we had a bbq here at the navy yard yesterday to celebrate the end of construction around the dry dock next to our building. it looks so beautiful, they did an amazing job – and the party was awesome. a live band playing country-tinged covers of classic songs, mini golf, tons of great food, and beautiful weather :)
i have a really wierd obsession with woodstock. i wasn’t even alive back then but it pains me to think i wasn’t able to be a part of that experience. our vintage buyer took a trip to bethel, new york, and brought back some photos of the festival site and her friend’s place – i nearly died when i saw them. one day i will get there.
this is duke – he went to woodstock in ’69 and never left! he now gives tours of the festival grounds.
last week i was passing by the area where our graphic designers and office coordinator sit…and something was different. their office chairs had been replaced by large exercise balls! hmmm…what’s this all about guys?
“we got them to strengthen our cores! exercise balls are the new thing.”
so have you noticed a change? do they work?
“yes! when you wake up you feel like you did crunches the day before.”
“it keeps you moving throughout the day so you get a little workout. and we have a mid afternoon workout session.”
“plus they keep you from getting sleepy sitting at your desk!”
what do other people think about your balls?
“they’re jealous! everyone wants them now.”
“the bouncing is good for your mental state too…you feel like a little kid!”
Many of my school friends get a kick out of the fact that I’ve been a gardener for the past 3 summers. Since many of them have never ventured into my neck of the woods, they think it is so typical that a Maine girl like myself returns home after every school year to work on the farm. I can see how picturing me covered in dirt and performing manual labor (with bugs!) in the hot summer sun can be quite entertaining to them, but the truth is I can’t get enough of it.
Over the years I have developed a passion for gardening from my appreciation of nature, which is can be hard (if not impossible) for anyone to truly relate to who hasn’t had the pleasure of watching a garden grow. Needless to say, being in Philly has deprived me of this hobby of mine and made me realize how much I miss the (real) great outdoors. This is why I have decided to dedicate a post to all garden inspired items that I gravitate towards because of nostalgia.
I discovered these Fairy Houses in a Down East magazine article, and I could not get over how odd but precious these miniature works of art were. I can’t help but envision these as doll houses for free people girl when she was young.
What is it about summer that makes it so easy to fall for?
I refuse to believe that it is merely the warm temperature. Whenever I had at my disposal a moment to think freely, I caught my mind dancing around that same question, trying to grasp what moments or events define my past summers and make me so nostalgic. Amid my contemplation, with glazed eyes for disguise, I decided that this summer, due in large part to this internship, has been the most memorable of recent years. At moments I still prod myself to see that this is not all a dream.
But what is it for you that gives summer its mystique? Is it the long nights that seem to stretch to infinity until you can no longer tell if you are awake? The warm air that rouses your childhood senses and makes you believe in magic—believe in the power of your dreams. The feel of the wind on your face, the music in your ears, and the electricity that is born of the company of friends. What is the essence of your summer?
when i was at a.c. moore the other day getting supplies for my hair wrap, i saw a DIY dream catcher kit and i couldn’t resist. i never realized how easy they are to make! you don’t even need the kit- you can find whatever supplies you want to make your own personalized dream catcher at an arts and crafts store or around the house!
what you need:
– a ring of whatever size you’d like – it could be metal, plastic, wood – whatever :)
– suede lace or thin strips of fabric
– artificial sinew (the yellow thread) – this is what came in the kit, but i feel like regular string would work too.
– feathers, beads and any other little trinkets you want to add!
wind the suede lace around the metal ring.
when you get all the way around, tie the ends together in a knot:
i left a little bit of extra lace at each end so i could use that to hang it from something.
take the string and knot it at your starting point, and then start looping it around the metal ring as seen in the photo. when you get all the way around the outside, start looping it around itself, and keep going till you get to the center:
now start adding your little trinkets! the kit came with the suede piece at the top, but it’s definitely not necessary. i put a little silver feather on the inside, and used the leftover suede lace to attach beads and feathers at the bottom. i tied the feathers to the lace with the string, but there’s probably a better way to do that :)
i love the end result! it’s a very nice addition to my workspace.
and now i’m already thinking about what i want my next dream catcher to look like! i think it would look really cool to make one with thinly cut strips of fabric – maybe from old free people bags!? or an all-natural one, using a stick for the ring, hemp and decorated with leaves, feathers and dried flowers…yep, done.
as mentioned the other day, i had the chance this weekend to sit down with singer/songwriter diane birch and ask her some questions. she’s incredibly sweet and down to earth – and she’s got great style too!
