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artist of the month, featured artist

September Artist of the Month: Crafty Wonderland Staff

September Artist of the Month: Crafty Wonderland Staff

We are happy to announce the staff here at Crafty Wonderland is being featured as September’s Artist(s) of the Month! We have a staff full of creative, artistic individuals and we are excited to have an opportunity to showcase all of their talents! We all make jewelry, but occasionally we branch out into other mediums. This month we will have jewelry, paintings, embroidery and much more featured!

We’ve taken some time to talk about each of our inspirations, processes, and more.


What would you say inspires your work?

Cathy: I'm inspired by all things vintage - textiles, jewelry, furniture. I've also become obsessed with vintage secret societies like the odd fellows and masons. So I'm hoping to see that reflected in my work in the future.

Torie: Often my biggest source of inspiration for new designs comes from creating jewelry for my friends, as birthday gifts and such. The process usually causes me to stretch my boundaries in ways that I wouldn't necessarily do otherwise. I'm also a big lover of antique jewelry, abstract paintings, and black and white photography, so I look to those things when I'm needing a little creative boost.

Megan: I definitely draw a lot of inspiration from fantasy and mythology, and here lately lots of heavy symbolism! Some of my favorite illustrators growing up were Arthur Rackham, Tony DiTerlizzi, and Brian Froud. I really enjoy intricate linework, like 18th century illustrations. In terms of content, moments of magic are definitely my biggest inspiration. I love subtle surrealism, big eyes, and flowers!

Alissa: My work is inspired by nature in the Pacific Northwest and vintage design styles like Art Deco and Art Nouveau.

Sierra: Texture, nature, unique color combinations, conversations with amazing people and the materials that jump out at me.

 Tell us a bit about your artistic process!

C: In the past I have tended to overthink my process so lately I have been trying to just make without thinking too much about it. I am loving just assembling things that feel right rather than waiting for my brain to tell me they look right.

T: If I'm wanting to create something new, I look at what I already have in my line and think about what I could make that would complement the designs that are selling well. Sometimes this involves sketching shapes and ideas in a notebook, or looking back over past sketches to see if any of them hold up. Then I sit at the table and make a sample and see how I like it!

M: Honestly I’m still trying to hone in on a specific ‘process’ for making art. The thing I catch myself doing most often is scribbling down an idea I’ve had on a sketchbook app on my phone. I don’t always get around to revisiting those, but every once in a while I do!  About 90% of my process is just combining different elements I’m drawn to until they combine in a way the speaks to me.

A: I start out sketching a bunch of ideas, then draw the best ones in ink, then scan and finish them off in Adobe Illustrator. It's hard to decide which designs I like best so I'll often ask my Instagram followers to vote :) Once I've finalized a design, I have it laser cut out of brass and then I make them into earrings and necklaces.

S: I get inspired by materials and color.  I am a create and learn as I go kind of artist.  I am always learning something new and continue to build on my skill set as I go.  

 What are some projects you hope to tackle in the future?

C: I'd love to learn silversmithing in the not so distant future. I've been wanting to take a class for a few years now but never seem to have the time to commit.

T:I've been wanting to design a line of cast jewelry for the past few years, but haven't quite gotten around to it yet! I have all the wax carving supplies...just need to sit down and start playing with them!

M: I’ve got a few ideas for zines that I would like to make- once I find the time! I’ve been really inspired by old Slavic fairy tale illustrations recently, and I’d love to attempt something full of that much detail!

A:Some new jewelry collections that I'm working on are combining my cut-out brass pieces with stones and other objects. I'm also going to start making some new smaller dainty post earrings.

S: I am really wanting to dive back into painting and potentially get some mixed media pieces going.  I’d love to take some classes to extend my creativity, skill set, and grow as an artist.

Are you diving into any good books, shows, or podcasts lately?

C: I've been working my way through Vivienne Westwood's autobiography - she is a big style icon for me. And I just discovered a new cable show called "Tattoo Age" that profiles all the highly regarded tattoo artists from this century. It's super interesting and inspiring.

T: I just read Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and loved them both very much! You know you've read a good book when you're still thinking about it a month later.

M: Anything by Neil Gaiman is a winner for me personally. I recently read ‘Norse Mythology’ and it flooded my mind with inspiration. I’m also delving into the Harry Potter series again which is always really inspiring for me.

A: I'm really liking the new show "Making It" with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Parks & Rec is one of my all time favorites so it's neat to see Amy & Nick mixed with crafty goodness.

