Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Building 8

A few months ago we were considering moving to the intriguing town of Troy, NY. It would have meant a long commute for Jeremy, but one we were considering would be worth it in the end. After much deliberation we finally decided to stay, and take on more space in the building we currently live in. One of the advantages of living in a small town that used to be home to thriving industry is the large warehouse buildings with ample space available for a reasonable price. Upon moving here 2 years ago we never would have imagined we would inhabit so much of that space. Many exciting things have evolved in that time and it seems we need (need?) more space. So, the new space we've moved into is roughly 9,000 square feet. HUGE! Far too much space for us but it's going to be a fun year.

Prior to us moving in it was warehousing space. Jeremy quickly started pulling up the masonite that was covering the wood floors, painted part of the walls, sanded and finished a portion of the floor and built some partition walls. We're dividing the space up into several areas. It will contain our photo/lighting studio, the wood shop, electronics shop, paint/spray stalls, music/practice space, a mini-ramp (for skateboarding), screen printing studio, Parker's studio (yes, it's so huge she gets a studio), storage, and our pseudo living room (so we can be in there all the time!). I've never had this much space that I had free reign over. I'll continue to document how the space evolves. It's an exciting project. We're thinking of it as a staging ground for wherever we end up next. We'll spread out for a year (or so) while we build all of our studio furniture with the mindset that we will ultimately have a significantly smaller space that will house us, our studios and the rest of our lives.

Here's a few photos. You can find more on my flickr page. woo!


from the front looking towards the back left

the back wall with all of the wood shop tools

the front which houses the lighting studio - jeremy refinished the floor in one night.

standing near the front, looking towards the back

That's all for now. We're super excited. I want to have a huge party once everything is set up.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Joy Division



Joy Division - The Documentary. It is amazing. Jeremy and I watched the film last night - it is a completely enthralling portrait of one of the most influential bands of our time (or all time).

Go and watch it...if you have any interest in music or pop culture or human creative drive... you should see it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Montreal is great.

We returned late last night from our much too short trip to Montreal. It was my first visit and I know it will not be my last. It is a completely charming city and my dear friend Daniel is moving there in just a few weeks, so I will be inventing reasons to head up that way again.

I did not take a single photograph...so there's nothing to show but words. We stayed in the Hotel de Paris, which was fine once we switched rooms. Then we wandered the city ducking in and out of all the fabulous magazine and music and book shops. One shop, in the old city, was an unexpected experience. The shop was small and austere with white gloves gracefully draped over small displays of books....extravagant books. We browsed (with only our eyes) noticing the price tags (when the first thing you notice in a book shop is the price tags, you quickly realize the difference between books that are meant to be read or looked at versus books that are only for display) which ranged from $100 to $100,000. Yes, the James Audubon collection was huge and bound in crocodile (ironic) and was $110,000. So, we were a bit intimidated to touch anything for fear of dropping something or turning a page improperly and having to sell ourselves as slave labor in order to reimburse the book that is so expensive you cannot even open it. But, we were there and decided the gloves were an invitation to actually open the books. After a bit of browsing we finally decided on the one we would open. It was on the bottom shelf with a map of of Chicago on it. I like maps...especially old maps...so I decided I would put on the glove and open it. What did I find inside? Blank pages.

We discovered some new favorites in the world of design magazines, one called Mark and another called Experimenta (which is published in Spain but I cannot find a web presence for). We had sushi on Rue Saint Catherine, then stumbled upon the most perfect little bar/micro brewery called Le Cheval Blanc at 809 Ontario Street...I don't think I've had a better raspberry framboise. We had Vietnamese in the China Town area while the rain poured...then passed. We played a game of pool at a little bar the guy in the record store told us about. It's called Rockette and it over looks Rue Saint Denis. They have a show space on the top floor and it seemed like a pretty good show schedule. On our walk home that night we window shopped and found some shoes we wanted to look at again so the next morning we went back to a little shop called Rein a Cacher. We walked in and were greeted by Danny, who owns the shop. Little did we know the shop's focus is ethically made and eco-friendly fashion that doesn't suck! Danny is well versed in the world of fair trade fashion. It turns out the shoes we liked were made in Brazil with a focus on sustainable materials and ethical labor practices. It's a company called Veja and their shoes are awesome in every way...and now have a home on Jeremy's feet.

It was a nice trip. I wish we could have stayed longer, but there is much work to be done. Parker is gone for three and a half weeks and I have a lot to accomplish in that time. I'm hoping to have the Messenger's and the new kid's bags ready in time for school shopping. But now, I must have some dinner then continue to catch up on orders.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer Camp

So, my little (or not so little 'cause she's getting older and i simply must come to terms with it) Parker is leaving for camp in a few hours. I spent a good portion of last night labeling all of her socks and undies and t-shirts and toiletries, packing her trunk, trying to print out some photos (so she doesn't forget who loves her *sniff sniff*) and mentally preparing myself for her 4 week journey. She is leaving to live on a working farm with a whole bunch of girls in northern Vermont. It's a pretty amazing place. They try to run as much of the camp as possible by solar and water power, recycle everything, not use electricity unless absolutely necessary while teaching these girls how to be strong, hardworking, creative, caring, individuals. She is going to have an amazing time (and I am going to miss her).


