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4.29.2006
CREEP jeans from Osaka, Japan came in yesterday! The inventive cut and superb fit is a patternmaking/design marriage made in heaven. I haven't carried jeans in a long time, because the whole trend of fake wearing-in, precut holes, etc. bores me. I only like new, dark denim, a blank canvas. I love these so much! Every seam, even the zipper is on a tight or large curve or an angle, the combination of the asymmetrical degrees chosen look so beautiful to me.

Modeled expertly by Alexandra, RedLipstick's #1 House Model. Closeup view of this and another shot on Flickr is worth it if you're interested in great jeans.
alexandra_2.jpgCU


4.28.2006
Strangely enough, {although not that strange if I'd thought of it first}, the studio building landlord thought my decision to close it was some type of a bargaining chip, he agreed to renovate the mess after I told him I wouldn't do it twice. If he'll repair and replace all that was damaged, and pay for a new roof, I may keep it open. I really had my mind made up, too. Shit. This just won't end quietly.


4.26.2006
The sad process of dismantling the studio building begins today. I gave my tenants 2 months to find another workspace, it's not easy here, especially with the real estate market as stupidly insane as it is.

I checked out the damage this am again, the building is starting to mildew and I suspect mold is on the way. I put on the heat last night to try to dry it out some more, it did help, but much of the interior is destroyed. A fucking shame.


4.25.2006
Stress relief embroidery! As difficult as it is, I'm getting very good at working with extremely thin, single layer jerseys, doing things like embroidering without stablizers, which creates a way more elegant result, just thread, no stiff crap on the back:
spines.jpgCU

Update on the studio building: I spoke with the roofer yesterday who confirmed my suspicions that the workmen who just replaced the bricks on 3 sides of the building around 5 feet from the top neglected to seal the roof, and actually left channels open that directed rainwater right into the interior of the building! I knew it. Shit. It was not a simple roof failure. Now my landlord wants me to shoulder the responsibility. Why? Because I guess it's easier than making them be responsible for shoddy work.

I already renovated the interior once, and I won't do it twice. I'm hesitant about telling Mr. Ervine about my decision, because he's elderly, and depends on me to take care of the building, so I feel bad about leaving it. I always, always, always shoulder the heavy responsibility, and take care of other people first, it's just got to stop at some point. This is the point, I guess. My body still hurts from working that huge industrial vac for so many hours.

Going into town this afternoon to restock. Not feeling that good today.


4.24.2006
As I lay in bed last night, aching all over, I gave deep and serious thought to maintaining the studio building, and decided it was time to let it go. I'm so, so tired of putting my money and time into other peoples property. I'm overloaded with responsibilities, and the livelihood of 5 artists depends on that building. Since I have no control over maintaining the roof, yet all the responsibility for when it fails, I decided definitively I want out. I need desperately to streamline, simplify and jettison dead weight/time and money sponges this year.

I already rented a storage space this am for the crap that's in my space, it's just a few blocks away. Going to shut it down in 2 months to give my artists time to find something else. Feel great relief already. Have to tell Mr. Ervine, my landlord, later today. We had more rain last night, not all the patches held, and I was back vaccing up water and placing buckets this am. No-one can do any work there until it's all dried up. The building is just too old, really needs gutting and renovation, and it's not going to be me doing it, for once!

Now I'm waiting for the roofer to call me to set up yet another time to go patch the patches, and we're expecting rain for another day. I can't wait for this to be done with. It's been great, and it'll also be great when it's over.


4.23.2006
Today was a looong day. Had a bit of a disaster at the studio building: last night it rained down so hard {woke me at 4:20am, exactly, sounded like someone was knocking on my top floor window} that some of the roof was blown off, and rain just poured in. No-one was working late last night, so many gallons got in before the leak was discovered this am. It soaked all the w-t-w carpets and some stuff of two of my upstairs tenants, and half the carpet of the third. Downstairs was a wet mess also, but not as bad. The buildings owner came right away and brought the roofer to patch it until it's dry enough to repair for real.

I borrowed a steam-vac, a big heavy industrial one, and I vacced the hell out of all the the carpets and floors for 4 hours after I closed up the shop. It sucked up an amazing volume of water, and until my back started to ache, it was kind of fun. Tommorrow, my "day off", I'll be cleaning the rest of the building up. It could have been much worse, I really only need to do a little plaster work, swap out about two boxes of ruined ceiling tiles and spot paint after everything dries. But what a mess. I'm so glad to be home right now.


