Monday, December 31, 2007

Brooching the Subject

"I saw an Angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

- Michelangelo

o you brooch? Until crafters started taking everything from hand knitted scarves to jewelry by storm, and stamping everything with their own unique style, brooches were relegated to the back of the jewelry box. Or, at the very least considered something your dear sweet, heavily powdered cheeked old grand-ma ma would wear when playing bridge with her heavily powdered cronies also encrusted in big baubbly brooches galore.

Not anymore. Brooches were big about five years ago when they re-debuted with such style and verve, that style-licious babes everywhere were sticking brooches on everything from their favorite jackets, bags and hand knitted caps, to sweaters, blouses , skirts and even shoes.

Oh yeah, the brooch made a Gi-normous come-back, and I don't think it's going away anytime soon. Why should it? Brooches are versatile, and can add snazz to anything your heart desires. Even pin your favorite guy. With a little imagination, your brooch could be the one thing that pulls an entire look together, and given half a chance, the piece D' resistance!

Brooches are not just the carved bone Italianate cameo you inherited from your great aunt Harriet. (and there is nothing wrong with antique and vintage cameo's in this girls book). Brooches come in all styles, genres, shapes, colors and materials these days. From wood, to felt, fabric, knitted doo-dads, to plastic, resin, acrylic and lucite. Brooches range from High-brow to low-brow. Up-town gorgeous or down town edgy. Naive folk art to pre-mediated sophistication. The choices are endless . I have a fabulous kitschy brooch made out of pasta shells and macaroni that I've had for years. I love it, and plan to keep it as long as it will have me. I pray I never have to boil it and add a little marinara in the event of a raging pasta craving.

So, this year as I was bottling up Isabella Lemoncello and adding the stories to Isabellas's new relatives, I got an idea to try making wearable art out of a few of my illustrations. So far I've done Space Odyssey Venus, and Good Luck Bird Girl.

When I'm in the middle of an illustration, many times a story seems to seep out. Like the Illustration is trying to communicate to me that it must have it's own story, independent of anything I'm drawing. Maybe some of you know what I'm talking about. Do you ever create something, maybe it's jewelry or a painting or a knitted scarf, and it seems to tell you what it wants you to do do finish it, or how it want sto look. My illustrations do that and sometimes have their own stories.. I think Michelangelo was quoted as saying, "I saw an Angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

I would never compare myself to fellow Piscean, Michelangelo, (though I would love to recruit him for the Petaluma Craft Mafia). But, he said it perfectly. Sometimes what you seek to create already has other ideas independent of your plan. Sometimes you have to surrender and let that divine plan work through you. You have to get out of the way of yourself. Michelangelo learned to do that quite well.

Stories are like that too. I sometimes create an illustration, with no intention of a story being associated, but the story comes anyway.
When creating these little illustrations, of course the stories arrived whether I wanted them to or not. It feels wrong not to include a story with the picture brooches when they so plainly are telling me their own story, so I decided to name a whole series of them, "Storyville" by Moxieville.

I'm thinking of sewing some of them too. Maybe adding fabric trim, flora and fauna trims. Though I've always really liked flat prints, sort of like Lautrec or Japonism prints. Adding a three dimensional elements might be fun or may not work at all.

We shall see, so for the moment here I go venturing into jewelry again. One of these days I'd to work with a jewelry person who knows this craft really well. It would be fun, and we could "Cross-craft" so to speak. Dee and I are experimenting with a few stitched cards we talked about months ago. Anna and Dee are collaborating on scented sachets and eye masks. And as soon as they've completed one they're actually happy with I'll post it right here. A-hem. Hint, hint. But no rush girls. ;-)

I love this idea of cross crafting. Two heads are better than one, especially when my fellow crafty gals are such great fun and easy to collaborate with! Collaboration with a great group of like-minded creatives from different disciplines can be a blast. I sometimes learn a thing or two about other crafts I'd had no interest in before.

So, broaching the subject of brooches, look for more Storyville by Moxieville brooches on the Etsy. Lots of fun things planned for the New Year. Speaking of which, one quarter of our craft mafia is pregnant and having contractions as I write this. Will Dee ring in the first of the year with a New Year's Eve babe? We shall see!

