One of our real-people models, Gretchen Jones, is in the finale of Project Runway. A champion of green style and a perfectionist with an eye for the subtle and sophisticated, she's carrying the torch for Stumptown's cutting-edge creative culture.
Archive for October, 2010
Chambray’s been cool since the early 1900s, when the iconic light indigo cotton shirt made its mark as the ultimate workwear staple. Where do you think the expression “blue collar” comes from? Sturdy, versatile and honest, our version just gets better with age—like leather boots or a barrel of whisky. Here’s our guide to getting the most out of yours. Straight, no chaser.
Put it on.
Don’t tuck it.
Roll the sleeves.
Spill beer on it.
Wear it unbuttoned
Throw it on the floor.
Pick it up and wear it the next day.
Sweat in it.
Tie it around your waist.
Let your GF borrow it.
Wash it (if you must).
But whatever you do, don’t iron it.
Our friend Emily Jackson, Kayaker and consummate Toad shares her story from the road:
When people ask “What’s one of the most fun places I have ever been?,” Uganda shoots up to the very top of the list. The combination of the culture shock, African wildlife, large insects, and the amazing rapids of the White Nile make it one of my favorite places to visit. Once there, it’s impossible to not feel the need to give something back. The people, who have close to nothing, are willing and able to help you with anything. This started a fire in me to continue to do my best to make life-changing efforts in the towns I find myself in.
My latest trip was this January and it was my third time visiting Uganda. On previous trips I brought in more people, money and the goal of getting one large project done. This time I brought myself and myself only, with the goal of volunteering with Soft Power Health and paddling during our down time.
The day-to-day job was very different. Instead of cutting a red ribbon on a new school or assisting with the opening of the health clinic, I was helping to teach Ugandans to make healthy decisions, simply through education — which they have been deprived of. (Many are unaware of how one even gets pregnant or contracts malaria!) I was there for over a month and the three things I helped educate them on were malaria (which is our primary goal, as it can be prevented), family planning, and follow-ups regarding the proper uses of the mosquito nets they bought. Each gathering (the tribal leader or medicine woman/man brings the town together) had amazing results, with people thanking us for the knowledge as well as the tools: cheap and free birth control, nets, and water purifying systems. Knowledge is power — that’s the biggest thing to remember when helping in third world countries. You can’t do it for them, but you can show them the road…
Another question people ask is “What do you get from this?” I do it for the amazing feeling of knowing in my heart that I can leave the world a better place, knowing that I made a difference in the lives of others, knowing that I am getting something wonderful out of it, and I am able to give something back in return.
Each one of us is capable of making a difference, so get out there — and remember: It’s not the results but the significance of the effort.
Big thanks to Horny Toad for letting me share my story, and helping me to live my life comfortably and fashionably!
All the best,
Creek Week is an annual community event that celebrates Santa Barbara’s creeks, allowing Santa Barbara locals to get involved in protecting water quality in our creeks and ocean. Horny Toad teamed up with the City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division to remove invasive ivy and plant native plants at the Mission Creek Restoration and Fish Passage Project at the Tallant Road Bridge in Oak Park. The goal was to remove barriers and allow endangered Southern California Steelhead Trout the chance to migrate and spawn in Mission Creek.
These trout have attempted to spawn in the lower end of Mission creek during five of the last seven years, but have been turned away by invasive plant barriers that behave like surly doormen at a swinger’s party. Born in freshwater streams, steelhead generally live in the stream for the first year before moving to the ocean where they spend most of their adult life. Being anadromous, the trout migrate back up freshwater streams and rivers to do their thang.
Our volunteer efforts were focused on getting them into the party at Mission Creek, modifying the barriers in the creek and creating more natural passages for the trout. We joined forces with the Creeks division and had approximately 20 volunteers turn out for the event. Together, Horny Toad and the SB Creeks Division planted over 200 native plants, pulled a lot of ivy and collected trash along the way in our effort to help give the creek new life.
We love everything about pumpkins. They represent fall in so many ways, from the pumpkin patch harvest to the freakiness of Halloween. It seems like every year pumpkin-carving allows average people to channel their inner Rodins and let the creative juices flow — something we all need to do a bit more. It’s also a great excuse to hack into something with a knife. Muahahaha.
Here are 10 easy steps on how to carve like a Toad:
- Before you crack into the pumpkin, crack a beer. And make sure your friends all have beers too.
- Spread out a bunch of brown bags or old newspapers.
- Assuming you already have a pumpkin, place it in the middle of your well-covered surface. If you don’t have a pumpkin, go get one and start at Step 1 again when you get back.
- Come up with a killer design (see above for inspiration).
