Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bridging Cultures Through Design: Class Day 2

Spinning and felting!

I walked into a classroom with fleece from 3 different sheep - oh what a sight. We learned to clean the fleece and get it ready to be spun. We learned to spin the fleece both on the spinning wheel and on a drop spindle. And we learned to felt too!

I almost cried at this site .... so beautiful:

I've been saving my dog's hair for months for the right moment to use it in my artwork. And today I spun Bunny's hair using the drop spindle. And it worked! It actually felt pretty silky and soft. I guess beware if you receive a knitted present from me (and definitely don't get it wet!).

Spun dog hair:

xoxox Annie

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bridging Cultures Through Design: Guatemala

Up until about 3 years ago, I never liked the idea of traveling. I mean, I had traveled a lot ... but the concept didn't always sound that fun to me. I felt like I would miss something by leaving whichever city I was living in. So ridiculous, I know. But that's the truth.

Fast forward a couple of years ... and without a blink of an eye ... I found that everything was lining up to be a part of a design class in Guatemala. I mean, the the trip was practically planned for me. I didn't have to do much work. It just happened.

This trip is a dream for me. The vastness to the truth of that statement can not even be described in words ... dramatic interpretation ... or even a short skit.

The name of the course is "Bridging Cultures Through Design." The name of the course just makes me want to cry. There are 7 students, including me, an accomplished professor who works with 3rd world countries, and an assistant to her. We're all going to work with artisans in Antigua .... they'll teach us, and we'll teach them. Among the things I'm going to learn while there ... weaving, spinning, natural dyeing, felting, embroidery ... oh my.

There have been a lot of natural disasters recently in Guatemala - and it's ever-important that our class still go on our trip. The artisans get paid for teaching us these things - and this $$ is especially important to them right now.

This week, our class is in San Francisco together, designing rugs that we will be executing in Guatemala ... learning to felt and spin ... and doing research.

On Sunday July 4th, I leave for a total of 3 weeks - 2 weeks doing work with the artisans, and a week on my own doing God-knows-what.

I'll be blogging about my experience the whole time. I hope you enjoy! <3

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Halfshirt Heaven

I was wearing the below outfit today, and my friend said to me "You always dress proper ... not like a pilgrim proper ... but proper, put-together."

So that being said, halfshirts don't always need to go with booty shorts, or on stage at a strip club (but note that there's nothing wrong with that!) ... they can be worn on the street, with high-waisted shorts ... pants, whatever. Transform an old flannel manly looking shirt into a cute, girly halfshirt. I dare you.

The point is to have fun.
But I guess I'm grateful I don't look like a pilgrim in the process.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What Could Sustainability [in Fashion and Beyond] Mean?

Sustainability could mean more than using the right textiles, materials, processes, labor, etc – it could mean a greater sense of community. When people are happy … when they are participating and enjoying their lives … when they are accessing activities that aren’t retail-based ... they are consuming less and contributing more to the greater good of the community. That is certainly a sustainable concept. And it doesn’t have to mean that business is going to suffer.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Finding My Rhythm

Yesterday, I started jogging again. It had been over 3 years since doing any cardio, aside from the cycling that I do around the city. What does this have to do with design or anything creative for that matter? Well, read on.

I thought that I could never be able to jog or run again. About 4 years ago I got severe nerve damage in my left foot, and had a tough time walking ... so I of course had to stop every other aerobic activity.

And for the past 3 years, I've feared aerobic activity because of what I used to connect it to in my head - I was only working out because I was trying to manage my weight. It was always an equation to me - ok I can have this cookie if I go on a run later. Convincing myself to not feel guilt because I'll make it equal out. I've been sitting in this fear - and staying away from the gym and my running shoes for years.

But lately I had this drive to want to run. I decided, after weeks of thought, to put on my 6 year old running shoes. I didn't want to run to feel better about myself physically - I simply want to try and clear my head and sink into the music - and to see where my feet took me.

I allowed myself to go really slow. I allowed myself to stop if I needed to. I kept telling myself that I wasn't supposed to go really fast or be good right away, or that I needed to run 20 miles - that if this activity made me feel good than I would get better, slowly.

When I started singing lessons, I totally sucked. But I practiced and practiced ... and one day, I heard singing. Then I realized that it was coming out of my mouth.

When I started school, I could barely draw. I practiced and practiced ... and one day, I looked down on my paper, and there was a beautiful drawing from my hand.

The point is - I'm not supposed to be perfect at anything the first time I try it. Inevitably though, if it's an activity that makes me feel good, I'll find my rhythm. Sometimes its slow, sometimes its fast. But most of the time, it just is. And damn it feels good.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Japanese 3D Nail Art

My sister Joey just told me about Japanese 3D nail art. There are a few places in NYC that are doing this here in the U.S. ... but she'll be getting her nails done while she's in Japan next week (!!!).

This concept really sits well with me. I get really bored with the idea of red or pink nails - all the same color. Why not throw a fruit basket on your nails?

Check out some of the images I found:

Friday, June 4, 2010

An Addiction ... Sponsored by Agent Provacateur

Hi I'm Annie. And this is a real addiction. I love pretty, expensive lingerie. And I have to have it. Now.

It wasn't always this way. It began over 10 years ago, when I was a fitter at Nordstrom in the Lingerie Department. But back then when my addiction for pretty lingerie didn't have the same financial consequences. But since this is a progressive disease, I've always wanted more. And recently it's landed me in the Agent Provacateur store.

I already have a few of their bras, and what's so great about their lingerie is that they are supportive (I'm a 34d in their store) while being super sexy and fun. And they don't stretch out the way other bras do.

Don't get it? Go to Agent Provacateur and get fitted. Get a little taste. Then you'll want more more more ... Remember, this is about how it makes YOU feel. It can be your little secret.

Pretty gaga deliciousness ...

Check out Agent Provacateur here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Walking 500 Feet Tall in Clogs

The only part I really loved about the Chanel S/S 2010 collection were the clogs. I've never really been a fan of clogs, but Chanel somehow transformed what was once considered an unstylish, orthopedic-type shoe into something really sexy and what-looks-like pretty comfortable. Mostly, I love the wood. But I don't have $1400 to spend on Chanel shoes. Maybe one day [hopefully]. But not now.

I've been searching and searching for the right pair ... and finally found a pair of Jeffrey Campbell's at Nordstrom. Jeffrey Campbell's been really good lately about putting a spin on designer shoes - but without the price tag. I tower over most people in these shoes ... increasing my normal height of 5'6" into 5'11". I like this.


Jeffrey Campbell's version that I bought (there's a lot of other styles!):
And here are a few pics of me wearing them:

Buy Jeffrey Campbell's here.