17 December, 2008

altered states

Last weekend, I was a vendor at the No Coast Craft-o-Rama, a rockingly huge event at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. I should have plugged it here, but I was too busy sewing to remember to do so. My bad.

Anyhoo, on day two a family of women came to my booth, fawning muchly over my bags. It's great when anyone does so, but something about a whole group makes it kinda cool. One of them really liked one of my across the shoulder pieces, but was debating. After many waves of back and forth, she mentioned the strap was too long. Her mother replied, "Well, I can fix that," and the sale was made.

I was happy for the sale, and the ladies were all very nice and complimentary, but that comment kept gnawing at me. How is she going to fix it? How much deconstruction of that bag will take place to get it just right? I've been torn as to how to feel. On one hand, the sale is complete and it's theirs to do whatever they want with it. If I went to Goodwill and found something that was almost-but-not-completely ideal, I would have little qualms as to making changes to suit my needs.

On the other hand, if I were a shopper at a fair like No Coast, I would not mess with someone else's work. I wouldn't add my own paint to a completed canvas because I think the piece could use a bit more blue. I consider what they make to be artwork, why wouldn't I consider my own to be as well? Is it because my pieces are functional they lose that status and are by default open for manipulation?

As long as it doesn't mess with the structural or design integrity of the piece, I don't mind making adjustments as needed. But the second someone else takes a seam ripper to my work, it ceases to be my work. While there is nothing I can do about that, it still bums me out a bit,

30 November, 2008

improve your personal environment in two easy steps!

Today I accomplished two things of note. First, I finally signed up for the digital TV vouchers. Living a sad, cable-free existence, I look forward to bidding farewell to grainy and ghosty programming. It was super easy to register.

You can too!

The other feat was signing the Buy Handmade pledge. Also easy as pie. Here's the deal. Pledging to buy handmade does not necessarily mean giving up the big boxes or online superstores. Just like becoming a vegetarian does not necessarily mean going vegan. One does what works best for them. But choosing to purchase even one item not mass-produced fosters the idea that creativity will win out over repetition. It's why I love selling on Etsy. Making handmade gifts is also always a good thing. But if you can't make it yourself, support an artist who can.

How does one make such a pledge, you ask? Right here!
I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

20 November, 2008

shameless plug: designed to consign

The first part of this post I am borrowing from my facebook note. I'm lazy.

The great sage Kristin Richardson told me once, that anything could be found on Craigslist. Well, she is right, and because I listened to that wisdom I have something to share.A bit ago on CL, I found a posting of a new shop who was looking for artists to sell there. It was a vintage store with a twist- they were paying special focus on repurposed items. Well, I wrote, and she wrote, and the end result is I am now selling my hats in said shop!REfind Vintage is a cute little three room shop on the east side of St Paul. It's at 1105 Payne Ave, about two blocks south of Maryland or maybe 6-8 blocks north of Phalen. The store will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10-6. They've already opened, but the grand opening will be this weekend, the 22nd and 23rd. The hats I have there are made using either vintage fabrics or recycled fabrics from clothes, curtains, etc.:

While REfind does not have a website up yet, Mellissa has written up a press release for the Grand Opening:

A new vintage shop has opened in St. Paul- with a twist. REfind vintage is a charming space filled with vintage wares culled from auctions and sales near and far. The twist? REfind features local artists who restyle and repurpose vintage items to create unique, beautiful things you will not find at other shops.Located on the east side of St. Paul at 1105 Payne Avenue, a Grand Opening celebration is scheduled for November 22 and 23, from 10-6. Help yourself to coffee, hot cider and homemade cookies (Mellissa is the former owner of Jerabek's New Bohemian, so fabulous treats will always be on hand!). At REfind vintage, you can roam through three rooms of fun and useful things...furniture, artwork, housewares, jewelry and clothing....and ever changing, one-of-a-kind creations. Looking for a gift that you won't see at every other shop in town? REfind vintage is constantly creating new things from old stuff! Stop in and see whats new today!!Our store hours are Wednesday thru Sunday from 10 am till 6 pm.....and don't forget the GRAND OPENING bash on November 22 and 23!!
REfind vintage
1105 Payne Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55130
Mellissa Deyo, owner

So check it out! It's easy to get to and full of unique items. This is my first foray into consignment selling, and I'm very excited to be a part of this new venture!

