Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wonky in Austin

You don't have to be in Austin long before you realize that people here pride themselves on being different. "Keep Austin Weird" is a slogan plastered everywhere. To me, the city is more "original" than weird  -- packed with independent stores & restaurants and bearing an attitude of insouciance & the off-beat. It is an altogether engaging place to be.

A question though: is it the Austin attitude or the Whole Foods attitude that produced these parking jobs? All within a twelve-car corner of the lot. Even the Smart Car failed Driver's Ed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Hat That Legends Are Made Of

Ever since Al Shudde opened a hat store in Houston in 1907, four generations of Shudde men have been serving those who know the importance of a good hat. Several years ago in Houston, Edward (one of those who can wear any hat with style and conviction) spotted a man wearing an exceptional cowboy hat. After chasing him down, Edward learned that it came from Shudde Brothers Store and Hat Factory, and yesterday we made a pilgrimmage.

What a wonderful place -- hats, hat forms, hat steamers, and Neal Shudde who knows all there is to know about fitting, wearing, and maintaining hats of character. I nearly succumbed to a black wool derby, thinking that wearing it would unravel the unbearable lightness of being. I did receive a gift of sharp, narrow-brimmed, flat-topped, straw hat with attitude. I think that, wearing it, I will be unstoppable.

Edward looked fantastic in a black top hat, but he was on a quest for that exceptional hat.

It was amazing. It was undeniable. It was Edward.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

I came across some small pieces of beautiful Asian papers and thought I would put together a diminutive book -- a few poems, a few images, bound simply and quickly finished. Beware such unambitious thoughts! Here I am, weeks later, in a complicated and enticing undertaking that has involved the purchase of more paper, the writing of more poems, the construction of more images, and some engineering possibly beyond my skill level.

The parts so far:
a chunky, poem/image-packed book with a beaded silk cover
a box that will hold the book and whose sides will have digital images printed on Yupo
the parts of a platform for the box

What is next in my imagination:
a statuesque cover for the platform that will have openings screened with knitted stainless steel yarn and a window in the top
a four-legged base for the whole business

Stay tuned.