Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Craft Fairs and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

It's been a while since I've participated in a craft fair (or written in this blog for that matter).

So when my friend Hannah told me this 2 day Art/Music/Film festival she was working on in Downtown Long Beach, was looking to host craft vendors, I figured it would be a great opportunity to 1. try craft vending again and 2. relaunch my brand, which has gone a bit stale from neglect since I've begun work as a bookbinder working for someone else, and started teaching more (aahhhh, security!)

Also, I knew having a solid deadline would force me to produce more work, besides a few oilcloth traveller sketchbooks.

I came up with hardcover open-spine sketchbooks, hand-painted paste papers, collagraph stamped cards, collagraph jellyfish prints, mini-photo notebooks and the aforementioned oilcloth journals. Not bad for making most of it within the last possible week!

Overall, I had a great time at Wilmore 9- I created most of the inventory I'd hoped to for the deadline, met a lot of cool artsy people, and learned/relearned a lot about vending at a craft fair.

Day 1: Hamming it up with my bookish merch

Stitching signatures into a traveller journal

Day 2: Not sharing a crowded space as much. Also, still working the same braids. Hell yeah, 12 hour days.

I'm actually surprised at how much I've learned and remembered that make me a better craftswomyn (yeah, I just did that) than the last time I did a craft event (2008? 2006?)

In a future post, I would like to make a list of the things i learned or reaffirmed through this vending experience. I'd also like to highlight a few of the other lovely venders I met here, there was some great local talent!

I'll leave you with this insight- never pierce and sew 6 hardcover sketchbooks the night before an event- you will get a repetitive motion injury. And now, after all the typing, I have to go RICE (rest-ice-compress-elevate) my wrist again...




Monday, February 25, 2013

February Classes and Happenings

I'm not much of a blogger these days. Having a computer that isn't a laptop makes me feel tethered, and I very much revolt against that feeling. The month of February has brought about much life change- like prepping to move to a new apartment by March, and a few new jobs. And some good constants, like my classes at The Makery in Anaheim.

Feb 9th, I taught an all ages Valentine Pop-up card from 10am-12pm. We actually made two more styles of pop ups in addition to the one below, and personalized them according to our whims.


 1-4pm, I taught an open spine Coptic book, as pictured below.  My students were very quick stitchers, so we ended up decorating our covers quite a bit with rubber stamps, colored ink and washi tape. If I get my butt in gear, I'll post some more impressive photos of our books in a follow up.

What Kinds of books or paper craft would you like to learn next Valentine's Day?

Stay tuned for Upcoming classes. in March I will be teaching paste paper again, as well as seed paper and stab-stitch wildflower books.

For the April-June quarter, I have some ideas I am mulling over. Among these are DIY (hardcover) Wedding Albums and Guest books, Collage Zines, Pop-up Bouquet Mother's day cards, paper luminaries (lanterns- spinning ones at that!) and butterfly stitch journals. Anything else I should consider? I am always open to suggestions.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cloudbusting

Since this is my first official Autumn out of school, I decided I finally had no excuse not to make myself a really awesome halloween costume this year. I stumbled across this blog tutorial in my quest for the right costume: http://ohhappyday.com/2012/10/fluffy-white-cloud-costume/

Sure, it's a tutorial for a little girls' cloud costume, I just couldn't help myself. I needed to make a tiny adult sized version- for myself! I must admit that I underestimated the size/number of the balloons I would need even for my small torso, so it ended up being more of a chest piece than a full-body cloud. It's just as well though, I didn't need to cut arm holes into the fragile paper mache structure, and as it was, I already needed someone to feed me my drinks and help me get my bangs out of my eyes when I was wearing it.

I will try to get around to posting in-progress photos, but for now, I've created a page for the completed costume in lookbook. You can check it out and "hype" it below.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Upcoming Class: Intro to Paste Paper

Next Wednesday, I will be teaching my first fall class at the Makery. I wanted to start with a paper technique that students could use for future bookmaking classes, which I will be teaching later on this season. Paste paper was an obvious choice because it is fun, easy, and we can make it in big sheets to be cut down and used for a variety of projects! This class will be fun and informative if taken on it's own, but can be a building block for those looking to grow as paper crafters and bookmakers. 


