Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last weekend for Holiday Shopping

My goods will be at the Pacific Arts Holiday Market one last weekend fri-sun,10am-6pm.
And then I get to have a week to do my own holiday gift making like a crafty mama should.
I am also working to finish all overdue special orders before the new year. Funny how I said I wasn't going to do any special orders this year with the baby,but here I am mid december finishing off a half dozen hats that have been hanging over my head (like anvils ready to drop, not like hats which should, in a sense, hang over your head.) Once I finally sat down to do them, they were each a little bit fun with their specific fabrics and odd sizes bringing out my creativity. (Unfortunately I am in such a rush to finally get them to their owners that I haven't taken any photos.)

Friday, December 03, 2010

merry christmas craft season!

I made a few very green wreaths this week in an attempt to both use every last little bit of fabric I have collected and make something that I could work on while Franklin was awake. He helped me mix up all the scraps of felted wool with a big orange rubber spatula on the floor. This insured a truly random and organic placement of colors and sizes. Then he was a champ for this photo session (in his just finished birthday sweater I have been knitting since I was pregnant.) You can buy this very very green wreath at the Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle this Saturday and Sunday. Looks like Steeb may have some competition this year for winning moth and squirrel's unpaid employee of the month award...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

radical gratitude

I am tempted to feel sorry for myself today.Franklin's play date (solo sewing time) was canceled due to illness (get well soon ryan!) as was one with jasper last week.It's still nasty icy out. Deadlines are looming.The heater at the studios keeps going out and it is my duty to try to do something about it. Holidays can feel lonely and disappointing even without the pressure to earn a living at Christmas. Juggling my crafty business and parenting can be isolating with all the focus it takes. You get the idea. Winter blahs plus baby blues times work anxiety equals self pity while the boy throws cheerios around the living room.So, in an attempt to change my attitude here is a thanksgiving inspired list:
I am thankful for...
a healthy curious almost one year old baby named franklin
a kind and capable father/husband/friend/number one unpaid employee named steeb
a studio in which to make big felty messes
a home that is cozy despite the weather outside
big pots of pumpkin soup and beef stew
strong coffee in favorite mugs made by cary lane
more ideas than time to execute them
making money from scraps and creativity
staying cuddled up under blankets sewn by loved ones
knit hats and mittens created with spincycle yarns

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

crunch time

It is that time of year again. When I thought I was doing well and then I realized I was terribly behind schedule.When unexpected health problems(this year just a nasty stomach flu)throw off my plan for efficiently using every last minute before the big shows. When my family celebrations take the backseat to potential family income. When I fall into bed exhausted then can't sleep with to-do lists and guilt taking turns running around my mind.
Also when I am most inspired and think of new items I want to make. When I want to sew gifts for friends and all the expected babies. When curling up with a steaming mug of something and a knitting project seems the perfect way to weather the storm.
Oh november. will you always be this way?
Here's what helps:
small doses of my favorite christmas music while sewing. This year the top albums are James Brown, Charlie Brown and a mix I made with contemporary classics like Do they know its christmas, simply having a wonderful christmas time and christmas in hollis.

the moment franklin falls asleep for a nap I take out my hand sewing.

networking with all the awesome crafty mamas I know to trade kid care.

a horoscope I received telling me that there was freedom in the unknown.

remembering I chose this lifestyle.

Friday, October 29, 2010

last farmers market for 2010

My li'l punkin is getting too big and curious to keep happy in my tiny booth and I need to take some saturdays to stock up for holiday fairs. So October 30th will be moth and squirrel's last market for the season. The farmers market will be open until christmas, so please continue to support our awesome farmers and crafters in the pavilion. And look for me at the Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle and the Pacific Arts Holiday Market in Bellingham.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I am headed to new york city with my big and little men for a week. moth and squirrel will be back at the farmers market for the last two saturdays in october.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

making the cut

I spent my studio day cutting bibs from the scrap pile left after a summer of tshirt weight johnny caps. These bibs take so long to complete with the reverse applique and the snap and yet they are my least expensive item.I guess they are my gift to all the messy babies and their tired parents. After my morning cutting and cutting and cutting I came home to discover I have made the cut once again for the winter Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle (december 4&5)As the boy sleeps in my lap I've been checking out the other vendors. Everyone is so slick and clever.I am sort of in awe that I am in the show. And as I type this that familiar feeling is already creeping in: I am so behind for this show! Time to Do Work.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I will not be at the farmer's market this saturday, september 18th because I will be attending a wedding. hooray for love! I will be in my studio that morning trying to catch up on hats and bibs. And then maybe swing by the market just to shop...

Monday, September 06, 2010

return of wool

whether you are moaning about the end of summer or secretly pleased to dig out your old sweaters and scarves,there is an undeniable crispness in the air. With Labor Day just hours from being over, I am announcing the return of wool hats to the moth and squirrel booth.And for those of you who might find moth holes or unfortunate stains in those favorite sweaters when you pull them from the back of your closet, think of me before you toss them out in the trash.I offer a $5 coupon as a token of thanks when people donate sweaters. They need to be wool or a high quality wool blend. They can have holes, ink spots, or suffered accidental washing/shrinking. I love crafting hats and critters from well loved garments, things that have already lived a few good stories before I turn them into some new item to cherish.

p.s. thanks to franklin for modeling this set of esther amelia hats with me. This is an outtake from the shots we took for official documentation but it is my favorite. It is already much harder to use him as a model now that he has learned how to pull hats off his own head and is endlessly fascinated by the camera itself.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Click here to read a Sweet little write-up in the local paper last weekend.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

micro mini interview with DanielleLaPorte

Welcome to the first ever moth and squirrel blog interview, micro mini style!
Danielle LaPorte rocks my world with her blog White Hot Truth. I go to her site for both no bull shit practical business motivation and also for soul nurturing poetic inspiration. This spring Danielle launched a vook: The Fire Starter Sessions, it's a virtual book plus e-course with a dash of multimedia extravaganza. As part of her promotion she invited anyone with a blog to interview her. I humbly submitted one question and she graciously answered. As a mama and power blogger she has chosen to keep her family life fairly private, so I was tickled that she talked about creating with her son in her response.

Libby:I see you as a crafter of ideas and inspiration. Your new vook takes even the art of writing out of the tangible traditional hand held experience. But you are also a sensual woman who very much dances in the material world. Tell us about the last thing you crafted with your hands?

Danielle:This is such a timely question because I just had a conversation recently with a Buddhist Lama and he was talking about the value of craft for wakefulness. His words were, "You want enlightenment? Tile my house!"

In order of sequence, here are the things I've done this summer that merge with art and craft -- all of which comfort my soul, stop time, and make me feel pretty handy and cool:

Yesterday: Drew picture of Captain Underpants with my kid. This is a very special skill.
Last weekend: Did some rock balancing statues by the rapids.
Last week: Brought matching sketch books to the market with my six year old boy and we drew pictures of each other and shop windows. And seagulls. While eating burritos.
Week before that: Collaborating with a jewelery designer to turn some of my old gold (my "past") into some big beautiful gold rings that reflect the power of my present.
Last month: Started sewing a felt ugly pet with the boy. Our own pattern. Our own special depiction of what it means to be so ugly you're cute.

Oh, and a few days ago I pulled some ivy out of the garden and made a head wreath to go on the sun-bleached deer skull with antlers that I just hung in the living room. Does that count? I think it does!

Thanks for the inspiration to look at the craft in my life!
With Love

Friday, July 09, 2010

last minute gratitude

I've been too focussed sewing to take any photos, but let me tell you,good things are happening in the studio.Test Print summer caps will debut tomorrow at the Urban Craft Uprising. These are the t-shirt weight johnny caps made with awesome mishmash images from local silkscreen shop Red Boots Design. Lots of bicycles and birds and unexpected bits of type.
I should really be packing or hand sewing just one more animal,but I wanted to take a moment while the baby is napping to say I couldn't do it without steeb or sparkleface who has been hanging out with franklin so this mama can make it work.I would also like to thank the voice of tim gunn in my head all week encouraging me, designers, to "go, go, go."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

tiny production line

Tiny production of bunny, anchor, and leaf bibs to get ready for the Urban Craft Uprising in July.

Working with recycled fabrics, it is rare for me to have uniform sets of materials. I spent one session just cutting out fat stacks of the hemp/cotton knit scraps I bought from Intertwined Designs. Although the unique nature of the found materials is what keeps this interesting for me, it actually delights me to feel like a miniature factory once in a while. And by miniature I mean quantities in the dozen. So really, everything is still super special.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

mama, is it awesome yet?

yes yes and yes.

taking dorky photos and babies are both excellent ice breakers when you are feeling nervous about meeting your favorite artists. so borrow a camera or a baby next time you might be meeting yours.

Nikki McClure is not only an amazing artist,but also an inspiration for me as a crafty mama. She cuts images from black paper with an exacto knife that reflect the seasons and values of northwest punk/hippy life:potlucks and dandilions, clothes lines and kale.Reading her board book Awake to Nap with Franklin has been a great encouragement to me lately.The almost alphabet book was created entirely during her sons naps.If she can do it,I can do it. One nap at a time I will sew.

So naturally I was super excited when Nikki came to The Paperdoll for a meet and greet with doughnuts on friday morning. She was signing her gorgeous new book Mama, Is It Summer Yet? I waited in line while she drew a moustache on the august picture of her 2010 calendar. It really did make the image look like erin and eric kissing in the pantry with mason jars. They talked about the intention to preserve fruit and how Nikki made that picture to remind herself to really do it this year.

