Down

January 30, 2011

Shit, sorry the site is down. I’m working on it. It’ll be back up on Monday.
In the meantime, if you want to email me use fillydesigns@gmail.com.

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Independents

January 29, 2011



Thank you. I feel good again.
That was just one person’s opinion but it dodged my defenses and dampen my spirits. That person’s voice joined the choir of voices that permanently live in my head. They became louder, they were emboldened by this recent addition to their gang, they began to gain control. You’re right, time to get down to business. Head hung low. Guilt.

And then you showed up. You with your strong voices and hot opinions. I feel you around me, your chest to my back, the heat of your breath, your heartbeats are loud. Rawr! Together we are a force! Grow up? Oh yeah? Take this, and this, Kapow!, Blam! Wham-o!
I know this is not a conventional life I am living. I am lucky to have a job and I am lucky to work for myself. But I am also totally broke- because I work for myself and have days when I go to the river or journal about ditching my job instead of working. But we are all free to make the choices that work for our independent lives. Thank god because I would have been a terrible lawyer.

“I think it’s quite generous that you are willing to explore those feelings in a public forum–In addition to being very interesting, I’m sure your post has validated the conflicted emotions of many artisans.”

“I believe voicing your inner thoughts is brave. You remind me time and again I am not alone and that gives me such much needed endurance to keep going on being an “adult”.

“*Some* people grow up, toe the line, do what they need to do in order to support themselves and their families, and still feel tired and run-down and dissatisfied by their jobs every now and then.”

“We can’t all be happy happy joy joy every minute of our lives. If we were, we wouldn’t truly appreciate the good times, or how the not so good times help us grow.”

“I am so done with feeling insecure and ashamed of emotions. So should you. Keep sharing your fantasy and reality, I love them both!”

Grow Up

January 27, 2011

“Most people in the world and this country want to work , and they are not able to. You need to grow up and act like an adult.”

Yikes! This was left in response to my last blog post. When I read it I felt heat rise to my cheeks and bloom in red circles. Wow Sarah, I got my first mean comment. I felt ashamed and insecure about having shared my doubts. Maybe I shouldn’t reveal such thoughts? Because I love designing clothes and feel very fortunate to make a living doing so. There are those days, however, when I wish I could do something else. And on those days I want to run from my responsibilities and hide in my fantasy side life.
Okay, so that was the defensive reaction.
And then I realized, she’s right, I do want to grow up. I don’t need to, I want to. Growing up was my New Year’s resolution. And a big part of growing up is taking on more responsibility so that I become a more successful designer. I am off track right now. I am fully immersed in fantasy side life. Days are spent in the ceramics studio when I should be designing Fall 2011 in the sewing studio. I am playing with clay but I need to work with fabric. I want to work with fabric. This is my job and my passion and I want to make it great. Thank you commenter for reminding me of my goals.
I was looking through a folk art book and came across these really inspiring outfits. Ironically they are doll outfits but still totally cute right?

Anymore

January 27, 2011

Okay here it is. This is how I feel. Today.
Luke is right, it’s a great job. But it’s still a fucking job. And sometimes you really don’t want to go in to work.

Shapes

January 25, 2011

I am taking a ceramics class. Again.
What if I gave up everything and became a “Ceramic Artist”? Would that be okay?
If you are a ceramic artist you work in a communal studio and don’t feel so lonely. I love half listening to the ridiculous conversations between people who are busy shaping clay and just happen to have their months open at the same time. Nobody cares what is being said but they still enjoy the company. Currently I am taking the class with my friend Natalie. We talk about important stuff, like whether there are cute boys at OCAC or what we made for dinner last night.
If you are a ceramic artist you are expected to be dirty and disheveled. It is totally okay to wear an apron all the time and to have clay particles in your hair. In fact, it’s kinda sexy. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to wear all white, which is just so good-looking if you do it in a utilitarian way.
If you are a ceramic artist you are considered a “real artist” and get to have gallery shows and be a little kooky and apply for grants. It is okay to be broke if you work with clay and people admire you for your dedication to your art. They see it as a need, an innate urge to create, and therefore very deep and impressive.
I won’t go into how this compares to “Fashion Designer” but lets just say I am having a hard time focusing on my next collection.

Oregon

January 24, 2011

Recently quiet a few people have decided to move from Portland. I don’t like it. I want everyone to stay.

I want to invest in you and for you to return the investment by continuing to share your life with me- intimately, with eye contact, with an embrace, with my chin resting on your shoulder. I really like you and so I listen to why you need to go. Some of these reasons are sound. And because this topic- the topic of place and community- is an emotional one for me, I start to question my reasons for being here. I start to feel anxious, flighty, insecure about staying…

I took a walk and stopped along a lake to listen to the waterfowl. I stood there long enough to be forgotten by the birds and they returned to their loud and heartfelt conversation. What a beautiful sound. And I realized, with a strength of conviction I was not fully aware I had, that I like Oregon. A lot. And there are so many things I like about it that I can’t even list them off. I feel good here and I feel good staying here. And those that stay here with me also like Oregon a lot and therefore, are also a good fit for me. So I am practicing staying clear, holding still and letting it all unfold while still hoping that those same people who need to go, will one day need to return.

Surprise!

