Sasquatches love crafts
Sasquatches love crafts
Sasquatches love crafts
Bunnies love crafts too
Bunnies love crafts too
Bunnies love crafts too
Crafty Wonderland
Portland's Art + Craft Extravaganza

Category — Vendor Spotlights

February Artist of the Month: Willamette Valley Confectionery!

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we are very excited to announce February’s Artist of the Month, Willamette Valley Confectionery!!!

This old fashioned candy company does its namesake valley proud by using berries, fruits, nuts and dairy products from local farms.  They are a self-proclaimed “little family” consisting of Kenneth Hoyt, Risa Northway, and resident “new guy” Zack Jackman, a recent graduate from Oregon Culinary Institute. Ken says they work “shoulder-to-shoulder” in their candy kitchen/lab/packaging room and warehouse, nicknamed “Candyland,” and that having a new employee brings lots of energy and excitement to the mix.

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“I find creative inspiration in the farms and farmers that supply us with our beautiful berries and nuts… and vintage cookbooks, where are all of our recipes originated.”

Willamette Valley Confectionery small-batch, handcrafted candies are free of all artificial colorings and preservatives, and their nostalgic packaging, all of which is compostable, biodegradable and/or recyclable, will complete your sweet experience!

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Ken recommends their salted caramels, either coffee or regular, with coffee.  Treat your sweetie (or yo’self!) to a perfect Portland pairing this Valentine’s Day (or anytime!)

by Joanna Kurimsky

 

February 12, 2016   No Comments

December Artist of the Month: Robot Candy

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Our final Artist of the Month of 2015 is the spectacular dream team Jenn Hill + Jenny Tiffany of Robot Candy!!! They were actually our first ever featured artists to grace this page and the special space on our shop wall in 2012.  We are so happy they are still a part of our family!!!

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For over 10 years Jenn and Jenny have been making Portland a cuter, craftier place with their awesome work inspired by the designs of Japan, Sweden and the 1960s.

Most recognizable are these ladies’ famous tile coasters featuring fun, retro imagery sealed under a resin coating.  There are literally hundreds of designs to choose from, including Portland bridges and other landmarks, crafty cats, vintage ads, sweet floral patterns, and more!!!

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Besides the plethora of coasters, you can also find adorable needle felted critters and bowls, hand-sewn tissue pouches and pincushions, plush sweater softies, art prints, zipper pouches, and tiny handmade buttons and necklaces.

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So much of their lines, Robot Candy as well as Chet & Dot and Automatte, have a warm + fuzzy, comfy vibe and no wonder, Jenn highly recommends embroidering in bed while watching tv.  Sounds excellent! And after the holidays you may find them treating themselves to a very well-deserved dinner at Screen Door or Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty here in town!

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December 21, 2015   No Comments

October Artist of the Month: Red Bat Press!

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October is here and we are super thrilled to announce Carye Bye as our Artist of the Month!!! She’s stocked us with lots of goodies just in time for Halloween!!!

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Carye, a local Portland artist since 2002, does wood-block printmaking under Red Bat Press, and publishes guidebooks and illustrations under Hidden Portland. Known by many as the “Museum Lady,” Carye is nearly as much of an institution in Portland as the landmarks and sights she loves to illustrate!

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Along with framed prints and drawings, Hidden Portland Guidebooks in singles or sets of 3, you’ve got to come down to the shop to check out Carye’s punny and adorable Halloween wood-cut and letterpress art postcards and cards, such as “Pumpkin Patch” (he’s a pirate!), “Roller Ghoster” and “Bat-Tub Party!” Customers also love the Halloween-themed $5 Treasure Packs — no two alike — with wood-block prints and other spooky, seasonal ephemera! Perfect for trick-or-treaters (and we’re pretty sure they will last longer than fun-size candy bars.)

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We think Carye Bye is pretty rad! We asked her some questions about herself for our blog and here’s what she had to say:

What is your favorite TV show or music to play while you work?
When I’m doing repetitive production style work (hand-painting art postcards or stapling guidebooks) I enjoy watching dvds from the library — I’ve discovered some great shows — Downton Abbey, Story of Film: an odyssey (it was 15 segments!), and I’ve even returned to childhood classics like Little House on the Prairie — still holds up all these years.

Where do you find inspiration?
I’m inspired by place and where I am, as well as some nostalgia — I love vintage and old-timey eras and also am inspired by block printing styles from China.

