Monday, May 29, 2006

a purse post

I'm a purse-watcher. There have been many times when I've gone out of my way to study the design of a stranger's purse, going so far as to follow the woman and take mental notes of the design components that make her purse attractive. Needless to say I've gotten a few strange looks from people who probably thought I was fixing to rob them or something. There's just something about a well-designed bag that intrigues me. In order for a bag to be perfect it has to have the right number of compartments, the right kind of strap and closure, the right color and fabric and the right amount of space for all your stuff. But then, what's "perfect" for one person just doesn't work for another. I think this is why so many women are addicted to handbags - they're always searching for that "perfect" one. Years ago a simple clutch would suffice for me. Nowadays I need one that will not only hold my wallet, keys, sunglasses, cell phone and business cards but also some juice boxes, crayons, matchbox cars and random rocks and leaves that Sage instructs me to keep forever.

A friend of mine once remarked that it was funny that I have a sewing room full of purses, yet don't carry around a kokoleo purse myself. I guess I consider the purses and bags I make to be more sculptural experiments than anything else. I may spend up to 5 hours working on one - adjusting the size and shape, testing out different pockets, straps and closures - and then when I'm finished I just set it on the shelf and look at it. When I go to buy a purse for myself I tend to go for interesting shapes and styles that I simply couldn't recreate. This week I sold one of my needlepoint owl purses (thank you Sarah!) and then went out and bought these for myself:

The beaded one reminds me of those massage-chair thingies. It's definitely not something I could ever do because I don't have A. the beads or B. the patience to put something like that together. The same goes for the "prison art" candy wrapper bag that I got at Out Of the Closet, a thrift store that benefits AIDS research. I love these type of bags and have another one I got off ebay years ago made from old cigarette packs. I have no idea if this one was actually made in a prison but it has no label so I suspect some lone crafty soul made with his or her own two hands. At about 60 bucks less than these Ecoist bags I'd been stalking, I just had to get it.

I went to the Melrose Ave. flea market this Saturday and got a Depression-era patchwork quit for 15 bucks. I may or may not some day work up the nerve to cut it up and turn it into baby dresses? skirts? purses? but for now I'm going to leave it as a lap quilt. I also got a couple framed needlepoint pieces. Recently I've been on a mission to rescue neglected and forgotten vintage needlepoint and give them new life in the form of purses - the ultimate portable art. I forgot to photograph this one in it's frame but last night I turned it into this:

It's big enough to hold a Saturday Evening Post or whatever else you need to tote around. The lining is a multi-colored cotton material and the inside pocket is lined with an American flag:

Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Kokoleo and Kali 'n Leo

I just spent at least 10 hours updating my website and it's hardly even noticeable. Making stuff is the easy part. It's the taking pictures, uploading, photoshopping, organizing, describing, and HTMLing that complicates everything. But I now have a whole new assortment of embellished tees like these:

And some other stuff too. I've also been steadily working on commissions. Among them, this flower growth chart for a little girl in Canada:

And a banner for a shop in San Diego:

It's done in yellow, green and pink gingham and it was the first time I experimented with hand cutting cursive letters to recreate a logo's font. Here's the shop where it will hang.

It's funny how as soon as I finish a big commission, another one comes along to take it's place. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining or anything. I love my job.

I also love my boy. And my dog Kali. And my cat Leo. My boy also loves our dog and cat. Sometimes too much.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Craft shows, art shows, weirdos, etc.

It's been a busy week since I last added an entry. A month ago I remember thinking, man, our lives are going to get really hectic around the end of April to the middle of May what with our trip to Austin, the Felt Club and then Erik's art show. Suddenly, all those things have come and gone. We did it! So. . . now what? I guess we'll have to think of new things to do. The wheels are already turning.

As promised, here are some pictures from the first Felt Club. Here's my booth, er, umm, scaffolding?

The scene:

The shop whose parking lot we occupied:

That picture was taken in the evening after I treated my family to dinner at a hip little restauarant called Cheebo across the street from Meltdown Comics. For more pictures check out our Flicker group. The next Felt Club is June 10th - mark your calendars!

Fast forward to Thursday night and the opening of Strange Loops, Erik's painting show at the Walt Disney Feature Animation building in Burbank. We served these hors d'oevres:

But no milk, just beer. You can see his art here: Lord North, Strange Loops. He's actually pretty normal in real life, he just comes across as a big weirdo on canvas.

Speaking of weirdos, here's my little one pretending he's a seagull at Zuma Beach in Malibu. We owed the boy a beach excursion after a week of carting him to and from craft shows and art shows.

