Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Guild of Tailors

"As early as thirteenth century, an enterprising French tailor devised a crude set of basic patterns made from thin slabs of wood. From these, a few varieties of design could be developed which reflected the fashionable silhouette of that era. But the Guild of Tailors restrained him from commercializing his wood-pattern slabs-because, in so doing, he might reveal the secrets of their profession to the common classes. Even in this modern day, when so much depends upon the cultivation of our creative minds in America, we have modern versions of that "guild of tailors." We have craft men and creators who are jealously secretive of their knowledge. These shortsighted individuals fail to realize, however, that, through basic principles of a craft or art be made available to everyone, only a limited number of truly creative and artistic persons rise to recognition and leadership in the interpretation of this knowledge. And these few people, in each generation, receive recognition and tribute commensurate with their individual talent and ability.

Our modern "guild of tailors" overlooks the fact, too, that our present day art has been endowed by the unselfish teachings of artists of a former day. Without this endowment, how little could our artistically gifted men and women of today reveal their talents! Costume designing is an art. As in all other related arts-painting, music, sculpture,architecture,and literature-ambitious students find much available reference material for supplementary reading. They acquire their first basic training in established schools; they go to museums and libraries to search further-to gain that deeper appreciation of what has been accomplished by artist before them."
Harriet Pepin Modern Pattern Design 1942

I myself have been guilty of this. Just think how much more we can accomplish as a group than we can as individuals. It's better to relish in the fact that we help each other move ahead than to rot in jealousy or envy of others work. Nothing we create is new, it is only our interpretation of what has gone before.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Who's Going to be at Stitch 2007!

The verdict is in, after a 7 hour long meeting on Thursday we have chosen our Stitch participants. It was a tough job with so many awesome applicants, but we only have space for so many and we had double the number of people as we have space available apply. Nov 10th in Austin is going to be beyond awesome. Just check out all the craft bazaar vendors and runway designers we have lined up.

Craft Bazzar
31 Corn Lane
All Dressed Up and Shy
Anne Marie
birdcage jewelry
Blue Genie
Bob and Truffle
Bolsa Bonita
Boudoir Queen
Burger and Friends
Cahoots Handbags
Coco Couture
Dawn Houser
Felt Good Fibers
feto soap
Figs & Ginger
Filly Designs
First Samples
Flux Studio
Fondue Art & Design
Fort Cloudy
Freshie & Zero
Gauge Knits
Handcrafted by Vera
House of Dang
Huge Wonder
Husak Design
I-Rok Gems
JNA Designs
Bun Bun Babythreads
Juggernaut Art Studios
Kailo Chic
KK Shirts
Let's Get Healthy
Lollibomb Beauty
M Squared
M. Schopper
Made by Hank
Madeline Wood
Margret Helene Designs
Merchant Ship
Model Citizen
My Imaginary Boyfriend
Optic Waste
Ornamental Things
Pagano Designworks
Pamela Michelle
Queen Puff Puff
Rebel Craft Alliance
Round Robin Press
Ruffeo Hearts Lil' Snotty
Rural Rooster
Scardey Birds
Sheriff Peanut
Southern Draw Studios
Sparklepants Industries
Squasht by Les
Steel Toe Studios
Sublime Stitching
Swear Jar Designs
Take Off Your Clothes
Tanya Monique
tasty jewelry
The Cherry Box
Tyler Bender Book Co.
Victrola Design
Viva Ortegacy
Will Heron

Coco Couture
Rebecca Yaker
Louise Black
Boudoir Queen
House of Dang
I-Rok Gems
Madeline Wood
Squasht by Les
All Dressed Up and Shy
Built by Wendy for Simplicity
Hot Pink Pistol
Tina Sparkles
Naughty Secretary Club

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stitch Applications Due Today!

Stitch Applications are due TODAY!

“The town’s most interesting night of fashion-Stitch, a runway show that’s as much about the community as it is about the clothes” – NYLON Magazine.

So if you have been debating whether of not to come to Austin, TX and show your clothing line on the runway or sell you handmade goodies in the craft bazaar on Nov 10th, debate no longer. Stitch must have your application in today as we are choosing the designers and vendors on Thursday. Click here to apply to Stitch as a fashion designer, click here to apply for a craft bazaar booth, click here to apply for both. We can't wait to see your fantabulous handmade goodies!

We are also still interested in swapping sponsorship packages for tote bags. If you want your tote bags in the hands of 500 Austinites email Jennifer at info@naughtysecretaryclub.com We ask that the bags be large enough to hold magazines and that you can donate at least 10. Tote bags must be received by October 1st.

