Monday, November 30, 2009

A Bit of Mail

A couple weeks ago I got my first bit of blog mail!  It was actually an e.mail above is a just a photo of a letter from a Penpal (yep I still penpal with handwritten letters).
Very exciting and full of Questions that I thought you would all like to hear the answers now that I have a little bit of free time between projects.

The message is as follows

"This morning I found your site off the links page on galadarling.  As I was browsing through your posts, I noticed that you don't seem to ever use patterns.  Did you just wake up one day and not use them?  Did you ween yourself off of them?  Did someone teach you how to write your own?  I would love to be able to make beautiful clothes without using patterns, but I'm too intimidated to start.  Your blog makes me want to jump up and sew stuff though.  It's very anti-time wasting. 

My Response

Hello Meli!
    Thank you very much for the interest and I am happy to know that my blog is not for nothing and is an insight for people somewhere out there.

I actually do use patterns a lot but it is more of an after step.  Majority of my work is done with draping and then I use the piece to make a pattern with afterward, if I decide I want to sell it and need to do production.   I learned pattern making skills in College at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago but have since refined them.  I also learned about grading and production patterns while I interned with Gary Graham in NYC.  A lot of the time for simple shapes I don't need to use patterns because they have been ingrained into my head from years of using them and teaching pattern drafting at Columbus College of Art and Design as a Continuing Education Instructor.

Don't be scared to just jump in with fabrics and see what you come out with.  A good way to get to know patterns without having to depend on them all the time is by taking apart old clothes or cheap forever 21 outfits.  In the process you will also learn about the inner workings like facing, linings, and finishing, etc etc.  It's a little trick I have all my students do before they get into the pattern process and I have them keep the deconstructed pieces until the end of class so I always have something to reference back to when they have questions or can't quite picture how everything fits together.

Good Luck with Everything!

If anyone has questions please feel free to post them and I'd be happy to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

Friday, November 27, 2009

No Shame in tears

Sometimes it really is neccessary to have a good cry.  To just let it all out the angst the frustration the disappointment, so long as you do not wallow in it.

Today was one of those days for me.  Due to unforeseen circumstances my monetary situation became very thin.  Things happen and we must take responsibility and do what is right, none of this selfish baby whining of but but but...... But nothing if you have to use that money someplace else and forgo that special something you had been saving for that's that. 

It hurt me alot to realize that I won't be getting my long coveted digital SLR Nikon D40 camera.  All my hard earned craft money had other obligations suddenly to fulfill.  I felt so frustrated and depressed I turn up Beastie Boyz "Sabatoge" the entire way home from work as I cried and yelled my eyes out.  Not only that but I suddenly felt like being entirely selfish and just quitting all my other obligations this month.  The substance contest, Ohio Art League Submissions and Holiday Hop Underwear.   I picked myself up and re-made my lists and am once again back on track.

Substance Design contest pieces are in the finishing stages.  I'm happy and I hope I win that $1000.00 prize.  Also doing a last minute photoshoot of these pieces with the Amazing Chip Willis before I turn them in.

Here is a sample of the Hand beading.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Truth about Boring......

I love boring monetanous tasks.  I think they are fantastic.  Repetition of boring handiwork is a strong point for me.  This is why I love knitting, crochet, ruffles, pleats, smocking, embroidery and beading.  Most people would get tired or bored of them and give up but I thrive on it.

It gives me much satisfaction to spend hours meticulusly making even stitches.  I feel like overall these small handiworks end up being brilliant details.  It also helps to sell because not many people want to take the time to do these things. The only difficult thing is how do you put a price on your time and still make it affordable as a piece?   Or do I just throw caution to the wind and put it out there like a starving artist?

Hand Smocking on vintage linen to make a skirt.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's all in the advertising

The hardest thing about being independent in every way shape and form is advertising myself in my opinion.  I'm not the kind of person who likes to toot their own horn and shout from the mountains about my design abilities.   I struggle to even do a resume because I feel weird listing all my good accomplishments and rewards even though that is what you are supposed to do.

I've found the best way for me to get over this is by donating items to other blogs, and charities and let them speak for me.   It is also a clever way to get rid of inventory that just for whatever reason isn't moving.

Such as this Shawl.  Nothing wrong with it very simply design made from cotton/linen blend on my knitting machine.  It had hearts on etsy but alas I have been sitting on it for over a year now.

At least someone loved it enough to give it a home and plug about me on their Blog!

Aside from that I've also Donated to the "Available Light Theatre" and "Fuse Factory".  It's all a work in progress so I gotta keep doing it.  Eventually it will all pay off.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Halloween Highball the Overview and Photo Explosion

That basically says it all in the title.
Overview:  Good intentions but bad organization and not enough attention to the event schedule and how to control it.  Not to forgot there were NO GUIDELINES given to any judges regarding any of the costume contests (especially the Designer Fashion show)

My first Quib was they used the word Couture.  This is for sure NOT a Couture Fashion show in any way shape or form.  You wanna know what Couture is?! Check out the Wiki on it here.  I hate hate HATE the misrepresentation of words especially in fashion.  How people can throw around the word "couture" so much and inappropriately baffles me.  It's like false advertising to me.   They should use the word Avant-garde more often.  It fits better for sure especially being halloween and for the creative costumes.

Judging was just bad....... at least for my portion in the Fashion show they were supposed to judge based only on the costume.  We were supposed to have 3-4 looks that represent us as a designer and then one Huge Costume piece.  They picked the most tamed down collection and the only NON-costume design up there.  Also not the judges fault but the slideshow failed halfway through so no one knew who's designs were coming down second half and the sound was cutting in and out so badly that no one could hear what was being said.
I heard that people thought my MAX costume was my Fashion show Costume and because I was last before Althea Harper a lot of my pieces were mistaken for hers and my costume was assumed to be hers.   During the line up her Costume piece never got back up on stage so mine was last and then the assumptions just rolled.   How irritating eh?  This was a problem last year also because while my pieces went down Terri Stevens name was flashing so much credit and aww was lost.

There were good points about it also!
Definitely made better connections/friendships this year with other designers that were a part of it last year as well.  Hair was AMAZING!   We were provided MUA's this year.  Redress did a wonderful job organizing the transport back and forth for the models and keeping track of models.   I think everyone put in valiant efforts it was just sadly not enough to prevent bad judging, sound, visual and models from stealing garments.

Now for the Photo Explosion with very little commentary from moi!

At the Hair Salon "Phia"

In the line up Waiting............

Creme one shoulder pin tuck and pleated dress

Leather Mutton Sleeved Jacket with Colonial draped skirt

Gingham Silk checkered halter full gown

Just me in my costume

My Costume piece based on a sea anemone

To see more photos from the event this year and last year go here!
I wish I had the room and gusto to showcase everyone but I don't.

Here is a little snippet of Wilde Hunt Corsetry

Models: Angela Makeever, Samantha Trotter, Priscilla Dwomoh, Gloria Nyagea, Carolyn Cline, Ludie Senatus, Patti

Photos: Robert Walker, Rob Manko, Andrew Blight, "Walker Space"

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Truth about..... ZOMBIES and me

This is actually a truth that has NOTHING at all to do with Design but I wanted to post it before it came too far away from Halloween.

I have this odd obsession with Zombie Apocalypse's.  I'm a bit terrified of it all.  To the point that where ever I go I need an escape route.  I mean EVERYWHERE.  I tap on walls to determine if it's plaster or drywall and keep track of multiple exits, air vents and ceiling structures.  I memorize food storages that different places would have and their safety levels.

For instance Super market tons of food!  But lot's of open space and shelves that can be pushed down by force, not a lot of hiding spots or weapons.  Also usually don't have reachable ceiling rafters and lot's of open glass in the front.  Also too many entry ways for zombies to potentially break in.

The movie Zombieland was amazing and added new things to my knowledge of things to be wary or during a zombie apocalypse.  

Such as the Rules.   I will only go into the First four though because I feel these are pretty important.
1. Cardio  (Obviously you gotta be able to outrun them)
2. Beware of Bathrooms (they will creep up on you every time and it's an easy place to get trapped, so far the best bathroom to escape zombies is Tuttle Crossing mall,  they are huge and have this extra shelf in the back you can sit on well above a zombie's reach and crawl over the top to vents and other stalls)
3. Seatbelts (another Obvious)
4. Doubletap (make sure that sucker is DEAD and not getting back up)

Not sure exactly when this entire obsession came into play into my life but for as long as I can remember I always have made an escape route/survival outline.  I will watch any and all Zombie movies also.  It never scares me though just makes me feel like I am educating myself and doing my homework for the future.

I must work on that Cardio the more and more I think about it.  Also "Limber Up" is what my Wii Fit Yoga is for.  I digress!   Tomorrow the truth on how the Halloween Highball went loaded with pictures from multiple generous sources!