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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 – March –Courtney – Store – HempHugs

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Deadhead Art Alliance Artist of the Month – March –Courtney – Store – HempHugs

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Hemp Hugs

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Hi My name is Courtney, I’m 24 and my shop is Hemp Hugs which I started as an Etsy shop in October 2010. 

I consider my boyfriend Rich a member of Hemp Hugs too – we’ve been together a little

over 8 years & he’s been a huge part of making our business happen!

I mostly make hemp jewelry and Rich did wire wraps for about 2 years

and just recently started blowing glass.

 

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I remember being young and inspired by my aunt had always been into arts & crafts. For as long as I remember, she was

always making things for my cousins and I.  She would use fabric paint on shoes,

dresses, hats, shirts,etc for us and I LOVED them. I used to go over her house all the

time & make stuff with her.  My favorite thing to do was make beaded jewelry with

pony beads & elastic cord.

In high school I bought my first hemp necklace.  It was so plain & basic & I

remember thinking to myself  “I can do this, but make it look way cooler!”

I discovered etsy.com and found people making a living from making hemp jewelry.  One shop

in mind sticks out, Psysub Hemp on Etsy, I was SO inspired by their beautiful

jewelry it made me want to learn how to make my own style.  I went

to the craft store & bought a macrame book, some basic natural hemp, and called

the only friend I knew that actually knew anything about macrame and showed me

the basic flat knot and that was it.. from there I pretty much taught myself.  I discovered colored

hemp and went nuts from there.

I fell in love with macrame.

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My love for macrame started a new life for me.  From my first job working restaurants at

age 16 to the time I quit my last job at age 20, I worked at 7 different places (6 of

them were restaurants).  I had decided I no longer wanted to work for a corporate

business or really anyone but myself so Rich and I took a week

off work & went to a music festival where we talked to a couple food vendors who

said they hadn’t worked a ‘real job’ in 12 years.  They seemed so happy.  They got

to do what they wanted whenever they wanted AND got paid for it!  That was it for

me.  Over the next year, Rich & I saved our money to start our own small business.

In May of 2010, I was working 3 jobs, while Rich was a kitchen manager at a local

chain restaurant.  Neither of us were happy with what we were doing.  He went into

work one morning in a Grateful Dead t-shirt, turned his keys into the general

manager & basically said “i quit”.  I quit my job at 2 of the restaurants I was working

at, and a month later walked out of my job at a movie theater.  Best decision we

both ever made.

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Things changed for me after I went to my first music festival.

From that moment I was hooked. I loved

EVERYTHING about them..the music, the vibe, the art, the feeling of being

whoever you want & not being judged.  

Music is definitely one of my main inspirations. I am a huge fan of the Grateful Dead & have lots of GD

 inspired charms & pendants.  I’m also inspired by the other talented macrame artists out

there.  There’s a group on Facebook just for macrame artists to share tips, get

advice, trade supplies, and just encourage each other and it’s been a big

inspiration for me. 

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One of my greatest memories is of our very first time vending. It was Classic Fest 2010 at Nelson Ledges

Quarry Park. We had an EZ­up and 2 tables.

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One table had all of my jewelry.

I was even making hemp jewelry which I had scattered all over the table. No displays of any kind, just a

mess of jewelry and

some camping necessities like TP, flashlights, rain ponchos, etc. We also had

boxes of movie posters..from working at a movie theater, I got the advantage of taking

all the posters they got, otherwise they would just throw them away. Most of them

were awful movies that mostly never even made it to theaters lol. We barely made

enough money that weekend to cover our tickets to the event + vending fee. We

almost gave up on vending altogether after that.

vx5-fkcWnVAyN8_YvGEX0dtWpEktppMBCjELLmYUjhvEnxnaMHCB_TcKon4PqU8ud8K5dndeEru5dXzIjsFyxxJqvAOuysLtwoDbxuPx_VuX8Ia6LpwGd8pIc0c1tXo_ib3Z8JDsjWBPjS6FO5fy3Z7q57FwSUabhF4zHVcG2oqGGigO7psJouIzxS1Ai-QbrXysZsB1-q3eWH01PrGucH3BGe

So glad we didn’t!

We now have a 20×30 setup right next to the stage at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, with at

least 6 tables FULL of merchandise, 6+ handmade necklace boards full of my

hemp jewelry, clothes racks, grid walls, display cases.. it’s truly amazing to see

how far we’ve come in a few years.

JKnua1u2xoyb9XTcZ9WmwdVvCxP6l1vOTyt-2T5NWTQHNs80NHuwKqXxPwY_PMH_gMxxvGgfjjE30TAxCuBEqDg7uZDfDwnY5Lcry9vnX0q63K4wARcncr57p1TJGvqIKLwV5ZC9rIKBrT9rvF_bNhSsaURQ146lfkJYdWzgksq3zeKpV5HHBI6AMl5GFOovevtka5Og5jQ5ukiR25mP4CkCNp

Hemp Hugs expanded from being just

an online Etsy shop to a vending business, setting up at various music

festivals at our local venue, Nelson Ledges Quarry Park and recently we’ve also started

setting up at different concerts for a local Youngstown band, Jones for

Revival.

 

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As a hemp artist, I try to use the best quality of products available. I use 100%

natural hemp twine in a wide variety of colors. I have about 7 cases full of a variety

of beads (wood, glass, gemstone, ceramic, etc), pendants, charms, cabochons,

and other supplies. Trying to decide what to make is sometimes more of a

challenge than actually making something – lol.  I spend most of my time creating in my living room, either

listening to some music or watching shows & documentaries on Netflix.  

With the more intricate designs, I almost never plan it

out first.  I usually just pick out some colors & just go with the flow of what I feel fits

that piece just right.

TvlY8R9_JGRJoc_krHkm14CmLPtSDHTWowCrIgmkg7Qzig_MGsXf_UdYTOCrQw6ccqeIYrDHkVG7e1YdSw7HMgUqWA11_lvFIaBvUoT9-W34yfPwJ4X3_oSL5WzcCDOFIwm71GyBD2XFqhkeuHCk5kGx8H_ETNtK3TYnJ4W6oQ7yCg3S49hrnB6HUZG0jg--ZVjCGfP6Qg6Ob-_fa0jNQTQFMH

I have a small macrame board that I use to hold my piece in place while I create so Once I decide on a pendant or bead

I want to use, I match up the colors of hemp that I think would accent the piece(s)

well and then from there, I decide if I want to spend hours creating an intricate, one of a

kind piece or keep it simple. 

 

jxCdHbY6vHhRRkR9PNLWkQUnaPQYKWcz1dGt-YlBeP5Q3VE1ns4t_sTVYWeSi9ekoF4CfF9GVfv8fmYHeG7hR9m9TlV0U7A7o_s5E1nTI_cAWFAvLO7ka2Z7whuzcTFW96CC_DYxTVebvhG2qCujgks5VBt5dgFWkm_hZyW9L8AOuZmwvG1Y-VesQsR151QOO9Pqu3xjDDL-krGyAYUArAo6ac

We met our business partners, Gary & Lourie (local glassblowers

who have their own small business, Glass and Stuff) in 2012 and have been

vending music festivals with them ever since.

1i6tl7losjC1Bh_qtgPHKm8lGBj26d7Xd-j32yQm0xnuIaOW1oQNrJBildaS_L2v8ykkVcl89DAoPKGB1VsLONALZH2ipNidbDDeRjNAJKMvH9Rss5giZ6lVJt-CAL93X4vbwmPinX7jb76g-9AaKrSRrNgXxuB8hF-Xa-hOUDJX2QAbnwuiIGIQExM_BZjw3nw_HKrISDEBMxIemiVSL8CjZ7 tsuf4ZJzP9U_NdxSpqLZBtRRp_okGlHALtNQaN3RjdLrZpJu1PchyiIjugESiO862FdXHBDQmeRwTA3dLdip2cBqgA4CNt1oy_1Gh8_-E_6A7QvPN3hmLfLew5FzkRHJVUnTU008LpJ2NvfZ0og5YqrfyyOA2rQ1h8KKX3xfWGfzoieDE-69yPTJM4q038SxV-8ySehxFc1FPl0MaL8D_C3lK3 

This past November we all got together with two other friends, Zak & Whitney (they have a small business as

well called Estimated Prospect where they sell stones, crystals & minerals) and

we opened up a store here in Ohio called Higher Minds.  We all travel & vend

together at NLQP -Nelson Ledges Quary Park – every spring/summer.  Our goal is to support as many local

artists & small businesses as possible.  Our store Higher Minds is full of local

hand blown glass, my handmade hemp jewelry, handmade clothing, tie dyes,

tapestries, all natural beauty products (made here in Ohio), and so much

more and are mostly all from friends & local artists.  If it wasn’t for Rich & I starting up

Hemp Hugs & traveling to shows, Higher Minds would potentially not exist.

It’s basically 3 small businesses joined together as one.

 

H48v7lb2InbWgbLeLlOnhC1GrQnc6lXG2tb9qFXaK5HYEUUF6VkSfOxwjDytHUof5aT65tnnIVxtGBWZmea9QQz8sMEmJuz4bTcNy6tKA8egsz4MSUTcnd-TrJ06isjyL5vv7yleS1uht_2TMBP_NUAQBBWwJ8lVaFEN2J3sdqxVxw5GI0akOVzA1RzuKIRrFv4p9-MFqalGHekfYHCVnPsepr

 

My favorite piece of art I’ve ever made is one I just recently made; a bracelet cuff that honestly blew my mind when I was

finished.  I had a labradorite cab & some matching beads set aside for months. I

knew I wanted to make something spectacular with them, but didn’t know what

until I recently learned a new macrame technique for wrapping stones. MANY

knots later, I was so impressed with what I had created, I got a little emotional

when I was done.

il_170x135.740198615_dg4g

 

My boyfriend, definitely helps keep me going when things get tough.

There have been countless times when I get myself down because maybe my Etsy sales have dropped a little from last month or for some

reason I don’t feel I’m doing my best….and he’s right there telling me otherwise,

assuring me that everything is ok.  Also my friends & family’s undying support of

what I do definitely keeps me going.

bFkkWuR0psuwelTJPrLneQvE9_qdzwaO5D_1PldvwJi0fvQyavkAAox07TNqigfrgrt1F84N4Cw8GWGF95aTqQkrhMm3A3rEIgSLonryNhmr5awNWXvX_UThxK2JxwkwbbX6imd_s3URIUEgX45OKdk3FgtT69jFm98JI98O_k0Kqk9rJeZdle1EFM1IhXi-J-azDgXrM1ozRY41IhxlMRIjw0

I’ve also found nature & being outdoors to be very inspiring. 

In my down time, when I’m not crafting, traveling, or working at the store I enjoy

just hanging out at home with my boyfriend & our animals (1 dog & 2 kitties) or

having a couple good beers with some friends (preferably around a campfire!)

-pIO3M-JMhB4_VGgyBaulO7C4lsfPInwufk2TL6zMUciXDqiiGOPh3PpcVfhY4YgCcKNZC0Sq6RmexEviIaCaj_07kU0CPNLiVVaOWSBfkUTKqlTLw0hJm6gxNSs5dJuuDk21f7HddDyD6vZFXt6NZTyT_lij42Pq5s02taGQv1yY-PYWikDZeyVDkaS0e6S19O4vbcms2KKZP08h07Ehkqq0g

 Nice to meet you!

 

favorite quotes

I have a lot of them!!!!

“if you get confused, listen to the music play”

“a box of rain will ease the pain & love will see you through”

“once in awhile you get shone the light in the strangest of places if you look at it

right”

“i’m gonna love the life I live & i’m gonna live the life I love”

oh boy lol.. so many stories come to mind, I would be typing for hours haha.

 

When asked…   Is there something about you as an artist that you would like the world to

know?  she said this

“I’m a self­ taught macrame artist with big dreams.  I never give up on something I’m

passionate about and I absolutely love what I do & will continue to push myself Furthur”

(~);}

I’m beyond grateful with how much our small business has grown. I only see it

getting bigger from here & hope to one day have Higher Minds stores across the

country and possibly even the world.  But for now, I couldn’t be happier with where

we are at 🙂

Selling Venues:

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville,Ohio (every music festival from April-
October)

Clay’s Park in Canton, Ohio for the Ville Music Festival

I also have a lot of my hemp jewelry available at our store Higher Minds in

Champion, Ohio.

Artist Contact info:

e­mail cschin4200@yahoo.com

Social Media Links:

www.facebook.com/hemphugs

www.etsy.com/shop/hemphugs

instagram­ @hemphugs

 

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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dhaaselenabyashleygribbin

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.

dhaaselena2

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.

dhaaselenacloseups10945023_328076744050248_4773067382633953494_n

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.

dhaaselena5

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.

dhaaselenapic

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.

dhaaselena7

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!

dhaaselenabooth

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.

selenaquiltquare

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.

dhaaselenascarf

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!

dhaaselenaquilt

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.

dhaaselenaselection

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!

dhaaselena8

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.

dhaaselena3

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.

dhaaselena

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.

dhaaselena6

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.

dhaaselenalast

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.

dhaaselenagif

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 Product Review Board Presents: Knotty Mama Rag Werk Headband

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RAG WERK

Fire and Ice Headband by: Knotty Mama

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Sew Crafty and Made with Love!  

You can see this dreadlocked angel wears these herself to hold back her locks, you know a artist is true to their work when they make their work to wear themselves.  I’ve personally had long long long hair since I was I child.  Mine is thin and blonde and flows down my back.  All through life I’ve worn pony tails more because ribbons and headbands never stayed in my hair well.  Enter the Rag Werks headbands by Knotty Mama and my story has changed.  I love wearing my Knotty Mama headband., its a good amount of material so it feels good on your head without weighing you down at all.  Some headbands are real headache givers… not these, I have to say they are the most comfortable thing I’ve used to pull my hair back with… Ever!… and no slipping either!     

 

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Great Gifts and a wonderful addition to any lovely goddess’ look 

knottymama

(85) reviews

Eco-Friendly Upcycled Clothing for Human Beings

 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/knottymama?ref=s2-header-shopnameImage

 

Deadhead Art Alliance Gives this Product 5 stars

 

★ handmade

 

★ upcycled fabric

 

★ comfort

 

★ durability

 

★ style

 

What more could you really ask for .. we are happy and hope you too will be satisfied.

 

 

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You can even custom order a headband! You tell her the length and width of your desire. 
https://www.etsy.com/listing/166516427/rainbow-spiral-headband-nebula-rising?ref=listing-4
——Custom order means, it is made just for you!—-full payment required prior to start of project, and then allow one week for it’s completion!

Made from the smallest knit scraps available (Which I love!) 
sewn with love and care! 
Lined head band 
with knit braided ties

Built to last!

***********Inspired by uber talented artists such as

https://www.etsy.com/shop/IntergalacticApparel and https://www.etsy.com/shop/JohnnyCornbread

Feel free to comment or ask questions with wild abandonment, just message Maggie-Jane anytime 🙂

https://www.etsy.com/shop/knottymama
****Keep up with knotty happenings at http://www.facebook.com/knottymama *****

“Buying American and homemade is an investment not only in your fellow humanoid, but in your wardrobe, because my clothes (and other estians’) are likely to outshine and outlast factory assembly line “run of the mill” garments!!!”  quote by Maggie Jane herself 🙂Image 

You can read about this artist by going to her about page 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/knottymama/about

If you love this hair band it will be available in the team store in July… but for now check out these other hair accessories in her store

Dragonly Fly Tiedye Rag Werk Hippie Gypsy headband KNottymama Hair Band

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/155696221/dragonly-fly-tiedye-rag-werk-hippie?ref=listing-2

SPiral Sun Burst Rag Werk Hippie Gypsy headband KNottymama Hair Band

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/155628712/spiral-sun-burst-rag-werk-hippie-gypsy?ref=related-4

 

Peace Love and Light to All of you and Don’t forget to pack this in your festival gear pack,  It’s finally summer out there!

Deadhead Art Alliance

 

Explore, Escape and be Free! Leda May Jones

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Explore, Escape and be Free!   Leda May Jones

iusa_75x75.26070303_90hj il_170x135-1.481719703_m6jz il_170x135.591766197_b3f8 il_170x135.547433707_cvah il_170x135.416682668_gidj il_170x135.496700995_oci3 iusb_760x100.13632476_tbbz il_170x135.596290515_13d7 unnamed-5 il_170x135.481675630_8ehp unnamed-2 unnamed-4 unnamed-3 unnamed-7 unnamed-8 il_570xN.585105421_e9ac unnamed-1    Hello my name is Leda May Jones.  My store name is Ledamay.  I live in a small town of Willits in Mendocino Ca. I would have to say I love Northern California and hope to own my own little piece of it someday. I am a mother of three beautiful daughters and one son that is adored by all the lady’s in the house.  My shops philosophy is to create everything with love and passion and to never get tired of what I’m making by always making it unique and different giving each piece Life!

My purpose with it all is to share a piece of myself with the world

My creative process is forever changing.  I love finding old beautiful fabrics that inspire me and because I have four children and am homeschooling one …waking up early is the time I do most my creating.  The kids will wake up for school and I will have fabric flung all over the house with sewing machine running and a cup of coffee in hand or will be twirling around in my newest creation and my daughters will tell me “ Mom I think that one is the prettiest one yet” haha ( they tell me this with each one.)

I am always changing my work place but I realize I prefer not hiding away I have to be near my children when I’m working and sometimes I think the background noise helps.

I love finding perfection in imperfection I use new fabrics when I can’t find something I need, But the older fabrics just have more character to me ,creating with them is so much more fun!

After I had my first two children I was a single mom needing a career so I decided beauty school was something attainable for myself so I finished and passed state board where then I got a job at Shag salon and would have to say I enjoyed being a hair artist for many years.  It was after I got married and had my third daughter that my husband bought me a sewing machine for our anniversary.

 

           I found the love for sewing and I haven’t put my sewing machine             away since …………………..today is six years later……….wow………………

I would have to say the joy in creating for me is not the in the pieces I’ve made its who I have made them for, like this beautiful lady that came to see me from Oakland I created a dress for her wedding and now on the 25th she wants me to come and do her hair and makeup at the wedding, she has become a friend, and who could ask for more , I am just so blessed to know what I make brings these lovely peaceful people into my life .

  Going back to thinking about my childhood and the first thing I saw being made …My mom had five children and we lived in many different trailers and pieces of property growing up, I was in awe that she always could make a home out of nothing.  We would make furniture out of old tires, rugs out of old rags.  She was definitely ahead of her time with creating things out of old T shirts but we never had a sewing machine and I always thought boy what I could do with one of those!!!!

 

“What you do really does reflect you and what you reflect comes back”

                             You ask what inspires me to create……… Love inspires me

I mostly sell my handmade art on Etsy and I have only done one vending booth and I loved it .

I would have to say you should give artists working out there some major credit because it is… very hard work!  I think once my children are older I would love to do more.

I am very lucky to have a hardworking husband that has a job that allows me stay home with the kids.  The only hard part is that it can be seasonal work so it always seems when he slows down with building my shop picks up the slack, but my dream is to own a home of our own someday that is definitely a driving force when I get tired I just have to pick myself up and find my creative flow.

I love to paint, cook beautiful food ,play on the beach and go hiking with the kids … but I am sad to say I haven’t gone to any music festivals yet.  Growing up we all just played music by the campfire every night we never really had the money or transportation to do so,  and having a baby at sixteen… I never got to explore that life, this team has definitely made me realize what I have missed all these years so I do hope to experience one someday !! I will be thirty this month I better get movin Time goes by so fast !

       What would I like the world to know about me?

                                                   I would like to let the World Know I am a Dreamer

I never dreamed that I would be making women’s clothing let alone wedding dresses My shop on Etsy has been truly magical to me in how it has transformed and created this web of imagination and creativity in my soul I can say I am just excited to see what happens next !!!

My favorite quote is

“ everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree , it will live its whole life believing it is stupid “ (Albert Einstein)

Selling Venues:

Artist Contact info: Ledaandfamily@gmail.com

Etsy Store:

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

Social Media Links: on facebook L.may gowns, and Leda jones photography

https://www.facebook.com/leda.jones.5?fref=ts

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 Month – December 2013 – Margaret Anderson Kasper – Store: Mountain Girl Clothing

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My name is Margaret Kasper and I have been born and bred in New Hampshire.  I’m the one woman army at Mountain Girl Clothing.

I create one of a kind up-cycled women’s clothing and accessories for the one of a kind ladies out there.

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The name Mountain Girl was cultivated because I grew up in New Hampshire.  When I went to school in the city at Massachusetts College of Art and Design for Fiber Arts, I felt out of place.  I was not in my true atmosphere and I longed for the Mountains of New Hampshire, thus Mountain Girl was created my last year attending MassArt.

I graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts (Fiber Arts) and Im also a certified Doula, although I have not had time in the past few years to keep that going.  I’d love to get back to it someday.

 “doula” definition:   The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support.”

Later the name correlated pretty well when I started to incorporate old Grateful Dead shirts and artwork in my clothing.  My father and I love collecting old and used Grateful Dead shirts together and it’s something that I hold dear with him.  We love the music and  the artwork surrounding it.

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Mountain Girl did not happen over night.   It took about two years for it to really get going full swing.  Right out of college I jumped full speed into Mountain Girl and did not have another job, besides babysitting and odd jobs, so I had a long time on living on Ramen and Pabst!

Two things which I still love.

I use recycled and repurposed materials to create my clothing.  It is truly a labor of love and my true passion in life.  I eat sleep and dream Mountain Girl and I hope that comes across in my work.

 It made my mom nervous, but eventually she warmed up to the idea once she saw how passionate I was AND that all my hard work was paying off.  Mountain Girl stared in a small spare room with one hand me down sewing machine (which I still love and use) a desk as a sewing table and ONE old ugly fisherman’s sweater.

Almost six years, over 5,000 sales later, it has grown to a 1,500 foot studio space in an old mill building in Nashua NH with three hand me down sewing machines (not just one!) and two sergers (one of dark threads, one for light).

Mountain Girl Clothing IS my day job, my night job, my weekend job and my LIFE job…  And I love it.

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 The website Craft Count which tracks Etsy Sellers by Category at this time of publishing shows Mountain Girl Clothing as the top 100 sellers in the

handmade – clothing category – What an amazing accomplishment!

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 Mountain Girl Clothing starts when I wake up around 7 am and feed the doggies.  I Get ready and head to the studio.  I start my music or news radio and brew a big cup of coffee.

At first, for at least the first year, I  did not have a set plan or routine – I would just go with the flow.  

That worked very well until I started getting busy in the shop.I then learned the be more efficient by planning my day and having set goals for the week.  I will literally wake up at 7 and I sew from 7:30-7 pm most days or well into the night.  I literally can’t stop!

I don’t use patterns so each piece is truly organic.  Although I have set ways of and processes of making pieces, I don’t have a pattern to follow. That is way when I tried to go to fashion design classes it was the opposite way I organically work so needless to say, I didn’t enjoy them.   I just follow the fabric, texture and prints and lets those do the talking for me.

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Music inspires me, textures, smells (nag champa in the studio!) and wandering the halls and isles of thrift stores for sure.  Its my heaven on earth.

Grateful Dead Bertha Skeleton Blue Raglan Open Shoulder Upcycled Oversized Tshirt/Tee/Top/Shirt Womens Hippie Boho Festival Vintage Trim O/S

My favorite piece I’ve ever made was a sweater a few years back. It had a gorgeous crochet appliqué on the back, big bell sleeves and a huge comfy hood. Very colorful.  It is hard to let go of some of my creations but that I guess it’s just a reflection of life.  You have to let things go in order to keep moving forward.

 
Floral/Plaid Upcycled Eco Friendly Patchwork Quilted Vintage Fabric Cotton Cowl Scarf Neckwamer Hippie/Bohemian One Of A Kind
 

When things are slow and money is tight I actually work MORE.  

I find that putting more energy into my creations helps generate more sales (or maybe I am just imagining this) but it works for me and picks me up out of a rut.

MADE TO ORDER Simple Black Off The Shoulder Stretch Knit Top by MountainGirlClothing

It is scary to have your own business.  

To know that you have no fall back and when things are slow there is nothing you can do but wait and work your little heart out.

In my down time I love to sit on the couch with the dogs and watch some shows and zone out.  I also love to go to my dads a few towns over and hang out with him or my brother will come up from Boston sometimes and it’s always wonderful to spend time with everyone together.   Those moment are rare but I love them.

My parents were huge influences on my love of creation.  Here is a photo of my parents and their band in the 70s, they were called The Secret Sam Band.

My mom and dad are on the left in the front together

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 I also love to go to shows and concerts.  I love the energy of all of the people and music lights and sounds.  You can’t get that anywhere else!

Son of Jump – Secret Sam Band

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Mom Singing in 2012

  I remember the first show I ever saw, It was late spring and warm out. I went to a night concert in Boston at the Bank of America Pavilion.  It was Sigur Ros performing.  Their song Agaetis Byrjun started to play and it started to pour.  It was truly a beautiful moment and brought me to tears. A lot of hardships were going on in my life at that very moment but somehow I felt put back together after that one song.

Bohemian Heart Patch Bell Sleeve Cable Knit Upcycled Hippie Boho Cardigan Sweater Jacket Boho Festival Womens Size Small/Medium Hippie

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I just wanted to remind our alliance that we as artists, have an amazing blessing.

Here is how i know this to be true:

This past summer, I lost my mother to breast cancer.  She was my rock and my heart.

I was in the depths of despair and honestly still am in many ways.

But.

The one things that is helping me heal is to create, and make and make and make.

We as artists have an outlet, a born outlet to express out emotions through our artwork.

Not everyone can do this.

For that reason we are blessed.

So if you are going through hard times…sit down and create. It will help heal your heart.

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favorite quote:

Bette Midler — ‘Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.’

Selling Venues:

Artist Contact info:           Mountain Girl Clothing LLC, http://www.mountaingirlclothing.com, Margaret Kasper, MountainGirlClothing@gmail.com

Social Media Links:           http://www.instagram.com/mountaingirlclothing  www.facebook.com/mountaingirclothing Twitter: mntngirletsy

Margaret, Thank you for sharing your world and for being a leader of the deadhead art alliance.

She has been an inspiring artist to me from the first time I looked at her store,  I had just started the team, and asked her to be a leader because I could feel her kind musically inspired vibe radiating with the love of our Grateful Dead inspired community, and am happy that I did.

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.