New things

View from the fire escape

View from the fire escape

Hey, good morning. How are you? This is the new city scape I am becoming accustomed to – it’s a pretty nice view over my morning coffee. I’m glad to be up on the third floor – it is so bright up here and much less claustrophobic to be able to see such a vista.

No, i’m not really feeling that claustrophobic. Kensington is a good bite-sized chunk, not too overwhelming, and as I start to thread together pieces of the greater neighbourhood too it’s all becoming less ominous. I’m not too fond of the smog, but other than that this much-larger-city-than-i-have-ever-lived-in-before is treating me just fine.

Biscotti for breakfast?

Biscotti for breakfast?

It’s not biscotti actually, it’s my hilarious attempt at spelt bread. It tastes delicious and has a great texture, but rather than rising up, it puffed out flat. Now i’m no bread-making newbie, so this has got me a bit disgruntled. I don’t want to be all superficial about looks here, but seriously? It was tricky making a sandwich with bread only an inch and a half tall. I’m guessing its shape is due to the lower gluten content of spelt flour, and having baked it on a flat sheet rather than a loaf pan – no structure either internal or external to support the rise. In any case, more experimentation is required. This was meant to be a facsimile of the amazing and delicious spelt sourdough we were buying from the local bakery in montreal — needless to say I have a long way to go. What is their secret?? I must know.

New clothing

New clothing

So I met with the owner of Fresh Baked Goods last week to discuss the possibility of selling some of my recycled clothing through her store. I was pretty jazzed about the idea – a low investment way to try out some ideas and get some business experience, and the store is seriously right around the corner from where i am living. I spent much of the last two weeks (when I wasn’t packing or unpacking boxes!) preparing for this meeting, producing the pieces above, working on tags, brainstorming and generally working myself into a tizzy.

Salvaged lace on recycled hemp blouse

Salvaged lace on recycled hemp blouse

It turned out to be an interesting meeting, full of solid information and some good feedback on my developing brand and aesthetic — but the end result is my growing feeling of disenchantment with the retail fashion industry and the clarity of mind that that is not where I want to sink my energy. I suppose I had thought it might be something I could just have a wing at and try out without taking it very seriously and just do casually on the side while I pursued other employment opportunities. But the truth is that to have any kind of success in her framework was going to require so much more commitment and passion about fashion than I can muster. I felt pretty foolish at the time for how seriously I had misjudged the scale of the project I was undertaking (I only had 6 pieces to show her — she was expecting 25-30), and it was so obvious suddenly how poor of a fit this possibility is for me. I felt especially foolish considering how tied up in knots I had gotten preparing for the meeting. But on the up side, she thinks I have made a great start. She liked my designs, complimented me on my workmanship, and likes the branding I am working with – so in terms of the parts that I care about, she was able to assure me that I am right on track – it’s just that this “great start” I am making is going to finish elsewhere.

New logo stamp

New logo stamp

And really, me getting myself tied up in knots over every little thing is nothing new. It’s impossible for me to evaluate anything without it becoming an emotional decision. Sigh. It’s a bit tiring, but in the end a very thorough way for me to trust my choices. And it was a good exercise to push myself to try this idea out – I feel like I learned a lot about what I don’t want in the last couple days, so it is all worthwhile of course.

Blouse in a yellow studio

Blouse in a yellow studio

And, hey, this means I get to keep these clothes. Which is just the kind of instant gratification that I like.

And yes, my new studio is yellow. Electric, blinding, seizure-inducing yellow. It is fabulous. It’s funny that after coveting Waltz, Matilda‘s old yellow studio for so long that I should end up inheriting that colour. The last tenant even left a half gallon of the paint to do touch ups.

And having my studio at home is revolutionary. The physical proximity seems to be setting up some kind of parallel spiritual proximity or something, it seems so much easier to enter the graceful state of bubbling creative thought, of free-playing. All I have to do is walk the 5 steps from the kitchen table to my studio, and the temenos is right there were I left it every morning, waiting to be explored again. It’s lovely and I look forward to the fruits of this new labouring.

In ancient Greek thought, the temenos is a magic circle, a delimited sacred space within which special rules apply and in which extraordinary events are free to occur…

-Nachmanovitch, in Free Play

sunbeam

sunbeam

My studio-mate seems to agree. I hope you enjoy your morning, too.

Best,

Anna

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3 Responses

  1. I just sent you a giant FB, after ages of neglect, but: that is so the exact shade of yellow- lucky girl.

  2. aww hon your doing great! looks spiferific! I’m kinda jealous of you being back in T.O. part of me misses that stinky city and all the promise it holds.

  3. Oh and PS… I bet you there is a place where you can sell you stuff (just a few pieces) She was probably expecting to buy a whole line. Think consignment, and hey there is always etsy! She aint the only fishy in the sea!

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