Want to sponsor Stitch? Join companies like Simplicity, Etsy, Duncan, Sublime Stitching, Sakura, Baby Lock and more by supporting Austin’s largest independent fashion show and craft bazaar. We have packages for as low as $100! Email Jennifer at info@naughtysecretaryclub.com if you are interested.

We’ll see you at Stitch Nov 10th at the Austin Convention Center (note the new bigger location!).


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Smock Shop

About a year ago a friend introduced me to the art work of Andrea Zittel. The artist statement on her website is as follows:
The A-Z enterprise encompasses all aspects of day to day living. Home furniture, clothing, food all become the sites of investigation in an ongoing endeavor to better understand human nature and the social construction of needs.

Her work amazes me I've spent many of hours combing over her book Andrea Zittel:Critical Space, it totally intrigues me, especially Uniforms. I had not been to her website in a while so back in April I check in to see what interesting new incite Andrea had brought to the world and discovered Smock Shop. Andrea has chosen 10 artist (and now added guest artist) to create what she calls "smocks"and sell them at a small retail location in California and then a larger show at Susan Inglet Gallery in NYC, in September. I was delighted, I had to be apart of this, so I e-mailed everyone listed on her site. Out of her 9 contacts, 3 e-mailed me back happy about my enthusiasm and forwarded my info on to Andrea. After 3 months of corresponding I am her new test subject and will be work with her doing, as she calls, "remote smocking". The pattern is in the mail and I can't wait to make it my own. For each smock I have a $35 budget and I will receive $100 of the sale proceeds. From this I've learned it never hurt to ask, the worst that can happen is rejection, and you never know unless you try.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Call to Entry for New Art in Austin

The show formerly known as 22 to Watch is calling for entries.

Here is a link and some info:


CALL FOR ENTRIESDeadline July 16-- Submit on-line application, 5 images, bio, andartist statementThe Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) is currently accepting artists'submissions for New Art in Austin, which will be on view at AMOA-Downtown February 15 -May 11, 2008. The third in a triennialshowcase, the exhibition spotlights emerging artists in ourcommunity. A statewide curatorial team will evaluate the work oflocal artists who have been watched by AMOA staff and Central Texasart professionals over the past three years. Through thisexhibition the museum seeks to create a dialogue about contemporaryart in Austin, attract attention to artists within our community,and share their work with other art centers in Texas. As a state-wide traveling exhibition accompanied by a full-color scholarlycatalogue, the exhibition will bring cutting edge work in a varietyof media to a broad audience.

ARTIST ELIGIBILITY:Eligible artists must live within fifty miles of the Capitol andhave never had a solo show in a major mainstream exhibition venue inthe area. Artists of any age may apply.

WORK ELIGIBILITY:Work in all media is eligible. Only work made since 2005 will beconsidered for exhibition. New work that has never been exhibitedis preferred.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sew Sister in Fortune Small Business

My favorite business magazine in the whole wide world is Fortune Small Business. Lucky for me my mother gets it for free at her office and saves me all the issues. On a recent trip home I was thumbing through the June 2007 issue and saw a familiar Austin name, Sew Sister. The cover story of the magazine is called Feisty Factories and is about how small manufactures within the untied states are flourishing. Sew Sister is an Austin based and woman run sewing factory. Pick up a copy of the issue if you get a chance and here is what the Money Magazine / Fortune Small Business had to say online

It's impossible for U.S. garment factories to compete with Asian producers, right? Wrong. True, domestic apparel production is down 46 percent since 2000. Lower overseas labor costs account for much of this plunge, but Asian manufacturers also achieve economies of scale by concentrating on huge, relatively uniform product runs.

Megan Summerville, 33, has built a thriving apparel startup on precisely the opposite strategy. Before writing a business plan to expand her small apparel company in Austin, Summerville interviewed more than 40 U.S. designers, manufacturers, and suppliers. She found demand among apparel buyers who needed to place a number of small orders (as few as 16 pieces for each design) rather than a few big orders.

Says Summerville: "These clients were tired of wait times in port, high minimum orders, and samples that were far superior to the actual product received."

Last August, Summerville bought sewing equipment from a defunct lingerie manufacturer. Today the five employees of Sew Sister Fabrics (sewsister.com) crank out a vast range of jobs on 52 separate machines, including single and double needle, serger, zigzag and labeling devices.

Summerville operates the equipment of a much bigger company, but she happily accepts low-volume orders that her larger competitors can't afford to touch. Her typical order is 100 pieces or fewer for a mix of up to six different items, completed in three to four weeks. Revenues are small but growing, Summerville says.