Nice tattered towel there. You'd think his seamstress mommy would fix that.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Felt Club kicked ass!

Saturday was the first Felt Club event and wow, what a great show! So many cool crafts and cool people (both vendors and shoppers). The weather was nice (I got a tan!), the location was great and I did some sweet trades with Jek-in-the Box, Susan Stars, and Chebang. Two years ago if someone would have told me I would be participating in a craft show on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California I would have peed my pants.

Pictures coming soon!

Sunday was a nice Mother's Day. Sage and I visited some yard sales (fabric! new blank tees! Charles Eames stacking cards! Pee-Wee Herman DVD box set!) then we lounged by the pool (by pool I mean kiddie pool) and I tried to teach him how to properly do the slip and slide (ouch!). Tonight was spent getting my sewing room back in order. Whew! I'm exhausted. Oh yeah, it's 1:30 a.m. Maybe that's why.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hey Loretta!

I made myself some pants this morning:

Ew. That picture doesn't do the fabric justice. They look like polyester grandma pants. It's actually a vintage velour with an aqua paisley print on it and they are soooo soft and comfy. I made them to take the place of a pair of lounge pants that I finally admitted needed to be thrown away. Holes + stains = trash, right? I just loved the way they fit so I held on to them and simply confined them to inside the house. But this morning I realized how ugly they were so I cut them up and loosely used them as a pattern for these. I can't remember the last time I made something for myself. I'm usually so busy working on commissions or making random baby clothes and purses and whatnot for my webshop that I rarely consider keeping what I make anymore.

This afternoon I picked Sage up from preschool and took him out to lunch. I'm amazed that he's suddenly at an age where we can sit across from one another and have real conversations. I try to imagine us this way 5, 10, and 20 years from now and I just can't envision him all grown up. I want him to be little forever. I recently got an email from my former boss at my all time favorite job, The Dragonfly (a vintage clothing store I worked at in college) and she told me that her boys are now teenagers who tower over her. I remember when she was sending them off to kindergarten and now she's getting ready to send her oldest one off to Iraq.

Anyway, after lunch we visited 2 thrift shops and I got this:

Earrings, fabric, zippers and two books I've always wanted to own. When I got home I opened the Hand Made Modern book (a 99 cent investment) and found that it was signed by the author, Todd Oldman. Either that, or someone named Tom Blahbittyblah.

Hey Loretta! Thanks for the book.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Like shopping, only better

One of the great things about making stuff is being able to swap with other people who make stuff. In the past few months I've been able to clothe my boy, decorate my home and adorn myself in some fine handmade goods. Check it out:

I traded some kokoleo clothes for an original work of art by my friend Holly:

Score! I love it! I simply told her I was fond of fabric, Day of the Dead skeletony stuff and that the words "Forget-Me-Not" have a special meaning to me and she just went from there. I had no idea what to expect and was more than pleasantly surprised when I opened the box.

Also, from another crafty friend of mine, Adrien at Keen Designs, I got these:

Excuse my hairy neck. Ewww. But also, Ahhhh! Aren't they beautiful? I especially love her pirate stuff.

Sage is also a recipient of cool handmade stuff. Check him out in this cowboy tee by Bumba Dee (who I met at the Bazaar Bizarre) and funky patchy pants by Textile Fetish.

And finally, here's a nice haul I got at All Aboard!, a cool shop in Echo Park that carries kokoleo. I traded some diaper bags for some of the cool stuff that the owner Gina has in her shop - perfume, handmade stationary, notebooks, clocks, monsters etc. Sweet!

It's like I went on a big shopping spree and my bank account was none the wiser. Fun! Now, if only gas stations took stuffed monsters in exchange for filling up my tank or the electric company accepted baby clothes as payment, wouldn't that be nice?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

To Texas and back

Well we did it, and now we're back. We rode the gas-price roller coaster all over the Southwest United States. Along the way we stopped in

Texas and picked up pens and magnets with our last name on them. Next stop, Wimberly, Texas where we shacked up in a fancy ranch with my childhood friends now all grown up. See? Recognize these girls? (See the last post for a clue.)

We watched our good friend Stew get hitched:

Awww. Congrats Stew and Angie! After a few nights and many drinks and countless stories of the good old days we packed up and headed home. Along the way we stopped at Balmorhea State Park (this humongous pool was spring-fed and filled with a million little fish):

And here:

Have you slept in a Wigwam lately?

We did. And then we saw the Grand Canyon:

The end.


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