Thursday, December 17

Anticipations for a New Making Year.

First, here's this:

free shipping at secret lentil 

Okay, now the other stuff:

I sat down this week with Mike and my illustrious sister Cindy, who is the Cindy of Cranky Cats fame, to talk about her show booth arrangements and strategies for next year. It's a never-ending process, tweaking that ten by ten space until it's perfect enough, for now. And many of my online friends are buying new supplies and thinking new thoughts and ready to branch out after a holiday season of making, making, making. Making. I made so many things this season that I pulled one piece off the rack at a show and announced "Hey look! This has a sleeve!" (Yes, Helen, very smooth. Very. Smooth.) I forgot that I made a cape with a sleeve. It truly seemed like the first time I'd ever seen that thing.

My own end-of-year Restless Artist Syndrome is taking the form of gutting the studio, and I mean gutting it, and rebuilding it as the space I want for 2016. And that is, somehow: a space for still sewing but also doing other things. If we can manage it I'll have a few stations set up that can be ready for me and Mike to move from medium to medium without first finding things in boxes buried on shelves, somewhere, behind that big thing I found in the hall that I thought I might need some day. I think I've got it pared down to four stations, and if we get rid of enough stuff there might be room! I'm not providing details about what I'm up to yet. That will ruin my fun. I'm all about protecting the fun.

Suffice to say that I, too, have purchased new supplies. While I was writing this I got a call from my building office saying they have a box for me marked "Fragile" that looks a bit roughed up, so should they sign for it? I asked if they could just open it up and see if everything looked okay. They did. Everything's fine. But while doing it she said "It says it's from Blick Art Materials, but maybe someone just re-used a box?" No, it's from Blick, I said. So now every Real Artist in the building knows that I deigned to buy Real Art Supplies. It's like they've seen my underwear. Luckily I'm over 50 and that just doesn't bother me any more, too much. Mostly I enjoy how it has taken my natural mild paranoia and self-deprecating manner and made it into a better joke.

If you make things I hope you've got plans for the upcoming year. No one else is going to give you permission to do what you want and squeeze what's in your head, or up your sleeve, or hidden in your pocket out into the world. That's on you — which is the good news, isn't it? Yes I think so.

Tuesday, September 29

new this week: upcycled skirts, dresses tunics

Okay so by this week I mean last week. I spent the weekend in New England and now this week feels jumbled up already. I did learn some crucial things on my trip though:  RV's have the worst typography, ever.  I'm rapidly approaching stop-at-every-rest-stop age. The "H" in Amherst is silent.

Also, there is freedom in just stretching whatever way you want in a parking lot and not caring what anyone thinks.

So this is what I made last week:

upcycled tunic with stripes and prints from secret lentil clothing
Wallflower, Interrupted. Upcycled tunic in, ummmm, you better just look

plumilicious purple upcycled skirts from secret lentil clothing
plumilicious: purple skirts: handmade, upcycled, garment-dyed

pumpkin spice upcycled dresses and skirts from secret lentil clothing
pumpkin spice — yes, I did it. One tunic, one skirt, one dress.

upcycled dresses from secret lentil clothing
enfolda, down by law, and billoweta: upcycled dresses

Some of these are still available on my website - take a look.

Sunday, September 20

equinoxia: vest for the changing season.

equinoxia handmade hand dyed wool vest from secret lentil clothingequinoxia handmade hand dyed wool vest from secret lentil clothing
equinoxia handmade hand dyed wool vest from secret lentil clothing
 equinoxia handmade hand dyed wool vest from secret lentil clothing
equinoxia handmade hand dyed wool vest from secret lentil clothing

equinoxia: vest for the changing season. This is a sculptural vest I made from coat-weight woven wool that I dyed to a lush burnt sienna. It's my first wool piece of the season. Exciting! It's sort of like a seed-pod. It pleases me.

Thursday, September 3

just made! just listed!

A bunch of skirts.
A bunch of tunics.
They look a little something like this:

upcycled dresses from secret lentil clothing

upcycled dresses from secret lentil clothing

upcycled dresses from secret lentil clothing

There are more skirts — this is just a smattering of them.

