Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Check it out: my work was used in a movie!

A set designer bought a mobile I made for the movie "Remember Me" starring Robert Pattinson(aka the infamous actor from the Twilight series). I didn't know if/how they would really use it - and I must admit I did not see the film while it was in the theaters... so it was a pleasant surprise to me when I heard from a friend that they saw a mobile of mine in a movie! This movie is so hot in the rental land that it took me a few days and a scavenger hunt to find an available copy - but here it is. Tucked near the end in a scene where you can see this man carrying some tea into his daughter's room - you can see the mobile glowing in the sunlight, hung in the window by the painter's easel. The little girl is an artist and the mobile was bought to decorate her room. I think it looks great. I had to watch the movie a second time to find it :) It makes a split second background appearance. Ah well, its still exciting!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blog Photography

Do you wonder where to find pictures for your blog? Or how I find the time to take pictures for my blog?

My advice for anyone reading this that is also a blogger - simply take a lot of pictures. Statistically speaking, the more pictures you take, the more likely there will be a few beauties in the bunch. Snap colorful shots of the world around you.

I carry a little Canon PowerShot around with me at all times. Now a days most of our phones take great pictures as well. I just got a new phone, and currently I don't know how to get the pictures off of it - woops - but I digress! I also like to use my Nikon D80 as often as possible, great lens and great shots are so key!
This photo of some glue was taken when I was working in the studio on prepping some scrap for a kiln fire. Working with my scrap is nothing glorious (at all!) but this picture is fun and bright, and its a window into my world. I used it for a blog article about glue.

The first photo above of the orange glass pieces - that was taken one evening when I was working with my little scrap pieces - making them into little mobiles... I had previously been using my lightbox, so it was sitting in front of me, and I couldn't fight the urge to put my tray of glass bits on top of the light box and illuminate the pieces. Oh what a visual feast for the eyes! The glass lit up and sparkled - I grabbed my camera and took a few shots. I still use them from time to time. And I now keep my lightbox in my photo set-up to light things up from the bottom.

Below is a picture of some buttons I made for a friend one evening... I find colorful pictures of glass to please my eye. What can I say, I am a bit glass obsessed!
I am taking a class right now from Diane Gilleland - Blog Tune Up - so in the next few weeks you might notice an evolution in the ol' Garden of Leah. Today I made a new banner :)

I noticed in going over class materials that many times the questions come around to photography. I am a visually indulgent artist - I love taking pictures - so the photography part of blogging is a sheer pleasure for me.

I am taking this class because I want to give my blog some tender loving care. Blogs can lead to some really fun opportunities, and I enjoy taking advantage of that. So I am attempting to fine tune things here in the Garden of Leah and take it to the next level. I hope you as the reader find this transition enjoyable :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Any Suggestions for Fava Beans

I fell in love with these Fava Beans at the farmers market. I know there are a myriad of things I could do with them, but I am not particularly inspired... do you have any suggestions? Favorite recipes? Advice?

Okay I also had to share some gratuitous shots of my own garden production... check out this beautiful pot of lettuce. My wonderful neighbor gave me these starts and they produce salad a few times a week for Tim and I! The lettuce seems to be the only thing I have that really didn't mind all that rain.Align Center
This basil is gorgeous - its a starter from Trader Joes. I couldn't resist.
as you see, my own basil starts suffered in the gloomy Portland spring. Endless rain did not make my basil flourish. Instead they seemed to get eaten by slugs.
one last picture - the kitty was sitting there talking to me while I was taking pictures - I do believe he is saying "feed me".

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blue Skies!

At long last - Portland Oregon is seeing blue skies!!! The sun is out, and while there is work to be done, I must take time off and appreciate this good weather. Its summer!
I have been so busy work, creating, and showing my work - its fine time to take a few days off and enjoy the sunshine. I've gardened, worked on the yard in general, bbq and naps in the hammock. The sweet life.

Wednesday I went to the Farmers Market downtown with Tim and Poe. It was scrumptious! My first farmers market visit of the year. We bought everything our hungry little eyes desired! Brooks Cherries (they only come out once a year -and it happened to be today! Sweet red plump cherries), huge fat fava beans, fresh garlic and sweet onions, fresh morel mushrooms, amazing looking purple kale, juicy red raspberries, fresh caught Salmon from the Native American fishmonger, jumbo eggs from the little fresh egg stand... clearly we had no self control, I love to grocery shop at the Farmers Market. Of course there were a few cookies and little french donuts purchased as well... how could we resist!

Yesterday we headed out in a canoe on the Willamette River. It was a neat - we rented a boat at Alder Creek (near Omsi on the SE side of the river) and rowed against a light wind into the industrial area. Under 6 bridges (and a barge was coming thru so we got to paddle under 3 bridges while they were raising!) and the Steel bridge had 2 trains(Amtrak and a cargo train), 2 light rail trains and normal traffic all going on while we went under it - that felt kinda crazy! Anyhow... I brought my camera with me and it had no memory card it in (doh!), so no pictures. It was a beautiful day. We wore sunblock and I had a big hat, so no sunburns. My body is sore now, we paddled that boat very quickly back thinking that we were late to return the rental boat, no breaks on the way back! Our leisurely picnic 5 miles up the river had us rowing as hard as possible all the way back. I was so tired afterwards I didn't know if I'd be able to carry the boat up the ramp back into the garage!
Okay - back to work... my phone has died (seriously, the screen simply went black, it still works, but I can't read anything on it, so its pretty darned useless) and I need to go get a new one... among other things.

If you're in Portland here... maybe I'll see you at the Saturday Market - I'll be there all weekend (hopefully the sun will as well!)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice Celebration in Seattle

I am back from Seattle - a LONG weekend of vending. A whole lotta rain. Seemed ironic to celebrate the summer solstice in a rain soaked outdoor festival.
The Fremont Fair was really amazing - absolutely huge - with everything creative you could possibly imagine.

I put a whole bunch of pictures on my flickr account. Check em out there.
Its been one hell of a week attending and speaking at the Summit of Awesome and then vending at the Fremont Fair. A bit overwhelming. I felt like the workshops I attended at the Summit inspired me in new ways. One talk in particular was a serious pep-talk for the sales person in me that is attempting to sell my own work. Whew - being the salesperson is one of the most difficult part of my life. Its a balanced experience though - its exercise (for real! setting up and taking down a booth full of artwork is a workout), its a constant challenge and its so rewarding getting to meet my customers and collectors in person.

While having a drink with friends Saturday night after the Fremont Fair - we all laughed at each other for "making it look easy" - because honestly, it is NOT easy. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hello Seattle

Hey people - are you in Seattle? Come visit me in my booth at the Fremont Fair! I will be up here in town for the weekend... my booth is on Fremont literally right by the Fremont Bridge - evidently this is the best section of the whole show! I am not sure why I got such a great spot - the show is HUGE and seems like I am surrounded by veteran artists who have sold at this show for years to get such a good spot... I am guessing someone must have decided to not do this year and I must have gotten their spot!

Today was a whirl wind of making, packing and driving. I have been super busy. My feet are tired. I am exhausted. Traffic sucked. Its windy out and my booth is sitting outside vulnerable. I hope its still there when I show up in the morning. Show starts tomorrow at 10am. Long hours too... goes till 8pm tomorrow and then Sunday from 11-6 I think. When I read the hours this morning I thought to myself "Leah, you should have researched this show before you signed up!" sheesh, long hours are not my style, and I made no arrangements to have a helper here with me to boothsit. Usually I would have paid someone to come with me and help, but this is the first big out-of-town show I have done that is outdoors, so I had to bring a canopy and I couldn't fit both the canopy and a helper in the car (canopy sat in the passenger seat - inventory and display stuff filled the rest of the car) But here I am and I think this will be a great show. I have lots of wonderful glass mobiles with me that hopefully will go home with new owners. And I am staying in a hotel with some friends, so it will be a fun weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Press in Neighborhood Notes

Check out this wonderful article

Over the last couple years I have become friends with Matt and his wife Kathryn, of Ekko Mobiles and we had the opportunity to do this interview together and it turned into a lengthy wonderful discussion about mobiles, why we make them, why we love them and how to take pictures of them! This is my cup of tea, seriously. I could sit around chatting about this kind of stuff all day! Fortunately I had plans for a private class that afternoon so eventually I had to rush out in the rain to continue my day...

Let me say this website was such a pleasure to work with, the writer Erin Codazzi and the photographer Ken Aaron were really into the mobiles - Erin pitched this story and contacted all of us out of the blue! The article is out now and ready for you to read.

photo above taken by Ken Aaron for Neighborhood Notes

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summit of Awesome Pictures

I have spent the last day or so celebrating crafty entrepreneurs like myself at the Kennedy School - its called the Summit of Awesome - and indeed it has been truly awesome. Above is a picture of my felt nametag. I made it Thursday night at the Welcome Party.
There was a table in the gym simply called "Make Something Awesome" that was all set up with stuff to make felty flowers and nametags (I combined the projects into one, sewing the felted flowers onto my nametag).
Here's a picture of me geeking out at the crafty table getting supplies for my nametag, and sewing the letters on (I had to take out all the stitches of the L and do it again when I realized I was using up way too much thread way to fast... and I was sewing on my name while the white elephant game was getting explained... so it was all done quite hectically - is that a word?)
Naomi came with me to the party and we had so much fun! She made some felted flowers for her nametag as well
The welcome party involved a "white elephant" game, basically all us crafty people showed up with a handcrafted gift and exchanged said gifts. I brought a little computer mobile and was happy to see my friend Rebbecca end up with it - she was very happy too! Naomi got this sweet little plushi owl (although she almost had this awesome notebook, but thats a whole nuther story!) Naomi brought some bike nutz and man oh man they were well received! At first I was nervous, the nutz exchanged hands a few times (oh no! people don't like them?!)... but in the end Jenna was the happy new owner of the platinum balls. People were talking about those shiney ballz the next day - I love that!! We gotta get some up in the Etsy store pronto!

Okay, so the welcome party was such fun! It was the end of a long day. I didn't get to attend classes at the conference yesterday because I was at the glass studio teaching class (which was also wonderful) so this party was a fun way to top things off. I stopped by the glass studio after the conference tonight and it was Pendant Night - good to see a studio full of people all enjoying making glass pendants! But I digress once again... back to the Summit of Awesome... the party ended with a screen printing session, we all got to print our own awesome t-shirt.

Today the crafting continued!!I went back at 8am for breakfast and socializing and then a day full of talks. Business discussions, crafty business histories, vending tips, legal matters, and oh yeah - I was a speaker as well! I participated in a talk with the Berkeley couple, Lucy and Ryan. It was great discussion on Collaborations and Commissioned Work. Really it was a big discussion about how we make things happen in our businesses.

I had a great discussion at the end of the day with Sara (of Hello Craft) where we broke it down and really got to the gist of things that it is all about collaboration. Basically collaboration makes our DIY style businesses happen, and in turn made this whole conference possible. Collaborations of one sort or another are what makes my little business possible and makes Portland Or such a funky cool crafty place to exist. The pivotal businesses in the scene are all working together in some way, when events like this happen it makes things so transparent that we all benefit from each other's strengths and weaknesses. Seriously. Perhaps I will do a separate blog sometime about collaborations, its a very interesting topic in terms of the DIY movement, and its something that I benefit from in my own business.

Okay. That's my thoughts on awesomeness for the evening. I've got to get off the computer. My brain is overwhelmed and I must start getting ready to prep everything for Seattle, tomorrow I pack the car and head North for 2 days of the Fremont Fair.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Working in Circles

Working hard these days. Production has to happen. These two hands of mine make everything that I sell. There are some new shops that will be representing my work (eek - gotta make sure to get those shipments out in a timely fashion!) and this weekend I will be in Seattle for a two day show (the Fremont Fair) so I am extra stocking up on inventory. Seems to be kinda silly sometimes: I make things, they sell, I need to make more things, I get orders for things... the idea of a live inventory is very cyclical.

I am also teaching classes this week, Monday evening I taught an Introduction to Torchworking class, today I am teaching a Beginner Beadmaking class. Monday evening was a one-on-one class and I helped a woman learn to start making lampworked beads for her work. (that is her website - she has her fused jewelry up)

I don't usually blog about such details... however now I am... my brain is lacking for blog content lately, so I thought it might be interesting to share what my week is really like...

This particular week is amped up. The Summit of Awesome will be rocking out all weekend starting today. White Elephant Party tonight. I will try and take pictures.

Tomorrow I am speaking with Lucy and Ryan Berkley about commissioned and collaborative work. I'm stoked to be at a conference in the Kennedy School (I love this space!) and the talk should be fun. Its the only day I will have to really enjoy the conference. So I will be attending as many talks/demos as possible.

For some reason I am a bit nervous about driving up to Seattle for the Fremont Fair. Its an event I've never done before. New set-up display stuff, and only little ol' me to set it all up. (Big shout out to Tim for helping on the weekends at the Saturday Market - THANK YOU!) This time I am on my own. The booth is taking the passenger seat in my car for the drive up. :) Luckily I am staying with some friends who also are vending at the event for the weekend, that will be fun! But its going to be a long drive with a car full of lots of stuff. 10feet x10feet square takes quite a bit of stuff to make it look really cool.

Yesterday I took these pictures while I was attempting to be in production mode...

Rain Chain

My glass mobiles look beautiful in the rain, and many times I have thought about making a rain chain. My friend Sandy has been asking me to make her some for her garden... and its raining really hard out at the moment... so I got inspired to mess around!

While I am buzy here at home in the studio creating mobiles, I took some extra circles and whipped up a little bit of rain chain. If you don't know what a rain chain is, its a decorative element that functions in a gutter system to guide water flow down into drainage (or even better - into a rain barrel to store the water for future garden watering) while being more decorative and beautiful than a plain gutter.

Okay, so while I don't have a rain barrel (damn I want one! with all the rain we are getting lately it would fill immediately!) and I didn't want to disassemble my gutters mid downpour - so I couldn't test it out completely... BUT I do have some gutters that need to be cleaned out, and there is one particular section of gutter that needs to be fixed (when its stops raining I need to get up there and re-connect the gutter system and clean out the debris) so I took advantage of the steady drip and see how my proto-type works... I got completely soaked putting in a hook to hang it and its sorts late so its kinda dark in the video... but I thought I'd share!

Next I've got to actually set it up when its not raining, in the gutter system, to really see if it works... this test was just to see what the flow would be like. And that was a thumbs up!

Seattle Here I Come...

This weekend I will be up in Seattle with my glass mobiles at the Fremont Fair, June 19th and 20th. This is a first for me - I'm pretty excited! Below is the description I found for the fair on their Facebook page:
On June 19th and 20th the Fremont Fair returns to celebrate community with a toast to summer! Founded in 1972, the Fremont Fair is one of Seattle’s most beloved neighborhood street festivals, featuring a weekend of eclectic activities that celebrate the quirky community of Fremont, the self-proclaimed “center of the universe.” Held annually in mid-June to coincide with the Summer Solstice, the event draws more than 100,000 people to shop, eat, drink, mingle, groove, and enjoy all manners of creative expression. Artistic highlights include craft and art booths, street performers, local bands, wacky decorated art cars, the free-spirited Solstice Parade produced by the Fremont Arts Council, and many other oddities that personify Fremont’s official motto “Delibertus Quirkus” – Freedom to be Peculiar. The Fremont Fair is produced by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and funds raised benefit a number of area non-profits including Solid Ground, a local poverty-focused non-profit who originated and produced the Fair for nearly 40 years.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Future of Making is in Your Hands

I'll be speaking at a conference this week for crafty entrepreneurs like myself. Its looking to be a great event! I just went thru the list of speakers and made sure everyone's blog is in my blogfeed. The list of speakers makes me smile! Networking is awesome! This conference is called "The Summit of Awesome". I love the name. Makes me want to take some sort of rock star pose as I say it
I heard there are a few passes left for sale for the conference. It will be held at the Kennedy School and if you are a local crafty entrepreneur, I guarantee there will be much to learn. Check it out :)

here is a link for a great article in the Oregonian about the conference:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Booth at the Portland Saturday Market

Rose Festival Parade

My day at the Portland Saturday Market today was made colorful with the Rose Festival Grand Parade. This morning as I set up my booth the fire department there on Naito Parkway was all abuzz with parade prep. All the firetrucks were looking shiney and super clean, adorned with roses and there was an old antique horse pulled fire truck that was gearing up to go. I happened to be taking a picture of some of the firetrucks when this entourage of horses and antiques left the station and headed off to the start of the parade. It was fantastic!
Behind the big horses and the antique fire truck was this little mini cart pulled by ponies that seemed to be carrying the pooper scoopers!I tried to take a video to show what it feels like to have a booth in an art market under a bridge that has a huge parade passing over head. Its really neat. I sorta love it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Printed Plates

A fresh batch of printed plates is about to hit Jan's booth at the Portland Saturday Market. Its a pleasure to sign them each and appreciate the results of each print. These flowers are new prints to hit our glassware.
It is the Rose Festival this weekend at the market. Gets a little hectic for not a lot of profits. But the weather will be nice, so I will be down there. And Jan will have these plates in her booth for sale. Roses for the Rose Festival anyone?

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Display Tables

New display tables in the making... Tim is helping me with this wood project (his forte)... I found these round table tops at Portland Store Fixtures - there were 3 and I bought them all! How perfect, they already had metal fixtures on the bottoms to attach them to a base - wha?! I know, they only cost me a few bucks a piece and I love sets of 3... I am thinking of having them each be a different height and making a cluster of them, the three round tables. The display furniture I use currently is too big to fit in the car. I need to drive to out of town shows, and I need the displays to compact small enough that the car can mainly be used to transport my work. Display surfaces are key. I can hang mobiles in the space to keep things funky, but I still need tables for displaying packaged work and business cards and whatnot. I think these tables will be brilliant!
Here the first proto-type table (they are small like pedestals) is displaying my wonderful matryoshka dolls. These little white dolls are actually plastic measuring cups for the kitchen! My friend found these for my birthday - thanks Naomi! I love them and I've used them to measure stuff already.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cat in the Hat

I put these hats on my brother's cat Oleo. They velcro under her little chin. Pictures had to be taken.
I found them on Etsy.