Sunday, January 31

The Life Aquatic, Space Oddity, Special Snowflakes ...

The Life Aquatic: sculpted blue wool vest from secret lentil

The Life Aquatic

Jane Winslett-Richardson: Are we - are we safe in here?
Steve Zissou: I doubt it.
Klaus Daimler: Do you still want to blow him up?
Steve Zissou: No, we're out of dynamite anyway.
Eleanor Zissou: It is beautiful Steve.
Steve Zissou: Yea, it's pretty good isn't it ... I wonder if it remembers me ...

Yves-Klein-blue sculpted wool vest | cyan thread and bold yellow hand-stitched trim (see the close-up) | two gargantuan side pockets | open in front with overlapping fronds

upcycled garment dyed dresses and tunic from secret lentil

Special Snowflake, The Green Is Grasser, Special Snowflake Two: Still Very Special 
Upcycled tunics and dresses, garment-dyed.

color, eyes, soul, hand upcycled dress from secret lentil 
color, eyes, soul, hand
"Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul." — Wassily Kandinsky 
 Space Oddity Black wool and linen sculpted vest from secret lentil

Space Oddity

 Take your protein pills and put your helmet on ...

upcycled tunics and dresses from secret lentil 
Nothing But Flowers, fleur-de-cocoa, The Hand You Were Dealt

Feelin' Mighty Asteriskical,
Can the Leopard Change its Spots? What About Its Stripes?,

Monday, January 18

Deep Cover dress: psychic camouflage virtually guaranteed ...

secret lentil camo olive green upcycled dress

One thing I love about wearing eccentric clothing is that it becomes a filter for the world. It repels some people. Dare I say it? Usually the right ones. It attracts people like you who are also adventurous and smart and funny and curious. Then there are the other people who can't even muster a response, or even see you. Will they be able to see you in this dress? Let me know.

secret lentil camo olive green upcycled dress

Sunday, January 17

Peak Chaos Day

The studio overhaul continues. I think yesterday was Peak Chaos Day but I won't know until today happens. The walls are, say, 88% white now, and almost everything is heaped in the middle of the studio, and some other things are strewn out in the hall. I sewed while Mike painted up until a point then we had to give in to the necessary chaos and both work on the overhaul. Today we'll start to figure out how we want to rearrange and then tomorrow, and perhaps it's a blessing, we're supposed to get a snowstorm, so maybe we'll just stay home and shovel and eat chili while we mull over our next moves.

We aren't just putting the place back together, we're building new ways to work - on sewing plus other things. (You'll see!) I keep telling myself that since I used to run this "business" out of my dining room surely there's room to do more in our spacious warehouse studio. I'll let you know in a few days ....

Friday, January 1

Three minute back yard snow tour — New Year's day, 2016

Our backyard fencing situation is a classic city amalgamation: one side is our neighbor's big wooden fence that was there when he moved in. Our previous neighbor's yellow lab Nelson would climb the full six feet of it a few times a week to tour the neighborhood, with the pure glee that comes from being a lab on top of already being a dog. The back portion is the city's — keeping us out of the park and vice versa — and the other side is a big chain-link deal that we bought and put in cooperatively with our other neighbor years ago when we first moved in. I still remember the newly discovered muscles in my arms from the awkward hoisting of the post-hole digger. Have you ever used one of those? Dang. I'm not sure if I recommend it. 

Shortly after that we bought a flowering vine to grow on it, and the dude at the nursery told us it would completely swallow the fence over the next twenty years. It has. That's what getting older is like I guess — you start to see things happen over decades that play out just as you expected but at the same time they are the biggest surprise ever, in awestruck wordless ways that you kind of enjoy keeping that way (wordless).

Today I have a new appreciation for how many birds are Wintering in that vine. I went out to stomp around in the new snow and after much nervous fluttering in the branches a whole bunch of them, annoyed with me for having the gall to exist, took off. At least one cardinal and several small brown blurs.

That's fine, they don't have to like me. Starting a new year is bittersweet isn't it? Maybe giving ourselves time to stop and contemplate always is, and having the day off plus a fresh coating of snow helps things along. Add to that some ungrateful birds and there you have it, the perfect recipe. But it's okay. I'm a fan of bittersweet. The dictionary refers to it as pleasure alloyed with pain and I think that's both good and right. I hope that the alloy of pleasure and pain in 2016 leaves you more strong and connected and real and ultimately joyous. 

Happy new year.  — helen

p.s. bonus found-poem from Merriam Webster:

Rhymes with bittersweet
aquavit, at one's feet, balance sheet, biathlete, booster seat, bucket seat, catbird seat, cellulite, cookie sheet, corps d'elite, countryseat, county seat, crystal pleat, decathlete, drag one's feet, driver's seat, easy street, exegete, incomplete, indiscreet, latent heat, letter sheet, lorikeet, make ends meet, marguerite, Masorete, meadowsweet, meet and greet, miss a beat, Nayarit, obsolete, off one's feet, on one's feet, on the street, overeat, overheat, Paraclete, parakeet, pentathlete, prickly heat, rumble seat, saddle seat, scandal sheet, self-conceit, semisweet, shredded wheat, sliding seat, spirochete, superheat, to one's feet, triathlete, trick or treat, two-way street, undertreat, up one's street, winding-sheet, window seat