What is paste paper exactly? Paste Paper making is kind of like finger painting for grown ups- what's not to love about that?! This decorative technique transforms plain paper into beautifully colored and patterned paper using colored wheat paste or wallpaper past and tools to create patterns using a subtractive method.

Wait, what? Yes, it's as simple as it sounds. You spread colored paste on paper, and make marks in it with tools before it dries. There are ways to add layers of complexity and push it even further, so the technique is good from beginning-advanced students of all ages. In my class, I will be demonstrating a variety of mark making options to create repeating patterns from the understated and elegant to the wild and extravagant! We will also talk about creating a paste paper toolkit out of different traditional household items, as well as traditional painting tools.


I'm very much looking forward to teaching this technique; it is a fun, messy craft and the product of our efforts is high reward for any skill level! If you live in the Orange county or Los Angeles area, I hope you can make it next Wednesday, Oct 24th. The class will be from 7pm-9pm, and we will have a fabulous time!


P.S.- Definitely bring your aprons!



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shifting Gears

So I've decided to shift gears on this much neglected blog of mine. It was my catch all personal/creative/art blog for a while, before I abandoned it to join Tumblr.

As I've just graduated with my BFA in Art (crafts emphasis), and I am beginning a few creative endeavors while looking for stable work and musing about grad schools... I am trying to be more conscious of my "brand" as an artist and crafter, and try to create a stronger distinction between my concept-driven art and my craft business.

Elephant Dust has been my Etsy name for a while, but I have only just created product and launched it: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElephantDustHandmade
There are a few things up, and plenty more to come!

Long story short, this blog is to become the official blog of "Elephant Dust Handmade," my line of handmade books and accessories. Thanks for visiting! Cheers! 



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Procrastination and Shimmer Paint

I always seem to feel the most creative when I'm in school. And the majority of my creative ideas are geared towards avoidance of my actual art assignments. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to imbue my own secret meanings into whatever still life/landscape/ misc. subject matter I am required to paint, and in so doing, fool myself into believing I am creating the art simply because I want to.

This semester, it's been a struggle to do so. Partially, I think I really psyched myself out with the grand ideas for 2010 and wore myself out with excitement by January 2nd. And 2009 was amazing, but exhausting. I feel like the majority of my lifetime unfolded in 2009. But I digress...

Despite my mental exhaustion, I'll try to follow the rules at school, and in other areas of responsibility. But I've  been trying to take a little time to make these quick little paintings just for me. Mostly little busts and profiles, like miniature paintings or cameos. It's keeping me sane, for the most part. And I find it soothing to make little works that I can fuck up without having a mini panic attack.

This one's made with a cheap-o prange set, a cool metallic set from Art Supply Warehouse and a small travel brush (it's got water already inside of it!) Her face isn't finished yet, but I'm pretty delighted so far.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Watercolor Rorschach Tests

My earliest memory of watercolors was in a summer art program at age 5 or 6. The teacher was trying to teach us color mixing to create the brown of a tree trunk. My efforts resulted a puddly, rainbow-colored tree trunk. When my mom came to pick me up, the teacher showed her my sloppy, soggy rainbow tree and told my mom I had quite the imagination. It was the first time I heard the term "Creative license" used. I was devasted. I hadn't meant to take "creative license," I was attempting to be representational, dammit! It may have been that moment that watercolors became my artistic arch nemesis. And also my favorite media to observe in galleries and watch other artists excel at, with undying admiration!

Determined to conquer my fear of the medium, and even learn to love it for myself, I enlisted in a class as my art elective. And gasp, needless to say, I am in love. I think there must be some fear involved in falling in love, or it doesn't seem real. Just to see those translucent colors mixing and separating on the palette, or a well-made mistake on the paper... a drip, a splash, blooming, spreading, bleeding, salted, splattered. a beautiful mess.