Ahhhhhh, Friday. Really, there is no meaning in the last day of the week for me as I tend to work on weekends too but whateves, its a good day to share what excited me around the web this week!
1. Exciting news for those of us in South Austin, a Pizza and Bake Shop by the group who brought Uchi and Uchiko to Austin is opening soon, and next to it is a new Craft Beer and Coffee Shop...Stouthaus Coffee. Yay for us!!
2. Speaking of awesome things in Austin, this fall both Weezer AND The Black Keys (my favorite!) are coming!!!
3. This quote makes me happy as there is so much truth in it: "Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it." - Madeline L'Engle
4. The FW14 Collection from Manic Trout is now available, and from what I hear, pretty great. What?
The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30...What I learned about bombing as a writer at Saturday Night is that you can’t be too worried about your "permanent record." Yes, you’re going to write some sketches that you love and are proud of forever—your golden nuggets. But you’re also going to write some real shit nuggets. And unfortunately, sometimes the shit nuggets will make it onto the air. You can’t worry about it. As long as you know the difference, you can go back to panning for gold on Monday.
I read this again yesterday and just sat there for a few moments afterwards in a sort of stunned silence. Thinking about how much this rings true in the world of every creative person who creates for a living. I cringe when I think back on some of the pieces, and in fact, an entire collection that I have released that were not my best or anything close to it. It's impossible to hit gold every time you try, especially if this is your career. The secret is to just keep aiming for it and never stop striving.
I figured it was time to just accept that I will be a candy addict for life and embrace it. So many times I have been tempted to declare a candy of the month, but have resisted because well...who knows, its very tricky the thoughts of an addict. Anyway, I was actually called out on my jewelry looking like candy on tv last week, so yeah, denial may be out of my reach at this point. I caved because I currently have a drawer full of candy in my studio and as some of them are actually new to me, I have been telling everyone who will listen about these new finds. As per usual, when I find my self telling everyone I see about something, I also tell you, because I'm awesome like that. SO what better time than by introducing the candy of the month of September....Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn from Brachs! Was that as exciting for you as was for me? If not, I suggest eating a handful of these really fast and then read it again!
About 5 years ago, Brachs began offering up seasonal flavors of candy corn, I think they started with just in the fall for halloween, but then I saw s'mores the other day, and its not from last year, or new to this year, so I think it was left over from a summer release. By the way, Brachs is oddly quiet on their own website about these flavors, but I did find a great current and past season selection here. It seems the flavors for this fall are Pumpkin Spice, Apple Pie and Caramel Macchiato. I only have found the Pumpkin Spice so far and they are delicious. I feel ill pretty fast and they are insanely sweet, even for my bottomless sweet tooth, but oh so tasty. Similar to the original but with a wonderful spicy twist. Did anyone else notice that there seems to be gummi candy corn now too? I don't know if I could do that, sometimes when two of my favorite things collide in gummi form, its a fail. For example, Gummi Smurfs.
Anyway, I'm not a fan of drinking the fall favorite pumpkin spice lattes, I actually detest starbucks coffee in general as I like black coffee and its just too bitter. So this is my edible tribute to fall this year. Cheers to the changing leaves! Which ps, doesn't happen in Texas and its still 98 degrees out. But whatever, happy fall!
1. While looking through old photos of Faye in her early years, I was shocked by how less different she looks now that she's lost weight.
2. Speaking of weight, I have no joke lost a few lbs since the great almond butter recall of 2014 happened.
3. I'm reading what I have so far thought of as the Judea version of Clan of The Cave Bear. Remember that book? I usually will think about whatever book I'm reading during the days, but this one is making me pull back up memories of COTCB too. Strong willed women for the win!
4. There are only 5 emails in my inbox right now. High five!!
5. Our temps here in Austin dipped from 100 to 61 the other day. I found myself in sheepskin slippers and a sweater...in 61 degree temps. Its amusing how we acclimate.
6. I finally figured out how to use the light meter properly on my big camera last week. It was both life changing and proof on a small scale that the payoff is worth it if you keep trying.
7. Pumpkin spice lattes = yuck. Pumpkin spice candy corn = yum. Enough sugar can make anything delicious.
8. The only people who don't question my choice to not have children are the ones with tiny babies.
9. I though people were exaggerating when they spoke of the allergies in Austin, that there was never a break and each season they just seemed to get worse. And then I moved here. My face hurts there is so much sinus pressure going on right now.
10. Perhaps we in Austin think weirder is better as we are on allergy medication all the time?
Photo of the TV while watching myself on it...how could I not do that?
Friday was an exciting day, I was invited to be a guest on studio 512, a lifestyle show here in Austin on KXAN (NBC) hosted by Amanda Tatom. It was for an episode of favorite things, and my jewelry was Amanda's favorite things, so I thought the best thing to do was to debut the FW14 Collection right there on TV, it was so much fun! I'll admit that one of the highlights was that John Lewis, who's barbecue I recently gushed about was also on the show. This meant that I not only ate La Barbecue after filming, but was taking celeb crush selfies with him in the green room before we started taping.
