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Crafty Wonderland
Portland's Art + Craft Extravaganza

Category — Vendor Spotlights

February Artist of the Month: RX Letterpress

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Pardon our language, but we’re super f*cking excited to announce that February’s Artist of the Month is Emily Riley of Rx Letterpress!

Take our word for it, if you are in the Crafty Wonderland shop and you hear people giggling, muffled at first and then growing into guffaws and belly laughs – chances are you will discover that they are huddled around a spinner full of Emily’s Rx Letterpress cards, the “most horrible adorable cards around”!

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It is not an exaggeration to say that every day customers from all walks of life enthusiastically proclaim their love for Emily’s cards – the salty swears and amusing one-liners paired with old timey print images are pretty much always a hit!

Emily set up a rad wooden display showcasing all of her work in the shop for the feature this month – it’s not to be missed.  Come check it out and proclaim your true affection for anyone special in your life (and cool enough to deserve it) with a card by Rx Letterpress!  And read on for some words from the badass Artist of the Month herself:

What is your favorite drink? Sunkist orange soda.  One a day, in the afternoon.

What are you reading? These days, unfortunately, I’m just reading news articles.  I surprised myself by springing for a subscription to the New York Times.  My other favorite source is WhatTheFuckJustHappenedToday.com.  It supplies a good breakdown of the day’s events, with links, to keep you updated without drowning in depressing information.

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Who is your current political crush? I’m super crushing on Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Jeff Merkley.  They are pushing hard against the Trump administration’s agenda, and they should be an example to every Democrat in Washington.  I’m so proud of them!

What do you predict for your business in the future? I’m no good at predictions, but I *do* know that I’ll be moving into a new shop space in the basement of Cargo, at SE 1st and Yamhill, during the next month.  They’re a fierce and fantastic bunch of ladies, and I can’t wait!

Words by Joanna Kurimsky

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February 20, 2017   No Comments

December Artist of the Month: Little Lark

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Our December Artist of the Month is Christy Nyboer of Little Lark!  Little Lark was created in 2006 when the birth of her son inspired Christy to supplement the lack of non gender specific baby clothes in the market. What started off as a simple hobby has steadily grown over the years to now include a wide range of products in stores all around the world!

Little Lark sells unique apparel for all ages that isn’t limited by traditional colors and motifs, and offers a beautiful selection of greeting cards, toys and gifts appropriate for any occasion. Christy creates designs that are modern, hip, non-gender specific and exhibit simplicity and style with a sophisticated edge.

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See what Christy had to say about her work and style:

What is your favorite TV show, music, or podcast to have on while you work?  
I am in my office Monday through Friday, so I get pretty bored listening to the same stuff all the time.  My favorite podcast to listen to while working would probably be This American Life, but I also listen to quite a bit of OPB since I never make time to read the news.  When I have tons of work to do and need to keep moving, I love to listen to 80’s music and anything funky with a good beat.  I really enjoy listening to classical, old singer-songwriters, electronic ambient, instrumental and old jazz.  I appreciate silence in nature, but not in my office… it keeps me awake.

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Where do you find inspiration?  
Most of my inspiration comes from science and nature with a focus on what is beautiful, mysterious and optimistic about our world.  Being a mother of two boys, I am very interested in how beauty and wonder is seen through the eyes of children and their natural, unbiased desire to learn and discover.  Many of my ideas and images have blossomed from old educational books, nature walks, and my many fond memories of growing up in Alaska.

What is your astrological sign?  
Cancer!

Do you have any pets?  Please describe, if so.
I have an almost 18 year-old grey cat name Frida (named after Kahlo, of course) and the star of my much-loved Cat design!  She always brings out the best in me and is always there when I’m having a bad day.  We have a very strong bond and it will be a very sad day when she leaves.

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What is your favorite food?  
Japanese food!

Where do you most like to work?  
I have a hard time getting anything done at my house, so my office in NW industrial is where I do most of my work.  If I have only computer work to do, I often enjoy working at a local coffee shop.

