New Years Edition

I'm only 13 days late. This is the NYE dress I wore to go eat pizza and walk my dog. Wild child, right?

(Dress: Nasty Gal | Necklace: Blood Milk)

The next day several friends and I jumped into the cold Sandy River for the 2014 Polar Bear Swim.
Happy New Years, loves.  Here's to a year of growth, adventures and love.



Alloy and File

I'm always on the lookout for unique handcrafted jewelry.  I have this terrible tendency to break necklaces within days of buying it due to the poor craftsmanship and materials.  I'm not sure what they find so repulsive about me but necklaces just can't wait to escape.

Recently I ran into Isaac, owner of Alloy and File, at a pop-up shop and immediately fell in love with several items.  He crafts all of his jewelry from broken cymbals.  They're both durable and gorgeous.  I nudged Santa-Tabha that I liked them and several days later I woke up to an Alloy and File filled Christmas.

MPB: Tell us a little bit about Alloy and File.

ID: Alloy and File is something I have been working on for the past four or five years. I had piles of broken cymbals and a lot of time on my hands so I decided to see what I could do with them. I started out by simply cutting the cymbals into what I thought were neat shapes with no intention of them being worn as jewelry. Then I made a few pairs of earrings and some necklaces and gave them to friends. They seemed to like them so I continued making pieces and giving them away. Alloy and File was established about a year ago and everything I create is still handmade out of used cymbals.


MPB: What is your conceptual and design process like?

ID: I work out of a small shop in my house in St. Johns, a small neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. It also houses my wood shop and my motorcycle hobby shop.


MPB: Where do pull your inspiration from?

ID: There are a lot of shapes that I work with as a carpenter that come through in my jewelry designs. I've replicated the leaded glass windows in my house and I'm always drawn to architecture for inspiration. I'm also fascinated by religion, mysticism, cults - general weirdness filled with interesting iconography.


MPB: What projects can we see from Alloy & File in 2014? 

ID: This year I'm going to focus on creating a solid line of pieces while still finding time to fulfill custom orders. I'm also planning to design pieces for men - something I've never done before!


MPB: Where can we find you? 

ID: For custom orders, ideas, questions, or if you have broken cymbals you want to donate, email me here: alloyandfile [at ] gmail [dot] com
Tumblr: alloyandfile.tumblr.com
Shop: Etsy.com/shops/alloyandfile
Instagram :  @alloyandfile

Isaac lent me some pieces so I could play photographer in the studio this past weekend.  Models are my elvish sister and my talented friend Hanna.  Thanks Isaac!

PS. As I type this I am rocking his Arrowhead Earrings and a custom DEATHLY HALLOWS pendant that he made me.  I'm in heaven.



Stay Hydrated

A few weeks ago my dad called me. He called to tell me that his hometown was over 100 but he’s staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water. Don’t worry, he said, I’m fighting this dehydration.

My dad only started calling me this year. I went five years without speaking to him at all after I sent police to his doorstep when he faked a suicide attempt for attention. Eventually he forgot that he was angry at me and started calling me again. He just likes to hear his voice but it’s okay because sometimes it’s a nice voice to listen to.

There are parts of me that really dislike him but I can’t find it in myself to hate him like my sister does. He is, undoubtedly, one of the worst human beings that I've ever had the displeasure of knowing but he’s just this fucked up little child at heart. I can’t help but pity. I pity him because he isn't part of our family. I pity him because he doesn't know my nephew. I pity him because he lost the absolute best and most loving family. He isn't strong enough.

One time he asked my brother and I if something positive came out of his alcoholism. He wanted validation that he did something right. Reinforcement that he had a hand in raising us. I told him yes. Yes, dad. You taught me what not to be. My brother agreed.

Stay hydrated, pop.


Sunken City, California

In 1929, a landslide in San Pedro, California, caused a neighborhood of exclusive homes to tumble into the ocean. At its peak, the land movement was measured at an astounding 11 inches a day.

Today it's called Sunken City.

You can view Sunken City at the south end of Pacific Avenue or the east end of Point Fermin Park at Paso Del Mar and Gaffey Street.

Or you can ignore the "no trespassing" signs, duck under a fence and explore the lost city and its wonderful street art on your own.

Photos taken by John Kingston. My rolls will be developed eventually. You can view more over on Facebook.


Angela Thornton of M O R P H knitwear

Two years ago I met Angela Thornton, reigning goddess of M O R P H knitwear, through a mutual friend.  She walked into the restaurant wearing a delicate little antiqued chained harness over an all-black outfit.  I immediately asked her where she got to which she quipped, "I made it!"

You see, Angela is well known in the NW modeling scene for her beauty, her ingenuity and her creations.  She had been coming to photoshoots in her own handmade knitwear and jewelry far before the inception of M O R P H.  When I photographed her last year I asked for her to bring something dainty and feminine.  She came to the shoot in the most perfect hand knitted shawl.

Everything at M O R P H is created and designed by Angela.  I spent all night drooling over Siren Call, her new s/s '13 collection.  It seems rather fitting that she be the first artist I interview in a new series of people who inspire me.
morph knitwear, angela thornton
Top:  M O R P H huldra knit bustier // Bottom: M O R P H nix asymmetrical hooded vest

MPB: What is M O R P H knitwear?  

AT:  Morph Knitwear started out as an experiment- I have a constant need to be creating, and once I discovered that I could knit, and was pretty good at it, I couldn't stop. So instead of making scattered, disconnected pieces from other people's patterns I decided to create an original, cohesive line of knitwear that I would want to wear. The experiment was to see if anyone else would want to wear it too! Morph has turned into a full time job, an obsession, and a form of communication. As much as Morph is about the end product, it's also about the production process- I am very personally connected to each piece, as I'm the sole designer and creator. What it all boils down to is that Morph is my imagination and dreams taking a physical, wearable form.

MPB: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

AT: My inspiration comes from all over the place. Music (mainly heavy metal), other designers, nature, mythology, badass women I know, fairy tales, and the occult all factor in. I want to create clothing that is empowering to wear, beautiful and delicate, but also has an element of toughness, mystery and danger, so I suppose having an end goal to focus on is a form of inspiration as well.

morph knitwear, angela thornton
Top: M O R P H hefring pale grey cropped top // Bottom: eli one shoulder silver maxi dress

MPBDescribe your perfect outfit

AT: Oh man, my perfect outfit... would probably all consist of draped black things, lots of layered rings (I'm partial to big heavy ones and tiny above the knuckle ones), and silver necklaces. Not far from what I wear everyday anyway, but I'd certainly love to throw a few Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, and Barbara i Gongini pieces into my closet. Texture is a big thing for me, I love clothing that feels good to wear while maintaining an element of structure and form.

MPB: If you were to use three words to descripbe M O R P H, what would those be?

AT: Dark, textural, esoteric.

M O R P H knitwear  // Angela Thornton 

You can purchase M O R P H online @ SHOPMORPH & follow them on Facebook, Twitter and  Instagram.

Aayla @ My Painted Bird