Archive for February, 2008

February 25, 2008

we ended up at the brooklyn botanic garden on sunday and though the weather was fine and there weren’t too many other visitors to dodge, i’m not terribly excited by the photographs we took there for the site update. and even less excited by the indoor shots i took of the clothes today (my lighting professor would have my hide if she saw!). the thing is that i’ve been laying low for so long that i’ve built up this re-entry in my head and am being far too critical. it’s just a little update, right? it isn’t a “launch” or anything fancy. just a tiny little update to get back into business.

i keep telling myself this, but it isn’t helping. anyway, i know it’s wrong to say such things and i should act as though i believe in the website (which is not finished, but will be published saturday morning) 100%, but i know that there isn’t a way to get it just right within the timeline i’ve set and that’s just going to have to be ok. i do believe in the clothes though! though they are mostly very simple design-wise, they are very well crafted and i am proud of them. the photo shoots and site updates will get better with time. that i am certain of.

it is difficult though, in the meantime, to keep from judging my work by the standards of those with much more experience in these areas. and while i know those people would never *ever* share their doubts and fears about their work in a blog, i do believe that process and struggle have their place and i would be lying if i told you all that i absolutely couldn’t wait until saturday to show off my hard work. but! this is just the very beginning and i will be excited by that.

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progress report

February 19, 2008

ahhhh! ha! i spent today working out the little problems in this new blouse pattern and i finally have one i’m really happy with. it just needs buttons and it will be ready for its full debut in the photo shoot we’ve planned for saturday.

of course, said shoot schedule may have to be edited to fit the winter weather’s gloomy forecast. i’d mapped out a day trip to an arboretum on long island, but since i was hoping for some pretty coniferrific outdoorsy photos and it’s supposed to rain/snow and i’m not fond of the thought of catching cold, i’m considering a plan c. plan b was to visit the new york botanical garden in the bronx, but i received an email today advertising their orchid show (!!!) which, ahem, opens on *saturday* and i imagine, will be quite busy. so! who knows. they’re just meant to be sort of ambient images to accompany straight “product shots” so maybe we can crop out the crowds? we shall see.

in other news, ian made a delicious curry tonight with cauliflower and potatoes and is talking about making some naan and green chutney next time! i’m totally stuffed, but the idea of homemade naan is very alluring.

plotting

February 17, 2008

patturns

i spent a few hours today learning about and then attempting to draft my own sloper/basic bodice pattern. usually i kind of wing it when drafting patterns, borrowing bits from existing clothes, vintage patterns and free-handing a lot, but the time has come to learn how to do it the “real” way. and so! onward!

the first one using my measurements didn’t work out *quite* right (somehow the bust was roomier than…um…should be,) so i decided to try one using so-called standard measurements, found in the pattern-making book i’ve got. i can tell already that the neckline is all wrong, but i’ve double-checked my plots (well, most of them anyway) and can’t tell what i’ve done wrong. i will be up late tonight fixing this and drafting a new pattern for a spring blouse i’m thinking of. this is all very exciting to me, by the way. the idea that there is a method of plotting measurements on paper using only a few tools and a pencil and thereby retrieving a flat pattern that will to some extent replicate your shape three-dimensionally is just amazing! not so much the fact that flat shapes can be rendered three dimensional, but the idea of a very specific method for doing so. who comes up with this stuff? crazy geniuses, that’s who. magical alchemists!

but before the commencement of a night chock full of plotting excitement, a trip to the grocery store!
the fun just will not cease, i tell you!

happy purchase things to prove your love day!

February 14, 2008

i’m such a scrooge, i know! but hey, i love love as much as the next lady, so here’s my valentine to you–my boys, doing their respective things. geoffrey, turning tail at the sound of bert jansch, then wagging into the dark; ian, writing emails and listening to tootle-y music. hooray!

February 12, 2008

*it’s snowing today! snow! wonderful snow.

*ian and i are celebrating our eighth anniversary this evening and i’m actually really looking forward to walking the mile to dinner in the snow. though i guess cute shoes are out.

*i spent most of yesterday cleaning and arranging/rearranging. the apartment is looking much better, but if you were to visit, you may still think we’ve just moved in. there’s not enough storage, surface space or seating just yet, but little nooks and corners look somewhat finished when vignetted as above.

*dear birthday’s schedule is all set. the spring site update will occur march first. i’m excited for our photography trip–there’s an arboretum on long island that looks lovely. i expect there will be visible goose bumps in the shots, but a tropical business trip was just not a possibility this year. hm. maybe next?