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How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
This January I am planning on getting lots of massages! The holiday season takes an especially huge toll on my body and mind, but I usually try my best to not work in the evenings and weekends so I can spend that time with my family.

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December 26, 2016   No Comments

November Artist of the Month: Tea Party Animals

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Welcome to the world of cute chubby animals doing various adorable things! Our November Artist of the Month is Reese Lee, of Tea Party Animals!

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Tea Party Animals, which Reese calls her “mini empire”, features her paintings of little animals with attitude – lots of chubby wisecracking cats, as well as outdoorsy bears, hipster birds and even donut obsessed sharks – just SEE if you ever hear the Jaws theme without thinking “donut donut donut” ever again!

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A customer favorite by a landslide is the cat on the toilet reading a newspaper proclaiming his appreciation for a “good poop”. Whether in magnet, print, card, woodblock or sticky note form – it never fails to fly off the shelf!

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Here’s what the artist herself has to say about the real chubby animals in her life: “My illustrations are inspired by things that I think are funny, either that I see or that occur in my mind. I’m easily amused, so it’s not very hard! Some are inspired by my cats, Bacon (RIP), Egg, and Cheese. Bacon was my very first cat. “Fiber is My Friend” literally happened with her: I came home one day and she was chewing on a cardboard box, something she’d never done before and I never saw her do again! A newer piece I’m particularly pleased with is “Meowriachi Band”. The band is simply so delightful. A piece that has a “secret” is the cat in the poncho next to a cactus. Know what he’s playing? Guess again. It’s the MEOWracas! *lol*”

You can find the cute colorful art of Tea Party Animals in the Crafty Wonderland shop, as well as Reese’s jewelry line, Travel By Sea. Or visit her online at or at the Portland Saturday Market!

By Joanna Kurimsky

November 15, 2016   No Comments

October Artist of the Month: Little Gold Fox Designs!

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There’s a chill in the air, the daylight is fading faster, the leaves on the trees are changing color and starting to fall.  Autumn is here and with the shift in the season comes our October Artist of the Month – Arrowyn Craban Lauer of Little Gold Fox Designs!

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Old world designs meet eco-friendly manufacturing techniques to create a line of work that is mysterious, distinctive and environmentally conscious.

As her website declares, Arrowyn crafts art “for lovers, dreamers, and tree huggers”.  Inspired by traditional folk art paper cutting designs, “I started sharing pictures of my designs and the response was so incredibly positive that I made prints and started selling them like hot apple strudel.”

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You can find a wealth of pieces in our shop that hearken to their roots in traditional folk art, such as eye-catching earrings detailed with floral patterns or shaped into animals, as well as bookmarks, prints, greeting cards and postcards, even t-shirts!

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Gorgeous natural wood such as birch or walnut, intricate paper cutting designs and old world style brewed with modern sensibilities of sustainability (everything, down to the plastic packaging, is eco-friendly!) make Little Gold Fox Designs attractive to the eye as well as the conscience.  Come visit our shop and fall under her spell, and read on to see what she had to say about her work and what sparks her imagination!

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What is your favorite TV show or music to play while you work?
I love watching and listening to murder mysteries while working. One of my favorite shows is BBC’s Murdoch Mysteries – a show that takes place in the late 1800’s in Canada and the detective uses his own inventions to solve crimes!  I also enjoy listening to podcasts: This American Life, Serial, and Radiolab being my favorites.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find most of my inspiration in nature…the colors, patterns, and shapes of the natural world are my greatest muse. I also love folk art, mostly Russian, German, and Eastern European; Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts; and Medieval ornament. I could endlessly peruse old library books and Pinterest in search of these sources of inspiration.

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How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
I sometimes get a special treat like ice cream, other times clothing, jewelry, or new shoes fit the bill. :)  And once a year, after the holidays, my husband and I spend a weekend at Breitenbush hot springs to unwind!

