on a cold winter's day.


snow in south amana.

walking to the post office

baking christmas cookies.

white christmas, of course!

all decorated.

peppermint popcorn!

last minute gift.

all wrapped up.

Today I've been nursing a head cold, and what I've found that helps immensely is to make a pot of soothing eucalyptis tea. It's very simple. All you do is take 1 tsp dried eucalyptis leaves and steep in 6-8oz hot water for about 9 minutes. I made a couple of pots today. You can also boil the leaves in a steaming pot of water and place your head over the steam to inhale. Wearing a towel over your head helps also, although it gets kind of hot, so I don't really like doing it for too long. I also made a pot of the most delicious vegetable soup. I highly recommend this recipe. I left out the pasta and forgot to get red peppers, but it still tastes amazing and is exactly what I needed today. Now all I need to do is make some bread and I'm set!

Any plans for New Year's Eve? I've already been to a couple of pretty great parties and since I don't really have any place to go this year, I think Jed and I are going to have our own little party. You know what I really want to do is make Jed another Christmas present and we can have Christmas all over again! Oh yes, did I mention I had a pretty spectacular Christmas this year? Everyone was so generous! Jed got me this lovely perfume. I've never owned perfume in my life (at least not the real stuff) so I am pretty excited about it. That means I'm all grown-up now, right? I got Jed a pair of much needed shoes. He looks pretty hot in them, if I do say so myself. And I also made him a picture album using pictures from our summer. I used MagCloud to make the picture book and then penned in a few memories on each page. I'm going to try and continue making albums for all the seasons I've spent with Jed.

Hope you have a wonderful New Year's! I'm taking it easy right now due to my cold and also for the holidays, but am planning to be back in full swing by the middle of next week. xo

p.s. are you the type who makes new year's resolutions? i didn't think i was, but am thinking about taking advantage of the new year and getting back into an exercise routine. i have a video called "ballet bootcamp" and i know the title sounds funny, but the one time i tried it i really liked it. thinking about starting it back up again. here's hoping i can stretch myself to get up a half hour early every morning...

merry christmas!



Although this is a picture I took last year, it looked very similar outside today. We had a blizzard last night and the snow continued to fall today, so it's quite the winter wonderland out there! I'm here at my parent's house enjoying an early Christmas celebration and again tomorrow and the next day with extended family. Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

shop update!


adelaide blouse

Over at Big Cartel this time!

p.s. to those of you who have responded to my little announcement...all i can say is wow! you guys are incredibly kind and sweet!!! :) xoxo

j + a.


we asked each other. and we both said yes!

Maybe you've wondered where I've been lately? Among other things, I got myself engaged! We kept it a secret except to close friends and family for a couple of weeks, but now it's official! xo

a surprise package from france!


a parcel from france!

a parcel from france!

a parcel from france!

a parcel from france!

a parcel from france!

a parcel from france!

a parcel from france!

Yesterday I walked to the post office in the blistering cold to mail off a check for rent and to mail the terribly high gas bill. Yes, it's officially that time of year and I am learning that it is a huge headache trying to keep a really old building warm. So I've moved my sewing machine into the little entryway and turned off the gas. That was a huge relief. And it's SO much cozier in here. So anyway, you can imagine how I felt after mailing those checks off. But then I went into the post office and looked in my box! There was a little orange key, which means there's a package waiting for me! I opened the box and discovered a parcel from...France! My dear friend Valerie whom I met through my blog, decided to just send me a package because she's awesome like that! You know sometimes you meet someone and you know right away that they are a kindred spirit? Well it was exactly like that when I met Valerie. Oh, no, we haven't "met" in person, but I know in my heart that we have. It is more than seeing a person face to face to meet them. She is sweet and kind and incredibly talented. Not to mention she has impeccable taste in everything! She sent over a beautiful shawl she crocheted, a box of French chocolates, beautiful pocket calendar, tea and last but not least, the most sweet, kind and lovely note that she wrote to me. I don't deserve such kindness!! Thank you again, Valerie. xo

it was a good week.


dinner with friends.

dinner with friends.

dinner with friends.

Thanksgiving week was pretty awesome. SO much to be thankful for this year. Thank you all for sticking around here and for supporting me! You all have been absolutely incredible. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving, for those of you who celebrate the holiday and also for those who don't. Now it's time to get back into the swing of things. And winter is almost here...I can feel it! Have a great week everyone! xo

my wardrobe: toggle coat.


my new winter coat.

my new winter coat.

my new winter coat.

