Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Almost Summer Attire, OR Linen Trousers: Prologue

I was going to write a little essay that explained and defined what vintageous is. But after a couple of paragraphs I realized it was going to take better writing than my tired little brain could offer. So, it’s on the way.

But for now, how about a post with less of the philosophical and metaphysical…

See those wide-legged trousers on the left? They are my summer sewing project! They are soon to appear in the most wonderful mid-toned shade of grey linen, perfectly breezy and cool for summer heat. (Confession: I should have begun sewing these in the spring so I could sport them all summer long. As it is, by the time I finish sewing the mock-up and actual pants it will probably be closer to autumn, and linen in autumn is a bit too breezy and cool.)

I found this pattern a couple of years ago on It's by Vogue and my guess is that it was sold in the mid '70s, though I can't find a copyright date anywhere on the envelope. 

Given it's gorgeousness, I was very surprised when I found this pattern and snatched it up like a stray $100 bill. I'm especially smitten with the styling presented in the illustrations: the hats, blouses, shoes, handbags -- everything. I think the entire ensemble is pure, marvelous chic!

While I'm sewing the pants this time, I would like also make the the gauchos and skirt in the future. Other future sewing plans include a duct tape dress form, 1950s culottes/split-skirt (I'm using a vintage pattern by McCall's, but they look exactly like this pair, made using vintage Simplicity 9798) and a couple of blouses. Pictures and posts will accompany all these adventures.

Ciao, darlings --

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Paint! I need paint!

I need some graphics or design ideas for this blog.

I should have had it planned out before I began posting.  Not only am I an impatient writer but an impatient blog designer. I couldn't wait to get up and rolling.

So if you know of a blog design/designer, free or not (Yes, I'll pay if it's smashing good!), let me know. Something vintage-looking would be nice ;-) Post ideas, comments, and helpful suggestions in the comments box.

 A new blog design is on the way, courtesy of my friend Laura of Quietude Blog. For now, I'm using the template Travel. It's not permanent but it's certainly better than flat white walls. And hey, it even looks a bit vintage, in a very contemporary, J.Crew sort of way.

Ciao, darlings --

Risk takers, or Flora Begins Blogging

There are many stories and thoughts behind this blog - my blog (!).

Originally, I wanted this to be a food and lifestyle blog, one of those kitschy spots where I could discuss everything related to the small passions I enjoy on a daily basis.

Then I rethought that: I’m not disciplined enough in home arts to tend such a blog. I knit, sew, and cook but I don’t know if I’m discplined enough to document it, let alone photograph it on a daily basis.

Second thought: theology and worldview blog. Nope. You should have heard me try to verbalize my thoughts during a discussion about Schaeffer’s Escape From Reason. My friend Mike, who I studied and discussed EFR with, is a theologian and was able to lucidly and easily express himself. I was left fumbling for words besides, ah, uh, and the… you know what I mean. It was like attempting to lift my brother’s 30-lb. kettle bell overhead. So absolutely difficult, it leaves me breathing hard and thinking how I can lift it, let alone perform exercises with it.

Another intention was to create a blog in response to my friend Tiffany’s blog, Expecting Good. But I quickly realized that would be rather passive of me to respond with a blog post to each of her blog posts. It lacks originality, though, often the comments I leave on her posts are long enough to be their own blog post.

And who would want to listen to my panderings about creating a more European lifestyle in rural, Midwest America. Nuh-uh. I’m not a brilliant essayist poised to on some journey of self-discovery documented with blinking cursor. Besides, it’s been done by other women.

So that left me blogless...

...Until today.

So here I am. Blogging. I’m blogging about everything I just said I wouldn’t blog about, all in one blog.

You see, I’m being a risk-taker, in that I always think my plans will fail me if I try, so why even try. I am a very happy person, but weirdly enough, I tend to look at things very grimly - a cynic if I ever met one. Happiness is a dream world that will one day be shattered by something painful, horrible, or tragic. Live in the dream as long and hard as you can until it ends. Well, not true. I’m here to see the good with the bad. I need to be more of a realist about both pain and happiness– and less of a romantic pessamist and dreamer. (that’s why the blog title ”the dreaming, happy pessimist” was crossed off the list.)

I have been challenged so much of late by meditations on Naomi and Ruth. Risk-takers. They lived not in a dream, but in reality, a reality shaped and molded by finding refuge the Lord and believing that he was plotting and planning every light and dark moment for their ultimate joy. Unlike some stories that leave us wondering if there was a happy ending, Ruth does end happily, immensely, richly, and completely so! Allow me to wax Piper-esque: Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz took risky, God-exalting actions which resulted in God being gloried and them being satisfied. And so I ask myself, why not me?

My purpose is to take some risk and let Christ shape this blog as he shapes my life and to document, rejoice, ponder, cry, and resolve all of my interests and passions -- gleaning the fields, so to speak.

So…here I am. Am I ready? I hope so.

P.S. So you may be wondering why this post fails to explain what living vintageously means. Ah, I'm a terrible and often impatient, lazy writer who couldn't cram it into this post without it looking like I crammed it in. I need an editor. Or writing classes. Plus, would you have read the post if it were any longer? (I wouldn't.) Suffice to say that an explanation and definition, as well as more self-reflections, will follow shortly. Maybe even this week. WEE!