Sunday, November 30, 2008

Portland Monthly

Here's the recent article about Flutter in this month's issue of Portland Monthly. Many thanks to Jill Spitznass and the Portland Monthly for including us in their fine publication!

Roadside Attraction
by Jill Spitznass

Flutter owner Cindy Rokoff admits that, as a teenager in rural Kansas, she was embarrassed by her mother’s then-unfashionable gift for junking. “She’d pull the station wagon over to see if an old chair had potential,” Rokoff recalls. “I’d say, ‘Can’t we just go the mall and buy things?’”

Today, surrounded as she is by the collection of intriguing home and body items at her N Mississippi Avenue shop, it’s clear that Rokoff inherited her mom’s eye for the unsung beauty—or the charming quirkiness—of an object. A jumble of vintage woodcut letters is strikingly handsome, for example, when displayed in an elegant glass jar atop an antique table, while a stunning milk-glass chandelier hovers above a wooden boxful of chrome trophies resting on the velvet cushions of a 1930s couch. Meanwhile, eight finches (Flutter’s de facto mascots) chirp and preen inside an oversize French birdcage, entertaining shoppers who peruse reworked vintage apparel, classic holiday garlands, and imported bath luxuries.

Now the mother of two, Rokoff concedes that history is repeating itself at home. “I recently found my 9-year-old moving furniture around the house, and I thought, ‘Oh, no—it is genetic!’

Published: December 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ladies Art Explosion

If you haven't been into Flutter lately, it's worth an extra trip. It's full of fantastic art by women in the neighborhood, even more than usual. Julia (Frocky Jack Morgan) and Sonia (Urchin) have brought in silky armfuls of reworked vintage dresses and fur coats. There's one faux leopard print coat in particular that I love, it has "E S" sewn into the red wool lining- I like to think it belonged to Edie Sedgwick, or an adorable copycat. Up above there's a picture of a sculpture Sonia made, it's really pretty, like those jade flowers on mahogany that you see in super fancy chinese restaurants, only hers is made out of...... I won't tell you. You have to come in to find out. Susan and Sari have, as you may already know, teamed up on jewel toned, silkscreened drapery panels and pillows that are brightening up the four corners of the store. The two of them are like a dream team of interior design, I can't wait to see what they come up with next. It's awesome that they thought to do made-to-order curtains, I bet they'll be very popular. Curtains are the kind of thing people always put off, usually I end up hanging a spare sheet up on a rod and calling it a day. Mary, from Hail Mary on Killingsworth at NE 30th, has brought in a cadre of mosaic crosses and chalices as well as hanging lamps. The lamps are incredible- the chunky bits of colored glass look great when illuminated from the inside. I don't know how she works in the patterns, it seems so complicated, but Mary is a master mosaicist and the effect is stunning. Every trip I make to Hail Mary inspires me to make more art, and now I get to see it at Flutter too. Another lady lending her talents to the store is the mysterious Elizabeth Johnson. Her crowns have been in the store for a few weeks; they are woven (sculpted?) out of bits of silk, lace and other soft gorgeous things, and her attention to detail makes me suspect there may be a union of elflings in league with her (see Cristin modeling one above). There's a chandelier in the store done in a similar style, it's deep blue and scarlet and cream lace and embroidery, I've never seen anything like it. Her art is sometimes at Bernadette Breu, like gigantic shell mosaics on bureaus and tables. In addition to all this magnificent talent there are the drawings that Casea and I made. We framed them in gold glitter, they're in the window looking iconic. Of course, the mama of the operation, the grand dame Cindy, keeps it all looking stellar. Boy, can she move stuff around, no joke. You can check her out in this month's Portland Monthly, there's a great photo and interview.

Whew! That was a lot of action!! -sara kolp

Friday, November 21, 2008


The Flutter party was so much fun. All the panels were hung and the pillows stuffed.It's always nice to have a party after working so diligently, especially one that Cindy throws. I brought the whole family with me, and I think the kids ate about 15 powdered donuts and 25 pixie sticks each. Judging by the frantic giggling and running around, Cindy and Sarah's girls were probably even higher on the sugar charts. I must say it was great fun. I had invited a neighbor to go, and he had a blast talking and dancing with all the lovely ladies who were working and modeling that night. He kept thanking me profusely for introducing him to a place full of such beautiful women. Yes, another little known fact to those of you who haven't actually been in the store, on any given moment it's full of beautiful women along with the beautiful things!

