Monday, November 30

"Divide a loaf by a knife: what's the answer to that?"

It's done. Here's The Red Queen sweater, plus a few other things I made while I've got red loaded in the serger.  I haven't finished the threads yet so you'll see some dangly strings. I like red and gray together, it's sort of sporty and sort of sexy at the same time.

Wednesday, November 4

a morbid tale becomes a comfortable dress

I had a picture book when I was a kid that has stuck with me, in ethereal ways, for decades. I remembered inky dense speckled eggs on matte paper, a snake and something about a chimney.  And the snake, all logy, with bulges in it from eating those eggs.

Fast forward to these internet times, and it turns out to be "The Crows of Pearblossom" - one of two children's book written by Aldous Huxley - well, wasn't I a fancy child?  And the eggs, snake and chimney were Barbara Cooney illustrations.  I am not surprised to hear that it is a morbid tale, and I look forward to reading it again.

In the meantime, here is a dress inspired by those dense speckled eggs:

Saturday, October 17

Secret Lentil, now for your coffee table.

my stuff, in a book

Three of my pieces (Ethella, Mythical Katamari Cousin tunic, Faux Faux Bois dress, Homage to Doctor Zoidberg sweater) have just been published in the book 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse: Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew.

I'm thrilled for all obvious reasons, but also because the book is designed really well and my work is in exceptional company. If you click on the link you can browse the pages. It was written and edited by the extremely enthusiastic Garth Johnson of Extreme Craft.

Tuesday, October 6

luxe-y me

coaxing coat colors

Today's dreaming ... I got to the studio before sun-up today, did a lot of work and now I get to play. I'm going to see if these colors are willing to become a coat. It's been a while since I made a "Secret Lentil luxe" piece and I'm getting requests. I hope these will cooperate.

Wednesday, September 30

oh it's YOU.

ummm, the dressing room is not in this picture ...
Yesterday Mr. Lentil and I finished making the new dressing room in my studio. Come in and try things on! (I'm in The Delavan Center in Syracuse NY. Here's a map. ) The mister and I are at our best when building things out of nothing. We made this from old weathered wood that we found, a dropcloth that someone left in the grab pile in our warehouse, and the chartreuse ties used to be a tablecloth.

It's great meeting some of the lovely humans I've met over these internet tubes. I'm having a guest in from Toronto next week, a friendstomer I already love though we've never met in person. I'm a bit giddy about it, although I don't know how to tell her that I've never finished a Jane Austen novel. *cringing* I hope she'll forgive my literary transgressions.

You can call me (315...380...9610) or email to set up a time to visit.

Wednesday, August 26

names make all the difference

"glompod? is that you, boy?'

There's a word for it.
Words don't mean a thing.
There's a name for it.
Names make all the difference in the world. - David Byrne

A friend, who shall remain nameless for her protection, lives in one of our country's liberal hubs. I am jealous of the good restaurants she has access to, and the good shoes for sale, but mostly I marvel at her stories of the uptightness necessary to keep a place liberal. There are more rules there than at your average military encampment, but many of them are unwritten. It would prompt me to misbehave mightily, I fear.

It's better to visit once in a while, but mostly I just listen to her tales. The latest involved a woman who has eschewed a name, settling on a sound in its place. I don't know her reasoning, but it sure seems like it would just muck a lot of things up. Your attempt at becoming egoless, for instance, could make you bitter after you've explained it for the 12 thousandth time. I picture a sort of karmic "Wuh's on first" routine.

This is all to say: here is a sneak peak at a new bag I'm making. It needs a name. The good news is that I enjoy naming things. For some reason I want to call it Glompod, but that seems a bit gloomy.  But it's kind of a pod you glom on to. I promise I'll make a choice though, and not name it "That sigh that you sound when someone is slow at the register in front of you."

Tuesday, July 14

apertures, eyeballs and agfas

f.stop series
a dress from my f-stop series

I love old cameras. When I was kid my dad gave me an old Agfa. It was wonderfully dense, with ridged black sides and a lens that popped out with the press of a button, suspended by matte black accordian-folds. It used square 120 film that I would take down to Fay's Drugs to get developed, and I still remember the thrill of discovering I could take double exposures if I didn't advance the film manually.

I liked that cameras mirror our eye functions, I liked how much sense all the settings made, and I desperately wanted to have something in common with my dad - I was getting weary of skeet shooting ...

what does it mean to have enough?
what does it mean to have enough?
Photography is all about letting enough light in for the right amount of time - finding balance while accounting for all the options we have available to us.

So I've been thinking this through - what is enough, what has balance, restraint, and about longing for things we can't have - as I'm making a series of clothes called f.stop. I'll be listing them here as they're done, through the next week or two.

Saturday, April 11

Studio Secrets Revealed!

New tote bags in the works.

That's right, my secret design weapon is kraft paper™. No CAD. No space-age polymers. No robots.

Now I must kill you.

Sunday, February 22


Hermetic is when you prefer to stay sealed in your own house drinking Sumatran French Roast, right? I thought so.

I skipped a friend's party last night to stay home, drink too much coffee too late at night, watch bad tv and shave my hair off. Ahhhh, February.

p.s. I didn't shave it all off. I used the number 8 attachment and left a few wisps in front to signify "girl."

Saturday, February 7

the weirdness. it's genetical.

My sister (above? no, but she painted that) wrote me a poem.
I'm sorry she insulted your sewing abilities but I still love it.
Dear Miss Lentil dost thou speak of threads and bobbin things?
The clothes you make are destined to bestow on people wings.
Not gossamer not silkiness not chintz not crepe but cotton,
Your fingers weave a dream for those whose sewing skills are rotten.

Friday, January 30

gracefuller than me?

I just finished a series of black pieces called "Everything Went Black." I am super pleased with how a few of them turned out. When I focus on my work in the proper way, just doing what I do, every once in a while I look up from my work and think "how did I do that?"
This dress
came out so solid, so graceful, so coherent, so self-contained in a way I love.

I don't mention this to brag. I mention it because I am continually baffled at how this art thing works. I feel like a fumbling baffoon - awkward, bumbly, full of neurotic striving, with a constant chant (sometimes whispering, sometimes pounding loud, accompanied by tablas and backup singers) of FAILURE FAILURE FAILURE always playing in the background. But somehow I made this very confident, graceful, standing-up-straight dress.

Can I make something that has qualities I lack? Or does my creating them mean that I have all those things in me somewhere?

Sunday, January 4

aww shucks and happy new year.

Oh look! I got a glowing mention in Marcy Tilton's 2009 New Year Newsletter.

Marcy designs her own line of clothing and home decorating patterns for Vogue Patterns and, among many other things, also co-runs creativity/sewing/fiber retreats nationally.

She calls herself a "textile adventuress" - and while we haven't ever met, I'll bet we are related somehow, the way many of us are, through needle and thread and a desire to make our own way in the world with them.