LA Vaycay

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This Valentine’s day I spent the weekend in LA visiting friends and seeing my favorite band Sparks play at the Ace hotel. It was maybe the most ideal time to visit LA: the recent rains have spurred a fragrant greening of the hills, and the wintering songbirds gave the mornings a tropical feel. One of the best parts of the trip was my visit to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, a place I’ve been dying to see for years. It was incredible, like a Cabinet magazine come to life. There was a room dedicated to creepy superstitions (eating mice on toast to cure bedwetting?), TWO rooms of microscopes for tiny exhibits (one dedicated to Hagop Sandaldjian’s sculptures INSIDE the eyes of needles, and a row for Henry Dalton’s rococo floral collages made with individual butterfly scales) plus a rooftop garden with white doves and finches. I can’t recommend it enough. It reminded me a lot of Flutter. Note to self: more microscopes!
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The Sparks show was at the gorgeously renovated Theatre at the Ace, and the creme of LA was there (I wish I was better with faces, all those well-dressed silver foxes were certainly distant rock royalty). Waiting in the line, I couldn’t help but notice that almost everyone was decked out in killer vintage and fancy perfumes. Like, really unusual, fantastic perfumes. I definitely, positively smelled Rien by Etat Libre d’Orange, and I’m fairly certain Jasmin et Cigarette was there too. It’s funny how you can tell sometimes not what a perfume is but only that it is a very fine and distinguished scent. Chandler Burr would have died.

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I had an awfully friendly daiquiri at the poolside bar and watched the sun set over the city, then explored the nooks and crannies of the gold-on-gold Spanish Gothic theater (a sign on the wall of the ladies room said “Ms. Mary Pickford removed this mirror so, out of respect, we left it that way”). There was also this amazing sculpture in the lobby, her name is “Ladyfingers” by Kevin Will (photo by Spencer Lowell; not pictured: a posse of turquoise ceramic kittens). Sparks delivered a perfect set: their breakthrough album from 1974 in its entirety, played with a 38-piece orchestra… plus bonus material! It was heaven, if you like that kind of thing.

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Five Photo Writing Prompts, #2

We’ve got more photographic inspiration for you. Sifting through the big birdbath of photos is one of my favorite things. Enjoy!
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This one said “St. Johns, ORE” on the back

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Come see for yourself; there are hundreds, and they’re just a dollar each.
XO Sara

Five Photo Writing Prompts, #1

photo 1Hey there! For the longest time I’ve been wanting to scan some of our old photos and post them as writing prompts.

photo 5Since I don’t have a scanner, but I do have a decent camera on my phone, I decided to seize the day and post away.photo 4Here’s the inaugural post, with five snaps that once were lost and now are found.photo 3 Lucky you! It’s a peek into an oft-overlooked stack of treasures that begs to be mined for ideas for a poem, script or story. photo 2 I’ll try to do this regularly, since we have so many good ones come through here. XO Sara

Flutter + Emerald Petals = Extra Lovely

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By now you may have heard the news that Emerald Petals, purveyor of flower and plant delights extraordinaire, has moved in to share a roof with Flutter. They’re cozied up under the skylight in the back and we’ve magically jigsawed all of Flutter into the front 2/3 of the shop! We are so excited about this new development, which has been in the works for quite some time. It looks-and smells!-wonderful in here. If you are far away or haven’t been able to make it in yet, here’s a little tour of our place for your perusal.

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Inside the Artist’s Atelier

Our spring window display draws inspiration from an imagined artist’s studio … an ultra-bohemian, enchanting place with big sunlit windows, splashes of paint where they don’t belong, crayons and pencils mingling on a table with still life models, books and piles and piles of paper with drawings, paintings and collage on every inch.  

In the adjoining window, the creative energy (and artwork) spills over to a little sitting area with a table full of books (for inspiration) and a chair with tea waiting to provide a break (as well as a fat gray kitty resting just under the table.)

None of this would have been possible without the talent and vision of shopgirls Sara and Marta, who created all of these illustrations and paintings and designed the window display! 

Stop by the shop soon to see our newest effort in person!

Painted Flutter.

I often find myself inspired while spending my Sundays at Flutter. Not only do I have some of my favorite music playing and get to meet some lovely folks, but there’s no denying that I am completely surrounded by beautiful things. Usually I find this inspiration being targeted to my camera, but this week I decided to do something a little different. During the few quieter moments in the shop, I broke out my sketchbook and doodled some of my favorite objects and garments. While curled up on my sofa during the evening (while watching some bad tv, I admit), I painted them in with watercolors.

Oh, pretty little things, I love thee. This coming week I’d like to pair some shop objects with some of my favorite old film stars. I have a feeling they’ll go together hand-in-hand.

It looks like it’s going to be a lovely weekend. I wish you all: cinnamon vanilla tea (my current favorite), warm apple crisp, a classic movie viewing with someone you admire, a great thrift store find, sweet scents, some bed reading, good crisp weather, flirtations, salted caramels, a cozy nap, bursts of inspiration, some ridiculous dance moves, and discovery.

Stop by and say hello- see you soon!

I LOVE JEZEBEL

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?

J-Writer.

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.
www.ilovejezebel.com.
.202-607-5958.

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 www.jezebelstationery.etsy.com. Wander through Jezebel’s dark
forest at www.jezebelstationery.blogspot.com.

Winterview Series, Part 1: Zelda English of Captain Cat


This winter we’re awash with art from our dear cadre of designers, everything from handmade dresses, jewelry and millinery to homestitched books and paintings and papier mache masks. In order to better document and display all this great art, we are doing a winter interview series (winterview! ): I’ll showcase one artist a week and attach as much juicy pictoral as I can. Enjoy!

