Tuesday, June 29, 2010


When can I see the full feature? This looks hilarious and totally bizarre...a must see.

Monday, June 28, 2010

doggy do do.

I am taking care of our family dogs for a couple weeks while the folks are traveling. They were in desperate need of a summer shave, especially in this awful heat wave that has been torturing New York City recently. Kai, our 7-year-old Yorkshire terrier, was first at bat. He has thin hair and is so small so it was easier to trim him with scissors. Kai is content being dirty and it's a struggle sometimes to groom and bathe him—he's a squirmer.

I left a little mohawk on his head so his ears don't look bigger than they already do. Not the best picture—like I said, Kai hates sitting still.

Merlot is a 12-year-old Chinese Crested Powder Puff—he is a very strange little man with a distinct personality. He has a really thick coat of hair with dozens of cowlicks. I used a buzzer on him and it took about 2 hours to completely shave him. He is pretty good and sits there with his eyes closed slightly but the minute you take a break, he darts. I got so caught up in trying to get both the dogs done that I forgot to photograph Merlot before. Here he is 2 days later with Pico on his back.

That's it for doggy do do.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

artist admiration: Anu Tuominen

A full spectrum of color...

or a single color's different values...

colors all jumbled together...

or just one color alone...
two colors make another...

or fade into each other...

colors blended together can also make shades...

grey, black and white...

or no color at all.

Anu Tuominen's artwork just wrote a children's book!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rodarte gets crafty.

The lovely sisters of the fashion clothing brand, Rodarte, Kate and Laura Mulleavy joined Martha to talk about their new 2010 spring line for our siblings show. I was quite intrigued by the girls when I actually went on set to examine the pieces they brought to share. They were quite crafty!

The first piece had about 6 different fabrics involved. The piece was mainly constructed out of cheese cloth that had been dyed over and over, pleated, shredded and burned. It reminded me of this artist I came across recently, John Paul Morabito, who creates these stunning art pieces of burnt silk. I imagined the sisters in their studio, having fun, experimenting—dying, burning, tearing and staining fabrics—pinning them on a dress form to create something couture. It seemed like a craft project I'd do with my sister.

The next piece was uniquely as raw. A mix of patterns and materials, wrapped around the bodice as if a person was lost in the desert searching for whatever they could find to protect themselves. I was loving the intentional random hole directly below the right hip bone that would expose just a tad of skin in a very sensual region of the body.

The piece below was exquisite—so complicatedly constructed—hand woven and braided leather, macrame and crochet fringe, and a hand-cast silver talon belt buckle.

The leather strips were pinched, crinkled and stitched, giving them different textures. Imagine duplicating this jacket?! Each one would be unique—there would be no way to make it exactly the same.

The wool yarn added yet another texture to this piece and juxtaposed the constricting and caged bondage features with its flowing length and movement.

Hand-cast details are an element that more and more designers have been experimenting with. This is not the first talon I've seen cast, but the first one I've seen as a belt buckle.

The last piece they shared with Martha, the girls described as the Condor dress.

I would say they did a pretty good job of turning a vulture into a couture evening dress. A small shoulder pad of black chicken feathers, a solid piece of scrunched leather replicates the birds featherless head and the draping blackened cheese cloth—all working together nicely to represent North America's largest flying land bird. I could scavenge wearing this dress no problem.

After seeing these four Rodarte pieces up close, I had a better understanding of how the sisters work—very experimental, very uniquely created and very crafty. This collection's mix of grunge and goth definitely recalls the landscapes of Death Valley and the deserts of California where they grew up and reflects the time they grew up in too—something I can relate to as well.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I hate people who STEAL.
I locked my bicycle outside my apartment last night in a different place than I normally do. I securely U-locked the frame and front (easy release) tire to a parking sign and some F-face spent the time to unscrew my back wheel! I just can't win can I?
bike art by
NanLawson on Etsy.

only with love. a strange experience.

weird story. 4.29.10
I was at work and a co-worker was talking about how she went to see Hole play the night before. This started a whole conversation about my love/hate feelings towards Courtney Love and so on and so forth... anyway, I left work that evening and as I walked down the street to the subway, I thought about Courtney again. She is in New York City right now, I thought. Would I say something to her if I bumped into her? What would I say anyway? Would she just ignore me and be rude? Its one person, I know, who would put a knot in my stomach if I saw her. I actually wasn't sure how I would react... I felt like an immature teenager for a few moments...
15 minutes later I was home and got a text message from another co-worker who was part of the whole Hole debate. She walked out the door of our Martha office and, guess who was parked right in front, in an SUV, but Courtney Love herself! Long pasty white arm dangling out the backseat window, cigarette between fingers—my co-workers were stunned to say the least. How fucking weird!

Now I was blocks away and all I could think about was I could of had answers to all the questions that had been spinning in my head 20 minutes earlier. I was freaking out—what a strange moment this was for me. I had literally just missed her!
I arrived to work the next morning to find one of the many of Courtney Love's cigarettes on a little dish on my desk. A co-worker had snagged the butt after Courtney flicked it and drove off. This was the second strange thing he has left on my desk—the first was a dead bird in a brown paper lunch bag.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


this is... me.
photography by ashley graj with dude's old Leica.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

diy leather camera case

A couple weeks ago I made myself a camera case. I had some leftover leather from a segment I developed for Martha and was so in love with its fleshy pinkish color that I needed a permanent place for it in my everyday life—protection for my camera was the perfect solution for its use.

I layered a strip of leather with a thin piece of cotton batting and a patterned piece of cotton fabric for the liner. The batting adds a bit more padding to help protect my only treasured electronic and the fun patterned liner adds a sweet surprise when my camera is removed.

I folded the layers of fabric inside-out and sewed up the side on the sewing machine to create a snug pocket for my camera when flipped right-side out. I left a little bit of excess leather where the opening would be. Originally, I cut the fabric planning for a flap, but wasn't feeling it once it was stitched up. I trimmed the flap off but left about a half inch of leather on the end, like I did on the other top edge. I folded the top leather edges over and with white glue, glued them down, covering the ends of the cotton batting and fabric to make the exposed top edges clean.

So far, so good. It protects and is super easy to remove the camera so I don't miss those crucial photographic moments. I love how the leather has molded around the lens too!