Power Animal

by Valerie on Wednesday, September 22, 2010

power animal
sweater, bag, and loafers – vintage
jeans – Miss Sixty

When it’s pouring outside, all I wanna do is curl up on the couch with a good book and a fluffy comforter. But I promised Gab we’d cheer for her at her dance exhibition so the next best thing was this cozy sweater.

After penguins mate, they share parental duties. The papa penguin will fast and incubate the egg while the mama penguin travels to sea in search of food. He’ll brave the cold winter living off his fat stores for up to 2 months. When the mama penguin comes back, they switch roles. If the egg hatches before the mama penguin arrives, the papa penguin—even in a fasted state—can regurgitate a substance from his throat that will allow the baby penguin to feed for up to 2 weeks. Also, they are very cute.

Sweet n’ Salty

by Valerie on Friday, September 3, 2010

Sweet Tooth silhouette

Sweet Tooth back

Sweet Tooth stairs

Sweet Tooth detail2
Photos by Francis

My initial thought was to sneak some pictures in at an ice cream parlor like Cold Stone, but then I thought maybe that’s too literal? Besides, unless it’s Selecta’s Double Dutch, I’m just not a huge fan of ice cream to begin with. Much less terribly sweet, ridiculously overpriced ice cream. The truth is, I am feeling kind of phony wearing this dress because lately when I crave for something indulgent, it’s either a big bowl of pasta or something salty like dried meat, or—I’m embarrassed to admit—deep fried something. (There. I said it. Okay?)

Sweet Tooth monkey

But it’s still a fun textile anyhow. And it ties in so well with the new dress pattern. Hmmm, although now I’m wondering where to find spaghetti and meatball novelty fabrics. That’s something I can get really excited about 😀

Shelly's London shoes

Please disregard my gross feet. I wanted to talk about these shoes. While I was trying them on, I couldn’t decide whether they were ugly or awesome; now it’s pretty clear that they are ugly-awesome. Lucite heels always conjure up drag queen/stripperella connotations for me, but I like it combined with completely different materials—the natural wooden soles and pops of color from the leather straps. Three elements you wouldn’t think would go, but do in a strangely tasteful way. It reminds me how Ben Folds sings in Wandering, “Remember that? You told me you can’t match your clothes.” I imagine the person who designed these shoes had trouble matching too and appreciate how it looks very deliberate without looking so matchy matchy. Kinda like the way this picture is compared to the ones above it.

Neneee Sweet Tooth Dress and studded bangle – self made
shoes – Shellys London

Indian Summer

by Valerie on Monday, August 30, 2010

Indian Summer plaza

Indian Summer gate

Indian Summer detail2

exit to Indian Summer
photos by Francis

straw boater – ebay
Neneee Indian Summer Dress – self made
clogs – Miu Miu
gold jeweled bangle – thrifted vintage
leather watch – gift from mom
beaded bracelet – Gallop USA
friendship bracelets – thrifted deadstock

This fabric was a lucky find at the local craft store. While laying out the patterns to cut it into a dress, I noticed along the selvages it read: Inspirations by Terrie Mangat for Free Spirit. Curious about the artwork, I decided to do a little digging.

The first site that shows up in Google search results is Terrie Mangat’s personal website. Of course I was expecting to find a little insight to the artist, but what caught me completely off guard was the veritable goldmine of sparkling textiles displayed in her gallery. I’m skimming through previous collections and thinking, how neat would it be to make button-up shirt covered in funky fish?

