If Only: Graceful Resolutions

if onlyif only graceful resolutions

  1. How the Devil are YouKeep in touch
  2. Paperclip Dome: Keep it together
  3. Chalk PadKeep a list
  4. Pomdelion BouquetKeep a sense of humor
  5. Backwards in High HeelsKeep reading

I think that list could help 2014 be slightly more graceful even if not for the majority of it. Attempting to be as graceful as Grace Kelly is a slightly ambitious resolution for a new year, but if only this year I keep in touch instead of keeping too busy, keep it together when I do get busy, keep a list to manage all the busy, keep a sense of humor to keep the busy-ness from getting to me, and keep reading to keep the busy in perspective, this year might just be a very graceful 12 months…If only…

– <3 A. 

For the New Year

vintage muse modern viewshappy new yearhappy new yearhappy new yearhappy new yearhappy new yearhappy new yearhappy new yearIn Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Jo and Meg are invited to a New Year’s Eve party and with “the united exertions of the entire [March] family,” the girls finally look elegant enough to go “even though Meg’s high-heeled slippers were very tight and hurt her, though she would not own it, and Jo’s nineteen hairpins all seemed stuck straight into her head, which was not exactly comfortable.” But of course, both girls are quick to remember that despite the tight shoes and the poky pins, they would “be elegant or die” before going to the party looking plain.

I took an unexpected hiatus this week from VMMV. I’ve been meaning to post these pictures since Monday, but a double butter-cream batch and three parties in just as many days means I haven’t had even a moment to get them up. My favorite little women had our annual Christmas party and it was, as usual, the most special of nights. Somehow we all grew up and got far, far too busy but right before a new year begins we all manage to get back together, dress up, and make another New Year’s resolution to be the most elegant little women we can be. It’s a resolution just vague enough to avoid certain failure and noble enough to be worthy of a fresh start. It’s a resolution for poise under any circumstance, for being simple yet graceful, and, according to Webster, being “pleasingly ingenious on any occasion.” So, in 2014, “let us be elegant or die!” The March sisters strived to be and that’s good enough a model for me.

– <3 A. 

A Project

As promised, today I wanted to give everyone a hint of what’s to come on “The Linen Closet” page. However, things didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped today. Its deliciously cloudy outside though, which means, that I have an excuse for why things didn’t go as planned. I’ve always been of the opinion that sunny days mean things must be done right, but cloudy days give everyone an excuse:

Just think….Slept through your alarm? “I’m so sorry, it was so dark you know, this weather….” Running late? “This rain! I had to drive so slow just to be safe…” Bad hair? “Goodness! this weather…I can’t do a thing with my hair!” And, everyone must agree that as soon as the sun goes away, suddenly there is a general, unspoken desire to nest, the to-do list becomes a little less important, and hot beverages and afghans sure look extra-irresistible.

Despite the clouds though, I would like to press on….so, here is a look at my project:

First, The Muse:

My Great-Grandmother.

I have no idea how these women were so naturally beautiful. It makes me ashamed to see my drawers packed with products I use daily with this lovely lady staring smugly right back at me with nary a blot of makeup on her face nor a hair-straightener in sight and yet still looking so vogue. She’s 26 in this picture and completely stunning. *sigh* moving on. Besides how elegant she was though, she was also wonderfully creative and accomplished. She made her own clothes, painted, beaded, and “I know not what!” (Mr. Bingley, Pride and Prejudice). My mother before me, and then I still use her hand-painted mirror and lipstick-covers she created, now some 40 or more odd years old. They’re fading a bit but so unique I absolutely adore them- especially the mirror, if I didn’t care for my face that day, it could just be flipped over and ta-da! An always smiling face to greet you:

hand painted mirror

hand-painted lipstick

My favorite piece out of all of her creations that has been gracing my room for as long as I can remember though is Alice:

 The Model:

paper-mache Made of paper-mache and standing about 4 feet tall, Alice has been quietly (and I like to think, fondly) observing me dash about my room since I was a little girl and I felt it was high-time I included her. She really is quite exquisite.

paper-mache-bust

paper-mache-bust

I chose her to model what I create because, for example, on a cloudy day like today when yes, I slept through my alarm, yes, I was late, YES, nothing could be done to my hair, I don’t really jump at the chance to be photographed.

At Last, The Project:

vintage handmade apron

A few years ago, one New Years Eve, the four ladies in my life who make me laugh harder than anyone should be allowed to laugh, decided we had better things to do than kiss a boy and drink champagne to ring in the New Year, we could make aprons and drink champagne to ring in the New Year! After years of giving these creations away as gifts, I’ve always met with the same reaction…”you could sell these!” So, here I am, doing just that.

Like I said, I had planned to unveil some aprons to you today, with Alice donning her new role as active participant instead of casual observer to my life. But, the aprons I was working on came up against a very, VERY angry bobbin that stopped me in my tracks:

-Don’t let it fool you, I thought it was humming along nicely too. Then, things really began to get out of hand:

 And so, friends, I admit-I gave  up:

Not for good though, please please stay tuned, “The Linen Closet” will soon be up and going despite any, and all, bobbins that try to thwart me.

Hope the clouds gave you a good excuse today -<3 A.