My dear friends,
The mornings are frost-covered here in Ohio, and I find myself reaching for my slippers and emerald green thrift-store fleece before I even know the time. This morning, snow flurries are floating down in the wind, surely they will melt as soon as they came, but for me, it marks the beginning of the cold months.
A few weeks ago, I set out to collect the last of the alley wildflowers to dye my tailored jacket lining with. I live on the edge of the railroad track, butted up against an alley. In between, brush and litter separate us from the track. Within the tangle of trees, bushes, beer cans, and old receipts, I was surprised to find a yellow flower I had not seen before, somehow it had waited until this moment to blossom; a late bloomer I guess. I saved the flowers in freshwater, later that week I used them to dye my yardage. The most wonderful thing about this type of dyeing is you have no idea what to expect. The yellow flowers didn't dye as strongly as I was anticipating, but they created a beautiful iridescent allover effect that I really love, (Photos below).
Earlier this month was our first Collection critique. I went into it, with bated breath, and a fair amount of worry. My first look was far from completion, but after the critique, I surprisingly felt refreshed. I was able to get some great feedback and ideas on how to move forward. More than anything, I am excited to move on. I love beginnings, it's the finishing that's difficult.
On the right, you can see the fabrics I am using in this first look. I wish I could share every detail with you now, but I plan on holding off until the show. I don't want to give it all away too soon :)
This next garment I'm creating is a gardening dress, inspired by my mom and all the amazing gardens I had the privilege of digging around in as a kid. It will be made from vintage table cloths from my childhood home, there will be ample space to move around in, and deep sturdy pockets for holding gloves, and shears, and seeds in.
In other News:
*I've been having a difficult time organizing and managing my time. If you have any time management tips or suggestions please send them my way. I usually have high ambitions, writing out a list of to do's, but when it comes time, I never want to do the things I've set out, instead, I end up shifting to do something else on my list, but then certain things are done too early, and others too late. Things that I especially love, like this newsletter seem to fall to the back burner and it always feels like there is not enough hours to do it all... Any tips?
* I am taking a break from digital pattern drafting for the moment, and opting for the good ol' fashion paper route. There are so many pattern drafting techniques I still have to learn and practice, that I am deciding to take a break from adding on one more new way to do it. I am planning on taking it back up after graduation. But for now, it will have to rest.
* I am resetting my expectations. I have for so long been searching for perfection and holding my expectations so high that I consistently disappoint myself. I am instead opting to set a goal of learning, finding, and curiosity, enjoying what I make. I hope that from this place I can find a more balanced work schedule and limit my worries.
* My partner, Zach, ran the Burr Oak half marathon a few weekends back. It was such a nice break to get away from the city and cheer them on, (photo below).
*Zach and I celebrated our 4th year anniversary! Time really does fly by.
I've been cooking a-lot more lately. One of my favorite things to do is make pancakes on Sunday, and make extra to have throughout the week. Here is the recipe I use.
Al's Breakfast' Blueberry Pancakes:
- 1C Flour
- 1 t Baking soda
- 1/2 t Salt
- 4T butter (melted, plus extra for frying)
- 1C Buttermilk
- 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
- 1 C Blueberries
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 C walnuts, 1/2 C oats, 1 t cinnamon, 1 T maple syrup
Mix together dry ingredients, add wet ingredients to dry, mixing thoroughly for 2 min. Add any mix in's of your choosing. Fry on a griddle or cast iron using extra melted butter. The butter is ESSENTIAL. Oil works if you need to save money or don't have enough butter, but the butter really makes all the difference.
LOVING: cooking. I have fallen out of cooking nice meals, and this month I've finally got back on track making a wild rice soup for lunches, red pepper muhammara for snacking, and a brown butter apple pie for Thanksgiving. It's been really nice to cook on Sundays, and I feel so taken care of having food ready in the fridge for the week ahead.
PAINTING: zinnias and other summer flowers, (for a scarf design project I am doing for class).
WEARING: My newly finished knit sweater on the daily.
DRINKING: Priya Krishna's Cardamom Chai recipe. So simple and delicious!
I'll be peeping my nose into your inbox again soon, but until then, much love from me to you.
Your Nosy Neighbor,