Tag Archives: eco friendly

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

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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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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.

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Brian Ross/Chronicle 1986

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

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

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

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

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

Artist Contact info:
spiritherbs@mail.com

Social Media Links:

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

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

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

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

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

Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team

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

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

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Selena Photo Credit: Ashley Gribbin

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

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

two children.

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My shop takes materials that are unwanted from my local

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

and started adding clothing this year.

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

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

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

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

and maturing local restaurant group that emphasized the importance of

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

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

decade managing restaurants for them.  The demanding schedule did

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

the schedule did not allow much time for them either.

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So I said good-bye

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

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

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

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

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

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

found myself building a small inventory of items.

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A new street fair started

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

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

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

items to fill my vending spot!

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

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

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

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

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

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

was thrilled!

This team has been such a source of knowledge and support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When I

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

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

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

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

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

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

decide need to be made next!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I taught myself how to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

with me!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pattern this Spring.

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

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

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

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

our community garden.

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Our community garden is one of my favorite places

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

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

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

through our local food pantry.

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My family and I also love taking advantage

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

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

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

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

in my area.

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

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

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

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

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

creating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

appreciated.

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

as Far Away.

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

                                                                      Richard Bach

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

too often overlooked.

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

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

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

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

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

ahead.

Selena: A Recurring Dream Vending  by John Colombo Photography

Selena: A Recurring Dream Vending by John Colombo Photography

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

Artist Contact info:

aRecurringDream.com

selena@aRecurringDream.com

Social Media Links:

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/aRecurringDream

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

Twitter:
www.twitter.com/_RecurringDream

Wanelo:
http://wanelo.com/arecurringdream

Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team

DHAA Artist of the Month – FEBRUARY 2014 – Margaret Adams (Maggie-Jane O) – Store: Knottymama

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Banner courtesy of knottymama.etsy.com

Hello! I am known to my fellow cohorts as Maggie-Jane O. I was born under the sign of Pisces in the first year of Reagan’s presidency. I am a dreamer of change, an organic farm-ess, a booty shaker, a naturalist, I vote, homesteader, wife, renegade seamstress, but more to the point, I am a Knotty Mama! Knotty Mama is my business, a giant hunk of my life, designing and creating handmade upcycled clothing and accessories out of second hand and orphaned clothing and fabrics.

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Maggie-Jane

My artist process is dominated by the material itself.  I would not be surprised if most upcycled artists begin the same way.  Most of my fabric collection consists of pieces that right away I knew what I would create.  A vintage table clothe with a lace border is already a skirt in my minds eye.  I have stacks of old clothing made from every conceivable material in a rainbow of colors. I love to go to yardsales, and buy those mismatched sheet sets!

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The design of any given piece is determined by what kind and how much of fabric I have.  Patchwork is an obvious way to handle any combination of colors and patterns!  One of my favorite parts of the creation process is the choosing of the materials and draft up patterns.  Makes me glad I listened to my grade school teachers about math being really useful in the real world!  I use geometry and algebra and arithmetic everyday.  My notebook is full of chicken scratches.

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I sew all my garments on my Sears Kenmore from the seventies!  My Aunty Caroline is kind enough to temporarily share her sewing room with me.  We split the glass windowed porch down the middle, though I must admit my chaos does often flow over to her side.  I love my hard core metal beast!  I use flat felled and french seams instead of serging. These seams are professional and long lasting!

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My father says we come from a family of artists.  My sisters and I always wore handmade hand me downs from my cousins.  My grandmother made barbie doll clothing.  When my sister and I were little, the family print shop was in my grandmother’s basement.  The sounds of the press is like music to my ears mixed with the smell of paper and ink.  Both my parents inspired us to be very artsy and to express ourselves in all mediums of art.  I started upcycling at a young age.  I made barbie clothes out of socks from the no-mate basket.       ( Who is that sock bandit? ) 

 

 

1503062_642071015831159_33977829_oI love the process of creating, so it is hard to pick a favorite piece.  I am constantly in love with the piece I am currently working on, if I don’t like the way it is shaping up it ends up in what I call the crap pile. The most rewarding pieces are the ones that challenge me. I have been honored enough to get to create some amazing wedding dresses.  The joy of creating the perfect garment for someone, is only intensified for that very special occasion.

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Everything inspires me to create. I have to make art or I will just die.  I love growing things, it blows my mind that you can take a tiny seed, add a little love, leave the rest to mother nature and you end up with a giant pumpkin or delicate chard. That’s pretty much my life in a hand bag.  The seeds of imagination can culminate into any dimension of the magical.

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I feel like the luckiest person in the world.  I have been able to make a semi living from sewing my entire adult life.  I literally love all of it, except maybe having to seam rip something I have sewn wrong, twice.  Nothing beats finding the perfect score at the thrift store.  I love designing something challenging and using pure force of will to make the material do what I want with the proper tools.  I really like going to show and meeting new people!  The most rewarding part of sewing for me, is when I see someone wearing the clothes I have made!

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-here is a link to a 2003 article from a local newspaper my old partner and I were interviewed while vending     http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Farchives.dailyegyptian.com%2Fimported-20111018203805%2F2003%2F12%2F10%2F25th-annual-craft-sale-draws-large-crowd-of-students-and-com.html

 

My husband, Ethan, is extremely supportive, in fact he basically set up my etsy half a decade ago.  He serenades me while I work and picks up the slack when I am working over time on the sewing machine. No matter the situation, he encourages me to keep creating. My family has always been my biggest supporters.  Fortunately, simple living requires little money.

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me and the husbandito

I am busy as a bee,  when I am not in the sewing room, I have a wide variety of tasks.  My husband and I also run a growing organic farm aptly dubbed, ” Dirty Feet Farm”.  From spring to fall I spend a lot of time in our garden, there is always weeding and mulching not to mention the planting and the harvesting. I put in a lot of time in the summer kitchen, canning and pickling produce and jamming.  We have a pack of mutt dogs, and chickens that require attention.  Sometimes when it feels like it’s too much, I lay in the hammock  all day with a good book to recharge my energies.

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Dirty Feet Farm

We are trying to get to the point of 100% off the grid.  We currently reside in a military tent, on top of a deck, like the one in Mash.  We have solar power for light and for charging our electronic devices.  In the summer when the panel is getting good light I can even sew there.  This is temporary.  We have been scrimping and saving to build our dream docile for several years.  We have plans to build an earthbag dome this summer, complete with a studio for my sewing and Ethan’s music.

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studio and living tent

Growing up, the first live music I was exposed to was around the fire at my parent’s parties.  My mother, sisters, and I would compose impromptu operas doing house work or in the car.  But, I had little experience with contemporary or popular music, I was only allowed to listen to the oldies radio station until I was in Jr High.  My first live concert was George Clinton and the P funk, a free concert at the local university.  It was pretty amazing!!  I was introduced to the Grateful Dead through some beautiful people, who have become life long friends.  The fist time I heard “Fire on the Mountain,” I was instantly addicted!!  I had these old boot leg tapes that I would listen to over and over.   The first festival I attended was Woodstock in ’99.  Three friends and I packed up in my 1987 Monte Carlo and drove to the east coast.  It was a life altering experience, especially because when I came back I made my first mama top.

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Living a simple free spirited life is my main goal!  I truly believe that everyone needs to be the change they want to see in the world!  For me, running my eco friendly sewing business fits in perfect with my homesteader bohemian view of the world.  I do not have to sacrifice any of my morals, Knotty Mama allows me to make a small living off of other people’s waste.  I also really like the fact that I am offering people a different choice, they do not have to buy poorly constructed clothing made by unfair labor practices, sold in earth destroying big box chains.  Soon I will be able to do all my sewing  with the power of the sun, then I will be really dancing down my path!!

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favorite quote

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”-Rumi

 

She is also the leader of our DHAA team in charge of the Quilt Team and we’re happy to say that 20 artists and almost a year later we’ve completed something special!

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Selling Venues:

Knottymama.etsy.com

Artist Contact info:

Knottymama@gmail.com

Social Media Links:

www.facebook.com/knottymama

www.facebook.com/dirtyfeetfarm

DHAA Artist of the Month – August 2013 – Cynthia Ellsworth ( Loving Tree) Store: Braveheartlion

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Braveheartlion

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

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Here is comes—->

My name is Cynthia Ellsworth , My shop name is Loving Tree. I create all sorts of crafts, mostly clothing and sewn accessories. I also make dream catchers and sometimes jewelry. 

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The purpose is to grow love around the world while trying to support my 5 children and myself by staying home with them so I do not have to put them in daycare and work a job that would pay the same or less than I make with online sales generally.

 

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BEADING AND JEWELRY:

Picking beads for pipe case

I find one of my greatest inspirations is my own customers. When they come to me with a special request I love it. Especially if it’s something that I have never made before. I’m one of those crazy ones that likes a challenge to keep me on my toes and I love the since of accomplishment once I figure out how to do the project.

 

I have many project ideas come and go throughout each day. I have to write some of them down or draw a sketch to remember for later on. 

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I work mostly in what I call my loving room rather than the living room we do not have TV there and try to keep it well, loving.

See this video if you like that shows a bit about my way of thinking and how I came up with the loving room concept.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXrm6RUTkZk

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I try to use as many second hand and repurposed items for my projects.

I feel there are so many supplies and items in excess in the world I don’t need to contribute to more factory processing and farming if I can help it. I am also vegan and do not use any animal products in my items. 

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I especially love using vintage material and bedsheets with characters from the past to bring a smile to faces of us grown up kids that remember them. I have dyed some of my own fabric too and hope to get into making some clay items again and possibly coil baskets with yarn.  I really liked when we made them in art class during school.

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My mother would make my sisters and I clothes and some dolls when we were children and I learned how to use her sewing machine when I was around 9 years old. I didn’t do too much with it. The first items I remember making were a tucan and lion stuffed animals in home economics in 9th grade of school. 

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CREATING FOR THE KIDS

The first clothing I remember was a pair of patchwork pants and oh lord where they wild. I was extremely inexperienced and was mostly self taught, but I wore those pants till they wore thin from over wearing and washing. 

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Contribution to the Deadhead Art Alliance Quilt

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One memorable project is a few ladies were teaching sewing when I was in 11th grade and they seen how I loved it and took me on privately to help me create a baby quilt that was intended for my first born child that had little bunny squares on it and little ears flopping out. Sadly I left some of my property with a neighbor to store until my mother could pick up my things when I moved to Washington state from NY and they had a yard sale. I lost the blanket, lesson learned there. I hope to one day make a similar one to give to my daughter so she may at least have it for herself now and to pass on to her own baby someday. 

 

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 I love making the rasta cases too for glass. I and I has been a long love for me. Unity of us all in our lives is a desire I see happening. Plus then I know I am helping people protect their investment, because most of us know how it feels to have something glass we love break. 

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My job is most interesting because I get to have contact with all sorts of people from all over the world I would not have the chance to meet if I was not doing this. I also love the fact that I can make a variety of items so I do not get bored of one thing all the time. 

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Sometimes if it feels too much like work I will take a day and make something I want so it breaks it up a bit. I still feel good because I am adding another item to the inventory or as a gift for someone. Image

PIPE CASES

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DESIGNED BY LOVING TREE

My favorite songs are Brokedown Palace, Birdsong, and The Wheel

These are ever changing with the tides of my life. 

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The Wheel on Youtube: http://youtu.be/hbLx24IfR2g

I have been to several concerts and festivals over the years and would have to say I had the best time at Moedown 2010 when Damian Marley played. 

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REUSABLE TOTES

My other interests are nature, gardening, and I like to play tennis whenever I can get someone to play with. 

I live on a little organic farm with some plants in the garden. Once I am ahead a bit I am going to have regular free workshops for people go come out and create many different things.   I will also have a free art studio and shared garden space with workshops regularly and a physical store that would be all homemade goods. 

I also hope some of you will come by and maybe help me put one on if you are ever in my area of Florida. I have a mountain of project ideas and love working with other people on collaborations

 I love my children and you all so very much.

