Hey ya’ll! Long time no post, I know. I have been easing into spring, rearranging some projects and priorities while leaving ample time to enjoy the transitioning weather and gather my goals for the rest of 2014. Here’s another photo diary so you don’t forget about me!
This Memorial Day Weekend we reclined on the beach with ceviche and fanta, gathered in the park with some of our best buds, and partied with Navy officers for hours (it’s Fleet Week here in NYC). We also finally got to try out a new Spanish tapas bar in Greenpoint, El Born. Basically, a beautiful prelude to summer. But boy, do I need to work on my tan…
Click below for more photos!
With very little time or mental space to create new content this week, I thought it’d be a good time to share my winter photo diary. From snowy weekends to family gatherings and vintage holiday decor, it brings me a warm and fuzzy feeling to see these snaps, even when I’m so intensely longing for summer to finally descend upon us!
Incidentally, there was also a lot of nightlife going on. New Yorkers need some way to defrost, after all!
I’m thrilled to report that our Bloomingdale’s SoHo 10 Year Anniversary event was a success! To celebrate 10 years of being the top department store in SoHo, Bloomies organized a series of events featuring brands and bloggers to give shoppers an extra special experience last week.
Sarah Caye and I set up shop on the 3rd floor from 3PM – 6PM, modifying the complimentary tanks customers received when they shopped the Bout-Tee-Que collection with applique, cording, and slashing. Basically, it was a blast.
Check out some snaps of the event below!
A happy customer! This back wrap that Sarah came up with was by far the most requested modification.
She wrapped metal wire around slashed t-shirt pieces that round themselves out into cords naturally when cut into strips. She then added some beads, and wrapped the cording around the back of the racer-back tank! Voila—a brand new design.
I was gleefully stringing beads onto the slashed hems of tees all day. It was positively therapeutic, and I’m pretty sure I’m going old school on a handful of my t-shirts this summer.
Special thanks to Julie for setting this up and featuring us! It was an honor to celebrate the 10 year anniversary with Bloomingdale’s SoHo.
One massive challenge many creative people face, including myself, is an internal conflict about the purpose of their creative work. While some people spend their lives training in medical and scientific professions (who are artists in their own right, no doubt), the visual artists and creators of the world eventually arrive at a moment where they fear their work may be futile. Not enough. Inconsequential.
Even worse, those around them may wonder why they sit in their workshops or studios all day, fiddling about with markers, fabrics, paints, or photo processing chemicals. They may criticize or discourage them from pursuing creative expression.
“What’s it all for? Is creativity enough? How can we justify ‘making pretty things’ all day when there is so much wrong with the world?” Those are some of the questions I’ve asked myself in the past while working on Bombay Mermaid Trading Co., or even producing content for this blog.
The universe has a way of answering our toughest questions at the right moment, however, and Craftivism fell into my hands at the same time this artistic existential crisis was unfolding in my life.
This book, which officially launches today, is a celebration of the way hand craft and creativity of all genres has launched movements, changed viewpoints, and perhaps most crucially, helped people in need.
You may recall the more popular craftivist movements and revolutionaries in recent history, like Marianne Jorgensen, the Danish artist who covered an army tank with a huge pink quilt to protest the Iraq war, or the Craftivism Collective’s Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops campaign that launched during Fashion Week.
The introduction, by craftivism pioneer Betsy Greer, examines whether “activism” has to be an audacious or violent act to have real impact. She recalls two puppets portraying George W. Bush and Al Gore parading through the East Village on Halloween night, pre-9-11, and how the crowd’s jovial cheers had reduced to an apprehensive hush while the puppets passed by:
“I had always thought that activism had to be loud and in-your-face. Maybe the quietness of the puppets resonated with the quietness of the knitting, but it made me think about quiet activism and how craft could be a part of it.”
The book features the work both whimsical—like Guerrilla Kindness, a campaign centered around leaving works of art in public places for people to enjoy—and more intense, like the groups of Chilean arpilleristas who embroider and collage the tragedy their families suffered under the totalitarian Pinochet regime. There are projects that will bring tears to your eyes, like The Blood Bag Project and Quilts of Valor, and some that will inspire and excite you, like Mila Burcikova‘s recycled clothing company.
With the release of this book, I am reminded of the people in my own life who may not be at the front lines of revolution in the literal sense, but are very much changing the world:
My friends Lauren and Athena, for instance, who both work tirelessly in New York and New Jersey enriching the lives of school kids with art and music programs. My favorite copywriter and author, Alexandra, who routinely donates proceeds from her events and products to organizations that empower women around the world.
While revolutions are no joke and often involve bloodshed, there’s a new, modern kind of revolution. It starts in your heart, just like all other revolutions, but it manifests itself in your sewing room, on your canvas, and in your creative community. Your end product could educate, anger, feed and clothe people, open eyes and minds…
Thanks to the shrinking global community and the internet in general, it has never been more possible to reach out to the world through your creative work—and let’s not forget that aside from revolution, change, and progress through art, it is also one of the most universally recognized forms of therapy, healing, and paths to self-awareness. No art, no craft, is meaningless if it comes genuinely.
If this book taught me anything, it’s that you can’t let anyone talk you down from reaching out through your creativity, or undermine the importance of what you do. Let ‘em talk, but know that every stitch, every brush stroke, every loop around that knitting needle can be life-changing and important. You get to decide.
Craft on! And grab a copy of this book, asap.
So excited to announce that I’ll be hosting the Bloomingdale’s SoHo 10 Year Anniversary celebration’s DIY event. Ready, Fête, SOHO! On April 25th from 3 – 6PM, you can shop the BOU-TEE-QUE collection of tees, and with each purchase you’ll receive a complimentary tee to be customized by myself and DIY expert Sarah Caye, who also happens to be one of my besties. Come by for some cocktails, shopping, and DIY fun!
We hosted a similar event two years ago and it was a crazy success. We almost couldn’t keep up with the DIY madness, but everyone went home pleased as pie with our studded FNO shirts. You won’t wanna miss this one.
BOU-TEE-QUE DIY Party: April 25th, 3PM – 6PM at Bloomingdale’s SoHo: 504 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.
See you there!
P.S. I’ll be dropping by Caravan Stylist Studio to get pretty and polished before the event, and I can’t wait to share the results with you!
I couldn’t be more pleased to report that in 2014, I’ve been living up to one of my most crucial resolutions: to stay active and break a sweat. Let me explain:
One of my favorite summers ever was in 2007. I was young, spirited, in the midst of Fashion School, madly in love, and super fit. I spent weekdays in the Hudson Valley playing in the sun, clocking hours at the gym at night. I spent weekends in the city partying with friends, terrorizing Coney Island, the East Village, and any electro party we could find. I put all of my favorite music from those parties on my mp3 player and brought them to the gym, which kept me running on that treadmill like a track star (out of excitement for the weekend, natch).
Can you guess which of these activities made me feel so alive? While at the time I thought it was the cinematic, sequined social frivolity, star-crossed love story and vitamin D (a.k.a. awesome tan), it was actually the record amount of time I spent working out and staying fit.
Image via Ida Gets Fit
How do I know this? Life always takes a turn for the worse when you stop being active. Lack of energy, poor digestion, groggy mood, general blah-ness takes over when you don’t get your blood pumping once in a while. That’s a fact.
Every year since that golden summer, I’ve written “go back to the gym!” in bold red letters across my resolution list, just like everyone else. Finally, this year, it was no longer a cliche resolution, but a call to action.
So far, so good! I feel amazing (though very much in-progress), and I want to share some of the music I have on my own very multicultural workout playlist.
Hey Mishka’s Workout Mix!