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Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – September – Susie Blair – Store – Urban Prairie Girl

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My name is Susie Blair, and I have been sewing all my life!  I am a one woman business located in Sebastopol, California. I was born in Eritrea, and have also lived in Kodiak, Alaska, and Venice Beach, CA.  I have been married for 29 years to Gary, who is a high school teacher, and I have an 19 year old daughter named Hannah, who is a competitive swing dancer, and a college student.
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I am in Delhi and I seem to have grown the extra set of arms a crafter needs to do it all!

I have two shops currently, both on Etsy.  Urban Prairie Girl, which features handmade and custom fitted clothing, cloth napkins, dish towels, my ever popular pillowcases, and handmade curtains, all sewn up with Indian prints which I bring back every year from India.   I opened my first clothing shop because a friend once said to me, you know, if you spend as much time working as you do playing on the internet, you might actually make some money. (Thank you, Tony Angel!)
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My second shop on Etsy is called UPG FABRIC ANNEX, which carries my entire line of hand selected Indian fabrics that are simply the most unique and beautiful fabrics that you  will not find in the USA.  I created Urban Prairie Girl to feature my handmade clothing, to provide custom fitting clothing for ALL sizes of women, and of course, an outlet for my prolifically creative mind! I want my clothing to feel comfortable and beautiful, to be long lasting, to fit you well, and to make you feel like the free spirited woman that you are!
I would have to say, that the fabrics I choose each year for my collection, definitely lead me in whatever direction I take off in, creatively speaking.  The fabrics are my paint, my canvas, my inspiration.  I have been traveling to India for 16 years, and my fabric collection has grown so large I had to open the fabric shop, which was another dream of mine come true!
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My 2015 shipment has arrived!

Then, I have a handful of timeless designs that seem to work for all sorts of body types, which is definitely a goal of mine.  Properly fitted clothing is quite a challenge.  You know, a lot of women feel like there is something wrong with their bodies because when they go clothes shopping, nothing fits! Clothing manufacturers make clothing to fit the “average” figure, which, guess what? Practically NO ONE is that size!!! Clothing manufacturers also choose to NOT make full flowing skirts and dresses which actually fit over hips!!!  The average woman hip measurement is 38-40”!  You will not find a skirt in a clothing store like my handmade skirts, which are generously cut and made to fit your body.
You might think this is crazy, but I have never had a sewing room or workshop. Since I was 6 years old, I have been sewing in the kitchen, and cutting out my garments on the living room floor.  I am 54 years old, and I still crawl around on the floor cutting out stuff!  I sew on the kitchen table, my three trusty Berninas fit nicely there. Unfortunately, that means, no kitchen table, ever! And, no cooking super smelly and oily stuff in our kitchen because of the fabrics.  My patient family is constantly working around fabric piles, cutting boards, and that ever wobbly ironing board with precariously perched hot iron which never seems to get turned off.
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Me On a train In Sri Lanka, December 2014

I find that working at home sometimes prevents me from getting on a roll, but on the other hand, I don’t have to commute, or pay rent on a workshop or store, and I get to work in my pajamas all day if I want to! (like now!)
Anyway, sometimes, I am sewing a custom fitted garment to someone’s measurements, and other times, I just wake up in the morning and ask myself, “what do I feel like making today?”  In fact, today I am making some really cute fabric storage boxes for makeup and other small items, just because I got some very cute zippers I am dying to play with. Sometimes I just sort my fabric into piles that “go together” which inspires me to take off on another  project.  Now, lets talk about those piles of fabric.  At this point, there are mountains of fabric in three, ok, four places in my house.  Most are organized into see through plastic boxes because I do not want them to get dirty or dusty, are not prewashed, and I can see most of the fabrics through the boxes. There is one, ok, two piles that are not in plastic boxes, and all of those fabrics have been prewashed and preshrunk, and ready to be played with. I both sell the fabrics  (www.upgfabricannex.etsy.com) and use them to my hearts content! And in case you are wondering, my average shipment from India each year is around 400 pounds, that’s weight, not money.
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I grew up in a home with two very handy parents.  My father was an electronics technician in the US Navy. He was a genius and would build clocks, televisions, radios, sheds, sidewalks, patios, as well as have a hell of a good time rewiring our entire house, his way! ! He was always tinkering, building, fixing, and making stuff. We never needed to hire a handyman, or a cleaning woman, or a house helper, or babysitter, because my parents did it all! Man, they were handy!  My mother would sew a lot of our clothes, curtains and mend our stuff of course.  There was always a sewing machine around.
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In school I loved all the art classes, all the dance, all the sewing classes! It was in high school that I had an art teacher, Mr Rousey, who saw a connection that could be made with my artistic self and my sewing self, and he challenged me to make a piece of art using fabrics.  That was the first time I ever realized that art and clothing and sewing and textiles could all be bundled up into one wonderful form of expression!   Mr Dale Rousey, my favourite art teacher, and Mrs Margaret Belmar, my favourite home economics teacher, both played an enormous part in helping me find, ME!
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I have not had a “day job” for a very long time.  But when I did work for de man, this is what I did…I was a children’s photographer, a salesgirl in various mall shops including a fabric store, a bank teller, an ESL teacher, a campus supervisor for a high school, a teachers assistant.  I have also worked as a seamster for a hat company, a motorcycle luggage company, a futon company, and other designers. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, My husband and I used to have tie dye factory, probably not unlike a lot of you! Paid for those dead shows!
I once had a boyfriend that told me, take what you do best, and what you love to do, and do it. And he loaned me $1,000. so I could quit my bank teller job and try to make a living doing custom sewing, in Los Angeles.  LOL, I cannot tell you how many perverts came to my home wanting me to make them kinky clothing.  I was just 23, and not really knowing how to handle that sort of energy.  I just wanted to make stuff that I wanted to make and have people like it and buy it!
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Now, I have to take a minute here to tell you how Etsy has changed my life.  Prior to learning about Etsy, rather belatedly in March of 2007, I struggled to make money doing alterations and custom sewing around town.  It was really ungratifying and required a lot of customer contact, meaning a lot of time. I was raising my child at the time, and sewing at home was really the best way for me to make it work.  A friend of mine told me about Etsy and that I ought to try having a shop there. On Etsy, I have developed a clientele that keeps coming back for custom fitted clothes.  Then last year, I opened my fabric shop on Etsy, and wow! That is a dream come true.  I love sharing my fabric collection with the entire world. I love India, I love Indian fabric, and I love Etsy for changing my life! Thank you Etsy, and thank you to my friend, Donna, for turning me on to Etsy!
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As I said before, It must have been the influence of my parents, constantly puttering, fixing, building and making stuff around the house. I cannot so much remember what was being made, but the memory of my dad, cigarette in hand, plotting and puttering, and making another creation.  And, my mom, sewing our stuff, cooking, cleaning, fixing, shining! Always, always busy!  I remember though, one Christmas in about 6th grade, we had gotten some crafts projects as gifts, and, while the entire Christmas day happened all around me, I sat under the tree, all day, all dang day, completely absorbed in my felt kitty art, and my paint by numbers, and my new doll clothes that my mom had made for me.  I remember a feeling that day…it was.. “I AM A MAKER!!!”
Let me tell you about those doll clothes, which I still have to this day!  My mother would sew for my sister and I, every Christmas, an entire doll wardrobe for one of our dolls.  One year, an entire Barbie wardrobe! Another, a sweet baby doll wardrobe,  The next year, my Beautiful Chrissie doll received the most swingin’, hip 70’s clothing collection ever!  Funny, how in writing this, I am remembering some of the first things I remember being made as a child….

