Monday, December 8, 2008

All in the Famiglia: An Interview with Rain's Embellishments




Family. There is nothing quite like family, that is unless it's crafty famiglia, and we are so lucky to have Lorrain Garcia , aka, "Rains Embellishments" as a fellow crafty sister in this big crafty famiglia called the "Craft Mafia."

I first met Rain when she joined us for the Petaluma Craft Mafia's first show, "Craftaluma."
Rain is part of our big extended crafty famiglia, and she is part of the extraordinarily talented Sacramento Craft Mafia.

We love our Capitol City Crafty gals! Here is what I know about Lorrain, not only is she a kick-ass talented jewelry and bauble maker, she also has a fine sense of humor, is an accomplished cupcake baker and one of the best dressers I know. She and I share a deep fondness for owls, (you've all seen my owl necklace she made). Lorrain has a generous heart and not one mean bone in her body. She's also an Aquarius for those of you who were wondering. And oh, psst...she's also baaack! We are thrilled because she and some her crafty Sacramento Craft Mafia sisters are joining us for "Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular." Nope, there is nothing like famiglia. And we are thrilled to have them with us!

C: Okay Ms. Rain, please tell us how you came up with the name of your crafty enterprise.
L: Hey there! My name is Lorrain Garcia, my business is Rain's Embellishments. My business name just sort of came into being because it's my nickname Rain: I use to hang out all the time at my bf's house in grade school. She had a little brother who had a hard time saying Lorrain. Whenever he would talk to me he would call out "My Rain" it was so cute it stuck! And Embellishments because my jewelry is my embellishment!

C: Where are you located?
L: Sacramento, CA

C: Hometown?
L: Sactown!


C: Yay Sactown!! Home of Merlino's Orange Freeze and the Sacramento Craft Mafia!! Tell the folks what it is that you make.
L: Currently I've been working with enameled flower pieces, (sugar)skulls & owls!
My three favorite things of the moment. I take a variety of different beads an mold them into
necklace pendants, earrings and bracelets.


C: What is your favorite and least favorite thing about what you do?
L: I love making things with my hands! It really gives me a sense of accomplishment to take different random elements and make them into something to wear! Sometimes it's heart-breaking to sell a piece that I've fallen in love with. Other times I just think I'm making items to add to my ever-growing collection! I'll stay up many a night on a creative binge and then wake up in the morning with sore wrists & hands! I'd have to say that over-working my hands is a major draw-back. Over the summer I was actually having a real hard time with my wrists hurting, so I wasn't able to create that much. I've had to train myself to stretch before I work. Sometimes I forget, but my joints always remind me when I do!

C: Oh boy. Do I know that feeling. I used to ignore it - until one day it refused to be ignored! The pain and numbness started shooting up my shoulder and neck. Still, the pain is worth the creative binges. Speaking of which, what brings you creative inspiration?
L: Sometimes it's as easy as visiting a bead store or fabric store. Other times it's from walking through a gallery or museum...being influenced by other peoples art. Sometimes it's a minor suggestion that someone gives me. I've actually dreamt a piece of jewelry into being! I know it kinda sounds hokey, but I have definitely dreamt about placing certain colors together or various beads.

C: It's not "hokey." I'm a dreamer myself, and trust dreams and intuition. Anytime I've gone against my intuition is when things tend to go awry! Clearly, your dreams are working for you Rain. I sense an extra dimension at play when I look at your work. You have a richness and depth in your color palette as well as the design elements in your pieces. You are fearless, and I tend to admire courage and kindness in all aspects of life. What advice would you give to a designer who wanted to start a business such as yours?
L: For one thing, I have found that there are A LOT of jewelry designers out there! So I definitely recommend that you find your niche! Figure out what makes your pieces yours...figure out your "signature"!
Try something different that sets you apart! That's what your audience will notice!

C: Do you have any exciting news or future business plans you'd like to
share?
L: Shh... it's a secret!

C: Gotcha. We gotta keep it on the "down-low" in the Mafia. LOL! Do you have any favorite crafty haunts?
L: Geez! Where do I start? I love bead stores, fabric stores, scrapbook shops....I loved the bead store I use to work at with all my heart! Sadly, BeadWorks closed two years ago! I do love visiting The Bead Fetish & Piece of Mind, Beverly's Fabric & Crafts, Rumpelstiltskin, The Scrapbook Station, Fire & Rain, Art Gallery, The Crocker...funny enough, Empire Comics, craft night at a friends house - and for that matter, my mom's sewing room!

C: Curve ball question: Sean Connery or Roger Moore?
L: Man, are you kidding, Sean Connery! He's still sexy!

C; It's that Scottish brogue, you can't figure out what the devil he's saying! Tres sexy in it's confusion! What is your favorite midnight snack?
L: Cookies & ice cream!

C: Nummy! Hard question now, Favorite book and movie?
L: Lordy, ya know... there are just too many wonderful ones to name! Empire Records, Reality Bites, Sex and the City, Anam Cara, Love Story, Harry Potter 1-7, if there is ever a Buffy movie based off the TV show, that would most definitely be on top! High Fidelity, gosh, Frida, practically anything by Michele Gondry or Sophia Coppola, the early works of V.C. Andrews...dude, I know I'm missing some other great material! Most any art book
with Frida Khalo, Gustav Klimt or Alphonse Mucha!

C: Le sigh. All excellent choices. Love Story, even the theme song to the movie makes me get a big 'ol painful lump in my throat. I can't handle it. Harry P. rocks. I'm a huge John Cusack fan. I wanna marry him when I grow up and together we shall have fifteen crafty children and a purple-painted picket fence with an orange Karman Ghia parked in front. Someday, Rain, we are just going to have to have a big 'ol sister city movie and dinner craftalong in each of our fair towns. Let's make it happen! Okay, the dinner party question, your throwing a dinner party, who would you invite and why?
L: My Grandma Carmen because I miss her laughter! My mom, sis, niece, dad, bf Chris, and my other bffs Amanda & Erin all because they are all the people I depend on the most! And when I close my eyes, they are the people I see sitting around the table! I could probably name other "famous" people, but really, I think I would just be too nervous to eat and I'd rather be enjoying the delicious meal full of warmth and laughter!

C: Now that is a typical Rain response, and why we love you so much! Thank you darlin' and we can't wait to see you and your sisters next Saturday in Petaluma!

You can find more Rain Goodness here at her blog and more about our crafty cool sisters in Sacramento right over here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Twin Crow Studios








Courtney Cerruti of Twin Crow Studios was one of our amazing vendors at Craftaluma. I was thrilled to have her join us again for our upcoming show, as her world of bell jars, re-purposed tea cups, mushrooms, and other assorted flora and fauna of beauty and kitsch; all drew me. I wouldn't mind living in a Courtney Cerruti made world!

C: Hi Courtney, what's the name of your business and how did you come up with it?
CC: Twin Crow Studios was created out of a brainstorm between me and my boyfriend. I love birds and bird imagery and I have a bit of a bird nature in my collection of seemingly random bits of things, paper, string, objects etc. I use twin imagery in my drawings and ATCs and it also

C: Where are you located?
CC: the Bay Area

C: Hometown?
CC: Oakland, CA

C: What is it that you make?
CC: I make all things paper. Currently I'm into making miniature paper shoes and miniature worlds in teacups or inside of cloches.

C: What is your favorite and least favorite thing about what you do?
CC: I love making things, its just what I do. My boyfriend's 6 year old says her dad is a good reader and I am a good "maker." She thinks I can make anything!
What I like least about making things is that I don't make enough money in crafts to do just that and nothing else.

