Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the Harry collection

For a while now, I have been working on some crafts to sell and I am trying to make them seem somewhat cohesive. People keep asking me what I am going to be selling at this upcoming craft fair and my reply is "oh a bunch of random things". Although I still can't fully explain myself or the things I make—I'm not sure I ever will be able to— I at least now can put a name on it. I'm calling this collection of things "Harry". Besides it being my father's name, the collection is loosely inspired by fashion and punk rock icon Debbie Harry. Studs, chains, leather, metal...she might not have worn any of it, but it somehow makes me think of her. She's my muse for my most recent craft projects.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Martha Craft Fair.

I feel like I have put my blog in the back seat, but the truth is, I am thinking about you all the time! I have been "making" literally every second of the day from early a.m. to just about when the it becomes a.m. again! It's been quite nuts. I will soon have a few things to share with you but first they will be debuting at the Martha Stewart Craft fair. Hope you can come!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Vivienne Westwood. Britain's design master, style movement leader, queen of pirates, tartans, courtesans, Victoriana, and bondage.
She introduced me to fashion at a time in my life when most of the other kids were carpooling to soccer practice. I followed the notes to the music in my tape deck, so to say, and discovered Vivienne and the visual construction of Punk.
Thank you Vivienne.
Pam Anderson, Vivienne and husband in ad campaign for Anglomania. Love that she used Pamela- Pam's an animal rights advocate, I like her. Vivienne has had the ability to merge different aesthetics to shape a new one and that is why I think she is so fabulous. Inventing a street style and than morphing it into couture...pure genius...textbook worthy. "Punk was trash culture gone avant-garde and/or the avant-garde gone trash, and just as Dada had tried to destroy the institution of art, so the punks seemed bent on destroying the very institution of fashion." (Elizabeth Wilson, Bohemians: The Glamorous Outcasts)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Bottega Veneta

Inspired by the masters, here's the making of my Bottega Veneta influenced piece:
I chose a gray sheepskin from Leather Impact for my Bottega Veneta inspired coin purse. I wanted something fairly thin and soft to the touch, like a real Bottega handbag.
I wanted to start small and not waste any material (in case this didn't go as planned), so I decided to make a purse measuring 4" x 5.5". I first cut a bunch of 1/4" strips of leather lengthwise with a rotary cutter and quilting ruler. I figured if some strips were too long I could always weave them though as-is and snip off the remaining ends to use on the shorter weave sections.
I created a 8.5" x 6" template of slit marks that I taped to the leather hide and cut though with a craft knife very carefully (template below).
With an embroidery needle, I hand wove each strip of leather though the slits following the diagonal pattern of the weave. The strips stretch as they are pulled through the slits so I would go back and loosen each weave. When I finished, the once flat and smooth skin was now completely transformed into a basket woven textured fabric—Bottega's signature brilliance!
When the weave was complete, I trimmed the hide down to the edges of the weave, folded it inside out and changed the needle of the sewing machine to a denim needle. I stitched up each side with a seam allowance of 1/4". I did this twice for stability. When flipped right side out, the top edge had the raw woven ends, so I folded them in 1/4" and tacked them down with Fabri-tac.
After watching countless videos on how to install a zipper, I moseyed back over to the sewing machine and attempted to make a silk pouch with a zipper to use as the purse liner. I am not going to undertake trying to explain how I did this because there are much better instructions out theremy way I'm sure isn't the way—so let's just say I made a silk pouch slightly smaller than 4" x 5.5" with a zipper. I like zippers (not installing them) so I didn't want to hide the teeth, hence the exposed zipper.
Attaching the liner to the woven outside was another endeavor. With the two parts I ended up with, the best way to finish it was to glue it. I used the good old stinky Barge, two part cement. To keep the zipper teeth clean I covered them with tape and brushed the glue on the fabric part of each side of them. I also taped off the top of the folded the edge of the leather pouch as well and brushed about a 1/4" line of the glue below the tape. When both glue parts were dry, I carefully inserted the silk liner into my woven leather pouch, removed the tape and adhered them together. I fussed a bit with the bulky corners of the leather piece, pushing them further down into the pouch, adding a bit more glue and covering them with the zipper ends.

There are many changes I would consider if I were to make another, but o
verall I am pretty impressed with myself. It's by no means a Bottega Veneta, but considering all the obstacles, for my first try, I am quite satisfied with the results. Thanks Martha for the inside look at this luxury brand!

Friday, November 13, 2009


William Burroughs.
fascinates me.
The original hipster, an elder to the beats, a ripe old junkie... he was way beyond his time, out of his mind, but totally in control. Suit and tie, prowling a cafeteria on 42nd, judging, maybe looking to score, chat with the guys, jot a few lines—who knows, this old-school gentleman was hardcore.
I quoted him in the yearbook under my senior year picture just to see if anyone would catch it.
"Continual dreams of junk: I am looking for a poppy field."
No one got it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Bruce Davidson.
Another New York photographer that caught my attention as a youth. Maybe it was his street style—series like Brooklyn Gang from 1959, East 100th Street in '66 and Subway in the 80's are so classic and real that they kind of tinkled my core. Maybe it was just old New York, around the time my mom was a kid here. Her stories put me there, as do BD's photos.
It seems so foolproof nowadays to capture still imagery but when it was film, a roll of only 24 or 36 shots and you're manually focusing every one, it's easy to miss out on that crowning moment. Bruce did a good job seizing it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Nan Goldin—American photographer with the ultimate snapshot aesthetic. Right place at the right time, not quite—hanging with the wrong crowd at the most intimate of times, that was Nan. She positioned herself amongst her subjects, her friends, and they were captivating. Rough around the edges maybe, Nan exposed them in all their glory—a dirty life, a real life, a city life... life.

Some that always stood out to me:
who's that boy:
the make out sessions:
the bathroom shots:
I was introduced to Nan's work at 14 and her photography changed how I looked at candids forever... in a good way.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

first born big sister.

Today we celebrated 28 years of Melissa. I was lucky to have her in NY this November the past five years I was not able to be with her on her birthday. We had a really fun day. Yay!
Happy Birthday Meli! oxox

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Schiele. pronounced: SHEE-luh.
Born: 12 June 1890 Tulln, Austria - Died: 31 October 1918 Vienna

I remember the first piece I ever saw of Egon's. I have a clear memory of being consumed by a simple contour drawing—a sketch that took only a few moments for him to complete. A natural stroke an artist battles to acquire, Egon delivers in every line.
(1890-06-12)He exaggerates but is also minimal in color, composition, subject and matter.
You can't help but think it's intentional yet the result seem inadvertent.
I'll let him speak for himself.One of my favorites. There are many impostors but no one is quite like the original, like Schiele.