I am also fortunate to be selling at Artscraps through January 3, at their Artstart Gallery in the "Gift of Art" exhibit. Such a fun assortment of very affordable pieces, both display and functional. Here are a couple pics from the opening party:

If you see a bag or a hat in the shots, those are mine.

I also will be at the No Coast Craft-o-Rama in (yikes!) 2 1/2 weeks. More on that to come!


18 November, 2008

friends pimping, part 3: listen to the shadows

For three performances only, Park Square Theatre is remounting their production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Remounts of well-received works happen often around here. But this is special. The reason I think you should go to this production is for the sound. Katharine Horowitz is a most talented designer. I have had the pleasure of working with Katharine on several shows as her humble board operator. I don't mind saying the first time nearly kicked my ass. I have never worked with anyone who deals with layers as much as she does. It makes for exhilirating results.

When Midsummer was first put on in 2006, one review (and I can't access the original review to get it right) likened her design to being its own character in the piece. If someone can paint with sound, it's definitely Katharine. She does a lot of work around town, and is definitely someone to keep an eye (er, ear) out for when attending theatre productions.

Go see Midsummer while you can!

08 October, 2008

shameless plug: the cool kids hang at the VFW.

Here I go, almost forgetting to plug myself!

This Sunday, October 12, I will be one of fifty vendors at the Handmaidens Minneapolis Fall Craftacular!

The Handmaidens are made up of three very cool and talented chicks. They put this show on four times a year, and I am very fortunate to be in my second show of theirs. This takes place at the Uptown Minneapolis VFW, which is just north of the Lake and Lyndale intersection on Lyndale Avenue. The show runs from 10am-5pm, with drink specials ($2 bloody marys and screwdrivers) until 1pm. Each show participant will have an item in the end of day raffle, which is free to enter. Parking is available in the back- enter via Aldrich Avenue.

You can find me selling in the lower level of the space. To get an idea of what I’ll have, please visit my Etsy store, but I can assure you, I will have much more than what is currently featured in there. For more information on the show, visit the Handmaidens website. If you let me know you read about the show via this blog, you will get a discount on any purchase. See you then!

01 October, 2008

friends pimping, part 2: there will be blood.

One of the reasons I have enjoyed working with Theatre Pro Rata is there is no fear of a dark side. The plays often delve deep into the shadows and expose things living with in to the harsh light. As a props designer, I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to make some crazy and twisted stuff. Seriously twisted, but in the best possible way.

This Saturday, (October 4), Theatre Pro Rata, helmed by the fabulous Carin Bratlie, premieres their new season with the play "Killer Joe." Written by Tracy Letts, KJ is about a hit gone awry and the residual horrifuc fallout. This play features some of the best of local theatre (great folk, one and all), and breaks in the new Gremlin Theatre space at University and Raymond in St Paul. Saturday's performance will have festivities before and after. For more information, click below:

Black and White Bash

Killer Joe

Come for the play, stay for the Cheetos!

02 September, 2008

Crimes Against Fashion: Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink was released in 1986, the year I turned fifteen. I guarantee I saw it at least twice in the theater when it came out and endless times after. Though it arguably has the best soundtrack of any John Hughes film, and has the most lines permanently instilled in my everyday vernacular, I’ve never been able to fully embrace Molly Ringwald’s character. She dressed funky and vintage, something I longed to do at the time but couldn’t. She wore hats, which of course gave her a zillion bonus points in my book. But she wasn’t the most sympathetic character, and she went with Blane over Duckie. I know that’s the fault of the test screening audiences who demanded the ending be changed, but whatever. Chances are no matter who she chose she would have dumped them by summer’s end anyway and hooked up with someone like Steff. Neither guy was the one for her, and both deserved better.

Why this lingering hostility towards the character of Andie Walsh? Because she turned this:
into this:

Don’t get me wrong- I’m all for recycling and repurposing clothing and creating a whole new piece. But I also feel one should respect a classic, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Perhaps if they had justified it a little, i.e. there was a rip or stain on the back that couldn’t be repaired. But no. They took a beautifully cut vintage* prom dress and turned it in to some droopy sleeved too-long shift that would never stand the test of time. The dress didn't deserve such a horrible fate. Shame on John Hughes, shame on Molly Ringwald (for cutting into the dress on film), and shame on those of us who grew up in the 1980s thinking we had viable fashion sense.

*I’m suspending belief enough to forget that the dress was probably built specifically for the movie. It’s the principle of the crime I have issues with, not the reality!

26 August, 2008

friends pimping, part 1: the best for first.

Matthew Glover has started a blog. Did you hear me??? Matthew Glover has started a blog!!!


Matthew is a writer, actor, chef, placekicker extraordinaire, history buff, designer and design muse, among many many other things. He is more diversely talented than anyone I have ever known. And you should get to know him, too.

Check out his blog, which debuts today. Bookmark it, make it part of your regular reading habits, You'll immediately be glad you did.

17 August, 2008

backing up

I'm going to admit it, the return of drawstring backpacks totally caught me by surprise. Is it because it's an Olympic year, and people are more in tune with athletes and their gear?

One of the first bags I ever made was a drawstring backpack. 1993 or so, per the request of a good friend, who described what she wanted and I made it. Within the next 5-7 years (the 90s are somewhat of a nostalgic haze at this point), the whole ergonomic thing started and the "healthy back bag" debuted to the world. I had one around the time when they first came out, and though I admit it was probably far better for me than a regular backpack, it didn't hold a whole lot. Then again, if you carry on your back all you need to have with you, the "healthy" part of the equation is thrown out the window. Ergonomics and reality don't often mesh.

I'm thinking this newfound popularity of such a simple piece is related to the tote's foray into the spotlight. An open piece with little flourish that does it's job and keeps hands free. Plus it's unisex. At the MOA last weekend I saw a guy in his 60s wearing a navy Converse All Star one. And my love of their sneakers made me a bit envious. So, fifteen years after the first one, I'm thinking of making them again. We'll see, anyway.

22 July, 2008

Coffee, Tea and Me!

So this weekend, Saturday the 26th to be exact, is the Twin Cities Coffee Crawl. Kinda a new thing. Thirteen local cafes are participating, featuring installations, music, tarot, or good old-fashioned people selling stuff. I'll be at a place doing the last one. Nina's Coffee Cafe, on Selby & Western in St Paul. I don't quite have a handle on where in the shop we'll be, but it's somewhere along the north wall. If process of elimination works best, I will not be the one selling cute shrink plastic jewelry (kellybot/pequenopequeno), nor will I be the one with the kickass paintings (Joseph Gianetti). I will be the one doing my damndest to bring hats back into style. Oh and bags. Lots of bags.
Two others from the Minnesota Etsy Street Team will be elsewhere for the crawl.
KV Designs will be at Cosmic's on Selby and Snelling, and Wilma's Whimseys will be at A Fine Grind, next door to Izzy's on Marshall. Check out one, check out all, but gold stars will be presented to those who come see me! Oh, and wear your Team MN pin or mention this blog when you see me, and get a discount on any purchase of my products! Represent, y'all!

14 June, 2008

I'd like to get to know you well...

Welcome! This is the future site of the pinswithfury blog. Please be patient and keep your hard hat on.
The goal of this chatterbox is to talk about things I'm doing, as well as voraciously tout the work of the many talented people I know.
About me: I make stuff. I've been sewing since I was young, from replacing the ear on my little brother's Ernie doll to making a denim wallet with pink bias-tape trim in 7th grade that was sadder than anything one could have seen. It was probably that point where it became clear that store-bought patterns and I do not get along. Most of my work is freeform or loosely influenced. Butterick, Vogue and Amy Butler get no business from this girl. Often what I make is determined by the fabric itself, and as a result, no two items are alike. Most of my work are handbags, totes, purses, etc., but my first love is the hat. I've been wearing them since I can remember, and making them for nearly half my life. After years of making things and giving them away, I finally started as a business about five years ago.
I love meshing different styles and textures together, making items that are tactile and colorful. I can say in all honesty that I am color-obsessed, and my pieces are ideal for those who get also get a giddy thrill by seeing something saturated in color. I work hard to make my pieces as functional as possible; just because it's fun doesn't mean it can't have a purpose.
Back to the shameless plugging; I'm currently a vendor on Etsy, and much of my current work can be seen here:
A sampling of my older work can be seen on my MN Artists page:
So there we have it! The first one is always the toughest, but this wasn't bad at all. Thanks for stopping by!