Gone Shoppin

Once I started paying wholesale prices for shirts, I couldn’t comprehend going back to buying retail. Oddly, I’ve never been a big clothes shopper in general.

I do go to American Apparel retail stores, but only to check color. But recently, as certain garments of mine have been rendered threadbare through cumulative time of dedicated service to covering my ape-like body from prying eyes, I went shopping.

I went to a mid-range chain where initially I found little to surprise me. Why anyone would screen print argyle onto a shirt I simply do not understand. If you’re going to screen print, and you can do whatever you want with three or four colors, I’d go ahead and do something a little different. But you might have guessed that.

After finding a few inconsequential fashion choices that aren’t available via my wholesale accounts, I wandered through the ‘other side’ of the store, which contained all the various apparel not related to my age or gender.

The kids section blew me away.

rawr!yes, these ARE the cutest pajamas you will never fit inrawr, again!

I know they are spending pennies on labor in a foreign country because for these wearables, they’d have to. I saw layers of screen printing, appliqué, and embroidery all over the place and even screen printed appliqué that then was embroidered to the shirt. One of them pictured here again with the argyle, what up, but still. I was floored.

There were racks and racks of crazy stuff and combinations that I’ve never seen anywhere. There was nothing like this in the adult sections of this same store. Have I missed websites or stores that have this sort of gear for adults? Is there some main stream aversion to complicated, layered decoration on adult shirts?

Tiny Steeping

tea time, bitches!

I saw these tea bags (a serger stitch? let me see that!) on the desk of a co-worker today and commented on the interesting design. Upon examining, the beauty of the stitching being continued past the ‘bag’ and out to eventually be stitched through the tag. Very nice.

I inquired further about the packaging the bags came in, naturally assuming that it also was pretty awesome, textured, stitched or made of an unusual material. Considering the tea industry, and some of the boxes and containers I’ve seen, I figured it would be amazing.

hm.  do i really want to drink this?

Nope. Kinda plain jane.

What a missed opportunity. Considering the labor to sew the bags themselves, I would think that a box they put multiples of the bags in would have seen as much attention. Sure, a four-color tin is expensive, but so is hand sewing each and every tea bag.

This tin tell me so little, certainly not a package I have to pick up just to check out the texture, and no allusion to the neat little bags that lie within. It’s really disappointing.

And then, I thought, wait, are there things I’m missing like this with Tiny Run? I just changed my page theme drastically, am still messing with it, and I can’t help but wonder about some big things that I might be missing. Perhaps I’m missing something easy, a theme continuation that might just carry all the work already there forward just a little bit more. It’s not a new feeling.

To that end, and to try to develop things further, point out things that I’ve missed, and just keep pushing, I’ve enlisted Pam Slim from escapefromcubiclenation.com, for a brief coaching session next Wednesday. Hopes are running high for this to yield some interesting information; I’m very much look forward to an outsider looking in on things.

Tiny run visitors are notorious for not commenting, but anybody notice anything I’m missing?

Calculated Risk

light it up!

One of the things I’ve really been wanting to try is discharge printing. Screen printers that I’ve dealt with don’t do it, but some of the results look very interesting. In simplest terms, it’s almost like printing with a type of bleaching agent. The color of the shirt is stripped away where the chemical is printed, and it is printed in the usual method of screen printing. It’s the subtractive method to screen printing’s usual additive method of just adding ink to the shirt. Neat stuff.

One of the things about it that fascinates me, is that you can add color to the discharge agent. This is neat: you’re stripping away color with the chemical, and replacing it with a different color at exactly the same time. And, from the documentation that I’ve read, the ‘hand’ of these garments are incredible, and there is no stiffness due to an opaque layer of ink (or many layers) on the shirt.

Unfortunately, the documentation also says the following regarding the chemical agent:

Deluge with water to extinguish this material as it has its own oxygen supply, thus making dry chemicals or carbon dioxide ineffective.

Nice. This shit brings its own oxygen supply to the table. Bad. Ass.

I think, at this point in reading, fine. Have water on hand, don’t set it on fire to begin with. Trying to be thorough, I read onward and see more information such as the following:

Discharge Agent has an unpleasant odor and should be handled carefully in its crystal form then blended into the ink by a properly trained employee. Always blend the ZFS slowly until it is well mixed in the ink to prevent dust, ZFS is relatively safe once in solution.

Hm. “Properly trained.”

And also, my favorite from this one: relatively safe once in solution.

You know, I love making stuff, and I love trying things others won’t, trying things I know nothing about, but I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, this time I should back off. How about more batik, I ponder. All the sewing had made me miss it a little.

And with batik all I have to worry about are toxic wax fumes. And setting the wax on fire. Oh, and the dye is kinda cancerous in powder form.


Not Purple Enough

I’ve been reading the marketing blogs again. Seth Godin has a idea, and book, called the Purple Cow. Basically, he’s talking about how the purple cow stands out. Get’s remembered. Etc.

I remember the first time i heard Morphine. I hope the dementia never sets in deeply enough to rob me of that memory.

Just beautiful. Dude playing two sax at once, and another dude with a bass guitar and only two strings, identically tuned. Did i mention his voice? The whole band: all deep, all bass all the time. The simplicity and complication of that is still mind blowing. And the way the music physically hits you in the chest isn’t too shabby either. But take two other dudes and have them wield the same instruments and maybe even a similar voice and would it still be as good?

If the tiny run designs up till now were as a whole viewed as tracks on the first tiny run album, how would it stand up? The embroidered bacon is certainly a hit single. Already a remix ep of buttons only a few months in? I just shake my head no and feel disappointed.

I think the problem partially lies in me being a producer as well as a performer. I’m not purpling it up as much as I should in either role. Splitting the atom doesn’t yield two equal halves, you just get a big ol mess.

Tiny run is one design at a time, new one every two weeks (or so). The simplicity and the complication is there. It’s right there.

But something is still missing.

It might just be a little further over there…somewhere in the edges.