My new coat is finished! Now I'll be warm and toasty!

Happy Thanksgiving week to you! My guests are coming over tonight and guess what? I'm making chicken curry. Yeah, so much for wanting to be all vegetarian. But I thought I would pick something easy, that I've made before.

Keep warm. Be thankful. Drive safe. xo

{a few more coat pictures here.}

le loup-garou


A new online boutique for you to check out!

{p.s. it's friday already?!}



tea + cookies

knitting station

merino wool scarf

my outfit, including a frill of blurred lace.

frye shoes.

I had a good weekend, how 'bout you?

Question: What to make for guests next week? Thinking of making vegetarian lasagna or minestrone soup or...? Vegetarian would be fun and although my guests aren't vegetarian, they appreciate foods without meat from time to time (as do I).

my wardrobe: winter coat.


I decided a couple months ago that I *had* to make myself a new winter coat. The one I'd been wearing I sewed on Thanksgiving about, oh... three years ago? And while I can still technically wear it, I really want a new one. So I bought some really nice twill weave wool (feels slightly felted, which makes for lovely sewing) in brown and cream. Then I bought some huge (okay, only 2") toggle buttons (they are wooden, but look a bit like bone). Next I had to figure out what pattern to use and what lining to use, because I always seem to think of the lining last (I hate lining). I ended up using some cotton/linen check fabric I already had, because I was determined not to buy anything else. Then I found this really great 1960's coat pattern (I ended up buying two, one in a larger size and then when I got lazy and didn't want to grade the pattern, another in my size). One big thing I forgot about when making this coat was that the pattern called for shoulder pads. I didn't read the directions before making the coat (or really during, either) so when it came to attaching the sleeves, I couldn't figure out why the shoulders were so huge! Then it dawned on me. So annoying! I ended up having to take in the shoulder seams another 5/8" and then move the sleeves in by almost another inch. It took some fiddling, but I finally got it. I should have checked that before cutting out the coat, but I didn't want to make a mock-up and I didn't feel like reading the directions completely through before starting. What can I say? I get lazy sometimes when sewing for myself. :) But in the end, it all worked out. I'm still waiting on the rope I ordered for the button loops (woven cotton cord is harder to find than I thought). But I am really happy with how it turned out, especially seeing as I didn't exactly spend the time to make a mock-up and all.

Pictures to come once it is completed! And a very happy weekend to you all!

{above images: 1. dear creatures coat., 2. simplicity 4110, 3. vera coat., 4. carven tweed toggle coat.}

pretty clothes.


All so very lovely. They are on my imaginary wish-list. I especially love the turn-of-the-century styling of the first blouse. Details are everything. I want to start making clothes for myself that add those little hand details. Like smocking or embroidery, the little things that take time, but are completely worth doing.

{all images from COTON.}

another new top coming...


black linen top with vintage trim.

black linen top with vintage trim.

Can I just start out by saying black is really really difficult to photograph? Because it is. I took several pictures but these were the only two I think are OK. I'm gonna have to get my brother involved for some better modeling pics, methinks. The lighting wasn't so great either, which probably made it even harder. Nonetheless, I have a new top! And this one I'm quite happy with, I must say. It has french seams throughout, along with a bit of vintage lace and vintage (rust proof!) hooks and bar closures. It is made of black 100% linen and is a nice medium weight. The drape is heavenly. I might even make this into a dress for the holiday season. I have been in a strange holiday mood lately. Like, I am already watching Christmas movies ("Christmas in Connecticut," anyone??). I know it's way too early to get all excited about Christmas, but I guess my excuse is that I am trying to inspire myself into creating new holiday worthy garments. And this is what I came up with recently. I really want to keep this one because it's so flattering on me, but honestly haven't very many places I could wear it. My wardrobe basically consists of garments that will keep me warm while I work. I don't go out much at all and when I do, the people I go out with aren't the types who dress up. But perhaps I could justify wearing one of these with a thick lambswool cardigan (can you tell I've been lusting after one at J Crew?). Yes, I think I could justify it. Well then, maybe I will be greedy and keep one for myself. :) Anyway...so this will be in the shop SOON. I know I have like two other new tops I keep meaning to put up, but I finally just graded the pattern. Once I complete a few big projects (that means working this weekend, unfortunately) I will have them up in the shop. I am trying not to overload myself by putting new items in the shop while I'm stressing over other projects. So maybe I'll get those up next week.