You can find Little Gold Fox Designs online at:
http://littlegoldfox.com
https://etsy.com/shop/LittleGoldFoxDesigns
https://www.facebook.com/littlegoldfoxdesigns
https://www.pinterest.com/littlegoldfox/
https://instagram.com/little_gold_fox/

Text by Joanna Kurimsky

 

October 17, 2016   1 Comment

September Artist of the Month: Christa Pierce

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We are very happy to name Portland illustrator Christa Pierce as September’s Artist of the Month!!!

The bright florals and sweet creatures depicted in Christa Pierce’s prints and greetings cards are sure to bring a smile to your face.  We are lucky enough to have several lovely framed pieces this month, which will lend light to any room that needs a touch of good vibes.

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These microwaveable Healing Heart pillows, stuffed with lavender, seeds, essential oils, and other yummy-smelling ingredients make a cute gift for a friend who needs a hug – or perhaps, for yourself!

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Christa Pierce is a positive force to be reckoned with.  Her children’s book, Do You Know That I Love You?, which she wrote as well as illustrated, has enjoyed national recognition.  It’s always very popular among kids and grown ups in the shop.  We are excited to see what Christa comes up with next!  Come check out Christa’s work at the shop, and read on to see what she had to say about what inspires her, her process, and her dog!

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What inspires you?
“I once had an acquaintance tell me, ‘Everything is beautiful to you.’ I treasure that comment and try not to lose that perspective. I feel most inspired, centered, and ready to be creative when I’m appreciating the little things: being outside, feeling the breeze through the window, burning incense, drinking my favorite beer, or petting my dog.  Along with that attitude, I’m a huge art lover and feel very inspired by and appreciate other’s great work, which makes me want to go back to my desk and contribute myself.”

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Tell us about your pet(s).
“I am obsessed with my little dog, Sir Lancelot. My first year out of college I was freelancing full-time from home and became terribly lonesome. I had gone from living with 7 girls in a house in Seattle to all by myself in a studio apartment. I adopted Lance to be my studio mate 3 years ago, and he has been the most wonderful friend ever since. He’s very sensitive, like me, and we do everything together. There’s a dog-friendly bar near my house, so sometimes he comes with me and sits in his own chair!”

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Where do you most like to work?
“Drawing is my favorite thing to do – once I get going I can do it for hours and hours and hours!  I try to move myself from location to location so I don’t get stiff or uninspired. Right now, my favorite rotation is: studio desk, then on top of my bed, then the backyard – each spot with Sir Lancelot close at hand.”

By Joanna Kurimsky

 

September 8, 2016   No Comments

August Artist of the Month: Humble Design Co.

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We are super excited to feature Sarah Glover of Humble Design as August’s Artist of the Month!  Sarah’s adorable felt creations are hugely popular at the shop!  We can never keep her potted felt cacti and succulents on the shelf for long!

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Sarah’s provided us with some extra special goodies this month, like super-sized plush cacti – one customer said she was going to make it her travel pillow! – so be sure to come check them out before they’re all gone! Also these new wooden spool pins are sure to look smashing on the jean jacket lapel or backpack of your favorite crafter!

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Show some Oregon love with a mini pennant or magnet, or surprise someone special with a colorful felt flower hairclip or felt garland or tiny owl plushie.  All of Humble Design’s work is sure to please as gifts!

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Sarah was very excited to be featured as Artist of the Month and to answer our questions:

What is your favorite TV show or music to play while you work?
The Office for sure! It’s my all time favorite, and it doesn’t distract me too much except when “That’s what she said!” jokes happen…but overall I’m able to get quite a lot of crafting done while it’s on.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration really everywhere, from flowers in the garden to the colors of buildings, to just walking around the fabric store.

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Do you have any pets?  Please describe, if so.
Yes! I have one cat named Kitty, who’s sassy and has an extreme tuna addiction. I also have a Chiweenie named Molly and she’s pretty much my spirit animal! When she’s not sleeping she’s eating cheese or relaxing in the sun… just living the life!

