Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hows about a lil' nostalgia anyone?

Seriously...what do I do that does not involve it? It's strange how we can have a connection to things that we have no cultural relation to. I never lived in the Victorian era or Europe, did you?? Why do I love it, why am I inspired by the horrors of it, not just the ruffly beauty? Maybe my past life? Who knows!
I will say that when I was small in school, our teacher introduced us to Lenore by Edgar Allen Poe and it put a chill in me. I couldn't have been more than nine...maybe ten, and this story, poem, took me to a dark, mysterious place that shocked me, yet inspired me to continue. I don't know what it is other than the genuine sentiment of Poe, his utter darkness, that translated to me so strong. I actually could feel the temptation of being somewhere that I likely shouldn't, that I wasn't supposed to. It was amazing, I was there in the house...or was it the Raven?? lol. Where was the first dark place you went?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blogging, Patti Wilson and VOGUE....

Ya'know...really need to get with it...I've been one of those that kind of was a non-believer when it came to blogs...i mean c'mon blogs are not hard to come by, saturation of fashion blogs and "look what my kid can do" blogs...and political blogs, they're just everywhere from everyone. I started this blog because sometimes I come across cool things I wanna share...and I'd like to say I make cool things I wanna share...and this past week I realized that I'd better get with the blog program and submit to its mystical power.

I was cleaning my toilet the other day...seriously, when a request for some items came in from non other than stylist extraordinare, Patti Wilson. The email from her Enterprise read "Patti Wilson, a stylist here in New York"...and out loud I was like "like I didn't know THE Patti Wilson!" The picture above in the blog post is one that I had blogged of in my first attempt @ blogging that was styled by Patti! It's one of my favorite fashion photos in the wonderous world...
So, it gets better, the pics that John, one of stylist on the team and her had seen were my Militaria brooches, that I only ever showed through the BLOG...
Now what were they pulling them for? A shoot styled by Miss Patti for VOGUE Italia shot by non other than Emma Summerton!!! Trust when I tell you, you've seen Emma Summerton's photography before if you're into fashion, wiki her and links come up to her ridiculously beautiful work. Let's hope they get used, huh? You know how it goes!

I raise my glass...of sparkling water to Patti for supporting indie, handmade, local NYC (homegrown at that) designer and artist like me, it means a hella lot.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween Y Feliz Dia De Los Muertos

Someday, I vow to go to Mexico during Dia De Los Muertos. It's amazing to see this infusion of indigenous culture with Catholicism. I can't tell you the fascination I have with this day. The color...the color!! I love Halloween so much fro the surrealism it brings into the mind of a child, to pretend and imagine in possibility. Unfortunately here on the streets of New York City, while we have a fantastic yearly parade, Halloween has become the following equation: skank+stank+1 gallon vodka=you're best friend holding your hair back while you puke on one of 1,000 "sexy cops"
I am all about originality baby, and there is so much, your eyes and heart have to be one sometimes to see it. Last night my husband (who is not pictured lol) had a blast. Above in the picture is Samii, who is absolutely the best belly dancer of the night in all of New York. That costume is an original, handmade in Bahrain, watch out you mass produced factory belly dancer costumes...chock full of pink organza...
As for me, I am hoping you can guess who I am...I was honored that I was received so well. I love you Frida, Yo te adoro! My hubby was Diego...let's just say that he had our son's Thomas the Tank Engine Pillow in his shirt to try and get that bulky look, lol.
Here's to La Vida...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sneak Peek II-Brooch Time...

A little somethin' somethin' of what I have conjured up with these new brooches to jazz up your lapel of wherever!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sneak Peek I

From the Steam Secrets Collection.

It's almost ridiculous how many new things I have in the shop and coming! Feel free to tell me what you think of these new designs. I have about four brooches coming out, London is a total brooch town, so my visit there was the catalyst for the designs. So here are some pics of stuff that won't arrive to the shop until a bit later this week.

xo xo xo xo
From The Secret Society Trust Collection

From the Voodoo Collection

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday Love- 624 Grand st. Brooklyn, NY, 11121

We had a DOPE time @ the grand opening of Sunday Love. I was excited I baked a damn carrot cake and made my famous tabouli pizza in like four different hummus flavors!! lol.

