It's a cute movie, too. Another one of those obscure films that isn't out on DVD yet. But it has Ginger Rogers and James Stewart. Plus they meet in one night and get married the next day, so it's gotta be good, right? :)

Vivacious Lady (1938)

the future

{1920s-to-1950s-fashion.com via}

I'm thinking of doing something along the lines of a "1930s obsession" theme. You know, not that I haven't already, but it would be kinda fun to start sharing pictures and other clippings I find interesting within this decade. I thought about starting a new blog dedicated to all things 1930s, but then I thought, why another blog? So maybe I will start sharing more images and such that inspire me on here. I'm thinking up new ideas for my Fall wardrobe and what I want to make with the fabric I recently purchased. Hey, maybe I will put out a vote to see what you all think I should make. Could be fun. :) We shall see. And now off to get back to work and compile more images from the LOC. Later!

thrift gods were good


If you haven't guessed already, I'm a huge Ginger Rogers fan. In fact, I'm pretty much a self-proclaimed old movie addict. But I'm OK with that. :) And I read a review of this movie {5th Avenue Girl 1939} today and now I want to see it! I hate that I don't have TCM!

I'll update more when I have some time (with a few pictures), but Saturday I went to the little town of Mount Vernon again and we ate at that fabulous Lincoln Cafe (I seriously cannot get enough of this place - but we actually went to show it off to a few other friends who had never been there before) and then headed to a few of the nearby antique shops. The thrift gods were very good to me that day! Not only did I come away with some great little gems, I also got a compliment on my rather strange style (hair in braids all pinned back, linen sailor shorts and voile flower top - ya know, that 1930s obsession coming out again). This lady at one of the shops kept telling me I looked "artistic" and "fresh." Made me grin (only an older woman would say that to me and not call me "grandma." haha) And when I told her I was a seamstress she had to tell everyone in the shop who had walked by at that moment that I was a seamstress. Very interesting lady. She kept knocking down prices on things and said she likes young people. Every time I go into that particular antique shop I meet someone who seems to be a little bit off their rocker, but at the same time very very kind.

I'll take a few pictures of my little finds and share them later. I am pretty excited about a particular item. It has to do with something you wear on your feet. And they are a shade of green. :)

pictures and schtuff


the proverbial after-wedding-pictures
{yes, it's a picture of my FOOT.}

Right now I'm pretty much out of it, but for some reason I have decided to post a blog. So we'll see what comes out, 'cause I sure am pooped.

This past weekend I went to a wedding. I never did finish that dress I wanted to wear to it, but I wore the yellow number instead, which was just fine. I still want to finish that dress, but hmm...now I have other ideas for OTHER things to sew for myself. Oh decisions. I just haven't had an ounce of time or energy to sew for myself. Gahh...the things I have to deal with. {if only that was all i had to worry about in this life...haha}

Watch this video. It is so cute. {via}

Ever feel like telling that secret crush how you really feel, only you are too scared to actually go up to that person and TELL them? Well, this little form makes things pretty simple. Try it out. Maybe it will work. {wink} Only I am not responsible for anything that may happen to go wrong as a result. I still think it's pretty darn cool. :) {via}

Well tomorrow should be another interesting day. Let's hope I get through it in one piece. Wow, it's already the middle of the week. Oh how time flies. It's also getting hot again, which is making me feel like stripping all of my clothes off. {no you didn't just read that.} Whew. And to end, more proverbial after-wedding-pictures. :)

the proverbial after-wedding-pictures
{i like to dress up. what can i say? i'm a girl.
p.s. that little flower is a vintage broach. it actually stayed in place the whole evening. amazing.}

the proverbial after-wedding-pictures

the proverbial after-wedding-pictures

the proverbial after-wedding-pictures

{few more pics over there.}