C: Where do you find creative inspiration?
CC: Objects, images, beautiful things inspire me. I love saturated color, antique and vintage objects, the beauty in things used, things that have a history. I also like materials, often a discarded piece of metal, a broken nutshell or a piece of moss is enough to get me going on a whole series of work.

C: Any favorite crafty haunts around the bay area you like to visit?
CC: The Alameda Antique Market on the 1st Sunday of the month is a good place to find unusual and old things. But usually just a trip to the thrift store will suffice.

C: Have been wanting to make it out to the Alameda Market. Bless those Thrift stores for their crafty inspiration and goodness! Courtney, what advice would you give to a designer who wanted to start a business such as yours?
CC: Make stuff and see what happens.

C: Mmmhmm... Do you have any exciting news or future business plans you'd like to share?
CC:Visit my blog to see what's new!

C: Sure will. Now what the folks really wanna know is, Sean Connery or Roger Moore?
CC: Sean Connery.

C: LOL! You were expecting that one. Finally Sean stands a chance in this Roger Moore biased blog! :) What is your favorite midnight snack?
CC: Tea and chocolate chips with Mila (my boyfriend's 3 year old)

C: That could certainly lead me astray in the midnight-hour for sure. Favorite book and movie?
CC: Anything by Toni Morrison, and Bleu with Juliet Binoche

C: I'm a huge Juliet Binoche fan, in my minds eye, I had cast her in "Chocolat" years before the film came out! Okay Courtney, If you were throwing a dinner party, who would you invite (living or not living) and why?
CC: Other than my boyfriend, I would invite Frida Kahlo, Maria Janosko, Marilyn Manson, Nathalie Cheung, da Vinci, and Morgan Freeman. I was in love with MM when I was in high school and how often do you get to live out a high school fantasy? Maria because she's hilarious and a good friend, Nathalie because she lives in France and I miss her, Frida because I love her work, da Vinci because he was my first favorite artist and Morgan Freeman because I want him to be my friend.

C: Morgan is the man, would love to have him as my friend and neighbor. He's a cool cat with a big heart. I just might crash that dinner party. Maria Janosko...hmmm, she sounds like one of our crafty vendors! You have great taste in dinner partners Courtney. We will see you both soon at Mafia Made Holiday Crafacular!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Crafty Wren

As I was saying in a prior interview, when the shadows come calling, I feel lucky to gain so much inspiration from my fellow craftisans. We had Wrenay Charlton, aka, "Whimsy" 'and her other business venture "The Crafty Wren" at our first show Craftaluma. I adore Wrenay not just for her positive and creative spirit, but also because she is a joy to be around, and lucky for us joy is contagious. One thing we can promise you is that Wrenay is one crafty chick!


C: Okay, Ms. Wrenay, I'm a big fan of your crafty wares, but tell the folks who may not be familiar all about your crafty self.
W: "I actually have 2 businesses; Whimsy & The Crafty Wren
Whimsy came about as a way to frame all the things I make. I like to dabble in different arts and crafts, so I felt it best to come up with a name that describes the mood and feel of my products."

"The Crafty Wren" developed out of "Whimsy" I started to make jewelry from my art and recycled materials. I wanted to separate the jewelry from all of the other goodies I make, so I decided to create the secondary business. My name is Wrenay, but my friends and family call me Wren, so that's where the Wren comes from.

C: Where are you located?
W: Crockett, California. Never heard of it? I'm not surprised! Crockett is actually in the East Bay, off of Hwy 80. It is the last exit before you cross the Carquinez Bridge into Vallejo. It's really a sweet little town, and home to the C&H sugar factory.

C: Oh, I know where Crockett is! If there's a sugar factory you can bet I know my way there. I can see a visual on those tall sugar stacks in my mind's eye when I cross the bridge! Me and Crockett go waaaay back! :)

C: Hometown?
W: Los Angeles, CA.

C: What is it that you make?
W: I love experimenting with new processes and materials. I always have something in development! Currently, my focus is on paper goods, plush creatures, and pendants.

C: What is your favorite and least favorite thing about what you do?
W: For me, the process is always the most interesting and fun part of creating something. There is always a new discovery along the way, so I am constantly learning how to improve the final piece, or coming up with something new. I guess the least favorite part of creating is the clean up!

C: Amen, to that I'm a bit of a neat freak, but lately my desk has exploded. What brings you creative inspiration?
W: My schedule is pretty hectic, so I tend to appreciate the quiet moments and I give myself at least 15 minutes each day to sketch down ideas, and thoughts. Lots of those seeds turn into my creations. Music, nature, my kid's laughing, all hugely inspiring as well!

C: What advice would you give to a designer who wanted to start a business such as yours?
W: First and foremost, love what you do and be your own biggest cheerleader! When you make the leap from creating for recreation, to creating for business, you spend a ton of time marketing your work. I cannot stress how important it is to do your research, get your paperwork in order and network as much as possible. A great book to read when you are ready to take the leap is Craft, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco

C: Do you have any exciting news or future business plans you'd like to share?
W: My products are now being sold in brick & mortar stores throughout the bay area. One of my goals for this year was to make connections to get my work off-line and into boutiques, so I am very happy to have met this goal.

C: Send me your links to the brick and mortar before you walk away Wrenay. ;) Okay, I'm gonna throw you off track here a bit, Sean Connery or Roger Moore? :)
W: hee hee. Roger Moore

C: What is your favorite midnight snack?
W: Pizza!

C: Favorite book and movie?
W:There are so many…
My current favs:
Fiction book: A Lion Among Men (from the Wicked series)
Fine Art book: By Hand, a look at craft in contemporary art practices
Movie: I'm really behind on movies. One of top 3 of all time is Cinema Paradiso

C: I wanna go see "Wicked" in the city! Love Cinema Paradiso, too! Okay Wrenay,Your throwing a dinner party, who would you invite (living or not living) and why?
W: Mae West-someone has to be brasher than I, since I will be hosting!
Ryan Adams-love his music and he could entertain during any lull in the festivities
Jack Black-for obvious reasons
Yoko Ono-aww, poor yoko…has she finally overcome the Beatles, "killer" stigma?!! I think so. She is an amazing conceptual artist.

C: I'd better be getting an invite to that dinner party! Please seat me between Jack and Mae...or better yet Jack and Ryan, I promise to behave.
Thank you Wrenay Charlton, and we will see you at Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular quite soon!


You may find The Crafty Wrens' goodies right here, lookie.


Crafty wren

Urban Legend (crafty wren)

Ornaments (crafty wren)

Black bird (Crafty Wren)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Velvet & Tweed




Working solista in the creative field certainly has it's highs and lows. Even in this downslide economy, I'd still take working for myself, and all the risks that come with that, then working for "the man" in a corner office cubicle again, le odor of burnt microwave popcorn wafting down the blue industrial carpeted, bad fluorescent lit hallways, the lonnnng meetings that seem to go nowhere, but offer a great excuse to order in Thai food for everyone. And there always seems to be at least one manic and crazy-eyed co-worker everyone is afraid will go off the deep end someday and maybe take a few of us down in the process. Zoikes! Nope, I sure don't miss those days at all, even when it's so tempting to pack it all in and receive a hard earned fat regular paycheck with paid vacation and benefits again.

