Monday, October 30, 2006

Bad case of the Mondays

I didn't meet my Sunday goal of 5 new clutches. Bad me. I didn't even finish one. The design is giving me fits, but I hope to have it worked out soon. It looks so simple! But alas, it is not.

Since Word Imp asked, no, I'm not Japanese. I'm a blonde haired, blue eyed girl from Northern California, originally. You can see what I do on the Kimono Momo website. I know it's spring in the southern hemisphere, but when it gets cold again, you can think of me and maybe buy a scarf!

It's hard to be loquatious on an empty stomach, so I'm going to have some breakfast, take my son to school, and get on with my day. Chat with you all later...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Goal for tomorrow

I have a challenge goal for Sunday to make at least 5 new clutches, but hopefully more (bf said "finish half the ones you already started" but that's probably more than I'll have the time or patience for. arg). I'm thinking five is a reasonable amount because I'm still tweaking the design of the interior pocket and working out the kinks on everything else. When I'm working with something new, I tend to sit and stare at it for awhile and let my brain do its thing while my hands take a rest. I scribble notes in my notebook (one of many. If you know me, you know I always keep a notebook handy. Sometimes I do forget a pen, though) and otherwise figure out what the design imperfections are until I get it right.

Oh yeah, I also promised to take the kids downtown tomorrow, which is why I won't have endless hours to fiddle with bags. I've given up on my photographer (he's a great guy, but really too busy) and I'll deal with getting some new pics myself. So if they all turn out looking like crap, you'll know why.

I hope you're having a splendid weekend. Drop a comment in the box and let me know you were here! It's nice to meet you.

Something you may not know about me.

This is common knowlege to my family and oldest friends, but recent additions to my life don't know that I once lived as a street artist making jewelry. For years. Until someone broke into my car after a show and took everything of value and left me with a few earrings that I didn't really like anyway and a shattered feeling inside because I had just started a new line and they took all the beautiful custom pieces I had just made.

So why fabric? At what point did I turn around and say "okay, no more metal. Bag the garnets. Shelve the pearls. Box up the amber, tourmaline, onyx and whatnot. I'm calling it a day and moving on to something soft and fluffy." Um, I have no idea, but I blame my mother. She's been a quilter since I was 8 and a crafter long before that. The first quilt she made was a whole cloth piece with a dragon and a fat old man on it, from the story I absolutely adored (and still do), Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like. I was so proud when it was hung in the school library. I figured out at an early age that making things with your hands, especially things that look and feel good, will make people smile.

Japan is home to some of the finest fabrics on earth. Like Germany makes tools, Japan makes silk. That is to say, they don't mess around with quality, and my mother raised me in enough fabric stores, quilt shows and museums to understand the importance of quality fabrics. The bf has a thing for good linen and he loves a bit of silk on his skin, but even he is more than a little overwhelmed by my ever-growing collection of kimono silk bolts. My computer is crammed in the corner of the "studio" (aka the livingroom), but my cutting table, sewing machine and shelves of fabric take over one whole wall, including a bay window from which I can see the Cascade Mountains and glorious sunsets.

Does that answer my own question? Not really, but at least now you know me a little better. And you can always ask.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Blog to blog ::: 3BT, too.

1. Yay! I got a mention on Modish today. This makes me very happy.

2. It looks like I will be doing two shows this year, including my fav Crave in Portland, OR. Ericka Dickey who runs the show has a fabulous team and puts things together so creatively that I get excited about going, even though I have a long drive over the mountains in dicey weather to look forward to.

3. I'm eating toast with plum jam. Easy for you, not easy for me as I have Celiac disease. Being gluten intolerant means having to make my own bread (aw, darn!) from a special mix like the ones from Gluten Free Pantry. So tasty I have to fight my family off or they'd eat it for me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Word Imperfect

I love this blog: Word Imperfect. It's bad enough I correct pronounciation and grammar when talking to my friends, now there is a way for me to turn my brain upside down once a day.

A few days back I gave an alternate definition for the word threnody and promised to follow up with photographic evidence. So here it is: "Harmony"
...and "Threnody"

This images are the front and inside of a Japanese obi. These show why I'm often to be found with stray bits of colorful thread on my person, and occationally swearing profusely in different languages as I rip stuff that shouldn't be there out of my sewing machine.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Well, this is nice.

I got a call this morning from a local newspaper reporter. I sent out my press release sometime last month and figured they'd just shelved it (or dumped it) and that was that but nooo... so I'm happy. It doesn't show on the outside, but I'm like that.

Still trying to get my photographer to do some new pics for me, but he's already working multiple jobs so he isn't easy to pin down. Fingers crossed that he can get some shots for me by this weekend!

In the meantime, lots of juicy new stuff on the sewing table today.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Even MORE new stuff!

Not viewable just yet, but I am making clutches out of obi fabric. I'm a messenger bag type of gal (and a mother) so I like a big bag. Making clutches is something that has been rattling around in my brain so long I'm actually designing them in my dreams these days. Today is the first time I got down to making one, and I am pleased with how things are turning out. The first one has sold already, but more are on the way as the idea continues to evolve in my head and with my hands.

