Monday, October 12, 2009

New Monday Treasury

Nothing but a new Tresaury for the week. I had a hard time finding exactly the look I wanted. But then I was totally inspired by a art work titled "Searching for Fairytales" at Thisyearsgirl Etsy shop. It was so captivating I knew I wanted a treasury almost completly understated but whimiscal. I think I suceeded...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ninjas Vs Pirates!

Okay, its been forever since I posted anything. Have I mentioned before that this is hard for me? It is. I always have 5 million things going on. Or I don't and I get stuck in lazy town or depressionville.. its like margaritaville without the 'rita part...
So at Dragon Con this year to amuse myself at the Cd table I made little people from pipe cleaners. I was kinda on a Halloween bent so I made mummies, wolfmen, and zombies... then I started making pirates and ninjas and I just couldn't stop. I even made a felty version of the Bedlam Bards. (I'll get those photos soon)
We've been in some kind of monsoon season here in Texas, and its been raining or cloudy for weeks. On the sunny days its been a sauna and a mosquito paradise, I risked malaria just to photograph these guys.. but I finally did it and posted them on Etsy. That was just this week.. and I also found out that they'd been spotted and Jennifer writes about them on her blog at which in turn has goaded me into writing about them here. So I'm off to get packed for the Renaissance Faire.. hopefully it'll turn into a beautiful fall weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Imagination Manifestations

Okay, apparently lack of sleep and lots of stress and driving late at night gives one a unique opportunity to think alot about thing other than one's issues. Right? So I reflecting on what I was asked by Amy Hadley during the little interview and what my and other people's answers were. She said "why buy handmade?" and the answer was inevitably "because you get to meet the person that made it.." Which is true enough at a show. But what about online? How much of your personality and charm can come through in a few blurbs? Your product has to speak for itself. In fact will continue to speaks to the person that buys it or gives to someone else everyday. This is more to me than just "meeting" someone... its an entire part of me that is made visible in art form. Whether its felt or clay or fabric. Its totally just a manifestation of my imagination.
So I thought hard about this question. As artist its really difficult to answer some of the question we are asked... Like how did you make this? Easy, ya see I took 3/4 of a pound of hand dyed...and then did....and you simply fold this here... oh wait.. what folks really mean is how did you manage to take these seperate raw materials form them into this creative wonderful new thing? And just maybe they want to know why for godsakes? And that answer also required some hard thinking... But the honest answer is these things are like little pieces of my random thoughts; an image, a poem, a dream... They may not turn out exactly like I want. Sometimes they are a work in process or they are better then ever imagined. I often make things my inner child would love to play with. (she's six, loves unicorns, but hates pink) Sometimes I make things for the sheer challenge of maninipulating all those raw materials and seeing what I come up with. Lot of times its especially for those questions and the looks I get... You made did this? Holy.. (yeah, I love those looks)

So the next time I'm asked how or why... Not going to say this is my brain on art, hold and I'll give you the recipe.
I'm simply going to say its an imagination manifestion. "Wanna see?"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hey Now, Whoa Now Video's up

I met Amy Hadley a few weekends ago at Austin Handmade Market... she grabbed some great footage off all us kids braving the heat of day and selling our wares. I love her attitude and I think that the name of her website is the best, talk about stickyness... she's got it! Anyways she made a great video with a cool song behind it.. it gives a great sense of the energy going on downs there... *after mojitos, before heatstroke* ;)
Thanks Amy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Austin Handmade

The highlight of the past week for me was going to Austin Handmade's Opening event. Its actually a reopening since they just moved to a new and improved local. Just off of south First st in SoCo they feature some of the best local artists and designers. Last Thursday evening was a quite an occasion, I saw a bunch of Etsy folks... including Robie, of Parsimony, who I had met at Funky Finds Spring Fling.. her fabulous dresses can be found at AH and she had the foresight to bribe ah hem.. persuade a few of her friends to model for her. I'm sure that wasn't too hard given the lively atmosphere and added incentive of Sweet Mama cupcakes.

Beth H. and Beth A. were there launching their creation of The Wonder Craft, a exciting new mobile art learning experience.

It was so encouraging to see so many people admiring the cool and crafty offerings. (why, yes those are my Felted Sushi Kits in the DIY room.) I swear I didn't stand by them all evening, I was to busy juggling my cupcake and drink! (oh, and never put a half of velvet cupcake in your pocket the results are very bad) All in all it was a fun evening doing what Austin does best, having a good time and helping each other shine.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tesla Event and Austin Handmade in the Shade

Whew! What a weekend! I made it through.. it was almost but not quite like a marathon. Trying to get it together for two back to back events was well, interesting. I did it! Yay! Of course I added to my stress by saying to myself, "Hmmm, I really need a table banner.." I've been wanting one that's more portable for indoors. It needed to be something I could pull off w/out a sewing machine since mines in the shop for over abuse. At around 12pm on Thursday I started needle felting "Gypsyharte" onto a piece of recycled sweater and then jury rigged that to a tapestry piece that I think was a valance at one point... It looked amazing! I had this hand dyed green and gold silk fiber (yes, silk) and I just printed out a nice font I liked to eyeball while I did it and lo.. it was done.
Crazy what you can do a 2am in the morning.
So I was running to get ready the next day ... but we made it there no problem. I thought Frugal Media executed a fantastic event. It seemed well advertised and attended. I loved being in the stacks of books and my table looked pretty good. I was right across from Haute Toddies.. I picked up a sweet patchwork journal from Sweet Wolf.. and little hot/cold rice pad w/ pink skulls on it from Deathly Cute. I was surprising swamped all evening long. I did a bit of demonstrating what I do and talking about needle felting. I got a lot of praise and sold some things! Yay! Thanks to all my friends who dropped by to see the event. It was also nice to see old vending friends from the Grapevine Market and of course the Etsy Austin crew.
My husband James/Cedric was there to promote his business Harmony Hypnosis and wow people with amazing hypnosis demos. Of course he was still busy at 10pm when everyone was packing up. Comes with the territory.
So scamper back home for a whole 6 hrs of sleep and schlep out again in the morning to Austin Handmade. The new store on S. 1st looks wonderful inside and there's a lot more space to spread all those cute hand made goodies out. I was afraid of being late and thus was the first one there and got a spot shaded by the huge live oak tree. I actually heard that it was a few degrees cooler than the day before... well, I dunno if a drop from 105 to 101 is "cool" or not. But it couldn't hurt. Out hosts at Austin Handmade are great, Jason helped me unload and get my tent up and everything. Next to me there was the most heavenly scent wafting my way from two soap people, Nepenthe's Bathtime (Samantha, did Tesla event the night before as well, so she's pro) and another soapy person from Dripping Springs (sorry I didn't get the name, I blame heatstroke) Lets see other brave and crazy folks were Irene, from La Beba, and Kelly of GemJunkie. (I love my amethyst wing earrings)
So there was great coffee next door to Austin Handmade... I had a wonderful iced latte,
Later in the day we had our Team meeting for Etsy Austin. I loved talking to all the South Austin folks as the wandered through our little show.. even a few familiar faces from the night before!
Austin Handmade had a gallery opening coinciding with the Market and then was not only great art, but do-it-yourself Mojitos! They rocked. It was mostly too hot to do anything except complain about the heat... but I manged to show a few kids a bit of felting and I made the world's smallest sushi platter out of wool. Oh, yeah Jason is going to be carrying my sushi kit in their DIY room at Austin Handmade, woot! And Amy Hadley was there doing some film interviews.. I shudder to think of myself on camera but hopefully I don't sound like a complete idiot. Its all about the felting, right? Her site will be I'm not completely sure its up yet, but soon.
Then it was sip my mojito and try to stay in the shade... But its all finished now and I can bask in the relative success of my shows and be equally thankful I don't have anymore outdoorsy ones anytime soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dog Days

Its supposed to be 110 today...they really are the Dog Days of Summer. I know because my dog doesn't want to do anything he doesn't have. I don't either for that matter. I did decide to make some dogs though starting with this bassett hound; this is a commission piece for a friend of mine's beloved girl Pixie. Working with a few photographs definately inspired me and here's what I came up with.

Doesn't she look sweet? Pixie is a mostly flat needle felted creation, theres a bit of relief around her eyes for expression... worked in merino, corriedale and alpaca wools.

Now for keeping cool... The other day I decided to take my work outside to my porch because I wanted to make some felty soaps. Its wet work. Thats where you wrap a bar of with wool and allow the lather of the bar itself to felt the wool around the soap and it shrinks to fit creating a built washcloth effect. As you use the bar the wool continues to shrink until you just have a little woolie pouch left. This makes a great gentle way to exfoilate. I made some last week at Rat Fest with a 10yr old and now his mom say he takes his shower everyday no problem!

Next time I'll try to remember to get some photos of the process... I was so wet through after felting 7 bars of soap... I went ahead and decided to wash Murphy as well.. He wasn't that thrilled.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

First Thurday!

I'll be at Austin's First Thursday event in front of Hill Country Weavers tonight from 5pm until whenever ( I think it's 10pm) I'm sharing a tent with LovelyLotusDesigns and GemJunkie
I can't believe I just managed one post last month. Unacceptable. I'm jumping back on the blogwagon, really. I've already been whupping mah Etsy store into shape with a host of new items... some polyclay earrings, tiny rat sculptures and the like.. I really want to post my new needlefelting kits.. Maybe I'll take some pics of that stuff tonight at First Thursday.

I'm excited about this show because its the first in my new Element. Cedric's on his way to Whitehart Faire so I get load everything sans husband power. I can handle it... ;)
Okay now I'm going fill this up with some random pics so it looks interesting.

The Griffin kitteh is still recovering well from his eye surgery, but he's very tired of the C-collar.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm Back!

Okay! I'm finally back after having a host of issues and diffuculties. I had a bunch of outdoor shows in April, and a T-storm that took out our satellite modem and then I was traveling to Muskogee, Ok in May for the Oklahoma Renaissance Faire. I'm actually still recovering from a bronchitis thing. (I thought I'd have to due telepathic readings for a while because I practically lost my voice) My house definately hasn't recovered from me being gone all this time... much less my crafting.

However, I have a bunch of things to photograph and get up on Etsy post-hast. I also got a new car! An roomy Honda element that my husband and I call jokingly "The Elephant". This car will be fanstastic for my crafts shows and ren faires. I want to actually sleept in it come Texas Ren Faire. It also looks like I'll be involved in Team Etsy Austin more and organizing the Team Store Site.

Okay, so for now I'm cleaning up around in and trying to impose some order to the chaos!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Gnome Sweet Gnome

Okay I finally finished another felting piece. I still have alot of things in the works or in idea stage but finding the time to actually concentrate is hard. My head is alway jumping ahead of my hands... well and I've had 10 little distractions. Yes, the baby rats! quick 'plaining for people who might this and go eww... rats! I foster litters for Hearts of Texas Rattery, who are dedicated to breeding quality pet rats with the sweetest temperments and beautiful colors and best health possibly. I get to raise baby critters without contributing to irresponsible breeding. I don't have to worry that my babies will be dinner for something else or fall into the wrong hands. HOT carefully screens potential adopters and right now there's a long waiting list!

So my mama rat is named Mei Mei, which is a Firefly reference, and means Little Sister in Chinese. She had 10 perfect wriggle kiddos on the 22nd of March. We just a two week birthday and I just saw their eyen starting to open last night. Check out the slideshow in the previous post for unbearable cuteness and awws...

Anyway I finished a lovely mushroom ring and a little gnome guardian to go with it. I'm hoping to make a series of mushroom or fairy rings each with a different attendant guardian. I also found the most interesting needle felting site the other day and over stretched budget to buy Ayala's books. She was one of the first people to begin sculpting with wool in the 80's. I actually own very few books on needlefelting... I pretty much figured things out by trial and error instead. Sometimes this is okay, it works out with great results. Other times is a frustrating crazyness and I put my wool and needles up and start playing the Sims. So sad.

