Win!

I’ve never won a raffle before, so I was STOKED to hear that my name came out of the fishbowl at the Neon Monster second anniversary party.  What did I win?  This incredibly sweet original painting by Reuben Rude!

reubenselephant

Richard Starkings and Justin “Moritat” Norman were there signing issues of their Elephantmen comic, so Reuben painted this elephant outside  during the party.  After it was over, he took it home and added a few collage elements and the drips you see.  I really love that all four sides of the painting (which you unfortunately can’t see in the photo) have gorgeous orange to green to blue gradients on them.  The painting measures about four feet per side and two inches deep.  Amazing!

Speaking of raffles, I have to put forth a little plug: come to the Bazaar Bizarre in Golden Gate Park December 12-13!  I’m organizing the raffle this year and the prizes are amazing.  You can see some of them here at the BazBiz Flickr stream.  At the last Baz Biz there were eleven prize lots each totaling more than $300!  For the price of one ticket you walk away with eleven chances to take care of your entire holiday list!  Craft and Make Magazine will also be there with a raffle.

16 Towers Print by 3 Fish Studios

Fruit Stripe Vase by Why Girls Go Astray

Alternative Press Expo

This weekend the Alternative Press Expo came to town.  It’s a nice little convention that brings together the independent publishing community, put on by the same folks who bring you ComicCon.  Most of the tables were taken up by comic artists and writers, but a fair number of zine publishers, crafters, illustrators and small shops also represented.

Soon after arriving, I swung by the Neon Monster table, where I got to meet the lovely and talented Marian Churchland.  Among other things she has drawn for Richard Starkings’ Elephantmen series.

I had met Starkings and Justin “Moritat” Norman (the main Elephantmen artist) the day before at Neon Monster’s Second anniversary party.  Happy Birthday, Mitch!  Mr. Starkings gave me a few autographed issues of Elephantmen to peruse and I have to say, it’s not a bad rag.  Mr. Moritat also drew me a sketch of Jean Grey as Phoenix, perhaps my favorite comic book character ever.  Thank you guys!

Though I usually go as a fan, this year I went to A.P.E. mostly for business — I spent my time scouting the tables for characters that might make good plush toys.  Unfortunately there weren’t too many in the simple and cute category this time around, unless you count the yetis.  EVERYone’s got a yeti now.  Yetis are the new diamonds.   Still, there was plenty to love and even more to buy.  Even I couldn’t resist.  I got two of Brandon Bird’s Law & Order valentines for my sis (SVU is her favorite show). Brandon Bird is famous among my friends for his painting “No One Wants to Play Sega With Harrison Ford.

The best thing I got, though, was this set of monster hugs cards from Goblin-Fish Press.  There were five in the pack but these two are my favorites.

hugs

Hilarious!  If you’re sad you missed A.P.E., don’t worry.  There are two similarly awesome events happening next month.  For you east coasters, visit the Editions & Artists Books Fair in NYC beginning Nov. 5th.  While you’re there, say hi to the good folks at The Present Group.  For you west coasters, come hang out with me at DesignerCon in Pasadena on Nov. 21st!

Deep Creeps!

I’ve been working on a set of plush deep sea creatures for a couple of years.  I’ve been calling them “Deep Creeps.” (Yes, I know, it sounds just like “Sweet Meats.”  I’m a one-trick pony when it comes to titles.)  ANYWAY, after several iterations but no real progress, I decided that I would use the Plush You! show at Schmancy as my deadline for having finished versions of a dumbo octopus and an angler fish. I finally finished them yesterday and they’ll arrive tomorrow, a scant two days before opening night.  It remains to be seen whether they’ll actually make it into the show now.

In August, I made two pillows embroidered with original drawings in glow-in-the-dark thread.  They look cool in the dark, but Plush You is a high-caliber plush show, not an embroidery show.  I put the pillows up in my Etsy shop and started over.  One month plus one extremely intense sewing week later, I’ve got two finished creeps and a massive tension headache.  So if you’ve been wondering what my craft-a-day has been since I last posted an update, here are the foam models, patterns, and body part prototypes I’ve been churning out.  These are just the few I hadn’t thrown out yet.

patternsprototypes

And here are the finished Creeps.  For more photos/larger versions you can visit my Flickr stream.  Yes, the angler’s bulb glows in the dark.

dumbofrontdumboleftishdumboclosefrontanglerleftfrontanglerfrontanglerright

BUST Craftacular Applications are Up

For all the east coasters out there (or folks who can travel light), BUST magazine’s annual Holiday Craftacular has posted its application page for this year’s NYC show.  The 2009 Craftacular takes place Sunday, December 6th from 10am-7:30 PM.  Their booth fee seems steep, but it looks as though they’ve moved the show from Brooklyn to Chelsea, so it might very well be worth it.

New Crafty Gathering Space: Workshop

workshopI really respect doers.  As a thinker-planner-worrier-maybe-eventually-doer I admire people who seize opportunities immediately and run with them all the way to the finish line.  Kelly Malone of Indie Mart is one such doer.  Last night I attended an open-house event at her new space called “Workshop,” which is a community art and activity space that holds classes, get-togethers and large-scale craft equipment.  It’s already got furniture, signage, and an awesome room divider made of old windows.  A week ago she didn’t even know about this space!

I think Workshop will be a fantastic addition to the San Francisco creative community, so I really want to see it succeed.  It’s set to officially open on September 19th, but in the meantime they need more stuff to make it fully equipped. If you have any of these items, you can drop them off almost any time in the next two weeks. Workshop needs:

-crafty, sewing & art supplies (scissors, thread, fabrics, yarn, bedazzlers, patterns, machines,
paints, brushes, anything rad you can think of)
-screening supplies (ink, old screens)
-building supplies & tools (hammers, drills, hardware, levels, saws, etc)
-light bulbs…we need hundreds for our light installation
-old saw blades, yard sticks, wooden vintage bobbins….for an installation
-dining room style chairs (that can be spray painted black for seating)
-DIY, how to & design books/ magazines to build up our inspiration library (Martha
Stewarts, ReadyMades, Dominos, you get the idea)
-pillows & cushions we can recover for our movie nights
-patterns
-an office chair
-a computer
-speakers, turntables & stereo goodness
-an ipod for sale:)
-jars for storage (mason, baby food, etc)
-old drawers from small to medium size

To check out Workshop for yourself and to drop off donations/congratulate Kelly/try to steal some of her mojo for yourself, swing by the corner of McAllister and Baker streets during normal store hours.

New Renegade Holiday Fair in San Francisco!

That’s right, Chicago’s favorite indie craft fair is adding a a second city to it’s holiday fair line-up this year!  Luckily for us San Franciscans, Renegade chose our very own beautiful city by the Bay.  If you loved it in July, you’ll love it even more in December, because the holiday season is when customers come holding cash and lists, and vendors come with all the inventory they can carry.

The fair will take place on December 19th and 20th at Fort Mason, which is a very warm and cozy location (despite its size), as long as you’re not near the front doors.  You can find the application here, which is due by October 9th, along with the $300 booth fee and $10 application fee.  If you are accepted into the fair, you will be notified by October 16th.  If not, your booth fee will be refunded by October 23rd.  For more info, you can visit the FAQs here.

Craftland Application is Up

The annual Providence, RI holiday season craftavaganza (yeah, I said it) is back and the application is now up. The show takes place 12/4-12/31. Craftland works a little differently than most other shows you’re used to in that they don’t charge a booth fee (it’s in a retail store), they take a commission — 30% if you volunteer 12 hours, 40% if not.  This makes it a really good first show or one to try out new products — you only pay money if you make money.  It’s also good if you can’t be in town but your products are easy and inexpensive to ship.  Early bird deadline is 8/14, final deadline is 8/31.  Apply here!

Oh, and if you’re psyched for Craftland but already booked up for the holidays, get psyched because Craftland is going year-round!  That’s right, folks, seven days a week at 235 Westminster Street in downtown Providence, RI (oh, the nostalgia!).

Renegade L.A.

This past weekend I participated in the Renegade Craft Fair’s first ever Los Angeles show.  I’ve never done a Renegade show but I kept hearing form other vendors that the L.A. show was nowhere near as good as last year’s San Francisco show, which is coming up again next week.

Renegade L.A. was held in the California Market Center, the same venue where Unique L.A. is held.  It’s not my favorite space.  Firstly, it’s downtown, which is dead on the weekends, so there is no casual foot traffic, but I’m not sure there’s any place in L.A. that gets much random foot traffic full of eager craft buyers.  Secondly, it’s located on the 13th floor of the CMC, which can make loading in and out a nightmare.  This wasn’t as much of an issue with the Renegade Fair as with the Unique L.A. show because Renegade had fewer vendors.  Thirdly, the 13th floor is a labrynthine mess.  People can’t figure out where they are or what they’ve already seen.  This makes your success extremely dependent on your booth location.  If you’re near the elevators and bathrooms, you’re fine, but once you get into the deeper recesses of “the penthouse” traffic dwindles significantly.

I made a little more money at the Renegade fair than at Unique L.A., even though there were fewer shoppers, because Renegade skews more toward my usual demographic, which is less fashionable/trendy and more indie/crafty.  I don’t think I’ll be able to do any more L.A. fairs, though, because my sister is moving back to NYC.  That means no more helper and no more free room and board.

The best part of fairs like Renegade is the awesome people you get to hang out with.  I got to chat with Jenny Hart and Rob Mahar (each just shopping for a change), both of whom I never get to see because we all live in different cities.  I also exchanged hand signals with my L.A. “booth brother,” Adam from the Poster List.  We’ve been placed across from each other at every L.A. fair we’ve ever done, but he speaks quietly and I’m hard of hearing, so we communicate via sign language.  Adam is a real hardcore craft vendor.  He never leaves his booth during show hours (eight hours a day at Renegade!) and never starts packing up early.  I know he hides Starbucks lemon loaves under the table, but how does he pee?!

I also met a ton of fantastic new people this weekend, most of whom will be at Rengade SF this weekend, including my awesome neighbor, illustrator Caitlin Kuhwald.  How gorgeous is this painting?

I also got to know Robert Goodin, who traded me this jah-mazing refillable sketchbook (which I have been sorely needing) for a giant ham

woodsketchbook

…and all the ladies at Krank Press, where I bought the perfect little birthday calendar (which I have also been needing).  Each page is letterpressed in three colors and contains California planting and harvesting information for each month in addition to spaces for each date.  The whole calendar was only $15!  What are they, crazy?  I know underpricing is a craft-world epidemic, but how can you even survive on that?  Geez, when I think of the cost of paper, inks, binding, printing plates, AND the very skilled labor is takes to print 14 pages three times each, I’m a little astounded that Nor can eat three meals a day.

birthdaycalendar

I also got to chat a while with the gals at dust and co. and Porterness, where I scored this tote for a cycling friend who hates Prius drivers even more than he hates tomatoes.

fuckyourprius

Elijah at Figs and Ginger gave me a deal on these totally sweet earrings in exchange for some fashion advice…

…and Erin Dollar (also an underpricer in my opinion) wowed me with her varied crafty talents.

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Lazy Sunday

Saturday night was a long night.  I vended at the Chillin’ Productions Anniversary Show at the Mezzanine, which went from 8pm-2am.  Though the event was packed, my location was hard to get to, so sales were just so-so. I didn’t pay a booth fee, though, so I really can’t complain.  By the time I packed everything up and got it back home it was close to 3, but A. was sick and didn’t come to bed until 5, and then our downstairs neighbor started in with the electric guitar at 9:30, so like I said, it was a long night.

I finally crawled out of bed at around 12:45 and only had the energy to make one more reader/writer set and try out my new Xyron.  Turns out, the 510 doesn’t handle shapes of less than 1” particular well because the roller starts so far from the “feed tray.”  I’m working on a little mod right now to extend the tray to just before the roller.  The whole reason I bought the Xyron, after all, is because it’s a pain to use a glue stick on tiny, intricate pieces.

Anyway, here’s the scan of set number 2.  I used a security envelope this time.  It’s kind of nice on the light blue stock, but I think I like the Air Mail stripes better.  They look so worldly and sophisticated. I also changed the time on the clock to four.  What do you think?  I’m torn.

writerbluescanreaderbluescan

Today our media diet is officially over, but I still haven’t broken it yet because today is a very busy day.  I have to fulfill a custom order, pay my quarterly taxes, do the laundry, and start working on a plush monster prototype (if I get all the drawings).  I also haven’t done my books in almost a month and my sales taxes are due on July 1st, so I need to get back to that.

Maker Faire Madness

It’s been a crazy week.  After getting back from New York late Monday night it was a mad dash to finish two days worth of contract work and everything I needed to do for the Bazaar Bizarre and When Creativity Knocks (both at this past weekend’s Maker Faire).  I only slept 5 hours each night, during which time I had several stress dreams, including having to perform a trapeze act in front of thousands of people with only ten minutes training by a hairy, naked French woman.  I ditched the circus as soon as I realized my face wasn’t on the poster and the audience wasn’t expecting me anyway.

There were a few snags, like having to leave Eleanor on her own to finish the last hour of mock-ups, and not being able to find the catnip, bells and beans I needed for the WCF steak cat toy demo, but everything got done in the end and the results were fair to good.  The Bazaar Bizarre raffle looked fantastic (thank you volunteers and friends/family of Jamie!), the demo went smoothly (though I had to omit the filling step), and the Sweet Meats sold really well.  In fact, all the vendors did really well.  Everyone kept remarking on how the recession didn’t seem to exist inside the Maker Faire.  Maybe the attendees save so much money by growing their own food and building their own vehicles that they have plenty left over to spend on plush meats and robot soap dispensers.

I love that the Maker Faire Bazaar Bizarre helps me pay my June rent, but I get a little sad that I can’t attend it anymore.  I got to go the first year, which was awesome, but it’s so much bigger than it used to be and all of the new stuff is so tempting.  I want so badly to ride the two-person ferris wheel, but my short lunch break doesn’t allow time to wait on the long line.  This year many of the exhibits were open on load-in day (Friday), so I got to see a few things after setting up that night, but I had to work all that day, so my participation there was limited to about half an hour.  Next year I’m going to load-in first thing on Friday so I can spend the rest of the day exploring the exhibits.  Not everything will be up, but I’m sure it will still fill the day.  One highlight of the Faire was getting an Editor’s Choice ribbon from Becky Stern at Craftzine.  I’ve been secretly coveting one of these for years (I’m a HUGE fan of Craft) and it gave me a nice “mission accomplished” feeling at the end of an insane week.

maker faire editors choice

The day after the Maker Faire was my birthday, so I did a little shopping for myself on Sunday.  I got an awesome tool apron from Polly Danger (I made her assistant take off the one he was wearing and hand it over), a sweet little wrist wallet from eleen, and the most awesome snail mail stationery set from Jill K. in L.A.  My friend Lydia moved across the country to Pittsburgh so I am currently writing her real letters on ugly stationery I bought in high school with lots of cross outs.  She types on lovely onion skin paper using an antique typewriter.  I think the snails will help bring me a step up.  When I first saw the stationery in L.A. I was determined to buy a set even though it seemed expensive to spend $5 for one letter’s worth of paper and envelopes.  Then I heard a man at another booth explain to his wife that of course he was going to buy this $6 card, because he couldn’t think of anything better to spend his money on than a way to meaningfully communicate with his friends.  I couldn’t agree more.

tool apronwrist walletsnail mail stationery set