Sunday, December 30, 2012

have a ball this new year's eve

make a gif picture
and cross something off your last year's to-do list It has been a goal for me to figure out how to animate a little cluster of photos. I didn't even know how to look it up on line and spent quite some time trying to tell google what it was I wanted to learn. In case you live near the rock I live under, they are called GIFs and there are various free tools online to create them from photos or video clips. Or if you are pro and have photoshop there are fancy ways to do that too. phew, check that one off the list before 2013...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last minute magic

You can stop by Little Tiger Toys and Holiday Handmade Bazaar everyday until christmas eve. To shop with me directly, I will be at the farmer's market on saturday for the last market of the season. I still have a sweet selection of stuffed animals,pins and hair clips, all of which make delightful stocking stuffers. Hats are a bit random in the available sizes and styles right now, but i just may have the perfect hat for you or someone with a cold head on your list. Mostly I am wishing you a joyful and peaceful season as you think of those who make your year a little brighter.

Monday, December 03, 2012

golden cloak

Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley discuss Golden Spider Silk from Victoria and Albert Museum on Vimeo.

I just heard about this magical cloak made from the silk of over a million golden orb spiders. It is so fairy tale/superhero/mythological. And so many people were involved in making it real. Just awesome, nature and fiberarts blowing my mind and bringing a tear to my eye.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

extra! extra! read all about me.

Being friendly at the bike rack can be more than just neighborly and good for the environment when the one you are chatting with is the local arts and entertainment editor goddess Amy Kepferle. A conversation we had a month ago turned into this lovely write-up today. If you can't pick up a copy of the Cascadia Weekly, read it online here.
My angel is the centerfold.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

where to get festive with moth and squirrel

Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle, December 1&2, 11 am-5pm
Bellingham Farmer's Market Saturdays December 8,15,22, 10am-3pm. The place to get hats in bellingham along with all my critters, pins, headbands and vests.
Holiday Handmade Bazaar opens December 1st, 7 days a week until christmas eve! 205 E Chestnut St in Bellingham. Pins, stuffed animals and small gift items.
etsy, around the clock, everywhere. whales, chicken pins and more animals& pins coming soon!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Advanced style

spent a little time sketching from Ari Seth Cohen's amazing book(&blog!) Advanced Style yesterday. Franklin helped me color the dames, he went right for the purple before I was even finished with the first turban. The women featured have such style and grace and it certainly isn't about the latest trends. It's a personal expression brought forth from a lifetime of collecting well made clothing and accessories.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

don't count your chicken vests until they're hemmed.

I am feeling the inspiration and creativity that can blossom in the face of a deadline. Two weeks until the Urban Craft Uprising and I am having all kinds of design breakthroughs. Like these two chicken vests waiting to have their openings finished by hand.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

make the money, don't let he money make you.

I just shipped off these squirrel bucks as coupons along with my actual swag (cotton zipper pouches) for the infamously awesome Urban Craft Uprising swag bags.  People wait outside on the cold dark morning for so long to score those satchels of independent goodies. I guess it's like how people go crazy for black friday deals and camp out in front of stores. But the UCU crowd doesn't even know what will be in their bag, so the waiting has more faith and randomness and less specific product lust attached to it.
(These $5 coupons were drawn by the ridiculously talented Karie Jane. I give them to people when they bring me old sweaters and tshirts as a little token of gratitude.)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

getting festive at the farmer's market

Still selling hats and gifts every week a the bellingham farmer's market. I'm cozy nestled in the pavilion between some amazing crafters and the farmers are still bringing in luscious produce from their fields. Come down to shop or browse, I'll be stitching away to make your holidays remarkable and would love to say hello.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This video does cuss and swagger alot, but it is so fabulous. Macklemore &Ryan Lewis are getting some excellent coverage right now for their song Same LOve in support of gay marriage and equality, but dang, this is the song I did my dance break to at the studio.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

this one isn't a drawing, but I just love the way this darn turned out. It looks a bit like those fancy new bar code smart phone things, but in neon lemon and grey. I really love darning sweaters and socks to prolong their usefulness, add some character and infuse the fabric with extra love. I almost never get socks at thrift stores, but when you go through the trouble of mending a once new sock, I think it counts as thrifty style.
If you are interested in a January mending class at my studio, be sure to get yourself on the mailing list.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

3 more radical ways to make time in your life for creative persuits when you aren't doing it full time (yet).

I hope you enjoyed my last post on making time for art with kids. Here we go one step further in rearranging your relationship to time and work. These ideas work equally well for those who do not live with children, but who have day job responsibilities as well as creative dreams.  I am really inspired by how Steeb manages this in his life and I appreciate the work he does outside the studio so I can spend more time doing my craft. If you aren't familiar with my husband's art, check it out here.

1.Use vacation time and sick days to make art.

steeb in the studio during his week of vacation.

Steeb does this every year and takes his one week paid vacation to prepare for an art show. He stays up late,  goes to concerts and paint paint paints. Even if you don't have the luxury of paid vacation, consider planning a creative vacation to push a project forward. You won't have money coming in necessarily, but eating at home and no airfare makes it more economical than a regular vacation. Save for it as you would any dream to Hawaii or NYC. And if you need something official to help you request the time from your boss and sweet talk your co-workers into covering your shifts, consider taking a class, scheduling a public event, or going on an organized art retreat.

bonus inspiration: Our friends Jen and Will applied for an artists' residency in Iceland to make their schedules have room for a month of art. They are there right now! With a toddler! You can read about their adventures right here. For the record, she works in a bakery and he in a bar. They applied, saved and filled in some financial gaps with a Kickstarter campaign.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Already setting aside goodies for the big craft show in december. You can read my Urban Craft Uprising interview HERE and then check out the other amazing vendors. and p.s. Thanks for an awesome day at the farmer's market. The weather was super wet autumn but I still had a great day. Hat selling weather I call it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I sewed this little badge to show at my farmer's market booth and now I just figured out how to actually link it on the web. Go ahead, click the reverse applique f. I love the combination of technological and scrappy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

eye of the tiger

I grew about a cup of these beautiful tiger eye dry beans. I found such delight popping open the dry pods to see the swirled patterns inside.

Monday, October 08, 2012

it's in the details

Complimentary gift bags made from my own scraps. A new way that moth and squirrel makes recycled remarkable and helps you give the gifts that get remembered.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

5 ways to make time for your art when raising amazing kids

Without grandparents nearby or daycare in our lives, making consistent time for our art is the major challenge as a family. Steeb and I just hung an art show at the Old Town Cafe and it was a crazy week. F is wearing the same pajamas for the third day in a row, but we did it and so can you.

 5 tips to make time for your art, changing out of pajamas optional.

1.    Do the dishes while the kids are awake, do your art while they sleep.

    If you are at home with your child, it doesn't mean you need to be on the carpet pushing trucks around all afternoon. It is valuable for little ones to see and participate in the tasks that make up our lives. If you get the chores done with the kids around, then when you get your private time you aren't using it to fold laundry. This goes for both household chores and errands related to your business. Often there are little chores related to making art, like buying supplies and preparing materials, that can be done with kids underfoot.
And perhaps it goes without saying, but it's okay to have a messy house around a deadline.

    2.    Recognize your child's rhythm. 

Work with your child's a natural energy flow if you are trying to create while they are around. You may need to play wildly at the park or have an extended snuggle to get the quality of time you need to do your creative work at home. Reading a favorite book one more time before you get to your project can prevent a little whining person tugging at your sleeve for an hour.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Old Town Teaser

what is squished benieth the jars of old baby food?
what is written in reverse applique on that fancy placemat?
which chinese lantern in a san pelligrino bottle will hang on the wall?

Monday, September 24, 2012

a moment of celebration and then back to work

Thanks to my sweet models who helped me put together a winning application to the winter Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle. My family also stayed calm and cute while I waited impatiently this morning for the list to be announced. And hopefully they will bear with me as I shift into super production mode to bring you remarkable recycled goods this holiday season. And congratulations to all my Bellingham crafty peers who will be storming the city with our subdued style.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

pair of pears

When Steeb and I got married in our backyard in 2005 we planted a pear tree. The special espalier kind with two varieties grafted to a single root. I just adore that kind of symbolic romantic practicality. The sweet little tree has grown and I have tended to it, but it has never produced a pear until this year. Three actually. One that fell early and got some bugs, one that got something (bug? fungus?) in the spring and has developed oddly, and this lovely little pear Franklin and I painted today. I loved the process of painting this, taking the time to really look and try to match the amazing variety of colors splotching across the skin. But honestly I like seeing these together more than I like the final page from my book.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

book club

I was having a conversation yesterday about some changes I am making in my work life(more on that in another post...) and I ended up referencing the inspirational/aspirational/motivational/spiritual/business/whole life improvement books I love to read. There has been quite a parade of them coming in through the library request system.  I wanted to share some of authors who fired me up this summer. These folks practice a new business style with loads of free content online and then information products, coaching and trainings that cost money.  The new policy to give away your ideas then leverage yourself as an expert works quite well for some of these sassy soulful entrepreneurs. And it provides a real gift to those of us who are living a rich life within a tight budget. As soon as I return the copies on my nightstand, they are all available at the Bellingham public library. And as I mentioned, each has a website with resources, inspirational posts and videos.

Danielle LaPorte  
Fire Starter Sessions. I love Danielle, subscribe to her list and was totally sparked by reading her book. I didn't get to all the exercises before it was overdue, but the ones I completed have already inspired some juicy change in my life. This is one I am going to buy. It is really beautiful to read and I got super pumped. While it is important to challenge yourself, it is also beautiful to choose things that are easy and graceful and enjoyable. Focusing on how you want to feel in your life, she helps you say "no thanks" to things that are no longer feeding your soul so you can say "yes!" to the greater gifts you can bring to the world. One of her beliefs is that Life Balance is a myth not worth stressing about. As a working mother I find this message so refreshing. She embraces the cycles of passion(where dishes pile up and friends are gently put on hold) and rest(where you honor your success or failure and seek out that which refuels your soul.) You can have it all, just not all at once.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

sometimes I give and sometimes I receive

Yesterday I received a prize from our friend Erin Klauk in the mail. She is an awesome illustrator and sometimes enters contests on Spoonflower for her fabric designs. She offered a prize made from the material to one lucky friend who voted for her fabric on the site. I was the lucky winner! The theme was extinct animals and let me tell you, there were a lot of dinosaurs entered in the contest. Her toile, which I did no justice in my sketch above, features lost creatures like horned gophers, dodos and wooly mammoths.Oh, and they are enjoying a fine tea party. It is so lovely and I am so full of gratitude.

to see the actual pattern click here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bellingham Textile Project

I am excited to be working with ReUse Works on a new textile venture. Following the basic model of their Appliance Depot they will provide job training for low income folks while keeping items out of the landfill. This time instead of repairing refrigerators and dishwashers, it will be a variety of fabric based projects, from collaboration with local designers to bundled rags for use in machine shops.

We need to collect as much information as possible in this grant writing and business plan writing stage of the process. So if you haven't already, and you do any sort of crafts with fabric in whatcom county, please fill out this survey by clicking here.

Thanks so much. I'll keep you posted on the project and how you can participate as it develops in the coming year.

Monday, September 10, 2012

 These sisters are awesome. And listen how they creatively reuse a plastic container to make treasure from trash.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

mug shot

This is my current favorite mug. All my favorite mugs are made by Cary Lane. Her art is magical and meaningful. This one with the alligator pruning a tree reminds me to say no to the crap in life so I can say "YES!" to what is truly important. It shows the sometimes tough part of nurturing a truly delightful life: getting rid of the dead wood so your best self can blossom.

Drinking your beverages from a wonderful vessel is such a tiny but powerful way to love yourself and add soul to your days. How can you be hectic when you are gazing at something beautiful, feeling where a crafter's hands touched the clay? Or maybe your favorite mug is sleek, well designed with a modern gleam in it's eye, helping you focus on your goals and aspirations. Whatever your style, consider this an invitation to find a mug you love and pour yourself something delicious.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Art Walk Tonight 6-10pm, downtown bellingham

Apples are falling from our tree in the backyard. Everything is crisp and bright, late summer abundance with a hint of autumn's change on the wind. It's time for working with wool in the studio: hats, vests, headbands...come on up to see what's beginning to take shape at the studio tonight. 1318 Bay street , above the Pickford Film Center, studio #201.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

'zine librarian style

I bought this necklace and earrings from the lucky dumpster about a month ago and have been patiently waiting for september to wear them.  Since I haven't been in school for so long, to say back to school style is a little silly. But I definitely like the school/librarian vibe, so I dub this style the 'zine librarian.
 James made the jewelry from old wooden rulers. Style is about breaking the rules of fashion and wearing what you love.

 For the rest of the look, it's the autumn version of stripes and florals I have been loving this summer. I bought the shirt from goodwill a while ago. Knee socks from H&M the first time I went there in New York City, probably about 6 years ago or was it 10? Boots are Simple brand, I love them.
And the skirt was my big personal crafty project this summer. It's lightweight fabric from Steeb's grandma's stash of fabric. I folded it selvedge edge to edge.  Then I used elastic thread in my bobbin case and stitched about a dozen rows around the top. This makes the faux smocking and is all the shaping. Then I added a patch pocket and stitched up the side. Super simple.

Friday, August 31, 2012

One lucky subscriber will win this bag tomorrow...

The newsletter will arrive about once a month in your inbox with links to my best blog posts, new items for sale online and other tasty scraps about moth and squirrel, green living, and learning together.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

These little scissors cut out all the tiny layers of t-shirts when I do reverse applique. I find their rounded tips help me only cut through the top layer without poking through to the lower fabric. And the different finger position from traditional handles gives my hand a welcome variation in repetitive stress.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sometimes I just really love a random color combination from the pile of recycled t-shirts. I joke that the huge mess is an essential part of my creative process, but it's not really a joke. As I was sewing this edge I wished I had my camera at the studio. Then I remembered that I did.
If you also love mint and olive green together, perhaps with some hunter, red or blue, check out the hats at my booth this saturday. And as the first saturday of the month, we will be celebrating 20 seasons of the Bellingham farmers market with 20% off all cotton hats. First of september, final summer fling, time to make room for the wool...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Every night before we go to sleep we talk about beautiful things with franklin. It helps us foster gratitude, even after long days and battles over tooth brushing habits. For this blog I want to post sketches of beautiful things, well made objects that bring me joy, bits of nature that held my attention. I want to create a tiny space online for documenting little rituals, pleasures and inspiration. I am ever inspired and in awe of Jessica Bonin's one a day project last year. I am not hard core enough to post one a day, but once a week would be nice, don't you think?

p.s. this phrase came into our family lexicon via Bahamadia

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I captured more shots of the bag I am giving away at the end of august. Subscribe to my new mailing list by the August 31 for your chance to win the amazing chicken tote. It folds into it's own little polka dotted bag to slip into your regular purse or bag. So convenient and thoughtful, eco friendly and stylish, just like the newsletter you will occasionally receive in your inbox.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

yes oh yes!

I listen to this album a lot sewing in my studio. Just saw this video and it made me cry with happiness.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

sack of potatoes


There are plenty of projects out there using burlap right now, things made to look rustic and natural by using this humble fabric. The irony is many of the buntings and slip covers and votive candles use brand new burlap by the yard to achieve these eco-fabulous results. So I was really pleased when Mary from Hammerhead roasters was able to hook me up with some of their burlap sacks. I started a sewing project with franklin and planned some more Pinterest inspired crafty projects. However this way of growing potatoes is bringing me so much pleasure right now, it feels like enough.This is recycling at its most simple and elegant. It required no additional products or tools, filled a genuine need, and retained the character of the material's original purpose.

I have two of these set up now, one at the garden class for folks with disabilities and one on our front lawn. By layering more organic matter vertically it should be easier to harvest potatoes and allow us to grow more in a small space. Especially useful since we have clay soil at our house that is a bear to dig.  As the plant grows we unroll more of the bag and stuff it with more straw and soil, keeping a few leaves exposed to catch the sun. I often see this basic idea of growing vertical potatoes created by stacking old tires. But the reality is, a stinky old tire is really heavy to lift onto a stack of tires. And although old tires are often free, they are rather difficult to bring home in a tiny car or on the back of a bicycle. But someone who uses a wheelchair or a two year old can easily work with the burlap sack. When it comes time to harvest our sack of potatoes, we just tip it over or cut a slit in the side to let the spuds tumble into our eager hands.

Thanks to Mary for the sacks. The Stomp Swill Dark roast alone inspires all kinds of creative projects. I am grateful for another great resource from my farmers market community. But if you don't live in Bellingham, they ship their deliciousness!(click here to check out their roasts.)