Wednesday, March 31, 2010

{HOW TO} Wallpaper

Although my personal blogwall paper is not tessellating because i'm lazaaay, good old m.c. escher knew first what the masterminds will find out soon. When i was a kiddo, i would stare at the wallpaper in my bedroom as i would fall asleep. The overall pattern would emerge but finding where it started and finished was impossible. That game, that game.

Start with an image.

if you like, create a pattern using the image as a stamp. The final image should not touch the edges in any way.

Divide the image in quadrants, and switch them kitty corner: lower left and upper right, lower right and upper left. Then the space around the corners is now in the center! Fill that in with more shapes.

Sooo Simple! Now you can repeat this image forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and....

of course the other way is to take an image and kalideoscope works best here with an image that does touch the edges, like how you spliced the first one, so that they can merge to create a new shape!

But the trick is, for the first block, each new quadrant you must either flip one horizontally, one vertically and one both horizontally and vertically.

Then the new block will touch forever and ever and ever and ever....

For more inspiration check out Julia Rothman's Flickr!
madam chino

Saturday, March 27, 2010

{LEATHER BANG} earrings!

Fringe earrings are the hair i didn't have when pixified, curing the phantom limb syndrome my clavicles craved. Originally, i created them out of t-shirt fabric as part of a specimin project for new species of display flora on my "earring tree" and they came in all array of colors.

I've been geeking over fringe lately since i found a ton of leather in SF, but it sort of goes back further to the indoor icicle project at Rochambo, an interior installation fringe awning. I'm also thinking of this awning in brown for the canopy that Owl Eyes and I are doing decorations committee for our summer sales tent.

Recently I created these tassle earrings mentioned a few posts down, the same shape, but with 3 different materials components:

And who doesn't love that little arrow? It's in all the best quilts.

But the point of this post is to present my new LEATHER BANG earrings in assorted colors!

SUPER FRESH! The trick is to use a rotary cutter, and a little wrist flicking.
Plus only the finest quality gold 7mm oval jumprings and brass hooks fully equipt with rubber backs.

madam chino

Friday, March 26, 2010

{now WEAR was I?} dark denim

As a clothing reconstruction artist people call me to unleash loads of old garments onto me. I understand that everything can always be totally awesome, but in the case that i might find one treasure in a bag of trash is worth the effort of going through peoples heaps. I have a 1997 emerald green chevy astro van, so in this effort i provide a service of bringing peoples unwanted things to thriftstores for them, so that I can have first dibbs.

I have a lot of awesome stories about getting some really amazing things, like the 2 vanloads that I got from Ann and Flame when they emptied their antique booth at Riverview, or the entire 18 bags of vintage clothes that i was gifted from Yellow Jacket. Almost all of this was Mint, and I am still wading through this stuff from years and months ago. Besides the claustrophobia that initiated these poor collectors massive perge of totally amazing things, a lot of what I get it is pretty obvious why it went unwanted.

I call my syndrome "velveteen rabbit syndrome" where i feel sorry for inanimate objects and want to make them worthy of human love again. I am currently working on a series of handbags made of the 2 trunks of cut and sorted but completely mismatched denim. Mismatched denim is the most UGLY thing in the world according to Madam Chino. In effort to unify all this denim, i am screenprinting blue quilt shapes on all of it. I also realized that I will never wear anything but Dark Blue Denim. (In addition to black and grey Cheap Mondays, which i continue to buy despite that their zippers constantly break, because they are high hip and square that the top so they don't cause that aweful muffin top)

Madam Chino

Saturday, March 20, 2010


WARNING: Don't read this if you have a fragile ego.

I get really sick thinking about "INDI-CORPORATE" or in other parallel worlds: when the hippies turned to yuppies. Is that like hipsters turning to yupsters? I'd be happy-happy to stay a gypsy or maybe you call it a hypsy. There is a difference between authenticity and impostering, people dressing like you are on a woodland safari but are a squarepeg in a woodbox, and want to ignore that the products they buy are actually destroying woodlands. Way to go people, make money! The fact is that we are still under the hegemonic rule of pleasing people who have money to buy our makings. But i won't let that change me, or make me a failure in the eyes of mongers. And that for certain doesn't mean i'm about to do any a**kissing on your blog. I'm also not going to steal images from your blog and put them on my blog in the name of inspiration and networking because i can't personally make things that cool myself. And i also can't stand the marketing ideology that ignores the fact that materials are shipped from hither thither, or even more discuss-tingly blatently try to cover it up by lying and calling it locally handmade. YUCK! Fakers.

The point of D.I.Y. is authenticity, endorsing self-expression through one-of-a-kind. Think about that: UNIQUE. Amount in stock: ONE. Why is that so hard to look at!? Because people yearn to be a part of something? They want a whole community of people with the same product so they can have a tribe? You need me to stand infront of a picket fence so that you can associate my makings with a bunch of yuppie homemakers in order for you to like it? Just curious. Artists become artisans when they mass produce, removing the creative factor from the crafting production line.

Maybe this is like Modernism vs. Post-Modernism. Or Renaissance Art vs. Impressionism. Denial of the process by creating a final product that hides it. Streamline and shiney. More lies. Authenticity doesn't deny that process and strip products of their character.

