Sunday, December 30, 2012

Buy Handmade vol 41

We head to Toronto for our last behind the scenes of the year.

Name: Andrea Deal
Age: 35
Occupation: Mom, crafter, homeopath
Etsy Shop: Teetoo

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have been married to my favorite guy for eleven years. We have two children and one felis catus, Marvin. We live in the forest on the Niagara escarpment in Canada.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I've been creating all my life. It started with drawing mostly when I was a kid and turned into painting in high school. I didn't start making crafts and sewing seriously until 2010. That was when I knew that I had to do it and do it a lot. Pretty much within a week or two of dusting off my sewing machine to see if I could use it to make some Christmas gifts in 2009, I decided to open a shop. I opened my shop in November of 2010.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

I brainstormed for a bit, trying to find something that was a good representation of me and what I was trying to express creatively. I went to my husband and said, "I'm looking for something that sounds fun, cute and has a French flair" (my father was French and Amelie was in my pile of inspiring things). He thought for a minute and said, "Teetoo." That was really it.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

No. When I first launched my shop I really wanted it to be my full time job. When people didn't buy stuff as much as I thought they might, I got kind of discouraged. I was pretty delusional in that first few months about how much hard work it was going to be and how much money I was going to make. Then as the time got closer for my children to go to school, I started to panic a bit. I had created this lovely little shop where I could express myself creatively in a fun and free spirited kind of way and I feared that if the kids went to school and I wasn't making more money, I'd have to give it up and get a 'real' job. Because shop sales weren't enough to pay the bills, I threw myself into blogging thinking that I could make some of my income that way as well. The more I pressured myself to make money blogging, the more I didn't like it. Soon, I realized that I didn't really want to be a blogger, I wanted to make stuff and that everything I was doing was out of fear of not being able to do that. When the time came for the kids to go to school, I suddenly started getting more orders in the shop and I also started getting clients as a homeopath which was my first first career which I had left behind for a variety of reasons (my creative funk was one of them). Simultaneously, I got myself a part-time job working from home for a homeopathic company. I found myself in quite an ideal situation where I was able to do several of the things I had thought that I wanted to do but I had never thought I could do them all at once. I kind of had an epiphany in that moment. I came to realize that I could have my Etsy shop no matter how big or small it is for the rest of my life if I want to. And the longer I have it and the more I plug away at it, the better it will be. I've come to see that I want to do a lot in my life and that what I really want, is to be able to be open to opportunities that arise in several areas and have the freedom to go in those directions. So, I would be quite happy if Etsy provided me with a full time job, but only if I don't have to completely give up some of my other pursuits in order to make it work.

How would you describe your creative process?

Probably obsessive. Once I start on something, everything else in life kind of fades into the background and I don't want to stop until I'm done. I'll forget to eat and such so keeping my creative pursuits to small projects is a good idea. In the past, I have done a lot of realistic painting. I really enjoy it but it is not conducive to being a mom and working on things in fits and starts among other responsibilities. So, for the shop, my creative process is centered around having fun and limiting my ideas to fit the theme of my shop- cute, lovable, small and not too complicated. Putting limits on myself has been really helpful. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere. Life is full of inspiration. In terms of my shop my inspiration probably comes from Jim Henson, Studio Ghibili, Disney, vintage toys and toy making books. The history of toys is very interesting to me. Also, animals and nature. Other artists and crafters on the internet and in books inspire me everyday.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 

Only once.

What shows have you taken part of, and do you have a favorite? 

I did the Bazaar of the Bizarre (not to be confused with Bizarre Bazaar) last year here in Toronto. I really loved it but doing it but doing shows is not really conducive to my lifestyle right now. I have become surprised by how much I love made to order work. So for now, that's mostly all I'm doing.

How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready? 

Way too long! Ha! Hence my decision to not do one this year. 

Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work 

Seeing people enjoy your work in person is so great! Probably my favorite thing to see is grown men hugging my Giant Sasquatches. That is a heart warming experience!

What is your most cherished handmade item?

