An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

St. John's Bizarre I Love You!

Yes, I will announce it here: the St. John's Bizarre is my official favorite Portland-area street fair. Yesterday was a splendid day.

What makes the St. John's Bizarre so successful is that the streets for the whole downtown core are closed, and the fair is arranged around in a square, rather than the traditional long gauntlet of booths that run the length of a single street in most street fairs. The music stage and food court were on one side of the square, and vendor booths all around. This created a nice, relaxed mingling atmosphere.

 The parade was a bonus, with plenty of quality high-school marching bands. And the people were the best! You've got it going on, St. John's!

 Everyone was happy; here in NW Oregon, when there are too many hot days in a row folks start to complain. But the first few nice, hot, sunny days are welcome by all. I saw plenty of lovely dogs, brief sun-dress, and tattoos. 
Oh, and another super-great thing is our Portland-area community of crafters! It feels so good to be a part of that; greeting old crafty comrades and meeting new friends. 
Oh, and one more super-great thing: several of my favorite people stopped by at closing time and generously helped me pack up and wheel my gear to the car! Extra bonus!! The chocolatey frosting on the fruity tasty cake of the day.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by my little booth of Cutelandia.

Now I really need to slurp down my breakfast blueberry smoothie

and run out to the gardens before it gets too hot.

Friday, May 11, 2012

St. John's Bizarre & a Satisfactory Digression

I am constantly inspired to make stuff. As in all the time. I have sketchbooks filled with ideas; more than I'll ever have time to realize. Since I'm sort of making a living from selling my work, I feel a bit of pressure to stay focused on making things that people will buy, and to keep my work cohesive (these days it's mostly making plush toys and soft sculpture art). 
But sometimes I can't keep myself from digressing.
Way back in the day, when I was first trying to sell my work, some of the first items I marketed were little zip pouches. I love making bags. There's something so satisfying about figuring out the 3-d design and construction sequence of creating a bag. And, they are useful. When my new electronic device arrived recently, it was just crying out for a scrappy, colorful cozy. So I made this:

I love it! It makes carrying around that sterile electronic device so cozy and friendly. And it was fun to make. So fun, in fact, that I had to make these:

By the time I whipped those babies out, I was on a roll. I'd been wanting to make some more bags with the laminated-wool-scrap technique, and I like the idea of getting some of those tried and true "Mitts for Musing" appliques on some bags. 
So I made these Cozy Clutches:

Which are not the easiest things to photograph. In person, they are squeezable, textural, and quite clutchable.

Well, then I realized that I had little cozies and large cozy-clutches, but I needed something in-between, so I made these Cutelandia Zip Pouches:

I have so many different versions of these floating around the homestead. They are infinitely useful for holding all kinds of items (cozily; in style!).
After I'd made such a pile of cozy bags and bagletts, I was playing around with them and noticed that some of them made little sets:

I'll have a whole table of "Cozies and Clutches" tomorrow at the St. John's Bizarre street fair. Which, by the way, will be my first outdoor street fair of 2012!
Mostly, I'm still making plush. I've been trying out these dimensional noses on the Pocket Buns, and I think they're keepers.

Finally, I want to show you the second suitcase I've renovated.

I don't always have room at table shows to use both the suitcases, but the vastness of the 10' x10' street fair space will allow plenty of space. It's perfect for showing off Pocket Buns and Mitts for Musing.