January 30, 2012

Beach Blooms - Beach Plastic Sculpture

When I walk on the beaches and collect the plastic that these are made out of, it feels like I'm somewhere between an easter egg hunt and having to clean a public bathroom.

When I'm in the studio refiguring this detritus - now lovingly scrubbed and tended to - it feels like holding someone's hand for the first time and having a huge martini while doing taxes. 

Soft. Foul. Cute. Toxic.

Day one - Plastic

January 27, 2012

Bas Couture - and the ruffle

Good Afternoon and welcome to Oulalie! The real time evolution of the little place, idea, feeling, product, collaboration, sound, thought, writing, artwork, THING...that could...or more to the point - had the audacity to.

To what? aaaaah! That's the million dollar question! 


Shop at Alpha Thrift for starters.
It's awesome, but even for that you need money.

My bank account says -$27 today. That's MINUS.

"Some where over the rainbow..." My office is MAGICAL

A word about taste and the hilarity of unfettered audacity.

When I was a little girl in London (as I was every other summer from birth) maybe I was in Junior High...I noticed the "New Romantic" thing happening. The feathered hair and ruffled skirts, puffy shirts and polkadots - and oh my gosh was I feeling so different than before when I got a little spotted, ruffly outfit. A line had been drawn between who I had been and who I would become.

Later, as a teen in London scouring the Kings Road for Damned posters, winkle pickers, Bauhaus bootlegs, and some sort of accessory that would set me apart from the rest of California, to which I was fated to return - something that said "f off- leave me alone - I belong somewhere else". Looking for signs of Vivian Westwood or some trace of that strike that gave birth to punk rock as so many of us know it. Then, then I swooned with disgust at the thought of my awful taste some years back...not thinking about how lame this skinny peg legged all in black but for that too small green velveteen jacket teen must seem, with almost a dozen holes in her ears and undoubtably a terrible hair and skin to boot - I was not thinking how bad that might look through that window of tomorrow.

But aaah, now I've got it. The over priced anthropology shirt with the new romantic thrift store ruffle number over a little house on the prarie print skirt below which my cut of striped sox assert themselves. It screams "everlasting style, not fashon! I walk outside your paralell bars and remove myself from your sphere of comparisons. I am truth and joy."


I have NO illusions (accepct for a few if I am going to be honest) that I look good, or cool, or that I will look back on this period with a fondness for my fashion lack of sense. Nope.  I am a pleasure monger who loves relationships, who adores exchanges, and wrap my self in these odd couplings daily because.

"Yab yab yab" says Laura Ingles to Peter Murphy, "blah blah blah" says the Abba chick to that dissatisfied overprivalaged housewife. "Anarchy" says John Lydon to the Lancome lady. And the girl in the middle of it all smiles and thinks about who else she wants to introduce.

January 24, 2012

Fantastic Plastic...

In these two months, we (that would be me wearing several different hats) are focusing on Plastic.  Specifically, plastic from the beach.

These little creatures were made for a mini exhibition at the Carsey Wolf Center at UCSB (check them out - they have great programming and they're super nice people) when they were showing the film Wasteland (also super super cool...check it out too!)

I've been so busy moving into my office and getting set up that I haven't had time to really get going in the studio. 
This series was inspired by the scientific illustrations of Ernst Haeckel and I plan to be making more, but more detailed...starting tomorrow.

I like the irony of the medium and the subject. It reminds me of loggers wives who painted pastoral scenes with deer grazing near tree stumps - on giant saw blades.

I'm aiming to do a series of plastic scrimshaw next.

January 23, 2012

Bas Couture - The NEW OFFICE!!!

I am SO Excited to welcome everyone to my new satellite office space! For two years I've been floating around, meeting the greatest people, collecting excellent parenting tips and new friends, new ways of eating and an appreciation for the martini. Now it's time to get down to organized output and some serious play.