S: I have a deep fondness for the Dollop podcast.  It’s hilarious and fun to hear random American history from a comedic viewpoint.  I am also a big fan of the Hollywood Theatre.

What is your favorite product to make?

C: I enjoy making my crystal talismans. I love incorporating the organic crystals with the brass geometric shapes to create something that feels magical.

T:The hammered diamond hoops with beads. I love the matte finish on the beads and enjoy working with those stones.

M: I don’t really have a favorite yet, but I always love having a moment to work on illustrations.

A: My line of cut-out brass necklaces and earrings allows me to combine my background in graphic design with my love of jewelry. So it's really the best of both worlds for me :)

 S: I have really loved making these wire word pendants.  I feel a nostalgia with the shape and each word has a personal meaning.  


What is one of your favorite spots in Portland? I know it’s hard to choose just one!

C:My favorite spot in Portland is the Eagles Lodge on SE Hawthorne + 50th. They host bingo night and a rummage sale once a month and you can get a cocktail for $3. I've been going there for over 20 years and it has barely changed - it feels like the old Portland I fell in love with way back when. I finally became a member recently and hope to be volunteer bartending there real soon.

T:The patio at Por Que No? on Hawthorne is always my favorite.

M:I love exploring the little neighborhoods in Portland’s East side. The houses are all so precious and I can’t help but daydream of having one of my own one day! And pretty much anywhere in town during spring, the plants blooming here are incredible.

A:City State Diner is my go-to place for brunch and good a cup of coffee. I like to bring my sketchbook and draw while I wait for my food.

S:I always tell people to go to Mothers when they visit Portland.  It’s a beautiful spot with delicious food, the staff is great and the decor is beautiful.

If you could use just three words to describe your business or art, what would they be?

C: Female. Strong. Magic.

T: Simple, versatile, and sweet.

M: Surreal, whimsical, and magical.

A: Modern, casual, and positive.

S: Colorful, bold, fun.

We will be displaying our work until the end of September, be sure to come check it out!

artist of the month, featured artist

August Artist of the Month: Paper Puffin

August’s Artist of the Month is none other than Paper Puffin! Featuring wide-eyed curious cats and intricately illustrated natural elements, Paper Puffin has definitely created an unmistakable style.

What would you say inspires your work?

This particular, peculiar cat named Puffin is my main muse, though I’m inspired by the many amazing cats I’ve met over the years. Nature, micro landscapes and collections and the places I’ve lived.

We carry some of the best Paper Puffin goods available year round in our Downtown Portland location. We have prints, cards, and stickers- all adorned with those funny cat faces!

What is one of your favorite spots in Portland? I know it’s hard to choose just one!

There are so many great coffee shops and little stores! Magnetic North Studios off Belmont is a great artist-run workspace, and where I do my screen-printing. My favorite moments are walking through the neighborhoods when all the flowers are blooming.

Tell us a bit about your artistic process!

I limited myself to a single black pen years ago, as a way to develop my line work but also to narrow my focus. I love working with lots of different materials and processes, especially paper, wood fabric and found objects. I love it most when I can combine a design with hand-made production.

What is your favorite product to make?

I love working on original paintings, and collaborating with other artist friends for smaller projects when I can.

It’s so hard to pass up any of these cat faces, so stop in this month and adopt one of your very own!

If you could use just three words to describe your business, what would they be?

Curious Paper Cat

artist of the month, featured artist

June Artist of the Month: 20 Leagues

June Artist of the Month: 20 Leagues

20 Leagues is an mad scientist meets artistic duo based here in Portland, Oregon. They create works that remind us to stop and appreciate the small, simple things in life - like pigeons! Their work centers around everyday life with a twist, and they are quick to see the beauty and weirdness in the strangely mundane.

20 leagues Oregon ornaments

20 Leagues specializes in making things that you never knew you needed, like wooden stickers, plant dioramas, and an action figure of Sasquatch riding a T-Rex.

20 leagues sasquatch riding t-rex

What are some projects you hope to tackle in the future?
All of them. Our process is to throw spaghetti at the wall.

What would you say inspires your work?
All of them. Nothing. Not sure really. Ideas emerge from an odd, shared sense of humor and an awed, shared sense of wonder. We bandy our ideas about, though we aren’t sure what that means, then follow our whims wherever they lead. We live in a fanfiction of our own fantasies.  

It just goes to show that sometimes living in your own fantasy world can actually pay off.

