kitten around

I had a very stupid day yesterday, so I'm glad that I already had some kitten/friend time scheduled to take the edge off. Melissa, who is actually helping out on the new cat zine (forever making cat zines), is fostering a mom and her kittens for Austin Pets Alive right now!  I love APA - I've had a few friends foster with them and I adopted my little love Beaker from them last year and they were the best, so if you're in Austin, I definitely recommend supporting them in any way you can! Of course, these guys will be up for adoption eventually, too, and I plead for you all to snatch them up before I do something irresponsible, like adopt all three.

I initially met these tiny, tiny creatures last weekend when they were even tinier, but got a lot more quality time with them today and had my camera handy, so naturally I snapped away furiously.  Xylophone, the littlest kitten with the pink nose, took a particular liking to my hair, and when it was time to leave, she would not let go of me and I obviously wasn't feeling too good about leaving her, either. 

Overall, a pretty great Caturday. 


ladies' man, indeed

I remember seeing this photo of Tom Cruise and his Risky Business co-star Rebecca de Mornay on the excellent Old Love a while back and thinking that I needed to know everything about her, but then I (foolishly) did not pursue the matter further.

Because, really, anyone who makes a Cats t-shirt look that sexy deserves to be more famous than Tom Cruise, right?

Super hot!

But then this morning I was looking at old pictures of Newport Folk Festival, and I came across some pictures of her with Leonard Cohen (not actually related to Newport Folk Festival, but you know how looking at things on the Internet goes...) and found out that they were actually a serious couple in the early 90s.  She even co-produced The Future!  

Christof Graf, 1993
So, um, I guess their relationship wasn't a secret or a scandal seeing as how, you know, she was credited in his liner notes (although for whatever reason, photos of them have only recently surfaced and there are very few)...but I figured the fact that I just found out means there are other people who this information would appeal to who were unaware.  

Obviously, my research into Leonard Cohen's love life had previously (justifiably!) been focused on Joni Mitchell, which is way juicier


Old gossip is the best gossip, right?


baby, my head's full of pictures

Sometimes, when you are very exhausted from the combination of an especially nasty sinus infection and a lot of exciting things, what makes the most sense is photographing everything new that you don't think you will ever get around to showing anyone in real life because when you're pretty damn sure that when you fall asleep tonight, you might just decide to finally commit to eternal slumber.

I bought this little terrarium at Renegade from Simply Planted.   My bedroom is teeny tiny, and the wall I face when I'm in my bed only has room for this window without much of a scenic view (mostly a wooden fence) and a mirror that wouldn't quite make sense anywhere else, so I'm thrilled to have something nicer to look at. 

 This little print clothesline is another new-ish addition to my bedroom. It features work by Caroline, Kensey, Stephen Eichorn, and The Disaster Life

Beaker looking pensive next to a couple old & new things.  The shirt was a thrifted cream silk blouse that I spent $2 on and wore about a hundred times before the various tiny stains all over it seemed to be a bit much and I decided it would make a good tie-dye experiment.  I like how it came out, and the fact that it's a shirt in the style I wear most frequently (a soft, collared button-down) means that it might get worn quite a bit despite being out of my normal, very limited comfort zone.   The necklace is my Little Pancakes collab, and I'm happy to (finally) have one of my own!  My friends Maggie and Joyce both purchased one over the weekend, which is really awesome because obviously cool girls matching each other is my favorite thing ever.  Dana, Ana, and Venice all have this necklace, and I like to think (and maybe have confirmed????) that they're able to send good cosmic vibes to each other whenever the necklaces are being worn. 

Melissa and I each made ourselves a couple one-of-a-kind necklaces together to commemorate her visit.  Hers features a mint green bear accompanied by dangling brass triangles and mine this cool crystal & chevron thing that I was really bad at photographing on myself because I forgot how hard it is to take pictures of yourself with a 35mm lens when you hate self timer. 

