Thursday, June 15, 2006

Found fabrics

Here are some pics of the fabrics I found yesterday at the dump, all washed and sorted by color. Some of them really are quite spectacular in their strangeness. How did we live with such prints and colors ?

These two are my favorites ,a good sized piece of an avacado floral that is destined for a handbag and a skinny piece of voile in shades of pink and brown that will make a lovely scarf.

Take it or leave it

Inspiration comes from the strangest places. I am lucky to live in a town with an amazing recycling center. Virtually everything can be recycled there and residents can take some things back too. You can get free compost, once every couple of months you can shop in the "paint store" there is a library section and another one for household, office and sporting goods called"take it or leave it". I always find something. When I was doing lots of pique assist I'd go there looking for dishes. Today I saw 3 wine cartons stuffed with fabric scraps, Most of the fabric was in very small pieces. It was rolled and stuffed into the small compartments for the wine bottles. . I sorted through and manage to find some interesting fabric from the 60's I brought it all home sorted it out by color and washed it. About a third of it was from clothing that had been deconstructed, the rest of it was upholstery fabric. There were a few remnents that still had the prices on them. 22 cents for a quater yard of tan polka dots on black. Some of the colors are absolutely hideous, but others evoke memories of my younger years. Many are not the kind of vintage fabrics I think we're likely to ever see reproduced again. A few I would give anything to have more of. I think the person that left them was cleaning out either an upholstery shop or was a home decorator. It was fun to try and guess what each piece once was and what kind of people would want piece of furniture covered with cream twill printed with evenly spaced quarter sized duck decoys? I'll take some pictures and post tomorrow but I'm already filled with ideas.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

South End Open Market

Today I took a carload of accessories to Boston's South End Open Market to sell at the Etsy Booth. Traffic was pretty good, I received many compliments, sold 20 items to 14 customers , but overall,(sales-wise)it was a disappointing day. The best part was meeting other ETSY sellers,some incredibly talented people. I shared a booth with
sweetestpeawho makes the cutest stuffies around , all hand sewn and completely original and mlee a printer that specializes in wood block prints, very reasonably priced that have a very earthy organic feel but are also very modern. Next tent over were allyouneedislove,a very talented painter, she also sells prints of her originalartwork and repurposed clothing which she embellishes with hand sewn appliques. Sharing a tent with Allyouneedislove was eirene a handbag designer with an eye for fabrics and exceptional skill. She had the cutest handbags there (and there were quite a few sellers with handbags including me.) Across from us were Mogo, who screen prints on small accessories and baby clothes and heatherjeany with beautiful handmade cards. It was both intimidating and inspiring to be around so many creative and talented people.
I also had a little bit of a dream come true working with my daughter, Naomi, who is home for a few more weeks. Naomi came to work with me when she was a baby, and was only 5 when my store closed. My business partner and I used to dream of the day when Naomi would take over for us. Naomi is an amazing trend spotter and trend setter, and I have no doubt that she would succeed as a buyer, but she has never shown an interest in retail. When the opportunity came along for me to sell at the market I was hesitant because I didn't want to interfere with her vacation, but she encouraged me to do it, was full of bright ideas and was a terrific sales person. So a bit of melancholy there, seeing that had my store survived she would have been a success. I have 2 more years until my last little bird leaves the nest and then I'll think about opening a new store. I hadn't planned on doing any shows until fall but I think I'll look around for one or two more while Jon is away for the summer.