Or a fun full skirt bursting with jelly beans sounds delicious!

images via terriestudio.com

The fabric I’m wearing is called Chandigarh, which I learned (thank you, Google!) is a place in Northwestern India. The images based on one of its many attractions called Rock Garden where chambers and statues are comprised entirely of salvaged materials like broken glass, china ware, and clay. Making something beautiful from waste—that is always something I can get behind, natch.

images via feelandreview.com

Life Needs Frosting

by Valerie on Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Francis has been going on about Cinnabon ever since I let him try one last week. While we’re having our morning coffee he says, “This would be so good with Cinnabon.” After dinner he puts his fork down and says, “You know what I’m craving for dessert right now? Cinnabon.” On the couch I am applying warm vanilla sugar lotion to my feet while watching the latest episode of Mad Men. He leans in with a big dorky grin, closes his eyes, catches a whiff and says, “Mmmmmm, smells like Cinnabon.” When it got to the point where he was whispering Cinnabon while brushing past me on the bathroom toilet, I knew for sure it was time to get this boy some Cinnabon.

“You can thank Reena for that,” I said. She always insists I try these amazing specialty foods that I wouldn’t be brave enough to try by myself (really, 880 calories for a pastry? crap). Stuff like Deli Manjoo and Beard Papa’s and in the case of our last date, Cinnabon. I love Reena.

Did I tell you about my ongoing theory that the better your are at driving, the better you are at handling life experiences? I am accident prone. You know the terrible Korean driver you poke fun of because ONLY SHE could hit a parked car? *ahem* That would be me. But Reena—I am constantly stepping on the imaginary break pedal from the passenger seat of her car. The lunatic of a driver. Even behind the wheel, she has the practical joking down. She’s the character who will tell you to roll up all your windows just so she can pass the deadliest gas and wait for a reaction. She does not warn you about it and refrains from laughing until just the right moment because it makes the stink all the more unbearable. EVIL.

There’s plenty of crude jokes and more use of the word ‘fierce’ than I can handle, but one thing’s for sure—it’s never boring when Reena’s around. We are different in more ways than we are the same, but I think that might be why we get on so well. She is the frosting to my Cinnabon.

Whoops, what happened to my blog?

by Valerie on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

wholesale ordersnew hang tags

Back from limbo. Ah, it’s such a relief to be done with wholesale orders after 3 weeks of solitary confinement! Okay, maybe I wasn’t completely alone. Evan Dando was still chillin’ in my squeezebox to keep me company.

Gosh, has it really been a month since my last post? I guess this makes me a bad blogger. Sorry sorry x_X Here’s the only conclusion I can come to—it’s either got to be sewing or blogging, but I can’t do both without one or the other suffering. Idk how Jenny Gordy does it! Sewing is the easiest thing in the world to do, but there’s no way around it being incredibly time consuming. Well, at least not without sacrificing workmanship. Which is something I’d rather not do. And you know how the internet vortex goes—one hour online leads to two hours leads to three leads to there goes my entire day. So ultimately I’ve chosen to make stuff first and then come to the surface for a breath of fresh air every once in a while. Hi, how are you?

Today is the first day in a long time I wake up without anything pressing to complete. I’d like to take a trip to Tokyo Mart and pick up a copy of ViVi. Maybe we could make a picnic of cheap beer and deluxe combo sushi. You know, the kind with packaged soy sauce and weird plastic grass separators. They always load it with too much rice and not nearly enough filling and then comes the carb crash 30 minutes later. But I guess you get what you pay for buying sushi at a grocery store, right? Tonight, it’s dinner with the bff and then Dinner for Schmucks. I’d really just like to get out of the the house if only for a short while before starting on a new collection again. I am feeling a little out of it and need something to pull me back in.

Robert Pirsig talks about this feeling a lot in Zen and the Art of Mortorcycle Maintenance—how traveling is better than arriving. He says he always falls into a period of depression after reaching a goal and has to reorient himself toward a new one. Even if he was a little cuckoo, still, it’s comforting to know I am not alone in feeling that way—at a loss for what to do next.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do last night though. And that was enjoy a meal that didn’t come in a bar or shake. For our ulam, I baked unagi and served it over a bed of brown rice. Then I used this recipe (which was incredible) and this (which was meh) for our side dishes. It was nice all in all.


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