Friday, April 23, 2010

My New Etsy Purchases

Thank you - and you know who you are - for buying my lovely skirts off of Etsy yesterday! I, in turn bought groceries, paid Comcast, and bought myself a couple little vintage patterns.

This one will be worn at my son's wedding next year. Thats the plan anyway. It will go swell with my new look (get it!). I will be chic and socially acceptable and no one but my closest dear ones (and an ex dear one) will know the crazy girl inside. I will be poised and sophisticated in this silhouette, don't you think? Little will anyone know of the trouble maker that lurks inside!

I have two choices here - summer sophisticate or cool weather svelt. Either will take me anywhere I want to go.........unless they have some funky ho down wedding or something like that and then I'm screwed.

And this is a little outfit right out of 1952 for little Ivy Skye. She is either going to just hate me and be traumatized and  embarrassed to death by my eclectic tastes - or she wont care. I don't care either. It'll be fun! Wouldn't this be perfect Gothic Lolita though?

RIP Malcom

You pissed a lot of people off with your ambitious reach, , but you really knocked the world on its ear. You were always a character to me and you gave me much to jump around and dance to! It is befitting that you would have a party for a funeral. I'm not so sad about this death, because he had a fairly longish life and did a lot of things. And its quite probable that I'm just getting to that age now where I'm growing numb and my age group will start seriously dying off now. Punks' been dead for a long time because we are all so coddled with our toys, gadgets, and readily available distractions. But maybe when the lights go out, we'll get another non electric version of it. Ya gotta be really angry for punk to be effective, and most of us have had it just too damned easy.  I have not seen the anger yet. Despite everything thats going on.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nothing In Particular

I borrowed my roommate Kristine's little camera and spent the morning taking photos of things I need to post up on Etsy. I have learned that iced velvet soaks up all light and despite my best efforts, I could take very few decent photos. But I did my best.  I'll spend part of tomorrow putting new things into the store.
And I'll attempt to make some decent photos of more things.

I have to get myself another little camera because my last one flew out of my hand and fell with a sickening crash to the floor. I have no idea how to shop for cameras. I lucked out with that one. But that and somehow financing a computer and dental work are all on my to do next list. The fun never ends......

Kristine makes really great little art pieces and this is what you see behind my dress form. The walls are covered with her art and I love walking through our hallway because of it!

And I still love my hair!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fluffy Not Stuffy

Ive cut it short plenty of times. But Ive always left little dreads in - because you know- I'll just put more right in again!

But last night Kristine and I picked out a mess of them, my neighbor Jessie helped me with the process  first til she stabbed herself with the seam ripper (yeah we used whatever - I used an awl and a comb), and I picked out the remainer of them deep into the night, leaving only a few for Wendy. She was going to cut them out anyway.

My scalp is tingling from all the pulling and prodding and combing and tugging! But I have not been able to run a comb through that mess for 20 years! As it stands, my scalp has probably never fully been able to breath in all that time - and I can literally feel the skin on my head sighing in relief. Oh, the things we do to ourselves!

I love it and I feel like I have left 5 years or more of dead weight and bad joo joo back in Remedy's garbage bin. My head feels light and fluffy - in a very good way! I think I'll cut it even shorter next time!!!! I love it! Thank you. Wendy!!!!

Wendy Allen
Remedy Salon

And they always have great art on the walls..........

And OMG - Look at Ivy's forehead. We have wrinkle lines in the same place. Wow - the nut falls not far from the tree.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hair - Down To There

I could be wrong, but I THINK Im over with the hair extention/long dreaded phaze of my life. Its been a good 20 year run on and off, but I simply cant stand that stuff hanging off my head any longer. There has been nothing new with this craze and Ive always loved it since I was a kid running around the yard with strips of sheets tied into my hair so that I could look like that damsel in the fairy tales! Ladies have been adding to what the gods gave them for centuries. This woman could be wearing false hair as it was the fashion to do so.  But Im going in tomorrow to have Wendy Allen chop it off again for me. I cut it, I add more. I cut it again, I add more. But its time to just let the hair do its wispy fine white girl thing for a while and admit that the length doesnt suit me any longer and maybe its just time to be whatever the hell I really look like. Ive tried many times to just let it be and I get an itch and have to add more. Old habits do not die easily. I think long hair is fun. You can do so many things with it - but Im so busy most of the time that I just put it up in a bun anyway. How creative is that?

