Wednesday, February 21, 2007

adventures in re-discovery

i miss being young. i miss how huge the tree in my old backyard seemed when i would lay under it, watching the wind hush through the leaves. the branches would wave and i would wave back at them. i miss how my old swing set used to hiss and creak as my speed would increase, hiss, screech, creak, hiss, back and forth. my hair would whip into my mouth as it widened in a gaping smile. hiss, screech, creak, hiss and how i could smell the earth all around me, the green smell of grass, the moisture-rich dirt, and the old rose bush in my neighbor, maxine's yard.

i remember my neighborhood sidekick, mikey and i found a pack of matches in the small patch of trees and brush in the back of her yard. after three matches, we had a pretty good camp fire going, until the whole patch caught on fire and the firetrucks came. i often wonder what ever happened to mikey. we moved away before i was at an age to care to keep in contact. i wonder if he ever wet the bed, like the grown-ups used to say if you played with fire.

moving so often creates gaps in different parts of your life. most of them the friendships you make on the way. i have made several friends, some strong ones, so we still keep in close contact, but there are several others. others, i wish i would have tried harder or didn't feel foolish or shy to say, "hey, i really like you, i know i am moving away but why not try to stay in touch."

i know for many, life gets in the way. ones becomes two's and two's become three's and fours. before you know it, there is soccer practice, piano lessons, and 6 o'clock dinner to prepare for. who has time for old connections?

yesterday, i was looking up information on morocco. i visited morocco, for only two days, a few years ago when i was staying in barcelona. i became enchanted with the place. the dirt, the architecture, the aroma's, the people. as i was researching morocco, i came across a website of an old friend. it was amazing to see how much he has grown in just a few years. i knew him when his passion was just beginning and how he has created a world around him that embodies his original inspiration is beautiful.

we dated for a very short time when i knew him, but we were more than just two people waiting for our time to leave the small town we were temporarily stuck in. we helped each other keep our ideas alive. even if we were in transition, it didn't mean our dreams and our goals had to be put on hold too. we were each other's reinforcers, that this small, dink, town wasn't our ends, it was our beginnings. we both moved out west, he to san fransisco to study film/documentary work and me to san diego to study design and architecture.

we lost touch as we both dove into our new objectives and experiences. but, losing touch doesn't mean we have lost our respect and warm wishes toward one another. i emailed him and he back. our excitement is true and that is what i call friendship. an ability to retain love and respect with out constant affirmation. i've missed you reed, stay well.

the same thing happened between jimmy and i. we met when i first moved to san diego. we became fast friends but then we lost touch for over a year. when we happened to cross each other's path again, it was as if that year had never existed and we were finally ready for what we weren't ready for the year before.

i don't know if mikey and i would ever be able to rekindle a friendship, i don't think i could pick him out of a crowd. though, i am sure he remembers the fire. we both received lickings and our names were in the paper.

but as for my friends whom i haven't spoken to in a while, let's pick up where we left off, tell me all your stories and i will tell you all of mine...

below, an offering of a big thumbs up, for all of the lost friends out there and for all of our journeys yet to be told...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

and here we are

i know this post was meant for yesterday. but yesterday was a blur. by the time i actually had time to sit and remember it was too late to post for the day.

i am incredibly happy with my new space. the sun filters in so pleasantly and the fact that i have two functioning surfaces to work on has made creating extra fun. the desk serves as the sewing, construction, cutting area and the other lovely piece is where all the creations get wrapped with love and packed away for shipping.
the keeper for most of my fabrics is an old shelf, who has served as the garage miscellany shelf for years, but recently has found a new home, in my studio! I covered it with that gorgeous vintage fabric, seen the photo above. i think it almost makes that old rickety shelf look respectable. i can't find the nerve to cut the vintage fabric into small pieces so using it as a "shelf cozie" turned out to be a great idea, with just one cut width-wise and the rest of it ironed and set with water soluble hemming tape, it still retains much of it's original state.
i know the curtain rod, as a ribbon holder, isn't an original idea but i can't believe i never tried it before. it keeps all of my ribbon in one area, resulting in less clutter. i even used the flat curtain holders (that's what i found in the garage). i did have to make some of the holes a bit larger to fit smoothly onto the rod. separating the buttons into the small jars has also helped immensely. i used to dump them all out looking for specific colors and sizes and then of course they would sit there, forgotten like a pile of rocks.
oh, i don't think i mentioned where in the house i took over. we have separate living room and family room. the living room was going to become the library but that never happened, our hundreds of books are still resting in their boxes, not minding the collection of dust. so, i decided why not move into the living room?
we're not staying in this house (we're renting it) for too long. since we just moved to phoenix recently, we chose to live near my brother's. the neighborhood is wonderful, full of huge homes, but these large developments don't do much for me aesthetically. there are several historical neighborhoods full of turn of the century design. that is what speaks to us. looks like studio olilo will be changing again!
and on top of that we're only staying in arizona until jimmy is finished with his PhD then we are off to either post-doc work or where ever he gets a position at a university. good thing i am mobile. *) i desperately want to move back to boston. i miss it there so much.
i have gotten completely off topic, signs of this post needing to end. i will leave you all with some photos of the space.
have a great day!

Friday, February 16, 2007

sneaky peeky

i've been very happily busy lately, catching up on orders & working on my new studio! well, not really new, but it is at least in a different part of the house. you may recall the disaster my studio was in last week. it has all changed! yeay!
it takes chaos to make me desire order & sometimes it takes order to provide a sense of hope for the chaos that will probably soon follow...

it is amazing how just the slightest change can fuel so much more creativity and actual fun, fun. i am still not completely finished, so this post is going to be slighted. sorry, post, studio calls...

monday, i will introduce you to the new studio olilo, until then

here are some other studio glimpses & you can see more on my flickr.

happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

a healthy kind of valentine...

valentine's day.

i'm not a big fan of valentine's day. i don't want flowers, chocolate, or candies. i don't want a red and black pantie & bra set, i don't want romantic dinners with soft candle light. not on a day that is meant to remind your loved one to do it. i don't want gifts because of a day, i want gifts because of a feeling.

a random emotional charge that fills body & mind and a sudden urge to express it in ways that words cannot. i want that, on any given day, at any random moment.

in an effort not to sound negative or judgemental i have an offering!

i call "my healthy indulgence," "my desire fulfilled," or "my satisfied craving"

they are bran filled chocolaty goodness muffins - topped with "i can't believe you made something semi-healthy and topped it fake butter icing"

recipe as follows-

3 c bran cereal (i used cracklin' oat bran for the cinnamon-y flavor)
2 1/2 c water

combine the two, let sit 3-5 minutes.

pour in low-fat brownie mix

1 tsp baking powder.

mix well and voila you are finished. place in pre-heated oven @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

-for the icing

1/3 c butter (i used fake butter)

3 c powder sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 c water

whip butter, until fluffy, slowly add powdered sugar & vanilla. i followed the directions with the 1/4 cup water, i wasn't too happy, it made it really runny. i added more powder sugar but i stopped after adding 1 1/2 c more (way too much sugar!) so i would suggest just adding the water slowly until you get the consistency you want. as you can see in the photo, mine still turned out too runny. but they were delicious!


oh, & happy valentine's day!

Friday, February 9, 2007

and the dust settles...

books, to me, are romantic. something about words pressed up against a page, melting into it, like a lover's embrace. nostalgic. longing. a quest to discover what exists within...

reading is a transformation. an evolution, so small that most of us don't recognize the slight change in our thoughts, our character but it's there. tiny bits & pieces remain in our minds forever.

i used to read two books a week, religiously. mostly because i preferred the little temporary world over my own dull existence, being on the cusp of incredibly shy, this worked for me too well.

& no, i am not that shy anymore. but i still love a good book.

some of my recent crushes have are those listed above. although marquez, has been read many times, i love that book.

other writers i cherish range from existentialists (djuna barnes) to magical realism (marquez) i love mailer and his approach to "hip" in "the white negro" mailer states, “the language of hip is a language of energy, how it is found, how it is lost”, and that “movement is always to be preferred to inaction.". glorious.

on poetry, many, many favorite poets but my all time favorite is amiri baraka, "transbluesency" is my favorite collection. and i love all of the beats, who doesn't? aaahhh, this is really refreshing.

wonder why i am not shy anymore? i used to perform spoken word. ha! it seems like forever ago. now jimmy & i just make up stuff and record it on his 8-track with funk in the background. good times...

rambling over.

have you any suggestions? i would love to know! i've been out of the loop with olilo being so busy. but now i am ready to make a reading list!

Thursday, February 8, 2007


these little cuddlies are off on a journey to new jersey. they will be sold as a set, with matching booties and onesies. randy at that's art, a boutique/art school, will be giving these little guys some company until they are whisked away to their real homes.

i had another order similar to his, so there has been a lot of box cutting and stuffie stuffing around here.

the only thing i am frustrated with is the quality of photos. i took, literally, over 100 photos of these guys before i shipped them out. i couldn't get one perfect shot. i tried in the morning, afternoon, and late evening, the above photo is the best i could get! this is when i wish i had a light box or photo studio. eek!

speaking of studio, you should see mine. it is a disaster. i can hardly move in there. today's mission, is order. i am going to organize. i will post an after photo when i am finished. phew!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


my newest creation, bauble. they are made of fabric, the front as you can see is floral, the back is b&w polka dots. you can find them here.

i had a really fun time making them. i am filled with the sensation of being a female and delicate, when i make these. it's a nice feeling especially when i am making baby booties all the time. i forget that there is also a feminine, dainty side to me that wants to come out from time to time.

it's a pleasant vacation. speaking of vacation, it felt like i was somewhere glorious, rather than in phoenix, yesterday. it was 80 degrees here! i sat in the sun and tried to relax but my mind kept coming back to my lists of things that need to get done and they seem to multiply every time i look away. i swear those lists are living, breathing, insects that can mass produce in a blink of an eye. it's terribly frightening! and the sad part is, they don't die in 48 hours, they keep living.

today, is going to be much the same as yesterday, perhaps i will take my notebook out and work on more collections for trousseaux to treasure. it's coming along nicely.

one more photo and i am off to find the fly swatter and see how many mind buzzing items i can swat off my list.

Monday, February 5, 2007

tuffet ring - desejo

i've just listed a new tuffet ring! this one is called desejo. the top is made with three layers. the first layer is a black & white polka dot fabric, second is a warm burgundy lace, and the top, as you can see it the white with silhouettes of flowers.

this ring has turned out to be my favorite i've listed so far. i like the spanish vintage feel to it. i should have called it flamenco. maybe another one...

below is a sneak peak at desejo's companion piece which will be listed tomorrow in my shop, they are my first attempt making fabric earrings. i am pretty content with them. i will write more about them tomorrow.

please let me know what you think!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

trousseaux to treasure

the blog is in it's beginning stages. we are almost there! please take a look at trousseaux and let me know what you think!

thanks so much for your comments and emails!

Friday, February 2, 2007

brigadeiro isn't as sweet as chloe

my niece turned one yesterday. we're celebrating her birthday tonight. she is the most precious little girl i have ever met. she's hilarious, even at one.
her name is chloe and she is the first baby in our family. my brother, damian and his wife, nicole, actually made her on their honeymoon. what a gift! ha!

i made brigadeiro, my favorite dessert for her birthday party. i've been making brigadeiro since i was a young girl. my aunt, olga, and i would make them the day i arrived in brasil. every year was the same, even as i grew older. as the plane would land in belo horizonte, i would be & still am filled with nerves & hunger for my family & for brigadeiro.

i hope to have this same kind of relationship with chloe. i want to watch her stir vigorously so the chocolate doesn't burn & giggle while we roll the sticky chocolatey goodness between our hands, stealing a ball every now & then.

my aunt, my second mother, suffered an aneurysm this past year. i haven't seen her yet and i hope that our ritual, our reuniting will still be filled will the taste of chocolate, but i fear it may be a bit bittersweet.

she still has her memory intact and talks often of brigadeiro. this is a good sign, because memory is what keeps us going. we seek experience in order to create memory. i dream we can share many more lovely moments together.

and finally to chloe, happy birthday, i love you.

(she's like 7 m's here, but i love this photo)

the recipe:

4 tbs cocoa

4 tbs butter/margerine

1 can condensed milk

1 tsp honey

combine all ingredients, cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly. when mixture thickens & you can see the sides of the pot, remove from heat. cool.

roll into 1/2" or 1" balls. it may be a good idea to put a little butter on your hands so they don't get too sticky.

it's delicious.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


though, i have been working mostly on wholesale orders lately, i did steal a few moments before falling asleep last night to create a new member of the tuffet family, La Playa.

i promise a better post tomorrow...