Friday, June 11

tag team alchemy

Resourcefulness is its own reward. Mr. Lentil just worked his magical playfort technology on our giant studio windows. see below. On the left, a paper blind, circa 1994, Portland Or. – originally purchased to be a wall in our shared studio apartment (now that's love). Okay, so that part was easy – unless you've ever seen our attic.

On the right, he made curtains from a canvas drop cloth. Not only is it a dropcloth, but it was free – we found it in the give-away pile in our warehouse. Then he removed the one window panel that opens. It used to hang sort of open from the bottom with two little chains, like a castle bridge over a moat, effectively stopping any air from getting to us. But he flipped it over so it hinges at the top, then installed a pully system so we can open and close it. There's nothing more fun than battening the rope to the big wooden shelf with knots I learned as a Camp Fire Girl.

The chains that used to suspend the window now tie back the curtains. And of course, my favorite detail: he harvested the cord that holds the window open by gutting and fileting a broken extension cord.

Voila! We have more fresh air, muted sunshine, quirkily mismatched windows and the lasting satisfaction of having made something out of almost nothing.

Friday, June 4

getting away with it.

I heard two women talking about me in the store the other day. Trust me, I couldn't avoid it - and one announced that - "well, she can get away with that because she's tall."

Okay, first of all, don't speak loudly about someone as if they aren't there when they're standing right there and can see you. That's number one.

But also, why that phrase? Why do we use "get away with it" only for outfits and murder? Of course I get it, some clothes look better than others. But if something looks good on you, what exactly are you getting away with?

Because I make women's clothes - and honestly, I think, because I'm fat, women tell me a lot about their bodies. And almost always, they tell me what is wrong. Women call certain body parts "their problem."  I hear a lot about hiding things: hiding upper arms, hiding thighs, hiding necks, hiding knees - and I learned early on that there is no arguing with these ideas because no logic applies.

Usually I feel like honored, a trusted confidante, and I feel strong enough to act as some sort of keeper of sacred body faults, but sometimes it just saddens me and tires me out. Maybe if we didn't feel like looking good was "getting away with something" it would be a start toward moving through the world in a new way - a way that is more about showing who we are more than what we hope to keep hidden.

Wednesday, June 2


Any day that includes coining a new word is a good day for me.  (Can you coin a word or just a phrase?) Well anyway, in this case Mr. Lentil gets credit for naming my new design: The Haoredux Shrug. Look, it's not even in Google yet.  The name is ... sort of Japano-French? The shrug is a ruffly cropped jacket, with boxy haori-like sleeves that are elbow length, and of course, also ruffly.

If Ikea can make up words why can't Secret Lentil?