i am a fashion designer. gee
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click here to view my favorites from the archives. gee




are you a fonts enthusiast? a typophile?
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find the beauty on your daily walk! take time to notice the details of your landscape.
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there is nothing like seeing a great handbag in action.
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plastics are our future. how can you resist plastic? it is so shiny and pleasing. I have a penchant for plastics.
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chronicling my quest for the one true
Greek Cup
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have you ever noticed the similarity between nyc fire call boxes and benevolent Kannon, goddess of mercy?
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every design, fashion and art magazine I read lately features some important directional artist making big contributions to their genre. and where do they live? brooklyn!
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who says there are no more 'new ideas' in art and design? the newness is in the juxtaposition.
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this is how I really get things done. with my little green co-worker/task-master.
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my clothing & accessories design
east-meets-west minimalism

my site

the look
dressy utilitarian

my concept
useful, economical, modular pieces that can be mix-matched in numerous ways (because why can't fashion be useful and lasting? I think it can!) So I say Maximize your Minimalism!

Satin Karate Belt featured in Dec 06 Real Simple

Voted Best Designer 2006 Style Bakery
'On the Rise'

Daily Buss Feature

Luckymag.com Feature

in the blog press
midtown lunch
the girl who ate everything
queens eats
(into) the fray
funky finds
style document
gowanus lounge
far too cute
ethereal bliss
couture in the city
independent luxe
decor 8
funky finds
urban socialite
lady licorice
high fashion girl

more press...

furniture (especially chairs from the 50s and 60s), uniforms, repeating patterns, menswear, Oscar Niemeyer, traditional Japanese architecture, the Rimpa School and Ogata Korin's 8-Point Bridge, Matisse, bromeliads, succulents and other waxy flora

particular loves
bamboo, coral, moss, woodgrain, silhouettes & other cut-outs, plastic, low-resolution images, the photo copier, off-registration prints, Max Ernst's Lunar Asparagus, NYC fire call boxes that look like Kannon, Fauvist color sense, the Noguchi Museum, pretty much all of Abstract Expressionism

magazines of current interest
Domino, Elle Decor (British), ARTnews, Art in America, Wallpaper

favorite heel style
the wedge, but a sleek modern interpretation

second favorite
the stiletto

current shoe obsession
alas, the sneaker. (because I live in nyc and walk a ton!) but not too sneakery of a sneaker. more of a sneaker disguised as a shoe, like a mary jane style or a high-tech looking black one with a metallic accent. how about Royal Elastics? I must go try some on. I really like the non-sneakeryness of their styles.





grow your own mini-lawn!

Attention all apartment dwellers! Here are the simple steps to growing your very own mini-lawn.

In Spring!

You will need:
  • a lovely pot
  • potting soil
  • quick-grow grass seed
  • plastic wrap
  • water
  • mister (optional)

Get planting!
  1. Soak the grass seed in 2-3 times as much water for 2-3 hours.
  2. Fill your pot with potting soil an inch or so below the lip of the pot.
  3. Water your dirt so it is quite damp but not muddy. Let stand.
  4. Spread out the grass seed thickly covering all surface area.
  5. Cover with a thin layer of dirt. Mist (optional).
  6. Cover pot with plastic wrap and rubber-band it.
  7. Place in a cool dark place until it germinates in 2-3 days.
  8. Uncover and watch it grow!
  9. Trim with scissors after grass reaches 6" or more.

If you are not such a do-it-yourself-er, try this Mini-Bonsai Kit instead.
If you are, try these steps!

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the greatest hole punch

Don't you hate when you are punching along happily, and the hole punch starts sticking? Or it starts punching a fuzzy hole? Have I got the solution for you! Punch tin foil a few times to sharpen the "blade." It really works. And in the meantime, get yourself one of these revolving leather punches. You can use it on paper too, or just add holes to your belts! I am sure you will think of more projects.

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removing sticker adhesive from fabric

Don't you find it annoying when you buy a pair of workout pants, love them up, go to wear them, and realize that the clear plastic size sticker left a gooey residue behind? I was going to return them, but I found these helpful links and thought I would pass them along:
I think I will try some combo of the rubbing alcohol, the vaseline, and the ice, and see what happens.