People love to feel like they're "GREEN" they are helping the planet by buying things, but the fact is, you aren't because all that stuff is bad for the planet to a degree. People spent *blank* amount of money on leisure wear in *blank* year, which converts to *crazy amount of working hours*... IRONIC? you could have been leisuring the whole time! People need to brush up on their Henry David Thoreau.

And just because you are an "indi" designer isn't going to be enough of a good deed. Marketing is exploitation of peoples need to feel a certain way: part of that tribe. Oh, i remember why i stopped being "preppy" in 6th grade. Because that one girl talked me into dumping my boyfriend so she could fake that she was going out with him, tell everyone they were playing a trick on me, and then herd people to my locker after school to bitch me out, steal my winter hat and flush it down the toilet so i could walk home alone without a hat while they shouted obscenities in my naked ears from across the street. maybe i'm scarred, but those preps all in their fancy pants were a bunch of fakers too, faking that they were nice people while exploiting other people for their own self-interest.

Maybe I just wish the consuming public would be a little more eccentric in their tastes. If people didn't need everything dumbed down for them in 3 specific sizes and 10 specific styles, maybe we wouldn't have so much waste in the world: in otherwords, maybe eclectic tastes would prevent so many people from having to buy brand new shit, and maybe then the people who make brand new shit wouldn't make so much of it.

Yes, I will recycle old clothes into new ones, because I'm going to carry on in a tradition that increases the degrees by which i can say I'm saving the planet by decreasing the amount of new extraction needed. And that doesn't mean that I'm less talented than people who cut brand new expensive fabric out by tracing a bunch of shapes.

Yes, I will custom make that for you, because I'm p.c. and i know your body doesn't fit into one of these little size charts that's never uniform across the board anyway; so fill out my measurements chart, pick out the combination of fabric that is limited edition and vintage, and I will happily create that for you in the name of authenticity and one-of-a-kindness. OR, maybe you would just like to learn how to make it yourself, I would be happy to borrow you the tools to get you started.

Perhaps you'd like to argue: say that monoculture is actually producing less waste by increasing efficiency. But that just isn't true, because monoculture IS waste by destroying biodiversity in both human culture and nature.

thank you,

madam chino

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

{Now WEAR was I?} In a SKIRTress~!

What is a skirtress? It's a (no-sew) converted skirt into a dress! I also call them skirt-hoists. With an abundance of awesomely patterned 80's woven below-the-knee skirts at the thrift store, many of which have a button opening at the side and an elastic waistband, why not? PERFECT! This way, we can turn them into dresses easily! Madam Chino makes detachable collars for this very convenience of turning too-long skirts into just-the-right-length dresses, and there are many ways to wear it!

With a detachable collar! (simply cut the collar off an old shirt that you don't like... astoundingly, the button and hole placements are opposite that they almost always fit together!) to make a nice haltar! of course, wear a cardigan over it, or a favorite tiny t-shirt or cami under for extra layers.

Add a tank/cami on top and tuck it under to the height of your preferred waistline for a sleeker, dressy silhouette

or wear it with suspenders and hike it up... somewhere in between the long skirt and a short dress...add a new vision to your old saggy waistlines

Alas, finally, this is an indian skirtress, what a flowy symphony! I simply slit 3/4of the waist just below the band, and then regathered and topstiched it for a bit of form, and slung it for a haltar. the drawstring still works, so you can control the width of the haltar measure. The only trick for this is that to get a straight bottom hem, you have to cut it at a slant (because now it's hanging like a hoist), so lay it out on the ground, or have someone cut it for you while you're wearing it.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

{SWEATHOODS!} new shots

My friend Ryan Cardarella helped shoot the first of this set... part of an ongoing creative endeavor to save the planet and make people look good! Soon to be up on ETSY, the rest of this set can be viewed on FLICKR.

The SweatHOODs in this collection feature SOCKETS(tm) and awesome wristsocks creating full use of the sock, save for a tiny sliver of the heal.






Thursday, March 4, 2010

{Now WEAR was I?} in the BLACKground

Wearing black isn't just for funerals and goths, it's for ninjas and elegant ladies

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

{NO-SWEAT SEWING!} calling all, last call






"No-Sweat Sewing!"

Saturdays, March 6 – April 17 from 12:30pm – 2:30pm
* This class is 5 weeks. The SACC is closed March 20 and March 27 for Spring Break.

Unique uniforms and uncommon costume, made-to-measure! Learn
to sew, No-Sweat! Produce personalized patterns (both busts and
bottoms) to suit silhouettes with fresh fabrics or appropriate
preexisting apparel. Texturize your textiles with surface
structure. Originate your own ornamental opulence and focus on
favorite features! Distinctive designer duds will be displayed
on the Recycadelic Runway during Earth Week in the UWM Union.

Instructor: Vanessa Andrew

UWM Students: $80 Faculty, staff, alumni: $90 Community members: $100

The Studio Arts and Craft Centre is located on the street level
of the UWM Student Union, Room EG30.




Tuesday, March 2, 2010

{ZIPFLIPS} shirt-dresses!

THIS is about INDOOR AIR. It's too hot in winter, and too cold in summer. SO, this design that is breathable warmness and shortsleeve. Perfect for layering, great with high waisted tubeskirts, or stovepipe pants (aka "skinny jeans"). Available in my ETSY or at the LOOK NOOK on Saturdays
See the full shoot on my FLICKR
and a special thanks to my very awesome co-worker Symone for the photoshoot.