Artchain Day 2 – I was nominated by Mary Tafoya to post an item of artwork a day for 5 days (and to nominate others…).
Here’s a more recent example of my mask designs. It’s a mask/headdress set (shown together and separately) that I did in 2010. Sculpted leather, peacock and pheasant feathers, vintage brass filigree + genuine turquoise & jasper beads and cabochons.
Wow, what a great Halloween season! I know it sounds weird to call it a “season” since Halloween is really just a “day” — but I prepare for this far in advance, so it feels like a full season to me.
This year, I got to work with some of the coolest customers ! I also learned a lot. I’ve been doing this for well over a decade now, and there have been quite a few years where Halloween kicked my ass and totally wrecked my hands, too. I love the flurry of sales, but it’s still harsh when I’m bandaging my wrists and alternating heat and ice packs on my hands by the end of October; and of course, my family doesn’t enjoy seeing me babbling incoherently amidst a pile of leather scraps and glitter. They may find it amusing, but they don’t enjoy it.I guess I can get a little mean…
With that said, I was determined to pace myself this year. For the most part, I think I did a pretty good job — as evidenced by the fact that I am even capable of writing this. There’s still room for improvement, and I see several things that I can do differently next year. So there was a learning curve, but it wasn’t as steep as years past. I’m extremely happy about that.
My customers were amazingly positive, patient and encouraging, and I cannot express my gratitude enough. The closest I can come is to offer you all a 15% discount off all orders in my Etsy shop from now through Friday, November 4th, 2011. To take advantage of this offer, simply use the code “thankyou” at check out.
Now that Halloween is over, I think I’ll take a brief respite from mask making so that I can focus on hair accessories and beaded jewelry. My beads have been calling to me for months now, and I’m more than ready to listen. Beadwork is slow and meditative — perfect for winter, and for unwinding after the bustle of Halloween madness.
Autumn is my favorite season. I love the changing light, the changing leaves, and the glorious colors of fall. I also love the fact that my business kicks into hyperdrive this time of year.
The pace can get a little (read: incredibly) intense, but I really enjoy it. My customers are amazingly creative people, and I have so much fun helping them to actualize their costuming ideas! Every year, I am blown away by the bizarre, clever, beautiful and amusing ways that people incorporate my masks into their costumes. In doing so, they create new persona (or reveal hidden ones) tell stories and incite mischief. Simply put, they create magic 🙂
This year, I thought it would be fun to share a bit of that magic, so I’m celebrating my incredible customers with a virtual costume contest. The winning contestant will receive a $50 gift certificate to my Etsy shop. You can enter any time from October 1st – 31st, and the winner will be announced on November 15th. Hop on over to my website for entry details — and please consider joining in my little celebration! 🙂
I went down to Oregon in early July to visit with old friends, and to work in their booth at the Oregon Country Fair. The weather was perfect, and the event was absolutely lovely. The Pacific Northwest is stunning in the summertime.
The morning that I headed home, we had a good downpour (which is not too bad, considering that we enjoyed a full 6 days of sunshine). By the time I got back to Seattle, I had a nasty head cold, which is still lingering two weeks later. So I’m a bit sluggish, and running very behind on email and custom work. (If you are one of the people who’s been affected by this, please bear with me — I’m doing my best to get healthy and caught up quickly!)
As terrible as that must sound, I assure you that the trip was well worth it. The OCF is an amazing gathering of artists, musicians, dreamers and doers. I’ve attended this event a handful of times over the past 22 years, and it is always a memorable experience… this time was certainly no exception.
I deeply enjoyed the performances, art and ideals that were reflected there, but the very best part (for me) was the chance to reconnect with people that I love! Even though my body is still paying for this trip, it was so good for my soul. I would do it again in a heartbeat 🙂
I’d try to expand on that concept, but as I mentioned above, I’m still moving slowly and trying to get caught up. Hopefully these pictures (courtesy of my amazingly talented friend, Alyson) will give you a good sense of what a magical experience it was!
This fellow was sitting in a shady spot between the trees, just off of one of the paths. The image was taken moments after he gave a reading for, and bestowed a magic rock upon a young girl.
Many of the attendees wore extravagant costumes. This group of raven people randomly mingled amongst (and heckled 😉 the crowd.
I was pleasantly surprised to spot this gal, wearing one of my fairy masks. She makes it look great, doesn’t she? I was so happy that Aly was there to get this shot 🙂