Friday, January 29, 2010

back in business

Samstag is doing some southern California-ing this weekend, working on various rad projects.

here I am in LA doing some serious making up the face time with the soon-to-be-werewolf Creighton Benjamin on the set of Sirocco Research Lab's newest film, Red Moon.

MAKING MOVIES IS THE BEST THING and this one is really, really pretty.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

it's what's up.

our friend herbert is an artist. gentleman. great hugger. and underground dancer.

he also puts on free art shows.

artists display their work for a few hours of shmoozing and dancing, then we get to take it home! for free! it's FASE!
last year we had the FIRST art show at my old home on jefferson. i'm sad to say that the boys and i don't live there any longer (really?), but am glad that herbert is continuing this excellent tradition.

here are some pictures of swell friends with great art from the march 09 show:

so remember! sign up by march 30th, 2010 and have your art displayed during the first week of april. write to for more information!

oh yeah, and check out his flickr here!

much love,


Sunday, January 24, 2010

where we've been

to portland and back, for starters.

cheers to our friend k and her michael jordan birthday (23, ahem)!
sorry we couldn't tell you before, but we can be sneaky like that.

here we are this morning at katie & ben's after showing up at midnight, making some noise, eating lots of candy, and joining the dance party.

this is the good life.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

they came, we swapped, we conquered

for those curious about the turnout of Swap! Don't Shop! 0-10.

the guests: a pretty rad turnout. 17 strong! so many awesome females in one room! it was an estrofest, except for the carlos*.

the food: all a girl could ever want - cheese. bread. wine. chocolate. champagne. and my personal favorite - cupcakes! except when they almost burn annie's kitchen down.

the fire: as cute & delicious as cupcakes can be, they are also capable of creating oven fires. scary ones.

when you bake as often as we do, which is to say, never, it becomes difficult to remember that one must check the bottom of your 60+ year-old oven to make sure said surface is clean and detritus-free. well, lesson learned. as luck would have it, my cool-headed father, mr. big jim murphy, happened to be in town on business on the afternoon of our swap and had offered to help me mix up some cupcake batter while i tidied up the apartment. (quite a guy, my dad.) so, when some leftover something in our oven decided to light on fire, he was there to guide me through the emergency. staring into the flames, i think our conversation went something like this:

dad: i'm trying to remember what they told us in boy scouts.
me: i'd better open some windows.
dad: i think you're not supposed to put water on it.
me: i don't have a fire extinguisher.
dad: (squeezing water from a towel into the oven) i think you'd better go find one.
me: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

the resident manager: dear mr. diaz, i am sorry that the first time you met me was when i banged on your door while you were on the phone and breathlessly inquired after a fire extinguisher, then ran away trying to explain that "its pretty small, but you know its in my oven and im not really sure what to do, maybe you'd really better take a look at it..."
i hope you salvaged what was left of your quiet wednesday evening and that eventually, the smell of cupcakes baking next door canceled out the mix of the fire and the incense i burned to cover that up. also, i am sorry about all the pat benatar we play after hours on a tri-weekly basis.

thank you for your assistance,

the clothes!!!: a mix certainly worth diving into. there were even a couple of BRAND NEW items! but what was so great, and in the true spirit of samstag(saturday), were the loads and loads of great vintage dresses and jackets and skirts. oh my! luckily, no fights broke out; we can't say that hearts went unbroken, though. goodbye to the vintage grey geometric shapes dress. emily will wear you well. by weird coincidence, though, most of what I took home was from our dear friend emily while annie swooped in on some great finds from the wonderful ms. lilly.

the game plan: this "game plan" of ours was loosely organized before the night began, but we've got it down now and would like to introduce to you a very sophisticated and organized method. Behold...

the destiny's child "musical chairs method"©: Simple really.

Round ONE - the pursuing round in which swappers could take a careful look at what was in store without picking anything up. and it lasted the duration of track 1: "so good" track 2: "bills, bills, bills" and track 3: "confessions."

Round TWO - where elbows were thrown (kidding!). Featuring what could only be called a classic - "Bug A Boo," each swapper could snag, try on, and hold up to three additional items.

Round THREE - the pressure's on. Next three items. What you wanted could be taken, but what you never saw before could be exposed from underneath the piles and piles of clothes. But we had to throw in an extra credit round - the take as you will round.

