Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Finally Here!

You may have noticed that I haven't been the best about updating this little blog lately. Well, there is a very good reason for that and actually, it's coming up this weekend!

Torie and I have been feverishly working on this event since early Summer and it's finally upon us!

The Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale!
Sunday, December 14th, 2008
from 11am - 7pm
at The Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King Blvd
in Portland
details and a full vendor list can be found at:

While I know I am a bit biased, I have to say that I am super, duper excited for this big sale! We have pulled out all the stops and have a mind blowing assortment of the best artists and crafters from the Northwest and beyond! I could start naming names but it would take way to long to list all my favorites - you'll just have to go check out the list of 180+ vendors for yourself. Amazing!

We will be giving out free goodie bags to the first 200 shoppers through the doors. Trust me when I say that these bags are going to be FULL of pure awesome that has been donated by local businesses, sponsors and vendors. We also have our friends from DIY Lounge, Collage, The IPRC and Paper Zone on hand teaching fun DIY projects to our shoppers. And don't forget to visit with the folks from Hello Craft on your way out - they are coming all the way from DC to conduct post-shopping interviews. Just stop by the info. table and tell them what you bought as you are leaving the sale and they will post it on their website! It's a great way to show off your fabulous purchases and help promote your favorite vendors!

If any of you attended last year's Super Colossal Sale you witnessed first hand the insane crowds that filled the Norse Hall all day long. We reached capacity within the first 10 minutes and had to monitor the door for the rest of the day - only letting people in as others left. We knew right away that we needed to upgrade to a bigger space and the Convention Center was the next step. At first we were a little turned off by the thought of having our quaint event at such a big corporate seeming place...but after checking out the space and talking with the incredibly nice people there, we realized that it was perfect. We're talking 30,000 square feet of space where shoppers and vendors can spread out and have a happy and comfortable experience. And what an amazing day for the Portland craft community that the demand for handmade goods is so high that we need to move to such a big space! Yay Portland Craftsters!

I always try to stick to handmade and local gifts, but this year it is even more important to be aware of where your money is going! Support local business this holiday season! They really need you! Come on down to The Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale for local handmade gift one-stop shopping!!!
(sorry if that sounds a little car salesman-y...but you really don't want to miss this!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Felt Club is Here!

Wow! I've been meaning to blog about this for a while and then suddenly here I am in LA getting ready to sell at Felt Club TOMORROW!
If you live anywhere near Los Angeles you better get your butt down to this event! Crafty Gal Extraordinaire, Jenny Ryan, pulls out all the stops and has put together and event that will blow you away. Where do I start...she has pulled together a group of 150 killer vendors from all over the country that will be selling their handmade goods (that includes myself and The Berkleys from PDX)...while you aren't shopping you can head upstairs to get crafty with Swap-o-Rama-Rama or attend one of the crafty workshops being offered by superstars like Jenny Hart (Sublime Stitching) and Kaari Meng (French General) . She has also recruited a few celebrity faces to add to the festivities - Charles Phoenix will act as MC, DJ Lance Rock (Yo Gabba Gabba) will be rocking the music and the fabulous Leslie Hall will be strutting her gold pants for the crowds. Word is that Leslie will also be selling some items from her line of handmade spandex dancewear (Hell Yeah!). Faythe Levine will also be there signing her new book and screening a 20 minute sneak peek of her Handmade Nation movie a few times during the day. If all that doesn't sell you then how about this...there will be MARGARITAS!
All the details are on the above flyer - check out the Felt Club website for vendors and other details.
Don't miss this! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Museum of Contemporary Craft Event

I'm looking forward to being a part of a discussion group at Portland's Museum of Contemporary Craft tomorrow. The Kaffeeklatsch will be a casual round table discussion of the DIY movement in Portland that will include myself, fellow PDX Super Crafty member Susan Beal, Diane Gilleland of DIY Alert and Justin Hocking of the IPRC. Here's what the museum has to say about the event:

From craft fairs, sellers and zinesters to the independent music scene, bike activists and “foodies,” Portland has a reputation as an epicenter for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture. Join guests Susan Beal and Cathy Pitters (PDX Super Crafty) and Justin Hocking (executive director, Independent Publishing Resource Center) for a discussion on DIY, its connection to craft and the contemporary resurgence of all things independent.

