She’s Got a Ticket to Ride

She’s Got a Ticket to Ride

As I was looking around to find a song about change I realized this change is more a departure then a change. She’s got a ticket to ride wherever she wants to go. Listen while you read:

 

Closing to Store

After the worse winter holiday season I’ve had in the store and the fact that last year was not much better, I made the decision in January to close the storefront. At first I was so sad about this that I couldn’t even say it out loud. It seemed like such a huge fail, which in a sense it is, but when I began to tell people and they started telling me what they thought I should do, which I hate,  it made me kind of dig my heals in and begin the feel convicted to the idea.

I waffled for the next few weeks about when to close the store and in the end felt I needed to get on the other side of real winter which in Vermont means May. Once I gave my notice to the landlord I felt a lightening in my heart and knew I had made the right decision.

Hoeing Out

I’ve been in this space for a few years and I have collecting a surprising amount of stuff. I spent a couple of days ruthlessly throwing away bags of fabric scraps and all the little bits of this and that I must have thought I would use someday, (do I really need to save 2 inch pieces of zippers that I trimmed off to make them the right length, um no). There was only so much I could actually place in the dumpster. I still have bags and bags of fabric scraps that I just can’t how away, I’m trying to find new homes for them but so far, no luck on that.

She’s Got a Ticket to Ride

She's got a Ticket to ride:IraI want to continue with my design and sewing but now for something completely different. I honestly don’t know exactly what I’m going to do yet. We are going to reconfigure our home so I can set up to work there and plan to keep the website very active. I’m just going to close my eyes to failure, open my heart, and see what comes in.

This girl is on a new journey, wish me the best.

Peace, Beth

 

 

Maasai Shuka Fabric – bright, colourful & solid!

 

 Maasai Shuka Fabric

A friend of mine stopped by the other day and asked me if I would do a special sewing project for her using some fabric called maasai shuka that she had recently gotten from Africa. I of course said yes but as I had never heard of this maasia shuka fabric I did a little research and found a plethora of information on the Maasai people who are in Kenya and the Shuka.

I think this is interesting and fun so I decided to pass it along to my readers. Instead of turning this into a big project I found another post to share with you. Also, I just couldn’t help myself and went to Youtube to find some music so you could listen while you read:

Below is from a blog called Love it! It’s African

Maasai shuka is a protective and decorative fabric made of hand woven cotton,

belonging to Kenya. The Maasai (sometimes spelled “Masai” or “Masaai”) are a nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people inhabiting Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of Southeast Africa, and their distinctive customs and dress.

The main garment worn by the Maasai is the shuka,

which is a basic piece of fabric that can be worn in a variety of ways, depending on the personal style of the wearer. It was initially made out of animal skins, mostly cowhide but never elephant skin, but cotton is now the main material. The fabric is rubbed with color or dye to make it red, becoming a sort of camouflage with the red dirt of that part of Africa. In the dry grass plains the shuka can be white to camouflage with the grain

In the present time, Shuka woven in bright colors and plaid,

is an accessory used in fashion for men and women. It is a beautiful example of African handicrafts, and always woven in vivid red by blending with black, blue or another main colour. It is also used as safari blanket due to the feature of keeping warm and is used as bath towel, scarf or home decoration accessory.Top designer Louis Vuitton has used Shuka in today’s fashion and it is a marvel of creation!
Who would have guessed such a beauty from Africa would be hitting the world by storm!
Africa is here!

 

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning (listen while you read…)

It’s a raining Sunday Morning in Vermont and that is not a bad thing. I finally got my potatoes planted this week and the greens and peas are doing great; they all need the rain and this means I don’t need to water. Last night we had a thunderstorm and a beautiful rainbow practically in my yard, just beautiful. We are so ready here for a big green Vermont summer and a rainbow is a good sign. I’m still waiting to do my annual “It’s 80 degrees” dance… any day now….We now feel it’s time to break out the summer clothes and skip the leggings and tights. I’m so ready for bear legs, backyard barbecues and maybe mint juleps  and cool swishy swing skirts every Sunday Morning this summer.

