Friday, June 26, 2009

You Like Me! You Really Like Me!

Eat your heart out, Judy Garland (and perhaps also Jim Carrey in his "classy" impression of her Oscar Awards speech). What exciting news could prompt this kind of introduction? *Drumroll* I am proud to announce that several of your Etsy Austinites will be participating in Austin Fashion Week in July! This will be an event that is widespread throughout Austin and will involve countless boutiques, salons, local designers, photographers, stylists, and models. Between now (I believe it's now; alludes to "Thursday" as being the starting day for voting) and July 18th, Austinites will be able to vote for their favorite designer participant in Austin Fashion Week. lists all the details for voting as well as events during AFW. also lists all of the participants of the event, and this is where you can vote for all your favorites (salons, boutiques, photographers, models, designers).

Each designer is paired with a salon or boutique for which they will have a display set up from July 13-18 showcasing their best stuff. Each salon/boutique involved in Fashion Week will host a soiree cocktail event during the week to show off their place as well as the designers' work to the Austin public. The Sunday after fashion week, July 19th, there will be a hotsy totsy awards show at the Long Center (Dell Hall, 5:30-9:30pm) followed by a swanky after party at the Sky Lounge on Town Lake (9pm-12pm, almost exclusively for participants of AFW). Personally, part of me is way too excited (about this) for my own good and already contemplating what to wear.

Here's a few more layers added to the cake. Shoppers who participate in AFW can purchase what is called a "Passport to Fashion" for $20 and receive a 10% discount at all the participating salons and boutiques during the week of July 13-18. When they make a purchase, they receive a stamp on their passport. Cute, huh? I wish I would have thought of that; puts so many clever ideas I've had to shame. The more stamps they receive on their passport, the more chances they have at winning a $5,000 shopping spree. If I wasn't participating and feeling semi-broke, I would be all over this like Lucille II/Liza Minnelli on Buster Bluth (for all you Arrested Development fans paying attention). The other juicy tidbit is that the designer who is deemed best of the best by all voters will receive a prize (I'm assuming monetary, but it's not explicitly stated in the guidelines) from the sponsors of the event. The great part for you guys? You don't have to buy a passport to participate in voting and root for your favorite designer!

So, if you want to check up on your Etsy Austin gals during Austin Fashion Week, here's where we'll be:

-Anne Marie Beard of Anne Marie @ Urban Groove Salon
-Kim Sae-Eua of Broken Ear Productions @ Betty Sport
-Pauline Walsh Jacobson of Coral Reef Dreams @ Roxann's Specialty Boutique
-Camille Jackson of Diamonds and Guns by Action Jackson @ Urban Betty Salon
-Valeri Abrego-Liszewski of Jinxedaposed Clothing/Jinxy DV-8 @ Trends & Traditions
-Malissa Long of MLW Malissa Long Wearables @ Baldwin Beauty School
-Robbie Kaye Dodson of Parsimony @ Austin Handmade Market
-Cindy Chuang of Sweet Potato Island @ Thomas Saverio Salon & Spa
-Rachel Olan of SoRo Designs (photography, no location assigned)

Whew! That's a lot of EA gals in the batch! With 63 designers competing, we have about a 1 in 8 chance of having one of them take home the title! With that in mind, good luck designers!

Action Jackson out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Are We Angry Yet?

I love, sleep, and breathe fashion. If you know nothing or very little about me, know this. I used to be a rabid fashion binger and spend hours upon hours with my nose in every fashion magazine, my favorite designers' websites, and my favorite shops. And it showed (still shows in some ways). My friends would always rave about wanting to raid my closet, I'd always be voted "best dressed/best fashion sense" in whatever organizations I was actively involved with, and people would always have something to say about what I was wearing. So, that all said, I feel like I have an unquestionable authority when it comes to fashion. Sure, I don't have a degree in design and my sewing skills are novice at best, but I feel like "the people" have unanimously (albeit semi-silently) given me this fashion key to the city.

In addition to this, I'm a jewelry maker; I abstain from using the word designer (although that's what naturally rolls off my tongue, not out of conceit) because I know there's a negative/arrogant connotation associated with this. So, being a freelance/independent jewelry maker/designer, I feel I can relate to my fellow indie designers because no matter what our trade or craft, we're really all facing the same uphill battle when trying to get our businesses off the ground.

