Thursday, December 08, 2011

piece of craft

So proud to have a little shout out in The Stranger this week. It is especially awesome because one of the most frequent comments I receive is that my animals are like Ugly Dolls. And although I appreciate what people mean by this,I like to think that my individually crafted critters made from recycled fibers are a little bit more special than the now mass produced Uglies.
The only two places to buy my whales and other recycled goodies this season are The Holiday Handmade Bazaar at THe Mill in downtown Bellingham and the Lucky Dumpster in Edison.
Thanks Seattle for a fantastic weekend at the Urban Craft Uprising. And thanks Stranger for continuing to support and promote all that is freaky fabulous fresh and local

Monday, November 28, 2011

Urban Craft Uprising this Weekend!

super huggable animals sewn from reclaimed luxury knits, stuffed with renewable corn fiber.

I've finished a handfull of kid's vests and hats hats hats.
new patchwork and silk bound scarves. classic hats for folks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

After finishing the Farmer's Market for the season I took an adventure (is it truly a vacation if you travel with a toddler?)to Albuquerque.Soaking up the sun,love and culture, I do feel refreshed and inspired.We spent time at the zoo, botanical gardens, the marigold (day of the dead)parade and the International Folk Art Museum. All great places to think about stuffed animals and hats, craft and community.I am home and ready for the holiday push. Including this lovely afternoon we have planned for next saturday at the temple bar...

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

behind the scenes (chicken vest preview)

here are a few outtakes from last week's photo session. I am so thankful we had Mira visiting to help out when the moment was just right(post nap, well fed, not too hot outside.)I can't imagine scheduling this sort of thing with professional photographers and stylists,only to have that be a grumpy no nap morning or a shy afternoon or a declaring independence tearful fit kind of week for the child. Getting Franklin to wear the outfit took a little encouraging:"See baby, just like mama's hat! no no no don't pull it down over your eyes...If you wear this vest, I'll blow bubbles for you!" But once he was dressed, his miniature male model just made that back deck his catwalk. Mira took photos, I blew the promised bubbles, he forgot he was wearing a ridiculous chicken vest and just ran around like he always does with cars and watering cans and hula hoops and lawnmowers. Then at one point he just stopped playing with his usual objects, stood with his back against the white door to the laundry room and waited for me to take a photo. Uncanny. It turned out to be the best photo from the session for the UCU application.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Friday Art Walk=$5 sale bin magic waiting for you

these very mittens will be in my amazing $5 bin!

To prepare for a winter craft show application I quickly made these mittens. But in my haste to have things to photograph,I didn't properly space out the thumbs. They are very narrow and have a spot I had to mend by hand.

Just a sample of how things end up in the $5 bin and the sorts of fall products that are in the works. Hope to see you Friday night. 1318 Bay St, studio #201. 6-10pm.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

(county)fairly inspired

In the week since we went to the county fair I have made a plush pig and a really outrageous chicken vest. I sized the vest for Franklin to model, and although he smiled and said "bok-bok" when I showed it to him, he cried and said "no no no" when I tried to put it on him.
So I'll just show you the source and not the outcome of the inspiration. Which reminds me that it is really important to go to source inspiration and not just see what other people are doing on design blogs or posting on etsy. I've got to refill my own unique well of creative juices or else everything feels played out and I wonder if I am stealing other people's ideas or if there are any original ideas left to steal. Also, It's just weird to eat corndogs in front of the computer.

Craig didn't even get any curly fry grease on his pastel moth and squirrel harlow cap.

oh, chickens.


Family portrait in plaid with straw.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

animal of the week

photo by the amazing cynthia st.clair. throne fixed by her equally generous husband phil.

Animal of the week is one of the great traditions born of the farmer's market. I generally choose the newest critter as the recipient of the honor. It is my own rule that no animal can wear the banner two weeks.I have regular market goers who stop by every week just to see who is on the tiny throne, so I have a bit of pressure to make stuffed animals regularly. Interestingly, the animal of the week rarely sells the week that it holds the title. Maybe people think it is too special to possibly buy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

sheep pins are baaack.

find a small flock grazing at the farmers market this week.

