Friday, October 2, 2015

Designing again

...and feeling great about it.

I was in a slump for a while, not sure which direction to turn, and then something good happened.

I watched Iris- the documentary about Iris Apfel, the octogenarian New York fashionista. I fell in love with not only her fabulous personal style but her sharp wit and dry humor. Here is a woman who follows the beat of her own drummer and continues to enjoy the idea of fashion and dressing up on a daily basis. I was also quite taken with her husband, Carl, who just seemed to enjoy the ride. He lived to be over 100 years old, and I believe their relationship is what helped to sustain them both.

Her comments about contemporary designers who don't even know how to sew or drape made me laugh. How can a designer not know how to sew? I guess it's not uncommon. I was inspired to take the cover off of my 1955 Bernina and sort through my collection of textiles. And then I just started sewing.

The first two pieces were designed from vintage tablecloths. I'd been saving them for something but I wasn't sure what. I guess their time had come. Those led to several more tops and tunics that I designed from a mix of vintage textiles.  A friend commented on my Instagram post that they looked like "vintage Lorimarsha." She was right! I feel like I've come full circle and have returned to the style of clothing that I started with eight years ago.

We all go through different phases with our work and I love trying new ideas and working with different kinds of fabrics. But my heart belongs with vibrant vintage graphics and designing these new pieces brought a lot of joy.

I've also been working on new jewelry designs- still loving the natural gems but in larger size stones. I abandoned the sterling clasps for a stretchy slide-on style that is so easy to put on and take off.  The bracelets are of lapis lazuli, malachite, onyx, moonstones, African trade beads, jasper, carnelian and one of a kind Tibetan findings. They have a nice feel on the wrist.

I haven't decided yet whether to plan a trunk show or sell the pieces online. That's down the road. In the meantime, I am so happy to be back in the studio!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

We love LA

Carl and I bought a place in downtown LA in January and it has really enhanced our love for the city. He's there through the week and I visit one or two days a week.  It's a completely different experience than living in Redlands.  Small town vs. urban center- they're both winners.

We walk everywhere. It's a rare occasion that we can't walk or take public transportation to where we want to go. We're just a few blocks from the Fig & Metro station where we can hop on a train.  All of this walking helps justify the fabulous dinners at all of the great restaurants downtown. It seems like they're popping up on a daily basis.  Our favorites are Redbird, Faith & Flower, Church & State, 10e and Bottega Louie. There are also some classic bars for cocktails before or after dinner.  We especially like Seven Grand, the Library Bar at the Biltmore,  and The Varnish in the back of Cole's.

There's always something to do. Between all of the museums, galleries and public art there's no excuse to stay inside. LACMA, MOCA, The Getty, The Natural History Museum, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, The  Craft and Folk Art Museum, Armand name a few. The recently completed Grand Park, across the street from the Music Center is a great place to take the kids for a picnic.

I always have my camera handy. Here are a few recent pictures.

View from our condo
Nighttime view
Disney Concert Hall
Levitated Mass at LACMA
Rooftop bar at The Standard
Grand Central Market
The Bradbury Building exterior
Interior of the Bradbury Building
The Eastern Building
LA Central Library
View from the 17th floor pool deck facing west

Great floor for yoga!
Theatre district


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Waiting for the inspiration fairy to knock me on the head

I went downstairs to my studio this morning, hopeful for some kind of inspiration. I can't really say I've been stuck because I've been "busy" but not the kind of busy that puts me in the zone. Lately I've been longing for that kind of busy. The zone kind.

I've been thinking about creativity and all the ways I've pursued my own creative voice and am wondering what's next.

I began drawing a couple of years ago - a challenge to my inner critic
I feel like there's something new coming. I have no idea what it is. I thought it might become apparent, somehow.  Like something would just leap out in front of me. Some new kind of thought or vision.

But, no.

My last project was a collection of tablerunners and accent pillows
My sewing machine is just sitting there- used for fundamentals like hemming a pair of jeans. I did sew a few wheelchair/walker bags that I donated to my parents' assisted living community but it wasn't zone inducing work. Not even close.

My last clothing collection was Spring/Summer 2014

And then there was this outdoor assemblage that I did in the backyard
The assemblage. Well that was fun. An opportunity to play with the weird stuff I've collected over the years that I'm unable/unwilling to let go of.  That project satisfied something in me. But clearly, not enough.

