Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fa la la la la...

I'm a sucker for Christmas music.  And i love getting to play it with family and friends.  No formal concerts scheduled this year, but in addition to whatever we play at home, we'll have music at the Thursday sessions at O'Hurley's (the photo is from Christmas time at O'Hurley's last year, with Jacob trying out the wonderful Copeland whistle i'd gotten as a birthday present), and the beloved Eat-and-Sing at Goose Creek: a huge potluck at the meetinghouse, followed by carols, including a very silly rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and my favorite traditional carol, "Good King Wenceslas" (the men singing the king's part, and the women, the page's - except for the years we decide to switch).  A few years back, the scheduled night for the event coincided with an impressive ice storm, which knocked out power to the meetinghouse, but thinned the crowd not one bit.  We went ahead by candlelight, and it was a magical evening... (though no one was quite sure what they had put on their plates at the potluck).

What's the music that makes your holiday season?

Sunday, November 28, 2010


This photo really says all you need to know about this kitten.  I'm still looking for the proper name for her.
 She's very helpful while i'm trying to do listings, make edits to the Vintage Sewing Patterns Wiki, check pattern pieces...

Monday, November 15, 2010

In which the prodigal returns. Also, a sale...

This is Eliot.
(He's one of Zelda's offspring, formally known as "Eliot, Son of Cheeky Bastard")  Sometime around early August, i made young Eliot an appointment with the vet, through the nice folks at Spay Today.  And he promptly disappeared.  They let me reschedule his appointment a couple times, but when i still couldn't find him, i went ahead and applied that credit toward getting Zelda spayed, which definitely needed to be done.  The kittens are adorable, of course, but there are only so many suckers in my circle of friends willing to adopt them.

Last night, Eliot turned up on the porch, meowing to be let in, as though nothing had intervened over the four months or so he's been missing.  He's friendly, rumbly, affectionate, and apparently healthy.  (He's also still terrible about hopping onto the kitchen counter, alas...)

But having used his appointment for Zelda, i now need to come up with more money to get Eliot neutered, and quickly.  And that's where the "Get Eliot Fixed" sale comes in: buy two or more items from Fripperie, enter "Eliot" in the message to seller section, and i'll refund 20% of the price of your items, now through November 21, 2010 (refund via PayPal - if you're not paying with PayPal, convo me first, and i'll set up a reserved listing for you, with the adjusted price).  Stop by the shop and see if there's anything you can't resist...

Monday, November 8, 2010

How did i get myself into this mess?

So, CREST - the Capital Region Etsy Street Team - is having a blog hop, with team members talking about how they got into their craft.  I don't sell handmade items in my shop (though i make lots of them), but there's still a lot of knowledge - even craft - that goes into seeking out, researching, and describing vintage patterns.  It's been an unlikely sort of path to get here...

My mother tried valiantly to teach me to sew.  And despite my resistance, i'd learned some of the bare essentials: to lay out and cut a pattern, thread a sewing machine (though as a kid, i was strictly forbidden to touch the tension knob...), do some basic handsewing and embroidery, how to shop at a fabric store.  But i really didn't want to sew.  After all, i figured i could get Mom to do it.  It wasn't until i got to college and started playing with living history - i ended up interning for the costume director at Jamestown Settlement - and i realized that even if i could find the garments i wanted, i couldn't afford to pay anyone to make them.  Mom was inconveniently far away, and not really interested in the research angle.  But how hard could it be to sew them myself?

Approximately the third garment i ever stitched was a reconstruction based on an archaeological report: no pattern, lots of grading, measurement conversion, the works.  Definitely the trial-by-fire approach.  Not, perhaps, sensible - and probably not what i'd recommend to others - but very, very educational.

A college roommate had a 1950s dress pattern.  It seemed a curiosity.  It wasn't until several years later (when i was working at G Street Fabrics) that i met a vintage pattern collector.  G Street was itself a fabulous education in textiles and sewing of all sorts, and i was by then deeply interested in costume history, but mostly earlier stuff - 19th century seemed late to me, let alone anything recent enough to be called "vintage."  It wasn't until i got back into dancing that i got interested in vintage clothing.  I made a deal with a friend that i would go to dance swing and ballroom with him, if he would go and dance English Country (think of all those set dances in Jane Austen flicks) with me.  Before i knew it, i was out shopping for vintage dresses to wear to dances.  But i'm not small, and dresses aren't cheap.  It was back to sewing, and my own serious and growing addiction to vintage patterns...

Want to check out other team members' stories?  Follow the links below:
Sandi Volpe Designs
Birch Tree Jewelry
Sew Artsy
Collage and Clover
{Life as we live it}
The Twisted Cow
Turquoise Angels
Crazy Mokes
The Dragon Nthly
The Planet Geek Chronicles
Of Cats and Crafts
RAM Jewelry Designs