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Well, one of my favourite pieces ever is a quilt that I made in 1990, all crazy patchwork, with a purple back and extra stuffing.  I will tell you why I still love it. My daughter snatched it for her own when she was in elementary school. She even made a painting of the bed and quilt.  I noticed how much she loves the weight, the comfort and familiarity of that quilt now as much as she did when she was a small child. It has always warmed my heart that my girl ran off with my handmade quilt and has used it on her bed most of her life. Now that she is 19. the quilt is still on her bed, although ragged!
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My inspiration comes from the fabrics I collect in India, the color, the people and the designs of India. Traveling is definitely an inspiration, not only for my creations, but also for my spirit.
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Getting a fresh cut pineapple after Chamundi Hill, Mysore, India

I’d have to say, that I am stimulated by the excitement, colors, madness and beauty of India and other travels, and am calmed, nourished and
at home in my quiet, beautiful apple orchard in Northern California.
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Working in my fabric factory in India

I’m also inspired by travel, the people, the food, and the excitement of never quite knowing what to expect, including the selection of my fabrics.  While I always return to my same fabric sources, I am constantly delighted by the textiles they have made for me during the previous months.

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During each yearly visit to India, I am always sure to tack on some great adventures.  For example, last year my husband, and a Scottish pal accompanied me to India, and Sri Lanka.  I also really enjoy the satisfaction of making something for someone that really appreciates it! I love it when I get a message from someone telling me how beautiful they feel in their new skirt!

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I’d have to say, that not having any orders, can really make me feel like a loser.  I have to really try sometimes to push myself to be creative, to stimulate my shop, to make something new. If all else fails, I start scrubbing and cleaning my house.  I also will paint a wall, or clean a closet, a drawer, or make something I don’t need to make…I just have to always be making stuff or doing stuff, it is what I do best. I think its more important to me than the money I make.
Fortunately, I have been married to my partner, with a “real job”, for a very long time.  I confess he makes the bulk of our money.  My income makes it possible for us to travel, buy ourselves things, and go out to dinner or little trips now and then.  It supplements our families income, but I confess, with the competition in the clothing market, I would not stand a chance against Macys, etc etc, and I will not die trying! I am fortunate to not have the need to feel desperate in my attempt at making a living with my art.
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I like to travel, I like to walk and walk and walk.  I like to spend time with my daughter, my cat, and my husband.  I like to play bright and fun games on my iPad. You are going to think Im weird, but I like to sew in my free time, too!

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I love to read Indian literature, and travel writers, like Paul Thoreaux. My favorite travel story, The Naked Hand, by Thoreaux. (If you just wanna check out Thoreaux in quick style, read Elephanta Suite, a collection of short stories)  My favorite Indian author is Rohinton Mistry, my favorite Indian book, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.
favorite quote     “It Is Written”
-and this is not for religious reasons, but because I believe that whatever happens is meant to be, and yes, sometimes is already in the cards.
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So then, since we are the Deadhead Art Alliance, I think I ought to tell you about the Grateful Dead show which would change my life, but not for a few more years to come…..It was at the Grateful Dead, Ventura County Fairgrounds, 1984 that I met my future husband, best friend and life partner. Of course at the time, he was really more interested in my best friend. . She, and the bottle of champagne we had between us on the beach after the shows.  Gary and I remained friends until 1986, when we found ourselves on a road trip together.  Somewhere in Kansas, Gary puts on Bob Dylan’s Desire CASSETTE TAPE, lol (it is 1986)….heh, that sly devil. By the time we got back home to my beach shack in Venice, I had a new boyfriend!  We were married in 1988.  Now, the thing is, while I was content enough to  see the Dead once or twice a year in Irvine and Ventura, Gary needed to go to ALL THE SHOWS!!! LOL, so eventually we got married, a dead cover band at our wedding, our first dance to Sugar Magnolia, and our honeymoon tour was summer of 1988 Dead shows all the way to the east coast and back!  Now here we are….30 years later!
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I met my husband at a dead show in 1984, and our honey moon was dead tour, 1988…

There is something as a clothing maker I would like the world to know, the artist part is more personal and really, its just me expressing stuff, nothing else to know.  As for the clothing…well, here I go on a rant…. Did you know that the main reason clothing is cut so un-generously and tight? Money.  Why is everything see through? Sex. Ok, so those are the two main focuses in the clothing industry. Money making and sex.  The sex part, whatever…..but the money part, wow!  If you have ever taken a look into my shop, you will find skirts that are generously cut using 3-6 yards of fabric, pants that fit all sorts of bootys, dresses that don’t make you look like a ho, and all made with fabrics that are 100% natural cotton, and sometimes silk and rayon.  Of course, if you did the math, you would see the skimpy mini skirt in Wet Seal, sewn by slave labor, would show quite a bit more profit than a handmade gypsy skirt sewn with 4 yards of handmade fabric. That is why you cannot buy my stuff in the mall, its not profitable.  So, what I am getting at is, the fashion industry dictates what you will wear, what colors, what styles, how short, how tight, how cheap, how expensive, how ugly, how slutty, how synthetic, how dare they!
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I have a dream to one day have my own line of sheets, comforters, bath and kitchen items, Indian style, of course.  This is a very large project, and if it is meant to be, it will happen. Thank you for taking the time to read my stuff!
Peace!
Selling Venues: Sebastopol Farm Market Sebastopol, CA Sundays 10-1:30
                        www.urbanprairiegirl.etsy.com
                        www.upgfabricannex.etsy.com
Artist Contact info:  Susie Blair  _facebook
                              www.urbanprairiegirl.etsy.com
                              barefoot_one200@Yahoo.com
Social Media Links:  upgfabricannex on Instagram
Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team
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Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – April – Chelsy Harper – Store – Ocean Tide Creations

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Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – April – Chelsy Harper – Store – Ocean Tide Creations

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My name is Chelsy Harper and I’m the lady who is responsible for Ocean Tide Creations store on Etsy. I’m a proud member of the Deadhead Art Alliance and I’m located in The Mountains of NorCal.

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iusa_75x75.23634761_f4mxOcean Tide Creations sells Big Sur Jade Pendants,  Big Sur Jade Wire Wraps, Hand Made Bags, Purses, Patches, and Hand Made Wood Burned Pictures with the purpose To pass along positive energy through art and creation

All of my jewelry is handmade and the stones I find myself. I found the Jade between 2009-2013 when I lived south of Big
Sur and then the pieces of jewelry you see are also Handmade by myself On the hill or on the road.
After hunting for years in Big Sur I took some of my best finds and turned them into one of a kind hand made jewelry. I drilled all the holes myself and all of the pieces were ocean polished, nothing was polished by hand.
All of the fabric I use has come from up cycled material. All the wood worked pictures were hand cut rounds from Oak off of our property in Northern California and burnt by me.
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I Met my Boyfriend 6 years ago and headed out on dead tour, ended up spending winters in Big Sur hunting Jade and summers in  Mendo doin the organic garden thing and meeting interesting people. Some girls made clothing and others did different crafts. On one particular trip up to big sur, we picked up this lady hitch hiking, her name was K. She showed me how to wire wrap in exchange for a ride. That was about 2 years ago and that is how i learned to wire wrap 🙂 everything else is self taught really.

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My dad has always been into making things. When i was a kid he used to carve and decorate eggs, that is the first craft i remember thinking was really cool as a kid.
My favorite piece of jewelry I’ve so far made is the jade hat pins, they were really interesting to try and figure out how to wrap.

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Right now im really loving making my newborn daughter little sundresses! I think I’m going to make some to add to my Etsy soon! What inspired me in the beginning )started off as nature, music, and traveling. but now is centered around my daughter.
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What makes my creating interesting for me is the hunting for the jade in big sur- climbing down the cliffs, getting down onto the beach and searching for those beautiful shining pieces of jade! I love it. And any jewelry i make I just love imagining it and making it happen. Its a proud feeling when you have made something with your own hands and it turns out the way you imagined or even better!

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When things get hard I just keeping creating and having fun with what i do and it gets me through.  As of recently i just take care of my baby girl! and we go for walks and just be outside.
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favorite quote
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein

 First festival i ever went to was High Sierra in 2009 with my boyfriend and some friends. We stayed for 2 days, snuck over the fence twice, because we got kicked out the first time. I remember this girl there who made lighter covers with beads and she was making one that look exactly like Jerrys face! It was awesome.

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The first dead show i went to was in 2009 also in Denver, Co. at the botanical gardens. Took us 2 or 3 days gas jugging to get there. It was an amazing trip getting there and on the first night at the show i got a miracle and got in! I remember Jack Straw was playing as i was running in 🙂 My boyfriend had to sneek in. And we were searching for each other and finally i saw him, and They started playing standing on the moon, that was our first song together 🙂 We continued tour, gas juggling the whole way and selling 1$ grilled cheese and PBR and made it all the way back to Eugene, Oregon. It had a definite change on me and the way i lived 🙂
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I cant imagine life without music or creating things or family 🙂 All these things inspire me to create
In the future  I would just like to get more stuff in my shop, hopefully make more clothing. and be able to actually make a living out of creating things i love for other people 🙂
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Selling Venues:

Etsy:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/OceanTideCreations

Artist Contact info:

email- Chelshar1@gmail.com

Social Media Links:

etsy- https://www.etsy.com/shop/OceanTideCreations
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/oceantidecreationsGJNF28yL2U1HEcseo2ft8dA-28jbvgGkfGDlczwg1_gFrsN8q_EcSNOvNj5s2rkkIzn9fijkddDfoPvl591T92NRh64FfTrbxeERUGsbC9cPllnyLE9rDeCsiJUWjdJ5w4qj0ozjAwmILr4YohPRATocq6XYLg3XHoLJs5agg__e3NuRytMBVgNgQTPqvF1xxBjJROZYT5Tpfd8-Wx76lrSqud

Thank you Chelsy for being a wonderful member of our team and best to you and the future with your new family and Ocean Tide Creations – The Deadhead Art Alliance Team

Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – February –Cherri and Frank – Store – HippyFranks

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Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – February –Cherri and Frank – Store – HippyFranks

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Frank and Cherry shown at Haight Ashbury Street Fair Representing the DHAA Team with Captain Jen & Sumanasa Pixie

Hello!
We are Frank and Cherri, two aging nonconformist throwbacks of the
60’s.  Frank and I are proud members of the Deadhead Art Alliance on
Etsy.  We are two avid gypsies traveling up and down the U.S. west coast
in our RV along with our two dogs Gaia and Gandhi.