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Do you have any pets? Please describe, if so!
One cat, Murphy: my second orange cat. Orange-ginger cats are the best — well known for their sweetness.

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Where do you most like to work?
If I had my way, I’d always be exploring — that’s my favorite part of work…being inspired by beauty, color, contrast, as well as seeing interesting juxtapositions and surprises. But at some point it’s time to move into my studio and create. Many artists love the process–and I do to an extent–but what I really like is finishing, because I print on a semi-worn out table-top letterpress I have to trouble-shoot so much that it’s always a mini miracle when something turns out looking like I hoped!

How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
Go take a day off to explore! and maybe some ice cream! ;)

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October 6, 2015   No Comments

September Artists of the Month: Pixel Party + Cookoorikoo!

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Crafty Wonderland welcomes a dynamic duo to September’s Artist of the Month spot: Shanalee Hampton (Cookoorikoo) and Shawn Hampton (Pixel Party)!!!

Shanalee Hampton began selling embroidered hoop art in her online shop in the summer of 2013. Embroidery had been her go-to craft for gifts for years, since learning how to embroider as a small child, hating it, and then later discovering a real love for it. She switched entirely from jewelry to embroidery the following spring. She finds inspiration everywhere – words, quotations, space, art nouveau illustration, her friend’s social media feeds… Everything can be turned into an embroidered hoop, according to Cookoorikoo!

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Shawn (aka Shampton) Hampton has been pushing pixels since he was 7. From playing with print shop on the Apple ii in elementary school to playing Pacman in the arcade and Jumpman on the Commodore 64 to making websites as an “adult”,  he sees the world through pixelated glasses. He started making video game jewelry when he got a little jealous of all the things Shanalee was making & has since branched out to art and bumper stickers.  Customers especially love the bumper stickers quoting “Oregon Trail”!!!

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These two have been working on art projects together for the last fifteen years and have been living in Portland for the last five. Shanalee can also be found mending vintage clothes at Wanderlust Vintage and Shampton can be heard playing with Lovebomb Go-Go Marching Band or solo as 8-bit Zero. They love tacos.

September 1, 2015   No Comments

August Artist of the Month: Brian Cook

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What do Portlanders love more than food? Food with faces! August’s Artist of the Month is someone who understands this love very well!  Brian Cook, everyone!

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We are excited to be featuring work from Brian’s recent project, Teeny Press, which was crowdfunded on Kickstarter.  These original block prints of adorably delicious anthropomorphic food friends do not disappoint!  Each piece was hand-printed by Brian on a mini printing press that he built himself, and each print is individually signed and numbered out of only 200!  They also each come with a teeny “certificate of awesometicity!”  We suggest you pair them up and give them to your bestie: “Hot Dawg” + “Burgie” (hot dog and hamburger) “Bestie” + “Sprinkles” (coffee and donut), “Egg-Bert” + “Porker” (fried egg and bacon).  Awesome!

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Brian’s drawings and watercolor art prints as well as his illustrated picture book, “Beware the Haunted Legs”, a spooky, sweet tale about a pair of disembodied legs roaming around looking for a friend, are always a big hit in the shop.  Our current stash of books all contain Brian’s autograph and a bonus doodle so get ‘em while the gettin’ is good!  We also have several framed watercolor originals ready to grace your walls, such as a smiling taco with a jalapeno sidekick for $70.00!

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Everyone’s been bidding farewell to Portland International Airport’s beloved, be-tweeted carpet this year.  We think Brian’s PDX Carpet print is a great way to commemorate this event – a cuddly looking little swatch of teal rug with stubby arms waving bye bye, forever.

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When asked where he draws inspiration for his work, Brian is very practical: “I don’t think there’s any way to magically find inspiration.  I think you’ve gotta show up and work hard even when you’re not feeling inspired – ideas will come to you eventually if you just keep yourself moving forward.”  However, we do wonder if his little pup, Olive, who he says is “pretty much the cutest thing ever” has anything to do with his ability to capture the adorbs.

What is your favorite TV show or music to play while you work?
When I’ve got a project I’m working on it helps to have some monotonous show on that I can half ignore and half watch.  I burn through shows like crazy on Netflix…right now I’m working my way through all 200+ episodes of the X-Files.

Where do you find inspiration?
I don’t think there’s any way to magically find inspiration.  I think you’ve gotta show up and work hard even when you’re not feeling inspired – ideas will come to you eventually if you just keep yourself moving forward.

