Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jacob's Pillow

Little Girls Dresses from Shabby Apple

I have to say, Shabby Apple really knows how to get me to agree to almost anything that they say. They say, "jump!" I'll likely jump. A lot.

So, when they say, "Choose your favorite Shabby Apple dress and drool over it on the internetz' public space so you can get a $10 gift certificate for our shop", well then. I'm sold. I mean, bought. Or something.

The great thing about Shabby Apple is not just that the dresses are really stylin' but that they continue to expand on their collections and selections and colors and themes and wonders. In trying to choose my top pick, I realized just how many of their collections I missed out on.  I think I could spend almost as much time perusing Shabby Apple as I manage to spend perusing Sock Dreams. (That's way too much, for those unfamiliar.) So, it's hard to really choose a favorite dress and feel settled on it. My initial knee jerk favorite is this lovely:

Nine to Five

But then I ran across this dress:

Jacob's Pillow
So, I'm a huge fan of the polka dot and the pencil skirt, but I have to admit that it was really the name that got me. Not realizing that it's a reference to a huge dance festival in the Berkshires, I was intrigued by the name. Because I just got myself a Jacob's pillow of my own.

Almost a year ago, my younger brother Jacob passed away unexpectedly. A friend of the family offered to take shirts of his and make us all pillows with them (that's a lot of pillows, folks). It was just this past month that she was able to bring them by my parents' home for each of us to choose our favorite.

Here's mine:
(And as a side note: what a great refashion idea in general!!)

Funnily enough, when I chose it, I didn't think it would match my home decor, having forgotten that I apparently only have grey pillows. In truth, I had chosen this pillow almost strictly on the grounds of the awesome pockets. It seemed so cozy to me. Begging to be hugged, just like my brother--everyone wanted to hug him. Trust me, he was good at the hugging.

I would have such a lovely nap here, if only I had a cozy shirt-pillow.
In reading the description of the dress (and let's get another shot of this sweet thing), I felt like the inspiration for this dress was very much in the spirit of my brother too.  The designer had gone off for a weekend of relaxation in the Berkshires, and after a classical concert came across the following:

It was a group of young musicians gathered around a camp fire--three of them with their violins out sawing away at an Irish reel, the rest making novice attempts at contra dancing, much to their own amusement.  I watched from a short distance, their joy and abandon intoxicating, before someone in the line noticed me.  A girl of about 20 came skipping out of the line over in my direction, and, without a word, grabbed my hand, pulling me into the dance.Abandoning all the city girl in me, I joined them, sashaying and curtsying and do-si-do-ing until I couldn't stop laughing and had to take a rest...

My brother loved the fiddle, and he and I often liked to try playing together. Neither of us were very good, but we learned quickly and fell in love with the idea of learning to play. It was supposed to have been him who would have played the processional (Pachelbel's Canon) at my other brother's wedding in May. Instead, my cousins and I performed in his place.

After his funeral, we all gathered at my aunt and uncle's and had a similar gathering as the designer describes: bonfire, fiddle music, banjo, dancing, singing, whooping, and laughing. Because that was Jacob.

All in all, it seems to add up. In time for the Day of the Dead, when I get to honor those who have gone before me, I have an opportunity to connect with my brother in the most unexpected of places. So, as morbid as it may be, how could this dress not be my favorite??

(p.s. I don't really think it's morbid.)

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