Spring in New York is a gorgeous thing, but winter doesn’t let go so easily.
I can see the first buds popping up in the lawn. The birds are getting louder. My creative energy is waking up. So, I know it’s coming…
I spent most of this past winter in the Hudson Valley with family, bundled up inside our cozy home. Taking a reprieve from Brooklyn felt like the right move after a series of somewhat exhausting personal and professional events unfolded.
I won’t lie, I still spent time in the city each week with my boyfriend and my closest pals. But sometimes you just need to take a break and recalibrate for what’s ahead.
This is my late winter photo diary, capturing little moments here and there. Nothing wildly interesting, but definitely a series of images I’ll look back on fondly.
I’ll do my best to describe these little moments, like the one above. Imagine thinking you’ll be the first one to wake up and tromp through the snow, only to find out the birds have already danced their tiny little feet all over the deck—followed by the dog.
The whimsy is everywhere.
Mom and dad’s house is full of whimsy, memories, and warm-and-fuzzy feelings for me. I’m a person who feels heavy and devastating nostalgia, but when it comes to being home, I mostly just feel calm. That probably says a lot about my upbringing.
Here’s a perfect example: I found this photo of my older brother and me.
My childhood bedroom is a very deliberate pepto-pink that I felt was a good idea many years ago. I’m sure you’ve seen it pop up on the blog if you’ve been here for any length of time. I used to love coming home to it when I was going to FIT, whether for a weekend trip or a holiday break (when I wasn’t tethered to a sewing machine).
I bought a light lilac to re-do the room but haven’t had time to paint…
Or rather, during this extended stay I spent all my time thinking, writing and finding other ways to stay busy. For now, the pink walls remain. And to be honest, I still like it. It has a very Wes Anderson film hotel room vibe from certain angles.
And here I am in the pink room, with red lips, getting ready to do some vlogging…
I’ve been documenting my days and my writing projects for Day Job Optional, but the quality of the vlogs doesn’t feel quite up to par yet. I’d really like to get better at it.
Behold, my morning ritual (pun intended). I love this little French press, but it has a fatal flaw. The bamboo lid has warped from the steam rising off the coffee. It’ll need a replacement soon.
And here’s a little peek at my evening tradition.
Apart from sipping moscato, I’ve been sewing a lot.
We set up a folding table and several machines that do various magical things. I’m once again diving head-first into my passion for design. I’ve been sketching out a collection that has evolved since last October (I know… timely).
We came across an estate sale with about 100 tons of gorgeous fabric, so I have plenty to work with. But hand-beading is still a favorite pastime of mine…
I started this dress last fall and am finally piecing it together. I’ve been paranoid about constructing the dress incorrectly since the material is thin and it would be a shame to dismantle the applique due to a sewing mistake.
Luckily most of the work went into the applique itself, which could be removed and placed elsewhere if it all goes wrong.
This tiger face is inspired by a project Zooey was doing when she visited me back in 2009. She was sewing cyan sequins onto sheer fabric and the final design was a tiger of some kind. I don’t know how much of that memory is factual or how much I dreamed up through a haze of champagne… but none the less! It inspired this piece
Spring feels like such a promising, creative time to me. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the clothes I’ve been making, paired with older designs.
Inside we sew as, outside, it snows…
Little Otto getting off the bus is the best part of every day!
During one particularly menacing storm, a few trees came down outside. My parents live up in the mountains, so this isn’t completely unusual. As you can see, Mom is unphased as she drags an entire tree from our path while driving home one afternoon.
(Don’t mess with mom!)
Likewise, city excursions included plenty of snow as well. This shot was taken in Queens on one of the snowiest days I’ve ever seen in NYC. By morning it was piled high.
But don’t worry! New Yorkers know how to keep warm. *wink wink*
Luckily, Krystal and her fancy boots were there to save the day.
We spent a few weekends doing indulgent things like face masks and creative writing (when Anabelle wasn’t demanding to play).
Oh, and yes—I chopped off all my hair. It was a bathroom hack job. I guess you could say I desperately needed to part with some of the energy I’d been holding onto, for some of the same reasons I needed a break from Brooklyn.
I had mixed feelings about it… but decided to commit (I mean, I didn’t have a choice). I think it’s fun, and I definitely like how it looks with my LOC hat collection.
As hints of spring became more apparent, I’ve started going to the city a lot more. There have been tiki cocktail parties, concerts, and other shenanigans to kiss winter goodbye.
Finally, spring started showing more obvious signs of arrival, like warm sunshine, melting snow, and other feel-good phenomena.
Dad and I took a walk to the pier before I went to the city one evening and soaked it all in.
I began excitedly preparing essentials for the new season, like these ridiculously cute sunglasses and my favorite warm-weather perfume.
I actually have a few of these matcha perfumes stashed away just in case they ever go out of stock… If you haven’t tried this stuff you’re missing out!
Otto and Guinness know the best spot in the house. I just love working on writing or sewing while they’re hanging out in the room with me.
Of course, before long, spring rain took the place of fluffy white snow.
It’s not exactly picturesque, but you know I love a good rainy day. There’s something about sipping tea when it’s drizzly and grey outside that makes me feel like I’m living… my truth? Haha, I don’t know. I love it!
Of course, I also had the chance to terrify Guinness with bizarre cat-related selfie filters… And I couldn’t miss the chance to include his reaction in this otherwise picturesque photo series. What a time to be alive!
Don’t worry. He had plenty of time to lounge around like a prince. This is 90% of little Guinness’s luxurious life, especially when I’m home. Notice how he curls his little white body up on my black brushed material coat. I can almost see the hairs shooting out and covering it from here…
I know without a doubt that I’ll be nostalgic for this season when it’s over. I’ll probably remember the comfort as vividly as the emotions I’ve been going through. Life is interesting like that, isn’t it? It serves up equal parts sweetness and pain.
From long writing sessions in my childhood bedroom to wintry walks with my dog and time spent with family, it was a beautiful partial escape from reality.
Looking forward to spring in New York and all of its surprises…