I am so grateful to have been invited to be part of the Deadhead Art Alliance community by their leader Jenna Kidd from xDropBearStitcheryx last year. 

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Collaboration Entry for the Deadhead Art Alliance Quilt

PHOTO CREDIT: JKLD Deadhead Art Alliance

I think one of my most proud moments is when my 5 year old started sewing by hand and I even showed her how to use the machine the other day. Boy was she excited. I hope to inspire others and want to share any ideas or techniques so that people may help fill the world with unique and hand made items. I feel there is just something a little more special about homemade rather than some mass produced product out of a factory. 

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Much love to you all and happy crafting. :oD

 

 I’m touched by the world we live….  I hope to make it a better place

Woody Harrelson – Thoughts From Within (His Own Poem)

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http://youtu.be/HXrm6RUTkZk 

www.youtube.com

 

 

Etsy Store:

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Braveheartlion

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

Ebay Store:

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http://www.ebay.com/sch/braveheartlion420/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=25&_trksid=p3686

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/loving.tree.7

DHAA Artist of the Month – July 2013: Lauren TheWildEarthChilde

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Pasted Graphic 5photo credit: Lauren 

http://wildearthchilde.wordpress.com/2013/05/

Crochet artist and Creator of goddess arts and pixie wear

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She has been a free spirited part of our team from the very beginning and we’d like to thank her for her contributions to our community and in helping in dreaming up the creation of this blog that has given the world a view into the artists we adore.  Whether dropping a heavy or spreading good energy we’ve come to adore her as part of our deadhead art alliance family

Handmade Polymer Pendant

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http://wildearthchilde.wordpress.com/2013/03/

Pixie Vest

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Photo Credit: the wildearthchelde.etsy.com

Treasury titled “Purple Haze by PerpetualSunshine111

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photo credit: etsy.com/treasury

https://www.etsy.com/treasury/NTc5NzM3MXwyNzI0NzQ2MTM4/purple-haze?index=6&ref=pr_favetreasuries&atr_uid=

 Featured: Wild Earth Childe/ PACIFICNWGLASS/ SweetWater / ericainthetrees

Hooded Pixie Vest

Pasted Graphic 4photo credit: Lauren 

http://wildearthchilde.wordpress.com

 Featured in a team Treasury by L. May

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give me some cream and I’ll make u some butter 🙂

https://www.etsy.com/treasury/ODA1MDE2NHwyNzIyMTk1NjY5/give-me-some-cream-and-ill-make-u-some?index=4&ref=pr_favetreasuries&atr_uid=

additional featured items:  Debbie and John from Thunderrose / Amy from Everyday Pixie / and Lead from Leda May

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http://wildearthchilde.wordpress.com/2013/05/

There’s no doubt that she is an animal lover!

Here is my favorite post she’s shared on our group on Etsy over the years

dog biscuit recipe

Outside they look like cookies on the inside they look like biscuits

***What you will Need***

2 1/2 cups of wheat flour (or regular if you dog is sensitive to wheat

1 tsp of salt

1 egg

1 tsp of chicken/beef bouillon granules (or broth/stock)

½ cup hot water

optional add ons: bacon or chicken broth, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ

***Directions***

1.   Pre heat oven to 350 degrees

2.   Dissolve bouillon in hot water

3.   Add remaining ingredients

4.   Knead dough until it forms a ball (approximately 3 minutes

5.   Roll dough until ½ inch thick

6.   Cut into slices or bone shapes

7.   Place dough pieces on lightly greased cookie sheet

8.   Cook for 30 minutes

9.   let cool

10. Watch his or her tail wag

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photo credit: Lauren 

http://wildearthchilde.wordpress.com

a quote of wisdom from Lauren from her blog –

”  Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to, but it is never, ever to late to pick up and begin again ”

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We’re honoring her in the last month of her being on Etsy before starting a new path going back to school to follow her dreams to be a real college student.

Thanks for all your time and we wish you success
Blog: wildearthchilde.wordpress.com

TheWildEarthChilde’s Original Mandala Pixie Vest Patterns Available on Ravelry.com

Twitter: @wildearthchilde

DHAA Artist Of The Month- June 2013: Danielle From TreeHouseCreations!

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Hello my name is Danielle; I am the owner and seamstress for TreeHouseCreations.  I was taught how to use a machine in 2004 from my boyfriend’s sister.  I loved the idea of making my own clothing and working on the machine came pretty easy for me.  In 2005 we moved into a house that had the feel of a treehouse.
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TreeHouseCreations was born and I began selling clothing instead of making them all for myself.  I have pretty much taught myself everything I know from reading books, researching online and years of practice.  I try to make it a point to learn new things often.  In 2010 I started filling my Etsy shop slowly and now it has become more than just clothing.  I also make sew-on patches, jewelry and other random things.  Alan has some paintings in the shop and hopefully soon some his wire wraps.  From the beginning Alan and I wanted to work together to make TreeHouseCreations more than just local selling. Opening an Etsy store has made this happen for us since we can’t afford to vend many festivals.
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All of our creations are made in our home in south-west Michigan.  I serge with a safety stitch all of my seams, most seams are top-stitched as well.  This is a very durable way for seams to be stitched and can be seen in most store-bought clothing.  It took me years to feel comfortable working with a serger.  I originally bought one in 2006 and then sold it because I couldn’t figure out how to use it.  About a year later I gave it a second go and haven’t stopped using it since!! I prefer to just do the math when making an item instead of using patterns.  I have altered some patterns and have some of my own that I do use, but most of the time it’s free hand.
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I also have a full-time job working in a group home for four mentally handicap people.  I have been working third shift every other week for 9 ½ years now.  I love knowing that I am doing something with my life that helps others who can’t help themselves.  They have become family and can I get pretty protective!   Alan is a cook at a local bar and grill.  In our spare time we try to create as much as possible, hang out with friends and go for hikes!

