Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Space Between Winter and Spring

I'm not often affected by the winter blues. I've always been so busy that there just wasn't time to hang out in the doldrums. And, while I'm busier now than I've ever been (and super exciting things are happening!), I spend all of my days in my house. I only leave to shuttle Parker to and from school. The rest of the time is spent sewing and attending to my ever growing inbox.

But, the blues got the best of me today. It was near impossible for me to get any work done! I finished up 14 bags, which took me nearly 4 1/2 hours...a taks that should have taken 1 1/2. I'm really good at inventing distractions when there's a lot to be done (I mean really, how many times can I check to see if Dooce has updated her blog...come on). So, when I picked up Parker, I turned left out of the bus loop, rather than right....and we ended up at the Smith College botanic gardens.

It was just what I needed. All of the humidity and chlorophyll and diffused light were very well received. It certainly cleared my head. I came home, roasted beets for dinner and started working on a new bag, which is turning out exactly as I had imagined. I've been working this bag out in my head for the last several months (really, months!) and just tonight made my first attempt. I think all of the internal sketching was worth it. It's a bit of a cross between the Fraulein and the Duffel...bigger than the Duffel and smaller than the Fraulein. It's like neither's a totally new thing..but still made in true Moop fashion. It zips completely across the top. I've been rather intimidated by putting in a zipper, and kept telling myself I would keep to my Luddite ways (i know, i know they burned the looms, but they also didn't like the zippers...come to think of it, that's the Amish with the zipper thing). But, really I think I was avoiding learning something new. Regardless, it looks great! It will also have a front pocket with a hidden magnetic closure (i love, love magnetic closures!). Hmmm..what else about it...oh! It's the predecessor to the larger, luggage type duffels I'm working on. They won't be ready for a while...likely when Jeremy and I head to Montreal for a little vacation this summer ('cause I'll need luggage fer sure).

Off to watch a movie with J-dog (is anyone giving out awards for procrastination...anyone?)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

take off those glasses

While perusing the fabulous swissmiss blog I came across one of the funniest things I've seen in quite a long time. I'm not sure who's funnier, the newscaster or Cory.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Some things to do

I made a quick trip to New York City yesterday to see if I could find a better supplier for some of the hardware I use on my bags. I didn't find a new supplier, but, I did think a lot about the many other things I'd like to do in New York City. Here's a few:

The Material Connexion Library, I'm sure you would need some swanky industry credentials to get in.....but, I may try anyway. Jeremy and I have been building a materials catalog collection. He's been organizing everything by type of material and/or material uses. But, they're catalogs....not the materials themselves. I want to see the materials.

The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. A few years ago, while in Switzerland, Jeremy and I went to a Droog exhibition. It was far and away one of the best museum exhibitions I've ever been to. That experience has made every exhibition I've been to since feel like a total let down. It's also left me with such a feeling of longing. Like meeting the love of your life once, knowing you had just met, then never meeting again. I love Droog. So really, a visit to the Hewitt is an attempt at running into Droog. I know it won't happen, but I'd like to try.

The Costume Institute at the Met, I love well made things and I'd love to see all of the workmanship on display. I've heard the collection is pretty fantastic...I wouldn't expect otherwise.

I may be in the city again on Friday and I may try to do a few of these things.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Needle in a green-ish haystack

Here's a small look inside the warehouse of my fabric supplier. This is where I go to hunt and hunt for all of the fantastic materials I use in the bags. It's a place I have a love hate relationship with. I love to go and search and find amazing things. But, I hate to go back and try to find that thing again, because it's near impossible. It's a 50,000 square foot warehouse full, floor to ceiling with fabric. They don't even know everything they have. So, when you pull something out, it comes to the front. It's cut, then returned to someplace very different than where it came from, making it quite difficult to find the same thing twice. I'm now producing at a higher volume, so when I find something, I buy it all, and now my house is beginning to look like the warehouse.
One thing I find so great about this place, though, is much of the material was produced in US mills before they all closed. The quality is unbeatable. They really don't make things like they used to! When I was very first sewing (before I had a wholesale license, and knew any better) I would frequent that big box fabric chain (you all know the place I'm referencing)...and their fabric is so clearly different. The quality is frustratingly cheap (in every sense of the word). So, rest assured. When your order a Moop bag, you are getting only the finest material...and we're not producing new materials for our use. We're using up the stocks of material in existence. They best way to green your life, is to use what already exists.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's Back

The Market Bag is two shades of sage has returned. Finally. You can find it here and here.

There's also a new bag. The Fraulein Tote in Tan and Charcoal. It's perhaps my favorite color combination for this style to date. It's so perfect you'll just have to buy one to see. It's also available on both Supermarket and Etsy.



Thursday, January 17, 2008

new photos

I re-photographed the Fraulein Tote a few days ago. It has undergone some minor design changes. I've updated the material and started using contrast stitching. The clean lines are nicely accentuated with the gray thread on dark brown canvas. I think it makes much more sense with the overall design.

