Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year In Review: 2014

Although I'm tempted to exactly outline the sparkly, new-wardrobed Cory who will be writing this same post in a year's time, I'm more inclined to leave it fuzzy:

2014 will be a year of building both humility and confidence;

a year of being a student of many things;

a year of quiet and constant growth.

And as I look back at this year, I think that I really did succeed in that.


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I had a rough beginning of the year, health-wise, and spent much of January through May dealing with pain, allergic reactions to medication, and a slow but steady recovery. In the middle of all of that, I got some dental surgery that I've been putting off since I was seventeen - which was painful, but a relief to have over and done with. I'm thankful for my current good health, and hopeful that better self-care will help me stay that way.


Our brother & sister-in-law welcomed our little niblet Hayden into the world in March, and he's growing so fast, he's already practically graduated from college! It's been a delight to see him turn into his own tiny person, with teeth and a sense of humor and two truly awesome parents. Ever since we got married, it's been really wonderful to get to know and love Blake's family as my own, and this little guy has definitely been at the center of a lot of that!

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In July, I created my ballgown. It was huge, and overwhelming, and one of the best things I've ever done.

Ready for the list of posts? It's... epic.

Days 1-10

Days 11-20

Days 21-30


In September, I went to Oregon Flock & Fiber with my Issaquah knitting group, and had an amazing weekend hanging out with llamas, nerding out with other yarn folks, and (of course) petting and knitting gorgeous yarn! It was a nice change of pace after such an intense summer, and gave me a chance to reconnect with my wonderful knitting friends.

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Melody & I both finished our jackets in the late fall, and took them on two different photoshoots out to Discovery Park - a stark & somber shoot for Melody's Melancholia Jacket, and a nostalgic walk in the rain for my Magnolia Jacket. It was really rewarding to style and shoot the jackets in such different ways, and end up with images that each told a distinct story. I wore the Magnolia Jacket for the first time a few weeks ago, and I still can't believe that I made such a beautiful garment.


Last but not least - this year, I returned to my unfinished projects at school, among them portfolio, pattern grading, line & proportion, tailored jacket, and ballgown.

And today, as a result of all of that work - and as of this afternoon around 12:45 pm - I have officially earned a Certificate of Mastery of Fashion Design & Construction from New York Fashion Academy, Class of 2014.

So I have a little bit to celebrate today.

Happy New Year, friends, and see you in 2015!

Monday, December 29, 2014

FO: Plumeria

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I finished a pair of socks last week, and another pair a few days ago - I'm on a roll! These are a pair of plain socks that I started wayyyy back in February, and picked up again in August after finishing ballgown. I finally knit the last inch or two of the foot and toe last week, and bam - new socks for the sock drawer. Only took me the better part of a year.

Also, I'm (hopefully, tentatively) back on the usual bloggy schedule - just in time for the new year! Party!


Friday, December 26, 2014

The Clara Gown

Every holiday season when I was little, my mom took my brother and me to see Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of The Nutcracker. We'd dress up - me in a pink polka-dotted dress, my brother in slacks and a polo - and drive to the city lit up with Christmas lights. I remember watching the dancers float across the stage from our high-up seats - Clara in her fluttery nightgown, the Nutcracker prince in his red suit, the company in their long tutus and pointe shoes - completely enthralled. 

Then, at intermission, I'd sit in women's powder room at the opera house, the air dark except for the soft yellow glow of the globe lights lining the vanity mirrors. In that moment, feeling the pinch and swish of my pretty dress, waiting to change into the footed pajamas my mom brought, I felt a parallel of things: safety and warmth, the reassuring weight of my fleece pajamas in my hands; and beyond it, another, more darkly lit room, whose features I could not yet see - but whose very existence was electric.

It was the first time I recognized a threshold between the world I knew and the world that is; the first time that I saw beauty and darkness coexisting. That experience has become a touchstone of my identity, and one that has had a huge influence on my work - and on my ballgown in particular.

So when the final runway photos of Clara were released just a few days ago, it seemed very appropriate that I should write my final thoughts about her this time of year.

