Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ok, okay, O-K

So, if ya know me, you know I love to cook and eat food. I went to school to learn about it even. I cook at home quite often and it makes me happy. I have no ambition to work in a restaurant or anything, maybe I'd own one someday though. After I've made my millions and I can afford not to care that it makes no money of course. Rather, I just like to cook for my lady and I. I can be as messy and unorganized as I want to be, and I often am. I can take as much time as I want to, and I often do and she makes no complaints. She just lets me do my thing. Sometimes I won't start cooking until like 8 or 9 on a school night and we won't end up eating until like 11. That's because we're uber Euro.

As far as what I like to cook, it varies. I was trained in a classical French style so I do enjoy making foods using those techniques. But I also am really drawn to Southeast Asian cuisines. I love working with typical Thai ingredients and trying to make it approachable to Steph and her decidedly non spicy palette while still being able to impart the kick of hot chilies that I crave. I also try my best to make the food look as pretty as I can using our crazy mismatched plates and flatware.
We have a kitchen table, but I love that we take our meals at the coffee table while sitting on the floor. Hey, it works for us.

After I have finally finished creating the only thought that is going through my mind is "I hope this doesn't suck and that she likes it." It makes me really happy when all the elements work together and she does in fact say "it's yummy.". Sometimes she will get out the camera and take pictures of things, I actually really appreciate that she thinks to do that. I guess I never do it simply because my intentions when cooking are centered on: 1. We need to eat something. 2. I hope she likes it. 3. I hope I like it. rather than how to present this to the world.

With that being said I usually never draw attention to the fact that I do these things. But that's not to say I'm trying to be selfish about it. Anyway today Steph just posted this today about last nights dinner. It made me realize that she does in fact enjoy my 'hot stove slav'in' and that it is ok to post a recipe every now and then because maybe someone else would enjoy it. So I think I will try to do this more often and have fun with it. In fact I have planned out this weeks meals and tonight is Curry night. We'll see what happens.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Packaging. It's all about the packaging.

Here's a little preliminary sketch I worked up. It's a canvas bag that we plan on making to ship shirts in. I'm not 100% sure of what the fabric will be yet. It has to be cheap, easy to work with and somewhat durable. My initial thoughts are "Hey dude, Canvas. Go with Canvas." All right that sounds fine. Anyway without further adieu.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

The four color shuffle

Thursday night at the Fondu Pot was most productive for us. Minus the slow up we experienced at our local Kinkos when trying to print out some transparencies it was super efficient and a lot of fun. Andy, Alex and I tested our first mutli-color prints and it came out far better than expected. Andy improved the designs immensely by adding a half-tone under layer which gives the prints a little bit more depth and picks up the fine details a little bit more. Alex was great in getting the screens to line up properly. The final print was quite successful. It's sample worthy. The color palette we used needs a little tweaking, such as the red, it's a lil dark and needs to pop a bit more. Now we just need to add some of our branding details, such as our printed label which will be sewn onto the lower front part of the shirt. Also, we'll screen print our logo on the inside of the neckline. Lastly since this is from our proposed story line series, we'll be screen printing text on the inside lower front of the shirt so that when you flip up the shirt it will reveal a small part of an overall story.

I think we all agree that the American Apparel 50/50 shirts are amazingly soft and their fit is awesome. The only drawback is because they are such a thin shirt things screen printed on the inside will pretty much show through. That's not so good. So I've ordered a few of the classic American Apparel shirts as these are a bit thicker and will be better for designs with inside printing. For sure we'll be using the 50/50 for our one off single print pieces.

Steph and I might buy one of those little Japanese screen printing machines so that we can easily do labels and hang tags with a bit less fuss.

Also, all production items will be printed using water based ink.

And at the end of the post is a little tune that I have had stuck in my head for days. it needed to get out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fondu Update. Note to Self

I'm really quite taken by small clothing companies that have taken their brands to that critical next level, the "it's now my job" level. I think most of all I'm really attracted to the branding aspect, because in my head it's everything. From the clothes themselves to the look and feel of the site etc. It's all about cleverly branding everything so as to attain a cohesion between all aspects of the business.

To me anybody can design and sell a Tshirt. If you look at all of the "Busted T" styled sites, that's often the case. It just kills me when I see a T Shirt for sale and whoever is selling it hasn't even bothered to remove the tag from the manufacturer (Hanes Beefy T). UGH! It's all in the details and if you don't care about them then I just don't understand.

