Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fast Fashion: At the Cat Show

a cute gal and her "curly bear" breed cat, 

cat show @ Santa Monica Civic

Monday, August 9, 2010

an old project

I found this embroidery project that I probably started in the 80s.

thank goodness I made notations on what I had in mind!

it caught my eye recently -- it's the perfect sort of activity to help endure all the WAITING I'm undergoing. now I'll finally finish it!

the design goes on a rectangular piece of gingham. it'll become a huipil-style garment.
I'm pretty sure the motif came from architectural embellishments seen from the bus when I commuted from Pasadena to 8th + Los Angeles downtown LA.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

SpyCam: AMF Mar Vista Lanes

Originally uploaded by anne m bray

I loved this bowling look, spotted at Pepy's Grill, in the AMF Mar Vista Lanes

Friday, July 2, 2010

repurposed garments with hidden pocket = new dress

I wanted something easy, loose with a hidden pocket. (The belt rigging for the drains not very comfortable)

a new Indian skirt that was too tight in the waist and needed altering anyway
a woven denim/spandex shirt that I don't like so didn't mind cutting it up
soft cotton knit sample yardage from work (intended for mens loungepants or boxers)

I pretty much dove in and cut, shirred the top of the skirt; trimmed off bottom of shirt to make empire style line; folded, cut, sewed sides of pocket; pinned it all together; double checked stacking (I put pocket on wrong, had to fix) sewed. Haven't bothered to add more snaps on skirt half -- using safety pins to hold skirt closed. Don't think I'll wear this after I no longer need the secret pocket... will resew the skirt into something else.

this shows the inside and the pocket

here I am, outside the hospital

Sunday, June 27, 2010

lounging around with guests look

Here is the most comfortable thing: the inside out Stussy shirt.

Lisa and I both bought the same shirt on La Brea in maybe 95? It's made of the softest sueded cotton. Vintage skirt came from Larry Quint, acquired 97.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

breakfast out

My look for breakfast at Snug Harbor:

It dawned on me that my drains have little loops on them and I can loop them directly onto a belt. Makes the belt look like a Wonder Woman utility belt. I've draped a piece of fabric over the drain pods so that I don't flash anyone by mistake. No one wants to see THOSE -- ick. My giant hawaiian shirt fits better over everything and since it's gloomy this morning, I'll go with knit lounge pants (work sample, thanks esportia) as bottoms.

Friday, June 25, 2010

consider the apron

I just got out of surgery and have some extra "baggage" to carry around. Went out to a musical event last night. The inside out stussy shirt (places pockets inside, where I need them) wasn't going to work in public and I needed to come up with something.

1) Apron. Functioned but looked too weird added to big shirt + long skirt. Plus had to tie at empire level, not sure if it'd stay in place.

2) Small purse on a belt. This purse I got for African safari in 98. Has both removable shoulder strap and big loop to slide onto a belt. Swiped a belt from Severo (my belts buried somewhere). Functioned but looked like a huge goiter or deformed pregnancy. Considered naming it "Manny."

3) Chinese satin bag on belt. Perfect. Has a small strap to loop on belt AND drawstring to secure "baggage." Sort of Renaissance Faire looking.

So why "Consider the Apron"?
Exene was sporting one at the gig. She looked so cool.

Her red peau de soie tango shoes + white anklets rocked too.
Severo took some great pix. They're on my Flickr

Saturday, May 22, 2010

video of spy girl march-april journal

The ArtHouse Library is located in Brooklyn NY
201 Richards St #16
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Hours vary with each week.
Please check
here before making a trip out to the library!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

making clasp for book

here it is all finished and closed

Did the finishing touches on the Spy Girl sketchbook today and the process was more like some mad scavenger hunt in my house + garage. Since it's supposed to be a secret dossier, I thought a paper button and string tie clasp would be appropriate. Originally I wanted the mini envelopes to have these closures but glad I didn't find them -- it got so bulky with plain envelopes and clasps would have been too much.
My pal Mara sent me a link on "How to make your own button and string closure" which spelled out the process very clearly. (I would have done better if I'd had my printout on hand, but at that point I was tired of looking for things)

Hurdle #1: finding eyelets
I thought FOR SURE that I already had some. Looked in the box with snaps, etc. Found the eyelet setter but no eyelets at all. I could SEE them in my minds eye --AAARGH. Went through likely boxes in the garage. No luck. Found lots of OTHER things I'd forgotten about but no eyelets. Went and bought some. Only silver or gold available (wanted black). Sigh. Thank goodness for Sharpies.

