you are the company you keep...

from age 5 to age 18 i was educated at one of the top, academically competitive private schools in the south. unfortunately, i was never naturally one of the brightest bulbs in the bunch. i had my share of teachers who gave up on me right away, dismissing my learning disabilities only to label me as a lost cause. thankfully, i always had at least one patient and kind teacher every year. always had one who took the time to appreciate that i had the heart and passion to do well, it just would take me more than a few tries to get it right. always the underdog, always having to work harder than most just to stay afloat. at the end of the year, when i would give my teachers their thank-you gifts, my mother encouraged me to write "thank you for believing in me" to the ones who made a difference.

i am surrounded by so many supportive people in my life, personally and professionally...

thank you for believing in me.


gratitude is the memory of the heart...23 june 2008

once upon a time i had the idea of sweet talking my coworkers into writing down 5 things daily that they were thankful for. when all the commotion had slowed down to a murmur( usually between 8 and 10 pm), i would march around to the different sections of my store, armed with post-its and ballpoint pens. many grumbled, most were compliant, and some even seemed tickled. it was by far the happiest moment of my day. one-by-one, they would return to me with their gratitudes. i stapled the colored notes onto the letterhead stationary and would review the pages like a child reading a bedtime story. and during my time at this store, i collected tomes of thanks.

i miss these moments. i think i shall try and start it up again.

if anyone wants to send me post-its with their daily gratitudes, i guarantee it would brighten both of our days...just a thought...


eventually all things merge into one. i am haunted by words...

such random thoughts i have...

bell jars. shadow puppets. marionettes. tristan tzara. paper doll chains. clotheslines. fishtail braids. brown eggs. craft paper. boudicca. touchstones. dandelions. daisy chains. jesus and the mary chain. heartstring. ball of string. stockings. bralettes. balloons. alice in wonderland. dorothy. maude. juliet. wishing. curious and curiouser. obsession. repetition. insomnia. paper planes. kites. wink'n, blink'n, and nod. tiddlywinks. goodnight moon. love you to the moon. pat the bunny. baby's breath. snap dragons. hope chest. hope on a rope. soap on a rope. rope swing. jump rope. cat's cradle. hop scotch. chalkboard. sidewalk chalk. doll house. valley of the dolls. milk bottles. bottled emotion. drink me. punch drunk love. book shelves with ladders. jacob's ladder. wallflower. potting soil. clutter. collections. treasure maps. globes. constellations. dippers. ladles. label makers. typewriter. writing pens. love letters. alphabet blocks. flash cards. house of cards. speakeasy. big band. phonograph. photograph. polaroid. polar opposites. opposites attract. laws of attraction. lawyer. eddie. man of my dreams. daydream. automatic writing. surrealism. maya deren. beautiful as the chance meeting upon a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella. duchamp. r mutt. r crumb. henry darger. l frank baum. patchwork girl. quilting bee. spelling bee. bee charmer. charmed life. charm school. etiquette. table manners. cotillion. debutantes. coming of age. how to kill a mockingbird. why is a raven like a writing desk. mome wraths. moths to a flame. magnifying glass. looking glass. mercury glass. mason jars. jam. teapots and cups. clotted cream. egg cup. silver spoons. spooning. sleeping. nightmare. night terror. sleepwalk. talk in your sleep. nonsense. nonsense and kind. year and a day. grandfather clock. lullaby. my mother. my father. twelfth of never. neverland. lost boys. shadow. happy thoughts. thimble. thread. hand sewing. stitch. mend. lend or borrow. on borrowed time. tick tock. calendar. chart. lists. to do. check.


stir my soul... visual gratitudes

all of these make up all of me. i am forever grateful for these artists and their works. my influences and my touchstones. one in the same.


find your heart's content...22 june 2008 gratitudes

1. had a day of wonder with the lovely corrie pellerin.

2. began the day with breakfast in the lower east side at teany. had fruit, yogurt, and granola and a teanychino, followed by a strong cup of black coffee.

3. went on a wild goose chase to find the children's store, maki, in soho. it was closed but we stopped in other children's stores to feel young at heart. there is nothing more special than seeing giggly children. if i could bottle a baby's laugh i would, and make a fortune. i think these kind of stores are my version of a happy place.

4. admired the yummy fabrics and yarns at purl soho and purl patchwork. i was smitten with the clothesline of tiny mohair baby booties. if i could knit, i would recreate this and hang it in my room, across my bedroom window.

5. stopped in washington square park to eat pinkberry and revisit where eddie proposed. i haven't been to the spot since he asked me to marry him. i love that this place will be around forever and we will be able to show our children one day.

