Tag Archives: dreams

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

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 – October – Amanda Johnson– Store – TyeDyeBills

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I am the creator of Tye Dye Bills, my name is Amanda Johnson

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I make most of the tie dyes, tapestries and bed sheet sets (nature inspired are my favorite) and do the portrait drawings, as well as hand make the other grateful gear.

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My team consists of myself and my husband who occasionally makes tie dyes (he has a very groovy style), rinses my bins and is sole owner and namesake of our shop name (tye dye bill was a name given to him during his on the road days), and my children who are the reason I create and sell on Etsy.

Tie dye is our passion.  Our Creations are brought to life through parenthood, love of all things tie dye and the Grateful Family we have come to know and love after all these years.  We love sharing our art, love and soul with others.

Each item contains a moment of our lives, a piece of our hearts, part of our souls. When
you purchase our creations, you are buying moments of frustration and days, weeks,
years of pure joy.  You are not just buying things, but rather creating more time for us to make things we are passionate about.
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The creative process happens in our home studio. All tie dyes are folded, tied and dyed
by hand. Tapestries are hand cut from quality medium weight, tightly woven, cotton fabric
and double stitched before folding and dyeing. We use only quality 100% cotton and fiber
reactive dyes. Dyes used are professional grade that creates a marriage between the
dye and cotton fibers during the tie dye process. All items are pre-­washed, rinsed after
dyeing, washed with a professional textile detergent to ensure dyes are bonded and
excess dyes are removed, then washed again. Items are dried in the sunshine on the line
when weather permits or fluffed in the dryer.

Everything is handmade with love, created in a smoke free and cat friendly home.

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I’ve created art for as long as I can remember.  Art teachers were pivotal in my
development as an artist.  The first tie dye I made was at summer camp when I was 8
years old.  I’ve loved tie dye for a very long time.  My kids were the driving force behind
starting my own business.  I quit my job as the manager of a small, family owned
business to start my own family.  I knew I would stay home to raise my children, the extra
income from selling tie dyes and more recently my drawings, helps support our family.  It
has proven to be challenging to find a suitable balance for my family, finding time to work
and create things I am passionate about and still take care of my home.  I created a little
play space for my children in my studio, complete with toys, an easel and desk for them to
make their own masterpieces while I work. They love being in my art space and
eventually they will help out with our business too!
I remember watching my Nan crochet blankets when I was little and my Grandma do
needlepoint.  While I never got into either craft, I remember seeing my Nan’s painted
ceramics around the house and my own first interest was probably painting because of
that.

tyedyebillsdraw
Drawings by Amanda credit: treesandtents.blogspot.com

My favorite piece I have ever made is the drawing named A Penny for Your Thoughts. It is A
drawing of my dear friend Houd (short for Houdini, his nickname) who died in March
2013.  A beautiful soul.  Our shop will be seeing more portraits in the future, I am very
excited about this and have been approached about orders already!What inspires me most to create is Parenthood, the love of all things tie dye and the Grateful Family we have come to know and

love

after all these years has inspired us the most. My portrait drawings are pure
inspiration from the beautiful souls that once walked our earth. I believe our loved ones
deserve to be honored and not forgotten and my portrait drawings do just that.

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I love working with color and really enjoy making tie dye I love. Craft shows and festivals
are also a favorite part of business. Being on the scene and selling things I love to make
while having a great time and meeting great people! The same goes for drawing portraits
of our dear loved ones, uncovering their story, discovering what made them special and
the impact they made on this earth before they left.

tyedyebillsbooth

A sale always comes through when we need it most. I am a stay at home mama so every
penny counts. Believing in ourselves and that our talents will get us through seems to do
the trick! We keep our friends close and our little family closer when times are tough.
Someone has always got our back. We’d like to believe God and our Universe is in
control of everything and we are just tiny specks. We listen to the still, small voice and
have faith.

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During what spare time we have we love to camp and be outdoors. Spending time with
friends while enjoying nature is our favorite. Frequenting music festivals is another fond
past time. As our kids get older it will allow for more fun music festivals to explore
together. We can always find inspiration in our little family to keep on keepin’ on.

tyedyebillskids

The first epic music festival that changed my life was Grateful Fest at Nelsons Ledges. I
had not previously been to such a large festival, it had a wonderful lineup of musicians
and wonderful crowd of people amidst the beauty of the forest. It was truly a break
through for me. I can’t wait to experience that particular festival again someday.

❀❀❀

Tell the world Amanda,  Is there something about you as an artist or is there something that you would like the world to know?

“Forget about all the reasons why it won’t work and believe in the reason why it will!  My

mantra for myself when I make something or have an idea that I think no one will want or

love. If you believe in it, someone else will too.”

                                                                                                     Amanda Johnson

❀❀❀

We are Super excited about the future of our shop!  As our children grow and can help more with
the shop we will be offering more tapestries and bed sheet sets.  I will also be expanding
my portrait drawing and taking custom orders.  Someday we hope to open a brick and
mortar shop, which is a ways off.  We believe in living our dreams, its the only way to
make them come true.

favorite quote

“We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there too.”     ­

Author Unknown

Selling Venues

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TyeDyeBills

Artist Contact info: Amanda Johnson ­ http://treesandtents.blogspot.com/

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

Sales happening: Black Friday Sale upcoming and flash sales are announced on our

facebook page from time to time.

Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team

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

DHAA Artist of the Month – September 2013 – Fiona Crouch Store: The Happy Mushroom

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My name is Fiona and I live on the beautiful Isle of Wight, which is a little island off the South coast of England, in a fourteen foot yurt with my boyfriend and a large American bulldog. 

me in yurt and on beach

Fiona

My shop on Etsy is called The Happy Mushroom and it is full of jolly, brightly colored polymer clay creations and tribal and boho jewelry made from new and upcycled/vintage materials.

“I am just a simple girl who loves, loves, loves to make funky things.”

The Isle of Wight /ˈl əv ˈwt/, known to the ancient Romans as Vectis, is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 3 to 5 mi (5 to 8 km) off the coast of Hampshire

Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight

Photo Credit google images: Isle of Wight tourism

www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

I moved into a yurt because I don’t like having to worry about money and these days the easiest way not to have to worry about money is not to need very much. It is a wonderful lifestyle, being so in touch with the weather and the seasons.

Our house

Having said that, my boyfriend and I now have a pretty good income between us. Well, for our needs anyway, I guess that if we had a house and a car they would keep us poor. He is a leather worker and an occasional cabinet makers assistant. He is a wonderful creator too as he seems to be able to turn his hand to anything.

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My first introduction to art was from my mother whom is a painter and is talented and lucky enough to be able to sell her work (talent is not always enough in the world of fine art, it seems). So I have been around art and crafts all my life. I remember her also sewing and my Grandmother knitting. I started making stuff when I was a little child and got handed a pack of brightly colored plastacine (kids never-drying modelling clay). I was a horrible, noisy kid who wreaked chaos everywhere I went (I am now a kind, peaceful, loving hippy who still has a secret love of chaos) and I think my mom was relieved to discover that plastacine actually shut me up and kept me occupied for a couple of hours so she has encouraged my creativity ever since, as has the rest of my family. I absolutely hated sewing as I was forced to do it in ‘home economics’ classes at school, but discovered as an adult that it was actually quite fun too.

I also do a bit of layout and design for my grandfathers publishing company and design cross stitch for a major UK magazine called Cross Stitcher which features my work monthly. I also do odd jobs, my favourite being log stacking. I don’t know why I enjoy that so much but it is really satisfying!

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/103471319/totoro-with-catbus-cross-stitch-pattern?ref=shop_home_active

http://crossstitcher.themakingspot.com/

mush house

Really my shop is a hobby which got out of hand.

dancing bear mushroom

I have an adventurous spirit and enjoy the ability I have with my art to do many different projects at one time which allows me to keep things interesting.  I am usually reading about three books at once so I can always pick up one to fit my mood.   I read a lot of non-fiction as I am very interested in science and economics, especially economics as I believe it is the driving force behind most of the worlds problems from climate change to inequality. I am currently reading ‘Stark’ by Ben Elton, which is actually a comedy about economics and climate change (if you can believe that is possible). It was given to me by a friend who is in a well known activist band called ‘Seize the day’. He said that it had a big influence on him in the early days and I can see why, it has some fabulous observations on human nature! I had a few conventional jobs but being in the same place day after day making myself available for some boss to tell me what to do just never really worked for me.

It was actually the Grateful Dead which inspired me to take up my main craft, which is creating millefiori patterns from polymer clay. I lived in the US for a while when I was teenager (you wouldn’t believe it, but most people over here in England haven’t even heard of the Grateful Dead!)  I was just getting into the music and all the beautiful GD art that went with it when I found this little pendant in a thrift store. I could tell it was made from polymer clay and it had a spiral of dancing bears on it getting smaller towards the middle, and the detail was amazing and oh so tiny. The most interesting thing was that the pattern was on both sides of the pendant because it ran right through the clay. I really had to know how it was done! I did a bit of research and discovered how.

