Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy 3rd Etsyversary to House of Moss!

...Yes, that is my first shop banner!

Today is House of Moss's 3rd Etsyversary! Back in 2010, I set up my little shop and it all began. :)

Check out THIS INTERNET ARCHIVE LINK for a taste of what my shop looked like back then. It's the earliest capture they had, from October 4th– so not quite 3 years ago. I'd forgotten that I had already started selling at Tender Loving Empire before I'd been in business 2 months! The format in the internet archive capture is a little weird, but you can see my old product photos, banner, etc.!

This little business has brought me so much over these past years. I can't believe it's only been 3!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

We make Portland awesome: My Beautiful Mess

"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: Heidi of My Beautiful Mess

Who are you?
I am Heidi Rush, and I'm the artist and blogger behind My Beautiful Mess.

What do you make?
I create my own jewelry lines as well as hand painted welcome mats. Jewelry and welcome mats...that shows the randomness of my personality. My current obsession is designing my line of hand painted wooden bangles. In the future I hope to add graphic art prints and enameled bracelets to my ever growing list of random - but awesome - creations.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I'm a stay-at-home mom to three amazing and funny kids and wife to my college sweetheart, who works as a Young Life Area Director. We try our best to live the simple life, love our kids well and invest in the neighborhood and community around us. We ride our bikes and host neighborhood outdoor movie nights and love to eat with people. I also could not survive without books and one of my life goals is to write one of my own.

What inspires you?
Everything that can create emotion or evoke a memory inspires me. My children's laughs, hiking on a quiet trail, great music, bright color, conversations with people who really get me, walking up Hawthorne and seeing the wonderfully weird side of Portland, the smell of dusty books and coffee at Powell's...but mostly I'm inspired by the depth of life I find by living in relationship and sharing life with people around me. Loving and being loved is a huge inspiration.

Where can your work be found?
Currently you can find my work on Etsy and Aftcra. It will soon also be available on Scoutmob and The Bazaar. It is my hope is to get my designs into brick and mortar shops in the Portland area and around the Northwest very soon.

What do you love about Portland?
I love to soak up Portland's vibe on Hawthorne, get lost in books at Powells, smell the fresh air on hikes in Forest Park, discover new vegan friendly restaurants on Alberta, drink amazing hand crafted coffee at Coava and Stumptown and Heart, enjoy a delicious dinner date with my love at The Sweet Hereafter, play with my kids in Washington Park and ride around the city on two wheels at the Sunday Parkways events.
I love how Portland has found it's personality and doesn't feel the need to strive to be Seattle or New York or L.A. The idea of being content with what we have is so important to my family, so the pace and attitude of Portland resonates with us. Getting involved with the people in our community is deeply ingrained in the people of this city as well - which we love.
I also love that it's ok to be weird. Because we are all weird in one way or another, right? The artist, the writer, the designer, the visionary...they are celebrated and nurtured and respected here.
I also love to eat...which makes Portland just about the perfect place for me.

Make sure you check out My Beautiful Mess's Etsy shop and blog
Thanks for sharing, Heidi!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Garden Update 8/17/13

Our garden is full of food. The peas are ending, but the purple beans are still going strong. The cucumbers are just beginning to produce, too, and we have spotted tiny gumball-sized pumpkins on the long pumpkin runners. The pinto beans (in the last picture) are beginning to show their speckles! Today we harvested several pounds of purple beans, four lemon cucumbers, three regular cucumbers, a zucchini, and the one and only mystery gourd.

I almost wrote, "It's like having our own farmer's market!" but that is ridiculous. How funny that we compare garden-grown veggies to the ones on the supermarket when it should be the other way around, and how the canvas bag of produce I just harvested reminds me of the farmer's market, not the farm.

This weekend we walked around the property surrounding the house, to explore what is left of the old farm's orchard. It turns out there are pears, several types of apples, and red prunes! There is so much free fruit around here! Maybe even too much... we'll probably be shoveling rotting fallen fruit in a couple of weeks so it doesn't attract bees.

For the past few days, we've been making fruit salads using increasingly more fruit from the property. We trek down to the little pond, which is surrounded by blackberry plants, and pick a couple of handfuls of the delicious little hard-to-store berries, just enough to add to the day's fruit salad. And today we were able to use our own pears too!

