Monday, May 4, 2015

Time Wounds All Heels

Maybe what i'll write here is a polemic against time....or maybe a love story....
because here's the thing;
you accidentally burnt your hand, and at first; shocked by the sensation and the rudeness of the interruption, you then, quickly accepted the privilege of engaging in a whole new event.
here you are now. it happened. there's no going back to that moment before you stupidly rubbed your hand against the metal grates of the toaster.

thank you you and i have to hash it out. first you win. then i do...but only on your terms.

and it takes takes as long as it takes..and it doesn't care at all that it's inconvenient for you.

but, there's a love story too...

 'wish it hadn't' gets to mud wrestle with  'it did'
oh! what would blister be without toaster? desire is the root of suffering, and suffering inflames desire... until it's over.

maybe somehow that blister keeps you company. something that reminds you of how much you love and use your thumb. and's gone. healed up....and where are you now? alone. right? blister free in a world that doesn't advocate comfort as much as it loves a good fight.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the economoics of beauty by and large...

i'm not up to the larger debate about high art, plastic surgery, celebrities and the likes. rather, it's a personal kind of talk i'd like to have with you. about money. about art. about beauty. that kind of stuff. you know what i mean.

i've been discussing this topic with as many people as i can lately. kind of a survey of sorts. an attempt to sort it out with in the framework of my current social environment.

jane and i were recently part of a beautifully planned and executed art show here in sc in dec. and the first weekend of jan. it was really eye opening to talk with people that came out to see art, and those that make it too. we had a full weekend of talking art.

during our show, a brilliant art lover and musician, who happens, also, to be a professor of economics by trade, stopped by our booth. he had written a treatise on economics and art which he forwarded to me. the point he makes clearly and eloquently, is that socially and economically, art makes sense in the larger ( economic ) world picture. ( if he says it's ok, i'll show you his paper.) he makes a lot of good points. maybe he wrote it for me. for us. for the lump-in-proletariat-artists that don't know when to get a real job, or why they are doing what their doing instead of something else, anything else...

i always stumble here, at the point where we ask ourselves...what's the difference between doing something that you like doing, and something that is worth doing. worth doing in the larger social sense, worth doing in the minuscule, personal economic sense...and so on...
is it a one or the other? it seems that so easily it becomes that. what if i'm a terrible artist? what is the real-job equivalent of being bad at following your bliss? what if i mistake following my passion for avoiding responsibility? what if i make art about something that no-one cares about? does it matter, then, if i care or not too? what if i think i'm passionate about art, but i'm really not...?
do you see?
if i work at the DMV, i draw a salary. i support my life. maybe i hate it. maybe i'm even terrible at my job. does that incur the same kind of questions of social worth?
and yet....are we ready to assume worth based on the concept of art put forth to us by art stars like van gogh and gaugin? fame and fortune postmortem? martyrdom for art?

the question looming large in my mind is this: if you don't make a living-wage-salary at your chosen profession, is it still an acceptable choice to make? would the world really suffer much for the absence of the struggling artists?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

somewhere, everywhere, now hidden, now apparent....

"somewhere, everywhere, now hidden, now apparent in what ever is written down, is the form of a human being. if we seek to know him, are we idly occupied? " Virginia Woolf

Monday, November 15, 2010

home is a mythical creature

you know how it is. once you get an idea, a thought, a song, a word in your head, you notice it everywhere. home. home. home... i've been meditating on the concept of home lately. having recently finished "Swann's way", i am now, part owner, by proxy, of this redolent, glittering concept of home which has seeped, indirectly and acutely into our nostalgia. into our romantic idioms about 'home'.
'home' is not the place where one lives now, but, rather an elusive non-place that
represents moments of comfort and innocence which were lived without perspective, and have gathered sentimental value with their distance in time....
that non-place that one can only reach by a sight from the corner of the eye; nearly missed, a scent, a coincidental combination of sensory elements, experienced in just the moment that you were not looking....
pearls and lockets, with their storied perfumes that tell your secrets about sneaking into grandma's jewelry box as a child...wet grass that holds your first kiss forever in the blushing tenderness and confusion of a spot of dappled sun light, a taste that, in the instant it submits to the tongue, reveals the emotional tenor of your childhood....

i'm reading Lolita now. again. is it possible that there is a note, no..not a note, an imperative, a burning, glowing need for home in every story?
i am reading it for the third time. second in a row just now. in my home-centric frame of mind, it seems that H.H is deeply, intrinsically driven by a search for an elusive feeling of home. Nabakov cursorily notes H.H.'s loss of home and family as a young child as a prelude of sorts, to his mad, obscene, dear love for this child. they travel, homeless... through the innocent, provincial small towns by way of escape and respite, both. i admit to crying, both times, as i read in the last pages, the scorching moment when H.H. realizes that 'what was missing was not Lolita's presence by (his) side, but, the sound of her voice among the rising voices of the children at play' ( not quoted...just kind of clumsily remembered....please read or re-read this book..)

i sometimes wonder about what i do...i wonder at the self indulgence of art. and then i am reminded by these beautifully crafted odes to longing....that i do what i do, because doing it is home to me. and in a perfect world, something that i add to the collective pile of stuff in the world might exist in a brief second as a talisman or a catalyst to a memory of home for someone else.