The above link says to use a special large hole puncher -- well, forget that. I traced a penny and cut. I got better with practice. Needing the central hole had me thinking -- a compass would be helpful. Cursory hunt for compass unsuccessful. Good thing I could line up the hole puncher with a dot drawn in center of circle. (You can see below how off-center my first practice was.)

Hurdle #2: I used silk buttonhole weight thread for the string and it was a little wimpy. Beeswax. Where is the beeswax? Used a candle. Never found my sewing beeswax.

Hurdle #3: Button on cover needed to be in center of book because I unaffixed the back moleskine pocket to use as a flap that wrapped to the front. Could not use hole puncher. Exacto, razor blades... WHERE? Found exacto. (Also couldn't use eyelet setter but thankfully the eyelets came with a setter set one could hammer.)

above shows  
on right: first practice  
middle: #2 with string where I forgot it also had to be attached to book
near left: another button
far left: book cover with hole

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Excuse me while I get verbose...

Roz asked me to write about my experiences journaling during International Fake Journal Month (IFJM) -- Roz is the mastermind behind IFJM. I have participated the past two years.

For my first fake journal in 2009, I took on the persona of a Leonard Cohen groupie, journaling as "I" followed his North American tour. I repurposed a paperback of his collected poems - Stranger Music (Amazon aff) - that I had on hand.
In retrospect, I was overambitious. I kept at a fairly steady pace at first. It was inspiring to read a poem and then draw whatever came into my head flavored with where "I" was on the road. I experimented with materials to find I was drawn to colored pencils - they worked the best on the thin, cheap paper of the book. Things started getting difficult when Leonard went into Canada (territory I did not know) AND I hit some poems I didn't like. I remember using Google Maps to plot his route (and likely towns for "me" to overnight in). I used both the map view and the satellite view - to get an idea of terrain "I" was driving through. It became increasingly arduous -- like a bad road trip. (Last spread) "I" didn't journal about Canada. I did the mileage chart (I do that on real road trips too) made some comments and left it at that. (The pages in the 2009 April area are all fake journal. There were additional pages with some nudity which I later removed to open the blog up to a wider audience).

This year's experience went a lot better - many factors helped me in the process. I knew I wanted to try another fake journal, had been pondering what my fake persona would be and Spy Girl appeared under a bush outside my house. It was fate. In addition, ArtHouse (a collective in Brooklyn) sponsors journal projects and launched a "small monthly" project for March/April to go in a black moleskine and themed "this is where I live." I decided to combine the two projects. I used the Spy Girl drawing as fashion template and rendered what I wore. (I tend to dress especially wacky in the spring + summer). Because "I" was a spy, I would place paper evidence from the day in little manila envelopes stamped "CONFIDENTIAL." For media, I used Sharpies, markers and colored pencils - just as I did in my fashion designer days (94-84). I had a blast and the project also inspired me to dig deep into my closet so that I wouldn't repeat outfits too often.

Bonuses from both these projects are the additional blogs. Before April 09, I had one blog - Sketches and Impressions, where I post mostly sketches inspired by Danny Gregory's "Everyday Matters" book and group. The 2009 journal begat The Glutton's Progress which I now use for postings about travel and food. Spy Girl begat this blog which I will use for fashion musings and continued renderings of outfits. I also have a blog on cupcakes and one on surface design.

I am not a "hard core" journaler, indeed, I envy those who are. I tend to start out with the best intentions and then get distracted and fizzle out. I signed on to the fake journal project to help get me journaling in a focused manner ("If it's not really me, maybe I'll work on it more.") The results are mixed, but steadily improving. The IFJM experience is a lot of fun. Go ahead, give it a try next year. If it doesn't work out, it's not you that "failed" -- it's "you".

Saturday, May 1, 2010

spy girl's muse

my Spy Girl fashion figure template,
which I stapled onto the last page of the journal
I scanned, roughly cleaned and resized the original image in photoshop and printed it on card stock.

"I found the original drawing for Spy Girl outside my house under an oleander bush. She became my muse (and template) for this project. March + April 2010"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the origin of spy girl

I found the original sketch of SpyGirl under an oleander bush outside my house.

I was shooting "found objects" out on a walk for the Found It (Urban Artifacts) facebook group.
Saw a piece of paper, flipped it over, shot, uploaded.
Image haunted me so, after a couple of days, decided to bring it inside to my lair.
When I picked it up, the title appeared: Spy Girl

HAD to keep it then.
Unfortunately, the drawing had smeared a bit (snails, I think). But with a little photoshop touchup, I've got my new "fake" persona for International Fake Journal Month
the template for my March Journal project for ArtHouse [no longer online]

See the entire project here.

just like a good spy girl should.