Until then, Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And then there was Maude

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, forget the calling birds, why not call Maude instead? Actually, you can try getting a hold of Maude, but you'd have better luck reaching Maude's alter-ego and proprietress Ms. Jess Brown. Jess opened Maude with friends and business partner, Stacy.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Jess not long ago at her store, Maude on Kentucky Street in downtown Petaluma. She and I are clearly kindred spirits. She has an eye for unique, beautiful things, and I can tell she is a sensitive soul and a creative crafty gal as well. I fell in love with her tiny shop and with Jess herself.

Not having children, (yet), I really haven't much need to climb the sweet and gently curved wooden stair case that leads into the the quaint children's shop that is Maude. Though everyone from dear friends to business colleagues in town have been urging me to go visit Jess's store. Sure, occasionally I go shopping for baby shower gifts or tots, but no need to go looking for anything for my own wee ones as Himself and I currently have one extra-large dog. I'm afraid nothing at Maude's would fit Sweet Georgia.

Let me tell you, Maude's may be customized for tots, with it's vintage inspired clothing, hand made sweaters, caps, sweaters and softie toys, but adults can find a few things at Jess's french-asian inspired shop to get hung over the moon on as well. (At least I did)!

When I say french asian, it's that her shop has a simple and complex feel all at once. Vintage-modern. The items are spare, hand picked with care. The merchandising and display is simple, yet sophisticated and elegant with an organic feel. Many of the fabrics are vintage or vintage inspired, with an air of Japonism about them in pattern and color. A distinct feeling of mid-west sensibility, with a slight decadant French undercurrent running through out. The cherry on top is a slight thread of eclectism of the pattern which feels very Japanese to me.

The children's clothing lines are mostly handmade from Jess's favorite designers, and practical enough for everyday wear. Maude also carries a few local artisans such as Phoebe Washer's pieces, and some other local bay area artisans prints she personally likes.

So, on the fourth day of Christmas, turn your thoughts to the wee children in your life. Maude carries several items sure to bring a smile to the wee one's as well as their parents.

One item I fell in love with, is a Kokeshi doll (I love Kokeshi dolls and have made a few over the years). This Kokeshi doll was a nesting Kokeshi, with two tinier, painted versions of himself nested inside. Much like the Russian Matroshka dolls. The Kokeshi was housed inside of an amber glittered pine cone ornament which opens up to reveal the Kokeshi, one fine french chocolate from L. Voison, and a Mighty Midget Series story book. Each amber glittered pine cone contains a different Kokeshi doll, chocolate and storybook. Which one you get is a surprise!

Guess which one I got? I received the chocolate orange flavor chocolate (my company colors and a favorite flavor L. Voison chocolate) AND my surprise story was Rumpelstiltskin. Remember my blog about pickles and Rumplestiltskin almost two years ago? So, this was kind of a nice and karmic surprise.

Enough about the Kokeshi dolls and miniature books. I loved these as well as the jars of gorgeous Japanese candy I spied on the tall white corner shelf. Though, I behaved and left it alone.
The shining star at Maude's is clearly her impeccable taste and the choices Jess makes of what to bring into her shop. This must be very hard as there are a whole sea of talented designers out there. Of course, Maude also makes their own clothing as well, Stacy, the co-owner of Maude makes the Maude line of clothing for children. Can't wait to see what she'll come up with next year.

Speaking of talent, I did mention earlier that Jess is a crafty gal didn't I? Jess makes the most adorable softie dolls you ever did see. I want one! She may have inspired me to make a few softie dolls. My mother made dolls like this, but each doll maker clearly has her own look. Jess Brown's dolls are made with love, and gorgeous scraps of vintage fabric. Jess is having a difficult time keeping up with the demand for the orders. Not a bad problem to have, but frustrating when you can't find the time to keep up with the orders. Check out the photos. They speak for themselves.

Maude plans to carry a women's line of clothing next year... stay tuned for that!

P.S. - I know, I'm only on the fourth day for scouting out handmade and interesting local finds for my fellow Petalumans, but remember, the first day of Christmas actually starts on, the first day of Christmas, which as we all know is December 25th I'm still way ahead of myself!

If you'd like to visit Maude, you can find this adorable shop here:

133 Kentucky Street
Petaluma, CA 94952

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Petaluma Crafty - Cocoa L'Imogene

Cocoa L'Imogene. A crafty kit to give or receive.

Last year, I finally took a firmer step in my promise to start making more handmade gifts. I have my own reasons for doing so, I've always been fascinated with China and Asian cultures in general. Whole blogs could be written about it. Currently, things have gone askew with imported and manufactured goods. It gets down to politics, economics, greed and moral decisions. When did giving a simple gift become a moral decision? If you've small children, it's even more frightening.

And it begs the question, isn't is immoral to manufacture items that contain known poisons? The same poisons and toxins of which we were assured by these manufacturers years ago that they would never again be used in the toy making process again?

Being a crafty sort, you may find the various components needed to assemble your "homemade" DIY gift to potentially have it's hazards. Wasn't that ribbon made in China? And it was wire with a metallic thread running through.Yikes! That nifty little painted nesting can your homemade item is housed in, (Could the paint have lead)? And what about that paint made in China, you painted that cute little wooden nutcracker tchotcke (also made in China) that adorns the gift?

See what I mean?

You almost can't escape it. It's not that I'm against saving money at the register, au contraire, but I believe that one day we are going to be very sorry. Ultimately, our bill will come due. I hope it's not more cancer or a collapsed U.S. economy we will never dig ourselves out of. China is getting wealthy, but they are also becoming the most polluted country on the planet. A big one.

Their bill? It will also come due.

I'm no different than most Americans in regard to time and budget. I may have big Martha ideas (though I pride myself on being a bit "off" than our dear Martha). But I don't have Martha's budget, or her team of assistants.

BTW- You don't suppose? Naww! Martha's 'crafty' line made in China?

It's a sword. A double-edged one. Let's say I decide I want my stationery line or my crafty dolls mass produced, because they are selling like hotcakes. I don't have a huge budget, and I know China can do it faster and cheaper to cut costs. There are even companies in San Francisco who will reproduce my patterns for cheaper too. But not nearly as cheap as China. Here is where you lose control of your product. Some U.S. companies and Europeans even know what's going on, and the potential dangers. But still, they do it.

Sometimes, they are taken advantage of with copyright infringement. It's scary. I just read that legally, China is not bound to responsibility if there is a problem with production. Let's say you've paid for production work, but haven't received your goods and it looks like you never will. Fat little you can do about it except never do business with them again and spread the word so they get a bad reputation.

Of course, that doesn't happen very often, because most business people in China are fair and smart. They want to do business with you. With that said, Overseas copyright infringement is scary and is a reality. I believe there is a lot of talk about overseas copyright law taking effect recently. This is good. Toxins in toys and good sproduced overseas are a still a reality. Only we can stop it.

All of that to talk about a simple cocoa kit recipe. Whew. Where was I? Oh yes, homemade gifts.

So last year, I started the process. It started out as an idea to thank clients and spilled over on to friends and family. I made two huge batches of Limoncello, and some hot cocoa kits. Easy! Though, the Limoncello was scary. I'd never made it and it takes a bit of time (2 mos) to go through the distilling processes. That's the toughest part isn't it? The waiting.

This year I'm doing the same, but also made some soaps that my fellow crafter in crime Anna, helped me whip up. The bath goddess, Anna, crafted a scent especially for me! I have my own scent! Just like J. Lo and Coco Chanel. Ha! It's made with Bergamot orange, almond and clove honey. I adore bergamot orange. Orange is also my company color, which is very thoughtful of Anna to include this fav ingredient. Bergamot sounds lovelier, so we'll just say that. Bergamot soap just became another homemade gifty item this season. (Thanks Anna)!

This is for those who have little time. Or perhaps you don't know a knitting needle from a pine needle. Or, perhaps just feel hopelessly lost in the world of arts and crafts. I have a recipe for you! Hot cocoa kits. Kids like it as well as grown-ups. You can customize them any which way. Last year I made triple chocolate and peppermint chocolate. But you could also do, orange chocolate, Mexican chocolate, white chocolate caramel, etc. The choice is yours.

Here is what you'll need:

Cocoa Kits


A quart jar with a lid or seal

1/2 Cup Good quality chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet bars

1 Cup Sugar, white and or brown

1 Cup Powdered good quality cocoa (Droste is nice and has color depth)

1 Cup Powdered milk

1/2 tsp salt

Now you have the basics, you can customize with chopped peppermint candies for peppermint hot cocoa, marshmallows, dried orange, caramel, white chocolate, etc.

You simply layer it any which way you please. I layered it so that the dark and light ingredients alternated for a layered effect. Also, I put more fragile ingredients at the top layers to hold shape and texture.

Pop a homemade label on and a hand-written note. You're good to go.

Last year, After bottling so much Isabella's Limoncella, I got loopy and also made a custom label for the hot cocoa kits. I decided 'Cocoa Le Imogene' was Isabella's french cocoa cousin. Last year Isabella got a story written about her. (I still think Holly Hunter would be the perfect fit for the role of Isabella).

This year, I wrote one for Imogene as well. Everyone kept asking me about her story last year. So, it was only fair Imogene has her own history and story this year as well. It has a surprise entrance from another foodie personality of another homemade gift we're making. Since we're keeping it in the family, these Euro cousins, (Isabella's Italian and Imogene is French), meet-up with their American cousin. She's from the deep south, and something to do with cheese straws. I'll blog on that later.

In the meantime, whip up some creative cocoa kits. Handy on a cold afternoon. Everything is there, you just add boiling water. You could also make layered cookie kits in a jar or a lovely (lead-free) tin. If you can find one! It's from the heart, and that's what really matters.

So I made festive bright red, Limoncello and Cocoa last year. Oddly, people really seemed to like them. So if they really didn't like them, they should have kept mum because now they're getting another this year!

A gift card from Best Buy is always a nice alternative. Himself, told me to say that.

Have a Happy and lead-free Holiday!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One Craft Show, One lesson in Chinese Foot Binding

This Saturday was the Petaluma Farmer's Market Holiday Boutique. And if you think Petaluma Crafters just have chicken and eggs to offer, you're so mistaken.

It was of course, a different crowd then my usual Mafia crowd, but certainly none the less talented for it. We pulled up at 8:49 on the dot and barely got a parking space. Hermann Sons Hall is tiny but mighty in presence. This building has much character, or as one crafter said,"Everything here is real." She's right. The hard wood floors, tall arched molded ceilings. Even the lighting feels better with the windows facing east and west. I love the strange bathroom! Very clean and vintage funky. It felt like a powder room from an old Farm house.

A few of the crafters I already knew, such as the talented and spicy Charissa Drengsen. (Hi Charissa!) Charissa is the owner and designer at Curly-Cue Designs. She is one of my favorite red-heads, and she's smarter than the dickens with a wicked sense of humor to boot. When you grow up with sisters such as Charissa and I did, you learn to have a sense of humor or you will boil over waiting for your turn to use the powder room.

Charissa designs some of my favorite jewels and baubbles such as her asian and naughty girl necklaces, and vintage inspired dolls. Some come with record-bowl dresses. In fact she makes a whole lot of very inspiring crafts from cards to wrist warmers. Some of her pieces are riddled with humor others are downright beautiful and mystical. She's a crafter I always look forward to seeing and we made a pact to do chinese food soon.

And speaking of beauty and humor, another crafter I had the opportunity to meet is fellow Petaluman, Karen Baggiani. I liked Karen right away. You can sometimes tell a lot about a person through their craft. Their likes and dislikes, sense of humor or if they even have one. Sometimes artists and crafters, much like writers, express another side of themselves through their craft in ways we sometimes miss in everyday communication. Karen's aprons and oven mitts were both beautiful and fun. And Karen is beautiful and fun! Old time western pin-up gals in various poses. She also made some gorgeous African inpired pieces as well. Karen says she's really gotten out of crafting, but you'd never know it by her work. She puts a lot of pride into it.

My mother, an old ranch girl herself would have loved these ranch girl inspired kitchen duds. I was very inspired by Karen. Lately, I keep telling myself to find a new sewing project to get back into this particular craft I abondoned in my teens. Oh yes, I 'm the 4-h goldmedal winner and can sew a mean button, fix a torn seam, but I don't really sew anymore. I think Karen inspired me to do it. I hope to run into her at more faires. Her attention to detail is to be admired. She showed me a jacket she had made. Beautifully lined, and very well-made. She would have loved my Great-Grandmother KaKa. A perfectionist. A custom made jacket that has stood the test of time very well. You'd pay a lot for a jacket like this on the market - if you could find it. Clothing is disposable today. Even from some of the more expensive stores. wash it once, loose threads appear everywhere, weak seams show themselves.

My neighbor to my left was disarmingly honest and funny. I just hit it off with Shea immediately. Shea Brown is a photographer, and a marvelous one at that. Her nature prints would make the real flowers wilt with shame on how beautifully her very impressive lens has captured their short life span. Shea is from Texas, and smart and spunky. She is very happy to have landed in California, though most of her family is still in Texas. She shared with me tidbits in between our customers about her life and her craft. At one point she pulled out her camera, putting my bitty digital to shame. If she was the voyeuristic type, I think she could spy on Neptunians or Plutonians with that scope! I had instant lens envy. Shea had brought her husband's blown-glass work as well. Tod Brown is a glass blower. His work is amazing. He makes hollow glass beads that look like those old time paper weights, but with a distinct organic feel. You could swear those are really poppies or mollusk shells or quartz lining the walls of his glass beads.

Children and adults alike have long been fascinated by glass. Shea, a natural teacher, drew mesmerized adults as well as children to her like a moth to a flame. Several budding artists and glass blowers here in Petaluma, judging by her rapt audience. I was fascinated by the process of pyrex as I heard Shea explain it time and time to tiny upturned faces wanting to know more, peeringdeep into the vortex of a multi-colored glass bead. Best of all, Shea is an absolute doll. I found another new friend and look forward to seeing her as well as my other swell and crafty ladies as future shows. And Shea, my pics turned out horrible. Especially ones of the glass, so send me yours!

A couple across to my left, that I never got the chance to go over and see their work, came by and bought one of my kitschy Holiday pieces. I had put a packet of forget-me-nots along with my Lucky Kitchen and Garden Gnomes" and they bought one. They were adorable and I regret so much not going over to their booth. I hope to see them around soon.

One of my customers was Lesley, a lovely Petaluma woman who told me she has a good friend in Chicago who also goes by "Moxie." (See, Moxie is everywhere now). My adorable customer Lesley, told me about her friend who is a publicist (I hope I got that right Lesley) for many heavy-hitters out there. (I do not want to drop any names in case I'm not supposed to). Anyway, I loved this customer. She bought a package of notecards, my letterpressed flats, with the 'Moxie' name so she could send it to her friend back in Chicago who sounds like a hoot. Lesley said she wears all vintage clothes and is just gorgeous. Siggh. Some gals just have it all. Anyway, I hope she likes the cards! I know I liked Lesley, and her friend back in Chicago should know she has a thoughtful friend here in Petaluma to think of her.

Another dynamic Petaluma lady I met, who just happens to be a fellow illustrator is lovely and talented Patty of Patty Lou Designs. Patty, her handsome husband John and their adorable daughter came by and chatted. Patty gave me a few of her cards which are whimsical depictions of cows, flowers, hearts and whatever whim the muse brings her way. We illustrators work in mysterious ways! Patty's grandmother is a prolific AND profound cross stitcher and embroidery artist. Her work has a vintage 1930-40's influence. It speaks to my kitschy side.

Patty's energetic grandmother lives in Minnesota and sends Patty hefty boxes of embroidered tea towels and doilies out to California. Being a Sunday stitcher myself, I fell head over heels for her designs from vintage patterns which are retro like my own. As my company colors are orange and chocolate ( Yep, much like Hermes -) I had to purchase one of her grandmother's "Orange" tea towels. Quaint and spare but just the right amount of kitsch. Just amazing.

Guess what? Patty is a Gnome gal too! In fact her whole family is. I felt like I came across my long lost kin yesterday! Thanks Patty and John for helping to make my day. Oh! And their little daughter, loves squirrels. Yup. We definitely must be long lost relations. She kept coming by Moxieville booth with an enchanted smile and staring at my squirrel mascot that I'd just lacquered a believable chocolate brown, making everyone hungry. That one, absolutely gorgeous and going to be some kind of heartbreaker when she grows up.

So many awesome crafters and I regret I didn't go around and meet more of them. Another awesome crafter and chick I had the pleasure of meeting was Alyssa Conder who makes the cutest hair doo-dads for children you ever did see. Big flowers and diamondy things. Inspired by her own two little daughters, she gave me one and I wore it to Chopstix for dinner afterwards. Got loads of compliments. Alyssa is a character. A major character! She reminded me of a couple of people I know melded into one very unique person. Alyssa doesn't have a website or I'd point you in her direction. Look for her at local craft shows though. Like me, she has a day job, but she is just bursting at the seams with crafty creative ability.

This was my first show at home in Petaluma. I was honored to be a part of the Farmer's Market group, as I was a newbie and they all knew each other from way back. The diversity was wonderful and Erica did a good job of putting it together from the baked goodies and gingerbread scones from Heaven Scent Cafe to the live entertainment. Bruce Sexauer did a fantastic job setting tone with his band. I didn't realize it was him at Shea's table, when I made a semi-naughty joke out of one of his questions. I will forever be embarrassed about it. But Bruce seemed to get a good, pre-show laugh anyway!

After we'd packed up to head home, we headed or Chopstix. Chinese food has become my traditional after-show dinner. I had developed a major sore throat from chatting so much with customers and other vendors, that I was craving some hot sake. The couple sitting next to us just happened to have been at the craft show. Small world! As we were getting ready to leave, the owners of Chopstix came by and inquired about our dining experience. I told Linda, I loved what they had done with the space.

"OH! she exclaimed suddenly very animated, "You must come with me!!" She grabbed my arm and we left Himself at the table with a bewildered look, wondering if we were heading to some underground Opium den, or at the very least I might learn Chopstix's secret to that awesome black bean garlic sauce.

I got the grand tour of the building and an explanation of the design which her son-in-law had done. "He has another restaurant in Shang Hai." Linda explained. He is quite a designer with an eye for color, texture and space. The chinese antiques,such as the celadon urns and armoires were an excellent choice.

I loved the lights and what I thought must be stained bamboo lined walls, and told Linda so.

" I just got back from Shang Hai. The lights, just like the lights you see in the streets of Shang Hai. Very traditional." Linda said proudly.

And it was just a lovely, comfortable effect. Linda's son-in-law is a pro and knows what the heck he's doing. Perhaps he just has a very good eye, but the space is both open and intimate at the same time. Hard to pull off.

She pointed out the vintage advertising prints of pin-up Asian women of decades long ago, hawking everything from cigarettes to shoes.

"See those shoes? Just like shoes from the old days. My grandmother had shoes like that- very tiny feet." Linda pantomimed how small her grandmother's feet were. She told me about the ancient practice of Chinese foot binding.

"Terrible what they made the women do. Bind their feet so they couldn't run away!" She laughed.

"It's hell being a woman sometimes in any culture." I agreed. I'd never let anybody bind my feet. I'd read horror stories of the deformity and the terrible smells of the foot that caved in on itself like a claw, making it difficult to wash. Women couldn't run. Only teensy little steps could be taken, and it resulted from this barbaric practice of foot binding. Chinese women of yesteryear would have to take mincing steps just to get from point A to point B. Adding insult to injury, being brainwashed into thinking it made them look more delicate to take tiny steps, when in reality they were almost like concubines in their own families. China has such a deep, rich culture that has influenced so many Westerners. But aren't we lucky that particular practice never came in to vogue? Western women would not have stood for it. They would have put their foot down. Bad pun.

The hot sake was making me feel very sleepy. I had no voice left to speak. I told Linda I would be back and hopefully before the next craft show. What a day. The ancient art of American craft and ending the day with an impromptu tour of one of Petaluma's finest Chinese food restaurants, hot sake and a lesson in Chinese foot binding.

