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On the road, weekend #2

My book looks so cute on the fashion table at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA! I had a really nice time sewing with the ladies there (ok I guess I should say girls, but they were a good, chatty bunch -- and excellent sewers -- so I felt like I was hanging out with friends). Before we sewed, I was interviewed by two young reporters-in-training. The toughest question: what's one item of clothing a girl must have? Finally, I decided on a good pair of blue jeans. But maybe I should have said a perfectly flattering little black dress? Hmmm, it's a tough choice.

I took a walk from Decatur to Atlanta -- to visit my son's friend at college -- and liked this very autumny "field" of pumpkins. It reminded me that I'm glad Halloween is mid-week this year, and not on one of my weekends away. I really hate to miss Halloween in the neighborhood.

Next stop Cincinnati, OH and Lexington, KY. Please come see me!


First stop Milwaukee

I found this adorable smock-wearing girl at the Milwaukee Art Museum this past weekend while killing a bit of time before my (very first) in-store event for The Fashion Designer's Handbook. Apologies to the painter Jules Bastien-Lepage for cropping her out of his 1881 painting, La Pere Jacques (Woodgatherer). I've been thinking a lot about smocks lately (thanks for my friend Robin's facebook posts). I'm talking smocks like the kind worn in the 19th century English countryside as work garb, and not the kind I wore over my dress in kindergarten on finger painting day. My favorite modern smock was designed by artist Andrea Zittel as part of her uniform project, where she designs a single garment to wear every day for 6 months -- a girl after my own heart! I'm getting ready to make one for myself.

Next stops October 12 in Decatur, GA (Little House of Stories, 7pm) and October 13 in Nashville, TN (Southern Festival of Books, 2pm)


On the road

 The Fashion Designer's Handbook & Kit is out this month! My publisher (Workman) is kindly sending me out on the road to sew doll clothes with kids all over. Please come sew with me.











October 6 at 2pm  -  Books & Company, Oconomowoc WI

October 12 at 7pm  -  Little Shop of Stories, Decatur GA

October 13 at 2pm  -  Southern Festival of Books, Nashville TN

October 20  -  Books by the Banks, Cincinnati OH

October 21 at 1pm  -  Morris Bookshop, Lexington KY

October 22 at 4pm  -  Voracious Reader, Larchmont NY

October 27  -  Texas Book Festival, Austin TX

October 28 at 3pm  -  Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh NC

November 9 at 3:30pm  -  Boulevard Books & Cafe, Brooklyn NY


Boys Will Be Boys

You've heard of little boys so enamored with the game of baseball that they sleep with their mitts? Well my 18 year old son is taking his love of cars to a similar extreme. As you can see in the picture, he has four car wheels sitting on the floor of his room. You'll be relieved to hear that he cleaned them before bringing them upstairs, but my pain isn't lessened because he cleaned them on the floor of our kitchen. Ok he did put a large piece of cardboard down to protect the floor, but coming home a bit late one night to find him scrubbing away at black grime on the floor of the kitchen (yes the place where we cook food) left me with two choices. To laugh? Or to cry (and scream)? Like any good mother, dead set on providing her child with the proper guidance to grow up and be a responsible, considerate adult, my first impulse was to scream.

But before I could get going, I realized that I kind of liked the idea of him cleaning the wheels. These wheels are part of a project—taking apart an old Alfa Romeo (he won it in a bet with his dad—please don't ask), and getting it ready for a paint job. To my eyes, this car is junky (in his defense, he says, it's a straight, rust-free, California car), but what I like is that he's using his hands, learning how to take something apart and then put it back together, taking ownership of a manual project start to (fingers crossed) finish. Kids nowadays don't make things the way they used to. Adults too, sadly. Sure kids play sports and video games and musical instruments, but too few of them build birdhouses or put together a car for a soap box derby. So, I decided to laugh. But not without making the quiet suggestion that the deck might have been a better place to clean the road dirt off his wheels.

P.S. He's been slowly taking the car apart, stripping the body to get it ready to be painted. And things in the house got worse, much worse, before they got better. As he took the headlights, bumpers, headliner, and about a million tiny nuts and bolts and screws off the car, he faithfully piled the pieces in his bedroom. I couldn't stop him, and while yes I do have a photo, I think it would be cruel to post it. But all's well that ends well, and my son finally decided to organize the car parts onto shelves in the basement (complete with carefully labeled zip lock bags full of the tinier parts), all ready for when he puts the car back together. This is the photo I'm willing to post. I'm happy because the car parts are where I think they belong, but also because he's got a nice craft project for the summer.


Thank you Jodi!

For blog post number 2, a big thank you to my friend Jodi, who gave me some sage advice. She said, make your website NOW, so you'll have lots of posts by the time your book comes out. Ok, so she told me that more than a year ago, and her voice has been echoing in my head ever since as I've managed to dawdle the time away. Anyway, my website is FINALLY up and running and my new book is not out for nearly six months!

In case you're curious, Jodi Kahn is an ingeneous crafter, always coming up with clever ideas I wish had been mine (like these eggs decorated for easter with fake tattoos). Check out her website and you'll see what I mean.