I grew up in a pretty creative family.  The crafts differ per person, mostly dealing with food.  My aunt did sew and made a couple of my Halloween costumes.  As a young child I had my own fashion sense and had to dress myself.  My mother tells me I would get mad if my socks weren’t folded over just right to show the lace (Ha! That sure has changed!).  I loved drawing out houses and designing layouts for rooms.  In school I enjoyed art classes but was never too great at drawing so I focused more on shop and drafting classes.  In high school I took architecture class for two years, thinking that that’s really what I wanted to do with my life.  But then once it was over I just wanted to travel and chill more.

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My inspiration comes from a lot of different things, nature, a song, mostly the fabric.  I have quiet the collection of fabric.  My mom is always helping me stock up at Christmas and my birthday time.  I’ll spend hours staring at the fabrics waiting for them to talk to me and most the time they do and I go with it.  I do have ideas drawn up since 2005 but I have actually only sewn a few of them.  When I’m like, yes this is what I am going for; the fabric usually takes me elsewhere.  Seeing and hearing feedback from my customers and followers inspires me as well.  I love hearing other people’s positive insights.

I love every part of what I do and can’t imagine my life without it all.  I enjoy vending, being out there and talking to people face to face.  It’s a great feeling to see someone’s reaction when they see a creation you made and that they love!  Custom orders are great as well.  As mostly an internet based seller, it’s not often that I hear back from someone.  Custom orders help make a sale more personal and can sometimes lead to a new friendship.  Sewing and crafting in general calm my soul, life just doesn’t feel the same when I’m away from it for too long.

One of my favorite items in my shop right now is my green panel butterfly dress.  I love the fabrics and the way it all flows together.  My owl skirt has been a hit.  I have made 4 different ones now, the original and 3 customs.  My friend Kim, who is also my photographer, drew the appliqués for me since I’m not so good in that department! I pretty much love all the items I make and sometimes it’s hard to see them go!

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The first concert I went to was sometime in the late 90s.  We were on vacation and The Wallflowers happened to be playing, so my mom took my cousin and me.  We were really far away but I thought it was cool to be in a crowd for live music.  In my town there has always been more of a punk scene.  Most of my friends had punk/ska bands and we would go to shows all the time.  I have always been open to music but mostly listened to Sublime, Bob Marley, Bone Thugs and ska bands.  Alan introduced me to more Jam Bands and reunited me with Bluegrass (my dad listened to a lot when we were growing up).  I fell in love and then started hitting up shows and fests right away.  I’d say my favorite was a Donna the Buffalo show, we had 20 or so of our friends go, it was a blast!

I owe a huge “thank you” to all my friends and family who have supported me and my creative endeavors for all these years.  Without their positive vibes I may not have had the confidence to have my shop and to keep on keepin’ on.  I owe a super huge “thank you” to my mom, without her TreeHouseCreations wouldn’t be what it is today.  She has always supported me (even when I became a dreadlocked, stinky hippie) and has me out in so many ways.  For all of them I am truly grateful!!

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Etsy: www.treehousecreations.etsy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/treehousecreations

Twitter: TreeHouseCreations

Instagram: thcreations

DHAA’s Artist Of The Month For April!: Dawn from DewDropzGarden

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Introducing The Deadhead Art Alliance Artist Of The Month for April!! Dawn from DewDropzGarden!!! Check out our recent interview with her about her creative process, travels and inspiration!

dew2 Aloha Phamily and Friends! Where to begin?! My story is long and winding, traveling from Maine and everywhere in between to Hawaii and now back on the Mainland! My name is Dawn, known to many as Dew which is how I came to name my shop DewdropzGarden. dew1 After many moons on the island of Oahu Hawaii, in 2008 I made the big jump and decision to land on the Big Island and found another form of paradise awaiting for me. My jungle setting, lava energy and off the grid location provided the grounding tools that I was seeking and needing to get back into the flow of things. With only simple distractions like birds chirping, ripe avocados falling and gardens to tend to, I began to upcycle clothing again after a long 8 year break away. dew1

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Being fully submerged in my creative space, I began to somewhat unknowingly manifest my life today in sunny Colorado! The Big Island Hawaii taught me that my grassroots vibes would never fade and I too could blossom again with my rediscovered consciousness in sustainable practices. My philosophy is that by recycling and upcycling what is readily available and abundant and giving back to local charity thrift stores we can all help lower the global carbon footprint and support human rights on so many levels. I believe everything, including clothing has an energy field and if something is made with love you can feel it. It’s nice to know I’m creating from the heART and that others can also take in the good mana that “fast fashion” doesn’t provide.

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Everywhere I’ve traveled, the abundance of materials to upcycle and work with has followed me as well as having a keen eye at thrift stores since childhood. 99% of my materials have come from thrift stores and also from interior designers that dispose of gorgeous fabric samples as they keep up the latest home trends. Here in Denver the ZeroLandfill project opens its warehouse doors and you can rescue so many fabulous finds. Personally I think of it as treasure hunting at it’s finest! With my abstract mind, my creative process can be somewhat scattered to say the least…often my creations take on a magical life of their own in the land of fabric manipulation. I never feel like something has to be a certain exact way, other then fitting properly, that is important….It’s more like painting and my intuition lets me know when I have reached completion, from simple styles and details to the completely adorned. Often when I’m attempting to go to sleep, well that is when my brain decides its “vision party time” and the flood gates open mentally piecing this and that together, so I often end up back up just to write down notes at 1 in the morning and working on them at a more practical hour, after some needed sleep (=

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Because of my abstract thought process, it was back in 1994-95 when I originally decided to make clothing full time and gave my notice at work. I had friends that were Deadheads and had been telling me for years that most aspects of my life aligned with the Grateful Dead and touring. My friends kept telling me “just go to a show and I bet you’ll quit my job and never want to come home”. Now, saying this to me back then I thought they were crazy but figured why not go check out these old dudes making music(LOL)…Well literally the bus came by and I got on and off to Highgate we went and my life was never the same~ I found HOME and “The Others”! I felt and understood it all and sew it began. My patchwork designs came with me on tour as well as a little shop in Maine called Mexicali Blues. I couldn’t believe it had all been there the whole time just waiting for me to wake up! From 94-00’s I had odd jobs across the country while I continued traveling with GD, Further, Phish,and festivals galore. So many roads indeed.

