Saturday, December 31, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 12-31-11 End of Year Recap

Well we have survived our first year at Portland Saturday Market.   A lot has been learned along the way and our booth set up reflects it.  It was a stellar season and we are looking forward to a couple of months of down time before next year's season starts.  Next year is going to be spectacular and so much easier as we are no longer on the fill in list, but will have a dedicated location, which will make us easier to find.

A pictorial look back on the year:

Portland Saturday Market entrance sign
Portland Saturday Market entrance sign

Musicians onstage
Musicians onstage

Dog days of summer in Portland
Dog days of summer in Portland

People enjoying the park on the waterfront
People enjoying the park on the waterfront

Food court sign
Food court sign

Red information booth
Red information booth

Vendor signage displays creativity
Vendor signage displays creativity

Bikes on the boardwalk
Bikes on the boardwalk

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quote Wednesday 12/28/11

Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life
 and when it comes,
 hold your head high,
look it squarely in the eye
and say
"I will be bigger than you. 
You cannot defeat me." 
   ---Ann Landers

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Featured Artisan -- Aya Designs

Relax a moment and enjoy our interview with


When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I've always loved and supported the handmade world and always had the desire to craft but never had the time. When my girls were young, I'd make them Halloween costumes and pretty jewelry and accessories but nothing beyond that partly because I couldn't afford the supplies back then.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I started as a hobby about 15 years ago and then at the urging of my adult daughters and friends started selling on Art Fire and Etsy in 2009.

What are your crafting influences?

I travel to Southern France often to visit my Mom (who chose to live there about 30 years ago) and love the style in that region. As a military brat, I grew up in Turkey and would be mesmerized by their gold and jewelry bazaars.

2 Strands Red Pearlized Glass Necklace and Earrings Set

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

No, although both my daughters are artistic and artsy.

What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

I've done several home shows - we call it my Mimosa and Baubles Party because I serve mimosas and hors d'oeuvres while the ladies shop and mingle. I've also participated in a few shows in Dallas, Charlotte and Atlanta and look forward to more shows in more cities!

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I love to remodel homes! It would be an awesome business! I've learned how to use a few power tools and love seeing the end product. I also love to needlepoint purely for relaxation!

Faceted White Agates and Blue Goldstone Necklace and Earrings Set

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

Wow, not sure that I have only one favorite. But lately I've been working on stretch jelly cord bracelets and just love the layered look! Pearls and crystals and colors! Love!

Why did you make that piece?

I had never worked with stretch/jelly cord before and realized I was missing out because they are so popular now.

What does it take to create pieces like that?

A love of color and a knack to combine textures and colors, I suppose.

What is special about your pieces?

I pride myself on every aspect, from buying the best quality stones and beautiful Bali silver to making sure the finish is professional. I don't want anyone to ever look at one of my pieces and wish for something different!

What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

I suppose it's therapeutic too but really what I love is seeing how happy my customers, friends and family are when they wear a piece. I've done so many brides and bridesmaid’s jewelry over the past few years and I always get a thank you note and pictures of the lovely ladies and that makes me proud!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Birthday's -- Flowers and Gemstones

Shopping for someone's birthday is easier when you can access the information easisly.   Included here is a complete list  of articles written about birthstones and the flowers each calender month of the year.


January                    February                      March                                   
April                        May                             June
July                          August                         September
October                   November                   December

Birthstones Other Than Gemstones

Zodiac Gemstones

More to come

Flowers of the Month:

January                  February                        March
April                      May                               June
July                        August                           September
October                 November                      December

When writing the original articles I chose the more traditional route of the flower chosen to represent the entire month.   If you are interested in more detailed flower information there is a list that includes a flower for each day of the year. Not all of the items are flowers as we think, it is a very interesting list.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Garden Delights 12/25/11

Garden humor
Garden humor
Someone sent this to me, not sure where it came from.   Thought it very appropriate as today is the first day of some much deserved and needed downtime!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Festival Days 2011!

Festival days is the week before Christmas at Saturday Portland Market.  It is the one time of year we are open during the week.  To enhance the holiday shopping experience the market has roving carolers singing all of your favorite Christmas songs.

Roving Christmas carolers singing at the market
Roving Christmas carolers singing at the market

Hear and see the girls dancing and singing.

Christmas carolers taking a break
Christmas carolers taking a break.
These girls had a lot of fun wandering through the market singing.  Didn't make it this year?  Festival days happens every year, put it down on your calender for next year so you don't miss it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Reindeer Facts

Reindeer with horns in winter are female
Reindeer with horns in winter are female.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.

Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.

Enjoy your Holiday!!

Santa in sleigh pulled by reindeer
Santa in sleigh pulled by reindeer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quote Wednesday 12/21/11

The road to success becomes lonely.
Because most are not willing
to face and conquer the hardships
that lurk on that road. 

The ability to take that extra step
when you are tired
is the quality that separates
 the winners from the also-rans.  
---Edward Le Baron, Jr.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Featured Artisan -- Amy-Elyse Neer

Welcome back, today's interview is with


When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I’ve always been painting and drawing and making things. I know it sounds the pat answer to say “I’ve always been an artist.” But I always have. I’ve always been happiest when creating. I think my first conscious thought that not everyone else could make things came when I was about 8 years old. That’s when I realized that other people thought it was hard or special to be able to create things. For me it had always been as easy and as necessary as breathing.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

Well I guess 1978 would be when I first decided painting was it for me. As far as the main thrust of what I create goes. I got interested in costuming and sewing in about 1982 or so, and started teaching myself lace-making about 10 years ago. Usually anything that interests me, I learn to do. But Painting has been a constant the whole time.

Incensed - Original Watercolor Daily Painting -

What are your crafting influences?

I like bright happy things. I like a lot of color and a hidden joke. Most of my paintings have some subtle joke to them. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s a private joke. Sometimes it’s in the choice of colors or the title. I like to think that my art gets across the joy I feel when I am painting. I think it’s a common misconception that art has to be about angst or overly “emo” to be important. I think it’s much more of a challenge to get people to smile. It’s easy to depress people, but to make someone laugh or smile, there’s a knack to that.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

My mother is an excellent photographer, and she sometimes paints as well. Her style is very different from mine and we don’t always see eye to eye on things. She is my toughest critic. She encouraged me to create but was never shy about letting me know she thought I could do better. My dad is directly responsible for my need to have music while I work. He plays guitar and our house was always filled with music. I can’t concentrate on my work without something playing in the background.

Stardust,Original watercolor,gold,star,faded,denim,blue,yellow,sepia

What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

I first showed in a high school competition for a calendar to be published. I came in 13th(so I was the number one loser!). My first non student show was in the inland arts show in San Bernardino in 1997. Mostly I’ve been in juried shows. I am in a group show coming up, I’ll be on the digital screen and in the show catalog with “The Affair” at the Men as Object show in San Francisco

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I like to cook and read. I am a huge geek about video games. I sew, make lace, and tend to our little cement farm (patio gardening). I also am owned, along with my boyfriend, Tony, by four insane cats (all of whom firmly believe there is a horrible monster living in the studio).

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

Let’s see, recently I am really happy with the watercolor kitties, and the geometrics, I also really like the way the incense burners and the wooden spools turned out. But overall I think “Candy Canes” is my favorite still.

Candy Canes  original watercolor daily painting holiday sweets

Why did you make that piece?

Light, color, reflection, brightness, happiness. The gloss of the sugar, the texture of the ribbon, and what could possibly be happier than candy canes? I couldn’t resist them as a subject!

What does it take to create pieces like that?

Like most of my “reflective light” work it takes a little time to work it out. This one started with “posing” the ribbon and candy canes. Then I took reference shots for the colors, and worked out the breakdown of what was where as far as shadow and highlight by sketching them. After I had it all worked out to my liking I transferred the sketch to the watercolor paper. In an effort to cut down on wasted paper, when I am using photo references I usually have them on my computer and refer to them from there. So after the sketch was on the work surface, it was me and my watercolors and my photo reference.

From there it leaves technical explanation… I mean, I’m just sort of “in” it. It’s almost like my brain turns off except for the bits that paint, then 4 or 5 hours later I “wake up” and it’s done. For the first few hours I can’t even “see” it. You know that expression “Can’t see the forest for the trees”? Well while I am painting and for the first hours after I finish all I can see are the trees. It takes me a while to see the forest. So right after finishing this one, all it was to me was blobs of cream, red, green and blue. After a few hours of not looking at it I was able to go back and actually see it the way you are seeing it. I was VERY happy with the finished work.

More Incensed original watercolor painting brass incense burner shiny

What is special about your pieces?

I think the happy makes them special. I love it when art makes someone smile. Other people have told me they can’t stop looking at a few of my pieces, which I take as a high compliment, that they are visually engaging and interesting. But I think the “getting the happy” across is what really makes them special.

What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?
Communication; I think better in color, light, shadow and perspective, much better than I do in words. I get to express the small perfect moments as I see them. Ten different people can draw a glass, but I am the only one who can draw it the way I see it. Communication is what makes it good to me.
Happy Tail, Original Watercolor,Cat,happy,kitty,joy,blue,orange
Keep up with Amy-Elyse and see more of her work at
Art Fire
Red Bubble

Monday, December 19, 2011

Believe that everything happens for a reason

This has been around for a while, and you have probably seen it before, but it always gets me.  So here it is again, a touching story that reminds us and helps us understand that things happen for a reason.

The brand new pastor and his wife,
 newly assigned to their first ministry,
 to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn ,
 arrived in early October
excited about their opportunities.
When they saw their church, it was very run down
and needed much work.

They set a goal to have everything
done in time to have their first service
on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard,
 repairing pews, plastering walls,
painting, etc, and on December 18
were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest -
 a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.
His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked,
 causing a large area of plaster about
20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall
of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit,
beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor,
and not knowing what else to do but postpone
the Christmas Eve service, headed home.

On the way he noticed that a local business
 was having a flea market type sale for charity,
so he stopped in.
 One of the items was a beautiful handmade,
 ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth
with exquisite work, fine colors and a
 Cross embroidered right in the center.
 It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front
wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow.
 An older woman running from the opposite direction
 was trying to catch the bus.
 She missed it.
 The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church
for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor
while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put
up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry.
The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked
and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle.
 Her face was like a sheet.
 "Pastor," she asked,
 "where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained.
 The woman asked him to check the lower right corner
 to see if the initials
 EBG were crocheted into it there.
 They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had
made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor
told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". 
The woman explained that before the war
 she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria .

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave.
Her husband was going to follow her the next week.
He was captured, sent to prison and
she never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth;
but she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home.
That was the least he could do.
She lived on the other side of Staten Island
and was only in Brooklyn
for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve.
 The church was almost full.
 The music and the spirit were great.
At the end of the service,
 the  pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door
and many said that they would return.

One older man,
whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood
continued to sit in one of the pews and stare,
 and the pastor wondered why he
wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on
the front wall because it was identical to one
that his wife had made years ago when
they lived in Austria before the war and how
could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came,
 how he forced his wife to flee for her safety
and he was supposed to follow her,
but he was arrested and put in a prison.
 He never saw his wife
or his home
again all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to
take him for a little ride.
 They drove to Staten Island
and to the same house
 where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of
stairs to the woman's apartment,
knocked on the door
he saw the greatest Christmas reunion
he could ever imagine.

True Story -  by Pastor Rob Reid

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 12/17/11

What artisan market would be complete without pottery?   No need to worry Portland Saturday Market has several artisans who create pottery designs.  Each of them has their own unique flair in their creations.  Today though we are going to introduce you to "Nick Molatore", who is one of the markets reserved vendors.

Linda answering questions for visitors

Nick and his wife Linda can be found at the market almost every weekend.  Linda is shown above answering questions for a couple of visitors to the Portland Saturday Market.

Artisan Market booths are so great and unique

Artisan Market booths are so great and unique.  Some really show the artisans flair.  Such as these lovely shelves that allow easy viewings and really showcase Nick's creations.

Linda posing for me, and off to the side that is Nick

Linda posing for me, and off to the side that is Nick.  He really prefers to stay in the background and just create, but he is a very man and getting talking about his creations and he becomes animated and lights up.  On the shelf next to Linda you can see a variety of toothbrush holders and mugs.

These lovely platters are made in a variety of colors

These lovely platters are made in a variety of colors, some with additional texture some without.

Bowls with handles, bowls without handles, small bowls for dips, and dessert bowls
Bowls with handles, bowls without handles, small bowls for dips, and dessert bowls.  You can outfit your kitchen and add a flair to your table when entertaining.

Nick also does platters with designs.  I love the fish shown above.

Nick also does platters with designs.  I love the fish shown above. 

All of Nick's pottery is Lead-free, dishwasher safe, microwave oven safe and oven safe.  However,it is not safe for stovetop use.  When the market is closed in January and Feburary you can still see Nick's creations at

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Favorite Pieces Part Three

It is so hard to choose our favorite pieces to share.   We tend to only create pieces of handmade artisan jewelry we would wear ourselves.   Even so it give us great pleasure when one of our handmade jewelry pieces finds a happy home.   Here is a glimpse of some of our favorite earrings we have created this year.

Ceramic Fire Truck/Engine Earrings
Ceramic Fire Truck/Engine Earrings
Lavender Jump Ring Earrings with Silver Seed Beads
Lavender Jump Ring Earrings with Silver Seed Beads

Red Coral Earrings with black wire
Red Coral Earrings with black wire

Seafoam Stretch Spring Coils and Hot Pink Wire Hoop Earrings
Seafoam Stretch Spring Coils and Hot Pink Wire Hoop Earrings

White, Black, Grey Agate Capture Earrings
White, Black, Grey Agate Capture Earrings

You can find see our current selections in one of two places.   Either at our online studio or in person at Portland Saturday Market.   A selection of past creations of our handmade artisan jewelry can be see in our on line Gallery.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quote Wednesday 12/14/11

In every adversity
there lies the seed
of an equivalent advantage. 

In every defeat
there is a lesson
showing you how to
win the victory next time.

   ---Robert Collier

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Featured Artisan -- Noton By Raquel

Our latest featured artisan interview with Raquel the talent behind


When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I think since the day I was born :), I grew up watching my mother knitting, my grandmother sewing and my great-grandmother crocheting, so I learned these crafts very young making clothes to my dolls! The other crafts came later, in fact, I love learning new crafts, and some I like and continue.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

Let's see, for me, family and friends, since I was around 6 years old. I made my first sweater when I was 8/9 years old. But for selling, I started with the jewelry, about 10 years ago.

What are your crafting influences?

So many, I can't really point at anything specific, it can be something I see when I'm taking a walk, something I see in a magazine, or anything on tv... it depends the mood I'm in!

Green Beaded Polymer Clay Flower Brooch

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

Yes, as I said before, my mother and my grandmother, my sister. I come from a crafty family :)

What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

I started to sell to my friends, and now I also sell online in 2 different venues.

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I work in an office, and I do office work!

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

It's quite difficult to say, I love every piece, so I'm going to choose my "Brown Cable Knit with Buttons Faux Leather Handbag". I think this one is very cheerful!

Brown Cable Knit with Buttons Faux Leather Handbag

Why did you make that piece?

That's a tough question; I made that handbag because I just felt it would turn out incredible when I designed it. And it did!

What does it take to create pieces like that?

Inspiration and work :)

What is special about your pieces?

Well, besides being handmade by me ( I'm very perfectionist) I always put a little of my love when I'm creating, and my pieces are unique, since I don't like that much doing repeated things!

Crochet House in Light Green and Light Blue Knitted Children Bag

What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

It helps me clear my mind whenever I'm creating and believe that good things really exist! Remember, nothing is impossible

You can more creations from NOTON on

Monday, December 12, 2011

December Birthstone's

Birthstone’s for the month of December has a variety of options even on the modern birthstone list. However, the one stone that is the most prominent is Turquoise. Not to mention the birthstone lists that is historical or has their origins in another culture. We will take a quick look at them.

December birthstone options for birthdays are as follows:

On the modern birthstone list there are actually three stones listed.

1.) Turquoise is a lovely blue to blue green mineral. It is believed that turquoise assists with strength, diseases, regeneration, protection and communication.

2.) Blue Topaz is derived from a Sanskrit word, which means “tapas”, meaning fire.

3.) Tanzanite was officially added to the birthstone list by the American Gem Trade Association in October of 2002.

Ayurvedic lists ruby as the birthstone for December. This list has been around since 1500 B.C. and tracked back to Indian Medicine and beliefs. Ruby is listed for Arabic, Italian and Hebrew cultures of ancient times.

Chrysoprase is listed as the birthstone for those of Russian cultures.

As always I caution you to take the lists with a grain of salt. Each person is unique and has special wants. Gemstones chosen for each month have a unique reason, enjoy them and choose the one that fits best.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Garden Delights 12/11/11

"Every garden is unique with a multitude of choices in soils, plants and themes. Finding your garden theme is as easy as seeing what brings a smile to your face."

- Teresa Watkins

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 12-10-11

I have been saying it all year, Portland Saturday Market has something for everyone.   Charles Houtchens, or as he has been happily nicknamed "The Fire Starter Guy", is at the market every day they are open.   There isn't a single day this season, I can think of he hasn't been there.   

Charles sells these great kits to make lighting a fire easy peasy.   No more unlit camp fires, even works for an open fire place.   Would be a  perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who likes to camp.

Setting up his demonstration.

Setting up his demonstration.  He demonstrates his invention all day long.

Charles talking with customers as he shows them how the fire starter works.

Charles talking with customers as he shows them how the fire starter works.

Captured the spark

Captured the spark.

Stop in and visit Charles Houtchens at Portland Saturday Market.    While he doesn't have an on-line presence at this time,  he can be reached at (360) 695-8561.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Creative left vs. right handed mini poll results

Left vs. Right handed people and how it affects creativity, has been an interesting topic.  First let me start out my saying thank you to everyone who participated and responded.  It was nice hearing the different thoughts on the topic.

Second let me stress that this is not a scientifically done poll.  It was very haphazard and not all  the notes and tally's came from the original post.   Results came about in information I collected in conversations with other artisan's and friends, and from different forums I am involved with.  That said here we go...

63 people responded

35 of them were right handed
23 of them were left handed
5 of them were ambidextrous

25 of them that indicated they were right handed indicated they were the creative type.
18 of the them that indicated they were left handed said they were the creative type.

4 of those that indicated they were right handed, stated they were not creative at all.
While only 3 of those that indicated they were left handed, stated they were not creative at all.

The 5 whom indicated they were ambidextrous, really didn't indicate one way or another specifically.  Yet. I am going to hazard a guess and say they are all creative.  From those that I have met over the years they all seem to be extremely creative in one fashion or another.

The other 8 did not indicate one way or another.

Just goes to show that science reports do not always portray things accurately.  Stats and figures do not account for life and human nature.  We human beings are adaptable and surprising in what we can accomplish when we set are mind to it.  

It begs the question why do we as a society here in the United States try to justify differences from one person to the next?  Not everything can be explained by science.  Those difference have helped the human race accomplish great things.  And should continue to do so as long as we keep teaching our children the importance of embracing unique talents and appreciating them.  Rather than fearing and ridiculing them.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Favortie Pieces Part Two

Choosing our favorite pieces of handmade jewelry isn't as easy as one would think.   We tend to only create pieces we  like and would wear ourselves.   It has been fun for me looking back over the year at how our designs have evolved.    Here is a look back at some of our favorite bracelets we have created this past year.

Moonstone and Swarovski Pearls Bracelet

Black and Peridot colored wire combined with Tigers Eye Bracelet
Black and Peridot colored wire combined with Tigers Eye Bracelet

Teal Lampwork and 7 tone Blue, Green & Teal Wire Viking Knit Bracelet
Teal Lampwork and 7 tone Blue, Green & Teal Wire Viking Knit Bracelet
Bronzite Stone and Viking Knit Woven in Deep Purple Wire Bracelet
Bronzite Stone and Viking Knit Woven in Deep Purple Wire Bracelet


Viking Knit Woven in Gold Bracelet With Wire Wrapped Spiral End Caps

It is hard to choose as we like all of our pieces we create and it is such a joy when they find a happy home. Check out our Gallery to see all of our past creations, while you can see our new creations in our Studio online or visit us at Portland Saturday Market.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quote Wednesday 12/7/11

I'm a determined person. 
And if i've got an objective,
I'll make hours of sacrifice,
whatever efforts are needed. 

Some people call it plodding,
but i'd rather be a plodder
and get some place
than have charisma and not make it. 

   ---Gerald R. Ford

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Featured Artisan -- Discord Threads

We hope you enjoy our interview with,


When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I've crafted since I was little. My grandmother first interested me in sewing when I would visit when I was little and she would be stitching away in the back bedroom.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I've been sewing since I was little and my Grandmother taught me, but I also sewed in costume Shoppe and tailoring shops learning all the way. I've always tried one thing and easily become bored, but a little bit ago I stumbled on up cycled sweaters as fabric. Because the possibilities are endless, I am never bored.

What are your crafting influences?

Seeing Katwise designs influenced me a great deal. A year ago you could search 'up cycled sweater' and find a few pages, but now there's 3 to 4 times that number. I emailed Kat early on and told her I would strive to create my own designs instead of copying her lovely elf coat design. And I think I have done that with my own draping and sometimes total reconstruction of every element of a garment in a new up cycled and earth-friendly piece of clothing art.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

No, just me, but my 12 year old wants to design a teen line for me to sew, so we'll see...

Upcycled Sweater Scarf Black Green Striped Boho Pixie Elf Hippie Chic

What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

Online, contest, retail stores and craft and art shows. I recently was a top ten finalist in the NBC Universal Art of Reuse Contest and my twirly skirt was shown on the Today Show. And in September a design will be part of the Grand Rapid Good Will's submission for the Art Prize contest.

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I spend time with my daughter and work fulltime as a computer software technician and trainer.

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

Gosh, I like all of my designs, but I suppose if I just have to pick one it would be this one.

Upcycled Sweater Coat Twirly Skirt Multi-colored Tiers Pixie Elf Boho

Why did you make that piece?

Funny, I actually made that as an experiment to use up scraps. It is very similar to Katwise designs, but instead of up and down strips, I went with patched tiers.

What does it take to create pieces like that?

Lengths and lengths of patched strips gathered and sewn into tiers that kept getting longer each tier.

What is special about your pieces?

Handfasting Wedding Ceremony Cloth Patchwork Memory Custom Made Bridal

They give sweaters that were discarded or unused a new life in a unique and quirky new design.

What makes this kind of craft "good" to you? There is very little waste. Instead of scraps, I sweep almost all of the soft serger trimmings into a clean bin to use as stuffing at a later date. The serger trims the edge so nicely that the fluff is super soft. And then as referenced above, scraps are cut into lengths that are sewn together for a tiered sweater coat. This is very green crafting. I suppose I could be greener by using a foot powered sewing machine, but until I find one, I'll stick with my Juki!