Thursday, June 29, 2006

say what?

a few weeks ago, radio-host/comedian/famous minnesotan al franken appeared on letterman and vented frustration about his and his wife's habit of yelling to each other from different rooms in their house. despite their concerted efforts to communicate superhero-like - through walls and doors- all it did was make them annoyed with each other.

in the wake of such strange couple behavior aired in a public setting, ann and dabney acknowledged that, yes, they do this too... a lot: workroom to living room, bathroom to bedroom, upstairs to downstairs, backyard to kitchen. their neighbors must think they are hard of hearing. and just like al, they, too, get equally irritated by the inability to decipher their loved one's muffled hollers (and not to mention the strange compulsion to reciprocate by raising one's own voice in response, even if only to say, "whaaaaaattt?!? i couldn't hear you!").

bad behavior noted, ann and dabney pledged to change their ways. once again, technology stepped in to the rescue. after over a year of ownership, superette's own techie diva, ann, finally pushed the intercom button on their cordless phone to see what it does. lo and behold, a nerdy solution.

now, the new challenge: resist the urge to pick up the phone fifty times a day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

brand-new baby

ann and dabney would like to take just a moment to take advantage of their virtual billboard, better known as superette, and congratulate this brand-new mama (and brand-new papa, not pictured). last week, they had the pleasure of lunching with brand-new mama a mere 48 hours before she gave birth, though they knew it had to be soon. so soon, in fact, ann winced a little when BNM squealed at the sight of her sandwich approaching. congratulations, BNM and BNP, on your bouncing baby girl!

pre-baby lunching

Monday, June 26, 2006

a coffee klatsch of coffee makers

for years now, ann has been on a mission for finding the perfect coffee maker. not necessarily the fanciest nor the most expensive, in fact, her criteria includes the following not-so-demanding characteristics:
  • brews strong coffee
  • brews hot coffee
  • durable
  • convenient
  • easy to make a small amount (afterall, this is one obessession she happens NOT to share with dabney. in fact, dabney, loves the aroma of coffee, can't stand the after effects on ann's breath.)
that's not so much to ask, is it?

long ago, it was this much-loved doohicky that brewed ann's morning cuppa joe.

while it was a tasty concoction, ann hated that she had to make a full pot to get full flavor. plus, she kept breaking the darn things.

perhaps even fancier was the way to go, so she bought an espresso maker.
after about six months of grinding, tamping, frothing, and pouring, the fun wore off. even the discovery of the little espresso pods that made the grinding and tamping go away were quickly overshadowed by their hefty pricetag.

so she moved on to the regular automatic drip makers - the vanilla ice cream of coffeemakers. a conventional choice, yes, but she thought millions of americans can't be wrong (except, of course, in the 2000 election and then again, in 2004 - but that's another blog entry).
while she loved ease of the auto drip and the ability to brew a quick pot for a group of people, the coffee never seemed HOT enough - a big no-no in ann's book. back to square one.

so now, she has moved on this little number.
and so far, so good. ann's morning clumsiness hasn't put a dent in this tank. the brew is STRONG. so strong, in fact, that ann dilutes it americano-style with the help of a kettle. yes, chez superette, two burners are going at 7 am.

whatever is next, dabney knows, will be something along the lines of what the incas used to brew their mud, but 'til then, she just has to let ann do her thing. for some its shoes...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

renegade craft fair, part 3

ann and dabney test-drove some new products at this year's RCF including this new design, the chinatown bus. this tee is mogo's first foray into adult t-shirts, and a & d were excited to see how it might do. unfortunately t-shirts were ubiquitous at the fair, so a & d aren't sure if it was quite the right place to test the design out afterall. if you are interested in purchasing one, check out mogo's etsy store.

this lucky woman on the right happened to buy the only modular bag with the bus motif. while ann was happy it sold, she had her eye on it if it didn't.

speaking of modular bags, this very smart woman strapped hers around her waist to make a mogo "fanny" pack. ann and dabney just love the result.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

renegade craft fair, part 2

before ann and dabney can go any further, they have to pay tribute to girlladyfriend. without her help (and aerobed), their renegade weekend could not have happened. she not only helped, she adopted feidler this weekend, which is exactly what ann and dabney needed. girlladyfriend and feidler went on long walks in the 95 degree heat, took a fieldtrip together to the laundromat, where she taught him to fold those pesky fitted sheets (dabney can't wait for him to pass on his new-found knowledge.) and generally had a lot of quality time together. best of all, on sunday night after a long day in the heat and no time for lunch, girlladyfriend led the way to sriphaphai. ann and dabney love her for it.