My father was from Prince Edward Island. Once he brought home a handmade wooden man from one of his trips back east. He drew a face on him and would make him dance for me. I keep it in my bedroom as a memento of him. My father really encouraged and inspired my creativity. We both have a taste for fun and cute things. I wish he was alive to see my little shop :)

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

I like a lot of things. I love nature, hiking, taking photos, natural medicine, reading, writing and watching documentaries. I'm a bit of a history buff (though I have a terrible memory for that sort of thing), I love science, space, questioning how things work and 'unexplained' phenomenon.  

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?

I don't know. Because of my fascination with history, nature and science, I could be an archaeologist, a botanist or a physicist. Because of my love for performance I could be a circus performer or an actress... because of my love of books, maybe a librarian? I love adventure, so perhaps a pilot or a wildlife photographer? As you can see, I have a long list of things I 'could' be. There are many things I've already been and tried and would like to try in my life. 

Five years from now you will be…

Me. Like I mentioned before, with so many things that I want to try and do, it is impossible for me to have a clear vision of 'what' for my future. The only thing I can clearly see is 'who'. I've been envisioning myself as a surfer of life lately (is that cheesy or what?). I want to surf life and not be afraid to try new things that naturally come my way and just see where they lead. I guess I like adventuring, so the 'who' in my future is an adventurer.

Describe yourself in five words:

I love to have fun.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

PJ Harvey, Cat Power, Frank Black, Deerhoof, Miles Davis

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Jump in a give it a try! Don't over-think it too much. You might love it or you might hate it. If you love it, the work involved won't be a deterrent to you and things will grow organically over time. Don't have too many expectations and see where things will take you. Look at what other people are doing for inspiration but don't copy what others are doing- make something that comes from your heart and you will find people who will respond to that. If you don't know how to do something, an internet search will most often answer your question. Finally, a piece of advice my mother-in-law gave me recently that is brilliant: If you have a problem, your solution will most often be found within 30 feet of you.

Friday, December 28, 2012

fff vol 46

Favorite finds from the last week: 

1. Etsy find of the week:

This beautiful weekender bag is just the bees knees. A tad out of my price range but I like to dream big.

2. Blog of the week: 

I found this blog mid week. I've actually seen her button on various blogs for a while and then always forget to click on it. But I'm really happy I did click and found someone with super cute fashion style, an adorable Etsy shop and someone who also keeps it real and adds a touch of reality in the mix to her posts. If you are in the market for a new daily blog, I suggest giving her a try..

3. Please can I move in?

Such a cozy bedroom. I would love a fireplace in my bedroom. Actually currently we do have our bedroom in our front living room- so technically I do have a fireplace in my bedroom! But it's not!

4. Get in my belly... 

Y'all know my crazy obsession with black forest when I saw black forest triffle!? Holy Mother! My sister is a master trifle maker - I may have to give her this recipe for her next get together. Yum, yum, yum.

5. Tee shirt of the week from Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes is plum full of cute new designs. They are really comfy shirts too. I need to get a few more to add to my collection.

Another four day weekend this weekend. I (of course) have taken on working a tad bit of overtime, but I have left Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as "me days" - totally off from work. I'm planning on spending the days baking, crocheting, making soaps and just relaxing. We don't do anything for New Years. No fancy parties, no staying up to watch the ball drop (well because we dont have tv and even when we did I usually fell asleep just before I could make it to midnight) What do you do? Any traditions? Making resolutions and all that? 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Watch It Wednesdays

You all know my love for movies, especially documentaries, so I decided to make a weekly feature with a movie you may not have otherwise watched or heard of. Most documentaries I watch (you'll notice) are usually of the "save the planet",  "save your soul", or "save our farms" type variety. Some of them I get extremely emotional and tied to. Some make me angry, some make me depressed and some (if not all) make me want to change my life in some small way. I'll also feature regular movies as just seems to be that a good 85% of movies we watch in this household are on to the first in the new series..

The Highest Pass
2011 - 1 hour 29 minutes
(streaming NetFlix)

(Taken from The Highest Pass website to describe the film:) 

Soon after Adam Schomer meets a modern yogi and guru, Anand Mehrotra, they plan an expedition through the highest passes of the Himalayas in Northern India. These are some of the most dangerous roads in the world, yet they manage to assemble a team of seven motorcycle riders to share in what will become the journey of a lifetime.

These riders and Adam, who learned to ride two weeks before the trip, are guided by the inspiring teachings of Anand who bears the burden of a Vedic prophecy that predicts he will die in his late twenties in an accident. He is that age now, yet leads with a fearlessness and wisdom that reminds us that “Only the one who dies, truly lives.”

But wisdom in words and wisdom in practice can be very different indeed, especially when riding along the sheer icy edges of Himalayan cliffs. The bikers ride on that edge, navigating dirt, gravel, snow, ice and the onslaught of loaded trucks, known as “road killers”, as they journey for 21 days towards the highest motorable road on earth. It is a pass open only three months a year and at a height 18,000ft, is on par with Everest base camp. Low oxygen, altitude sickness, river flooded roads, and a constrictive fear all live along this one lane road.

Yet they choose this path to seek Ladakh, the land known as the Little Tibet. Why this path? Because it’s a road that leads to incredibly isolated mountain lakes, ancient monasteries, inside the knowing eyes of a mystic oracle, and ultimately deeper into themselves…

It’s amazing that their guide himself is battling a prophecy and yet is determined to ride one of the hardest roads in the world. It is both haunting and inspiring. It brings up our worst fears and our deepest courage. Adam must ask if the possibility of a spiritual breakthrough worth the risk of serious injury or death? Will it help us all understand what it means to live our lives?

This adventure cracks the foundations we think we stand on. And in this case, the foundation is a one lane road winding through the Himalayas. The Highest Pass

It takes you on a journey within yourself to find inner peace and less fear. I am not a religious person but I find myself drawn to Buddhism and their spirituality. If I were ever to chose a religion to practice I know that would be the only correct choice for me to pursue.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Gift bags deconstructed..

I love putting together handmade gift bags for Christmas dinner. This year I needed to make up six. Here they are..deconstructed:

A crocheted star ornament.. My mom actually still has the paper origami ornament I made for their gift baskets from last year, hanging in her kitchen with her plants. I found the tutorial for this one here. You can obviously use any color combination - I just really liked how hers looked so went with nearly the same colors. They were a quick knit.

I included these cute crocheted "hot plates". They are a six row granny square with a single crochet binding off edge.

Handmade candles. I purchased 4oz containers and wicks. I already had the wax, and I added a little bit of Fir Needle essential oil to give them a Christmas scent.

How could I possibly give gift bags without baking something up for each one?! These are soooooo good. I found the recipe here. I was going to frost them with light green frosting - but I just loved how they looked in pink. These come out more cakey and fluffy then normal sugar cookies. I never liked them when people rolled them out too thin and then cooked them too long so that they turned crunchy. No No No! Sugar cookies are meant to be fat, thick and fluffy!

They will all be receiving a bar of my winter mint soap. So minty good!

Various flavor lip balms.

And lastly a cute mailer with two peppermint tea bags attached. Downloaded here

Hopefully they will be a hit, last year I made each basket from newspaper. Weaving them back and forth. They were a lot of fun to make. Who knows what next year will bring..

Merry Christmas All!

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your families a very merry holiday season.


Monday, December 24, 2012

market mondays..

I realized that I never shared with you all my market experience a couple weeks ago when I was a vendor at the Farmer's Market. It was a warm day and everyone was out to the market. I wasn't in the best of spirits due to some personal downturns that happened the day prior, but I bundled up all my goods and headed out.

When I arrived I found my little table - a 3x3 rickety card table. We made the best of the teeny space and created a cute display with what we had. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my phone so I don't have any pictures of the day. 

The market started with a bang, it was busy from start to finish. I sold lots of goodies and everyone had great comments about my packaging and products. I even had a woman inquire if I had any interest in selling in a gift shop at the Mansion House, she is the executive director of the building. In two hours I made two hundred dollars. Not bad seeing my price points are low! Can you imagine if I could do that every day?! I'd be done with my current day job in a jiffy. It gave me high hopes for when I participate weekly in the spring/summer/fall market. Things are looking up for my little soap shop.

I'll post updates soon as I've created a few new scents that I'm sure will become top sellers- they are amazing!! Just still curing and not ready for sale yet.

We shopped at the market this weekend, but its on hiatus until February 9th. We tried to stock up on meats - but I'm sure we'll run out and have to get in touch with some farmers personally. I love this aspect of my life, supporting and eating the good stuff =)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Buy Handmade vol 40

This week we head to Lancashire, England

Name: Joanne Headington
Age: 46
Occupation: Artist/Designer/Tutor
Etsy Shop: Joy Pure And Simple

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a single Welsh woman currently living in Lancashire with two children, aged 27 and 17. I have always enjoyed learning how to make things. If I wanted something when I was younger, I would learn how to make it...bleach splashed jeans, holey mohair jumpers, tie-dyed T-Shirts...I even embroidered the hem of my super wide flared jeans...all this in my teens. So making has become who I am. I am a maker.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I have learned how to knit, crotchet, sew, paint, draw, print, quilt, dye, cook, bake bread, grow vegetables, keep hens, throw a pot, write poetry and now I am learning how to make jewellery. This desire came from browsing through the amazing craft stalls in Copenhagen, a few years ago. I just wanted to know how to do that! I signed up to a six week silversmith course, learned how to saw, file, solder and then worked really hard learning how NOT to do things.

I am becoming more confident with my making skills now though, and the shop has gone through quite a few metamorphosis... which meant I had to learn how to use html, photoshop, and how to take better photographs of my work.

It has all been one steep learning curve.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

The latest shop name Joy ~ Pure and Simple was the tag line of my old name Rhubarb In The Garden (which was the title of one of my early poems). The tag line became more and more important to the making of my jewellery and it feels like the right time to take it on as the full shop name.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

There is so much inspiration out there. I am really moved by artists that are true to themselves – they stand out so strongly from those watered down copy-cat versions. And although while learning your art it may be good to copy techniques and styles – eventually you have to create from your heart and soul. Nature, colour and simplicity inspire my designs – and I have always loved collecting fossils and stones. The dinosaur bone ring was one of the hardest rings to let go of!

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 

I have sold at craft fairs and was lucky enough to have a stall at the Welsh Eistedfodd in Bryn Mawr a couple of years ago. It was a very quick lesson in presentation...the customers were more interested in the dried flowers I had used as props, than my jewellery!!

What is your most cherished handmade item?

My Grandmother was always making things for us. It was so wonderful to see traces of her all around our home after she had died so suddenly and unexpectedly. A needle case she made me when I was learning to sew is still the most used and loved treasure in my sewing box.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

Read, write in my journal and walk in the countryside.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?

A psychologist or sociologist. I find studying people absolutely fascinating.

Five years from now you will be…

I may be living on my own – my children are grown ups already !

Describe yourself in five words:

Impulsive, independent, inquisitive, inspired, introverted.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

Spotify has been running through Rockin’ Robin, Run Run Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman quite a bit this month, though the Sussex Carol and the Hallelujah Chorus has had it’s fair share of the list too!

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Don’t be afraid to fail. We learn more quickly by making mistakes, and by not giving up!

Friday, December 21, 2012

fff vol 45

Favorite finds from the last week: 

1. Etsy find of the week:

I'm in love with these adorable socks. How amazing are these!? They have other super cute socks too. If you are a sock person too..go check them out!

2. Blog of the week: 

I found this blog this past week and was in awe as I read her "about" page. This section particularly: 

"the dirt life is about simplicity. a long-distance hiker owns only what they carry, and are willing to sacrifice what they don't need for things that they do. they've mastered the balance between luxury and necessity. and owning little opens the dam to gratefulness in a way that's rather surprising. finally, and frankly, the switch of focus from what they don't have to what they do, is a little something we all need flicked. we spend way too much money and save too little. besides that, we live in a country that encourages us to live above our means. excess never produces good results. limiting ourselves to what we really need, along with  afforded luxuries, isn't restrictive. it's simplistic.

This is how I live my life and it's an amazing feeling when you find someone else like minded. She seems like such an amazing person with awesome travel stories - two long distance hikes- the Appalachian trail and the Pacific Crest trail. I'm smitten. Go check out her story..

3. Please can I move in?

Being just a few days before Christmas, I had to pick a Christmas themed room! This one is perfect. I think mainly because that tree is amazing! We didn't get a tree this year, but next year i want THAT tree!

4. Get in my belly... 

Oh yes..I WILL be making these and you will all be very jealous!

5. Tee shirt of the week from ModCloth

Comfy and cute rolled into one. I love it and want to wear it right now!

The next four days are going to be insanely busy. Last minute finishes to presents. Last Farmers Market of the year (and for over a month as they are on hiatus in January) Working some over time (ugh) Meeting with the people that want to have my soaps in their new shop. Making soaps because I'm super low on stock. Then Christmas! How on earth is it already Christmas?! Like Tuesday! This coming Tuesday. So insane. 

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend (I'm off both Monday and Tuesday this coming week and next woo hoo!!)

 Last minute Christmas plans?! What's everyone doing?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Movies - #1

While I didn't put the rest of the movies in an sort of order because I love each one for different reasons I will say, without a doubt, Christmas Vacation is my all time favorite Christmas movie.

Christmas Vacation (1989)


It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon. 

And there you have it. Twelve awesome holiday movies you should be watching this year..and every year going forward. I'm sure many of you out there are raising your hands and saying, " forgot ____!! How could you forget ____?!!" I did have to put limits! Or else I'd just be putting movie after movie and would be going on and on. 

But here are a few more honorable mentions in my yearly watching queue..

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Movies - #2

I actually never watched this growing up, I believe the first time I watched it I was already in my 20's. But this movie... I'm not sure if there are words to express the feeling you take away after watching this movie.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)


George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George's modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Movies - #3

Will Farrell..I don't think I need to say any more.

Elf (2003)


Buddy was a baby in an orphanage who stowed away in Santa's sack and ended up at the North Pole. Later, as an adult human who happened to be raised by elves, Santa allows him to go to New York City to find his birth father, Walter Hobbs. Hobbs, on Santa's naughty list for being a heartless jerk, had no idea that Buddy was even born. Buddy, meanwhile, experiences the delights of New York City (and human culture) as only an elf can. When Walter's relationship with Buddy interferes with his job, he is forced to reevaluate his priorities.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas wish list

Every year as a child I remember my mom coming to my older sister and I, handing us the Sears Wish Book and JCPenny Toy Catalog and saying "Alright - start making your toy lists!". These books were amazing, hundreds of pages of toys. I would circle away, and place stars next to the really important items. I used to get so excited (as I'm sure every other kid did as well) That feeling of pure joy and excitement. I hate that now, as an adult, I don't have that same feeling that I did as a child. 

So this year..channeling my 7 year old inner self with a thirty-something year old tastes.. I put together a very small (yet pricey) wish list that I would love Santa to bring me this year:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

1. Thrive Furniture - Taylor sectional. The mister and I love this couch and have the perfect space for it. Well technically, not yet. But once the renovations are complete we will. It will definitely be mine ..someday.

2. Kitty sweater. I'm not a crazy cat lady. I used to have two of my own (well technically three, but one my mom stole away from me while he was still little) and I loved them to pieces but I will never have a kitty again. I haven't had to clean a litter box in over two years..and that feels wonderful! But just because I don't see my life ever having a real live kitty in it again..doesn't mean I can't want this amazing sweater. It's been on my wish list for well over a year. I just keep hoping that it will go on sale at some point!