So I love my gnome! He was a little thing I'd started and was barely shaped then it just started coming together like magic. Magic's like, isn't? And all those little mushrooms are so nice and firm... I really dislike felting that looks like a cat coughed up something artful. The just came out great I did the caps totally separately and then attached the stems. The base was made on a recycled sweater and I felted backwards.... I felted light green on the underside of the ground piece to get an effect like actual moss growing. I had some very nice natural alpaca roving that I used to felt all around the edges of the base... it looks just like dirt. I stuffed the hill with some fiber fill and felted a hollow in the center... this ring would also be a perfect place to rest crystals or stones. There's also a little joke in the name of the gnome. Silly Simeon. I keep telling people and no one's gotten it yet.

On to next project.. but first a baby rat snuggle!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Simply Amazing

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Okay, this felted playscape in the pic above was conceived and created (helped with a few tips and pointers from me but really, not a lot) by an 9yr old friend of mine, Raina. Can I just say, "Holy... and wow?" I never cease to be amazed and stunned by the power of kids imaginations. I was watching Raina and her sister, Star, age 7 this evening and last time they were over here I showed them how to needle felt. I've taught kids and adults before and even though there's some trepidation about letting them handle a sharp and pointy needle they are really really good at it. Star's naturally really patient at artistic things and she took to it right away. She made a bunny and a turtle. Raina's isn't nearly as patient, but I love this... she said she felt that this could make her more patience. Working towards something and making it yourself. The last time she was over she started this, (I thought) really ambitious project of covering this felt square in green and making this felted river.. and she was saying I want squirrels and bunnies and trees to pop up out of it.. I'm thinking 5min maybe.. 10 min tops and then it'll be, hey where's the Tv remote? Nope... Tonight she's finished the "ground" painstakingly felting greens into this dark background and then she's like.. hmm, what's the best way to make a tree? I give it a thought and show her and viola! she's making tree after tree...

We did end up staying up way past bedtime... because then we had to make (I made these) flowers and toadstools and we used a bunch of little felted animals I'd already made to play in it... But I'm really proud of her.. Raina made this, and I showed her how. The white tree is a scyamore... She's already planning another installment, maybe a cave... she's also very enterprising, because I'd said I'd seen similair playscapes on Etsy... she wants to make one to sell. Yeah, I'm a little proud of that too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together!

Getting everything together for the Etsy Austin Team booth was a monumental task that really came together pratically like clockwork. I'm sure that accounts will vary, but everytime I was at the booth in front of Hill Country Weavers it seemed very smooth and we I can't believe we did it! It was awesome getting the swags bags toghether and all the promo items and the coupons... I'm mean it was a huge task and we all contributed alot to the whole thing... so cool to see it happen.

I had a great time doing the needlefelting demos... it was alot of fun. Talking Etsy to folks and just watching the crowds, hearing music coming from somewhere (everywhere). I feel really lucky to be apart of such a great scene and I'm glad that Austin's not afraid to claim its weirdness title.

I hope everyone had a great time! Check out the flickr site for more great pics....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Promoting SXSW and Handmade in Austin

The Etsy Austin Team is getting busy preparing our promotional swag for SXSW thats up coming in March. A bunch of things are going in these bags, that, themselves, are being handmade out of recycled t-shirts. They'll be sporting a really cool silkscreened logo.... and many folks of Team Etsy Austin are preparing some interesting and fun items, stickers, earrings, charms, coupons and much more to fill out the bag. Here's some pics of us at our first Swag Bag sewing bonanza! Beth of Snuggleherd... and our fearless crew!

Come SXSW time we'll be hitting the streets giving away bags and doing demos and selling Etsy things in front Hill Country Weavers on South Congress. Meanwhile its back to sewing machine!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm in Treasury!

