Archive for May, 2008

May 31, 2008

oh today. today was so great and so naturally, i did not have a camera on me. i thought that once i had my lovely little pocket-sized point and shoot, i would be snapping up moments non-stop. alas, not so. too much else going on, i guess.

so today we got up early, walked sir geoffrey to the park, picked up some pastry breakfasty things, ate them back at home with coffee and chai. then it was errands time, only we realized that we were out and about a little too early for most things in williamsburg on a saturday, so we just sort of wandered around a bit until we arrived at sprout home, where i bought yet another little green friend for our apartment. i don’t think it’s really possible to have too many plants and i plan to put this theory to the test. we can only benefit from cleaner air and a more welcoming dwelling, no? oh! and also i bought a hula hoop to use as the top of a little burlap dressing room i’ll be making for the renegade craft fair. so we carried a plant and a hula hoop over to marlow and sons, which in our past year as brooklynites we had somehow managed to avoid, in spite of hearing nothing but rave reviews. i won’t review, but i will rave. love. that is all. and then ian bought a giant plank of wood. and then i decided that although the day had been perfect so far and although it was like searching for…well, the holy grail, i decided we would go out in search of a radio flyer wagon because once a thing enters my thoughts, well. it’s there until it isn’t. i won’t go into the frustrations and crankiness suffered in this fruitless effort however, because just when we’d given up all hope and i was feeling quite peeved, we randomly ran into some friends who treated us to vegan milkshakes and friendly chattiness in a park in manhattan and all was well again.

later, back in brooklyn, we met up with g who was with j (in town from dc) and they watched us eat pizza and walked home with us and gushed over the already-made pile i’ve got going, making me feel much better about my progress. that and an amazing email from wendy moop have me much more happy/excited than my previous nervous/excited. so yeah. in spite of mercury being once again in retrograde and in spite of randomly feeling that dark cloud of foreboding that hovers over me inexplicably at times, all is quite well and lo! i found the radio flyer on ebay after all.

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May 29, 2008

was anyone else disappointed by this nyt article about the ridiculously cheap clothing market? not to sound preachy, but i honestly cannot bring myself to shop in any store where the prices are suspiciously low. i know people (very smart and good people) who become ravenously psyched over the idea of a $10 jean jacket, but i can’t help but wonder how that sort of thing is even possible. i was hoping that the article would address in more explicit terms why and how the training of consumers to expect LOW LOW or at-cost prices is dangerous and wrong-headed and morally corrupt, but it didn’t really.

ah well.

almost a year ago now i decided to stop buying mass-produced clothing all together (with the exception of shoes, though i still refuse to buy Liberty print nikes, glorious though they may be) unless, like the loomstate jeans i bought in the fall, they’re made from organic/sustainable fibers. so far it’s been kind of awesome. not only has my clothing purchasing all but ceased (i will admit that for a while, before moving to new york, it could be said that i had a “problem” with spending on clothes and shoes) but i’ve started to think a lot more about potential purchases. as the article states, if my new way of shopping becomes more common, that might be bad news for retailers, but i also see it as a great opportunity to rework the backwards market towards a more economically and environmentally sustainable system.

what do you think? do you have an ethical checklist to tick off before pulling out your wallet or has shopping in general just become far too complicated?

May 22, 2008

oh! yes i am still here and alive and working so busily, reading and steadying–renegade is coming soon! i’m so excited about the fair this year as i have somewhat elaborate (as compared to previous years) plans for my little booth and its content, but as with every year, i’m also terribly nervous that not everything will get done in time. this will definitely be my biggest fair collection to date, so in that respect i’m already ahead of the game and doing better than usual. but! working 4 days a week outside of the bedroom studio has been more stressful than i anticipated! to all of you ladies who successfully run your own businesses while working full time, i tip my hat to you. well, i don’t wear a hat. but if i did, rest assured, it would be tippin’. but in all seriousness, how is it done?? i love my little part time jobs and it’s true that when i was working alone at home all the time, i did get quite lonely and isolated feeling, but still i cannot wait for the day (please do come, dear sweet day) that i don’t need them to help support me anymore.

well! so back to work before i head off to work. looks like the weather is clearing up at last. hooray!

May 15, 2008

this morning i added two new henry blouses to the etsy shop–one medium in the same fabrics as the original and one small in blues (scouts print + peacock feathers.)

counting down the days to renegade and starting to freak out a little bit! i have exactly one month, but really only 10 full sewing days. eeep. i think it’s time to start drinking coffee again. hooray!

