Friday, June 26, 2009

Diamonds and Sweets Party...

Okay, so I really am so excited about AFW that it should be illegal. I feel like a Ritalin-medicated kid that just ate twenty Pixie Stix (sans meds). Just finished meeting with the gals over at Urban Betty to plan our joint event for AFW. We mostly just came up with a pretty basic party scheme, so I'm kinda stewing on aesthetics and details ****SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!!**** There's no official event name yet, but Diamonds and Sweets Party (maybe it should be Sparkle and Sweets Party...does alliteration do anything for you guys?) is something we've been kickin around the office, and by the office, I mean my brain. The event will be at 8:30pm at the Urban Betty Salon on Saturday, July 18th.

We'll have a raffle that will combine a few of my pieces as well as some contributions from the salon. Logistics for drinks are still being figured out, but one way or another, we'll make sure we've got some. We'll also serve cupcakes, which is pretty perfect considering my setup is necklaces and earrings adorning cupcake stands and old school candy jars stuffed with lollipops. I think one of the gals that works there is going to have her DJ friend spin for us...I'd really like to have my two cents on that one, but I know how DJ's are. There may be some creative elbows bumping, but I don't want to set a bad mental precedent. The gals were sayin they'd probably play house music, which apparently is stuff like Air (when you look them up on iTunes, you'll recognize their top song is from 10 Things I Hate About You if you're like me), Phoenix, and I don't remember the other names. Convincing them to throw in some My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Cure, Joy Division, and Hum shouldn't be too hard, right? Maybe some Mars Volta too? Anyway, for party aesthetics, I'm thinking lots of pink and probably a smidge of black. I'll be on the hunt for cute party cups and napkins...if I could find some crystal pink-colored classy plastic cups and matching napkins, that would be good. It would be awesome to have some pink plastic chandeliers, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. I feel like there might not be too much done about party setup without digging too deep into the pockets. What do you guys think?

Possible Playlist (to suggest to DJ):
-To Here Knows When by My Bloody Valentine (anything off Loveless works, really)
-Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division (any song would work, i.m.o.)
-The End of the World/Boys Don't Cry by the Cure
-Ava Adore by Smashing Pumpkins
-Mars by Hum

Action Jackson out.

Thursday, June 25, 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). In the world of DGAJ, I've recently been working really hard in getting my foot in the door for online promo stuff, as many of you know. To my roommate's dismay, I have started a Twitter account and will try to keep that as updated as possible. On Tuesday, I started up a Flickr account, which is great because I can use their slideshow feature to post pictures of pieces that have been sold and archive them. It's awesome! Today, I listed a few bags for Etsy showcases; I really wish it could be jewelry but that sector is really saturated and it's tough to get in! I've also put in some time writing entries for the Etsy Austin blog as well as researching other people's blogs to get ideas for new articles. It's definintely time consuming, but it's fun and I keep telling myself it will pay dividends for me in the long run (hopefully!).

So, now on to the really exciting news for this post. *Drum roll* I am proud to announce that I will be participating in Austin Fashion Week! 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 more details for how, where, when to vote as well as an extensive list of the particpants. 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).

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 Louise 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, *phew!* I know that's all really long-winded, but I am beyond floored about being involved in this. I'll be meeting with a gal at Urban Betty tomorrow to hammer out details for our AFW event. I don't know any details except that it will be a nighttime event that will jointly promote Urban Betty and yours truly. More details soon! I will be sure to take pictures along the way for this exciting development, both for AFW and soiree alike. On a side note, though it's in no way a side note for me, one the of the Etsy Austin gals, Beth Albrect of Paired Hearts, drew up some new business cards for me! They look absolutely stellar and I'm so thrilled that I will have them in time for AFW as well as any wholesale/consignment opportunitites I pursue.

What does all this mean for DGAJ? I will be revvin things up so that I can really put out my very best for AFW. My most recent Facebook photo album is even aptly named, Diamonds and Guns: Bringin in the Big Guns. So, stay tuned and hopefully I will have nothing but exciting progressions for you all along the way.

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.

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.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hot Blog Part Deaux

This past weekend, I vended at the Capital Punishment Banked Track Roller Derby Tournament (hopefully I'll get to that in more detail on another post), which in all honesty is probably the reason I decided to start up my blog again. I take any advice from more seasoned designers and vendors very seriously and don't second guess their judgment. So, when a gal who was there (Bonnie Rue of suggested I give this another go, I thought, "eh. What the hell". If nothing else it will fulfill my ever-present youngest child (as well as blue in a red state) desire for people to pay attention to me. And hey, I've always said I wanted to make a living telling people what to think, though maybe that would play out better in a politically incorrect concept.

The hope of this blog, of course, is to spark the public's interest in my jewelry. Even though I really don't keep up with blogs aside from casually browsing Penny Arcade, I'd be kidding myself to think that it was not especially important in some way to maintain a website outside of my Etsy site (which is in case you're wondering). After all it is the, oh yes, 21st century, so the internet is arguably the most relevant and important medium out there.

So what's next? I will be looking into selling consignment at a few stores around Austin over the next few days and snazzing up my biz cards. I really liked the design concept I had before, but it was slightly tacky and a little rough around the edges. I'll probably still keep the same diamond in the background and two crossed pistols in front with a banner reading, "Diamonds and Guns". The next time you see it, the card will most likely be classier.

That's all folks.
-Action Jackson
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