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!