Only in Petaluma.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Petaluma Holiday Arts & Crafts Boutique

Our Lady of the Market is hosting a holiday arts and craft boutique this coming week-end. We at the Petaluma Craft Mafia are pleased to be a part of this craft fair as we are very fond of our local Farmer's Market and the lady who runs it. Your's truly plans to be there, representing the Petaluma Craft Mafia. Yes, PCM is in our own crafty hood this week-end. Yaay!

It feels good to be home doing a craft show. And it's at Hermann Sons Hall which is beginning to feel like home to this feisty crafter. I feel very comfortable here. Hermann Sons Hall is small, true, but it has good, um, feng chei you might say.

The Holiday Arts and Craft Boutique is sponsored by Petaluma Farmer's Market. We plan to donate a few items for the nifty raffle, and you can count on local unique items such as handmade jewelry, decorations, stationery and greeting cards, (Ahem I wonder who that could be?), bath items, dried fruits, jams and jellies and oodles of holiday baked goods and hot foods served up by Molly from the Tea House. Lots of local goodness to partake in.

Hark? What is that I hear? Angels? No, it sounds like ... live entertainment. Yes! Bruce Sexauer and Friends will join us to give us some music to feed the soul.

See you there!

December 8th, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Hermann Sons Hall
860 Western Ave.
Petaluma, CA 94952

How Bizaare!

It's that time of year. San Francisco's annual Bazaar Bizaare Fest is upon us and just in time for the holidaze, I mean holidays.

We plan to check it out and see if Petaluma Craft Mafia is bizaare enough to meet Bazaar's standards. I think the answer is most likely, yes. In fact, why would we even question it?

Mrs. Grossman's, a Petaluma favorite and Craftzine will be just one of the sponsors at this year's Bizaare event. Promises to be a famously bizaare time with mucho goodies for your gifting pleasure.

Bazaar Bizaare San Francisco,
Saturday December 15, 2007
11:00am - 6:00pm

San Francisco County Fair Building
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

$1 at the door

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Smells like Moxie

Happy December! We're ramping up things for the Holidays and planning to have a rockin' 2008 for Petaluma Craft Mafia. I just put the holiday banner up on the PCM blogspot and will look for a few holiday tunes to take us into the New Year.

I just got the Petaluma Craft Mafia postcard promos designed, and realized Moxieville is looking a little sadly slim in the promo and swag department. Woe is me. No buttons, postcards, nothing. So, I brought out my squirrels, acorns and oak trees, (all Moxie mascots you know). Where I ended up with the postcards was a surprise even to me. My brain does work in mysterious ways. 'Smell's like Moxie Spirit' is what I ended up with at the end of the eve. Kitschy and a bit silly.

Moxieville logo has always been very classic, but not too serious, I hope! So, when I came up with the idea of scratch n' sniff postcards a few months back, I had a good chuckle. Ridiculous, but then having a squirrel as your company mascot is not exactly un-ridiculous. (I do believe I've made up a new word). So, tonight I put a little rough comp of Moxieville postcard together, and will work out the design details later. I've no idea why I designed something so difficult, as scratch n' sniff design is foreign to me.

I asked Anna for her advice on this, as she is the scent and bath goddess in this crazy craft famiglia of ours, but she wasn't sure how it would fly. Scented oil's would simply stain the paper, even though it's coated and glossy. None of us are clear on how scratch n' sniffs work exactly and are produced. Maybe an alcohol based spritz scent would work? I think the way scratch n' sniffs are actually designed, is that the scent is applied layer under layer. Then printed layer over layer? Therefore, when you scratch it, you eventually wear away the surface layers to get to the next layer of scent. But this is just a theory.

As we are on a budget, I'm looking for ways to make this work on the home-grown level. I've been wanting to do a scratch n' sniff item for years. I'm thinking of oranges or lemons, something fresh and citrusy. We'll keep you posted ... in the meantime, any scratch n' sniff experts out there, be sure to give me a holler!

In the meantime, all my frolicking Sag friends out there, happy birthday!