Tag Archives: etsy teams

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

Standard
iusb_760x100.5061834isla_280x280.15826388_np5un664
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.
susieblair1

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!)
iusb_760x100.13502137_psdh
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!
susieblair2

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.
susieblair4

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.
  il_170x135.741533667_jhrb
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.
il_570xN.732332079_3fg2
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!
susieblair8
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!
il_570xN.719279573_ss5y
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!
icm_fullxfull.24964841_gqs75f2d2fk80wo8o880
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….

il_570xN.730880359_gxmg

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!
il_170x135.590614005_g3w7
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.
susieblair6

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.
susieblair5

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.

susieblair7
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!

il_170x135.731640106_2hh2

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.
il_170x135.360861761_pbn0
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!

il_570xN.761621470_8plp
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.
il_170x135.761742287_e66r
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!
susieblair3

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!
il_75x75.643881775_f05s
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
Advertisements

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

Standard


DreamweaverSpirit

Welcome to DreamweaverSpirit.

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

Horse Spirit Totem

Horse Spirit Totem

unnamed-20

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

 

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

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

Sara

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

Partner

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

Kitten Cat

Odin our Kitty

 

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

unnamed-21

Nature Spirit Wand

 

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

Clan of the Butterfly

Spirit of the East Dreamcatcher

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

treasuriesrhthmicmotion

Rhythmic Motion treasury featuring DreamweaverSpirit for the Deadhead Art Alliance Team

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

COLLABORATION PROJECT with the DEADHEAD ART ALLIANCE ETSY TEAM

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

saracollabdreamweaver

Here’s the finished piece we came out with!

Magical Wand Collaboration with the Deadhead Art Alliance “Dreamtime”

il_570xN.483525169_f4tx

Magical Wand “Dreamtime”
Collaboration US and UK artists

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

il_570xN.483530863_d8bw
Magic, Wand

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

DESCRIPTION:

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

METAPHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 unnamed-14

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

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

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

Breastplate

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

Horus Staff

garden

my buddah

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

unnamed-11

Stonehenge Summer Solstice Eve

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

Thank you for reading and many blessings to all.

 

 favorite quote

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

Selling Venues:

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

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

Artist Contact info: dreamweaver2@live.co.uk

Social Media Links:

Sales happening:

Forever Grateful, Deadhead Art Alliance Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Video
Image

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.

Image

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!

il_570xN.566242349_byni

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.

isa_760xN.6636687366_uwfx

 

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!

isa_760xN.6626442259_5z5h

 

roundcube-1

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.

IMG_4131

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.

Image

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!

Image

vending booth

-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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

tent in the woods

Image

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.

Image

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!!

 Image

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!

1617441_663533613684899_907634181_o

1145589_663534783684782_168498935_o

 

 

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 YEAR 2013 Is: Jenna Michelle Kidd from xDropBearStitcheryx

Standard

2013

DEADHEAD ART ALLIANCE ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARDS 

Image

Congratulations to our ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Image

Jenna Michelle Kidd:  Woodstock, Canada

Image

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

Thank you to Everyone who Voted!

Some of her newest Creations

il_170x135.525842920_khd3il_170x135.559802418_nt1wil_170x135.559507637_39vl
dhaajennad
dhaajennaamy
DHAAJENNAtrez
We must thank her for being the team Leader in Charge of our DHAA Etsy Treasury Department:   Promoting and Marketing Art for other Fellow Artists and with other artists
Including working closely with our team sponsors like our newest team sponsor    Susie  from  Urban Prairie Girl : California Dreamin Treasury shown below-
Representing what it is to be deadhead family and a community partner-  No matter how hard the day, she’s given her best to us, and for that we Respect this woman!
–  BIG Thanks! and a Shout out to the time and Energy Put in behind the Trenches by Many of our members and our team Leaders to get our artists Work Seen by making these curated galleries of art!!     You know who you ARe.
White Light by Jen on Etsy
Featured Artists:

 

California Dreamin by Jen on Etsy – In honor of our first team sponsor by Urban Prairie Girl
 il_170x135.533374686_esg6I couldn’t have chosen better if I’d picked myself!  This team knows what they are talking about! oxo captain
Keep this Artist in your mind… I know you’ll be hearing more about her in the years to Come…. you never know what she’ll pull out of her bag of tricks next!
Her Graphic Arts are Featured by the Team and we’ll now be offering Team Tshirts which she worked up with the ideas from the team’s creator Jen JKLD:
IMG_6908

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

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

Thunder Rose Leather by Debbie Rodgers and her partner John

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

37008_444255911907_155538_n

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

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

sedona

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

thunderrosetrez

Deadhead Art Alliance Etsy Treasury featuring artists from the DHAA

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

✄       ✄       ✄

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

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

100_8976 (1024x683)

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

thunderroseaotmtrez

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

riverthunderrose

photo credit: google images

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

100_8969 (683x1024)

I tried many things.

100_8965 (1024x683)

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

deb

Photo Credit: ThunderRoseLeather.etsy.com

baby moccasins

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

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

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

100_8516 (683x1024)

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

Creating has a satisfaction to it.

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

100_6636 (683x1024)

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

thunderrosebeads

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

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

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

100_4406 (1024x683)

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

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

53328_4096673368442_85255236_o

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

art of happiness

Dali Lama: The Art of Happiness
Photo Credit: wikimedia

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

Selling Venues:                 thunderrose.etsy.com

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

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

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