Well, first off, in August I submitted her for adjudication.

And she passed!

I got to hang out and chat with all my friends & family afterwards, and share the work that had been such an immense time commitment and physical, technical, and emotional challenge. It was very weird to be in the same position that I had seen as the pinnacle of achievement for my entire career at school - this project that I had seen so many respected senior students grow and flourish from - and realize that I had reached it.

Just a few weeks later, in September, I walked the runway at our annual NYFA fashion show. This year, we featured 25 years (!!) of original ballgown designs. I think it really shows how diverse each designer's vision and aesthetic truly is. 

When I look back at this experience almost six months later, I am still totally overwhelmed and proud. Ballgown was a turning point, not only in my design work, but also in my personal life: I emerged from that workroom a more confident, dedicated, and curious person, and I think it continues to expand my boundaries of ambition and creative energy.

And on the other side - even though the process itself was lonely at times, the warmth and support of community I felt by sharing my work on this blog was incredible.

Blogging ballgown was completely unplanned. I didn't expect to have the time or mental energy to write about the experience in any sort of meaningful way, so it was more than a little surprising that blogging became an integral part of my creative process during ballgown. It was incredibly gratifying and humbling at the same time.

So thank you again, to everyone who has reached out to me - then or now - to share an experience, or tell me that you enjoy the blog, or just to say hi. It meant (and means) a great deal to me.

As a last note on community, I also wanted to mention and thank Bret Doss, the photographer who kindly gave me permission to use his beautiful photos for this post (and several others). He doesn't just have a sharp eye and talent for color & composition - he's also fun, and kind, and an all-around wonderful human being. He's contributed his talents to NYFA shows and projects for years, and if I thanked him a kabillion times for all that he does for us, it would never be enough.

Overall, I am so grateful for this experience, and I am so grateful for you. I look forward to the new challenges and experiences that the New Year will bring - and to sharing it with you all.

Happy holidays, and happy Friday.
Much love,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FO: Magnolia Jacket


Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are ruled by forces of water: tidal, meteorological, glacial.

They create a sense of intimacy with our surroundings: a tree in the rain is not just a tree, but shelter; a fire in the damp is not just a fire, but safety.


They remind us of the youth of our geography: our rocky beaches and jagged peaks, carved by the methodical hands of ice and time.


They tell us of the pull of things: that the forces that draw water towards us and away are constant, unchanging, endless.


There is a feeling to all of this, a sense of balance and rightness and repetition. By this definition, there is nothing new on this earth, and there is a measure of comfort in that knowledge: the rain will come down, and the tide will turn, and water will shape the land, each without regard for anything but its own purpose.

And yet, there are small things that locate us in the landscape of this greater design: the wonder of finding something old or somehow familiar, that falls into the grain of your life and grows into something you've never experienced before. A quiet magic in everyday things.

A pair of boots, a favorite coffee cup, a blanket. A stone. A rainy day.

A jacket.

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Photography: Melody Hirsch
Jacket: Magnolia Jacket, by Cory Ellen Boberg
Dress: Vintage Hal Ferman dress, from the amazing Trove Vintage Boutique
Socks: Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn Clark
 Boots: Fluevog Adriana Nuni

Monday, December 1, 2014

WIP: Talus

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Two days after the first snow of the year, our neighbor's roof is still covered in a mosaic of ice. The basement tile is too cold to walk on in bare feet, and even the hardwood in the kitchen radiates a muffled chill. But still, the winter sun cuts through the upstairs windows, filling the room with soft yellow light and the deceitful promise of warmth.

This weekend, folded up on the couch until the early morning hours, I cast on for Talus. The wind is thin and cold outside, but inside, I knit: heat on, air golden with dust motes and sun, the rats sleeping with their heads tucked into their bellies.

The winter may be long, but I have miles and miles of wool to keep away the cold. And soon, another little hat to keep me warm.


On another note, I will be taking a (hopefully short) hiatus, so that I can finish my schoolwork for graduation. I may pop in here and there, but my hope is that I'll be back to regular posting in January.

Happy Monday, and stay warm out there.