I have taken the week off from any sewing projects, but I did have a meeting with an upholsterer because I can't seem to stop with the ideas I have for the shop. A line of furniture? Say it can be done! Say it! Thank you. The woman (yes! another woman! girl power is strong in the land of Flutter)I talked to is on the same page as I am as concerning furniture. It was an exciting meeting, and she's going to meet with me and Cindy and show us some good stuff soon. Hopefully over some cocktails. Hopefully I will have some good news to report back with!

Other than that, I am too busy for words. The holidays are just about in full swing and all the festivities that go along with them. "It's the most wonderful time of the year", to quote one of my favorite Christmas songs. I try not to sing any until after Thanksgiving to spare my little stanza isn't going to hurt anyone right?


Monday, November 17, 2008

Flutter Party Aftermath

Whew! What a good Flutter party. It was a little overwhelming, because I hadn't gotten a chance to explore Sonia's gorgeous sculptures, slips, kimonos and dresses before showing up to work, but throughout the night I familiarized myself with the pieces and I have to say that I am blown away by what I see. The feather pins and hair pieces are beautiful and architecturally intense. She does wonders with careful beadwork and gauzy accents, working the spectrum from subtle to over-the-top. There's one ostrich feather headdress that looks like it belongs on a trapeze artist. There are also great altered slips, like one in hot pink with the word "kitten" airbrushed onto it, tricked out with rhinestones. It seems like lately every time I work there's a dress here, just my size. It's pretty amazing. I wore a black and silver jacket all day yesterday that looked like something a flamboyant bullfighter might wear, and today I found a navy blue rayon dress from the forties with pink and yellow daffodils all over it. I put some ribbon in my hair that is shaped like strings of rosy leaves, and I look so much better than I felt when I came in this morning. The transfiguring power of dressing up is undeniable. Sonia and Julia both do great collages and sculptures that unite their disparate sources of inspiration. It's so much fun to peruse the store on quiet afternoons, a bottle of windex in my hand as an excuse for lingering.. it's like a museum, really, but I can play the Cure all day if I feel like it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Flutter's Holiday Party

It's that time again...a Flutter Party! Just in time to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season, but we have much more to celebrate too. I am pleased to announce and unveil our exiting, new endeavors at Flutter. The first is Sonia Kasparian, our new clothing designer debuting her clothing and accessories line, Urchin. Sonia is a long time Portland artist. Check out her recent show at Butters Gallery. Her visions and creations will be a lovely addition to the store and the perfect compliment to the very talented Julia of Frocky Jack Morgan. I am so thrilled and honored to have 2 amazing designers/artists at Flutter.

The next exiting news, which you may have been reading about on our blog, is the new home accessories line being developed and designed by Susan Hashem and Sari Gunderson. You've seen some of Susan's work in the shop already, but these 2 have teamed up to make the most intoxicating,amazing pillows and curtain panels. Silk Dupioni in luscious magentas, teal blues and chocolate, silk screened with peacock feathers, pagodas and chrysanthemums that are then sewn beautifully into drapes and pillows. My head is spinning just thinking about these beautiful creations at Flutter. The best news is you can custom order your own!

Hail Mary!! Another long time Portland artist Mary Tapogna will be gracing our Flutter blue walls with her spakling mosaic crosses. What an amazing shrine it will be and so perfect for Flutter.

To further your Flutter experience with visual treats, our holiday ornaments have arrived and turned the back wall cabinet into a spakling feast for the eyes! Oh and the Flutter holiday windows....Sara and Casea have been sketching the most beautiful Madonnas all lined in gold glitter, perched in the window and blessing those passing by.

It's all so exciting. If all of this is not enough...Frocky Jack Morgan models, Swing Papillon and Peach champagne. I think we will be seeing you on Thursday!
Happy Holidays,

It's a push!

Well, this is the week before the unveiling of the new pillows and drapery panels at Flutter. I am in a frantic rush to get this all done by next Thursday. Sari, my talented silkscreen and pattern artist just delivered the beautifully screened pillows to me yesterday. Now I get to work. Which I like, but I am also working like a dog at my job job. My boss is out of town so I am fielding all insanity alone this week. Oh and my other two jobs. Oh, and then there's the whole mother/wife thing. I'M BUSY DAMMIT! Aaahh!

