Friday, September 30, 2011

Animal Homes & Sasquatch Sightings in Marfa

I am so happy to see our beautiful photographs again.  They look even greener here in Marfa.

Please join me for an opening reception at Fancy Pony Land
Thursday October 6th, 6-8pm

These photographs are a collaboration between me, Wes Cleaver, Caroline Rankin and Ricki Hill.  I started thinking about them last summer while walking in the woods at Mt. Rainier.  The roots of trees form perfect archways for imaginary animal homes.  Some of them really do house chipmunks and golden mantled ground squirrels.  I thought it would be funny to make entryways and awnings for the holes and leave them in the forest.  I immediately knew this was a project Caroline and I should work on together.  We quickly realized we could make the homes but would need to document them somehow if anyone but squirrels was to see them.  We asked our good buddy Wes Cleaver, a perfectionist photographer from Chicago, to come out to Mt. Rainier and take the pictures.  Ricki Hill, his lovely wife and our frequent co-conspirator, made a bunch of the adorable props in the photos and packed them perfectly for carry-on.  Caroline and Ricki and I met up in August in San Francisco for our show at the Curiosity Shoppe.  I also made felt forest murals, a installation of bracket fungus, pinecone shingle jewelry and moss terrariums with tiny houses inside made of sticks and bark.

My good friend Gina Coffman has an 8 foot tall animatronic gorilla.  And the best part is that you can take the fur suit off and it looks suspiciously like Sasquatch.  We had talked for several years about how Gina wanted to see the suit out walking in the woods.  This summer, with the help of Seth Damm, this dream became a reality.  We took these photographs with a Bushnell motion-activated wildlife camera.  These are the kind of cameras you use to take pictures at a feed station or watering hole.  They go infrared at night and you get those awesome blown-out alien eyed surprised animal portraits.  You can set the number of shots it takes once activated and the interval between shots.  We used it hand-held.

We also took a video with a basic digital camera.  Tom Brierly edited the video into an eerie loop of Sasquatch striding forever through the forest.  The video was projected at night in the front window of the Curiosity Shoppe for the benefit of people stumbling home from the bars.  I'm hoping to get it up and running in Marfa next week.

I made these photos into a set of postcards which you can buy at Fancy Pony Land for $10.  I'm also working on a calendar, but we'll see if it ends up for 2012 or 2013.

Once again, I have to say how much I love working on these projects with friends. 
 Art + friendship = happiness

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Animal Homes & Sasquatch Sightings

Animal Homes & Sasquatch Sightings
photographs, video and installation objects from the moss world of Mt. Rainier

The Curiosity Shoppe
855 Valencia St. (between 19th & 20th)
San Francisco, CA 94110

opening reception Friday August 19th 6-9pm

Lorna Leedy
Wes Cleaver
Caroline Rankin
Ricki Hill
Gina Coffman
Seth Damm
Thomas R. Brierly

curated by Lorna Leedy

Friday, June 24, 2011

Flag Show on etsy

I have been meaning to post all the pictures of the flag show since MARCH.  I really will do it too.
In the meantime here's a piece Karen Bernstein did about My Personal Flag for etsy.
Fancy Pony Land Presents "My Personal Flag"
I just looked at it again and read all the comments and was totally blown away by the response.
People really liked this show, and so did I.

This flag is by Caroline Rankin, but sold immediately.  Sorry.
You can see more of her awesome work at
and at her etsy shop imaginary showroom

Friday, June 17, 2011

There's a feature on Fancy Pony Land in today!

When in Rome (and Everywhere Else): Vogue’s 20 Favorite Shops in 20 Cities

This is pretty much the realization of a life goal for me.  I have always dreamed of being in Vogue!  Digital is not quite the same as glossy print, but very exciting for me all the same.  It's VOGUE dammit!
I love that Fancy Pony Land and Marfa are featured right up there with London, Buenos Aires, Milan, Tokyo etc.