6. introduced corrie to the red balloon. its so much fun to share sweet things with this girl. she and i both have hearts of children and are doing our best to fight the jadedness that comes with growing up. i never want to become a cynic. ever.

7. felt young and happy, finding magic at every turn in this city. i love having days off to recharge. i think i will be much lovelier at work tomorrow...fingers crossed.


summertime, when the living is easy...21 june 2008 gratitudes

1. today is my first full day of rest in some time. and i don't work tomorrow either. it feels like when school is out for summer. that first night; where there is no impending homework looming over your head, and you can just play by your own rules. i love this feeling.

2. found some old "g" letterpresses at a stamp shop. i wanted to find a classic lowercase g that resembles how i draw mine...but that will be for another day.

3. unearthed a wall hanging at a flea market that looks like an indian crazy quilt. it is massive and completely hand-beaded, hand-sequined, hand-pieced, and hand-stitched. this massive piece is completely untouched by machine. i wish i could photograph the whole cloth in a way that does it justice. its beautiful. my favorite colors coupled with my favorite techniques and oh so shiny.

4. flipped through my magazines to find good poses for illustration inspiration. i am completely obsessed with lara stone, the gap-toothed chanteuse who never seems to be wearing clothes. i'm also rekindling my love affair with bruce webber and his naughty photography. his new spread in w magazine is pretty spectacular. and i included some swipes from french playboy to prove that it is not just another smutty men's magazine.

5. had breakfast with vaughn vance at cafe cluny. he is such a good boy and i loved watching all the girls(and boys) at the restaurant turn their heads as he walked past. what's even better is he's so humble that he doesn't even notice.

6. about to go and attempt to tackle the danger zone that is my bedroom. i wish i was a tidier girl...but i guess i'm just too much of a free spirit... yes...that's my excuse. whenever i meet artists that are clean, neat, and organized i am in complete and utter awe. illustrator and muse, alyson fox, apparently keeps a tidy workspace and i envy her. how does she do it? i need tips.


the happiest day of the year...20 june 2008 gratitudes

1. today is the first day of summer, normally my least favorite season( because i hate the heat) but i think this one will be exciting. i can feel a change in the air. apparently today is the happiest day of the year. hopes are high and winter is but a distant memory.

2. snatched some more marc jacobs bras. i have a sincere problem, i can't stop. my "unmentionables" drawer is bursting with the prettiest bras in my colors: grey, black, nude, pink, dusty rose, and mauve. the bras ran really small this season, and lucky for me i have a most modestly sized chest!

3. the new steiff keychains came in to little marc today. i couldn't resist but buy a bunch for presents for friends and laboring over who got which one. my darling friend, haylie bird waring believes in identifying your "spirit animal". i'm a hedgehog. you know, because i'm nurturing...

4. listening to my summer playlists. au revoir simone is on heavy rotation. they are the cutest, most enchanting band i have ever seen. i am smitten with these girls. i had the pleasure of meeting them at a fashion show and i nearly fainted. as sweet and lovely as their songs.

5. went to a poetry slam at bowery poetry club to support the talented jaime lewis aka "rip" and his group "writers block". i felt like i was in a scene of some 60s film. the women were amazing. a stylistic range from headwraps and layers of chunky beads to highwaisted denim shorts and paper-thin, slouchy knits. and before the spoken word began, the d.j. cut a mean list of fun songs for all to dance to. i love to dance.

6. saw corrie at the store. she is going to be working just around the corner from me and i can't believe it! all of my dear friends work within a few blocks of me. its magical. new york is such a big city and yet we all have pooled together in the west village. makes my heart feel so full!

7. the sweet waitress from the spotted pig, anna, came buy the store. she is so positive and encouraging about the headbands pete, chelsea, and i are working on. she was speaking french to her stylist friend, anouck, and i could have listened to them all day. anouck pledged her love of bows to me, and i knew we would be friends. its funny how a detail can bring people together.

8. saw kusum lynn at the store. she, aya kanai, and nicky cohen have left an indelible mark in my memory. these were the main stylists/fashion editors at nylon when i had my first internship. these women were iconic to me and still are. she currently freelances and styles for lula magazine. heavy sigh.

9. got a sweet care package from my pete cooney. a custom made alice-in-wonderland stamp, an alice notebook, and a mauve ink pad. so thoughtful. the cover of the notebook has the quote, "why, sometimes i've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast". so true it's eerie. i'm a constant dreamer.


i will collect them all for you in butterfly jars...19 june 2008 gratitudes

1. oh i wish i had brought my camera last night! christine cho knows how to make people dance dance dance. it has been a long time since i have put on my dancing shoes and everyone knows how i love when we all get together and shimmy the night away. i wish she would dj every night that i go out dancing.