January 24, 2011

Oh Kenya. Queen of Birthdays.

I am a four-days-after-Christmas baby. After all the presents have been opened, belts have been loosened, friends have been called and family has been hugged and the tree turns crispy on the edges and is hauled to the curb… it’s my birthday! Hey everyone, got plans for the 29th? At an early age I realized I needed to take matters into my own hands. So I plan my own special day- to the minute. And I make sure it contains all of the people and experiences that I love. Hiking, Bello, special dinner, chocolate, hot tub soak. But it never includes a large gathering because I don’t want to trouble everyone.
Kenya was undeterred by the fact that I had already celebrated my day in Santa Cruz. She said I was not hard to surprise but my schedule was hard to hijack. Which meant that she waited for a night I was prepared to be social, prepared to have people in my house, that I was already dressed up and okay with staying up late. The night of Secret Santa, perfect! After the last present was passed there was one more… for me and it was a wad of fabric that declared, in Kenya’s wood print fabric, Happy Birthday! What the hell is going on? And then the gluten-free, sugar-free almond cake with poached pears and chocolate frosting and a BIG WISH birthday candle. And then boys begin to enter the house and furniture is pushed to the edges and little cut-outs of brown paper girls are strung over each doorway and balloons released and the music is turned up and up!!!
It is so easy to love. I am very comfortable with the weight of my feelings for the women in my life. That night I felt everyone’s love directed back at me with such focus and force that
I could barely contain myself. I still can’t believe it happened. I can’t believe I am so lucky to have everyone in my life.

Not So Secret

January 18, 2011

Differences:
Last year there were just a handful of us. This year there were nine ladies!
Last year we didn’t get around to exchanging gifts until March. This year we managed to come together just three weeks after x-mas!
Last year we quietly circled around the group, giving and getting. This year we cooked a huge meal and had a dance party!
Last year Polly told Kenya who she had. This year I told Kenya who I had!

So all in all we have improved upon the model. The only failing that I am aware of was the absence of Polly. She is also different now. Last year she lived in the studio next door. This year she lives in New York. Last year her only concern was who had her for Secret Santa. This year she was too busy even to join us over the internet. Last year she had long ropey hair tied in a braid and wore a embroidered peasant blouse when it was “dress up” time. This year she has Mick Jagger’s hair and opts for all white.

What will Maggie look like next year?

Open Farm House

January 18, 2011

Seth and Kenya let us in. Taco Night at Future Farm, their 1/2 acre urban farm. I think Kenya didn’t want anyone to see the house until it truly represented her– clean, bright, organized, beautiful… And so even though she has been living there for months, this was the first time anyone was invited over.
Maggie and Natalie are doing an excellent job at looking like they are not having fun when in fact much fun was had by them and everyone else. The women monopolized the table and ate most of the food. The boys were left to the kids table or the kitchen where they fixed us drinks and made more tacos. Really, this night, in this wonderful little house, was the perfect representation of Kenya!

Still

January 14, 2011

I’ve been reading an amazing book called Handcrafted Modern. It is written by Leslie Williamson and explores, through photographs, the homes of notable mid-century designers. Their homes! She writes, “Our home is the heart of our private selves. What we have in it can be more telling that a portrait of our face.” I know this to be true. And I know this to be the reason it is taking me so long to commit to buying a house of my own.
This morning I took Bello to the vet to have lump-removal surgery. Nothing too serious, mostly just precautionary, but I couldn’t help but be rigid with anxiety during the hours he was away. I spent those hours in my room, sitting on my bed laid with a pale pink wool blanket. I faced the three large windows pointing south. I watched the clouds form and race and tumble and release rain as they hurried by. I listened to James Blake over and over and over again. And lastly, I read this book.
Today was odd because I was still. It was a still day filled with pictures of homes and thoughts of my child.

Weeknight

January 13, 2011

SpacePDX

January 11, 2011

A couple of months ago I was put in contact with two great women. Justine Francis and Leah Verwey. Justine works with photographer Leah to create the blog SpacePDX. I just love their concept! I love the idea of respecting and highlighting space. You can learn so much about an artist’s aesthetic values by viewing the environment in which they work. Additionally, there is a degree of voyeurism in their project that I personally relate to… but instead of just walking the neighborhoods at dusk to peer into windows before the blinds have been drawn they get to actually enter, peek around, ask questions and photograph what they see. What a great job!

I wish I had like five houses so that I could be visited by them again.
Nice work ladies!

Results

January 10, 2011

So far this year, I have directed my efforts toward the Filly website. My graphics designer and I went over the whole thing, from head to toe, and I think the result is very pleasing. It is cleaner and more sophisticated. Which probably tells you where Filly is going as well. And maybe where I am going too! Hear that everyone, I’m going to be cleaner in 2011!
www.fillydesigns.com

Check it out and let me know what you think…

Make Believe

January 10, 2011

I am having a hard time with the weather in Portland. Okay, I’ve said it.
And I’ve got many months to go before it warms up.

So… I’ve started making food that pretends it is Springtime. Today I infused white beans with light olive oil and fresh tyme and sage, simmered for an hour and added my canned tomatoes from the summer. Aromatic, delicate, and just right for a balmy evening in the Northwest.

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