Friday, December 4, 2009

December Update

hello, again!
so soon?

my life has gotten easier this month with the aquisition of a new laptop and digital camera (thank you daddy and colin for waiting in line at 3am on black friday). this is good news because now i can do things faster and more efficiently. perfect because it seems like my work load has quadrupled so the time i was wasting tinkering with the busted technology i had can now be dedicated to production.

it's the eve of my first show of the holiday season.
everything is under control: merchandise has been photographed and tagged and my set up is in "mock set up" form in my dining room (i've got 8 feet tomorrow and i plan to utilize every inch of that space). i'm actually not feeling too stressed right now. let's not forget last year (1 year ago today as a matter of fact) i was sporting crutches, so at least this year i'm on two feet.

hopefully this alleged snow for tomorrow is just a nasty rumor and will not discourage anyone from coming out to the show.
here are the the details:

Independent Craft Market Holiday Edition
and benefit for the 941 Theater
2424 studios
2424 york rd. (fishtown)

holiday gifts, bands, and free pbr !
it's going to be a long day so i'm bringing extra chairs in case friends want to come visit me and stay a while! please do!

If you can't make it to the show tomorrow, don't worry, there are more opportunities coming up in the next few weeks to catch phea jean!
i'll be participating in the following traveling wares dates:

december 13th
dirty franks

december 19th
700 club

december 20th
tattooed mom

one last bit of exciting news...
i've got a window display up at my favorite philly spot- Mew Gallery!
this was an added bit of pressure to pull off, but i must say i am quite satisfied with the result!
special thanks to laura for hauling my goods to the store, erin for helping me set it up, michelle for making little changes and daddy for supervising. you really should all go see it in person, it will be up all month! 906 christian st! check it out.

i'm going to post a picture for those unable to go see the window, so if you want to swing by and be surprised you should stop reading right about now...

time for sleep! loooooong day tomorrow!

xo amber

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 2009 UPDATE

I've been threatened, repeatedly, that I must increase my online presence...or else.
So in fear for my life, I have taken the time to write a November Update! Actually, I (gasp!) broke my last machine needle so physical production is on hold.
It's been a long time since the online community and far away friends have been informed of what's been going on in the world of phea jean...
So, in case you were worried, we're alive and kickin' (it)...

I hoard fabric, we all know this. Most specifically I've got bins of remnants under my tables that drive me insane. Sometimes I cannot part with the tiniest piece of fabric because I swear that one day I will get around to using it.
Well, that day has come.
Scarves! Great!
Sondy Scarves! Genius!
Warm and cozy and fun with little embellishments!
Patchwork done phea jean style!

You can find the scarves online on my etsy shop

BIG thanks to Yvonne and Jeff for unloading an astronomical amount of vintage fabric and buttons to yours truly (more to come!!!)!

Already completed some Nix Knit Hats in a gold striped knit

i've been sewing these buttons to anything & everything I can get my hands on!

You can also (please and thank you) come out and support phea jean in person because it is that time again for HOLIDAY SHOWS!
I've been sewing hard to prepare, so anticipate lots of goodies that will only be available at the shows!

phea jean is booked for the following dates in PHILADELPHIA:

December 5th 12pm-7pm
Independent Craft Market Holiday Edition
2424 Studios
2424 E. York St.

December 13th 2pm-7pm
Traveling Wares
Dirty Franks
347 S. 13th Street

December 19 12-5pm
Traveling Wares
700 Club
700 N. 2nd Street

December 20th 1-6pm
Traveling Wares
Tattooed Mom
530 South Street

Come to one, come to all!
Handmade goodness, drinks, and music! Who can resist?!
The only way to shop for the holidays!
One final piece of news...
Farewell to my lovely assistant, Christina, who has been helping me cut (and cut and cut) and iron aka "the fun stuff" for the past 8 months or so. My number one qualm with this sewing thing has been working alone, and I have to say having someone else in the workspace was definitely just what I needed. We've had a lot of fun (too much?!) and it's been a blessing to have someone to bounce ideas off of and get opinions from. Christina is so talented in many ways and I will miss her infectious laughter ringing throughout the workspace. So sad to be parting ways, but since phea jean will not be relocating to Texas, our time together must come to an end. We will all miss her here in Philly, but she will always remain a huge part of phea jean! Who knows maybe a visit to Texas will inspire a phea jean western wear line...rhinestone jeans, cowboy hats, gun holsters?! Or maybe not.
Hey, all my ideas can't be brilliant.
In any event, much success and happiness to you, my friend (and Lauren)!