Did I mention that there will be coffee? Please join us for thoughtful crafty discussion, coffee and a much needed election day distraction!
Tuesday, November 4th - Noon
The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft
724 NW Davis St.
Portland, OR 97209

Monday, October 27, 2008

Day of the Dead Art Show

I'm feverishly working on the final preparations for my annual Day of the Dead art show at Alma Chocolate. I am using tin and found objects to create brightly colored shrines to Virgins and Wrestlers and more. Here is a sneak peek at one of the larger'll have to come to the show to see the rest! (or check out my Flickr page after the show)

The opening is this Thursday, October 30th from 6-8pm and the show will be up through November. Rumor has it there will be mulled wine and habanero caramel apples and you can always purchase some of Sarah's amazing chocolates to take home!
Hope to see you there!
Alma Chocolate
140 NE 28th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232

Saturday, October 18, 2008

LIVE from Maker Faire in Austin, TX!

Thanks to the wonders of free wi-fi, I am sitting here in my booth at Bazaar Bizarre - Maker Faire in Austin, Texas! While I'm sure there are loads of amazing things happening here, I really only know what is happening in my immediate vicinity...a giant robot that periodically bursts into song and dance to Rick Astley (sp?) singing his 80's hit "Never Gonna Give You Up"...and a dog named Guapo that says the word "Obama" on command. Unfortunately, I can not show photos of the robot as I forgot to bring my camera cord but thankfully, Guapo the Obama loving dog is on YouTube:

I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes - it's an election miracle! Guapo belongs to Lucia of bluGrn design and Mooshy Gooshies - she and Marianna from ChickRocks are in the booth behind me selling their fabulous handmade goods and entertaining all their booth neighbors. OK, back to work...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Craft Room Redux

This past Spring I wasn't so busy with stuff and decided it was time for a major craft room overhaul. We're talking moving large pieces of furniture, pulling everything out of drawers, getting rid of stuff and completely reorganizing. I actually got down to the bottom layer - any of you who are junk collectors like me know that is a big deal! My basic overhaul usually only skims the first few layers. It took me several weeks of digging and hauling and at one point the floor was so cluttered that you had to climb over stuff to get through the room. Here is a photo of the flamingo pink craft bunker mid-overhaul:

I originally had visions of posting spectacular before and after pics worthy of the organization issue of Martha Stewart Living. Well, that was back in May and if you read my previous post, you know that my life isn't exactly in line with Martha. The room is never going to look picture you know why? Because I actually work in there!!! When my work is in full swing I have stuff flying everywhere in a creative frenzy. That's my reality and I actually like it that way.

I remember seeing an issue of Martha's magazine several years ago where she showed her craft room re-do and I instantly thought "There's no way in hell she actually does anything in that room!". It was way too perfect to be a space where stuff was created on a regular basis. Now don't get me wrong...I LOVE Martha...I think she is hugely responsible for the resurgence of craft in this country and I love her for that. Encouraging folks to make stuff is a good thing. It's the perfection that irks me a little - making people feel like they have to live up to a certain standard. Not a good thing.

So here are some recent pics of my craft room in is cluttered and real and lived in and I love it.

That cutting table may be my favorite piece of furniture - it has big, deep drawers where I keep a ton of fabric and the top of it is my main workspace. I bought it at a senior center rummage sale for $10 and had a hell of a time getting it down the stairs to the basement. After the removal of a railing + a step and one unhappy husband...I think it comes with the house if we ever sell it!

This chest of drawers is equally handy and houses my metal and tin pieces that I use in my found object shrines. It was almost as hard to get down the stairs but didn't involve removal of any structural pieces...just alot of sweat and muscle. That handy paper roll holder on top of the drawers was a recent find in the IKEA "as-is" room - I think it was supposed to be a laundry hamper but it is perfect for my rolls that were previously all over the place.

Stuff! I love Stuff! And what do I love more than stuff? Little bins that hold the stuff!

This used to be my desk but it has pretty much been taken over by my son. He loves having his own space to do his paintings - note the Mr. T painting peeking out from under the table.
My favorite improvement that came with the re-do is that strip of shelves that I added along the top edge of the wall. It consists of several inexpensive shelves from IKEA that I spray painted pink and hung together in a row to create a plate rail for all my knick-knacks. All those little things were previously taking up valuable shelf space that I needed for books and supplies.

That pile in the left hand corner is my craft fair loot - essential stuff I bring to every fair. I figured I might as well just leave it all together in one neat pile so it is all ready for my next fair. I like piles.

Sewing area - where the magic happens! Well, sometimes it feels magical and other times it feels like my own personal sweatshop. Those shelves overflowing with fabric didn't quite make the cut during the major overhaul - they will have to wait until next time!

All my smaller supplies that tend to look sloppy are hidden behind the cutting table on this shelf. Pretty sneaky!

A scary child mannequin that I bought at the Daisy Kingdom closing sale with the infamous disco stereo 8-track player in the background. That mannequin has got to go - it has scared the bejezus out of me one too many times.

My craft room takes up pretty much our entire basement. We live in a very small house but having this extra space makes all the difference. My previous work space consisted of our kitchen table and having to clean up mid-process everyday in order to eat dinner really affected how I created. Being able to spread out and leave my mess has been amazing for me. It's a dream come true!

I remember the first time we looked at this house and I came around the corner of the basement to gaze upon my future craft room - it was a magical moment where I knew that I would paint it pink and fill it up with all my favorite things and live here for a long time. Sigh. Now that's perfection.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blog? What Blog?

As you may have guessed from the previous post, I am super busy with out of town craft fairs, my own craft fair organizing and all my usual life/family stuff - which is why I've been so severely neglecting this little blog. I started wondering why the heck I had even started a blog... am I crazy...I don't have time for blogging!

Well, I actually did remember why I had started my blog. I felt like I was always reading other people's blogs and wondering how they had such perfect lives. How did they have three kids and keep their houses looking so magazine ready and make amazing craft projects and cook picture perfect homemade meals??? I only have one kid and my house is a wreck and I eat out way too often and I have a crafty sweatshop in my basement (with me as the only employee). Where was the imperfect blogger who wrote about how they couldn't do everything and had dust bunnies as big as their head hidden behind the door??? Maybe that should be me. Thus the birth of Stitch & Destroy.

Here comes the irony... I am so busy and so bad at balancing all my responsibilities that a few things have fallen by the wayside. The first one was this blog (obviously). The second one was laundry. Here comes the confessional...I've had three baskets of clean laundry sitting in my living room for almost a month.

If we all get dressed out of the clean laundry baskets, it will eventually all be gone and we won't have to take valuable time to fold it. That makes sense, right? Well, somehow it didn't quite work that way and it's still there and begging to be folded. I have family coming to visit this weekend so that may be the catalyst that finally makes me take care of it.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this...but the basic gist of my rant is that I'm a little flaky and a little crazy and so-not-Martha Stewart. But I try and do my best and be creative and be a good mom and wife and clean my house when people come to visit and exercise twice a week. I'm trying hard not to hold myself up to what other people are able to achieve and accept that I can only do what I can do. I will try not to neglect this blog so much...but I may disappear for a spell to attend to life. Thanks for reading!

Coming of my gigantor dust bunnies!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Upcoming Craft Fairs!

I just finalized my fall craft fair lineup and boy is it insane! I'm probably out of my mind but it's the time of year to sell like crazy so I'm going for it. I'm excited to be participating in some of my usual favorites (Felt Club, Urban Craft Uprising + Crafty Wonderland) plus a few fairs that I will be at for the first time (Crafty Bastards, Maker Faire - Austin + BazBiz San Francisco).

Here's the skinny:

Crafty Bastards in Washington, DC
Sunday, September 28th from 10am-5pm

Bazaar Bizarre at Maker Faire in Austin, TX
Saturday, October 18th from 10am - 10pm
Sunday, October 19th from 10am -6pm

Felt Club in Los Angeles
Sunday, November 16th from 11am - 7pm

Bazaar Bizarre Holiday Sale in San Francisco
Sunday, November 30th from 10am - 5pm

Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle, WA
Saturday, December 6th + Sunday, December 7th from 11am - 5pm

And last but not least, my favorite fair of all...

Crafty Wonderland here in Portland, OR
Sunday, December 14th from 11am - 7pm

Whew! It's gonna be totally insane but I'm ready. I think.
I'm hard at work on sweaters, skirts, patches and new tote bags.
Buy Handmade for the Holidays!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to School!

This little blog has suffered a bit while I enjoyed what was left of Summer vacation. It was a strange and wonderful last week of summer culminating with my son heading off to his first day of middle school. How am I suddenly old enough to have a middle-schooler!? Seems like not that long ago I was bringing him to his first day of pre-school. I think I was more nervous than he was as I dropped him off at his first class and he paused at the door looking for a familiar face in the sea of 6th, 7th and 8th grade strangers. Yikes! He ended up having a fantastic day at an awesome school that I wish I could attend. His two electives for this first semester are Visual Art and African Drumming. Wow!