Oh wait! There was the election, which really was weighing in on my mind for a few weeks, generally inhibiting my creative energy. Such a relief that's over. Phew! Now I can get back to some normalcy. So, as you can tell by the state of my rambling and general nuttiness I am a bit crazy! I mean, my favorite time of year is coming up and after this party, I will be able to start to bask in the glow of the season. That basking will begin at the big Flutter party next Thursday. Until then, back to work!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Well as you can see, we kept the election out of our blog posts until now. It really has not been too difficult. The shop/blog/website is such a natural distraction from every day life for me, politics just never really crossed my mind to write about. But, tonight I feel it and felt that I would like to write about it.

On the eve of our presidential election I feel somewhat calm. Yes, I have a vision of how I would like it to go and yes I have a candidate that I want to win. The calm is somewhat strange and uncomfortable. Maybe I think my candidate will win and I can't believe that anyone could vote differently. What are they crazy...haven't they seen the debates, it's so clear of what direction the country needs to go? No, I don't think that's what gives me those calm feelings because there are so many out there that hold complete, opposing views and are heading to the polls tomorrow. Business has been incredibly good this past month and according to all reports it shouldn't be. Are people spending nervously or do they just love my store?, so no that's not giving me any calm vibes. My husband, Oliver said shouldn't you be basking in your recent success especially since all odds are against you right now? I think I will just keep grinding my teeth, just in case my good fortune goes away tomorrow with the election. Gee doesn't a small business owner ever get a good nights sleep? But, for some reason tonight there is calm...I don't know is it that I can't quite fathom another election being lost in my view? Can I really go to bed tomorrow night thinking it is certain, I mean after all it sure did change overnight in the last election. You go to bed thinking one thing and by morning there's a whole new president. Just the thought of that should rock my calmness. No, I think for as corny as it may seem...I still believe in the American people. I believe in my Mississippi community and the city of Portland. I believe republican or democrat, we will come together and overcome our obstacles, build dreams for our future and our children. I have to....I have little ones. It's what keeps me doing what I'm doing and builds their future to keep them doing what they are doing. What can I say, I've often been accused of seeing the glass half full, a sunny personality, blind optimist. Maybe so, but it sure makes my every day living easier along with a glass of wine or 2! We all have a voice and it's important to express it in a respectful tone. Daily I do business with folks I enjoy, respect and admire their artistry and abilities, who clearly have a major difference of opinion from me on some pretty serious issues. I was asked the other night how I could do business with people who had this belief or had that belief? It was so easy for me to answer. We are free to think what we think and practice what we practice, is that not what our country was founded on? My tolerance and respect is great for opposing views as long as the tolerance and respect is there for me. That's what Flutter is all about. Put it out there and put it out there well with respect for all to see, enjoy and makes life a hell of a lot more interesting when we are all challenged in thought!

So with all my rambling on....the only message I have here is to vote and vote for the candidate who represents you, but please be respectful of those who vote differently than you and realize in the end we all have to come together and work together for the good of our country and our children.

please vote!
Cindy....the blind optomist

Fun at Flutter

This is the best time of year. I love the feeling in here when it's nice and warm but you can hear the rain on the roof and the swoosh of cars on the wet street. I love playing the accordion when no one's in here, and I always get embarrassed when somebody walks in on me. I love helping people pick out presents. I love that I get to have so many random conversations with strangers at Flutter, I am always learning new things. Today I got to talk with this lady about her travels in Laos and Vietnam, it made me want to go. Usually, the tamale lady comes by at noon, and I buy six tamales for $5. Halloween was amazing, I went to a dance party dressed as Captain Hook. He represents everything that's self-obsessed, sleazy and dishonest about adulthood, and he's got great style. I just reread the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barre, it's so deep. At midnight on Halloween I turned 29, and I carried the birthday vibe on to the next night by going out to another dance party. Birthdays always kind of bum me out, I haven't figured out why. It's not the getting older part, it has something to do with attention and expectations. In honor of aging and stop action animation, I'll insert a Penny Cartoon here. These showed during episodes of Pee-Wee's Playhouse when I was a kid, and I love them so much. The dialogue sounds like someone just turned on the tape recorder and captured a kid monologuing.

Sincerely, Sara Kolp