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Four-hundred pixels is clearly the maximum width when selecting the Large image upload option. You can see the ratio at work here. Look at the text and see how it is crunched a bit. You can see it in the numbers, 420, 450, 480, 500, getting smaller and smaller as Blogger constrains all of the widths to 400. Click on each line below to see the full size. Well, now I know. Back to Photoshopping.


thinking out loud

Don't mind me, I am trying to figure out what exactly are the pixel sizes for the Small-Medium-Large image uploading options that Blogger gives you (which is based an undefined ratio). When I made the "build-your-outfit" photo collages, the Momiji collage was shrunken by Blogger. I kept my pixel width the same, but I did not realize there were length constraints as well. I have a feeling that you are okay with a perfect square. Width-wise, 400 pixels works nicely for the Large option. So length-wise, I am guessing 400 is good too. But can it be larger? How much? I must do some tests. In the end, I hate guesswork. I must upload these lines too see what happens. Then I can go back to photoshopping images for my How-To posts.

All based on Width (in pixels), Large Image upload option selected:

400 pixels (old faithful)

420 pixels

450 pixels

480 pixels

500 pixels


how-to friday

This is going to be a how-to day on the blog. I am just in that kind of mood. Stay tuned. I have many posts at the ready. In the meantime, check out diynetwork.com.




odd appetite: indonesian flavor

We were treated to an amazing concert at Galapagos last night, thanks to the man behind this blog. Odd Appetite is comprised of cello, Ha-Yang Kim and percussion, Nathan Davis. Both are composers. Both are conservatory-trained amazing players, who really dig into the music and their instruments. (Kim broke 3 bow hairs just on the re-tuning.)

I could not believe how many percussion instruments were on the stage -- including a Javanese gamelan gong -- and how many mallets Davis expertly manipulated at once. One notable handful was 3 triangle metal strikers and 1 hand-held microphone in Diving Bell, a piece Davis wrote, where he "rescues the triangle from the back of the orchestra," as he amusingly put it, and isolates and resculpts the complex overtone series produced by the instrument with the microphone.

The music was challenging, expansive, exciting. From the attack of the first note to the fade of the last overtone, you knew that something good was happening here, and you were pleased to be a part of it. I was. I would seek them out again. Thank you Felsenmusick!



I love this font.

And this one!

I happen to be a fonts-nut and took these pictures on a long walk this past weekend. Who wouldn't be with fonts like these? My husband used to be acquainted with a font designer back in Boston, who is now a premier font designer in New York City. Tobias Frere-Jones of Hoefler & Frere-Jones has designed over 500 fonts, including that which you read in The Wall Street Journal! Look at this list of clients for whom the company has designed custom typefaces. Wow!

And my favorite project they did: the "typographic reconstruction" for the restoration of the Lever House, using just one extant sign to rebuild the entire font set. Visit this beautiful building at 390 Park Avenue at 53rd Street. A peak at the restaurant* will give you the flavor of the builiding (no pun intended). *This site has music, so turn the sound down if you are at work.

read more:
Eye Magazine Feature
F-J's font, Gotham
Lever House restoration (scroll down to read)
more background on their company
some font examples (click in right margin)
An interview with F-J on Gotham

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ahhhhh spring!

Rejoice New Yorkers! Spring has sprung! A delightful season. I want to plant something and buy a new plant too. And some new plant holders. How about one of these (it comes in white in the catalogue). Or this one (they have a smaller one in the store that looks like this for $35. or so). Yes there is a Conran Shop in NYC! More on that great discovery later.

I want to buy some grass seed and grow my mini lawn. It is so easy, and so gratifying to see something grow so quickly. Simply soak the quick-grow grass seed for a few hours, then plant, cover with shallow dirt, mist, cover with plastic wrap for that greenhouse effect, and put it in a dark place until it germinates! I am going in search of some this week for sure. I will show you pictures of all the steps.

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taking it to the streets

Walking along, I cannot help but gasp at the beauty of these building facades. They will no doubt find there way somehow into my future designs. Just wanted to share some of my most recent reference photos.

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style bakery feature!

This coming Monday, April 3, our website and our minimalist-modernist designs be featured on Style Bakery's Designer's on the Rise!! How neat! We have been alerted that the extra special feature will be our Geisha Top, so if you want it, buy it now. It may sell out quickly. Have you checked out stylebakery.com yet? This fashion trend site mixes up a large batch of goodies and sweet styles just for you, from great style recipes they find online!

Subscribe to their newsletter today, so you can receive a special offer from us exclusive to Style Bakery via e-mail this Monday.

