how did it get to be april?

seriously. wasn’t it just february?

so, updates:

last friday evening, the new orleans craft mafia offered a free recycling workshop at noma in the sculpture garden during their weekly where y’art? event. we taught folks how to fold paper flowers and make paper beads out of surplus brochures, posters and other paper items from noma. we didn’t get a huge crowd but we had a steady trickle throughout the evening and we all had a lot of fun. we’ll be back again for where y’art? on april 22nd to help celebrate earth day with another recycling workshop, so join us!

saturday’s picayune street fair did not go as swimmingly as i’d hoped. in fact, i sold nothing. not a thing. (but didn’t our booth look awesome?) i did have a lovely time hanging out with mallory aka miss malaprop, though, and we took in quite a few rather astonishing sights in downtown picayune, mississippi. i’m sad i did not get a picture of the confederate flag dreamcatcher, or many of the stunning fashion statements of the day. i did however take many photos of amazing fair food and other interesting things:

god i love a funnel cake!

the chainsaw artist was super cool!

i loved this recycled tire folk artist!

this vintage el camino at the antique car show that was part of the fair rocked my world!

lastly, i’d like to mention that i got yet another shout out in the times-picayune today… this time from my pal dj soulsister, who was featured in the living section.

i can’t seem to zoom out to get a good screenshot of the whole page, but this is the relevant part! dj soulsister, aka melissa weber, commissioned me a super long time ago to make her a “soul power” clock with the raised fist graphic on it. after katrina happened, she made sure to tell me that it had survived! (she is so sweet.) and then a few years later, she bought the above turntable clock. she has always been a supporter of my work, and i have always been one of her biggest fans, both of her radio show on wwoz and her hustle parties at mimi’s. i’m so giddy happy for her, seeing her career continue to flourish, and honored and grateful to have been mentioned in this article. so thanks, melissa!

and here’s what’s coming up on my calendar for april:

crawfest at tulane, on the 16th  – always one of the highlights of my spring market calendar. what’s not to love about thousands of pounds of boiled crawfish (all you can eat for $10) and tons of great new orleans music (rockin’ dopsie, rebirth brass band, roots of music & more!) on the quad all day at tulane in glorious spring weather? me and several of the new orleans craft mafia will all be there, peddling our wares and eating our weight in crawfish that day. come see us! (but bring your own beer cuz they don’t sell it at crawfest, fyi.)

the following week, i’m doing a bunch of volunteer work out at the sign department barn at the fairgrounds for jazz fest. i’ve never volunteered in that area before (worked in the kids area for forever, but it’s been a few years now) but i thought it could be fun and maybe even educational. i’m doing a total of four days over two weeks, pre-fest, so i’ll let you know how it goes! hopefully i’ll somehow earn some free tickets to get to go to jazz fest… cuz i sure can’t afford to buy tickets.

and then on friday the 22nd, it’s the opening for my friend jen’s funky lil art show she hosts every year during jazz fest in her home. i don’t think there’s anything for me to link to in order to give you more info, but the opening is from 5:30 – 8:30pm and if you need her address just shoot me an email. if you miss the opening, you can stop by any jazz fest evening, after fest finishes. jen and her partner mary ann host an open house every single evening after fest, so the gallery is open from 6-9pm those days. there is always a party going on over there during jazz fest, and even if you aren’t going to jazz fest itself, it’s a fun place to hang out and people watch and partake of some of the festive spirit. i know i’ll be there just about every day.

and that’s all i got for april, art-wise. but i have a lot of stuff up in my etsy shop and i’ve been doing a bunch of sign commissions lately, so don’t be shy if there’s a sign you need in your life! just get in touch!

happy april!

on the topic of fashion…

last night, several members of the new orleans craft mafia (and myself) trekked out to metairie – almost kenner, really – to east jeff’s massive public library (have you ever been there? the place is impressive.) to offer a free t-shirt recycling workshop. the library there is doing some great programming and had invited us to do our always-popular demo for the suburban crowd.

