Thursday, February 26, 2009

birthing a new idea

it's hard to pinpoint exactly when the idea coagulated, but within the past month b and i realized that we had begun to start a business. bringing together the experience we have from running, we've decided to open a second online store. everbrite mercantile co. will represent the best of what we see out there in product design and functionality, using the defining parameters of quality, uniqueness, and sustainability. I remember the day b asked me what i wanted to carry in my store. I spent the next hour rolling off jokes, conceptual ideas for things that can't really be sold. this is something we've discussed, and most likely will be a part of the shop, but b was serious in defining my role as curator/buyer. I honestly didn't know I had it in me at the time, but I find myself a month later taking to the role like a fish to water.

samples have arrived this week from vendors (natural bath and skin care will be a big part of the mix) and today we received our first order, hand delivered by a fellow bed-stuy designer. yay!

stay tuned for more news. everbrite mercantile co. opens april 21.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

something stolen...well, borrowed

hey there! i'm helping out with a dance performance coming up. (meaning i'm an extra) aaron draper and some crazy kids are putting together an evening of merriment with live music. performing march 6 & 7 at henry street settlement in the lower east side. should be fun.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

handmade nation and the west side

from this

to this

laying here in bed on a sunday morning with a cup of tea- b's got the blankets pulled over his head. I crashed at 9pm last night, unable to make it through a full episode of 30 days. (have you seen this show? it's not dumb.) not having any caffeine all day could have had something to do with it. we left the house before noon, (wow!) picked up a couple of egg & cheese's at mike & sam's, heading to the west side to see handmade nation. we stopped first in the west village, intending to drop in on the hudson st. branch of the market nyc. not to be found- it must be seasonal, and I remember reading somewhere that it was, despite there being no mention of this on their website. okay, so we walked north on hudson, admiring the west village and remarking that it's a neighborhood that we kinda never go to. caught the a train at 14th street and took it to 59th, columbus circle.

the film is being shown at the museum of arts and design, (MAD) in its newly renovated home at 2 columbus circle. formerly the american craft museum, located on 53rd st. near MOMA, MAD bought the iconic building from the city in 2002, making major architectural changes amongst a wave of controversy. though I didn't know the story behind the building at 2 columbus, I always found it mysterious and odd, one of my favorite buildings in the city. when we saw the newly unveiled façade several months ago, I was shocked and sad that the original building had been masked over. reading up a bit on its history, I was surprised to find out that it was indeed originally built to be a museum, thus explaining why it already housed a theater in the basement.

we didn't visit the museum itself yesterday, but will go back on a pay-what-you-wish thursday night. we were however, some of the lucky first few people to view faythe levine's handmade nation. starting with its cleverly hand drawn opening credits, the film is a treat and a joy. produced on a shoestring budget, faythe does a masterful job of presenting the current handmade movement in the u.s. in a clear, concise, and fun way. several key people in the diy scene are interviewed, representing makers, store owners, activists and journalists. the movie opens following crafter Ileana Rodriguez as she sets up her booth for chicago's renegade craft fair. throughout the film we get to check in on her progress, as she talks about her experience as a maker. the accompanying score is by levine's band (what does this woman not do?) and its playfulness perfectly matches the film, which pops with the bright colors of hand made products. at the end we see some of the crafters who had been interviewed during the film selling alongside Rodriguez at renegade, neatly tying the movie together.

I was familiar with many of the people and their companies featured in the film, including Brooklyn's own Erin Weckerle! it was nice to see some people I hadn't heard of before and hear their take on the indie movement. there were makers/designers/store owners from san francisco, austin, chicago, providence, los angeles, houston, and olympia, among others. all of this I find very inspiring, that the movement is so widespread and enjoying success in virtually every corner of the country.

so, two thumbs way up for handmade nation!

photos: wikimedia, MAD.
click here for more photos of 2 columbus circle.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

my supermarket shop

do you know about supermarket? it's a brooklyn-based online marketplace full of curated goodness. check out my shop at

Monday, February 9, 2009

new york saturday

the weather was pretty nice here this weekend, b and i venturing out on saturday to williamsburg to do an errand. I was thinking that the burg only had one baby store, only to realize that there are at least three. I picked up a shower gift at sweet william and then we walked across north sixth street to artists & fleas, the weekend market for hand made goods and used books. I completed the gift with a little stuffed doll from karen's monsters. lulu.s soap had a huge display of hand made bars, and I'm a sucker for things that smell good and natural. the large, dense bars are just $5! I picked up the aloe yucca, and it passed my own personal soap test. (not drying out my face) creator michele named the company after her son, stating that her soaps are "tested only on teenagers." we had planned on going to the queens museum of art, but the day was so nice that we decided to just wander around brooklyn. we stayed in the northwest corner of williamsburg and visited golden calf, which is moving to a different location in the neighborhood and clearing out its inventory. we both got cloisonee thimbles, ($5 each) mine for sewing and b's for practicing his sleight of hand. wandering through the industrial park and up to greenpoint, we walked over to mcguinnes boulevard. lined with truck part and tire stores, a couple of factory outlets and a giant supermarket, I wouldn't have thought to walk along it. but the road turns into the pulaski bridge, spanning the newtown creek and crossing into long island city, queens. we took the pedestrian path, passing a few other walkers and cyclists. the view is unbelievable, allowing a glimpse into the boroughs' industrial pasts and quickly changing present. meaning lots of new condo projects. by this time we were getting hungry, and we walked over to vernon boulevard to get a bite. the street is popping with lots of new shops and cafes, and subdivison boutique and gallery, one of the first to open there in recent years, is still doing their thing. in terms of style queens doesn't quite compare to brooklyn, but it's always fun to check out what's going on in our neighboring borough. after dinner we walked out to the piers, part of gantry state park, to take in the stunning views of manhattan as the sun was setting and the many lights of the city were coming up. it was starting to get kinda cold by then so we walked over to the g train near the citibank building, and headed back to brooklyn.

photos from wired new york.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

handmade nation

seems like I've been waiting forever for handmade nation, the indie craft documentary to come out. well the waiting is almost over, as the film premieres this thursday, feb. 5 in milwaukee, then comes to nyc the following week, showing feb. 12, 14 and 15. there is a wonderful interview with creator faythe levine and co-author of the handmade nation book (yes, there's even a book!) cortney heimerl on today's design*sponge. the nyc showing will be at the museum of arts and design at columbus circle. I'm going to order my tickets now!

the plastic bag bag

I had done a post some time back containing a link to the dh lovelife video about georges, the formerly homeless frenchman who creates stunning sculptures and couture gowns out of plastic shopping bags.

here's a more down to earth approach presented by jane hanstein cunniffe on her site plastic bag bag. it includes instructions on crocheting your own plastic bag bag.