Anyway if you're in Brooklyn, you need to get over to Sunday Love and check out this haven of nostalgia and awesomeness. The Hand of Fatima jewelry is one of the artisan goods you will find there! Greer and Scott rehabilitate furniture and decoupage pieces into amazing home editions! Ned Martin, the third owner is a painter extraordinaire, and his work is on display @ the shop. Sunday Love is like a parallel universe, it will stand out to you, my favorite part of its history is that it was the long time tarot card reader's place...oh, how perfect that THoF is there!

I have some of my apocrathy line in there, and there is just love all around, no love like Sunday Love! So, go eat some banging Thai food accross the street and walk over to Sunday Love and get lost in time.
P.S.- I bought that camera on the right, you'll see it in some ne product photos!

London Town I- BUST Mag Craftacular

I was so, so lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the London BUST Mag Craftacular. I have to say, BUST Magazine is an amazing monument to women, it has given indie designers and crafters and musicians such exposure and mad LOVE.
When I heard about this opportunity, I just had to try to be a part of it. London plays a role in my family history, when my family's country went into revolution, they became somewhat "stuck" in London. They were visiting my aunt at university in England, and word came over the radio that homes of government workers had been seized and all kinds of stuff, so they never returned. For about two years they dwelled in an apartment with friends on Edgeware Rd. I went to this place and stood looking at the building. How strange and far it must have been to have to call this European city "home". Edgeware Rd. is beautiful, I have dubbed it the "Middle Eastern Upper East Side". Anyhow, my wonderful partner and husband stayed behind on this trip, and I was accompanied by two people that might as well be blood family, my Renee and Alejandro. Renee also left her husband (my brother from another mother) Ayman with the baby (who is 3! lol). It was a blast, but something about European cities makes you want your man (or woman), they are designed with romance.
(Me, Shadia, Renee and Alejandro smoking sheesh on Edgeware Rd.)

My family there, Shadia and Baba Mansour took care of us one day in a beautiful house in Wimbledon. Wimbledon itself is green, hilly and quiet, it has an overwhelming English charm, and this gorgeous creeky old house the Mansour's live in is overflowing with character, Baba Mansour collects antiques and grows everything in the garden which is abundant with green vines, apples and even figs! Figs in London!! I felt like I was in an British mystery show in that house, I loved it. We ate in the garden and he told us all jokes and stories about is childhood.

Well, I love London, I love, love, love it. I went all over from Camden to Brixton, I stayed in Limehouse and invented different characters and we did comedy skits on a double-decker, it inspired us to dare, as people are less stressed it seems, more willing to just chill.

I have some pics to share from the most curious museum, the Wellcome Museum. Renee and I were waiting for the red line @ Tower Bridge station, where I spotted the add for the museum exhibit with a Victorian wax anatomical figure cut open. "We're going!" I told her...Renee, a nurse, was just as equally curios. This place has everything from chastity belts to Darwin's walking stick. It is a GEM!!!

(these were designed to look Madonna-like to be more accepted by people, can you see it??)

(c.1890 tattooed human skin)

I will have more pics of ridiculously cool stuff in blog II of London! xoxox

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Grand Opening! Sunday Love- Brooklyn

Hey Everyone...I know, I know, no pictures from London yet...but I had to work like a maniac for that awesome show in D.C.-Crafty Bastards, which happened over the weekend and was exactly as expected...DOPE!!! We were put up by one of my fav girls, Katie of Catherinette, or as I like to call her..."McGiver Stewart", because she is what you would get if Martha Stewart and McGiver had a baby...she can do ANYTHING...sew you a jacket while painting a house....fix your car, while building a display...it's insane, shames me every time.
My neighbor was the ridiculously talented Margaux of The Black Spot Books...she book binds from antique leather, and even makes jewelry and raises a gorgeous, gorgeous baby called Søren, who will steal your heart away, and chase you with an antique hammer! I am amazed at not just the absolute beauty of this work, but the soul. I swear, each book has a soul, no joke. Here is a video of her studio and her process...which makes me go...."damn!" lol:

You can find her online here.
*Also, she has ghostly, unique photographs I really wish I had room for in my house, and her hubby Walter is a painter AND a woods craftsman with beautiful and SAFE toys for your girls and boys.

