Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Inspiration

This weekend I went to see Tokyo! a set of 3 short films by 3 directors connected by the theme of living in Tokyo. The first segment, Interior Design, happened to be directed by Michel Gondry, who I've already gushed about. I love how he collaborates with other artists, for example, the soft sculptures and fabric art of Lauri Faggioni in Science of Sleep...she deserves her a whole post to herself!....or, in this case, Interior Design was actually based off a graphic novel by the wonderful Gabrielle Bell called Cecil and Jordan in New York. Obviously not set in Tokyo, but lends itself quite well to the new location. Bell and Gondry worked together on the writing of the script, the shooting in Tokyo, and Bell even directed a hilarious film within the short! They seem to have a wonderful working rapore, as seen in these NY Mag and Reverse Shot interviews. Wikipedia says, "Bell and Gondry also collaborated on Kuruma Tohrimasu, a collection of drawings and photographs made during the production of Interior Design. Conceived of as a thank-you gift for the film's cast and crew, Kuruma Tohrimasu is published as part of Drawn and Quarterly’s Petits Livres series." Unfortunately it was a tiny edition and Amazon doesn't have it but I'd love to see what all is in this book!

Gabrielle Bell (Picture via drawnandquarterly)

Gabrielle's Interior Design poster (via Director-file)

Cecil and Jordan in New york cover (Picture via drawnandquarterly)

A woman and her boyfriend move in to a tiny studio with an old classmate while trying to find jobs and an apartment to start their future in Tokyo. I adore Hiroko, she's the creative, aimless and overlooked girlfriend of a filmmaker, trying to find her own inspiration and path. My heart breaks when her friend, complaining about the couple still being at her apartment where they've quickly overstayed their welcome, says, "She's the problem, she just sits around all day cutting up my magazines!!" Hiroko sadly crumples up the charming collages shes been making (see photos above couch in press picture, below,) and starts turning into something very different. Anyway, I won't say more, but it's wonderful, all 3 shorts are great, go see it/rent it and pick up Gabrielle Bell's work asap!

Photo via (tokyothemovie) (L-R) Ryo Kase as Akira, Ayako Fujitani as Hiroko (who is actually Steven Seagal's daughter!) , Satoshi Tsumabuki as Takeshi, and Ayumi Ito as Akemi in TOKYO!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I absolutely love Etsy, and go through addiction phases where I buy wayyy too much. I think paypal makes it too easy, hehe. Anyway, these are a few dream outfits I've styled compiling some of my fave Etsy pieces for spring/summer. Enjoy!

Outfits from left to right:

1. Lavendar doman sleeve mini dress Red espadrilles Embroidered bag
2. Pink Qipao Butterfly bracelet Yellow beret Teal sandals
3. Daisy hat Green printed Cheongsam Yellow shoes Embroidered belt
4.Vintage Betsey Johnson dress Brown leather sandals Straw bag

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Great vintage finds...

When I went home I was able to do a little thrift store shopping, it's typically a better selection and less picked over there. I got this cute Koala hanky, a silk geisha scarf (that looks very Diane Fres or Zandra Rhodes to me but has no tag) and a fish print Liberty House for Malia dress. Liberty House was a department store based in Honolulu and the quality of the dress and cotton fabric is gorgeous, it was my best find and has me even more excited for summer! Any time I go to second hand shops I always end up with a pile of prints, it's inevitable.....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The little swimmer

I just got back from visiting home for a long weekend and it was so great to see my family and relax, and eat too much Mexican food. I always love seeing my little sister, I made this illustration for her....she's much older now, this is her from years ago, but she still loves the water, she's a lifeguard and swim coach to kids about this age. Oooo I also got some great vintage pieces and fabric prints which I'll post soon!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Almost home free....

I'm going home for a long weekend after work tomorrow- yay! I probably won't get to post much but here are some soon to be projects I'm working on. When I'm putting together an illustration using my trims, I usually just dump the bag of ribbon, embroidery, buttons, etc. out (I have bags and bags, all "organized" into types of trims) and then just see what looks good together and compliments each other. I love finding new pieces, and hopefully will get to go to some great vintage stores while I'm home. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I love that it's finally staying light longer! Warm is just around the corner. I found a bunch of great nautical looking ribbons and turned them into this fabric print and of course embellished with buttons.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Woodblock class

Saturdays I have woodblock class and a few students were nice enough to let me take pics of the process. If you want to learn more about the tools and process this book by Rebecca Salter is really great. There are very few woodblock printers actually left, because other printmaking process are easier and less time consuming, but David Bull is a still a prominent printer who has great info on his site, including a web cam where you can watch him at work.

Carving the block with the knife

For the printing process, first you wet the block, then dab on Nori, a paste to set the pigment, and the chosen color pigment on the block and then pounce it in with a marubake brush

The paper is laid flat on top of the pigmented block...

and a baren is used to rub the paper....

peel off the paper and voila! here's the print.

You need lots of cups with water, hake brushes, and Starbucks of course.

My tools from Baren Mall came!! Love the packaging!

This is Woody, my new baren: you use him to do the actual print by rubbing it against the paper. This was a very inexpensive plastic model because the amazing bamboo covered ones can be several hundred dollars.

My teachers tools. Its crazy the difference amazing quality and sharpening skills make.....he let me use them and the wood just peeled off like butter!
My new freshly carved panda block
with watercolor and nori brushed in...

1st try with block....

yay!!!! i love this little guy! I'm still having issues but i love how it picked up the wood grain and he's such a cute happy panda. I'm taking it as a success....Next class we have to make a "kaleidoscope" print and print multiple times to 1 page so they become layered with different colors.

Friday, March 6, 2009

shirt dress fiasco...

So I bought this shirt dress at a Rugby sample sale without trying it on to get home and find that it's past my knees and looks like a ridiculous XXXL plaid flannel sleep shirt!! I needed to finally hem it so I could wear it before it's spring....and cut it wayyyyy too short! (I'm not a measuring kind of gal) so now its basically a shirt shirt...but this is what I had envisioned it looked like...if I was about a foot taller ;)

Monday, March 2, 2009

snow day

It snowed inches last night and today I was so anxious to leave work once they said we could leave at 3....I love the snow and it is beautiful, don't get me wrong, but it's March!!! Please winter, stop. However, I'm loving the dreary greys and pinks that compliment each other so well and cozying up on couch with a cup of coffee...especially after getting out early! Christopher Kane sheer chiffon dress. Boots are Type Z from Zappos.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Plum tree cat

This is an illustration for the nursery rhyme :

Diddlety, diddlety, dumpty,The cat ran up the plum tree;
Half a crown to fetch her down,Diddlety Diddlety Dumpty!

The "plums" are all polyester apple buttons, the blossoms on the tree are embroidery appliques, and the background tree is made up of faux flower petals.