Somehow in the frenzy of the weekend I managed to make her a new bag for camp. It will be the soon-to-be-available Moop kids bag. It turned out great! She picked out the materials and we talked about the design and what it needed. She chose the sand corded canvas and avocado green organic cotton for the lining (so it's completely washable!). The inside has a 7" zipper pocket along with the two front pockets and one large back pocket (w/ velcro closure). Her favorite feature is the two d-rings on the outside of the bag so she can clip her water bottle, flash light and tchotchkies to (is that how you spell that word?). We'll see how it holds up to the summer camp test. It's built just the same as every Moop bag, so I have all confidence that it will last forever.

So, Jeremy and I are honoring the going away with a short 3day getaway to Montreal. We celebrated our anniversary a few weeks ago and tomorrow is my birthday so it seemed a little getaway made sense and I'm super excited!

Tomorrow I will be 30. I'm not stressed out about 30 and I don't feel old thinking about being 30 (I felt old when I turned 20 and was raising an infant alone). 30 is actually an exciting year for me. So many amazing things have happened and they're only getting better! Jeremy, Parker and I are all in really good stages of life...I think my 30's are going to be great and I can't wait! I'll post some photos of our trip when I return....until then....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

making good things better



I just finished making and photographing a new clutch. It's so great I can hardly contain myself. I took a visit to my local fabric warehouse about a week ago. I was looking for canvas and only canvas. Did I find canvas? NO! Did I even make it to the canvas area of the warehouse? NO! Why? Because I was so enamored with Ultra-Suede, I did not make it any further.
I know, I know, ULTRA-SUEDE?!!!? Wasn't that "so out of style" by the early 90's? Maybe. But I, Moop, will be the one to bring it back. I'm starting small, to prepare you all for the comeback of an amazing {UH-MAZING!} material. I just have the initial photographs to show, but will have some character shots soon (you know...to show its..uh..character. yeah. character.)

Now say character 10 times.

xoxx
Wendy

p.s. you can find the new clutch in the shop. here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ohmythatisawesome


So, while procrastinating, I mean resting from my long bike ride with Parker in the hot hot heat, I was clicking around on all of those blogs I like to read and ended up on Ohmythatisawesome. Have you all heard about this blog? It's hilarious! I always wished I had developed a sense of wit and humor as I was growing up (i guess it's never too late, though, eh?). These folks, though..they've got it. And they have great taste, too! Their blog is all about cool new things and books and musings and written with a healthy dose of the hilariously intelligent new friend in your building who you wish you could get drinks with every night.

They mentioned the new book by David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, which is (as they say) side splittingly funny. I've read, rather, listened to, all of his books. Reading his book is satisfyingly funny but listening to him read his book (books) is so funny you'll feel like you just did 1000 stomach crunches. I've enjoyed many a long night sewing while listening to David Sedaris. If you want a good starter recording, try David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall...you won't regret it!

So today, go and have a laugh...then a mint julep.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

technology, oh technology

it seems the moopshop.com website is down...bummer!  i'm looking into it, so hopefully it will be back up today.  you can find most everything in the Supermarket shop and the Etsy shop for now.
sorry! 

*update*
the site is all fixed.  go check it out now!
thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New and organic!

Time away is so important to keeping the working mind working. I admit, I acted as though I was still on vacation for at least 2 days after arriving home...maybe 3, but then I got right to work! I was able to redesign the Market Bag, make two new colors in the Fraulein Tote, sew up the new (organic!) Market Bag, get them all photographed and make a batch of existing Market Bag orders...all within the last 3 days. I feel so revived!

Here's a bit of what I've been working on:

The Fraulein Tote in Provincial Blue, available on the NEW website (moopshop.com):



The Fraulein Tote in Black. I know, there are many of you who have been eager to see Moop in Black, the time has come. I have finally found a black material I like. It has been slightly distressed so it's not as deep and velvety looking (I don't like deep velvety black canvas) and it is the same corded canvas as the Sand, Rosewood and Provincial Blue. I love working with this stuff, it's perfect material for bags:



And lastly, the Organic Cotton Market Bag. I have been searching high and low for a good supplier of organic cotton that was also dyed with organic vegetable based dyes. I have finally found one. The fabric is luxuriously soft, durable and just plain pretty. I think it's the prettiest bag I've made yet. Also available at moopshop.com: