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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Experiments in incandescent living

Imagine you are a white-hot tangle of ice, dust, rock and gases, and as you hurtle across the night sky the rest of us are celebrating your transit with champagne and gourmet lollipops. The universe is vast, but we are only as small as we believe ourselves to be; and if we lived each moment in that same spirit of humble awe with which we now and again gaze at the stars, the world would be an infinitely happier place.

I blog about books and writing on Mondays, travel and spirituality on Tuesdays, and art, knitting and sewing on Thursdays, but above all I want to use this space to explore the magical connection between veganism and creativity (so the juiciest posts go up on Wednesdays!) On this site you’ll also find Where We Make, a Friday feature on artists’ workspaces.

Recently on the blog...

03/26

A Unicorn and His Lady

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Photo by Aram Comjean.

 

You may recall that I have a bit of a thing for Spoonflower. Check out my latest obsession:

 

unicorn fabric swatch

 

I love that this fabric is inspired by the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries at the Musée de Cluny in Paris (which I visited on my only trip to France in November 2003). The design (“A Unicorn and His Lady” by Nicole Buxton—I just noticed she lives in Boston!!!) is a few years old, but I only recently ordered my yardage (cotton poplin; the voile is sadly no longer available)—I’d been plotting and planning this entire time, looking for the perfect pattern. Because who doesn’t want a dress with unicorns on it? I joked that I was only making it to make Mackenzi (who is usually wearing a ridiculously adorable dress) jealous, only I wasn’t kidding, really. I am pretty sure it worked.

 

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Between my garment-a-month challenge and wanting a new handmade outfit for my book launch, I knew this dress was going to happen even if it came down to the wire (and needless to say, it almost did).

 

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The seven-piece bodice is from The Party Dress Book by Mary Adams (one of my Harvard Books warehouse sale finds), and the skirt is adapted from Simplicity 2591 (which I had on hand for another dress project on hold for over a year now). When I was in New York visiting Victoria I stopped by Mood Fabrics to pick up some pale gray rayon for the skirt lining (the bodice is self lined, meaning I used the same fabric as on the outside of the dress; I didn’t want to be doing that much piecing with such slippery fabric. I’ll pick up a can of fabric stiffener spray at some point.)

 

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Considering that I took a bit of a seat-of-my-pants approach (so what else is new?? I had to take in the bodice because, well, my bosom is on the modest side, but I left it to trial and error), I was amazed at how smoothly this project proceeded from start to finish. As you’re sewing (or knitting) you dream of the moment when you slip your new garment over your head, look at yourself in the mirror, and marvel at how awesome you look. This, thankfully, was one of those times.

 

launch photo by mary

Photo by Mary Bonina.

 

I’ve been doing a lot of blog Q&As, and one of the questions I answered today was about what I wanted to be when I grew up. For a long time, kindergarten intermittently through high school, I wanted to be a fashion designer; then I realized that I didn’t want to design clothing for anyone else, I just wanted to express my personality through my own wardrobe. I’m choosing colors, textures and patterns that make me really happy to wear (and to be seen in, to a certain extent), and this is infinitely more satisfying than choosing a garment off the rack. I got loads of compliments at the launch—this dress made me feel even more confident.

 

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Photo by Mumsy.

 

 

(I have to confess something. When I wore this dress the night of the launch, various unsubtle jokes were made as to the lady’s carnal knowledge of the unicorn. I LOVE MY FRIENDS.)

 

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Notice how my other favorite magical being makes this obligatory mirror selfie a whole lot cooler. (Grooooan.)

 

I’ll blog about my new blue bolero in the next week or two!

 

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.
Photo by Anne Weil