Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the family tribe

plaid circle skirt, cute!
This photo is of my Mom's family. I can't look at it without thinking what my grandmother might have been in other circumstances. She was a crafting wizard. She knit, crocheted, sewed, made paper mache Christmas scultures, planted succulents in Grandpas old boots, painted ceramics, baked bread, canned vegetables and fruits, cooked for farmhands and family, raided eggs from the chickens and what all..... all the while raising 10 kids.

I figure large families were a blessing to this era of farmers. Their small, fairly organic farms (less added chemicals, more composting) However my grandmothers life was no doubt hampered by all those pregnancies and I am extremely appreciative of better birth control and more opportunities available to me and my granddaughter.
The stamina and talent she showed is right up there with super heroes...kudos Grandma W, i love and miss you. You were a Grande Dame.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Lunar Eclipse

Fiber art work with scrap applique and free stitching on black satin
Eclipsed Totally, and the Winter Solstice too....6:38 pm pt tomorrow the 21st...MagicKal 2011 is nigh.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

With the Radio On...

....Refuzor style in the 80s

Punk rock defiance in fashion, music and lifestyle - reactionism to Cold War nuclear threat.

Another ethical fashion nonprofit on Positive World Radio Now has started to inform and be a source for the risk takers who actually try to diversify the economic construct so that it creates sustainable work for other than non profits who rely on donations from for profits ...This looks to be a spiral that is winding down as the for profits have gotten huge, unwieldy and have narrowed the field with false boundaries & regulations, subsidies etc. This can not continue into a good story.

Isn't it possible to be rewarded outright for work that actually exhibits the new paradigm, grows it and experiments within the realm of todays knowledge, respects resources and is the change we talk about? Can't we build the economic sector to function within the raison d'etre that suits the new human mindset?

The source people like Global Action Through Fashion are all good -it is just that the startups need more than advice. They need the funds, the buildings and the social connections that real time, real space encounters within actual communities can embrace. Interactive communications generate new information. With more small businesses there will be more diversity which will enhance communication and therefore generate more information to further expand opportunities. It is a better spiral winding open, and that is a story worth writing!

Many windows of possibility will open in this dynamic construct. This is a 'next process' that will keep us lively while the old construct crumbles.

I saw a miracle in real time while setting up the space for "Species on the Verge" i have watched London eco designers take off because they were supported and worked collectively, I know we can do it here in Seattle and CONNECTED act one, will be the catalyst. If interested contact Anna, Mark or me and thank you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Craftery in Hooverville

One of a kind Christmas shopping with vintage findings, custom arts n crafts, clothing and kitsch. 1721 1st Ave S. at the Hooverville Bar 11-5pm Sunday Dec. 12th

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Urban Craft Uprising

I went yesterday and thank you Seattle. People were at the Urban Craft Uprising in droves.

Now i am not a big shopping fan but this made my heart flutter with good tidings. People are perking up to buy from the artists, designers, artisans and crafters who make wondrous things to wear, cuddle, play with or hang on the wall. I am especially drawn to the locals that use sustainable materials.

Hmm, if they are selling goods in Seattle are they local? Yes, why not!

If you have a chance to go, please do so. 11-5 today at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Revival Friday

This in from the Ethical Fashion Forum. Sanyukta Shrestha has a fresh website and a culturally diverse design aesthetique.

This could be your recipe if your taste has been jaded by overtly marketable reruns that look like they are trying way too hard thus losing their spontaneity and spice.
The "too much becomes boring" onslaught of the fast fashion, designer rotation machine with all its hyper redux, lacks heart, & soul. Sustainable designers are bringing back real style for the discriminating palate. This is a good thing. Go tell aunt martha..
On that note please also consider the energy of thought, the power of being in the moment and the power of not wearing anothers grief. Sweatshop made, fast fashion is saturated with the energy of pain and that is not good for anyones health, environment or character.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Reflections

man covered with blue blanket on sidewalk

I opted out this year. I am grateful for the level of comfort and security i have but am too aware of the practices and policies that are keeping some in the lap of luxury while others are trashed.

Diversity and incentive aid true progress yet progress narrowly defined by those with the power to do so, is not open to a full spectrum of creative innovation. This definition has actually killed early adapters. DC current wasn’t Einstein, electric cars at the turn of the 20th century lost to Fords industrialist methods. I once had a light bulb that burned for years.

Planned obsolescence is a manipulated “necessity” in a consumer based economy. That practice leads to turning commodities into waste as fast as possible. This has been measured as economic growth. The commodities mindset now includes food and human beings. This sucks when it comes to sustainability.

I had to say "NO." I will not play this game. I will not swallow industrial modified turkeys nor GMO soy vegen alternatives. I will not chew on the myths of progress and civilization as defined by narrow and ignorant standards.

