Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Queen City Craft Bazaar

I've been in sewing, painting and gluing overload which can only mean one thing...my first craft show is coming up!!!  I literally started giggling with excitement when the online version of the poster showed up in my inbox yesterday. 

So remember - June 4th - Main Street Landing - Burlington - be there!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Purse from Ugly Wool Skirt Update

It sold!  In a mere few hours, the purse I made from the ugly wool skirt sold!  While I'm happy (really, really happy) whenever one of my items sells, I was a little sad to see this one go.  We spent a lot of time together, that skirt and me.  I looked at it for weeks, futzed around with ideas, swore like a sailor while stitching down the pleats, and when it was finally finished I toyed with keeping it.  But it's off to scenic Melbourne, Australia for the purse!  I hope it has a long and happy life. 

So to remind you, here was the skirt before:

And here it is after!

Don't worry, there are many more to come.  But there probably won't be another ugly floor length black and rainbow plaid wool skirt.  Unless you find one.  In which case, let me know!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Landmark and a Challenge

YESSS!!!!  I've done it!  100 sales on etsy!  For the record, I understand how completely arbitrary a distinction this is, but it's been a goal of mine for 2 years.  I passed the $1,000 in sales this year mark in March, and now in April I've passed the 100 sales.  Triple digits!  WOOT!!!  I can't quite tell you why, but I feel like this gives me more legitimacy.  They like me!  They really like me!  (apologies to Sally Field for borrowing her oscar moment)...

I juggle Found Beauty Studio with a lot of other obligations.  I'm the director of an AmeriCorps VISTA program as my day job, a volunteer guardian ad litem in the VT family court system, a board member for a local arts organization, a mentor, a fundraising consultant, and I try to fit being a good friend, sister, daughter, aunt, and partner in there too.  I also aspire to be a counselor for children and adults with complex developmental trauma, and attend a lot of workshop and read a lot of books and research in that all too elusive spare time.  To sum up, I'm busy and pulled in different directions.  But the studio keeps me grounded.  In a fantastic workshop I attended today on Trauma Stewardship, I heard yet again - yet really heard for the first time - that when we "overdeploy" ourselves, creativity is the first thing to go.  This means that all creative thinking and problem solving, in addition to any sort of art, is beyond our capacity.  And hoo boy have I ever felt that lately.  But I'm trying hard to make this a continued priority in my life.  It keeps me sane.  It exercises a part of my brain I don't use enough.  And, most importantly, it makes me happy.  And for some reason, surpassing these sales goals has helped keep me motivated.  They may be small successes, but I'll take what I can get.

Now for the challenge... A few weeks ago I picked up this absolutely atrocious skirt at good will:

Um, yes.  It is indeed a full length heavily pleated rainbow wool skirt.  I was visually offended and drawn to it in the same breath.  It was my civic duty to make sure no one ever wore this again so I grabbed it off the rack and took it home.  And mere minutes ago I turned it into a sweet purse.  Photos to come :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

If the Shoe Fits, Wear it

Oh jeebus, I know.  My second pun-filled blog post title.  I think I'm barred from writing about shoes.  But they're done!  The TOMS shoes for the fundraiser (tomorrow!) are done!  This was not a design that just came to me.  I'm used to working on big surfaces and these were tiny.  And that scared the tar out me.  But on Friday I got an email asking me for my picture, my bio, and my title for the design and it occurred to me that I should really, really get moving on this whole "decorate shoes for a fundraiser" thing.  That thing that I had promised to do a week earlier.  That thing that kept taunting me.  At least it was on the top of my pile of projects, so that was some sort of progress.  Kind of. 

But as a former fundraiser for a Boys & Girls Club, I get these events.  I get the importance and I get the heart-stopping stomach-clenching horror of an auction item not coming through.  And I couldn't be "that" person.  Not this time folks.  So Saturday I dreamed, and Sunday I painted, cut and glued like my life depended on it! And by Sunday afternoon I had a pair of sticky yet completely decorated pair of shoes!  Have you seen enough exclamation points yet?!?  Don't worry, there are more!!!

So let me refresh your memory.  Here are the shoes fresh out of their box:

Cute, and surprisingly comfortable.  They're TOMS shoes - a great company that donates a pair of shoes for every pair purchased.  LOVE this.  Lack of shoes contributes to a heck of a lot of problems, one of which is parasite infection, which I will not be posting pictures of.  Feel free to watch "Monsters Inside Me" for more on parasites.  But for more on the "One Day Without Shoes" event, the TOMS website is the place to go.

But back to the point, I started with a vague notion that I wanted to include flowers.  It's April, it's still dark and frozen here in Vermont, and I want flowers.  Badly.  So why not paint them?  With tubes of acrylic paint and textile medium in hand, I went to it.

I wasn't thrilled, to say the least.  Part of the problem is that I'm a crappy painter.  It's just not my medium.  So I threw that plan out the window and decided on digging into my stash of vintage fabric I've salvaged from other re-do projects. 

Yes.  Much better.  But far from perfect.  So I tried painting on a few flowers.  What, you say?  Painting?  I thought you just dismissed painting.  And I would have, if I'd be thinking and not just doing.  So here was the sad attempt a painting flowers:

Um, yeah.  Not good.  Oh hey, what's that?  The beautiful scarlet velvet I salvaged off the sleeves of a 1960's dress I revamped?  Perfect.  And petals were born.

Better, but not finished.  Time for buttons as flower centers and gold leaf to cover the visible white from my painting fiasco.  And hey, a few gold dots for good measure!  (see?  I told you there'd be more exclamation points!!!)

And so here they are, in all their gold leafed, scarlet velvet, herringbone wool bark, button stamen glory.  I like them.  And I really hope whoever buys them tomorrow night does too!

So tomorrow, April 5th, 2011.  Go to ECCO Clothes for Women and Men on Church Street in Burlington from 6-8pm and bid high and bid often.  Kids need shoes.