Do you have any pets?  Please describe, if so!
I have a little pup named Olive – she’s pretty much the cutest thing ever.

Where do you most like to work?
My studio at home is my favorite spot to work…although on the couch in front of the TV is a close second!

How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
A big sigh of relief…and maybe a pack of Oreos.

August 6, 2015   No Comments

July Artist of the Month: Beth Kerschen, Urban Retrospectives

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We are so happy to be celebrating Portland’s own Beth Kerschen as July’s Artist of the Month!!! Beth is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses photography and printmaking to create “Urban Retrospectives” – unique cards and prints exhibiting the amazing sights, bridges and buildings that make Portland so rad.

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Beth worked for Polaroid earlier in her career, expanding her extensive photographic and digital imaging knowledge. She moved to Portland in 2008 and brought her focus back to photography, photo illustration, and printmaking. She uses a blend of photography and printmaking to create her images, combining images of well-known structures and skylines and signs around town to create layered, collage-like composite scenes. Her Portland Icon postcards and bridge woodblocks are big sellers at the shop!!!

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We asked Beth a few questions about herself for our blog and she gave us such great answers that we thought we’d just let her speak for herself!

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you work?
Since I work alone a lot, I tend to listen a lot to OPB on the radio. It is nice to know what is going on in the outside world, while I am working away in my own little world. I do work while watching t.v. too, it makes the boring tasks more fun. I really love sci-fi, so it is fun to put that on while I am working.

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Where do you find inspiration?
I Iove urban life, so I get the most inspiration from just simply walking around town, or going through my photos of the cities I have photographed.

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Do you have any pets?
Nope, I think I am the only person in Portland who doesn’t have a pet! :)

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Where do you most like to work?
I have set up a small printmaking studio in my garage where I make my printmaking plates and print. It has been a dream to have my own studio, so even though it is in a garage, I just love working in there. It is set up just the way I want it and on nice days, I can open the garage door and feel I am enjoying the weather too.

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How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
I probably should reward myself more often actually! If I finished a big show or event, I usually go to Branch Whisky Bar on NE Alberta. They have great food and excellent mixed drinks!

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Be sure to check out Beth’s work at the Crafty Wonderland shop and at http://www.bethkerschen.com/.

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July 6, 2015   No Comments

June Artist of the Month: Little Bay Root

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June at Crafty Wonderland ushers in summer sun and Father’s Day and…Sasquatch sightings??? Our Artist of the Month is that champion of Big Foot worship, local artists/entrepreneurs, Little Bay Root!!!

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Partners Brian and Brenden have created a monopoly out of Portland love!  Locally designed and printed swag celebrating all things Pacific NorthWest: Big Foot and beer, rain and roses, trees, camping and biking.  With his deep background in marketing, Brian says that he is inspired by pop culture and trends here in Portland – which, obviously and happily, doesn’t always mirror what is trending in other, more mainstream cities.

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Little Bay Root started out working at home, but when the swag started taking over every room of the house, they moved their enterprise to a studio with room to work every day while blasting Lana del Rey and Radio Ballet (when the work requires counting.)   How do they reward themselves for their hard work?  “Beer is always a good answer.”

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Come check out the new merch we got in special for June – like new hat & t-shirt designs, mugs, shot glasses and that’s right…Sasquatch hair?  Test tubes with hair samples from the legendary large hairy ape-men (and women) – this is the “Fur Real” proof you’ve been looking for, people!!!  Speaking of fur, we had to share this adorable photo of the furriest members of the Little Bay Root family – Jetson, the one-eyed Boston terrier and Rogen, the chiweenie.  Cute!

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From onesies to hoodies Little Bay Root has got you covered, with all sorts of fabulous-ness in between.  Need a gift idea for Dad, or a birthday, new baby, or graduation gift?  We are sure there is something for everyone in this collection!

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Visit littlebayroot.com for more awesomeness and remember…Squatch Out!!!

June 9, 2015   No Comments

May Artist of the Month: Button Arcade and Jehu

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The month of May is pretty exciting for us over at Crafty Wonderland, and it is our great pleasure to feature our favorite mom + kid creative crew, Button Arcade and Jehu Ruth as Artists of the Month.  Just in time for Mother’s Day!

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Kyle Ruth of Button Arcade is a self-proclaimed “craftaholic”.  She says growing up in the middle of Alaska where resources were scarce taught her “to invent new products with what I have, instead of going out and buying supplies for projects.” We love that resourceful spirit!

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When her daughter, Jehu, the kid portion of our dynamic duo, was born in 2003, Kyle decided she would much rather work from home than downtown Portland.  Kyle creates all sorts of beauties: tiny felt pinwheels on bobby pins to brighten up your hair, or (slightly) bigger ones on sticks to brighten up your life.  Plus pocket mirrors, irked pincushions (like a tooth who loves sugar!), beautiful felt and wood brooches, and Clean/Dirty dishwasher magnets.  And of course, buttons! Give the “I Heart Your Mom” button to someone who hearts your mom!

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Girl Wonder Jehu Ruth creates beautiful original drawings and says her cats, Oliver, Jack, and Missoni, like to visit her while she sketches. Smart kitties!!! Jehu’s love of anime and all things Japanese (including the food!) clearly influence her drawings, which feature bright colors and thought bubbles, girls and boys and creatures in every shade of the rainbow.  Come check out Jehu’s prints, magnets and pocket mirrors with matching bags for easy toting.  Her art promotes a strong sense of identity and believing in yourself.  Which. Is. Awesome. Girl power!!!

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This busy season finds Kyle and Jehu working hard and then rewarding themselves with lots of anime and burritos, respectively.  Button Arcade (and Jehu too!) were both vendors at our Super Colossal Spring Sale on May 9th. You can find Button Arcade online at buttonarcade.com.  And both mother and daughter’s work will be prominently displayed on our shop wall for the month of May! The crafty force is strong in this family.  Don’t miss out!  Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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May 12, 2015   No Comments

April Artist of the Month: Old School Stationers

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It’s time to announce April’s featured Artist of the Month: Old School Stationers!!! This small, family-owned Portland business is a letterpress studio specializing in the production of greeting cards, wall prints and a variety of other letterpress creations, all brought to life with simple, homey designs.

Images of trees and outdoorsy scenes like canoeing and fishing, hiking and clam-digging, classic cars and familiar landscapes, give them the look of vintage travel brochures and make it hard for Portlanders (or visitors!) to resist their charms.

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Old School Stationers was founded by Brian Reed back in 2004, when after spending years in the printing industry, computer technology came to replace the need for his skills. So Brian took a step back to embrace the skill set of an earlier era, in which handmade and homegrown were a part of everyday life. Brian set up two vintage letterpress printers in the garage and launched his first collection of letterpress botanical cards. After their family started to grow, he and his wife Amy joined efforts and became co-owners. Drawing from her knowledge gained through years working in the textile industry Amy began assisting Brian with color and pattern choices, and Old School Stationers was born!

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Old School Stationers’ work, with its classic feel and a beautiful color scheme, are ideal for sprucing up your walls for Spring, or the perfect handmade card to send to that special someone in your life. Crafty faves are the St. Johns Bridge woodblock print, as well as the space themed series, especially the aliens proclaiming “We are one.”

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Come check out Old School Stationers in the shop this month! They will also be selling their wares at the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Spring Sale on May 9. You can visit their website too! http://oldschoolstationers.com/

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April 10, 2015   No Comments

March Artist of the Month: Marika Paz

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It’s time to welcome Spring and announce March’s Artist of the Month – the amazing Marika Paz!!! We are super excited to feature Marika’s NEW original paintings on wood slices, as well as her beautiful prints and greeting cards.

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Marika Paz is a self-taught artist and illustrator who grew up on the northern California coast and now resides in Portland, OR.  She is inspired by the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest, folklore and fairytales, and symbolism in esoteric arts.

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Her drawings explore forest creatures and their relationships with people and the natural world, with a touch of mysticism and symbolism. “I try and create a world of magic, wonder, and possibilities,” she says. “When I am not in my studio drawing away, I enjoy weaving on my loom, knitting, and going on adventures with my corgi, Scout. Oh, and having a good cup of coffee.”

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Marika’s greeting cards featuring animals in scout uniforms waving flags that encourage “Adventure”  and “Explore“ are always flying off the shelf.  And while everyone loves those cool kids, foxes and raccoons (and Marika does them proud!) she also highlights the underdog creatures like rats, moths, possums and wombats!!!  You know there is someone special in your life who would love to receive a card that exclaims, “Ain’t no party like a wombat party!”

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Dreamlike and unique, amusing and mysterious, this work is a must-see!!!  Come find your spirit animal in the shop this month, or check out Marika’s website at www.marikapaz.com.

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March 5, 2015   No Comments