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We are proud to have two Etsy Shops.  Barefoot Garb is more of a fun
girlie festival fashion shop, which is filled with brightly colored hoop
dance costumes.  We are working on expanding our line here, so that you
can find a complete festie costume for both mommy and baby.

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Hippy Franks has more of an earthy comfy vibe.  We really try to offer more
options in this shop for the fellas with vegan rasta tam’s, cotton wide
leg pants, and hand dyed re-purposed mens shirts.
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Frank
and I have a simple life trying to live our lives in the most
sustainable fashion we can.  While it is not always possible we do
re-purpose whenever possible and used components which are vegan
friendly.

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Frank and I work well together (and regularly have differences of opinion)
often times collaborating and bouncing our ideas off of each other.
There are not enough hours in the day for either one of us to bring all
of our ideas into fruition.  I typically see great ideas in my dreams, which are always reminiscent of
the look popular during my youth in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Frank has acquired a great passion for tie-dye and is always coming up with
new ideas for using his technique on re-purposed clothing items.
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Our studio is a 40’ motor home which we use to travel up and down the west
coast.  It has been a challenge, to say the least; Always finding new
ways to efficiently store our supplies and creations.  We have learned
over time, for us the best way to overcome this issue is to gravitate
towards more “made to order” items.  We make a grand effort to hold true to our beliefs in all that we do,
and craft items which are eco-friendly and vegan.  In our shops you will
typically find clothing and accessory items crafted with cotton
fabrics, vegan yarns, and re-purposed/up-cycled components.
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As a student I
took any and all art classes that were available to me, and I cannot
think of any form of art I have not participated in.
I have spent at least the last five years getting by without the need for
a day job.  Frank and I have sold a great deal at open air markets for
years, basically about anything we could make with our own two hands.
We have sold not only handmade crafts, but home canned goods, fermented foods, homemade goat cheese, and our own goat milk.
I come from a long line of farm folks who made everything, and I mean
everything.  Thinking way back I do remember chickens in the backyard,
but by the time I was born the raising of any other livestock had long
since passed. I was born and raised in San Joaquin Valley, CA once known for being the
breadbasket of America.  There was so much abundance that our family did
not need to grow much food, rather we worked hard gleaning the fields
after harvest.  We canned and froze all of our veggies and grandfather
hunted for our meat.  All of my clothing was handmade by gramma, and by the time I was a teenager I was sewing my own school clothes.
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my younger days I crafted handmade rag dolls, which I thoroughly
enjoyed crafting.  I miss those days.  My house literally looked like a
factory.  Honestly, looking back now I have no idea how I did it.  I had three small
children, and huge contracts to fill.  I was quite pleased with my
accomplishments, as many of the big box stores were carrying my dolls.

I find inspiration everywhere.  Literally everywhere.  I don’t know if
music inspires me, but it sure does motivate me.  I enjoy listening to
classic rock and old school R&B while I am working.  It motivates me
tremendously, uplifts my mood, and I tend to accomplish so much more
and with greater ease when I am listening to my tunes.  Crafting has always been a part of my life, like eating and sleeping.

I really don’t know of any other way to be… I love every aspect of what I do.  I
rather feel as though something is missing if I am in a situation which
leaves me unable to create.
I think my most motivating factor is the feeling I get when a buyer tells
me how much they really love their new piece.   Whether it be on Etsy
or at an outdoor market there are no words to describe this feeling.

dhaaaotmreviewscherryWe have a lot of ebbs and flows in our business, and like most of our
friends who have chosen this life we are not getting rich.  The hard
times are really a state of mind.  I mean, let’s face it, for the
artisan times are always hard.
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I cannot say that I never worry about tomorrow, because I do.  I do not,
however dwell on this.  Getting out one of my books of Edgar Cayce
readings always helps me bounce back.  And, if times start to look
really bleak I pull out the Four Agreements and I am good.

“The Four Agreements
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best. ”
Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Frank and I spend a tremendous amount of time with our grandchildren.  We met
later in life and due to life circumstances, each of us feels that we
were not able to spend as much quality time with our children as we
would have liked.

I am seeing this pattern now with my adult children.  It seems to be
unavoidable.  Too much to do.  With that said, both Frank and I are
committed to being a huge part of our grandchildren’s lives.

My favorite quote, and the words I am always striving to live by is

“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World.”

I remember my first concert like it was yesterday.  I had a HUGE
infatuation for Michael Jackson from the first time I saw him on Ed
Sullivan I was in love!  When I was 12 the Jackson Five came to town.  I come from a family of very
conservative people, and convincing my parents to let me go to this was a
big task.  I did, however finally convince them and my father was able
to swing “Star Isle” front row seats at the Circle Star Theater in
Redwood City.  Whoa, front row at the Circle Star.  And the group was to
enter the stage area right past me to boot.  Yep, that night was
magical.  I don’t know if Michael entered the audience many more times after that,
but he did enter the audience that night and it was amazing.

circle-star

Brian Ross/Chronicle 1986

I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to share my passion with you.
your dreams for your store for the future if you like to add this
I am an avid believer in community.  Because of so many changes in this
world, I feel that we have lost touch with our true nature.  Most of us
feel helpless and alone, and have been so conditioned that we choose to
take whatever obstacles life throws in front of us with indifference.

It seems as though the universe does not fail to provide us with such
obstacles once we begin to feel “comfortable”  I truly believe that this
is spirit saying, “hello, wake-up, stop the complacency” Separatism
really is not working well in this world.  I feel that it was an
informative experiment, but that it is time to get back to our true
roots of sharing and caring.

Selling Venues:
Incense and Peppermints
http://www.incenseandpeppermints.us/

Barefoot Garb on Etsy
https://www.etsy.com/shop/BarefootGarb

Hippy Franks on Etsy
https://www.etsy.com/shop/HippyFranks

Artist Contact info:
spiritherbs@mail.com

Social Media Links:

Pinterest: Incense and Peppermints
https://www.pinterest.com/cherryherbs/

Twitter:  Incense and Peppermints
https://twitter.com/GypsySeamstress

Facebook:  Hippy Franks
https://www.facebook.com/HippyFranks

Tumblr:  Barefoot Garb
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/barefootgarb

Thank you Cherry and Frank for being wonderful leaders and great support for this team..

Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team

Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – January –Selena Gribbin Barefoot – Store – aRecurringDream

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Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – January –Selena Gribbin Barefoot – Store – aRecurringDream

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Selena Photo Credit: Ashley Gribbin

Hello! My name is Selena and my shop is ‘a recurring dream‘. I am

a stay at home mom living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with my husband and our

two children.

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My shop takes materials that are unwanted from my local

community and I have been making quality home goods and accessories,

and started adding clothing this year.

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As a young woman, I had sewn patchwork dresses, skirts, bags, purses,

etc for many years that I would vend at local concert lots and festivals.

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In my mid 20’s I wanted to move to the city and started working for a

young restaurant group. I grew into adulthood along side an innovative

and maturing local restaurant group that emphasized the importance of

farm to table food, craft beer and spirits, and embracing and utilizing

the individuality of each of its employees to its advantage. I spent a

decade managing restaurants for them.  The demanding schedule did

not afford me much time for sewing and once I started a family, I realized

the schedule did not allow much time for them either.

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So I said good-bye

to my home away from home and a couple of months later dusted off my

sewing machine and picked up a gig doing piece work for a local clothing

company to make money for Christmas. I slowly began finding and

unpacking my sewing items and making space for them in my home. Then

I started making gifts for people and trying to come up with ideas of items

to make with materials I had on hand, or could source inexpensively, and I

found myself building a small inventory of items.

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A new street fair started

that year and they were looking for vendors. I had just enough inventory

to send photos of my work along with the application and I was accepted

to vend the street fair, and started sewing A LOT in order to have enough

items to fill my vending spot!

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Vending regularly was not reasonable for me with my kids in tow, and I had

researched Etsy shops for months before opening my shop.  Once I started

I felt so lost!  I had zero experience with internet sales.  I tried finding teams

for support with little luck in the beginning, then,…. One of the articles in the Sellers Handbook

suggested using an interest as your search keyword when trying to find

a team.  I searched “patchwork” and that is how I found the DHAA and I

was thrilled!

This team has been such a source of knowledge and support

for me and has truly been a comforting support that has kept me on Etsy.

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I also never would have guessed that there would have been an online

market for patchwork clothes, but maybe that is just me showing my age.

I work mainly with up-cycled clothing and de-stash items that I collect from my

community. I have an overwhelmingly diverse stash of fabric, and it can

make it hard for me to focus on one project for a very long time.

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When I

get a new idea, I have no problem abandoning a project in progress to start

on a new item. I always have a collection of items in progress…sometimes

I go back and finish them, and sometimes I take them apart to use the

materials for something else. I rarely feel committed to finishing a project I

am no longer enjoying. I find inspiration from so many places in the world

around me. It sometimes surprises even me the things I will suddenly

decide need to be made next!

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I grew up with a very crafty mama who loved to sew and craft with

whatever materials we had on hand. She always encouraged us to try

new things and was never afraid of us getting dirty or making a mess. It

was a wonderful way to grow up. I was never allowed to use her machine,

but when I was a teenager and started showing interest, she was quick to

find me a hand me down machine to call my own.

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I taught myself how to

sew and quickly burned through a string of hand me down machines.  In

the height of my young adult sewing days my parents helped me purchase

a refurbished metal Singer machine.  I was always concerned about the

quality of my items and the following year my parents gifted me a serger.

Their support meant the world to me and I still sew on the same machines

today.  What a great investment they turned out to be…when I think of what

I have made on them it is almost unreal to me that they are still keeping up

with me!

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Making patchwork was a natural fit for me. When I started sewing, I

made a basic dress pattern and made a couple of simple a line dresses from

lightweight vintage curtains I had found at Goodwill. My friends mother

gave me a box full of scraps she had collected over her years of sewing,

and I decided to make a pattern for a patchwork dress for myself. As a

child I had often been mesmerized with Holly Hobbie’s beautiful apron,

and wanted a dress that was a grown up version of that amazing childhood

image. After some drafting and a lot of math…I did it! I couldn’t believe

that I had actually made it! It is still my favorite item I have ever made.

I made well over 50 dresses from this pattern and never upgraded my

personal dress from that original, and I look forward to handing it down to

my girls. I have always been so proud of it, and I am hoping to revive the

pattern this Spring.

dhaaselenastoreshothttps://www.etsy.com/shop/aRecurringDream

My children are the most amazing force to have ever touched my life. I

am a very active parent, and enjoy my time with them immensely. I am

also committed to my community, and spend time volunteering at my

children’s schools, helping with coat and food drives, and volunteering at

our community garden.

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Our community garden is one of my favorite places

to be!  In addition to our own plots, my husband, children and I spend a

lot of time helping to tend the common grounds, and tending the donation

garden. All of the harvest from the donation garden benefits our neighbors

through our local food pantry.

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My family and I also love taking advantage

of all of wonderful things Pittsburgh has to offer. Pittsburgh is a beautiful

and exciting city, and we particularly love our time spent at the Carnegie

Museums and all of the surrounding State Parks. The woods are truly my

home. I like to be busy and active, and I am never at a loss for things to do

in my area.

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I always loved vending at festivals and shows, and I was excited when I

started vending at the Artisan Market in the Strip District neighborhood of

Pittsburgh this year. I love people, and love getting to talk to people about

my work. I find having an internet shop to be so isolating, and it is always

nice to come face to face with someone who truly appreciated what you are

creating.

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Music has always held an important role in my life. My father is very

passionate about music and ensured it was part of our daily lives. He took

me to my first concerts, and to many more later in life. The concert that left

the biggest impression was attended when I was about maybe 12 years

old. It was a music festival at Camp Lejeune Naval Base during Operation

Desert Storm. The energy in the crowd was unlike anything I had ever

experienced. I remember that Chicago was the headliner and that Sinbad

was the MC for the event. It was my first experience seeing how music

could bring people together and give them hope, joy and a strong sense of

togetherness.  When I first moved to the city in my early 20’s, there was an amazing

theater that had live music almost every night. I went there just about

every evening, I didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else. Some night

they had national acts, sometimes they would even have high school kids

who raised enough money to rent the theater to play for their friends and

family, and everything in between.  Often times the younger bands playing

were my favorite nights. They always played with a passion that I truly

appreciated.

