Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Cameo Appearance for Pumpkins & Acorns

Photo by Rachel Ball of Elephantine, from

Whoa! Those are House of Moss's pumpkins & acorns in this photo from Etsy Wholesale Featured Boutique The Flourish Collection! HERE is the post. They're a sweet little shop in Seattle that has been carrying House of Moss items since September.

Free Shipping Day 2013

Good morning, friends, and happy Free Shipping Day!

What? Is that a real holiday? Well, maybe not like a holiday, but it is apparently a thing. You can check out their website if you'd like.

And House of Moss is participating! Use the coupon code FREESHIPPINGDAY2013 at checkout in my Etsy shop to save on shipping costs for all those last-minute gifts you're ordering today (domestic shipments only).

The USPS says that December 20th is the last day to mail First Class packages in the U.S. to arrive before Christmas, so Free Shipping Day is safely placed 2 days before that. Most items in my shop are ready to ship and will go out today or tomorrow (the 18th or 19th). The idea behind Free Shipping Day is that the items arrive by Christmas Eve.

However, please note that if you're ordering from my shop's "Wholesale/Large-Order" section, the lead time on those items can be longer (I say 1-2 weeks in their listings just to be safe, because most larger sets are made to order), but if you absolutely need the item before Christmas, let me know.

On another note, can you believe that Christmas is now officially one week away? I'm just now crawling out from under my huge pile of weekend craft fairs and holiday orders, and so glad that I can finally soak in the holiday wonderfulness. Good luck to everyone with your last-minute Christmas shopping!

Monday, December 16, 2013

House of Moss Featured on the Etsy Wholesale Blog!

A while back (October, I think), I was contacted by a member of Etsy Wholesale's team with a few questions for me to answer about my business. You kind of never know if/when this type of thing will actually be posted, so I wasn't putting too much stock in the possibility of being featured.

But you know what, they hadn't forgotten me! This morning, House of Moss got its very own little post on the Etsy Wholesale blog in a "featured item" series they're doing!

I still can't believe it's real. See it for yourself HERE!

A Wrap-Up of Holiday 2013 Craft Fairs

Having done Crafty Wonderland this weekend (a record-shattering success!), House of Moss's official craft fair circuit is now done for the year! It was a full schedule, with 5 of the past 6 weekends holding at least one show.

Even as tired as I feel, my heart is full of warmth and gratitude for the way this season has gone. There have been so many wonderful shoppers and visitors whose smiles have encouraged me. I have met new maker friends and enjoyed the company of (and the shop-talk with!) those I already knew. And, at least for now, my choice to quit my day job to focus on House of Moss full-time has proven to be a good one.

Thanks for a great holiday selling season, everyone! I can tell you from my own experience that your support of the local handmade community makes a real difference.

And although the craft shows may be over, you can still get your House of Moss fix before the holidays: My Etsy shop is still open for business! Order by Wednesday (12/18) to ensure that your items will arrive by Christmas. Happy holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Upcoming Show: Crafty Wonderland!

Crafty Wonderland is this weekend! It's the last show of the season for House of Moss this year. The other shows have been amazing, the past few weeks have gone by in a blur, and now I find myself just days away from my favorite event of the year. After that, I can finally settle down and celebrate the holidays with rest and activities besides felting. ;)

The Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale 2013 is this Saturday & Sunday, December 14th & 15th, from 11am-6pm both days.

House of Moss is booth #211, and you can use this handy map to find me:

I'm also told that Nikki McClure, one of my very favorite artists, will be signing books on Sunday from noon to 2pm. I hope I have a chance to meet her myself!

Oh! And for you early birds, they are giving away their famous goodie bags to the first 150 shoppers both days– and 50 of them will have free acorns from House of Moss! The line has been known to snake all the way through the building by the time the doors open, so get there early if you want one!

Crafty Wonderland gets better and better every year, and I always end up doing most of my own Christmas shopping at this show! So stop on by and say hello– we hope to see you all there!

Friday, December 6, 2013

New in the Shop: Heart Ornaments

I've just listed a brand-new item in the shop: heart ornaments! I've also listed some other favorite items in new colors, so check those out while you're at it. :) Acorns and acorn ornaments in golden green, cottage ornaments in fox brown and brick red, and new tiny jar terrariums with mushrooms! All available fresh now!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blue Acorns on the Etsy Front Page

My acorns were on the Etsy front page today! I think this is the first time for the pastel blue ones. :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Upcoming Shows: Capitol Hill, Trillium, and Laurelhurst this Weekend!

If you're looking to get your Christmas shopping done this first full weekend of December, I know of some good places! ;) House of Moss will be participating in the holiday bazaars of several local elementary schools this weekend. Feel free to stop by and say hi to us! Here are the times and places:

6 December (Friday), 5pm-8pm: Capitol Hill Holiday Market, Capitol Hill Elementary School, Portland

7 December (Saturday), 10am-4pm: Capitol Hill Holiday Market, Capitol Hill Elementary School, Portland

7 December (Saturday), 10am-5pm: Arts & Crafts Spectacular, Trillium Charter School, Portland

8 December (Sunday), 10am-5pm: Arts & Crafts Spectacular, Trillium Charter School, Portland (I will not be physically present at this one, as it is set up like a boutique)
8 December (Sunday), 9am-4pm: Laurelhurst Winter Bazaar, Laurelhurst Elementary School, Portland

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Upcoming Show: Vancouver Farmers Market Holiday Market

Next up in House of Moss's holiday show schedule is this one, put together by the Vancouver (Washington) Farmers Market. The market will be held at the Hilton Hotel, right across from Esther Short Park. Come visit us there this Saturday and Sunday (11/30 and 12/1), 9am-4pm!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Holiday Hiatus for We Make Portland Awesome

Good morning, friends! Today I would normally be posting an interview for We Make Portland Awesome, as I do every two weeks. So I wanted to let you know why there isn't one! I haven't retired the program, but I'm taking a holiday hiatus from this particular feature.

For us makers and small business owners, November/December is the busy season, so I wanted to make sure everyone could take advantage of every scrap of time to, well, make!

We Make Portland Awesome will return in January, with a brand-new lineup of amazing local talent.

Until then, though, you can catch up on the last two years' worth of interviews HERE.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

House of Moss on!

There is something I've had a hard time keeping a secret these past few weeks... but I can finally tell you about it: House of Moss acorn ornaments are available on this holiday season!

UncommonGoods is "an online marketplace offering creatively designed, high-quality merchandise at affordable prices" which believes "that creativity and the expression of individuality represent two great human treasures. We have set out to create a business that makes uncommon goods accessible to everyone." [This quote is from their website.]

You can find my acorn ornaments on the UncommonGoods website HERE.

As always, though, you can find larger selection, including many more colors, over in my Etsy shop.

Thumbnail Glitter Armor for Needle-Felters

I'm not going to lie, needle-felting is kind of a dangerous craft. Poking a notched triangular-tipped needle, several times per second, within millimeters of your fingers, is asking for trouble.

I go through periods of time where I rarely stab myself, but sometimes there will be a week when I draw blood from my fingertip or the side of my finger several times. But recently, I began stabbing through my thumbnail. Four times in the span of a few weeks. One time, the needle went into the same spot it had poked through before. Mind you, I have been needle-felting for nearly four years, and this had never happened before last month.

So I finally decided to do something about it. I went to the store and bought the most glitter-filled nail polish I could find. And I put several layers of it on my thumbnail. Fixed!

It's already proven itself, too! We needle-felters should start a trend. It's like the manicures with the contrasting color on the ring-finger nail. But this one has a purpose!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Upcoming Show: Holiday Market at the Portland Waldorf School


I'm very excited about this weekend's show! It's the Spring Creek Store's 2nd Annual Holiday Market at the Portland Waldorf School! I've loved the Waldorf style of education ever since I was first introduced to it 3 years ago when I was working as a nanny.

It'll be happening from 10am-4pm this Saturday, November 16th. Check out their Facebook event to learn more, see which vendors will be there, and get directions!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Featured on Square Market Photography Tips Post

Today I got an email from Square Market linking to, among other things, a post on their blog with tips for vendors about product photography. I clicked on it, as I'm always looking to improve my own shop. I was scrolling down, reading, when... THOSE ARE MY PUMPKINS! They featured my product photo!

There is always improvement to be had, but it's really sweet to get a little pat on the back once in a while. And the photography tips are very good, as well! :) You can read the article HERE.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

We Make Portland Awesome: Sarah Laws Made

"We Make Portland Awesome" is a twice-monthy series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Sarah of Sarah Laws Made

Who are you?
I am Sarah Laws, a Portland native, artist, designer and owner of the shop Sarah Laws Made.

What do you make?
I create original paper cut works, silk-screened textiles with the paper cut images, and I sew pillow & modern quilts.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I am a full-time color designer for the footwear industry, and I live with my boyfriend and two dogs in a house in Northeast Portland. I have a detached art studio in the back where I create, and I screen print in the basement. I have also lived in Palm Springs & Santa Barbara California, Boston Massachusetts, and New York City. All of these places have inspired me, but I'm so happy to be back home!

What inspires you?
Things made by hand, flora & fauna, folk art, domestic life, tactile things.

Where can your work be found?
In my Etsy shop, at local craft fairs (handmade NW and Alberta Abbey this holiday season!).

What do you love about Portland?
I love the ease of living here and getting around, the seasons, the food, the laid-back vibe, the creativity, the majestic natural environment, the memories of growing up here. Portland is truly magical! My favorite thing is taking stay-cations.

Make sure you check out Sarah Laws Made's Etsy shop and website
Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Holiday Show Lineup 2013!

Alright, everyone! Here is House of Moss's show schedule for the holidays. It's going to be a crazy couple of months, for sure. I have scheduled 7 individual shows (11 selling days, for all intents and purposes, since some shows overlap and/or last more than one day) in a span of 7 weekends. This is an even fuller schedule than last year, when I challenged myself to do 5 shows in 6 weeks.

You have a lot of wonderful shows to shop at this year, friends. ;) Stop by at any of these and say hello!


10 November (Sunday), 11am-5pm: Siren Nation Art & Craft Sale, McMenamins Kennedy School, Portland

16 November (Saturday), 10am-4pm: Spring Creek Store Holiday Market, Portland Waldorf School, Milwaukie

30 November (Saturday), 9am-4pm: Vancouver Farmers Market Holiday Show, The Hilton Hotel, downtown Vancouver


1 December (Sunday), 9am-4pm: Vancouver Farmers Market Holiday Show, The Hilton Hotel, downtown Vancouver

6 December (Friday), 5pm-8pm: Capitol Hill Holiday Market, Capitol Hill Elementary School, Portland

7 December (Saturday), 10am-4pm: Capitol Hill Holiday Market, Capitol Hill Elementary School, Portland

7 December (Saturday), 10am-5pm: Arts & Crafts Spectacular, Trillium Charter School, Portland (I will not be physically present at this one, as it is set up like a boutique)

8 December (Sunday), 10am-5pm: Arts & Crafts Spectacular, Trillium Charter School, Portland (I will not be physically present at this one, as it is set up like a boutique)

8 December (Sunday), 9am-4pm: Laurelhurst Winter Bazaar, Laurelhurst Elementary School, Portland

14 December (Saturday), 11am-6pm: Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale, The Oregon Convention Center, Portland

15 December (Saturday), 11am-6pm: Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale, The Oregon Convention Center, Portland


14 October - 24 December, 10am-6pm Mon-Sat & 11am-5pm Sun (closed Thanksgiving): The Red Sled Bazaar, Sherwood

15 October - 23 December (see their site for hours): The Crafty Fox Holiday Shop, Forest Grove

Upcoming Show: Siren Nation

The crazy season of holiday craft shows is beginning! I know, I did that other one a few weeks ago, but this is when it really starts. And I will be posting the full lineup very soon. But until then, plan on this one!

Siren Nation is one of my very favorite shows of the year. It stole my heart last year, and it's in one of my very favorite venues, McMenamins Kennedy School.

Siren Nation is this Sunday, November 10th, from 11am to 5pm. Check out their Facebook event for more details.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Acorn Ornaments on the Etsy Front Page

My black cherry red acorn ornaments were appeared on the Etsy front page this afternoon! In other news, it looks like Christmas has overtaken autumn themes over there...

New in the shop: Macrame Plant Ornaments!

I'm hard at work stocking up for my holiday shows. [Schedule to be finalized/posted soon!] This generally involves me sitting there making hundreds of one item in one go. But last week I carved out a little snippet of time to create a new product I'd been thinking about, and the macrame plant ornament was born!

It's just been posted in my Etsy shop for the first time this morning. Go check it out!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Featured on the blog AprilMag!

Things have been feeling stressful around here lately, what with the whole Cody Foster copying issue I found about this morning.

But for every bad thing that happens, there are ten thousand good things. For example, I found that the German blog AprilMag has featured not one, but TWO of my pieces in one of their posts! Thanks for brightening my day, AprilMag. :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New in the Shop: Snowman Terrariums

Now that it's nearly November, I've begun hoping for snow! In that spirit, I just listed a brand-new item in my Etsy shop. It's a tiny felted wool snowman inside a small glass canning jar! You can see more photos HERE.

Etsy front page again! And a note about why I share that here.

My mushroom magnet was on the Etsy front page this evening! This October has been a kind of heyday for my items getting on the FP... It happened on October 3rd, October 19th, and now today, the 29th. It's so fun to log in and do a double-take when I see my items there!

I wanted to say a little something about why I post these things here on my blog. It's not about bragging. Honestly, it's more a record for myself than anything else! It's nice to look back through the years and track the frequency of these things. It helps me see seasonal patterns, forgotten milestones, and the way my business has grown. In this sense, this is truly a "web log," a place to track accomplishments from the small to the more significant.

Thanks to those of you who follow along with my adventure here with House of Moss! The story of a small handmade business is shaped by the people surrounding it. Thank you for being a part of this with me.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We Make Portland Awesome: Loopy Magpie

"We make Portland awesome" is a twice-monthy series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Monika of Loopy Magpie

Who are you?
My name is Monika Talarek. I'm originally from Poland, and now I live in Portland, Oregon. I'm a fiber artist. I enjoy creating things, may it be an object of art or a fabulous dinner, doesn't matter, I put my whole heart into making it.

What do you make?
As an artist I make jewelry and sculptures out of wire, using fiber techniques like crocheting, knitting, weaving and coiling. I LOVE all things "fiber", and I tried most of the techniques with a cord, a yarn or a fabric. I started with art quilts, experimenting with surface design. But then I discovered the means to transform the hard, metal wire into pliable objects using the same fiber techniques. So that's how it goes....

Besides making things, what do you do?
Occasionally I work as a Polish/English translator/interpreter. In my free time I love to solve crossword puzzles, play Sudoku and Text Twist. I love to take care of my house and garden. I love to cook!!! If I was younger I would love to become a professional chef. Well, cooking is a form of art for me.

What inspires you?
Many things, changing constantly. My first inspiration that prompt me toward fiber arts was a Polish, world renowned, fiber artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. Now it's mostly a poetry or well combined words. I like art that tells you a story.

Where can your work be found?
My jewelry can be found on Etsy. My sculptures can be soon seen on my website. My earrings can be found at Guardino Gallery in Portland.

What do you love about Portland?
I LOVE, love, love Portland. Its eclectic style. Its fabulous, suddenly emerging, trendy streets and districts. If I had to name my favorite place in Portland I would definitely say Powell's Bookstore - amazing, enchanted place, where you can get lost for hours (I'm from the generation that needs to hold a real, printed book in hand, and turn the non-digital pages to be happy.). Also Alberta Street. Hawthorn District. The Pearl District. Mississippi District. I could go on, and on. And all those fabulous restaurants in Portland!!! And the guy on the unicycle playing bagpipes! I'm truly lucky to live here.

Make sure you check out Loopy Magpie's Etsy shop and website
Thanks for sharing, Monika!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Crafty Fox Pop-Up Shop

Earlier this month, I dropped off a box of felted things at this brand-new pop-up shop in Forest Grove (Oregon): The Crafty Fox. It's a darling little place, right in the middle of that little city's downtown.

Forest Grove is dear to my heart because it's where my mum grew up; I have lots of memories of going to visit my grandparents there during my own childhood.

The Crafty Fox is the creation of Polly Lechuga and Eric Arenson. You may remember Polly because she was featured in a We Make Portland Awesome interview back in May of 2012. They put together this little shop to serve the Forest Grove area: although handmade boutiques are common in Portland itself, the suburbs have few of these treasures.

The Crafty Fox is helping to fill this gap... with perfect gifts like "accessories, jewelry, nerd ware, mugs, cards, calendars, unique toys, DIY kits, t-shirts and onesies, posters, natural lip balms, candles, curios, and a mountain of other treasures and treats" (as they phrase it on their website). So many wonderful handmade things!

The Crafty Fox shop features 40 local makers currently, including several of my own favorites, and some who have been featured in We Make Portland Awesome as well. These include: Michele Maule, Burdyflyaway, Bread and Badger, Prost to the Host, ACBC Design, KittyBBLove, and of course House of Moss. :)

The Crafty Fox is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-7pm, from October 15th through December 23rd. It would be well worth a stop if you're in the area!

Note: All of the photos in this post are used with permission from the Crafty Fox Facebook page.
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