Mom and I just returned home from the supper program that our family volunteers at whenever we can. It was their annual Christmas dinner tonight, and they, as usual, did a fantastic job to provide both a wholesome, hearty meal - a full ham dinner with all of the trimmings, extra sides & decadent desserts - as well as holiday cheer. There were carolers, Christmas decorations, not to mention festively wrapped care packages of homemade Christmas cookies for each guest. It was really something, but only a brief respite from the burdens and cold that each guest - from infants to senior citizens, entire families with school-aged children, the lonely, veterans, those with disabilities and hardships - bears.
This year, the numbers served were upwards of 200. And for anyone to witness that and not feel deeply moved...it is a somber reminder of the great need in our own backyards and a glimpse of the good that people can truly do. As we go into this holiday season, may we rejoice in the abundant blessings that surround us, and always make a conscious effort to extend a helping hand to those in need.
Anyways, I have some exciting blog news to share! I was ecstatic to learn that I had been recently nominated for the Liebster Blog Award
by the very
lovely & very
talented Chelsea of A Sartorial Statement
Official Award Rules:
Now, onto the blogging fun...
1) Thank you so much, Chelsea!!
- Acknowledge the blog that nominated you
- Answer the questions the nominating blogger created
- List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that deserve some recognition
- Write 11 questions for them to answer
- Notify them that they've been nominated
It was such a surprise & honor to receive your nomination! Not only does Chelsea sew all things Regency and attends fabulous historical events, she even made her own fairy tale wedding dress
! Just look at her stunning open robe
made from a sari, her block-printed swallowtail jacket
, and her ability to accessorize to perfection with a New Cap and Chemisette
& a Blue & White Housewife
Make sure to check out A Sartorial Statement
, if you don't already follow her! Thanks again, Chelsea, for all of the sewing encouragement & inspiration!
2) Chelsea's Questions:
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Ooooh that is a challenging question! Currently, I would say the Genesee Country Village & Museum. Living history, 19th century clothing & best friends who are like family - enough said.
What has been your most challenging project, to date?
It's a toss up between the Sophia Project
, the 1870s wrapper reproduction of my costume internship, and the fairy queen costume, also designed and completed during the internship. Both were extremely elaborate and time consuming, as well as employing a whole slew of new techniques.
What do you like to do most on a rainy Saturday when nothing else is planned?
Sew, of course! Pinning costume inspiration on Pinterest & dreaming up future wardrobe plans are close seconds.
If you could travel to the past or the future, which would you choose? How far in time would you go?
Another challenging question! I would say into the past, specifically the 19th century because of my obsession the fashion. Jane Austen's era, the American antebellum period or Civil War, or even Queen Victoria's court all sound appealing.
What is your favorite holiday tradition? (Christmas is coming, so that's on my mind.)
Favorite holiday tradition, hmm...anything with the family ranks right up there. The three of us - mom, younger sister and me - are close. We each have very busy lives and are constantly on the run, so finding time to just enjoy each others company is a treat, especially during Christmas break.
How do you motivate yourself when a particular project is difficult or tedious?
I play music or movies in the background, which helps with sometimes tedious portions of hand sewing. If I really come across a snag in a project, I move onto another portion or polish off an accessory for instant satisfaction, giving me time to rethink directions and tackle the challenge. If all else fails, I take a break and set it aside (hopefully not permanently) until it decides to behave!
Do you ever have a hard time explaining your hobby to strangers? If so, how do you handle that?
I wouldn't say that explaining the "whats" and extent of my hobby to strangers is all that difficult - I think the clothing itself and general excitement about/obsession over all things sewing (oh and the need to talk about it constantly!) gives my passions away. However, the "whys" sometimes do...how I deal with the questions greatly depends on the individual situations and people. We don't choose our passions, we just embrace them!
What is your most invaluable tool?
The seam ripper, hands down.
Actually, there is a story behind that...my first and favorite seam ripper, one of those blue, plastic Dritz ones (pictured above), was a gift from Mrs. Meyers, the head costumer of one of the first shows I ever assistant costumed. When she noticed that I was using blunt embroidery scissors to unpick seams stitch by stitch, she handed me this object - a.k.a. the seam ripper - that just effortlessly sliced through the seams. I was taken with it! Little did I know at the time just how invaluable the tool would become. Oh such memories!
Now, I can't imagine life without my seam ripper...It's not like I don't use it for practically every project...
What is your dream project? Time and money are no object - what do you make?
Um, just about everything
that I've pinned on Pinterest!?! I literally have a board of nearly 100 "dream projects" saved...But, if I had to narrow it down...as impossible as that would be...right this second I would say a Civil War kit
including a proper cage, wrapper, wash dress, "better" wool dress and summer sheer. I would love to start reenacting this summer!
This 1820s dress & pelisse are also on that dream project list:
|Dress, silk and cotton, c. 1827, KM 17.926:2.|
Coat, wool, silk wool, linen lining, silk decor, 1810-1815.
(Image via: Pinterest)
What is the last book you read?
Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion
I & II cover to cover, and before that Shakespeare's Macbeth.
What is your biggest guilty pleasure? (Food, TV show, clothing item, etc.)
Oh my, there are quite a few! I horde fabric, modern "skater" dresses & cardigans...period dramas & practically anything BBC...Broadway musicals, fiddle & 60s/70s folk music...
3) While the first half is easy-peasy, the second half is challenging! I truly believe that every, single blogger on my favorites list deserves recognition!! One, for their outstanding talents, and two, for their courage and dedication to blogging. Being a blogger, I realize that it can be difficult sometimes (but also rewarding) to post about our private lives and to put our personal work out there for the public.
That said, for the time being, I'm going to keep the second half for another time and continue to think about those 11 bloggers & 11 questions. Until that update, please take a look at Chelsea's blog & some of my other favorites listed on the sidebar. Thanks for reading!