Monday, October 23, 2006


The "Think Pink" silk chirimen scarf benefitting Stage IV Breast Cancer Research has sold. Thanks, Kathy!

It's that time of year...

and I'm hitting the blog circuit as hard as I can. Today the Holiday Gift Buying Guide at Indie hit the web. I suggest you head over there and check it out. There are a plethora of indie designers like myself who have put together a lovely showcase of goods, thanks to Anissa Mook who runs the show.

Still waiting to hear back from several other blogs and newsletters, but a few have told me that they would like to feature me in the future. Well, thanks! A little actual feedback is a nice thing. The automated replies are a bit... sterile, you know? When a blog writer/fashion editor emails me to say "I like your stuff! I'll fit you in when I can" I can't help but feel like I've had a nice pat on the back. Take note, fellow bloggers/newsletter scribes. A few nice words can go a long way.

That said, please check out the updates I've done to the Kimono Momo site. It's looking better every day.

Out in the garden the cold frame has still not been built (bf & I are obviously not carpenters), but I did build a season-extending sort of plastic greenhouse out of clear poly sheeting and a frame I used over the summer to hold the monster tomato tree up. Eh, it's a start. There's lettuce, onions, cilantro, and some other stuff out there. Right now I'm keeping the frost off it, but not a lot else. No snow yet (hooray!), but it is very cold at night.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm still up.

Well, it's almost midnight, so I guess that's the point, right?

Anyway, I'm yawning and rubbing my eyes but must stay awake. There is simply too much to learn, see and do tonight. Every night. Every day. The brain is like a sponge and I am having so much fun with this business. I managed to get fired from the other ones I've had in this little ranch town because they all bored me to death. Even the last one (which I truly enjoyed and actually miss) bored me with the constant dusting I was doing. That takes about 5 brain cells to do. Doing what I love, that's hardly going to be dull, now is it?

Ooo, I found (once again because I know I've found it before then lost it) this magazine: Kateigaho International. I'm looking at a subscription and possibly some back issues for research purposes. Very nice. Considering I spent $70 on a kimono mook on ebay this month (yikes!!), I think the subcription for this mag isn't bad. Not at all.

Back to sewing. I have work to do. Sleep is for other people. I'll catch up later.

New eBay listings today!

Yup, some of the new fabrics are up and running. Catch them while you can. Click here to see what's new.

It's officially decided that the Open Studio will happen the first Sunday of every month. If you want to be on the mailing list for it, drop me a line at and you'll get an alert in your emailbox to remind you. Well, that's assuming you live in Oregon, of course. Otherwise, you can get on the "out of town" list and I'll let you know when I'll be somewhere like Portland, Seattle, California, etc. I've got a trunk show in Portland in December... wanna come? It'll be fun!

In other news, I'm just finishing up a custom bag today. It's gorgeous. Sometimes I hate letting these beauties go, but it's nice to see other people enjoying them too.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Motivation is not an accessory. It is a necessity.

And right now I have some in the palm of my hand. However, I just found this in The Almond by Nedjma, "The one who holds the grace of God in his hands without knowing how to pay it homage is the one who's blind". I feel like I have everything I need so close, and yet, I can't see it. I should be madly working away at the sewing machine, but... I'm not. Yes, I've done plenty of work today, but not enough. There's always more. And at the end of the day, there's always dinner to cook and clothes to wash and so on and so on.

This weather is making me cagey. The high desert tends to have clear skies most of the time, and when the clouds remember that this is still Oregon out here over the mountains, they come and dance on our doorsteps. Not that we don't need it, of course, but... (again with the "but...") ay ay ay, I have a headache.

Okay, back to work.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Glassy eyed stare

Yeah, that's me right now. I'm cooking butternut squash from the back garden and trying to focus on much of anything else. My daughter wants to go shopping. I think she's insane.

This is what happens when you spend 8 hours a day staring at a computer screen and sewing scarves (not at the same time, of course). Ack. I stumbled across several interesting blogs today, including Rare Bird Finds, Asian Buzz, and Sitting 'Round the Kitchen Table. That last one belongs to an online friend of mine and it's a nice read.

I've had to slack off with the eBay listings this week because I'm almost out of stock, which is both good and bad. There's a big happy box on its way from Japan right now with my name on it, and I'm excited. I'd say "whoopie!" but at this point all I want is a very long nap in my comfy bed.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


New stuff on the Kimono Momo site!!! Yes! I finally got the new scarves put together and listed. Yesterday I was dreading it, but after several hours spent rewriting html code, I did it. And it looks good. phew. Thing is, I have plenty more. arg.

But at least it's a start.

There's just something about the first rains of autumn. They never cease to get my brain in gear. Of course, by May when it's still cold I'll be miserable, but for now it's a welcome change of season to observe. Yay! How is it where you are today?

Friday, October 13, 2006


1. The whooshing sound of silk rolling off the bolt as I start creating a new scarf. I rub the fabric against my man's cheek so he can feel it. His hands are working on computer parts and he closes his eyes in appreciation of the softness.