Monday, March 14, 2011

This weekend at Fancy Pony Land

Very eagerly anticipating the flag-raising.  Today we start scheming on the flag hanging arrangement and methods.  Flag-makers and good friends Seth Damm and Nick Terry have generously agreed to help me with the hanging, for which I am most grateful.  Will it be diagonal runs or rows of garlands?  Staggered height?  Flags have been arriving every day and they are pretty amazing.  There are flags from my dad, aunts, uncles and cousins, my kindergarten teacher, someone I made a wedding dress for, and some people I've never met who, no doubt, will soon become friends.  

Also this weekend I am happy to welcome my favorite New Orleans designer and good friend, Andrea Loest, for a trunk show at Fancy Pony Land. Andrea will be presenting a sample sale of one of a kind garments based on material explorations and new garments based on reinterpretations of existing garments.  She will arrive Friday afternoon and set up, so if you want to get an early peek, come by late afternoon on Friday.  The trunk show runs Saturday the 29th & Sunday the 20th 12-6pm at Fancy Pony Land.  Some of her work will remain at the store after the show.  I can't WAIT to see what new stuff she's been up to!

Andrea and I met in New Orleans in 2005.  We immediately hit it off and started doing trades.  She made me an amazing one of a kind "Fiancee" dress which I wore to my engagement celebration dinner at Jacques-Imo's in New Orleans (she got this flying penises bandage dress with rhinestones).  We collaborated on a line of tops years ago--my tops with her silkscreens and my appliques.  Highly collectible no doubt.  We also did the Austin City LImits Festival together and shared a booth.  She approaches design in a very conceptual and narrative manner and is always working on big questions and big projects.  She's also a total independent and the rare combination of artist and business woman.  

her bio:

Andrea Loest is an artist and fashion designer who currently lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She recently received her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa. Her interdisciplinary art practice explores the intersections of art, retail, and garment, while her ready to wear collection and stage performances have been exhibited in New York, Amsterdam, and London.  More information on the artist is available at

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Personal Flag

I'm working on a new show called My Personal Flag.  I am very very excited about this project.
So far more than 50 people are making their own personal flags.
The show will open at Fancy Pony Land on March 18th and be up until we leave in May.  
We'll have an opening reception the evening of March 19th.

It's been really interesting talking with the different artists involved about their takes on flags.  Flags as political tools, emblems of nationalism, symbols of identity much like tattoos, communication devices like ship signal flags, advertising.  Others have talked about the technical issues of visibility and boldness.
I have been thinking about flag-waving in terms of enthusiasm.  I see flags as a big "hello!" or "I'm here!".  I'm thinking about planting flags on the tops of mountains, newly explored territories, the moon.  You can look at it as imperialistic or as a big old shout to the universe.  Sort of a shout against death, of course.  
I see flags as an essentially positive and life-affirming symbol.  Also kind of sad and cute; what a tiny thing to wave in the face of nothingness.
The flags I am making are cheerful and a little silly.  I am making two Fancy Pony Land flags that will become signs for my store and a series of word flags.  I can't WAIT to see what everybody else makes.

Here are the people who have pledged flags:

Alexandra Annello
Alyce Santoro
Amanda Barr
Andrea Loest
Anne Senstad
Ann Marie Nafzinger
Anthony DeSimone
Beth Murray
Buck Johnston
Camella Clements 
Camp Bosworth
Caroline Rankin
Cat Downs
Dave Leedy
Elizabeth Fisher
Elizabeth Worcester
Elliot Coon
Faith Gay
Gina Coffman
Hilary Dupont
JD DiFabbio
Jonathan Mergele
Karen Longshore
Kathy Schott
Kevin Taylor
Leslie Wilkes
Louise Riley
Maryam Amiryani
Matt Vis
Megan Whitmarsh
Meghan Gerety
Michael Bianco
Molly Maguire
Nancy Downs
Nate Manny
Natalie Nicholls
Nick Mamood
Nick Terry
Nicki Ittner
Ricki Hill
Sarah Fontaine
Seth Damm
Shawn Hall
Siobhan Feehan
Susannah Lipsey
Tom Brierly
Tom Leedy
Tony Campbell
Valerie Arber
Will Hemmings

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Animal Ball

Last year one of my New Year's resolutions was that I wanted to work on a non-business creative project with friends.  Something fun and not my own.  So it was very fortuitous when my friend Tiana Hux contacted me last spring about designing the costumes for her new show, Animal Ball.  My good friends Judy Bolton & Sarah Borealis were signed on to perform in the show, which made it even more fun.


