This Sunday Pack Rats is having our first ever Craft Night! This is something I've been wanting to put together since we opened and I hope we can make it a regular occurence. So come by 11.21.10 for a night of crafts - bring your own project you've been working on and get it done. We'll also have a few supplies and instructions available for some quick 'n easy projects if you just wanna drop by - first come first served.
And while I'm no certified teacher or nothin' - if you want to learn to crochet or need a little help getting started - I'll do my best to help you out. Our friend, Alisha, is also available to help you with a few knitting basics. Check out our facebook event page on more info on what to bring if you want to learn.
Kathleen is not only one of the nicest gals I know, but also extremely talented. An editor at Lark Books, she writes and illustrates This Dog's Life for the Lark blog and also drew and animated and voiced this adorable little promo for her book:
While there are 12 total projects to choose from - I'm most excited to try these crochet cacti. I think they'd be perfect lined up on a windowsill. Milton's been wantin' me to buy some houseplants for our place since my cat ate his old ones and our aloe died - so maybe these will do till then.
Watch this cute video of Craft-In contributor, Katy Yellen, stitching them up:
You know, I really do try to not gush too much when it comes to featuring our artists. And it's hard. But I, myself, get tired of everything being described as darling, amazing, fabulous, etc and roll my eyes everytime I hear/read someone mention the phrase "quite lovely", but when it comes to Valerie of neneee you're just gonna have to pardon me a bit. Valerie has been such a sweet supporter of me when I decided to quit my day job and become a full time self-employed DIY-er, and though we've never met - hooray 'net buddies! - I do consider her a friend. I first came across Valerie years ago through our participation in the flickr group, Wardrobe_Remix, and became a fast admirer of her style - only to learn that the majority of her wardrobe was made herself! Since then I've always been eager to see her newest creations and she truly never ever dissapoints. I'm thrilled to finally have a shop of my own and the ability to bring neneee creations to Columbia. But enough from me - here's a few words with the quite lovely, darling, amazing, and fabulous Valerie:
-Name, Age, Location: HI! My name is Valerie King. I'm 24 years old and live on Guam. Guam is a small, wonderful island in the Pacific; you should come visit sometime!
-5 words to describe yourself: always trying to keep afloat
-Your day job: Running Neneee I suppose is my day job. At night--well, technically early morning since I work the graveyard shift--I am a Beauty Advisor/Make-up Artist for DFS/MAC Cosmetics. It's kind of amazing and I thoroughly enjoy working both jobs.
-A typical day in your life: wake-up food coffee email food sewing exercise food t.v. nap food make-up* break more make-up* post office* home read sleepytime
*on my days off I just bum around the house with a bag of Hot Cheetos.
(Valerie in her Indian Summer dress - available at Pack Rats)
-Top 5 books, movies, songs/bands, food:
My all-time favorite book is (and probably forever will be) Tumble Home by Amy Hempel. I was 17 and trying to remedy a hangover with a Western Family blueberry popsicle when I first opened this book on my bed. Discovering Amy Hempel's work was like waking up from a long nap. Although I have to add that her entire bibliography is equally exceptional--the story "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried" always ALWAYS makes me cry; reading that last paragraph of "The Most Girl Part of You" made my heart fall to my stomach, and my jaw ached from laughing through "Jesus is Waiting".
> Fight Club changed the way I look at things. Lost in Translation makes me want to quietly fall in love again.
There are just too many songs I love to narrow it down to just 5, but if I could see any band or artist live it would without a doubt be Ben Kweller!
The only food I could eat everyday without ever getting sick of it is eggs (any style). But when I'm feeling indulgent, it's usually pasta.
-Current crushes/obsessions: Bill Hicks--right now I am so fascinated by this guy. I admire how resilient he was too--how he hit bottom and was still able to work his way back up.
-Your vices/guilty pleasures: Laziness. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing more: going to new places, experiencing new things, coming up with new ideas... but sometimes I am just too goddamn lazy.
-Favorite youtube video: This video, hands down:
-When/How did you gain an interest in fashion/designing/sewing? Getting into fashion design was a lot like falling in love--it happened gradually and then suddenly. A little alteration here, a little self expression there, next I find myself getting depressed if I go too long without making something.
