Archive for September, 2008

September 29, 2008

good morning!
though i’m sitting around waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in and extinguish the fire located in my spine between my shoulder blades that’s preventing me from moving very much (no, it’s not meningitis valerie, you don’t have a headache, it’s a pinched nerve or something) i feel chipper and cheery because the sun is shining and i’ve had my coffee AND i finished the above vest last night.

there is still lots of work to be done for the show on saturday, but i’ve got all of today and tomorrow and mornings and evenings wednesday-friday and it will all come together somehow, right? and you know, i realized that this thing might be really packed with people to the point where nobody will see the clothes anyway, so eh! trying not to be too worried about the outcome. it will just be a fun time with my friends and it’s been a super motivator in that it’s forced me to really start cranking stuff out (i work VERY slowly) and come up with some new things. so! it’s good.

also, i don’t know if i’ve mentioned this before, and perhaps it’s a little shameful, but i watch tv shows on my computer while i sew. last winter-spring i watched northern exposure in its entirety um…well, ian says it was five times, but that doesn’t seem quite right. anyway, i watched every episode consecutively and then again and again and now i think i might be an authority on the subject. go ahead! ask me anything about marilyn whirlwind or ruth-anne miller.
or you know, don’t. i should be getting ready to work.

anyway that is all to say that now i’m constantly searching now for new things to watch while sewing: went through all of weeds already, and joseph campbell’s the power of myth (AMAZING), listened to his dark materials (SUPER AMAZING) and yes, i’ve heard every episode of this american life at least twice and now i’ve found heroes. heroes is awesome! there, i said it. i’m on the bandwagon.
and it’s a network series, so there are so many episodes! i watched it all day yesterday while sewing and didn’t make it through the first season!

haha! ok. i know. this is crazy talk. i should be listening to npr and learning about wtf is going on in the world but you know, that can become overwhelmingly depressing. and it can be somewhat damaging to one’s sense of self-worth to be sitting in a cozy room with a nice cup of coffee, surrounded by lovely stuff and completely stressed out over something as meaningless (in the Big Picture sense) as a botched seam or spilled ink while listening to news of total destruction. so uh. we try to keep it light.

and on that note! (ahem) i think the back is feeling well enough for another day at the sewing machine. see you!


September 26, 2008

hello and good afternoon to you on this overcast and chilly friday of ours!

i realize that the economy is apparently exploding and we are all clutching our shrunken purses tight to our chests BUT i just feel compelled to let you know, on the off chance that you’re not affected by such things or simply enjoy throwing caution to the wind (good for you!), i have added the kathryn dress in both squid ink and scrub pine to the etsy shop in (prepare yourselves) sizes large and extra large. yes! made to order, just for you. as always. or rather, as sometimes.

in other news, i’m working like a bit of a nut to get things ready for williamsburg fashion weekend. it’s a week from tomorrow! are you going? i think you should! it might be tons of fun!

dream the kind of life that you will find

September 25, 2008

in scrub pine, in the shop now.
also, i’m bringing one in small to sodafine today*

“the song of the day is in heaven there is no heat” by lavender diamond.
just so you know.

*EDIT: naturally because i blogged that i would be doing a thing, i forgot to do it. so! i will bring it in tomorrow. not that tens and twenties of you were clamoring your way over to sodafine to check it out. but hey! just in case. not today. 🙂

September 24, 2008


good morning! dear birthday is hanging out with the big kids on october 4th–please join us!

For Immediate Release:

Williamsburg Fashion Weekend

Friday October 3rd and Saturday October 4th, 2008, 7:00 PM to 10 PM

Williamsburg Fashion Weekend continues to show the work of designers that have their fingers on the hip and now, with a nod to the past and wide-open eyes on the future. In this, our third season, we’ve assembled a group of eight Brooklyn-based designers who make one-of-a-kind or small-run collections, with an emphasis on fair-trade, eco-friendliness, and artisan techniques that celebrate the handmade and the visionary.

The Designers:

Dear Birthday – by Valerie Soles ( Using hand dyed and printed organic cotton, Dear Birthday’s “tidal detritus” collection derives inspiration from the Cape Cod seashore in autumn, including the cast-off outer shells of marine invertebrates and
remnants of egg casings with a nod to Edward Gorey who made the Cape his final resting place.

King Gurvy – by Arthur Arbit: This season, Arthur will be showing pieces from his “classic” mod/dandy/glam men’s and women’s lines, as well as pieces from his upcoming “uber-glam” line. Oozing with sexuality and exotica, he’s taking glam into the stratosphere and beyond with this one. The Trilateral Commission (Arbit’s band) builds the sound-track for the show.

Racecar – by Jeannette Tiso ( Jeannette’s menswear collection, Racecar, is a collection of handmade vests with touches of old western detailing and vintage fabrics. The vests are fitted and range from casual (denim, cotton, canvas) to cashmere wool and suiting. Jeannette dresses many Williamsburg bands and performers with the Racecar line and also provides alteration services for neighborhood guys that need their thrift store finds tampered with.

