Highlight Reel

Looking around my house, it appears my trip has exploded all over everything. Two weeks of lived in clothing spill out of the hamper, a suitcase lies on the floor, unopened mail sits on the stairs, and my accumulated treasures and trinkets cover the kitchen table. Looking at the ticket stubs, receipts, and business cards collected, now sitting in a pile on the counter, I can’t help but think of the highlights; the best meals, funniest moments, and favorite sights.

Favorite Meals:
1. Pacci in Buti, Italy. Everything they make is amazing, but the black, squid ink pasta with cream, nuts and salmon is unbelievable.
2. Japanese fish and noodle soup, sitting at the counter of the Stedelijk Museum’s cafe in Amsterdam.
3. And everything at the Korean restaurant Yokiyo in Amsterdam’s red light district. Their miso poached pear with black sesame ice cream. Amazing.


Favorite Activities:
1.Watching the Buti Warriors play a soccer game against main rivals.
2. A walk along the top of the wall in Lucca.
3. Canal tour through Amsterdam.
4. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
5. Wandering
6. Happy Hour cheese and wine, in NY, Amsterdam, and Italy.

Favorite Stores/Items:
1. White, leather side zip Turkish slippers from Nooosugar, in Amsterdam.
2. Soap from Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, in Florence.
3. Jewelry from ambrosiojewelry, on Bedford Street, in Brooklyn.



Icing part 2 (technical difficulties)

Grrr, for some reason the following was omitted from my previous post and refuses to appear when I update, so here it is all alone.

…After leaving RP, I found myself along the East River where there was a food festival, then along Bedford Street where I had to buy a necklace of a tiny cast brass Singer sewing machine from a guy (ambrosiojewelry.com) selling brass and silver pieces, and finally at Brooklyn Industries they were giving away free mimosas (and it was 20% off), so I had to go in.




Thank you, Brooklyn. Thank you for being the icing on my triple layer, cream cheese frosted, perfect for breakfast, or after dinner, cake of an adventure.


After waking on my friend’s couch from a surprisingly good night of jet lagged sleep, I made my way to Civil Service Cafe for a truly hipster American breakfast of eggs, potatoes, steamed kale, and Earl Grey tea with my dear friend, RP. Over a shared almond croissant, we proceeded to come up with a plan for the next six months that had us both yelping with joy in the cafe. Let’s just say it involved bikes, flying boats, stories, and more shared croissants. All this and it wasn’t even 11 a.m yet.

Outside it was a beautiful, NY October day. Walking in the direction of Williamsburg, we stumbled upon an impeccably curated store, Joinery (263 South 1st St). It was full of beautiful clothing, shoes, objects, fragrances, and it was difficult to come away with wallet intact. I made it out for only $45, spent on a delicious rose/cedar scent by Olo. Not too bad considering the damage that could have been done.



After leaving RP, I found myself along the East River where there was a food festival, then along Bedford Street where I had to buy a necklace of a tiny cast bronze Singer sewing machine from a guy (ambrosiojewelry.com) selling bronze and silver pieces, and finally at Brooklyn Industries they were giving away free mimosas (and it was 20% off), so I had to go in.


Finally, after doing enough financial damage to bring my adventure from “under budget” to right “on budget”, it was time to make my way to JFK, with suitcase bulging.

Thank you, Brooklyn, for easing me back into the USA with such a delightful day.



Reduce, Reuse, Etc.

I’ve been in a major spring cleaning, closet revamping, home decorating zone lately. And much of it has been based on looking at what I already have, which can be either altered or sold, in order to love all that surrounds me.

I’ve rediscovered Rit Dye and have had a few successes and a few failures with it. A striped sweater that I tried to dye a dark navy came out purple= fail, while an orange throw which I dyed pink came out great=success.


A faded pink wall in my back yard was painted a bright aqua to bring a zing to the whole space.

A pair of jeans, that I rarely wore anymore, were cut off to become cutoffs that I’ll probably live in all summer.


