Friday, April 30, 2010

Love Letter to the Apron

I mentioned in my first apronology editor's letter that I felt this magazine was "a love letter to the apron." As I've posted recently, many people write to me to tell me how much they love apronology and what it means to them. Im sure through no coincidence at all (I dont believe in those, remember?) that the day after I posted about receiving lots of complainy e-mails I checked my actual mailbox at work and found an actual, real, handwritten letter from a woman named Juliana in San Mateao, CA.

Her letter was handwritten, not typed because she so loved the spirit of how things used to be done. That nostaliga and euphoria of the apron is what she wanted to honor by not typing this letter. Her request was that I write back to her, and not on a "generic computer letter." Her post scriptum then apologized for lack of spell check and grammar mistakes. Too cute! As that is one of the risks in writing by hand.

As you can see, the major risk for me in writing by hand is my penmanship. I love cursive (as does Juliana) but it can be illegible. But I took Juliana up on her offer because I was so intrigued and flattered. In doing so I thought about how much I do miss letter writing. I actually enjoy being a pen pal. I used to write pages (front and back) to no one, myself, loves, friends in other states, and my first grade teacher (we corresponded all the time since I was in second grade ). It truly is a lost art. I used to get calluses on my hands from the rubbing of my pen. My teacher used to make her own paper, stamp, and embellish it then write in metallic ink. I used to eagerly wait for the mailman to bear his gifts.

Mostly, I think about the great letters written by great writers. The collected letters from whom are sometimes just as good if not superior to their body of published works . Or how J.D. Salinger often fills his works with letters between characters. It seems like these masters were writing professionally all the time, even in their personal letters, knowing someday they too may be dissected, published, and cherished. because after all, there is no divider between the writer's feeling, their passion, and their profession. It just comes out. It's matter of channeling. It's something you can't turn off. That's the beauty of it.

I dont want to share the exact contents of the letters between Juliana and myself, as I feel that its only fair to keep these things between us. But I'll share this: one of her motives in writing me was to ask for my opinion on her starting her own Web site featuring creative ventures. She asked me if I thought she should go for it and if I could offer direction. It still humbles me when people ask for my opinions and direction on business related matters. Im no businesswoman. Im no advice giver. But as I was pondering what I could possibly say, I came across an e-mail (irony, huh?) from my sister asking me to help her with a poetry project. I dove right in and dug up so many of my favorite poems. Two askings for advice in a matter of hours. And as I read and re-read the pieces I've loved for so long, my answer to Juliana became clear.

Im going to write to her that of course she should go for it. She should take on this venture. Because my greatest fear is that I will die and not have written the work I wanted. And no one should have that regret . I remember wanting to be a poet, a writer, a teacher. And when this job came along I took it. I dont regret that. But I was forced to think of all the things that have gone unwritten because I've spent my days at this desk and my nights proofreading.

So yes, Juliana, go forth and do the thing you think you were meant to do. And yes, everyone out there, many of you who are lucky to call yourselves artists by profession, cherish every day you spend doing what you love.
I'm going to write my response this weekend, as well as work on some other things that are waiting to come out.
(Card pictured above is from Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, given to me by Christen Olivarez

Thursday, April 29, 2010

dolls, divas, and drinks

So glad I found this art from What a talented artist! I love how she reminds us to create our own happiness. And since Im in the business of creating, it just makes sense to be cheery. Thanks for everyone's words yesterday. I indeed felt better as the day progressed and that has carried over. I think partially because I returned to the gym too after a brief absence. Endorphins do help!
One of the kindest compliments I've received on my blog was from artist CandyRosenberg. You'll know her name soon enough as she's about to make her debut in HOME. I met this sweet lady at CHA and in talking since she told me she liked my blog not necessarily because of the fashion, but because it celebrated the female form. I think that observation is so flattering and true. I had never thought of it. But now that she mentioned it, Im glad that's what this space has become. I hope to explore that concept more in future posts. Thanks to Candy and Suzanne Millius (artist who created the above work) for doing what they love and making others happy in the process.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Focus on the Good