Finally, new reading/oogling material!  The stack on the left came arrived all the way from Dublin today...tons of independently published goodness courtesy of my pal Liz!  The next two were purchased today when Caroline and I took Melissa to a few of our favorite spots around town before she caught her flight back to Boston.  Apartamento via Spartan & Becca Stadtlander's volume of Living Things via Domy


our brand could be your life

This is a blog post that I’m writing mostly because the title popped into my head and I wanted to use it. I love non-fiction books about music - preferably focused on anything angsty, rebellious, and catchy from the last 40 years. Our Band Could Be Your Life is one of 'em, hence the title. I devour these books like they’re trashy romance novels, and some of them totally are trashy romance novels. Right now I'm re-reading Please Kill Me (like I do) and I'm totally fine with revisiting everything I loved as a teenager instead of broadening my horizons.

That isn't what this post is about, however. I am here today to muse on my favorite subject to devote too much time/energy to... FASHION!
Here is a photo Miley Cyrus posted to her Twitter account in which she references Kanye West's Maison Martin Margiela reference.  
I spend a lot of time looking at clothes that are available for purchase (mostly online and thrift stores), but It’s pretty rare for me to actually buy something these days; my only wearable purchases in 2012 have been a pair of shoes and a ring. Which isn’t to say that I plan my wardrobe and any additions to it obsessively like Dead Fleurette; I’m a total impulse shopper; it just takes a really, really good deal (the kind you can't plan for) to get me to part with any part of my (currently pathetic) income.

So in terms of brand loyalty in fashion, mine exists on a weird (mostly) fictional plane because I don’t have much experience with the labels I admire - if (big if) I own one of their products, it’s probably the only thing by them I have and so I can only speak to the quality that particular item. However, there are a couple notable exceptions of brands that I feel okay having strong opinions about, because sometimes lightning strikes twice (or, er, five times.) I do own two pairs of shoes by Rachel Comey that have made me a believer in comfortable heels. I also have a weirdly high number of APC things in my closet, but one of them is a striped t-shirt that totally bled (really, APC? Forever21 can make cotton t-shirts that don’t bleed and you can’t? I guess there's a reason why it was on The Outnet...ouch.) So while I aesthetically dig APC, I don’t know if I’ll ever buy anything by them again unless it’s like crazy cheap and cute. Or just moderately cheap and crazy cute if I'm feeling reckless. 
Okay, APC, you've made your point...
Still, I have “favorite” brands - including labels that make clothes I have never even seen in real life, and it typically isn’t just the actual look of the collection that sways me one way or the other. It’s all about selling the lifestyle, man. 

Like on Project Runway how they're always asking, "Who are you designing for? Tell me who this girl is!" Invariably, the designer gives a really earnest response about designing for their mom, who was very stylish and tragically died during childbirth, and Michael Kors snarkily chimes in with something that makes no sense whatsoever like "she looks like a lobster who just fell off the plate on an Elizabeth Taylor themed cruise" and everyone laughs, except the designer, who is crying. Now, Project Runway (to me, anyway) is pretty rarely spot on when it comes to fashion and mostly just a reason for Heidi Klum say cute things and wear sequins on camera...but that question is totally spot on: I like certain brands because I want to be that girl that they're designing for. Her life seems better than mine, and their clothes can help bridge the gap between our worlds ... or so it seems.

Isabel Marant Mindfreak
Isabel Marant is a pretty good example of really creating the entire world of the Isabel Marant woman - and for that, I think she's an evil fashion genius. Here is something she said once:
It's easy to make magic on a red carpet - except just how many of us live that life? But how do we make it happen every day on the sidewalk? That's why I love to design.
Which I think is weird coming from someone who purposely makes her work inaccessible.   Even if you had all the money in the world to buy her clothes (and trust me, you will need all the money in the world) ... you might not be able to, because she's very particular about the quantities of her clothes that are available and where they can be sold.