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Bear Millefiori by Fiona Crouch
 I do love anything I make with the polymer clay millefiori pattern of a dancing bear.  I am so proud of how it came out.  It is only the head of a bear but it was still quite a tough thing to make. I just hope I can get the design right again when this cane runs out, as I have never tried to make the same cane twice.
Millefiori is an ancient technique traditionally used in decorative glasswork, but it works beautifully with more modern materials like lovely, user friendly polymer clay.
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Millefiori In Glass by Jen DHAA Team Founder
Making Millefiori
To make a polymer clay millefiori ‘cane’ I create the picture, or pattern by breaking it down into shapes and invidual elements and making a sort of long, shaped sausage in the correct color for each element. All the different shaped and colored sausages get arranged next to each other and then I kind of compress the whole lot together and roll it out thinner and thinner until I have a long sausage, or ‘cane’ with picture running through the middle. It is amazing because the picture can start off big and be reduced down to a minute size with amazing detail. I can then take slices off the end and each one will contain the picture or pattern. Tadah!
millefiori canes
Millefiori

My favourite piece in my shop right now is actually one of my mens tribal necklaces, made with beads which I purchased, rather than a polymer clay creation I made myself from scratch.
I love the smoke dyed, carved and batiked bone beads and I have been looking for a supplier to buy them from for two years. I finally found some just a couple of weeks ago and have been having a whale of a time ever since!
Fave thing in my shop

Everything seems to inspire me to create!  Sometimes it is just like being bombarded with a constant barrage of designs and ideas which just seem to fling themselves at me. Bright colors and patterns seem to inspire me the most, and I love Grateful Dead art and merchandise, the psychedelic bears and teeshirt designs always inspire me, as you can see by my new range of upcycled leather patches!

 upcycled leather patch
Times don’t really feel hard to me when sales are slow, although I do get a bit obsessive about checking my shop and listing new things until they pick up again. I am very lucky to live in a beautiful place surrounded by nature and I spend a lot of time off hiking and climbing and getting covered in mud.
That is just about all you need to keep you sane.

My first live music experience was actually a bit of a nightmare. When I was a teenager I lived in Boston in the US. Green Day, who had just become famous with their first big album ‘Dookie’ did a free concert at the ‘Hatch Shell’, an outdoor stage in a narrow park between the freeway and the Charles River. The local authorities just didn’t realise that Green Day was such a popular band. They expected three thousand people to turn up and got about thirty thousand. It was seriously overcrowded and Green Day started playing late and everyone was getting really rowdy. The authorities then decided that for safety reasons they should stop the gig after three songs. That was not a smart idea! Everybody just went nuts and started surging unpredictably in random directions, including towards the river and the road. I just hauled myself into a tree!
Youtube video of the Green Day Event in Boston

I don’t get to many festivals now as we don’t have a dog sitter but the little island I live on is a really musical place.   It has actually become ‘festival island’ as it has two major festivals and a lot of minor ones, and it is quite a music lovers destination. The Isle of Wight festivals in the late 60s are famous worldwide and Hendrix played his last gig here in 69.

The Isle of Wight festival

The 1970 Isle of Wight Festival was held between 26 and 31 August 1970 at East Afton Farm an area on the western side of the Isle of Wight.  According to wikipedia It was the last of three consecutive music festivals to take place on the island between 1968 and 1970 and widely acknowledged as the largest musical event of its time, greater than the attendance of Woodstock.  Although estimates vary, the Guinness Book of Records estimated 600,000, possibly 700,000 people attended.

 This led to the introduction of the “Isle of Wight County Council Act 1971” designed to control any further happenings of this kind

1970 Isle of Wight Festival Video:

http://youtu.be/4wr8MmAT860

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by Katie Wilkinson

Tonight we are going to see some live music.

We are going to a nice little local pub for ‘folk night’. It is a bit like open mic but all acoustic and playing old traditional music. It is wonderful!

My future holds plans of teaming up with my boyfriend and his boss to create a second shop on a new site called Artizanz which is going to be a high end shop selling jewelry and accessories, mostly mens, which are a mixture of traditional and modern funky style. That is going to be a fun project (although it is starting to sound like a lot of hard work). I am hoping that my shop The Happy Mushroom will continue to grow, which I am sure it will, as long as I keep working hard at it!

favorite quote

‘The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing’

The Happy Mushroom:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thehappymushroom?ref=si_shop

Artist Contact:

 littledasypus@yahoo.com

Social Media Facebook Link:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Happy-Mushroom/224481617639439

Congratulations Fiona!
We wish your Art a Future of Success and Happiness
We’re proud to have you as a member of the Deadhead Art Alliance Team