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Hands on inspiration came at an early age for me…. since I can remember I’ve always been dabbling in the arts. My grandmother on my fathers side and my aunt on my mothers side were my biggest influences as they were both always crafting and making something cool and always encouraged me to create with them. One of the first eclectic things I remember creating was a hat in the 3rd grade. It was early before the bus came when I remembered it was “hat day” at school but I forgot to make one. Of course I was super bummed out but my grandmother calmed me down and told me to go outside and find things that I liked. I came back in with pine cones naturally (= She had out the craft paints and glitters and suggested a Dixie plate could possibly work for my hat aspect if I could figure out how to keep it on my head. I decorated that plate hat to the hilt and used yarn to tie it under my chin. I thought it was the coolest fairy looking hat EVER but was slightly embarrassed that it was SO much different then everyone else’s. In the end, I won for the most creative hat which I’m pretty sure gave me a new found confidence which lead me to embrace being different.

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My favorite piece in my shop right now is the “Cassidy” dreamcatcher vest. It is a collaboration with Kelsey of GoodVibesForSale, another DHAA teammate.

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We’ve made several things together and I adore all of them. It’s a collaboration that has helped to inspire new designs which is always appreciated!

Easily influenced with inspiration, I feel like that is something I seldom have blocks in. Nature and all of her elements~from sunny days to recent snow storms. Music shows and festivals have always been a HUGE source of inspiration and performance art certainly kicks up my vibes!

dew1Haute Couture runways shows, new school to old school, good days and even glum days, creativity finds a way to manifest. When I’m all sewed out I move on over to other arts such as my aromatherapy organic skin care products. I love that while they help to heal other peoples skin the creative process helps me to realign and bliss out on the scents!

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Being that all my clothing is one of a kind and no 2 things have ever been or ever will be the same keeps it interesting and intriguing. Rummaging through one mans junk and finding my treasures, keeping the carbon footprint low by recycling materials is one of the biggest perks to my job!

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My first concert was Van Halen in the 80’s, at the time (7th grade) I thought it was the coolest thing ever and was pretty much was hooked on live music from that point on. My most memorable festival of the recent was Sonic Bloom last summer. It was total bliss and beyond dreamy with cottonwood trees going off and music that went from early afternoon until the beautiful sunrise sets. I was supposed to be just visiting Colorado other manifestations were taking place…. I discovered that I was in love with my dear friend of 9 years and former roommate in Hawaii whom I was “visiting”. My vacation turned staycation and my friend became my Beloved. Couldn’t really get a better festival experience then that!

Speaking of my Beloved Cody, he really is my #1 fan and source of much of my inspiration for me to keep on keeping on. When I started to set up my etsy for selling, it took me hours of time to figure out all of the seemingly endless details. It still is a work in progress. He’s always there to lend an ear and give support hugs when 17 hour days are the norm! When sales are low and I feel hesitant to do this full time he is there to remind me of all the good and my progression in such a short amount of time. And lucky us our “date nights” usually consist of going to shows which always renews inspiration to just keep at it! When in doubt I dance and hoop it out 😉

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*Coupon Code ECOLOVE20 gets 20% Everything in my Shop*

DHAA Artist Of The Month: Abigail Black for ThreadyMamma

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Hey friends, my name is Abigail Black and I am the owner, operator, designer, creator, and pretty much everything that is Thready Mamma (made with Abbitude). I run Thready Mamma from my home in the moderately sized suburban town of Lambertville, Michigan. Most items you will see in my shop are handmade clothing. Usually 100% handmade, but recently I’ve been working with more upcycles. Although every now and then I dabble in other crafts to stir the pot and keep things interesting. I started Thready Mamma after being a predominantly stay at home mom for 6 years. It is my way of contributing financially to the household and still be able to stay home with my 3 amazing children. I like to work with small charities and individual causes. The largest fundraiser I work with is the Relay for life but I am also hoping to get involved with the make a wish foundation. To understand who Thready Mamma is, you must get inside the head of a self proclaimed super woman, mother of 3, wife, former hitch hiker, and domestic hippie. Seamstress is just one of the many badges that I wear with pride. I don’t know that I can take you into the depths that tell all there is to know about me and my story, but I’ll take you to the edge and let you peek in.

Ancient history 101: I grew up living frugal. I would watch my mom as she would sew our clothes and backpacks. Whatever we needed at the time. She didn’t make all of our clothes, but what she did make, I loved. From this, was born a desire in me. A desire to create something amazing. As a child, I could often be found sitting in a pile of Lego’s. Some may have thought I would grow to become and architect or designer. I would make duplicate versions of our house, scaled down of course. But they always included even the smallest of details including all of the furniture, all the way down to toilet and sinks. I would also pass the time by sticking a piece of saran wrap on the T.V. and drawing on the faces of politicians as they would spew their rhetoric. Maybe I would become an artist. Who knows, the world is full of possibilities.

It was always about fulfilling a desire to create something tangible, something wonderful, something all my own. My dad worked a lot. He would take my sister and I out on side jobs to be his “helpers”. I don’t know what help I really was, but I do remember a lot of good times riding to and from the jobs listening to my dad sing Pink Floyd’s “Money” or whatever classic rock song was playing at the time. He always had a way of making even the most mundane of activities fun. I credit my parents for a lot of who I am. They were always so supportive of my creative endeavors as a child. I was in band from 5th grade through 11th. I played the oboe (a very costly instrument) in the school band and the flute in marching band. I even reupholstered my oboe case with a velvety leopard print fabric to make it more “me”.

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My creative process: The birth of many of my projects start with a flash of inspiration. Be it two toys strewn across the floor with complimenting colors, or a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye while driving. I wish I could say it was as easy as going to a special place to find my inspiration, but I just wait and it finds me. Lately I have been overtaken by inspiration and don’t have enough time to execute all the ideas stored away inside my head. After I have completed the internal conceptualization, I then put pencil to paper and doodle out everything that I have contemplated over the course of the thought process and tweak the idea as needed. I always draft out my pattern before solidifying my fabric choices.