4.21.2006
This year is a record-breaking Spring for the shop {so far}. There's a salon opening up in 5 weeks right next door, should add to the mix very well. My neighborhood is EXPLODING with new people. It's really all I can do to keep up.

Working on wholesale orders this am.

Artist Leigh Tarentino is having a show that opens tomorrow night, 6-9pm, at Black and White Gallery in Williamsburg, and it runs until June 5th. It's on Driggs ave between 9th and 10th street. Her work is really beautiful and amazing, it's ink on paper.

Wow!!

For my photographer friends, have you seen this PS technique: HDR?


4.19.2006
Went on a highly enjoyable shopping spree for the shop yesterday, will be spending all of the next 2 or 3 days steaming, pricing and re-arranging the shop. There are some lovely things out now, and I got them!

Bought a very weird, yet extremely appropriate pair of sandals for myself, they're Dansko clog bottoms, with black patent leather double straps over the toes, and an ankle strap! The Mulan. Such a mismatched combination, but it works, and they're so comfortable, which I need. Now I have to get a pedi, and I'm ready to let my dogs go free.


4.17.2006
A Fractal Chandelier!!!I have to make one! What a great design!


Schedule packed full as usual for the next 2 days...

I just had an appt. this evening canceled, {THANK YOU!} so I'm using the frees-up time to look closely at installin/using WordPress. Textilita will be first to migrate over, there are only 30 posts, and if something goes wrong, I can easily rebuild. Whoo hoo, Blogger is almost toast. I haven't figured out if it will allow me to have 2 blogs on the same server, I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it...anyone know? Oh wait, I have 2 separate accounts, I'm sure I can do it, it'll get installed twice, once in each account.


4.13.2006
I boldly took time for myself today, and went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to buy plants and just be in that reviving atmosphere for an hour. It was incredible. Banal nature pictures here.

I bought a new rosebush, a Mister Lincoln. Velvety, fragrant dark red multipetaled single roses on a hardy bush. He's kept company by a sedum.
mrlincoln_01.jpgCU
Mister Lincoln and I got off to a rough start.

I gladly accepted donut money from a customer the other day. It's now pinned on the wall for emergency donut needs.
donutmoney.jpgCU


Houseguest gone, that went ok. My brother kindly called my apt. "neat", ignoring the 4 giant piles of mixed textiles I didn't get to. It was fun. Slept on the floor last night, which is not fun. I do not own a couch. Rich was super exhausted and I let him have the bed. A little stiff today.

It's lovely and warm today, so I'm finally biking to the Botanic Gardens before opening up to get some plants for the shop planter.


4.12.2006
Oh so rare: me doing housework. Had to document it. My little brother Richard is in town for the Car Show {he's an automotive journalist}, and will be staying with me over night. It forced me to clean. Washed all the curtains and rugs yesterday, did bathroom and kitchen and studio, vacuuming and dishes this am before work. What a monumental waste of time cleaning is. At least he's seen my place before. My apartment is a textile factory that someone lives in. I never think about this until something reminds me.

Forced Spring Cleaning. I am happier, though, the house is so nice now!
toiletbrush.jpgCU


4.08.2006
Investigating WordPress as an alternative to Blogger. Discovered today via random conversation with a customer who happened to also be a programmer. Apparently, you host the app right on your own server, eliminating the "middleman" as it were. I have my archives on my server already, even if I can't figure out how/or if it's not possible to import them, I can still link to them. Blogger, you soon will be a non-entity in my world. You can stick that censorship where the sun don't shine.

April showers bring May flowers, and it's nice and wet out today. I love moisture in the air.
purps05.jpgCU


4.07.2006
Thank you David and Miranda for comments both public and private. I didn't mention that Blogger is not even hosting either RedLipstick OR Textilita! All I'm using it for is to post. I have separate server space, I always have. If my host {excellent, BTW, hostproof.com} has no problem with my blogs, where the hell does Blogger get the nerve to disable me from posting? I decided today to try to migrate them over to Movable Type, if possible, when I have time, whenever that rare moment may be. I want to get rid of Blogger 100%. I will not tolerate this.