2. Feeling roots letting go of the earth in my back garden as I prepare for winter. The soft muffled snap under the soil.

3. Watching my 12 year old daughter grow into womanhood. It's a tad overwhelming sometimes, but still beautiful.

What are your 3 Beautiful Things today?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mental Health Days

When you work for yourself you get to make your own schedule. After working more days than I can think of in a row, I took yesterday and today off to do nothing more than chat online and read a magazine. Okay, I did more than that, but not much. Tomorrow should be a little more productive, but... eh. I'm not bothered right now.


At least I rode my bike around the block to get the mail and baked a loaf of bread. That must count for something.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Today's motto: be prepared

Next time I will do more prep work to make sure these things go well. As it is I only invited people verbally with no written back up and so only two people showed up. Pam and Steven got the benefit of all the sushi they could eat and first pick of my new stuff. They open their new store, Takara, later this week if all goes well. I've seen inside it and I'm excited! It's a beautiful space with handcrafted details (gorgeous woodwork), antique Japanese furniture, and loads of beautiful items (most of which were still packed when I stopped by the other day).

So, in the end the family got to nosh on sushi for dinner and will have more for lunch today. Thank you, Morris, for making such wonderful food. He called me this morning to make sure we'd enjoyed it! Morris is the sushi guy at Newport Market here in Bend, and he puts a lot of thought into his work. Kudos.

In other news, I'm typing this on the bf's Mac because the wireless router decided to crap out yesterday and my own Mac is sitting in the corner, looking forlorn and useless. Poor thing. No internet.

I talked with my dad over the weekend. He sounds better now than he did before the surgery. Yay Dad!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Half asleep means half awake

Got pics of the new stuff today. Here's a sample... it is a formal drape style scarf made from a kurotomesode kimono. And I think I may have a buyer for it already!

I've ordered the sushi, bought some wine and sake, and cleaned at least part of the house/studio. The thing keeping me up now is not worrying about the remaining mess, but the thought of spending a huge amount of money to do a very short show in Portland next month. It could be good, or it could be a wash like it was last year. But... my stuff is so much better this year than last year. Eh, it could be really good. Yeah, I like that idea.

Hm. I hope 2 bottles of booze and a platter of sushi will be enough. Heck, I hope it isn't, too, because if it isn't enough then that means more people came than I expected and that would be tremendously good. I've been looking for an excuse to host a party here since the day we moved in. If this works well, I'll do it again next month. Ha ha.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Take a deep breath...

Sunday I'm having an Open Studio here. I am crazy. Or maybe just insane. Either way, it's going to be practically impossible to get anything done. If you're in the area and reading this, drop me a line and let me know you're coming. I'll buy another bottle of sake to have on hand.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Went to a trunk show in town tonight. Man, I need to get out of the house more often. Seems like every time I do lately, someone hands me a glass of wine. I've consumed more fertmented grapes these past two weeks than I had in the past two months or more. It was a nice set up, and I found myself thinking "I really need an office like this" more than "I really need a t-shirt and earrings like this" which is what I'm sure they would rather I had been thinking.

Anyhoo, the new bag design is coming right along and looks fantastic. Such an improvement over the Obi Bag 3.2. Obi Bag 4.0 will be available probably later this month and definitely will be at any shows I'm doing before the Xmas rush.

In other news... eh, there isn't much. I'll be listing a bunch of goodies at my ebay store Sunday afternoon, so if you're looking for fabric, that's the place to be. Until then I will be sitting at the sewing machine making all sorts of yummy new items for the website. Updates soon to come.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Crazy Mama

My son drives me crazy. He really does. How do you cope with a kid who has more emotions than he can handle? I want to let him go and learn from life the hard way, but on the other hand I just want to keep him safe and happy. Can't have both, and it tears me up inside. When I was single-momming it, life was really bad. With the BF around it's easier, but I'm still constantly reminded how much I coddle the boy and that hurts too. Big *SIGH* today. I need coffee.

Other stuff to think about--good stuff!--stuff that is helping people out there in the great beyond: During the month of October I am donating 50% of the proceeds of one of my new scarves to help women with stage IV breast cancer. It's a nasty illness (worse than living with a moody kid, by far) and it's only a small gesture, but it's what I can do for now. Hopefully when things take off with the business (and I can pay all my bills on time) I can do more, but for now I just want to reach out and help in some way. So go to Kimono Momo and click on the SCARVES page to see the "Think Pink" scarf. It's a delicious blend of ultra soft chirimen silk (that's the really good stuff, btw) and sweet ivory ripple patterned silk on the back. It's a hint of what's to come for my fall/winter collection, and I hope you like it. A big thanks goes out to the ladies at for all the wonderful things they are doing to help raise funds for this vital cause.

As for the ebay store, I will be listing some yummy vintage silks today. I have some cottons ending Thursday, and more on Sunday. It looks like Sunday is going to be my primary listing day, but I'll still have random weekday listings because I'm a crazy woman and like a little wildness in the midweek.