Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Not like it was ever easy, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to run a small creative business. There are more options, opinions, advice, oppportunities, traps, costs, competition....
And don't get me wrong. As I continue to explore the possibilities of Florida Scarf (and painting) I find it all very exciting and promising.
Prior to this season you could shop Flo Sca at eight retailers, catch me at five to ten craft shows, and shop (quite minimally) online. As my life situation continues to change, the biggest impact it has is on the availability of my products. As things have turned out this year I will predominantly be found online. The retailers have been scaled down to two (for now) and I only have one craft fair scheduled. Essentially, I am putting all my "eggs" in the online retail "basket". Because of this I started offering my items in a few different spots. I'm having trouble deciding who gets what, how much of it they get, and if they're all neccessary. If you are a friend of Flo Sca I would love to get your personal opinion on the matter. Where would you prefer to shop Flo Sca?
In person? (sorry I can not provide a link that would beam you to me)
I really appreciate the feedback. Please give me your comment in one of three places:
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for checking in today.
Monday, September 26, 2011
My mom has always hated it, but I have always felt the need to dress like a boy. I like to call it boy chic. And I'm sorry mom, I totally dig this guys threads. I just wish they were on me instead of him. In all actuality, these pieces look like they were intended for a woman and not a man. Is that wishful thinking on my part? The sneakers are awesome, and obviously so is the sweater. I love the jacket and its lining. The only part I'm having trouble with is the pants. But everyone needs to have pants on. Anyway, thank you Dolce & Gabbana for inspiring me this season.
And you know I'm also digging the excessive amounts of plaid, especially as a necktie. I want the yellow one.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
This photo was taken at the Ann Rudd Art Center.
I am reading The German Genius. Last night I was inspired by an essay I found titled “What Knowledge is Conveyed by Art?” It is about the development of a society and its influences. To give you a time reference, arguments in the essay dated from 18th Century German theory. (the concept of the mind was relatively new) Being an artist, I loved its point of view on perfection; that it isn’t a static quality inherent in some things and not others. It was studied rather, that perfection is in the force of the spirit. I wanted to share some of the ideas with you.
This photo was taken at the Ann Rudd Art Center.
Scholars had determined that there was an inherent creative energy in the mind. The word “aesthetics” was developed to describe the relationship between experience and creation. The question was asked, “What type of knowledge is conveyed by art?” It was the perception of a few that reaching perfection in your senses it is possible, but not like in mathematics. A picture or a poem was described as a sensuous representation of an image of perfection. By this definition it is achieved in the act of creation. They decided an artist is someone who epitomizes his own time while attempting to change and improve them. As I was reading, this theory helped weave together a lot of my own opinions on art, and artists that I love. To give a few examples I’ll say musicians like Led Zeppelin, or an artist like Frida Kahlo, or Jeff Koons. I know these might strike you as kooky examples, but bear with me. If you’d prefer I could think of a world leader I’d put in the “artist category, like Nelson Mandela.
This is the Art Center too.
The essay goes on to say that each creation of genius results in an expansion of consciousness, opening the path to the creation of a better world, enabling us to transcend the present. I think this expansion of consciousness happens to both the creator as well as the audience. The trick is for the audience to be receptive to what is being shown. The question I ask is, “When these opportunities are presented are we always paying attention?” There is this other guy, Mendelssohn, who says that there is a special faculty in the soul, that functions solely in the regard to beauty, enabling man to respond to it, or “know” it, and recognize it in a way that analysis never could. This further supports the notion of “perfect” but not like “mathematics perfect.” It is the soul that predisposes man to a higher culture. These arguments hold so true today. I say this because it is my opinion that science and technology, while extremely important to our society, are tipping the scale of importance.
Art Center also.
Later perfection is defined as the achievement of harmony between inner life and outer life. I think this is something we all struggle with, whether or not we fancy ourselves creative. The essay describes a masterpiece as a harmony between spirit and (human) nature. It is where the individual comes together with the general. As an artist I try to work simultaneously with both. As a human in society, who wants to enjoy my life, I work with both. This work is never complete. We’ve heard this before, but the essay states, “the perfection is in the journey.” (It is evident that we’ve been trying to tell ourselves this since the beginning of time.) “And the perfection is in discovery.” I, myself, find immense joy in discovery.