Ive also been seriously watching my diet and have dropped a dress size or two and that old 20's look is appealing to me more and more. So Im heading down another road. I cant be fair maiden any longer. (well, thats been the case for QUITE some time - LOL) So Im moving on. Its in the stars. We've all had to go on some sort of diet, wether its been with food, or relationships, or finances..........doesnt matter. Its been a good thing. Eat quality and you will eat less. Marry quality and you will have fewer headaches (thats how its supposed to be, right???????) Buy quality and it lasts longer and you wont be filling up the landfills as much with useless broken items. Be quality and be useful. Just be?

All that from just chopping off my hair. We'll see how long this phaze lasts! But a little change is a good thing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

How To Wear A Bustle

Samantha Emanuel just sent me this photo. I dont know who the photographer is, but I'll ask.
I think Ive posted a photo of her wearing some of these things before, but I dont think I got a good one of the bustle/train until now.

She can actually dance in this. And that takes a lot of talent and guts! But as the flamenco dancers do, you sweep the train away with your foot and let velocity and gravity take it where it needs to go. Im always so inspired when I see good photos of my things being worn. I feel somehow that something got channeled through these garments to enable the wearer a a means to express him/herself. But lets face it, a huge part is the wearer themselves using the garment to transform. If even for a few moments. They know what looks good on them. They study their physique. They know how to move in fabric.  Someone with enough talent can wear a plain old coffee sack onstage and wow the audience. That would be Sam for you, but she does wear pretty things well! The clothes dont wear her, she wears the clothes.

How to wear a bustle: Don't wear one that your body cannot handle. If you are not accustomed to wearing a bustle or train, practice, practice, practice before you go out in it. Your whole alignment feels different.  If you cannot wear it gracefully, then don't wear it all. I see so many dancers running out on stage with a bunch of fluff on their asses, thinking this is cute. ( And sometimes it is!) Its the whole Steampunk craze going on - but what is your message? Can you make this look graceful and elegant - can you make it a look that creates an interesting silhouete, or are you just plopping a bundle of ruffles on your butt with a tiny hat and not thinking about proportion? What is your story?  Well.......I just thought I would put it out there because as with everything in life, some can pull it off and some cannot. Usually its simply a matter of not knowing your proportions and what looks best.  And don't get me wrong - have fun and experiment - just look in the mirror at your back side and your side view before heading out the door!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rachel Brice

About three years ago or so, (was it really that long ago?) I made this Tango dress for Rachel Brice.
I do that a lot. I make something and then forget all about it until something or someone reminds me. I don't even remember what fabric we made this out of.  But I love the halter and the way the dress was cut in a flamenco way for drama. Its hard to see in this photo, but there are lots of ruffles.

People often ask me if I get sad when something Ive made walks out the door, but even though there is always a part of me in everything I make, I am continually on to the next project and just relieved that my client likes what Ive made.

And then when a photo like this pops up out of seemingly nowhere, I get that warm and fuzzy feeling inside and just want to jump up and down clapping my hands in glee! Pretty! Pretty! Lots of happy faces!

Rachel moved up to or around Portland, Oregon last year. And even though I didnt get to see her often, I was still sad to see her go. So its nice to have this photo. There is just something about this woman that makes you want to love her. But for those of you in the belly dance world, you probably already know that!

This photo was taken by Kristine Adams who is amazingly talented! Hire her!!!!!!!!!
Location: Amnesia, SF

Monday, April 12, 2010

Its Time

Today was my day to see the tax guy downtown.  I was only happy to see the marble walls and floors.

Ordinarily I love going downtown when I can, but understandably, I wasnt too excited. I had time to kill before my appointment, so I decided to do some much needed window shopping. In fact, a friend of mine has instructed me to take a day once a week and go see whats going on in the world of fashion. She thought I might get some ideas and inspiration. And I thought she might be right. So I meandered about for a while.

So silly me, I visited H&M, Forever 21, The Gap, Old Navy, Anthropology, Urban Outfitters, and DSW - thinking I might find something better than the last time I went into those establishments.

Ok. Urban Outfitters layout was bare. Where was the merchandise, I asked?  I got a lame excuse - but we know its because everyone is afraid to buy - so they in turn cant buy. Anthropology still had cute plates and saucers, cups and dresser pulls, but the cupboards were bare. The clothing ugly. If these companies are sending their "designers" out into the world to knock off and steal others ideas for profit, we are in a sad, sad state of affairs here. Because there was nothing Designerie going on that I could see. Except for a cute pink prom dress in Forever 21. And I already have the pattern. If horizontal stripes and oversized shirts and the ever present ruffle on anything that will support one is all there is - not to mention the color blocking, neon colors, gladiator sandals, and ugly 80's rehash - then we may as well just kill ourselves. Its all over folks.

