Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Caine’s Arcade
April 12, 2012

This video has been making the internet rounds lately, so you may have already seen it, but I just had to glorify it here as well.  It is such an inspiring story about the creativity and imagination of one little guy, and the chance encounter of a filmmaker who stumbled upon him and recognized that this was a story worth sharing with the world.

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

I have been a babysitter and nanny for at least 15 years now, and encouraging a child’s creativity has always been one of my main goals and excitements. It will certainly be an attitude I carry on into parenthood. I love to do arts and crafts projects with kids, and am continuously amazed at the things that they come up with. One little boy I took care of for years moved across the country, and would occasionally send me packages in the mail with letters and drawings. There is something so sweet and innocent about a child’s illustrations, I enjoy them so much and have even used a few in my artwork and book projects. I will probably be that parent with boxes full of kid drawings, clay hand prints, and carefully drawn popsicle stand signs that I just can’t bring myself to part with. Even better though, is the fact that programs like imovie have become so accessible and user friendly, that even the least experienced parent can find a way to preserve memories like this further than a few snapshots or saved crumbling momentos.

Finding and watching this video was the best 15 minutes I have spent in quite a while.

‘Like’ Caine’s Arcade on Facebook!
Visit to read more about this amazing story, and to donate to Caine’s college scholarship fund!


Imagination Emporium
April 4, 2012

I am very excited to announce that my aunt Lisa has opened up her own retail store in Grafton, North Dakota called Imagination Emporium. The store will feature all sorts of beautiful home decor, decorating, and apparel items, some purchased and some handmade. Not only does my aunt have great taste, but she’s also got a really keen eye for displays and merchandising, and I have no doubt her store will do very well. My mom and I were invited to contribute to the stash inside, and we had a great time sewing and crafting together in preparation.  We were able to get three boxes mailed out by the end of last week! It felt GREAT, especially as I was able to send off some creations that have been sitting around my apartment for a while.  While it would be nice to have a few extra dollars coming in each month, I ultimately just want to show my support by helping the fill her shelves. Any earnings are just a great bonus! Also, now I can add to my creative resume that I have several wares for sale in an actual shop!

The first two photos here are ones I received via text showing the excitement of setting up the store.

And now, a photo dump of all the handicrafts I am sending:

adult sized slippers

This is a slipper pattern my grandma taught me, and it was the first project I learned after learning the basic stitches of knitting. She used to make these slippers for her own children, and then all the grand-children… I’d guess she’s made at least 20 pair just for our family. She can’t really knit anymore because it’s too hard on her hands – and these are knit in double strand, on size 8 needles, it’s tough on my own hands! In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to brag that I actually have developed a knitting callous on my left pinky. Now that is what I called hardcore knitting!

baby slippers

I’s hard to see the proportions here, but these booties are only about 4″ long, while the adult slippers are about 10″. I adapted this pattern from the adult sized slippers. These are an excellent way to use up yarn that is leftover from other projects.

crochet flower headbands

The pattern for these flowers and leaves comes from this book, “100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet.” I believe I have posted about it before. This is an excellent book for creating realistic and detailed flowers for all types of embellishing on projects. The patterns range from beginner to advanced, and the instructions are detailed, including symbolic diagrams. The author, Lesley Stanfield, has created a similar book called “75 Birds, Butterflies, & Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet” that is equally cute and fun.

The flowers on these headbands are made from nice wool yarns that I bought at a garage sale this past summer. The seller had them in medium sized bundles for 25 cents each. I think she was a weaver, but she had no use for them anymore. The colors are just amazing together!

crochet flower pins

This is the same knitted flower pattern as above, but made with a thinner yarn (actually, the yarn I got from Goodwill in this post!) I made leaves for these too, and glued them onto hair clips. My mom was thinking that these flower headbands would be a hit for girls for Easter.

I cut little felt discs to glue on the back, to hide the hot glue and the clip.

Everything looks more legit when you put it in a plastic bag with a price tag on it!

covered button bobby pins

These next barrettes you may recognize from a holiday bazaar I did about a year and a half ago. I was really excited to be able to send these, because since the bazaar they have essentially been in storage. I thought about listing them at my Etsy store, but since there is such a large amount it would be very time consuming to take pictures of them all, and potentially expensive in listing fees, especially if they didn’t sell. I also think they really are best presented in person, and it’s more fun for a potential customer to look through them all together and choose their favorites. I’m very excited to see how these do in the store.

I tried to use all different, fun fabrics, and all sizes of buttons, so there’s bound to be a pattern and style to interest everyone!

bow bobbies

these are just some fun little bow pins I made from glittery ribbon I got at JoAnns.

I will update this blog with updates about the store’s success, so stay tuned! in the meantime, Click here to ‘like’ Imagination Emporium on facebook and show your support!

Gem Faire 2011
November 25, 2011

My mom and I went to Gem Faire 2011 at the Portland Convention Center last saturday. I told myself walking in the doors that I would try to be conservative with my money, and would only splurge if I could visualize projects for what I wanted to buy. Instead, I went a little crazy…

Gem Faire is really great because you can see vendors from all over the U.S., and their goods are sold at wholesale price even though the event is open to the public. When researching about the event, I found on their website ( that you can register for email updates and you will get a free weekend pass! Excellent, that’s seven more dollars you can spend on inventory!

(Unfortunately, my camera wasn’t charged up, so I could only take these small pics with my cell phone.)

I have always loved rocks and gemstones. I’m not even really sure why.. but to me they are so beautiful. I especially love the raw, chunky forms – many grow with facets that make them glitter, they are like olden days treasure to me! When I was a kid I used to collect rocks and agates, and bring them home to polish with a toothbrush, and lay out on a paper towel to dry in the sun. My grandma bought me a rock tumbler at a garage sale, and I distinctly remember the gritty, rumbling sound it made in the garage the whole month it was tumbling. The results were stunning! As a youngin’ I wasn’t quite sure what made the rocks so polished and shiny, it was almost like magic.

(Speaking of rock tumblers, I recently came across one and was thinking it would be really cool to make my own sea glass, by tumbling broken shards. To be continued…)

I’ve recently been inspired to make more gemstone jewelry, some pieces I already had in mind when I went to do my shopping. I’m especially drawn to light blue agates, turquoise, amethyst, and amber. Some of my ideas also included chunks of pyrite, and crystal cylinders.

I probably could have spent all day, but as my wallet got lighter so did my interest.

Here are some pictures of my loot.  I look forward to sharing my creations with these pieces!

(Click to see larger!)

many of these strands were only a dollar each. I couldn’t resist!  I especially love those on the far right, I call them “talons”, I think they will look really cool in individual necklace pendants. Those purple, pink and blue round beads perfectly match the colors in a dress I got recently.  And those skull beads on the far right, I am picturing a cool little drawstring suede bag or pouch, with some fringe, and beads.

These two I am going to take apart and make individual pieces with as well. The lightning bolt shapes are faux amber/resin, and the red and green talons are coral and (I think) either jade or moss agate.

fools gold! my hands got really dirty sifting through to find my favorite pieces, it wasn’t hard to imagine I was actually mining the pieces rather than picking them out of a tupperware bowl 😉

One of my favorite pieces, a chunk of amethyst wrapped with silver and made into a pendant. I love how dark the color is, it looks like rock candy! And a cute little beaded ring! The more I look at this ring the easier I think it would be to reproduce.

These were my two splurge items, blue lace agate chunks and the crystals. I figure each piece will go into it’s own necklace, so I will get a lot of product, and if I make any sales it will be worth my while. I also love these amethyst chunks! raw and yet so shiny, and beautiful.

Portland Zine Symposium 2011
August 13, 2011

The 2011 Portland Zine Symposium was wildly successful! This was the first year in a new location, which was really great! We had a lot more light, and separate rooms for tables, so it felt more split up and not quite so overwhelming to walk into. As usual, every single table was overflowing with great new projects.

I sat next to this really great doorway arch of bamboo and paper cranes!

Here’s day one. I took a bit different approach to my table display this year, I borrowed some really great acrylic book holders from work that allowed me to stand up all my zines, and have a lot more table space than previous years. I decided to bring my typewriter for the display partially because of the extra space, but also because I talk about it in my two newest zines, so I thought it’d be a cool edition, and it goes along with my whole aesthetic.

You can see my two newest projects – on the second book display from the left, in the front pocket, with the typewriters image on the front, is my zine called How I Became A Connoisseur of STUFF. It is a zine about the fine, almost microscopic line, between collecting and hoarding. The other new zine is laying out in front of the typewriter. It’s called Carriage Return*, and it’s a zine of typewriter drawings I did. I’ll make another post soon with more info/details on these zines, and how you can get them!

Day two. Notice the blue paper note in place of HIBACoS… I sold out! I made a little note so that people could leave their email address, and I’d let them know when the second round of copying was finished and it was in my Etsy page. The zine was really popular, much to my surprise and glee! The Multnomah County Library bought 6, and it will soon be in circulation, joining my zine The Left Handed Knitter. So exciting!!!

Here’s Nichole’s side, my trusty tabling mate. I love how our things look together!

All in all it was a great weekend, I did some awesome trades, bought some intriguing zines, and bumped into some old friends. And this year, surprisingly enough, I actually made a little money. I’m never in it to make a buck, but it’s always a great surprise to come home with more than I left the house with. It’s also always a huge compliment that people consider my publications worth a few singles. I had one lady spent $16 at my table alone! She bought several things for a friend, and one or two zines she bought two of. A lot of times people will go right by my table, especially the guys, because my aesthetic is pretty specific and it just doesn’t appeal to everyone. That’s totally okay with me, we all have our tastes. And it usually means that the people who are interested in my stuff really love it, because the style appeals to them so much. I always come home feeling so inspired from the weekend, it’s really a fantastic feeling.  I’m already developing ideas for next year!

Here’s the view from my side of things.

Krafts For Boyz
February 15, 2011

As I’ve said before, I make every effort to hand craft all my gifts. This doesn’t exclude boys, and it definitely doesn’t surpass Valentine’s day. Rian is actually really easy to craft for, now that I have narrowed down his two favorite things: video games, and dachshunds.

This plastic canvas “gameboy” ipod holder I made for both Rian and my brother, who just had a birthday. It’s a really simple design, not only practical but a great conversation starter.

doxie approved!

Rian has been requesting a Mario themed Kleenex box for some time now, and I figured it was time to deliver. I sewed the question mark panel first, and then decided to do the other 3 sides as scenes from various parts of Mario games. I had a lot of fun googling pictures for ideas, there is an unbelievable amount of mario themed crafts out there, from plastic canvas to perler beads. Here’s a noteworthy favorite, and probably my next craft to tackle…

(click pics to see larger versions!)

(the shirt was his Christmas gift, got it on etsy!)

last but certainly not least, I found this dachshund pillow kit when I was rearranging the clearance fabric last month at work, and was going to surprise Rian with it. But then I decided it should be saved for something a little more special…. It’s funny because once it was made it looked a lot more like a strangely stunted golden retriever than a doxie, but nonetheless he loveddddd it!! This was one of my first sewing projects, so it was great to practice doing curves and sewing the bottom piece on. I stuffed it really full so it’s a firm pillow, and then as a crowning glory I added the plastic animal nose to make it a little more realistic. HA! I’m thinking now I need to go back and get another one for myself…


In case you were wondering about my presents, I got treated to a night away at a nice hotel at the beach, and these amazing gifts! We obviously know each other so well:

You’re A Wizard, Harry!
December 31, 2010

If you know me even a little, you know I’m totally dorky. That along with the lethal combination of being able to “totally get into things” is the entire basis for this craft project.

Early October, my friend from work mentioned that she was planning to take her younger siblings to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, pt 1. We got to talking about the books, and at the point I had only read up to the last one, so she lent it to me and I read the entire thing in just under 4 days. Now I will be the first to admit, unabashedly, that I am a grown-up who likes Harry Potter. The books are entertaining and well written, the characters are relateable, and I think the author has done a suburb job of creating this entirely believable wizarding world.  I don’t consider myself a fanatic, but I will admit to taking pleasure in reading the books and getting swept up in the stories.

So you can see where this is going.. I decided to go to the premiere and bring Rian along as well. I couldn’t help it, I knew the hype would be huge, everyone would be so excited and having a great time, and I wanted to be a part of it! But of course, we couldn’t show up in regular clothes, we would be ostracized.. rather than investing in an entire wardrobe, I decided to make Rian and I Gryffendor scarves out of fleece.  The glasses were a last minute addition, which I think turned out to be totally appropriate..

You should be so proud of me, faithful readers, this was my first sewing project! I sewed together all the strips, and then my mom helped with sewing the whole thing in half, because I was having trouble catching the hems in. My sewing was by no means perfect, but this was a great project to start with because once you turn it inside out, you can hardly tell that the seams are totally crooked and my sewing is erratic at best.  So for all intensive purposes, success!

The best part was that Rian got totally into it. One more reason I love him – he’s not afraid to dork out! I’m sure the physique helps, nobody’s gonna mess with an uber buff looking dude, even if he is dressed like Harry Potter.. Yet another example of how my boyfriend is the greatest sport ever.

Even Zowie got into the festivities!

December 22, 2010

Unlike other years, this Halloween I had been planning my costume for a while.  I knew for a while that I wanted to be the infamous Snooki from MTV’s monstrosity of a reality show, Jersey Shore.  When the show first came out, I was pretty disgusted with it and avoided it completely. It looked so stupid and obnoxious, I couldn’t stand to watch a few minutes of it. But then, one faithful day, I must have been sick at home or my defenses were otherwise down, and I ended up watching an episode or two, and I was hooked. I still think it’s pretty gross and obnoxious, but somehow in a funny way.. I tell people it really just seems like another world, that these people can’t actually be real.  It’s become a pasttime for Rian and I, to hang out and watch Jersey Shore and 16 & Pregnant or Teen Mom. So the more I thought about it, Snooki just seemed like the perfect costume – if I went with casual Snooki, I could get away with wearing slippers! So I would be uber comfy. And Snooki has so many recognizeable traits – the pouf, the glasses, not to mention the fake tan – that I knew everyone would know and love it. Rian originally had other plans completely, but I the more we watched the show together, he got dragged into the tangled web and decided to be a guido.  Because he can just pull it off so well!

To achieve the full look, it took much planning and a few hours to complete.  I got this horrid t-shirt at Walmart a few weeks before, and paired it with some shiny leopard print leggings, a gold chain fanny pack, and furry ugg-style slippers. I wore dark black eye shadow and fake lashes (honestly, there is no picture, because my face looked… horrifying)  I wore black and silver fake nails/talons and a huge fake diamond ring. Then all I needed was Snook’s signature glasses – which cost me a few bucks and a mere 20 minutes to make.  The best part is that you can actually kind of see out of them!

Rian’s wardrobe was relatively easy with a tight fitting, Ed Hardy-esque shirt, and jeans. He got a sample of Spiker from his hair dresser – the hair gel Pauly-D swears by. We also used a ton of hairspray and then sprayed his hair with black hair dye, for maximum gelmet effect. We got a fake tattoo from a quarter machine, and a plastic gold chain.

The most complicated part of our prep was obviously the fake tan – we investigated several options, including actual skin bronzer, face makeup, and the creams that body builders use to make their skin look extra dark and shiny. The problem with bronzing cream is that we didn’t want it to last more than for the evening, and the Pro Tan apparently never actually dries, so we would be leaving brown streaks everywhere we went all night. We ended up going with a combination of makeup foundation for a much darker skinned lady, and mixing it up with a squirt of brown face makeup and lotion. The first night of costuming I carefully applied the makeup to our face so it looked more even, but the second night we weren’t as pumped up so we just smeared it all over with our hands. Honestly, the pictures don’t even do it justice – we looked delightfully AWFUL!

my mom said it legit looked like we were rubbing ‘baby poop’ on our faces. :/

I think the only real problem with these costumes was that we went to parties where we didn’t know the majority of the people there, and most of them don’t know our sense of humor so they thought we were being somehow serious.  It was totally supposed to be satire – the skin extra dark, the pouf extra high, the Ed Hardy shirt extra douche-y. These personalities are so far from our own, that we had a lot of fun taking them on and completely altering who we were for just one night. But since most people don’t know us on a regular basis, they didn’t know how completely opposite we had made ourselves. I entered us into a halloween costume contest on a popular blog that I read called ONTD, you can see the image below that we submitted. We didn’t win, but we got a a little applause and snorts of approving laughter.

Holiday Bazaar Tabling
November 27, 2010

The bazaar went so well! I met a lot of great people, including one lady who recognized me from my work whom I’ve helped before, ha! She also had a table. There was a real diverse selection of products for sale, from cookware, scarves, jewelry, and Christmas items.  While the tabling deposit was a little steep (for me at least, I mean I’m definitely still a “small time” tabler) I still made out pretty good in sales after recovering that deposit. While of course, first and foremost, for me it’s all about the crafts and the process of making them and keeping busy, it’s always nice to come home with a small wad of cash to spend on more supplies, and new endeavors!

I slaved for weeks preparing for this bazaar. I got the idea for my biggest project about a month ago, when we had a great sale with a ton of coupons at work. I loaded up on covered buttons and eighths of fabric, and set to work making these barrette sets. They were my biggest hit by far at the bazaar. It was interesting because most of the shoppers were older ladies, and a lot of them kept saying “oh, these would be so cute for my daughter/granddaughter/friends 9 year old” etc. All the fabrics I chose were fun, bright, and defined prints, and I guess some would consider them more juvenile. But I would wear any of them! It’s just interesting to see what kind of audience you think you are preparing for, and who actually ends up favoring your style. I would like to do at least one more bazaar before Christmas, and I’ve discovered I need to try and target an audience with younger teen girls and women with daughters.

I developed a pretty good system for the barrettes – I’d cut all my circles out, then line them up to make the buttons, then line them up to attach the pins… I love setting up assembly lines!

I’m completely proud to say that I made the design for this packaging in Microsoft paint.  While I’ve had a few changes to work with Photoshop and InDesign at school when I was working on the literary magazine, but at home I have little to no budget in terms of technology so I’m always trying to find ways to make due  with what I got. Someday when I’m sure I’m a successful artist and business woman with my own studio and one of these keeping me warm at night, I’ll let myself splurge on a great camera and software to make everything look professional. But for now, Tim Gunn would be proud, I’m “makin’ it work!”

A secondary project for this bazaar I dreamed up are these knitted and crocheted flower headbands. I absolutely love this book and used it in several ideas for designs. I then added some beads to give the pieces a little more texture, and glued them onto headbands using felt circles.

These were absolutely a last minute idea, created the night before the bazaar. I got glittery holiday picks in the floral section of a craft store, cut off the stems, and sprayed them with a coating to keep the glitter in place.

And now, the table! I divided my table in half, with hair things on one side and a sampling of everything else I have made on the other.  As an afterthought I think next time I will devote most of my table to hair things, as they seemed to be the big sellers, and I think my table was so full of stuff that it was a little overwhelming.

To create these headband holders, I covered oatmeal canisters with purple velvet, and pinned them so they look a little drape-y. You can see on the left I also included some feather pad headbands I have made as well.

I dotted the table with a few crocheted friends to keep it approachable, ha.

I look forward to setting up for more bazaars, I’ll post more updates when you can expect to see me out and about!

WL Holiday Bazaar
November 12, 2010

…I have been slaving away the last few weeks in preparation for this saturday’s Holiday Bazaar in West Linn.

If by chance you are in the neighborhood, you should stop by! I am debuting my two newest endeavors:
bobby pins made out of covered buttons, and headbands with crocheted and beaded flowers on them!
I’ll also have most of my old favorites, like lucky feather beaded pendants, some resin pendants, my beat writers nb series, blank journals, gemstone rings, and some feather headbands as well. A little of everything!

I’ll post pics of my table setup and new products sometime this weekend. Please stop by and say hi if you get a chance! Even my grandma will be there.