“I dropped out of law school when I was twenty-four and returned to my hometown of Santa Cruz, California. I did not have a plan but I did have a promise: no more “shoulds”. I was determined to follow my heart wherever it wanted to go.
In the following years I worked as a bicycle messenger, learned to garden, fell in love, sold my car and for the first time felt truly competent and at home in my own skin. I began to notice and be taken with my own physicality: the crook of my arm holding the shovel, my thighs tightening as I pedaled, my hands strong and stained by the day. These were common moments when function was unexpectedly beautiful. This, I determined, was a form of beauty I needed to capture and express.
So I began to make things, with metal, with wood, and eventually with fabric. And here, where the practical and the precious come together, was where my heart led me. I enrolled at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco for clothing design. Two years later I started Filly.”
“I wanted a place with a Velvet Underground CD that made you nod your head and feel warm with recognition. I wanted the lettuce and the eggs at room temperature … I wanted the tarnished silverware and chipped wedding china from a paladar in Havana, and the canned sardines I ate in that little apartment on Twenty-Ninth Street. The marrow bones my mother made us eat as kids that I grew to crave as an adult. We would have brown butcher paper on the tables, not linen tablecloths, and when you finished your meal, the server would just pull the pen from behind her ear and scribble the bill directly on the paper like [the waitresses in France] had done. We would use jelly jars for wine glasses. There would be no foam and no ‘conceptual’ or ‘intellectual’ food; just the salty, sweet, starchy, brothy, crispy things that one craves when one is actually hungry.”
I’m on day 5 of bed rest after having my tonsils out. OUCH. I don’t recommend it. Oh, I kid; it’s one of those no pain, no gain situations. I’m looking forward to being a lot healthier in the future!
Despite the mewling, I am making the most of my time at home and preparing for the move to England by going through some of the design snippets, magazines and ephemera I’ve collected over the years. There are piles of interesting stuff stashed away in my filing cabinet. One such thing was this Nest winter catalogue from 2007. Nest was a New Zealand homewares store that sold the prettiest things, and sparked my love for all thingsConran.
“It’s time: turn on the kettle and stir the pot,
pull up the quilt and cozy up.”
I like these spreads because they are very “New Zealand” – both the dark landscape, and the way the stylist has mixed high and low, old and new. Shiny new pots hanging by an old cooker, a satin dress on a spindly wire washing line. Actually, the first shot reminds me very much of my great grandfather’s house.
If you’re in the midst of winter too, I hope you’re staying warm. (And if it’s your summer – get off the internet!) ❤
Tono (a “pseudo intellectual folk pop singer for the streets” and regular performer around Auckland) has written an interesting piece on perseverance within an artist’s practice: [a] busload of faith to get by.
Another documentary I have seen and enjoyed recently is The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters. It’s a 2007 American film that follows middle school science teacher Steve Wiebe as he tries to take the world high score for the arcade game Donkey Kong from reigning champion and hot sauce kind Billy Mitchell. Even if you don’t have an interest in gaming, you’ll love this battle of the nerds.
It’s a classic tale of good vs. evil, with lots of laughs and plot twists. It leaves you hanging for more, and pondering whether you could be the next world champion in something… If only you put your life into it.
Hello friends! I’m very excited to say that in August I’ll be moving 18331 kilometres (or 11390 miles) away to London, England with my fancy new visa.
The next little while will be busy – I have to finish up at work, have my tonsils removed, pack up my life (into a 30 kilogram baggage allowance no less), and have one last fling with Auckland. Oh, I’m stopping in Paris for a week first to to “recover” from jet lag with cheese and wine, before zipping to my final destination on the Eurostar.
Gosh oh gosh I will miss my loved ones, but I’m really looking forward to this new adventure.
Last week I stayed at home on a Saturday night. I put my best leopard print PJs on, plumped my pillows and ordered a takeaway. Then, far from the sophistication of writing (my novel) and listening to Smog (so refined), I watched THIS:
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Addictive, unashamedly host and funny, it’s the best documentary series I’ve seen in a while. And of course – those dresses!
I didn’t know anything about Irish travellers before, and this was a great insight into a culture completely different from mine. Someone has put most of the episodes screened thus far on Youtube , so you too can sit back, relax, and enjoy the mayhem of a gypsy wedding in their glory. If you have seen it, what did you think?
The light is just so in the Alleluyah end of arcade; meaning I can’t help but try and record it every time I visit. And there’s one table in particular, made of old floorboards, that has me enraptured. I am trying to limit my use of the word perfect, but this table just is.
That’s my gorgeous friend Laura. We had coffee in the midst of 2011′s Auckland Zinefest… more on that to come.