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.