Tuesday, November 30, 2010


When I was a teenager, a friend sent me a jackalope postcard from South Dakota. It was a couple years before I realized these little guys did not, in fact, exist and part of me is still a little heartbroken over it. Tonight, I am back at home, rifling through a dead friend of my mother's glorious collection of vintage slips and petticoats that have been bequeathed to me. The bag also included some beautiful hankerchiefs I plan to use in my pillows. I feel slightly voyeuristic, pillaging the unmentionables drawer from someone I sort of knew, but everything is almost in pristine rarely worn condition. Otherwise, I took a nap this afternoon in my own glorious bed and have made five batches of French Market soaps, including Apricot, which is one of my favorites but sans oatmeal this time around. I ordered a boatload of supplies this weekend, including some vintage cigarette cards I am thinking of using for a little project, candle wax, coins for cufflinks, jewelry findings and a new lip balm base with beeswax. I also finally had enough cash to restock the postcard varieties and order some new business cards. Now lets hope I actually have time to make this stuff...

Monday, November 29, 2010

thrift store haul

I've been nursing a severe case of cabin fever, due to it just being way too damned cold to head out into the cruel holiday frenzied world. But today was moderately tolerable, so we hit up a couple of our favorite thrifting haunts.

things procured:

lavender floral china plates
assortment of cute animal framed pic and plaques
a sweet little wooden bird
assortment of pillowcases and sheets for fabric harvesting
a pretty chipped flowered bowl for holding odds and ends
stack of rose dessert bowls
adorable ceramic raccoon
beige pyrex mixing bowl (sorry, but I think I am going to have to keep this one)

*pics forthcoming, but I didn't bring my camera on this trip, so they will have to wait til I am back in the city whereupon you shall find them in the shop...)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

yes, this

this photo by Francesca Woodman makes me both gloriously happy and very uneasy at the same time..

Saturday, November 27, 2010

fancy new look

I had some extra time tonight and decided that the splash page for the dgp main site needed a little sprucing up (all of those blissful vacation hours have to be spent somehow usefully, right?). It used to take you directly into the books and let you navigate out of there, but I decided to add some more clickable images that take you more easily to all things dancing girl (the books, wicked alice, the shop, this blog, my website, etc.) This makes at least a little more of a central landing strip for everything. I'm also going to be tweaking and cleaning up some of the main pages on the site.

Friday, November 26, 2010

all weekend!

@ dulcet

The season has once again snuck up on us, so in honor of etsy's nifty new coupon code availability, we'll be doing an across the board 25% off on all purchases--a perfect opportunity to pick up the latest chapbooks, the perfect gift for your favorite art/bookish/vintage loving friend, or maybe a little something for yourself (after all, the holidays are hard work, you deserve a treat..)

Sale starts on Thanksgiving Day and goes through Monday...just enter "holidaysale2010" upon checkout.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

a little list things I am thankful for this year, from the sacred to the mundane:

my crazy sprawling family
work friends
poetry friends
romantic friends
mongrel kitties
this gorgeous city
my cozy apartment
good health
design blogs
down comforters
used bookstores
papery things
my studio space
mary janes
dgp authors
beautiful things
lake michigan
long hot showers
really good mexican food
vintage dresses
hot chocolate
white stacks of printer paper
wool coats

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

a little holiday decor inspiration

clickable version

Since the great tree tipping incident of Christmas 09' courtesy of Isabel I am shopping to replace quite a few of my glass ornaments, including some pretty balls and vintage German glass birds. I've always been more into the pastel, glittery Christmas hues instead of the traditional green and red, so I've been swooning over the feather wreathes and vintage reindeer and those tiny little houses and bottle brush trees.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Settled in at my parent's house tonight and I was startled by how bare and bleak the landscape is here, something which I never really notice in the city, where even some of the trees are still clinging to their foliage in my neighborhood. Out here, it's grey field after grey field, broken only by occasional bare branches and puddles of brackish water. It's definitely chillier here as well, since yesterday's tornado conditions gave way to bitter cold and dry weather. I am settling in for a few days of turkey coma before I head back and into the breach and have been prepping for the big sale, packing orders, and getting photos of everything I want to add to the shop before Thursday. I only brought one project home with me, the photography/poetry book saved on my laptop, which I intend to put the final touches on and get done in the next couple of weeks. Otherwise, there will be lots of turkey and pie, lots of family, and maybe a little Black Friday thriftstore venturing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

art, or something like it

These are some pieces I have in the current art show at work. I might make some prints available in the shop in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out. They had been hanging in the studio for awhile and blending in among the chaos for so long I'd almost forgotten about them. I was initially planning on submitting some pieces from the Dream House project, but they are moving a little slower than expected, so these had to do. I'm toying a little with paints and colored pencils lately, but I'm wishing I'd squeezed some art technique classes in amongst all the poetry. I'm not good with the drawing (even straight lines elude me) I was a nightmare even in my set drawing classes back as an undergrad, but I'm good with general painting and blending. Pretty much why I usually stick to assemblage.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It took me a while, and there were alot of revisions on both the pattern and the handle design, but my first bag is finally done and available in the shop.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk - and to act.
--Andre Malraux

