The Small Batch List
September 21st, 2018

Five thoughts for a busy week:

1) Oh fashion! Oh kooky girls in frills and Laura Ashley prints and bonnets! How I love thee, you are so extraordinary. I hear tell that the U. P. G. or Urban Prairie Girl has been making an appearance on the catwalks and pavements of New York and London. She may look a little like she has just crawled out of a doomsday cult's end-of-the-world bunker, but I can't help but kind of love it, mostly because it makes me say "What? Is this for real??". Yes, we all wore these dresses totally without irony in the 1970s, clutching rag-dolls while we drank orange juice with too much pulp. Yes, we revisited this look again in the very early 1990s, this time dripping with (mostly try-hard) irony, always with Doc Martens, a snarl and a PJ Harvey record under an arm. And now here it is again. I loved this article about Batsheva Hay in The New Yorker last week. New York designer, Orthodox Jew and lover of vintage frills up to her chin and down to her ankles, has just come out with her fall collection of eye-popping frocks.

I love that part of her inspiration is the slapdash style of the young mums in her neighbourhood "who throw on anything before heading out the door". Hay explains that “you’re just, like, ‘Let’s get our snacks together, and our wipes, and let’s go,’ and then you run into someone and you’re kind of embarrassed, you know?” She goes on to say that “it’s about freezing that ‘Don’t look at me’ moment and being, like, ‘Maybe that looks cool?’ ” 

2) This last week I started a job. An actual job. I now spend time working in shop. It's a very beautiful shop, full very special things and I work with really lovely people - but it's been 24 years since I last worked in retail and I can tell you, it's a total personal culture shock. The idea is that I am taking the pressure off my creative work to create a viable income. I have been trying that creativity=money thing for a long time and it has caused me to make some strange decisions and compromises. I'm now at the point where I am not even really sure what my creative work actually is. I am hoping this new direction will give me the opportunity to make things, write things, draw things and sew things simply because I want to. If one of these things helps me one day hit a vein of gold, so be it. In the mean time, you'll find me desperately trying to figure out how to charge a credit card, print a gift certificate, process a return, all while smiling and creating a delicately constructed cluster of tissue and ribbon in a gift bag. I think I can do it... not quite sure yet.

I am following Liz's advice:
Elizabeth Gilbert on Distinguishing Between Hobbies, Jobs, Careers, & Vocation.
H/T Erin <3 

3) The Magnificent Anders(s)ons - The Look of Reality - If you are a fan of Wes Anderson films, this is an interesting 15 minutes video about the use of his particular style, influences and aesthetic. It also compares him to the always inventive Swedish director Roy Andersson, who has an equally specific idea about style and approach.

4) The Herald Sun's Kids News website has recently launched a new bookclub. This month Jen Storer's Truly Tan, Baffled! Is the featured book - with the first three chapters available to read for free it's a very easy way to get a little sample of Tan! My illustrations are in situ so that's an nice added bonus. 

5) In need of a little atmosphere? Unclassified on BBC 3 is back every Sunday night with another six part series..."An exciting new generation of unclassified composers and performers, breaking free of the constraints of practice rooms and concert hall." Thank you to Small Batch reader Jo for emailing me this suggestion. 

See you next week!

Claire Robertson,
The Small Batch List

Person with a keyboard


p.s. 100 points for guessing the quote in the subject line! If you guessed last week's was from somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond by e. e. cummings, you are one of my favourite people.

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