The last point I would like to share is, “Art, like history, has an infinite realm of future possibility… The future can only happen through conscious acts… It doesn’t just happen; it needs to be fashioned, fostered, and crafted.” These ideals had a powerful impact on the German intellectual history during the 18th century and after. Last night it gave me a renewed sense of energy and excitement about what I do. I love art. And the history of the world and its people will always be educational and inspirational.
Monday, September 19, 2011
This is a scarf I just recently made for a friend. I thought it was so lovely, and delicate, that I wanted to share it. It is an upcycled clothing neck warmer. She provided both of the pieces. One was an angora sweater that she couldn't wear anymore because the sleeves were disfigured. The embroidered fabric is from an old shirt of her dad's from the Philipines. Her dad had passed away a while ago and she always kept the shirt in her closet. She finally thought it could be put to better use somehow. So I combined the two and turned them into a scarflette with sentimental value. I really enjoy when I have the opportunity to do things like this for other people.
This project reminds me of how, a couple of years ago, I made four hoodie hats for my aunt-in-law and her grandchildren. She had me use all of her old sweaters.
These sort of projects are so fun.
If this inspires you to desire a Flo Sca Special Order, I'd be more than happy to complete the request.
You can contact me at email@example.com
or through my Etsy Shop www.floridascarf.etsy.com
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
There are a few things I can't resist. One of them is ridiculous shoes, and the other is a bargain. And when they come in the same package I can't say "no." Besides, I heard the ground is always wet and sloppy in Germany. So I thought I'd need these.
Coincidentaly, I found this tutorial for cute socks. It's great for anyone needing beginner DIY projects. I enjoy making things much more complicated for myself. So, I decided to make my own socks and embellish them. The following is the results in the form of an attempt at my own tutorial :)
I got an old, crusty pair of fleece socks out of my winter bin. I identified, and traced, the three shapes that were used in their creation. I cut the shapes out.
I used the paper cut-outs to serve as my pattern. I pinned them to fleece of my choice. (I made sure the stretch of the fleece was running width-wise) I also took time to laugh at this idea. Look at those shapes. I thought, "no way are these going to sew correctly into socks that fit." I cut them out anyway. (If you attempt this you will need two of each shape for a pair of socks.)
I thought it would be easiest to pin the sock around my foot first. I wanted to make sure things lined up alright. Nope. I barely had it pinned together and I had a gaping hole on either side of the sock. I almost stopped right here. I also thought I could put a patch over it. (I love patches) Then I thought, "what the heck? I should just sew it."
I took the sock off my foot and pinned it together. I pinched it where the three pieces came together and decided to use that as my starting point at the machine.
It was much easier than I thought it was going to be. I sewed four seams. The first was around the front of the foot. The second was around the heel. The third was up the left side. And the fourth was up the right side. (Using a lot of pins to keep it in place really helped. Fleece likes to stretch and move.) If you don't have a sewing machine, you could totally do this by hand, it would just take a lot longer. But the good news is it's football season, so I'm sure you've got some extra "down-time". (pun intended)
I had a lot of threads at the point of the tri-fecta so I tied all of the threads together to add security.
And then, the moment of truth.
Would you believe the freakin' thing fit? Awesome.
Who would have thought when the bottom piece looked this bad?
So I followed the same procedure on the other sock.
They both looked great, so I folded the tops over and sewed a hem around the tops.
These look good right? I was pleasantly surprised. They only took me 45 mintues, start-to-finish. That's good for a craft project. I should have left well-enough alone. But I didn't.
I was initially inspired by the socks in the tutorial. So I had to embellish mine along the edge too. I gathered up a few things I had lying around. They included some clay buttons made by my mom, some vintage buttons, and some vintage trim my friend Tara got me at B's Yardstick.
I hand sewed the trim around the tops of the socks. I used the buttons from my mom to make decorative flowers. I didn't directly sew the flowers on the socks. I sewed them to pin backs. I wanted to be able to remove that part when I washed them.
And here she is. I think it kinda looks like a sock with an evil eye....but cuter?
They're pretty fun with the big, red boots.
