Starting the New Year with a Calendar to Inspire

Readers,

This New Year’s Day morning, like millions of other people, I hung a new calendar. This one is so special I just had to tell you about it.

This wonderful calendar is the joint effort of my sisters Cynthia and Donna. Donna is the owner of the Etsy store Timmees, and Cynthia is the photographer. Timmee is this whimsically designed tea kettle that has a determined air that reminds me of The Little Engine That Could.

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…”

All the pictures in the Timmees calendar are of objects Donna has uncovered in her thrift-store sleuthing and put up for sale in her online store.

Like a Gold Rush miner, she has to pan tons of gravel to find valuable nuggets like this vintage hand mixer–

–or these cherry-red Bakelite earrings.

When Donna uncovers these treasures, they’re often dirty, and their identity and value have gone unrecognized for maybe decades.

After she’s brought these precious objects home, there’s still the work of cleaning them and researching their backgrounds to write the copy for the Etsy store.

Then there’s the product photography.

How ever do you bring out the character of each of these objects to convey their charm and beauty to customers around the world? That’s Cynthia’s job assignment.

Every medium–glass, ceramics, beaded purses, metal or Bakelite jewelry–poses different challenges in lighting and composition more than I could ever imagine.

Cynthia has to represent each object both honestly–nicks, scratches, and all–but also strives to express more qualities. Like the heft of September’s vintage stapler.

Or how a yellow Bakelite necklace can suggest the glow of Halloween pumpkins.

When I unwrapped my copy of the Timmees 2018 calendar on Christmas Day I silently admired all the skill and workmanship that went into the making of it.

But what I said out loud, immediately was “I want my own calendar for 2019!”

How great would it be to page through a calendar with photos of beautiful garments I sewed in 2018? Pretty great, I thought.

So as I start the Ready to Wear Fast year-long sewing challenge I’ll be thinking about the calendar I could hold in my hands a year from now–if I stay the course.

Inspiration and motivation come in many forms, and one of them, it turns out, is a calendar.

Wishing you a happy and productive New Year!

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6 thoughts on “Starting the New Year with a Calendar to Inspire

  1. I love that idea! A calendar of what I made… definitely incentive to keeping sewing AND do it well! Does your sister find vintage sewing machines often?

    • Vintage sewing machines…hmmm, she never mentions them, and maybe the places she visits doesn’t accept them; I’m not sure. Sewing machines of any age are not on her radar!

  2. A calendar of all your sewn pieces sounds like a fantastic idea–and motivation, to boot! Cynthia certainly does beautiful work; my favorite photo is probably the candlesticks. =)

    I will be eagerly anticipating your first RTW Fast post(s) this year: good luck!!

    • Thanks, Abbey! Yes, I think I’m committed now (listen up, Cynthia!) to a 2019 calendar. It will nudge me in the direction of tackling some more daunting projects that would be exciting to see properly photographed. I had better book some appointment time with Cynthia!

  3. Hey Paula! Happy New Year to you and yours! I love the calendar. I’m heading over to Etsy to check out the shop. I’m doing the RTW Fast myself which should be a challenge as I have gotten quite lazy about making the easy everyday kinds of clothes. I do have a spring coat/dress ensemble in mind for my first project. I would also like to get back into making slacks. I’ve bought so many ill fitting ones lately that I’ve forgotten what well fitting pants feel like! What projects are on your radar for the start of 2018?

    • Marguerite! I’m so glad you’re taking part in the RTW Fast challenge. This afternoon I’m examining my winter fabrics for sewing possibilities and am taking the additional steps to coordinate them with other fabrics and patterns or existing wardrobe items. “No More Wardrobe Orphans!” must be my motto this year. I’m working out the puzzle of a winter capsule that would include tops, pants, and vests. I’m no pattern-altering genius, so I am wrestling with fitting a muslin of a Pictorial pattern (7318, from mid-1930s, probably) that’s a jacket. But I want to leave the sleeves off for a sleeveless jacket, as a more stylish rendition of a vest. We’ll see whether I win or the pattern does. And, like many other RTW Fasters, I want 2018 to be the year I conquer pants. I would like to have a slacks pattern (I’m thinking McCall’s 6901) and Claire Shaeffer’s OOP Vogue pattern 7881 with a contour yoke fitted. (And a pony.)

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