Gift Certificates

August 31, 2011

I really like a girl named Chloe. She is a firecracker and completely unapologetic about being her full theatrical self. I wish we could all be so lucky.
Apparently she has totally cool parents as well. Makes sense. Recently her mom wrote me inquiring about gift certificates. Say what? She wanted to purchase a monetary amount of Filly and gift it to her daughters. I love this idea, especially for all the good-intentioned but overwhelmed boyfriends out there. I have yet to figure out exactly how I am going to do it but in the meantime, if you are interested in gifting Filly, send me an email and I will file the credit away for your loved one to use later. It will be up to you, however, to create the actual certificate. Go ahead, just try to top these!

Fabric Sale

August 30, 2011

Fabric Sale! Sunday, September 11th, at The Fabrica from 4-7pm. I will be selling entire bolts of fabric I have used in past collections. Prices will range from $5 for smaller bolts to $75 for an 80 yard roll.

The Fábrica
Community Textile Arts & Salvage Workshop
703 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Down To Work

August 30, 2011

Monday. Lets get down to work. I am here to make sure fall production is done well and on time. I keep telling myself that. A reminder, although vague, of what my task is. But how to execute it? What exactly am I supposed to do?

I made a list of challenges facing this collection.
The manufacturer I usually work with had to downsize their operation and is unable to process my order this time. I am working with a new manufacturer and I am nervous about this. I don’t know or trust her yet. Ok, step one, meet the new manufacturer. Bello and I drove up to Oakland and found our way to her little storefront. It is smaller and messier than I am used to but Ann seemed nice. We worked out prices and deadlines and I had to negotiate and play the role of stern business owner. I had nervous b.o.
The new manufacturer is simply a sewing shop. She does not wash fabric, she does not cut fabric, she does not dye fabric. I need to hire others to do these equally important tasks and to transport the product to and fro. Ok, step two, have the fabric prewashed and transport it to the cutter. I packed my little red car to the brim with bolts of washed fabric. But I didn’t leave any room for Bello and he had to squeezed into the dashboard area. I was laughing out loud and apologizing to him the whole way.
There are 6 different fabrics in this collection. That is very confusing for the cutter and sewer. When I picked up the prewashed fabric yesterday I organized it according to type. I labeled each sew sample and pattern with a little cut square of the correct fabric. I will need to go and watch the cutter lay out each style to make sure he is using the right material. I think I inhaled a zillion fabric particles as I wrestled with 40 pound bundles. My throat hurt and my arms were sore by the end of the day.

The end of the day. Back over the hill, the ocean coming into view, my stomach growling, my mind spinning. There is so much to keep track of and so many people to keep on track.

Dance Church

August 28, 2011

I went to Dance Church this morning. The DJ is the minister. Your body is the spirit. And boy, people were letting loose! Or, more likely, they were darn loose to begin with and simply got looser. All the way and in all ways. Notables were the man in red tights and sunglasses, the hot surfer dad with his two daughters and the guy with a pirate eye patch which he didn’t “need”. Both Luke’s mom and Sarah’s dad were there as well as my acupuncturist. In Santa Cruz you have free reign to be, do, say, move exactly the way you want to. Standards do not apply.


August 28, 2011

Santa Cruz is one of those towns that gets better the more time you spend here. Last night I went for a walk downtown and was immediately enraged by a pack of young bros yelling at the top of their lungs, “Lick pussy! Liiiick pusseeee!” I wanted to get right back in the car and return to Portland.
But today has reminded me why I also love it here. Farmers market in the morning with my Dad, a visit with my Grandma and Aunt, a hike in the woods, coffee with Quentin, trailer fixed by Josh, dogs to the beach, and now upstairs in the apartment to look through a magazine and write in my journal. I hear Piglet quacking in the yard below my window.

Little Kitchen

August 28, 2011

We got to Santa Cruz in the afternoon after an unbearably hot drive through the valley. The temperature dropped twenty degrees as we crested the mountains, the fog bank already visible offshore. I headed straight for Josh’s house and found him in the shop immersed in a project. Crinkly eyes, apron, kindness.
Tonight I was alone in the apartment. I played Bob Marley and looked at the old photos on the wall. Reminders. I made a little meal in the little kitchen and slept with Bello clenched in my arms.

Shasta Morning

August 26, 2011

Last night we rolled into Shasta City after dark. My plan was to camp on the mountain. You know, just somewhere up there. But the sun had set and I was tired so we chose the KOA campground instead. Luckily I arrived and departed while the office was closed and avoided paying the $28 fee. In the morning Bell and I walked the neighborhood streets to the hippie grocery store Berryvale. Here I sit, journaling on scratch paper I borrowed from the 10 year old at the next table, enjoying an Americano and pretending to live in this odd little town at the base of the mountain.