When it was my turn I got all spazzy "uh,hi,uh,you're so great, can I take a photo?" for a moment and then we just fell in to chatting about Franklin and her being away from her boy for the first time and needing to get a cellphone and not really knowing how to turn it off when it rang and raking your neighbor's leaves and it was just so natural and good. The way you would want it to be when you meet your heroes and they are regular folks who have been doing their thing longer or with more focus and talent but aren't all egotistical or untouchable or reclusive tortured souls. Leaving the store I felt energized and motivated by the brief encounter. Thank you for your gifts, Nikki.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

almost crafty

"There is no last minute anymore," I said to steeb this week as we looked at our schedules in preparation for the big family adventure to Portland for CRAFTY WONDERLAND. The "last minute" is now spoken for by breast feeding,diaper changes and the inevitable milk vomit down the front of the outfit. So I was already slowing down on my production,allowing time to pack and plan tomorrow before we hit the road friday. But even so,I must have been trying to do too much at once, running lists through my head while I tried to do some basic chores and entertain the baby,checking on dinner and thinking about what hand sewing I might do when the boy went to sleep. While washing dishes tonight I sliced my pinkie open on a broken juice glass. Stopped me instantly and brought me to the present. Broken glass always makes me sort of Buddist. What's done is done and now I just have to nurse my wound while finishing up the essentials for travel.Everything else just won't happen. And that's okay. I'm extra glad I got up early today to finish the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hat...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

thanks bellingham

Thanks to everyone who has come out to the farmers market even when the weather has been, well, typical northwest spring:rain, drizzle, hail, sprinkle, sunny, showers and even a rainbow. It is not an easy time to be a professional crafter and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to continue doing what I love. My biggest stress after this awesome month is how to make MORE for market with the baby in my life. And that my friends, is a very lucky kind of stress to be under right now.

The moth and squirrel family will be in Portland next weekend for

We will be back at the Bellingham Farmers Market the second week in may,just in time for some last minute Mothers Day shopping.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


franklin sparrow in the new reverse applique baby hat and bib

charlie rocket rockin' a mini johnny cap

william raven hugging his easter stegosaurus

olle and ian with some father son hat action

opening day of farmers market was an awesome success and so much fun.thank you everyone for the support.stop by every saturday 10am-3pm inside the pavillion.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

our new floor manager

sneak peak of our new studio with our new floor manager

We've been at the studio almost everyday preparing for the opening of farmers market.Franklin has been hanging out on quilts embroidered by his grandma russell and great grandma corbin. He does work kicking at dangling toys while I do work sewing new hats and bibs.It takes so much longer to complete anything, but with the sun streaming in our windows and a stack of business books by my side,I don't mind the frequent breaks to eat and cuddle. This new floor manager insists we operate by baby union regulations.

Come see the new floor for yourself april 2 for the next art walk.
Still 1316 Bay St,6-10pm(ish)

Friday, March 12, 2010

the squirrel part

Steeb and I are almost finished with our studio move. We have a bright and spacious room facing Bay Street again with lots of room for our family to grow. As I have been unearthing boxes from the corners and closet, I am reminded of why squirrel is one of my business' namesakes.Tucked away and saved for later like acorns in the fall,I am finding trash and treasure too precious to not save for the unknown crafting ahead of me. Everything from a bag of seat belt webbing to a bin of cashmere sweaters with plenty of buttons and zippers in between. There are articles of clothing waiting to be deconstructed and neatly stacked squares of fabric for some yet to be designed quilt and then the boxes and boxes of bits and pieces, some not much bigger than glorified lint balls. I can't wait to combine some of the older finds with the more recent arrivals.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

bloomer soakers

Franklin Sparrow models the new bloomer soakers from moth and squirrel. He also serves as our number one product tester, daily inspecting the strength and design of these bum covers. The wool covers are an essential part of cloth diapering and just nice when we have him in the paper ones. The thankless,endless routine of changing diapers improves with a little cuteness.
I started making these for him before he was born and now that we really use them I am improving their shape. Originally I was just sewing them for personal use.It is important to make things that aren't for sale, to just create for love.But in an effort to make a living as a crafter, I decided to add them to the product line. Look for them this spring at the farmer's market.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

art walk again

where did the month go? it's first friday again and we will be up in the studio to show off the goods(including baby franklin, tempers permitting.)I've managed to sew up a new pod of whale pins, thanks to steeb's loving arms,some brief naps and a surprise baby sitting offer from pamela yesterday.
The january walk was really lovely. The weather was terribly northwest wet wet wet cold and dark,so just a handful of friends came out,but really just a handful was about all we could handle.Thanks for your support.and patience.

Friday, January 08, 2010

quiet time

I almost had the rhythm down,of being self employed, of craft seasons, when to start sewing ornaments or easter bunnies. And now there is this tiny boy with his own rhythm,demanding that I dance in his time. As an independent business woman,this is the greatest challenge. So I am doing all the off season chores: finishing my paperwork,preparing taxes, dreaming of new products, better display, what fairs to try to attend. I am doing this between marathon feeding sessions, countless diaper changes and the necessary time spent gazing adoringly at fingernails and cheeks and that little spot at the wrist that is finally getting chubby. That is, when I have enough sleep and food and water in me that I can even remember there is a world beyond Franklin's needs.
Tonight we will be open for the gallery walk. Our first as this new family.Just one of the steps to figuring out how we do this dance together.