i am a fashion designer. gee
click here to maximize your minimalism!

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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.





hmmm, another write-up!

Well this is nice, although admittedly, I got nervous when I read the title of the piece.

I will add it to my "In the Blog Press Column" on the left. Click Gowanus Lounge to read. Apparently there was some controversy at our little event in Park Slope on Saturday. I didn't notice. I was too busy selling up a storm. I still love Park Slope!



633 spam emails

It is a second full-time job to go through my emails. I got 633 emails since Saturday. 633 spam emails. I need a cookie. Or a gal-Friday.



computer melt-down

Yes it is true, but not so funny. My computer had a little melt-down in the heat, and so I am using my husband's to update my blog and answer some emails now. Very sad. Poor poor computer. At least I get to exist in the analogue world more, but quite frankly, I miss my computer. Please computer fix-it man, bring my Outlook program back.

Just a brief update for now. I had more to say, but quite frankly, I forgot it. I go through my day writing potential blog entries in my head. And boy did I have them worded well, but that was hours ago now. Maybe tomorrow I will recall the wording... In the meantime, don't forget to Catch the Buss!


don't miss the buss!

Don't miss the Daily Buss, that is. Your totally haute guide to fashion. I guess that means our SUMMER BLACK & WHITES are totally haute! Check out the write up above, or indexed on their site (click and scroll down to July 20, 2006).

I love the collage they made. Here are the direct links to each piece (clockwise from top left):

To subscribe to the Daily Buss, visit their archives page.
To order any pieces shown above, click on the links; it takes you right to




5 events in july, oh my

We have been busy this July! Funny, when I started my business, July was my slow month. But not this year. I signed up to do 5 designer markets! Yesterday's was a great one. It may have been hot outside, but we had tons of traffic. And good sales. (I am thinking that the move to NYC was a good one right about now...)

If you missed the last two, come to one of two more markets I am doing this weekend: one in Park Slope, the other in NoLita! (click on EVENTS for the full July schedule.) We are temporarily sold out of the Sumi-e Tank and Skirt, thanks to yesterday's shopping enthusiasts, and down to one's and two's in the Lace Pinstripe Skirt and many other items, hooray! But fear not. We will be all re-stocked by mid-week. Keep your internet orders coming! The website is humming along quite nicely. Many thanks to all of you for your orders! More good news later this week!! I will tell you later.



don't miss the bus!

Out last night taking light pictures with my hubby. When I snapped this one, we both yelled WOW! Such perfect timing. I am so pleased with my photo. It looks like it is zooming in reverse. So neat. (click on photo for larger view)



omoshiroi bi-de-o (interesting video)



your search for the perfect card has ended

Tell someone you love them today, with this great stitched hugs and kisses card from Wonder Threads. I just met the designer, Diana, past Sunday. We were both showing at The Market NYC. Not only did she have a really cute display, which included her cards, small zippered bags, and baby onesies, she also has an excellent website. Her cards incorporate sparkly textured fabrics, friendly fonts, appliqued shapes like cupcakes and thread, which of course caught my eye immediately. Her zig-zags and straight stitches are meticulous! And I love the inset sparkly fabrics. Order online, or check her out in person at The Market.

This just in: Diana will be showing her collection in person at The Market NYC this Sunday. So will I! :-)

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the leftovers are calling me

I have been left alone today with a giant piece of focaccia from Zaro's (not pictured). If you think that is going to work in my favor, you are wrong.

And I can't go for a walk to escape it, due to the Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Kings County the TV just told me about. Hey, it is hard to type with one hand while eating.


a la mode

As far a desserts go, pie is not really my thing. I am definitely more of a cupcake/giant cookie/Italian ice/frosty drink person (not all at the same time, mind you). But if it is apple pie, heated, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, well then, now you're talking. I love the hot and cold combo.

So I figured, since I can't go around eating apple pie all the time, why not create the hot and cold combo with other foods? For example, a hot black bean & veggie quesadilla (grilled on the George Foreman), topped with cold guacamole (my variation is avocado, pico de gallo and a dash of plain yogurt).

My veggie quesadilla, a la mode:

great with cold gazpacho

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I think I must get me some new thread scissors....

Hmm, perhaps I want to take up creweling too. This is neat!