I will focus on CONNECTED and try to understand why it is so hard to get people to grasp the sustainable economic power that will enable better governance and lifestyles. We (the united, collaborative, vested we) really can upset this waxed apple cart!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

1000 natural print Dresses

The garden inspired dresses at 1000 dresses are ethereal and fairytaled yet contemporary.

Tempted to try this flower hammering technique on silk to see how many natural dye colors can be heat set. That's just me!
I encourage you dear reader to check out this 'green plus' artist who can really dress up the walls.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Anna Herman

Eco vintage syle from Anna Herman Designs makes great holiday wear.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nate from Idaho

Nate and I had a great conversation last September about Greyhound stations. According to Nate who has been traveling awhile, Seattle has one of the least maintained stations he has vistited so far.

Why is that?

Seattle brags all green savvy and yet when it comes to real active promoting like getting public transportation attractive ie user friendly....hmmm

It appears we are talkers and not really doers, unless its in the best interest of the few....& they know who they are.

CONNECTED is about the action stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Travel Style

entertainment center, the retro pinball (left) ....
could be a draw!

edible processed food stuffs and pinball,
stray to the right - at least here, my dear!
Seattle: Nice art deco ticket counter, carpet is cool,
but a little work on the rest would be nice.
A mural on the wall would be a good project.
I went to Vancouver Eco Fashion Week via Greyhound. It was between the train and the bus because one can't go to an eco show and do it in a carbon heavy, single driver and vehicle way -because that is just wrong!

However if "we" want to actually get more public onto public transportation then we need to take a look at the stations.

As a public service and because I like to make the most of waiting, I shot some photos and video about this form of travel.

How can a community embrace its own local ready made modes of public transportation? Now your turn, take the answer and run with it...you matter, you can make change ....you are brilliant... accept the challenge.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wedding Party '86

A long time ago there was a place called Seattle, where culture thrived with style diversity and it didn't come "off the rack" Clothing was pieced together to announce personal style and attitude. This photo was taken at my wedding reception back around 1986. That's my Uncle Ted peeking through from behind, he was the family mountain man who taught school in Circle Alaska and canoed the Yukon. good times!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Just Say No

Great Sign....vintage Vogue
Waste Not at the Vancouver Art Museum.

Saying no to fast fashion's need to turn your wardrobe into a dated lot of trash as fast as possible doesn't make good sense or cents. This is not good for the designers, resources or the health of ecosystems.
Designers aren't machines - the industrial production model should not apply, it is an archaic model based in archaic visions of the world, human beings and what it means to be a success.
It is unhealthy for our collective emotional needs to tie up that much energy in something that is made to be discarded, there is such disrespect in the entire model that i cannot believe it can fool itself and the populace much longer.

Walk on BY industrial mass produced, chemically dependent, new garments made in sweat shops. ...the illusions won't get you where you need/want to be and the after effects may kill us all.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Window Dressing

Vancouver BC windows were enchanting.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Window Shop

I love a good window display. Vancouver BC was the queen of scene last September. This Burberry meets Sex Pistols aka McLarens homage was jaz.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You Wear it Well

Vancouver Eco Fashion Week....between shows. Street up -boogee woogee

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

posted on 46th and Fremont

I know nothing about this except that i saw it on my way to the bus about a week ago.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Seattle Road Show

Goodwill truck with clothing diorama.....what is it about? Great to see it, broke up the usual road scene quite nicely.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


the amazing panelists of VEF 2010
The panelist discussion at the Vancouver Eco Fashion trade show was a real treat. I love learning about the advance of Eco and these are the pioneers that are making it all come to fruition. I am not sure if i am sparked more by good design or good science...tie!!!

I love the 2 faced quality in fabric, which goes to prove that there is good in everything. I didn't snap a photo of the AirDye samples (another lesson learned as the new line isn't online) but the black and white print with the small check back stands out; design possibilities start crowding my "mind's eye" and overrules my discipline.

AirDye is a sweet company that has a no water contamination dye process (huge breakthrough) and is an on demand process that eliminates the waste model of classic old school manufacturing equated with economies of scale. This is truly something to cheer about.

This creates precedence for a fine on excess; wouldn't that be a dandy little evener of the field. Allow for a little error in demand but stop the overstock industry of wastemaking -now that is a landfill solutions winner.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Warning Signs

if you would like to post this sign in your local hospital gift shop or anyhere baby clothing is sold, please email me @ debbarnesusa at hotmail dot com, for a pdf copy to print.
(put sign as the subject, thanx)
I am taking one to Swedish Hospital in Seattle tomorrow. See the fashionRIP Project entry for the story. Baby steps into awareness are ok, it's the direction that counts.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cotton Kills

Cotton is a great fiber for clothing if grown without chemical intervention, GMO (GM or Bt)modifications and where water is not an issue.

However that is a small part of this industries yield and instead the GM horror stories are mounting. (Because pesticides and fertilizers are "yesterdays papers" and the water thing is in an issue in throes of major denial)

"Thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plants"


"Before the FDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored." More at the Instute for Responsible Technology.

