27.1.14

finally, phone cases


Moving along... (sigh)

A while ago Geoff sent me a screen shot of the predictive text results from a Google search for “fieldguided.” The results were things like “fieldguided wedding” (aw, thanks for searching for that, guys!), “fieldguided coupon code” (oops, sorry, we hardly ever have any), and “fieldguided phone cases.” I don’t know if people were searching that last one to find out where I got the one I had custom printed, or if they wanted original cases from us, but I decided it was something I wanted to try. I recently upgraded my own phone and had a hard time finding a case I truly loved (as a chronic phone-dropper, I need all the protection that I can get), so I was game to create my own. Plus I saw Anna having fun with it and doing things I hadn’t seen before.

We finally got around to putting a few designs up a couple of weeks ago, using Society 6. I ordered a case to test the quality and I think it’s pretty great! I think they’ve gotten better since I ordered my first Society 6 case ages ago. They mostly offer only iPhone cases, but they do have an option for Samsung Galaxy.

I haven’t been feeling very creative lately in this bleakest winter, so many of the designs we have up now are simple reworkings of postcards and things we’ve designed in the past. No huge surprises here for now. We hope to have more options available later, including perhaps some cat ones, of course. Society 6 also offers prints and other products, but we haven’t explored that area too much yet. We thought this would be a pretty good way to test the phone case waters without making a financial commitment. Oh and I finally got to make something inspired by “Thunder Road,” so I’m happy about that.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy! Society 6 does ship internationally, although be warned that you may have to pay customs (I had a customs charge on my case). They occasionally send out coupon codes that I can share, so I will do that periodically via Twitter, and they do occasionally offer free shipping as well.

Update: I forgot to include a picture of the side/front but this is what Society 6 says about the cases: “The lay-flat feature protects the front of your iPhone by extending the bezel above the screen, while a silicone interior liner provides impact cushioning.”




26.1.14

love & thanks


(Yes, this is Beyoncé in the video for “Heaven.” Once again, it’s funny what becomes poignant to you and what you cling to, and now it’s... Beyoncé. Whatever, I’ve loved her since “Jumpin’, Jumpin’”)

Geoff and I have been on the receiving end of an outpouring of love over the past few days, and while I’m still a bit overwhelmed by it and I can’t seem to concentrate on very much very well, I wanted to acknowledge it and to say thank you. Many of you have helped me feel the knife-wound a little less sharply.

I want to emphasize that I would never judge a woman who has suffered a miscarriage or any other loss and who has chosen to grieve privately, or even not at all. We are all so different from one another. What bothers me is the thought that women remain silent because they feel they have to, because they think no one wants to hear about it, because the physical reality of a miscarriage is far from pleasant (it can take weeks before it ends), or they remain silent after following the cues of the people around them, particularly in the workplace. I know that people don’t know what to say, or they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. But silence, for me at least, feels cruel, as is the thought that anyone might be annoyed with me for not keeping the raw emotion to myself. Luckily, in my case, many of my friends are also verbal.

This is a different example, but it’s one that I know and so I will relate it: almost ten years ago when a friend of mine was diagnosed with a recurrence of melanoma, she was afraid to talk about it and had a mutual friend tell me the gut-wrenching news. I was young and completely inexperienced in these matters, and frozen for two days until the mutual friend emailed me and said “Listen. Just reach out. Don’t talk about cancer. Say something, anything. She’s scared of losing everyone.” When Sarah responded to the email I sent (neither of us was big on talking on the phone), I could sense her relief. Oh sweet Sarah Jane!

I hope this won’t seem condescending, but I want to add it. Through beautiful Emily I found this link on Jezebel; I am not too impressed with Jezebel at the moment but I think the post, on how to help a friend who has had a miscarriage, is helpful. There are things on there that I don’t necessarily agree with, personally (if someone says “you can try again” and it comes from a place of love and support, I could never be offended), but I still think the piece is worth committing to memory if you have women in your life who are important to you (basically 99% of you). Reading these sorts of pieces (whether on miscarriage, or infertility, or cancer, or any other source of immense trauma for another human being) is always a useful exercise.