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My favorite quote is by an author named Richard Bach from No Such Place

as Far Away.

“Not being known doesn’t stop the truth from being true.”

                                                                      Richard Bach

This resonates deeply with me. It is a simple statement of truth that I feel is

too often overlooked.

This past year I have had opportunities to do so many things that I never

would have imagined. I have made my first full size quilts, I have started

making bereavement items to console the families who have lost love ones,

and have written my first tutorial to be published in a national magazine this

Spring. It has been such a whirlwind and I am looking forward to what lies

ahead.

Selena: A Recurring Dream Vending  by John Colombo Photography

Selena: A Recurring Dream Vending by John Colombo Photography

“Many thanks to all of you who have supported me on this journey”  Selena

Artist Contact info:

aRecurringDream.com

selena@aRecurringDream.com

Social Media Links:

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/aRecurringDream

Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/arecurringdream/

Twitter:
www.twitter.com/_RecurringDream

Wanelo:
http://wanelo.com/arecurringdream

Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team

Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – MARCH 2014 – Sara Garcia – Store: DreamweaverSpirit

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DreamweaverSpirit

Welcome to DreamweaverSpirit.

Here you will discover unusual and unique jewellery and crafts inspired by Native American, Pagan and Egyptian cultures.

Horse Spirit Totem

Horse Spirit Totem

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The word jewellery itself is derived from the word jewel, which was from the Old French word “jouel“,  and beyond that, to the Latin word “jocale“, meaning plaything. In British English, it is spelled jewellery, while the spelling is jewelry in American English

 

My name is Sara and I am a Pagan artist based in Surrey, England, U.K. I was born on Summer Solstice eve in London, England many moons ago and my family is originally from Spain.  My shop is called DreamweaverSpirit – I sell Native American and Pagan inspired jewellery and crafts which are all made with love and gratitude. I love to create magical pieces that will uplift others and help them on their spiritual journey.

I also love animals and like to help them as much as I can.  A percentage of all sales go to the animal charities which I support and give monthly donations to.

Sara

I work from my home which I share with my partner and our 16 year old crazy kitten cat.  I never quite know what to expect when I start creating a piece. Sometimes I have an idea, but most of the time I just go with the flow and let it happen.  It feels like the piece is being made through me.  I get inspired by the shape of the materials I use, the crystals, wood, antler…..

Partner

My partner Andy at a Pow Wow (England) wearing my creations

Kitten Cat

Odin our Kitty

 

When I create wands and pendants, I start by preparing the wood, cutting and sanding it. Then I bind the crystals, and anything else I may be using with epoxy resin and epoxy clay.  I sand down the clay when it’s dry, and then build up the design with the same material. It can be a lengthy process as I have to wait for each layer to dry before I can move on to the next.  The faces I always sculpt in polymer clay. It’s not air drying so it gives me more time to work on them. I am usually working on five or six pieces at a time. Some get finished quickly while others might sit for a while until the time is right to finish them off. 

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Nature Spirit Wand

 

I’ve always loved art, and when I left school I went on to study photography and then fashion and graphics.  The art tutor that I had at the time was one of my mentors, she taught me a great deal and also gave me the encouragement that I needed.  After that I did a foundation course in art and design, then the next step was to go for a degree.  I’d had enough of studying by then so I took some time out to travel.  I’ve always wanted to work for myself and I’ve never stuck at a job for very long.  So when I came back I did a short business course and got some money together to buy a load of materials.  I taught myself how to make jewellery and wands and went on to do festivals, craft fairs and Pow-wows and also selling in a shop in a craft market for a year or so and also did Tarot readings while I was there as well to make a bit of extra money. 

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Spirit of the East Dreamcatcher

Then I discovered Etsy and I’ve never looked back.

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Rhythmic Motion treasury featuring DreamweaverSpirit for the Deadhead Art Alliance Team

It has really helped me get noticed and I’ve also met some wonderful people over the past four years.

COLLABORATION PROJECT with the DEADHEAD ART ALLIANCE ETSY TEAM

Artists Jen Liput from pacificnorthwestglassblowing.com, California, USA and Sara from DreamweaverSpirit, Surrey, UK

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Here’s the finished piece we came out with!

Magical Wand Collaboration with the Deadhead Art Alliance “Dreamtime”

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Magical Wand “Dreamtime”
Collaboration US and UK artists

https://www.etsy.com/people/DreamweaverSpirit
https://www.etsy.com/shop/PACIFICNWGLASS

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Magic, Wand

MATERIALS: Quartz, Bone, Hazel wood, Glass, Wooden beads, Carnelian, Suede, Feather, Shell, Epoxy putty
Dreamtime – Quartz And Hazel Lizard Totem Wand

DESCRIPTION:

I have collaborated with PACIFICNWGLASS to create this Native American inspired wand. The beautiful glass cabochons and beads were created by her and I have put it all together. The wood is Hazel, I have varnished it and attached the crystals, cabochons and bone lizard with epoxy resin. I have also attached glass beads, wooden beads and a feather with suede lace. The design around the cabochons I have created with epoxy putty. The wand measures almost 15″ and would make a lovely addition to your collection.

METAPHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES.

Lizard Medicine is the shadow side of reality where your dreams are reviewed before you decide to manifest them physically. Lizard is the Medicine of Dreamers and can always help you see the shadow. This shadow can be your fears, your hopes, or the very thing you are resisting, but it is always following you around.

Hazel wood has long been used for divination. It is said to increase intuition, wisdom, artistic ability and magical knowledge. The energy of hazel wands promote love and creativity allowing a person to move beyond self-serving modes of existence.

Quartz amplifies spiritual power and is an excellent crystal for developing psychism.

Carnelian is a stone of creativity, individuality, spiritual power. It balances the sacral chakra and is helpful for grounding oneself.