Now as for exciting, local news...Sunday Love is opening in Williamsburg, and the only jewelry featured in the shop is The Hand of Fatima!!!
I want to invite you! Come through for the grand opening 10-10-09 @6:30ish, food if you eat, drinks if you drink, and beauty everywhere, plus a DJ. You've gotta meat the super cool artists/owners Greer, Scott and Ned, who have made this beautiful place a new part of Williamsburg community.

Friday, September 18, 2009

San Francisco Fog

In July we were so awesomely able to participate in the Renegade SF craft show. Boy was it cold...my first time in Cali and I never expected to freeze. I knew San Fran would be cool, but wow, it was beyond that!!
Basically to sum it up, the Renegade show was great, San Fran has it's own very, very, very laid back vibe, and great progressive politics. My favorite thing out there was the friendliness of the people...wonderful people, and some crazies, but NYC is chock full of crazies too, however this was a different brand-o-crazy...

It is so all good!! Can't wait to go back...you can now find The Hand of Fatima @ Picnic on Polk Ave. in addition to Bettina in San Fran. Woot!! Here are some pics of the most awesome murals, and some other reminders of the foggy Bay city of legend!
The lovable, Harvey Milk, whose Castro Camera is now a modern shop with several low brow art pieces and handmade goods.

This was in the Castro, and so appropriate that it almost hurts...awesome.
And now some stuff from the Mission. I am a looooong time street art enthusiast and these allies of graffix are up to par in my book.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So I have a new obsession...it's true, I am collecting old bottles, weird things that freak out my husband...and everyone else I know for that matter. I initially just wanted a few poison bottles for my display in London, because I needed something light to pack...it evolved into about 30 old clear and amber bottles. I am going to do a little line of amulet-style home goods for the other nostalgic art lovers like myself.

I will admit that the trip to London's Welcome Museum is one of my newest muses. When my PC is fixed I will have pictures up of this amazingly freakish exhibit I saw and the Medicine Man one as well. For now, I'll torture your eyes with my phone camera pics!

*I bought that little Phrenology head at the center in Notting Hill, where Taylor Swift was being nearly attacked by the paparazzi...oh, and Phrenology is a sucky theory, but I like the head.

Morning Momento Mori...

Talk about creepy inspiration; I live across from...well here's what I have in my profile to sum it up: "All my work is created in a loving environment across from one of the oldest, historic, Victorian cemeteries in the city, that was founded as a result of overcrowding dead bodies in the downtown burial grounds from typhoid, cholera and smallpox..."

Now in the mornings I walk with my friend, but because we part ways at 8:15, I continue on alone, and like a curious child I find my way into this grand cemetery and power walk as much as I can until an oddity catches my eye and I break to read the grave or mausoleum and take a pic.

This cemetery is old...and it's amazing to see that in particular times of American cultures, and so many others, how people have valued death, almost as equally to life. We look at Egyptians and their dedications and grandiose monument to death and the after life, the gold, the servants...we look at the Victorian burial of those with wealth and the value of having a "proper" plot to lay in. It's all very mysterious.

Today as I walked, with an eerie morning gloom, a swift autumn breeze and an open eye, I was enamored with the architecture and protection of these people's death. I also was thinking about my own mortality and remembrance. My beloved grandmother, would always say in Farsi "don't build me a martyr's shrine when I am gone." I have to say that I think I agree with that sentiment for myself, however at the same time when she left this world, I wrote poems and stories, I drew and painted, I honored her with shrines of art...my Baba (my grandfather, Baba simply means Daddy) honored her with landscape and maintained a beautiful, creative garden of her most favorite flowers, my aunt Sholeh, began to go back to her roots as an interior designer and created a new living space with Mama's inspiration and memory in every touch...we all choose our shrines I suppose.