While you are on this site called Plain Mabel, check out how many crafty creators there are out there! Who knew?




seven-ten split

I am splitting my time today between two major tasks: 1) unpacking and tidying (did the NoLita Market yesterday) and 2) cutting out lots of quantities for store orders and many upcoming shows. I came up with a good system. 30 minutes of each, alternating. That is working quite well. Keeps the feelings of being overwhelmed at bay quite nicely. Sorry, must get back to work, because my timer is ticking.



along those same lines: escutcheons

I feel some new t-shirt designs a brewin'. Look at this cool site! The scissors above is a heraldic crest. How cool! Totally along the same lines of my tools-of-the-trade logos above in the header. (I put my tools in circles to resemble Japanese family crests, or ka-mon.) I love Western-style escutcheons too. Like on The Greek Cup.

Below is one I am working on today, combining the idea of the skull-and-crossbones parody from the previous post with escutcheons, Greek Cups, and heraldic crests. But it's not done yet. I am also going to add some calligraphic ornaments for the thread in red, but I am not that good at Photoshop... Need some help from the hubby. Still working on it! Stay tuned.

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Have you been noticing more and more skull-and-crossbones popping up everywhere? I mean, they are even selling skull-and-crossbone cute little sweatshirts at Rainbow (below). When it hits Rainbow, the last link on the fashion chain, it is time to change your collection. Luckily that was never my thing.

I am liking the skull-and-crossbone parodies, though.* There were lots at the Renegade Craft Fair, which thinking back, I should have photographed. But this post idea just came to me yesterday as I was taking a walk in Williamsburg and noticed yet another something-and crossbones at a cafe on Bedford: a coffee cup-and-crossbones blinking neon sign. I'll have to go back and get a picture for you today [up now, above]. For now, this heart-and-crossbones necklace I found on Notcot.

*This type of 'replacement parody' reminds me of a genre in Japanese art called mitate. A very funny mitate is by the eccentric painter, Jakuchu, my thesis subject, depicting the death of the Buddha; only the Buddha is a giant Japanese radish lying on an overturned vegetable basket, and the throng of mourners are likewise various types of vegetables, including eggplant, lotus, two kinds of mushrooms, red pepper, three kinds of melons, bamboo shoot, and the like. So anyway, I rather like parody.

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controlled nature

Bryant Park is one of my favorite spots. The amount of cafe tables and chairs they provide for sitting, people watching, noshing, etc., is amazing! And there is plenty to eat within the park grounds if you didn't bring your own snack (but don't worry, Crumbs is just across the street too...) There are a couple of stands for iced coffee and sandwiches ('wichcraft), a lovely outdoor cafe to have wine and giant breadsticks (BP Grill & Cafe) and even an upscale restaurant. And an outdoor free film series on Monday nights. While you are waiting for the film to start, check out the outdoor reading room!! This is my kind of getting away from it all, and as far 'back to nature' as I generally like to go.


this just in

Apparently, we have all been exercising wrong. This is what the trainer at Bally's told me yesterday when I was there to redeem my free guest pass for a swim but had to endure a long sales pitch which included his visualization tool, "Think of yourself as a Barbie doll dipped in butter...." He claimed that the more cardio you do, the more the butter; i.e., fat, will melt away to "lean you out." Oh.

How to accomplish this? Walk on the treadmill with a speed of 3.8 for 45 minutes in the mornings 5 days a week, he says. And do your weights later in the day when you are not tired so you can devote full attention to each movement. Lift your weights one arm at a time, alternating each arm. Do 3 sets of 6 reps. Increase your weights up to 20 pound dumbells over time. A 20 pound dumbell? That hardly seems like a dumbell at that size.

He claims that 5 pound dumbells are more or less useless and worse. In fact, "they will cause your muscles to atrophy. You are training your muscles to lift less and less weight and become over-tired." This advice from a person who said that the pool stays empty all day. By the time I escaped his sales pitch, the pool was full of crooked swimmers. The man in my lane kept veering over. And I had to navigate another man's very wide backstroke with every lap. Keep your arms in your own lane!

I have heard so much conflicting weight lifting advice, it is ridiculous. Why is there so much conflicting advice out there? I find it annoying. I am sticking to my 5-pounders. I will let you know if I can barely lift a can of tomato sauce after 5 weeks.



add another month to my archive

Yes I admit it, I do get a kick out of seeing my archive of writing add up. With this post, I add July to the list. Don't you find it difficult to get back to work after so many days off? I do. I am totally out of my rhythm. I set the egg timer a few half-hearted times today and accomplished some tasks, but what I really think I need is a swim to jump-start my activities. I bought 5 pound dumbells over the weekend. Light blue plasti-coated ones! I usually lift 3-pounders so this is a big jump. Carrying them home from Union Square was a work out in itself (if I had actually carried them). Luckily, my husband carried them most of the way home. Hee. So anyway, I think I need a swim. When I return, perhaps I will write something perky or something.