AS for the Fondu, it's been going well lately I think. We've finally started some test prints and it looks like our set up will be more than adequate for our needs. The prints are turning out well and just need some fine tuning. I don't mind taking it slow either because I want to get this all done the right way. Plus when you're bootstrapping it, you have to take things as they come. If we had limitless resources that would be different. So we muddle through. We're on to something good here.

As far as some fine examples of good branding and just how cleanly everything flows together to make the whole image of the company, slick here are some examples:

Loyal Army Clothing These guys are great. Steph loves these guys. True the whole brand is marketed towards the teenage "cute" girl crowd and not so much for boys, especially ones my age. Then again, Steph rocks clothes made for bubbly 15 year old girls like nobodys business. Loyal Army is located here in S.F. and they manufacture locally which is awesome and something I strive to do. They recently opened a brick n' mortar in the Haight. As an aside, long ago when my buddy and I were dabbling in clothing lines, we were discussing using the name "Royal Army."

Babycakes Clothing comes to us from far, far away in a land of Druids. The U.K. Babycakes, is another example of starting small and building the brand until you get big. Their designs are uber flashy. I think they like going to electroclash parties. Anyway, I their stuff looks very clean, it's just uber loud but that's the brand they've built up. They've also heard that having peeps with good style and nice hair model your clothes is a good idea. I totally subscribe to that theory.

Lastly, we come to my favorite current brand I am Colin This guy just has it down. He's also from the U.K. and he makes clothes for super electro-nerds, basically clothes for me. I think dude is in the AD game for his day job so it doesn't surprise me he'd have a firm grasp on how to brand things properly. As for his lgo, meh, I'm really not into the whole skull n crossbones thing. I've thought it was played out since it started to become popular. His logo is a pretty clever play on it though.

So yeah, it's nice to have some successful models to kind of gauge things by. No biting, just a litmus test to hold up against our own stuff.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spice Odyssey: Exploring the Burning Tongues of Saturn.: Hic-c-ups of burning.

Spice Odyssey: Exploring the Burning Tongues of Saturn.: Hic-c-ups of burning.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Radio Show will air on Sunday!!!!!

I just got an advance link for the show which goes up on Sunday. It's like looking into the future a little bit. Anyway visit our direct link DJ HANABI and have a listen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Last night Steph and Manda and I were out on the town eating lasagna. I'm not sure how the subject came up or why but I suddenly remembered that during the 1920's-1940's there was a form of restaurant that catered to and was very popular with factory workers called the Automat. This is also the word for machine gun in Russian. Weird. But I digress, Sadly just as factory workers in the U.S. have gone the way of the Dodo so has the Automat. Oh wait. What's an Automat you say? It was a very early form of a "fast food" type restaurant. It was essentially a bank of small coin operated windows behind which a patron would find all different foods. Automats were minimally staffed, self serve and usually open very late to accommodate late shifts. I have to wonder if the rise of the suburbs and the consequential drive thru fast food chains effectively killed the very urban Automat? I suppose I'll save that little gem of research paper subject in case I should find the need to write a paper anytime soon. As it turns out the Automat is still a very popular thing in the Netherlands. If you've ever been to Amsterdam I guess you'd probably think that makes a lot of sense. It's because the dutch are weird. My love for cooking goes deep, but not deep enough to want to do something crazy like open a restaurant. That is until we started discussing this. Steph coined the name of the new place, it'd be called "Auto-Matt." Sweet! So I did a little research on a lark and it turns out there is a new Automat chain recently opened in New York called Bamn Like I said it's a chain and $200K gets your foot in the franchise door. Anybody want to invest in one of my many dreams? Anyway the pics are in no particular order. The outdoor and across the street looking pic is from Amsterdam and no I didn't take it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Vday Ball 2, originally uploaded by TWiNKiE CHAN.

After an evening at Gary Danko and opting for four courses instead of three. I always insist on taking my lady to a fancy $1000 a ticket charity ball. I'm just that kind of guy. Ok, so it didn't exactly happen quite that way but the Gary Danko, 4 courses, my lady and the charity ball were real.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fondu Pot is a go!

Last night we did a test print and I have to say that it came out looking amazing. It's a two color image and unfortunately while we were trying to figure out the burn time for our screens we kind of went a little long and consequently the transparency of base image got a bit faded and therefore, well to make long story short the image didn't print all the way through. Anyway have a looksee. It's only going to get awesome-er. Also I'm including a pic of the actual image.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Spice Odyssey: Great Balls of Fire in the Portland.

Spice Odyssey: Great Balls of Fire in the Portland.