here i go

I got into the New York Fashion Academy!

I knew that I would, but it’s still nice to know I’m in for sure.

My classes and future career begins on September 24th.

(Shh, don’t tell Teaching I’m cheating on it.)

It’s going to be intense (4 nights a week after I leave work), and Saturdays.
But I’m learning intensity isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I’m excited to learn.

Last weekend, I was in a fashion show at NYFA.
It was intense, but I got to spend 9 hours in a room with other designers and people going through the program.

They gave me advice.

They were funny.

They were brimming with creativity every bit as much as I am.

And I realized, my life is going to change.

These are the people I’m going to be spending time with for the next 2 (and a half?) years. I’m going to put on my own fashion show. I’m going to make a ballgown. I’m going to network. In short, I’m going to invest in a new life.

How exciting is that? 34 years old and I’m just starting.

true beauty appreciates


I look pretty proud of myself, don’t I?

The Alabama Chanin tunic project went very well and was easy to execute. Even so, I messed up when I cut the pattern pieces. I was supposed to join and cut the bodice and peplum pattern pieces together, but instead ended up with a waist-line seam. Not a big deal, nobody’s the wiser (except for you) and it still looks good.

“Intentional design choice,” we’ll call it.


I bought some indigo dye for the hem line, but ended up adding too much water so the solution was weaker than I wanted. It all turned out okay though; I just left the shirt hem dipped in the dye overnight. By morning, it was a desirable shade, and has a nice uneven-ness. Alabama Chanin’s projects always have such a lovely organic look, the dye job just made it even better.

But the best best BEST part was, I had added a little bias strip along the hem, which I stitched in an improvizatory manner. When I dyed the hem, the white thread stayed white, while the bias strip and hem dyed blue. So the stitching shows up now, in a perfect contrasting way that I couldn’t have planned.

My therapist and I often talk about art and creativity (she’s a painter and has worked with lots of creative people), and she told me about a Japanese tradition where you intentionally weave a mistake into your work. I really like that idea.

It reminds me of these mandalas I used to draw when I was in high school. I’d add to them throughout the day in each of my classes, and they’d get bigger and bigger. I like the idea of making clothing that ends up different at the end than I planned. Natalie Chanin says she continues to add to her embellished garments over the years, even as she continues to wear them. In that way, the garment becomes more valuable and beautiful, instead of less, over time.

I’ve been thinking about age lately. As I approach my mid-30’s, I actually feel more beautiful. Yes, maybe my hair is going gray embarrassingly soon, and I’m starting to see wrinkles and undesirable dark circles under my eyes. But I feel more beautiful. I look in the mirror and I like what I see, more than I did when I was younger. My opinion of myself has always depended on what others think of me, but lately I’ve been realizing my opinion is the only one that matters.

Does that make me vain? I don’t think so. I’m finally comfortable in my body. That’s not vanity, that’s confidence.

Which is why, even though I like to post edited pictures of myself, I’ve also included these two pictures, where I might not look perfect but I look happy. These pictures are the real me, with my hubby behind the camera making me laugh as he always does. My other photos are meant to convey a mood, but these pictures are self-portraits.

This is my self.

Which is why the May Sarton poem in my previous post so clearly spoke to me–shouted to me. Her poems feel like a candle illuminating the dark, mysterious path of my future, of aging with joy.

‘cannes’ beach bag and a little bit of paint

A year ago I tried a Martha Stewart craft I had seen here, whereby straw baskets were spray-painted silver. I tried it on a purse I had owned since I was a teenager. It was a nice summer bag, but a little boring and I hardly used it anymore.


I dumped left-over white paint in a narrow container (wide enough to fit the purse though), and dipped the purse in. I also ran a needle threaded with white raffia through the top to make a running stitch border (another Martha idea). I hung the purse outdoors while it drip-dried over the paint pan.


I used the purse a lot this summer, proving that sometimes a little makeover makes an object fresh and desirable again.

a bright patch

You guys, I want to thank everybody who commented on my blog post from last night. I had sort of a rough day (nothing terrible happened, I just felt like I was underwater, just keeping my nose above the surface). Then I got home and read your comments about my costumes, and it made me feel so good. Thank you each for reading my blog.

the shunpike golden: choose your own adventure

You might remember for the past two years my husband and I have attended the Shunpike Golden gala, a fundraiser supporting local artists in Seattle. One of my favorite features of the Golden is that each year, we get to dress up to a different theme.

Two years ago it was the Wild West era.

John and Becky - Shunpike 2012

Last year it was the Roaring 20’s, for which I made my “dress” (actually a top and skirt). Yugh, not my best photo ever, but I was happy with the costume.


This year, the theme is “Choose Your Own Adventure.” Right away, hubby and I decided to go as Joe Banks and Patricia Graynamore from Joe Versus the Volcano. It is my very favorite movie.


Yes, go ahead: “Joe Versus the Volcano”? Wasn’t that a complete box office flop?”

Yes, yes, it was. Except everybody’s wrong about the movie. It’s beautiful. Every time I watch it, I get something new from it. So much philosophy.

My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.

My husband’s costume will be easy: he’ll wear his black suit with a white shirt, a black bowtie, and a white flower lei. I’ll probably have him do his hair Joe-Banks style.


For my costume, I’ll need/get to make something. Here are my inspiration images:


One-shoulder dress, tight-fitted, made of silk (possibly stretchy).


There’s a pretty deep slash on the right thigh…


I’ll wear a blonde wig (already own one), and a flower corsage, and I’ll probably put some fake white flowers on some flip flops.


This is the pattern I’ve purchased to make the dress. I’ll need to improvise on the length of the skirt, and I’ll improvise on the slit up the leg.

 110B_0112_B_large (1)


View B is the one I’ll be attempting.

I’m on the prowl now for some cheap, white (not cream) silk dupioni or even some silk with some stretch in it.

My plan is to try and finish this project AHEAD OF TIME. Last year I was still finishing my costume after the party had already begun, and by the time we arrived we’d missed most of the important festivities, including a burlesque dancer who reportedly did some memorable things with a vibrator.

Couture Adventure Part Duex?


OH. MY. GOD. Guys. Seriously. Hyperventilating here. Scroll down to see some amazing videos of sublime amazing things being made by some of the most talented stitchers in the world.

Originally posted on Sown Brooklyn:

My birthday is next month. I will be 35. I’m not a huge fan of birthdays. That has nothing to do with my age and everything to do with the incredibly shitty ones I had as a kid. Though the bdays have improved drastically as a wife and mom, I am still somewhat reluctant to make an event out of them. For fear of…I don’t know what really. I think I still tend to restrain my emotions due to some long held fear of….something.

Well, I enjoyed my recent dressmaking experience so much (thanks for your kind words!! I will try to get better at replying to those much appreciated comments!) that I’ve been trying to think of another reason or occasion to indulge and completely disregarded my birthday as an option.
But, why?

The bug to bone (PUN!) has been reawakened (with a vengeance, please help me refrain from…

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Another lovely poem by my friend, Alice…

Originally posted on aliceinwildwood:

If I could draw a map…
(I drew a map)

If I could draw a map of where things were, to where things are, to where things might be.
It’d be lovely and cavernous. Beatiful. Perhaps treacherous.

a map from then. to here. climbing mountains, breathing trees.
a map to now. dodging masses. missing vehicles. touching a chest cavity.
a map to perhaps. an ember. a shining. a scary, fearful boulder.

If I could draw a map…

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