Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Well Dressed Friar

Today as I was running around town, buying fabric, shipping packages, and putting out fires in general, I saw a friar waiting at the bus stop. I see them around sometimes. Brown robes. White belt with three knots - very medieval. And they are always wearing cheap cotton robes. Now, maybe that's their everyday about town friar street wear, but it kind of looks cheap. Like you could buy it at any Halloween Superstore. And their robes are always too short. Kind of undignified.

Having been brought up catholic,and having many miserable catholic school experiences, I have an aversion to brown robes, black robes, red and grey plaid, and unhappy women in wimples. But its such a novelty to see these guys in an every day setting, that for me anyway, its like watching a car wreck. You don't want to look, but you just cant help it.

Maybe they save their good robes for mass, special occasions, or for when family comes to visit. I just don't know. Ive been commissioned now and then to make several robes for various people, and I cannot make a plain cotton one. It has to have some weight. Some drape. It has to at least be 1" from the ground or the proportions feel wrong to me. It has to look like, well - like something someone would wear in the middle ages. Like something out of an ancient manuscript. Our new modern monk just isn't cutting it, in my opinion. But I will admit, I don't really pay attention to what the Catholics are doing anymore as I lost interest long ago.

But I kept thinking about this and I googled "monks" and all that goes with: I came across a website that seems to offer both cheap ass friar garb and the good wool stuff. The prices seem reasonable enough, so for all you folks who need a good Friars' robe, ecclesiastical wear or something medieval, and NOT something from the Halloween Super Store, I send you this link:
I don't make em anymore.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Who Gets Waltzes Composed For Her.............

Certainly not I. But my friend Lynne did and as Erling Wold is the composer, and I worked below him in my basement workshop, heard the things being created, and was inspired to fantasies of being swirled around a grand ballroom in a red silk bustle dress by a tall, dark, handsome, mysterious stranger, I can attest to the fact that this will be a delight to your senses!

Invite that I received this morning:

Dear all,

On the last day of February, next week in fact, I will be conducting the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra in the premiere of a new work, viz. Two Orchestral Waltzes for Lynne. The express details of the event are below, but first, something on the nature of the dance itself:

"The waltz, in fact, is magnificently improper - the art of tone turned bawdy. I venture to say that the compositions of one man alone, Johann Strauss II, have lured more fair young creatures to lamentable complaisance than all the hypodermic syringes of all the white slave scouts since the fall of the Western Empire. There is something about a waltz that is simply irresistible. Try it on the fattest and sedatest or even upon the thinnest and most acidulous of women and she will be ready, in ten minutes, for a stealthy kiss behind the door - nay, she will forthwith impart the embarrassing news that her husband misunderstands her, and drinks too much, and cannot appreciate Maeterlinck, and is going to Cleveland, 0., on business to-morrow..." H.L. Mencken.

The two waltzes here are written for my inamorata, and reflect two of her most beguiling facets, the first: as the fallen Russian aristocrat, the woman of a certain expectation lacking the allowance that would sanction it; the second: as the haughty and dominating sovereign, unwilling to brook any usurpation of her ultimate and crushing authority. Popularly, waltzes are thought of as dances in 3/4 time, but the word waltz merely means a revolving dance, as both words come from the same root, and many dances named waltzes over the last few centuries have been in a variety of meters: 2/4, 3/4, 6/8, 5/4. But in the end, composers get to call their works whatever they want, so, while the first soi-disant waltz is in 3/4, it is hardly a dance at all, more a concert statement of unbridled passion, discords and all, and the second, while primarily in a fast 3/4 with shifts to 2/4, carries us away in a whirl, a flash of ankle as the ball gown spins up, bodies pressed against each other, a fevered head falling to a shoulder in a swoon of sweet and utter surrender.

And now, the official announcement:

FREE FOR ALL, (but for you $15)
Saturday February 28th, 2009 at 8 pm
Old First Concerts
1751 Sacramento Street/Van Ness, San Francisco, CA 94109
$15 General, $12 Seniors (65 and older), $12 Full Time Students

Tickets are available through the Old First Concerts Box Office at (415) 474-1608, online at http://oldfirstconcerts.org and at the door. For more information, please call Old First Concerts box office.

SAN FRANCISCO, February 2, 2009 -- If you are looking for an invigorating new musical experience ranging from new through-composed gems to electronic music and free improv with graphical scores; have we got a deal for you! SFCCO, the only orchestral ensemble comprised of compsers, has the largest selection of new and pre-owned new-music premieres.