In celebration of summer coming all Skirts are 25% off today and tomorrow…come on honey let’s make some noise…

The Uprise Skirt:navy uprise skirt A great organic cotton swing skirt printed navy & white with the word Uprise integrated in the print. I wore this skirt on a beautiful Sunday Morning mothers day brunch with compliments all around. I could only get a few yards of this fabric and they are almost gone!

 

 

Organic French Terry skirtOrganic French Terry Skirt: Organic French Terry & Soy fiber blend. Because every day is a great day for French Terry. This is a soft, flowing fabric, a bit heavier weight then jersey, with a touch of spandex for extra comfort. Perfect for every Sunday Morning event, or any day.

 

Lt BlueYoga Skirt
This is my most popular, lighter weight cotton/soy fiber fabric blend swing skirt that is a flowing fabric that swishes while you walk. I have one in every color, a staple of the summer, (and Sunday Morning), everyday & night wardrobe. These will be gone before long, so while supplies last, they are 25% off.

 

 

 

The 25% discount is on line and in the store. I’m in the shop 10-4 today.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Listen while you read HERE)

Lately I’ve been redesigning, planning for spring and summer as well as reinventing my own wardrobe. (see The Re-frocking Project HERE)

I must tell you it’s been a bit of a rocking road and I keep hearing the Rolling Stones You Can’t Always Get What You Want in my mind.

What can I do to update that piece?

When starting a new line I often remember past pieces that I loved and sold well and ask myself, “What can I do to update that piece?” or reinvent an old style that worked really well but over time it became dated, (today your in tomorrow your out). I’m thinking of a little swing coat I developed on the request of a client and made about a million of as well as a couple for myself. They were my go to jackets for all occasions and I wore them to the bone and had to finally throw them away because they we so threadbare.

I decided it was time to bring back the swing coat in an altered state. I rooted around my patterns a found to original. We are wearing much more fitted styling these days and it needed an update: the shoulders were too wide, the armholes too big, and I thought it was a little long. So I noodled around with the pattern and cut one out. I had a small piece of this beautiful grey wool and thought if it worked out well I would use it with some cool vintage buttons my husband got for me at a tag sale as a limited addition item.

A Minor Disater

What actually happened was a minor disaster, but not actually all that unusual for me with new designs. The jacket has a kind of tricky collar to sew and I’d forgotten the trick of it until I’d sewn it on backwards or upside down, depending on how you look at it. The result was a collar that didn’t lay right. ARG!

I picked the collar off and threw it in the trash in a little snit and set it aside for a few days. I then cut a new collar and concentrated to get the thing on right and thought I was good to go to put the buttons on. First I tried it on. ARG again!

It looked horrible: it was too short, the pleat in the back was all weird looking, and it didn’t swing. But, I was not in despair, this kind of thing happens to me all the time, and honestly I’ll probably sell it in the store as a low price prototype, someone else might love the thing. In the mean time I checked with my supplier on more yardage of the fabric and it’s out of stock for a couple of months. So much for the new jacket for Spring. ARG.

Back to the drawing board.

Next, having recently lost a chunk of weight, I got the crazy idea that I am a small. I made myself a skirt and a new style of fleece pants in smalls and was loving them. I was so excited to share these with you that I had my daughter take pictures of me wearing them. Do I look in at myself in the mirror? Apparently not because when I looked at the photos I immediately saw that they are too small and I just can’t publish them. Double ARG.

Although I am not at all that frustrated by these little glitches they have town off my schedule and caused me to be very far behind in my posting. hoping to get these three pieces ready and posted in the nest few day so…

 

Stay Tuned

Peace,

Beth

Coming Soon: the new pants in 3 colors with and without pockets, and the new skirt will be available for ordering.

 

 

 

 

Good Night Irene: the Re-Frocking Project

The song Good Night Irene will always hold a certain meaning in my life

(Listen to Goodnight Irene: performed by my neighbor Jake Wildwood, became a theme song for us after Irene. Jake performed this song the day of the flood, before any of us knew what was going to happen, Click here to listen while you read).

So, it’s a struggle for me to write this post, but I’m going to buck up and just do it.

houseOn August 28th 2011 Hurricane Irene dropped our home into the river.  I’m not going to recount all of the details in this post but most of you probably saw pictures of our house in the news at the time as a picture of our home was seem all over the world. (If you are interested in hearing or reading about our plight, here’s a link to VPR who interviewed us extensively about it).

In a few short moments that stormy afternoon we saw our house and belongings collapse into what was normally a little stream and suddenly we had no worldly goods: no home, no beds, no furniture, no clothing. Our community, our state, and even some of my husband’s coworkers in France began giving us everything we needed.

It was a most amazing and humbling experience.

Everyone wanted to help us and needed us to accept from them anything they wanted to give us. I started saying, “I’m not Nancy Regan, I just say yes”, accepting any offer of help, we needed so much and we were given so much. I  also  found myself  saying: I’m living in someone else’s house, sleeping in someone else’s bed, cooking on someone else’s dishes, and wearing someone else’s clothes. We got by quite well with these gifts. That was over two years ago and we mostly feel like all these things are ours now.

In our family we call 2012 call the lost yearn We family went through the daily life in a fog: we all got up every morning and went through the motions but we were all in a state of shock. I didn’t even really think about my fashion: I simply put on what I had.

The second year was about filling out the grueling FEMA paperwork, fighting a loosing battle with the bank, getting the house removed and the property cleaned up. Once all that was settled I began to feel, at the end of 2013, that I could look ahead. It was as if I had been underwater and was finally finally able to come up for some air. I was reinvigorated and started really working and feeling creative again this fall.

I’m not sharing this in order to get sympathy but rather to share with you the project I am about to embark on around how that affects my present day wardrobe and what I have named the Re-frocking Project.

At some point I realized that my wardrobe lacking the quirky Bethness it once had.

I needed to take action! I purged my closets of everything I have never worn. Then I started thinking. How can I reinvent my wardrobe? What do I need? What would be fun, what don’t I wear because it’s missing that “outfit” piece, (yes, I’m an outfit kind of girl), what colors do I want? how can I get my Beth back in my wardrobe? One thought led to another and I came up with the idea of the Refrocking  myself…thus the Re-Frocking Project. I’m going to mindfully create a wardrobe for myself. A combination of boysenberry creations and bought items that I’m really looking forward to and hoping you will enjoy as much as I will…so…in an effort to say good night Irene and move into a better place…

Stay Tuned

Peace,

Beth

PS: Since the purge, I have been exclusively wearing my fleece leggings

 

Simple Gifts

Simple Gifts

Simple Gifts – Mormon Tabernacle Choir  (click link to listen while you read)

I’m beginning to realize that I often get a great amount of pleasure from the smallest things. I hear myself saying “It doesn’t take much with me” and although this often is in response to something that has made me cry sometimes it’s a silly moment that causes laughter, or a bit of kindness from a stranger.

 The Perfectly Simple Gifts

Several years ago when my two girls were in elementary school I noticed that teachers on bus duty were not wearing hats. They would be standing outside shivering and complaining. I thought YEA! the perfectly simple gifts! There are only about 10 staff members at the elementary school so I decided to just make a fleece hat for each of them. I even did some detective work and found out what color winter coats they all wore. It was really a fun little project, the staff was thrilled and I felt like I got and passed a little joy around as well.

The other day it was a bitter cold but beautiful day in Vermont. We were all bundled up to the max and walking with our heads down. I was out doing errands and as I looked up when walking into the bank our fifth grade teacher was in just leaving. After we greeted each other and she left I realized I had a big grin on my face. I hadn’t said anything about it to her but I was so happy to see that she was wearing the teal fleece hat I had made for her that Christmas. I could have broken out in hysterical tears but there was a new teller-man at the counter so I restrained myself, although that grin stayed with me for a while.