Anyway, check out these graves of earns, half draped with a cloth or curtain, help me find out what they represent...there are tens of these scattered through out the cemetery and you can even see in this photo two others behind it.
Then there was this awesome, most primitive grave I saw, simply a tree stump painted (?) and afixed into a cross...

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's been a long, long time.

Wow, I have disappeared, huh? I am known for this. I must admit that while I dream of consistency, i don't know if I am meant for it...or is it that my way is just the right consistency for me? I don't know.
Since the last time I've wrote I traveled to San Francisco for the Renegade show and to London for the BUST Magazine Craftacular...utterly amazing places, amazing shows, artists and feeling. I have to say that London was the highlight of the summer for me though. I have so many stories and pictures for you, but when I returned from London two weeks ago we completely re-arranged our apartment and we've been fung shui-ing ever since. So until the next post where I will have all the pics and fun stuff for you....I have a favor to ask. Might you vote for me?

We will be @ a great show in D.C. called Crafty Bastards, I started this blog right after last year's one, and it's an amazing show. Basically this year I have a shot at winning free advertising AND a gift from Urban Outfitters. Whoever votes for me, please email me @ mariam@fatimacouture.com, and you will be entered to win a $50 gift card from Urban Outfitters if I win!!

Here is the link to vote for me, much love!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I worked on an addition to my display this morning for a bit. I basically grabbed some ephemera I had laying around, an old suitcase I overpaid for, and made up this box.

What's strange is that that picture of the Victorian house, would not allow me to take a focused shot...it's a very ghostly picture to begin with...but it gave me chills.

Furthermore, in a new box of old photos I bought, there was another ghost, a man posing like a character from Gangs Of New York...the picture is marked by and, Feb. 1883 and was taken on Fifth Avenue and 22cnd. street, or at least developed there maybe? Another one that I could not focus the camera on.
I know to some...clearly the person I bought this from, this is all just junk, but I can't help but become overwhelmed with holding a piece of someone's life, and history in my hand.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eternal Love

I had a few minutes to snoop through Flickr...I am basically falling in love with the site. I think it's really bringing forth the artist in people that don't even realize themselves as artists...and I've had Pablo Neruda playing through my head, saw this picture from a fantastic photographer Hamed Saber.

It's a photo taken of some kind of companions (i would of course want to say lovers) buried facing one another near the Blue Mosque in Tabriz,Iran. It's 3,000 years old! But who can put a time on love anyway?

*Some say Tabriz is the actual biblical site for the Garden of Eden...

As for a treat...
"And good, this danger
is danger of love, of complete love
for all life,
for all lives,
and if this love brings us
the death and the prisons,
I am sure that your big eyes,
as when I kiss them,
will then close with pride,
into double pride, love,
with your pride and my pride."

From "And Because Love Battles"
by Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


When I am with you, we stay up all night,
When you're not here, I can't get to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.


I can't sleep these days, it's a combination of things I suppose. It's the haunting of unsettled feelings, inspiration and uncertainty...oh yeah, life!
It's not bad things, just bad that I can't peacefully rest while I have these ideas barraging me and working on my being. Creating is a gift to those that appreciate your work, you and the energy of the universe in general...it can also be a curse in that you become intoxicated with the feeling it gives you, and unable to desire other things with out completion of your creations.

Above is a poem from one of my all time favorite masters and one of my great inspirations, Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī...but you can call him Rumi.

Monday, May 18, 2009

::BUST:: Spring Fling

Hey you and you and you! So, the BUST show was fun, I want to share some new great designers I finally got to talk to and some I discovered, that will come in the coming days...but the consensus is that all of us indie artists are really feeling the hurt of the economy. So many great supporters came out, and so many were there for fun, jobless. Three, yes, three of my customers came to say hello, and had lost their jobs. I know that so many great people will rewarded for there patience and hard work.
Here are some pictures of the day we spent at the WARSAW in Crooklyn, thanks for all you fantabulous folks that chilled with us.

***You'll see the line of fascinators and the hat I made with a mink skull***

Dawn who used to work at BUST came buy and brought me some Swarovski crystals I love her and her cute self.