I wanted to say something about Portlandia, and how this sketch forever altered the face of indie craft markets and my own tiny production line of bird pins in particular. But the babysitter will be back any minute with Franklin and you probably have your own opinions about this show by now anyway. And I know you still want to buy a bird pin for your grandma or a whale for your child's preschool teacher or a sheep for your co-worker who I'll just say, after a sketch inspired break, I'm crafting some felt cuteness again. enjoy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

headed to the lake (No market 7/16)

These blog posts only seem to go up when I'm not going to be at market.But this time I will at least show you some hats. We are going out to the peninsula for a quick visit with franklin's cousins who have never met him. Naturally, it's supposed to be rainy all weekend. My mom keeps saying, "you can always go for a walk in the rainforest in the rain." sigh.

franklin is still wearing this cotton johnny cap that fit him last year at toad lake. Although this year he doesn't keep it on his head long enough for photos to be taken. Since handcrafted hats can feel like a ridiculous luxury for rapidly growing heads,I am pleased to see if you buy a little big,you can get more than one season out of a moth and squirrel lid.

this may be more accurately how we will be dressed this weekend with layers or wool and hoods and my prototype cotton feather cloche. Look for these in the fall with reverse applique and two layers of cotton. I think it will be the perfect fall(Or northwest summer)lady hat.

I have been trying to recreate and update my all time favorite,scuzzy from so much wear,comfort hat. Favorite Hat is basically a long stocking cap that calms crazy hair,keeps off the rain and makes me feel invincible. It is one of the very first hats I made from a reclaimed sweater, before I was officially moth and squirrel.I have years of photos of me in this hat, all seasons, including just moments after franklin was born. No matter how many new hats I make, I keep digging out the old favorite one. It is surprisingly difficult to get just the right roominess and hug with perfect slouch.I think this feather cloche is pretty close to my ideal with the bonus of being machine washable. Favorite Hat is white wool, which needs to be hand washed, and therefore is always slightly grungy.But perhaps that grunge and mojo is part of it's charm...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Not at Market this Week.

I will be going on my first adventure to Lopez Island with Franklin to celebrate Emmett's high school graduation. I lived with Emmett when he was five. [cue wedding song from fiddler on the roof]I don't remember growing older, when did they?...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

uh.uh. guitar.

It is almost impossible for me to sew with this guy around. But I try to get my scrappy craft fix in anyway, especially on a rainy afternoon stuck in the house.
I'm pleased with the results, but honestly, it was a screaming tear filled battle to get this cardboard masterpiece made.He wanted the scissors. And the cardboard. And the tape. And not the pieces I teared off for him. Either those other bloggin' crafty mamas aren't telling the whole story of the things they whip up,they secretly have nannies,or their children are nothing like this busy curious dude.

I intended to cover the whole guitar with paper mache for strength and these would be the in process photos. But living with this guy I am learning to let go of even my scrappy ideas of completion. The masking tape has held up fairly well to his teething. The neck is now bent but in a very rock and roll bend the notes kind of way from playing so hard. And that's exactly the way it should be.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

i like bellingham

I finally remembered to bring a camera to market yesterday and as luck would have it the Voorees family was looking fantastic and willing to show off.
Olle tried on an ewok keneivel hat before hunting down some honey sticks.

Carrie borrowed Ian's harlow hat so much she had to buy her own. So he can borrow hers. Then they threw a tiny ewok keneivel on tiny baby Elsa who was sport enough to sleep through the whole thing.

After a fun but,well,only mildly successful Crafty Wonderland I was super pleased to be back in bellingham at the farmers market. At the market I work to build relationships and connections in my community. And that community returns the friendliness and support week after week. Not only were my sales about the same as in portland, but I was also offered quilt batting,a vintage sewing machine and wooden blocks for the boy from three different people doing some spring cleaning. And I did a sweet trade with my delightful booth neighbor Sandra of Vermilio. I got a sexy silk scarf and she got a stuffed animal to give as a gift. It's good to go out and see the world, but it's oh so sweet to come back home.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Crafty Wonderland this Saturday in Portland!