My neighbor gave us the idea for a "Week of Fun" to close out the Summer. The week started off with a trip to The Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington - a pimped out hotel that houses an indoor water park, arcade, gift shop, spa, restaurants and more. You get the's crazy over the top but oh-so-much-fun.

Because water and cameras don't mix, I didn't get any photos of the water park...but here is a shot of the animated tree house in the lobby. It comes to life several times a day and that freaky boy doll pokes his head out of the tree stump and tells you a story. Yes, it's as creepy as it looks.

The week of fun also included a movie, ice cream, pizza, a trip to the circus and bowling. What would a week of fun be without bowling?

And speaking of bowling...have I mentioned how much I love Barack Obama?

And how much I distrust John McCain?
It's going to be a hard campaign but hopefully good will win out over evil.

Summer's over - time to get back to work!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale!

Announcing the 2008 Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale!
Featuring art and handmade goods from over 125 amazing vendors!!

Sunday, December 14th, 2008
from 11am-7pm

at The
Oregon Convention Center – Exhibit Hall E
777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd

Portland, OR 97232

Torie and I are super excited to announce the details of our 2008 Crafty Wonderland Holiday Sale! Last year's event at Norse Hall was a huge success with thousands of eager shoppers waiting in a line that wrapped around the corner pretty much all day long! We ended up having to stand at the door and only let people in as people left. It was insane - in a good way! But it made us realize that we needed to move the event to a much larger venue where both vendors and shoppers could have the space that they needed to really enjoy the event.
We chose the Convention Center because it is centrally located and offers 30,000 square feet of space for us to fill with crafty goodness! It's going to be HUGE!

Applications are now open and are due September 19th. Check out for all the juicy details. Anyone interested in volunteer or sponsorship opportunities can email us through that website.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sugar Skull Making Class at DIY Lounge!

I know it's still Summertime (hot as hell in Portland, in fact!) but Fall is just around the corner and along with the usual Fall traditions comes my annual Mexican Sugar Skull making class at DIY Lounge. I just love Mexican folk art and Day of the Dead traditions and look forward to teaching this class each year (this will be my third). Something super amazing and cool that is new to the class this year is my new Virgin of Guadalupe sugar mold! Yes, you heard it right - the Virgin of Guadalupe molded out of sugar.

I acquired the mold late last year so it wasn't included in the class. I managed to mold one but didn't get a chance to add decoration and see her in full glory. Imagine her covered in colorful frosting with paper gold stars on her robe and little fabric flowers at her feet. Amazing, right? Students in the class will have a change to make several skulls like the ones pictured below as well as a Guadalupe if they choose.

Because DIY Lounge has expanded to a second location, I will teach two separate sessions - one at each location. Each class session has two parts - on the first day we will learn how to make the sugar mixture and mold the skulls and on the second day we will decorate our skulls. Pure fun!

Here's the skinny:
Sugar Skulls: Celebrate dia de los Muertos

at DIY Lounge on SE Woodstock Blvd.

Thursday, October 2nd from 6-8pm
AND Saturday, October 4th from 2-4pm

at DIY Lounge on NE Alberta St.
Thursday, October 23rd from 6-8pm
AND Saturday, October 25th from 2-4pm

You can find even more details and register for the class HERE.
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's Crafty Wonderland Time!

It's that time of the month again!

Portland's Monthly Art + Craft Extravaganza
Sunday, August 10th
11am - 4pm
at Doug Fir Lounge
830 E. Burnside in Portland
info. and a full vendor list at

I'll be there with my usual assortment of skirts, sweaters and cut tin wall pieces. I'm cleaning house and marking down some skirts and sweaters to make room for the new ones so come check out my $25 treasure bin!

Plus, we've got the fabulous Jen Neitzel from DIY Lounge at the free DIY table making plush creatures out of old sweaters with our shoppers.

After you do some crafty shopping, head upstairs to Doug Fir's free summer concert series, "Pickin' on Sundays". From 3-7pm you can enjoy food and drink specials out on the patio while listening to the sounds of James Low and Michael Dean Damron.

Monday, August 4, 2008

First Thursday Art Opening

I was excited to create a piece that will be included in "Face Melting Double Attack" - a group show at Manette Gallery in NW Portland. All the juicy details are included in the above flyer. Check out the first Thursday opening reception this week. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend but hope some of you will be there to represent.