Sarah Borealis as the vixen & Judy Bolton as the bunny

Tiana is a rapper and performance artist, a wildly talented individual and an old friend from New Orleans days.  She asked me to look at Hummel figurines and the illustrations of Maurice Sendak--one of my all-time favorite illustrators.   

This is right up my alley.  People dressed as animals or turning into animals, dark fairy tales, creepiness, cuteness.  

I spent the summer working on the costumes.  I designed head to toe looks and worked with Elizabeth Fisher to make them from scratch.  

Tiana as the dog/wolf & Judy the bunny

Elizabeth made the bunny costume and Tiana's sporty lederhosen.  Marcus Bronson, who makes masks and costumes and music, made the amazing headpieces based on my drawings.  He also created the music for Tiana's show.

 owl headpiece by Marcus Bronson

This was such a fun project.  Each character has gloves or mittens with hand-stitched vinyl claws and fur.  
Tiana's dog/wolf and the owl character have hand-painted fur and feather leotards.  This was a great chance to use the "marks" idea I was making over the summer, which will be a major part of the new collection I'm working on right now.
There were also "puppets" that the characters used to tell parts of the story as they danced.  These are the felt shapes you see on some of the costumes.  They are based on the idea of a felt board.

The owl has a feather cape with gorgeous coque feathers generously donated by Abby Arauz and the Feather Place

Tiana is hoping to take this show on the road in the next year so hopefully it will be coming to a city near you.  There will also be a video out sometime soon.

These pictures were taken by the fabulous Shannon Brinkman at the premiere of Animal Ball at Preservation Hall in New Orleans

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


                                                                     dark rainbow dress
                                                                             rainbow skirt
                                                                     red hot top & skirt

Elizabeth and I have been busy in the shop lately with bandage skirts and dresses.  I am pretty excited about some of these new color combinations.  
It's been in the 70s the past few days and I am ready for spring.
The bandage rosettes have changed over the years.  They've tightened up, become more symmetrical and regular.  Also denser.  And the skirt shape has gotten narrower.  We've really got it down at this point.
I've been making bandage skirts since the fall of 2002.  I started making them when I first lived down in Redford, TX on the Rio Grande.  The landscape was just so wild all around you is geology really telling a story.  Also I was reading about Georgia O'Keeffe and her landscapes and thinking about the sort of dissected layer look of her flowers.  I started tearing up some Indian cotton voile into strips, then cutting into pieces.  I sewed them into a variety of shapes and patterns in the beginning--stripes! Then I settled on the "rosette" shape I use now, which had a nice deconstructed quilt look and also an O'Keeffe flower feel.  My friends Matt Vis and Kirsha Kaechele came down and visited during that time and Matt said, "let me get this straight.  You're tearing up fabric, then sewing it back into fabric?  That's a little crazy."  
Still crazy after all these years.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Krista's wedding outfit

      Krista & Adam Bork got married December 18th 2010.  It was a really good wedding. 

                         I made Krista's wedding outfit, the one she wore for the ceremony

It is made from Indian silk that I got at Sarpal Cotton Plus, my favorite Indian fabric store in Vancouver, BC.  It's a special custom pencil skirt (sari silk) with a back slit and a sheer silk chiffon (sari scarf fabric) tunic top with a scarf neck that loops in the back and dangles down sort of like a train.  

This was the first time I'd worked with silk in YEARS and it was an intense process.  

At one stage, I made a sample out of some of Suzanne Tick's amazing interiors fabric.  She was kind enough to give me a bag of duplicate sample swatches to think about and this was the first use.

It was also the first time I'd made a wedding dress that was not one of my bandage dresses.  
I wanted to make something for Krista that was really her, really something she'd be comfortable in and that expressed her.  I loved this process of collaboration and thinking through someone else's style.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I started Fancy Pony Land in January 9 years ago.  3 years ago in January I opened the studio store.
Happy January!