i read that you weren’t allowed to listen to pop music growing up, how has that influenced you as an artist?
it’s really influenced me, because during my formative years what i was exposed to was classical, opera, church hymns, just really kind of old school music. i’ve gotten into many different phases of music, like i was listening to a lot of goth bands at one point, but i’ve still extracted that formative listening experience with my music and it’s definitely been a huge influence because for a long time i had to suppress all that stuff.
are there any specific musicians who have had a huge influence on you?
i’ve always greatly admired people like john lennon, elton john, nina simone, brian wilson, michael jackson, people who had the ability to be really individual and push boundaries and yet reach a massive audience and touch every person in some way.
if you could get on stage and jam with any musician who would you pick?
do they have to be alive? i guess i would probably say michael jackson or stevie wonder – i actually just did a show with stevie wonder in the south of france and he was incredible. it would be fun to get up on stage and jam out with him.
so you have a day off – what do you do?
day off, what is that? i’ve been on the road for about three months straight so i haven’t really had a day off in a while…i guess the first thing i would do is laundry. the second thing is to try to organize the piles of clothes – i actually have a day off tomorrow so i’m going to sort the piles of clothes in my room.
other than that i’d probably just hang out with friends. i love to go shopping – vintage shopping, going to flea markets, antique shops. i love going to museums, checking out bands. i live in brooklyn so there’s always something to do, it’s really fun, especially in summertime – i’m in williamsburg right by the waterfront so there are always fun things going on.
how would you describe your personal style?
it’s kindof a mix of a lot of things – classic, gypsy, masculine, feminine, a little rock and roll. my style icons are people like coco chanel, patti smith, jane birkin, annie hall, stevie nicks – i’m in a kind of stevie nicks obsession right now. there’s definitely a 70s, hippie, gypsy kindof feel to things, i love mixing old and new. and a lot of black.
what do you like to wear on stage? do you go for comfort or style?
i like to try to go for both. i used to always dress up when i would be on stage, like i would wear a skirt or heels… but i like to feel a bit more masculine now when i’m on stage so i like to wear flats or boots, but i do like to dress up a little – it’s hard for me to wear jeans and a t-shirt. and i always have to have some jewelry.
at free people we’re all animal lovers – do you have a pet?
no i don’t but i would love a pet – i’m obsessed with dogs! but when you’re always on the road it’s hard and also living in new york i feel like i want to have a yard for it. i personally love pugs – i’m one of those annoying people that when i see them i have to stop and pet them.
where do you draw inspiration for your music?
i definitely draw from personal experience. this first album was really inspired by my life, my childhood, it was kind of an album about the past. about my relationships and my whole range of human emotion whether its triumph or joy, loneliness, depression. it was really kind of derived from this transition between my childhood and adulthood in a way…so that’s sort of where i drew my inspiration from on this album. now that i’ve got that out of the way i can focus on my present inspiration and things that i’m doing and feeling currently as opposed to having it be so much in the past… but yeah it is quite personal.
so what do you have coming up in the near future?
i’m almost done touring now, and i’m going to asia in ten days. then when i come back i’m pretty much done for a while and i’m just going to focus entirely on the second album because i’m dying to get it done. i’ve been working on this first album for such a long time that i’m just really ready to move on to something else now.
what’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced being a musician?
the most challenging thing is just sticking with it when you have so many people that are kinda like “yeah, that’s cool but i don’t know…” people who just aren’t really understanding it, they don’t really get it, and you have to constantly work through that. even though you have people that are putting you down or closing doors you have to keep believing, believing, believing. that was always a challenge for me, to stay focused and positive when there are so many opportunities to just say “you know what, i give up.” that’s the most challenging thing, just staying with it. you have to learn patience and you have to keep believing. i’ve always had people, fortunately, that believe in me and are really supportive.
what does free mean to you?
free means choice. being able to choose what you want to do…being able to dictate your life.
check out her myspace page and listen to her music, it’s really lovely.
our july catalog and its stunning location have really got me longing for a rugged hiking and camping vacation. all I want to do is take off on a weekend with nothing but a rucksack on my back and explore the great outdoors. i am a summer person but i am already dreaming about fall because i think that would be the perfect time of year to do this… hearing the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet, brisk morning air that still warms up to the sun, moonlit dips in a lake and drying off by a fire with a big cozy blanket wrapped around me…
i would really love to hike the appalachian trail –maybe not the entire length (from maine to georgia or vice versa) but at least part of it. i had the opportunity to do this once in high school and i always kindof regretted not taking it.