Monday, October 11, 2010

We Love Idle Hands Dry Goods, Bandit Brands and Jen!

Jen McMillan, owner of Idle Hands Dry Goods and Bandit Brand T-shirts, and local philanthropist ( more on this later ) introduced herself to us in the cutest way possible.

Christa Martin, fashionista, beauty blogger and cultural arts reporter for the SC Goodtimes wrote a wonderful piece about BlankVerse in the January 28th edition of the Good Times. Jane and i were able to choose our own photographer for the piece ( Kevin Onorato ), and Missy Shnapps, a long time friend of Jane's and a stylist and fashion icon in her own right, helped us by styling for the photo shoot...our first ever
( well, my first for sure..more on this later..)

within the week, we got several calls and e-mails about our work. the most exciting response for me was an e-mailed note from a local, young woman. she said that she had seen our article. she praised our work, and said that, after seeing Jane in a Metallica t-shirt that Missy had cut and tied into a tube-top, she had to meet us....
( how can you not fall in love with a lady that writes that in a note to strangers?)
Jen has been our friend, muse and inspiration ever since.

Jen, the beautiful and magnanimous owner of this store has created a co-op that encourages and supports several other businesses. she has mentored her employees in a way that has allowed them to soak up her business savvy as well as her impeccable style. her generosity seems truly limitless. Jen's presence in this sometimes needlessly competitive town, makes everything seem right again.
plus, did i mention that she's smart, sweet, funny, stylish and cute as hell?

last Friday, we had a second trunk show at her amazing store, Idle Hands in down town Santa Cruz. Idle hands is not only haven for local artists, a wonderland of awesomely cool t-shirts and accessories, but also a community hub in which strangers are encouraged to unleash their brilliant,( sometimes unexpected ) talent on a piano that sits in the open door way..... and the worn wooden floors are lined with vintage cowboy boots, as if we had all just taken them off and settled in to absorb the comfort and absolution of our own home.....

Jen hosts a First Friday event most First Fridays of the month. she features local designers and serves up delicious treats, often accompanied by a surprise guest on the piano or lap steel guitar.

for more reasons to adore this amazing chick, and her wares, check out the Idle Hands Dry Goods or Bandit Brands websites.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the problem with Proust.... begin with, i was always a reader. mostly before college, of course.
actually, between elementary school and the time i dropped out of high school. and then, while i dragged myself through 10 colleges over the next several years, these beautiful books were a thread, leading back to my real self. and still....

in elementary school, i read all of the Greek myths. obsessively. and, of course, fairy tales, Grimms brothers, Arabian Nights, anything that had a weight to it, a big binding and the smell of old paper. I often stumbled upon paper backs at the thrift shop and read them, only later realizing that they were classics. before i reached middle school, i read Atlas Shrugged, Siddartha, Trout Fishing in America, Notes from the Underground, the Tao Te Ching, the Tropic of Cancer...basically anything that came my way.

college, work, kids, life....somehow so many natural passions get rubbed out along the way through. maybe it's just the those things that are so dear. the part of one's soul that can be taken for granted, the easy self that gives way quickly to demands of daily chores....?

anyway, what i'm actually writing about is Proust, and my current lack of...well...words.

BlankVerse. we named our company after a poetry term because Jane and i are both crazy about poetry. originally, we spent many nights curled up in Jane's cozy bed, reading each other's poems out loud. we haven't done that since we became such serious business gals ( hmmmmm), but we do still spend time reading out loud in the studio when ever we come upon a piece of writing that we are inspired by.
lately, for me ( when we're not listening to Twighlight on cd ) it is Proust.
the problem with Proust is....well, the problem is that there's nothing else to add.
and....there's nothing i would rather do than sit in my bed and read Swann's Way all day. ( well, unless someone wants to read it to french...)

i find so much inspiration in these rich, tangled, run-on pages, so full of every thing human, that when i sit down to write, i feel just dull. not self effacing, but rather, spent. and also a little bit loopy with admiration and love for this long dead guy that summed up all of life with intense, brilliant insight, from inside his solitary room.

