Today was a beautiful one in October. Gorgeous weather and blue skies. I was lucky enough to spend it with friends at a pumpkin patch. Kind of crazy how inspiration to can come at you. Rolling fields of green, orange and brown, complete sunflowers so big you expected them to come to life. I'm telling you, it was awesome!
So with that said, I give you color blocked rayon-viscous jersey paired with silk twill trousers.
Often times when I put pen to paper, I'm not quite sure what I'm going to get. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and in cases like tonight...I get a pleasant surprise. Perhaps this should be my mantra for life.
Much like a beloved TV show, it's autumn and I'm back from hiatus!
I promise to be more frequent in my post this fall. A lot has happen since we last saw each other. I will fill you in a little at time as we move forward. For tonight, I will start with a word...fun. A conversation reminded me how important this is. It's October, one of my favorite months...Halloween...Scary movies and buckets of candy…What's not to love!
Speaking of sweetness...how about this candy-corn inspired number...waxed cotton with crocodile flats...yum!
So one of the many perks of living on the west coast is waking up to a bunch text messages and Facebook posts from friends and family in the time zones to the east. When we think of birthdays we imagine cake, candles and gifts....all good things...hint hint. :) However, what I am present to this morning is how lucky I am to be blessed with wonderful people in my life. And this gift continues to give as I make amazing new friends here in Portland. I am so happy...thank you all!
So today I offer a sketch in two shades of green, "my signature color". Off-the-shoulder Merino wool top and a satin-lined, wool plaid wrap-skirt...Happy Birthday to me indeed!
Well it's August and it's hot outside! What is it about summertime that makes us love it so...heat and all? I think for myself it is the nostalgia. Remembering the summersof my youth when we'd play from dawn till dusk. The days were long and warm and we couldn't wait to get out and explore the world, even if it said universe was confined to our backyards....it was an adventure and we were along for the ride.
So it's my pledge to embrace this heat and allow it to transport me back to a time when life was simple and fun. Two things I bet we could all use a bit more of...who's up for that ride?
I think it is perfectly acceptable to wipe the slate clean and start again from time to time. Those if you following know that I have dropped the ball on posting here daily. I made a promise to myself to create a new sketch and entry every day for a year...hence the name of the blog. Well as it often does, life has become very busy this month. My "story" is that it became to hard to post everyday. Then I became a few days behind...then a week...then two and three. I made myself wrong for falling behind and started to stress. I kept thinking, I'll just catch up and one night go and post all the entries and back date them....seriously. Like I was gonna fool one of you...like you even care in the first place. Aren't we funny, we are so concerned with "looking good" that we fail to notice that most people aren't even watching in the first place!
I got so concerned with making sure I got it done and did it right that I lost sight of the most important thing...I started this blog because it was fun! So, in the spirit complete honesty and full disclosure...I'm gonna start over...sorta. I missed some days and that's ok...I'm hitting the "control-alt-delete" of life and rebooting the blog. I urge you all to do the same from time to time. Don't let the fun parts become chores...and if the do...wipe em clean and start again.
I offer an uncolored sketch of embroidered silk shantung, with gilded feathers and acres of chiffon...so dramatic...damn that's fun!
I dedicate this blog entry to anyone who starts something and finds themselves suddenly stalled. Guess what...your perfect! Nonstop upward mobility is not natural...life's gonna have you plateau occasionally. And that's how it happens...the great part is you get to experience thrill of success all over again as you turn back towards the heavens. Keep going!
Big thoughts deserve big looks... Silk knit top, chiffon crinoline cape, and satin palazzo pants with gold appliqué.
The title of today's blog came about after some random word association. This is how it worked. Red....then thought red balloon...and then thought 99 Luftballons…I then thought Nena. Welcome to my head. Inever said it was pretty...the sketch on the other hand!
Color-blocked cashmere paired with alligator pleats.
Tonight I listened to a friend wishing for the innocent joy of childhood. That time we all long for when nothing else mattered except the laughter of the present...not worrying about anything more than the joy of moment. Our only responsibility was to have fun. I think we can all relate to this longing...and I think it's possible to tap into that kid-like happiness in a new wonderful way. As we experience these moments of laughter with the people in our adult lives, whether it's working, playing or simply turning out the responsibilities of day-to-day life…stop for a second and get present to the gift that it truly is....laughter. In this millisecond, I believe the joy of life can be found...a smile is greatest gift...and we may take this for granted as children, but it is in adulthood where we can become present to how special and precious it is. And I know that with this clarity comes real freedom.
In the spirit of this, I deviate just slightly with tonight's sketch. I did not do this, but rather my 10-year-old niece did it for me. I'm so proud of it....and looking at this gift makes me smile....and I am present to real joy, happiness and freedom.
