Stitching Old & (almost) New Together

004I was given a handful of really old collars by my girlfriend almost a year ago (thank you Sorcha!) and finally I have decided to put them to use, and started by performing stitch-work surgery to one of my favorite thrift shop finds, a linen jacket shirt with a ruffle at the bottom and big shell buttons. First I took the top button off, turned in and stitched down the high narrow collarless shirt to the dimensions of the lacework collar…
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Then I pinned the hem of the collar  just inside the edge of the shirt…

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Then simply whip-stitched the two things together and then turned the collar out, without ironing,  so it has that lofty personality of the collar…. and voila !

004The thing is , these few antique collars have cast a magic spell on me as I am in love with the -old-fashioned ritual of hand-stitching on a hand-made collar on to not-so-new clothing.  I just can’t imagine what might blossom from this seed, except that with this old collar I now have …

” Something Old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. “

outfit for wedding

Hey! I’m getting married tomorrow!

A Fresh Perspective

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Looking forward to a year full of artful angles and new perspectives.  For the moment I am feeling keenly drawn to the mundane, how could this be?  Upping the ordinary seems to be my cause for the new year, I feel it in my marrow this transformation taking place.

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Driving through St. Helena a few days ago, on my way home from a visit with my brothers family, I stopped in for a meditative cup of coffee with 2015 planner pages opened up, and as I pondered the mystery of empty calendar pages, imagining the notes I will scribble in between the bold numbers which represent a twenty-four hour portion of my life, I inhaled the aroma of cafe creme and also of hope for the year ahead ~~ how good and rich and wholesome it indeed did smell.

Back in my car to make the second half of the trip home, cruising along Oak Street this house just stuck out for me. It would not otherwise be noticed save for the time of day and the way the shadows played it up. How interesting ! It seemed to ask me to pull over, park, and dig my camera out of my stuff and take a shot.  So I did.

In 2015 I strive to detach myself from distractions of consumerism, and instead to slow down and ‘do without’… to Mend & Make Do if you will. It just seems so attractive to me here at the onset of the new year, and before dawn, to contemplate true simplicity. I have always longed for the slower-moving vantage point.

I close this post of the first day in January to ponder this idea of Less Is More, and I wish you all a very good year ahead to set out for what you long for.

Good Things

jenjoycedesign©first-darns

Wholesome and necessary are words that describe two materials known to humankind for thousands of years;  linen & shell.  I shouldn’t  crave these things, these essential objects as I do, but  I do love the little  unworldly things in life…  like ice cream, linen, and shell buttons.

jenjoycedesign©shell-buttons&linen

Let me begin with my love of linen.  This is not just a fondness, but an intimate part of me, and the way I dress.  I could happily wear a fine white linen blouse every day of the year.  I hardly can begin to describe why, or when this became so.

So in my limited & dwindling number of linen shirts,  there have been more given up to the linen shirt graveyard than I care to face.   I am a thrift shopper, and take the time to sleuth out fine linen shirts for dollars, alter when I must,  and have cause to celebrate when I find one perfect just as is.  I have come to face another fact, that I’ve been long overdue in learning to use this odd  wooden thing . . .

jenjoycedesign©my-darning-egg. . . a darning egg.

In above photo is my first attempt at darning, and I am so pleased with myself I can’t even tell you ! After two darned ‘holes’ , and switching from off-white to white thread, I started to get the knack.  I managed to close up and fill in the underarm disaster areas which my favorite shirts began to show, after near constant wear, and the final darning jobs were alright by me.

jenjoycedesign©linen-darned

Satisfied that my work is pretty much unnoticeable when not back-lit,  I decided to try the small holes which happened to riddle my favorite shirt,  one with a label that reads the beautiful words  “100% Irish Linen”.  I managed to darn all the wee holes in it,  ‘it’ which is my favorite linen gig shirt which has not been  worn, but hanging in the closet for a couple of years now.  I was floating for a whole day from this darning epiphany !

jenjoycedesign©favorite-linen-shirt

But sometimes one must surrender a great linen shirt , in the end, to the scizzors   (as I had in this post ), for it becomes too thread-bare.   I made a fine linen hand kerchief, and I even got to collect the lovely shell buttons from it.  Those pearly surfaced little treasures are put in a little jar , a present-place destination, an artful limbo, for buttons of linen shirts past and future.

jenjoycedesign©shell-buttons

 My Good Things,

 unworldly, and essential.

jenjoycedesign©100%-Irish-linen (2)