Sew Sister now serves 24 clients, including local designers and a few national retailers. In fact, Summerville was recently forced to turn away several potential clients until she could hire additional employees. But she has no plans to change course. "A lot of folks in this business like to get in the groove of doing the same widget over and over," she notes. "You get faster, but then you box yourself into saying, 'I am just a lingerie manufacturer,' and your other possibilities just collapse."

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Garage Sale at Parts and Labour

I am reposting this from MySpace...

New Bohemia, Feathers, and Prototype are getting together in Parts & Labour's parking lot to have a monster of a sale. (**Behind the store, located at Milton and SoCo, just south of Allen's Boots**)

I mean garage sale prices.Cool stuff that needs repair, cool stuff that never made it in the store, but now I want to reorganize so I need to get it out of my storage.

All kinds of stuff. clothes, jewels, dishes, knick knacks, everything and anything.Thursday June 7th 10 am-10pmNo sales tax if you bring cash!

Even if you don't want to buy anything come say Hi, I (talena) will be out there all day!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

1920's Exhibit at The Harry Ransom Center

If you are looking for something fun to do, last Friday I visited the latest exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center here in Austin. The current exhibit is all about the 1920's - one of my most favorite decades. It was great, highlighting all the amazing art, literature and societal changes that happened during that decade. There was a letter from Ernest Hemingway's mother, to him, chastising his behavior. There were tons of great photographs and original manuscripts with the writer's notes in the margins. One super neat picture featured of all these ladies in their fancy full coverage bathing suit ensembles. Why can't we still have bathing suits like that? I came away with a long list of books I need to read including Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis. I really enjoyed all of the first edition books they had on display. The cover art was beautiful and inspiring. Then, at some point in the exhibit I was reminded of prohibition - it's amazing what you can accomplish without alcohol in your life! Just kidding, I know they were all drinking bathtub gin at the speakeasy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Craft in America

I almost forgot CRAFT IN AMERICA: Memory, Landscape, Community a three Part PBS Series starts tonight (thanks Ginger for reminding me)! I don’t think you are going to see the familiar Indie Crafter Faces that you might recognize in Handmade Nation, but the series looks fascinating nonetheless. Here is a little blurb from their site…

The centerpiece of our efforts at Craft in America is the production of a nationally broadcast PBS documentary series. The intention of the television series is to celebrate craft by honoring the artists who create it. In three episodes entitled Memory, Community and Landscape, Craft in America television viewers will travel throughout the United States visiting America’s premier craft artists in their studios to witness the creation of handmade objects, and into homes, businesses and public spaces where functional art is employed and celebrated. One of the main objectives of the series is to convey to a national audience the breadth and beauty of handmade objects in our culture.

Here are the run times and you can click here to watch a preview.
Memory May 30, 2007; 8p EDT/PDT
Landscape May 30, 2007; 9p EDT/PDT
Community May 30, 2007; 10p EDT/PDT

The other added bonus is that there is going to be a traveling exhibit called CRAFT IN AMERICA: Expanding Traditions In Texas they are coming to the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft February 22 through May 4, 2008.

Ok I need to go set my DVR.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Boss Lady Panel at SXSW

Recently Vickie Howell posted a link to the Boss Lady panel podcast from SXSW on the Babes in Biz email group. I listened to it this weekend while I worked in my studio. It was so helpful to hear how other women wrestle with the same issues I am coming up against. Two things really stood out for me: working time and hiring an assistant. They talked about how much time they spent working in the beginning. For me this has been a real issue lately. I want to work on my business ALL THE TIME these days. I feel kind of obsessed about it and I was starting to wonder if it is normal. My passion for my business really drives me to do everything I can to make it work. Right now it is difficult to conceive of turning out the lights and walking away at 6 PM but I find it comforting that other women have been through this kind of madness to be productive and have come out the other end, sane and with thriving businesses.

Another subject that really spoke to me was hiring an assistant. Being super detail oriented I fear turning over tasks to other people. They made such great points though. Jenny Hart talked about reading that businesses that hire employees end up making more money. Vickie Howell recalled advice from Kathy Cano Murillo, to let go of web design and other tasks. That totally made sense to me. If I could let go of accounting or hire someone to update my website, I could spend more time designing jewelry. Vickie also addressed another troublesome aspect of hiring an assistant: worrying that you won’t be able to support their job or that you're not offering enough. She suggested asking for exactly what you want because it may be exactly what someone out there is looking for.

There were so many other great bits of information in the podcast but these were the ones that really spoke to me. So, thanks for posting that link Vickie! I learned so much from it!

In case you missed it and want to listen to the podcast, here is a link.

Also recommended: The Influence of Art in Design podcast on the next page.