Hold them in the light

So this holiday season I want to ask that we give a little extra every once in a while, it might come back to you 10 years later and be kind to your elementary school teachers, treat them with respect, and give them good gifts because they really do deserve it. Hold them in the light or say a prayer for them once in a while, they are building our future and need to every bright thought we can send them.

 

Fleece Hats: 7 Siblings

Also, my hats are pretty great; they are timeless and people wear them for a long time.
Lastly: Wishing the best holidays ever to all, the days are getting longer now so lets share the extra light all around.

Stay Tuned!

Peace, Beth

PS: Please take a look at the hats on the site while your here! See All Hats

 

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Baby It’s Cold Outside

In Vermont today it’s 10 degrees and going down.

I like to include as song for your listening pleasure while you read. I’ve heard about 12 versions this year, this is a favorite: Baby It’s Cold Outside

Every year at this time the same thing happens.

First of all it gets cold. Baby It’s Cold Outside!

I don’t know why I feel shocked by this: I’ve lived in Vermont for almost twenty years, and although that doesn’t make me a Vermonter, I shouldn’t have that surprised doe in the headlights feeling every time it happens. (Sadly, I’ll never really be considered a Vermonter. Even my daughter who was born here is not really considered a Vermonter because, as I have been repeatedly told over the years: just because a cat has kittens in the oven, it doesn’t make them muffins)

Second, every year I’m thinking I have plenty of time and then all of the sudden Christmas is almost here and I feel totally not ready. My cookies aren’t made, I’ve done very little shopping, the stocking stuffer dilemma is looming and my customers are clamoring for special orders. No matter how well I think I planned for the season there is always that one item that everyone wants and I struggle to keep in stock.

Royal Blue Fleece VestThis season has been year of the vest at boysenberry. I have sewing them madly the last couple of weeks, struggling to keep any in stock. I spent the last few days cranking them out and have a pretty good stock ready for this week, which is usually my biggest sales week of the year.

Popular colors have been the jewel tones: Deep Red, Royal Blue, and Ultra Violet. The cooler Ice Blue, Teal, and Lime green a close second. See All Vests

 

Fleece Hats: 7 SiblingsIce Blue and Teal FleeceThis year I also made color matching hats for all the vests, as well as buntings in most of the same colors. I have been so enjoying the splash of color in my line this season.

Looking forward to this busy week, it always ends up to be so much fun to help all of you fill your Christmas giving needs.

As always, peace, Beth

 

Happy Thanksgiving from boysenberry

Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Boysenberry: Just a quick post to wish all of you the Best Thanksgiving Ever.

“THANKSGIVING IS AN ARTICULATE SEASON – A TIME FOR EXPRESSING THE

UNSPOKEN THINGS OF THE HEART…”

from, “Ceremonials of Common Days”

by Abbie Graham

Fleece Hats: 7 Siblings Please come see me at the store this weekend. I’ll be at the store Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10-4

If you can’t make it we are offering free shipping on all on-line orders through the end of the month:

Use the code: freeshipnov  at checkout

 

I have been making different versions of this simple hat for years

Over the years it has taken on a symbolism for me that is about my siblings and me: 6 girls and my brother, bless him. I am often thinking about us 7 when I am making these hats. After about 300 adjustments to get this hat just right and an uncounted number of hats that I have made over the years, I finally settled on a style that satisfies a need for me to honor us.  It now begin with 7 Squares as the base and then I play around with the colors, fabric the brims.  We are all grown up now but remain close in a way that I feel only a gaggle of kids can be, the feeling remains even into adulthood.

So here’s to us: Ann, Carol, Scott, Beth, Laura, Clare and Kristin.

 

Peace,

Beth