Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Very Crafty Weekend!

Portland is buzzing with crafty events this weekend! Not only is it Crafty Wonderland's third birthday celebration but it is the NW premiere of Faythe Levine's indie craft documentary, Handmade Nation! Details below...

I still find it hard to believe that it has been three years since Torie and I launched our monthly craft extravaganza, Crafty Wonderland. It's been quite a ride! Come by and celebrate with us and enjoy some special party favors we have lined up for our shoppers. We will have donuts from Voodoo Doughnuts and Stumptown Coffee compliments of our host, Doug Fir along with prizes from the lovely folks at Sublime Stitching to the first shoppers through the doors. Get there early if you want to score these goodies - quantities are limited! And, as usual, we have another fabulous assortment of 40+ vendors selling their amazing handmade goods - check out the full vendor list here.

We are also super excited to be hosting crafter/writer/film maker extraordinaire, Faythe Levine who is in town premiering her film Handmade Nation. Faythe will be on hand at the DIY table from noon - 2pm to meet and greet and talk about her film. Jen Neitzel from DIY Lounge will also be at the DIY table helping folks make 1" buttons with some special Handmade Nation graphics done by local artist and illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt. Kate is also a vendor at this month's show so stop by her booth to score some of her amazing work.
Portland is so lucky to be one of the cities hosting a premiere of the Handmade Nation film along with the director herself. The film is screening at the Museum of Contemporary Craft throughout the weekend. Last I checked all except the Sunday 3pm show were sold out so you better act fast if you want to see this film - it's a must see! You can get all the details as well as buy tickets on the museum's website.

In addition to the film screenings, the museum is offering several craft related programs including a CraftPerspectives panel discussion with several artists featured in the film (2pm on Saturday) and a Crochet-A-Thon with artist Mandy Greer (4-6pm on Saturday). And if that weren't enough, there are two amazing exhibits at the museum right now that you can check out while you are there..."Dare alla luce" - an installation of ornate crocheted organisms by Mandy Greer and "The Large Works" - amazing large embroidered snap shots by Darell Morris.

Lastly, I thought I'd share these video clips that were made by Porter Panther to help promote the Handmade Nation NW premiere. They interviewed Torie and I at the March Crafty Wonderland show. Check them out!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Chair Affair 2009

For the past few years I have participated in a fantastic fundraising event called The Chair Affair. It benefits The Community Warehouse which is an organization here in Portland that collects donated household goods then distributes them to families in need. Over 80 local artists take old chairs and turn them into works of art which are later auctioned off to the highest bidder. The event raises thousands of dollars for this amazing organization.

The chairs will be on display at two galleries in the Pearl District for First Thursday this week. I will be at Anka Gallery along with my chair - come on by and say hi! This is my third year participating and I think this chair is by far my favorite. Scroll down to see photos of this year's chair.

First Thursday - Chair Affair Preview Shows
Thursday, April 2nd - 6 to 9 pm

at Anka Gallery - 325 NW 6th
and PH Reed - NW 11th + Glisan

The Chair Affair Auction will take place on Thursday, April 23rd
Go to their website to view the chairs and to buy tickets.

Here is my chair before...

...and here it is after.

Inspired by vintage side show banners, I used hand embroidery and applique to create a tattooed lady in all her splendor! My past two chairs were done by combining screen printing and top stitching but this year I really wanted to do something different. It came out even better than I had imagined. Especially after the old lady at Fabric Depot scolded me and told me I could not applique the way I was planning (not folding edges under). I showed her! I love it so much that I may be bidding on it and bringing it home! Crazy but true.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Stay Away from the White Light.

The last few weeks have been a bit crazy at my house. Shortly after arriving home from the art show I wrote about in my previous post, I became so ill that I ended up in the emergency room and then in the hospital Intensive Care Unit. Turns out I had Pneumococcal Pneumonia - a serious illness that usually attacks older people, very young people or people with an already weakended system from other health problems. But this year they have apparently seen an increase in healthy young people like myself getting the disease. About 1 out of every 20 people who get Pneumococcal Pneumonia dies from it. If it gets into your bloodstream (which it did in my case) then those numbers increase to 2 out of 10 dying from it. It goes without saying that this experience has been emotional and quite a wake-up call for me to appreciate my life and friends and family more. I am incredibly lucky to have so many amazing people who care about me and to live a great life here in Portland, OR. Big hugs and kisses and thanks to all of you who took care of me and sent me yummy food and magazines and good thoughts! I can't describe how much it has meant to me!

I am feeling much better now and am hoping to be back in the swing of my life really soon. The Crafty Wonderland third birthday party and the Portland premiere of Handmade Nation are coming up next weekend and I'm doing some serious resting up so I can partake in the festivities. I'll try to write more about both events later this week - both are not to be missed!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Junktown in Astoria

I am honored to be taking part in a group show of the Junktown Allstars at the Lunar Boy Gallery in Astoria this month. Junktown is a collective of artists who use recycled/reclaimed materials in their work. They are all amazingly talented artists and real nice folks so I was pretty excited when they asked me to join them.

The show at Lunar Boy will feature 10 artists (including myself) all showing work that is at least 50% recycled and selling for $100 or less. Participating artists include Tripper Dungan, Brett Superstar, Chelsea Fletcher, Steve Mathews, Meredith Mathews, Elijah Klauder, Levi Pitters, Cyrus Smith, Ben Soeby & Chris Herndon. In honor of the show, I have put together some new cut tin pieces that made my hands bleed and my heart beat fast.

"Pink Branch"

"Red Flower Spray"

"Blue Tree"

Lunar Boy Gallery
1133 Commercial St.
Astoria, OR 97103
Opening reception Saturday, March 14th from 5-9pm
Show runs through the end of March

See some of the work featured in the show here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Back in the Swing.

After the holiday craziness and a much needed break from all things crafty, I am finally back in the swing of things and juggling several fabulous things that you need to know about...

While my son is no longer a student at Buckman, it remains the coolest elementary school in Portland! They provide an arts focused education for students in grades K thru 5 along with fostering an amazing community of families - can you tell that I miss it there???

This weekend they will host their 19th annual Art Show + Sell which features over 130 local artists and crafters selling their work along with (my favorite part) a student art gallery where you can scoop up original art by the kids themselves. I will be there selling my usual assortment of skirts, sweaters and tote bags but have also created some special embroidered pieces for the occasion. Come on down and get yourself some fantastic handmade goods while also supporting arts education in our public schools!

Yes, Crafty Wonderland started back up with monthly shows at Doug Fir Lounge in February but I wasn't quite recovered enough to actually blog about it...but now I am!

Portland's favorite monthly event is back better than ever with another assortment of 40 vendors selling their amazing handmade goods. Plus the fabulous Jen Neitzel from DIY Lounge will be there helping folks make memory books at the free DIY table.

Crafty Wonderland
Portland's Monthly Art + Craft Extravaganza!
The Second Sunday of every month
at Doug Fir Lounge
830 E. Burnside in Portland
11am - 4pm
details and a full vendor list at:

While you may be sick of hearing all about the awful economy, I need to stress that it is more important than ever to support local business. We are all cutting back on spending but lets try to be conscious of where our dollars are going and support small business during this tough time. They need us!

I've got a few other cool projects in the making so stay tuned for details...