February 11, 2008

it seems the computer was just going through a cranky spell. i’m relieved of having to worry over purchasing a new one, for right now at least. this is a huge relief as the little things and procrastinations were getting out of hand.

this week is filled with appointments, visits, domestic tasks and planning. next week will begin the Serious Orderly Way, in which i stick to a schedule and am super efficient, organized and Ready. turns out, i need order more than anything. a schedule is a beautiful, comforting thing.

also, we found a new laundromat! it’s a little further than the old one, and a tiny bit more expensive to wash, but the efficiency of the dryers makes up for the extra washing cost. plus, it’s super clean and almost empty of customers and there’s a television tuned to cnn and orchids in the window. oh! and it has a *change machine*!! what a novel idea for a laundromat, no? no more having to hunt down the Cranky Man to ask if he’ll begrudgingly change my dollars into something workable with his ancient machines. hooray!

retrograde/upgrade

February 8, 2008

ok, universe, i get it. astrology is real. acknowledged. understood. now can you ease up a little?

let me just say that i do not want to believe in this hocus pocus, but am finding the cycle far too convincing to maintain a healthy skepticism. apparently mercury is in retrograde again. without even knowing this, i could have guessed as much; my computer, ol’ faithful, trusty lappy, is finally giving up the ghost.

last time around, my car died. totally died. just stopped running while i was driving it. the mechanic told me it wasn’t even worth repairing. and now my computer!

oh well. it was going on six years, which i hear is old for a laptop. so!
now i need to look into getting a new one. i suppose it might be time to give in and join the mac club. any thoughts on this? recommendations? i want a nice computer that won’t crash constantly, that will allow me to run several large programs at once and will make me tea and bake me bread every morning.

also, should i delay such a major purchase until march 10th, when supposedly, things return to “normal” or am i just totally off my rocker for putting any stock in this nonsense?

bright black winter light

February 5, 2008


though i have been making slow progress, sewing regularly and building up a real patchwork of a collection (a little of this, a little of that) i fear that the winter is getting the best of me.
i brought my car along when we moved here last june. coming from northern virginia, where driving is a necessity, and having my own car (clunker though that first one was) since i was sixteen, the thought of not bringing a serious mode of transportation/escape to the city gave me an unbearable sense of claustrophobia. however, like most former suburbanites who find themselves city-bound, the constant, cross-street moving of this vehicle that i rarely drove anymore, coupled with the sudden onslaught of seemingly endless, major (and expensive!) repairs it needed, led me to give it up and donate the car. at first, i was surprised at how relieved i was to be free of it! no more moving it from one side of the street to the other. no more worrying about rats nesting under the hood. no more fear of tickets and mechanics! and i felt wonderfully smug about my shrinking carbon footprint.
but now that we’re in the major doldrums of winter, i’m missing my car like crazy.
we joined zipcar, and yeah, it’s pretty rad for major grocery or home depot trips (my friend g thinks i’m the biggest princess for thinking such things require a car trip) but it’s not the same. i can’t just decide that i’m going somewhere, anywhere and just go. it’s like having a curfew. that claustrophobic feeling i feared is sinking in hard.
i spent the morning searching for relatively inexpensive, short trips that we could possibly take to warmer climes in order to maybe shoot some pretty photos for the site update. but i know i’m just dreaming and such a thing isn’t really possible at the moment.
well. i don’t mean to sound so blue! it isn’t as bad as all that. just grey, really. very grey around here. but i’ve ordered some molly brett postcards from ebay to cheer me and i’ve got enough fabric to keep me busy. and i’m thinking that really, i just need to do more research and get out and explore new york city a bit. maybe the botanic garden would be a good place to photograph?

edit: how could i forget?? the three plaid puffleruff blouses are up for sale on the sodafine website!

feed the birds

February 2, 2008

walking back from a much-needed sandwich run after the second (and last) performance by joanna newsom with the brooklyn philharmonic at BAM, i described to ian the fleeting, yet intense and very real, sensation i experienced during brief moments of the last two nights, of springtime. you know that feeling? it’s warm and cool and sort of takes your breath away. it’s subtly sweet and soft and just, you know…feels like spring. like falling in love, but more gentle. i realized in describing it that that is exactly what “breath of fresh air” is meant to conjure. joanna newsom is, quite literally a breath of fresh air.
i know, i know! i’m so hokey! but in all ridiculous seriousness! she is the most amazing songwriter and a great performer. ys, yes, was played in its entirety and was beautiful and full. but her re-working of some of her older songs really blew me away. i loved them dearly before, but wow. i wish i could share inflammatory writ with you, as it was played these past two nights.
it would seem that the no cameras rule was heeded, as i can’t find anything on youtube, at least not yet–i was searching for documentation of the two new songs she played. the first is yet-untitled (though there was joking from the drummer, neal morgan, that it was called “barbara”) and really exhibited her enthusiasm for its newness; she seemed to relish every line and note so that it was impossible not to be caught up in excitement. the other new one, which i’m guessing is “sweet eseme” though the first night she said it was “for dorian” which i took to be a title…but…anyway. she played that one alone and the sweetness and purity of the words and melody brought me to tears both nights.
it’s silly, but something about it, in trying to recall, turns into “feed the birds, tuppence a bag” in my head! i was singing that this morning and ian said he had it stuck in his head too! so unfortunate. doubly so because i don’t think we will be able to hear the new song again until it’s out on some album. will have to do some sleuthing.
oookaay, this post was utterly goofy. i hope i don’t sound like some wannabe music reviewer…as i am no such thing. just a big, dorky fan.

in other news, happy groundhog day! what did phil say this morning? more winter? does he ever say anything else?

edit: i found the song! :http://youtube.com/watch?v=sL0T1yUYkbs