SDN – by Marcus Hicks ( Marcus will be showing pieces for men and women from his Fall ’08 and Spring ’09 collections. The collections, made from sustainable fabrics and without sweatshop labor, are a must have for the discriminating fashion crowd.

Sodafine boutique ( Sodafine will be presenting a
collection of dresses that bridge the gap between owner Erin Weckerle’s current painting practice and her clothing designs for the shop. Using the dress form as the canvas, and incorporating hand-
painted details and collaged fabrics drenched in paint and dripping from the surface to play with texture and dimension.

Treehouse Brooklyn boutique ( Treehouse’s house designer Sirius* brings a collision of her design fascinations to life
in this collection. Focusing on reworking and bejeweling vintage pieces and eco-friendly jerseys to create silhouettes that celebrate and caress fashion’s traditions while simultaneously dreaming of a
better, brighter, more blinged out future.

Trisha McBride – by Trisha McBride: Pieces from her middle-eastern inspired line.

Untitled 11:11 – by David Peck and Laurel Anderson (
Untitled 11:11’s women’s wear line is a beautifully tailored, sophisticated, quirky, and fun-filled line that adds to the modern fashion vernacular. David and Laurel are committed to adhering to
ethical and environmentally responsible business practices. They are passionate about manufacturing close to the source and using fair-trade, eco-friendly, and American products whenever possible.

Who — Oct.3rd:

SDN, King Gurvy, and Tricia Mcbride.

Musical performances by Pantagruel and DJ K0unt Zer0.

Who — Oct.4th:

Untitled 11:11, Racecar, Sodafine, Dear Birthday, and Treehouse

Musical performance by DJ K0unt Zer0.


Friday October 3rd and Saturday October 4th, 7:00 PM to 10 PM


Monster Island Building, Secret Project Robot
112 River St (at Metropolitan Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11211


L-Train to Bedford Ave. Exit at Bedford Ave. Walk south on Bedford Ave
to Metropolitan Ave. Take right onto Metropolitan Ave and walk towards
the water front. Walk past Kent Ave to River St. Take right onto River
St. Secret Project Robot is located on the corner of River St and
Metropolitan Ave. The entrance to Secret Project Robot is the arch
doors on the Loading Dock on River St.

Admission: Free

General Contact:

Press Contact: Members of the Press are encouraged to email an RSVP to
Arthur Arbit at

Special Recognition:
Big thanks to Rachel Nelson and Erik Z. of Monster Island / Secret
Project Robot for letting Williamsburg Fashion Weekend use their sweet

Monster Island Building
Secret Project Robot
112 River St (at Metropolitan Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11211

September 22, 2008

i love you guys.
thank you so much to everyone who introduced themselves in the comments of the last post! i am so humbled knowing that the people who read my blog are so awesome–it definitely feels like an honor that you’d even care to skim my ramblings!
thank you thank you thank you

so what i learned is pretty much what i felt might be the truth to begin with: photos are enticing, posts about making are most interesting, but it’s ok to blog what you feel sometimes. awesome!

with all of that in mind:

i was up until 4 this morning (and then up again at 7:30) finishing these dresses so i would have something to show a new shop i will be consigning at. they came back home with me (shop wants the blue kathryn dress instead) so they will most likely be posted to etsy tomorrow or wednesday. i’ve also got a few pairs of the tidal detritus print undies in squid with shell ink piled up next to the sewing machine–they’ll be posted then as well. whew!

oh right! so i’m super tired. actually, the tiredness is only setting in just now as i drank a good amount of coffee before setting off on my bike across the bridge into manhattan. uh, and then another once i was parked and locked up, since i was early. i was a little wacked out with coffee and nervousness and somehow a second cup seemed like a good idea?? i was nervous because it was my first time riding over the williamsburg bridge on my little bike, but i have to say that even though i walked it a tiny bit (i am still a bit out of shape) it was really exciting and on the way home i definitely felt that endorphin rush as i coasted (comparatively slowly–those other bikers really fly!) down that hill at the end. oh man! i really need to exercise more. it’s one thing to know that exercise makes you happy and quite another to *know* it, you know?

anyway! that’s all for today. i feel like a sleepy tweaker. have to get these tax forms to the post office asap, then it’s nap time usa!

roll call

September 19, 2008

it’s time to take attendance!

i’ve never really asked about the readership of this here blog and occasionally i am pleasantly surprised by an unexpected new commenter or two, so i would like to know a little more about you. that and i have noticed that i tend to lose bloglines subscribers (of which there are not many) when i write more personal/pointless posts and i’m a little curious about that. so!

if you would be so kind as to answer any and/or all of the following questions, i would be greatly appreciative and entertained:

1. who are you? (name, astrological sign, favorite color, occupation, greatest passion? all acceptable)

2. how did you find this blog?

3. do you prefer maker-type entries (process and progress) or are you a fan of the blathering?

4. do you have a blog i should be reading?

5. what’s your favorite season?

6. are you hopeful or frightened or both?

7. anything else you might want to share?

thanks chickens and roosters!

September 19, 2008

these tropical birds were spotted last year on west broadway during the annual art parade. the annual art parade that was canceled this year due to bad weather. i don’t have new photos from the past few days, so i was rummaging around for something from this time last year and this seemed appropriate (!!!) because one of the MANY insane dreams i had last night involved trying on thong underwear. i have to say that in my dream, it was just as horrible as i imagine it would be in life. why do people wear that stuff??

i also dreamed that camera obscura was playing a rooftop show in greenpoint and you had to go up on adjacent rooftops to see them. once up there, the roofs were suddenly much closer together and interconnected in a frightening, but really cool way. they played that abba song super trouper and tracy ann saw that i was singing along and made her way over to my roof. she looked really sad and she sat down next to me and told me her troubles: she was in love with kurt cobain, but he didn’t know she existed. no, worse. he knew she existed and didn’t like her in the least and was in fact, quite rude to her. i mentioned gently that he was no longer with us and she assured me that he is indeed still around and had just put out a vinyl only release that was going to change the world.

i felt guilty that talking to a sad tracy ann made me so happy, but i had convinced her to move here and we were going to be great friends.

later i found the secret vinyl in a bodega and bought it. it was shiny and heavy and printed-on and somehow i could hear just the faintest bit of it just holding the package in my hands. somewhere at the edge of hearing* was a banjo.

just the other day i was thinking about how i hadn’t had a dream that i could remember clearly for a while. last night was a little much–erin and siri and i had a “meeting” that devolved into crazy jokes and goofy timez (and erin, i blame you for the terrifying calamari dream) and maybe there are…healthier ways of inducing wacky dreams, and maybe just a *few* of them instead of an anthology of nonsense, but! it worked at least.

anyway. in other random news, the song for today is eye in the sky by the alan parsons project.
did anyone else totally miss the lyrics to this song when they were little? i always thought it was really sweet, but it isn’t at all.

happy friday!

*i thought this was from a tmbg song, but it didn’t turn up in googling. it is though, isn’t it? which one?

September 16, 2008

makers, can we discuss?

ok, first, do a search for “octopus” on etsy.
no. wait. i did it for you.

i’m not trying to be a pain. really, i’m not.
i just want to know how/why it is considered “making” or “art” or “yours” if really all you’re doing is sticking a chain on a charm in pretty much the exact same way as 300,000 other people. ok, so you added a rock or some other charms that dangle from the octopus’ arms. now it’s yours? now you feel ok selling it as your work?

yes, as a matter of fact, i do have more important things to attend to this evening. but it seemed that my instant recoiling in disgust from such practices prompted a necessary questioning of myself: why? why does this bother me so much? *tons* of other makers who sew stitch up very similar styles and use the same fabrics and motifs. fashion itself is nothing if not repetitive, derivative. why don’t i feel the need to pummel my fellow dressmakers?

so i pondered this and decided that really what irks me most is the anonymity of this sort of appropriation. where is the mark of the maker to be found in a dime-a-dozen charm strung on a store-bought chain? in clip art? maybe i’m just not a fan of collage? i don’t know. am i wrong? am i missing something here or is this pure capitalism masquerading as handmade?

i’m not necessarily anti-capitalist. maybe. but this seems deceptive.
put me in my place here.

September 16, 2008

thank you, anne lamott. via jezebel.

when you’re right, you’re right.
so! enough doom and gloom.
through the end of the month, 50% of all of dear birthday‘s etsy sales (after etsy and paypal fees) will go to barack obama’s campaign. we’d have done this sooner, but we are broke beyond joking. but this is important, my friends. let’s do it! you don’t have to buy things from me to contribute either, though that would be nice for me! you can do it here too.

September 16, 2008

blue hands.
blue boogers.
blue everything.

are you guys scared about what’s to come? i’m trying not to be. sometimes it helps to have escapist fantasy tendencies. and sometimes it helps to have expensive (considering) dinners and beers in the face of imminent pennilessness. at least, it helps temporarily.

but back to the dyeing: i’m wondering if it’s taking things a bit too far given the circumstances (no studio, no washing machine, no helpers, no time) and thinking that perhaps i’m not paying myself enough for the amount of work i’m doing.

but back to the doomsday theme: last night my friend jon pointed to the new light we’re all seeing matt damon in as a good barometer for how effed everything is. i mean, i’ve never really cared much for him, but suddenly i think maybe we should be friends. what is this world coming to??

i’ll think of something happy to post later…