I just remembered that Tori Amos wrote a song about her miscarriage. When it was released I wasn’t much of a Tori Amos fan anymore but I’ve always loved this song. A pop culture reference to miscarriage that is pretty different from recent ones on Nashville and Girls.

Finally, if any of you stumble on this post and want to talk to someone, even a stranger, about your experience, whether it was ten years ago or ten days ago, please email me. hi at fieldguided.com.

Also this: “Someone told me when we lost our pregnancy that some day it would serve me well. I don’t really know what she meant, unless she meant that I can help/understand/be there for my sister ladies when they need me. It’s the thing that made me feel better. So maybe this will serve you well one day too?” (via Dera. Thank you, Dera)

24.1.14

my broken heart

I decided a long time ago that I would never get too personal on here, because when one does that there’s the potential to make oneself vulnerable to insensitivity or unwarranted criticism (which can be warranted in some cases, of course, but I don’t want to talk about that right now), or to be misunderstood, and I’m just an ordinary person trying to live my life. Quietly, for the most part. But I went through something heartbreaking this week, and I’ve been feeling so alone and so miserable that through the tears I can see the benefit in sharing the events of this past week with others, in the hopes that good may come out of it. Even if it comes between posts about products. I’m sorry about that.


I made this little bunny rattle for the baby Geoff and I were to welcome in late August, but something went wrong along the way and I suffered a miscarriage at nine weeks (sorry, friends I never got to tell, but that’s why I wasn’t drinking at your parties months ago). It’s brought a sadness so profound I’m actually surprised by it, and a physical pain so intense that Geoff nearly called for an ambulance when he found me writhing on our bed. With it went my excitement, my daydreams that imagined my life gliding along a trajectory to a potentially happy future that had seemed elusive. And now I’m mired in feelings of hopelessness, uncertainty, fear, guilt. I had tried so hard not to get ahead of myself, leaving that soft, tiny one-piece with bear ears that was on clearance on the rack, not buying black and white, high-contrast stuffed animals when I saw them, only sharing the news with a handful of close friends and family. I knew that this could happen, that it happens so, so often, and is sometimes far worse (not that this is a competition… wouldn’t that be the most hateful competition of all time) but now I have to deal with the brutal outcome for real. With a possible D&C. With the devastated would-be first-time grandparents. With returning the small tower of pregnancy books and prenatal workout DVDs to the library and signing out the books I never wanted to read. Sometimes I feel fine, and sometimes I lose my breath and the tears come hot and fast and I can’t get it together, even on the subway, and it’s just despair and hollowness.

A few years ago someone I wasn’t particularly close to posted a photo album on Facebook. The photos were of floral arrangements, with notes of thanks to the friends who had sent them, and sympathetic yet vague responses from some of those friends. There was no hint as to why they had been sent, but I had the feeling that they had been sent because she had had a miscarriage. I may have been wrong, but I remember thinking that that was a sweet thing that people did for each other, that because no one can actually do anything to help (what can they do? Friends have asked and I don’t know the answer), they resort to a tried-and-true, kind gesture. I remember thinking that she posted that photo album as a way of crying out that this was a thing that had happened to her, that she was grieving and desperate for acknowledgement. Which may be what I’m doing here. And yet hardly anyone wants to talk about it, which I understand, I understand so well! I certainly don’t see one miscarriage announcement on Instagram for every three or four pregnancy announcements (one in five or one in four ends, I get different stats quoted at me). Imagine how many followers you would lose!

(That was facetious.)

This might sound silly/crazy, but I will take what little I can get where I find it: I recently finally downloaded the newest Beyoncé album. The video for “Blue” was so touching and warm to me that I cried. A few days later, while crying for different reasons, I listened to Jay-Z’s “Glory” and watched the HBO documentary Life is but a Dream. In it she talks about how she had had a miscarriage before Blue Ivy was born, and she talks quite a bit about how painful it was for her. I am no Beyoncé, and I have a net worth of maybe the total amount of spare change in just one of her purses (as if Beyoncé even touches paper money and coins with her own hands), but it made me feel connected to her, and oddly, shockingly comforted. She mentions that her grandmother lit candles in churches for her mother, and her mother lit them for her; I haven’t been a practicing Catholic since I was a child, but it’s funny how in times like these I get the compulsion to light a candle in every church within a 20 kilometre radius.