The shell is a devine feminine symbol associated with venus. It represents beauty, intuition and love.

Turkey (feather) teaches us how all life is sacred and we must learn to give and be grateful for what we have.

Link back to our Etsy store full of deadhead art alliance treasures:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/DeadheadArtAlliance

My first introduction to art was my Family.  My father was a carpenter and I would love to watch him working.  I would get bits of wood and just sit there sanding them until they were really smooth.  I loved the feel of the wood and I know it’s what gave me my passion for making wands.

My creation the “Queen of the Fae” Green Woman wand is my favourite piece at the moment. I love to sculpt nature spirits and feel the magic of the forest as I’m creating them. The crystals that I used in the wand are really beautiful too. It has a lovely energy.

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Nature inspires me more than anything.  Trees, nature spirits and animals are what I portray the most in my pieces along with mythology, ancient civilizations, fairytales and folklore.   I also get inspired by my dreams and of course the music I listen to while I’m creating is very inspirational too, … Even just looking at a crystal or a piece of wood gets the ideas flowing. 

These trees are in the forest where I find the majority of the wood that I use

I love meeting weird and wonderful people from all walks of life.  I’ve met many characters along the way and there’s nothing nicer than putting a necklace on the person that’s just bought it and having a hug  For me that’s what it all about, exchanging energies with the other person and seeing the smile on their face because they now own something I’ve made.   I also love buying as much as selling and I’m constantly looking for beautiful and unusual crystals.   I also love going to forests in search of wood and other bits and pieces. Our beautiful Mother Earth gives us so many precious treasures.

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Their has been times in the past when I’ve felt like giving it all up, but something has always happened at the last minute to make me change my mind.  I’ve learned to trust and believe in life.  When we give up hope there really is no point in carrying on and I know that creating is what I’m meant to do.  My partner is also very supportive and encouraging and is always praising my work and needless to say my buyers keep me going too. One of the nicest things that was ever said to me was “Thank you for sharing your gift with the world” 

Horus Staff

garden

my buddah

I love to travel around England visiting Stone circles and other sacred sites, going out for a drink and socialising, being with friends/ family, Pagan festivals, meditating and yoga. I love live music, mainly heavy rock/ metal and also Pagan/ Native American inspired music. I read books on magic/ witchcraft, philosophy and anything to do with metaphysics. I also love to grow things, be with Nature and hug lots of trees 

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Stonehenge Summer Solstice Eve

My dream would be to travel the world and sell my pieces in every country that I visited. So many people (and animals) are in need of love and healing and I hope that what I do can help a little. I would also love to have my own shop in Glastonbury, England one day. Such a beautiful and magical place. Some call it the heart chakra of world.

Thank you for reading and many blessings to all.

 

 favorite quote

Those who don’t believe in magic, will never find it.

Selling Venues:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/DreamweaverSpirit

http://www.artfire.com/users/DreamweaverSpirit
http://www.folksy.com/shops/DreamweaverSpirit

Artist Contact info: dreamweaver2@live.co.uk

Social Media Links:

Sales happening:

Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEADHEAD ART ALLIANCE PRODUCT REVIEW BOARD IS NOW IN SESSION! SCARLET BEGONIA PIN BY MONGO ARTS

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DEADHEAD ART ALLIANCE PRODUCT REVIEW BOARD IS NOW IN SESSION!   SCARLET BEGONIA PIN BY MONGO ARTS

dhaa product review

Deadhead art alliance isn’t just about the artists who make things, it’s about the ART too., and we’re bringing you some of the newest creations by our Members.

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Coming to your etherial doorstep we will be bringing you the hottest items the team’s members are putting out there into the world.  We hope you give them a thumbs up like we have!

Most of you have already got to read about Mongo Arts and their Owner Josh Phagan, but for those of you who are just getting here, he was our first artist of the month and now is our first artist we are featuring in our deadhead product review.

Custom Screen Printing: mongoarts.etsy.com

Custom Screen Printing: mongoarts.etsy.com

https://thedeadheadartalliance.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/artist-of-the-month-josh-phagan-of-mongo-arts/

SCARLET BEGONIA PIN BY MONGO ARTS

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This was the first of many pins that Josh Phagan from Mongo Arts has designed,  He’s got wonderful graphic art skills and is widely known for his grateful inspired T-shirts and Sweatshirts in his Etsy store https://www.etsy.com/shop/MongoArts

The rundown:

Designed by the Artist who sells it unlike many pin sellers who take images from other sources and use their graphics as their own

pins are numbered – this one shown being number 076

Stamped with the Mongo Logo

Two Pins with Rubber pin backs

3/8 of an ounce

1 1/2 inches by  1 1/2 inches

Limited Edition

SOLD OUT

Now we put this pin through our tour test, we attached it to my dress and did two sets of 4 night runs of Phil Lesh and Friends at Terrapin Crossroads, Phil’s new venue., in San Rafael, California, not only did we get lots of compliments on it, and due to the limited edition status… no one else had one similar.

Mongo ARTS is a 5 star rated business on Etsy, and though this pin is sold out, you can still have a chance to get your hands on one as WE WILL BE GIVING ONE AWAY on our team anniversary on our FACEBOOK team Fan Page at the end of this month!

Here’s the LINK:   TEAM FACEBOOK FAN PAGE

Though this one is sold out, he’s designed many others that have followed, and now offers some of his pins in Silver and Gold.

Here’s a selection of just a few others that this wonderful family has to offer!


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New Silver “Bolts of Sierpinski” Stealie Lapel Hat Pins with 4 gemstones 1.5″ with 2 posts on back. Limited Edition and numbered 1-200 with mongo arts back stamp. Limited wholesale available.

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New Ship of Fools Pins. 1.5″ with 2 posts on back. Limited Edition of 150.

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Grateful Zen your Face Pin. 1.5″ with 2 posts on back.
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New Silver “Bolts of Sierpinski” Stealie Lapel Hat Pins with 4 gemstones 1.5″ with 2 posts on back. Limited Edition and numbered 1-200 with mongo arts back stamp. Limited wholesale available.