Auntie Michelle

whenever ann and dabney travel to new york, they just love running into friends - it's such small town, ya know. the renegade craft fair is the perfect excuse to meet up. last year, ann ran into friends she hadn't seen in ages (think high school). this year, was no different (ok, make that college friends). here is ann's old roomie monica, who is currently a williamsburg resident. monica got married in october. ann and dabney were so sad to miss her masquaraded festivities, they were too busy with their own silly costumes 300 miles to the north to attend. nonetheless, they were so happy that she, her new hubbie, and cousin braved the heat on sunday to say hi.

another surprise for the day was cassie, who is a sister of longtime friend susie, and a ny-based actor. ann and dabney just love good surprises.

new friends came by the mogo booth, too. ann and dabney have been following their online friend zeebahtronic for ages now. on sunday, she and her partner, lauren (on the left), stopped by during an afternoon bike ride for a break and a mogo baby tee. ann and dabney were so happy to meet them in the flesh. all four of them seem to share a penchant for outrageous costumes and rollerderby. yay for new williamsburg friends!

Monday, June 19, 2006

where to begin? renegade, part 1

let's just get the heat comments out of the way. IMG_5668 it was hot this past weekend. almost philippines hot. except, in the philippines, ann and dabney aren't setting up tents and sitting all day in said heat to sell their wares.

okay, weather now documented, they had a great weekend. it's amazing what a difference a year makes. last year they showed up, unfolded a table, and laid out a few items and then waited to see what happened.

this year, they went all out. they had thrice the inventory, they hung banners, they displayed posters, they strung dowels - they had nametags for christ sake. walking around the park those two days, they had all those warm fuzzy feelings when making the rounds and waving to people they now know. they were pros! they were amongst their peeps! it felt just as good as when the dry cleaner in their 'hood waves hello as they walk by with feidler. so, hello again sumana! howdy devon! amy! and stella! jennifer! and deb! megan and erin! annie!

The Fred Flare Guys: Keith & Chrisit's just too bad that chris and keith came over to interview ann and dabney for the lovely fredflare video podcast. ann and dabney made complete and utter asses of themselves. they were sweaty, near-deflated messes, not their usual hilarious, articulate selves. if it ever airs, they can only hope that it is edited and edited wisely.

but wait. just when they thought they were done, chris and keith introduced a new, fresh horror. they asked a & d to sing their catchy, stick-in-your-head sparkle pop song. "not to worry," they said, "we'll dub your tone-deaf voices, so the only thing left is the searing image of you both bouncing up and down while dancing and mouthing the words." who could say no to that?

(psst! chris and keith: thanks! you made their day. ann and dabney firmly believe that everybody needs to be humiliated every now and then. plus, you gave them something to obsess over on the three-hour car ride home to boston. the trip flew by.)

a recap of renegade wouldn't be complete without a list of favorites items from the fair. in no particular order:

amy tavern. (both ann and dabney love her jewelry. they finally got to meet her in person and she is sweet, sweet, sweet.)

etui's beautiful prints (while there, ann and dabney finally confessed to julie that her prints are framed and over every inch of their apartment.)

marcie mcgoldrick's porcelain pendants. (dabney bought two and refuses to take them off all summer. four other people they know also snapped up her jewelry.)

the small object. a & d loved sarah's thumbed family portraits. hilarious.

and perhaps best of all, lillet's tatooedcraftygirlscarybirdmonsterplushtoy- the dark horse of the weekend. lillet, craft needs you more than rock n' roll.

Lillet & Monster

Thursday, June 15, 2006

renegades again


this upcoming weekend marks ann and dabney's one-year anniversary as pseudo-professional, alternative, hipster, independent designers-cum-crafters. it was this time last year, under the disguise of "superette," they made their mark at the renegade craft fair in brooklyn forcing their hand-wrought goods on complete strangers.

so if you are in and around the williamsburg area this saturday and sunday, go to booth #111 and wish them happy anniversary.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

tomb of the unknown crafter

ann and dabney never expected that their nemesis would actually do them a favor by forcing them into a new 9 to 5 schedule - that is, they fell asleep at 9 pm and woke at 5 am. at first, they found that waking up before the sun a little perturbing but after a few days, they settled in and found a nice, shiny new work groove.

three weeks later, their 9 to 5 routine had slipped significantly and they realized when it was a struggle to wake at 9:00 am that something had to be done. the cause of their morning lethargy? a & d are convinced it's the darkness of their bedroom. as anyone knows who has ever slept over chez superette, it can sometimes be hard to see one's hand in front of one's face in the light of day, let alone in the pre-dawn hours.

their solution: turn their sunroom (in fact, the only place in their tomb of an apartment that benefits from the sun) into a sleeping porch. with the help of an extra-tall aerobed, and their pillows and sheets, it actually looks like a bedroom.

sleeping porch
morning sunshine

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

renovation nation

just when you thought all ann and dabney did was spend time silkscreening and sitting in front of the sewing machine, here, evidence of one of their bigger works in progress - the renovation of a nearby property that they own. what was once a dark, dingy one bedroom apartment will become a spacious two bedroom with a postage-stamp sized backyard, a real commodity in these here parts.