Shame on you, corporate bullies! Like what about your own children....what are you thinking? What is up with humans?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

green neighbors

The Seattle Motion Picture Company is right down the street from me. Full of vintage cameras and film equipment they are a little museum. They turn outdated films and videos into digital formats for todays machines but will rent or sell film cameras for those wanted an analog experience. Seeing the big reels makes me think of doing a great re-purpose, don't have it yet but they are so cool!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Symbols in Dress

Wearing talismans and symbolic accessories is an ancient practice that really flourishes today.

Thinking of this makes me wonder at how we identify and or create our reality with assigned meanings given to perfectly, unextraordinary things. Cone hats are for the KKK, witches, dunces and clowns. Rings can signify cult orientation, marriage or intent and status. Logos are designed to be identified as powerful symbols that act to proclaim brands. Colors are assigned meanings.

The peace sign was designed specifically for disarmament and that is the best part of shorthand symbolism; how it can say so much so simply. I wonder if the peace sign is as globally recognizable as the nike swirl or the coca cola symbol ?
(words are actually just symbols too, right?)
My tatoos are symbolic. The black rose on the nape of my neck signified the birth of my son and the death of my singular space...after all being a mother changes many things. Humans and symbols, a manifestation of the spark, nice!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Is certification a boon or a bust for sustainable fashion?
Certification implies a guarentee, a way for consumers to spend wisely. It implies standards on the ways and means of a product. However the very big downside is that this will add to the cost of the label. Once again the small start up, pioneer designer who is the most ethical of the ethical can be doomed by their inability to pay for the licensing process.
This has happened in the organic food industry, where many small, local organic farms cannot afford certification. Farmer's markets are a blessing here as the relationship between farmer and purchaser can develop and the truth beyond labeling may bloom and all may thrive. However the unfair advantage of the large agri biz now going organic because of the market swing, becomes the winner in what was started, driven and nurtured by the very (small) farmers who are now at a disadvantage.
Tain't right!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


With October around the corner, this works. That's my niece with the clown make up ready for trick or treat.

The green pants are now cut apart- the wide legs were just too much fabric. They were wool and maybe heavy or just too fashiony MUCH. I don't really know why, but I only wore them a few times.

The reFashion shots will be online soon. Oh right, I made the originals. The blouse was trimmed out in remnants from a sari custom re-do for a client. I don't know what happened to that blouse, but i still have some sari bits about; but then don't we all? :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Montana Style

What can you do with odd pieces of fabric from a 3rd tier donation? The skirt in the photo was made from knit remnants donated by Goods for the Planet . This store is where Sew Up Seattle meets and in true 'pass it on' fashion was picked up by Montana's mom for her daughter's sewing class. This is where I enter the scene as the sewing guide and after several hours of cutting, pinning, fusing and sewing, Montana has a fabulous one of a kind, custom fit skirt for school.
The remnants were two of several pieces. Montana chose the fabric combination and as the pattern was not made for a beginner, she really had to do some sewing. This is why I teach! Yay Montana!
(ps Montana is 13, she started sewing last year but this is the first human garment she has made)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fremont Abbey Art 4 Kids

anon but not lost...yet!
Bumbershoot was different this year.
I volunteered for the Fremont Abbey Community Arts gig for kids which was enjoyable but brought up ?s. The paint was applied to fake wood panels and was painted over as the day wore on. One child asked to keep his work and this was honored. (once in my 4 hour shift)
Message +
things change
inspiration from others
sharing of resources
your art has no value beyond the experience
Message -
what you do doesn't really matter
(then who you are & how you show up ......?)
paint is a resource without much value
your art has no value beyond the experience

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bumbershoot Party Hats

best of show

Disco ball repurposed


Ms Donna

yours truly

Steelheadz from steelheadz .com
Last Wednesday(9/1) Teatro Zinzanni hosted a birthday party hat contest for Bumbershoot insiders. Bumbershoot is 40 years old this year.

Well I can't afford a Teatro ticket, but I can whip up a hat or two; so I did and this got me and a friend into a dress rehearsal for TZs newest show, Hearts of Fire. Go if you get the chance, so fun, impressive and tingly.

I wish I had put more time and effort into the hats I made (humble designer moment); then again, being an underachiever made it easy to glory in the spectacular head displays of others
Do sign up on the Bumberfan email list for next year- it's a really great way to participate in one of Seattle's iconic events of summer.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

dyed au naturel

Interest in natural dyes is advancing.

A new book by India Flint, an Australian artist, writer and sheep farmer was featured in Quilting Arts magazine's e letter last week.

Like many i have used teas and coffee to color cottons and I saved the the stamen powder from lillies once (that yellow colors hands, tablecloths and everything it touches!) but it molded before i had enough to "brew."

For a great info/interview check out the "Go wild! Dye textiles naturally- Q&A with India Flint at the Quilting Arts blog.