It's available on Etsy and Supermarket.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Grand Day Out

My most successful moments have come from the most unplanned things. Spontaneity is an important element of my existence. It's how everything great in my life came to be. It took me a long time to realize that my photographic practice, which relied entirely on unplanned venturing, provided a space for wandering that I couldn't find anywhere else. When I left for grad school in a city far from all of my family, friends and support network, I found it much harder to wander, but so needed that time (that's when Parker and I discovered Lake Erie and Marblehead, Ohio). Recently, I've been working so much I have hardly left my house. I'm not one for making resolutions at the start of every new year (really, I do it every day), but one thing I need to work on is balance. Moop is consistently getting busier, and I can't continue to work in the way I have for the last three months if I want this to be a long term business. So, I'm no longer going to work past midnight (as I type this at midnight...see, the everyday resolutions are necessary), and I'm taking at least one weekend day for my family....and Monday mornings from 9-10 for a yoga class.
Today (the first wandering occasion in quite a long time) Parker and I ventured off with no objective. We just drove. Our first stop was Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut. Neither of us had been there, but it was amazing! It also happens to be an arboretum (my most favorite kind of venturing spot). First, we encountered a bridge (i love bridges in arboretums!):

yes, that is a Moop messenger bag.

Then, we came to the swamp, which was frozen...and looked like milk.

After we hiked around a bit, we went inside. The geodesic dome that houses the museum, also houses about 2000 dinosaur tracks. Parker and I both voiced our amazement.

We decided since we were only a half hour from New Haven, we'd go visit the Peabody Museum at Yale. Again, a place neither of us had been. If you live in the region, these are two places you should certainly go. And bring a 10 year old, it's much more fun that way. The Peabody has an impressive collection of dinosaur bones. Sure to rouse the interest of even your most discerning of friends (10 year olds can be tough crowds sometimes).

I think they're ignoring each other...

Can you tell I made her stand there?

Oh, on that note of free wandering. I also was a pretty candid photographer, shooting with a Hasselblad 500c, but I sold that lovely may have been another attempt to free myself (I've kind of regretted selling it, I'll get another one day). For almost a year I had no camera at all. And now, I have an iphone...I know, I know...really, though, have you seen the photos this thing can take? It's the next wave in modern photography, I'm sure of it. It's like a holga...only instant! I'm going to do everything with the iphone (except maybe product shots).....

Friday, January 11, 2008

boxes of bags

This week has been quite busy. Although, nothing like the month of December...I'm not sure how I made it through that month (*ahem* thanks jeremy, parker, megan and marlene!) I will forever be much more prepared for Decembers.

These bags all went out on Wednesday. It was completely satisfying.

This week I've been able to get caught up and I am on schedule now! Monday's orders will be ready for Monday's post and it makes me happy.
Tonight I watched a movie with my daughter and I'm even going to look at some pretty, new books that have been waiting to be opened. A duo of books put out by the Kyoto Costume Institute (published by Taschen), they're aptly titled Fashion. And they're beautiful.
Oh, and Jeremy gave me a new Slavoj Zizek film for x-mas, The Reality of the Virtual. It has an amazing deconstruction of the Sound of Music. I think a perfect pairing for the, what it means to be real and chamomile tea (for the nasty cold that's brewing).
hmmm...and I'm not going to sew.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

new bags

If any of you were watching, yesterday afternoon I made a few of the new bags available. The new hip pouches are great, and in two sizes, too! I redesigned the belt loops on them, and now I don't hate making them. I could never get those little loops straight the way I had been doing it. But, everyday I get better at what I do, and the belt loops feel like a huge accomplishment.
I also added a new Market Bag color. It's deep brown canvas lined in plum brown supplex. It might be better described as mauve-ish (I'll have to consult a color swatch book on that). I'm pretty excited about this one. The lining is made of supplex, which is water resistant, super strong, and comes in really great colors. It also happens to work perfectly with the brown canvas I've been using. it has a slight red tone to it, but the plum really neutralizes the two and brings a nice earth toned balance.
More later.....

Friday, January 4, 2008

my favorite things so far this year

I'm still sewing through orders that were placed mid-December, so this will be quick. I should be completely caught up by this weekend, though and I'm super excited. Even more exciting though, we've hired a friend to come and hang out with Parker once a week so we can go out! We're going to have a social life this year and I'm thrilled.
Now, on to more interesting things:
Au Revoir Simone - this is the music I've been wanting to hear.
The Tova Shirt from Wicksten Made - I can't wait to get one...really, I love this. I think I want a dress, too.
The return of Dear Birthday - she's given us a peek at what she's working on, her spring line is surely going to be good...and i'm surely going to be buying.
The new Moop bags - there's no photos to show yet...but a big surprise is coming next week for all of those who've been following the market bag....I can hardly contain myself I'm so excited....hint, one word, one syllable...sage.
That's it for today....back to the machine.