Sunday, October 28, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Marika Paz

"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: Marika Paz

Who are you?
Hello! I am Marika Paz and I am an illustrator and artist. I live in Portland with my husband Patrick and our two cats (Boogie and Sugar Britches) and our pup Biscuit.

What do you make?
I create original art and illustrations as well as archival prints. I also do commission work, such as pet portraits and logos, which I like to put my own little spin on. On a limited basis I also create cards and other small fun things.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I feel super lucky because my life is filled with things I love- when I am not illustrating I am out playing with pups! In addition to my illustration and freelance work, my husband and I own a dog walking business called Dog Star Walkers Portland. A friend of mine once said this and it's true- I live the dreams of my five year old self, playing with dogs all day and drawing at night! I also bellydance and play with my furr babies- my pup Biscuit in particular rules my life.

What inspires you?
So many things inspire me from found plants and twigs in the woods to old books. Nature is always influencing my art- our relationship with nature, animals relationship with nature, and the environment around us. I also am always influenced the cute, odd, and curious things in the world.

Where can your work be found?
On my etsy shop at I also do lots of art shows around Portland and craft fairs too! If you want to keep track of my coming and goings I update my facebook page regularly( – my art blog too: and of course my official webpage at

What do you love about Portland?
I have lived all over the country (up and down California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Chicago) and in Scotland, and I can safely say that Portland is one of my favorite cities! I moved here a year ago and it has been a fantastic time! I love how creative the city is, its proximity to nature (the coast, forests, and mountains), and of course, its amazing food (yay for food trucks! Where else in the world is there Viking Soul Food?!). And of course the awesome weather- I know some people might not agree, but I just love it!  My husband and I chose very carefully our next move and Portland had everything we were looking for. I am so happy to be here!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Holiday Show Lineup 2012!

Oh my goodness, it is almost November! While I've been living a little ahead of the season (ahem, making acorn ornaments in July), it's somehow still startling to me that the holidays are actually coming! I've got a solid lineup of shows coming, too... and it looks to be the busiest season I've yet had with House of Moss. I'd love to see you there, so mark your calendar and come say hi!

11th, 11am-5pm: Siren Nation Show @ McMenamins Kennedy School, Portland
17th, 10am-5pm: Handcrafted Holiday Market @ The Old Library at Marylhurst University, Lake Oswego

1st, 10am-4pm: Lewis Holiday Bazaar @ Lewis Elementary, Portland
2nd, 9am-4pm: Laurelhurst Winter Bazaar @ Laurelhurst School, Portland
8th & 9th, 11am-6pm both days: Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale @ The Convention Center, Portland

I'll be writing individual blog posts about each one closer to when they happen, too, with more info.

What shows do you plan to shop at or sell at this year? I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


If I've been a bit absent lately, it's because I've been swept up in a whirlwind of change. Life has been unfolding in the weirdest of ways, and I find myself back where I started– but with a renewed thankfulness for the situation I have. I was offered a couple of different possibilities for day jobs... but I've decided to keep the one I have for now in the interest of putting more into my own business these next couple of months.

My current day job has been asking lots more hours of me, House of Moss business has been picking up thanks to the holidays, and somehow Erik and I found time to carve pumpkins with my parents.

One might think that all of this would make me too tired to get much else done, but I've managed to be quite productive. Wool is so unbelievably soothing, and the process of needle-felting is very grounding. And so a happy neighborhood of little wool cottages has sprung up during the evenings.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We make Portland awesome: BleuOiseau

"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: Ashleigh of BleuOiseau

Who are you?
I am Ashleigh A. Coyner of BleuOiseau Photography

What do you make?
I am a fine art photographer who prints artwork on paper, wood, and even metal.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I am an avid birder as well as runner. I love reading and embroidery.

What inspires you?
I hold a degree in Resource Biology and therefore nature inspires most of my fine art.

Where can your work be found?
My Fire Series ( is being showcased at Tea Chai Tè on 1609 NW 23rd Ave until the end of October.

What do you love about Portland?
Since I live out in the “country”, I love everything about Portland. I love that it is a decent sized city and yet feels down to earth. I love that there is a great biking community, that it is child friendly. The zoo right outside of town is so fun to take my kids to and I love Portland’s Audubon chapter, with their great hiking trail right outside of town!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Milestone: First wholesale wool order!

This was a big one for me: finally taking the plunge and buying the massive first-order minimum to open a wholesale account from one of my favorite wool suppliers! This will save me a bunch in the long run, and it feels great to have some of my most-used colors stocked up before the holidays.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Lumafina

"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: Hilary of Lumafina

Who are you?
I am Hilary Alexander: happy wife to Aaron Alexander, chief over lumafina, my own little business; I am an avid reader, cook and determined gardener.

What do you make?
My current fixation is quirky and cheerful jewelry designs, though I often daydream of being a carpenter, farmer or stay-at-home mama.

Besides making things, what do you do?
When I am not creating, I dream about the future and having a little family. My husband and I camp, run, play soccer and attend a small church in Portland that we are continuously blessed by. I love to cook all kinds of foods and host family and friends. I must admit I could talk about food all day, or read, whichever. Preferably both.

What inspires you?
Being out of doors, where things are quiet, is always inspiring. Journaling and sketching, laughter, adventures of any kind (even to the library) or perhaps seeing a perfectly shaped quartz crystal...makes me itch to design and create.

Where can your work be found?
lumafina is global! New Zealand, Australia, Canada...but the shops in Seattle and here in Portland are also dear to my heart: Noun, Tilde, Flora, Ink & Peat, Little Things, Redux, Icon Tattoos, are some of them...I am always expanding!

What do you love about Portland?
Portland is home to me. I feel, well, at home here - it's like putting on that familiar sweater that moves and breathes with you. I am excited about the handmade, diy lifestyle that seems to have taken hold of Portland, flabbergasted by the never-ending food carts to sample from and always gleeful over how many streets, neighborhoods and fun places there are to explore in our little city.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Worldwide community

I usually think of Etsy as a community in the abstract sense. There are forums, teams, comments, feedback, treasuries, and messages on the site, all designed to let us members communicate with each other. You can get a general feel for the culture there, and you can start to recognize names of people who participate a lot. I've had a good experience with all of these things and have gotten a warm friendly feeling from the time I've spent on Etsy.

But today broke into new Etsy-community territory for me: I met someone in person who I'd only talked to online through Etsy! And someone from the other side of the world, no less!

Liz from Laelia In The Sky had contacted me a few weeks ago saying she'd like to buy 40 red hearts. No big deal, right? I get custom orders like that pretty often. But what was different about Liz is that she lives in Australia! She said she was taking a trip to the West Coast of the U.S. and would like to meet up to make the transaction while she was in Portland! I was totally charmed. I love meeting the people who buy what I make! That's why I love craft shows. There's this mutual appreciation between people who make things.

So we figured out the logistics. I knew that I could not let her, a maker also, leave Portland without visiting Tender Loving Empire. It's the quintessential destination for anyone who cares about local handmade goodness! We met there and the transaction was complete– and I got to match a face to the online person with whom I'd been exchanging messages on Etsy.

Sometimes I forget that the people online are real people too. And sometimes one breaks through the surface and reminds me that there is so much more to all of this than just transactions. Thank you Liz! It was great to meet you.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

We make Portland awesome: Muluk

"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: Pepe and Ale of Muluk

Who are you?
We are Ale and Pepe. We are originally from Mexico and we have been living here in Portland, OR, for the past seven years. We decided to travel to continue learning arts.

What do you make?
We make hats. They are like the 20’s style, made from 100% cotton, so comfy and lightweight. Dreamy, asymmetric skirts: modern, romantic, sexy, and very stylish. Wallets, made from 100% pants. Ties, unique, artistic for guys who love and enjoy dressing up. Each creative tie is unique and features funky designs.

Besides making things, what do you do?
We spend most of our time with our two beautiful girls, We love to travel, go camping, check art shows, visit galleries. Also, Pepe has a radio program called FusionArte, where they talk about art and culture.

What inspires you?
Everything… travel, books, students, places, music.

Where can your work be found?

Retail stores:
• Grasshopper, Portland, OR
• Tumbleweed, Portland, OR
• Redux, Portland, OR
• Tender Loving Empire, Portland, OR
• Twilight Artist Collective, Seattle, WA
• Little Things, Portland, OR
• Pop-up Shop Crafty Wonderland, Portland, OR
• Stella's on 21st, Portland, OR 
• Boston Street Baby Store, Seattle, WA 
• Casita, Seattle, WA 
• Rain or Shine ~gift shop, Seattle, WA 
• Habitude, Seattle, WA 
• Urban Indigo, Oakland, CA 
• Renaissance, Ashland, OR 
• Ruby, San Francisco, CA 
• Compass Rose, Olympia, WA
• Tasty or

What do you love about Portland?
The green color all over the city, the people (so friendly), diversity, the beer, music... that vintage style everywhere.

Monday, October 1, 2012

On the cover!

Could it be? My acorns are the cover image of the October 2012 Poppytalk Handmade Lookbook! You can find it here:
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