Have a super weekend!

{p.s. i made a few more mark-downs in the shop today!}

harvest calico blouse.


harvest calico blouse.
So guess what? I am going to sell one of the tops I was originally making for myself after all. Why? I guess I didn't realize that the color wasn't "me" when I purchased the fabric. Oh, well! Maybe someone out there will see it and snatch it up. I made it in size small and it's available in my Big Cartel shop and Etsy if you're interested. I'm really happy with how it turned out, so I may be making more of these calico blouses for the autumn/winter season. I plan to make another for myself in a different color and pair it with a silk undershirt for really cold days.

Although one of the tops I made I am not keeping, I did manage to make another button-up for myself on Saturday. It's made out of a really lovely woven cotton that is brushed on one side, which feels super soft and comfy next to my skin. It will be great to wear to my brother's barn party next weekend. I'll share pictures soon.

I hope everyone had a spooky Hallowe'en! I did! My boyfriend and I watched Sleepy Hollow (which I hadn't seen before) and some kids banged on our door rather loudly at one point, which freaked me out. We didn't have any candy because I was told no one really comes out this way, so those little brats didn't get anything. Jed did go out and get some candy later, even though no one else showed up. That's okay! More candy for us!

Have a wonderful week and hello November!

sewing for myself.


I know I said I don't like to sew for myself, but I've decided (once again) that sometimes what I really want I just can't buy or I can't buy with the money I have to spend. So I purchased some fabric to make a few simple fall/winter tops to wear with cardigans. I'll probably use my own pattern and change a few features on them. I'm leaning towards using the Phoebe top pattern and making it a pullover and adding long sleeves. I might also make a back opening version. We'll see. The top three fabrics are the ones I've chosen and perhaps a woven plaid. And maybe I will make a few to sell in the shop. Do let me know if you are interested in something like this. I will share pictures when they're made (hoping I'll find time after work to sew!)

{p.s. thank you all so much for your comments on my boot dilemma! i had already pretty much decided on the bean boots because they are way more practical than the canvas riding boots. and i know i would be much happier if i waited to get a pair of riding boots all in leather as i have a feeling the canvas would get dirty after a few wears. i'll let you know when i get the bean boots and how i like them. i'm going to wait a bit, since i don't actually need them until we get some snow on the ground.}

two pair boots, but which one?


I need a good sturdy pair of winter boots and I know which pair I'll really get a lot of use out of. But the other one is calling my name too and I know I shouldn't buy both...or should I? Which pair would you buy if you had my dilemma? L.L. Bean Boot or the Lands' End Canvas Riding Boot?

man-proof 1938.


I love this movie. I could watch it over and over, back to back and not get tired of it (I have). I realize my taste in old movies differs quite widely from many people and so most likely others would not be quite so enthusiastic as I am over this film. But it's one of my more recent personal favorites. I discovered this gem on Youtube several months ago. I don't know if it's still online, but I did an evil thing and downloaded each video to my computer so I could watch it through iTunes whenever I wanted. But yesterday it was on TCM and my mom taped it for me, so now I can watch it on a real live television!

This film is about a girl named Mimi Swift (Myrna Loy) who is infatuated with this guy Alan Wythe (Walter Pidgeon) who is a bit of a playboy. Mimi has a pretty amazing mom (Nana Bryant) and a close family friend named Jimmy Kilmartin (Franchot Tone) who she doesn't realize is really the best friend she's ever had (not until the end of the film, that is). She thinks she's in love with Alan and she's going to do all she can to nab him, even after he's married (to Rosalind Russell). Jimmy and Meg Swift (her mother) know she is going to get herself hurt and tries to stop her, but she won't hear any of it. My favorite part about this film is the relationship between Mimi and her mother. They just seem to get along so perfectly together. And of course it doesn't hurt to have lots of lovely clothes, a cute cozy home (I love that plaid couch and the square cushions!) and of course a happy ending. It's the perfect movie to put me in good spirits. Does the trick every time. I don't think it's available on DVD, but watch for it on TCM, they play it every now and then. If you are into old films as much as I am, this one is sure to become one of your favorites.