Mind: Boggled

March 24, 2011 § 4 Comments

I have a confession to make: wedding invitations are way over my head.  I saw this diagram on Envelopperinc.com and thought maybe Cesar and I should invite our guests via phone call.  And I loathe talking on the phone, so that gives you an idea of my enthusiasm level over formal paper invitations.

Why so many options?  And what information is really vital?  Names, dates, location, time, RSVP: these details seem very important to me.  Maybe a local map.  So why are there so many elements and peripheral cards in all of these packages?  Are card backings and cellophane bags really going to enhance the invitation viewing experience?

I’m going to be completely honest here: I have never really wrapped my brain around good paper presentation.  In college I agonized over the books we had to produce documenting various processes in my draping, tailoring, and crafts classes.  My classmates seemed to produce effortlessly beautiful chronologies which left me thinking, “Why is this part so difficult for me?”  I am far more interested in the object I’m crafting than I have ever been in the 2D paper representation of that object.  And that’s the best way I can describe how I feel about the task of creating wedding invitations.  I thought some of the stationery sites would inspire me, but they have only left me confused.

Can anyone point me toward solid inspiration that does not include digital diagrams of the 1000+ options available to me?  We want to design our own, but I need visual research!



March 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

If you’ve ever spent a night out in Williamsburg, chances are good that you’ve happened upon the corner of N 6th St and Wythe Ave.  Does this look familiar to you?

Photo via The Brooklyn Paper / Jeff Bachner

Have you ever wondered what the wooden facade encases?

Curiosity got the best of us tonight.  Our initial intention of finding fish tacos on the first beautiful evening of 2011 was foiled by our own misinterpretation of the restaurant named “Tacu Tacu.”  The reformulated plan was to continue down one block and back: if we didn’t find something new to try in that one block, we’d revisit a standby option.  But as we passed the blank wooden wall, the menu drew us in and we discovered it was a Japanese restaurant.  With virtually no sushi to speak of.  After an indiscernable moment of hesitation, we went in.

One step into Zenkichi immediately transported the two of us back to every fine dining experience we’d had in Japan.  We reminisced about Cesar’s sake match with my brother’s colleague, Taniguchi.  I recalled trying sake flights with names like “fu fu fu” (explained as the sound of soft laughter) in a swanky joint hidden in a town that seemed to roll up the sidewalk to every other public establishment at 8pm.  And the flavors in each dish that arrived at our private two-person booth were so authentic, it will be hard to accept Japanese dishes from any of our usual haunts from now on.  As we savored every bite, we discussed the subtle flavors that tend to be missing from local fare: miso, sesame, seaweed, bonito, egg, and the numerous tones we couldn’t identify.   It’s very difficult to describe the complete satisfaction and nourishment derived from authentic Japanese food, just as it is nearly impossible for me to communicate the feeling I always get from being in that country.  If you have ever been, you must make Zenkichi the destination for your next special occasion meal.  Although a trip to Japan is not mandatory to find the food utterly delectable.

To segue a little, albeit awkwardly and hopefully not insensitively, my brother and his family and friends are all safe and healthy in Takamatsu.  Those he knows and loves in Tokyo are also well.  But my thoughts continue to be with those who were and continue to be affected by the quake, tsunami, and nuclear uncertainty.


March 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m working on three new origami arrangements for the ABC No Rio Gala to be held on May 3rd.  I’ve decided to enlarge the flowers for two of the arrangements, but I’m thinking about making the third from scrap rectangles these flowers left behind.

I’m also injecting some brightness into the bunch.  I was a little uncertain about incorporating the donated neon toned pages, but it’s working nicely.

I don’t know yet what I want to use for the base.  I’ve been using tall bottles, but it sounds like low jars are going to be more appropriate for the purposes of the event.  I’m looking at one jar I decoupaged with some bright graffitti images, but that might be color overload.  maybe I’ll stick with a plain jar and fill it with rocks or other rubble.  Maybe I’ll go grab a handful of No Rio.

Jewelry galore

March 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Cesar and I took a trip to Mood today to purchase some more poplin (to make up for the yardage I cut into sails of an unusable size).  The following stop on our itinerary was Blick Art Supply, and in our journey from Mood to the F train, we passed what looked like just another wholesale jewelry store.  But something about the store made me want to go in.  The sparkle lured me through the door, and I discovered Enttra New York.  It’s like if Claire finally grew up, stopped going to prom, and moved to New York.  Enttra carries tons of great looking, low priced costume jewelry (do people still call it costume jewelry?).  Fun stuff to accessorize your wedding dress and lots of gift ideas!