The soon-to-be-coveted GEISHA TOP




Now here is a much much better digitalized Buddha. Thanks to my husband and his photoshopping skills. Thank you husband! I like this Buddha. That's what I was trying to do with Blogger...



another egg timer success story

Wow, people are finding some of my organizing tips useful!!! I am so excited! I have had a lot of good feedback, especially from working artists and from those who run their own companies. Many love the egg timer and have put it to good use. Allow me to transcribe this phone message I received today from my friend who is a painter:

It works! It works! 'What works?' you ask. The egg timer. I took the day off today and it is just fantastic. I got myself a 5 dollar egg timer. It is just so much fun. It's like, [whispers loudly in egg timer voice] 'ten minutes!' But I've got to go now. I've got to finish my things. But I wanted to tell you. See you at the studio. Bye!

You see? The egg timer commands you to do it, and you do it. No more messy deep inside your head stuff. It works!

And also today, I saw on my stats that there was another seeker of my kooky organizing advice. That person typed in "organizing fashion design workspace" into Google, and sadly, did not come up with the pertinent entries on my blog, of which there are many on that topic. Instead he/she was lead to the general "blogspot.com." Alas. Unfortunately, the indexing of information on blogs is not always the most specific. But I urge you all to use the SEARCH TOOLBAR at the top of the page once you land here, and persevere in your searches.

That person gives me a good idea though. I will provide more on the topic of how I organize my workspace. And I will provide photos too. Stay tuned.

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beadwork buddha

I just found this Buddha when I was doing a Google image search. I think it is a hook-a-rug of sorts but with beads. I want to buy the kit. Don't you? Here is the link, just in case you do. It is Chuck Close meets bitmapped. Funny, I enlarged the image of the Buddha in the previous article to try to get this same effect, but it didn't really work out. Blogger has hidden photo constraints that I can't quite figure out yet.

This beaded lady is a really neat one too!


2 philly fancy faves

Can you believe Stephen Starr's Philadelphia restaurants, Buddakan and Morimoto, have each opened in NYC?

Here are some Buddakan reviews:

And some Morimoto reviews:





Have you ever seen a more beautiful fougasse? I mean, these things go for a small fortune in SoHo. Better for you to buy it in Astoria, at a quite wonderful bakery called Artopolis. This beautiful bread is about 15" long and makes a great hostess gift or standout centerpiece for a dinner party. And it is under $3. They call it a "Mediterranean."Get thee to the N or W train quickly and ride it to the end of the line.



do not put the blog before the horse

That is what I said to myself in the pool the other day. I think it will be better for me to change my blogging time to the end of the workday. As it turns out, I am most productive in the morning. Better for me to work on "the horse" first and then the blog later.

In Spring!

*note: the haiku blog should have an overt or covert seasonal reference.



retiring my tote

Alas, I must retire my favorite tote from my friend Jodi. And after I color-coordinated all of the accessories so nicely. When you own a clear bag, you must coordinate! If anyone happens to be in London at the V&A and wishes to send along a little belated birthday gift, I will not say no.



haiku blog

I think I am in a rhythm of very terse blog entries. Oh well, easier to write, easier to read.

In Spring!

*note: haiku blogs should have a covert or overt seasonal reference.




low horizon line

My camera was sitting on the table "in between shots" with the screen on, when I saw this strange picture. I like the low vantage point -- as if from the point of view of a crumb on the table.


a star(c)k page

Apparently I subscribed to a Phillipe Starck newsletter within the last month, as it arrived in my e-mail box today. Contentless. With this link. More contentlessness and more things to click. I gave up. I am just not into the computer today.



birthday dessert, post-birthday

As it turned out, we did not go to Little Italy and eat zeppole. We went to Queens instead. But the zeppoli from my mom with extra love, below, by far beat the ones from Queens. I have never seen such an odd shaped zeppole. Both tasted quite yummy (my favorite are the ones with cannoli cream which both of these are). I wouldn't mind doing more tasting... You can never get too much St. Joseph's zeppole, can you? Veniero's is near the McBurney Y. I can undo my swim in one bite. hmmm. Food for thought.

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daily life

Did you check out Happy Mundane yet? I love the header with the dishes in the sink. Let's talk about the mundane for a moment. I agree with H.M. There is "beauty in your dishsoap." Above, a picture of the dishes in my sink. Inspired by H.M. to take one too.