This is summer at its best. I love the warm leisurely feel of August, and that we can literally step out our door and pick a gorgeous, perfectly ripe, organic fruit or vegetable any time we want.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A happy little blog feature... and some teasers.

Sorry for the big gap between posts, friends. The busy season is beginning, and I have so many projects in the air right now. There are so many new exciting things in the works! I can't wait to share them with you!

In the meantime, though, I wanted to post a link that brought me a smile this morning. A blogger featured House of Moss today, out of the blue! Tenae Stewart of Strawberry Moon wrote a sweet writeup on my work after seeing it at Renegade San Francisco. You can check it out HERE.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

We make Portland awesome: Light Fantastic

"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: Alysia of Light Fantastic
Photo credit: Xilia Faye Photography

Who are you?
My name is Alysia Dynamik, I am tireless tinkerer and maker of things with a one-woman business that I call Light Fantastic.

What do you make?
I make things that light up! My work mainly falls into the categories of costume pieces and accessories, and I also offer custom wardrobe embellishment. My materials of choice are LEDs in all colors, leather, vinyl, acrylic and resin.

A client's coat that Alysia embellished with Rainbow color-changing LEDs
Photo credit: Xilia Faye Photography

Besides making things, what do you do?
I have to be honest, most of my pursuits revolve around the making of things! In addition to the electronics/sewing/leather/casting work I do for my business, in my free time I love to knit and crochet. I've also dabbled in large-scale paper mache sculpture, as well as aesthetic event design. I have a pink bike that I love to ride around town, and I'm currently teaching myself to play the concertina (it's like a small accordion). My last two day jobs were in the field of enrichment education; most recently, I designed, co-supervised, and taught a 3-day camp & 8-week course in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focusing on Robotics and the Mars Curiosity rover project. Curriculum that I wrote was implemented by 7 teachers in 4 different elementary schools, via a free program for underserved districts - very rewarding work. 

What inspires you?  
Science fiction! I love all things retrofuturistic, cyberpunk, intergalactic, you name it! Other great sources are mythology, surrealist art, beetles and other insects. I am constantly inspired by all the other artists whose work I am able to appreciate through the magic of the internet, especially those in the areas of millinery and wearable tech. 

Photo credit: Xilia Faye Photography
Where can your work be found?
On Etsy, occasionally at craft fairs and sales (which I will be announcing on my website). I recently exhibited at Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA, where I was honored to be awarded an Editor's Choice blue ribbon!

What do you love about Portland?
I love the weather here (seriously!), and the way it seems to make everything grow so effortlessly. Also, there is a particular attention to detail that seems to pervade the entire city - I can walk or bike down nearly any street and find a house with a particularly interesting fence or quirky garden sculpture or delicately arranged group of succulents. I walk five blocks from my home to my art studio in the Cully neighborhood and I swear I see something new and interesting every single day.

Make sure you check out Light Fantastic's Etsy shop and website
Thanks for sharing, Alysia!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Garden Update 8/2/13

Our garden finally has food in it! Today I harvested peas and beans. Pounds of peas and beans. The neighbors watered our garden while we were in San Francisco, and although we had invited them to pick and eat anything ripe, I don't think they took any at all. So there were so many china peas that the plants were pulling over their trellis! Picking peas is so funny, because no matter how many times you double-check the plants for any more ripe ones, you will always find just one more hidden among the vines.

The gourds and pumpkins are doing well too. There are several zucchini nearly ready to pick, though only one of them is touching the ground. They're all somehow suspended above the dirt by their vines; it's very weird. There is one white pumpkin, a couple of mini-cucumbers, and lots of blooms letting us know that there will be more to pick in the next few weeks!

Oh also: the mystery gourd has shown us its identity! It's grown some sort of hybrid white zucchini-gourd. Hooray!

In other news: The neighbors ran over our transplanted rose bush with the lawn mower. It had two rosebuds on it. It's not completely destroyed, but we might have to wait until next year to see its blooms after it grows back. That rose bush has had a tough life! We transplanted it from the gravelly area right next to where the trash & recycling sit near the porch, where it was not able to thrive, and it took the shock badly. It had just regained its strength and grown new leaves before it was chopped down this week. Oh well. Rose bushes need lots of pruning, right? :)
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