Sunday, November 14, 2010

and so it goes

I am obsessed this week with old crumbling landscape paintings in greys and blues and browns and want to cover my walls with them. I am still chugging along trying to get things done, books and things packed and made for the shop. The past couple of days have included a bit of relaxing, a pinch of housework, and a little dash of lovely oddness, but in a good way. Otherwise, there is the usual routine. I made my way through a couple of mending projects on my own clothes this evening and finished the barkcloth purse (I had to get smaller bamboo handles). I like it so much I might just keep it for myself. This week will be devoted to getting some layouts to their authors, this latest batch of subscription copies out, catching up on orders, all before I head out of town early next week for the holiday. I have the whole week off, so will be able to squeeze at least a couple of days entirely in the studio, good since things are already on the upswing. And there is so much to do that I've yet to even order supplies for.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunday, November 07, 2010

more anxiety dreams

I warned you, the dreams were getting plentiful and weird. I took a nap this evening and dreamed that the Zoebella (what I call the two headed beastie otherwise known as the ginger twins) and some others were having kittens, suddenly and without any warning. They were having them in the closet and on the bed and under the bed and in the dresser. I kept trying to find them all, twenty or so, because we needed to get them to eat, but I was bleeding from my mouth, a thick metallic blood that just kept coming and coming, like I had given birth to something orally myself (words? poems?). One of the kittens was my cat who died a few years ago reincarnated and I knew that one was supposed to mine again, but another grey striped was still lying in the closet with it's eyes closed, not moving, a stillborn. I reached in and grabbed it, planning to throw it away before anyone saw it. But it was still breathing, faintly, it's eyes half open, almost gasping. I knew we were supposed to rub it between our hands, like starting a fire, to help it's circulation, so I kept doing it and soon it was wide eyed and purring. I have no idea what this means, but it seemed important somehow.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

It's getting to be that dark, fretful time again, but I am trying to keep from being both too dark or too fretful. I am, as I mentioned, sleeping alot, having odd dreams about bloody, firey car wrecks and our house on Pennsylvania, which in the latest, has been remodeled into a glass fronted condo. No matter what they are, they are pervaded by an overreaching sense of uneasyness. I am tired of trying to convince myself of things in them. It's the weather, and maybe the fact that I cannot seem to get warm anywhere but the studio, which is usually way too hot. The apartment is too drafty with all those windows, the bus subject to chilly air coming in the doors, and the library tends to vascillate between extremes, which this week means cooler than it should be. My skin feels rough and dry, like I might just flake off and blow away bit by bit.

I am making steady progress on books, and should have another set of galleys ready to go by the time the ones in this batch are all up. And I just need another pass and to add the blurbs to the photography/poetry collaboration. I still feel like I am running out of time though, even though, if this year is like last year, I will stil be getting this year's books out in January. I should just accept it. It doesn't look like the situation is looking any better for next year. I am a little over half way through submissions and have already earmarked a good twenty for "yes". I accept far too much, but too many are just too good to pass up. We are small enough at this point that I am keeping it at about a 10% acceptance rate, which seems sort of high, but I would say we get far less absolute "no" manuscripts and many more "maybe"s. Or it might be that we are still small enough that word of mouth brings the right people in, or maybe submitters are just more savvy these days about what editors may or may not like. And I am pretty open to many things stylistically, so that probaby has an effect as well. It creates more work for me in the end, but it's good work, worthy work, and is probably a better use for my time than most of the things I get up to these days.;)

Friday, November 05, 2010

new from dancing girl press

Experiments in Light and Ether
Alexis Vergalla
dancing girl press, 2010
available here

Alexis Vergalla has had poems appear in various journals including Diode, elimae and Anemone Sidecar. She earned her M.F.A. from the University of California, Riverside where she was Editor of CRATE magazine. Her chapbook Letters through Glass came out in 2009 on Finishing Line Press. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington where she volunteers for the Richard Hugo House, is a board member of the arts organization Heroes (www.heroeseverywhere.com) and is on staff for Poetry Northwest. Her blog can be found online at www.alexisv.wordpress.com.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

new from dancing girl press

Chrysanthemum Oratorio
Grace Marie Grafton
dancing girl press, 2010
order here

Grace Marie Grafton's first chapbook won the Poetic Matrix contest. Her book of ekphrastic poems, Visiting Sisters, was published by Coracle Books. Her most recent book, Other Clues, prose poems, was published in 2010 by Latitude Press (rawartpress.com). She has worked for many years with CA Poets In The Schools, teaching young students to write poems, and has received numerous grants from the CA Arts Council for her teaching programs.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

random bits

I was reading some past entries yesterday and realized I had forgotten to show you some recent things going on in the poetry corner.

A couple months back, I had some poems here in a lovely new journal with some other fine folks, Vinyl. Check it out...

also, a super kind interview at what is becoming one of my favorite blogs,We Who Are About to Die.

Monday, November 01, 2010

november again

things to do in november:

~finish my series of poems about houses in dreams

~drink lots of hazelnut hot chocolate

~make fried apples

~take photographs of dioramas at the Field Museum for an art project

~find the perfect green tea moisturizer and a perfect pair of riding boots

~buy more sweater dresses

~re-read Wuthering Heights

~release several chaps (by Emilie Lindemann, Britanny Ober, Grace Marie Grafton, Alexis Vergalla, Joanna Novak, Julia Cohen/Brandon Shimoda, & more) and Dear American Lovechild, Yours, The Beautiful Undead

~stock the shop with more earrings, cufflinks, flower hairclips, magnet sets, more flasks, brothel coin necklaces, tea towels, totebags, long necklaces, handbags, journals, recycled book envelopes, and jelly jar candles.