This morning I woke up early and cleaned the bathroom floor with a Swiffer innovation. I had this idea for a modified Swiffer yesterday. The Swiffer Dry is great for sweeping (especially all the little bits of fabric and thread!), but the Swiffer Wet just doesn't work on big jobs. So I used a well-worn I LOVE NY t-shirt that I got last year, 6 for $10, and went to town on the bathroom floor. It worked. Below, a photo of my modified Swiffer. Check out all these neat Swiffer products! I think Andrea Zittel and I could be great friends.

my "I LOVE NY" modified Swiffer



i was right

Look at decor8. She posted photos somehow. No maybe not. She uses that flikr stuff which probably overrides the blogger problem. Actually, others are having the same problem uploading pics as I am.


blogger still broken

Another no photo day? Blogger is broken. Or is it just my blog that is broken. Oh well, you will just have to deal with another photo-less blog day from me. I think it is just my blog. Blog paranoia.

In the meantime, enjoy these links that I have found recently!



sorry cb2

The spoon coffee mug. Click to view on cb2.com (crate and barrel's hip company). The catalogue copy: "This clever, all-in-one design solves the eternal question of where to park your spoon post-stir."

Elaine's copy: "Yes, if you want cappuccino on your shirt because of the shock of the spoon in your eye."

[page print from cb2.com]



the iceman cometh

I am waiting for my chocolate mousse ice. Uncle Louie G's said he would be open again in the Spring, and by my watch, that was yesterday.


some recommendations

Go see Tara Donovan at PaceWildenstein, 545 W 22nd St (between 10th and 11th Aves). Her giant installation is up through April 22.

Go to the New Museum of Contemporary Art/Chelsea, 556 W 22nd St, and see 3 great exhibits. Andrea Zittel is all that I wanted her to be and more. Plus don't miss Courtney Smith's parasite furniture sculptures on Floor 2 (through April 15) and Didier Mahieu's etherial installations on Floor 3 (through April 30).

Verlaine, 110 Rivington St, has a nice selection of Vietnamese/French inspired cocktails with a happy hour that extends until 10pm!

Check out Trader Joe's when the line to get in dies down. Yes, on Saturday, there was a line outside!! I got in on opening day, and browsed all the products, sandwiched in with the mob of shoppers. I noticed the prices were more in NY, but NO said the Trader Joe's worker. It is because prices have gone up in every store since I shopped there. They do not set different prices for different stores, said he. That is good to know. Some things had only gone up a dime or 30 cents so it really isn't that bad anyway.

Are you a member of the Y? Did you know that you can use many different Y's to vary your workout scenery? You can go to any Y that participates in the AWAY Program for free! Check the back of your membership card and go to www.ymca.net and type in your zip code for a list near you! So far, I have gone for great swims at McBurney on 14th, Vanderbilt on E 47th, International at W 63rd, Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Long Island City in Queens. All have free towel service too!

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birthday weekend bash

So much to tell. For now I will offer you this partial collage. There was more celebrating at more places. But now I must go swim.



celebrate the holiday

Don't forget, tomorrow is opening day! Go to Trader O'Joe's. I might go too. I kind of want to witness the mob of shoppers. And how appropriate, I am also going to the McBurney Y. I hope they don't dye the pool green. What a gross thought.


2-day apartment hunt

May I wax nostalgic for a moment? A year ago tomorrow, we started our NYC apartment hunt for our big move! And a year ago three days from now (my birthday!) we found our apartment where we currently dwell (my husband and I). How do you like that. We saw eight apartments in 2 days. Four in Manhattan, four in Brooklyn, and that was that. In hindsight I am kind of amazed.


layer your looks!

Don't just stand there. Accessorize! Make your look more rich in color, pattern, texture by adding 'layers of interest.' (Click on each collage for more detail.)