Getting reacquainted

March 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Upon returning to freelance, I assumed my posts would become more frequent.  And yet somehow it has been a whole week since my last post.  What have I been doing with myself since leaving the 9-5 (10-6 if you want to get technical)?

Sewing.  Lots and lots of sewing.  My main project at the moment is to produce 800 pairs of white cotton boat sails with 1/4″ rolled hems.  I’m about 100 single sails in, plus the hundreds of samples Cesar and I agonized over before we could finally get down to producing the real thing.  If hemming simple right triangles sounds easy, it’s not.  Not when facing the perfection and consistency expected by a visual artist.  If this were a costume, I’d say, “The twisting of the bias seam is totally what I was going for.  And the variation in the final dimensions is a happy accident.”  But this is not a costume, and the product will not be viewed from the forgiving distance that a theatre provides.  So … I sew!!  But it’s very satisfying to plug through a huge stack of work and have something to show for it at the end of the day.  Feels good!

I’ve also been sewing for myself for the first time in a very long time.  This week’s personal project was my wedding veil.

As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of the birdcage.  But I am not a fan of the $150-$250 price tags that are affixed to most of them.  Unjustifiable in my mind.  Especially when the main ingredient is air.  Furthermore, I’ve had scraps of vintage lace sitting in a bag at home for months.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to incorporate them into my wedding look, and a big flower for my veil was the perfect solution!

The white half-rosette is made of sail scraps, and the doo-dads in the center were salvaged off a dying showgirl headpiece that was headed to it’s costume grave.  The netting cost me approximately $2.00.  For .8% of the cost of a retail birdcage veil, I made one that I think could rival anything BHLDN has to offer.  Not to brag or anything, I’m just really happy with how it turned out.

I have lots of supplies left over, so look out for a couple veils in my Etsy shop very soon!

One year ago …

March 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

Whilst shopping at Beacon’s Closet in search of dresses to wear to any number of the upcoming 2011 weddings we’ll be attending, it dawned on me that one year ago today, Cesar asked me to marry him in our Takamatsu hotel room.

I will always remember what was on TV that morning. Stretchy Power defeating the evil(?) pepper headed man.

This guy is Stretchy Power, sent to educate school children about the power of stretching, I guess.

He presented me with that little silver heart shaped box I’d won in a claw machine, which he’d stealthily nabbed from my dad and filled with an amazing and surprising Brooklyn crafted ring.  And while I wear that ring on my right middle finger, it is no less my engagement ring than the one we picked out together to place on my left ring finger.  We talk all the time about how fast time has gone, and at the same time, how slowly.  How it’s possible to feel both sentiments of, “It’s already been a year?!” and, “Has it really only been a year?!”

And now it dawns on me that our wedding is exactly six months from yesterday!  Wowzers!  How 18 months can reduce to 6 months in the blink of an eye is beyond me!  I guess it was all that fun we’ve been having (with a healthy dose of hard work to really help time escape us)!  We are in good shape, though.  With the venue, photographer, clothing, and caterer covered, the last big things to figure out are the music, cake/cupcakes, and invitations.

We’re considering Sugar Sweet Sunshine for the cupcakes and plan on designing the invitations ourselves.  But does anyone in the New York City area have good suggestions for either a band or dj?

I am also dying for a 6" Momofuku cake for us to cut. This one is so attractive!

A little self-promotion

March 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Finally!  I have updated my online portfolio.

photography by Cesar Arredondo, makeup/model Loren Siems

I have always struggled with keeping my portfolios and resumes updated.  Focusing so intently on getting current projects done right, the presentation of past projects usually suffers.  Before you scold me, I know how detrimental that is to professional growth.  Furthermore, revamping my resume is on the top of my to-do list.  The task feels daunting because I know I need to demolish it completely and rebuild from the ground up.  I’ve edited it so heavily over the last five or six years that the original design has completely disappeared.  I also know I will need to write multiple resumes if I’m interested in finding work beyond costuming for the stage.

I have been itching for a while to get out and learn something new, gain new experiences and skills, and make new connections.  Another point on my to-do list is compiling a list of Brooklyn photographers I’d like to work with to get more styling work under my belt.  Of stage, screen, and photo, I have found that I enjoy styling for photo shoots the most.  I don’t know if removing the element of the performance puts me at ease, if following a visual story is more enjoyable than following a script, or if my aesthetic and desire for perfection lends itself more readily to the static image.  Whatever the reason for my preference, I want to do more of it.

Feel free to direct your photographer friends to my portfolio!

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