Well then – it’s been a crazy couple of weeks! Thankfully, all of my loved ones are healthy and well, and my husband has been able to work from home. There’ve been some adjustments and inconveniences, but overall, we’re well. I hope the same for you and yours.
One thing that’s helping me to cope with the news of the world, is seeing how my friends and neighbors are stepping up to help. People are offering to pick up groceries for elders, streaming live music from their living rooms, and sharing ideas, kindness and hope. That’s how we’ll get through this.
The fabric scraps and elastic in this photo are for a group of neighbors who are sewing masks for local medical workers. Who knew that my craft hoard might come in handy in an apocalypse? All jokes aside, I’m looking for the helpers in all of this, and seeking ways to be of service.
What are you doing in the way of self care? How are you reaching out to connect with others? What are you doing to help your community?
Just received this rave review! I love that they took the time to create a collage with before and after photos of their new hair cut.
✩✩✩✩✩ “I love my custom order! I previously bought some gorgeous fall leaf slides that I wore every day, but then as the weather started to turn I knew I needed an icy winter leaf as well. Andrea was very helpful throughout the process, finding pics of other fantasy style leaves she’d made to help me decide what I wanted, offering me options for designs, informing me about stick options. She’s wonderful to work with. And the quality is excellent! I could not be more enchanted with this piece.”
Had a rough day today, contemplating an unsavory situation. As luck would have it, I came across these words that I wrote last year. It was a timely reminder of where to focus my energy. While the lame situation still needs resolution, I’d like to pause from my pissed-offedness for just a moment, to acknowledge the good:
I’ve spent a lot of time and energy griping about those unethical competitors who copy, undercut, and just generally slither around the internet. It’s true – they are many. But perhaps I haven’t spent enough time acknowledging the friendly and ethical competitors who have treated me kindly. There are many of you as well. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to know countless artists who’ve helped me to hone my craft and to learn the ropes as a vendor.
Despite the fact that we’re “competing” in a similar market, you’ve treated me with integrity and respect, helping me to learn and encouraging me to grow. We’ve empathized with each others’ struggles, and celebrated successes.
These positive professional relationships have endured time and trends, and many have grown into genuine friendships that enrich my life. Thank you for this! It proves that “competitor” doesn’t have to be a dirty word. We all choose how we conduct our businesses (and ourselves) and we CAN lift each other up without detracting from our own goals. In this way, we all thrive. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So yeah, the jackasses are out there – but so are the good ones!
I’m grateful for those of you who choose to take the high road (even when it’s not the easy road) and I promise to treat you – and your work – with the same integrity and courtesy that you’ve shown me.
While I’d hoped to have more to share tonight, it just wasn’t in the cards. As is typical for the Pacific Northwest this time of year, it has been dark and gloomy and dumping rain all week. Not ideal weather for photography (in fact, I’ll likely go back and re-photograph many of these pieces the next time that the weather is favorable). Perhaps I’ll trickle in a few more pieces over the weekend if time and light allows.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy the pieces that I’ve shared tonight! Also, just a friendly reminder that my holiday ordering dates are coming up quickly. If you’re in the US, there’s still time to order for the holidays, though I’d urge you not to procrastinate too much!
Year end Sale (*added 12/15) ~
Enjoy tiered discounts through the end of 2018:
* Orders of $50+ enjoy 10% off
* Orders of $100+ enjoy 15% off
* Orders of $200+ enjoy 25% off
Hopefully, this helps you with your holiday shopping, and it certainly helps me to clear the way for new work in the year ahead! Thank you for empowering me to do what I love for a living!
Sale runs from 12/15/18 – 12/31/18
Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar on Sunday 12/16 ~
Last but not least, I mentioned in my last post that my November giveaway winner is choosing to donate her prize to the Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar this Sunday 12/16 at Eye of the Tiger Tattoo in San Francisco. The proceeds from this event will go to benefit the families who are working to rebuild their lives after the #Campfire in Paradise, CA last month. Two of my friends’ families lost their home in that fire, so this event is near and dear to my heart. With that said, I am choosing to match Angel’s donation of my Sacred Heart sugar skull mask, by adding a second “Abuelita” sugar skull mask. If you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, please consider attending and supporting this special cause!
For December’s Giveaway, I’m offering a $50 gift certificate good for any ready made item at my website or my Etsy shop. To enter, simply share a comment about a random act of kindness that lifted your spirits! Did someone surprise you with a free coffee, or did you have a chance to pay it forward for someone else? Tell me your tales of kindness and goodwill, and I’ll choose a winner at random on Friday, December 21st at 6 pm PST.
As is often the case this time of year, I’m noticing a lot of sad, angry people out there! Maybe they’re stretched too thin with year end goals and holiday commitments, or they’re stressed out by all of the pressure to shop and consume. Perhaps these folks are grieving over loved ones who are no longer here to take part in holiday traditions, or maybe they’re worried about the state of the world. Whatever the cause, winter just seems to dredge that stuff up for a lot of us. The weight of it can be heavy enough to make the best of us act poorly. With that said, I’d like to offer a little bit of light this holiday season – just a small celebration of kindness to remind us of what’s really important.
Shop update on 12/13 ~
I’ll be adding a small shop update on the evening of Thursday, December 13th. It will include a few unique jewelry pieces and hair accessories. I was shooting to have it ready today, but honestly? My creative work has been happening very slowly of late. While I really wish that I could be more prolific, for the sake of my health and wellbeing, I just need to honor that pace. Hopefully this weekend will give me time to finish up a few special pieces and get some better photos! Thanks so much for your patience, and for understanding.
Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar ~
And in keeping with the theme of kindness, the woman who won last month’s giveaway will be donating her prize to help raise money for the people of Paradise CA, who lost their homes in last month’s #Campfire. The mask below will be available at the Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar at Eye of the Tiger Tattoo in SF, CA on Sunday 12/16. If you’re in the Bay Area, this will be an excellent opportunity to do some holiday shopping AND do some good for others! I’ll post another reminder as the event date draws closer.
I’m going to try something new, and hold a customer appreciation giveaway each month until the end of the year. If it goes well, I’ll continue the tradition in 2019. Since this new adventure begins on All Soul’s Day, I’m offering this handcrafted day of the dead mask as the very first handmade giveaway gift.
To enter, just send a photo of yourself wearing my work & allow me to share it on my sites + social media. There are several ways that you can share your photo – the very best way is to scroll down to use the handy form that I created just for this purpose, but you can also just share the images to Facebook or Instagram and tag me along with a comment that you’d like it to serve as a giveaway entry.
For each photo that you share, you’ll receive one entry good for the remainder of the year. For a second entry, share a story about who you are, what you do, and/or why my work resonates with you. And yes, you may submit photos that you’ve sent in the past, IF you include a damned good story!
Each month, I’ll draw one winning name. November’s winner will be chosen on Friday 11/30 at 6 pm PST
I’m doing this because your photos really do mean the world to me! I absolutely LOVE seeing my work out there in the wild, being enjoyed by cool people. More importantly, I love hearing your stories and learning about the amazing things that you do in the world! When you share who you are and why you enjoy my work, it motivates me to keep creating and to continue to improve.
Those photos and connections mean more than I can say. So I’d like to foster that, and to let you know how much I appreciate you. Thanks so much for supporting my craft, and for always inspiring me!
“You need music, I don’t know why. It’s probably one of those Joseph Campbell questions, why we need ritual. We need magic and bliss, and power and myth, and celebration and religion in our lives and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it.”
An old friend posted this to Facebook the other day. Her words are such an apt (and eloquent) summary for my own feelings; I wanted to save them, and to share them in hopes that others might be moved as well:
This is for all of the people from all walks of life that stand in unity with the people that died in Orlando and say “We are All Orlando.” In a greater sense it is true. We all could be killed at a bar or a dance club (Orlando). We could be killed at a work holiday party (San Bernardino), at a school (Sandy Hook), a concert (Paris) a college campus (Virginia Tech) or a restaurant (Paris, also McDonalds USA). We could be killed for having a sense of humor (Charlie Hebdo, Paris). Everyone’s life mattered. Everyone was important. Thank you for knowing that.
At this time we mourn for those that died in Orlando.
Please do something to foster harmony in remembrance. Volunteer at local center, help your neighbor, sign a petition, give someone you love a hug, and know that you are lucky to be here. Live more. Love more. Be better. Everyone.
My friends Phil and Julie are a couple of hippies who live up in Alaska, in a house that they built themselves. Now some of you might react by thinking “ewww, hippies!” but rest assured that they’re the cool kind of hippies; they are homesteading, homeschooling, organic gardening, child rearing, chicken raising, art making hippies who make the world brighter just by being in it.
Julie is a beadworker, and Phil helps with her small business, Baked Alaskan Designs . As you can see from the photos, she creates gorgeous, heirloom quality bead embroidered barrettes. Her “Stealie” barrettes are very popular, though I’m especially fond of her rosette style barrettes. They remind me of the type of beadwork that I used to see at Pow Wows – bold, elaborate and carefully crafted. Recent instagram posts from Julie suggest that she may have some new tricks up her sleeve as well. I’m excited to see the new ideas that she’s working on; so far, they look stunning!
She opened their Etsy shop a little over a year and a half ago and quickly found her niche, not only in terms of her work, but as far as community. She gravitated toward groups of artists that network and encourage each other, and she clearly strives to support her fellow creatives. Julie often shares tips and info with me, and she shares my work (and the work of her many creative friends) on social media. Those things may sound small, but they’re actually HUGE. Making a living as an artisan is no small feat, so it means a lot that Julie not only focuses on trying to make her business successful, she actively tries to bring others with her on that road to success.
With that said, I’m inspired by Julie’s art AND by her attitude. Thank you for being one of the good ones, may it come back to you tenfold <3
Those of you who follow my blog (all two of you) may remember way back when I used to do this thing called “Wednesday Inspiration”. It served two purposes: one was to celebrate and promote other artists that I admire, and the other was to give myself a writing prompt in hopes that it would get me to blog more regularly. So every Wednesday (or every other Wednesday… or as often as I could find the time) I would share images and links from artist friends and strangers who inspire me to be more creative.
I’m bringing that back – in part because I’m trying to post more often, and partially because I realize that I fret and complain too much about copycats and jackasses. While the latter concerns are real and should not be swept under the rug completely, there is GOOD stuff happening in the creative community too. I’d like to make a greater effort to celebrate that. My motivation for this is summed up nicely by this quote: “Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate”.
So without further ado, today I’m sharing a few pieces by Mermaiden Creations. My friend Julie creates work that”is the stuffs of fairy tales and legends; curious offerings of nature, weird beauty, wild and fey-inspired organically imperfect designs”. She moves fluidly from jewelry design to millinery work, to hair accessories and home decor.
Her work is imaginative, dreamlike, organic, untamed… and skillfully crafted. I own a few pieces of her jewelry and one of her scarves, so when I attest to the quality of her work, I am speaking from affection and experience. I’ve showcased a small handful of my favorite pieces here, but I encourage you to visit her Etsy shop or to follow her on facebook in order to see more of her beautiful work!