 I will say this.....the right person could rock those shoes......but I dont think I want to know her.

But this is why I sew. And this is why I love thrift stores and fabric stores. This is what Ive been stock piling all those bazillions of vintage patterns for - for a time like this when fashion is dead and we are being fed diarrhea and the maggots off of the carrion of fashion. And those Marc Jacob heels there in the back ground..... I'm so sorry. Maybe it would be different if I could turn back the clock and wear them - did I wear them in the 80's? No. I wore vintage and a Fluevog when I could get a pair. Maybe Im just bitter. Although I will say that I kept a pair of gladiator sandals from back then, but I just don't wear them out in public.

Hopefully a time will come again soon when I can walk into a store and be so bummed out that I cant afford anything in it. There were some cute espadrilles. Some really cute gingham skirts and blouses (boy - I called THAT one!) and I do like the long dresses - but you really have to cut them to allow a stride. Please remember that,"designers"! Do you know the term? You actually have to cut enough fabric to allow one to walk down the street in it! The Gap was more basic than I can remember. But basics are good to build on, lets not forget that. Lots of white and black - thankfully to counterbalance the shock of neon next door.  Dont even go to Old Navy. Dont even go. Right now, I can honestly say that its a good time to be poor. Cuz there is nothing to buy anyway.

Hey - My tax guy saved me tons of money - and I was not inspired to drop a dime.

Im heading out to the Haight next and report on that scene. Hopefully I'll see something cute.

Rev up your sewing machines, people! Its time!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Little Princess Ivy

Little Ivy is lounging like a princess in the  silk and lace gown that I made for her. Refined and Regal as a princess of my lineage should be!

Ok - there WAS a castle in Belgium somewhere down the line according to some in my family...........but there were also a lot of peasants on dirt floors. We'll just pretend, shall we, that Ivy is a throwback to royalty for now. She COULD be!

I sewed the seams of some of this outfit by machine, but the rest was all hand stitched. I had a lot of silk scraps from various wedding gowns over the years and a bit of lacie loveliness that I couldn't throw away. So for those inclined to making baby clothes, you can do wonders with a lot of time and a few materials. This is not my calling, but I'm glad I did it. Hand sewing can be very relaxing and I enjoy it immensely, but baby clothes are a whole different world!  For those who notice these things, I would do the neckline differently next time. A simple little facing would have made more sense. I was using two vintage christening gown patterns with missing pieces. The directions were confusing and I just winged it. It was very intuitive and felt much like sewing with The Force guiding me! I sewed on pearls and buttons for embellishment. It turned out pretty cute - and Ivy is an awfully pretty baby regardless! But of course, Im biased.

Thank you Sarah and Haydn, for posting Easter photos!!!!!

Loveliness Abounding

Yesterday, Salome's Suitcase had a wonderful trunk showing of their wares in Minerva's Antenna's storefront. This spacious loft is one of those amazing SF treasures tucked away in the middle of seeming nowhere - yet in a really easy to get to location. High ceilings, airy and roomy, Edwardian detailing inside, pillars, Huge doorways and a wonderful window to showcase her designs. Open by appointment only, this would be my dream studio. HOWEVER, I'll just enjoy it when Im there for now!

A good time was had by all, we had a great turnout and a lot of ladies from overseas came by and emptied their wallets. They were taking the FatChanceBellyDance General Skills workshops. Thank you ladies - you know who you are! And thank you to everyone who came by to schmooze because we really like knowing you and catching up! Its one thing to sit behind a computer sometimes and talk to all these people from around the world but actually knowing the person is way better. And then of course, its easier to remember them next time they order or send a message!

There is Lisa Manchester leaning on one of those pillars, looking all stunning in red!

Sorry about my iphone photography! I couldn't capture all the loveliness abounding. Our finery is being copied mercilessly these days, but I really don't think anyone can copy the soul that goes into our creations - but hopefully you get the idea with my pics and  come hang out with us next time!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Salomes' Suitcase Trunk Sale!!!!!!!

Salome's Suitcase (my design collective) is having a Trunk Sale!
Bring your piggy bank!
Try on some clothes!
Peruse the finery and adornments!
When: Saturday, April 10th
Where: Minnerva's Anntenna
2886 16th st #B @ South Van Ness
San Francisco, Ca   1-6pm 

Photo: Black Lotus
Model: Sarah White
Hat: Medina Maitreya
Adornments and embellishments: Foolproof
Vests by Rosehips and Black Lotus Clothing (Not sure which, sorry - correct me if you know!)