Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bazaar Bizarre Boston

I'm so excited to be part of Bazaar Bizarre Boston Winter Fair 2010 - lots to get done before Sunday, so this isn't really a post... but here's the info if you're in Boston this Sunday, 12/5, come check it out!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

craft show - things to remember

#1 - remember to bring a camera! I forgot mine yesterday for my trunk show at Magpie I had my awful camera on my awful cell phone so they don't do it justice...
The day was fun. I met some cool people - both customers and employees- thanks to Alison for opening early, and to Mary and Louise of Magpie. It was terrific prep for Bazaar Bizarre (hope to see you there)! Today, I took a brief break from crafting, but I'll be back at it tonight. My mom sent up some cool old fabric I want to use. It was from an old high school sewing project probably when I was obsessed with Twin Peaks and I wanted to be just like Audrey Horne. Is it any wonder??

If they come out the way I expect, I'll have some new pics to post as well as some new goods for the holidays. More to come!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gearing up for the next couple of shows...

With Thanksgiving around the corner and birthday and Halloween celebrations a not too distant memory, crafting headpieces is taking up most of my "free" time. I love the deadline feeling (can you tell I'm a Procrastinator? - note the capital P) and the holiday feeling coming into the Fall. Saturday, November 20 will be my 1st trunk show at Magpie in Davis Square. I'll be there from 11am-6pm selling some cool new pieces for the holidays, noir cocktail hats from my Fall/Winter collection, and also some discounted past season items! Pictures to come (if there's time in between all that sewing).

I'll be traveling like mad this Thanksgiving - car, train, bus, to a car and another car, but I get to see my family again before Christmas. I miss them all and especially can't wait to see my adorable niece and nephew. Hopefully I'll get to post a holiday pic or two this year!

Right after that is the fabulous Bazaar Bizarre Boston (see they're great new page). I'll be there with lots of other talented and amazing vendors, so get your dollar ready and brave the line (it goes fast, I swear) for some of the best holiday shopping in the country. I think I'll start playing my Christmas music now... too early?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Still Halloween!

I got to be Cleopatra this weekend -I love Halloween! That was Friday. Today, on the actual holiday I made some halloween cupcakes to bring to work tomorrow (yum pumpkin with maple cream cheese frosting) and ate mini-candies while I handed them out to the few trick-or-treaters who came to the door.

The recipe was from Smitten Kitchen and it turned out delicious - light and not too sweet. Next time I would cut back on the cream cheese in the frosting - it made way too much and I didn't make the lovely roses in the original recipe. Hope my co-workers like them! Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

It's my favorite time of year again (even with the freakishly warm weather we had here in the Northeast for the past few days). I've been walking around enjoying the beautiful colors of Fall and the crunch and rustle of leaves under my feet. This time of year means celebration to me (maybe some lingering Druidism in my DNA?) - lots of time spent crafting costumes and decorating the apartment, planning dinners and birthday drinks.

I'm going to a costume party tonight as Cleopatra (circa 1963, Elizabeth Taylor), and I can't wait to get dressed up! Hopefully there will be more festivities this weekend, but I'm winging it a bit this year.

I'll have more updates from this weekend and next weeks parties (next week is the retro cocktail hour and dinner party for my birthday)! Coming soon - hat progress for my next show!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Emily Muller- fabulous fashion week event

Boston Fashion week is really something this year! Emily Muller's Fall 2010 Presentation at Looc in the South End was a classy and energetic show and Emmy really outdid herself (I'll have some pics tomorrow hopefully, but right now it's past my bedtime). I enjoyed being a part of the show and it inspired me to get my Fall/Winter line posted on etsy. Now that it's done, I'll have plenty of pics and new fascinators to show. More to come tomorrow!

cheers, Alana

Wine tasting & apple picking

I've been so busy making hats for Emmy's show tonight (so excited! - if you're in Boston, check it out @ Looc, 12 Union Park Street in the South End, starting at 8pm) I almost didn't get around to posting this.

Last weekend, my friends (Krystle & Jamie) and I drove to Nashoba Winery in Bolton, MA. There is much to be said for having a wine/beer/spirits tasting before picking a apples on a unseasonably hot Fall day. It was beautiful and we had lots of fun. Here are some pics - because right now they're better than my words (brain is on overdrive today - sorry!)

I love Fall! Now I just have to think of something to do with 2 dozen or so apples!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fashion Show

After much anticipation, here are the details of my friend Emmy's fashion show next week. If you're in the Boston area, I hope you can make it - especially since I'm designing hats for the show.

Emily Muller - Fall 2010 Presentation
Looc, 12 Union Park Street, Boston, MA (the South End)
Tuesday, September 28, 8pm-10pm

I'll have pics to post next week! cheers, Alana

Monday, September 20, 2010

busy, busy...

So, it's the home stretch for Emmy's Fashion Show (no name or official details - we're cool like that!) and I keep forgetting to post the pics I took at the flea market a couple of weekends ago.
I still have a post about the always fabulous Cambridge Antiques Market, but that will have to wait a little longer. This one will be mostly pics, so forgive me in advance!

My friend Alice and I drove out to the Grafton Flea market and from the entrance, my hopes sank. It was not at all what I imagined and looked to be cheesy, crappy, dirty, disappointing in every direction. There were some beautiful horses near the parking lot, so that was nice:

Strangely, it ended up being fun and we found some treasures in the midst of the debris. Alice was looking for home decor and I was looking for craft show display items (or anything cute and vintage). Here's what we found:

We also enjoyed too many wonderful Polish milk caramels that Alice got at the Russian store - yum!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sewing projects: finishing one and starting another

I just finished my wool skirt - first pattern ever attempted! I still have to sew backing onto the waistband but it's essentially done. I already see what I could have done differently, but I really like the end result

Next up, another vintage skirt pattern! Emmy Muller is creating a line which she's going to debut at the end of this month, and she asked me to do the headpieces (details to come!). I'm so honored and excited. Now I just need to find something to wear...

I want something vintage, but I haven't found the right piece just yet. Today, I got this fabric at SewLow Discount Fabrics in East Cambridge. If you live in the area, and you haven't been to this shop yet, go! I wanted to do a day version of this skirt too, but haven't found the fabric I have pictured in my mind. For now, I'm going to tackle this simple skirt - wish me luck!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

a short post about coffee

There are few things I like more in this life than coffee. If someone paid me to give up coffee, I'd have to seriously think about it (and be offered a serious amount of money). My sister told me about a site she liked that has awesome coffee - GoCoffeeGo. My first purchase was from Water Avenue roasters in Portland, Oregon.

The packaging was what sold me - so clean and retro and the coffee was fabulous too. It's time to order some new coffee and this time I'm contemplating something from Atomic roasters here in Salem, MA. That's a package I can't wait to get!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New sewing project = new clothes!

As someone with a large waist to hip ratio, I love my shape even as I work on overall downsizing. The frustrating part of having an exaggerated "hourglass" figure is that clothes often gape at the waist if they fit in the hip, or are too tight in hip when they fit at the waist... tailoring is the answer, but it can be difficult for a novice seamstress to get good results when altering a waist by 2 sizes. With Fall around the corner and my dislike for most of my wardrobe, I decided to try making a few of my own pieces.

I bought some patterns on Etsy, and I'm starting with this one from VintageCorePatterns:

I'm planning on making the brown skirt (pictured fig 2) and was hoping to find a mustard colored blended wool but there wasn't a huge selection at the local fabric store (choice of store is surprisingly limited in the Boston area, especially when you don't have a car!). I ended up picking this material (if you can see it, I think it looks better in person), along with some new tools so I can do this right:

(with flash)

(ambient light, no flash)

I'm hoping to get started soon, and I've invited my friend Seana to work on a skirt of her own from this pattern. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Random thoughts - part 2 - pumpkins

We're still in the throes of nearly unbearable summer heat and humidity here in Cambridge (the weekend was nice tho!) and I just can't help thinking about Fall. It's so close!

If you know me, you know Halloween is my favorite holiday (Christmas is a close 2nd, but Halloween just doesn't have all of the stress associated with family holidays - no offense family!). It's not just Halloween though (costume pics to come)- I love Fall and the changing colors, the crisp cool air and the crunch of leaves under your footsteps, the first sweater you put on to go outside, boots, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, jack-o'lanterns, seeds... pumpkins! Everything pumpkin!