Available on

Friday, August 28

skirts, this time, blue.

This week's fresh batch of skirts. Handmade. Upcycled. Garment-Dyed. One of a kind. Maybe they haven't been poked and prodded enough. Should I do something else to them? Sautee? Render? Transmogrify? Crunch? Parse?

Friday, August 14

today in the studio ... garment-dyed skirts

Oh, garment dyeing, where have you been all my life?

I have kept dyeing somewhat at arms' length for fear of loving it too much, (Over-Complicating Things is my superpower) but also because precision is not my strong point. Nor is it extremely fascinating to me. I like chance and randomness, surprise and freshness in my work. But the process of garment dyeing has got me hooked right now. It provides just the right balance ... instead of sewing a finished garment, I'm making a raw piece and letting the dye finish it. I'm not trying to get accuracy, I'm trying to get interesting. So far, so good. 

Also it's such a different way to think about color — it's got my brain spinning in a very satisfying way. So here's a skirt I made, before dyeing — trust me, it was physically difficult for me to put those colors next to each other:

 And here it is, all done:

This skirt has sold already but I have another purple one and some lovely squashy-yellow ones that I'm listing today ... plus I'll be making more this week. Cannot. Wait.

Sunday, July 5


Finger Lakes Lavender Festival, Skaneateles New York

Here's the scoop on the lavender fest. It's the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival
It is actually, literally, on a lavender farm - the Lockwood Farm. 

Lockwood Farm, Skaneateles New York

Don't tell them but I would probably pay just to set my tent up and sit out in their fields all weekend because of LAVENDER, of course, but also because it's on Skaneateles Lake

I guess I'll bring some clothes along though. Here's what I'm doing in the studio in anticipation ... Purple ... I'm soaking in it. I'm whipping up a few special batches of things for next week. I dyed a bunch of silk organza to a lush shade:

And I made it all into swirly flouncy scarves. 
Like this, except purple: 
And I'm turning some purple cotton gauze, see the middle heap:

into some Emphella Shells. 
 Like this, only purple:

You should go too. If you live somewhere else you should move here this week. Hurry!

Saturday, June 27

Jennifer in Secret Lentil: All Hands on Deck!

Here's Jennifer! HI JENNIFER.
She's wearing her "All Hands on Deck" shirt.
This one:

Wednesday, June 10

Dear Diary, I'm growing a small zoo on my kitchen countertop, it's super keen.

When I'm not making things in the studio I'm usually home making things in the kitchen.  My brain was made to transmogrify things into other things - it's where I shine, as opposed to say, needing to get to a place at a specific time. Lately my food-thoughts have turned (is that a pun?) to all things fermented. I'm a fairly regular maker of kimchi but I've been wanting to make some plain old sauerkraut. I admit I got sidetracked by The Potentially Eternal Quest For The Perfect Crock but a facebook friend just posted a link to Make Handmade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar. Of course! I'm the only person in the house who likes it anyway, and a tiny batch seems very accessible. And quite possibly cute. I already had about a third of a head of cabbage waiting in the fridge, which I turned into this:

Is it adorable or am I too close to the material? * tickles chin of sauerkraut *

Okay, I know the next one is solidly not cute, and also puts me into the realm of One Of Those People, but I've also just taken up making kombucha.

So, not cute, but seriously delicious. If you like fizzy sweet vinegar drinks. And it turns out that I do. I've been curious about it, but shy, then happened to visit a friend on a day when she was brewing a batch so she showed me her process. Then as if by some Force of Bacteria and Yeast From On High, studio neighbors gave me a bottle they had made and I was able to hatch a SCOBY from that. SCOBY is short for Sustained Cultish Bottling Yokels, I think? Something like that. I'm not looking for converts or to convince you that this will reconnect you with a long-lost state of perfection or anything, I just like it. I made mine using these directions from the kitchn. And I've been squeezing some fresh ginger juice into each bottle. Yum.

