sister style : marissa

September 18, 2014

Summer can be rough for us bloggers. Trying to schedule things like photo shoots suddenly becomes seemingly impossible with everyone going on vacation, having friends & family in town, and just having way more fun things to do than usual. Imagine my delight when the stars aligned recently and I got two of Portland’s cutest cuties together for a super fun Sister Style shoot. Yup that right, I got Marissa Sullivan, Portland’s Pretty herself, to model for photog babe, Shola Lawson, while I tagged along.

Capturing the local street style scene on her blog each week, Marissa is a total sweetheart and the very definition of exuberant. Given our shared love of local fashion and pizza parties, I somehow had a feeling we’d get along. We met up at her adorable apartment in SE Portland, picked out some outfits, and got to snapping -














Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset








photo-70- All photos shot by Shola Lawson in 35mm -


As you can see, Shola captured Marissa’s babe-about-town vibe perfectly as we walked around SE Division and, of course, made a pizza pit-stop at Sizzle Pie on East Burnside. It was such a super pleasure working with these two!


IMG_7450- Mega thank you’s to these super cuties for being such a dream team to work with! -


Be sure to follow Marissa via : blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

and do the same for Shola via : blog Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

look book : lab by laura busony

September 17, 2014

Self-taught metal smith, Laura Busony, caught my attention recently as she readied to unveil her newest LAB by Laura Busony jewelry collection, Hallucinations.

According to Laura, Hallucinations was inspired thusly: ‘Out of our own personal interests in mind altering substances and its effects on consciousness, we created a collection as an homage to one of the many mysterious workings of human perception. This collection will include pieces based on hallucinatory imagery and experiences such as phantom limb syndrome, lucid dreaming, Charles Bonnet Syndrome, purkinje lights, and night terrors’. 

Totally intrigued, I was not disappointed when Hallucinations was released earlier this week. The Ghosties earrings are my favorite pieces from the collection but it’s all pretty rad, including the peyote petal designs which have a certain elegance to them and I love the use of opals throughout the collection -

























For a limited (and unfortunately unspecified) time, Laura is offering 15% off the Hallucinations collection with code NEW4U – so act fast!


September 16, 2014

Summer isn’t over yet- five days remain and I intend to savor the living hell out of each one of them. Even so, I am so psyched that my favorite holiday (Halloween, duh) is approaching. Accordingly, I’m already on the look out for all things odd & creepy which is how I explain this week’s video -



look book : make it good fall/winter 2014

September 15, 2014

Make It Good has been designing and producing hand-printed basics for both men & women in its Portland studio since 2011. After purchasing my first Make It Good dress earlier this year, I haven’t stopped marvelling at it’s easy wearability, high quality construction, and super soft fabric. In fact, after a friend recently asked for recommendations for updating her wife’s wardrobe with stylish pieces fit for an active lifestyle, I steered her towards MIG.

Sure enough, MIG’s autumn/winter offerings feature lots of easy & versatile pieces that can be worn now before the temperatures dip and afterwards with the addition of tights and sweaters. I especially love their abstract prints and have my eye on the Shapes & Lies boat neck dress and the Shattered Pleated V-Neck dress for my own seasonal wardrobe update!



























MIG15- Photos by George Barberis -



September 11, 2014


super moon- Source -


What a crazy couple of weeks it’s been! With some really big changes a-brewing in my life, I’ve been busy tying up loose ends … and then there was my sojourn earlier this week in the totally off-grid Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center for intense super moon gazing with friends.

I know I alluded to a little hiatus the other week but it feels weird leaving the blog dormant this long and I thought I had best pop in and announce that posts will resume next week as usual. Thank you for your patience and please check back on Monday!


miscellany : serpentfire tarot

September 5, 2014




My interest in tarot was first sparked after a family friend gifted me a deck on my thirteenth birthday. Since then I have dabbled with the cards on and off and I love telling people that those same cards told me I was going to marry my husband. We began dating in our very early twenties and after only a few weeks I became curious about what was in store. You can imagine my surprise when the cards read marriage! All previous readings I had done regarding suitors had been correct in those relationships not going anywhere so I honestly expected the same result with that reading. Six years later we were wed.

