Living The Dream

A few weeks ago, I met a local flower farmer. She sat in our front parlor (my current studio) and we talked about farming, fiber, amish & moravian roots. We talked about feminism & how to dye fabric with clay. I handed her some fabric. We draped a skirt I'd made, that had clearly been waiting on her for years. We waved goodbye.

In a month I'll greet a pal we met at our dear Jane's wedding (held at the farm) and we'll spend some days together crafting her gown. Watching fireflies from the front porch... staying away from "the brown liquor" talking about cattle and going to Hot Springs.

Space, Ease & Peace are my new success:

I found calm when I let go of my big dreams. I found joy. I found out how to be present and lean in and love well. I let go of the hustle. I let go of trying to be "someone". I let go of caring whether folks knew my name, recognized my work, or were impressed with any part of me. And it's like doing the dishes, I didn't just do it once. I let go every day. I lean in. I look at my loved ones. I remember how frantic I was, and how alone I felt when I chased ambition. It wasn't meant for me. 

People ask me sometimes what I'm going to "do" when I get done with this pause. (It's normally after I've given a rousing speech, or finished a real fine frock.)

I'm doing it now. You're seeing it. I'm living a small and quiet, happy life. I take a few bespoke commissions, when it feels right. I charge a nominal fee: you can't actually pay for what I make: I spin a beautiful piece of sentiment, joy & longing for each individual wearer to don. ...and Otherwise: I'm making good cups of coffee, taking walks with my love. Making a simple linen dress, mending my love's dusty old work pants, letting go of what I thought I wanted, who I thought I was and what I thought would make me whole: for actual wholeness, love, depth, and communion right now. I'm doing it now. 

Welcome to what it looks like for me, when I'm winning. 

Sometimes the old ambition raises its head and for a moment, I stare back, entranced like a woman watching the weaving head of a dancing cobra. I get Big For My Breeches and I start proselytizing, proclaiming and provoking and then I remember what it feels like to keep the speed up, racing towards a place, I never wanted to be. I remember the wreck of how it felt when I almost got there.  And I take it back down, and here, in the delta of our sweet small valley, I meet joy and golden light setting over the hill. I walk in beauty and it calls back to me. I live in my eden, and I look out every so often hearing people wonder out loud to me what I'll do when I decide to rejoin the race. I try to find the words, to explain:

You Don't Have To Run It

-but by the time I find the right phrase, the person is long gone. Running down a road, I'm happier to have left behind. 

Beautiful & cherished images, capturing us Living The Dream - by Meg Reilly Heirloom Photography. 

Well hey there


You may be wondering what this is & where the old website went. For a more accurate explanation, keep reading all the latelys & our RVE, but for now:


For a while I made a damn fine collection of duds that were all a bit wabi sabi.

In taking down my shingle I keep thinking of these two quotes by these two people:

"Spey casting is a hard way to serve the Lord." -Teddar, in reference to brother's fly fishing.

"There's this thing about this pack of dream dust they don't tell you: it's a lot to haul up the mountain of your climb." -me, a mess of months ago.

I told my pal, Alli Marshall, years ago that for all my loud-mouth, love-a-good-soapbox type of personality, I really just wanted to make dresses & have birds and bugs fly them to their rightful owners - a stamped envelope for one of those artsy "pay what it feels worth" arrangements. It turns out that's what I've been up to these last few years. You can't make a living like that - but you can make a life like that. So that's what UA will be from now on. And it certainly will be. I'm embroidering a mess of beautiful bits for a fairy wedding gown right this moment. I'll add more to the recollection as the months turn - but for now, some past fall & winter collections are here.  


April into May on at Odonata

Dig dirt, cut grass, water errythang, pond intake clean out, check on seedlings, weed garden, find garden in weeds, lay brick weeding path, start more seedlings, fertilize, curse slugs. Repeat. & Remember to leave the house on time for city work. 

If you come to visit. I look like a crazy half wild thing running all day every day I'm home. Gracia is more composed and generally looks farmerly. Make yourself at home. We'll see you on the front porch when the sun goes down.


Oh Mon Dieu. That's franch for: oh my dear lord. This is harder than I thought. 

I'm trying to consolidate my websites into this one place here; to this more accurate picture of what I'm doing now and how we're doing it. What might that be you ask? Read our Rambling Vague Explanations page here.

I kept thinking, when I'm ready to let my big old mama jama 12 year old arcane-but-pretty-website with all it's forever blog posts that read more like live journals (what? I'm old), thousands of photos, the illusion that I'm still trying to run a women's apparel business, go, I will.

I thought: I'll put a smattering of a recollection (that's southern franch for: sentimental-ass-photos-of-stuffs-I-have-designed-and-sewed-up) to remember the road behind & share, and I'll move on. But it's hard. 

In the famous words of my songstress buddy Jane Kramer, "I'm built for many things, but a not a one of them is letting goooo-ooohhh-ooo-ohhhh, not a one of them is letting goooo. "

I aspire to minimalism and then sentimentalism takes over, in ode to that. I'm sharing one of my favorite photos I ran across today whilst trying to pare down, and shore things up:

I didn't make any of that, my duds are underneath that cape & camel-hair coat. It was colder than a witches teet in a brass bra & MayAnne was about to go into hypothermic shock, but my Janna-Gal captured my friend, longing for home and it comes through. And it gets to me almost as much as this one:

We're all just longing to get back home aren't we? To the arms of our friends, and loved ones, and the sense of the belov-ed. I'm grateful for all you comrades and all the comeuppances that have met me on the road. For all the shelters in a storm, for all the ways I got it wrong, and was loved through it anyways. 

So back to it: I'll be slowly taking down the Unabashed Apparel website in the next few months in order to move forward to the road I'm already on. Thank you for every bit of love and support and belief and kinship. You can find some highlight photos being uploaded here slowly. It takes a nip of whiskey and a bit of time to walk down the road of remembrance. 

Love and a little mischief to you,


p.s. I'll never be sorry I bullied all you fine fillies into modeling, styling shoots, doing makeup, & taking photos. You're the best & purtiest of friends. Thank you for lending your time, your spirit and your literal selves to my endeavors.