Turn of the Year…. 2019 becomes 2020

While New Years Day officially declares the changing of the year, I find the time from Solstice through the New Year, and even through to Twelfth Night, to be this foggy, veiled transition from one year into the next. These three-ish weeks are filled with Yuletide, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, my Father’s and Uncle’s birthdays…. Festivities, family time, friend time…. Self reflection on accomplishments, achievements, and personal survivals. For me, this time swirls together fireside warmth, lights, velvety jewel colors, smells of the evergreen forest, and depth of heart. Being the darkest days and nights of the year, this is a time for reconnecting with the unseen, what can be felt and smelled on the sensory level, the interpersonal “hearth and home” of those we share our lives with. Being that I’ve felt disconnected from some of these things, I am taking the time this Yule to close my eyes feel in hopes of making a more truly connected transition into the new year.

And now for the traditional looks back and ahead…

2019 accomplishments:

~~ When I counted out the millinery pieces of the year, I was happily surprised to find how the numbers worked out. I made 92 straw millinery pieces for people, 6 straw millinery pieces for dolls, and 1 lappet style winter hood. This means my 100th millinery piece was (nearly) completed during GCVM’S Holiday Open House. This was not a goal, nor intentional. But, it did feel right as I counted up the numbers.

This turns out to be about 1,500 hours of hand sewing, working through over 2,100 yards of straw plait and three coils of wire. I added several original hoods and bonnets to my collection, many of which you can see the Winter Millinery Series.

Etsy wanted to point out this is a record year for my millinery shop. I am very grateful to each of you who purchased a piece, shared my listings, and supported my work. Thank you.

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~~ I feel as though I made both strides and baby steps in wrapping my head around how I want to present straw millinery. This is two fold for me: the tactile art of the straw becoming millinery and the employment opportunities for women from cottage industry to business ownership.

I found myself giddy twice this year as I developed display pieces for the straw art aspect. First was in finally getting a pleasing presentation format for showing the stages from field to plait as well as the variety of plaits (lower right of photo.) Second was being able to purchase antique decorative straw millinery motifs and finding a perfect display box by a local craftsman.

~~ I gave myself a personal challenge for Ag Fair this year: each entry had to begin with the letter “P“. This became pockets, pen wipers, pin cushions, work pockets, and petticoats in miniature. (This coming year doesn’t have a letter theme, but, I do already have something big in mind. Fingers crossed.)



~~ Discovery of pen wipers! How much fun have these little pretties been?

I’ve really been captivated by how these practical little items can be just so precious. I love how they can be made from the littlest bits and pieces. They truly are a form of Fanciful Utility.

~~ Little projects included…. Revitalizing two wooden fans… making several pairs of earrings that then wandered away, possibly with feline assistance… giving a handful of dolls a new life (DPtC post coming on them)… accidentally dyed my stockings and underpinnings pink… and probably a few other things I am forgetting.

2020 Projects ahead:

  • Pink plaid parasol
  • Rose stripe sheer 1860s gown
  • Pink plaid gown
  • 1830s dress (still from 2018)
  • Red wool petticoat
  • Blue wool skirt with tbd work bodice
  • Winter hood book (still from 2017)
  • The super secret project
  • Embroidery on ticking relaxation project (kit from Colleen)
  • Birdcage Windsor chair currently in kit form
Published in: on December 22, 2019 at 7:38 am  Leave a Comment  

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