Last year I decided to really delve into the tarot. I read ‘78 Degrees of Wisdom‘ by Rachel Pollack, which had been sitting on my bookshelf for a good ten years already; it was a gift from my grandmother who got pretty into tarot herself at one point. It’s super dense and took me months to get through but it was a fascinating read! Really though, I learn best via personal instruction so I was thrilled when local tarot reader, Alana Jevert, offered a few beginners classes last month.

I met Alana and her business partner, Suzy, earlier this year when I interviewed and photographed them for a VGS Rad Lady feature. Aka Psychic Siamese Terror, Alana & Suzy are total sweethearts who really know their stuff. I have had a great time learning all about the tarot this summer and it was during one of these classes that Alana busted out the Serpentfire deck, pictured here.

Created by Montreal based artist, Devany Wolfethe Serpentfire deck features her original collage art, which she says pays homage to the sacred feminine. Given that neon is my favorite color, I was especially drawn to the intensely colored, psychedelic quality of the cards which were inspired by the desert -






Worried at first about using a deck other than my own, which has pretty standard illustrations, I quickly found that the symbolism Devany uses totally translates. I wasn’t confused or lost at all and feel using a new deck with new art ended up helping me understand each card more.

Really, the deck is a work of art- I’ll be dropping hints to my husband as our anniversary and the holidays near. Perfect gift, right? Psychic Siamese Terror are one of only two official retailers selling the Serpentfire deck in the United States and have them in their webshop now. This deck was produced on a very limited scale so I would advise to get yours before they’re gone. (And while you’re at it, be sure to pick up a PST t-shirt! I have one and it’s seriously the most comfortable tee I own AND I get complimented on it all the time.)


As PST says, Spellbound & Hellbound!



August 29, 2014




You may have noticed that it’s been pretty quiet around here this week. I have a couple of posts planned for next week but overall content is probably going to be light for a little while. Sorry to be cryptic but big changes are under way and that is definitely a good thing. Please continue to watch this space!

(As always, you can see what I’m up to / what I’m digging on InstagramPinterest and Tumblr.)

Allison Burt-Tilden


August 26, 2014

As the Equinox approaches, I’m finding myself heavily inspired by pagan earth magic vibes in the domestic sector. This Grimes video is providing some great visual and aural inspiration as I envision my coming autumn. Looks like I’ll be rolling around in a lot of leaves! Yeah, probably not but I do foresee my soaking up some serious forest juju when we visit Opal Creek next month. In the mean time, who wants to come over and make smudge sticks with sage from my garden?


rad ladies : marjorie skinner

August 22, 2014


image- Photo by Jesse Champlin -


I was recently asked about my current aspirations and after answering that I’m working towards something fashion-related, I was asked in all seriousness when I would be moving to the East Coast. There are actually many reasons why I don’t need to move to the East Coast to puruse my goals. That said, I understand not everyone is aware of the fashion industry / community we’ve already got right here in Portland, or that that community is serious about it’s work and actively seeking avenues to grow to levels on par with the stalwart fashion communities in New York and LA.

While that is still a work in progress, there are definitely awesome things happening here right now and at the forefront of that coverage is Marjorie Skinner, Managing Editor at local alt-weekly, The Portland Mercury. I’ve been following Marjorie’s regular fashion & arts column, Sold Out, for a while now to garner news about local fashion lines and events (including the annual Open Season fashion show which Marjorie produces) and to keep up on discussions about the challenges facing the local fashion community in it’s pursuit of growth. For me, Marjorie is a perfect Rad Lady candidate and I was thrilled when she agreed to an interview. (Insert Wayne & Garth voices here: I’m not worthy!!)


VGS: At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be / were a writer?

MS: There was no singular “aha” type moment. Writing was always what I most excelled at in school and was encouraged to do. If anything it came when I started college, and considered becoming a psychology major. That lasted about a year before I went running back into the arms of English literature!


VGS: Has fashion always been an interest? How did you get into fashion writing?

MS: Fashion was always a personal interest, and never something I expected would be part of my professional life. My background is in writing, criticism, and the arts, but it came about that I was starting at the Mercury during the time that Seaplane was becoming active and beginning to garner some national press. As a magazine that emphasized the local arts so heavily I felt it was an oversight not to include an independent apparel design scene that was doing such remarkable things. Basically I pitched it to my editor, he said okay, and it snowballed from there.