Waiting off camera and watching John dish barbecue secrets with Amanda.
The show is taped live to tape, which meant that I would be able to watch the show when it aired not long after we wrapped up. I was in the last segment and was off to lunch with my friend Michele. I made it to her house just in time to see the show which included a once in a lifetime moment when her husband walked in and saw me on the tv, while sitting on the couch in the same thing I was wearing while on tv and had a look of complete confusion for a few moments, it was great...but maybe you had to be there.
During the show, taken off set.
Two things should be noted here. One, that I finally realized I need to wear heels when standing next to women in important photos/on tv, because they will be wearing heels. Two that I'm wearing 4" heels with a stacked toe here and am still a foot shorter than Amanda.
Goofing around on the kxan set, just because we can.
Cisco and the rest of the crew for the show were wonderful to work with and really made it a delight to be on the show. We were encouraged to pose on the news set and have our photos taken just for fun. I texted Adam this photo and he sent to people telling them I had a new job, and they believed him, ha!!
Back at home after all the fun, requisite selfie as I loved what I wore. It was Faye approved.
As I was asked a few times, outfit details: Kate Spade New York dress from Nordstrom (I love that they tailor on site, which they did for me super fast), Gucci shoes from Neiman Marcus, Manic Trout necklace, earrings and ring (not shown) from www.manictrout.com.
You can watch the video below (or if its not working correctly, watch it on the Studio512 site.)
One of the hardest parts about blogging is deciding how much of your personal life should be made public. The second hardest part is deciding how much of your loved ones lives should be made public. For the most part, I feel that the "if it's not my story, it's not mine to share" way of thinking is the best approach. Although that has made for a great deal of vagueness over the past year. So maybe that only works in theory. Anyway that's not the point. The point is that yesterday my father in law, Kenny, lost his battle with cancer. It's been a tough year and a fast one. Too fast. I am thankful for the time we did get to spend with him and the chance to say goodbye, but the last few month have been heartbreaking.
Although my time in the family has been the shortest, it was honor to be your daughter in law. I learned something whenever we sat down for one of our chats and will miss those moments most of all, especially when everyone else would get bored of the conversation and wander off and we were free to chase the tangents of minutiae. Every time I see the sun sparkle on the water, I'll imagine it's that wonderful twinkle in your eye as you smile when we make you proud. Fare you well, Kenny.
I hate being one of "those" people at restaurants. You know the type, the please avoid all ingredients because of my weird eating habits people. Allergies are one thing, odd diets are another. Since going paleo, I basically avoid restaurants. This pains me because I love food. But I respect great chefs too much to be a pain in the ass about my new eating habits, so I do my best to avoid most fine dining establishments and choose places to meet friends where I know I can be picky without drawing attention to myself. I also eat before I go out a lot. Besides the avoiding of restaurants, the only other time I really wish I was a little less strict with what I ate is pizza. I'm not a substitute fake out versions of food type person, but I'll eat a burger without a bun and feel satiated and spaghetti squash really does make the pasta craving go away. But there is nothing to make the pizza craving leave. The other night Adam asked if we could go do something cheap and fun together. I suggested we head to South Congress to walk around and then made the mistake of admitting that I had been craving pizza. Within 2 minutes, I was being escorted to my car before I could change my mind. I figured, hey it's been so song since I've ingested cheese or bread that I can't remember the last time I ate them, what harm could it do?
We went to Home Slice. Because its the ONLY pizza I would ever break paleo for here in Austin. I ate two NY sized slices of pepperoni pizza and it was...spectacular! I topped them with both red pepper flakes and tabasco because that just made it all the more perfect. Post pizza, I had a stomach ache for sure, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The best part was the look on Adam's face, he was just so excited that I ate pizza, for him. Which I did. Because he needed a win this week, and I was more than happy to give it to him. Plus...pizza.
A peek at a few of my dresses and skirts...I apparently enjoy patterns and non white clothes.
Twice in the last few weeks I have been given a dress code for an event. This had made me realize 2 things. 1. that I hate being told what to wear and 2. that oddly, I have very few pieces of clothing that adhere to color codes. I was pretty surprised that I really didn't have anything that was a fit either event. I fudged the first, but the second, as you'll see is worth dress shopping for.
The first was for a white party. It was downtown on a Thursday night and not that much of a big deal, so after freaking out about it for three days, I ended up wearing a white-ish tshirt and yellow skirt. I say white-ish because a very annoying side effect of Texas summers is that there is no cold water. Which means that there is no option and all of your laundry is done in warm. I'm really into separating my clothes by color so this is normally no big deal, however, our dryer likes to wrinkle my white t shirts as they are such a tiny load. So a few weeks ago I threw Adams grey sweatpants in with whites to bulk it up and forgot there was a red band around the ankle. Even though these pants are over a year old, that one little band still turned all of my whites the lightest pink. As Rachel from friends said best, all of my whites look like jammies now.