before demolition began, ann quickly stepped in front of the sledgehammers to take a few "before" shots. the previous tenant lived in this space for 27 whopping years. ann and dabney are convinced that she did not clean once in all that time. you should have seen the piles of stuff that she accumulated in those 27 years and had stuffed in this tiny apartment.

eek. the kitchen.

living room
the living room. check out that marble fireplace and wainscoting. ann and dabney had no idea that these features existed amongst the previous tenant's stuff. once, they walked in and found an industrial-sized copy machine and knee-high piles of paper sitting in the middle of this room.

the bathroom. goodbye, yellow tub and tiles...

bedroom 1
bedroom #1

basement, future home of bedroom 2
the future home of bedroom #2

Monday, June 12, 2006

hej mogo

wouldn't you know it? the one time ann and dabney need a swedish translator and their swedish-inclined, herring-eating, nina persson-loving friend is out-of-town. ashbloem, come home!

mogo appears on a swedish design blog. (june 9, '06)
mogo on swedish blog

Friday, June 09, 2006


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ann and dabney's host in philadelphia was this lovely woman. dani was ann's french, algebra and trigonometry teacher in high school, and maybe more importantly, her neighbor. (ann attended boarding school, and students at her VERY small school lived in VERY close proximity to their teachers). dani - or "ms. a" as ann used to call her back then - was an integral part of ann's adolesence; for a time, ann's favorite activity was hanging out in dani's living quarters chatting, pestering her while she graded papers, and generally being an adolescent nuisance. high school was a tough time for ann. whether she knew it or not at the time, it was important for her to be there, in that room, soaking up dani's own self-confidence and care. teachers were expected to live and breathe the school, so it was no small sacrifice for dani to let a student occupy her private space for hours on end.

not surprisingly, ann and dabney were very well looked after this past weekend. dani stayed up late on friday night awaiting her guests' rainy arrival, woke up at 7 am the next morning just to make sure that they knew where they were going, and cooked a yummy meal for them on sunday evening after their craft fair was all said and done. she also let ann and dabney pick her brain for hours on end about being a landlord.

for dabney, meeting dani gave a glimpse of ann when she was fifteen and awkward, before she was the adult she is now. it was great to hear how school staff watched over ann back then, delivering ann to her all those years later.

ann and dabney now have a little (okay, big) lifestyle crush on dani. she lives well. she knows her city, hangs out with the neighborhood kids, grows her own veggies in the community garden, and restores houses in addition to her full-time job. she is a thoughtful person, acutely aware of how she wants to live her life, and takes responsibility for her place in this world. she is smart about things and people. ann and dabney can only hope that she'll rub off on them.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

mogo is joyful

mogo is featured on today's oh joy!.

mogo on oh joy!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

mogo in philly

ann and dabney returned on monday night with a lighter car, thanks to the hardy shoppers of philadelphia who braved rain and wind on saturday to attend the art star craft bazaar. despite the bad weather on day one, it was a successful weekend. many thanks go out to megan and erin, the owners of the art star boutique and organizers of the fair. their store is super cute, and, after this weekend, mogo goods can be found there! ann and dabney couldn't be more thrilled.

art star 2
inside art star

megan - art star owner
megan, co-owner of art star. erin is not pictured :(

ann and dabney worked the previous week to improve the look of the mogo display. last year at mogo's debut, it was simply some items piled on a table under a tent. this year... violá!... a banner, labels, price tags, posters, acrylic pedestals... what a difference a year can make. and look! mogo even takes credit cards!

art star tent
check out that oh-so-professional looking banner.

art star display
display table with pixelized mogo imagery

baby ts @ art star
tees, tees, tees with labels, label, labels

undoubtedly, one of the highlights of their spectacular weekend was meeting joy of oh joy! fame, one of their favorite blogs. if you haven't already, you should check out her blog. it is filled with great inspiration and fun (and always colorful) stuff.

oh joy
isn't joy cute? if you go to her blog, tell her congratulations, because she is getting married really soon...

kristina, mogo's neighbor on the left. you can find her at junebug in jamaica plain this weekend. a & d promise she's really nice and, not to mention, very talented.

fresh popcorn
jennifer, of fresh popcorn productions, on the right. a & d were loving her silkscreened t-shirts, and had to fight the urge to buy a really cute one with paper clips.

rebecca & george of bakesale designs
the very sweet rebecca (and boyfriend george!) from bakesale designs. rebecca's bags were bright and cheerful. it took great pains for ann to stop herself from buying (and spending newly-earned mogo money) a wristlet featuring a silkscreened mustache.

annie & steve of
ahh... the very styling annie and steve of new on-line boutique imogene. imogene has a wonderfully-curated selection of handmade items - perfect for thoughtful gift giving.

Friday, June 02, 2006

would you like fries with that passport case?

ann and dabney have been busily sewing getting ready for the past week. luckily, they were able to stitch these aprons up before they took off for philadelphia this weekend. now they can say, they are ready for their shift at t.g.i. fridays the art star craft bazaar.

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