Textilita was finally unlocked yesterday {6 days}, and I finally got an email from a real person informing me, then vaguely apologizing for it. I'm extremely irritated by this episode. According to Blogger, a spam blog is one that is meaningless gibberish in the posts, with many links all linking to the same spam site. Well, I'm not the best writer on the planet, but classifying my posts as gibberish is an insulting stretch. The links all go someplace different. If the algorithym had bothered to factor in that I also have been blogging using Blogger {same pro account} for a solid five years with 1006 different posts with the same criteria, then how did they arrive at the {automated} conclusion that Textilita is spam? Good question. And ok, mistakes happen, but then explain close to a week before a real person responded? Unbelievably bad customer service. If you're not ready to respond quickly to bugs, don't use your immature beta code in real life, guys. DUH. Run internal tests to see what you get back, and how accurate it is. Sorry, just still really PO'ed about it. I'm not the only person this happened to, I found lots of people posting on online boards seeking help.

I have tons to do, I made my life this way, and I'm not complaining, but I have NO extra energy for focusing on fixing stupidity like this. I will continue Textilita, but not right now, I feel like trashing the whole thing. I do want an outlet removed from this personal blog for interesting textile links, and it will continue eventually. There's now a backup of data on my machine that should go there, but I despise Blogger very much right now, and even resent using it to post here. I felt like I had to "prove myself" to continue the blog. I felt censored by a faceless entity with no recourse. Fuck that. Going to not think about it for a while, then get back on track, maybe.


4.06.2006
On Flickr:


Pricing and steaming my days away. Sewing and embroidering in the am. Talking alot. Tired of talking. This is high season in boutique land.


4.05.2006
UPDATE: The designsew.com hack has been fixed. They make other very interesting things like this.


Textilita is still DOA, no answer back from Blogger or Google, so still unable to post. Go screw yourself, fellas! I read what a spam blog is, and if their software thinks Textilita is one, they are really, really shitty programmers.

Poking around this am during coffee injection, I came across this site that talks about DesignSew, a program that grades patterns for you, so I did a little googling to try and find more info, and found that the site for it {http://www.designsew.com} was hacked by a turk promoting Islam. WTF??? A sewing software site. Sort of pathetic, eh? Can't hack into anything a little closer to home, bud? oh man...

Yesterday, I restocked like crazy, last weekend sort of wiped out the shop, it was so busy. Found great washed linen buttondowns for men, french hair accessories for ladies, tons of beautiful spring dresses, some brocade pencil skirts, etc. A good shopping trip, to be sure. Spending today pricing and steaming. Spent eight hours shopping, I know that it seems like great fun, and it usually is, but it's also tiring. At this point though, I have a solid collection of vendors and suppliers, so it's less tracking down, and more just choosing. Nice.

The awesome John K has started a blog!

Unbelievable weather goin on here today. It's now snowing chunks!
aprilsnow06.jpgclick for closeup


4.04.2006
I'm seriously hating on Blogger right now: Textilita has been locked, because their spambot has labeled it as a "spam blog". What the fuck is that? 5 emails and days later, and I've received nothing but automated reponses to 5 emails to Blogger and Google. What assholes. *sigh* Pretty fed up.

In the city all day, getting fun things like thread, lingerie elastic, men's shirts and tissue weight jerseys for dresses. Have to get outta here and away from the computer.


4.02.2006
The RedLipstick Dog Bar made its first appearance of the season yesterday:
dogbar_06.jpgclick for closeup


4.01.2006
OMG, it must be a full moon or something, there's so damn much going on right now, actually, probably it's just Spring... wholesale orders are coming in, as much as I can handle. Hopefully, the shop will be a sponsor for the Gotham Girls Roller Derby soon!! I used to watch this on tv as a really little girl, and I'm SURE it influenced a fuck you attitude I've been known to sport, and although physically I'm too small to really hurt anyone, I will still kick a door down if I have to. Incredible fun! Talk about spiritual daughters...:-> Here's proof it's all cyclical.

Shop has kicked into high gear, just like every spring. I have more ideas than ever, and wish I had 4 arms. My brother Richard is coming to visit in a few weeks. Planning a little reno for the shop, just some built-ins as opposed to freestanding shelving, some new hooks, maybe painting the facade, etc. I want to stencil/paint some wall decorations, have been planning this for a while, it will be implemented this month. Planting my boxes at the shop and studio building. I'm feeling roses this year, but will have to see what's available.

Some other stuff too, not fit for public consumption.

WhooHoo! I love spring. Hormones aplenty.