March 30, 2010

A satisfying evening. Beautiful (and pleasant!) experimental film shorts curated by Deep Leap Microcinema, the fine words of poet Brandon Shimoda, and the consistently odd and fascinating WHY I MUST BE CAREFUL sound duo. Followed by beer and a drawing game. Ahh, so enjoyable.

There was a not so enjoyable moment when my hand was closed in the car door bruising the middle finger and releasing a jolt of adrenaline shortly before bed. But doesn’t Maggie look pretty in that rose blouse?

Workbook Home

March 29, 2010

It was Sunday brunch at the home of Jenny and Ed Cook. We were there to celebrate. Just last week Maggie received a Master’s Degree in Publishing at PSU. Very impressive.

The setting for today’s brunch was impressive as well. And served as a tickling reminder that what you are looking for, you will find. The bottom image has become my go-to source of inspiration for Fall 2010. It is a tear from New York Magazine and the imagined home in which my designs reside. I have stared at that room and fantasized about the woman who lives there. I want to be there. I want to be her.  This morning I felt as though I had stepped into my workbook and could no longer decipher art from life.


March 26, 2010

Sarah’s mom is visiting. What a woman! As expected, she whooshed into our house and immediately made it more alive. She brings magic with her. Maybe it is because she believes so strongly in the power of destiny or maybe magic just follows her around. Like a child. Like Sarah and I. We all follow her because she loves living.


March 25, 2010

My friends. What a relief. I can put to rest my scorching need to be productive, and just sit, listen, have a glass of wine, and share soup. Sometime after 1am we finished Godfather 2 and said our goodbyes. One ambled next door to her tall bed and soft-voiced prince. One called to her kitty and settled upstairs in a room of white. One tied tightly her scarf and rode steadily, tennies getting wet, to a delicate man pretending to be asleep. Two stood in the doorway and stared down the rain, turned up their collars, and walked in compatible silence to their large house and richly smelling bedrooms. I helped Bello up the stairs, slipped into newly laundered sheets and opened to the last pages of Dillard’s fine work; “I am here now, with this my own dear family, up here at this high latitude, out here at the farthest exploratory tip of this my present bewildering age.”

Better Late

March 24, 2010

I know Fall 2010 is late. I hear you boutiques. You are ready. And I am not. Designing this collection is taking longer than expected because I am struggling to uncover something new, something now. I want these designs to speak for me right now. At this place in my life. And so as I move through this collection I am asking myself, with each piece, what am I saying? Is there a direct line between this dress and my identity? It is a circular exercise in knowing myself, expressing myself, questioning myself, knowing more truly, expressing more and more authentically. An inward spiral toward understanding. A winding road. Not a straight line. A discovery. The cutest pair of twill drawstring sweatpants.

Spring, Day One

March 23, 2010

Let this be a taste of the months to come. Womenfolk reclining in the park, talking and reading and eating. The sun is out and our hearts are at ease. Even our “List of Wants” is easily attainable. Maggie would like time for coffee dates. My ideal mate wears sweaters. Her’s would not be too skinny. I want to camp more. Would you like another hazelnut, they are locally grown. Yes, thank you, would you like a wheat wafer, just wheat and salt.

Good Inside

March 20, 2010

I am alone under my skin.

When a relationship ends I feel disoriented and struggle to find my balance. I try to lean on him and fall over. I see through his eyes and am drawn to what he likes. I follow these markers and get lost. I expect him and he is absent. He is still in there with me. And I feel it! It is loud and crowded and too hot.

But eventually the body runs clear and I am singular.

Last night I wrote in my journal what has been the opening line all week, “Today was great.”

Good times right John?


March 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Adam! We like you!


March 17, 2010

Winterum is an experiential learning week at Catlin Gabe Highschool in Portland. Students design a class and “explore activities outside the regular curriculum”. My Tuesday night sewing student Mary Bishop planned one called “Portland Fashion Week: In March!”. She wanted to visit and learn more about the local fashion industry. Yesterday morning my home filled with twelve polite and attentive teenagers. We drank hot chocolate and talked fashion. I showed them my studio in its full state of mid-collection disarray.