A pile of old clothing was taken to Buffalo Exchange and turned into a pair of metallic gold sandals, a cool black cardigan, a crazy floral dress from the 1970’s, and a gold frog ring that is one of my all time favorite finds. I’ve been taking clothing to Buffalo Exchange on a regular basis since I was 12 and it remains a favorite hobby/treasure hunt. Like most people I know these days, I tire of my clothing much quicker than it actually wears out and trading it is the perfect way to both clean out my closet and shop.


All of this goes perfectly with my goal to simplify, to live within my means, to love what I have, and to let go of all the rest.

Heading West. Again.

Heading West. Again.

It’s been almost four months since my last movie ended and tomorrow my next begins.  Because it will be another Western, I’m dusting off the boots, packing jeans, flannel shirts, and straw hats, preparing for three months of wind, sun, and dust.

When I chose to base myself full time in New Mexico, instead of LA, I resigned myself to the fact that I would spend most of my days outdoors, working in the elements, rather than on a soundstage. When I do end up on the occasional stage movie, I am amazed at how much easier it is than what I am used to, if for no other reason it involves pavement, which makes rolling a wardrobe rack exponentially easier.  But, alas, I end up working on Westerns the vast majority of the time.  They are beautiful, dirty, and everything about working on them is more difficult than any other type of movie.  The locations are in places where no roads, cell towers, or power lines are visible, thereby making them hard to get to and hard to work from.  The cast and crew are at the mercy of the weather and the light, which makes the completion of a day’s work a real feat.

I know many costumers who avoid Westerns like the plague and I understand why. I spend my days dealing with leather, wool, fur, fake blood, and dirt when I could be dealing with the cute, latest styles if I was working on a clean, romantic comedy somewhere. Chaps, corsets, and detachable collars are just a few of the clothing items I have become an expert on and each makes me so happy that our styles have evolved. Many of the costumes I set in actor’s trailers weigh more than a small child and when people ask me if I work out, I laugh. No, I work on Westerns and lug wet wool through the dirt.

But, I also get to be around really interesting costumes, horses, to see beautiful sunrises and sunsets almost every day, and to get a really great tan. On my last day of freedom for the next few months, I am dusting off the boots, finding the dust goggles, and packing the bandanas.  And it all seems so normal.

Clothing as Costume and Uniform

Working as a costumer on films, I am frequently reminded of how clothing helps us convey who we think we are, or want to be, to the world. While working on a film, the costume designer, actor, and director bring their different visions together in order to best relay who the character is through clothing. The actor will arrive at a fitting in their customary uniform of expensive T shirt and designer jeans and will transform once the uniform is replaced with the costume. It is my job to then care for the costume, keep it looking as it should, and deal with a multitude of issues involving the actor’s comfort while wearing it.

While working, I have a uniform of my own, built around ease and functionality. Often working on location, out of a suitcase, at the whim of the weather, and on not enough sleep, I rely on jeans, boots, and layers of shirts in cooler weather. The heat presents more problems, because in the end all I really want to wear is a sundress and flip flops. I spend my days squatting down to tie shoes, climbing through odd, small spaces to get to actors, holding coats, fixing zippers, taping down lapels, soothing actor’s blistered feet, and dealing with any number of problems arising from uncomfortable clothing. The last thing I want to do is add myself to that fray. I have to be prepared for the unexpected dust storm, rain, and to be in mud up to my knees at any moment. When people hear what I do for a living and tell me how glamorous it must be, I laugh. While working on The Lone Ranger in Moab this past July, I finally embraced shorts to keep from turning into a puddle. Scarves soaked in ice water and wrapped around my head and shoulders were another necessity. It is a feat to try to look decent while working on what is really a dirty job site all day long. My life is too fussy for fussy clothing.

When I am not working I have another uniform of sorts, with moccasins in place of work boots and blouses instead of T’s, but jeans and leggings are a constant. I try to remember to wear the jewelry I forgo while working. Recently I was going through my closet, trying to see it as a costumer looking at a character’s line on a wardrobe trailer. Did it look cohesive and like it was one person’s closet? Or, were there pieces that had been bought on a whim, with the hope of becoming someone else for a moment, but had been hanging there ever since? After getting rid of several bags, I liked and related to the person I saw revealed in the clothing. She was someone I would like to be.