-What was your first creation? I have been reconstructing clothes for too long to remember the very first piece, but my first real made-from-scratch creation was a miniature apron top and skirt set I made for my niece Kristen. It was a combination of care bears + rainbow circus polka dotted fabric and finished in lemon yellow bias tape. It looked ridiculous, but her tiny cuteness made up for it.
(Carnival Dress - available at Pack Rats)
-From what or whom do you draw inspiration from? I think it would be easier to ween it down to what doesn't inspire me because there's so much to be inspired by; I am inspired by everything! Some of those things might include what I read in books or online or even watch on TV, to the way a man picks out a gift for his mother, smart jokes (and some stupid ones too), my handchum chubby nephew Zachary not having any neck, my niece Gabby's hilarious non sequiturs, or how my dog never even gives me the chance to get out of the car before forcing her way onto my lap... More often than not I am inspired by people, especially ones who are kind and very aware of themselves. One time, I pronounced I had a small crush on Jesse Eisenberg and my boyfriend said, "you like twitchy guys, don't you?" I said, "well it worked out in your favor, didn't it?"
-What sort of person do you imagine being drawn to your work? In her book "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing", Kathleen Fasanella says that independent designers are successful because the are more attuned to their customers' needs. I imagine the person drawn to my work is looking for an alternative to what you might find at a mall. I make stuff that I like and would wear myself so maybe somebody who is very particular about fit and silhouette and prefers a more personalized touch to their clothes.
-What's the importance of handmade to you? Do you feel a part of the DIY movement? There's this kind of personal satisfaction that you can't get anywhere else--not from buying that investment bag you saved up for for months, not from acing your last exam, not even from finishing top place at your last 5k race--it comes from making stuff with your hands. I'm not sure how to describe the feeling, but I'm sure most DIY'ers and all the amazing artists on etsy and everywhere else, creating incredible stuff everyday can agree that it's there. Robert Pirsig called it gumption, I think.
-Final words? Th th th that's all folks!
Thanks, Valerie! Look for more artist spotlights coming soon! Any questions you'd like to see our artists answer? Lemme know @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Thursday we were excited to have our very first Pack Rats event. The PACK RATS - NAKED Boys/NAKED Girls Party!!! was our play on the traditional naked lady party which typically involves a group of friends who bring their old clothes, shoes and jewelry to throw in a pile and swap amongst themselves. Clean out your closet, get "new" clothes, eat a cookie, have a beer - for free! We had hoped to have a few guys in the mix, but poor ole Milton was the only boy to clean out his closet. Luckily, someone brought a nice heavy men's flannel so he didn't walk away empty handed.
Over the course of the night we had about 15 girls show up each with a bag or two of clothes in hand and each with their own individual and amazing style, so there were plenty of goods and a wide variety to choose from. I know I was happy with my finds (walking away with a poofy teal dress which will be perfect for prom in November) and I think (I hope!) everyone else walked away with some happy picks, too.
We had enough leftovers to fill Milton's trunk and most of his back seat which he took and donated today. Also, the past two days have found me in clothes I picked from the pile - including this ensemble I wore the very next morn' which is mostly made of swap pieces 'cept the shoes from Goodwill Clearance Center and the jacket which was my mom's:
Plus Milton wore his flannel this morning to fight off that autumn chill we've been having round these parts. We hope you all are getting as much wear out of your finds (and send us photos if ya wanna let us feature them here)!
Did you miss the invite? We didn't print flyers or anything (oops!) and only really advertised it on facebook, so be sure to follow us for more upcoming events. We'd love to have another swap - we were thinking one for each season, perhaps? Stay tuned...
Are you tired of seeing these photos? I'm not and they're everywhere these days. But the 90's are back - actually they've been back (did you miss the short floral dresses, bare knees, and docs look of the summer?)- though it seems to be coming on stronger these days. And i s'pose Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis is a fairly decent mainstream place to start to get our 90's post goin'. These looks are what launched Jacobs onto the scene when he put these layers of flannel and floral on the runway in '92 - supposedly even being fired for it. Jacobs was going for clothes that looked "a little fucked up" - and if you're trying to add a little 90's into your wardrobe that's as good a description to stick to as any. It's probably the easiest look to achieve ever, but if you need a little help - we've got you covered with some inspiration photos as well as a handful of picks from our shop.
vintage dress - $15
vintage blazer - $18, hand stencilled kathleen hanna tee - $30