There is great value! in new music by: John Beeman, Michael Cooke, Philip Freihofner, Gary Friedman, David Graves, Loren Jones, Lisa Scola Prosek, David Sprung, Clare Twohy, Davide Verotta, Erling Wold, and Mark Alburger.

Michael Cooke considers quantum mechanics and general relativity in “String Theory” utilizing graphical notation and free improvisation for the entire ensemble. Philip Freihofner's “What Are You Going to Dream Tonight” presents technology-driven free writing for oboe, clarinet, electric keyboard, and viola. From the dreamy to the hallucinogenic with Davide Verotta’s “Yanitl”. David Graves and Clare Twohy team up for a fire sale in the collaborative “Fireproof Winds” Lisa Scola Prosek’s “Serenade for Trumpet” is based on a melody by her son Eduard Prosek (who is also the soloist) and the drive-in movie side of film noir. Loren Jones’ “February's Children” expands the ensemble with electric guitar and bass, harp, synthesizer, and percussion. David Sprung's “Serendipities” is an ambitious piece for large ensemble. Special deals for you thrill seakers with Erling Wold's bawdy “Two Orchestral Waltzes for Lynne” and Mark Alburger's deliciously inappropriate “Sex and the Orchestra”. If more traditional means are your thing, consider “Wind Sextet” by Gary Friedman and “Adagio and Dance” by John Beeman.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Libby Bullof

One of my favorite artists, Libby Bullof, is having a show in Seattle. And of course, I have a vested interest since she just photographed Molly of Deshret Dance Company - my trusty assistant, wearing some of my costuming.

Aside from that, Libby is so talented - go check out her work if you are in the Seattle area!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ode To Times Gone By

My brother has been working with my father to compile his memoirs into an interesting blog of note about times that came before and will never be again. Its a heap of memories and data about the old days on the prairie in South Dakota - growing up without electricity. Hungry wild cats trying to rip the roof off the sod house to get at whats inside, Native Americans, Cowboys, good guys and bad guys, The Great Depression, happiness, World Wars, a bit of Little House On The Prairie, a slice of American life, living with less and not knowing any different, the consciousness of the day for better or for worse.

I find it very interesting and Ive found out a lot about my dad that I didn't know before. Its odd that you can live with a person for 18 years and know so little about him. When I hear about how tough times are today - and they are for our modern sensibilities - I like to be reminded that perhaps we have too much and we don't appreciate the things we really really need. But I'm happy for this little island of family lore and for those with an interest of times gone by, you might enjoy!


Ode To Times Gone By

Im In Love

I'm In Love with my new home. Its Valentine's Day and so it is fitting that I talk about the things that I love. Not only do I love all my friends, I love my customers and clients. I especially Love My Son. I love my new home, I love my neighborhood and all that goes with it. Ive traded gangs for your typical San Francisco "charactors" - and that's just fine by me!

I love what I do. I love what I make. I love that I can wake up and have coffee and go to work without walking out the door. I love that I can walk to the fabric store and hop on a bus that takes me where I need to go. I love my Roomie and her pets. I love my cat. (If you come by, you cant be severely allergic or afraid of animals - sorry - I cant live without animals in my life!)

~Don't worry - I keep all animals away from the clothes and fabric!~

And I love that after just a short time, my home actually feels like a home instead of a sea of boxes! (thank you Kristine!)

I just seem to have a lot to be thankful for these days and I love that!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This Town Is Just Too Small Sometimes

I took the morning off from unpacking, arranging, and trying to figure out why I have so much stuff. I took a walk around the neighborhood and walked into Community Thrift - reminding myself that I had just made a pact with me, myself, and I that if I bring something into the house, two things have to go out.........so Im perusing the aisles and pulling out cute little dresses when lo and behold, there are two dresses on the rack that I just got rid of!!!!!!!!!

So does that count?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just When I Think Its All A bit Too Much.......

I moved into a smaller place and while Im so very happy and ready to roll again, I started wondering why the hell am I doing this? Why do I make things? Why do I collect so much stuff and why do I try to make things for a living? Why why why?????????

And then DeJeNerate posted this picture on tribe and I had my answer. Cuz I like to make pretty things and my things go well with all kinds of other things, people feel good wearing it, and its just a nice thing to do with one's life.

Dancer: DeJeNerate
Photo: Matthew Loal T. Hepworth (SLC, UT)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rattie Tattie Neck Warmers

Im still jumping over boxes, but the move was as smooth as a move could be and I just posted a few new things up on etsy. I'll be back to work tomorrow and happy as happy can be!

I made some of these black and white scarves and they are all gone but one thats now lonely and needs an owner! I'll have more, but since they are all a bit different from one another, this one here is the last of its kind for now!