It's not easy wearing all the hats sometimes, and though it's self imposed, in order not to burn out I often look for inspiration and guidance from others in the creative field. I learn a lot from these women (and men) and am inspired again and again by these generous and talented folks who like me, are risk takers at heart.

Enter, Tina Schreiber of "Velvet & Tweed." Tina found me on one of my blogs, (I've been a bad, bad blogger of late). Tina's shop is an adorable
infant and toddler's clothing shop in the city, and she is one of our many talented vendors joining us for Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular. I liked her and her chosen craft immediately, and though she's made her home in San Francisco, she's a midwestern gal from Cleveland, Ohio, with a midwesterner's sensibility, and a fine mind to dream and create with. Her love of her chosen craft of well-made children's clothing is obvious and her eye for wonderful design and fabric shines through. Psst. I'm a sucker for a finely outfitted dapper little dude, and the lovely laughing little ladies modeling Velvet & Tweed's fine collections.

C: Welcome Tina, please tell us how did you come up with the name of your business Velvet & Tweed?
T: The name came from a passion for textiles, their textures, colors, and ability to transform a simple frock into something that evokes emotion and creates memories. When looking back on photos from a first Christmas or a family picnic, it is wonderful to remember how your little girl twirled in her favorite dress, or how dapper your little boy looked on grandpa's lap. Fabric such as tweed, velvet, pink silk, and crisp cotton can turn an ordinary outfit into something really special.


C: Where are you located?
T: San Francisco


C: Your hometown?
T: Cleveland, OH


C: What is it that you make?
T: "We design and make special occasion clothing for infants & toddlers, intended to be timeless and lovely, heirloom outfits that can be passed down for generations."


C: What is your favorite and least favorite thing about what you do?
T: "My favorite thing about what we do is seeing the reactions of moms & dads to our clothing-- the look of nostalgia and an innocence captured for their little ones. After all, children grow up quickly; there is no need to rush it! My least favorite thing about what we do is finding enough time in the day to do everything we want to do for this amazing brand!"


C: Tina, what brings you creative inspiration?
T: "My creative inspiration comes from my childhood. My parents had lots of diverse interests and I always wanted to be involved: from sewing and baking to camping and woodworking. These wonderful childhood memories inspired me to capture these moments in design: the perfect garden party dress, the sweetest pink birthday party dress, or the coziest corduroy jacket."


C: What advice would you give to a young designer who wanted to start a business such as yours?
T: "Get as much experience as you can in your field. Realize that you can learn a great deal from working for big companies and finding mentors to guide you. Your perfect business will reveal itself with the experience you've collected."


C: Do you have any exciting news or future business plans you'd like to share?
T: "Our most exciting news is how quickly we are growing and how well received we are by the most beautiful baby boutiques across the country and around the world! Internationally, we can be found in Australia and Norway!"

C: That is wonderful news! Velvet & Tweed going international. And speaking of inernational, or international man of mystery that is, Sean Connery or Roger Moore?
T: "Roger Moore (but actually, I'd like to nominate a candidate: Daniel Craig!")


C: LOL! I'd have to agree with that one, Roger Moore is infinitely more interesting then Sean Connery, devilish glint in his eye as though he is in on a private joke with you. And Daniel C. isn't too shabby either, we almost share a birthday!

C: A lot of us creatives burn the midnight oil, I'm one of them and often find myself on a weird eating schedule not in sync with my 9-5 friends. What is your favorite midnight snack?
T: "Cheese & Crackers!"


C: Thatta girl! And in my book, the stinkier the cheese, the better! Favorite book and movie?
T: Favorite Book: "Water for Elephants."

C: I loved Water for Elephants! I read it when it first came out, it was my inspiration for Craftaluma. Plus, I have a major soft spot for Elephants, and am sickened by how they are mistreated in captivity and hunted down for their tusks in the wild. Do you have a favorite movie?
T: (at the moment) "Miracle on 34th Street."


C: Your throwing a dinner party, who would you invite (living or not living) and why?
T: "My closest girlfriends (4 of the most inspiring, fun, professional women ever), Martha Stewart (my role model), and my boyfriend (lucky guy to be surrounded by such amazing women!). Oh, and Julia Childs as the chef, and Bing Crosby to sing while we dine."

C: It's so important for women and entrepreneurs to surround themselves with supportive great gals and cronies, I'm totally down with that. Thanks Tina. I can't wait to see you soon at Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular!


You can find boutiques that carry Tina's delightful wares at:

Velvet & Tweed
http://www.velvetandtweed.com

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Have you been Naughty or Nice?





Just thirty-six (3-6) more days until Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular!! (le Gasp)!!

I feel like a multi-tasking Elf amped on caffeine, stress and red vines, busy putting the Holiday Craftacular site together, swag, vendors, sponsors, canoodling around town with the crafty famiglia handing out posters, postcards and charming and okay some extortion of our local and very supportive sponsors. :) Kidding, really, no "protection fees" have yet been mentioned.

Crikey! I haven't even pressed one single Moxieville card yet! Why does this seem familiar? Ack! It's just my job to stress a bit, I suppose, whilst hatching and making the crafty plans come to fruition. Yes, some pretty busy elves we be.

We have a great show planned! We've assembled some of the hippest and awe inspiring professional crafty DIY'ers you ever saw, (they are SO together!)- I'll betcha a hot butterered rum that your shopping list items will miraculously get checked off one -by-one before you know it. Don't go for the bland, go for the grand, unique handmade this holiday season. Our crafty vendors can dish it out. This ain't your dear granny's craft show, but y'all know that by now! But certainly bring your dear granny to the show, I'll bet she'll be inspired by how much craft has progressed.

And the question is, have you been naughty or nice? A little of both? Regardless, you owe it to yourself this busy holiday season to join Petaluma's Crafty First Famiglia for some holiday crafty merrymaking and mischief. Meet the Petaluma Craft Mafia under the mistletoe with your favorite beverage and get down to some serious, awe-inspiring shopping with local talent and some inspiring gorgeous crafts from some of the most prolific DIY'ers south of the north pole. Dang!
We have a super talented photographer who will be a vendor this year, and rumor has it she'll be taking holiday pictures, so you'll want to be sure to get some holiday memories all the while grooving to some Sonoma County's finest homegrown bands.

We're counting the days here at the Petaluma Craft Mafia until Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular, and we can't wait to see you December 13th at the Petaluma Veteran's Hall!! Don't forget we have some mighty fine raffles,so save your ticket receipt at the door for a chance to win some way cool swag and prizes.

Don't forget to bring a toy for tots and get an extra raffle ticket!

P.S. Happy Birthday to all you November peeps in the house! Scorpios , just rock! xoxo!


Cheers,

Ms. Moxie and the PCM

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mafia Made "HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR!!"



Dreams of holiday tinsel and Sugar Plum fairies waltzing through your head? Have you ever wanted to meet Bumble the abominable snowman from "Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer?" Stir that together with a sprinkle of Nightmare before Christmas and you have Mafia Made HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR! You can bet your candy-cane striped toe socks, we've got another crazy show planned!

The Petaluma Craft Mafia is pleased to announce our first annual holiday show, "Mafia Made HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR" to debut on Saturday, December 13th from eleven to five at the Petaluma Veteran's Hall.

Our first show CRAFTALUMA was such a success, we keep getting requests for when we would have another show, so we decided to put together a holiday show with some of the most talented DIY'ers, crafty crafters and kick-ass artisans we could assemble - that includes you!

We will have plenty of crafty how-to demos from many of our inspiring and talented vendors. Mojo talented and local live entertainment from the ever-fresh and pretty dang crafty themselves, Bluebellies and adorable Gabby LaLa. You'll be thrilled to know that the Petaluma Craft Mafia plans to have another crafty raffle. **Vendors, (please send us your swag and any goodies you would love some lucky person to have to promote your wares and your crafty company). Swag bags to the first 50 folks through the door. Our theme is a Retro Winter Wonderland with a hint of kitsch and a bit of underground fantasical Holiday flavor going on -remember, this ain't your dear granny's craft show. Bumble the Abominable snow man may drop by and take pictures with the young folk...and you never know who else....

Get your Holiday Shopping done in one fell swoop, and come away inspired by our crafty cast of characters this year at Mafia Made HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR. Belly up to our decorate your own christmas cookie and cupcake table... I might have to find an excuse to work that table...hmmmm...


** VENDORS: Vendors, applications are now available, Send me an e-mail (here or at cheryl@petalumacraftmafia.com) and I can forward you an application. FYI: This show is for Crafty, DIY, craft and art, items only, no re-sale or multi-level marketing items, thank you! I'm working on the downloadable application and website as we did for CRAFTALUMA in my spare time, so please be patient. :)

** SPONSORS: Please contact cheryl@petalumacraftmafia.com if you are interested in sponsorship and/demo table.

Show attendees and adoring public: We heart you! Thanks for coming out to support your crafty famiglia and their friends at CRAFTALUMA, and making our first show such a success. We couldn't have done it without you!

HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR starts at noon and admission is 2 dollars. You will get a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of our awesome crafty prizes, and if you bring a toy for our "Toys for Tots" you will automatically get another chance at the raffle. Children under 16 are free. Crafto'licious swag bags for the first 100 folks through the door!

Come on down and meet Petaluma's Crafty famiglia, we'll have a jolly 'ol tinse'licious time!

Cheers,

Cheryl and the PCM


"Mafia Made" HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR
Saturday, 11-5 December 13th, 2008
Petaluma Veteran's Memorial Hall
1094 Petaluma Boulevard South
Petaluma, CA 94952

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

PCM does Des Arts in San Francisco

As I was saying in a much earlier blog, the line between fine art and craft gets very blurry ..especially after a few mai tai's.

Love Art? Wanna support emerging, talented artists, oggle some mighty fine art AND juggle your cocktail in one hand? Well, tomorrow night is your chance to do JUST that.

Elaine Barr of Rock n' Roll Crafts and Stencil1, an esteemed member of the PCM is heading on down to the sweet little city by the bay tomorrow night for her very first art show...go Elaine!


Here's the particulars:


NEW ART 08
September 17

HOTEL DES ARTS
447 BUSH (at Grant)
5:30 PM - 9:30 PM

featuring DJs:
SAMALA + ZAI + TOM THUMP

Free Drinks... yep, free drinks ...need we say more

• over 500 original works of art from emerging artists

• 100% of sales go to the artists..
• bring a checkbook + support emerging artists DIRECTLY

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Petaluma's Crafty First Famiglia


Its always kind of a trip to get recognized around town by complete strangers. I guess it's mostly due to my wacky writing and blogging (that I've been waay guilty of not doing much lately). My husband teases me that he feels like he's with a celebrity because, often times than not, we get comped free goodies and food around town, and thus in part why I've stopped blogging so much. Not that I don't appreciate kind folks in town and their generosity, that's really pretty freakin' cool! but it makes me feel kind of weird, and in spite of my rabble-rousing, I'm a pretty private gal. I loathe having my picture taken - just ask my friends, family or Elaine, who is often witness to me diving under tables and pulling disappearing acts when she gets her camera out. I was an Aborigine in another life. But blogging is my way to connect with my community in relative anonymity, and allows me to exercise another form of creativity.

Not that all my blogs have been hearts and flowers mind you, hey "truthiness" in journalism is important, and at least one or three reviews have not escaped my truthy if poisonous pen. :) But right now, things are uber busy around Moxieville, but I see more blogs on the horizon soon....shudder, some of you! ;) Be very afraid! :)

Some folks in Petaluma may know and heart my awesome crafty famiglia as well. I heart them too, and the unique talents and personality they bring to our famiglia. We're planning on doing a series of crafty film shorts, and a photo shoot soon for some promos. We are working with a talented local Indie Film maker, Don Lewis, "Hey Don!" And, we are cooking up some great ideas sure to set me off laughing so hard, that I won't be able to craft and keep a straight face during the shoot. but I don't believe you can ever be too rich or laugh too much ...or eat too many apple fritters. And though none of us may be rich, we are wealthy with laughter and have a great time. Now if I can manage not to bale under a tree or table during the shoot, it's gonna be a hoot! And we've not shortage of ideas and materials to work with! You might see us around Petaluma with Don, and if so, stop by and say "howdy!"

Speaking of my uber crafty sistahs, here is a shot of our crafty famiglia, (the core) goofing it up at a local Mexican joint. (they had to shut the joint down after we got through with it)!

From left to right is, Felt Baron, Moxieville (moi), Rock n' Roll Crafts and Pincurls and Peacoats. Motley crew we are, and dangerously crafty!

I'll be posting our film short here and on my various other blogs around cyberspace, so look for PCM , "Girls on Film" soon!

xoxo.
C.

Rejoice, working girls who heart handmade jewelry!



Okay, ya'll know I heart Jen Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club (very important to add "club" when googling Naughty Secretary) to death ...and I haven't even met her yet, she along with my mum are probably the sole reason I got back into crafting.

As an illustrator, I'm always trying to find new media in which to work my own original art into, and being a huge fan of resin, it was Jen's jewels that got me hooked on resin. She has a funky and unique spin on her jewelry which just speaks to me; Kitsch, soul and fun.
So, I've been anxiously tapping my foot waiting for her new book to come out, and at last it has! Woo hoo! My local bookstore, Copperfields, called me last week and delivered the good news!

I can't wait to get my hands on a brand spankin' new copy of, The Naughty Secretary, "The Working Girl's Guide to Handmade Jewelry".... I love that Jen adds all kinds of fun tips, recipes - that's my kind of book!

Check it out now, hot off the presses!

Pom Thangs!



So, you may think Petaluma's Craft First Family had been drinking one too many craftini's (oh yes, a special PCM martini recipe) while dipping into the pom poms one crafty afternoon.

Nope, just coffee and birthday cake at this crafty meeting one lovely, sunny morning.
We decided we needed to leave business on the back burner and do some craft for some promos I'd concocted. My vague goal was to make "chicks" as P-Town is famous for our chickens, butter and eggs, film galore and of course wrist wrasslin' - yup, we got it all! However, I'd never worked with poms before, so my plan, per usual was off the cuff.

As these things go, sometimes you just can't premeditate, and as we talked we sort of got in a "craft zen" (you crafters know what I'm talking about) and our Pom Pom chicks, came out looking like bugs, chicks and punk rockers - -even a few KISS look-alikes in the bunch.

So, I'm not sure If we are gonna use these as promos or not (LOL) but they were hella fun to make, and I was amazed to see what my crafty famiglia came up with out of felt scrap, glue and pom poms. They did me proud with their ingenuity! Check 'em out. High art or low art, who cares? Making Pom Thangs works up an appetite, and so we celebrated Elaine's birthday with a great 'ol cake Allison baked, yummmers!

A great project to do with kiddies on a rainy day or at a make n' take table at our next craft fair ...hmmmm.

