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Month: February, 2012

Livin’ on Nothing – Got A Stain?

In the short amount of time since I’ve gone from looking like shit everyday to being the high priestess of scrounge-fabulousness , I’ve noticed that sometimes my “day job” as a visual artist clashes with my vocation as a dandy. I wear a labcoat with I sceenprint but still mysterious spots of paint end up on my clothes , threatening to mar my look. Well I did some google research and some practice and learned that you can get rid of latex or acrylic paint as well as most ink stains with rubbing alcohol.

1) Ideally treat the stain as quickly as possible , fresher stains are much easier to lift.

2) Soak stain(s) well in rubbing alcohol, I pour a bit into a tiny dish and let it soak an hour or so.

3) Rub the stain with a alcohol soaked cloth or your finger nail.

4) Wash as usual.

5) Inspect stained area , if it’s gone you can move on with your life. It not treat it a second time.

Now relax and assume the position of a full time flâneur in style.


Forever Never

I’ve mentioned a few times that the beau and I have been balls deep preparing 3 different installation works for 3 different exhibitions, well the whole rigamarole has had me often looking shlubby lately, having to sand and paint the wooden basins for one of our projects and very rarely stepping out of the studio/apartment vortex. Incidentally , I’ve had primmer on my hands for 4 days now , it will NOT scrub off.

Anyway , in search of glamour, good times and a day off we followed our buddy Tammer to Saint-Jérôme for a day trip to attend a Marcel Barbeau retrospective opening. Tammer is an art historian , critic and professor and one of his colleagues curated the show. Tammer mostly chills with other academics and doesn’t know many artists and thinks we are a much bigger deal than we actually are. That’s not why we hang out with him but it makes for some entertaining moments.

While at the opening , he introduced me to an art critic who concentrates on sculpture and installation (oh hi!) , telling her I had work in the Québec Triennial. She asked me my name, twice and than the boys name and gave me a blank look Then had me describe our piece “oh”. Long awkward silence. “And you are interested in Automatistes paintings?” “Yes, I’m into formal work and especially like Barbeau’s more harsh, graphic paintings, they look like flattened sculpture.”

See what I mean?
“Uh huh” She looks at me skeptically, followed by a second long awkward silence. At this point I wandered off.

Are artists only expected to be interested in work similar to theirs? I fel it’s important to have a broad view on contemporary and art historical works. I also find regional movements interesting as they are something that don’t really exist anymore. I feel with artists of my generation and younger , we are really working and showing work in an entirely different context than our antecedents. Everyone now posts a portfolio online way before ever exhibiting, because of this we have shown in Paris , Brussels , Chicago and Madison before showing in Montreal.

Equally interesting were the frankly bizarre amateur works in the lobby. A museum staffer were eager to let us know that these pieces had nothing to do with the museum.

What the fuck? More than half of the local amateur works has floating heads but this one was my favorite for obvious reasons.

This is what I wore to the opening.
Trying to show off the pain(t) on my hands but it’s hard to see. I love this dress I got from Cheap Opulance , I think I actually look classy. Same cummerbund as the other day , tights from Simon’s and shoes I gripped at a Salvation Army in Birmingham, Alabama after suffering through the worst gig ever of my life. Seriously it sucked so hard that we went thrifting twice the day after AND ate at Waffle House just to try to lift the heavy gloom vibes. It was at a DIY space and the couple who set up the gig seemed to resent us being there & would barely talk to us, the 2 local bands meanwhile ( both straight ahead indie rock) left before us or Olson played, no music at all between the bands and the audience was 3 people, one who hit me twice while I was trying to sing. I think we cut our set off after 5 songs and went, shell shocked, to our Motel 6 to watch horror movies and be severely bummed out. At least I got some shoes in that town. Bangels from various thriftys in Austin , Brooklyn and Phoenix. Each 1$. Lips are wearing OCC lip tar in Katricia.

Shoes w/ test print.

