Monday, September 24, 2012

Poppytalk Handmade: Indie Love

There are my little pumpkins, rubbing shoulders with so many beautiful things on the current Indie Love market (a collection of handmade work that "celebrates indie design/products") at Poppytalk Handmade! I'm so excited to be a part of this curated collection. This market runs from today through October 19th. Stop by and check it out HERE.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Able and Free

"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: Erika of Able and Free

Who are you?
Hi! My name is Erika, and I am the self-taught creator behind Able and Free. I am a Barista by morning, and love that it gives me the afternoons free to work on my business (except the part where I have to get up at 4am! Eek!)

What do you make?
I make aprons and bags with pretty, modern prints. I made my first apron when I was serving, and all of my friends at work encouraged me to make more, so I did!

Besides making things, what do you do?
I love to enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning; I also love to work on house projects with my husband. When I have time, I love to read novels. Traveling is something I really love to do! I have been quite a few places, but there are so many more to see! I have fun indulging in tasty food (kind of easy to do in Portland ☺). I bask in the sun every opportunity I get, and I love to eat figs! (It’s fig season right now, and we have two trees in our backyard!). Swimming is also a top priority when the season arrives.

What inspires you?
The success of others really inspires me! I love to see how much happiness others get from the success of their small businesses. My husband is also very inspiring, with his positive outlook on life, and Zen vibe. He is so supportive, it really is very important to have someone believe in your talents. Sometimes all I need to do is go to the fabric store to find inspiration, and see all the other people there, excited about their projects. “We all have something in common,” I’ll think to myself as I walk through the store. Thinking of my future with Able and Free is also very inspiring. I am really looking forward to growing my business and seeing where it takes me.

Where can your work be found?
Although I do not currently sell any of my products in stores (although I would love to), my aprons can be found on the Sales Associates at Vosges Haut-Chocolat in New York City, as well as on the Baristas at Pine Street Bakery in Hood River, Oregon.

What do you love about Portland?
Oh what a question! What’s not to love ☺ As far as places go, I love to eat at Grain and Gristle, drink coffee at Ristretto Roasters, and get ice cream from Salt and Straw (amongst one hundred other places). I love to go to the Clackamas for swimming and camping, and seeing live music at the Wonder Ballroom is always a blast (drinks upstairs at Secret Society is always great). OMSI After Dark is so much fun; I love going to the Chinese Gardens downtown; and walking around in my neighborhood of Alberta is never boring.
I love the farmers markets we have here; the local artists and musicians; the commitment to sustainability that the city has (I didn’t realize how awesome we were until I visited some other cities around the US!).
I also appreciate how laid back and friendly the people are here. I feel very comfortable and welcomed in the place that I call home. That’s a very nice feeling ☺

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday project: Finishing this hat!

I just came across this hat when I was going through my supplies. It has been on the needles, unfinished, for nearly two years now. Though I've knitted several hats that I love, I much prefer crochet, and I just didn't feel like knitting the rest of this hat. So I carefully transferred each stitch off the needle by crocheting through them, finished it like a tapered elf-hat with natural cotton yarn, and gave it a little edging.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Favorite places: The Crafty Wonderland Shop

The Crafty Wonderland Shop is just as its name implies: full of crafty wonderfulness. It's one of the shops that sells my work too! Torie and Cathy, the amazing women behind this dynamic place, have done so much for the Portland handmade scene.
 If you look closely, you can see the star moss embroidery hoops, bottlecap magnet sets, and pebbles that I made!

 This shop can be found on SW 10th, across from the big library.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

We make Portland awesome: PomLove

"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: Kirsten of PomLove
Who are you?
hi, i'm Kirsten. PomLove is my full time business. i live on a quiet street in north Portland with my husband and three rambunctious yet charming children.

What do you make?
i make tissue paper pom decorations for weddings, parties, home decor, etc. if you ever thought "i could really use some billowy, flower-type hanging paper decorations for that party i might throw at some point..." then chances are excellent that you could stumble upon my shop and find exactly what you need.

Besides making things, what do you do?
sleep is what i like to do - only i don't get very much of it - i'm almost positive that's why i like it so much. i also love: British comedy, any excuse to use washi tape, date nights, people-watching, taking random road trips, baking, not giving away what i've baked... i'm leaving out quite a lot, but you get it.

What inspires you?
i'm not sure if inspiration is the right word as far as my work is concerned - i think it's more of an "ah ha!" type of thing for me. i'll get some random fantastic idea, scribble it down and just run with it quickly before i have the chance to put it off. i suppose if there's one thing that inspires me work-wise it would be taking chances with color - i love putting colors together that are unusual or striking - and that usually leads to a new listing in my shop.

Where can your work be found?
my shop is on Etsy. you can also imagine my poms in hundreds of storefront windows, cozy reading nooks, nurseries and tween bedrooms across the land.

What do you love about Portland?
we've lived in Portland for about 3 years and have been to so many of the theaters, parks, bars, restaurants and shops in different neighborhoods, but have just barely scratched the surface of this place. there's always going to be something new to try - i love that.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Obscurity and a competence

Recently I've been spending a lot of time working... and not much else. It's the season of storing up: buying envelopes and wool roving; scheduling, applying for, and paying for shows that won't happen for months; and spending hundreds of hours making things like Christmas ornaments and multiples of my bestsellers. And it feels great! I know that I need to spend more time with the people I care about, and doing the things that I like to do besides work, but right now it just feels wonderful to get my mind around the upcoming busy season and enjoy the rather fulfilling season of quiet, competent, hard work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Leukemia Awareness Month

I just found out that September is National Leukemia Awareness Month! 20% of the purchase price of PUMPKINS this month will go to help offset the costs of treatment for my sweet little 3-year-old cousin Sophie who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day was a wonderful overlap of summer and fall. I spent this weekend enjoying the wonderful blue skies and warm sunshine and barbecue smells, along with crisp mornings and soups and baking. Oh and the intermittent buzzing of my phone, letting me know that sales are coming in! So begins the busy season. Welcome, autumn!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Mama Kopp

"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: Lorilee of Mama Kopp
Who are you?
My name is Lorilee Kopp. I am an avid tinkerer.

What do you make?
I make wooden toys for all ages. I make many story items so that children can act our their favorite stories and little pocket sized treasures too.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I spend most of my time home-schooling my two boys and urban farming. The rest of the time I am usually at my CrossFit box.

What inspires you?

Where can your work be found?
I am hard to find. I am always on the go, but you can find my work at

What do you love about Portland?What I love most about Portland are the plethora of amazing restaurants. I also think it is the friendliest big city I have ever been to. Portland is full of everything that excites us as human beings to an extreme. Who couldn't love that?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Birthday blackberries

Last week was Erik's birthday, and we went blackberry-picking.
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