Wow! I've been tagged, not once but twice by two lovely, inspirational bloggers. Hope you don't mind ... double duty dose of getting to know Jessica coming up here.
From Ali, whose passion and insights never fail to move me:
1. What song never fails to move you?
Hm ... good one. I listen to a lot of random stuff, but ...
"El Duelo Unplugged" La Ley featuring Ely Guerra
"Hero" by Faye Wong [theme song to the movie]
Most songs by Vienna Teng, I especially love Homecoming, Harbor, and Blue Caravan
2. What's your sewing threshold? As in, what will you let go, what must you absolutely fix?
Hm. Wonkiness that is hidden [from me] I can let go of -- strangeness in the back, if its hidden under another layer. I guess I'm kind of finnicky about fit and proportion, which, especially when I was drafting all my skirt patterns [which I still do, for the most part], meant it could take 4x's as long to complete. I once redid a refashioned skirt 4 times, only to donate it to Goodwill because it didn't hang right. OCD!
3. What's your "desert island" book/movie and why could you read/watch it over and over?
I grew up watching Fried Green Tomatoes and A League of Their Own over and over again, because they were my mom's "desert island" movies, and I'd say those still hit the spot. In terms of books, anything in the Harry Potter or Anne of Green Gables series. I'm someone who is driven by optimism, inspiration, laughter, and a feeling that there is hope and joy in the world, and I love books that remind me of that because it's so easy to get overwhelmed by all the problems in this world!
[random house in my neighborhood, a little eye candy to break up the text!]
4. What garment/accessory do you wear the most?
Skirts! Oh wait, do we want just one garment or accessory? I can actually do this properly [see #8 for explanation] ... excluding winter coats, the single garment I have worn the most to date is a red v-neck cashmere sweater that I picked up in Mongolia in 2006. Classic winter staple.
5. What wouldn't you be caught dead in?
Leggings with a short shirt. I've already done that look once in my life and can lay it to rest!
6. Your motto/mantra?
It's a big world and a long life [i.e. you really never know where life will take you, so chill out and be open]
7. A designer you consistently like and why?
Not so much a designer but a brand. There's this boutique in China that I adore. It's label is 红英 or "Red Hero." They made the aqua and black/gray dress here, plus this skirt and this skirt. I love their combination of funky/quirky details, cut, and color, plus their construction and material quality is pretty good for China. And I always feel strongly about supporting homegrown Chinese designers, as opposed to supporting the knockoff of Western or Japanese or Korean designs in cheap-ass factories. Unfortunately I am only in China like every 3-5 years or so, so they're clearly not a wardrobe staple of mine!
8. Something about you we wouldn't expect from reading your blog?
Um ... hahahaha. This is something that very few friends know about me, although the ones who do very kindly say, "Can I keep you?" I actually track almost everything that I wear. Like, frequency. I used to rationalize clothing purchases by saying, "Yeah but I'll wear that a lot!" and then I thought about it ... was I deluding myself how much I actually wore stuff and therefore the cost-per-wear? So I realized I needed more data [Lisa points out I am way more a data nerd than I care to admit] and started counting.
But before you think I'm too too neurotic [just neurotic, thanks], I've noticed this does a couple things: 1) It's a good way to keep my wardrobe in check! Once I notice my skirts are taking up more than a page on my tracking sheet, I know I need to start culling. And you can see from everything that I've crossed out that I've been pretty diligent about this. 2) It gently reminds/encourages me to keep pulling out those handmade items! I mean, isn't it a shame that I've knitted a Trina cardigan and only worn it 4 times? Next time its cold, you KNOW what I'm going to pull on. Actually, after I started this and started making my own skirts, I started wearing skirts almost exclusively because I realized that if I was going to 'honor' all the time and effort that goes into handmade, then I needed to wear the stuff a heck of a lot more often. 3) It's surprising that some of my "favorites" actually don't get worn as often as I'd think, because they all fall into the same seasonal category ... whereas other stuff I don't like as much gets worn a lot more often because it fills a wardrobe gap. So if I was really thinking about this, then I would use it as a guide to plan what to make that would be really, really useful to me.
I admit this takes some effort and recently I've thought about stopping, or at least cutting back on the items that I do bother to count. You know, we all go through phases in life. Maybe I'm reaching the end of this one.
OK! That was super long, and there's another 8 to go [eek] ...
From Zoe, the genius behind Me-Made-May and makers one of one of the best handmade wardrobes I've seen in a long time!
1. If you had to choose a famous person to be your new best friend, who would it be any why?
Oh help. I know very few famous people, as I haven't owned a TV in 9 years and don't read the papers much. Joan Didion is a phenomenal writer, I love her wry sense of humor and way of seeing the world, and she seems to have had a lot of really interesting experiences that make her the person that she is today.
2. What proportion of your wardrobe is handmade?
Yikes. Say hello to 4 seasons of clothing jammed into a closet that isn't even wide enough to hold hangers! Luckily I have a dresser right next to it. Um ... I dunno ... maybe 35%? I do supremely well in the skirt and sweater arena, and it falls off rapidly when we get to pants, blouses, coats and dresses.
3. Where would you live, if money, jobs and responsibilities were taken out of the equation?
China! Maybe. Portland or Austin, Maine in the summers ... I would love to bicycle around the world. I would love to tell the stories of all the cool things people are doing in Africa and Asia to solve their country's problems, which would involve going there of course. [seriously, enough with the gloom and doom dominating newspapers! There are some passionate, vibrant, creative and brilliant people out there who need celebrating!] I'm a bit of a wanderer.
4. Describe the weirdest or most horrendous place you’ve worked.
Ugh. When I was applying to grad school, I worked part-time for 6 weeks at a neighborhood center in SF. It was the most I had ever been paid in my life ... and I did absolutely nothing. There was no programming, there were about 10 youth who came regularly to the center. I felt so useless, I couldn't believe how much money they were taking from the city, and at one point my boss even said, "Why do you actually show up 20 hours/week? Just bill them for the hours and go have fun!" It was horrible.
5. What is your favourite sewing technique or part of a garment to sew (eg, collars, piping, etc.)?
I like the fresh enthusiasm of the start of a garment! So whatever seams come first.
6. Which sewer out there do you envy the most?
I really like Alicia's aesthetic, Gertie's wardrobe, and the way that Amanda makes clothing that I love but don't think I could actually make myself.
7. Do you collect anything?
At one point or another, earrings, nail polish, snowmen paraphernalia, happy face paraphernalia. Right now, I just keep an eye out for fun indie designers.
8. What’s your personal motto? (I stole that one from the Burdastyle featured members questions because it’s my favourite)
If I had to pick a second one, it would be to try to be understanding/empathetic of what other people are going through and to not rush to conclusions about what any set of actions or words mean. The world is complex enough as is! No sense in creating extra drama.
Whew! OK. That was probably enough self-disclosure to last the next year, although I feel quite honored to have been tagged twice! Let's see, 8 bloggers for me to tag ...
Lorna [the best swap buddy in the world]
Stephanie [although I know you're busy, so no expectations!]
1) What is your favorite "me time" activity?
2) Favorite made-by-you item?
3) What is your "crap I have no time but must make something to eat" go-to meal? [I need more of these in my repertoire and am shamelessly hoping for new ideas!]
4) One way you've changed that would seem most surprising to the other people attending your high school reunion?
5) When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
6) The next craft you want to learn?
7) Do you like having your photo taken? Why/not?
8) Current favorite color combination?