3. Le Bunny Bleu sneakers - These sneakers are so adorable AND currently on sale! I love both but think I like the cream and orange ones slightly better..and oh I think I'd wear a size 7 if anyone was wondering. (says they run small haha) My goodness they have so many cute shoes!!

4. Modern Flip clock with calendar. Another must have once the renovations are complete

5. Amber ring. In addition to the turquoise ring I've been searching for, I've also wanted a chunky amber ring for as long as I can remember. Every time we go antiquing I always stop and search. Amber is gorgeous. I have a pair of amber plugs that I can no longer wear because they are too tiny. But how amazing is amber .. trapped history in a pretty package.

6. Thrive Furniture (again) - Earl Credenza. This would go in the same room as the couch. Their furniture is beautiful. I'll take one of everything.

How about you? Do you have a wish list?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Buy Handmade vol 39

We head out west this week to Portland, OR

Name: Christine Srivongse Collins
Age: 27
Occupation: Designer/Crafter

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi there! I’m Christine. Wood & Grain emerged after my husband, Ian, and I got married last year in the woods of northern California. We handmade nearly everything for our wedding and the experience and results were absolutely amazing. We had so much fun, we thought to ourselves - why should we stop just because our wedding is over? We now live in Portland, Oregon with our dog, cat and two bearded dragons.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I’ve been creating things since I was a toddler. The first thing I made on my own were Barbie clothes with my sister. We were too young to be using needles and thread, so we used tape and glue. They turned out absolutely horrible, but since we made them ourselves they were special. 

I’ve used Etsy since 2008 and occasionally sold things on it that I had made for fun, but I didn’t get serious about it until October 2011.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

I wanted a name that was both playful and serious that evoked nature and the outdoors, which are the main inspirations for my work.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

It has, and I am very grateful for it. Being able to focus a significant amount of my time and effort into making things for people and improving the shop has been wonderful.

How would you describe your creative process?

When it comes to creating something, planning ahead is very minimal in my process. I usually get really excited about an idea I have and I start making it right away. Sometimes I’ll get lucky and get it right the first time. Other times I don’t. But I learn from the mistakes made along the way and keep working on it until I think it’s perfect. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Nature, of course. The requirement for all the items in the shop is that it has to look good sitting on a tree stump in a wooded forest. 

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?

I’ve done one wedding show so far and it was a lot of fun. I don’t think I’ll be a part of another anytime soon, but possibly some time in the future. Putting all of my products up in a booth was a great exercise, since it gave me a chance to see everything at once. It let me know what was good, what needed work and what was missing.

What is your most cherished handmade item?

The site of our wedding on Ian’s parent’s property. We spent less than six months, with the help of family and friends, turning an unusable forest into a gorgeous handmade wedding venue. For the ceremony site, we made a log bench amphitheater from a recently fallen pine tree that seated all 110 of our guests. We built a terraced hillside for the reception and had the bride and groom table on a handmade elevated platform between two pine trees. We spent nearly every weekend digging, surveying, hammering, cutting, sanding, cleaning and generally working ourselves to the bone to make the wedding happen. It was a ton of work, completely worth it and that site can’t help having a place in my heart. 

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

We spend most of our free time exploring the surrounding wilderness by going hiking and backpacking. We are obsessed with food, coffee, beer, biking, cooking and we love to travel. I write about our adventures and occasional DIYs on my blog

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?

Probably working in a microbiology lab or a food manufacturing factory. I studied Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology in college and was working in a food manufacturing plant in San Francisco until I moved to Portland. That dream is on hold because I’m fulfilling another – this shop. I’m having way too much fun and I can’t give it up. 

Five years from now you will be…

Living in a houseboat in New Zealand for a year or two.

Describe yourself in five words:

1. Shy
2. Creative
3. Anxious
4. Adventurous
5. Busy

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

1. Ludovico Einaudi
2. The Kinks
3. Sigur Ros
4. Led Zeppelin
5. Ella Fitzgerald

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Have great, original products that you are proud of, take good photos in natural light and have fun! It’s so satisfying when something you made is making someone else happy.