What is your favorite food?  
Mexican food for sure! Burritos are my go to food, with chips and salsa of course! The spicier the better!

How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
When I’m not crafting, I’m thrifting – so if I get a big job done I love to reward myself with a day of thrifting or garage sale-ing with my family. It’s amazing what you can find for a bargain!

August 10, 2016   No Comments

July Artist of the Month: You Are Here

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We are happy to shine a spotlight on Lyn Nance-Sasser and Stephen Sasser of You Are Here for July’s Artist of the Month!!!  You must come check out their expanded selection of prints, cards, postcards, magnets, buttons, journals, patches, souvenir viewfinders and framed prints!

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Stephen and Lyn became master printmakers in the 1980’s when they were founding members of the Northwest Print Council, an organization of artists from 5 western states and 2 Canadian provinces, that later became Print Arts Northwest.  At that time, they worked in silkscreen printmaking; but they have now embraced technology by using digital techniques to create their prints of landmarks and icons.

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The You Are Here series all started in 2012 when Lyn and Stephen received a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to create 12 images of Portland icons. Marketing their prints all over the country via the internet, they now have over 60 images of cities from coast-to-coast, as well as Europe and Japan!!!

What are your favorite Portland landmark(s)? The multiple Benson Bubbler drinking fountains, the Thompson Elk fountain and the 31-foot Paul Bunyan statue in Kenton.

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What are your astrological signs? Our astrological signs are quite compatible: Lyn is a well balanced Libra, and Stephen is an optimistic-to-a-fault Aries.

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Do you have any pets?  Please describe, if so. Our famous cat Jimmy (who has appeared on the front of a Hallmark card), is an orange tabby.

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What are your favorite foods?   Portland is such an epicenter of good, farm to table food, that it is impossible to pick a favorite.

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How do you reward yourselves for a job well done? We love to travel, near and far! Favorite NW locations are Astoria, Seattle, Vancouver BC, Central Oregon, the Wallowas, Tacoma and Walla Walla.

July 12, 2016   No Comments

June Artist of the Month: 20 Leagues!

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June’s Artist of the Month is the incredibly inventive husband and wife team of 20 Leagues!  Morgan Pasinski and Jamie Hudson are always crafting up some new displays and fun items for our shop using not much more than a bit of cardboard, a laser cutter, and mystical crafty powers bestowed by Captain Jules!

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 Tiny dioramas and diorama kits for your houseplants, taxidermy magnets, Oregon-themed ornaments, rebar bottle openers, and more!!!

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Extra- special for this month we have on display a “Two-Bit Time Machine” diorama gumball machine – for 25 cents you can experience their vision for the time capsule in Pioneer Square!

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Always ready with a clever twist on words, the dynamic duo supplied some rhymes in answer to our questions – check ‘em out (though we just can’t believe that these folks don’t leave themselves any time for fun!)

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What’s your favorite music to play while you’re working?
Anything with a beat – we’re the Riverdance of twerking.

Where in the world do you find inspiration?
A place in our heads that needs medication.

Which of the twelve is your astrological sign?
We ended up married last time we fell for that line.

Do you have pets?  Please describe them, if so.
We’ve two blue cats.  One’s sharp and one’s slow.

What are your favorite things to eat?
Just about anything that doesn’t have meat.

Where would you say you most like to work?
For ourselves, even though our bosses are jerks!

How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
We do the next job better.  No time for fun.

Check out their website for even more 20 Leagues fun!

June 14, 2016   No Comments

May Artist of the Month: Appetite!

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We always get excited for our customers when they get to take home an Appetite piece and so of course we are excited to feature this super sister team as May’s Artist of the Month!  Appetite’s Erin Albin and Megan Oser design and manufacture by hand an incredible array of housewares and personal goods!  You can find their work at their storefront on East Burnside as well as many other local stockists.

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We truly love recommending Appetite napkins, potholders and dishtowels to customers looking for thoughtful, handmade gifts and their new fabric buckets are a crowd pleaser as well!  And of course we are always thrilled to see people treat themselves to a gorgeous leather and fabric handbag, backpack, wallet or clutch!

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Here’s what Erin had to say in answer to our questions the business and process:

Where do you find inspiration?
When we moved our studio into our combined shop/studio space 4 years ago, we added selling vintage and plants to our offerings.  We are constantly finding amazing vintage textiles, bags and paintings that inspire our bag shapes and textile choices or inspire a new colorway to print our fabric in.  And working so closely with plants has inspired many new botanical illustrations for our printed fabrics.

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What is your favorite music, TV show or podcast to play while you work?
We love this show called “Chances with Wolves” from East Village Radio.  It’s a variety show that can go from obscure song covers to choral tunes to rock & roll in one show.  You can find it Saturday afternoons on Xray.fm or stream it on Soundcloud.

Tell us about your pets!
We are a sister team and we work together almost everyday.  Megan has a 10 year old Boston terrier named Beetle that comes to the shop with her and has his own teepee for naps.  He’s very social and will try to get you into playing fetch with him when you stop by the shop.

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We encourage you to come check out our sweet selection and also visit the Appetite shop (especially if you can meet Beetle!) or visit their website at www.appetiteshop.com!

May 9, 2016   No Comments

April Artist of the Month: Unusual Cards

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Portlanders, that blazing ball of fire in the sky has finally arrived and we are so excited to welcome the sunny weather as well as April’s Artist of the Month, Francesca Berrini of Unusual Cards!!!

This sunshine makes it feel like anything is possible and almost anything IS possible in Francesca’s art – dinosaurs, kittens, religious and historical icons, jello mold spaceships, all hanging out together!  Customers have a great time pouring through all her designs in the shop!

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Francesca collects most of her original source materials from various thrift stores and the “kindness of strangers” to create unique, colorful, hilarious collage designs.  She cuts and pastes multiple layers of images to create scenes that are the embodiment of tall tales and turns them into prints, candles, greeting cards and magnets.  We currently have a couple framed originals in the shop!

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Francesca was very happy to answer some questions (truthfully? You decide – her bio on her website indicates she was born in the Arctic tundra in 1952, and raised by polar bears until the age of 7!) about herself and her process for our blog:

What is your favorite TV show or music to play while you work?
It really depends on the type of work I’m doing. For creative work I’m obsessed with podcasts – Serial, Sawbones, The New Yorker Fiction Podcast, What the Crime, This American Life, the Moth. For the really boring work of stuffing cards into clear bags I’ll watch RuPaul’s Drag Race or Black Mirror.

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Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in anything that’s very sincerely trying to convince me of something in an overly enthusiastic way. The mid-century printed material I scavenge to cut up is really full of unblinking optimism, but it’s really not that different in tone than a lot of stuff that’s being produced today. I love the look of a solid lie printed in glorious technicolor.

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What is your astrological sign?
Tauraquaries with Leobra rising.

Do you have any pets and if so, please describe!
I have a Shiba that came from the Humane Society about 11 years ago. This is the reason I am constantly covered in pet hair.

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What is your favorite food?
Whatever my husband cooks for me.

Where do you most like to work?
I love working in my art studio at the North Coast Seed Company. I’ve been there for over 10 years now!

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How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
I guess I don’t really “reward” myself per se. I just keep working and hoping that I’ll keep doing it well. The reward is being able to work on whatever I think is worth working on. I think the idea of rewarding myself would work well if I was taking steps towards some kind of goal, but if the goal is just being able to continue to do the work I like, then there’s no end in sight. Maybe I’ll invent a time machine so I can high five myself right before I die.

Come check out Francesca Berrini’s work at the shop and at www.unusualcards.com!

 

April 18, 2016   No Comments