more! new! books!

So, I’ve been away. Not out of town, exactly, or out of work or even away from my desk. I just.. took a long summer vacation from the Flutter site. Here I am, though, back in action and ready to taunt the public with pictures of the newest and best Flutter items. This week I will ravage the blog with shots from three awesome new books we’ve got. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t the only three or even the best three, they’re just the three I was most excited about today. The first is a book about Philippe Halsman, a genius photographer responsible for some truly iconic photographs, especially noteworthy are his portraits of big stars like Dali and Audrey. You’ve seen his work, for sure, but this book also features some of his edgier, stranger photos. The second is a book of pictures of altars for Dia de los Muertos, the holiday where people respect their dearly departed by staging elaborate altars and preparing symbolic meals. The garlands of marigolds pictured in every page of the book had me running to Emerald Petals this morning to buy up their stock. Lastly, I have featured pictures from Roadside America, a colorful book full of neon and stucco and painted ladies, plus a great shot of that stack of skewered cars in Michigan. I love it, in fact I took a picture of that one and use it as my cel phone’s wallpaper. I don’t know, nothing against cars, I just really like it. I guess because it reminds me of Wayne’s World. We’ve also got a gorgeously creepy Henry Darger book, a book of hand-painted film posters from Ghana (creepier than Darger), and the creepiest by far is an enormous Taschen book of human anatomy and surgery, with super-detailed color illustrations of what looks like d.i.y. amputation techniques. Totally amazing and not for the faint of heart, kind of like some other things I could mention. Hey! I was referring to Flutter!

A rush and a plush..

HERE IT IS, the great plushstravaganza of spring 2010. There are a bright velvety ton of new chairs, settees and lounges; some came in pairs and others are absolutely one-of-a-kind. Now’s the time to do major reorganization, reprioritizing and redecorating. It’s a great opportunity to sweep the clutter of winter into a box, seal it up and put it in the closet. Get rid of the stuff you don’t love (consign them at Rerun?), and invest in pieces that make your home more cozy and attractive. I splurged on some great scented cleaning products and a new pair of rubber gloves, and I look forward to giving my house a deep scrubbing. After finals, of course.
P.S. Our new Prince Buster playlist from Pandora is so killer.

New Vintage Clothes!!

New clothes are all over Flutter, and not a minute too soon. I was just dispairing a lack of bright new wearables in my life, and here they are in a spectrum of sizes and styles to make you want to just drop your pants. In the dressing room, of course. I’ll post more pictures next week, because most of the gorgeous new stuff is going on the racks tonight. I’m restraining myself but I’ve already chosen 2 that I am taking home with me, a lacy black and red cocktail dress and a pink, um, cocktail dress. Now all I need is a cocktail party. Stay tuned.. next week more vintage clothes pics.


We’ve got a new batch of cards in Flutter, beautiful bold silhouette images on soft pastels. The artist behind these designs is Leigh Batnick, aka JEZEBEL. JEZEBEL also produces tees and totes with the same classic feminine imagery. Flutter caught up with JEZEBEL for an interview, and to reorder cards, natch!

FL-what works of art do you find inspiring? music? film? books?

J -Books, books, books, films, films, films, music, music, music. Little,
Big by John Crowley, Virginia Woolf, childhood classics, Jeanne Moreau,
Hitchcock, drawing room comedies, Bergman, Daisies, early Disney, Bob
Dylan, Billie Holiday, Leonard Cohen.

FL -if you could chose a few other professions, any at all, school-be-damned,
what would they be?


FL-if you could live in the past, in any era, when and where would you live?

J- New York, always and anytime. With plentiful travels to Big Sur,
Laurel Canyon, Paris, Mozambique, the Greek Islands.

FL-the best way to spend a rainy day is..

J -with the record player whirling lazily and near-silent, as KP plays
his guitar, while Teepee & Coral listen intently. The bedroom floor will
be covered with discarded sections from the Times and a round of magazines
and a stack of books and the coffee will flow and the Kobo Grapefruite e
Tabaco will burn.