It felt good to represent the”fashion designer” career and I liked seeing myself through their eyes. What were their expectations? Did I cause them to be more or less interested in designing clothes? Did I remove a little of the myth, a little of the false glamor? Did I add hope that you can design clothes and still be yourself? There is the job title and then there is the daily enactment, the daily routine. You’re still you no matter what career you choose. It is more important that the career fit the you than the other way around.

After they left I cooked garbanzos and made vinegar coleslaw. I walked Bello. I made a trouser. I walked Bello again. Later of course I put on 4″ heels, a daring mini and hit the premiers.


March 16, 2010

Finally! On Sunday night, between dinner and The Godfather l, we finally exchanged our Secret Santa gifts. The three month wait was worth it. The gifts were very appropriate and of high quality. They were given with a short story as to why and how the item and the human were a match. Fun. Maybe we should do Secret Easter Bunny.


March 15, 2010

Last day to fire. Last girls to go in. So far, not one has come out the way I planned. They have had broken feet, a broken head, unexpected glaze color, rough skin texture, glaze chipping, and ugly faces.

So Anyway…

March 12, 2010

Still working. Sorry for the non-blog span. Really, nothing to say. My life has become very simple and consists mostly of sewing and yoga. I don’t feel social right now so when the offer of a gathering comes up, I pass. Talking and smiling and being charming is not interesting at the moment. I don’t need it. I have my book. Have you read An American Childhood by Annie Dillard? My god…


March 11, 2010

I got what I wanted. Time has slowed. I feel calm. I feel still. I trust that I am safe. I am safely bound for a wonderful life. This is what I am doing, I don’t need to worry if you are doing the same. I don’t need to wait to see if you will stay. I am staying. I am committing to this place, to a communal lifestyle, to Future Farm, to ceramics, to group parenting, to teaching, to loving with all that I have. You don’t have to. But I hope you will. I hope to see you between the garden beds or in the orchard. I hope to take my dinner into the yard and sit beside you on the grass.  And our children will tumble from my arms to yours.


March 7, 2010

The process of patterning and sewing a collection is short and intense and results in phone calls going unreturned and Saturday nights alone in the studio. In many ways it is a tedious endeavor. It requires discipline. It requires my focused attention. It requires my time. It is challenging to keep working the piece until it is right, to stay in the studio when it is beautiful outside, and to keep my mind from wandering to love and houses and food and anything but how to get the collar to fold. My back aches from bending over and twisting toward the sewing machine. I am lonely. I am bored by This American Life and NPR and all my music.

But I am also amazed, time and again, how satisfying it is to make something out of nothing. This morning I came into the studio, coffee in hand, and began drawing out the skirt… tonight I added a new and strange little sleeve, which needs to be adjusted but looks pretty good. A dress. By the end of next week I will be done with Fall 2010 and it will be sent off to be dyed and photographed and shown to buyers. How strange that tonight’s dress will one day be yours. The dress you slip on one grey and chilly fall day.

You Again

March 4, 2010

Nat, Em, cousin Lesa.

“I woke in bits, like all children, piecemeal over the years. I discovered myself and the world, and forgot them, and discovered them again. I woke at intervals until the intervals of waking tipped the scales, and I was more often awake than not. … one of these years not far away I would be awake continuously and never slip back, and never be free of myself again.”

Annie Dillard

Answer It

March 2, 2010

After law school I started working for a bicycle messenger company in Santa Cruz. I had never been a physical person and this new vocation was shockingly satisfying. Equally satisfying were the activists, hippies, and nerds that rode bikes and made up my new community. And located in the middle of this life of light and promise and importance, was Josh. No hesitation, no worries, I stepped boldly and decisively in that direction. I want to remember that feeling and trust that when it is right, my attraction toward it will be mindless. That new experience, whether it is a house or a partner or anything in between, will be so overwhelmingly right that these worrisome days will become simple, fond memories. Oh, those first few winters in Portland! Oh, I was so dramatic!


March 1, 2010

What do you feel is the point? Of your life.

Does it matter? Do you only know the point- your point- when you are at the end and have the perspective to sum it up? Josh told me once, you can’t decide to be life partners with someone. Being life partners is only achieved after spending your life with them. Maybe the same could be said for the point of it all.

If you have an answer…

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