This is what I wore Friday as we were planning to go to a gig after working but we left after 20 minutes cause of burn out. I couldn’t deal.Wearing my wildlife blouse from Cheap Opulance , jeans from Urban Outfitters , Vegan bla bla docs are my favorite winter shoes, blazer from the Salvation Army on Notre Dame for 5$ , the sequined footballer patch is from Cheap Opulance (notice a theme?). Earrings from H&M, 2$. I should clean my living room , get those records put away.

Primer hands.

Wednesday’s outfit. Cardi from Sally Ann in Calgary 4$, sweater Frip-Prix Renaissance 5$ , shorts from a thrifty in Chapel Hill, NC for 75¢, the guy working there was really stoked on Val and I , tights from Winners , awesome necklace the boy bought me in Paris. My glasses had to much paint on them to wear in the last 2 pics.

Demographic Of One

Today’s post title comes from my pal Brian Miller’s Twitter feed and pretty much sums up how I see the world. This weekend on the internet has been a crash course in how most of my friends and acquaintances are very interested in pop music. I always though pop was just the background sounds when you are at the grocery store or gym (to paraphrase Miles Davis I’m a no iPod owning motherfucker) that you try your best to block out to prevent that tricky parasite, the earworm. Lo and behold, I seem to in the minority of my cohort to see pop as an mental/auditory of equivalent of smog. You learn something new every day.

What I don’t do everyday is wear a pineapple mask.

Mask , borrowed from my studiomate (shhht!) , both sweater (2.50$) and skirt (2$) from Goodwill in Mississauga , evil eye medallion (20$), gripped from a creepy botanica in Austin.

I felt very Lucy Moran in this outfit. Loving the ultra-bright but frumpy styles with skirts almost hitting the ankles.

2 coats of Wet n’ Wild Saved by the Blue w/ orange.A few spots of black silkscreen ink too.

In other news, Cambridge University physicists study the ponytail for reason no one understands.

I’m An Artist, I Have Lumber.

In the studio, balls deep working on the new installs. Feel kind of insane to have 3 shows at once but I guess this is what legitimate artist do? I mean we are living off of Carfac fees right now so chop chop!

I’m getting so much wear out of this cardigan I gripped at the Goodwill, it’s so drapey that it fits over layers without looking bulky. Here I’m wearing it over 2 plain black cardigans. 2.50$ = yesss.
Talk Normal tee , cummerbund from Tarantula Sisters, OCC lip tar in Tarred. The earrings were 25¢ at a garage sale right near the studio zone , they are silver.
You can’t see it but on my chain I have a sphinx and a mummy, gripped from a street vendor in Vienna. 5€ for both.

No sleep but lots of tea.

Rebel Grrrrrls

Russian riot girl group, Pussy Riot are engaging in civil disobedience in protest of recent legislation restricting access to abortion. High five ladies, and I love your outfits

NPR has the whole story.

Anyone speak Russian?

The Wettest, The Wildest

2 coats of Wn’W Night Prowl topped with one coat of of Kaleidoscope.Both from the Wild Shine line. Available in Canada at Zellers & Loblaws for 1.99$ , in the US at Walgreens or CVS for 99¢.

Night Prowl is a dense fuchsia microglitter in a black jelly and is opaque in 2 coats , Kaleidoscope is sparse holographic glitter in a clear base.

Anyone who’s ever talked polish with me (or spent time in a van with me) knows about my obsession with Wet n’ Wild. I’m not the only one , Nouveau Cheap is basically a love letter to the brand & tons of other beauty bloggers give ’em props.

Now I know some of my ladies out there will be all on other more pricey brands but this is blog is about Scroungy Glamour not fancy-lady-with-10$-nailpolish-glamour. So we got really great colors , we got super cheap prices (Mega Shine is often on sale in the US for 69¢ – that’s why I grip it so hard on tour) we got 4 fucking free (formaldehyde, who fucking needs it?) and vegan ingredients , no animal testing. No vivisection for beauty!

