I haven’t had a moment to even think about blogging since the Reign of Spring Quarter Terror began showering down its projects, due dates, and never-ending processional of assignments, classes, forms, and tests. Its so frustrating screaming through these months because I love this time of year and want to do so many things that never make it on the YOU HAVE TO DO THIS TO SURVIVE list. Despite all the screaming though, I couldn’t escape the fact that it is April and full-blown wedding season. I was so excited to be forced back into some creativity by a client asking if I would make an apron for the future “Mrs. O.” I love it when there’s a special purpose for my pieces. Of course, each one is unique and special to make, but when I know a little about where its future home will be and what sort of girl will be wearing it, every stitch is just that much more exciting. This client was requesting the apron for a surprise gift for a bridal shower. She asked if I could embroider the bride’s wedding date and new last name initial on the waistband and I was so happy to oblige her.
Way back in December I mentioned that VMMV’s Etsy shop was going to be published and guess what? It’s here! I’m so excited to give everyone a little preview of my article in the beautiful new issue of Apronology. I got my own copy a few days before it officially hit the shelves but I was holding off from revealing my spread until everyone had the opportunity of buying it so I didn’t spill any secrets. I was so, SO incredibly surprised when I got my issue because people, I MADE THE FRONT COVER! I’m not the gorgeous pin-up apron on the front, but the “turn to page 86 for a 1 apron 2 styles” plug on the cover is…me!
I am so honored and so excited to have made it to the front. I hope you all go out and find this magazine; Barnes and Nobles should carry it and if they don’t, ask! It’s Stampington & Company’s newest magazine and it has so many beautiful aprons that some amazing sewers create, I can’t get over that I’m among them. The editors were so wonderful to work with, I can’t gush enough about the experience. My apron is just one of so, so many gorgeous ideas, please go support this new magazine and read about all the new and wonderful ways artists are updating aprons.
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a new little badge over on my sidebar under “features.” Take a minute to check out the issue and if you don’t feel like finding the magazine in a store, use the link and order online. This article is coming at the most perfect time. I’ve been so swamped with school that I haven’t had even an hour to spend on this space and it’s been a nagging sort of disappointment. This article forced me to make VMMV a priority just long enough to share and it feels good. I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to a new month. I’m hoping to be able to pop back in to share a valentine recipe for a sparkling wine cake that is super yummy so stay faithful please in my frequent absence! I so appreciate all of you. In the meantime though, go read about aprons!
I really can’t tell you how excited I am for this. A few months ago, I was notified that “Apronology,” the newest magazine to join the Stampington & Company’s fabulous collection of magazines, had chosen one of my aprons to feature in their next issue which is set to come out in February 2014. I couldn’t believe it really; of course, I believed there was something special about my aprons, which is why I originally opened the shop, but to have an entire magazine agree with me blew me away. Aprons aren’t exactly a niche market, and take one quick search just around Etsy where the VMMV shop is centered and you quickly realize the apron field is pretty densely packed so I am incredibly honored that one of my babies will have it’s own spread in Apronology’s next issue.
The shop facet of the blog has always been something I’ve been hot and cold about. Initially it was too much: launching and managing the shop and the blog at the same time along with the rest of my life was overwhelming. I didn’t have time to make either site what I wanted them to be and it became frustrating and exasperating. For most of this year, the shop unfortunately took a backseat while I zeroed in on improving the aesthetics of the blog. When I met with my blog designer to redesign this site, I was even toying with the idea of completely eliminating the shop but she convinced me that it would be better to have a place for it and to eliminate later than to start slashing ties right from the beginning– and I’m so glad I listened to her!
I have no expectations from this article. The fact that I just have an article about one of my pieces is enough of a mountain-top experience even if nothing comes of it. Everyone’s Mt. Everest is different I’ve discovered: Some events could be the peak of Everest for certain people, while for others those events could just be the base camp from which they look ever higher and higher, looking for more, and pining after bigger things. For now though, this is the tip-top of my Everest for the shop: it’s validation they really are so adorably cute, it’s confidence that other people outside my immediate and wonderful support group think they’re something special, and it’s something to put on my desk and crack open to take a peek at the page with my apron smiling back at me whenever I begin to feel a little blue. It’s not for lack of ambition that I’m not necessarily hoping this is just the launching pad for bigger things for the shop, it’s more satisfaction that something did in fact come of sharing my pieces, and for 2013, that’s plenty of achievement for me. Whatever else comes of it will just be blessing heaped upon blessing.
***February 2014 sounds rather far away and I don’t mean to rush us all into the next year, but I couldn’t wait to share any longer. I will of course be sharing again once the issue is published and to remind all of you to dash out and buy a copy! For now though, the shop has a new “about” page and a bit of a new look so if you haven’t checked it out in awhile, humor me and give it another glance***
About a week ago, a very excited, soon-to-be-first-time Grandmother contacted me about a custom apron project. Custom projects are my most time-consuming option of my shop but they’re also my favorite. I love working with people to create a real-life version of their mental creative picture. This project in particular was an unusual one, but when she shared her story with me I couldn’t refuse the experience and joining in on what seemed to be a special bond between she and her daughter.
When my customer was a first-time mother, a friend had given her an apron that had a dish-towel sewn into the waist-band in order to protect her clothes from the frequent and usually ill-timed baby-messes of new motherhood. When her daughter expressed interest in becoming the second-generation happy owner of her mother’s nostalgia-filled apron, her mum asked me to provide an updated, fresh version of the dish-towel apron complete with the new mother’s embroidered name, the parents’ alma mater colors: Oklahoma State orange, and the new baby’s nickname embroidered on the towel. After a deluge of Etsy conversation exchanges, some fabric shopping, and brain-storming, I came up with something we both loved:
In keeping with my shop’s theme of convertible aprons, I wanted this apron to have the option of wearing it with or without the dish-towel attached. I placed snaps underneath the waistband edging to hide the connection when “Rebecca” didn’t want to wear the towel, or, when she wanted to throw the towel in the wash and wear the apron by itself. It turned out fantastic. I love how personal it is for the new mum, both nostalgic and practical: a little nod to the college where she and her husband met, washable for any mess their new baby creates, and inspired by the apron her own mother wore when Rebecca was just a baby making her own messes. I am so happy to be part of their story in my own way, I wish them the best on their journey with this new little life.