though it wasn’t a huge turnout, those who did come were really interested in getting some ideas on what to do with their old t-shirts. in the past, all of the times we’ve done this demo, we’ve had pretty enormous crowds; thus we’ve streamlined it to usually only offer 2-3 basic concepts of what to do with an old shirt, like a tote bag or a halter top or a hat. simple things that require little sewing, so we can move the crowds through quickly and not get bogged down in the details. but these ladies who showed up last night were not satisfied with those basic ideas and wanted more! most of them were competent sewers (usually those who come to these workshops are not), and were looking for more complex projects. me not being a sewer or clothing maker, well, i had no idea what to tell them. i felt fairly useless. but thank god three of the five of us from the mafia who were there actually are clothing designers, so they were able to improvise and come up with all kinds of things to show the women to make. from various scarf ideas to shrugs and skirts, those in attendance came away with several recycled garments and accessories. one woman even made herself a great fringe top that she planned to go home and add beads to!

afterwards, we celebrated the success of the evening with dinner and drinks at where else but applebees. (when in the suburbs, do as the suburbans do!) i don’t think i’ve eaten at an applebees since i was in high school, but they do serve a mean bacon cheeseburger and pour a lovely pint of blue moon on draft. seemed the right choice for the evening we’d had and it was delightful to spend time with mallory, kerry, rebekah and harla.

one thing that came up in conversation was this: did you know that new orleans is having not just one but TWO fashion weeks this spring? i’ve heard of fashion week in new york – i watch project runway like everybody else – but i guess i was unaware that new orleans actually had a fashion week. i knew there were various recycled fashion shows that happen at different times of year, as many in the mafia have participated in the past. but i really didn’t know that there was the coordinated effort to present not even just one but two fashion week events, in back to back weeks in march, to put the spotlight on local fashion designers and the new orleans fashion scene. (we have a fashion scene?)

so interesting. and kinda cool.

not that i’m really all that personally into fashion, obviously. i design t-shirts, yes, and have been known to silkscreen and stencil on various other items of apparel over the years. but that’s about it. i don’t sew, despite growing up with a mother who was a very accomplished seamstress. (she died when i was 10 so i was too young to have learned much from her.) and, well, honestly, growing up a tomboy and coming into my butch-of-center dykeness, i rejected so-called “girlie” crafts like sewing and making clothes like my mom did as a kid and teen. i realize that was silly now, and i regret it, but also feel not terribly motivated at my age to learn. it’s just not what i’m drawn to, though i’m fairly fascinated with the process as a creative endeavor and like watching other people do it.

nonetheless, i’ll be interested to see how these two (competing? don’t know the backstory) fashion week events play out, and if they get much media coverage beyond the fashion underground, if such a thing even exists. we shall see.

if all this piques your interest, one of the upcoming fashion week groups is having a preview party tomorrow night to get folks excited about the march events. if you go, tell me about it!

last minute push…

well surprise, surprise. just when i thought the arty-crafty biz was in the shitter… suddenly, without me even really trying much, stuff is selling. (thank you, universe!) i put very little effort into marketing this holiday, i made very little “new” stuff (i made some bottlecap signs and a handful of clocks and printed some scarves, but no new designs), and i only had 3 markets in december. but all the markets turned out pretty ok, especially last night’s “last stop shop” which was actually pretty great. we had a lot of fun and a good crowd and for the first time in a long while, i sold lots of stuff! it was nice and reassuring.

and then today, i’ve had a big sale on etsy – the last of my rachel maddow stencil paintings, which i’d basically given up on selling and hung on my own wall, FINALLY SOLD (along with a clock in the same order) – and have had a few custom orders via email come in. and there’s still a week left before christmas, so i think i’m gonna put a little effort into trying to list everything i’ve got left up on etsy and maybe even craigslist, to see how much i can get rid of.