All Set

August 25, 2011

I am driving to California today. But not all the way. Bello and I will camp outside of Shasta and continue the drive in the morning.
I will be in the Bay for two weeks overseeing the Fall 2011 production. I need to be there, in person, every other day, to make sure it comes out beautiful and on time. And it will.
I am staying in the little shop apartment at Josh’s house. See the metal building on the right… the tall open window is the sleeping loft. Underneath it is a miniature kitchen with a stove and a sink.
I was present for all of Josh’s carpentry endeavors with the exception of the shop. He built that while I was away at art school. And so, unlike the orange house, where I lived an entire year without an exterior wall, or Jeff’s graffiti cabin, which I helped paint and lay out the interior plan, the shop is still a bit of a stranger. I am really excited to get to know it in the coming weeks.


August 23, 2011

Homemade tomatillo salsa in the afternoon. Sarah is a fine wife.


August 23, 2011

Julia, Allison, Krystal and I hiked into Forrest Park to shoot the Holiday 2011 Catalog at an old stone monument surrounded by ferns and covered with moss. The setting was perfect and the shoot went off without a hitch thanks to an efficient and highly skilled team of ladies. Yay!

A Pleasure

August 23, 2011

(photo by the amazing and talented Allison Cekala)

Oh Jeez, that was really fun. I mentioned I was headed to Helsing Junction Farm for their annual Farm Fest Sleepover and it was better than I could have expected. Everything good happened at just the right time. I arrived on Friday evening for the dinner work shift. The farm provides vegetables and meat to feed everyone at the festival three meals a day. The volunteers’ job is to make the most appealing meal out of those ingredients. My assignment was salad. I walked across the road to the train-car cooler and pulled lettuce, beets, cucumbers, carrots and a few green peppers. I cannot say it was the best salad I have ever made but it was certainly the largest.
After my shift I wandered to the grassy field and watched friends play music on a straw bale stage. The night darkened, I drank wine and danced. And danced. And went to bed without water and felt really bad in the morning. But that was okay because the only thing I had to do was continue laying in the grassy field and watch more friends play more music. And slowly my brain started working again and my energy returned and I ventured out on a walk. Seth, Kenya and I walked behind the vegetable fields along an old train track. We discovered a pond. It was evening and the water had the last bit of the day’s sun glinting off its surface. The color was deep green and densely cold below the sun warmed top layer. It smelled like its color. Naked, I glided through the water while swarms of little gnats altered their route to avoid my head. This was it. The highlight of my summer.
The photo above was taken soon after we returned to the festivities. When I look at it I see the pond’s effect on me. My skin cooled by the water. My soul rested. Anything else that happened would simply be extra credit.
That night I retired to my tent at a reasonable hour and tried to keep my eyes open long enough to watch the stars and make wishes. I caught one before sleep overtook me. I wished for a horse.


August 19, 2011


I am a time traveler. All fashion designers are. It is summer, and this weekend I will frolic in the water and sleep under the stars at a music festival hosted by my friends at Helsing Junction Farm. My body will feel the heat of August but my mind will be pricked with the chill of winter. Because on the day after I get home, Allison and I are shooting the catalog for the 2011 Holiday Collection.
As I lay in my tent and watch even the shy stars show themselves, I will be thinking of velvet, of castles, of ivory skin and cheeks flushed with the cold. This precious summer is already two seasons ago.

Happy Birthday Sarah!

August 18, 2011

Yesterday was Sarah’s birthday and she wanted to spend the day in Astoria, a wind-swept harbor town overlooking the sea. Folks here used to be hippies and now own antique stores.
On our drive toward the coast we passed a hand-lettered sign advertising “ROCKS! and minerals for SalE”. We pulled in and down a long driveway toward a beaten up house surrounded by long tables and plastic bins. A man looking like an older Zach Galifianakis was waiting for us. In the tree, and extremely excited to see us, was Billy the Macaw. He loves women. And so he broke out his best moves to impress us. Rapidly pumping his breast up and down while fluffing his feathers. Gyrating his head around and around on an outstretched neck. Screaming and nuzziling and prancing up and down our arms. I spent most of the time with Billy on my shoulder, with me mimicking his sounds and falling under his spell. Sarah actually bought some rocks.
After a day in Astoria where we picnicked and shopped and got a bit tipsy at dinner, we drove home to meet friends for a dessert feast. There was an entire table filled with gluten-free pies and slender bottles of whiskey, a rad play-list generating pockets of dancing, and many birthday hugs and wishes for our dear girl. She’s 29. What a year. The beginning and the end of everything. We love you Sarah!

