Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saying Goodbye...

Very inspired today ... Realized it was the last day in MerGirl, undisturbed. If it doesn't snow tomorrow, moving begins. Had to design one last thing in this studio before I left. Glad I did, I love what came out of me ... I think it is the beginning of a fun collection ... see you in the new studio.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Visions of something dance in their heads

There is nothing left to do ... but sleep. We have had 3 wonderful days filled with family visits. Lots of food, conversation, and laughs were had by all. The girls, Fenway and Wrigley, are happy to be home all snuggled up ... with of course, the crazy cow bone.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Store For Rent Chester CT

Size: 600 sq ft
Location: 4 Water Street Chester CT
Parking: Yes
Utilities: Included
Available: Jan. 1, 2009
contact me: trish@smashingdarling.com

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dina Varano at RISD Sale Dec. 13, 2008

Open Petal long necks
Open Petal Necklaces
Sterling and Oxidized necklaces can be doubled or worn long.
Inspired by the drawn line.

Quick Links...
For details about the RISD Sale
For a viewing of RISD Alumni work
To see what's new in my Store
Any time you'd like to Shop online
Check out slide show of my Jewelry

Thank you and I wish all of you a GREAT holiday!
Stop by for a glass of Beaujoulais anytime in Chester, open
Mon-Sat 10-5:30, Sunday 11-5 & Thursday evenings until 7
- Dina

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Getting Ready For The Move

Is Having

Starting Dec. 5 at 5:00 - Dec. 24th
Enjoy 50% 0ff Most Items in the MerGirl Line

Chester's Holiday Stroll
Friday Dec. 5
Stores and Galleries open 5 - 8

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Congratulations to my friend, Jonathan

For being featured in Business Week Magazine.

photo by Michelle Parr Paulson
photo by Michelle Parr Paulson

Jonathan in the kitchen of River Tavern.

Rapp uses this converted 1955 Ford fire truck for his series of outdoor dinners at local farms. Photo by Michelle Parr Paulson
Photo by Michelle Parr Paulson

The truck they cook on for Dinners at the Farm

an excerpt from the article:

'Revising the Recipe

I realized that I had had the equation backwards. I was making decisions based on what I wanted. I hadn't been willing to make the compromises (as I saw it) sometimes necessary to create a broad coalition of customers—something absolutely crucial in a town with fewer people than the number that walked by Etats-Unis in a day. In our own minds, we were the best restaurant around—but the fact was, we weren't connecting with our customers.'

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Buy 2

OR More...
and Get $10 Off Each Hat
after Thanksgiving
Sale is Friday November 28 4 - 7 pm
Saturday, November 29 8 - noon

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Whosiepie Trunk Show

Save The Date!
Laura (designer of Whosiepie) and I
would like to invite you to MerGirl

Friday, November 28th 4pm - 7pm
Saturday, November 29th 8am - noon

There will be lots of Whosiepie accessories
perennial favorites such as
yoga mat bags
lavender eye pillows
signature whosie bags...
as well as some new gift ideas.

So please join us...
there will be sip of this
and a bite of that to share with you also.

and if you haven't heard the news...
you will have to stop by to get the latest...

p.s. I have to Shout out Erica Tannen's new newsletter, The E-List. It is for all of you that want to stay in touch with all the cool happenings on the shoreline from New Haven to New London. Go sign up now.

Monday, November 17, 2008


by Robert Pinsky
The back, the yoke, the yardage. Lapped seams,
The nearly invisible stitches along the collar
Turned in a sweatshop by Koreans or Malaysians

Gossiping over tea and noodles on their break
Or talking money or politics while one fitted
This armpiece with its overseam to the band

Of cuff I button at my wrist. The presser, the cutter,
The wringer, the mangle. The needle, the union,
The treadle, the bobbin. The code. The infamous blaze

At the Triangle Factory in nineteen-eleven.
One hundred and forty-six died in the flames
On the ninth floor, no hydrants, no fire escapes--

The witness in a building across the street
Who watched how a young man helped a girl to step
Up to the windowsill, then held her out

Away from the masonry wall and let her drop.
And then another. As if he were helping them up
To enter a streetcar, and not eternity.