The phone rings and someone you know is in trouble...you drop what your doing and run to assist or be by their side. Is this completely altruistic or is there some selfish reasoning underneath? The thought that if "I'm there for them, they will be there for me." Perhaps...but in the end does it matter? As humans, we live life in our heads, wondering and questioning, and most of the time we stumble our way thought it all. However, if when called upon, we can show up...for whatever reason, I don't think it matters. For the reasons are our own...all our loved ones know is that when needed, they can count on us being there.
Remember the swimsuits of the 1950s… The ones you would never think about getting wet. They were just meant to lounge by the pool and look fabulous… Well this is my take on them...done in wool and satin.
Yin and Yang....night and day....happy and sad....good and bad....black and white....can't have any of them without other. In the end isn't just about balance...having a little sugar with your spice to make it oh so nice.
I love living in a part of the world where I can walk down the street in a T-shirt with the warm sun during the day and sip cocktails fireside at a local pub that same evening....in late June! I adore Portland!
Silk knits with suede ankle boots...fireside attire at its best.
This evening I was given the gift of being in a room full of people as they created new possibilities for their lives. It was both magical and inspiring to witness the cliché come to life… Anything is possible.
Gold beaded chiffon paired with maroon satin pleats.
I had a friend over for dinner and a movie...well he watched the movie...I promptly feel asleep. But let me tell you about this meal. We had a Mexican feast. I gotta say, I love cooking, I enjoy it even more when its a collaborative effort. We had such fun, chopping, dicing and zesting...yes, we zested. Let me tell you the salsa we made was a thing of art! So much so it inspired the powder blue cotton flaminco number you see...Muy caliente!!!
This evening I had the privilege to teach some of my friends how to draw. I told them, "you supply the food and I'll supply the lessons". It was the first time I showed you up to someone's home for dinner with an Office Depot bag rather than a bottle of wine. Needless to say we had a blast..I'm very proud of the work they did. It was such a joy watching them create something they didn't know they were capable of doing.
Now seems like a perfect time to thank and acknowledge my uncle. When I was around 11 I started sketching… I thought they were masterpieces… Not so much. My uncle is an architect and while he did not know fashion illustration per say, he did know about line and perspective. I would go visit him and sit on the floor with my sketchbook for hours, cranking out sketch after sketch after sketch. Each one he would critique… We laughed a lot! In the end, it was his generosity, knowledge and time that helped foster my talent to what it became.
I am present the fact that all the teachers in my life need to be acknowledged. Not just the formal educators, of which there were amazing ones (go Sissions!), but the people in my life as well… family and friends who've taught me the life lessons that have made me the person I am today. Thank you.
So now comes my friends favorite part of the blog...clockwise from the top left; A black satin A-line, an simple elegant jersey knit dress, a wool-crepe princess seamed number and last but not least, a nautical inspired boat-neck frock done in viscose-rayon. You guys were awesome!
Lucy and Ethel, Fred and Ginger, Butch and Sundance, Will and Grace… there is something about a good duo. Maybe it's that idea that whatever happens they have got your back. That's a wonderfully warm thought in this occasionally chilly world.
For those comfortably tepid times...silk jersey tops with satin and wool tweed skirts.
Ever say or text something then immediately think "Can I please take that back...immediately!"? We humans are very concerned with looking good at all times. I think this pressure can easily lead to awkward social conversations. With that said I have stumbled over my words more than once...I guess it's natural. We are after all....human. Best advice...remember, learn, and try again. And if you can come away looking as good as this silk polka dot dress, you'll be way ahead of the game.
Hey Precious aka Ramona...I wanted to reach out to you on your special day and thought this might be a new way to do so. Instead of sending you a present, I thought of doing something a little different...I want to thank you for some of the gifts you've given me.
The pride you have filled me with since the first time I held you 11 years ago has grown tenfold. Your strength and courage has been an inspiration. Your laughter has been a healer to my soul....some of the fondest memories of my life have been playing with you and having the room expand with you giggles. Thank you for allowing me to teach what I know about drawing...we have Uncle Roger to thank...remind me to tell you that story. You have a real talent, I know...trust me. Thank you for being the light of my sisters life...your Mom literally means the world to me and you have filled her with immeasurable joy. Thank you for saving Nana for us all. You came to us right after Pawpa died and you gave my Mom a reason to get up in the morning. The relationship you two have is one to treasure and envy and treasure some more. Thank you for being a protector to that perfect little brother of yours. You are an awesome big sister and the love you both share will only grow as time goes on. I look forward to watching you both become amazing friends. Take it from me...the friendship of your sibling is truly a beautiful thing. Thank you for the walks with Uncle David...even tho we aren't together anymore you are a bond we will share for the rest of our lives. I can't tell you the joy I use to feel watching you both walk to the mailbox and back...you brought him such peace and love in a time when he needed it the most...you were his angle.
