I received the sweetest email from Gwen yesterday, basically asking me what the heck had happened to me. Yes, it has been a month since I last posted what with Christmas and football keeping me from sewing a single stitch. (By the way, War Eagle!) I took the last two weeks of the year off and headed down home to Cotton Creek, AL. I had a lovely time - it was a wonderful Christmas, and the Carpenter came too, and experienced all that Cotton Creek had to offer. Let's see . . . we had snow flurries on Christmas day and we ate a lot; that's it, you are pretty much up to speed.
For Christmas, he gave me the Alabama Stitch Book, which I have been eyeing for ages. He apparently bought it after seeing it at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts when we went to see the Quilt Exhibit. The author, Natalie Chanin, is from just outside of Florence, Alabama, from a little corner called Lovelace Crossroads. The first page of her book shows an arial view of Lovelace Crossroads, and one of the houses was her grandparents', and is now hers. I find this love of home to be typical of folks from Alabama, and no matter how far they move away, it seems they usually race back as soon as they can.
The book is an interesting one because all of her stitching is done by hand, even her seams. As you know, I avoid handstitching like taxes. I usually find that one quarter inch Steam-A-Seam can fulfill most of my handbasting needs. I thought I would be bored, but I read every bit of the book. I don't know if it will inspire me to the extent that I would actually hand stitch reverse applique, but you never know. I do think her skirt is adorable (the one piece pattern is included in the back of the book) and it is made from old t-shirts. I do like the idea of recycling old t-shirts into a new purpose. I've never actually sewed any knits before, and this simple skirt may be the best way to start. Cheap, too. I don't have to embellish by hand like Ms. Chanin unless I want to.
Speaking of saving money, I went out and bought a dress from Anthropolgie to wear to my company Christmas party in December. I brought it home, tried it on again, but then I scrambled around in my closet, and found this dress which I made for the cruise Mother and I took in 2009. I decided to wear the dress I made instead because it fit better, looked more like a party dress, and saved me $ 168 since I took the Peggy Sue dress back to Anthropolgie with no regrets. I wore it with the full crinoline and no sash and got tons of compliments on it all night. This photo doesn't show much of dress, but it does show the Carpenter in a suit!
We had a great time at that party, but my re-entry into the working world this week has been brutal. After two weeks of cooking, eating, reading, and in general doing whatever I wanted to do, the enforced routine of getting up and out the door for work seems like the Bataan Death March. Not to mention the reduction in calories after a month of eating like I'm in Scotland on vacation (three full meals, plus medicial afternoon tea with restorative shortbread cookies). Trying to come down from that and exist on merely 1800 to 2000 calories a day appears somewhat ridiculous. When can I retire?
And speaking of retirement, I'm having lunch with VickiW tomorrow to collect my Christmas present, the fab tablerunner. As soon as I can I'll get a photo of it on the table the Carpenter made. I know it will look fantastic!