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I have a habit of changing a pattern because I’m not in absolute love with the way the item will look finished (in my head). But when I start with the pattern, then I can choose my fabrics based on their location in the garment and where potential appliques or other embellishments may go. There is the special occasion however, where I see a fabric and automatically know what the future has in store for it. I love those moments of AHA! I always prewash my material, new or thrifted. It’s always nice to start fresh and prevents any shrinking. Plus I love palming around the soft and fuzzy strands that come off in the dryer. I sew everything on my Singer Brilliance sewing machine and finish all seams with my Singer Professional 5 serger. I make everything (except the fabric, unless I have an immediate need for a small amount of a specific print) included in my garments, drawstrings and straps included.
My day job: I actually do have a day job I have been working for 5 years. I know I said stay at home mom, but I only work 1 shift every other week to maintain an employment status and just in case we should ever need me to return to full time work. Also, I have grown quite fond of the 8 wonderful residents I provide care for. I am a direct support professional. I work with people with developmental disabilities helping them with daily care that most able bodied individuals take for granted. I have learned so much from them. They never seize to amaze me with their bright spirits and charisma. It’s really a constant reminder to never take life for granted.

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Appreciate everything, even the silly little things like being able to brush your own hair out of your face. When I started working here, I was a full time 3rd shift staff. At the time I only had 1 child, my son Stryker, but became pregnant again with my first daughter, Avalyn, and spent the whole pregnancy on 3rd shift. After I returned to work from maternity leave, I dropped down to resource staff and have only worked a few hours a week ever since. 9 months after  Avalyn was born we found out we were pregnant yet again. This time with our youngest, Willow. I was in full swing mommy mode. I had been on a sewing hiatus for 6 years. I would only sew when things needed mended, and could feel that desire burning once again. It was always my dream to be a stay at home mom and to have a sewing business. Although when I was 16, I was going to name my business Abbitude! It wasn’t until Willow was about a year old that I could no longer tame the fire that burned inside me to create. This was when I decided I was going to do it. I was going to fulfill the other half of my vision for my life. I had to settle on a name for it and Abbitude just seemed too juvenile for me anymore.

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When I first met my husband, our very first encounter, he referred to me as “one crafty mamma”. So as I lay in bed one night mulling around in my head for a name, I though of that moment, Crafty Mamma. It was good, but sounds a little too country for my style. While trying to define my style, I thought it’s heady, I’m dready, and my craft is downright thready. THAT WAS IT!!! Thready Mamma. I decided to add (Made with Abbitude) because it’s important to preserve our history and be reminded of who we are and where we come from. And that is how the name Thready Mamma (Made with Abbitude) was born.

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Favorite piece: I would have to say my favorite is the pixie utility belt. I put a lot of thought and time into the concept and execution of this particular item. It took about a week of figuring everything out for this one before I was comfortable enough with the concept to begin designing and drafting the pattern. It took me 2 or 3 days to fully complete. Of course, I often work intermittently because my children do not always want to go along with my plans. It has four deep pockets, a bungee for a water bottle or keys, and an elastic ruffle for wedging more immediately essential items. The waist band has a modest curve to accommodate the natural curves of a woman. Also it provides a more flattering fit as we are not cylindrical. I love earthy colors. Browns and greens are my favorite as far as my own personal style. I am constantly having to remind myself while fabric shopping that I don’t need any more greens or browns.

Inspiration: As I said earlier, my inspiration has no common source. It always seems to be something different. Sometimes it will be lyrics to a song, something I see in my yard, something my kids do, or something that is much needed by an individual who walks a very different life than I. I find a lot of inspiration from talking with other people, crafty or not. It often leads to a concept of something I never would have thought of. I love collaborating with my creative friends as well. Every Monday (and sometimes Friday) My friend Sarah from Madd Brush-art by Sarah, comes over and we consume my dining room with our creative juices. She usually brings a random project from painting to stencil making and she also acts as a model for me when I have an item for someone smaller than myself. I should also give a shout out to my very good friend Danielle from TreeHouseCreations. Without Danielle running her sewing business for most of our friendship, I may have never been inspired or confident enough to make Thready Mamma more than a dream. I love you ladies.

Another person in my life who has played a monumental roll as far as inspiration goes is my husband.

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We have been together for almost 9 years (friends for 13) and we have always been supportive of each others creative endeavors. Jason Black of The Happy Little Trees and The Blacklotus Experience. He helps me when I get in a rut by providing me a different perspective or just strumming a few notes on his acoustic to help enhance my mellow while I sew. He has played a pivotal roll in helping me get Thready Mamma up and running.

I lack some basic computer knowledge so he helps me a lot when I get stumped. But also as a huge emotional support. His continued confidence in my abilities throughout the years has helped to keep me driven and in the right direction. He is my rock, my inspiration, and my best friend. My children are such huge supporters of the family business. Willow doesn’t offer a lot of feedback yet (she’s turning 2 on the 14th) but loves it when I have a scrap piece of fabric that she can wear like a scarf or just wave around. Avalyn (3yrs) is always by my side while I work. Complimenting my fabrics and asking questions about the whole process. So much so, that I set her up her own little workstation next to mine.

 

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That is where she does her finest works in play doh and crayola. She also accompanies me to do a lot of my fabric shopping and has “special jobs” every time we have a package to ship. She carries it to the post office and puts it on the counter for me. It really makes her day to get to help me. I have seen it have a huge impact on my son who is 7, and his own ambitions in life. He is always talking about someday when he has his own store, he’ll name it Thready Stryker LOL!

For his birthday we got him a book that you can pop out the pre cut creatures and glue them together to make a 3d monster. He made a bunch of them and wanted to sell them at his party. I love that my children can grow and learn that a stay at home mommy can be more than just that. That you can be who or whatever you want in life, and that it just takes a little (or a lot) of motivation, ambition, and a dream.

What keeps it interesting: I think the most exciting part of running Thready Mamma is constantly learning new techniques, styles, tricks, or trades. Not that I think I am any where near knowing everything there is to know about sewing, as soon as I get comfortable thinking that I have a pretty good grip on most of what I need to know, something comes up with one of my new designs that I have to learn a new technique to execute the design properly and cleanly. Another factor that keeps it interesting is  all of the amazing people I have met since I opened my store. This is a huge one. I am a relatively quiet, keep to yourself type of person. It was a huge leap for me to start this up knowing that I was going to have to “put myself out there”. I’ll admit, when face to face, I am shy. I don’t often start a conversation, but wait to be invited into it. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful network of artists and a community of friends and fans by my side. I never know who I’ll meet on any given day.

One more thing that keeps the fire alive is creating new designs. Every time I come up with a new pattern design I get excited. It is always my new favorite, it never fails. And whats even more exciting is when I create the first garment from a new pattern. Having no formal education outside of high school, I am completely self taught. I remember the first time I drafted a pattern for an apron top with darts. What a disaster. A waste of perfectly good fabric. After that I made sure to study up on the different techniques in pattern design and drafting. Learning about the different ways to accommodate the curves of a woman. That mistake was probably one of my best ones yet because it really forced me to think ahead in my projects. The saying goes “work smarter, not harder”. There is really a lot to be said about learning from your mistakes.

The music: The first concert I ever went to was Kottonmouth Kings when I was 15. It was fun to get stray from the normal path I traveled, but the music wasn’t really my style. That was the last KK concert I would attend but It played a huge roll in the journey I would take for the next few years. It wasn’t long after that first concert that I was introduced to Ekoostik hookah. I can’t put my finger on when or where the first concert I ever attended was, but from spring of “99” through spring “02” there weren’t a whole lot of Hookah shows in Ohio that I wasn’t at. My first Hookahville was spring 2001 at the Frontier Ranch in Kirkersville, OH. It was the most inviting environment I had ever experienced.

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The crowd, the people, my brothers and sisters. For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by a community of people who didn’t care what I wore, or what I had. They were just happy to be. Happy to be there in the moment, to be alive, to be together 🙂  Connected by a love of music, this family inspired me to be who I wanted to be. To disregard all the societal expectations, and just live how I want to. A breath of fresh air to what I had thought my life would be. Also around the age of 16 I was introduced to the rainbow family. My husband and his friends were the ones to show me the light in this new way of life. We weren’t dating at the time, It would be another 4 years before a relationship flourished between us. I went to my first Rainbow gathering at 16, It was a small, intimate, regional gathering in the southwestern edge of Indiana.

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A very different experience from the Hookah crowd, I felt like this new family was more interested in one another as individuals and not as much the scene as a whole.  I had a great time at that gathering, making new friends, helping around the kitchen, and fixing peoples clothes. I took with me from that gathering, a whole new outlook on life. An understanding of how connected everyone and everything really is. From here on out, I was family. Welcomed into the loving arms of the rainbow community. I got my first sewing machine for Christmas when I was 16. My friend Sarah would come over and we would stay up all night sewing. When I was 18, my boyfriend and I packed up his VW bus and left town for Colorado. It was decorated with all kinds of things I had sewn. Seat covers, curtains, and even a vertical incense burner I had made in my ceramics class.  The trip was an adventure in itself. When we got to CO we lived out of our van for 2 or 3 months, but winter was quickly approaching so we hustled to find ourselves a home. We settled in Kremmling, CO for a few about 9 months until fate would lead us back to the road. From Kremmling, CO to Prescott, AZ we traveled living out of the van. It was about 2 weeks from my 19th birthday when an old friend from Rainbow had invited me and another girl to go on a trip to California. Of course I wanted to, I was finally living the life I wanted, free from the constraints of what people wanted for me and from me. I was free to just be me and do as I please.

To try and keep this as short as possible I will just say that I hitch hiked up the coast of Cali with a few friends stopping periodically to set up camp. We went on to Utah for my first ever National Rainbow Gathering, and then down to the Red Rocks where I had one of the most magical musical experiences yet. We were only there to make a few quick bucks before continuing on our journey. Playing the night of our arrival was The Dead. I knew there was no way I’d actually get in to see them, but was loving the scene on the lot. After we had secured enough money to go we started walking out, it was after dark, backpacks on and my new drum in hand (I traded my first sewing machine for an unfinished drum shell at the gathering because my sewing machine was too heavy to hitch hike with). An SUV pulled up beside us and stopped. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I wasn’t looking for anything spectacular, thought maybe the person was looking for directions. The kind man in the truck shared his story explaining why he didn’t need these 2 tickets and just gave them to us. We got a miracle. I was floored, astonished, never in a million years did I think I would get to see The Dead. Eternally grateful, I hugged the man through his window, wished him the best and gave him a small crystal I was holding onto as a token of my appreciation. We hightailed it back to the venue and went in. That night was for sure one to remember. The diversity in that crowd was like non I’d ever been in. It was very different as people from all walks of life were there to support one of the greatest bands of all time. From your standard tie dye to business tie, people both elderly and youthful. I was elated to see the crowd so diverse. It was a rainbow of culture, age, and style. After the show, I was lost in a euphoria. We hunted down our gear from it’s hiding place, and went about our travels. We hitchhiked clear across the Midwest to Joplin, MO where we stayed for a few weeks, and the back to my hometown. I held a job for a short while, just long enough to buy my own car and save up some money to go back out on the road.

 

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I traveled all over Michigan, by myself, living out of my car. About 3 months passed before I decided to move down to Columbus, OH to help some friends make rent. In C-bus I worked as a landscaper. This is where I lived when my old rainbow friend Black had sent me an e-mail with an interest in meeting up. He came to visit and it wasn’t long before we began dating. He lived in Angola, IN so every weekend we would take turns driving to each other. For several weeks we would alternate taking the 5.5 hour drive before we decided to just be together so I moved out to Angola. We lived in a small room off of a garage at an apple orchard. We were both working for his dads painting business. With no running water, and only a port o potty I can say that this was the easiest and most comfortable I had ever lived. Even today, I look back and say “those were the days”. Over the course of 6 months we saved our change and extra money for a road trip.  We had about $2,000 saved up before we found out our lives were about to change in a big way. We found out we were pregnant! We were very fortunate that we had been saving for that road trip because as it turns out, we had just enough money to pay a midwife to deliver our baby at home. Stryker was born February 3rd, 2006 at home, with no drugs, in water, and caught by his father.

It was pure magic, everything I ever wanted for my first delivery. I felt a love I had never felt before while holding my new baby. From this point on, I was in full swing mommy mode. I quit sewing as I didn’t have much time for it and just focused all of my attention on raising a bright, independent, little man. The years of my sewing hiatus were spent doing my mommy thing. I did what most domesticated house wives/moms do. Raised my babies and kept the house in shape. It was wonderful to have fulfilled one of my key goals in life, which was simply to be a mother to 2 or 3 beautiful little people. But there was always something missing. My only creative outlet was that which involved finger paints, play doh, and crayons. I loved to be doing these things with my children, but it just didn’t fill the void. After all 3 children were born and my youngest was almost 1, I decided it was time for me to pursue the other half of my “big plans” for myself. And so Thready Mamma was born.

In a pinch: Since I am only just into my 2nd year of running Thready Mamma, I am still figuring out the ebb and flow of the market. I didn’t fret too much as the festival season was winding down and sales were low. I just focused my energy on getting my name out there. Letting people know who I am and what I do. Well, that was met with greater success than I had ever dreamed. I have a great appreciation for my supporters. They help me when I need input on certain features they would like to see in a design I am developing, and offer me support through my personal journey and life experiences. They keep me grounded when my designs get a little too lofty. Without them, I would never have had such a wonderful first year. Thank you every one of you. I truly appreciate you and value your opinions. Just “keep on keepin on”. Sure it can be a little frustrating to not make a sale for a prolonged period of time, but “this too shall pass”.

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There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night, and if you go, no one may follow, that path is for your steps alone”
Jerry Garcia

You can find me on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/threadymamma
Or check out my shop at: www.threadymamma.com

A Phish Fest On Voodoo Child Ave

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Greetings guys!

We interviewed our February Artist of the Month, Erica, for Erica In The Trees  for a musical inspiration festival piece! Just in time to get’chu in the mood for the road trips, the campin’ trips and other trips too! Check out her story of her musical moment that inspired her!

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I’m trying to think of one story to share about my love for music. An experience that stands out. One that inspires me. I’m having a hard time doing so because all of them have shaped who I am, my art and my soul. One band though is always at the top of my experiences, for it’s the band I’ve seen the most and also the one that really hooked me on the scene. I wouldn’t be the same person if I hadn’t discovered Phish. I know that for certain. From my first full summer tour with them in 1996, to a New Year’s Eve show at Big Cypress on the Seminole Indian Reservation, to Coventry, which was supposed to be their last show, and all the shows in between, both before and after….the one experience that really stands out most vividly for me was Festival 8 in Indio, CA.

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It was late October and my husband and I loaded up the VW van and headed south from Oregon to the California desert. The drive was almost 20 hours, but we would have driven 20 more to get to Indio. Phish was playing a 3 day festival on the gorgeous, lush lawns of the Empire Polo Club. It was also a Halloween show, so a musical costume was in store for us. In all my years of seeing Phish, I had never caught a Halloween show, so I was very excited! I spent the last few weeks before our trip sewing and piecing together our costumes. I knew that this festival was going to be a treat and I wanted the fun attire to go along with it!

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We arrived in the late afternoon to sun and warm temperatures. However, as we pulled into the campgrounds there were long lines with intense vehicle searches happening. Apparently the polo fields had a strict no glass policy and this caused some chaos at the entrance point.

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As we sat there, we ran into our good friend who was in town for the shows too. He had rented a super nice house only a mile or so away from the venue. It turned out to be a great thing that we ran into him, because as our car was searched all our beer was found. They were going to throw away 2 cases of good Oregon microbrews! We were allowed to leave and take the beer to our friend’s place. Wasting beer is a big no-no in our household, ha!

That night we set up camp on Voodoo Child Avenue, one of the many festival “streets” named after albums the band was possibly going to cover for their musical costume. It was a chilly night in the California desert, but I woke to the most amazing sunrise! We spent the early part of the day wandering around the festival grounds, checking out the art, the vending (I wasn’t vending this time around, just enjoying myself at the show), and the people.

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There was so much to see and take in and the weather for late October was absolutely phenomenal. Once inside the venue, my heart skipped a beat. It was even more stunning than I could have imagined. There were so many cool sculptures and the flat, lush grass was perfect for dancing! We enjoyed two great sets of music, opening with Party Time. When knew it was going to be an amazing weekend and we were hungry for more!

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The second day of the festival was Halloween. I love Phish fans because we’re all so wacky to begin with, but add in Halloween costumes and the craziness ensues! All day I waited to put on my costume, as it was just too dang hot to sport black. But I sure did have fun watching everyone else roast in their attire! Once the sun started dipping low on the horizon, we knew it was show time and the costumes were busted out. I slipped on my dress, pulled on the leggings, wrapped my boa around my neck, placed my wig on my head and added all my accessories. The final touch, my mask, really made my costume! Can you guess what I was? I’m late, I’m late….

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That night was one of the most memorable of the show. Phish played three sets of music, the second set being their musical costume, which was The Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street. I danced and danced, taking on the character of my costume and tripping some people out big time! The party lasted until the wee hours of the morning and finally, exhausted, but full of joy, I slipped off to bed.

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The next day, Sunday morning, was a wonderful culmination to our festival experience. Phish played a special acoustic late morning/mid afternoon set. We hit up the Bloody Mary bar and headed out to the fields to listen to the band. Everyone was mellow and enjoying the warm sunshine and sweet music playing. Later, that evening, Phish closed out the weekend with two additional sets. I was beat by the last set and actually went back to the van to listen from the comfort of my home away from home. It was absolutely perfect.

This festival continues to stand out in my mind as something really special. Maybe it was the venue, maybe it was the people, or maybe it was because it wasn’t that long ago…whatever it was, I was grateful to be a part of it.