Most of all Alexis, I want to thank you for you. I have watched you grow from the most adorable baby to the lovely young lady you are now...I am so proud of you and I promise to be here for you when ever you need me.
Love Uncle Jason
Ps. Don't worry...you'll get a "real" preset too. :)
The other night I was asked if I sketch men...here's the answer. This is from a sketch I did for a class in design school. I was forced to take fashion sketching as a requirement....the teacher thought it was ridiculous as I could draw as well as her. I was self taught from childhood and by the time I got to college I was pretty damn good at illustrating the ladies. Soooo, I asked her if she could teach me how to sketch men...and we did. How's that for making lemonade out lemons?!
So I was lucky enough to visit Germany a few years ago. It was such a special trip...not just for the beautiful landscape and warm people (yes...the Germans are warm...swear), but for the nostalgia. No, I had never been before....you see my grandparents were German immigrants. Every Sunday we would spend the day with them...my Grandma would cook and bake....the house always smelled awesome! Grandpa would always talk very loud...his own wonderful dialect of Germglish. They were great afternoons.
What struck me about Germany was how at home I felt...every restaurant and bakery smelled like Oma's kitchen...even the soaps took me directly back to the pleasant floral scents of her little half bath. Then on every corner I would hear my Opa...shouting his point out only to be followed by a warm full laugh. I can't wait to return...it was a magical trip.
I don't know why, but this sketch brought up that memory. I guess I can see some chic Fraulein in this tweed and satin suit...Das ist wunderbar!
Sometimes they roll off our tongue so easily and other times it's as though we are being asked to speak the hardest language known to man. Whether its effortless or a struggle, we should never put off saying this to the people in our lives...For we have no guarantees as to how long we will be blessed with their presence. Our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, spouses and lovers all deserve to hear that the people in their life matter to them...and I can't think of a better gift give than three little words...I love you.
Have you every seen a child playing alone...completely caught up in their own world? They may sing or dance or receipt the dialogue of their story aloud. They are completely unaware, or better yet, unconcerned about the thoughts and judgments of outside influences. They are only present to their own joy. In that moment they are free...I love that.
Today is my father's birthday. I honestly can't tell you off the top of my head the day that he died… But once a year I celebrate him on this day. He was a kind wonderful man filled with laughter. Dad had the gift of making a "best friend" of every new person he met. I've been lucky enough to have been told that I have a caring heart...I owe so much of this kindness to my father... I learned through example.
I am choosing a sketch for today based on the love his life...my mom. My parents were high school sweethearts and married for over 30 years. I like to think of mom wearing something similar to this for one if their early dates, a silk top and linen shorts, and dad looking at her and smiling, filled with love and pride.
Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leafs a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
Yellow-gold satin with black patent leather accents.
These are lines from a Carly Simon song called "Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of".
In my opinion, it's all about wanting something new and loosing sight of the wonderful things you already have. I was chatting with a friend today when he pointed out this great situation I was in...the funny thing I wasn't seeing it that way till he told me. Suddenly I felt grateful for what I had...all it took was a change of direction to see it a new way.
Like this cotton pleated skirt and silk knit top with leather shoulders....look at it one way and it's a conservative view you've seen before...change the direction and you've got a sexy surprise you've been living with all alone....ain't life grand.
So while the title of the post is borrowed from the absolutely awesome 90's Brit sitcom...it's not where my head is today.
Sometimes it can be easy for us to get "down". Work, bills, family, friends, spouses...life...occasionally it gets tough. My take (thanks for asking) is acknowledge it, and then strip off the blue and step to into red...the absolutely fabulous red within us all!
So did anybody besides me not know that today was named after the Nordic God and sometime Marvel comic star?
According to our pals over at Wikipedia, "Since the Roman god Jupiter was identified with Thunor (Norse Thor in northern Europe), most Germanic languages name the day after this god" ...who knew!?! I guess it's true...you really can learn something new everyday.
In keeping with days theme, I offer this superhero inspired look...complete with color blocking and a banded waist, neck and wrists. I say we throw caution to the wind and construct the whole thing out of pleather!
Tonight I gave myself the gift of completion. That is not as dirty as it sounds.
Last year I started the curriculum for a new form of education... Tonight I completed it. I'm present to the satisfaction and pride that comes in attaining the goals for one sets for themselves. Don't deny yourself the opportunity to bask in this sort of achievement....it's a good feeling.