Here is a quotation from a Huffington Post piece on her, which is (hilariously) titled "All the Cool Girls Love Isabel Marant"
Isabel Marant combines femininity and edge in a way women crave today - effortless, chic and wearable. According to Trina, customers love Isabel Marant because they can incorporate her pieces into their existing wardrobe. Here's what interesting - women who buy Isabel Marant pieces are downtown urban, bohemian and career women that want to look sophisticated but not stuffy. They are moms who want to be comfortable, but not at the expense of sacrificing their style to sweats. Style is what these women share in common.
Fashion can be bought, style one must posses yadda yadda aside, can we just talk about how scary cool Isabel Marant is? Not because I'm into Parisian street chic or whatever...I currently do not give a fuck about Parisian street chic.  If you wanna spend a lot of money to not look you spent a lot of money except to a select few people who will worship the ground your Dicker boots walk on, please do your thing, but that isn't what I, personally, get from her...I just think she's rad because she controls minds.  I don't know what it's like to wear her clothes, but I'm also not sure that I know what it's like to feel cool...and the fact that those two actions are linked to so many people is no small feat.

Oh, and the best part is that she just goes off to a cabin in the woods with her cute little family every weekend.
Isabel Marant's cabin: you aren't invited.
A lot of brands go for the opposite strategy, though (particularly new, hip-to-what-the-kids-are-blogging ones) and use accessibility as a tool. Capsule collections and partnerships with major retailers are huge these days, and, at the very least give a sense of perceived luxury . That isn't to say, however, that making a brand lifestyle "accesible" has to be synonymous with polyester and waiting on line for Target to open, though.  Like music before it, fashion's gone digital, and the industry is changing as a result. 

Blogging and social media provide a lot of label-to-potential-customer interaction without either party necessarily dropping any cash; it comes in a lot of forms, from highly-stylized lookbook videos to behind-the-scenes Instagramming. I mostly think it's great, because as a potential customer, I can dip my toes in the water, think about how it would feel to maybe one day be "that girl" and at least feel really smart because I'm enjoying dresses without buying them, which is something I can't do with, say, a cup of coffee, which I physically need to have at least twice a day to function. Once the relationship is built, though, and I promise you, eventually, some of the many Twitter followers/blog readers/Facebook fans/whatever gives in ... the 21st century version of Chinese water torture.  

I know this phenomenon isn't fashion specific, though, and obviously not a new thing in advertising (totally underrepresented on Mad Men, where they seem gloss over most professional sliminess in favor of personal sliminess), but as someone who is youngish, possibly intelligent, and definitely tech savvy, the idea of social media using me instead of the other way around is not an easy pill to swallow. 

My favorite variation of all this fashion lifestyle branding business is what Acne has done with Acne Paper - cool brand, cool magazine.  You can own something by them (even get, yes -  cool packaging) that is high quality without spending what you would on their clothing.  Maybe not as satisfying as a sheer gray floral blazer, but certainly kinder to my bank account.

Acne S/S 12

Uh, I don't really have a conclusion to all this exactly, except that I'm really fascinated by fashion marketing, I guess.  I have to find some way to justify going to college and studying psychology, don't I?


seventies babes in black and white

Michael Caine, Shakira Baksh, Ringo Starr, and Maureen Starkey on their way to Elizabeth Taylor's birthday party, naturally.

Anjelica Huston

Mick and Bianca Jagger on their wedding day (she wore a YSL smoking jacket with nothing underneath.)

Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin leaving SNL practice.


cut path x little pancakes / renegade!

I promise this is NOT a blog about my jewelry, but here is one more post about my jewelry.
Internet circles being as tight-knit as they are, I know some of our readers are already fans of Little Pancakes jewelry.  Melissa's designs are sweet and fun...perfect to wear every single day of your life if you're interested (as I hear some people are) in feeling less sad!

So when Melissa brought up a possible collaboration, I immediately, enthusiastically said "yes".  Our first piece is kinda exactly what you would expect from the two of us together (in a good way!):  her popular brass bunting necklace meets up with a motif near and dear to our hearts...a kitty cat, naturally.

Here is Melissa herself rocking one:

And you can check out the listing here!

BUT the fun doesn’t stop there!  Melissa is coming to Austin this month for Renegade Craft Fair (May 19 -20). She’s staying at our house and we plan on making more jewelry (probably including one of a kind pieces!) to sell.  I’ll be hanging out at the Little Pancakes booth, so come say hi if you’re in town!  