.leigh batnick.
.jezebel stationery.
.correspondence for the vagabond heart.
.from brooklyn, with love.

Vagabond Picnic by Jezebel, a fine jewelry line featuring 14k rose gold
ants interlocked in a labour of love, and new t-shirts and tote bags are
available at Wander through Jezebel’s dark
forest at

the magnetic fields!

Well, I hope you all had a good Valentine’s Day. It’s such a funny holiday, I always try to go out to dinner with friends or see a movie or go dancing, and this year I did all three. My roommates and I ended up watching Harold and Maude, which left us all feeling inspired and tender. This weekend may have been great, but next weekend is sure to be better: Flutter’s official favorite band, the Magnetic Fields, are playing at the Aladdin Theater! They’re the first thing I ever wrote about for the Flutter blog, and the most-played band in the store for sure. The statistics on our obsession might be staggering, but let’s just say our contingent will represent at both shows. Even my 9 year old daughter is going (not at all unwillingly). Cindy likes to recount the time Stephin Merritt came in to her Seattle store ‘Dirty Jane’s’, back in the 90’s. Mr. Merritt, if you’re reading this, here’s some eye candy to lure you in to the store. I promise not to freak out or ask for your autograph.


Snow! What a beautiful way to start out the year. I hope it sticks, I hope it lasts. I just looked up the weather for Portland, and it said it was cloudy and 46 degrees, maybe going to rain for a few days.. yeah, the wooly snowflakes tumbling out of the sky are telling me a different story. It’s funny how the weather people are wrong when they predict snow, and wrong when they don’t. I don’t mean to complain, because I really like the surprise of it. I love it love it love it. Happy New Year!! I hope next year is your best year yet!

let them eat pixels

This week for the blog I decided to overshoot, smothering any text with heaps of photos from the store. Flutter is always chock-full of colorful, scented, textured, shiny exciting stuff but around the holidays it seems somehow different. Maybe you can discern the holiday vibes from the pictures. There’s been a lot of hustle and bustle to keep up with, champagne corks to pop, ornaments to hang.. and an inviting dish of hershey’s kisses just waiting to be ravished. I’m including a link to the awesome website of Diane of D. Sharp paper arts came in to Flutter today hunting stamps for collage garlands she makes. She makes wonderful folded and crimped paper sculptures using vintage paper. Enough text- enjoy the pictures!

Winterview series, part 7- Vicki Wooten of Gossamer

Flutter has a clutch of new artists showing their hot stuff in the store, and all month we’ve been giving them the spotlight by hosting their trunk shows. This week the big tent of our three ring circus is devoted to Gossamer, a duo of wonderful ladies whose are as bold and beautiful as the jewelry they create. Some of my favorite things in the store are Gossamer designs, like the hairpins and rings made with vintage buttons. I love when Vicki brings in the whole tub of them, and I get to sift my fingers through the glittering rhinestones and bakelites and beads. Everyone has their own personal favorites, of course, but I get to choose before everyone else and so I am VERY LUCKY. The Gossamer ladies also make leather cuffs and necklaces that are tough and sexy. They’re really good at what they do. Come by Flutter on December 16th (that’s this Wednesday!) to see for yourself, and check out the Gossamer Blog for more pictures and updates. The amazing photo above, taken by Lara Blair, gives you just a taste of what Gossamer is capable of.

FLUTTER: What are some things that inspire you?

