Saturday, April 29


My apartment is spotless, or relatively so. Had a bridal shower here this afternoon. There are a few things out of place, but it is so lovely and clean. And there are flowers, like these pink ranunculus(es).

One year it was my New Year's resolution to have flowers in the house every week. Fresh ones. I can't say where I got most of them, only that it involved surreptitious bike rides, late at night, on campus, with my friend Z. He is living in France these days, so there's no one to yell "Cheese it! The fuzz!" when the campus police show up.

My dad goes to estate sales on Saturday mornings, and he called me today to see whether I'd like a box of vintage ribbon. I thought he meant yards. He meant spools. There are about 10 spools of cotton/printed ribbon, three of grosgrain, two of velvet (one unopened), and then a bunch of other, random/partial ones. Wow. I'll have some in the shop, for sure. I can't wait to use them! These are some of the cotton ones (with a yellow velvet one in the lower right-hand corner).

Hope the weekend is good.

Wednesday, April 26


The sun is out, the sky is a clear blue, the trees are hazed over with chartreuse buds just shy of yellow. I've just returned from school, where I watched a colleague defend her thesis (as I will do next week) and had coffee (ice cream in disguise) with a friend and talked about things like jobs and marriage and Fullbrights and starting presses and opening shops and moving to Portland and all manner of everything.

In short: all's right with the world.

This week I printed t-shirts. There are four designs beside the pink-and-orange one (one left) in the shop now; you can preview them below. I will be printing more of these, provided I get more shirts before school (and my access to good vacuum tables) ends.

I love the colors of this time of year. The world is opening again! And my impulse is inwards, internal. I have so many ideas, so much I want to do. So if I'm not around, commenting on your words as much as usual, forgive me. I'll be back soon enough.

Monday, April 24


Well, I can't figure out how to make a nice rollover image, and after searching fruitlessly since last night, I think I will just not have that effect. Sunday was a baby shower/ celebration for a close friend (S), put on by another close friend (L). I brought S a bonnet for her baby. In our family, whenever a baby was born, the siblings would always be given presents, too, and so (although she is not the baby's sister) I brought something for L.
I've been really liking red coral these days. Working on printing yardage with coral all over it, (to make a skirt out of), making tiny drawings of it, looking for a tiny branch of it to use as a pendant. Maybe it's to do with missing Venice, where coral was everywhere. I don't know. But in any case, coral is everywhere for me right now. I especially love the (very Venetian) contrast between the black/red/white of the print and its frame and the Italian paper I backed it with.

Shirts? are coming this week. Keep an eye out.

Sunday, April 23

and that's when we'll explode

...and it won't be a pretty sight.

Last night, faculty open studios. It was so good to go and see all the work and put faces with all the names. Some favorites:

Jim Henkel: Spring Bowl and other work (especially Grove).

Chris(tine) Baeumler: Artist's statement here; other information here and here.

Jan Estep: Posit-Art; interview (+photo of her embroidering!).

Also saw the studio of the elusive Jerry Krepps and had some sort of offer to work with other professor.

Dreams of my friend in France.

The edge of afternoon.

And bicycling, and looking at estate sales, and printing new prints, and making new drawings, and learning to let it go, at least for now. What did they say? In a little while, we'll only have to wave?

Thursday, April 20


I realize that using the title of Bill T. Jones' famous piece as the title of what is in essence a very frivolous undertaking (i.e., this weblog, and probably this post in specific) is oxymoronic at best and disrespectful at worst, but I can't think of the words "still" and "here" without that '/' anymore, so here we are. Still.

My best friend was in town from Portland and we hung out all day yesterday. I hadn't seen her since October so it was nice beyond what I can type here. She's got me 58% convinced to move out there if I don't get a teaching job. So we'll see, I guess. Her descriptions of tiny shops, tiny galleries, tiny restaurants, sushi parties, etc. ad infinitum were nothing if not magnetic. But it would be a challenge to move out there, probably alone, and not know what I would do.

But who ever knows? And this has been a week of good news, in any case. And good mail. I'll get to that in a second.

I handed in my thesis, won a residency, found out I'm among the top candidates for an internship (paid!) at a rare books/maps library, hung out with Mulysa, relaxed, saw L. (another dear friend), found options for summer housing. Ahhhh.

And in the mail:
First came a package from Mary, who offered to send strangers packages of upholstery fabric she was done with. I forgot I even asked--and then this package showed up in my mailbox, full of silks and cottons, embroidered and checked and striped and crewel-ed. So lovely! Thank you, Mary!!

And then Lisa emailed me to tell me she'd sent me a NEST! shirt, and there was all sorts of USPS-induced worry, and possible misaddressing, and then finally yesterday a package from this sweet & talented woman arrived. Inside--a little packet of odds-and-ends (weird-in-a-good-way wallpaper, tiny baskets, variegated ORANGE embroidery floss, +) and my lovely shirt! I am wearing it today and it is SO NICE. (You know, Lisa does have a little shop, if you're jealous.)
And, as if the rest of the mail this week weren't enough, yesterday I also came home to a large box. What could this be, I wondered. I haven't ordered anything large lately.... Well, it was a package from my OpenYoursToo partner, Mery. Crazy. How does someone who's never met you read your mind? She picked out WHOLE YARDS (oh, the luxury) of fabrics I'd been hemming and hawing over for months. Seriously. But she didn't stop there--and I'm blushing to be so spoiled. She sent me a little tote-bag and matching tiny notebook, a hankie/kerchief she screenprinted herself with a character of her own design, buttons, ribbon, a magazine, a sweet letter. I'm truly floored by her generosity and perceptiveness. She has me pegged!