Happy birthday to all my Leo lions and lionesses,

Monday, July 28, 2008

PCM wins Arte y Pico Award!


Aww. I was just informed that our little blog over here at PCM, was chosen by a very talented blogger herself, Elaine Barr, and awarded the mucho coveted Arte y Pico Award! Whooo hooo!

So, when I find some time I mean to pay the Pico Award forward and choose five blogs I heart to pieces too. You know, so many blogs so little time! Thanks and mucho appreciato!

Cheers!


About Arte Y Pico Award...
The Arte y Pico Award is meant to be paid forward to five bloggers who you want to recognize for their creative talents, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community...helping to make the world a better place, one blog pots at a time!Now it's your turn...If you have been selected for the award, please pay it forward, following the steps below:1) Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.2) Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog so everyone can view it.3) Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.4) The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the "Arte y pico" blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.5) Please post these rules! - Be my guest to copy and paste from here..The Arte y Pico blog is in Spanish.To read it in English, click here. The translation is not perfect.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Artsy - Craftsy go together like ...

Okay. I don't know about you my fellow crafty compatriots, but do you ever get sick and tired of people asking the difference between "arts and crafts?"

I do! They always look at me, with that "look", as if I hold the answer to global warming, or third -world famine. You know what I mean? It happens at the most inopportune moments too, like at a party, you're juggling your blackberry margarita in one hand and a deep-fried cheeseball in the other, when you find yourself cornered, as your sneaking in a quick double-dipping of your chip. You think your about to get chided for such a careless display of hygiene, when instead you're asked "So, tell me, Cheryl, you're a crafter, explain the difference between craft and art?" This is generally, followed up with a quick disclaimer such as, "Oh, I'm an oil painter, by the way."

Crafty girls and boys, how often have you found yourself in this same scenario? Not long ago, I found myself cornered at the supermarket by a very earnest man, who seemed puzzled by my answer. He seemed to be looking for a definitive and concrete answer to this pressing question. He finally decided that he agreed with me. It was a strange conversation, but it got me thinking. I mean, why is it so important for people to segregate the two, or at the very least try to compare and categorize?

Guess what? My answer is that I do not separate the two. I know my artsy friends with the expensive degrees feel terribly slighted by my theory on arts and crafts, but I don't care. Craft has always been artsy and art has always been crafty. End of story.

If I had to break it down in a simplified manner, I might say that perhaps craft, or "craftsmanship" used to be assigned to the category of goods and products that were made out of necessity for humans to live and function comfortably. You need blankets, throws quilts to stay warm and cover you, hence, a necessary part of living life in relative comfort. You need a pair of shoes, you need a roof over your head, or pottery, or paper goods to write and express or communicate upon. However, nobody said these goods had to be pretty, just functional. But somewhere along the line, craftisans from way back decided that beauty in everyday, functional objects was important too. Look at ancient native Americans and their beading, basketry, etc. Look at any European immigrant and their needlework embroidery on such functional items as pillowcases and linens, tablecloths.

Art, is it a necessity? Can you live without that sculpture or water color painting, or that beootiful ring?

Some would argue that beauty is not a necessity. But I happen to think that what appeals to the eye, warms the heart, and is what makes us human. I think we crave to experience other human expression in it's varied art form, from music to drawing. So, I argue that art is craft, and craft is art.

In this crafter girl's head anyway, arts and crafts are like peanut butter and jelly. You cannot separate them. Why would anybody want to? A misplaced sense of elitism? I generally get sneers on my theory from the art camp, not the craft camp, but occasionally a craftisan will decry my theory and a few of you craftisans can be every bit as elitist as the artisans. ;)

I just got back from Portland last week. I heart Portland, with it's love of nature, awesome bookstores and coffee, and I love how Portandians aren't afraid to take on a good topic and rant about it - in a constructive way.

It was by sheer coincidence that I'd had this topic on the brain, when I came across an article in the Portland Mercury entitled, "Is it Art? or is it Craft? " You know that got my attention!
It seems my beloved Portland agrees with this crafty blogger's theory. So much so, they even opened a museum dedicated to just that, The Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft.

The museum was founded in 1937, seeing an evolution of American craft evolve and explode in the 1970's (yes, I remember my mum was HUGE into macrame). Since then, the 80's and 90's took a new perspective on craft from a fine arts point of view. Allegedly, it was during this period that Craft took on an "identity crisis." Now, from my perspective I'd say that it was the fine arts camp crying "foul" about that. But, I digress.

Here we are in the infancy of the 21st century, and critics ( don't we love to hate 'em) are now calling this new craft revolution which was spawned in America and now hitting the UK hard, "promiscuous." Le sigh.
Borders are dissolving, and this makes some folks mighty uncomfortable. Craft has always been rich and complex, and some craftistas are just wickedly fun and inventive with their chosen craft/art. Nothing wrong with that.

The curator at PDX, Namita Gupta Wiggners is a brave visionary, and I for one, admire her work. Wiggners says that, "We want to stay flexible, We think of 'craft' as a subject, as a verb, and through a range of perspectives." Amen, sistah, is all I have to say.

The PDX Craft Museum is a real museum and hosts a 1,000 plus project collection that maps the history of contemporary craft through such outposts as Etsy to Crafty Wonderland and hey, I just know my crafty sisters in the Portland Craft Mafia will be a part of this too.

Little did I know that while I was in Portland, the annual Craft PDX Block Party was going on right on 6th and Davis! Cripes! I missed it, and I was just minutes away.

But that 's what I love about craft and Portland, it's that community feel. You know that if you were to throw a block party, folks would actually come! Much like Petaluma!

So while some folks are still duking it out as to what makes art- art,and craft-craft, I say if you looked around lately at the work our craftisans are making, or took a trip to Craft PDX who showcase such talent, it could change your mind and blur those artsy-craftsy borders forever...and that's not just the blackberry margarita talking.

Happy birthday to my fellow watery sign cousin, you crabby Cancerians!

Monday, June 30, 2008

We done did it!

I know, I sound like a Hee-Haw reject, but I guess my brain is a little fried from Craftaluma, and we sure are proud! Thanks everyone, our attendees, the fabulosa entertainment, our sponsors my entire crafty famiglia and all of you crafty vendors, you sweet craft things you, who make our hearts sing!

I'll post vid and or photos later. I'm done crafted out for now, folks.

Rest, work play and then on to the next show, Petaluma Craft Mafia presents, "Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular!"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Craftaluma!



Craftaluma eve is upon us , and by noon tomorrow, birth shall commence. I once heard one of my former san Francisco Craft Mafia sister's say, she would never have kids and that producing a craft show felt is like giving birth. I can't agree more! :)

So, I'm chill and actually relaxed. Whatever will be, will be. We've had last-minute sick crafters, last minute add-ons, last minute emergencies, a venue change, and uh, some communication issue and disorganization with certain parties pertinent to getting our show on the road, amongst other things, but we're taking it like champs.
It doesn't hurt to have such an awesome famiglia who roll-up their sleeves and pitch in like true famiglia. I am grateful.

Tomorrow we Craftaluma, no turning back now. Cheers!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stuck on Stickers

Okay. You can stop holding your breath now...collectively, Petaluma. The day has arrived!
Exhale.

So get ye down to Mrs. Grossmans on Cypress Avenue and throw a little mad money for a lot of way cool and cute stickers at Mrs. G's. This only happens once a year, so you won't want to miss. I got a first-hand peek at the goodies offered up...and smokes, something for everyone and SO much to choose from!

