Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Symphony, by William Ellery Channing

I posted this poem a couple of years ago, but it's one I return to often and I thought I'd post it here again. It seems like life is one long series of forgettings and rememberings, and these words remind me of how I want to be.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

House of Moss on Storenvy

House of Moss is now on Storenvy! Storenvy is an e-commerce platform for "emerging brands and designer goods." It has a well-designed interface and is very friendly to use.

You can visit House of Moss's shop at

And while I haven't listed all the items I currently sell on Etsy, the classics are there now! Feel free to stop by and look around.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

We Make Portland Awesome: BatikNotion

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

Who are you?
I am: Mandy Barberree

What do you make?
Besides Batiks: I push paper in a law office. However -at the heart of me - I’m a teacher, writer, and photographer; I’m a punk rocker; and I’m a Whovian with Tolkien tattoos. I’ve almost always got my hands on a good book and I’m a fairly good gardener whenever I get my hands on one. My musical tastes lean heavily toward the dark and angry genres, yet beautiful and vivid things in the world are what often inspire me – like flowers and birds.

Besides making things, what do you do?
I make batik tapestries. However, instead of the traditional beeswax and silk of this craft, I employ a method instilled in me by the strict budget of my current life, and my Grade 9 art class – where I learned this skill. My pieces are made from cheap canning/paraffin wax, on 100% cotton fabric. Instead of the traditional tjanting tool – something that is truly beyond my skill – I use a motley collection of simple paintbrushes. This gives me a different type of control over detail, and a unique style.

The majority of my pieces are images from photographs I’ve taken myself. Some, on the other hand, are of literary and pop culture creations that inspire and influence me.

When I first rediscovered this medium (back in the early 90’s) I limited myself to tracing the art of others. My choices often featured distinct and easy lines to follow – such as Celtic knots. Nowadays, I venture into pieces that require more of my own artistic decision-making and vision and use my own photography. As a result, my pieces are paintings rather than the paint-by-numbers they used to be.

What inspires you?
As I mentioned, the beautiful world we live in, with its breathtaking color, light, shadow and drama, is what inspires me. Additionally, so do my friends. I strive to stay active and creative; and being around others who are dynamic and creative keeps me on my toes. In this regard, my closest friends are what often motivate me the most. Whether they communicate with whit, play music, build cabinets, chef great food, or teach – it all serves to enrich my art, my mind and my heart.

What do you love about Portland?
I love Portland for its routine trimmings of outdoor patios at bars, bikes and vegetarian options; I’m vicariously proud of lifestyle staples like Friends of Trees, Scrap, and Forest Park ; and I could not live without my community - Portland's amazing punk scene. All this, and more, contribute to how damn lucky I feel to call this city home.

Make sure you check out Batik Notion's Etsy shop. Thanks for sharing, Mandy!
And if you'd like to read more We Make Portland Awesome interviews, you can check out the full collection HERE.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

New In The Shop: Mushrooms in Every Color!

Things may have been quiet around here on the blog, but they sure haven't been in my Etsy shop! I've been hiding away creating brand-new items for the shop.

Longtime House of Moss followers will probably be interested to check out the new colors of mushrooms I've added! There used to be about 5 main colors for mushrooms, but I've recently expanded the line to include quite a rainbow of options. It makes me feel like I'm working in a candy shop, not doing fiber art! You can see the full variety HERE.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

We Make Portland Awesome: UpperCase Studios

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

 Who are you?
Hi, I'm Mich Conklin and I think of myself as a maker. My work and perspective constantly change over time but my love of the process doesn't waiver. As my interests evolve so do the materials and techniques I choose to work with.

What do you make?
I tend to have multiple projects going on at the same time. It's always amazing how one work can influence the other. Most recently, I made several suitcase lamps as wall mounted lighting for a cool new bar here in town. For that same project, I created large acrylic paintings, giant wall hanging sculptures and all of the signage which resulted in a pretty cohesive body of work despite the variety of mediums. It was really fun to have so many creative things to do at once. Following this endeavor I kept making the suitcase lamps.

Besides making things, what do you do?
Depending on the season which thankfully Oregon has all four of them, I am either out on the rivers in our cute little red boat, hanging out in our garden or traveling somewhere fun.....all the while thinking of my next project.

What inspires you?
I have always been a collector of sorts. Baggies of dirt which are a pretty color, rocks shaped like a heart, sticks that look like animal heads (which must be baffling to the unfortunate baggage screener!) seem to produce images and ideas to work from. I am drawn to the things that seem out of place and try to give it a place in my work.

Where can your work be found?
You can find my suitcase lamps on display and for sale at The Lost & Found bar (5426 N Gay), on Etsy and at I mainly sell by word of mouth but would love to find a shop interested in carrying my work.

What do you love about Portland?
What's not to love about Portland? After taking a year off and travelling around the entire US on a road trip, we decided there was no other place we would rather live. The (not quite) Big City meets the Great Outdoors making it a terrific place for a maker.

Make sure you check out UpperCase Studio's Etsy shop and website. Thanks for sharing, Mich!
And if you'd like to read more We Make Portland Awesome interviews, you can check out the full collection HERE.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Featured in a Valentine's Day Photoshoot

Photo credit: The Frosted Petticoat (
Photo credit: The Frosted Petticoat (
Photo credit: The Frosted Petticoat (

Valentine's Day always sneaks up on me. Even the month-and-a-half between the end of the holiday season and February 14th is not enough. I seem to spend January scrambling to replenish my regular stock, and somewhere around February 2nd, I suddenly remember that I should make some heart-themed items.

But thankfully, Sam of The Frosted Petticoat and The Frosted Petticoat Blog did not forget. Back in late autumn she contacted me about being a part of this Valentine's Day-themed feature. She curated a selection of the work of 27 Etsy artists, and put them together into a beautiful collaborative photoshoot.

Well, the photos have been published, and it's wonderful! They've already made their way onto several other blogs and websites, including Occasions, Swan So Sweet, and Confetti Daydreams, as well as here on The Frosted Petticoat's own blog in Part I and Part II.

It's so fun seeing my little acorns making their way around the world and around the internet! I really like seeing what people do with them after they arrive at their destination.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New in the shop: Heart Garlands

Just in time for Valentine's Day! Heart garlands! They're 6 feet long and perfect for your Valentine's parties (or anti-Valentine's!), children's rooms, or just natural decor.

They're fresh in the shop now, and if you order before the end of the week (domestic orders only), they will still arrive before the 14th! They will arrive in the packaging pictured above: compostable/biodegradable cellophane! You can find them HERE.

Acorn Favor Bags on the Etsy FP

My acorn favor bags appeared on the Etsy Front Page yesterday afternoon! They were included as part of a gorgeous wedding-themed treasury made by one of my favorite sellers, LoveMaude.

It's nice to see that particular item featured, especially in the context I'd hoped for it (weddings, parties) because somehow when I launched that particular line last year, they got buried amidst other items and never quite thrived. Customers love the bags at shows, but sometimes Etsy can be a whole different game.

In case you're interested in getting some for your next party or wedding, you can find them HERE.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Valentine Gift Ideas at Presents of Mind

Presents of Mind has been a Portland favorite of mine for a while now. They carry an amazing range of handmade clothing, accessories, cards, and bath & body products. HERE is a post of theirs about all the many choices for Valentine's gifts they have! I often buy presents for my own friends & family there (shh!).

And now, for Valentine's Day, they sell my felted wool hearts too! You can find them at 3633 SE Hawthorne in Portland.

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