Today was just a bad day for dealing with the public. Im not sure people realize how often I have to do that here at work. Some days are spent going to events, emailing people, or doing phone interviews, but other days in my mountains of e-mails I come across the occasional note from a person who is not happy. They aren't necessarily unhappy with me, but rather they dont like something about a magazine or don't want to send artwork. Today I've received a number of "disappointment" e-mails. I totally value people being honest and able to share opinions with me. But when a bunch of negative notes arrive on the same day it gets frustrating.
Still every job has its good and bad, right? So today Im focusing on the good. How big are our artist's hearts? They do enough good in our communities, so when they take the extra time to show me a spot of kindness, I cant tell you how flattered I am.
Really cool things received recently are:
1. Silver (favorite metal) and blue (the trendy color of the season) earrings from Lindalou Richards ( A huge thank you to my mum who fell in love with Lindalou's jewelry first. My mum is big on supporting handmade and while she taught me to spend money on jewelry, she also taught me to take life one day at a time, in order to find inner peace and joy. When Lindalou sent her creations in this book cover with these inscriptions on front, they really spoke to me. It's important to give love in order to get joy or peace.
2. Candace Marquette's ( City of Angels bag. This purse is featured in the current Haute ( While on the phone with Candace one day her words really touched me as she ministered to me at a moment when I needed it. Candace is a true angel.
3. I really love monograms. This initial was a gift from the kind Debi Beard ( These letters are actually one of Debi's bestsellers and it hangs on my office wall. Debi's gift is a reminder of continuous generosity, as Debi has dedicated her store and much of her time to supporting local artists. I also think "B" can stand for blessed; a constant reminder of the blessings in every day.
4. A card from Monica ( complete with WISH tickets. I only met Monica recently, working on Haute Handbags, but I've been lucky enough to have her support on so many proejcts (including Home). Her little "just because" cards and e-mails are a great comfort to me. I love the added "wish" sentiment. Sometimes wishing is important. It keeps us mindful of the things we dare imagine. I like to wish for things that seem impossible, but I know are achievable. I believe in hard work. I wouldnt be where I am today, accepting affirmations from talented artists had I not at one time wished and worked and dared to make it come true.
So today's challenge is this: Let's focus on the good, give love, find joy, have peace, wish, and work hard.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Dreams & Dilemmas

On my lunch break I headed over to Nordstrom ( and got caught up in this bouquet flower ring from Juicy Couture. I love all the colors. But I recently bought these Flora flip flops. Notice the toe ring on the sandal is very similar, with a bouquet. So now Im definitely waying my options out. Ive been so good at saving money and I gotta make a decision. I admit Im not an H&M fan, but their Garden Collection has more groovy florals ( that I can see pairing with these pastel shoes and accessories. Not sure what to do... I think I need to go to the gym and do some serious thinking.
It's funny... these florals are reminding me of a certain Haute Handbags cover.

Way Cute Collages

Remember when a collage used to mean cutting out magazine scraps, clip art, and Elmer's gluing it all together???? I thought that's what a collage was until I began my tenure here at Stampington and saw work from artists who can make actual collages. I urge everyone to vist The most amazing and colorful collages are sold there. Im a true devotee to color and the shapes and prints are thrown together in such a fun way. This artist also does "collections" meaning a display of multiple shapes and drawings in different mediums using felt, paper, etc. The first two pictures are of the tree collections. This shop also features cute jewelry and other crafty finds. Doesnt it make you happy just looking at it?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Layers & Tiers

Im currently questing for a special dress to wear to a launch party May 8. In doing some research (shopping online) I have really surprised myself with my attraction towards layers and tiers. It became clear to me that this is definitelt my aesthetic of choice. While I wouldnt deem any of these designs appropriate for this occasion (they're all too formal), I still like to look at them. And yes, if I saw them on ebay, they'd be mine. It's funny, because I work hard to stay in shape, and yet when looking for a dress I actually like the addition of volume. There's nothing like the illusion of floating away.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Know It All

When you add the ending "ology" to a word it defines a branch of study. I realize that on this blog I have yet to talk about one of my publications that people adore adore adore, apronology. The truth is I havent talked about it as much because it is so loved. I feel that people have such a resounding connection to that book (as do I) and so it's almost needless to keep on declaring my affection and adoration for it.

But yesterday, fate stepped in. And I was reminded all over again why it's important to share, be it knowledge, love, or information. A reporter from the L.A. Times called and wanted to discuss apronology. It didnt surprise me because I've been interviewed about this magazine before. But this was one of those really outstanding interviews that reminded me that there still is a need to discuss this issue, this book, this love shared by so many. I was struck by Amy Karol's words ( that the reporter shared with me when asking me why the apron had become popular again. Amy in all her wisdom answered that we had finally gotten passed the baggage carried with the apron.

So true. Once you leave baggage behind, once you pack your bags and move on, once you stop analyzing, figuring, obsessing, worrying about what an action means, what statement's being made, who thinks what, only then are you free to do what you want.

This has been a whirlwind of a week. I havent been blogging much because Ive been dealing with lots of baggage. But luckily these experiences have allowed me to unpack my own problems that I've been carrying around, and I'm learning something. I'm learning how to care for others and how to share love and knowledge so that those closest to me can benefit. I've learned that just because you think something is apparent, doesnt mean that it isnt worth sharing anyway.
It was only after all of these realizations, as I was getting pics together for this post that I realized how many good times the apron has been responsible for in my life. It might sound silly, but launching apronology was a huge job at work that tested me and caused me to prove msyelf, push myself, learn from my mistakes, and indeed learn from the strength of many women before me. There's the banner that I made for apronology that still hangs in my office, one of the first things I crafted here. The first thing I sewed was an apron with my friend Amanda. And of course there was the Halloween contest where I dressed as an apronologist.
I also included many pictures of the apron on the runway and in fashion. Because we cant confine those lovable things to ourselves, we have to share them. Designers from Alexander McQueen to Miuccia Prada were struck by this love of the the apron whether as an accessory, shield, or garment, they used its statement making potential to infue it into one of the most publicly appreciated forums of art, fashion, to express its versatility.
And in the end, that's what I want to celebrate today, with the apron, because of the apron etc. is the versatiltiy we all possess; the passing of time and the potential to change throughout time. While many donned an apron, many later came to loathe it because it symbolized something someone deemed negative, but here we are again, needing that love and comfort that is wrapped up in the woman behind the apron, stitches of long ago, or the escape found on the runway. Or maybe you are like me, one who seeks comfort in the passing of time, whether spent making/crafting something, spending time with friends, laughing, or learning. Experience and time are great teachers. As are books, as is the Internet, as are pictures. But so is sharing. So is meditation, exercise, prayer. So is loving others and taking a chance. No matter the outcome, you can always learn something and share what you've learned in the process.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Cat's Meow

I was at Miu Miu on Sunday and picked up (not bought, just literally picked up and held in my hand) this playful cat clutch. It's so fun. The salesgirl informed me that they do the same print on clogs. Now I am not a clog person, but I am a cat lady. These shoes are purrfect! It's funny to me that they chose the cat image. I had seen the swallows in Prada's recent campaigns and being in the crafting world, let me tell you, birds have been in for a while and will probably be an art trend that is here to stay. For some reason I love the swallow print on the Mary Janes. It looks so vintage. Does that ever happen to you? You like something and have no idea why? Its not just me because these shoes have sold out (at But you can definitely make your own variations on these meow-worthy trends, as blogger Cocorosa did ( She DIYd these swallow tights that I love love love. I've written to her about Altered Couture and I think you should all send her a comment chiming in too. It's for the greater Altered good.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Made Me Think of Mila

Watched a tense episode of Project Runway last night. While I'm not sure about Mila's personality (but then again it's TV) I know for certain I love her clothes. She does black, white and mod so well. And I totally loved the houndstooth and striped patterns. I'd wear her wares in a heartbeat. I scoped out these shoes on yesterday and haven't stopped thinking on them since. They are from L.A.M.B. Gwen and Mila share many a design taste I think, which is why I gravitate towards both. I own many a L.A.M.B. piece in black and white come to think of it. Both also love colorblocking and a little rocker edge. Totally agreed with Tim when he told Mila she looks so chic all the time. Especially when wearing those leather gloves in last night's episode. When it comes to black and white the zebra print makes sense, but I have to admit I dont own any ... maybe when these babies go on sale or when Mila goes big that will all change ...

The Dos and the Don'ts

A big part of my job (and my day) is taking notes. I'm an avid note taker, have been since college. It's always more fun and managable to take these notes on some fun stationery. I especially love the To Don't pad ( It keeps all my vices in check ... it currently reads "Shopping" under "To Avoid." Im not going to make any promises ...
It's funny the things we put off, the people and tasks we avoid. Even as Im typing this, I realize this sentence is an afterthought. I was going to quit my post after the previous paragraph. I've been avoiding blogging lately, not because I have a block or because I don't like it, but because I have been getting fed up with myself. I feel like Im not saying anything worth anyone's while, or that I keep hitting the same notes, when really I dont mean to. I have a diversity of interests and tastes and ideas, but sometimes work gets in the way. Im sure we all have those moments. Case in point, my To Do list is full of work items. Nothing else. And yet, I oftentimes find stability in work, a comfort, a safety, a place where I am needed and my words can go without disappearing. It's a challenge and a place that can benefit from diversity of taste and endless ideas.
One of my biggest pet peeves is inefficency and these notepads definitely help me weed out those things that are just doable and those details that are urgent. As silly as it sounds this blog actually helps me stay accountable and focused, even on work. I have not been sharing a lot about my work life but I thought maybe this glimpse into my brain when it comes to my crucial notepads on my desk would offer some insight. As long as I have these lines and grids on perforated paper I am able to make the time to blog, to write, to jot down, think, tear, and move on.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jess LC & Jewelry Research

I've been doing my homework lately, studying and preparing for the next Jewelry Affaire. I feel I may have backed myself into a corner because the first one was so good (if I do say so myself). Luckily loads of research is something I have never minded doing. In college I loved the long hours spent among dusty books in libraries, and I love it today, looking at magazines, Etsy, and blogs. Good thing a blog led me to Jess LC jewelry ( I love the architecture of these pieces. They are seemingly simple, yet something about them is so regal.
The layering of chain and loop is intriguing. I love how jewels and beads are not the key piece, but rather it's the chain that holds the interest. I also love the play on silver and gold. Color is used but only sparingly. Great minimal restraint. Classic jewelry. More from Jess in the next Jewelry Affaire.