Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our San Francisco Mini-Tour

Cable cars! Definitely worth the 45-minute wait in line.
Lombard Street, the "crookedest street in the world," is just as wonderful on foot as by car
The beautiful moody fog and the Golden Gate Bridge
Erik inspects the cables
This sight gave me a bit of a scare: Grace Cathedral was undergoing construction for floor repairs! I had so been looking forward to walking its labyrinth, so we tried the door anyway... and it was open! And the labyrinth was still in place!
Not only was it open and the labyrinth was still there, but there was a gorgeous installation of ribbons hanging from the ceilings. It was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen.
The ribbons make an already-striking space seem even more otherworldly
Chinatown and its lanterns!
Pier 39 and its musical staircase and its crowds. :) We ended up here about 3 times in 4 days.
Alcatraz is the ever-present background of the area of SF we frequented
"Postcard Row," indeed

This past weekend we took a road trip to San Francisco for Renegade Craft Fair. We tacked a couple of extra days on, and made it into a sort of "working vacation." We made a mini-tour of San Francisco, which is one of my favorite cities in the United States.

With the exception of the Golden Gate Bridge and Postcard Row (and Alcatraz, of course), we explored all of this on foot and by cable car. Thanks to a well-located hotel, we could even walk to and from the show! Not only did this save money on parking, but walking is my favorite way of getting to know an area.

The weather was cloudy and a bit chilly, but it was a welcome break from the hot weather here in the Portland area and especially from the ├╝ber-hot winds of the drive down through northern California!

It was wonderful to get away. Both Erik and I have spent most of the summer very busy with work, so the change of scenery and pace was much-needed. It's amazing how much living you can pack into one day when you try. I'm going to try to remember that, to get the most out of this summer, before the insanity of fall and the holiday season begins.

Renegade Craft Fair Summer 2013 in Review

Thank you, San Francisco! Renegade Craft Fair was a resounding success. It was my first experience with Renegade, and I'm won over.

We spent Saturday and Sunday inside the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion with 250+ other makers, as well as hordes of handmade-appreciating shoppers.

This was my first experience with a U-shaped booth. Usually I go for a single table at the front of the booth, but since we were sharing a spot this time (with the best booth-mates ever: Laura and Julian of Yes & Yes Designs!), we improvised this shape at the last minute. I had brought only minimal display pieces because of my tiny car, but we used what we had and it worked out wonderfully!

It was a goal of mine for House of Moss this year to do an out-of-state show. It turns out, getting a temporary California seller's permit to collect and submit sales tax sounds a lot more complicated and intimidating than it ends up being.

Erik and I also stretched the trip out by a couple of days so we could explore the city. I'll post some of our tourist pictures soon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

This weekend's show: Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco!

Good morning, everyone! Show alert: House of Moss will be selling at the amazing Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco this Saturday and Sunday, July 27th & 28th, from 11am-7pm both days!

I'll be debuting a brand-new part of my display, too. Ever seen a 6-foot amanita mushroom? No? Then step right up and see mine! We're booth #147.
Any San Francisco friends, or anyone who happens to be tourists like us in that city (no shame!), please do stop by and say hi!

You can find out more about the show HERE.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Garden Update 7/23/13

We finally finished the weeding/straw-ing of the garden! And everything is starting to turn into food. We have baby pumpkins, baby zucchini, a baby cucumber, and peas and purple beans ready to eat!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wholesale Linesheet Prep Work

This year, I decided I should take steps to get into selling wholesale. I've been doing some light/unofficial wholesaling through Etsy, with larger quantities of certain items going for smaller per-item costs. But it's a rather loose system and not really built for ongoing account relationships.

I've been preparing to make an extensive line sheet with all of my wholesale items. Case packs! Color options! SKUs! Actually I'm really enjoying the process, as it reminds me of the satisfaction I would get when I was in school from doing some sort of really straightforward homework assignment. It may be time-consuming, but it's kind of enjoyably repetitive in a meditative way.

Stay tuned to find out when House of Moss officially rolls out its wholesale offerings. But in the meantime, or if you want to get a large-quantity discount even without reselling the items, check out the wholesale section of my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Tradition: Blueberry Picking!

This past weekend, Erik and I did one of my very favorite annual traditions: blueberry picking! I have been going almost every year since I was very young, when my mom would take me and my brothers to a place called Blueberry Hill. This year, Blueberry Hill wasn't open on the weekend we wanted to go picking, so we found a new place to try. This one was called Grandma Dixie's, in Hockinson, WA, and it was such a good find! I definitely want to go picking there again. I may even go back again this year.

There were only a handful of families picking when we went at midday on a Saturday in peak blueberry season, the bushes were full of perfectly ripe berries, and some of the berries were bigger than a quarter!

So much fun. And at the end of all that fun, we ended up with 8.5 lbs of blueberries! We froze most of them for smoothies & muffins, but we ate a whole bunch of them fresh. My current favorite way to eat fresh blueberries is in a bowl with some plain vanilla ice cream and a big piece of this poppyseed almond bread.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Garden Update 7/17/13

The garden is growing well, especially now that the midsummer heat is constant. We water it every day, and we are starting to see the fruits vegetables of our labor. We ate our first two china peas, and tiny beans are starting to appear on the purple bean plants! The mystery squash is about to bloom, so maybe we'll find out soon what it is.

The only row not thriving is the asparagus ("yard-long") beans. They're not dying, but they are so far behind in growth compared with the others. Not sure why, but we're not going to give up on them! :)

We are (I mean, Erik is) almost done with chopping out the weeds in the mounds section that grew up before we could put newspaper and straw down. It's a little-by-little project because it's backbreaking work to chop them out inch by inch with a hoe, but hopefully we'll finish it this coming weekend. Lesson learned for next year!

Monday, July 15, 2013

What's New: House of Moss on Square Market

If you're part of the handmade community (maker, seller, buyer, or all three!), you're probably pretty familiar with Square. What most people know of is the Square Reader, that little white –well, square-shaped– attachment that fits on smartphones to let mobile vendors accept credit cards. But did you know that they also have an online marketplace?

It's brand-new, and already filling with wonderful small businesses! It's a clean, pleasing interface, and it's built on the trusted Square platform. House of Moss just joined, and you can check out my shop HERE.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

We make Portland awesome: Green House Framing

"We make Portland awesome" is a bi-weekly series. I’m interested building our community of artists by helping us all find out more about each other.
This week: Lisa and Lars of Green House Framing

Who are you?
We're Lisa Pratt and Lars Jorgensen, the husband and wife team behind Green House Framing. We live/work in Southeast with our 4 month old daughter, Parker, and two rescue dogs, Nico and Reed.

What do you make?
When we launched back in 2002, we had one product, reclaimed wood picture frames. In the past few years, we have expanded into home decor and jewelry. Often the wood or a client dictates what we will make. Our goal is always to preserve the beauty and history of each piece of wood.

Besides making things, what do you do?
Most of our spare time is spent raising our daughter. In addition to running Green House full time, we rent out the upper level of our home on Airbnb year round. We're in the process of converting our backyard into a massive vegetable garden and we're raising a few chickens. Daily walks at Mt. Tabor help bring balance to our project packed life!

What inspires you?
Anything and everything, really. Our creativity flows whenever we're able to stop and take notice of the world around us. Often a trip to the farmer's market or an antique store can get us out of a creative rut. As cliche as it sounds, daily inspiration comes from our daughter and viewing the world fresh from her perspective.

Where can your work be found?
We sell primarily through our Etsy shop. We also provide professional custom framing services in Portland.

What do you love about Portland?
What isn't there to love?! The people, the neighborhoods, the produce, the parks, the bikes, the coast, the mountains. The list goes on. What we love most though is the feeling of community. We moved here 8 years ago from Baltimore, MD and it has felt like home since the day we arrived. We can't imagine living anywhere else.

Make sure you check out Green House Framing's website and Etsy shop.
Thanks for sharing, Lisa and Lars!
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