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Entries in Vintage (14)

Tuesday
Nov162010

En Gypsy Couture 016: Gypsy Life, Mantilla Love

Wednesday morning I received an email from Kim Boekbinder, it simply stated, "I come bearing gifts."  Thursday evening a fuschia haired songstress and her brilliant film-maker boyfriend showed up at my doorstep.  And into the caravan they came with vintage luggage, a tin filled with old fashioned photographs, and secret presents for me & Miss Crabapple

I'm not quite sure when I fell in love with the mantilla, but over the course of a few months they've become one of my staples.  Below is the glorious mantilla Kim gave to me, the comb was purchased from a vendor in Spain, and the dress is Rozae Nichols. I adore this outfit for so many reasons.  Mostly because it makes me feel like something out of Italian Vogue.

This photo reminds me of the old polaroids we used to take back in Bedstuy.  A little Russian Red lipstick and some eyeliner, and you came out looking like an Italian movie star.

Robin LeBlanc took this in Williamsburg.  This image is of my first mantilla, much shorter than the other. The flowers are from my collection, the necklace from France, the gloves were gifted and the tank and skirt both thrifted. This was taken right before my Frida Kahlo session for Dr. Sketchy's.

Mantilla love from Italian Vogue Sept 2007 and Anais Nin

Kim also gave me this beautiful lace fan which I have been running around the house with, pretending I'm a flamenco dancer.  Sherene bought these beautiful mini tarot cards for me when she was In Spain, and the silver coin is from none other than the fabulous Travis Louie.  This Gypsy lives a full rich life you see.

The next few days are filled with tarot, candles, writing assignments, and full moon rituals.  Till then take a peak into the caravan and enjoy this yummy recipe for peanut butter, coconut, oatmeal muffins.

  • 1 1/4 cups of boiling water 
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of uncooked oats
  • 1/2 cup of butter or butter substitute
  • 1 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup of apple sauce
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 1/3 cup of flour 
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup of flaked coconut

  • Combine water, salt and oats; let stand a few minutes
  • Add butter or butter substitute, sugar, add apple sauce, mixing well.
  • Combine flour and cinnamon, stir into mixture.
  • Add coconut, stir well.
  • Fill in greased muffin cups, 2/3 full.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Tuesday
Nov092010

How To 06: Finding Beauty, Finding The Muses - Self Portraits

I woke up to pouring rain and text messages from photographer Balthazar as he boarded his plane back to Wisconsin.  I'm lucky enough to live in a place that allows me to interract with some of the coolest creative people in the world.  That place is half here and half on the internet.

Every morning it's the same routine.  Get up, make coffee, turn on the computer, check email, make a list, create.  Sometimes it's easy to find inspiration and magic in the day and sometimes it's just plain painful.  Some days are dull, they're rainy, and cold, and drab.  But I manage to have my hands in enough that I'm never wondering what I should do next.

And that's something I've constantly had to work at.  There's nothing worse than being bored with your life or feeling that there's nothing out there.  Sometimes the end of one big project can put you in a bit of a depression.  In those times it's best to take a breather, find new inspiration, and  keep it moving. 

Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.
R. Buckminster Fuller

Sometimes it's in the form of photographs.  I use self-portraits as a way of shifting my thought process.  The act of being alone in a room with nothing but a camera and a timer, brings me to a different head space.  Sometimes I get something good, and other times it's unusable.  But there's always a shift and movement is key.  Other times it's fashion.  I'll be the first to admit I'm a girly girl at heart.  But I also believe there is an art to dressing and part of who I am is what I wear.  Mixing the two, I got this set of photos.

The writing on my arms is from a project I'm working on with Mike Lala.  The first set of photographs wil be up soon.  The dress is Betsey Johnson bought for a mere $17 at Beacon's closet.  The necklace is Betsey Johnson as well, a gift from bestie Sherene Schostak, and the shrug from Joyce Leslie for just $20.  I could thrift shop forever.  I love knowing that my clothing had a life of it's own before it came into my posession.  That maybe, just maybe it went to elegant parties, toasted with champagne, and ran along the beach in the spring.  These things inspire me, the thoughts, the stories behind objects.

The photos were taking in my bathroom and treated with vintage coloring.  I like self portraits because they allow me to see different sides of myself.  Growing up I wanted to be a writer and a photographer.  I had vivid dreams of grainy film, and dark rooms filled with images.  I wanted to be Marilyn Monroe and Claudette Colbert combined.  Sometimes we get our wishes in roundabout ways.

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."
Marilyn Monroe

Knowing what makes you tick will lead you to the muse.  Be ridiculous, play around, you don't have to take self portraits but create, even with a point and shoot, a pen and paper, or an iphone hipstamatic. Make things, make yourself, and create the world you want to live in.

Cleanup after the poetry project.

