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.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Traveling felted things

Etsy has a new "stats" feature that includes a map of where your shop's views and orders have come from. This is very eye-opening. To date, House of Moss (on Etsy) has sent these orders around the world:

United States: 368
Australia: 18
Canada: 16
United Kingdom: 3
Norway: 3
Hong Kong: 2
Thailand: 2
Brazil: 1
Israel: 1
South Korea: 1
Singapore: 1
Argentina: 1
New Zealand: 1
Cyprus: 1

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Acorns on the Front Page again

It's definitely the time of year for acorns. These particular acorns appeared on the Etsy front page a couple of weeks ago, and were featured there again today.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

We make Portland Awesome: Hannah Naomi

"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: Hannah of Hannah Naomi Jewelry

Who are you?
I'm Hannah and I'm the one-woman show behind Hannah Naomi jewelry.

What do you make?
I specialize in making stacking rings and one of a kind necklaces, earrings, rings, and bangles. I love to work with metals -- anything from silver and gold to brass and copper.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I pretty much spend most of my day working on some part of my business. Whether it's answering emails in the morning, finishing up a studio session and shipping out orders in the afternoon, to coming up with new designs in the evenings. On my days off I love to sketch new designs, watch movies and stroll around town for inspiration. 

What inspires you?
I'm really inspired by the wearability of jewelry. I love the fact that jewelry often becomes part of a woman -- it's an intimate relationship between the art I create and the appreciator who buys it. Wearable art is the best! Once I start the process of creating a new piece the materials I have on hand are my main inspiration. I love to sketch wild designs on paper but once I get to the studio I let my hands go to town. Sometimes a critical eye and spark of inspiration (or enthusiasm) can lead to a wonderful new design. My customers also inspire me a great deal. The enthusiasm and support of so many wonderful people around the globe make me even more excited to go to work every morning.

Where can your work be found?
My work can be found at a number of boutiques throughout North America. For a full list check out my website here: I don't have any work for sale locally in Portland, although I'm continuously expanding my list of retailers!

What do you love about Portland?
I love living in Portland. Strolling around town with the dog, eating at all the amazing food trucks throughout the city, drinking local coffee and beer -- the Portland lifestyle really can't be beat. Being an artist is second nature here and inspiration (and inspirational people) abound. I've lived in a number of places throughout my life and can definitely say that Portland has a very special place in my heart. The people are great and the atmosphere is quirky, intimate and lighthearted. It's easy to be yourself in Portland!

Make sure you check out Hannah Naomi's Etsy shop, website, and blog.
Thanks for sharing, Hannah!  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Featured on Square Market Promo Email

Have you visited Square Market yet? It's the same company that brought us Square Register, that little white attachment for smartphones that small businesses use to accept credit cards. Square Market has a clean, easy-to-use interface, and I like it very much.

Anyway, this week, my mint green wool acorns were featured in a promotional email curated by Square's staff. It's a beautiful collection there, and it prompted me to spend some time browsing the awesomeness available on Square Market... which of course turned into WAY too much time clicking through gorgeous images and covet-able items... Oh, internet.

Feel free to start your exploration of this new marketplace through House of Moss's page... and then continue on to browse the other excellence there.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Artisan Market @ McMenamins Kennedy School

Thank you to everyone who came and saw us at the show this weekend! The 2nd Annual Artisan Market at McMenamins Kennedy School was a good time. We can't complain about a show with free beer and great neighbors!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Acorns on the Etsy Front Page

When 200+ favorites/hearts show up for one listing in the Etsy notifications feed, some sleuthing is in order. Turns out that a treasury including my acorns was featured on the front page while I was walking to the post office!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Upcoming show: 2nd Annual Artisan Market @ McMenamins Kennedy School


Portland friends! House of Moss will be kicking off the fall show season with this one. It looks to be a good time, and it's at one of my very favorite venues, McMenamins Kennedy School. This show is put together by the amazing Shannon of GlassCast. You may remember reading about her in her We Make Portland Awesome interview in June.

So if you're in NE Portland on Sunday, stop by and say hello to Erik and I. Sunday, October 6th, 10-3.


I love October. I finally get to enjoy some of my favorite cold-weather things: sweaters and boots, soup, baking. And PUMPKINS!

October brings pumpkin spice lattes, Jamba Juice's Pumpkin Smash smoothie, and felted wool pumpkins in the shop!
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