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.