May 12, 2008

i spent the day working on a batch of t shirts for renegade…i’m trying to make a bunch of little-ish things (under $80) since i know most fair shoppers tend to gravitate toward the smaller items. i have to admit, i’m pretty much the same way. unless the booth takes credit cards (which i do!) i’m a penny-pincher. still, i can’t fully suppress the urge to make fancier stuff. just have to find the right balance. also, i mean, what sort of little things can i really make? i think it’s fairly safe to say that nobody needs another plain little zip pouch. the ladies who are making those these days tend to be making them fancier anyway, which would defeat the purpose for me of having something smallish/cheapish for sale. i will have a TON of undies and some valerian cards. well anyway, i’m thinking…out…loud…

also, guess what i did this weekend?? i bought more plants! a spider plant (i’ve been wanting one for a while) and some more fittonia (pink!) to replace the pilea in the bathroom. the pilea was getting sort of leggy for it’s hanging planter. i realized after the fact that replacing pilea with fittonia is a little dumb, since it’s just another leggy little grower and that i should have taken home something dangly, more fitting of a hanging planter (the spider plant is too big for the planter in question) but! alas! it just means i will have an excuse to adopt another green friend when it comes time to re-pot the pink fittonia. heh.

ok, back to sewing. you know, i just got an idea and i think i’m going to try it out: a little 80s-style romper out of the liberty print knits! usually those things are usually a little *too* sexy for my taste, but something tells me that a crazy print combo might make it more acceptable somehow…

May 9, 2008

oh heck yeah!

ok, that’s the super polite version of what i just exclaimed as i checked my bank statement. all i hoped to find was a tiny little direct deposit from one of my part time jobs, but lo! behold! that evil tax refund has arrived! i know, i know. bad idea. such a bad idea. but hey, it will help pay my rent, so i’m not turning up my nose. i woke up this morning to the sound of rain, the apartment had cooled (it gets so hot in here as soon as the temperature hits 65) and i just felt so inexplicably happy about the day to come. and now! rent money! hooray!

in other news! tonight from 7-9 sodafine in williamsburg will be hosting the first in a series of openings for artist-designed window installations at the shop! the inaugural window was put together by jason estrin and you can see a sneak peek here. the lovely erin shopowner is hosting an in-store get together with wine and fun timez. please stop by if you’re in the neighborhood for gallery night–i know cinders is having a group drawing show opening. hooray for art!

sure it’s blustery out there, but i for one am welcoming it. damp down that itchy pollen, i say!

May 8, 2008

the etsy homepage has a collection of strangely familiar (in a proustian madeline sort of way) items that sent me back in time momentarily to my little dorky 15 year old self, obsessed with jean-pierre jeunet and idly rendering my high school into some future/past (and yes, steam-powered) patina green industrial facility instead of paying attention in class. oh. my. gosh. why didn’t little valerie know about steampunk??

i absolutely love that there is a crazy and very specific community for just about any bizarro aesthetic out there. even if i had known about steampunks, i can’t say i would have ever been able to commit myself so fully as to openly claim allegiance; i feel mega strong affiliations to too many conflicting groups (i’m a pisces, what do you expect?) to choose one that’s so specific, but what i wouldn’t have given to hang out with some of those dorks. and i do say that with all intended kindness.

steampunk! oh lord. that just made my day.

EDIT: apparently i missed the nyt article, which ian pointed me to. those dudes look so rad! the kids in the smaller photo, not so much.

May 7, 2008

taking a tiny little break from sewing (i’m down to three dedicated days a week…not enough!) to share some new apartment additions. next month will mark our one year anniversary here and our little nest is only just beginning to resemble an organized and comfy home-type space. oh! but don’t get me wrong! it’s been comfy and homey for us, surrounded by a cluttery mess of books and stacks and piles of the trappings of making and all. but it’s not really been conducive to hanging out or entertaining guests. for one, there’s really nowhere to sit. we have two kitchen chairs, a tiny ikea loveseat and one folding chair each at our respective “desks” which aren’t terribly comfortable and which are sort of cruel to seat guests in.

while the seating situation probably won’t be remedied soon, we are well on our way to finding permanent homes for the floor-dwelling book stacks and errant cds and records. ian designed and made the little bookshelf above, which sits/fits perfectly behind the tiny sofa. check out the tiny, slanted foots! i’m super impressed and have bombarded him with a ridiculous onslaught of furniture and cabinetry requests, which i will not actually hold him too, but which would be awesome! though, more paintings would be even awesomer. awesomer??

oh! and the plant life is multiplying! i bought a banana plant on sunday when ian’s parents came up (they brought the pretty red vintage table in the corner there) and his mum helped identify some mystery plants on our coffee table and gave me some tips on how to keep ferns from dying. she said all plant caretakers have an achilles heel and i think ferns must be mine. it seems so cruel and unfair that the plants i find the prettiest should be hardest for me to keep! i’m sure it’s not some sort of bad vibes thing though; me and ferns just need to have a heart to heart.

May 2, 2008

oh! press!

a genevieve blouse from the spring collection is featured in Time Out New York!

i’m so proud of that little plaid top!