*the carlos: some of you locals might have heard tell of my affections for a certain four-legged friend named carlos, the loyal charge of my friend allison. here he and I are having a moment with my lovely roommate, natalie, a few weeks ago. (see how much he loves to party?)

photo by Zoƫ

he was the only man who made it through Swap! Don't Shop! 0-10 (despite his inability to swap) and he charmed all of our guests, cuddled with many, and got to eat a piece of cheese. all in all, i think he had a wonderful time.

the fruits of our labor:
we had some really nice times, my apartment didn't burn down, and now we have 4 bags full of wonderful things to alter, enhance, & repurpose. (plus two bags we're going to donate to lifelong thrift store.) i already made katie's birthday present out of a too-small linen blouse!

the thanks:
all 17 contributors/swappers/rockin' babes, carlos, mr. diaz, jim murphy, friends from afar, boys we know and like who were supportive even though they weren't invited,
and to annie for opening her home to samstag(saturday)'s FIRST seasonal Swap! Don't Shop!

see ya'll around next time!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SWAP! DON'T SHOP! NEWSBRIEF (tonight's the night!)


we've been thinking, swap-don't-shoppers.

we think we have to have rules.

don't be alarmed, we know what you're thinking---something like "you guys? rules? there are no rules in style! there is no crying in baseball."

but, as per our research on the history of the american clothing swap, we have a responsibility as your hosts to make sure none of you sustains either physical injury or any deep, scarring sense of emotional loss at our party. we have decided to take this responsibility seriously. so hear me when i say this, you 15 brave souls who have RSVPed:

swap! don't shop! 0-10, you have nothing to fear but style itself.

rule #1
bring 5-10 items, take 5-10 items. yes, these are ballpark figures. it just seems like it will be better this way than other swaps we've read about that are absolute free-for-alls. everyone brings their best stuff to swap and takes home someone else's best. it's going to be like a treasure hunt in my living room. you know what we mean?

which brings me to

rule #2
the clothes you bring should be something you really think others would want to wear. yes, we all have our own sartorial particularities. for example, i enjoy sporting moth holes in my sweaters; not everyone does. lizzie and i both wear a lot of men's clothes, so you might see some of those. but if we all bring interesting, desirable things that we really treasured at some point, that are preferably recently washed, it will probably end up being more enjoyable, right?

and finally

rule #3
not a rule per se, but a heads-up: first, the clothes will be put out. we will figure out how to display them all equally. then, we'll all take a look-see (i.e., the first round). we will make mental wish lists. lizzie and i encourage dialogue.
"whose is this?" or "where did you find such a gem of a skirt?" or "how could you part with it?"
once everyone participating has had the go-around, we swap. we try things on. they don't fit, or you like the dress better on the hanger than on you? then back into the pile it goes. then, round two.

at least, that's what we envision. the best laid plans, you know. let's just live the dream, ok?

A & L

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

if you don't know, you should: canary sing's "freak show" video

our ladies hollis and maddy premiered their first video this week for their song "freak show." they killed it at their show at nectar in fremont on thursday and they kill it just about everyday being themselves. they are poets and teachers, artists and activists, besides being totally beautiful and fun to be around. we love this video! an album is in the works--watch out! its going to knock your socks off.

photo by Jenae

sorry to be repetitive, but WE LOVE OUR GIRLFRIENDS.

check out canary sing here and here and see them live at neumo's on february 9th.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

oh hey, girlfriend!

Girlfriends are the best.

Especially when they still like playing dress up in their 20s.

SAMSTAG (SATURDAY) has an exciting event coming up on Wednesday, so us girls thought we'd get in the mood for SWAP! DON'T SHOP!

We've been working on this for awhile. Lizzie and I do it all the time. I'm sure you all do, too. When you buy something, you love it! You give it life!

But inevitably, somewhere down the line, you start thinking about something else to wear. You start reaching past it in your closet to something new.

But what if you could SWAP?

You'll be hearing from us.

Mark your calendars, lady-friends of ours. This Wednesday, January 20th.

the good life

Friday, January 15, 2010

Katie's paper hair clip

I love the way the text looks against her hair!

Katie, you're Crafty with a capital C.


all that glitters is gold

Check out CupcakesandCashmere on Etsy.

I can haz?

Monday, January 11, 2010

notes on the new decade

Yes, in fact, we're almost two weeks in, but a fresh clean slate of a new decade is something to REALLY think about. it has taken me some time to sort out what i want to say about that.

i've been trying to find a physical something to exist as evidence of everything the last year was, what it did, what it meant. what made it through to the new decade! in my head all these things are visual.

so, here are some images that have been coming to me from all over the place, almost all in real life but also sort of imagined. have been wanting to throw them all out there into the universe, in the hopes of it being a way to stitch everything together.

i was thinking about sitting in the detroit airport on december 30th, in an unplanned, extended layover from chicago to seattle, and watching people pass back and forth on the moving walkways directly in front of me. there wasn't anyone sitting around me, or across the concourse, just people passing on by, trying to get where they were going, and being given a friendly, speedy tool for getting that few dozen yards just a little bit faster than nature allows--by a really cool machine. personally, i love stepping onto those things, getting that weird rush, and then just standing there, watching everything pass by at a somewhat alarming rate. inevitably my heart beats a little faster. you aren't in a car or exerting yourself on a bicycle. you are just standing there, flat-footed, feeling more powerful than you normally do, but realizing that momentarily, you'll have to step off, slow down, and rely on your own legpower again, which can feel just as good. doesn't being alive feel like that sometimes?

