Get Ready! The Fall 2011 Friends of Filly Tour is coming up!
(If you are confused and don’t know what the hell a Friends of Filly is… click here)
(If your city is not on the list but you live nearby and want to host, email me emily@fillydesigns.com)
(If your city is not on the list and you don’t live anywhere near me… email me anyway let me know you’d like to host someday soon)

Fall 2011 Tour Dates, Times, Places

Portland
Thursday, November 10th
6-9pm
My House
5335 NE Mallory Avenue
Portland, OR 97211

Seattle
Friday, Novemeber 11th
6-9pm
Marissa’s House
17121 Hillside Dr. NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Bellingham
Saturday, November 12th
1-4pm
Annie’s House
1601 E. Street
Belingham, WA 98225

Seattle #2
Sunday, November 13th
2-4pm
Aubrey’s House
2231 3rd Ave West
Seattle, WA 98119

Olympia
Sunday, November 13th
6-8pm
Kaytlin’s House
400 Rogers Street, NW
Olympia, WA 98502

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Happy Ween

October 31, 2011

A true Trick and Treat story: When Sarah was a girl she came home with a plastic pumpkin full of candy. It was her reward for being little and cute and willing to ring the doorbell of a stranger’s house and present herself for viewing. Her Dad did not have a bucket of candy because he stood on the street with hands in the pocket of his windbreaker. But now that they were home he envied her loot and because he was still a boy on the inside, he set out to get some. For over an hour he presented his case. Because he loved her, because he cared about her health, he would trade her $5 and one whole box of Panda natural licorice for her trashy chocolate bars and peanut butter cups. That stuff would rot her teeth and should be disposed of. Really, how could she refuse? And so she agreed. And half-halfheartedly munched on the waxy stubs until the box was empty.
But when she went searching for the plastic pumpkin, and found it on top of the fridge, she was shocked to find only wrappers and her Dad’s sticky fingerprints.
Eat up before you get home.

End of Authenticity

October 28, 2011


(Gift from Josh: awl made out of sharpened drill bit, Suntour allen key and linseed-oiled wood)

All That Authenticity May Be Getting Old. It’s Handmade. It’s Unique. It’s Everywhere.

This was the headline of the New York Times’ Home section. And it made me really nervous for a second. Because authenticity is my guide in work and play. Does my line reflect my life and my life reflect my true nature? Yes, but it has taken so much soul-searching and so much soul-wrenching to get here. And the work continues, in all the little ways, like not shaving my armpits even though the babe at the rec center did a double take / cringe when he caught a glimpse. I am aware that certain choices will get me what I want, but at the cost of losing what I have. My own self. And so it felt like the Times was saying, hey, you know that motto of yours? About being yourself and running your business in a transparent and honest manner? Well, that trend has set. Better get ready for the next one… where we are inauthentic? Oh gosh. With heart pounding (just a bit, could have been the espresso), I read the article and put my fears to rest. She wasn’t addressing me. She was addressing the mass consumption of new and cheap “used” items. The ones seen in West Elm and Urban Outfitters. Ok good. Phew. Yeah, fuck those guys. They are the antithesis of true living. They move from one personality to another without a second’s thought. Recently they have been lovin the homey, rustic look. They promote these “personal pieces” that are simply poor replicas of the real thing. But the actual real thing, the truly authentic piece, will always be golden. An authentic item has an undisputed origin. It is genuine. Precious and rare. Hard to find. And harder to be.

Intern

October 24, 2011

I met a young woman this morning. She is a student at the Art Institute of Portland and is looking to be my intern for the fall. The timing could not be better. My gift is design, it is not the marketing, correspondence, shipping and data collection which make up the majority of my work day. Devon will take over those roles leaving me free to devote all of my time to shapes and colors.
The last, and only time, I had an intern was in San Francisco right after Josh and I broke up. I still cringe when I think of how I treated her. She had come to SF for the summer in order to work with me and I was a complete wreak. I slept all day and if I was awake I was crying. But I was her employer and so I tried to come up with tasks and when I failed I felt guilty and resentful. When the summer ended and I was free of her, a weight was lifted. She was no longer depending on me and I could set my own schedule, complete my own tasks, and that has been my motto ever since. So when I received Devon’s solicitation I was ready to delete it like I do all intern requests. But stopped myself with the realization that I need help. From someone smart and kind and organized. And I think I have found all of that in the composed and diligent spirit of Devon Burrus.
If I start crying and sleeping all of the time I’ll know interns are just not for me.

