[wpvideo meUd74jL] I finished. Fall 2010 is done. Fuck. Damn. Holy shit. That took so long! And so, to honor this occasion, lets take a look back at the previous three months in the studio. This is embarrassing. Really. Terrible expressions. Terrible voice. Terrible moves. But honest. Here is an authentic and ridiculous version of my work days.
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This was the day. Spring 2010 pieces were ready to be shipped. I started early, coffee in hand, boxes prepped, new printer up and running and Cat Stevens intermittently crooning and screeching on the turntable. Shipping is exciting but it is also terrifying. I am excited to send these beautiful clothes into the world. But I am also terrified that I will fail to meet expectations and 'they", "you", "me" will not like what I have done. My heart races and clenches, I eat a lot, I want to stop, I am scared and sad and alive and exhilarated.
The boxes made it to FedEx at 9pm. The clothes are tagged, folded, stacked, bagged, and packed safely inside a padded vessel. They are ready for their long journey to new homes.
I am bird-sitting for Sarah Hendrickson until she finishes the run at her house. Three additional hens running around with their little football bodies and belligerent eyes. You know, hens make good company. It is fun out there and I want more ladies of my own. So, with a larger family in mind, I began building my own chicken run. And yes, it may be overkill, but I sunk posts and went about constructing a proper fence. I think Josh would be impressed with the number of little nicks on my hands.
I am sliding. I have a couple of Fall 2010 items to finish. I just don't want to be inside anymore.
Sunday morning in the kayak. I spent over two hours exploring the perimeter of Smith Lake and spotted two juvenile and one mature Bald Eagle, a Northern Harrier, an Osprey, Herons, Coots, Red-winged Blackbirds, Buffleheads, two Canada Geese and...a flock of ambiguous water fowl with a grunty little call. It smelled like summer this morning.
I work from home. I am home, inside, alone, a lot. I start to feel that I am home because a. I have no friends. b. I am boring. c. I am insecure and can't / don't want to venture out. That I am working is never on the list. I tried renting a studio. I went to work. I worked. I came home and read or gardened and was happy to be back. But creativity comes at odd times and can not be reduced to a 9-5 slot. Often I would be in the studio and not have anything to do then get home and feel inspired. I spent countless nights reading when I could have and wanted to be sewing. I missed deadlines and that collection is my least favorite. So here I am, in my pajamas with my coffee, looking at a top I worked on until midnight and threw down in disgust. It is crumpled just beyond the computer. I am crumpled in front of the computer.
I resent the days I don't have right. Right is a delicate mix of socializing, exercise, adventure, love, productivity, alone time, and rest.
I keep reminding myself that this day counts too.
4-8-01: "We leave for Europe on Tuesday. I'll be there 1 1/2 months. I miss Bello already. Amy had a dream where she and I were staring at each other through a hole in Josh. I gave him a mohawk today. Bikes and Europe. Oh my gawd."
5-8-03: "Went to the CCAC fashion show tonight. I am done! Josh is coming up to get me and take me home!"
3-1-06: "The day I should be shipping my first delivery. BUT as befalls most new designers the manufacturer isn't done. So tomorrow I will ship."
5-10-08: 'I am sleeping in jeans to stretch out the upper thigh. So tomorrow up earlier. Oatmeal, paint here and the studio, desk search, square dance? Signed up for Shaun Deller's tracking class. I can't believe I did that. I like it in Portland! Despite the rain. Took a bath with a j, cried a little. These jeans feel terrible."
4-8-10: "Sunset. Bluffs. Out in a sunny hailstorm earlier. Twice. Completed a jumpsuit. A mechanic's suit actually. 3 days and many adjustments. Head down. Hopefully Filly can drive herself. Really I just work in the studio right now. Talked to Josh. I feel dry, shallow, scratchy, acrid. Like chapped lips. I am wrung out. Almost done. Writing with mittens."
I like to walk at dusk and peer into houses. The lights have come on but the curtains have not. Everything is illuminated. What a treat to witness someone else's evening routine. Dinner, TV, last-minute gardening, decaf coffee and the news on the radio. Maybe a book on the porch. I like to see how they have arranged their house and if they have good taste. The most exciting houses are those with many people gathered around the table. I stop and stare for a bit. I try to figure out the relationships and see what they are eating. They look happy.
On Easter Sunday we were that house. If I passed by, Bello in tow, I would pause and smile and feel hopeful. It was a holiday and this is what you do. We were just right.
Andrew Joseph Weaver brought chocolate.