A third before he dropped her put her arms
Around his neck and kissed him. Then he held
Her into space, and dropped her. Almost at once

He stepped up to the sill himself, his jacket flared
And fluttered up from his shirt as he came down,
Air filling up the legs of his gray trousers--

Like Hart Crane's Bedlamite, "shrill shirt ballooning."
Wonderful how the patern matches perfectly
Across the placket and over the twin bar-tacked

Corners of both pockets, like a strict rhyme
Or a major chord. Prints, plaids, checks,
Houndstooth, Tattersall, Madras. The clan tartans

Invented by mill-owners inspired by the hoax of Ossian,
To control their savage Scottish workers, tamed
By a fabricated heraldry: MacGregor,

Bailey, MacMartin. The kilt, devised for workers
to wear among the dusty clattering looms.
Weavers, carders, spinners. The loader,

The docker, the navvy. The planter, the picker, the sorter
Sweating at her machine in a litter of cotton
As slaves in calico headrags sweated in fields:

George Herbert, your descendant is a Black
Lady in South Carolina, her name is Irma
And she inspected my shirt. Its color and fit

And feel and its clean smell have satisfied
both her and me. We have culled its cost and quality
Down to the buttons of simulated bone,

The buttonholes, the sizing, the facing, the characters
Printed in black on neckband and tail. The shape,
The label, the labor, the color, the shade. The shirt.

-Robert Pinsky

Thank you Sue Levine for choosing to read this to our memoir class over the summer.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When One Door Closes...

Jan. 1, 2009 Another door opens...

If you have been to Chester lately, you have noticed this big, beautiful, red beet hanging outside of what used to be the bakery in town. This is going to be the new home for a store called
The Local Beet.
I am very excited and can't wait to see their doors open.
If you have noticed this, I would like you to take a moment and notice one more thing....the stairs on the left going up. This is where the New Door has opened for Laura & me.

Those stairs lead to our New Studio. We are both very excited to be staying in town producing our clothing lines and pursuing other aspects of our arts. This new space will allow us to concentrate, focus & be a little more specialized.

We will have open houses about once a month so make sure you are on our mailing lists or have subscribed to our blogs. The hours for The Studio will pretty much be the same as at 4 Water St. So feel free to stop in and visit.

This is really exciting for us and we are looking forward to the new inspiration and what this will produce from us. In the mean time we still have lot's going on down at 4 Water St, in MerGirl.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Lunch w/ Dina Varano

Hello all!
Just a reminder,
If you haven't already made you reservation
for Lunch with
Dina Varano
River Tavern
(860-526-9417 for reservation)
This Sat. Nov.8, 2008
You need to do that right away.
Her first lunch in the spring was sold out.
Judging from the pictures it was amazing.
I will see you there!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Winds Of Change Are Blowing...

I feel them and they are strong.
I find it is time for me to make a change.
I hope you will all be very happy for me.
I will be closing the physical location of

Fear not though,
I will continue to design.
You will always have access to me here,
through my newsletter and of course
My store online at Smashing Darling.

I already have a lunch/event planned at River Tavern in January.
So call them and make a reservation 860-526-9417

Stay tuned as I will keep updating the status.
I am not exactly sure about ETD, but I hope to be closed by Dec.31 st.
If it is sooner that is OK too.

Change is good!
Be Happy For Me!

It has been an amazing 14 years in the store.
It would have been nothing without all of you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Last of the Tomatoes

Of course two seconds after this photo,
Wrigley pup was eating right out of the bowl.

Life is good....

Friday, September 26, 2008

SheFinds has paired up with Smashing darling to bring you a $500 Shopping Spree

Freebie Friday: Win A $500 Shopping Spree At Smashing Darling

Sep 26, 2008


What: $500 to spend anywhere on SmashingDarling.com.

Smashing Darling stocks a seemingly endless collection of jewelry, clothes, and all kinds of accessories from independent designers you definitely won’t see in the mall. There is quite literally something (actually, a whole lot of things) for everyone.

Probably because we’ve been more than a little into Mad Men lately, we like the retro look of this Elleira Couture jacket and the classic vibe of this Kate Boggiano sweater.

image image

And the jewelry is fabulous too. This elegant-hip necklace from Jennifer King Designs would work well against a solid-colored tee or with a blazer and camisole, and this cool ring from Manic Trout is made from wire and a vintage button. We could go on.

image image

How: Go to SmashingDarling.com, look around, then come back and comment telling us one or a few of the things you’d buy with $500.
And don’t forget stop by MomFinds for a chance to win a pair of Robeez Mini Shoez.


1. Post in the comments section about what you’d buy at SmashingDarling.com.

2. You must supply us with a valid email address and sign up for the SheFinds newsletter.

3. The contest starts now and entries must be date stamped by our server no later than Friday, October 3rd, 2008 at 11:59 AM Eastern Time to be eligible.

4. One winner will be selected during a random drawing and will be announced in the October 7th SheFinds newsletter. The winner must reply via email as instructed in the newsletter to claim the prize.

5. No prize substitutions.

6. You must be 18 years old or older to enter and a resident of the USA.

7. No purchase necessary.

8. Void where prohibited.

9. Click here for the full rules.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Barn Dance

Nancy Byrne is having her second barn dance this Saturday. Contact me if you need more details.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Knit Hats

I love the texture of this hand spun, hand dyed wool yarn.

I have started this seasons MerGirl knitted hats.
I love them...
stop by the store to take a peak and say hi.

store hours: 12 - 5 tues - sat
4 water st
chester ct 06412

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Featured in DIY City Mag

Just wanted to share with you!
Me and my inspiration board is featured
DIY City Mag this issue!
Check it out and let me know what you think!
To read the whole magazine in all it's yummy entirety
click here where it all starts!
There are always tons of resources and highlights of indie designers!
This issue focuses on New Orleans. The next is due out in Oct. The city of choice is DC.
How appropriate!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

News From MerGirl

Greetings from inside the cool Mergirl Cocccoon
Hi all,
Wanted to let everyone know we have been very very busy!
But isn't everyone!
Black and Ivory dress
Laura and I have been working our fingers to the bone. You can see the fruits of our labor online here at MerGirl.

Save the date Friday, June 20, 2008 for the annual
Mid Summers Eve Stroll In downtown Chester.
Join us that evening we will be open until 8:00pm serving light refreshments.
It is the official kick off to summer!

Some other exciting news, Alva, of the Alva Gallery in New London is oppening a store (in the location the gallery was in) and will be carrying select peices of MerGirl. Can you believe it MerGirl, New London. (I know it is shocking, close your mouth)
I will keep you posted about when the opening will be.

This weekend if anyone is attending the auction for High Hopes, be on the lookout for a MerGirl bias cut slip dress, hand dyed with natural dyes. It is one of my favorite peices and happy that it will help raise money for a very good cause. So Bid on it!
Here is the list of lots of other really fabulous items that will be on the Auction Block.

Also, I am starting a
new segment for the Smashing Darling Blog, Indie Style Scene, I want to know how you wear your indie. Here is your chance to show off your favorite indie fashion find. I want to know who you are and what you love and want others to know too. This will be a weekly feature. I think the long arm of cool indie reaches far and wide and I want to highlight that. To get more details email me trish@smashingdarling.com

You can also find me writing at Mergirl Shop Blog

and I also want to remind everyone that it is a new season for farm fresh and Dinners at the Farm put on by River Tavern and Feast are in full swing again. I recommend making a reservation and going to one. The dinners are really bringing a lot of awareness to the local farms that we are so fortunate to have in our area.

and hope to see you soon,

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Subscribe to Venuszine & Be Entered To Win A Gift Certificate To Smashing Darling

Subscribe for a chance to win!

Venuszine is pairing up with Smashing Darling. You subscribe to the magazine and you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate to Smashing Darling. There will be 25 lucky winners for the gift certificates. Some lucky winners will also receive Necklaces from Rock Love & Albums from Santagold, Atmosphere, Free Kitten, and many others. Plenty of good stuff to go around.

Show your support for this creative, emerging, indie lifestyle by subscribing, you will be glad you did.

Venus Zine is the leading source for coverage of women in music, art, film, fashion, and DIY culture. Venuszine.com is the daily updated companion to the quarterly, internationally circulated magazine. Venus Zine and venuszine.com feature interviews with legendary artists (Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, and Kim Deal) in addition to edgy and up-and-coming musicians, designers, writers, actresses, and DIY entrepreneurs.

Check out the behind the scenes video getting ready for the summer issue. Also in this issue is A Timeline of Women in Hip Hop and Sex and the Purse, Pumps and Penthouse. Look into the events to see the Madewell Event recap, where Venuszine editors showed shoppers how to deck out their denim.

For those of you with businesses:

Win a free half page ad!

They are giving away a half-page color ad to the Web site that refers the most visits to venuszine.com between June 1 and July 15, 2008.*

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Town Wide Tag Sale

If you are within driving distance to Chester CT,
I recommend you don't miss coming to town this Saturday,
May 24, 2008.
It is the much awaited for
Town wide Tag Sale.
Pop into MerGirl and check out our new Spring/Summer peices.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It Is Raining Pink

Main street in Old Saybrook CT.
So beautiful with the row of cherry trees raining pink today.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Belated Gift...Spilling Open

A beautifully wrapped belated B-day present that was given to me.
Thank you Laura (whosiepie) Williams.
I absolutely love the book inside.
Spilling Open
The Art of Becoming Yourself
It is a beautiful book.
I recommend it.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Inspiration Board

... and a close up.
'What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail'So let me know...What would you do?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

May Day Open House

Hi everyone!
Join us at MerGirl
Friday, May 2nd
for The Chester May Day Evening Stroll.

Italian pointelle knit top
Italian Pointelle knit top

We will be open until 8:00 pm for the festivities.
So please be welcome to stop by and say HI!

Bold print dress
Bold floral print dress

Bring your friends and make it a GIRLS NIGHT!
smashingdarling tee
Student Smash Up tee Tip toeing

If you can't make it Friday night
you can always find
Smashing Darling

As the co-founder for Smashing Darling
I would like to tell everyone
I am very greatful for all of your support.

To keep up with what we are up to at Smashing Darling
check in on the blog
hot in the blog
sign up for the
Please help me spread the word
sharing this with all of your friends.

I also recently became a board member for DIY City Mag.
I write a weekly post about how indie designers can promote themselves.
DIY City Mag

Always, feel free to leave me a message or a comment.
In fact I encourage it.
I want to here from YOU!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day, From My Friends at Compai

HAPPY EARTH DAYThis is a picture of a construction site near our home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This used to be a button factory. They demolished the building while it was still full of buttons, ribbons and other sewing notions. In a town so full of new designers, it's such a shame they didn't call us before wiping out the space to give all of the buttons and ribbons a good home. There are hundreds of thousands of buttons littered all over site-- a button graveyard. :-(
Happy Earth Day!
We over here at Compai have got a little crush on Mother Earth. We like to try and go easy on her, give her space and some room to breath--cause we recognize that she's been pretty maltreated over the years and is sensitive to people. This Earth Day we want to give her something really special...So we are giving her a couple of promises. Since January, Faith and I have made a no shopping pledge. If we are itching for something new in our wardrobes, we gotta make it ourselves out of clothing that we have in our wardrobes. Today we will make a second pledge. No more plastic bags. This one should be a bit easier than giving up shopping! I'm just going to carry a tote with me where ever I go...and remember to tell the at checkout that I dont need a bag. Its as easy as that.
These are just tiny things that I can do to make this place a bit greener... let me know on our BLOG
what you're gonna give Mother Earth this year--maybe we can all get together and get her an awesome group gift? What do you think?

If you haven't yet RSVP'd for the big Compai event in collaboration with Josie Maran Cosmetics at Steve Glenn's LivingHome, please email us at compairehab@gmail.com
There will be signed copies of 99 Ways To Cut, Sew, Tie and Rock your Scarf
available, as well as the inauguration of our earth-friendly clothing collection made of recycled materials, bamboo, soy, organic cotton and hemp.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Magnolia in Gramercy Park

I just had two amazing business trips to NYC.
I love NY in the spring.
The flowering trees are made more beautiful
by the buildings that are their backdrop.
I stumbled on this lovely magnolia on my walk
from SOHO to 50th st and Lex.
It was a great night for a long walk.