If I knew what the picture was going to be like I wouldn’t make it. It was almost like it was made already.. the challenge is more about trying to make what you can’t think of. -Cindy Sherman


Tuesday
Sep282010

En Gypsy Couture 015: My Vintage Life

Blood and Pudding was started on a vintage typewriter.  The sound of tap, clack echoed throughout the house until my parents finally got a word processor, thus helping with the night disturbances.  I get nostalgic  for the writers who produced pages upon pages on their trusty machines, sometimes with only bourbon and cigarettes for company. 

A few nights ago Bella and I watched snippets of Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, where he sat at his typewriter, (it was 2005) listening to Candle in the Wind on repeat.  With a sly smile, he banged out a few sentences, every once in a while taking a drink of Wild Turkey on the rocks. We set the computer on repeat and listened to the same song while discussing upcoming photo shoots and sliding our hands over grainy black and whites of Marilyn Monroe.  Sometimes you have to hit rewind in order to fast forward.  We agreed, that both of us had been born in the wrong time.  And so the night ended in a blur of conversations about the "American Dream", photographs, and art.

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain pouring.  It was going to be a slow day. I could feel it in my bones.  I made coffee, sliced up bread and slathered it with butter in jam.  I remembered France and instantly wanted to pore over every Jacque Prevert poem there was.  And yet, I headed back into the bedroom and put paint to paper.  I have deadlines you know.

Bella awoke a few hours later and the sounds of Frida could be heard from her room.  Frida Kahlo, my favorite painter in existence.  I couldn't help but poke my head in a few times and then run back to my bedroom where I could both paint and touch the pages of her journal.  And then I was torn, between Spanish and French, my two greatest loves, and by being torn, I have never mastered either.  But something was stirring again, that need, to paint, write, create, entertain, and live. 

What inspires me most is the past.  I love vintage culture.  My friend Gabby did an interview with Queens of Vintage, a site I love more than glitter (that's a lot).  In it she said:

I am a devotee of vintage for its history – I love the fact that every item has a story, a past that isn’t just born in a factory shipped to a shop! I feel the same about couture- there is always a tale to tell and it seems more personal. Nothing beats the feeling of a dress that feels like it was made to fit your body, especially if it was actually made for another in the Thirties, Forties and beyond!

I couldn't agree more, and this plays into my life in so many ways.  Although, I am always moving forward, I am inspired by the past.  My book was inspired by the past on many different levels as well as my art.  Blood and Pudding started on a typewriter, typewritten pages cut and glued gently into leather bound journal.  These were same journals that I wrote goals to travel to Europe and live as much as I could, like the "Beats" did.  I always wanted to be Kerouac.  We took polaroids, and had mini recorders on us at all times.  

Tonight I pulled out the typewriter and clacked out a few words in between running to the closet and pulling out my new vintage dress.  I bought it just the other day.  The moment I saw it, I knew it was mine, that it would fit me, and whoever owned it before, had my essence.  Sometimes you can just feel it.

Vintage Dress: $30 Goodwill

Friday
Sep242010

En Gypsy Couture 013: last Days of Summer

The summer started with magic and mayhem, trips to Coney Island, veve paintings, tarot, Battleship Cove, Blood and Pudding's release, road trips, and interviews.  It also brought many wonderful guests into my home.  Lonesome Liz spent a few days in the caravan, and both Kim Boekbinder and Gabby Young were in town at the same time.  I also switched gears when my new housemate Miss Bella Berlin moved in.  The bohemian household just got better.  A few days ago Bella and I put out the lights in the backyard and glittered up the ground.  We were having a party to say goodbye to summer, welcome the full moon, and bring together some of the most brilliant people we knew. We thought the best way to do this was to put out the holiday decorations, christmas lights, glitter snowflakes, and skulls, and bohemian candle lanterns.  That's how we roll.

Me right after Kim Boekbinder's show at Rockwood Music Hall.  I had just gotten home and was quite pleased with the outfit.

Jacket: Forever 21

Vintage Beatles shirt: My collection

Skirt: Beacons Closet

Shoes: Chinese Laundry

The Christmas lights dance in the moonlight.

As do the glitter snowflakes of summer.  Because no backyard is complete without them.

The Tibetan flags blowing in the night breeze.

And no summer evening should be without paper peacocks.

I hope you all enjoyed your summer.

x to the o,

            K

Friday
Sep102010

Killin' It 038: Dollys for the Troops

Dollys for the Troops

Our Mission: Send 1,000 decks of cards to the troops overseas.

My new roommate, the fabulous Bella Berlin came up with this idea back in Nov.  Since then we've been gathering pin-ups, getting them dolled up, and photographed by Bombshell Mandy.  The sets keep rolling in and Bella and I are starting our mission of designing, printing, and packaging the cards.  Once we get the prototype pack, we'll be on our way of sending pin-up kittens to the boys overseas.  But we'll need your help.  In just a few months we'll have the girls all photographed, and design down, we'll need your help raising money for printing and spreading the word.  Here are a few of the behind the scenes shots with me and miss Berlin, as well as a mockup of the card.

Check out the site and see the awesome work Bella has done so far.