Josh Phagan

Owner~ Mongo Arts Newport, NC, USA

Contact Info

Office phone: 843-902-5562

Email: mongoarts@gmail.com

Websites

www.mongoarts.com 

Mongo Arts Custom Screen Printing Etsy

Social Media

Visit me on Facebook 

Visit me on Twitter

Visit me on Linkedin

We’ll be bringing you more of the up and coming arts so stay on your toes.. our artists make some unique and whimsical Creations… and we can’t wait to share them with You.

DHAA ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2013 Is: Jenna Michelle Kidd from xDropBearStitcheryx

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2013

DEADHEAD ART ALLIANCE ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARDS 

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Congratulations to our ARTIST OF THE YEAR

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Jenna Michelle Kidd:  Woodstock, Canada

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We’d like to Congratulate our team Leader Jenna Michelle Kidd for Winning the Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Year AWARD by popular vote by the members of our team.

Thank you to Everyone who Voted!

Some of her newest Creations

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We must thank her for being the team Leader in Charge of our DHAA Etsy Treasury Department:   Promoting and Marketing Art for other Fellow Artists and with other artists
Including working closely with our team sponsors like our newest team sponsor    Susie  from  Urban Prairie Girl : California Dreamin Treasury shown below-
Representing what it is to be deadhead family and a community partner-  No matter how hard the day, she’s given her best to us, and for that we Respect this woman!
–  BIG Thanks! and a Shout out to the time and Energy Put in behind the Trenches by Many of our members and our team Leaders to get our artists Work Seen by making these curated galleries of art!!     You know who you ARe.
White Light by Jen on Etsy
Featured Artists:

 

California Dreamin by Jen on Etsy – In honor of our first team sponsor by Urban Prairie Girl
 il_170x135.533374686_esg6I couldn’t have chosen better if I’d picked myself!  This team knows what they are talking about! oxo captain
Keep this Artist in your mind… I know you’ll be hearing more about her in the years to Come…. you never know what she’ll pull out of her bag of tricks next!
Her Graphic Arts are Featured by the Team and we’ll now be offering Team Tshirts which she worked up with the ideas from the team’s creator Jen JKLD:
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DHAA Artist of the Month – November 2013 – Debbie Rodgers Store: Thunder Rose Leather

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DHAA Artist of the Month – November 2013 – Debbie Rodgers    Store: Thunder Rose Leather

Thunder Rose Leather by Debbie Rodgers and her partner John

Hi, I am Debbie and my business is Thunder Rose Leather

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 I work with John who is my husband of 35 years and leather making partner for over 25 of them.

We  live in a small community about 15 miles from Sedona, Arizona.

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I am one of the original promoted Leaders of the Deadhead Art Alliance Team that started in April of 2012 on Etsy.  I have contributed to the team by helping to start the Facebook social media group which the team uses to promote and share their art with one another.  I also list our chat threads on Etsy every month where people are welcomed to come and share their day, ideas, and selling concerns with each other.   Helping our like-minded artists to connect, and to make treasuries to promote the their arts.

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Deadhead Art Alliance Etsy Treasury featuring artists from the DHAA

I am also the captain of the Working Artists Promotion Team on etsy.com and zibbet.com which  is for promoting handmade by you, vintage, upcyclers and supplies.

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Our work is all handmade by us and we do our best to make sure when you buy one of our creations you are happy about what you receive.

Everything is made right here in our home in our made to order shop. We have a large leather table so we can lay out our hides and find each item.

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Each hide is very different so we do our best to get the closest look to the leather bag or whatever your purchase is. We work mostly in Elk skins and buffalo leather. We make all of our own lace and antler buttons.

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We are self-taught artists.  We have had some friends along the way have pointed out this or that, but we taught ourselves mostly and quit our day jobs as soon as our business was able to stand on its own.  The business is always changing and flowing, just like everything else in life so we have found that you need to roll with the river, always making the best choices you can along the way.

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photo credit: google images

When I was a young woman I was always looking for the craft I felt good with.

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I tried many things.

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One day I ran across a bunch of seed beads of all kinds of colors. That was it. I have been beading ever since.

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Photo Credit: ThunderRoseLeather.etsy.com

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We just kinda evolved into the leather because they go so good together.

I love my long fringed leather totes, of course with beadwork they are so easy to get in and out of. Our bags get better with age.

They become antique with what I call your medicine or person style.

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I think the one thing that inspires me most to create is my spirit.

Creating has a satisfaction to it.

It’s a way I can give something I love to do to the human race and they can cherish it for a lifetime or give something handmade to their loved one.

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I’ve found that Sitting down and creating something is centering for me. Focusing my mind on one thing is a kind of working meditation.  I love that.

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I do love listening to music while I bead and absolutely need to spend time in my garden with music and in nature to nourish my spirit.

The first festival I went to was when I was 16 years old. In was in the late 60’s early 70’s. The Dead were playing outdoors. Tickets back then were only about $5 to $10 dollars. That was it. I loved them and still do. They are one of a kind. I have been through many changes from that time until now, which is a very long story in itself,  but the Dead always uplift me. I like to put on a CD and turn up my music and dance.

I love to garden in the spring,  to watch an inspiring movie, and to play with my dog Rosie.

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I just do what I do. Nothing more nothing less. I love what I do and feel very thankful for my life , my family and friends.

Besides being an artist I have a beautiful Daughter and four beautiful grandchildren that I adore. My dream is to one day be able to teach them my art and encourage them to find their own creative process so they can be free to be themselves in this confusing world.

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My favorite are books from  Pema Chodron, Lao Tzu, The Dalai Lama. They are my go to people for encouragement to stay on the path of loving kindness and compassion toward myself and others and to work with my own mind when times are hard.

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Dali Lama: The Art of Happiness
Photo Credit: wikimedia

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

Selling Venues:                 thunderrose.etsy.com

Artist Contact info:         thunderrose[!at]ymail.com

Social Media Links:         https://www.facebook.com/thunderrosecreations

Thank you Debbie for being you and sharing the kindness you have learned with the world and the Deadhead Art Alliance Community.  We’re blessed to have you.