VGS: What was your path to your current job?

MS: Honestly, I kind of fell into it. I graduated from Reed College and was eager to use my English degree. I felt the obvious thing to pursue was teaching, but that didn’t hold much appeal for me. I got a part-time job at a book store and just walked into the Mercury cold—it was the local publication that I most identified with, though I wasn’t an avid reader. I just recognized that it was something I could do, and that would hold my interest. I began with an internship, and as I learned more about the process that feeling of recognition intensified. After a couple months the internship became a part-time job, and after a year or so of that it became a full-time job. As our staff has grown and changed over the years, my position has continued to evolve. I think it’s key that the paper was also very young when I started, so in a sense we’ve been able to grow up and change together.


VGS: In general, what are your thoughts on Portland’s fashion / maker scene?

MS: That is general! Obviously I think we have a really fruitful scene here, and there are debatable reasons why Portland has been able to foster that. I’m proud of the fact that the quality of work and taste level here holds up against that of larger cities, and I know that our scene is part of the Portland dream that draws so many people here to live and visit. The trick is in how to retain that industry, especially when one of its hallmarks is the participation of people whose business plans aren’t necessarily traditional. I think a lot of old models are breaking down as far as how one should pursue a career in design/making, and that’s a scary but exciting thing, and a complicated discussion that’s been going on in various capacities for years. It’s an ongoing struggle, but I try not to lose sight of its value to the city and to all of us who live here. The fact is also that people are making money off of the existence of these small makers, and many people have a stake in protecting them from disappearing, whether they realize it directly or not.


VGS: There has been much discussion lately regarding Portland’s fashion industry. What do you think are the biggest issues that need addressing to keep things moving forward?

MS: The thing that keeps coming up is that many apparel designers need more business education, but I also think consumer education and investment are ongoing concerns.


VGS: What are your biggest inspirations currently?

MS: I tend to pull inspiration from all over, especially from musicians, folklore, film, and social media. I love the personal insights and travel journaling that Instagram has been able to afford. I use it almost exclusively for inspiration and window shopping.

VGS: What is your biggest challenge in staying motivated and how do you overcome it?

MS: The biggest challenge is that in some sense it’s hard to mark progress when you’ve been working for the same company, writing about the same community, producing the same fashion shows, etc. for 10+ years! The fact is I can basically say that I’ve almost never been bored, and I am aware of how immense a privilege that is.


VGS: What’s your favorite place to grab a burger in Portland?

MS: I only dabble in the dark meats, but my favorite veggie burger is actually at Club 21. I think veggie burgers in general are kind of uninspiring, but theirs is really good!



image- Photo by Holly Stalder -


Huge thanks to Marjorie!

You can follow her via The Portland Mercury MOD blog | Instagram @mjskinner800 | Twitter @mjskinner800

indie designers : print all over me

August 20, 2014

The concept behind Print All Over Me is simple but oh so fantastic: By allowing anyone to upload their designs for print onto any or all of the items featured in their seasonal collections of blank apparel (and sometimes objects), Print All Over Me effectively offers the tools needed to create, produce and share one’s own designs for up to six months at a time. I discovered PAOM via an illustrator whose work I am totally obsessed with and quickly found that many talented designers and illustrators are utilizing PAOM to create ranges they would presumedly not have the opportunity to produce otherwise. At the very least, it creates new options which is always a good thing.

Production occurs in PAOM’s factories in Georgia, USA and Shanghai, China. With overseas production a major concern for me, I confirmed that PAOM employs their workers ethically, ensuring all employees receive health care benefits while making at least four times the fair minimum wage.

Currently the seasonal items up for customization include tanks & tees, a linen beach towel, one piece swimsuit, and summer skirts, dresses and shorts. The available designs (which include past seasonal items too, like the shift dress I’ve featured many times below) number in the thousands and range from awesome to not-so-awesome but that’s really the beauty of PAOM- anyone can play designer. Here are some of my current faves -


Designs by Will Bryant -












Designs by Buried Diamond -








Designs by Josep Prat Sorolla -








Designs by The Young Never Sleep -


























Designs by Jessica Edmiston -





















Designs by Tyler Spangler -












As you can see, there is a great deal of variety available and that’s just fine for this pattern addict!

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