Other bloggers talk about formula but honestly I don’t really notice much difference in my various nailpolish brands. Maybe it’s because I’m a neophyte or a spazz but I also don’t notice any brand being longer lasting than another. I mean I’m an artist/jammer , my hands are always getting janked up by loading gear , pulling prints , drawing with india ink ect. Heck that’s the main reason I took to wearing polish daily , to cover up the hot mess that is my nails on art making. I think long lasting is more about a decent base coat / top coat combo and wearing gloves while dish washing than any particular formula. I do like Wn’W’s brushes though, they make it much easier for a shaky handed caffeine addict to do a somewhat neat look manicure.

Now I just need Moskos to grip me some of the new MegaLast colors before he come back to Mtl, aka bummerville. Yes , I get my male bandmate to go on nail polish missions for me when he’s south of the border. Don’t you?

Since I have to Get out Of Bed , I’ve Taken To Wearing One

We’re in full swing production-mode at the studio right now for 3 exhibitions hitting late Feb / early March, I feel like we’ve barely gotten back to normal after our séjour in Mississauga and it’s on all over again. I’d be sayin’ goodbye to my social life but I’m having to think REALLY hard to remember how long it’s been since I’ve had one.

It’s okay , soon I’ll drinking in the glamour at my vernissages in Trois-Rivières & Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu whilst wearing my finest gowns. Until then it’s layers on layers on layer on layers on layers on layers. I have a bottomless pile of black cardigans to pile under and over (around and through).

Vintage coat , I think 60’s (?) gripped at a Salvation Army in Lawrence, KS for 12$. Moskos had to do something boring with his phone so Olson and I went for some retail therapy. I almost had to fight an old lady in a Kansas Jayhawks sweatshirt (I think you get issued Jayhawks gear in you live in Lawrence) but she soon realized she couldn’t button the coat up over her “maracas” (her term) so grippy grips. Sweater was 5$ at Frip-Prix (my main zone). The boy picked it out for me. Gap jeans from the boxing day sale, 13$. I “made” the necklace from assembling 2 crappy Salvation Army chains and adding some stone beads. It was so bright out yesterday I though the sun was melting my eyes. No tears for the creatures of the night , indeed. Just squinting like an S.O.B.

Wearing Verve lipgloss from Silk Naturals. I haven’t pimped them yet but they are a small makeup company with a good range of vegan products. They also send you a free eyeshadow if you buy 10$ or more worth of stuff. I have a bunch of lipsticks from them , it’s my go-to for more “normal” looking colors. ‘Cause even I don’t rock neon purple or grey lips daily. The lipglosses are as moisturizing as all get out.

Today I was a witch.A studio witch.

Poncho , the boy bought it for me at Time After Time in Chapel Hill,SC – 20$. Normally I skip resale shops cause I’m a scrounger right? We had time to kill (#tour) and fuck, it’s still a bargain compared to buying new. Skirt (Eaton on the label, waves of nostalgia) 4$ at Frip-Prix , sockies were gripped from a street vendor in Manchester like 6 years ago. I bought them ’cause I used to wear identical socks for most of my goth/punk teen years and they were only 2 quid but I never wear them cause they just seem too 90’s teenager. Conundrum. Too teen or not too teen?

Test-printface so you don’t see my look of complete frustration. Printing has been a bitch from hell , the past 2 days I’ve just been fighting a losing battle with chemistry. Positive our new intern is bummed out on screen printing forever. And so she should be!

Style Inspiration : Betty Davis

“Don’t you crush my velvet”

“An elegant hustler”


Don’t call her no sleazy scum, I’d be sooooo glad to raid her closet. Outerspace hippie glam punk? Killer disks , killer pipes , killer fucking style. I imagine Royal Trux were fans.

When I Was a Kid , This Is How I Imagined Myself as a Cool Adult

Wearing big , loud sweaters and making things. The beau and I are back in production for our next 3 exhibitions and while he’s been training our new Parisian intern , Lola , I’m hustling.

