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  • Writer's pictureMary

The April List

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

April marks the return of most of New York City’s local craft markets such as the Hester Street Fair and LIC Flea and Food. That means it’s probably high time to start planning for the holiday season. How insane is that? Suddenly it makes sense that in the fashion industry, the Autumn/Winter shows take place in February and the Spring/Summer ones in September.

At the same time, this month of this year is a waiting game for me. I’m so ready for steady warm weather, but more than that I'm so ready to go on our vacation next month. What to do with a whole month of in between time?

Plan inventory and get on it, especially at home

When I bring clay home I like to work on batches of the same item all at once. The repetition is calming, and it’s easy to prep pieces of clay of the same weight because you start to get a feel for say, 30 grams for a scoop, 150 grams for a dish, and so on.

However, work remains very busy, and I’ve had a hard time feeling motivated to be productive at all in my free time. Sometimes even lugging a 5 pound hunk of clay home seems too much at the end of a work day.

This month I’m hunkering down to tackle multiples of hand-built items: cactus ring holders, twiggy spoons, coffee scoops, and beauty kits. These smaller pieces require less constant management as they dry, and the hope is that I’ll make them without noticing it and I’ll have small batches magically appear before me.

Get back into menswear (slash learn a household skill)

When I was working at J.Crew at the height of their post-Michelle-Obama-shout-out ubiquity, I was all aboard the menswear train. I found that men’s sweaters, shirts, accessories, and even some outerwear fit well into my style and I enjoyed being able to shop the entire store. I was inspired by the minimalist palette where even the slightest red trim at the selvage was a delight.

Today, much of the menswear I acquired is gone, either given to my sister or donated. I still have one cardigan from the men’s collection that many of the guys at the store also owned, which resulted in several occasions where I showed up to work in the same chambray shirt and sweater combo as at least one of them. It has pilled up beyond acceptability over the years but I still reach for it when there’s a chill in the apartment. I love it and it sparks joy. (I’m keeping this one, Marie Kondo.)

Although I purged my closet of most button downs, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of all of those crisp white shirts. So this month I’ll practice ironing. Maybe I just need to work on my technique.

Walk one more block

I'm really missing my ClassPass classes and feeling sluggish from not enough sleep, so I'm going to start being more active as the weather warms. I believe that New Yorkers walk a ton on any given day and I think I might be at the upper end of that mean range. Still, I can always add one more block to dog walks, or walk to the next train station over before heading home.

Work on my green thumb

In mid February I got in my head the idea to grow a little citrus tree from a fruit seed. After looking around online, I tried my hand at germinating 2 lemon seeds and 1 cara cara orange seed that I'd collected from my produce. Using this method I wrapped them in a dampened paper towel, sealed them in a Ziploc bag marked with the date (February 18), and placed the bag in a plastic food container in a dark kitchen cabinet. I checked on them every week and they took almost a month to show signs of life although my instructions said it would take just about 10 days.

Fast forward to today, all three seeds have germinated and been transplanted to soil containers covered in plastic to keep the humidity in. I'm waiting patiently for the seedlings to break the surface. I think the cara cara orange one is close to it - I see the tiniest hint of a green shoot on its way up.

I'm very excited to see how these plants do this month.

A new H&M collaboration drops on April 12th. While my shopping addict days are behind me, and I don't closely follow these special collections all the time, I happened to notice one Anna Glover x H&M piece currently available on the U.S. site. The lone piece with no fanfare on the website seemed strange so I searched online to learn more. Anna Glover is a UK based artist known for her beautiful wallpaper/prints, and I think this is a really interesting partnership for H&M to have struck. If possible without lining up hours before store opening on the day of the launch, I'd love to check out a few of the pieces in this quirky, very spring-y new collection.

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