Category Archives: rubyfish

new rubyfish items

We sold so many of our Rubyfish Studio items, all we had left were the panties and one dress.  Sophie is SO HAPPY.  So we finally did a couple more things to put up in our teeny tiny shop, a dress, and some more rainbow toe socks.  Check it out:

Aww, she’s so pretty.  This is Sophie’s Evening Moon Rise Dress.

The dress is fleece inside, super soft, and lovely warm for winter.  We dyed it sapphire and purple and then carved stamps for a moon and stars. Sophie did the carving and the stamping.  And, as always, these are her designs.  I’m just the assistant.

Very magical, if you ask me.

And here are the toe socks:

Guaranteed to make you smile, better than prozac, a true mood-lifter and all you have to do is look down at your feet.

I have to admit, I really wanted to keep these.

But my sock drawer is STUFFED with fun socks.  I’m a fun sock kind of gal.

But how about you?  Maybe you need some Happy Socks?

the legion of extraordinary dancers

Prepare to be astounded. And I may be the last person on the internets to find out about these amazing people, but so what, I’m here now.  I saw these dancers on “So You Think You Can Dance” last week (which I love, see last year’s post on the topic here) and got chills.  Chills, I tell you. It’s dancers as Superheroes with Astonishing Powers fighting Epic Battles in the name of Justice.  I mean, what is not to like about that?  If you haven’t seen it, be sure to watch to the end for mind-blowing goodness.

Holy. Shit.

I did not know real humans could do that.

Turns out the Legion have a whole webshow—Sophie and I watched some today, total awesomness. Here’s their site for more on that.

And I’ll leave you with their TED talk, some dancing, some talking, really interesting.

Oh, wait, one more…just for fun, an amazing dancing video, it’s been making the rounds, but I’ve watched it a handful of times and it still rocks in it’s capacity to create wonder. Yo-yo Ma playing, Lil’ Buck dancing, the two of them making ART.

People doing strange things in the name of art never fails to make me happy.

rubyfish rejects

Not really rejects, more…skimming off the top.  You might recall that despite opening our Rubyfish etsy shop, Sophie and I occasionally have a hard time putting the things we make up for sale. We have a tendency to, um, keep half of what we make, snatching it away before it can be listed.  One might think we don’t make much, but really, we’re just greedy.  I thought I’d post a few pictures of items that didn’t make it to the shop…

Here’s a moss green tank with a black lotus stamp that I snagged.

Omg!  My hands are on backwards!  On, no, wait a minute: it’s just reverse namaste.  Plus the little turquoise bracelet Sophie made me for Mother’s Day.  I love this tank, v-neck, super light weight, extra long.

Oh, look at this gorgeous sunflower dress:

We were inspire by a friend’s skirt, but when we were making it, we thought we had totally messed it up—and then it came out great!  That, by the way, is a classic tie-dye experience. We have definite plans to recreate this one for Rubyfish and have been considering some stamp options.  Maybe a grass hopper somewhere along the hem?

Here is a spiral tie-dye we did special request for a family member.  Hi David!  We were trying to match your blue-green eyes…

Here is another use of our lotus stamp.  This shirt was actually Luc’s design.  “I want the fuschia to come up to here on the arms [carefully saws at upper arm] and a fuschia lotus on a black chest.  Can you do that?”

Sophie says, “Yes!”

We’ve really got to make more things and add to our inventory, but it’s so hard to let them go…

rubyfish lives!

Check it out, our little (very very little) etsy shop just went live!  We’ve still got a few more things we can list, and we make new things all the time, of course.  Sophie couldn’t be more proud if she had opened a retail shop in the local mall.  What we have here is little girl with entrepreneurial inclinations, foregoing the traditional lemonade stand in favor of a handmade clothing boutique.  Why not, right?  It’s the internet, land of opportunity.  All the designs are hers, and at least half the work is hers on most of the pieces.  I’m the tech support, safety equipment supplier, roadie, problem solver, and all around grunt in this operation.  I defer to her in all design questions.  Go Sophie!

If you, or someone you know, likes comfortable, colorful yoga/dance/lounge clothes, or little girl twirl around clothes, send ’em to RubyFish pronto.  I can’t imagine what Sophie is going to do when she gets her first sale.  But I’ll let you know when it happens.

sophie’s twilight forest dress

Sophie and I walk Henry through our bit of forest every night.  Lately, the fireflies have been out.  It’s quite magical.  The other day Sophie got inspired to make a twilight firefly dress.  And so we did.

Here is her first design drawing.

The crayon colors are her plan for the dress.  The writing is me, putting down some ideas for dye colors to achieve the result she wants.  We also talked about how to fold/scrunch the dress to get a tree-like effect in the dye pattern.

Then we got out a white dress blank, soaked it in soda ash, made up squirt bottles of dye, scrunched and folded the wet dress, and applied the colors.

Here is the dyed dress:

Next, we started thinking about stamps.  On our next Henry walk, we picked several examples of ferns.  We did rubbings and tracings and drawings from these, until we came up with two designs we liked.  Then we transferred these onto carving block, and carved them out.

Here is Sophie doing some carving.  This kind of block is super-soft.  Very safe for little fingers—you aren’t likely to slip and poke your eye out.

Here are the three final stamps we made for our twilight forest dress.

Isn’t the firefly stamp cute?  Sophie drew the design for that, and I carved it.  It can take dozens of drawings before we pick one we like, but this one came pretty quickly. Here are some of Sophie’s trial drawings and a few test stamps:

Once the stamps are done, we mixed up fabric paint, did some practice runs, and got to stamping.  After we put on the initial stamp pattern, we go back in with a brush and add other colors, such as the gold on the firefly’s bum, or clean up an image if it didn’t come out as clearly as we would like.

Here is the final Twilight Forest dress:

Sophie was very pleased with how it came out!

I think we plan to put this dress up for sale in our Rubyfish shop.  Any thoughts on how much we should charge?  I need to get our tech department (we’ve outsourced it to India) (not) to list it, plus do a post here to announce our grand opening.  We just have a few things to sell, no big plans for world domination through an international fashion empire.  Mostly it’s just fun to make things together.


Art is everywhere!

rubyfish swims slowly upstream

Some of you may recall that Sophie, 7, and I have had plans to open an Etsy shop named Rubyfish where we will sell some of our hand-dyed, hand-stamped, hand-painted clothes. It may seem as though nothing has happened with that, but no. We have been busily (sort of) working behind the scenes, getting ready for a grand opening. No really, we have! We have our logo, our header, we have our federal tax ID number, and we have been dyeing stuff like crazy. Such little worker bees we are!

However. We keep deciding to, ahem, keep our goodies. Like the hot pink “love” panties (stamped with a red heart and hand-painted “love” in white) that I pocketed, or the black so-called “ninja pants” (gold hand-carved stamp of “dragon” in ancient Chinese) that Sophie started wearing. Or the olive dyed, super soft tank-top with a cool black hand-carved lotus stamp on the upper back (I claimed that one). Or the dyed turquoise t-shirt with a stamped and hand-painted green-and-gold dragonfly on the chest (Sophie snagged that the other day, and I can’t blame her, she looks terrific in it). I would take pictures of all these lovelies for you, but they are all in the wash. Because we can’t stop wearing them.

I mentioned this to Sophie this morning and she shrugged and said, “Well, at least it means we like our own art.”

That kid is so smart.