And now I'm heading to school to print those shirts. Be well!

Wednesday, April 12

once more, with feeling

All right--did you try (maybe even multiple times) to buy a Magic Parcel from my shop? Was it confoundingly, frustratingly, irritatingly impossible? I apologize--I had made a mistake when turning off the shipping costs, and that botched everything. But now it's working just fine, and there are still a few left. So, thank you for your patience.

Monday, April 10

did you know

...that BACK-TACK 3 is open now?
Get on over and check it out--I hear it fills up fast.

Edit: BT3 is closed now--only one hour and nine minutes!

In other news, it is sunny and 75 degrees here, my bike is working fine, and I'm proofreading my thesis: the home stretch.

Shirts ordered--there will be green ones, yes, of course, but also three new designs. I'm betting on two weeks from now. Sneak peeks to come as soon as I expose the screens (but let me say these things: shibori, springtime, stripey socks).

All's well. You are, too, I hope.

Friday, April 7

magic parcels

What could be more magical than a small parcel full of favorite things? Vintage cottons, kimono fabric, upholstery fabric, velvets; laces, trims, and notions; vintage paper ephemera; tiny paper flowers and flocked fruits and vegetables; little spools of ribbon and darning cotton and thread; skeins of yarn; vintage quilt pieces; tins of buttons or beads or both; tiny surprises--and all this just for you!
I am moving soon and I want to send packages like these out into the world. So--a little jumble. Each magic parcel will be different (naturally), but full of a similarly tantalizing assortment of sweet and lovely things. They'll arrive wrapped in pretty paper, tied with a bow, and with small surprises tucked inside. And shipping is free! You'll find them in my shop: here, under 'magic parcels,' naturally.

If you've seen postings by Lisa or Blair recently--those are the sorts of packages I'm talking about. See here for more details.

Oh--and I updated the look of my site for spring (the shop hasn't changed looks yet, though). Let me know if you find any errors. And--happy weekend!

Wednesday, April 5

okay, shirts (2)

All right. It seems the greens win (if only it were this way in real life! ha! Martha, there's a wish for 2008 there, somewhere), and so today I ordered shirts to print. They're these, and they should print up just beautifully. They're not ribbed; the cotton is very fine and soft.

Next time, maybe the organic line. I need to see how the money does (not a good excuse, I know). But this weblog has been making me think a lot a lot a lot about this.

So--end of April, two-color green shirts. I'll give a little notice and then put them up.

But for now: I have one small pink shirt and one medium pink shirt (fig. 1). If you would like one of these, they are 18.00+5.00 s&h (priority mail!). Leave a comment or email me at ohbara AT gmail DOT com. First two get them. If there's enough demand, after I sell out of the white ones I may make a few more pink ones.

fig. 1

The shirt is a candy pink, with a darker pinkish orange print.

Monday, April 3


Hello. Would you like to take a survey? Do you eat beans? Do you eat beans with George Wendt?

Actually, that's not what I meant to ask. What I really want to know is how many shirts to order so I can print them up. So, if you commented or emailed about the shirt experiment I put up on my flickr, now's your chance to dictate what I do. And this chance may never come again, so revel in it.

Would you prefer a creme shirt with green printing (a pale yellow-green for the dress and olive/green-tea color for the lines) OR would you prefer a pink shirt with orangish-pink printing (single color, slightly cheaper). I have some of the latter still in stock after the MMAA (you can see them in the photos one entry down), but I won't be printing the green ones until at least the end of April.

Shirts will be 21.00 for two colors, 18.00 for one; they're American Apparel Classic Girl Tees, with long bodies. They do run small.

I look forward to your feedback and direction--and I am champing at the bit to print these.

ALSO there will be a half-day surprise here one day this week.
ALSO I have a plan that involves all my extra supplies, post offices and maybe you. Stay tuned.
Confidential to Miss M. in west-coast 305: Note received and, er, noted. It was 100% nice. I'll write back soon.

Sunday, April 2

one down

...and, as Ben Folds might say, 3.6 tomorrow. Then I'm out of here.

MMAA Construction show was last night and my models were amazing. They looked perfect in the clothes, we got a last-minute change of plans with music all worked out, the timing was on--it was really wonderful.

I know that someone recorded the show, too, so I'm excited to watch that. It's so much work, and then it's over--poof!--like that. And I was behind the curtain, of course, so I didn't really get to see anything. But there was applause before we even ended, so that is good. And I had a little booth there that made me some money, too. All told, a very nice evening. Thanks to everyone who helped and attended.

Next weekend are the fittings for the Fresh Face Showcase (another fashion show; a bigger one, but I have to make fewer clothes), so I will be in spotty attendance. Also my thesis is due on 4/17, so there's that. Pieces of it may appear Somewhere Else, if you catch my drift.

And one last thing: sign-ups for OpenYoursToo are open! This is a really fun opportunity--and this month's theme totally goes along with using what you have, I think! It's a supply swap--so if you're participating in UWYH month, you can send a box of your supplies to someone else! Go check it out.