then i was thinking about christmas lights, and the way they melt tiny glowing holes, green and yellow and pink, through 6 inches of heavy snow on top of the little round hedges in front of my parents' house in illinois. when i think of strings of christmas lights, those are the ones i see. it always looks so quiet and obvious and good.

so then i thought about how i love strings of things, like paper garlands, which i made rather a lot of this year, or popcorn threaded around the christmas tree--which i have only done once, in katie's and my dorm room, in 2007, but that is why it is special--and how i also love practical lines that connect things, like the color-coded ones on a subway map or the numbered, crowded ones on a dress pattern. i like the simple, calming repetition of tracing my fingers along those lines, and ending up where i am supposed to.

but then, also, i was thinking about how i just really love words. strings of written words. blocks of type in black and white. writing. and how, when you really get going, you often don't end up where you thought you would at all.

i have been thinking about how, yes, graduate school really sounds quite enticing. how i was completely ready for college to be over and thought i'd never consider going back immediately but now, i think designing costumes is something i just might have to do forever and thus, i sort of want to go. for me, to be able to interpret words, somebodys story, visually (!!!) is the raddest thing about it. it is purely about stories and it cant NOT be collaborative. plus, ive never met anyone who designs costumes thats not the coolest.

i have been thinking about making theater and about making movies and about the people who spend their entire lives creating such a beautiful, stinging, transitory magic in each, and how whichever way i end up at least i know i will love it and want to keep doing it in a fierce way.

i have been thinking about just how rad the sirocco research labs and its movies are and how we're doing some amazing things and i am so lucky to have been asked to help make a werewolf bodysuit and spend a week of unadulterated creative time with so many wonderful people.

photos by Ben

and finally, i have been thinking about how, in the midst of it all, lizzie and i have been talking and talking.

our brainchild SAMSTAG (SATURDAY) was born in berlin, germany, in the summer of 2008 and here we are. it is a modest endeavor, and we have been talking baby steps. we want to make things and we want to give old, beautiful things new life. we want people to join us. we have BIG ideas, and are stepping forth in small steps. it feels great. and, i think people would be happier if everyone had such a community. because i know i am.

i look around at all of you we love who are writing albums, blogs, jokes, Publicalenders, scripts, grants, poems, and marketing strategies, who are starting businesses, internships, relationships, bands and book clubs, who are making recipes, hats, and submarines, and, knowingly and totally embracing the platitude of saying so, i want to say that this new decade for me is fueled by all of you ladies and gentlemen i call friends. because, as we know, "friends" and "inspirations" are synonyms.

so, let me tell you what made it through 2009: we did.

as for SAMSTAG (SATURDAY)--lizzie and i, we have some really good ideas, you guys. i don't care who knows it. i can almost see lightbulbs over our heads sometimes. and then we write them down to remember the date and time of such inspirations, and then we get to work.

photo by a superrad german photobooth

what a wonderful way to live, right?


Saturday, January 9, 2010

that was so much fun, we had to change hats

wearing hats: everyone should do it

resolutions, shmezzelutions.

hello, 2010. you sure did sneak up quick there. but it's good to see you. let's do this. i'm not one for making resolutions. it must run in my blood. i asked my grandmother if she had any for this year and she said, "oh dear, i haven't ever kept my resolutions, so why try starting now?" i feel ya, nana. BUT i DO want to "work" on a few things. self-improvement in baby steps. here they are...

1. go on more adventures with my friends.
annie and i went on a scouting mission over on the islands this summer. here we are on the ferry.

2. put my college education to
my ladyloves and i at seattle university's commencement ceremony.

3. talk & visit with my family more often.
great smiles must run in this family. these women are my inspiration for EVERYTHING.

4. seek out every opportunity to be great.
just another seattle sunset from our apartment's deck.

5. get SAMSTAG rolling. events! sales! crafting! friend making!
you know you want the kitties.

welcome to the new year!

Friday, January 8, 2010

just another friday NIGHT

Today Lizzie and I were making some paper crafts for an upcoming event (soon TBA!!) and I was inspired to imitate a book of old paper dolls from Harper's Bazar in the late 1800s and make our very first paper outfit. I've always been a fan of some ruffles.

We don't discriminate against nonhuman animals who want to get their Victorian dress on. As you can see.

I'm excited to see where this goes.


fame, baby.

today my fortune cookie told me what i already knew. just kidding. but it made me laugh. behold!
will samstag be our way to fame and fortune?


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ellen joins the samstag family

as selfless as shopping for christmas presents can be, let's be honest, it can go down a very dangerous and selfish path. enter ellen, my semi-brand new royal custom II typewriter.
practically born with a full set of fingers and toes, this beauty is also semi-fully functioning.

her buttons have a happy click to them and although the ribbon was all dried up, i consider this $6.99 find in the value village basement a miracle. my sherlock holmes instincts tell me that the name ELLEN sharpied on the inside of the royal's carrying case belongs to her former owner.
let's carry on the legacy.
to ms. ellen, who i pray is still with us, thank you for taking impeccable care of your royal typewriter and for leaving it to the good folks of value village. let the letter writing and crafting commence!