Saturday, September 11, 2010



" i don't mind going to weddings long as they're not my own.." Tom Waits

our latest assignment: to create a collection inspired by weddings.
hmmmmmm..a wedding collection. weddings.....
we love white. yep. we love traditions. yep. weddings are cool....
but.... how can we take a word like that and make it into a piece of art? what are weddings? what's the deeper meaning? why do people get married? people everywhere, for all times have had weddings...

after some thought, Jane got to the bottom of it. weddings are ceremonies. weddings are ceremonies.....and ceremonies are universal. and there is an innate connection between people and ceremonies and culture. and the objects and adornments of these ceremonies belong to a very special category of things....things that hold substantial significance because of a deeper, intrinsic, historical, cultural and personal symbolism.

stepping back....viewing ( as we did )many pictures of ceremonial jewelry, de-contextualized by our distance, both in geography and in understanding, it became clear to me that no matter what the occasion, people bring out their rockin'est shit for ceremonies.

there is so much beauty in the wonderful, archaic, reverential treatment of symbols.
and, for me, there is equal beauty in the ornaments themselves, which, without even understanding their intent, can still be seen to carry the burden of meaning. maybe the weight of extravagance itself can imply meaning..?

a long, elaborate white dress? 100's of colorful strands of beads? body paint? veils and flowers?

we are inspired.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

jane, bryn & henry be...

after a break. after eating 100 popsicles and drinking a case of light beer with my sibs, i'm home. ready to plan something for BlankVerse.
just not sure what.
dear friends have been asking. "what are you up to now?" and "what's next for your business?"
and loquacious me, anecdotal me, the talker even when there's nothing to say-me, stammers and i blush. um, i'm not sure. and then some unclear mumbling...

Jane and i had a meeting last Tuesday. we sat down with all of our summer stories stored up and all of our unknowns and ideas...

Jane's clarity never ceases to amaze me.
she offers such space and elegance for us to move about in.
to our mutual question: "what are we up to, and what's next?" Jane suggested that we get back to what we are, and why we started BV in the first place.

she says "we will walk on the railroad tracks at twilight with antique champagne glasses, spilling prosecco on our shoes...we will look for inspiration in our friendship, in elaborate dinners, in museums, in proust, in teen-age vampire
stories,( more on that later..),in playing dress-up, in the beauty of our peers and our ancestors.."

we will take time to breathe. to embrace life's wonders. we will cull inspiration from our desires and dreams.
and we will continue to work. we will continue to put our heart into our job.
we will savor the art of making what we love, and loving what we make.... and remembering why we do it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

ever since the moment that i saw an array of male stars, posing for oscar pics; open shirts, gorgeous, chunky necklaces adorning their bare chests, i have been mentally accessorizing every man that i see....

leather, silver, chain, emblems, totems, charms.....
necklaces can be personal talismans for the unadorned sex.
a tattoo, a love letter, a symbol.....for luck, for love, for identity...

..hanging with Mx2 in the b-y.....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Line Quality....

i have been wanting to write a post about lines for a while now. i always find so much inspiration in the natural beauty around my house, and i was recently struck by the variety of shapes and lines as i jogged on the dirt road that leads to my house.

the grasses are long and dry now, supporting variegated, tear-drop shaped seeds that turn purple and brown as they age & there are thistles that flowered last year, crippled and black & twisted. thick, old redwood trees with inches of rough bark & madrone trees that look almost slippery beneath their delicately peeling skin. sickly berry vines crawl along underneath...tiny splinters covering their lanky strands. it is so tangled and wild in some places, that a heart shaped leaf or a dandelion puff offer a visual respite, like a full moon in a chinese painting.

i want our jewelry to reflect this variety. i want to draw with strands and wire and dandelion-round pearls. wispy antique rosary beads, next to shiny blue glass, tiny charms and wild strips of deep brown leather...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thank You!

Dear Friends of BlankVerse,

our anniversary-trunk sale was a happy success!
thanks to all of our adorable and loving friends that came to see us!
thank you all so much for really making a point of supporting our business in such a sweet way!

we nearly sold out! this was one of our fantasy goals ( please say a loud wooo hooo for BV! )

Sara, thank you so much for hosting another girlfriend sale at your beautiful home!

Alice, thank you for the beautiful, handmade clock!

Missy and Jill, thank you for always showing up, splurging and looking so beautiful in everything we make!

Jane and i are always in a state of gratitude that our amazing, talented, beautiful
friends are also so incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about our endeavours! thank you all or being so inspiring!

a big squeeze and swak to everyone!

with love and admiration,

Saturday, May 29, 2010

girlfriend anniversary sale:

129 John St.
Santa Cruz


call laamie: 831-345-6144 or,
jane: 831-247-0750 for directions or more info.