Thursday, May 28

Dour Fancy, for the dour enthusiast on a reluctant special occasion

upcycled black dress from secret lentil clothing

Dour Fancy, for the dour enthusiast on a reluctant special occasion.

Sure, you'd rather be in your darkroom, or tending your Insectarium, or in the turret of your cool-in-Summer castle, with a book, but today the outside world calls and you must reply. May I recommend this dress?

upcycled black dress from secret lentil clothing  

It's all black. It has panels of cotton eyelet and a swirly-black lacy-ish material, both fully lined, plus it has super long ubersleeves — overlength sleeves made for scrunching up.

upcycled black dress from secret lentil clothing

Or you can pull them way down over your hands and if anyone makes eye contact or starts to speak, flail the sleeves all around and sing "SOOOOOOOOOUP OF THE EVENING" until they retreat.

Tuesday, May 12

from the sublime to the ridiculous

I really missed the "shop by mood" feature so I just called it back into service. Now you can browse by: eccentric, austere, grounded, sweet, silly, flirty, earthy, avant garde, fearless, ennui, plus, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce sublime and ridiculous. And yes they each have their own quotes. Of course.

Saturday, May 9

urban pioneering: City Market

Tent, check. Tent walls, check. Tent bags, check. Goofy hat, check. It's time for the first show of the year. As much as I love all of you cyberpeople there's no substitute for meeting real humans and having them play in my clothes in real life.

With ... ugh, real weather. Well, we'll see. I'm trying to cultivate a pioneer spirit about the whole thing. I know how to build a fire and catch fish and make boondoggle lanyards. I could have been a pioneer — in a climate that doesn't go above 74 degrees Fahrenheit. (Sorry dad, I have become a city person.)

And so, I'll be at City Market tomorrow in downtown Syracuse NY. I am fairly super excited about this new venture. It's a monthly market this year for the first time, from May through October. It's a blend of handmade things, art things, antiques and food — a nice mix. I've made some lovely fun clothes for it and if I can manage to 1. get up at a pre-set time (I'm a bit feral in that department) and 2. remember how to put the tent up maybe I'll see you there.

Saturday, May 2

Secret Lentil Show Schedule 2015

I do a handful of shows in and around Syracuse New York.
Here's what I have lined up so far for 2015.

City Market - Sunday May 10th - Armory Square Syracuse
City Market - Sunday June 14th - Armory Square Syracuse
Finger Lakes Lavender Festival - July 11th + 12th - Skaneateles New York
Quilting By The Lake Mini-Mall Night - Onondaga Community College, Allyn Hall, Syracuse
   Tuesday July 21st 7 to 9pm and
   Tuesday July 28th 7 to 8:30 pm
   This event is part of the Schweinfurth Art Center's conference and is open to the public.
Craft and Craft - July 23rd - Everson Museum Syracuse - 5-8 pm
City Market - Sunday August 9th - Armory Square Syracuse
City Market - Sunday October 11th - Armory Square Syracuse 
Delavan Center Annual Open Studios - Friday + Saturday November 6th + 7th - Syracuse
Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival - December 5th + 6th - Syracuse

I'll add more details as I have them.
Yes, I take all major credit cards and cash.
And yes I have a dressing room in my booth. Yay!

Friday, May 1

upcycled clothing i made in may 2015

upcycled dresess from secret lentil clothing 

upcycled dresess from secret lentil clothing

 upcycled dresess from secret lentil clothing

upcycled dresess from secret lentil clothing

Monday, April 27

upcycled clothing i made in april 2015

upcycled dresess from secret lentil clothing

Wednesday, April 22

today in the studio ... making a white tunic!


Tuesday, April 14

pssssssst secret secret lentil offer

What's this about then?

FREE SHIPPING. That's what.
All this week when you shop from Secret Lentil on Etsy.

Yes - it's worldwide.
Minimum purchase: $60
Offer ends Monday April 20th 2015.
Not valid on



Sunday, March 22

upcycled clothing i made in march 2015

upcycled dresses from secret lentil clothing

upcycled dresses from secret lentil clothing

upcycled dresses from secret lentil clothing