And even if you're not a stamp book queen, never fear, all kinds of uses and juicy goods to haul away to make any crafter and collage artist happy! Day sleepers, set your alarms, 9:00 - 5:30!

Cheers!

Mrs. Grossman’s
3810 Cypress Drive
Petaluma, CA 94954
mrsgrossmans.com

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's not all apples and oranges



One of the coolest crafters and a member I am proud to call a friend is Tami Lovett-Brumfield. You know the one, she makes the cutie felt veggie and fruits such as oranges, and sour apples ...and a even a few acorns here and there.

Tami discovered when my birthday is a few weeks ago (my birthday was actually in March) and one day after an awesome lunch at Sea Modern Thai here in Petaluma, she surprised me with a belated birthday present. Is she thoughtful or what? Not only is Tami creative, but apparently clever, as she has me figured out as well. She gave me some wonderful bracelets, one an aqua retro aqua bake-lite affair, and the other a double-strand wooden beaded bracelet. I heart them and wear them both all of the time. I hope they make my skinny wrists look bigger!

Oh, but that isn't all, we all know Tami makes just about anything out of felt, and knowing that the acorns, squirrel and Oak Tree are Moxieville icons for my company, she felted me the sweetest acorn magnets as well. Check out the fabulousness of these in the photo. (I paired her felted acorns with my felted squirrel I made last winter, see moxieville blog for the squirrely details).

After seeing my funky squirrel creature I made last winter, (see moxieville blog) she figured he could use a few, uh, nuts to keep him company. I mean, can these felty nuts possibly geet in cuter?...Maybe with some x'd our eyes or something? Acorns gone bad...nutty. Whatever.

Anywho, I think she should consider doing a whole line of these. I also love the ice cream cones, doggies and bones she's been working on. I'm trying to talk her into doing felted sushi, sashimi and ungari with eyeballs...all packaged and barcoded like you find at the A&P. But you won't get a peek here. You'll just have to come see for yourself at Craftaluma.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

CRAFTALUMA: Venue Change

Gather round crafty-cool crafters and craftoholics, due to a plethora of crafty applications, we have been forced to change our venue from our beloved downtown Phoenix Theatre, to the Petaluma Veteran's Hall. Both great venues.

Though we can't stay away from the Phoenix, so expect the PCM to host trunk shows at the Phoenix and a few charity events as well this year.

The new address for Craftaluma, "The Greatest Show on Earth" is:

CRAFTALUMA
Petaluma Veteran's Memorial Hall
1094 South Petaluma Boulevard
Petaluma, CA 94952

(by the bowling alley) ! Huzzah!

Come on down and meet the "notoriously crafty" Petaluma Craft Mafia. (We promise to behave).

See you there!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Craftaluma

The Petaluma Craft Mafia is proud to announce that our own homegrown "Craftaluma" will take place on Sunday, June 29th, 2008 from noon until 5:00 PM. The show will feature local crafters, artists and passionate do-it-yourself-ers (DIY'ers) with hand-made offerings ranging from toys, home accessories, purses, clothing and other accessories, stationery and hand printed greetings, paintings and baby products, bath and beauty products to jewelry, and much more. Shoppers will also get a chance to , participate in crafty demos, make n' takes. Peek into the future and have your fortune told by Madame Kat. See local artists at work. Digg the tunes of local musicians and bands. Awesome goodie bags for the first 50 attendees and raffle tickets are available. Admission to non-vendors is 1 dollar.

Attention Crafty Vendors, wish to strut your awesome crafty stuff? Applications are now available for your convenience to submit online at http://www.craftaluma.com. Vendor application deadline is June 10th. For more info, please see our website or contact petalumacraftmafia@yahoo.com.

Craftaluma, "The Greatest Show on Earth."
June 29th, 2008
Time: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: The Petaluma Veteran's Memorial Hall
1094 South Petaluma Boulevard
Petaluma, CA 94952


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

AltCraft call for Admissions

Listen up my fellow crafters and DIY alternative artists, a little birdie just whispered in my ear that The American Craft Council show in San Francisco is now accepting applications for the AltCraft section, (formerly New Wave). This is a bustling, vibrant opportunity for indie crafters and I just knew y'all wouldn't want to miss it!

This will be American Craft Council's 33rd show in the Bay Area, taking place at Fort Mason Center, on August 15-17. The Council is committed to strengthening ties with emerging artists, and is offering a unique shared loft space to ten artists who will be juried in and will pay a discounted space fee. The deadline is May 23. The show also features wine tastings, live demonstrations and an established crowd of craft devotees.

Ten makers will be juried into this bustling section, which celebrates the populist, experimental and youthful vitality of the renewed handmade movement. Artists who have never exhibited at an American Craft show may apply.

Located on the San Francisco waterfront between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge, this juried show serves a well-established audience of Bay Area craft enthusiasts, including a growing demographic of younger craft admirers. The average booth is valued at $1,000 but as part of the Council’s commitment to indie crafters, the cost of participation is just $300, which includes a 10-ft table in a shared loft space. Plus, there’s no application fee!

The deadline is May 23. Please submit:
• (3) low-resolution images of your work
• A brief description of your work (materials, dimensions, techniques)
• Your contact information (mailing and email addresses)

Send submissions and inquiries to Erika at ebrown@craftcouncil.org.
The subject line should be: San Fran AltCraft Application

Finalists will be announced in June.

Cheers!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mrs. Grossman's Fabulous Warehouse Sale!

Listen up my fellow crafters, collage artists, scrap bookers and sticker aficionados: our own home-grown Mrs. Grossman's is having a craftastic warehouse sale on Friday, June 27th, from 9:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Now, I've been inside the trenches of that warehouse and there are some mighty cool goodies in there! Some of my favs (besides the signature heart sticker include, fabric stickers, artsy paper stickers that just never hit it with the scrap book crowd, and are totally gorgeous!

I scored some cool fabric stickers not long ago poking around in the amazing finds of the warehouse, that looked like ric-rac and am having so much fun with it,and some fabric stickers in ticking stripes and dots that I printed on top of! Very funky and gave a new dimension to my original illustrations.

I urge you to head over first thing with your latte and a big tote to carry all your fabulous finds and bargains galore home in. Your boss will just have to understand that you have priorities before heading into the office on a certain Friday in June. And hey, maybe invite them to come along too! Share the good news and score some points at the same time!

If you sign up here for Mrs. Grossman's newsletter, you'll get to find out first-hand about all future such events and special sales.

So mark your calendars now, 'cause if your like me, those dates get filled fast, and you won't want to miss what our Mrs. Grossman's is bringing to the warehouse sale.

See you there!

Mrs. Grossman’s
3810 Cypress Drive
Petaluma, CA 94954
mrsgrossmans.com

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tag, you're it! ...


F
rankly, I love a good game of tag. Sure do. Do you ever notice you tend to get tagged when you least expect it, or your brain is so engaged elsewhere, that what's left over to return the tagging favor with is mushy grey tissue for brain? I swore I was much more interesting than this, ...but on paper I guess not.

So my crafty friend Elaine over here, done tagged me, (the rascally varmint). See what I mean? I'm starting to sound like Yosemite Sam ... but I've been tagged and I'm a good sport, except when it comes to spelling-bees. (see below for details).

Okay, heads-up y'all because you never know who is gonna get tagged. It's a wild-card. You've been warned.

xo,
Cheryl

this is how it goes:

1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.