Here is a sneak preview of the hand embroidered piece I did for the show. My inspiration was a cool vintage book from the 1940s that I unearthed while cleaning out my studio - it's called "A Boy Grows Up" and is a coming of age book meant to guide a young boy into manhood. The illustrations are hysterical and rather random. This particular illustration was taken from Chapter 5 which instructs a boy how to get along with his mother. I added my own twist by giving the unsuspecting young man some tattoos.

I am all about the fine details so the back of the piece is just as presentable as the front and has the title embroidered on it - "A Boy Grows Up - Chapter 5".

The instructions on the theme of the show were to use "emotion" to create your piece. I struggled with what to do but finally made a decision as my son was off at sleep-away camp for the first time and about to turn eleven years old. He is growing up so fast. I hope that someday he helps me move my heavy furniture.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Letterpress Yard Sale in Portland

Check out this very cool event this Sunday!

What: Letterpress Yard Sale
Where: Liberty Hall, 311 N Ivy
When: Sunday, August 3, 11 am - 4 pm
Detail: A one-day sale with over a dozen letterpress printers and
printshops selling original prints, letterpress equipment, and odds
and ends. Plus Demos!

Here are all the juicy details straight from Carye of Red Bat Press who will be there selling off some of her work:

You are cordially invited to the first annual Letterpress Yard Sale Sunday, August 3rd, from 11am to 4pm, at Liberty Hall in N Portland (311 N Ivy). Come browse letterpress-printed broadsides, cards and artist books as well as type and cabinets, bindery equipment, and tools. See demos on a small table-top letterpress throughout the day.

Vendors include:
the Oregon College of Art and Craft, Crack Press, Textura Letterpress, Triangular Press, Satsuma Press, Red Bat Press, Letterary Press, Sarah Contrary, Twin Ravens Press, the Independent Publishing Resource Center, Stumptown Printers, Arcana 27, Tiger Food Press, and the American Amateur Press Association (AAPA). The sale is free and open to the public.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good Old Fashioned Fun

OK, so I was going to write a post about how I went to the Washington County Fair and saw really hysterical things like...

a prize winning guinea pig...

and a 4-H exhibit of fruit and veggie sculpture...

and this bunny that had a crazy hair-do.

It was all really funny and silly and made me laugh quite a bit.

And then today I found THIS!

Holy Crap! It is a website consisting entirely of crafts you can make using tampons. They offer fun and useful project ideas to suit many of your holiday needs, including, but not limited to...

Tampon ghosts for Halloween.

A tampon menorah for Hanukkah.

And my personal favorite - a tampon toupee for Father's Day.

So, I thought this banana wearing a Barbie doll dress at the fair was the funniest thing I'd seen all year...and then I saw that toupee. Wow. I can't tell you how glad I am that things like this exist. They make the world a better place.

If you would like to see more of my photos from the Washington County Fair you can view them on my Flickr.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Goodies on Etsy!

I just updated my Etsy shop (finally!?!) - here is a sneak peek!

More coming soon! Plus my new vintage craft supply Etsy shop is in the works and should be launching in the next week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cracked Pots Recycled Garden Art Show

Today I took a trip out to Cracked Pots at McMenamin's Edgefield in Troutdale, OR (just outside Portland). I had been hearing about this show for years and was excited to finally make it out there. Plus, I had a few friends selling there so it was a chance to see new work by some of my favorite artists.
It's going on for one more day so head on out there if you feel inspired.

Cracked Pots
Wednesday, July 23rd * 1-8pm
at McMenamin's Edgefield
2126 SW Halsey St. Troutdale, OR 97060

My Fabulous friend Janet Julian never ceases to amaze me! She combines her painting talents with significant junk to create angels, icons and mermaids. These Madonnas were my faves.

Janet also made these fantastic angels out of old wood molding.

I loved these garden balls covered with marbles by Ta Dah.

My neighbor Tim of The Reclamation Project is a whiz with a router and makes these awesome giant wooden bugs and super cool carved wall plaques.

Suzanne from Mugwump had her usual assortment of fantastic oddities including these cool maket totes made from old place mats and tablecloths...

and these garden tea light holders made from vintage tart tins and knitting needles!

These amazing children's chairs were my favorite things from an artist I had never seen before...and can you believe I didn't get their information!? Dang! They were made with vintage metal advertisements and garden hoses. So fantastic!