I feel with our shift towards working on our installation practice that I’m more satisfied than I ever have been in my life. I’m getting to do exactly what I want , on my own terms. Now that’s not to say it isn’t difficult or often frustrating/exhausting but fuck , we are legitimate artists getting spend months creating large scale works so who can complain?

Large scale works requires money though and the grant we got back in the summer is long spent on supplies and studio rent , thus my hustle. Last Friday I set up an Etsy shop to sell our prints and posters and I’m working on running the tightest ship anyone has ever seen. Or at least the tightest ship I’ve seen. Etsy is dangerous though cause cute clothes! Cute jewels! Vintage booties! Ahh , I just turn the self control up and keep the eyes on the prize and the paypals flowing to the bank balance. The prize is of course a few pallets of paper , it’s hotel fare for our stay in Trois-Rivières , 30 some pounds of wax for one of the new sculptures and it’s rent. What a prize , a place to live. Listing, collating, shipping , re-listing and digging through our various storage units to find posters of yore that folks may wanna grip. Dealing with our old work is just so many fucking feelings and memories , it’s rather intense. I can’t even believe we drew , designed and printed so many fucking posters! There are hundreds of them. And as I sell my past, I’m balls deep in it. Retired graphic designer , retired illustrator , retired poster jerk. I’m an artist and it’s pretty cool.

Some of it feels like a lifetime ago.

We get offers to lure us back towards the odd poster here and there and grip what we have time for and are inclined towards but I’d give an eye tooth to do a poster for an opera company or some sick 21st century composer. I don’t think that demographic wants screenprinted posters though.

Wearing a vintage Esprit sweater full of Lucy Moran vibes that I gripped from my studiomate Jacinthe at the clothing swap she hosted , leggings from Johnny Brown , a local dance wear company , paid 20$ 6 years ago, PVC Converse were comped to me by a PR firm when the Wolf played CMJ in 2010. For some reason our no-profile noise rock band gets us comped jeans and sneaks ever so often. Getting free shit makes me feel like I’m winning at life. Braided chain was gripped at a Value Village somewhere in the hinterlands of Manitoba when we were on tour with Shearing Pinx a few years ago , the turquoise pendant was bought from a street vendor in Vienna this past summer . It was 5€. Bracelet h&m , 2$.
Lips are OCC lip tar in Katricia, eyes, MAC eyeshadow in Orange. Cruelty Free Face has a good list of vegan products from MAC (and is the starting point for vegan cosmetics in general), you can also email them about specifics. They are helpful if kind of slow to respond.
Stephen King in hand for Val , shopping till dropping at the triftys of Carrboro, NC.

Behind me , the start of some new work , drying in the racks.

Makeup. My office is dark.

Livin’ On Nothing – Rose Water as a Toner , Rose Water as a Condiment

Is it a beauty product or is it food?

Because of it’s multidisiplinarity, rose water is a perfect part of the scrounger’s arsenal. First of it’s cheap as fuck. You can grip a bottle for under 5$ at your local South Asian or Midle Easter market , or at better stoked supermarkets or health food stores , usually in baking supplies or ethnic foods sections. My bottle was 2.49$ in my regular fruiterie/Indian zone on Monk ave (Ville Emard shout out!).

Now personally , I have found rose water to be pretty freaking sweet on my combination skin. I swipe my face with a soaked cotton ball after washing and it stays soft and not greasy. I also put some in little travel spray bottle to set my mineral makeup if I’m wearing a heavy load (glam times) or on my hair before braiding/bunning it. It smells lovely but that fades after about an hour. Or until I spritz again. (It also helps take that nasty henna smell out of hair.)

Now let’s say you try it and don’t dig it?
Well a) if was only 2.49$ and b) you can use it to make cookies or lemonade. Sounds like a total scrounger win. You can’t do that with the toner you bought at the drugstore can you? For heaven’s sake , I hope you don’t.

**Livin’ on Nothing is going to be a regular lil’ feature ’round here for tips on tricks on being a scroungy glammer. Please tip me off on your tips of the tip tip. Tip? Tip.