have you seen...

courtney courtney? if you follow my facebook, you've probably noticed some courtney courtney posts recently.  that's because i love and support her product.  i have basically told her that i'll help her any way i can.

i've been wanting to blog about her for a while now and decided that it would be fun if i asked her some questions and let her speak for herself.  so here we go.  introducing the fabulous owner and designer of courtney courtney...

name: Courtney Anne Chu location: Chicago, IL age: 28

have you always loved to design and sew? No, but I have always loved making things.  Especially jewelry when I was little up until high school, then I began experimenting with textiles and silkscreens one summer in high school.  My only experience with sewing was home economics (is it still called that?) in 7th grade.  I got my first sewing machine after my first year of college.  Slowly I began experimenting with knits and got my serger which changed everything!

do you work alone or do you have a staff that assists you? No staff!  My mom and friend help me cut fabric sometimes (but they don’t live here) and my dad also enjoys hitting up the thrift stores :D I guess I’m just fast.  And I guess I’m a quick decision maker.

did you formally study fashion design?  if not, what did you study and where? Another no here, I studied Industrial Design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  I did a summer pre-college program at Rhode Island School of Design, for textile design, so I think most of my interest in dyeing fabrics and silkscreening came from that.

how did you get started in designing upscaled children's clothing? It was more of a reaction to my full-time job.  As a designer you rarely get to see your designs 100% through to production.  My sewing allowed me to do that.  As my friends might know about me, I don’t really like to plan or set goals.  So the sewing at first was just a feeling of, I want to make this and I want to see a complete little dress.  Every little dress I try new things.  With my full-time job also in children’s fashion, I know what else is out there and what I like.  I am able to make what I do not see.

what is your inspiration, in designing your dresses?  what inspires you in general? Everything can be inspiration.  It’s kind of funny to think that when I see boring dresses I am inspired.  I do look at range of fashion, so that surely inspires me.  The fabrics of course play a huge part.  Knits have a little bit of wiggle room but you have to know how they behave.

I like a challenge, it seems lately that I like to see how I can pair fabrics and patterns that no one expects to see together.

I like to think the person who is buying the dress, the child who will wear the dress, will have something no one else will have.  Of course they will be comfortable cause it’s knit and it’s like wearing a tshirt, but they have on a special dress that no one else has, which is ready for any adventure.

have you thought of expanding into a physical or online store? I used to want a physical store, but then when would I sew!

I did the online store thing, but I spent so much time listing items only to be bought up immediately.

have you ever considered doing boy's or adult clothing? The issue here seems to be that I save my ‘boy’ fabrics for the girls.

And women are so picky about their bodies!

what does courtney courtney look like in five years?  in 10 years? Ha!  Someone asked me this before, and my response is the same. Ask me in 5 years, ask me in 10.

how can someone go about purchasing one of your dresses? Right now I offer my dresses through email.  So every other day or so, an email will go out to the sizes offered that day. http://eepurl.com/cgS2P Sign up here and make sure to select your size(s).

please share one thing you want everyone to know about you or you or your work. I never want my work to be anything but one-of-a-kind.


i've tried to convince courtney that i'm not picky about my body, but she's not buying it and still not making adult clothing.  DARN!!

seriously though, i can't say enough about courtney and the clothing she designs and sews.  sky owns a number of dresses now and i've seriously considered dumping all of sky's clothes and just stocking up on nothing but courtney courtney.

and here are all the links for courtney courtney... mailing list, to view and purchase her dresses: http://eepurl.com/cgS2P blog: http://courtneychu.blogspot.com facebook: https://www.facebook.com/courtneycourtney.designs

one man's junk...

is another man's treasure. or for this man, he has transformed his junk into an inspirational museum of wonder. mmmm... my dear friend and best finder of special things, erin, shared this video today and i can't say enough about it. please take five minutes and watch it. i promise, it's something special and you won't regret it.

so authentic. so beautiful. a man just living. and being. discovering. and exploring. doing what he loves. simply because he loves it. and mr. john henry toney. i want him to sing to me. i want to just sit and talk with them. both of them. and listen. i'd love to hear their stories. for hours. i'd love to soak in all they are... and all they have to share.

one of these days while stationed here in florida, i'm going to make a road trip to alabama.  hopefully with my family. in an RV. i want to visit mr anthony's museum of wonder and if i'm lucky enough, i'll have the opportunity to chat with mr. anthony for a bit.  he inspires me.  in so many ways.

really, i've watched this video a couple times and each time, my eyes fill with tears.

yep, i love butch anthony. john henry toney too.

pot head | © butch anthony

you can see more of butch anthony's items for sale in his museum of wonder shop here on etsy.

creativity, inspiration & success

understand the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. use it. dwell on the possibilities.- oprah winfrey

black sheep pen recently interviewed artist, jan harrison on his new blog, which focuses on the successful channeling of creativity. her interview is the only post so far, but so worth visiting and reading everything she has to share.  so very inspiring. i will definitely be adding black sheep pen's blog to my reader, so i can easily follow all his future posts.

i think what jan harrison says here is so incredibly powerful:

A successful artist is a person who is able to create something that manifests their truth...a perception that they feel they need to bring to the world. A successful creative person is someone who continues to create no matter what happens. I respect many artists. They are not all extremely successful in the art market, or in the art status structure. Some are, and some aren't. Some of the ones I respect have been overlooked. But I still consider them to be successful, because they have succeeded to give the world their vision, even though the world does not always acknowledge their worth...In other words, I define a successful career as much more than just external validation.

I love to exhibit my work, because I love to share it with other people. I am delighted when someone purchases my art. But, even that is not a true measure of success for an artist.

What I do is meaningful to me because it helps me to live in the world. I am working for my character…and the work I do brings me closer to my true self, and to a universal self.

i also love how ms. harrison speaks of her art pieces evolving as she works.  i also feel this way as a photographer.  i have many people ask me about how i edit or what actions i use to edit...and while there are certain actions that i consistently love to play with, i can honestly say that no two photographs are edited the same.  i kind of equate my editing to painting (although i've never actually painted, it's what i imagine a painter would do and how one would feel as he painted).  i feel my work.  and i edit and work with the image, until it feels right...

for the image. for my mood.

and i close with these words from jan harrison, which also greatly speak to me.  i, too, have never been blessed with a great deal of self-confidence, but i do have the courage (love and passion) that she speaks of.

I have never been blessed with a great deal of self-confidence. I think that is partly because I have dyslexia, and right and left are confusing to me. Learning in school was difficult. But I do have courage, which makes up for the lack of self-confidence. Even when times have been difficult, I have continued working...because creating art, for me, is a form of meditation, a necessary part of my life.

thank you black sheep pen for sharing jan harrison with us.  thank you jan harrison, for your honesty and words of wisdom.

this path of creativity is the most challenging and most rewarding path i have ever walked.  having only recently embraced this path, i look forward to what this path has in store for me and where it will take me.