About a month ago, I spotted a cute little terra cotta pot in Christmas Tree Shops - a grow your own pumpkin (like the one pictured here (on the left))

Within days, it produced 5 rapidly growing seedlings. 2 I transferred to a larger pot and the rest went to my friend Krystle for her back yard garden (with a promise of a pumpkin if hers succeed and mine don't). Now, 5 weeks later, I am down to 1 plant that seems to be growing a little slower (it's still alive - that's a feat for me!) and due to some zealous watering and organic potting soil 2 lovely little mushrooms (which also popped out almost overnight!):

I know it's a long shot, but hopefully the pumpkin will follow suit and take off!

random thoughts - part 1 - new camera

Happy Sunday! I'm way overdue for a post and since I'm still shaking off sleep (thanks cloudy sky) this is a perfect time... I actually have a few things to blog about today, but I might use it as procrastination technique and do it in parts.

I finally got a new camera since the old one died without too much warning. It took AA batteries and no matter how fresh or freshly charged the batteries were, the camera wouldn't take more than one picture without telling me the batteries needed to be replaced. Ughh! So frustrating. It's sad too- I'm one of those people who thinks things are supposed to last if you take care of them. Apparently, 4 years is long enough for a small, budget friendly point and shoot camera. Figuring repairs would cost more than buying a new one, I decided to go ahead. After all, you can't blog very well without a decent camera.

I stuck with the same brand, and it's a newer model of the same line although I'm not sure why when the 1st one turned out the way it did. This model uses a rechargeable battery - not sure if that will make a difference. It definitely has a sleeker look and a lighter weight. I'm happy with it so far, but I haven't had a chance to use it much in the past couple of days (the few pics I took so far will be in the next post). A visit to the family this weekend should cure that! Hopefully I'll get a chance to really put it to use.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Curious Cabinet Cards

I've been interested in old photographs for awhile now - especially turn of the century or earlier photos of actresses. Not too long ago, I found this cabinet card in an antique shop:

I was instantly struck by her pose and her defiant look under the jaunty derby hat, cigarette poised. This woman has nerve! After some quick research I found out she was Belle Archer, born 1858, died 1900. Belle was a renowned stage actress and from the look of this photo, she had attitude.

I also learned that this type of photo is referred to as a "cabinet card" because of the way it's mounted and meant to be displayed easily without framing. Once I started looking into cabinet cards, I found lots of awesome images -



cross-dressing vaudeville: which brings me to my next find - an exhibit at Ohio State on Burlesque called Loose Women in Tights, and a piece of that exhibit entitled Cross Dressing and Gender Performance in Burlesque on vaudevillian actresses who dressed as men. This phenomenon was the inspiration for the name of my shop, Maxine in Trousers. It's great to see burlesque in an academic setting as the focus of a University exhibit. This site offers a quick yet in-depth look (pictures included - nothing too risque) at burlesque from beginning to end (it's not about neo-burlesque). Very cool!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Public Garden Pics

thanks ladies!

Seana and Nicole - thanks for your help with this impromptu shoot in the Public Garden today.

The weather was gorgeous - a perfect summer day in Boston and the Garden is always beautiful (especially after walking through the Common - sorry Common). Although it was fast, I had a lot of fun - in the middle of everything I was distracted by a beautiful Mexican bride who had made her own gorgeous wedding dress - I wish I got a picture of the back!

Here's one pic (I'm really not glowing bronze in real life) of all 3 of us - thanks to the friendly Frenchman who took it:

Monday, August 9, 2010


I'm a procrastinator - always have been. Without a deadline, I don't see the need to hustle. Progress is slow but steady as I work on more hats for my friend Emmy's fashion show next month. Since I've been teaching myself millinery (from books, websites, experimentation, etc.), it's been especially slow, but also extremely gratifying. The color scheme for this particular line is deep and dark and the fabrics are wool - nubbly and textured as well as wool felt. It's August outside, but it's cold and snowy on my work table.

Hopefully I'll have lots more to show you soon, but here's some of what I have so far (the bases are just the beginning - feathers and other adornments to be added):

Lots more to come in the next few days! Surrounded by all of these feathers, I'm feeling inspired.