It Happened

October 24, 2011

Tonight I made acorn squash soup in chicken stock with Cherimoya chillies and molasses. Blended.
I wanted to tell Luke I bought a chicken. He liked it when I ate meat. I wanted to invite him over to share this meal. I wanted to see him. I want to see you, if you’re reading this. But I think you are not. Every point of contact has been severed.
I have refrained from talking about my break-up. Our dissolution is ours alone. Even though I have wanted to shout, in words, in this journal, how much I missed him. How I miss him everyday. I miss you everyday.
But I am not supposed to reach out to him. Is this reaching? Let him be, if you truly love him. Keep away, disappear. It will be just like it never happened…

Dinner in the Kitchen

October 24, 2011

During the summer Sarah and I pass each other in a rush of thin fabric and sunscreen. We are busy making the most of every last delectable second of sun and warmth.
And then the rain begins to fall and we rush indoors and find ourselves sharing space again. At the same time.
At first that feels tight. Crowded. Our rhythm skips, there is nothing left to talk about and the dishes are dirty. But before long we find it again… the shaded area where we overlap and match.
I join her in the kitchen for dinner, even though I already ate and have a dress to finish. I give my face to her. I invest, I feel safe, I feel loved.
Sarah is the woman who will debate the hem length of the new dress. She answers Bello even though his question came from my lips. She is long. And when the realtor shows me a house, she is there too, deciding if the other bedroom is to her liking. I am not living anywhere where I won’t find her warming up the kitchen on a cold night.

Up Before The Sun

October 21, 2011

It has begun. An alternate reality. Up before the sun, to bed past midnight. Alone most of the day. My mind on overdrive. Shapes, treatment, details, themes, needs, warmth, texture, fasteners, black, black and more black. Fall 2012, slowly coming into being.

Forgive me if I don’t pick up the phone. I am not home. I am in the studio.

Tote

October 19, 2011

I have always been a student, I have never been a teacher. Now I am both.

I teach Beginning Sewing at the Portland Community College. Tonight we start a new assignment, a huge canvas tote with three pockets. A market bag to rival all others. A bag big enough to carry brussel sprouts on the stalk.

We meet Tuesday evenings from 6-9. Join me next fall-

Shy Away

October 18, 2011

I need to get in the studio. I avoid getting in the studio. Anxiety builds, another day passes. My stomach hurts and I can’t catch my breath.

I need to get in the studio. But what about…the orders to ship, soup to make, laundry, yoga, the basement is a mess! Bello needs fresh air. I need another twenty pounds of figs… their season is almost over. At night I toss and turn and dream about dresses.

I need to get in the studio. But today was dry and warm and the sun lulled me into thinking my priority really should be the chickens. They need hay for the winter. On my walk back from the feed store I found a metal rake and a dozen pint sized mason jars. I bought Bello a rawhide. We ate plums from an overhanging tree. The day folded and we slowly made our way back home.
The house was quiet but the little room and the silent machine were not. They began their murmuring, tugging on my arm, wanting my attention, losing patience- they want to be important now. And I want to want that too. But I resist. I feel like a meaty mare, robust and full of run, being led up the ramp to the trailer. Buck, toss and shy away.
I don’t want to go.

But I do want to arrive.

Almost

October 18, 2011

So close. My studio is just through the door to my left. I’m almost practically in there.

Broken

October 17, 2011

When I was in Santa Cruz I made the acquaintance of a handful of boys making utility bags. Is there anything quite as appealing as cute young men making accessories? Out of cream canvas? Get in line, behind me.

But look what happened! My little sack is broken. Stained. By my own shaky hand and this delicious jar of coffee.
Drat.

All Grown Up

October 14, 2011

JJ, my new friend at the Matt Dishman Community Center, set me up with a weight circuit tonight. I said I would like smaller thighs, he completely ignored me and prescribed muscle building squats and lunges. After the third round, when I whined that I could already feel my quads getting bigger, he lost patience; “What, you want little teenage legs?! You want sticks like you in high school? You got some adult legs! That’s what you want.”

My thighs, for the first time, had an advocate. Adult legs. So well put. And yes, that’s what I want.

Out There

October 13, 2011

I made coffee at home. No more long mornings in the cafe. I have an idea for the first style. No more sketching in the workbook while sitting in the park. Today I enter the studio. No class to teach, no market to labor. No orders to ship, no house to view. No Thai Food dinner date. All I’ve got is the radio and time. In a number of months I will have a new collection.

There is a lovely woman, out there. She sends me little bits. She is downbeat with a low voice and long limbs, a painter, a mother, a collector of sorrow and of strength. I am thinking of her as I head up the creaky stairs, past my bed of rumpled sheets, into the former nursery where my sewing machine waits silently. Amanda, with her legs folded against her chest, rocking in a wooden chair, low light from the window touching the floor. Outside there are only a few remaining leaves on her Michigan apple.

Here I am

October 8, 2011

Has it already been two weeks since I returned to Portland? I have not had a moment to notice. Between shipping Fall 2011, organizing the house, teaching my class at the community college, working two days at the Farmer’s Market (to which I am rushing off in ten minutes), and seeing friends I have barely slept. Ok, not true, I have been going to bed at eleven and waking at 7. The days are dark and overcast. Bello seems sad. I am thinking of taking him to an animal physic.

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