In all, I would say this project turned out way better than I anticipated.
Monday, September 12, 2011
This was another photoshoot starring Florida Scarf. I wasn't there, but the shoot was fabulous. My friend Tara, from The Style Diner, did the whole thing.
I think the colors are great and I LOVE the model's hair.
It makes me wish I had a van....and awesome bangs :)
Use the link to scoot over to Tara's blog where you can see more inspirational shots from her day with Hannah. I did. They're beautiful.
This photo (and others) have inspired me to create a new page on my own blog.
check it out.
Thanks again Tara!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I get my art news from www.artinfo.com
(I hope they are a reliable source because they dished some awesome scoops recently that I am about to recirculate here)
Click the link and read them for yourself, but I have a few things to say.
- Bhutan should absolutely not be embarrassed about images of penises everywhere. Who cares what the West thinks?
- Forget the MFA in Boston. The five mill should have gone to the MOBA. That is some entertainment!
- Eddie Murphy is way cooler than James Franco. He'll crush the Oscars. Just as long as he doesn't dress like he did in Raw.
- Why is Dunkin Donuts giving out art awards? I guess we'll take the money from wherever we can get it.
- I've been doing a lot of fashion stuff recently, and here's one more. I think this video is so fun. I wish it was longer.
I hope you enjoyed the Art Info link. I suggest their weekly news email. It's usually entertaining.
Other events to look out for soon/now:
The premier of The Art of Flight in NYC. ( a super-rad snowboard video)
The most ridiculous surf competition in NY, with the biggest purse ever, $1,000,000, with the biggest waves ever, hosted by Quiksilver. (this may be a slight exaggeration on my part)
Monday, September 5, 2011
My husband and I celebrated our six year wedding anniversary this weekend. This is the token picture we took to mark the occasion. In years past we have always done something fabulous on this date to commemorate the fabulous event that was our union. This year that just wasn't possible. So we decided to stay home and cook dinner together. This would be the most logical of options given our circumstance. Both my husband and I LOVE to cook, and we do a great job.
I wanted to try something different on the grill. So we went to our butcher and picked out some great looking lamb chops. We were excited for this new challenge. Phil is amazing on the grill and I'm creative in the kitchen. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible so we wouldn't screw it up.
We made a simple marinade of red wine vinegar, fresh oregano, olive oil, and lots of garlic.
We put half the marinade on the meat, and the other half on some cherry tomatoes. We grilled the tomatoes also and put them on top.
We grilled potatoes too. Who wants to do dishes on your anniversary dinner? We kept these simple too, just olive oil, fancy salt and pepper, and fresh thyme.
Oh, we sauteed some swiss chard because we can never have enough vegetables.
In addition to topping the lamb chops (which were like little lamb porterhouses) with the roasted tomatoes we added feta cheese and red onion slices. It looked so good.
(Taking pictures of our food has become standard practice. Our butcher enjoys putting them on his website and FB page.)
The weather has cooled off a bit so we took this dinner to our romantic back porch and opened a bottle of Cabernet. It was the perfect setting to enjoy this meal. And as we sampled our fine fair.....in the fine company of the one we love....with a delicious glass of wine....and a cool breeze....and candle light.... it became apparent... that we don't like lamb.
It cracked me up. I never saw it coming.
At least we still like each other!
We wrapped up dinner with an extra helping of dessert. We kept that pretty traditional, spicy dark chocolate brownies and french vanilla ice cream. We also had a dreamy conversation about all the fabulous places we will celebrate in, when we move to Europe :)
Saturday, September 3, 2011
I spent the morning with a cup of tea and perused a bunch of art and fashion websites. It was fun. I haven't done it in a while. I wanted to share my finds with you. I LOVE these outfits.
I wish I could dress like this.
How about this Jeff Koons photoshoot for the September issue of Harper's Bazaar?
I love that man.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Recently (like every Wednesday for the past two months) I've been catching this online talk radio show. It's called NY Brand Lab Radio and its hosted by Mary van de Wiel. This week's episode was about tapping into your creative beast by recognizing your defining moments in life. Listening to this show was great. Not only was it inspirational, but it made sense. Recognizing the events in your life that helped shape you (for good or bad) will help you have a better understanding of who you are and what you're capable of. And in my case, can help me understand this small business (of sewing scarves and being creative) that I am trying to grow and maintain. I enjoyed it so much I decided to give myself the challenge. My results are summarized below. (I'm sorry, but I spent so much time working it out, that I had to put it somewhere for at least one other person to read.) I encourage you to have a listen to the show and try it yourself. You'll be surprised by what you come up with.
Once I actually sat down and put the pen to the paper the writing wouldn't quit. Memories just began pouring out of my pen. Places... events... people... I couldn't stop. Once I had over twenty I forced myself to stop because the tripping down memory lane was causing me to use decreasing amounts intelligence in my selection of moments. Life gets long when you start to recount it. As much as I was enjoying the process, the purpose was getting clouded. (Be wary of this if you attempt the project.)
So I discarded 75% of the list and here are the first five I thought of:
Yearly trips to Mexico with my mom and sister.
This began when I was eleven and continued until I was 17. These trips were in lieu of any Christmas presents. My sister and I always had the option, and we always chose Mexico. Who wouldn't? If I wrote out all the parts of my life influenced by these vacations we'd be here through next Friday. So If I can't say it all, I won't say anything. (except that I love Spanish music, beer, tequila, tile floors, sail boats, hammocks, swimming with fish....sorry I said I wasn't going to do that)
I learned how to celebrate life and appreciate culture.
Thrill seeking with Uncle Dan.
Most memories I have of time spent with my uncle are fun and ridiculous. It is with him that I rode my first roller coaster. He took me skiing for the first time, and all the times that followed. He taught me how to jump and clear the railing at my grandparent's house. Oh, and he always used to force me to watch Saturday morning wrestling. We would wrestle during the commercials until my grandpa got mad and yelled because we were shaking everything on the living room shelves.
I developed a love for sports and activity, but in a non competitive way.
I wasn't allowed to shave my legs until I was 16.
Growing up this was really devastating, as any female could imagine. Now that I am thirty I can appreciate why my mom did that. Incidentally, I also had to wait until I was 16 to die my hair.
The same time I was granted this ability to explore my femininity through soft, smooth legs, I was also given permission to chop all my hair off and dye it bleach blond. Doing both was a bit of a contradiction of actions. This is definitely a theme I carried my entire life. I can spend a long time doing my hair and make up to then let it go to waste by putting on baggy shorts and a t-shirt.
I love anything that is an opposite, contradiction, or contrast. Nothing too aggressive, of course.
I'm sorry because this is a person and not an event. But so many things that I am, are because of her. We lived with my grandparents for the greater part of my childhood. I didn't play with any kids in the neighborhood. So a lot of my early childhood memories are just of kickin' it with Gram. Again, I could go on forever here. I consider myself quite fortunate for having the opportunity to build such a great relationship with her, and my grand pop. Such things are a rarity in modern America.
Be thrifty. Sacrifice yourself for those you love. Never leave the house without looking your best.
This is the absolute last thing in the world I ever thought I was going to do. My mom's never been married. Why bother? I've never really liked (or trusted) anyone else that much. It was my husband's idea. For some reason, when he asked it struck me as a great idea. I'll never know why. He thought for sure I was going to say no. I said yes and we've both been incredibly happy ever since. Obviously marriage has ups and downs. (like life) But there isn't any other place I would have rather been these last six years than with Phil. He's the man.
P.S. our six year anniversary is this Saturday.
Through marriage I've learned to think about someone else other than myself. It has taught me consideration, confidence, and responsibility.
It would be such a perfect world if all the traits I've written here are expressed through my art. This year that Phil and I have spent in Alabama is the first year I haven't had a "real job" since I was 15. It is an uncomfortable, and exciting, thought. Our time here has afforded me the ability to learn about myself and what I want. I have also had time to work on my skills and get better at my crafts. The next chapter in our lives will soon be unfolding. It will definitely be a huge career jump for Phil. I hope it turns out the same for me.
Thanks for reading through this whole post. (Even if you only read the highlighted words. That's what they were there for.) It was my intent that it be informative, slightly entertaining, and motivating for you, to in turn, focus on yourself. Sometime soon :)