This week: Zelda English, of the multimedia art duo Captain Cat . The name comes from Dylan Thomas’ poem “Under Milk Wood”, an epic which addresses the casual beauty in everyday life. Their art reflects this literary reference conceptually and substantially, as each portrait depicts a writer or inventor as an animal. I definitely see some rakish Kerouac quality in the ram, maybe a Joyceishness in the squirrel. English and her collaborator Rodrigo Neto also create folkloric papier mache masks celebrating old world songs and stories from their childhoods- hers in Portland, Oregon and his in Porto, Portugal. They met at a bus stop about 88km south of Salamanca Spain a couple of years ago and have been conspirators ever since. -sk

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Flutter- Have you always worked in papier mache, or were there earlier incarnations of your artistic inclinations?

Zelda English-I was a costume and set designer for a theater company for years . I have worked in many mediums but paper is a texture i am especially drawn to and costumes have always enthralled me so papier mache masks were a natural endeavour for us. This project was the product of a Collaboration between myself and Rodrigo Neto. Initially when we came up with the idea I think it was in part because of our time constraints, I remember we had talked about a collaboration briefly on my visit to Portugal last fall and at that time were unsure what medium to peruse but when Rodrigo arrived this spring to the states we knew we would have around 6 months to come up with a presentable body of work, we chose papier mache because of its sculptural quality and also its availability. We filled my truck with cardboard from dumpsters and paper grocery bags from recycling bins and began to build. We transformed the living room of my old Portland farm house into a temporary studio and promptly filled it with salvaged supplies. over the summer we carved the cardboard on the front porch and papier mache-ed out under the clothes line.

F-Did you study art in school?

ZE-Rodrigo is a formally trained painter with a degree in fine arts. He now works as a college level professor of art in Portugal. My Training was much more informal and came from various mentors, the first and foremost being my parents who were both painters and all-around creative, innovative people. I am 26 now and have been very lucky in this life time to have been in the presence of brilliant minds all throughout my years. I teach art and music through a summer workshop program to children aged 5 and up. I feel Art and Education should be Synonymous especially in a town so renowned for forward thinking. I want to be apart of making that happen. I have always planned on starting my own school.

F- You work with a partner. How does that shape the artistic process for you? How do you guys divvy up the work?

ZE- I am a natural at working collaboratively, I love being a part of something that takes on life and meaning because of the life and meaning of the interactions of those creating it. I even love the challenges and frustrations that come along with it because of the way that those obstacles force you to grow as a person in order to overcome them. Being a strong willed artist and working closely with someone as skilled and intelligent as Rodrigo Neto is a great ongoing experience, I think we definitely learn a lot from each other and from the projects themselves. As far as sharing the work load, it definitely comes easy. Rodrigo has such a strong set of talents diverse in certain ways from my own strong points and so it seems things candidly take their form. For the most part he is the painter, I am the photographer, he is the tech support, I am the show coordinator, he is the voice of reason and I am the voice of certainty. We accomplish most tasks together. At the end of the day typically we are both covered in paint, paper and glue. We also do a lot of idea building, where one person says one thing and the other adds to it or alters it just slightly and then back and forth till a master plan has emerged. That process is fun and includes espresso and a lot of sarcastic jokes. When Rodrigo is home in Porto Portugal and I am stationed in Portland that process is nearly the same except via email. We tease each other a lot. We are currently in the beginning stages of our newest collaboration which is an elaborate puppet series. We hope to bring in a third collaborator on this project, a dear friend and terrifically talented artist also living in Portugal, Pedro Esperança.

F- You grew up in Portland, Oregon. How have Portland’s social changes in the last decade affected you?

ZE- I like being one of the few people who remember when Portland was a dilapidated Ghost town, run by Loggers, Pirates,
Wenches and Shanghaiers (I am speaking of the late 80’s / early 90’s of course). Recently I was at a bar and after about 4 minutes of menial conversation with some drunkie, I was asked where I was from, when I replied ” Here, I am from Portland ” the inebriate gasped and exclaimed “oh my god, you are like a UNICORN, i have heard your kind existed but still no one has ever seen one!!! “
you just have to laugh.

F- What music do you like to listen to? Do you listen to music while you make art?

ZE-While working in the studio we listened to Portuguese Radio a lot, also Rodrigo is an incredible Musician. The official soundtrack to the summer was him playing the piano in our house. In part, I even equate our ever having met each other to his music which inadvertently lead to our first interactions and subsequently our friendship. Everyday I wake up with music in my head. I like wild violins.

F-What are your feelings around collectives and art?

ZE- If the word collective at all refers to joined energies with a common goal, i think its an extremely necessary and beneficial thing. Whether the goal be artistic, community based or otherwise. I think in the aggregate we find ourselves stronger and more capable than ever a single particulate could be, having the ability or capacity for so much more than one energy alone can produce. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy solo projects, at least 80 percent of my art is a solo undertaking but the ability to join forces is a powerful one and seems to instill a rare satisfaction in its fruition.












AUTUMN JAMS

Autumn is my favorite time of year. It’s chilly but mostly dry, so you can wear suede boots and silky wooly things that might otherwise be destroyed in the rain. The smell of crunchy maple leaves and old musty roses and grapes really does it for me, and the anarchic disarray of overgrown front yards and gardens sprawl like an endless altar to fertility. Plus, there are all those end-of summer barbeques and bonfires and street parties. You might run into a unicorn, like I did! This time of year it’s also pretty safe to listen to otherwise paralysingly depressing music like the Smiths, or ‘Blood on the Tracks’. You could watch Harold and Maude, actually watching movies in general is more of a wintertime activity for me but there is something distinctly autumnal about that one. I’m including a ton of pictures of the shop to try and convey the way the end of September looks in here.