weekend links and reads

Hello, friends!

It’s been two months since our arrival in Madrid, and this past Wednesday we finally received our resident cards for Spain! This was the culmination of over six months of work on Todd’s part, and we were fortunate to get the process expedited (six months is considered fast) so we could get S registered for school. We’re happy to be official now, and it’s been interesting to look back at the past two months, to see what we’ve learned and how things have changed.

Our time here has already gone so quickly! I’m finding that I’m now able to conduct basic transactions in Spanish, although I still struggle to comprehend a lot of what’s said. But I’m definitely seeing progress in my learning, and now I’m working on verb tenses with my tutor so that hopefully I won’t be talking like a toddler for much longer. Meanwhile, S is settling into school, making new friends and enjoying her after-school classes–circus, cinema, and art. Her pronunciation of Spanish words is already excellent, so I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s translating for me.

We received our very first care package from the U.S. this week, and we all enjoyed a little American Halloween candy from our dear friend Whitney.




We’re also in regular touch with our family and friends (thank you, FaceTime and Skype), and thanks to Kindle we’re able to continue to read books in English. Really, I think it’s been relatively easy for us to move overseas compared to my college roommate, for example, who married a lovely man after college and moved to the Netherlands without having access to all these things we have to make our lives easier. The internet has changed everything, hasn’t it?

I’m also finding my way around Madrid more easily all the time. I’m learning the ways of the fabric and trim stores here. Yesterday I managed to Spanglish my way into buying piping for my new Lisette women’s pajama pattern. (I’ll give you a proper introduction to my two new Butterick patterns very soon.) At the trim store I now understand which line to stand in if I need buttons and which line to stand in if I need elastic. And I found a fantastic shoe repair guy, which is crucial when you live in a city and want your shoes to last, especially when many of the streets in that city are cobblestones.

So we’re slowly making Madrid our home. Now the days are getting shorter, we changed our clocks to an hour earlier last weekend, and we’re wearing jackets and scarves in the mornings as the temperature slowly drops. What about you? Are you sensing the seasons changing? I love watching the swimsuits emerge in Australia as we’re starting to bundle up in the northern hemisphere.

Pinterest Picks

Wow, there are so many genius Halloween costumes showing up in the Flickr group! I’m sure you’ll be posting more photos over the weekend–I’ll be keeping a close watch because I’m excited to see what you’ve been sewing–but here is one that caught my eye right away. I so wanted to be Princess Leia when I was little–even though I really didn’t understand the movie at all.


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How sweet is this Sunday Brunch Jacket? I love the polka dots and the buttons.


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Check out Elizabeth’s amazing Lisette moto jacket! I love the color-blocked sleeves, which give the jacket a really cool, sporty look and feels a bit like a layered vest. Elizabeth’s outfit won an award, too!


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This made me laugh. I wonder if kids think this is funny or if they are completely horrified. I think it’s just scary enough for Halloween.


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Here’s a neat weekend project, and you could give it a Halloween theme if you’re so inclined: jack-o-lanterns, witches, haunted houses, how fun!


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I didn’t have time to do any fabric shopping in Italy, as hoped, but I’m still thinking about an A-line skirt for winter using the Lisette B6182 pattern. This outfit is simple, classic, and cute enough to wear all fall and winter. And you could even add a little orange if you want to be a bit Halloween-y.


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Weekend Reading (and Looking)

  1. Even though I no longer work in the fashion industry, I still follow it pretty closely. The luxury fashion world is experiencing so many problems right now, especially designer burn-out (witness John Galliano, Alexander McQueen), and I think Suzy Menkes really sums it up well with the departure of Raf Simons from Dior. (And now with Alber Elbaz leaving Lanvin, what’s the luxury world coming to?)
  2. But here’s an interesting solution to the problem: what would happen if designers worked in teams instead of individual celebrity designers carrying the burden alone? After all, this is how most of the (non-luxury) fashion industry works. I loved working with our team at Tommy Hilfiger; we shared ideas and collaborated in all sorts of ways that were beneficial to all of us as well as to the company itself.
  3. Here’s an interesting approach to the idea of fashion and over consumption, since we’re at the end of Slow Fashion October.
  4. I’m totally guilty of choosing salad and ice cream. Are you?
  5. Spectacular photos of churches with a completely unique perspective.

Have a great weekend! And Happy Halloween!




  1. francesca

    Wow, two months is a miracle! how on earth did you do it?!

    Find your way to the Bouton d’Or – it is the most amazing haberdashery, full of murals, painted wooden drawers – beautiful!

  2. I look forward to these Friday posts — so much good stuff to mull over. And I really like the snake and mouse. Are they wearing little hats? Or do they have curly hair?

  3. Fiona

    I am so pleased that all your hard work to make your new lives in Madrid ‘really work’ is paying off, Liesl. The picture of S with her Halloween goodies is very sweet. So nice that someone thought of what she might be missing, right now.
    Yes, summer is slowly, and rather erratically arriving in Australia; some days are very warm, and then the next few are not! I always feel jealous that your ‘holidays’ are in the winter; it is always tricky to do the whole decorating thing in the heat, and because it’s also the end of our academic/commercial year, people/families are pretty frantic.
    It will be so interesting for your family to find out about Xmas celebrations/traditions in Spain. Thank you so much for the time you take to tell us about your adventures, and I’m very pleased that there is pj pattern for women coming down the pike. Take care, and Happy Halloween.

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