I dreamt last night that Kenya bought another house and I went to check it out. I walked in and knew this was the house I wanted. It was one big room, a square, with lots of wood. Wood floors, partial wall paneling, and a wide staircase leading to the bedrooms upstairs. Along the back wall was the kitchen and across from the staircase was the fireplace. That was it. One room. In my dream the ceiling was low, there were few windows, it was really dark and Kenya owned it but I would skip those parts. It was actually a combination of Josh's house and The Brown House on Berkeley Way. Okay House God, a medium-sized bright wooden square house with a sunny large yard and a double garage that I could turn into a studio. In my neighborhood, in my price range and in the next month!
Taxes! This was the first year taxes were fun. I got to hang out with Emily. I got to sign my name, with a grand flourish, on many documents that looked really official but that I did not have to fill out. AND I barely owe any money.
This "appointment" was another example of how weird Portland is. Everyone is the same age (if "the same age" references similar lifestyles instead of time on the earth). Everyone can meet in a coffee shop in the middle of the day. And everyone has chickens. Has this happened before? A crushing influx of aligned young adults take over a city. Can we support each other's entrepreneurial zest? Can we all work part-time? Will we really keep eliminating car lanes for bikes lanes and MAX lines? What about another Farmer's Market, an Urban Farmers Collective, an Educational Future Farm, and your own plot brimming with veggies? How about affordable big-boned houses with wrap around porches? And dogs don't have to be leashed on city streets! What will this experiment look like in years to come? What does it say about the future when even the taxman is beautiful?
A satisfying evening. Beautiful (and pleasant!) experimental film shorts curated by Deep Leap Microcinema, the fine words of poet Brandon Shimoda, and the consistently odd and fascinating WHY I MUST BE CAREFUL sound duo. Followed by beer and a drawing game. Ahh, so enjoyable.
There was a not so enjoyable moment when my hand was closed in the car door bruising the middle finger and releasing a jolt of adrenaline shortly before bed. But doesn't Maggie look pretty in that rose blouse?
It was Sunday brunch at the home of Jenny and Ed Cook. We were there to celebrate. Just last week Maggie received a Master's Degree in Publishing at PSU. Very impressive.
The setting for today's brunch was impressive as well. And served as a tickling reminder that what you are looking for, you will find. The bottom image has become my go-to source of inspiration for Fall 2010. It is a tear from New York Magazine and the imagined home in which my designs reside. I have stared at that room and fantasized about the woman who lives there. I want to be there. I want to be her. This morning I felt as though I had stepped into my workbook and could no longer decipher art from life.
Sarah's mom is visiting. What a woman! As expected, she whooshed into our house and immediately made it more alive. She brings magic with her. Maybe it is because she believes so strongly in the power of destiny or maybe magic just follows her around. Like a child. Like Sarah and I. We all follow her because she loves living.
My friends. What a relief. I can put to rest my scorching need to be productive, and just sit, listen, have a glass of wine, and share soup. Sometime after 1am we finished Godfather 2 and said our goodbyes. One ambled next door to her tall bed and soft-voiced prince. One called to her kitty and settled upstairs in a room of white. One tied tightly her scarf and rode steadily, tennies getting wet, to a delicate man pretending to be asleep. Two stood in the doorway and stared down the rain, turned up their collars, and walked in compatible silence to their large house and richly smelling bedrooms. I helped Bello up the stairs, slipped into newly laundered sheets and opened to the last pages of Dillard's fine work; "I am here now, with this my own dear family, up here at this high latitude, out here at the farthest exploratory tip of this my present bewildering age."
I know Fall 2010 is late. I hear you boutiques. You are ready. And I am not. Designing this collection is taking longer than expected because I am struggling to uncover something new, something now. I want these designs to speak for me right now. At this place in my life. And so as I move through this collection I am asking myself, with each piece, what am I saying? Is there a direct line between this dress and my identity? It is a circular exercise in knowing myself, expressing myself, questioning myself, knowing more truly, expressing more and more authentically. An inward spiral toward understanding. A winding road. Not a straight line. A discovery. The cutest pair of twill drawstring sweatpants.
Let this be a taste of the months to come. Womenfolk reclining in the park, talking and reading and eating. The sun is out and our hearts are at ease. Even our "List of Wants" is easily attainable. Maggie would like time for coffee dates. My ideal mate wears sweaters. Her's would not be too skinny. I want to camp more. Would you like another hazelnut, they are locally grown. Yes, thank you, would you like a wheat wafer, just wheat and salt.