see, i think the key to me finding new inspiration is to GET RID OF ALL THE OLD STUFF that’s cluttering up my view. i have this problem, in that, i actually LIKE much of what i make – and really, most of the things i make and sell started as something i made for myself, to decorate with, to wear, or to give as a gift to someone i love. and then i started making more of them. but so, i often end up decorating my own house with some of the things i make, making them hard to let go of… and also, making it hard to come up with new ideas. maybe it doesn’t make any sense to anyone else, but i have often found, when i don’t have much of my own work around, then it makes me want to come up with new stuff. but whenever i have lots of it still around – like now – it’s harder to feel inspired. instead i feel defeated because so much of my stuff hasn’t sold, like nobody actually likes or wants it, besides me.

so yeah. hopefully the universe – and shopping friends and strangers alike – will help me get rid of more of the current inventory, so i can start fresh in the new year, and hopefully find some new inspiration for new creativity. but between now and christmas (and probably new year’s), i’m just gonna try really hard to sell what i’ve got. (i will of course always make custom orders, if someone wants something i don’t have in stock – a different color of clock or sign or whatever. just ask!)

anyways. big thanks to all who have been supportive – either by purchasing stuff, recommending me to others, or even just offering encouraging words – this holiday season. it really means a lot to me. and apparently it’s helping!

happy holidays, y’all.

to market, to market…

freretstivus market, that is. TODAY! noon til 5pm – i will be there. come enjoy the beautiful day before we get more nasty weather tomorrow. and don’t forget about the last stop shop at the big top on thursday, 6-10pm (1638 clio street).

and remember, i do custom work also… so if there’s a clock or sign design you like, i can make it in your favorite color combo and have it done in plenty of time for christmas. i even have some blank scarf material in stock and could print up the scarf of your choice. so don’t be shy – just ask!

happy holiday shopping, y’all.

oilpocalypse day 64

64 days after the deepwater horizon rig blew up in the gulf of mexico, the oil continues to gush. people all over the world, and especially in southern louisiana, continue to feel helpless, and even those who are doing their best to fight the good fight feel like they are in a losing battle.

let’s revisit that oil spill ticker i posted early on in this crisis:

divide that number of gallons by 42 and you get the number of barrels per day that have leaked into our beautiful gulf. and that’s just an average of all the best-guesses of how much is leaking out every day. i find this beyond comprehension.

i personally continue to feel like there is little i can do, save for spend a few hours every day posting articles and photographs and reports from grassroots groups on the ground to my facebook profile in a desperate attempt to keep others far and wide in my social circle informed and enraged. i have a few-day break from the census (the phase i was hired for is now over, but the next phase that i’m getting rehired for starts next week), but have to condense everything i’ve been wanting to do for the past two months into a few days. plus i have to get ready for the craft mafia’s 5th year anniversary party on thursday. and fae leaves for michfest work in a week, so we have to get all our ducks in a row for my eventual departure later in july as well.

it’s all a whirlwind to me.

so i guess i’ll just continue to do what i’ve been doing here on the blog, which is highlight some of the visual creativity that’s come out of this horrendous nightmare, in an attempt to both vent our collective anger and/or also help raise funds for some of the grassroots groups and first responders to the situation.

today, i’d like to point your attention to sticker robot, a silkscreen sticker company out in california. some of you may remember back when i was stenciling-for-obama, sticker robot kindly donated a huge whack of stickers of my obama stencil design for me to give out, to help the campaign. zoltron and sticker robot are good people, and here they go again, donating their brilliant work to the cause:

click the picture to get all the details. basically, you just have to send them a self-addressed, stamped LEGAL-SIZED envelope and they will send you a free sticker. i personally think this is one of the best graphics i’ve seen come out of the creative community in response to the disaster, and i can’t wait to get one onto my car. (maybe i’ll get lucky and get 2 in the mail so i can put one on the scooter too!)

a fresh batch of oil disaster response t-shirts coming soon. stay tuned.