truly loving what you do // doing what you truly love

this is a little thank you note to jeremy’s sweet cousin beth,​ for sharing this podcast with me. this episode is my favorite, so far.

the series startup was well, started by alex blumberg, who has worked on several, if not many, podcasts for npr. as he leaves it all to start his own company, he experiences the complete nitty gritty that goes into building a business. hearing him talk about actually creating a podcast in this episode, i felt a kinship. a connection to another person who’s doing something that truly amazes them and excites them and gives them purpose. when you give yourself the time for absolute attention to detail, you create a superior product.

 

if you get me talking about sewing, really talking about what i do…the technique, the skill, the absolute beauty…i feel almost, enchanted by the very thought of it. a faraway look lays over my eyes and i’m suddenly in my sewing studio, surrounded by tools that have been replicated for hundreds of years. a slow smile lifts the corners of my mouth, i get all dreamy and eloquent and i could go on for hours.

if you caught me doing this two years ago, it was allegra’s * studio that would fill my mind. allegra, the dear seamstress and dress maker i had the pleasure of apprenticing, would get this same whimsical look in her eye. we would dream all the day long as we listened first, to classical music and eventually, agatha christie’s murder mysteries on audiobook. all the while our little hands delicately, intentionally sewing the very finest of garments. hand sewing with cotton or silk run through beeswax and pressed in paper before threading the needle. pressing freshly sewn seams, with a gravity-feed slow-steam tailor’s iron, because it’s exactly the perfect weight and shape. as is the sleeve board, the french curve, the glass head pins, the tape measure, and the tailor’s chalk (though you have to search for the good stuff).

i believe that if the work that gets you out of bed sometimes 7 days a week, can captivate and inspire you, then you are truly fulfilling one of your many purposes on this earth. you’re contributing your best self to the world and they can feel it. allegra’s response to my excessive thank you’s was always that the talent was there inside me long before we met and she was just nurturing it because she saw it in me. discovering what you are meant to do should be counted among your greatest fortunes. not the money you make from it, but the satisfaction and worth you feel from it.

so thank you beth, for sharing, you’ve never led me astray, be it podcast recommendations or curling my hair on my wedding day. and thank you alex for doing what you do and doing it so well. it was a delight to hear you talk about it. though my gratitude towards allegra will never be fully expressed, i’ll send another ‘thank you’ your way for good measure.

 

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*she might kill me for linking to her website because it’s been a wee neglected as she and her husband open his beautiful dream of a restaurant. rest assured, dearest friend, that it is far more embarrassing for me, as you see…i’m MODELING on the front page. gah!

 

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change is good // goodbye little baby tooth

last night i went to bed with a baby tooth in my mouth. yes, a baby tooth. indeed, i am 26 years old. this evening, it’s gone and been replaced by a seemingly large gap. this season has undoubtedly been one of letting go and not being afraid by what’s to come. an invaluable lesson and skill to carry with me with every day that follows.

i usually welcome change with a twitter-pating heart and a swirling excitement in my brain. in fact i draw such pleasure from change that i rearrange my house weekly. sometimes just small(ish) changes, perhaps just a picture and some sea shells, but usually, it’s the furniture. the couch, the chair, the coffee table and whatever else looks like it would appreciate a freshening up.

i must admit, i love things. i imagine them enjoying the view on the bookshelf or the mantle and being happy to be near other things. they all have stories and perhaps they share similar ones. they could even have dirt on their surface somewhere from the same faraway place, displayed proudly, like a mutual feather in their cap.

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change is so good. this is something i know to be true, and that allows me to trust that what happens next, will bring a welcome outcome, lesson, or adventure. change is growth and movement and character. change is good.

so here i sit, with a kitten not quite five months old, in the middle of teething, and i have just let go of my last baby tooth. with what feels like simultaneously, i am letting go of the most loving feline, seymour. a companion so fine it hurts horribly to think him gone from my earthly life. never to be seen again? my heart hopes not. but should it be, i believe i have let go. and i trust that what is to come will be for the better. a welcome change it simply must be.

the delight of life is in the balance, i believe. despite the darkness, there is an overpowering light. i just celebrated, almost too well, six months of marriage with the most (i don’t choose those words lightly folks) handsome and loving of men, and women for that matter. i mentioned the kitten, maple, a wiley, wonderful thing, slowly making a place for herself in our pup, jack’s one-track heart. we live on a farm, in a cabin, with a wood stove and i have the fortune of working from home, creating, cooking, and cleaning everyday. life is truly beautiful and i am grateful.

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my gratitude grows deeper with each day i am able to do what i sincerely and honestly love. to create, with my hands using skills and techniques born hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. i used to think i was living in the wrong time, but of course that’s not true. i am ever learning that this time suits me more than ever, i’m sure. as the world’s pace quickens by the millisecond, i am tucked away, slowed down to a pace that feels most natural and sustainable. finding balance in hauling wood, building a fire, and burning it to warm the house. pressing fabric, cutting and sewing and eventually selling and sending that fabric out into the world. a creation i made with my own two hands.

change is constant. change is good. goodbye little baby tooth, it’s been real.

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my little town

have i ever told you about my little town before? she’s a sweetheart called mount vernon, an hour north of seattle, in the skagit valley.

should you drive north on interstate 5 you can see as the valley unfolds and feel as you sink into it. to the left, west, is the water, to the right, the mountains. and in between lay the skagit flats. beautiful, rich farmland interrupted only by bumpy old farm roads, train tracks, and the river.

IMG_4410mount vernon proper is what inspired me tonight.

         i’m on a walk with jack (our adopted sheep herder / best friend we’ve ever had) and i sit here, whole-heartedly smitten with our little town like never before.

i wandered into my favorite brick courtyard where the space that fills my future business dreams can be found. it’s old, single-paned windows are what got me first, then i noticed the cream walls and exposed brick. she’s dear, to be certain.

         i sat and jack sniffed and then we walked around the corner. and that’s where i spotted this beauty, amazed to have never seen her before.

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          that dark, wood door with a mail slot and, you guessed it, a single paned window. so darling with coats and coats of old paint, too crooked to take a straight picture, she’s just timeless to me.

i stood out front and was reminded of my mom’s love for white linen sheets and nightgowns with pearl shell buttons. then, i realized that love is my own now, too. i can practically feel the fresh air from the windows and warmth of the sunlight shining through that stained glass. not to mention how 615 takes me right to tennessee, where my heart fills up with love.

it’s always the little things, and then it’s the way they add up, that gets me so.

IMG_4424up high on an old brick wall, this hummingbird is one of three.

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this alley’s brick path was just resealed, so things were a bit dusty.

        like any place, mount vernon has it’s neglected and sometimes trashy side. but that fresh dust made me feel hopeful and excited for the future of this little town, and proud that i get to be a part of her story. it’s not fast-paced and change happens slowly, but it’s got a big heart and folks who care.

mount vernon is a tribute to what i believe life should be, for me and mine, anyway.

a time and a place where you grow your own food and supplement with food from the fields around you, work hard, and spend time honoring the earth and those you love.

despite the terrifying, heartbreaking things that go on each day all over this planet, i choose to see the beauty.

sometimes i think, what if we all chose to see the beauty? what if we all threw stress and anger and regret out the window and always chose to look brightly into the future and cherish the past. what if we all realized that this life is a gift wrapped in the most beautiful paper and tied with the sweetest bow, tailor made for each of us. just waiting on your doorstep every day, for you to consciously make the choice to add beauty to it, to lighten the darkness, little by little.

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