Focal piece: Camo V-Neck Top

Layers of interest:
  1. Subtle/dressy: wear the Camo V-Neck Top with an olive tank, a pinstripe jacket, a green narrow flowy scarf, cropped cuffed black pants and wedge heel boots
  2. Fancy/casual: wear it with a long sleeve black top, a dangly necklace, bangle bracelets, black satin karate belt, slim black pants and heels

Focal piece: Momiji Top

Layers of interest:

  1. Dressy/fun: wear the Momiji V-Neck Top with a brown patterned long sleeve top like the brown snakeskin pictured above, brown pants, silver belt, textured tights, brown heels
  2. Fancy/casual: a yellow tank, sexy dark rinse jeans with the brown sequin flower pinned at the waist off to the side, a fab necklace, copper strappy sandals or yellow shoes

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totally and utterly modular

I love to find like-minded companies with a focus on modular design. So very often, the product crossovers are in industrial design or furniture design, rather than fashion. That is why I do so much blogging about home design. I found my lastest inspiration in a Canadian industrial design company called Vessel. Check out their beautiful bamboo cutting board called the Chop Chop Tray (below) and one totally and utterly modular lunch box set (above).
[images from vessel.com]

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designer-to-designer links

Good things come to my e-mail inbox from time to time, courtesy of Kathy Malone of Fofolle. She is the mastermind of Design*Collective and our Park Slope events. I thought I would pass them along. Here are some helpful links, from designer-to-designer. gee

What is a linesheet? Try this link from Fashion-Incubator. Investigate this site. It is full of information from problems with small sewing contractors to buying labels.

The Switchboards. Dedicated to supporting and publicizing creative women in business through the use of an online community forum, product displays, mutual links and joint advertising.



dark clouds!

I scored the greatest piece of street art this side of the Pecos! Dark Clouds! Have you seen this artist's work before? It is all around Williamsburg on lightposts, and all around Boston, especially on the fence that divides Inbound and Outbound trains on the E line. Do you know this artist? Are you this artist? I think he went to Museum School or Mass Art. (I think Dark Clouds is a 'he.') I really wanted one of his pieces a few years ago: it was an amazing painted skateboard deck bolted to a sign post on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. I did not have the proper tools to rescue it. He also does paintings on boards, old signs and found stickers, like my new acquisition. How will I frame it? I have a few ideas. I will let you know.

Update: I have been searching online all day for something about Dark Clouds, and I just found something good! Hampshire College? I must investigate. Look at all the art on skateboard decks!! The one I tried to own is pictured! It is in the bottom row, second from the right directly under the large photo. I think I recognize every Boston location.

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principles of mind training

I was treated to some very good over-the-shoulder reading on the L train last week. I really wanted to ask the man to show me the cover of his book so I could copy down the title, but he got off the train before I could.

As far as I could tell, his small green hardcover book was called Principles of Mind Training and potentially had to do with Tibetan Buddhism. I found this link, which discusses lojong, a word I remember reading in his book. I must find this book. It has good teachings inside. Oh wow, there are many titles! He was on "point seven" so maybe it is this book. So fleeting is over-the-shoulder reading.




grand st, williamsburg

The next time you are in Williamsburg, turn off Bedford Avenue and explore Grand Street instead. There are some wonderful unique restaurants and boutiques of great quality and decor. I can't say enough. It is our new favorite restaurant row. To get there, plan your subway route on www.hopstop.com. Or use this map I found on the back of Bozu's business card.

Boutique and Spa
115 Grand St
call: 718.486.0370
read this article
Hand-selected pieces for the home, body, and mind
including a seasonal selection of plants and flowers.
They also carry selected styles from my collection!

177 Grand St
Kristina Kozak's metalwork is bold and incredible!
Her boutique showcases her creations as well as a
wonderful selection of unique things for the home.
Open for shopping Friday through Sunday
You must pay a visit, because the
website doen't show the store. And it is great.

Snacky Sake Lounge
187 Grand St
call: 718.486.4848
Wong Kar Wai and Jackie Chan films play while you
sip sake or Korean soju and eat up a storm without
spending up a storm. The decor is similar to
my apartment so I love love loved it.
If I had thought of it sooner, I would have
celebrated my birthday here. Next year!

191 Grand St
A hair salon and shop with a very specific minimalist eye.
Maybe they will like my Silk Obi Sashes.

199 Grand St
read these reviews
Korean barbeque, shabu-shabu, plus vegetarian
yummy dishes. Good prices on pitchers of
Japanese beer.

296 Grand St
I gasped when we entered. The decor is breathtaking.
Pass the sharkskin plexi wall in front
(referencing the handle of a Samurai sword)
and be dazzled by daruma!
And the food and drink are amazing.
This place totally dazzles.
I tried the turnip shochu along
with our meal. Yes, turnip!

318 Grand St
Who says antlers are so yesterday. Feh
to you. I love their decor. It has rustic and
modern "lodge" touches all mixed together
in a humorous and eye-pleasing way.
Brunch is great! Try the Trout and Eggs.

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