Vicki Wooten: Everything pretty much inspires me. I’m sure I could even find inspiration in a rock. Some of my favorite artists are Gustav Klimt, Waterhouse, Frida Kahlo, Erte and Georgia O’Keefe. As far as my taste in movies: period pieces and vintage black & white movies because I have always been interested in costume design. I have collected vintage and antique millinery, buttons, textiles, clothing and jewelry most of my life and am especially drawn to the 1920s. Being the book junky that I am, I have never met a design book I didn’t like. I have a pretty extensive library on art, fashion, jewelry design, textiles, interior design and the list just goes on and on. Musically I can appreciate all genres of music. I secretly wish that I would have been a teenager in the 60s so I could hang out in Haight Ashbury and would have been at Woodstock. Yes, I even thought I was Janis Joplin in my teens. But now I listen to old school western. The “Man In Black” Johnny Cash is #1 with me.

FL: If you could choose a few other professions, any at all, school-be-damned, what would they be?

VW: A profession that would give me the flexibility to work from my home that of course would be a farmhouse in the country. Perhaps a textile designer, writer or an artist that makes money!

FL: If you had an astronomical budget for materials, what strange and beautiful things would you work with?

VW: My business partner Beth and I already use amazing vintage embellishments and found objects such as millinery, textiles, buttons, feathers, gems, metal, hardware, etc. Having an endless amount of money would let us purchase expensive materials, more of the same, things that in the past we would have had to pass up. We would go “On the Road Again” driving throughout the USA in my very cute cherry red vintage pickup with an airstream in tow stopping at every thrift store and weird hole in the wall shop in search of unique treasures that we can incorporate in to our jewelry designs. If I had all the money in the world I would still want to search for the material myself because for me there is nothing like the thrill of the hunt. Since I am a true Oregonian I would always maintain a home in Oregon but would love to have a home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

FL: If you could live in the past, in any era, when and where would you live? Why?

VW: Being the rebel that I am I would have loved to live in Paris in the 1920’s. Consuming the free spirited Bohemian Lifestyle of self-expression, creative energy and their nonconformist attitudes… besides all the excitement of the times with Josephine Baker dancing at the Folies-Bergere, the modern art movement, Erte and the birthplace of Art Deco. What else could a girl want? My art and life have always been surrounded by people, places and events that embrace the true bohemian life. By creating art & furnishings from recycled materials/found objects, they really created a world of their own. Free to be who they are, myself included.

FL: The best way to spend a rainy day is…

VW: Eating Popcorn dripping in butter, watching old movies, reading books and magazines, sketching, drinking pots of coffee all while lying in bed…I’M IN HEAVEN!

WInterview Series, Part 6- Sonia Kasparian of URCHIN

A few months ago I threw a handful of questions to Sonia Kasparian, of Urchin Design. I’ll reprint and repost her answers for the Winterview series, with some new pictures to keep things updated. Also, I have since discovered that when working with sportswear company Roxy, she designed their lady’s boardshort! The one that revolutionized the surfwear industry and made Roxy the giant it is today! Wow. Lucky for us, Sonia’s penchant for couture pointed her in a glamorous new direction. I love how much you can learn about an artist based on their interviews. For instance, when I asked Sonia which movie she’d like to have done costumes for, her answer was revealing: Brazil, the freaky futuristic masterpiece by Terry Gilliam. Her love of baroque details and metallic greige would have redefined the film’s take on fraught couture. Sonia has a velvet touch with old dresses, gently and deftly handsewing and coaxing them into new creatures. It’s like each dress is an Eliza Doolittle, and she’s Henry Higgins giving them a glamorous new lease on life. Hey, she should design for the remake of My Fair Lady while she’s at it. Below is the complete, in-depth q&a; with the genius herself:

Who would I want to collaborate with?


FL:What movie would I want to have worked on the costumes for?
SK (hey we have the same initials!):Brazil definately..

FL:What is my favorite food?

FL:What is the biggest risk on a random night out with me?
SK:That I may rescue a stray cat or a large piece of matter…ie wood, metal whatever to make something out of.

FL:If you weren’t sewing, what would you be doing?
SK:A million things. Gardening, making art, working out, seeing friends…….

Whats your background?

