Tag Archives: phish

Artist Of The Month: Melissa from Gr8fuldreadgrrl



My name is Melissa aka Gr8fuldreadgrrl.



I am a Wisconsin native, now residing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, near Seattle. Recently Moved from Joshua Tree,CA. That is where my shop started 5 years ago. I now create mostly from t-shirts, and other recycled materials. My main things are the Patchy goodness t Skirts, and my T gauchos. And its no lie, I am obsessed with exposed seams. I sometimes even wear my tshirts inside out to expose the seams, HA. I love recycling and creating items from handfuls of items that are no longer loved or needed.




My team is me. Although, Ethan my son, is awesome at helping.






He plays the drum set while I sew, dances around with me, tells me how cool stuff is, makes me fake food in his kitchen, and keeps the pretend coffee coming! He is the best!


My shop name came from my way early years in the Deadhead chat room in AOL, yeah, remember that? Ha. I have been Gr8fuldreadgrrl everywhere online since. Gnarly Garments came from Gnarly Head wine, ha! One of my favorites! So I just combined it all to work for me.

My creative process starts at the thrift stores I guess. So many amazing items to find thrifting!! I am in love with vintage and wild stuff from the 70’s, and even starting to appreciate awful 80’s prints. Ha. I then get all the shirts and such, washed and pile em in the sewing room and start laying out stuff that looks great, move, throw, cut up, and rearrange items until I like what I see. Lay em out, cut, pin, sew, finish, photo, list. Sounds easy enough right?


My last day job was in CT. I was the pregnant chick working at the liquor(package) store, ha. I was supposed to replace the other pregnant girl, and found out I was too! Backfire! But we didn’t stay there long and headed to California. There and since, I stayed an at home mom, and stitching mama.




My mom was and is very crafty and sold her crafts when I was a child too. I do remember a pink crocheted blankie she made me when I was around 5. She also made some clothes for me, and all the rocking Halloween costumes. But I always remember my grandma, and great grandma’s being crafty as well. My mom had a sewing maching out for the later part of my childhood, and then I started to tinker around with it, and making myself some patchiness. Until, she later bought me my own machine, which I still use today.


Well let’s see, if you read any of my listings….pretty much everything I make is my favorite! Its so hard to part with items!! But I am boarder line clothing hoarder as is! I really stand behind the gauchos being the comfiest things ever. I do believe the skirts are too. I love easy to wear and comfy items. Everyday pieces, that can be worn whenever and wherever you want.


Big surprise here, but yes the Grateful Dead, HUGE inspiration. I mean all these great shirts, all the phenominal artist that make the shirts, tie dye, colors, patchwork, other stitchin mamas, music, festivals, food, smells….there is just soooo much!


This all started when I had shirts from festivals and shows I didn’t wear. I never had enough to come home with the amazing patchworks from the lot that i drooled over, but I could usually sewing a shirt. Downside is they were all over sized mens shirts. So instead of sitting in storage I started tinkering around with them to actually wear them, turned out others liked what I did!


The shirt hunt make it interesting for me. I am obsessed with grateful dead shirts, and thrifting. I still have some shirts from my aunt and uncle, and ones they brought me back while I babysat my cousin, while they would hit a dead show or two. I still get sooooo excited over shirts I haven’t had yet. I always have about 5 that stay in my “to keep” pile. Did I mention the Shirts?!


The lovely people I have met while doing this also make it so very rewarding. I swear I have some of the best supporters, sisters, friends, and customers. They also give the best feedback. Totally keeps me going!


I think my first concert was Lorrie Morgan. My mom liked her, and I have seen her more times than I would like to admit. I have also rocked out at def leppard, tim mcgraw, journey, bad company, ted nugent, slipknot, tool, black Sabbath…you know, just trying to appreciate all music! First festival would be Ozz fest 1998, alpine valley.

But by 2000, I bought a 1973 VW bus (Herbie), started my first set of dreads, and was hitting only the good music, string cheese, further fests, Dead family reunion, phish, ekoostik hookah, big wu….all the Wisconsin festivals I could get too, 3 G’s will always have a place in my heart.


I don’t mind slow time. My kid is the best, and I would never complain about more time with my favorite lil man. My shout outs to Stealie the gumpy old cat, Phillmore the puppers, Jon my main (and only) man. Ha. My mom is pretty great too! They are my heart! usfamily




{{I have a twitter, I don’t twit much though. Ha}}
My etsy shop www.gr8fuldreadgrrl.etsy.com
Google+ as Gr8fuldreadgrrl

A Phish Fest On Voodoo Child Ave


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.

Shipper? I hardly knew her!


Well, looks like today is the dreaded USPS hike day many sellers have heard of and have been fearing for a while now… (definite ass chapper…)

Here’s a break down of sorts:

Domestic postage stamps go from $ .45 to $ .46 cents. and On retail packages (when you buy at the Post Office) you will get FREE tracking with priority mail and standard post. You will still have to buy tracking for First Class Parcels.

The various flat rate priority packaging will have different pricing.

Flat rate Express envelopes are going up to $19.95 but the flat rate boxes will remain the same at $39.95.

Most of the PO box rates are going up, as well as money order fees, certified, etc.)

…and International Shoppers can expect an even *bigger* rise:


Pongo’s reaction when we told him…

There is now going to be a First Class International Forever stamp for $1.10
Canada and Mexico have always had a separate and lower pricing tier but Mexico is now going to be grouped with all other countries. So if you mail letters to Mexico the cost is going to $1.10 from the current $ .85.

First Class Parcels are being moved from mailing services to shipping services with a HUGE price increase. I mean 50% price increase. This is to help offset the cost we have incurred from having to comply with export regulations since we now have to stand there and manually enter all that information on the customs forms. There will be a flat rate of $6.55 to all countries on all FCMI parcels weighing 1 or 2 ounces.

Ass chapped yet?


Knitter to the north’s reaction… Needless to say, we had to jam outta there pretty fast. I don’t think anyone ever saw a VW bus drive that fast.

Well, it does suck…boy does it suck, but in the end our friendly postal workers are living pay check to pay check like many of us so, please, be kind to your local postal carriers and clerks, they are just doin’ their jobs and feeding their families, like us ❤

Show kindness & harmony. Might even shock em… (…somethin’ Deadheads are good at.)

Also, don’t forget to adjust your listings accordingly, by either taking some stuff down there to get an estimate or using the price calculator located on the USPS website.

Find it here: http://postcalc.usps.com/


~DHAA Team

Artist Of The Month: Josh Phagan of Mongo Arts

Custom Screen Printing: mongoarts.etsy.com

Custom Screen Printing: mongoarts.etsy.com

Introducing Josh Phagan! Our very first Artist Of The Month and the artist whose work we will be celebrating all December long! 🙂 Check out our in-depth interview with him about the man, husband and dad behind the art…
My name is Josh Phagan , owner of Mongo Arts a small shop in Newport, NC nestled in the cozy Croatan Forest. We specialize in silk screen printing apparel and graphic arts and also our own designs inspired by music of the grateful dead and other experimental music. 
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Mongo Arts philosophy/purpose is simply providing exceptional service to our customers while offering high quality unique products. I strive to give every client a personal and individualized experience. As a small business owner, its of utmost importance to build lasting relationships with good kind folks.  As far as my team, its family..I do 90% of the work along with one employee, my wife Jill is a big help. Part of the team of family are wonderful old friends Mark of Masterpiece graphics and Martin of Mandala graphics who are the best problem solvers and creative thinkers in the business.
We do a wide range of in-house silk screen printing, digital heat transfer, and graphic design for our own designs with online sales. Everything is printed here at our shop located on our property adjacent to our home. We stay busy with custom work for mostly repeat customers printing everything from koozies to prayer flags to hoodies and do a lot of wholesaling apparel of our own design to headshops across the country. We strive to be eco-friendly and try to support other small american business with our work.
I remember my parents at about 6 years old letting me go nuts with the acrylic paints, and I mean splattering paint everywhere, clothes, trees, my skateboard but it looked like a Jackson Pollack or Basquait piece to my eyes and was an unbelievable feeling of self-expression and they were totally cool about the mess. Both my parents are wonderful artists and musicians so that helped tremendously.
Can’t say I really have a favorite piece as I’m working on so many new ideas right now and am always striving to do something better! Part of my philosophy is to get the job done, even if I have to stay up all night. Once it’s done, I’m done with it and not everyone will like what I have created, but I know I will eventually sleep well knowing I gave it my best shot.
St. Stephen (New version) T shirt Spinning that curious sense of your own Grateful Dead Shirt

St. Stephen (New version) T-shirt Spinning that curious sense of your own Grateful Dead Shirt

What inspires me is loud, beautiful mind expanding music, staying in tune with nature out here in the beautiful Croatan forest and my sweet wife Jill. Most recently and more importantly I am a new Dad. I just had my first child Scarlet Rose 5 weeks ago and her sweet soul has put an entirely new loving spin on everything in my life.
Grateful Dead They Love Each Other Baby Onesie 6 months size

Grateful Dead They Love Each Other Baby Onesie 6 months size

Grateful Dead Cassidy Baby Onesie 6 months size

Grateful Dead Cassidy Baby Onesie 6 months size

The Music Never Stopped Grateful Dead Baby Onesie 6 months size

The Music Never Stopped Grateful Dead Baby Onesie 6 months size

It’s all interesting, waking up everyday with a positive attitude, meeting new folks, overcoming obstacles, creative challenges, thinking outside the box. There’s so many directions to go and always something to learn in the screen printing business, keeps me on my toes. Of course, going to shows which I don’t tour more than a week at a time normally with a family and business to look after but meeting new faces and seeing old friends and family is the best. Dancing like a madman to live music is the spiritual recharging that makes it all worth it.
BE HERE NOW T shirts inspired by Baba Ram Dass

BE HERE NOW T-shirts inspired by Baba Ram Dass

When sales are low, I am always the most creative and energized by staying up all night brainstorming, sketching ideas and experimenting maybe out of desperation to keep my dreams alive and evolve as an artist at the same time.. Living a sober lifestyle and keeping a healthy diet and simply helping others gets me through hard times. Remaining humble and knowing I have a family to provide for keeps me upbeat and always productive. I don’t like the idea of having a “Plan B”, I prefer to stay the course of “Plan A” which I enjoy too much to ever give up. Downtime? I write songs and play the guitar of course. I love spending time with my family out here by the sea and love to do some experimental abstract painting outdoors on occasion to keep the energy flowing 😉

Karma original acrylic painting on wood by Josh Phagan

Karma original acrylic painting on wood by Josh Phagan

Zebra Love original painting by Josh Phagan

Zebra Love original painting by Josh Phagan

Lust ... Original art wall hanging signed by artist Josh Phagan

Lust … Original art wall hanging signed by artist Josh Phagan

~**Enter The Coupon Code: ONELOVE  for %15 off total order at checkout!**~


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Josh Phagan

Owner~ Mongo Arts Newport, NC, USA

Contact Info

Office phone: 843-902-5562

Email: mongoarts@gmail.com



Mongo Arts Custom Screen Printing Etsy

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