And for the output mode... I am wearing nothing but the finest Alpha Thrift wardrobe and donning the MOST BEAUTIFUL office in the world.

It's a children's playhouse in an enchanted garden with a ferocious guard capybara and great light and I just so love it!

You'll all have to come visit! And on top of that, the most supportive people in the world just donated a laptop to my cause! 

Did I tell you all that I take donations? Oh yes. And how.

The real point here is that Oulalie is 1 this month and growing a bit. I'll let you all know what we can do and all that just after I figure out this new computer and some other details.

Oops! Gotta pick up the little person! More soon! And happy rainy day to you Santa Barbara Folk!

January 22, 2012

Photo-trope - A brittle continuum

Something is breaking underfoot...a long brittle trail of tiny white snail shells filled with smelling salts.


She is over ripe - seducing entry and escape from the cracks in between things, stitches bursting, she gets stuck...again. Her wanting is too big.

There. Slab of need - Bound. Ripped. Glued. Choked by the folds of desire and pricked by souvenirs from places better forgotten: Victorian shame, historic misunderstanding, deadly rejection: an unsightly blow, a broken spirit, the end.

Now tethered by this unfortunate ruff, she is surrounded by the conversation of crows and the swish of tires in the rain in the alley in the puddles in the endless twilight of this singular dawn.


with a snap and a swish and a crunch and that whiff...she is folded into the field on the hill, in the day in the sun somewhere else, surrounded by olive trees, and filled with dry grasses covered in tiny white snails suspended in the thick sweet pudding of a freedom so unfamiliar. 


And again, now she is lying on a large flat rock island near the side of the river. It's surface radiating heat as it starts to rain - big fat drops, each descending rotund bomb releasing the smell of dust and a little trickle of steam who's vapor fills her cells and grip her like the freedom she felt once in that field of snails.  


She finds another pocket. This time a thread to a den and the memories of little brushes - which fill her completely. 

Now - suspended she waits. 


Now - flesh wound tight. She is here, not there.


Now spilled...and the smell of that nail polish on the floor of her car is overwhelming.


and what was she before...and again is here again

January 12, 2012

The Upcycled Duck Short video

Bas Couture - down-upside

Sick Day

Oulalie is CLOSED for business today. We're taking a sick day/moving day...so that would be a siving day or a moivick day. Either way, see me on my back and knowing that naps are the number one priority. Here I'm sporting my new San Luis jacket, a F21 tank top and a pink LL bean blanket. I think that's the first time I've mentioned LL bean on this blog. It's not the epitome of cheep or upcycled is it.

My back is all out of whack and I am coughing and I feel generally pathetic. BUT we have a new office space! WAIT until you see it! It's the coolest little thing ever. Emphasis on the little.

I'm going to create a new page on here about Oulalie's structure...so you can see what we have planned and join in with the fun if you want.

January 10, 2012

The Decorator Duck

Dear duck overboard
With your peculiar adornment
Sea plastic you hoard
Great aquatic ornament 

A decorator duck
Like your cousin the crab
Fashion ornaments from muck
in the sea that you grab

Tossed off the side
Of a ship far at sea
You're in for the ride
Of your life, wait and see!

You were made to the sounds
Of Grizzly Bear and Zizek
And the Fruit Bats swooped down
And got glued in, what the heck?

You're made all of plastic
Found at the beach
Mined from the ick
Within walking reach

Made for the bath
Set free in the sea
You're unique little duck,
Your you gets to be!

Bas Couture - rocket ships and sox

O P E N !!! Yes I'm here in this great portable office of mine, we're in Niece this morning, and I thought it would be easier to just jump around a bit to show of this BIZARRE outfit -which without my team of professionals (left them in Spain) is almost impossible to capture without the video function.

 The top is a SF Haight street thriftstore find and the sox, which are the main reason I'm so pleased with myself just now, are Nordstrom Boot sox...the white part is supposed to go outside your  boot.......well, I don't have Docks that tall yet, so I cut off the feet (no - none of my sox have feet anymore) so I can go barefoot and still enjoy these wonderfully long leg things.

