21 January, 2009

shameless plug: déjà vu and tigger, too.

For a few months now, I've had hats for sale at REfind Vintage in St Paul. It's a cute little shop that you should definitely check out. This weekend Mellissa, the owner, is having a special event- please come and give a new local store some well deserved love. Her press release is below:

REfind Vintage
January Event!!


Join us on Friday and Saturday, January 23 & 24
for special baked goodies-
sample them all, then buy some to take home!
AND enjoy 20% savings on everything in the ‘kitchen’-
including tables and chairs, baking essentials,
lovely towels, tablecloths, aprons & more!!
EVEN THAT vintage red STOVE!!!

REfind Vintage is open Wed-Fri 12-7
and Saturday 10-4
1105 Payne Ave, St. Paul 651-776-5122
just a few blocks from the 35E/Maryland exit

Mellissa used to run a fabulous bakery just over the bridge in St Paul, so she knows baked goods.

The last time I was in REfind, she had swanky pin-up prints, old skool preschool chairs, revamped purses, and all sorts of other fun gifts. Recycled, repurposed and retro. Head to REfind this weekend!

18 January, 2009

who are your influences?

"He says his influences are Clarence Clemons and the guy from Madness."

It's always interesting for me to learn who planted the seeds that formed one's career path. For me there are a few notable people who steered me in one direction or another. My grandma was a home-ec teacher. She taught sewing and cooking at Hermantown Jr/Sr High for decades. Now admittedly, I have no real memories of her doing either. Once off the clock, she didn't do a whole lot of it. Once retired, she happily gave it up completely. What I remember best of all was her linen closet. On the floor of the closet was a box of fabric. Nothing fancy, but scraps galore. It was heaven for me. Absolute joy whenever I got to go in there. She still gives me fabric when she finds some. Over the last few years she's given me some amazing pieces of vintage Irish wool, which I've tried to do justice once I actually got up the nerve to cut into them.

Example A
Example B

On my dad's side, my grandpa was probably the person who I most resemble. Not so much physically, but a distinct personality trait. My grandfather collected hats. He easily had hundreds displayed in nearly every room of the house. He had a few favorites that he'd wear, but for the most part they were on pegs for viewing pleasure. I have always been a hat person. Always. I can't imagine getting that from anyone but him. I was just starting to make my own hats the year he died, in 1990. To the funeral luncheon after, I wore my newest hat. Navy wool with a wide buckram brim and big honking roses in the same fabric. All handsewn. God it was awful. I really didn't have much in the way of skills then. But I couldn't think of any better way to honor him than wear a hat to his funeral.

More immediate, my dad paints and draws. He draws on scratch paper cartoons with almost a Lockhorns look to them. He's also a great mimic. He had big pieces of wood in our basement once upon a time, filled with Disney characters he had painted with oil. They were thrown out decades ago, unfortunately. I was too young to beg my parents to hang onto them, or to realize I should. My mom worked with clay when in school, and embroidery when I was younger. When I was about ten she made our Christmas stockings, the ones still used today. She also made at least half of the ornaments on their tree. Styrofoam balls with a quilt effect, gingerbread men donned in ricrac and pompoms. All handsewn. More patience than I would have, that's for certain.

There are more artists in my family, then and now. My great-grandfather was a published poet. My great-uncle was a painter. My uncle has of late become a formidable woodcarver. My dad's cousin painted in her youth, and her use of a palette knife instead of a brush definitely interested me even though the painting itself always inexplicably disturbed me.

You know, part of the reason I started to post was to list a very different influence. He planted a seed my 11 year old self didn't harvest till much later.

Mr Roarke.

Okay, bear with me. So there's this episode of Fantasy Island where a woman (Helen Reddy, if memory serves), under some influence, tries to sabotage her own fashion show. When an assistant asks her what fabric her design should be made with, she says, "How about satin- [insert evil grin here]and burlap." During the fashion show itself a model comes down the runway in a cream satin gown and a short turquoise burlap jacket. And it's a big hit. That moment has stayed with me for nearly 30 years. Perhaps it's a factor in how I choose fabric combinations now. I'd be hard-pressed to say it wasn't. I've thought about it a lot recently, but with Ricardo Montalban's passing I feel it's time to actually reveal the truth: Fantasy Island is partially responsible for who I am today.

03 January, 2009

it's a new banner new year!

In anticipation of my soon to be revamped webpage, I have started up the 2009 sprucing up with a few small changes. The first to change is my banner. I used the program Photoimpression 4 on it initially. It was a cheap version of PhotoShop that came with my computer, but I loved it. We got each other. Then my hard drive died and when the computer was fixed, my beloved PhotoImpression was unable to be saved from the wreckage. I tried working with Picture Manager, and though we get along well, it isn't the same. My business cards have not printed evenly since. I do have PhotoShop and Gimp now, but they're too detailed. I missed my simple but well stocked PI.

Last month a new camera came into our home with (gasp!) a CD of PhotoImpression 6. I was so excited and loaded it right away. Sadly it's not the PI I knew and loved. It's like your down-to-earth creative best friend going abroad and coming back like a less creative occasional ass. You know, it's still your friend, and you'll hang out and stuff, but they aren't nearly as much fun and that connection isn't there anymore. In addition, I can't use the new version to print my cards, because it won't print the right size anymore. Obviously I am still adjusting. But I digress.

PI6 did help me take the same background picture I used with the initial banner (and the one above) and make it work in a whole new way. It's softer, brighter, and superduper colorful. All good things in my book. But I'll let you decide- what do you think? I'd love to know.



I also listed six new bags this week. You can find those on my Etsy page. The new webpage will be up and running soon- the most all around creative person I know is working his magic to make it as fun as can be.

Happy 2009!