MAKEatx is also setting up shop, so check out their booth!  I've seen a bit of what Kristen and Eve have up their sleeves for the display, and I think it's gonna be pretty rad.  

You can buy stuff like this from them:


pen pals n stuff

So I guess I never mentioned here why I'm lasercutting everything these past few months - it's because I've been interning with MAKEatx. I'm mostly a go-to Internet girl (I looooove the Internet, of course), which means that I started and maintain the blog and update Pinterest and Twitter. I also do miscellaneous workshop dutIies, including production of the products they sell throughout the greater Austin area.  The coolest perk is that I get access to a laser cutter and can play with it to my heart's desire (seeing as how my heart does not desire to do anything destructive with powerful machinery.)

I'm working on a lot of new, different things to put up on Etsy (and,  not to jinx it or anything, but elsewhere if Tuesday goes well.)  I think I definitely like making packaging more than products themselves, though!  I've had the luxury of experimenting with a lot of different ways to ship out my products, and the latest is my very own customized jewelry boxes.

P.S. Anyone who sells handmade goods or whatever and is interested in lasercut packaging, please get in touch!  I'd love to work with you.

I am currently working on a collection of stationary that isn't quite ready yet (get it right or don't do it) & have a lot of variations of my packaging (including cards for thank you notes)  that are still in "sample" form just hanging out.  PLUS my mom is visiting for the very first time next week, so I've been cleaning up like crazy and finding all sorts of hidden gems.

In light of this & my pretty decent collection of stamps waiting to be sent all over, I've decided WHY NOT SEND STUFF TO INTERNET FRIENDS?????

A lot of my current IRL friendships originated online, honestly - it's a cool place to get in touch with people with similar interests!  But there are a lot of variations of it: roommates and other friends I see on a weekly basis, friends I contact via Twitter frequently or text, friends who I met that one time when we happened to be in the same city,  like-minded darlings who read this blog but don't actually talk to me or comment that much, etc. 4evs.  The point is, I like you all and wish to be a mulch-millionaire who could visit you all!  Since I can't, though, how about I send you some mail?

If you wanna be included, e-mail me at ventriclestory at gmail.com with your address!  There are a lot of things you might possibly get, including a nice note, blank stationary I made myself, prints of work by both myself and friends that are extras hangin' out after they were included with old zines I distributed, and maybe even originals. WHO KNOWS?

Please don't be hesitant to shoot me an email if you don't think we know each other that well - the point of all of this is to get to know people better! I'm happy to send things internationally, too, so that shouldn't scare you off!

P.S.  I know I definitely owe a few people mail...mostly people I had great ambitions of making something original for & haven't quite gotten it right yet (lookin' at you, Zoe) and people who I should have sent something to long ago but might not even have the right address for anymore?  (*cough* Liz *cough*)  You guys are already on the list, but if you think I don't have a current address for you, please get in touch!


francoise sagan

It's easy for me to forget the details of Francoise Sagan's life while I look at pictures of her.  Her unfussy style is deceiving; the tousled brown hair, cozy black sweaters overwhelming her small frame, and habit of being photographed barefoot paint a picture of a much simpler life than the one she lived. 

Francoise Sagan is best known her novel that she published when she was seventeen: Bonjour Tristesse.  The title translates in English to "hello sadness", which is definitely the name of the latest Los Campesinos! album and has long been rumored to be the inspiration behind "The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel.   Sagan continued writing, extending her work to the stage and screen in addition to her novels and short stories, and also lead a personal life that, I suppose, is best described as "colorful".  She maintained a long-time affair with the editor of French Playboy, traveled with the likes of Truman Capote and Ava Gardener, and was in and out of legal trouble...including a tax fraud charges and an incident where she gave her dog cocaine to prove to the policemen who came to her home for an inspection that the drug was "harmless." She's not a hero, but she was a talented woman whose life inspires me to do as much as I can while wasting as little of my own as possible.

With Jean Seberg

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