(gorgeous photo in the tulip fields courtesy of mira woodson)

I am super busy being a crafty mama to this little fellow, having an awesome time at the farmers market and getting set for the weekend in Portland at Crafty Wonderland. I don't have much of an online presence right now, so I hope to see you in person to share some remarkable recycled goodies with you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

resounding positivity

Last night was the annual meeting for the farmer's market.I was dreading it. But I wanted to go to be a voice of the younger generation or just smile and clap for the hard working farmers and crafters who have been under attack by the dissatisfied few. Mediators were brought in to facilitate. Everyone was braced for something spectacular and awful. And those mediators did help keep things focussed and fair and respectful. There were naturally complaints and grievances and suggestions.But what I heard was person after person,farmer and crafter and food processor stand up and say I love this market.
Our farmer's market is a model in the state. Our community supports us with two years of phenomenal growth in a time of economic turmoil. Our board members are working ceaselessly to keep our market strong and dream us into a future where we are all successful together. Our director communicates with the membership more than any other market manager. We are a motley crew of some 150 independent businesses and We Love Our Market.
And so with just over a week before opening day, I can say I am truly excited to go back to market. I feel more warmth and enthusiasm for my fellow vendors, more connected to this positive vision(most of us) share.I feel inspired to make moth and squirrel a leader of friendliness,customer service, creativity and innovation.
So, in a way, I guess we owe thanks to the noisy bunch of nay sayers for helping bring us together, for helping us clarify our mission and intent.For giving us a reason to say to each other "we are awesome." I've been sewing to Jay Z this month and his ambition and pride push me. His words keep playing in my head:"I love all my haters."

Thursday, March 03, 2011


The farmers market is a big part of moth and squirrel's success. It is not a perfect organization. It doesn't cater to all of my needs. However, it is generally a pleasure and an honor to set up my tables every saturday from april through october. To get feedback from my community and exposure to tourists is priceless for a young business. The farmers market is not as cool as the indie craft fairs, but it gives me exposure to people who would never go to a craft fair or hip boutique, people who are just hungry for carrots or tomatoes or something to do with their in-laws. This past year of focussed studio work and parenting, the market has served as an unexpectedly delightful social outlet for me. In short, it is a dynamic and profitable part of my business. Despite the unpredictable weather and economy, I am making it work.
Every spring there is a rumbling from the membership right before we open for the season.I think of bears awakening from their hibernation.Bears who have forgotten the sweetness of honey and berries and salmon.Bears that feel winter's poverty in their bones.This year the rumbling is quite loud. A discussion board has gotten heated, as many a discussion board will. Even though I wasn't participating in the "dialog,"I removed myself from the Google group this morning. I still feel agitated. And I don't want to give it any more of my time.
So in an attempt to turn that negative energy into a positive resource, I am going to devote more time on this blog to sharing things that support me in my business and creativity. My hope is that I can in some way support you in your creative dreams.
Two websites that I have just recently been reading are Hello Craft and Crafting an MBA.
HelloCraft is a great all around resource for indie crafters. I've gotten links to craft fairs, photo tips and an indie trend report. They were at Crafty Wonderland last spring and held the Summit of Awesome, which I wish I could have attended. I mean Summit of Awesome, that's exactly the kind of positive support that feels lacking in my market community right now.

Crafting an MBA is specifically business tips for independent artists and designers. I really believe the best way to make it though the economic hard times is by strengthening our business skills while improving our craft. Better customer service, getting over shyness about selling ourselves, seeing a bigger picture, understanding financial realities, marketing and networking, these things don't have to cost money, but they do take practice and study. And they don't have to be slick or fake or pushy. I think we can be successful and authentic to ourselves and our visions.

Friday, February 25, 2011


three little pigs and the big bad wolf puppet set.
I made two sets and they have special huff & puff action for extra storytelling drama.

my,what a big skirt you have...
little red & wolf doll

here are sneak previews of some of the dolls I created for the 3rd annual winter commission. I don't feel like I'm spoiling too much, because each of these has a special feature not shown in the picture...
For those of you unable to make it to the Radio Museum this Saturday from 7pm-past my bedtime, I will post more photos after the event.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

Introducing a new collection of circus inspired pieces on display at the old town cafe.

This has been such a refreshing way to spend my studio hours in January. After the rush and push and hustle of christmas sales, it was a pleasure to dork around, sniffing through old books for captivating characters and interesting photographs. Sewing the figures with my machine became a meditation in line. Even limiting my palate to ochre and grey, I got lost in the process of making gestures with color, pushing paint around the backgrounds.Without market pressures I had time to make mistakes and experiment and actually work from a place of inspiration.

Some mornings it still felt like work. I wonder, what is that resistance to our own passions once they have deadlines and self imposed expectations? But that flat feeling may have as much to do with waking up before 5am with a teething, almost walking, very curious baby boy as with any actual response to what was happening in the studio. And generally, even if I was dragging myself to my desk, I wasn't ready to leave when it was time to get back to the family.

The show will be on display through the end of March.