2. after watching the red balloon, i began thinking about my favorite short films and i immediately thought of amanda finn. she is a film maker from scad whose films remind me of beautiful collages and watercolor paintings. her work has this really dreamy and lovely languid quality about it and i wish i had a dvd of her films. the first time i saw them i was in the local coffee shop in savannah, dripping sweat, craning my neck to and fro trying to catch every last second. her work is so beautiful, it hurts to look at it.

3. emily searle is a really talented photographer who i had the honor of knowing at scad. she and amanda finn work and play and live together in brooklyn. she has a really spot on eye for arranging spaces and i love the way she photographs girls. she took a photo of me in my old apartment in savannah and it makes me laugh because it is a pretty accurate portrayal of how i live. random piles of inspiration, clutter, and clothes. like a little girl who never learned how to live like an adult. oh well.

4. mollie little. my very talented(and very little!) room mate. she is an illustrator who moved to new york on a whim(how romantic) and is making her dreams come true. she has worked three jobs at a time and still, i would come home to find her in our sweaty apartment, in a delicate slip, lost in her world of sketches. that to me is amazing. she is committed to her craft and she believes in magical keeps working for her everytime. i love a believer.

5. halligan norris is one of my favorite jewelry designers. i wear so much bling on my neck, but of all the layers of bits and baubles, without fail, her tee tiny little gold elephant catches every girl's eye. i want her to be carried in stores like catbird and greenwich letterpress and other darling stores.
she has a cult following and i am trying to sweet talk her into peddling her wares from philly to nyc.

i really do love collecting kind, humble, talented girls and forcing them to be my friends. i have a not-so-secret wish to form a menagerie of amazing women who i know will be chapters in art history books in years to come. i can't wait to see what lies ahead...


as a child i knew that the stars would only get brighter...more gratitudes

1. watched le ballon rouge, thank you adrian! it is such a dear movie and i haven't seen it since i was a little girl. i remember crying so hard when the mean boys kill the balloon. but i forgot how all of the balloons come to him and carry him away at the end!!!!!!! it made me so happy to see the ending. it's such a perfect and beautiful turn of events. i love when hope is found when all is lost.

2. finally tracked down kidswear magazine after hearing rave reviews from aude, the designer for little marc. this magazine and milk magazine are some of my favorite children magazines. so progressive and so refreshing. i wish american children magazines would follow suit and take a more sophisticated design direction.

3. discovered bing bing bing blog. so so so good. i just want to watch children in europe. sounds like a dream.

4. tacked up the portrait created by 5 year old lola. i love how she interpreted my braid and my necklaces. she even wrote i love love. doesn't it look just like me?

5. sketched some new illustrations and played with crayons...will post later. it feels so good to draw.


smiles are free and love never fails...18 june 2008 gratitudes

1. walked through the farmers market with chelsea. the farmers market is like an urban fairy tale. i saw bees encased in glass; magnificent clustered flowers that looked like mome raths from alice-in-wonderland. i kept waiting for them to rearrange themselves and form arrows to guide me home. i saw green eggs and ham; strawberries staining their cartons; and all sorts of magic.

2. saw an earnest man, diligently re-painting the wrought iron fence in front of the store. his splattered drop cloth looked just like a pollock painting. i wanted to distract him and steal the cloth from underneath him. but that wouldn't be very kind at all...

3. a homeless man pan-handling with his fancy arts-and-craft cardboard flip sign complete with glitter! how could you not want to give him money, after all the extra shine he added to his sign? even in new york, the homeless make an effort to go above and beyond to stand out. and he sure did.

4. frances's bow attire. i love me a good bow and she has been wearing amy merrick's hair bow almost every day. gosh how we miss that girl!

5. snap peas and impatiens for an afternoon snack.

6. emmerged from the stock room to see beautiful daisies from my sweet man sent to my store. he is so thoughtful and i just wanted to cry. he knows how to cheer me up when i've hit a rough patch. he is too good. i'm so in love with him. truly, madly, deeply.

7. the puppy pile up at a pet shop on christopher st. i love french bulldog puppies, especially when they are huddled up together for a nap. i wanted to scoop all four up and hold them to my heart.

8. kristen's sweet love tattoo. its perfect.

9. i got to leave work early and it was amazing. i brought john gardner cupcakes and he made me laugh. i love walking around new york and being able to leave work at work. in school i always had to worry about homework and design projects. now i can just appreciate being young and an artist in new york.

i'm going dancing tonight at dark room, i hope to see all smiles all night long.