snow and home

31 January 2010

North Carolina (at least my part of it) is covered in snow--6-8 inches, I'd say, which is just enough to keep the neighborhood chicos busy running around and pelting each other with frozen missiles. Outside my window are interlaced lines of happy footprints.

Although my roommate is scoffing at the two-day shut down of businesses (she lived last in Rhode Island), there is good reason: the roads are pretty bad, even the main ones. But it's the little connecting roads and parking lots that are especially tricky. I just had to cross my fingers and hope my car could get up enough traction to bump over the mounds of snow surrounding my poor car this morning. It did and I only arrived at church 15 minutes late to join the faithful few who managed to drive in, too (faithful? or optimistic? or daft? Probably the latter).

But now I'm back at home, waiting for my bread to finish its second rise and gearing up to throw my granola ingredients together so that I can bake both simultaneously. My pot is soaking after the macaroni and cheese, and my week's dinner is tucked away in the fridge. I've just finished a hot cup of cocoa from a mix I make regularly, along with two chocolate chip cookies I baked last week. It feels good to know what goes into the food I eat, and it feels good to save money by making things from scratch. But the biggest reason I make these things for myself is to stay connected, really; to keep mindful of the process, perhaps, and not just the product. I suppose it's like the difference between killing a chicken and buying frozen chicken breasts. You'll eat meat either way but one comes with an awareness of the life and death of the chicken and the other does not. You couldn't tell what sort of creature the chicken was just by looking in the Tyson's bag. It's disconnected from the real chicken.

These are the things I think about while puttering around the kitchen.

virtual sewing inspiration

One of my favorite ways to waste time is browsing sewing websites, gleaning inspiration and information for various projects from talented and ceaselessly productive sewers around the world. Honestly, I don't know how these lovely ladies make so much time for sewing, but I am glad they do! Here are my favorite sewing blogs:

Gertie's blog revolves around Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing (1952) and its fourteen projects, including skirts, dresses, blouses, coats, and suits. She posts tutorials detailing the techniques she's learning and has recently started even more helpful vlogs. I greatly admire her sewing and fitting skill and her motivation for starting the project.

Casey is a vibrant blogger who loves vintage clothing and seems to have new projects (sewn and knitted) to show her readers all the time. Her blog is a great source of vintage style inspiration--from dresses to cardigans to hair to lipstick. She tends to post about her projects at their beginnings--the planning stage--and at their ends--wearing stage, although occasionally she details her techniques in tutorials (such as her lovely cardigan refashion tutorial).

Sarai and her team host a lovely and frequently-updated blog about all aspects of sewing--the materials, the design, the techniques, the presentation, and even the business of it. Sarai herself has plenty of experience in each area having launched her own company, Colette Patterns, last year (such darling and well-drafted patterns). One of my favorite things about the blog is the attention Sarai gives to vintage dressmaking details, like the stitched bow, curvy trim, and fagoted seams.

Lauren is a professional seamstress with a love for costume history, particularly of the Regency and early 20th-century periods. Her attention to fine construction shows in the gorgeous gowns and outfits she creates and documents, occasionally throughout their construction. I hardly ever come away without the desire to make a fine vintage-style garment.

Burdastyle, Pattern Review, and Threads Magazine have wonderful websites as well, full of style inspiration, patterns, and techniques.

Use these sources to inspire your own sewing projects!

Word File

29 January 2010

Peculate: to steal or embezzle.

example: This was no movie-smooth peculation; anyone who had the least suspicion might trace the accounting discrepancies back to him, but nevertheless it worked. Actual people are disinclined to suspect someone as readily as they do in film.

the start of the semester

20 January 2010

I have to say that I am quite happy with my classes this semester--finally, I'm on to learning practical skills like cataloging and reference and archival description. My assignments are hands-on projects that will help me to navigate these new areas in a real-life application way. Between those three and my course in cultural institutions (I'm exploring these as work environments in addition to libraries/archives), I'm feeling much more prepared for my career.