SK:Well, I went to Otis/Parsons school of art & design in L.A., intending to come out a fine artist, but took a summer class at the local college in illustration to try to figure out how I would make a living while being an artist, and the instructor came in drunk the first 2 classes. I took that as a sign to go into fashion as my major, and do fine art, not commercial, for myself.

What would you do if you were not an artist or fashion designer?

SK:Architecture for sure. I would have chosen that first, but was told at the time that you need to be really good at math, and since math makes me almost break out in hives………..anyway, now I hear there are computers or something that calculate that for you.. Sigh.

Sonia’s lovely Urchin line is always available at Flutter, but on December 10th from 5-8 we will also be hosting her trunk show!
Check out more of Urchin’s Designs on Flutter’s Designer page. Sonia will do custom fitting for all her pieces, and she has been known to create dresses to a client’s specifications as well!


Jess Mccloskey is the genius behind Paper Treasure, and the newest bright star on the Flutter team of designers. Her free-form approach to jewelry making results in truly inspired, one of a kind pieces. Jess names all of her jewelry pieces after actual shipwrecks, and includes a small historical note with each piece. Growing up near the ocean, she was always fascinated by the idea of lost and buried treasure, and I imagine that her work area must look a lot like the contents of an old treasure chest. I admit my first experience with her jewelry was a bit like that rush a treasure hunter would get upon a discovery. There was a necklace with a heavy silver coin, really old and worn and mysterious, and as I held it I could feel a link to the past and to what that coin had meant a hundred years ago. It is thrilling to be around such gorgeous relics when I am at work, but sometimes it’s the small pieces that really give me pause. Jess likes to work with vintage pendants, aged beads, bits of filigree and chain, and she is always hunting for old lockets, charms and trinkets. Her jewelry reflects genuine love and respect for the materials, and her artful arrangements make each piece feel like the end of a magical treasure hunt. See for yourself at her trunk show here at Fluttter December 4th, from 5 to 8 pm, or check out the paper treasure website.

the Paper Treasure interview, Flutter 2009

-what works of art do you find inspiring? music? film? books?

Right now I am listening to lots of Kristen Hersh, Galaxie 500 and Jana Hunter. I discovered Jana Hunter on Pandora and I can’t get enough of it. She’s the most exciting new musician I’ve discovered in a long time. As for films, I really like watching documentaries on artists, my favorite of this sort is How to Draw a Bunny about the incredible collage/ performance artist Ray Johnson. I also really love period movies because I the costuming is so inspirational. I just watched Aimee & Jaguar which is based on one of my favorite novels and the 1930s/ 40s styling in it is so spectacular. Anna Karenina is my all time favorite novel as well as anything by Rick Bass. I am currently on a Henry Miller kick and recently discovered the joy that is listening to books online! (Now that’s what I call multi-tasking!) I also love looking at circus photography books from the 1930’s and Victorian jewelry books.

-if you could choose a few other professions, any at all,
school-be-damned, what would they be?

Lately, I’ve been dreaming of going back to school to become a metalsmith. It seems like the next logical progression for my jewelry. I’d love to be able to cast my own charms. I’ve been keeping a little sketchbook of designs so that I’ll be all ready when the time comes! Other professions I would consider are speech pathology or something involving natural medicine.

-if you could live in the past, in any era, when and where
would you live? why?

I would live in 1920’s/30s Paris because I’m so intrigued by the portraits that both Anais Nin and Henry Miller created of that time and place.

-if you had an astronomical budget for materials, what
strange and beautiful things would you work with? where
would you live?

If money were no object then I would use gold to create my own charms and I would have oodles of beautifully carved Victorian lockets. In fact, I would have piles and piles of Victorian and 1920’s jewelry to reconstruct. I would have tons of volcanite and jet glass. I would still live here but I would have enough money to constantly travel around the country to collect beautiful bits of jewelry to use in my creations.

the best way to spend a rainy day is..

Wandering through thrift stores in search of treasure.