So, it was only natural that I was fuming from the ears when I read the article about the Design Piracy Prohibition Act on Fashion Incubator (, not to mention the Wiki article ( Essentially, the aim of this act is to cut down on counterfeit "designer" duds and protect the big names, but it undeniably hurts the small-time designers in the end. My interpretation of it is that it will give hotsy totsy brands the right to do something like start up a lawsuit against a freelancer because they both decided to use a bubble skirt and strapless cutout top for a dress pattern. Let me take a moment to point out the absurdity/obvious flaw of this and say what we're all thinking: fashion is repetitive, just like all other art forms. That's why and how trends exist. The same thing happens in music all the time, though I won't go as far as to say that the Vanilla Ice "Under Pressure" thing was okay. Assuming that the statement that fashion is repetitive is correct (and it is), there's no way you could begin to enforce the regulation of something like that, so why would you pass a bill trying to do so? I know that this development may be semi-old news to some of you, but when I read the FI article, it was brand new to me. I hadn't been that outraged at the design/government bureaucracy since I heard about the CPSIA. *Cue the government major/degree holder in me to come out*

Now I know that a lot of you might be weary of reading on because you might have an image of me standing on my coffee table, making crazy hand gestures and yelling about this. I'm not going to make this a soap box post though; I'll keep my point concise and compelling because (even though I could go on all day about this) I know not everyone's a politics person. After all, this is a crafter's blog, so it wouldn't be entirely relevant anyway.

I am a cynic at heart, but there's always a part of me that refuses to acquiesce to this 100% for whatever reason. Even if it is true that the convincing voice of the people can never match the ever-tempting lobbyist donations for our senators and representatives, I feel we should all take time to write our congressmen and women. I can't imagine with their boxy 80s suits that they wear way too often that they're all fashion experts themselves, so maybe some of them earnestly don't understand how this could hurt the little guys (and gals). And if there really are enough of the good ones out there in Congress who are young and/or haven't been corrupted by the system, maybe they'll listen to our claims and react. After all, isn't one of our branches of the government currently defined by idealism at its core?

If you are unsure of who your representatives are, visit this nifty little website and enter in your zip code ( I especially encourage all to write Kay Bailey Hutchison as she was a proponent of the bill but all the same seems like a very reasonable woman.

Action Jackson out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Recap from Capital Punishment: Battle on the Brink II

Where could you find some of your favorite Etsy Austin gals this past weekend? At the Capital Punishment Battle on the Brink II Roller Derby Tournament, of course! Kim of DevilgirlDesign, Jean of GothMartha, Jen of LucyBlueStudio, and yours truly of ActionJackson were all on the scene at the Austin Convention Center this past Saturday and Sunday. Teams from six states travelled to our humble little (awesome) city to compete in what could only be recounted as an epic derby battle. Personally, I would have loved to see our own Austin team win the title of the championship, especially with our star player, Dixie Sanchez, getting bruised up and needing to leave the tourney to go to the hospital. However, in the end, it was the San Diego Derby Dolls that came out on top for CPBotB. All scores and recaps from the tournament can be found at

This was definitely an event that would go down in every vendor's book as beyond memorable. What other event could you sell at where an execution chair was prominently displayed front and center and where the announcers boomed from a seemingly omnipotent court judge's stand? Where else could you see jedi knights, executioners, and peacocks amongst a ravenous and eagerly awaiting crowd? The eclectic vendors and artists that could be found at the tournament were a perfect fit for their audience of fierce derby warriors and fans alike. In addition to the wonderful Etsy Austin gals present to represent, the always rockin Legs Diamond, Bonnie Rue of Model Citizen, and fellow Etsy artist EStreetJewelry were all putting in the hours to sell in the tournament. In total, there were about twenty vendor booths, most of whom were roller derby-affiliated, and it was enough to make anyone selling or spectating want to join. Who wouldn't want to have their own glittery red helmet and matching roller skate wheels accessorized with cheetah print knee pads? Okay, I admit, I could very well be alone on this one.

If you think you've got what it takes to sell (or even watch for that matter) at a fierce future TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls match, check out for more information.

Action Jackson out.