So much fun! I'm in a treasury, chosen by Rabbitthorns from Over the Rainbow...
its called "Counting Sheep" and it features all thing made from recycled wool.
Check it out and remember to click through and leave a comment and the page could move up the lists!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Celtic Spirit Event in San Marcos

I'm prolly too tired to blog effectively, but I'll give it a whirl. I'm short on sleep because I was up last night getting items ready for the little day even in San Marcos I was showing at. And I had to get up early to get there, its about an hour away from me.. and I take forever to set up. But I was pretty cheerful on only 5 hrs of sleep and one cup of coffee. I was also happy to be at an indoor events with no shortage of tables and chairs. I was trying some new display set ups out and this big wooden thing I found at Goodwill ( I think it's a magazine rack) I screwed hooks on it and hung stuff from it. I also spent the majority of yesterday evening putting felting kits together. I often do demos of needle felting at these shows... because it draws folks and its impressive to make cute little critters and things from piles random fur. But so many people told me, oh I did that, or I've always wanted to try that.. thus Gypsyharte's Needle Felting Kit was born. I also have a great stash of really nice wool and so I was able to give lots of nice brights and naturals and included instructions and a foam pad and two sculpey handled needles... I made four packs up and three sold so I think that was a success! I did really good in other areas too. I had pillow kitties, earrings... hairwraps, hats, purses and of course my some of my feltings. People loved my needle felted hearts too.

And I got to listen to Celtic music all day and there was a wonderful little closing ceremony honoring Brigid.. the Celtic Saint/Goddess of Poetry, Creativity, Smithing and Her holiday is Imbolc or Feb 2 which is right around the corner... its the kinda the pre-spring event... when the lambs are born.. A good thing to honor, I think, considering how much wool I go through...

SO... in honor of Brigid of the white shoulders and flowing well... may Her wisdom inspire you in the coming season, and may we all drink at the well of peace and plenty.

Bright Blessings.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Crafty Chicks

I Went yesterday to Beth A.'s house for the Esty Austin's first group craft, it was fun and productive. I almost didn't make it yesterday due to a wayward half-grown chick named, Matilda. She decided to fly the coop.. in the traditional sense. But I worry because I have a dog that likes to chase stuff and its a big wide world out there! So the better part of my morning and afternoon was spent chasing Matilda all over creation. She is still at large. Sigh> so getting to hang with some crafty mamas was very mellowing for me... and some eclectic music to groove to and even peanut butter cookies to munch on. (made by Megan) yum!
I spent my time working on some Valentine Day surprises and chatting up a storm. Etsy Austin plans to do this pretty often... Next time we need wine and maybe some strawberry cream cheese and crackers.
Okay, this is freakin' hilarious... I wanted to go grab a photo of my felted hearts in the pretty sunshine outside, so I grabbed my camera and low and behold who is on top of baby chickie pen? the wayward Matilda henceforth known as that damned chicken!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birthday Present

Its my birthday! Just barely, well if we are being technical its really not until 3:16pm tomorrow. But I say it *is* my birthday.
I was cruising through my favs today on Etsy and I was thinking, "Man, I have great taste.. everything I fav gets sold." Then I was thinking, "Mer, *everything* I faved is gone! waaaa!!!"
Ookay... time passes..clean house feed animals... clean some more house.. then my husband bring in the mail. I got this little package and I'm like hmmmm what is this? there's a little note and in some tissue paper is the very bracelet I hearted! My awesome and sneaky sister-in-law in Seattle went and bought me a birthday present off of Etsy. Isn't that the best idea ever? Other than my husband (and I forward him the urls and general give broad hints) no ones ever bought me something off of Etsy before.
Oh and its not just any bracelet...its a fabulously, awsome, mythical, lovely, charm bracelet from Poetsummer which I've been wanting *forever*. Its better and bigger than the pics can ever do justice... It's all tinkly, tinkly.. the weight of it may be a danger to carpal tunnel sufferers...but I don't care! Its sooo awesome.. The charms on this thing are huge and the tiny little picture frames are really clear and the whole thing is just a treasure. See it here:
Did I mention I like it?
And Carrie from Poetsummer sent me another gift as well ...a lovely three strand wooden beaded necklace. How cool is that?
So I hope the rest of my birthday is as good as this present... its an auspicious start!
Go and visit:

Good Fortune

The other day while at a Chinese resturant I got a great fortune cookie fortune. It read:
"Good ideas will spring forth naturally from your mind in the comning week."
Which is exactly how I've been feeling, ideas and images literally just start coming to me when I close my eyes to sleep or when I'm looking out the window driving somewhere. I'm just having trouble making everything I want to make. I want to finish things not just start them. LOL, of course I have my fair share of projects started... some I actually want to finish. I just need to remind myself to write the ideas down and I will get to them. I just need to take it one step at a step. You can't do needle felting fast, not if you want to do it right. So patience is my first lesson of the coming year.
So whats in the works?
Folktales, I love allegory and symbology.. so I'm reading up.
I can't wait to get to do some wet felting. Maybe making a set of slippers or something.
I'm going to expand from hats and make more stuff out of recycled sweaters.
I'll just keep writing down all my ideas and everything will happen in good time.
Good fortune to all. In all our enterprises.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

San Marcos Art at Tantra

I newly joined the Esty Austin street team last week and there I met Kateri, who is doing this great third Sat Market in San Marcos. Its easy to forget that a whole city is just right down south there. So my husband, James and I decided go and set up our respective little booths out at Tantra Coffee House yesterday. James is a hypnosist promoting his business by doing free hypnosis demos showing people how to change their lives by changing their minds.
And I had a little bit of everything.... some recycled sweaters hats (since it was chilly) and removable hairwrap jewelry, and of course my felted creations. Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate having nothing to do with my hands, so I had my wool and some bits of reclaimed sweater and was felting away. The place was really fun too.. alot of folks came and went there were some nice bands to to listen too and other see the artists too.
And they were people... bonafide People, they came and talked to me, and I love talking felt! I was suprised at how many people said they had just starting doing needle felting or had just heard about Etsy. That, is my second favorite subject.
It was a good day, I talked to this nice guy, Sean, who was going write something for a paper or zine I think, he also took pics of my stuff. I totally spaced some stuff yesterday morning, like my mirror and I’m still out of business cards… no excuse. Despite my being a tad worried about the weather it was fine, a little windy but to too bad, and the sunshine came out to play later in the day. Tantra’s got some yummy lemon bars and good coffee ( I had the Landry) and my hubby hypnotized some folks… oh yeah I sold some stuff. That’s always nice. The best thing was being in this happening little Texas town, surrounded by talented kids, so creative and it so-made-me-remember-my-college-time; and I was much buoyed and encouraged by so many asking about my stuff and liking it. I think it was a success all around and a lot of promise for growth in the future. So thanks a bunch Kateri! We can’t wait for next time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sock Monkey know how!

Okay, I got this really wonderful tiny sock monkey kit from Fantiny for Christmas and its got everything you need to make tiny sock monkeys.... except that the are tiny and therefore difficult... really difficult We're talking 3-5 inches is the largest one. Its especially difficult if you've never made big sock monkeys. I haven't. I'm slowly grasping the concept and her instructions are great for making the tiny sock part... it was the monkey part thats getting me.

So Google to my rescue. And Yup there's a bunch of how-to-make instructions on regular ole sock monkey. I'm back in the tiny teeny sock monkey business... I've got my tiny socks! and I'm going to make a monkey...
Want a tiny sock monkey of your own?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Brand New Year!

Huzzah, its a brand new year and I'm super excited to finally have all my shows behind me for a little while. I will have time to create new stuff. Woot! I had a great time reading Tarot cards at Texas Ren Fest and then a wonderfully sucessfull Armadillo Christmas Bizarre. Now, as the holidays and things are behind me I'm so looking forward to all these exciting ideas that have been perking in my head while. My poor Etsy shop is looking a little bare since I sold (yay!) a bunch of my felted things at the 'Dillo. But hey thats fine by me... I'll make more! I got a bunch of new materials to work with.... as christmas presents, some fine Mohair roving by Kai Ranch... dyed by our friend Lisa... and I also ordered new colors from Draig Athar on Etsy she always has great colors. So just hang on and wait and see what I create with this wool and I even got some cool eyes from Vedabliss
Also on my agenda for the New Years, besides seeing how I well I can keep up this blog thingie... is me joining Etsy Austin Team! Check this out. Okay I'm totally blurry eyed from no sleep and still slightly hung over from New Years Celebrations... so Night! Bright Blessings