That's all for now since Apollo has fallen asleep on my right arm and I am now forced to finish typing this one-handed (god forbid I disturb my angel!). I dare say December will be an exciting month and I have one piece of exciting news to reveal, when the time comes.

xoxo Amber

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mew Gallery Wish List #1...CREEPY COOL

It's a rainy Thursday here in Philadelphia and I'm working at Mew Gallery.
As everyone knows, I love this store! I'm here all the time, even when I'm not behind the counter.
There are so many great items in the store and new stuff coming in all the time. I discover treasures every time I am here, so I've decided to compile a series of wish-lists...


*Designs by Nguyen Le-
hand felted eyeball earrings...$26
I've been "eying" these earrings ever since I first stepped foot in Mew. I love the colors (even though I'm a brown eyed girl) and they are the perfect size. These earrings are super well made and I can think of several outfits that these would perfectly accent.

*Big Art Show-
Asbury Park postcards...$10
I'm a jersey girl and have a fondness for Asbury Park, naturally. I've seen countless shows and have some good memories from this great and historic town. If you are familiar with the area, you are no doubt aware of the "changes" that have taken place over the years...most noticeably, the demolition of the buildings that were once the "face" of Asbury Park. These postcard images are haunting and I don't think I'd ever actually mail them out. My favorite image is of the wreckage of the Palace Amusements Building. I actually wanted it in a print, but they're all sold out, my bad for not snatching one the 10 million times I saw it.

*Melissa Crotty-
Pill Box...$25
I could not be more obsessed with these! Featuring detached body parts, legs, doll heads, wings, birds, I don't know which one to choose as my favorite. All handmade, one of a kind, and so fantastically finished!

*Tony Pregiato-
X-ray night light...$20
A favorite item of doctors, dentists, med students, and ME. Sometimes I'm not a fan of the dark, so I'd actually use a night light if I had one. I've never seen a cool "adult" night light before (not that I've actually looked). You wouldn't even know that I was afraid of the dark, I could totally pass it off like I'm just weird and like x-rays. My favorite was of a ferret, he had surgical scissors poking out of him, it was the creepiest! I just got some x-rays of my foot, wonder if Tony makes custom night lights? oooo, I'll have to look into that!

*Jessica Rodgers-
"Fish Fight" Print...$20
Color pencil illustration of creepy, long-necked beauties dancing. They have elaborate hairdos. It's also got a candelabra and fancy chairs!

*Girls Can Tell-
Heart Diagram Tote...$18
I like diagrams, who doesn't?! Ever wonder what the specific valves of the heart are and where said valves are located? This hand-drawn and hand-printed image gives you all the specifics. GCT has committed to printing a new diagram a week in '09. (My real favorite is an oldie but goodie, the sewing machine!) Printed on a 100% natural eco bag (fair trade and fair labor)! Perfect for shopping, I like to put my groceries in totes now...plastic is soooo out!

Now, there's a lot more where this came from, so hold tight...I can't include everything is the first list! I don't think I can commit to making all of my lists "themed" but I thought it was a good place to start!
Stop by 906 Christian St to see these "creepy cool" items and even compile a list of your own if you want! It's fun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Falling Back in LOVE...

with handbags. seriously.
as promised, i've been working diligently on new handbags and
consequently have the calloused fingers and sore back to prove it.
pain aside, i'm happy with the work i've produced in the past few weeks.

i even patterned a new style...

my new favorite:
DRINI 1007

other highlights:
handle it 406

The Batsy Bag 711

For more new handbags available visit my etsy shop!

i HAD to include this new goliath wallet XIII...
i lined this pattern up like nobody's business!

almost sold out of all my chloe headbands and hair combs, so i worked with a yellow theme this time and produced 13 newbies...
perfect for spring!

i also experimented with putting the leaves in a circular/flower arrangement:

it's a green theme next, i'm almost done with this batch...

i've updated my website and etsy shop, so check 'em out to see new phea jean goodies and what's currently available for purchase...hint hint.

which leads me to the subject of buying phea jean...
why you should you???
because i'm awesome.
no, seriously, because i design, pattern, sew, etc. everything and it's all one of a kind. i'm totally dedicated to this craft and work at improving and learning every day. if you don't find something already made, i can colaborate with you to create something fabulous. phea jean makes for great gifts. did you know i have gift certificates available?! yup, i'm fancy like that. i know buying handmade can be a little more expensive than going to a retail store, especially in not so favorable economic times; however, if you want to have a discussion on why it's oh-so-good and important to support local, independent businesses and why it's cool to buy handmade and sustainable products, call me up. i make this stuff in my house in south philly for pete's sake!

i also have to not give away free merchandise.
i know no one ever expects for me to give them free things, but, hell, i want to do it. but apparently that's not good for business...who knew. ha.
i always talk to my other crafty/artsy/small business friends about what their "policies" are on selling things to friends and family. some friends have a set discount that they give to friends/family.
here's my dilema with that...
what's the criteria one must meet for me to give them a "friend" discount (i know who my family is, obviously, doesn't mean i like them though, does it?!)? should i start rating people on a scale of 1 to 10 to determine how much of a discount (you'd all be in trouble, haha)...
if i like you at a 10 you get a handbag for free,
if i like you at a 1 you get a free button...
or how long i've known you...1 year gets $1 off, 10 years gets $10 off.
and then you tell your friends (which i infinitely appreciate) and they think they are going to get things for the same price. WHAT?! no.
bottom line, it's weird. i feel awkward about it.
i don't think there is a fair way to do it, at least not that i feel comfortable with. i get stressed about it. and i don't want anyone to feel slighted that i gave "x" to someone else and not to them. it's happened. so i either give things to everyone or no one. obviously, this is a business and i need to make some money so it's gotta be the latter option. i sometimes need to be reminded that logistically speaking, it is my time and energy that produces everything phea jean, so yeah i should be compensated for it.
this is not to say that i will not make you something as a gift ever again, say for your birthday (if i remember, or you remind me). or as a "thank you" if you give me a bunch of supplies, or save my puppy from a burning building.
and one day when i marry rich, win the lottery, and find a duffle bag of unmarked bills everyone will get whatever they want. promise.

now don't feel bad if i gave you something already.
we all want discounted/free stuff, i know i definitely do!
here's a way to get something for free...have a phea jean party at your place (or possibly mine, if you live in philly)!
email or call me up and ask me to come over for a little get together in which i bring handbags, hats, wallets, headbands, etc.
you invite your crew and make some snacks (i'm a vegetarian, thanks) and drinks. it's a fun time, right. depending on how much i sell, i'll kick you back a little something for hosting. easy. its a win-win situation!

i'm also working on coming up with some kind of "frequent buyer" and "refer a friend" incentives.

wow, this blogging thing just clicked for me.
i feel better now.

oooooo, almost time to reveal super exciting phea jean news, but i think i'll wait til next month when the weather warms up a bit...
speaking of, anyone in philly want to model for me? please let me know!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mew Fundraiser @ South Philly Tap Room

Win fabulous stuff (photography, paintings, prints, jewelry, clothing, zines, candles, ceramics, and sooooo much more!!!)
Come out and support local artists!
I'll be donating some phea jean goodness!
This is going to be sooo much fun!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ready for the catwalk...or should I say "dogwalk"

Any dog who runs with me has gotta look fresh,
so since Apollo and I have been spending a lot of time out on the town together I decided to make him this new outfit.

The outfit was surprisingly easy...
could a line of dog clothing be in the future for phea jean...?!

He's such a good model!

I'm one step away from making us matching outfits, but perhaps that would be going too far...

Friday, February 20, 2009

February Update!

Two summers ago a friend gave me some fabric he had saved from an old chair. I took that fabric and made it into a newsboy cap which sold at
Mew Gallery. I wish I got to see who purchased it!

Newsboy Cap A9

I wanted to somehow show my appreciation to my friend for giving me such cool fabric. I still had bits of the fabric in my scrap bin so I decided to make him a wallet and incorporate the fabric he gave me. I made the wallet pattern on a whim and it turned out pretty good, so I quickly produced 4 more. I thought this could be a good alternative to the goliath wallet which is larger and basically for women. This new mens inspired wallet is smaller and I'm calling it the Apollo Wallet.

And here's my baby Apollo...

Apollo Wallets are now available on etsy and at Mew Gallery.

More headbands! These are selling fast!
I will be listing new headbands on etsy over the weekend (Apollo is visiting and he doesn't let me get much work done), so for right now the new batch is available at Mew Gallery!

Mew Gallery and The Philadelphia Sewing Collective will be holding a supply swap on February 21st from 1:30-4:30PM! Hopefully I'll be able to clear out some of my old fabric and not take home too much.
BONUS: After the swap there will be an art opening at Mew, so it will be a jam packed day of fun. If you're smart you'll swing by!Oh and Channel 6 did a little piece on the swap...check it out HERE
I make a little cameo in the background!

Currently, I'm working on handbags for a party I have coming up.
I've also already signed up for the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival on May 16th. I did this show last year and it was a lot of fun.
Coinciding with the festival is a kinetic derby!
The spring shows are starting to be announced so I will keep everyone informed on the phea jean schedule as I sign up.

I'm getting better at sending these updates...
and I've got a lot of new things I'm working on which I'll unveil once the weather gets a little warmer!

phea jean joined twitter!
Follow me!

xo Amber

ps check out the upcycling post below this update if you haven't already!