2. Post THE RULES on your blog.

3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.

4. Tag 7 people and link to them.

5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.


Here are 7 random facts about me:

1. As a child I decided when I grew-up my vocation in life was to be a mermaid or a bus driver. Neither happened. :)

2. I have a Whoopie Pie named after me. http://www.westcoastwhoopies.com

3. I have a photographic memory due to my synesthesia, and will beat you in a card-game of Concentration every time.

4. I collect vintage and kitschy salt& pepper shakers, and funky head vases.

5. I cannot attempt to speak Spanish without craving Mexican food.

6. I won the spelling bee many times in grade school. Once, in the second-grade because I refused to sit-down after misspelling one word, and nobody noticed. (Still feel guilty about that one).

7. I broke my ribs, twice my first year of college in a nasty car accident. Weeks later after some fast healing, a cute guy asked me to dance at a Halloween party. Apparently he had a jealous GF lurking abouts, who walked up and punched me hard ...in my broken ribs.

Seven bloggers I've tagged...

1. Anna

2. Allison

3. Amy

4. Carrie

5. Colleen

6. Jen

7. Marilyn,

Posted by Cheryl Aronson

Friday, April 18, 2008

Baz Biz/Maker Faire 2008!




Long time no blog, I know. I won't offer up any excuses. Just bizzy around here at Moxieville getting our Craftaluma on and wearing a gazillion hats!

But I pause for a quicky blog because I just had to remind you all to hold on to your felted beanie caps because Baz Biz/Maker Faire San Francisco is just three weeks away!
I know you've been waiting, wondering and anticipating.
Crafty crafters, mad scientists galore this year at Biz/Baz. You won't want to miss this annual extravaganza and discounted tickets are available here until April 25th.
Check out what this year's Faire has to offer right here. We love the folks over at Craftzine who help make this awesome event happen.

This year's event introduces an evening program on Saturday,May 3rd from6-1- featuring Fire Arts, Power Tool Drag Racing, Flaming Lotus Girls, Steampuk Spectacular, Boiler bar, Abney Park, and many, many more treats in store...

The Faire has grown to over 400 makes this year, which is just incredible! The Crucible, Swap-O-Rama Rama (yes!) Bazaar Bizaare, Cyclecide, MakerKids, TechShop, Neverwas Haul, Homegrown Village, Exploratorium, Live Music, Life-sized Mousetrap...are you feeling the excitement yet?
And I haven't even mentioned the make events ...such as cars,sustainable food, photography, DIY Camping (now I though all camping was DIY, but I gotta check THAT out), Pinball, Robots, Rockets. Too many to list here, whew, but enough events for everyone to get all tingly and inspired by.

Here's the specs:

Maker Faire
May 3rd&4th
San Mateo Fairgrounds

If you can imagine it, you can MAKE it!

Hope to meet you there.

Monday, April 7, 2008

CRAFTALUMA



CRAFTALUMA is just around the corner. I panicked last night as we had just returned from a mini working-vacation (is there any other kind?) and realized we have less than 3 months to do everything. It sent me straight into a design binge fueled by coffee and red vines and I got the application, poster and postcards designed last night. Still need to get our web page up and running. Whew! I was certain my bad clown dream would re-surface due to our carnival theme (and all those clowns) we have going on for CRAFTALUMA, but thankfully it did not. Digg the macabre clownish colors. This is my beta version so this may all change.

Vendors, I will have the vendor application up shortly. In the meantime CRAFTALUMA is Sunday, June 29th from 12-5 at the Phoenix theater in Petaluma. We're panicking a bit as we are getting so much interest that I'm afraid we might not have room for all the vendors. Maybe next year we'll host CRAFTALUMA at the Mystic as we get rolling!

Cheers!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Digg this -Felt Baron in Giant Robot!







Crafty lady Tami Lovett-Brumfield of Petaluma Craft Mafia is featured in the current issue of Giant Robot! (see pic top right.) Crafty cool editor Erik Nakamura couldn't pass up this funky-fresh table stocked with felted home grown produce at Tami's booth. We think he has fine taste: Crunchy carrots with toothy grins, apples and oranges that smile winningly from their crates ... no wonder Mr. Nakamura found them irresistible. A veritable Farmer's Market of softies at booth number 49!

The Felt Baron had already sent most of her crop of sweet apples, oranges and ice cream sandwiches off to good homes by the time Erik and his shutterbug skills got down to business. Good eye mate! We love you Giant Robot. What felty goods will Tami be crafting up is anybody's guess, but we'll keep you posted right here!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Big Ass Book of Crafts!



Does this book make my booty look big? Looking for a new crafty book to move and inspire you into Craftdom? Or at the very least motivate you to pick up some odds an ends around the house and make something cool, clever and real purrty? Then you’ve gotta check out Mark Montano’s big ol’ book "Big Ass Book of Crafts" which is chock-full of inspiration for any age, and craft skill level.

What I love is that Mark is VERY keen and passionate to help you get your craft on. He covers interior design from furniture making to recycling bits and pieces to make a gorgeous and useful project. He’s got a great eye and relates to the projects as though he is on your level, not a craft god who assumes you know a brad from a staple. Fun for family, week-end crafters or those with oodles of craft muscle and know-how. Lots of variety to keep creative minds intrigued and beautiful photos.
I'm looking forward to making the lampshade and a few of the other intriquing hip projects Mark has lined up!

Lawd, I love crafty folks! I’m trying to get Mark to do a demo or signing here in Petalumsky at Copperfields! Wouldn't that be cool? He knows and loves Petaluma very well! Hmmm ... I wonder if I could get him to got through my garage with me ...I know he'd have a ball looking through all my cast-offs that are clogging the main artery of our little garage. I'll be he could do a craftolicious make-over on all of it!

The Big Ass Book of Crafts is BIG and chock-full of ideas for recycling stuff you never knew had so much oodles of potential. The bottom line is ya'll are just gonna have to go out and find the book yourself and get inspired!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

S.F. Maker Faire is in the Air!


You've been waiting for it, you've heard all about it and now the San Francisco Maker Faire is on it's way late this spring, May 3rd and 4th to be exact at the San Mateo Fair Grounds.

Build, play, hack, shop DIY till you drop, and get some inspiration from my crafty friends from all over the Bay Area and beyond. Meet some of the craftiest and creative folks who create things you didn't know you needed or even existed for that matter.
For more info and if you're a crafty tech or art vendor it's not too late to apply. The deadline is March 12, 2008, so as Paula Abdul would say, "Rush, Rush, hurry, hurry darlin!" Get that application in pronto for consideration.

See SF Maker Faire FAQ for more info - Linky-poo here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Felt Baron









From time to time Petaluma Craft Mafia and Moxieville will be conducting interviews on these blogsites of our own crafty famiglia, The Petaluma Craft Mafia. We may include other nifty and crafty folks we admire as well. It's all good! The Petaluma Craft Mafia has grown since we founded our famiglia late last summer. One of our newest members is Tami Lovett-Brumfield. Tami is transitioning her company Felt-Baron into 3 Black Dog Design. She impressed me not only with her clever and original felt plushies, but her kindness, grace and humor. She is an absolute professional and is generous with lots of fun and warmth to share. We're very proud to welcome her into the Petaluma Craft Mafia.

Like me, Tami is a fellow illustrator as well and she is the culprit that turned me onto gouache. (Yeah, you all remember the blog.) And I'm looking forward to any more tips she may have to share with me. She keeps us well-supplied in awesome stickers from Mrs. Grossman's, where she works as a sticker designer. She is generous with her sunny and wise humor and of course adorable felty Neopolitan ice cream sandwiches. We heart her!