La Laaaaaaa! 

Now - wish me luck on the duck. What do you want to bet I rip this top on the chicken wire frame today? Bets?

January 9, 2012

Bas Couture - dressed for the duck

Good Morning! Welcome to Oulalie! Do you need anything from the hardware store?

I've already survived an Etsy scam this morning - I'm ON it! Weeee hoo! Yeah. Now, its hardware and high heals. I actually have a pair - mind you, I walk strangely in them. Actually, I walk like a pirate anyways. OH! The ever unfolding and multiplying joys of this STUPID degenerative f#*@*ng nastieness. A giant bull kelp whip would probably round out this outfit nicely. 

"GEt out of my way fools...I've got places to go and things to do before I can't." Make you want to cry? It does me. What a pathetic detour! 

AND bad photos right off the bat, I know - it's a little foggy in our St. Ives studio today, but not too cold as you can see from the dress. I'm going to go to the harbor at low tide and do some little sketches of the boats on the sand. Always such a great subject matter. (OK...it's all in my head - this is rapidly turning into my "Getting dressed is almost as important as a rich travel fantasy life" daily/front desk/GO shot. 

I like that...the go shot.

I'm dressed like a layer cake this morning in sisterhood with the great duck butt cake I made yesterday...hold on...

Aaaahh....no one likes the thing like I do. I think that would make a FANTASTIC cake.

Anyhow, the duck and I are both dressed in blue and yellow. My dress is from Alpha if I remember correctly, and the skirt underneath from the rummage sale at my daughters school. Oh yeah.  Rummage sales RULE! 

The ducks dress comes from the sea. 

Maybe I can get it to waddle like a pirate down to the harbor with me to draw the boats. OH WAIT...I've got to finish it first! 

Reality calls.

For more about Bas Couture and it's history here, click HERE

January 8, 2012

The Upcycled overboard duck

I had high hopes of documenting this whole process on video, and I have a bit but....

it's really hard to video ones self while working! The white bits are foam strips I'm cutting from one big piece I found.

This is my beach plastic duck progressing. Thats a cut up basket ball above in black.

I'm coating the whole thing with layers of a sealant as I go to create a skin over all the little parts that aren't wired on.

Right now that is Duck butt cake a la Holly. Wouldn't that be a fun cake though...really!

And here's our heros face so far, a ways to go but looking more like a duck now. Thats a plastic milk carton beak spray painted orange

Invaluable extension (abundance) of a flotsom rope (excess) and a fantastic color to boot.

Hellen Chadwick introduced me to the term Bad Bloom. These black flowers on the ducks head represent that - and tar globs.

Coating the bill.

And heres a photo of the whole thing just after sealant application. I have all tomorrow to finish it. I've got a long way to go - but got thee "cute" thumbs up from a small friend so I'm happy.

Bas Couture - disintegrating top


Good Sunday to you! Welcome to Oulalie! Yes - I'm of to the office (today we're in Salamanka - look for the little window above that coffee shop near the meat market with the stork nest on top) and yes it's 10:55 but it's Sunday, and we do things differently in Spain anyhow. Just trying to fit in!

Today I'm sporting my Alpha Thrift sexy disco top made of some plastic that is flaking off on the straps already. I love it though! I think it was $4 or maybe half that in their awesome post Halloween sales. I tell you - that is one AMAZING time to be at Alpha thrift.

Here it is again. My extensive team of professional technicians and photographers are taking a siesta...all day, so i did my best to photograph myself and share this cute little plastic top...

It's really hard to get the whole ensemble in though. The pants are also Alpha purchases, and thus like $5. Right now they have glue and dust all over them from the studio yesterday, to where I will shortly return.

For more about Bas Couture - click HERE!

Have a great Sunday!!!