Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Good words: Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Buttonlandia

"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Buttonlandia
Who are you?
I am Sofia! I hail from the Southeast of Portland. I've lived in Portland for a year. I am an original Bay Area native & then started my journey North 6 years ago, I lived in Seattle for five years. I'm in my late twenties, married to my geeky best friend. I am a fan of geeky, sassy & cute things.

What do you make?
I make all sorts of stuff. I love creating things in different mediums. The things I make for Buttonlandia are buttons, magnets, pocket mirrors, cards & other graphic design goodness. I also make rad plushes that I sell through Fia(pdx). And I enjoy hunting for fantastic vintage finds and sell goodies at The Epoch Yeti. It doesn't stop there...I also create music, I write, I draw, I photograph! 

Besides making things, what do you do?
I love new adventures whether it's taking a bike ride to the unknown, camping, hiking or enjoying new foods. In the summer, I love going to concerts & taking day trips. In the winter, I like playing in the snow & having a warm cocktail with friends. 

What inspires you?
Everyday life inspires me! I love taking in the world: the smells, sights, conversations, mass media, etc. I try to create new things with my own special twist on them.  

Where can your work be found?
My work can be found online [http://www.etsy.com/shop/Buttonlandia]. As well as stores throughout the West Coast. Locally, I am a few stores in the downtown, Southeast & Northwest area. I also do craft shows throughout the year.

What do you love about Portland?
As cheesy as it sounds, I love everything about Portland. This is by far my favorite city in the world. The focus on local, sustainable goods & food is astounding. I love that people support their neighborhoods and that there are so many creative people. Portland has truly taught me the importance of local.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm making a doily rug!

It's made with recycled t-shirt yarn, and I'm just making up the pattern as I go.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


About a year ago, when I decided to really get serious about my handmade business, I began listening to a podcast called CraftSanity. Almost every single morning (really!) I listened to at least part of an episode. The CraftSanity podcast is an interview show by the amazing Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood, where she talks with crafters and makers of all sorts about their creativity, creative businesses, life stories, and philosophy on making things. It's truly inspirational and wonderful to listen to, and by now I feel like she is both a virtual dear friend and somewhat of a celebrity!

Well, after 14 months of listening, I was finally caught up on all the past episodes, and my business is in a position to give back a little. I told myself that since it had been such a help while I was growing my business, House of Moss would sponsor an episode when I had caught up, both as a thank-you to Jennifer for all her work and a small gesture of support for her own handmade business, and in the hope that she would keep making more episodes. ;)

So! The news is that House of Moss is mentioned as a sponsor on the current new episode of CraftSanity! Seriously one of the biggest thrills yet in my journey with this business.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Alex Wijnen

"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Alex Wijnen

Who are you?
Alex Wijnen

What do you make?
I'm a graphic designer and first started creating my illustrations when I was developing a day planner that I was going to present to my clients as a holiday gift. I came up with my own style of creating images that involves drawing the line art in pen & ink, then scanning it and digitally adding color and texture.

Besides making things, what do you do?
My graphic design business (www.defteling.com) started years ago on a part-time basis when I was still employed at a marketing firm. Since 2003 I've been freelancing full-time and have a steady roster of long-term clients, including the University of Oregon, Kettle Brand Potato Chips and the Oregon Humane Society.

What inspires you?
Most of my illustrations are inspired by childhood memories or the beautiful nature that surrounds us here in Portland. While my decorating style at home leans towards vintage and muted palettes, I love using vibrant colors in my illustrations. My images are usually happy and somewhat whimsical so the colors help communicate that.

Where can your work be found?
I mostly sell online in my Etsy shop (alexwijnen.etsy.com) but locally you can find some of my prints at Etcetera in North Portland. I also sell at various shows throughout the year (next up is Buckman Elementary School's Art Show & Sell).

What do you love about Portland?
We still can't believe we're lucky enough to live in such a great town. We've lived in our neighborhood (NE Hollywood/Rose City area) for nine years now and absolutely love it. Portland as a whole has a huge and varied selection of great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. It's also very supportive of artists and environmentally responsible. But what I like best is coming home on an airplane and seeing the green hills and fields just roll on and on... it's beautiful!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Favorite local places: Knack

Knack is one of my dearest little galleries. It's a teeny-tiny storefront in Multnomah Village (7824 SW 35th, Portland) filled with natural light and the work of so many local artists!

I'm lucky enough to be involved with this place both as an artist and as a shopkeeper! My felted wool acorns, pebbles, star moss magnets, amanita mushroom magnets, and hearts are here; and I spend one day a week in the shop as well. Other artists whose work finds a home at Knack include:

If you're looking for handmade gifts in a cheery peaceful little shop, come visit us at Knack!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Prost to the Host

"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Prost to the Host

Who are you?
I am Alysia (pronounced A-lee-sha) I am the owner of Prost to the Host. I make paper flower decorations made of tissue paper and I also design and coordinate parties.

What do you make?
What do you make? Paper tissue decorations -- tissue flowers Ethereal flowers that hang from float around the ceiling.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I work in pediatric clincial research at OHSU. My spare time is also spent with my little boy and husband. We love to eat, so making food and experiment with seasonal ingredients gettings my tummy grumbling.

What inspires you?
Everything! If I see a fun pattern on a dress, it might inspire the next color grouping or colors that remind me of a distant memory might be found during a summer garden party. It usually get fixated on one item and base the entire party around it.

Where can your work be found? 
Anthropologie's Wedding Store, BHLDN; Crafty Wonderland, Powell's Bookstores, Portlandia, Gossip Girl, Martha Stewart, various photoshoots. I am still so shocked to see my poms featured.

What do you love about Portland?
The food! Come on, give me a tough question. Honestly, the food scene is ridiculous. I mean, the localvorian approaches are killer. I am thankful the economy is picking up and chefs are taking more risks and opening up new food spots. The winter rains are coming hard and testing out a new spot is like getting a hit of Vitamin D sunshine. Yum!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hipstamatic tutorial: How to make needle-felted hearts, a Valentine's Day project

What you need: a felting needle (I use a 36-gauge triangle), a felting pad, a little puff of wool, and, if you want, a multi-needle tool.

Using the single felting needle or the multi-needle tool, punch the wool into a sort of flattened rounded-triangle shape.
Fold in one of the sides of your wool shape just a bit to form a flat side, and tack it down using the single felting needle. Fold in an adjacent side at about a right angle, and poke it until your new shape begins to felt together. This will be the tip at the bottom of the heart.

At the top of the heart, poke the space between the remaining original corners of your flattened wool puff, to make the dip at the top. Shape the rounded parts, too, by poking any place that seems to be sticking out too far, until your heart shape looks the way you want it to.

And there you go! A sweet little heart you can give to your dear ones as a reminder that they are loved.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Bluhour

"We make Portland awesome" is a weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other. 
This week: Brooke Scott of Bluhour

Who are you?
Technically I guess I am a city girl... but I am a beach girl at heart.
I have been making jewelry for as long as I can remember and I'm sure my sweet mom still has a glittery macaroni necklace that I made for her way back when ;-)

I share a studio with my husband Kris [inkfresh.etsy.com] who is a very talented block-print artist! He carves them all by hand and prints them on towels and cards that he sells all over town;-) He has great designs like Bacon 'n Eggs and Bigfoot (soooo Portland!).
What do you make?
I like to think that BluHour is "fresh jewelry with old-fashioned charm". I love to play around with unexpected shapes and sizes while making sure that the final designs are still very wearable. I mainly work in sterling silver, 14K yellow and pink gold and vintage brass. I am always looking to incorporate new mediums into the designs and I get big inspiration from strolling through antique shops with Kris. 

Besides making things, what do you do?
When I'm not making jewelry you can find me at my full-time customer service job (haven't made it into my own "quit your day job" Etsy article yet.... hopefully some day!) When I'm not working you might find me shopping at antique stores or shoe shops (my major weakness!) or headed to the Oregon Coast with my hubby and mini Dachshund, Gus.  

What inspires you?
I am most inspired by items with a history. I love holding something that can tell you a story.... Years ago, found a book of poems from 1855 at a thrift shop for $1. I love picking it up and wondering where it has been and who has read it.
As far as jewelry is concerned I am most inspired by 1920's jewelry-- It is so finely crafted and intricate. 

Where can your work be found?
BluHour Jewelry can be found at:
      Knack (Multnomah Village)
      Tender Loving Empire (Downtown PDX)
      Aster and Bee (SE)
      Clay Wood and Cotton (New York)
      and of course Etsy! bluhour.etsy.com

What do you love about Portland? 
I love that Portland is just so crafty! There are so many creative people here.
I also enjoy that Portland is very food-y. So many excellent places to eat and so many hip and wonderful bars.
I am also very serious about coffee. I lived in Seattle for a long time and I appreciate that Portland is super-serious about it too.
I am also slightly obsessed with Pinot Noir and Portland just happens to be close to the best Pinot Noir wineries in the world.
Oh yes, and I can't forget one of my favorite places on earth-- Cannon Beach. I love that it is just a short drive away ;-)
Portland, you really are pretty fantastic!
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