And, when I go outdoors I'm confronted by my mosaic project. It's not like me to leave something unfinished.  But I learned that I have to love what I'm doing or just forget it. I'm talking about creative pursuits here, not all of the other things in life that have to get done. When this project began to feel like scrubbing the bathroom floor,  I stopped.

I learned that mosaic wasn't really my thing
I turned my drawings into a coloring book. This project came to an end and I haven't the energy to pursue the marketing angle. Where's the joy in that?  There was a day that I would find joy in that aspect of my creativity but it has slipped away.

I designed a coloring book. Felt more like a work project than a creative endeavor.

Handbags? I feel as though I've made thousands.

There has always been something that has peaked my interest.  This is a strange place to be.

The shrine and box phase...

Jewelry? Not feeling it.

 This in-between phase is uncomfortable for me....just waiting to get bonked on the head.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Does the VA hospital really want volunteers?

I decided to drive over to the VA hospital today to inquire about volunteering.  After navigating the huge parking lot and finding a spot, I walked through the park-like setting complete with a pond and gaggles of geese, and was greeted by dozens of happy faces and friendly hellos. I noticed a large number of walkers and wheelchairs and made mental notes about their designs. 

Inside of the building, an enthusiastic gentleman (a volunteer!) gave me directions to the volunteer office accompanied by a huge smile. His smile inspired me to smile. It occurred to me that it felt good to feel good.
I found the office and told the woman at the desk that I was there to inquire about volunteer activities.
 “We don’t have activities.  If you’d like to fill out a form we can let you know what sort of things are available,” she said while handing me a stack of forms.
“Well, if you don’t have activities, what do you have?”
“If you're selected, there are certain jobs that you can do to help out.”
“Oh, okay.  Well, that’s what I meant.”
“I thought you meant like parties or something like that.”
“No. I wasn’t asking about parties.”
“Just fill these out.  You don’t need to rush to bring them back.”
I folded the forms in half, put them in my tote and pulled out the sample wheelchair bag that I designed to donate to the hospital.  “I’m making some of these bags, are they something you could use here?”  Without looking at me she said, “Yeah, we’ll take those. You can just drop them off here.”  She turned her back and opened the door to an adjoining office.

Awkward pause.  
I think it was then that she became aware of my incredulous stare and tossed a half-hearted "Thank you" over her right shoulder.

I returned the wheelchair bag to my tote and walked out.
I don't want to judge the hospital's volunteer staff by one person who may or may not have been having a bad day,  but if she is responsible for the department, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to work with her.  How do I  get to the happy, smiling people? Maybe there's another entity with an established relationship that could get me closer to them? I need to think about this a little bit more. There's no way I'm dropping off my bags to her.
Decided to make wheelchair bags and donate them to the VA hospital. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Coloring book coming soon!

Coloring is Fun ©2015    

This is a project I've been working on for a while and hope to have published within the next 30 days. Watch the blog for more information!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Goodbye stuff...hello space

Over the past weekend I had a large sale and got rid of a lot of stuff. I sold and donated things that were a part of the adventure of acquisition. This second phase of a downsizing -The Great Purge of 2015- took me deeper into the jungle of my accumulated awesomeness. I revisited flea market finds and thrift store joys and asked myself "Is it beautiful? Is it useful?" I set up a staging area in the upstairs guest room where I stacked, sorted and priced. I spent a couple weeks preparing for the sale that I said I would never do. And then I did it. And it's over.

These thoughts:

Minor embarrassment with how much I owned.

Happiness to pass things on to others.

Sometimes it's hard to let go.

A sense of space and lightness. 

The secret knowledge of empty cabinets.

Smiling inside because I reached a goal.

A cautionary tale?

Think longer and more critically about what I buy.

Experiences rather than possessions.

And most importantly...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Moving On! Sale

The time has come to clear out and make space for space! For the past couple years I've been on a downsizing path and this year I've taken it to the next level. A week from tomorrow- Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd, I'm having a sale of the over-collected yet loved parts and pieces of our lives.

You'll find a pair of antique side chairs with red leather seats; a sweet little telephone table; a funky floor lamp; vintage, designer and contemporary clothing and accessories; jewelry including Bakelite and Mexican silver; unique home decorative items; loads of art and sewing supplies including textiles, buttons, zippers, leather scrap; vintage ephemera; books; a set of five nesting show display columns; manly stuff including car jacks and such; and so much more.

Moving On! Sale
Friday, May 1 8am -2pm
Saturday, May 2 8-11 am
1603 West Olive Avenue
Redlands, CA 92373

Here are a few photos: