Friday, December 02, 2011

The Crafty Underdog

I will be selling my stuff at The McMenamins Crafty Underdog, on Dec. 11th. 11am-5pm. I'm really excited, but need to work on display ideas... It's half to space I'm used to working with. I hope people drop by and say hello!! Lots of great Portland crafters and musicians. Until then I will be finishing moving my studio into our new shared creative space, getting aquainted with my borrowed serger and building up my supply for the holiday bazaar.
The family and I have been learning a lot of new skills (twining, basket weaving, cordage, and more in-depth natural dying)and I can't wait to share our creations!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Putting Our Feet Down- A Sewing Machine Basics Workshop

This weekend I taught my first sewing workshop, at In Other Words!! I.O.W. is one of the first bookstores I found, when I first moved to Portland in 1998, and it has evolved into an amazing community/feminist resource center. My workshop is focused on teaching basic skills to people who have sewing machines. (I'm trying to get donated machines for those students who don't have access to one) It started off slow, as I went over each students machine, because each sewing machine is unique, especially the older models. We figured out threading and tension and a few troubleshooting pointers on how to find out why things are not going as planned. Everyone caught on pretty quick and a few went home with cute wrist cuffs and applique patches. This next weekend we will begin our bag-making project and wade through all of the amazing fabric donations I received for the class!!!
I really believe that the less one has to depend on others for resources, the more sovereignty one has over their own life. Providing skill shares, like sewing classes, to others is one step each of us can take to start taking control over our lives. Learning these skills from older generations can reconnect us to the past and give us insight and sometimes a new perspective. The more inter-generational my community is the more grounded I feel. I hope that the younger generations can look past any political/lifestyle differences they have with their elders and glean as much knowledge and skills they can before all pre-high tech knowledge dies out.
That said... anyone in the Portland area, who wants to attend my next session of workshops, in December, should email me to ensure a spot.

Friday, November 11, 2011

my love for oddities

I have been making magnets from found ephemera and odd images for the last six months for craft fairs, but never thought to photograph them, until now...
I really love my oddity magnets and they are doing reallyCheck Spelling well at my booths. They are made from formica samples and really cheap to make, so I can sell them at a really low price! Most of the images are from really old alchemy manuscripts or vintage clip art.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


My husband, Michael, has started tattooing again with both methods of using a gun and the traditional stick and poke... so I got another one done a few months ago in his new studio area...

Michael also likes tattooing himself... these are some new ones he did on his leg.

We often work as team, where I draw/design the tattoo. Here's one we just did on one of our friends of an Oregon Elderberry plant.

It's pretty addictive to get them and really exciting to help Michael and take part in something that going to be a with someone for the rest of their lives.
...And this means more tattoos now that I don't have to pay for them.

Etsy Update

I've been working a lot on my clothing creations. I have been looking at many victorian techniques of draping and ruffling to create a slightly steampunk aesthetic. Since it's getting cold here, in the Northwest, I think that I'm going to venture more into things that can keep you warm (i.e. hooded scraf, wrist warmers) and adding bustles to anything I can (i.e. vests, skirts). I may hold off on anymore slip dresses until the weather warms up. Here are a few of the clothes that I just added to my etsy store...

Hand-dyed gathered Slip skirt

LinkSkirt made from a hand-dyed bedskirt w/ a bustle

Fair modeling a tablecloth skirt

Beautiful hand-dyed slip dress

Bloomers from a pair of hand-dyed slip pants

Using vintage slips and linens to make these clothes, fits in line with my belief that we really never have to buy anything "new" again... and it makes me work with patterns even less!!!! I hold firm to my policy that I use mainly salvaged, upcycled, recycled or vintage fabrics and materials. I'm still using thread that I salvaged from an abandoned embroidery shop, fabric samples from my days as a sewing tech for an interior design boutique, linens donated from nice old ladies, and unique table clothes and bed skirts from thrift stores and of course finding vintage treasures at the two places in Portland that every seamstress should know about... The Goodwill Bins and Knittn' Kitten.

Friday, September 30, 2011

in the studio..

fancy wrist warmers...

My first bustle...

Tonight was the final Last Thursday of 2011, so now I will be posting all of my new clothing creations on my etsy store site. I almost sold out of my slip dresses and have a list of custom order customers. I hope this holiday season is a busy one! I will be a vendor at a few Holiday Bazaars, here in Portland, and will post the details as I get them.
Thanks to all the folks who stopped by my booth tonight!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

my new obsession

Hand-dying and embellishing slips and lace is my new found obsession. A few of my friends have started playing around with slips and I caught the bug! I have no training or experience in dressmaking, but when you have the foundation already provided with the slip it is really amazing what you can create. I have always been fascinated with the steampunk aesthetic, so I have been researching more victorian styles and really want to start incorporating bustles, ruffles and draping into my creations. I'm up to my neck in vintage lace and trims and it's time to put it all to use.

...and I think I'm finally finding uses for the tons of neck ties I've been hording...

I'm going to be uploading a lot of slips, dresses, and neck collars,to my etsy store, at the end of the month. I'm also working on some overskirts made from vintage table clothes and trim. I really need a grommet/snap bench press to finish a lot of my other projects, but they are really hard to come by, unless you have a couple extra hundreds laying around...
I'm really enjoying this new direction of sewing and the inspiration I'm getting from steampunk. I think the eccentric, yet practical, stylings will be a nice challenge.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Back from tour again!!!!

So I just got back from another tour with my band holy! holy!holy!. We went on a three month tour circling the entire country. Thirteen people, including three little ones, all sharing our school bus and invoking the spirit of resistance and wildness. It was exhausting, beautiful and life changing.

Oakland, CA @ The Revolution Cafe

Canon City, CO
I've been busy making bags and a ton of new accessories. Go over to my etsy shop to see what I've been up to!!!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Back from Tour Part 1

I have been busy for the last six months preparing and going on tour with my band holy!holy!holy!. I've been playing accordion for over two years now with the band and this is my second tour. Fair and Whitman love being on the road and Michael and I are coming closer to our dream of being a nomadic family. We left on a six week tour Nov. 1st and returned right before Winter Solstice. It was a crazy experience, but well worth any of the bumps in the road...
We had anywhere from 10-13 people traveling with us at anytime. Our band usually consists of 9 musicians, but add kids, girlfriends and tag-alongs and it can get a little cramped... but we made it work.

Here's half of the traveling crew hanging with the kids.

Big Sur, CA

We started in Portland and traveled down the Californian coast to San Diego. Then we turned east through Arizona and up through Colorado, turning west and eventually making it back home. We played over 20 shows and meet some amazing people along the way. The kids got picked up by Michael's mom and stayed with her in Tucson for a week, giving Michael and I the first time without kids EVER!!! We had fun but missed them terribly... When we got to Tucson, Grandma agreed to help get their ears pierced, but fair wasn't too stoked on it after the first ear. Whitman was a trooper. We took them to a professional piercing/tattoo parlor that Michael's friend Lenny owns. Speaking of tattoos... Michael got his facial tattoos done and I had my first "stick and poke" tattoo as well.

fair and whitman post piercing... yes fair is not happy...

One of the best parts of tour was spending time at the beach in San Diego. The kids got to swim in the ocean for the first time. Oregon's coastal waters are freezing all year long and the kids were stoked playing with dad in the water. Fair and I regularly went rock hunting and now have quite the collection.

So now... we are gearing up for another tour, but this time we are going for almost 4 months, with two buses (sometimes three) and incorporating belly dancing and more crafty endeavors as well. We lost four members and now have added over 6 new ones. So right now we are going over old songs and writing new ones. It's exciting and so many things are coming together...

Quintin, our violinist, suited up for our Halloween Tour kick-off.