Archive for the ‘Self-Made Treasures’ Category

Pleasure Print-siple

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

While waiting for our server to bring us our food at restaurants, sometimes Hurly and I play this game where we pretend GQ is demanding we each provide our own 10 Essentials list. The products/items/edibles we think are incredible and couldn’t live without.

A slowly realized update to my 10 Essentials list would be the coincidentally named Essential T-Shirts from The Gap (always/only) in Heather Grey. They’re not too thick or thin, or short or long, or tight or baggy. They just read as classic, university athletics department-issued tops, and they look good ‘n guy-ish with whatever. Like the You Don’t Even Care At All type of whatever.

The Gap isn’t exactly anyone’s chic little secret – but I’ve tried a lot of T’s in my years of me-ing along through my materialistic life, and these Gap shirts are the ones I ain’t got no complaints with.

I order them with pockets, and I like them without (although, I’m panicking that as I go to post this they don’t have the seemingly permanent pocket-less version online in Heather Grey. Uh ohhhhh….)


Last weekend I had Hurly help me punch up a few fresh Essential T’s with some screen-printed text that might look military or macho to most, but subversively has a dance-diva source of inspiration. (what about me doesn’t?)

“We turned right and I said wrong which brings us to a stop” is the final clue before I usher you elsewhere to confirm my shirt’s music video muse.

Wash & Wear pt. 2

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Dunking my raw denim (with my body inside them) into a brisk Wisconsin Lake in order to achieve that perfect Levi’s Shrink-To-Fit effect wasn’t a bad way to spend a 93 degree day.

Roaming around the wannabe waves in the drenched denim didn’t feel too icky or sticky, surprisingly. It actually felt sorta swell.

After a breezy, forty minute boat ride my 501s were at least 50 percent dry.

A few sunny, strolls down hot, graveled roads on top of that and the jeans began condensing and conforming to my shape, just as the Levi’s clerk had promised.

A day later, my jeans have maintained their rough, rigid, General Store-staple type of structure, while gaining the perfect little wrinkles and angles which give them that authentic, lived-in, almost alive look.

So far they shrunk up pretty nicely. At least an inch in the waist and the length. Since they aren’t an inky indigo denim and I’m not going for a really worn or whiskered look, I’m gonna just launder them now, fly them through the dryer, and be done with them.

I don’t want to go overboard with the whole ordeal.

(Although, technically, I suppose I already did.)

Paint ‘n Play With J. Crew

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

It came as a quirky surprise to me but last fall, during their Men’s Spring 2010 preview party, J. Crew featured a pair of ragged, paint-ravaged shorts that completely tripped my trigger. For the past many months I’d visit their on-line shop with stalker-like frequency, waiting for the super-splotched shorts to appear.

They never ever did, so I called upon the supreme services of one of J. Crew’s online Personal Shoppers and soon learned that the shorts featured in the fall show, and later in GQ, never made it to production, and a similar though not identical design sold out swiftly as a Men’s Shop at the Liquor Store limited edition in New York in early May.

So I had no choice but to take matters and splatters into my own hand, and permanently ruin some shorts myself. It wasn’t exactly rocket science, but here’s the Step-By-Step instructions for my adventures in Self Destruction.

I’d wanted a pair of boot campy green shorts that weren’t too thin, but I couldn’t find a pair I liked anywhere and so after ordering a pair of J. Crew Sun Faded Stanton Shorts in an almost-green color called Canteen, as well as picking up a pair available in stores in a grey-er shade dubbed Bottle, I went for the Bottle, as its buttons matched its fabric better.

I then placed a strip of one inch masking tape above the hem of each leg to provide a fail-safe guide for even, easy-shearing, but for me short is never short enough, and so I hacked off an additional 3/4 of an inch, almost 3 inches total.

I then jacked up my inner Pollock to whip ‘n flick bursts of white, then dusty blue, then creamy sage, then sky blue, then barely pink splotches of wall paint over the front of my shorts, allowing for a bit of natural-looking wraparound on the outer sides. In between each color I’d brush blobs of extra paint onto the sides of my hands and then blot the splotches into the fabric. I wanted the painted stains to look handy-mannish and authentic, not crisp and 80’s like a teen’s Esprit overalls.

Wondering if I had gone a bit overboard with the paint compared to my original inspiration, I washed my shorts twice, holding them up under the washing machine’s gushing water-fall during the fill cycle to erode away half a layer of my thickly caked-on paint.

And that was it.

I thought I had messed up my messing-up at many points during my shorts’ Self Destruction, but in the end they turned out pretty much how I had always envisioned them: Sawed-off and splotched, salvaged from some Dad’s dusty Nantucket shed during the trip I never took there, sometime last summer.

The thing I like most about them is, on the surface, they dress down everything you pair them with. And yet, they’re such a statement piece that they almost dress everything else up in a witty way too.

Self-Made Treasure

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I posted previously the cheery little jump-rope necklaces at I’ve never been very crafty. I don’t even like carving pumpkins anymore. But I scheduled a play date with my 9-year-old niece last week, figuring we could be crafty together and I could create my own beaded necklace for the spring.


I used André Benjamin’s indian necklace that he shared on his 10 Essentials list as my source inspiration. My niece used “waterfalls” as inspiration for her own necklace, and she added a fish charm to hers, F.Y.I.

So there it is. Now I have not only a new necklace, but a happy memory to go along with it.