On the day in December that Geoff and I found out that I was pregnant we bought lottery tickets and took photos in one of the few existing analogue photobooths around here. We felt so lucky. A bit scared, of course, but relieved, and so full of love. And this week, only a few weeks later, my life turned into a surreal nightmare in which I sat in a chair in a downtown hospital’s emergency room waiting and waiting and waiting for a RhoGAM shot. A few feet away behind a thin, pale blue curtain a nurse asked a patient inane question after question about her life, making her recite phone numbers and addresses, trying to keep her alert and awake and to bring her back from the brink after she had tried to kill herself with an overdose of pills. It was harrowing. I still haven’t been able to process that.

I don’t want to be known as that woman who had a miscarriage (oh god!), and I don’t want this to be seen as a tragedy that I will let colour the rest of this year. It is only January, after all, and the best parts of the year have yet to come (this has been a particularly frigid, dreadful January). But for now I’m shivering, lying under blankets in my apartment that is barely above freezing because our furnace broke overnight, feeling that the universe is adding insult to injury. I can only hope that the universe will grant me a future will containing even a hint of the happiness and beauty in that “Blue” video.

9.1.14

dear kate

I have never made it a secret that when it comes to underwear, I enjoy a good full brief and/or a good high waist. I embrace and celebrate the wide array of underwear available to us. I recently discovered Dear Kate, which takes those cuts that I love to the next level with multiple levels of fabric linings to create leak-resistant underwear.

Dear Kate's founder utilized her chemical engineering background to create the patent-pending fabric lining each pair of underwear. Comprised of two luxurious microfiber layers and a thin, breathable outer layer, this is revolutionary fabric to the rescue.

A fully lined pair of underwear can hold 3 teaspoons of liquid comfortably. We don’t really talk about it openly, but 60% of women experience overflow during that time of the month every month, according to the Dear Kate website.

But even without the technology, the lingerie is super cute! Bonus: it’s made in NYC, is available in plus sizes, and arrives in the sweetest little package. I was given a pair to try and highly recommend them; they are silky soft and very comfortable.

If you’d like some Dear Kates of yourself, the code FIELDGUIDED will get 25% off through January 31.  My personal faves: the Margot, the Ella, and the Rosa.
 












6.1.14

a sweet 2014


I took these pictures in the spring, when my obsession with violet flavours and violet candy in particular was in full bloom (har har), shortly before I found violet pastilles by Leone and bulk violet candies from France. I never did anything with the pictures, but they make me think of sweet things, which relates to what I’m about to write.

I haven’t been posting here very much lately (I write this a lot!), mostly because I don’t really know where I’m headed with this space. I’ve decided to keep an open mind about it, as I do with most things, and see where things go. Keep it easy breezy.

I just wanted to wish you all a happy, sweet 2014, and thanks for checking in on me here. I spent a contemplative, introspective 2013 working to become the sort of person who doesn’t drag other people down with negativity, and I want this to continue. When I read this essay by Liz Barker, it hit me so hard that I thought about it all the time and in a way let it be my guide over the months that followed. The funny thing is that the essay is about the album Star by Belly, which I don’t even particularly love! But I found myself leaving the post open in a browser window on my phone so I could read it again, over and over. I felt so uplifted reading it because sometimes I feel bad for liking things that are sweet, or cute, or whatever. But I do, I do. This is the passage that I found so beautiful:

Mary Timony doesn’t put too much sweetness into her songs, and I love that about her, but sweetness is so important to me: I’m hopelessly attracted to it and I like to create sweetness in my life, whether through songs or candy or books or pictures or perfume. For me, sweet can mean the opposite of ugly and nasty and even boring. I think it’s boring to be nasty and ugly-hearted, I think it’s unimaginative to not try to find a way to be sweet. And the older I get the more I value art that is unabashedly romantic and sweethearted in its own twisted way, and Star is so completely that. That’s the kind of art I want to make, the kind of story I want to tell. I like to write about food and sex and dudes and streets and rock music, and I always want to do that in a way that’s sweet and dreamy, so I guess I always will. 

And so: a hope for a year of creating sweetness. Not a bad goal, I think.