- Crack another beer, or switch to something a little more appropriate.
- Either draw your design on the surface of the pumpkin, or transfer it from paper by taping it to the pumpkin and using a toothpick to poke holes around the outline. Or, what the hell, just start carving away freestyle.
- Cut out the lid and make sure you angle your incision toward the stalk, so it doesn’t fall inside. Cut a notch in the lid edge to make it easier to open and close.
- Pull out the guts and separate the seeds for toasting and munching.
- Carefully cut out your design. And we mean CAREFULLY. You’ve been drinking.
- Put a candle inside and spark it up!
Ready to show off your skills? Go to our Facebook page and submit your jack-o-lantern carving to our wall or send us a twitpic @hornytoadinc for a chance to win a $50 gift card toward Horny Toad gear!
“You can use it like a Rebozo or a shawl. You can wad it up and it makes this great, chunky scarf. I don’t know about you, but I’ve traveled to some strange places that might include a long bus ride after coming off a train or plane, so it works well as a blanket in those situations. (It’s not like they even give you blankets on planes anymore.) It’s a great travel piece, whether you wear it like a scarf, wrap it around yourself, or sleep in it.”
- The Wrap
- The Standard Scarf
- The Pretzel Knot
- The Linus Blanket
- The Germ Barrier
- The Insta-Hoodie
- The Slippery Beer Cap Opener
- The Dog Blanket
- The Boyfriend Warmer
Design director Kate picks a few of her favorite things.
1. Heartfelt Sweater
It looks dense because it’s boiled wool, but it’s not heavy, so you get that jacket-like quality without the weight. It’s the office favorite. Look for it in late October.
2. Prelude Tank
I wear tanks or t-shirts under everything. This one looks great peeking out from under a flannel shirt. A year-rounder.
3. Bel Canto Top
It’s like Deadwood meets James Bond. Like a martini served in a shot glass.
4. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
We love food around here. I read the Omnivore’s Dilemma, and am working on this right now.
5. Persol Sunglasses
I’ve been wearing these a long time and I couldn’t live without them. Understated. And beautiful. It’s all in the details.
6. Be Here to Love Me Townes Van Zandt Documentary
Classic country like his just grows on you. He’s got an amazing story.
7. Men’s Cooper Sweater in Helix Green Heather
A blend of lambswool and cashmere that walks the line between a nice sweater and a sweatshirt. I love that it lets you live for today, and not save it for dress-up.
8. Cipher Pant
They’ve got a hint of that military feel, without going overboard. The fabric lets you wear them multiple days before they have to be washed. I don’t want to admit how many days I’ve got on this pair.
9. Silver-Colored Jewelry
I’m a silver person, but my wedding ring is white gold. My husband doesn’t do jewelry, so I got him a wedding guitar.
10. Soloist Shawl
It’s like a fine Pashmina shawl that you don’t have to treat with kid gloves.
11. 9’3″ McTavish Surfboard, aka “Big Mac”
I got it in Byron Bay, Australia. It was a custom for a guy, but they put the stripes on the wrong side, so I bought it, bubble-wrapped it and brought it home.
I have like 27 pairs of these. They come in amazing colors that you can pick to either completely conflict with or perfectly match your clothes.
FALL ’10 NOTES:
The latest horny toad collection is an evolution for us, a renewal — and at the same time, a return to our roots.
A couple of years ago the design team did some soul-searching and out of that came 4 elements that are essential to everything we make (well, really everything we do.) The four points make a kind of compass that guides our design process. (more…)
BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE FALL PHOTO SHOOT
We sent our Art Director, Cari, and our photographer, David, to Northern California with a group of friends — not models — to capture our fall collection the way they do it best: by having some good wine, hanging out in some beautiful spots, and taking a few pictures while they were at it.
“The theme of the new collection is Americana,” says Cari, “So the direction we got from the design team was to capture the notion of craftsmanship and getting back to our blue-collar roots. We looked at Northern California because it’s a great place to get a fall vibe in March, and also because it’s a place we felt there are artisans who continue to work with their hands.” (more…)
In the words of our Design Director, Kate:
“Opus fabric is a blend of Modal®, organic cotton, nylon and baby soft angora. It actually gets its name because of how harmonic these materials are together (this was also the name of Ellen’s amazing cat, a bonus.) It’s a lightweight knit but it feels deliciously warm and cozy. Because of the blend of different fibers, the colors take on a nice dimension because in the dye process each fiber takes the dye a little differently. It’s not exactly a heather but it’s not a single or simple color either. It looks as good as it feels and you really need to touch it to fully appreciate, but let me try to summarize in a word: tasty.” (more…)