The second event is a TV appearance, which incidentally is one of the things I was referencing yesterday, and I can now at least tell you about it. This Friday, I will appearing on a local show, Studio512 on kxan. I was asked to come on the show and share my jewelry with the viewers as the host is a major Manic Trout fan, yay! It will also be on the website, so I'll be able to share it, but anyway...I need to wear something solid in color and not white. Which, rules out skirts as I always wear them with white (and I prefer dresses anyway). Most of my solid colored dresses are cocktail dresses and as this is Austin, would look ridiculous. I do have a green strapless day dress, but I have over worn it, including in my current headshot, so that is my "in case of desperate emergency" back up. In the meantime, I am off to shop. Thank goodness for the online versions of stores as I had to rule out Anthro right off the bat as there doesn't seem to be a solid dress in its stock. I already popped into my favorite local boutique, Maya Star, but they seemed to have changed their direction and I hated everything in there. Next up is Nordstrom, which from looking online, seems like my best bet and Neimans tomorrow if need be.
One of the things that I can share with you are photos of my dog in Manic Trout jewelry. Standing in a tree.
I joke around with friends of mine who have related businesses that kids these days have it so easy to start a handmade business. There are shelves of books, hundreds of blogs, dozens of groups and even droves of websites on which to sell that are all dedicated to specifically guide you as a maker of handmade goods, to start your business. It is, at the heart of it, still a business though, and it is not all sunshine and roses to build one. Just ask the spouse of an entrepreneur what thats like. So you have all of this info out there to get going, and if you work really hard, you find your little niche in the world and settle in. Well, not really. The reality is that you need to then reach the next level and then the level after that and the level after that, and so on. By this point, everyone is at different levels in business, so its tough to find books geared towards you besides those about very specific topics, which can be horribly addictive by the way, especially if you have an interest in marketing. Free advice is also uncommon as you progress. There is information available, but you'll have to pay for it, be it by taking a class, paying for a membership to a site or hiring a consultant. If you've made it the mid level, you're making money and nothing is free. This past year I joked that I reached a point that anytime I needed to do anything, I had to pay $1000. But seriously, the more that comes in, the more that goes out.
When you're on the inside, it feels alarming lonely at this point as there was so much information and sharing going on and then bam, no one talks about anything anymore. Sadly, I have found that I have joined the silence and now understand why it happens. I began this blog in 2006 and would share all sorts of things that were going on with Manic Trout and it was all very exciting. Fast forward to 2014 and the three very exciting and big things I have going on right now all have confidentiality agreements. I'm legally forbidden to discuss anything about them. This can be seen a lot with the big bloggers when they start getting super vague or post a great deal of random things for a few months and then are all "OMG, here is the huge thing I was just working on!!". Usually they have been working on a book or something for a magazine, or designing something for target (none of these are happening to me fyi) or something and they are not allowed to share any info until its a done deal. Sometimes though, its not even that exciting with a big announcement at the end. Sometimes its just internal excitement that no one but you would really think is all that exciting anyway, but something that has thousands of dollars invested in it and endless hours of time but is unfortunately a really big deal to only you.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that if you are wondering why I no longer post a lot of the behind the scenes, its because I either am legally not allowed to, or its boring (i.e. a lot of market analysis and spreadsheets). This is the main reason that I made the separation between this blog and Manic Trout this year, I however still want to share what I can, like this post, so you can peek into the life of a designer. If there's ever anything you are curious about or wish I wold go back to showing on the blog, please let me know!
It's the Friday at the end of a short week, why do those always seem the most painful? As I am in a vortex of procrastination this morning, it seems the perfect time to share my favorite things from the internet this week. Enjoy!
1. People, there is a butter shortage coming your way. Now you know. Read Article.
2. Have you seen the most recently discovered dinosaur? He weighed 65 tons at death and was still growing. Woah. Aptly named after a WWI battleship, Dreadnoughtus now takes the spot of largest land animal that has a confirmed size. Ross Geller would be SO excited about this! Read Article.
3. Along with the launch of New York Fashion Week yesterday came the Pantone Spring 2015 color report! Besides the gorgeous colors for the forthcoming season, Pantone has included fantastic other bits with the report, like photos from designers studios. You could spend at least 20 minutes over there without even realizing it! Go forth and procrastinate.
4. Speaking of Fashion Week, for those of us not in NY this week, fret not. You can see both stills and videos of the shows at Style.com. I have a dozen or so designers that I always make sure to check out, like Elie Saab above because dresses, always amazing dresses!! Once posted, the shows are viewable for years, so you can go back though any Fashion Week as well. Pretty awesome to be able to look through the style evolution of designers! Visit Style.com.