Monday, January 30, 2012

Adventures of snowy roads and bad tires

To conclude my drawn out tales of the week, I’ll have to dedicate this last post to the adventure I encountered on Thursday.
Thursday is generally a good day. Why? Because this semester I only have to drive down to college three days a week, which means that Thursday is my last day of school. This past Thursday though was not the smoothest one that I’ve experienced because the adventures of the week continued. The morning and early afternoon classes passed quietly and normally, but my friend and I had to drive back down to the dreaded Art Center for a pottery class. (No, I didn’t drive again!) It was dark by the time we were heading back to the campus so I could pick up my car and an icy snow had been falling for some time, giving the roads a slippery coating. I ran from my friends car to my own, shivering as I cleaned off the snow and jumped in to crank the heat. I barely made it up one of the hills as I left the schools parking lots and grimly thought “oh boy, this is not gonna be a fun ride home.”
The combination of my heavy car, the balding tires and the slippery roads forced me to creep along all the back roads at a maximum of 30 MPH. Somehow I made it up (and down) some steep hills without causing damage, but I did slide off the road twice going around a curve. Both times I was able to keep enough control over the car so I could direct it enough to end up with only my front tires in someone’s lawn the first time and then I managed to slide into a driveway the second time. After driving for about 45 minuets, I was on a rare straight stretch of road when, guess what happened? I ended up completely off the road. Barely avoiding a road sign, I slid along the edge of a deep ditch, sliding up and down both sides and nearly nose-diving into the wall of it, before the car finally came a stop on the bottom. After that I called my dad, and about 12 people stopped to ask if I was ok, did I need anything, was help coming, etc, a nice police man came, and after making sure everything was ok, parked next to the ditch with his flashing lights on and waited until my dad pulled me out. I didn’t even get home until about 8pm that night, when on a normal night I would have been home around 6:30. Needless to say, it was a very long day.
I’m glad God has a good sense of humor though. He must have seen that I desperately needed something to laugh about because while I was sitting in my car, my water logged eyes caused me to fumble with the radio dials for a while before I actually found the right one, and it flipped onto a country station. Of course the one song that was playing was ‘Jesus take the wheel’ by Carrie Underwood. I sat there and had to laugh at the irony of it all and thank God that he kept me safe through the whole ordeal.
Yes, I finally got my winter tires put on my car now.

Adventures of cities and one-way streets

The next day being Wednesday, my sister rode with me down to school because she had some art classes in the same town. Now, I live in the country, I always have. I can drive in busy towns, manage highways, and I can handle myself under pressure when driving in chaos…usually. This time though, I’m afraid I didn’t handle it well at all. After dropping her off at the Art Center, I left to find my way back to the college campus. I had written directions and clutched them in my hand as I griped the steering wheel. I managed to  maneuver my large, boxy, and rather awkward car out of the parking space on the side of the street, and headed off in what I though was the right direction. Needless to say, I took a wrong turn and ended up going over a bridge in the complete opposite direction.

At this point, you are probably thinking what I thought during that time, “Ok, just turn around and head right back.” In theory, it was a good idea, that is until I got to the other side of the bridge and realized I had to find my way through a maze of one-way streets to get back to the other side of the river. Once I got to the other side though, I continued to drive around, not daring to stop for fear of being beeped or yelled at by the experienced drivers of the city. At last I found the Art Center again, I looked at it like I had found a long lost friend. After calling my sister and choking out the word “Help!” when she picked up, we got directions from the lovely little old lady working the morning receptionist position in the Art Center. I found my way back to familiar roads extremely un-eventfully this time (which is fine by me!) and then at last! after nearly an hour of confused driving, frustration and tears, I found my way to the campus (and was 15 min. late for my high ropes class!).
All this happened before 9:30 am…what a way to start the day! I even had to drive back down to the art center later that day for my own art class. Oy Vey!

Adventures of tap dancing and improv scenes

Oh the adventures I have had over the last week! And I blame it all on the fact that I wore this shirt the day they started!

On Tuesday, the adventures were small, but entertaining. The ice rink was closed during my break at school so I got out my sketch book, (I have become nearly inseparable from it over the past couple years.) and came up with several new dress designs. While I was waiting in the theatre for my acting class to begin, there was a women who had been helping with auditions that day still hanging around waiting for the next round of hopeful young actors to arrive and exhibit their skills. She skipped up onto the stage with her tap shoes on and began to do a very happy, energetic dance. She then turned to three people who had been up close to the stage and invited them to come up and learn the dance. Since I was sitting more towards the back of the room, I just watched for a while smiling to myself, remembering how badly I wanted to learn to tap dance when I was little, mainly because I had adored Shirley Temple as a child. Despite the fact that I was sitting down, it wasn’t long before my feet started moving to the beat of the tapping, imitating the stomps, hops and “ankle flicks” that were being performed on stage. By the end of the 10 minutes, I had learned the tap dance along with the others. Shortly after the impromptu dance lesson, all 18 theatre students were immersed in the warm ups and getting ready to tackle the next assignment: performing an improv scene with another person. The catch? We were each only allowed to say one word. My word was Moon, and my partner’s was Sun. We had to communicate some sort of an idea to the audience by only speaking the word assigned to each of us. It is so odd to try and explain to someone. The scene escalated from a little “tiff” that the characters invented, and continued into a full blown argument with Mike yelling “SUN!” and myself only yelling back “MOON!” It ended up being very comical to watch all the pairs interact with each other and I found myself finally enjoying an improvisation exercise.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Date a Girl Who Reads

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes." -- Rosemarie Urquico (via Monica Bird)

This was something I saw on a friend's super awesome blog ( and I thought it was adorable, beautiful and true.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

15 Reasons to buy fabric

Here are 15 reasons to buy fabrics (Just incase you realy need them)

1. It insulates the closet where it is kept.

2. It helps keep the economy going.

3. It is our patriotic duty to support cotton farmers, textile mills and quilt shops.

4. It is less expensive and more FUN than psychiatric care.

5. Because it's ON SALE.

6. I'm participating in a contest...the one who dies with the most fabric wins.

7. It keeps without refrigeration, you don't have to cook it to enjoy it, you never have to feed it, change it, wipe its nose, or walk it.

8. I need extra weight in the trunk of my car for traction on snowy icy roads. This is important, even in Florida, Southern California and never know when the weather will change.

9. Because I'm worth it.

10. Like dust, it's good for protecting previously empty spaces in the house, like the ironing board, the laundry hamper and the dining room table.

11. When the Big Earthquake comes, all the quilt shops might be swallowed into the ground and never be seen again.

12. Stress from dealing with the Fabric Control Officer (my husband) made me do it.

13. It's not immoral or fattening. It calms the nerves, gratifies the soul, and makes me feel

14. Buy it now, before your husband retires and goes with you on all your shopping expeditions.

15. A yard a day is all the quilt shops of America ask.

One place where I read this added these two:
16. You have to buy twice the fabric so you can make a wearable muslin.

17. Your nearest fabric shop is quite far away so you have to buy everything while you're there to save on travel costs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Last first day...right?

Today I went back to my classes, which I had (and still have) mixed emotions about. Yay, cause I'm learning new things and when it comes down to it, I really don't mind college that much. On the other hand, it takes me away from spending my days doing only what I wanted. Yes, my disappointment in going back was due only to my selfishness.
It started off not as well it should have in my opinion. I was trying in vain to avoid some of the puddles in the parking lots, but alas, it did no good and my feet were wet from 11 am to 7pm. I forgot my water bottle and being cheap I didn't want to spend money on bottled water, so I went without, resulting in  a migraine. My last class, though it was fun, seemed to drag out a little long. The fact that it was a 3 hour class nay have had something to do with it I suppose. When I was freed from the class, I ran to my car and started the hour drive home, squinting all the way because the glare of the lights on the pavement hurt my head.
At last! My warm and cozy house! After realizing I was going to be a crank, I got warm, got food and went downstairs to hide in my room. But then my little brothers (ages 17 and almost 7) came down to the basement to practice their football skills, which includes but not limited to, the ball banging against the wall, screams from being tackled, smashing into the wall in order to avoid being tackled, etc. I was laying there thinking "please, just be quiet for a few minutes!" But then I heard it. My 6 year old little brothers giggle. My other brother had just showed him some kind of trick, and it put little Zeph into a fit of giggles. I don't even know how to describe it, but it never fails to make me smile.
It made me realize how amazing my life is. God has given me such an amazing family, one who is there, ready to support me and help me through things when I'm frustrated and need help. They tend to help me the most when they don't know it though, like tonight with the giggles and laughter, suddenly the bangs and thuds didn't bother me. I love my family. I think I'm gonna go give them all hugs now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mom's Christmas Gift

Ever since we moved into this house we've been using the same stove/oven. In the oven there was a "hot spot" in one corner so we had to make sure to keep rotating whatever we were making. Another quirk was that we had to set it 25 degrees lower than what the recipe called for. To add even more personality to the mix, several months ago a burner on the stove broke, leaving us with 3 burners. At times it was frustrating to try and coordinate large dinners with this contraption. Then, this Christmas, my Dad did his research and bought my Mom a brand new oven! After it was back-ordered twice, we finally were able to pick it up yesterday and installed it last night.

The stove that served us the best it could for nearly 11 years (and who knows how long before that!) is now out of the kitchen. I can't say I'll miss very much though!

And in it's place is this shiny new stainless steel one. Complete with not just 4, but 5 working burners, a fantastic oven (with even hot spots! and it's also a convection oven)  and a warming drawer

I don't know who is more excited about it, me or my Mom! I cannot wait to bake something yummy like a cheese cake or meringues, both of which I wasn't able to make with our other oven. Normally I'd be planning what I could make starting the moment I got up in the morning, however, tomorrow I start my spring semester. (Pro: I get to take lots of fun classes like acting, pottery, high ropes, etc. Con: I can't stay home to  bake, play piano, sew, and read all day in my comfy pants and hoodie.) Oh well, I'm looking on the bright side, which is that this is my last semester! Hurrah for only 16 (or so)more weeks!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I am addicted to book stores and their bargain tables...

Last week I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a book for the upcoming semester. In theory it sounded like a good plan, but once I walked in, I immediately got distracted first by the shelves of classics, and then by the bargain table. On the table I found this beautiful book.
It was originally $25, but then was put on the bargain table for $20, and then, because the edge of the cover jacket was a tiny bit damaged, it was put on the clearance table for $10!

I grabbed it and bought it, afraid that someone might come looking for this exact copy. I even forgot about the school book, which was the whole reason I went to the store! When I got home, I looked through it cover to cover, and then looked through it again with my mom. Here are some of my favorites. (All the following images are from the KCI digital archives. Web address at the bottom of the page.)

Early 19th century stockings-England (I want some!)

 A white cotton muslin dress with white embroidery. 1802, France

Gala gown with train and embroidered white silk shawl. 1805.

Day Dress. Plaid silk taffeta, five flounces. 1850, England

Day Dress. White cotton tarlatan with silk-satin sash. Late 1860's

Corset. Blue silk satin. 1880's, France.
(The bust on this measures about 30" and the waist about 19"! Ouch! I also don't know why this one is so small. If you go the website, you can zoom in very closely and see so much detail)

Ball gown. Pale green silk satin, embroidered with silver threads and sequins. 1888, Paris.

Evening dress. Pale green chiffon and velvet. S-curve silhouette. c. 1900

Blouse: Grey plain-weave cotton. Pleated skirt: white linen. 1893, America

Evening dress. Christian Dior, Autumn/Winter. 1955, France

There are soo many amazing and stunning gowns in this book, and you can access images of some of them online at . If you ever get the chance to purchase the book, I highly recommend it! It has given me hours of entertainment and so much inspiration for the upcoming dresses I have planned.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins

This evening was one of those rare nights when I was the only in the house...and it was quiet! Having a totally silent house hardly ever happens considering there are generally 5 or 6 other siblings and 2 parents around here. So, I took advantage of the empty kitchen to try a new muffin recipe.
The batter looked so yummy with all the cinnamon in it!
Blueberries are added and all ready to be baked!
They make a tasty tea snack.

I'm off to enjoy my muffins and tea while I work on a mock-up of my first regency spencer!


Hi there! (to whomever is reading this) I have been wanting to start blogging of the many little things in  my life but never knew exactly how or when to start. I now have a perfect reason. I will be going to England this fall, and after touring around some of the country side, I will end up in Bath for some of the Jane Austen Festival with the rest of the group I'll be with. So, my thought was to begin my blog with something that makes my heart happy and that is sewing and putting together historical outfits. From the chemise and corset to that hair styles and hats, I love it all. And that is mainly what wil appear in the following posts, I do believe. That, along with books, tea, music, and my adventures with baking that is. Heres to hoping it isn't too terribly dull!