Fox Medicine

August 14, 2011

We arrived and settled in the last campsite. We were an anomaly at Dougan Creek. Not there to hunt, not there to drink, nobody was sure how we fit in. We walked to the water and because it was overcast and chilly, we were alone on the rocky beach. The Washougal River, clear and cold, sang to us. So did an American Dipper, bobbing and calling from the nearest rock. I decided this was a good time to do an Animal Medicine Card spread. I shuffled the deck and focused my energy. I announced to Bello, this is a card for right now. And I turned over the Fox. Camouflage.
“If Fox has chosen you, it is a sign that you are to become like the wind, which is unseen yet is able to weave into and through any location or situation.”
I looked down at my sun bleached pants with river rocks piled on each knee. I laid back and felt the beach accept my weight. I imagined that if someone were to come down the trail, they might not notice my shape, flat amongst the stones. This thought was soothing and neutralizing. I felt my mood shift and become more balanced. The manic energy that had come from my break-up subsided. It slipped from me like an eel. I felt a moment of sorrow to lose that flippant, silky high. I then realized the sorrow was not from the loss of the high, it was what lay underneath the high. I have made decisions that mean I now camp alone. Intentionally alone. So that I can stop talking, stop moving, stop pretending to know. So that I can learn. Unnoticed in faded canvas, among the grey stones, in the white light.

Solo Camping

August 13, 2011

I have an exciting plan for the day. Most Saturdays I work the Farmer’s Market but today they don’t need me so Bello and I are headed out of town. Solo camping. With eachother.
We are going to Dougan Creek, a little campsite recommended by my friend Ayni. It is located in Washington along the Washougal River. I’m bringing snacks and the last book in the Tales of the Otori series, my journal and workbook, the binoculars and bird book, a dress, a sweater and the tent. Bell packed kibble and a nasty blanket. We should also bring bathing suits even though we both prefer to swim in the buff.
I keep grabbing his neck scruff and squealing “Dude, we’re going camping!”

August 12, 2011

FREE HORSES!!! 52 thoroughbred horses in Oregon need homes. Will go to Sugarcreek this Sat. for slaughter. Owner died. His son wants nothing to do with them. Most broodmares are broke and some are in foal. Weanlings, yearlings, 2 yrs and 3 yrs old most are gelded. Friend of the deceased is trying to find homes. 440-463-4288 Barnesville, OR. Please copy and paste this if you have horse connections!

Colored In

August 12, 2011

My meager contribution to the fashion illustration gallery show that took place at The Gigantic Gallery here in Portland.

The One and Only

August 12, 2011

Do you ever have the feeling that the more you think about something the less you know? I brood and plan and add up the pros and cons and end up back where I started. Confused. And stuck. Immobile. For the past year I have felt a pressing need to figure out what the hell I’m doing with my life. And I always word it like that. “Em, what the fuck are you going to do!” And I’m not even sure what I mean but I worry about the answer. I obsess over it. I am wearing a hole in the floor by running in place! And so I have started to ask my mind to please be quiet. On this subject. It can be as loud as it wants about a host of other topics but I don’t need to hear myself arguing back and forth on the life issue. I want to give my heart a chance to speak. And for fate to work its subtle ways.
And so I have cleared the deck. I am single, I am weightless, and I am simply watching what comes up.
Yesterday I ran a series of errands on the cargo bike with Bello riding shotgun. He is heavy and the bike no longer shifts gears so we took a flatter and therefore different route. And there it was. The house. And my heart screamed YES! And my head jumped into the fray with a “But you don’t know if you want to live here and remember…” but I cut it off. What was that you were saying heart? Was that a motherfucking yes? Just checking. It’s really pretty simple.

Festival Life

August 7, 2011

Phew, day three! Dusty and hooked on kombucha.


Still Here

August 7, 2011


Pickathon 2011

August 7, 2011


So Far

August 5, 2011

So good.

End Of Summer Sale

August 3, 2011

All Spring 2010 merchandise is now at least 15% off at Shop.Filly!

Nat arrives this evening! With Nathan and the girls. They are driving from Missoula to spend a nice solid week here in Portland. We’re going to Pickathon, a stringed-instrument music and camping festival taking place this weekend on a farm outside of town. I will sell clothes and she will sell little tiny fairy food that is so realistic despite its size that you don’t know why you need it but buy it anyway. Obviously you buy it for the fairy riding on your shoulder and whispering encouragement. Or your seven year old girl who cannot, for the very love of god, keep walking once she has laid eyes on the miniature peaches. I remember that feeling. I had it big for the small glass animals that lived in the carousel at the stationary store. After offering my mom many solid and persuasive reasons why I needed the doe, and she declined, I would silently promise, on my good name, to someday return for her (the doe, not my mom).
Come by our colorful tent if you happen to be on Pendarvis Farm this weekend!

Days Since

August 3, 2011

“I was a dagger, but in whose heart?”

%d bloggers like this: