from the jazz age to the space age

Monthly Archives: July 2011


my 4 year anniversary approaches on august 2nd! i can’t believe it’s been 4 years already. my husband mikael is my absolute dream man. now that we have karl i don’t have much time to sew, although after i’m done with my current art project i’m going to take a month off from painting and make something- anything!
i’ve always wanted to make my wedding dress. i originally chose a vintage vogue pattern but adding 2″ to the length of the torso was going to prove too difficult. i happened to browse through my then newest issue of burda and fell in love.
issue 3/08 had a bridal pattern inspired by wallis simpson’s wedding gown. it was perfect! easy to add length to the torso and skirt and easy to add width to the hips. i made a muslin first and worked out the kinks, mostly fitting through my hips. my measurements then were 34″-25″-38″.  
made from champagne silk shantung. i omitted the belt bc i loved the triple darts in the front and wanted to show them off.
i loved the 30s vibe. we felt like the hippy version of nick and nora!
yes, we had a keg as well as almond champagne. my priority was to provide great drinks and food for my guests. i appreciated them coming to share our day!
stationing han and leia on planet cake!


after being a flunky the last couple days, i’m back at work while karl sleeps. 

intricately applying layers of color while listening to “bryter layter.”

 my gorgeous husband doing school work to my right. 

yes, i chew my paintbrush ends and yes, it’s really gross. no, i don’t chew pens bc that’s really, really gross. no one is going to touch my paintbrushes but pens are so… communal. 


in 3 days karl will be 18 months old. i try to restrain my mother hen crowing about how completely amazing he is and how i’m sure he’s already a child genius on par with anything salinger dreamed up. {mostly bc the italian side of my brain is afraid of the evil eye.} usually i fail. hopefully i don’t come off as smug. 


smugness. i actually worry about that {and everything, hi generalized anxiety disorder} whenever i interact with people online. can you be happy with yourself and your accomplishments without seeming like an asshole? i don’t know. 

women, especially are never supposed to be happy about their lives. appearance, career, love-life, children {if you have them or if you don’t}- these are all areas where you are expected to find fault with yourself or if you don’t, to stay silent. no one wants to hear your twee-ass happiness.

the point i’m coming to is, i’ve lost most of the 60+ lbs i gained while pregnant with karl and i’m happy about it. i know, i should be quiet. i should never be happy about how i look bc it’ll make other people unhappy about how they look or else they’ll simply think i’m delusional bc i obviously don’t look that good. at least, growing up, that’s how it worked in my family. anyone foolhardy enough to be verbally satisfied with their appearance was quickly attacked. since none of the women in my family were shrinking violets, ugly fights about being pretty ensued.  

when i got pregnant, mixed in with the congratulations were the strange, prophecies of doom regarding how i would look in the future. i’m no one’s {except my husband’s} idea of perfect. i’m too tall to buy most ready made clothes. broad shouldered, small bust, big hips {see pictures}. i like my body, but i don’t expect anyone else to. however, i was a little weirded out about the- “your boobs will disappear!” “don’t gain weight! you’ll never lose it!” stretch marks, hair loss, etc. really? jesus, i was more scared of gestational diabetes than my fat ass. i don’t know if this was part of the hazing process of joining the sorority of motherhood, but it was lame.

 did i care? kinda sorta? how much did i care? i cared more that people would say things like that than it actually happening. i have my mother’s body {minus the implants} so i had a pretty good idea how i’d look. i was 36 and was never going to look 26 again- and i certainly don’t feel bad about that. our obsession with looking 19-21 for all eternity is just stupid. as is our obsession with “getting our body back” after we have children by erasing any and all trace of having carried and thus given birth to a child, which is a really creepy goal. of course you only have 6-12 weeks otherwise, as i was told repeatedly, it’ll NEVER come off!!!  i tried to not have that frame of mind and set a calm,  realistic goal for myself: 

38″ hips

that’s how big they were before i got pregnant and that’s how big they have to be for me to fit into my pants. pants are the hardest thing for me to find, so the ones i have i guard jealously. most of them i’ve had for about 8 years. well, i reached my goal and i’m happy as a duck. 

it took 17 months. i didn’t crash diet. i ate moderately and rarely drank. i exercised a half hour a day. for each step of weight loss i did different things. riveting, i know. not like the exciting covers that shout at me from magazines while i wait in line, “drop 3 dress sizes in in 1 month!!!” i didn’t want to yo-yo and i didn’t want to hurt myself by not getting the right nutrition. we went out to eat delicious red robin a couple times a month {we’re pure class}, but other than that i cook from scratch. i have a sweet tooth and made cakes and cookies, again from scratch. 
my body is different now. my upper arms are thicker. my bust is bigger {hello!}, my ribcage expanded, and my waist is bigger. i’ve always been prone to cellulite, but now i’m covered in it. oh well.
the photo below looks like i’m sucking my gut in but i’m not, at least not very much. my mother used to regale me with horror stories about a hunch-backed cousine of hers who got that way from bad posture. for karl’s sake, i hope i don’t turn into a crazy mother. 


i’m a stay at home mom and i only have one child, so i had an extra half hour to exercise. i also have the time to cook, take vanity shots of my saddlebags, and to post self congratulatory blogs about myself instead of painting like i should be doing. but i do have a fair idea of how lucky i am and as much as i like myself, i like other people too. i skewer no one just to prop up my own ego. 

so please, don’t tell your pregnant friends how terrible they’re going to look after they have a kid. show a little restraint. trust me, it’s not “funny.” you’re not “bonding.” and they have enough to worry about.