Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Striped Tee

About a month ago, a new boutique opened at the mall offering great introductory prices. So off I went to check out the place. After trying on a few different items, I headed to the counter with a striped tee in my hand. It would be my first purchase on my "tap and go" card and asked the sales associate to show me how to use it. Show it she did with a startled expression on her face.

As she was folding the shirt I also asked her to remove the price tag and the hanging label as well. It was hot. I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt and was seriously considering changing into the tee. The startled expression remained.

Finally, I politely told her I would not need the bag in which she was just about to put my tee. That may have startled her even more. As I was leaving it hit me: she might think that the card was stolen. What I left with was just a tee -- a modest purchase well below the transaction limit.

I couldn't help smiling at the thought because the first thing I did with my card was to lose it along with my bus pass a few days before. Since I remembered exactly when and where and, with the return address included on the pass, I was hoping I could retrieve it quickly. I made a couple of phone calls. No such luck.

Then I got concerned and reported my card lost. The good news was that no purchase was made on it and I got a new one within a few days. The same day I picked it up, I found a white envelope in the mailbox. It contained my missing bus pass, my old card and a note: "Be more careful next time." With no return address or signature, I could not say thank you. So I decided to celebrate my luck by buying a new T-shirt.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Unwearable Knitwear

This is my first attempt at knitting with extra thick wool and I decided on to use 5 needles. I had a failed attempt years ago at trying to make socks. Now I wanted to make what else but socks again to face my demons. It proved to be a challenge. I was told that I am using the wrong size needle for the yarn. What I've produced is a tube shape which is what I wanted. It looks fine. I tried it on. It even bends but more like pipe insulation material than a piece of garment. I need to unravel the whole thing and start over. What a drag. The project will take twice as long to complete, but next time I'll know what needle size to pick for my left-over yarn. 

The only other option would be to leave my half-finished piece as is and use it for pipe insulation. 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Importance of Saying No

It took me quite some time to learn the importance of saying no. I've learned the hard way just how challenging it can be to give such a definite answer to a request. Depending on the situation, saying no could go against cultural expectations or occasionally, even one's best intentions. My experience is that being able to say no with confidence can be just as important as saying yes. It clears the path towards one's goals and it helps a great deal to define boundaries.

There are really unexpected situations that might seem puzzling at first, but can turn out to be fun and an important learning process. This art project is about when to say yes to have fun no matter how crazy it sounds at first. A group of 9 hairdressers in the video said yes to such a project. Sticking with their individual styling ideas that they wanted to realize, they teamed up to give a haircut to the same model. It just seems an impossible challenge to take considering that hairdressing is no teamwork and yet each hairdresser tried their best to give the model as good a haircut as possible. And that's exactly what a great hairdresser is supposed to do, even when there are 8 other equally great hairdressers around trying to do the same thing on the same model's hair. 


A haircut by 9 hairdressers at once (second attempt)

Director: Koki Tanaka

Location: Zindagi Salon, San Francisco
Production and Commission: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Monday, February 1, 2016


As I walked through an underpass yesterday, I heard a violin solo. It was a classical piece too good to be coming from an amateur street musician. I just knew I had to stop and listen to it. I changed my course to get closer to see the performer. With his eyes half-closed, he was fully absorbed in the music. I wanted to tip him, but had no money with me. I had to cross the underpass to get some and walk all the way back to the violin case that lay open a few feet away from him on the ground. I dropped a handful of change in the case. He nodded without looking up.

I wish I knew what he wore, but I was too captivated by his music to see his outfit. What I remember though is his winter coat. He wore a heavy black winter coat partially open. It was an especially cold night. I was shivering. 


Monday, January 11, 2016

World of Wearable Art

From the land of some of the friendliest folks on the planet and the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy comes the design competition called the World of WearableArt. If you have a creative spirit and wish to enter, check out their great new site HERE.  

See the video, An Incredible Journey with founder of WOW, Dame Suzie Moncrieff, HERE.

"Everyone has a creative spirit but not everyone has the opportunity to explore that side of themselves and WOW gives that opportunity to people."

Dame Suzie Moncrieff

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Black and White

This is K. from a couple of summers ago. She is wearing her new black-and-white dress. She is holding one of her most prized possessions, her cell phone, in one hand while shielding it with the other.

Encouraged by a friend, she decided to enter a beauty contest this past winter. She made it to the first round. For the second round, participants were required to take lessons to learn how to dance in high heels. At this point she changed her mind because she did not like the requirements.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Växtglädje. Illustration on a gift wrap bought at Ikea in 2013. I wish I knew who the illustrator is. This is one great dress in my favorite color. I love the three-quarter sleeve and the length that seemingly goes on-and-on forever. It is definitely evening wear. A floating maxi dress can be very flattering. However, it could be problematic to wear for a regular city dweller. Look how beautifully the skirt drapes. I can only see it draping like this when it floats in the air.


If this magical dress was meant to be worn by elves on a swing at Christmas time in an enchanted forest, then let it be. I bought the gift wrap for the illustration. Speaking of forest, I hardly wrap anything except for Christmas presents. I carefully unwrap presents to save and reuse paper. I recycle what I can't reuse. I can't help but think of the life of a tree and the number of years or decades required for it to grow old enough to be harvested and processed to make paper. And then comes the fleeting moment for a gift wrap to be admired then ripped off and discarded.