Thursday, November 29

once more for a simple twist of fate.

I'm not sure what compels people to blurt out "I've never won anything in my life" when they win something. Is it a strange form of modesty? Is it a fact? A protective utterance put forth in hopes of saving more luck for later? I just hope these people, who have just received word of their raffle or pie or Caribbean cruise, haven't been silently labeling every other moment in their lives before that as losing.

Well, I won something.

Amanda Ryznar of YogaGoat Pottery put a post up on the etsy forum asking for help editing a blurb to describe her work. Space was limited and she wanted to keep "Spirited Hand-thrown Porcelain." I stared at her shop for a long time and after wiping the drool off my chin suggested three nice condensed words: "Spirited Hand-thrown Porcelain. Lush Fresh Design." And I won. I've never won anything in my life! I got to choose my prize from her shop - I'll soon be the proud owner of a lush fresh bird tumbler. Thanks Amanda.

I expect to never, ever lose again.

Monday, November 26

zen rice & beans

When I owned my store many of our customers were unfamiliar with our side of town. So when they asked for a good place to eat I grabbed a menu from Steve's off the corkboard and stuffed it in their hands. Steve's is a cozy family run neighborhood restaurant tucked inside a neighborhood bar. They make their own blend of Tex-Mex style food - homemade and from fresh ingredients. They make their own fresh salsa. Their food is affordable and ridiculously good. Their menu is small. I mean small. They have one dessert - lime cheesecake that the owner's mom makes. It sounds perfect, right?

So imagine my surprise when one of those lost and hungry customers crinkled her nose and made a face, as if I'd suggested she eat poop.

"Oh no" she said. "I don't eat that weird food."

I responded, as casually as I could muster: "Ohhhhh, I guess I don't think of it as weird since most of the world eats rice and beans." (Yes, perhaps that passive snarkiness is why I don't have a store any more, but I'm certain that's a topic for another time.)

This memory got stirred up by today's lunch. I made the best rice and beans ever. I tossed some rice in the rice cooker and whipped up some black beans. I made them kind of dry, with minced onions and garlic, cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes, heaps of black pepper. I crushed them some at the end, ala refried beans, and ate some on the rice, topped with slender slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese and washed down with a glass of orange juice. But still, it was just rice and beans. How could they be the best ones ever? Especially since I've thought this before. Are these better than the other best ones?

Then I promptly laughed at myself. Because last week I finished a dress and said "This is the best dress I've ever made!" And, yes, I've thought this before. Maybe I'm just overly impressed with my own handiwork? I think there's more to it. I think when you're on a creative path this is just part of the way things cycle around. I could make nothing but dresses for the rest of my life and no two would be exactly the same and every once in a while I'd hold one up and yell "Best one ever!" Just like the rice and beans.

This is hopeful to me. It means I can have a life of never-ending adventure just in my sewing room, kitchen, and brain. It means I can look up from my work once in a while and attach silly labels to it - and laugh knowing that the path of my work is always way bigger than any one thing I make. The path of my work really is the best thing ever.

Saturday, November 24

POD pockets. POD pockets. POD pockets.

I'm mildly obsessed. Suddenly everything - dresses, sweaters, skirts - needs dangling pod pockets. Some are hand-stuffingly large, some are teeny like finger pockets from finely tailored 1940's jackets. Sort of bulbous, organic, friendly.

Pod pockets. Say it out loud three times.

Thursday, November 22

japan makes more than cute toys and sushi.

I just spent some time reading The Cutting Edge: Fashion from Japan.

"Just spent some time," of course, is code for "I read it in the bookstore cafe then dutifully re-placed it in it's correct slot on the shelf." I may not be spendy, but as a former employee, I never leave piles of books on tables.

It's one of the few fashion books I've found that has a satisfying discussion of fashion and art. Of course it covers Rei Kawukubo, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, plus Junya Watanabe and Jun Takahashi. (Wow, when did I learn to name-drop mouthfuls of Japanese designers?)

I was happy to read a bit more about Hanae Mori as well. I used to own a very sweet smocked dress of hers - vintage 60's, complete with naked fairies and snails.

I sold it a few years ago, so now I'm left with these pictures and the burning question "why - why wasn't I patient enough to iron it before I took this close-up?"