Welcome Tami, please tell us the name of your business.

FeltBaron
www.feltbaron.etsy.com

Tell the folks what you make...
Plushies made from felt and fleece.

How did you get into this line of work? My mom taught me how to sew when I was a little kid and I’ve always liked to make things. I came across “The Cute Book” by Aronzi Aronzo last year and it really inspired me to sew again.

What is the typical work day for you like?
During the day, Monday through Friday I work as an illustrator for Mrs. Grossman’s Paper Company in Petaluma. From the time I get home, until the wee hours of I turn into the Feltbaron soon to be 3 Black Dog Design.

What and who inspires you?
Everything!

Favorite thing about your work?
It makes people smile and it won’t break if you drop it.

What is the single best piece of business advice you wish you knew when you were getting started?
Do your homework first.

What’s in your fridge?
Some cupcakes from Tuesday’s cupcake swap.

Oh man, we ate all of ours! Who’s your favorite poet?
Does Dr. Seuss count? No, I’m kidding I don’t have one.

Dr. Suess absolutely counts! Favorite guilty pleasure?
Pie and fried chicken.

What’s playing on the I-pod?
The Foo Fighters

Himself loves the Foos. What is your favorite way to unwind?
A cup of decaf tea sitting in bed with my dog watching episodes of “Keeping up Appearances.”

Where is your favorite crafty haunt?
Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. If parking weren’t so expensive I’d be in there all day.

How do you feel American women crafty entrepreneurs have influenced American culture and craft in general?
They’ve saved us from the mountains of mass produced products. Handmade items are really valued and appreciated again. There seems to be a rediscovery of things we’ve all valued as children but forgot about.

Amen! Hail American Women Crafters! What about the world still holds wonder for you?
People that throw cigarettes out the window.

Yeah, and The Donald's hairpiece! Speaking of famous and not so, when throwing a dinner party who would you love to invite and have seated on your left, and another choice on your right?
William Shatner and Thomas Hardy

If you had the chance to sing a live duet on stage, who would you choose to sing with? What would you sing?
William Huang from American Idol because I might actually sound like I could sing next to him. The song we’d sing would be “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” because I could actually remember the lyrics.

Not to get all macabre on you, but as we are in the "Mafia," what would you like enscribed on your headstone and what music would you choose?
“Here lies Tami, she died smiling” Music: Hells Bells by AC/DC, I want to go out with a bang.

Where do you see you and your business heading in the coming year? Any particular goals or plans? My focus for the beginning part of the year is getting a website up and running. Asides from rebuilding my plushy inventory, I’m working on some new designs for this year.

What words of advice would you give crafty entrepreneurs?

Take risks, have fun, and do what you love.

What absolutely just makes your day?
When people say they like my work!

Thanks Tami. To check out Tami's felt-up goods check out her Etsy shop above.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

CRAFTALUMA! "the greatest show on earth"




Since forming the Petaluma Craft Mafia last summer with my three cohorts in crime, (now double), I've been wanting to come up with a name for a local Petaluma craft show that is uniquely Petaluma. There were lots of names that came to mind, ideas come easily to me, but everything I came up with was either another regional show elsewhere in the country, or it didn't feel like "Petaluma" to me. Then a couple of weeks ago, before the holidays it came to me, "Craftaluma." Craftaluma? Yep. My other two founding members lurrved it. I wasn't sure, but felt like we were on to something, and Himself hated it. Then the theme and tagline came instantly, "The greatest show on earth." Kind of Barnum & Bailey, no? Elephants with knitting needles, a big top, trapeze artists with a yarn net... nawwww.

So, I posted a poll along with some other craft show name suggestions for my crafty famiglia to vote on, and hands down "Craftaluma" was the winner. Yay! Now the design process begins. It would be a no-brainer to do a carnival theme, and my original thoughts were to do that, but I'd like to do something a little unique that incorporates both Petaluma and that running away to the carnival crafty feel. Romantic, but slightly soiled around the edges with carny sweat and the sweet waft of stale caramel corn and greasy corn dogs on a stick.

I haven't done a thing with the design until this afternoon as my famiglia and I are planning for our Petaluma Craft Mafia's first show this summer. Yay! But it has been on the back-burner of my subconscious and I think inspired a scary clown dream a few weeks ago.

We are very excited about our show, but have loads to get done, loads.

Are you a local craft vendor? Look for "Craftaluma" information soon. If you're interested in being a vendor or caterer or a local band looking to strut your musical or crafty stuff, you can contact us for an application at cheryl@petalumacraftmafia.com.

Just uh, please don't send in the clowns.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Art of the Cupcake


Cupcakes. Who doesn't love 'em? I personally don't trust non-cupcake lovers. Do you? Something slightly sinister about those rare cupcake "disser's."

My mom was the first one to turn us on to the wonders of the cupcake. In the summer she'd make orange chiffon with cool citrusy pastel orange, lemon and lime icings. And her good ol' fashioned white cake with fudgey chocolate (my grandmother's recipe) make a grown man weep with joy. We were fortunate to have a mother who could make anything out of a little flour, sugar and loads of creativity. So the cupcake has a special place in my heart because of her and her special way of presenting them.

Yesterday we had our Petaluma Craft Mafia meeting and I thought it might be nice if we had a cupcake swap. It went quite nicely. We had a nice variety from carrot cake to chocolate-orange. My company colors and a favorite flavor! Yummy!

Cupcake historians, (yes there are those who study the cupcake) believe the cupcake is truly an American invention, brought about by some confusion over a measuring term and the challenges of baking in the days of old when Americans simplified the baking process from weighing to measuring, hence "cup" cake. Hostess was the first commercial bakery to announce the arrival of the pre-packaged "cupcake." Since then the cupcake has gone in and out of vogue, but never with children. Children have always known the value of the humble cupcake. It is only in the recent years cupcakes, much like craft have forged a revolution and cult following in the hearts of creatives everywhere. Cupcake cafes and bakeries specializing in the tiny treat cropping up everywhere. I couldn't be happier!

I haven't had a ton of time to bake of late. But baking and cooking are a great way for me to relax. As I whipped up a batch of pastel and purple ballerina and conversation candy heart cupcakes before our meeting yesterday, I thought, my goodness I think I need to do this more often. Not quite like a good massage, but relaxing none the less.


The best part about cupcakes swaps is that you get to see what inspires other people. Some like them plain, some like them fancy. My favorites are good old Americana like what the Magnolia Bakery in NYC whips up or even the Cupcake Cafe. Just the best fresh ingredients, and a rich buttery or chocolately homemade icing.

I was toying with making my famous Red Velvet cake into cupcakes, perfect for Valentines day. But figured lemon and vanilla were crowd pleasers. I may make a Red Velevet cake anyway.


Himself had no complaints, except that he had burned his dinner I had left him. When I walked in late in the evening, he had already eaten not one, but two cupcakes. This was his dinner as his galavanting wife had abandoned him for her crafty chicks last evening. How did I know? The distinct aroma of burnt food, and a certain tell-tale purple smudge of the smeared icing drying on his face. Clever cupcake detective at your service.

There is a certain sweetness from visualizing a grown man enjoying sparkly purple cupcakes adorned with a tiny ballerina when pressed for dinner plans. Awwww... It's also a great way to show your valentine how much you care.

Let him eat cake!