20 leagues garden gnome plant diorama

Tell us a bit about your artistic process!
All of them? Our process is to do anything to land the joke or tell the tale. We bring equal parts art and science to bare in our quest to fancy up your houseplants, classy up your cubicles, and giddy up your gift-giving game. A faster answer is gouache and lasers, we do it all with gouache and lasers.

20 leagues Oregon magnets


We carry their products year-round, but come see the expanded display in our Artist of the Month Spotlight all through June!

artist of the month

April Artist of the Month: Humble Design Co.

April Artist of the Month: Humble Design Co.

We are super excited to usher in Spring (COME ON ALREADY, SPRING) with Sarah Glover of Humble Design as April’s Artist of the Month!  

humble design

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!  

humble design mini cactus

Sarah’s provided us with some extra special goodies this month, like super-sized plush cacti - aka the perfect travel pillow! So be sure to come check them out before they’re all gone! Also these sweet pom-pom earrings and bloom brooches are sure to look smashing with your Spring wardrobe!  (Or with your raincoat. Just being real here.)

humble design cactus pillow

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

humble design oregon brooch


By Joanna Kurimsky

artist of the month

March Artist of the Month: Beetle Ink Co.

March Artist of the Month: Beetle Ink Co.

We are pleased as punch to announce that March’s Artist of the Month is Emily Small, better known as Beetle Ink Co.!  

We challenge you to find work more charming than these nature-inspired, hand-drawn paper goods and stickers, rubber stamps and more.  For the cat-lovers in your life, look no further than these witchy animal-familiar designs on cards, prints or even framed original paintings!  

beetle ink cat print

Help us usher in Spring with work by this wonderful artist!  Now that it’s finally time to dig your jean jackets out of the depths of your closet behind all those waterproofs and woolens, you can up your lapel pin game with a Beetle Ink Co. cactus pin (or 2)!

beetle ink co cactus pins

Originally from New Hampshire’s coast, Emily made her way to the Pacific Northwest (via Emerson College in Boston, where she earned her BFA in animation) and now calls Oregon home.  Portland is lucky to have snagged her as part of its maker community! Read on below to see what Emily had to say about her process and the local art scene:

Do you prefer to work collectively or alone?
To be honest, I find myself creating my favorite work alone. But don’t get me wrong, I love to collaborate! I often work with other local artists to make fun limited edition products and for local businesses to create custom designs and branding.

beetle ink sunnies pin

Do you like to participate in group art/craft events?  What do you like to do?
Whenever I have free time between my custom design jobs, personal artwork, and full-time job, I apply to vend at local craft fairs! When I’m not vending, you can find me perusing the booths at Crafty Wonderland fairs, Renegade craft fairs, Sundaze Collective events, Sunday Flea, Portland Night Market, or doodling away at Nucleus Gallery drink ‘n draw nights. I also work full time for the local record label/handmade goods store, Tender Loving Empire, which allows me to attend so many magical art and music events around Portland on the reg.

If you could influence a change in the art/craft world, what would it be?
Support local art! I hope to be an advocate for more community and less competition. I work with local artists and small businesses for all of my outsourced production needs and hope to inspire other makers to do the same. The more money and energy you put into your local community, the more it will flourish.

beetle ink rubber stamps

What is your favorite piece of public art in Portland and why?
I drive down MLK nearly every day and always notice the Fresh Paint murals! Fresh Paint is a collaborative project between Open Signal and the RACC which allows local artists to expand into new medias and grow their skills in a large scale and public space. Every few months, a new artist will paint over the existing mural and create something of their own!

beetle ink stickers

Do you read the Mercury or the Willamette Week, the Skanner, the Oregonian?  Do you have a favorite column?
I follow WW on Facebook for local news and articles. And I always snag a Mercury for the things to do Music section! If you haven’t already listened to local songwriting angel, Haley Heynderickx, you totally should.

What app are you addicted to, happily or otherwise?
*sigh* Instagram, and who isn’t!? It’s such a time sucker, but the amazing artists I follow give me endless inspiration.

Any messages for the next generation of Portland DIY artists coming into their own?  
Slow down. Us makers aren’t machines made to pump out products left and right, we’re humans who can only do so much.  We have limitations and that’s okay! The art & maker world can be so competitive, fast-paced, and stressful. But you don’t have to be! Do you at your own speed.

beetle ink slow down print

Wise words and brilliant tips from a great local artist!  Come check out Emily’s work at the Crafty Wonderland shop or at her website, for some inspired and adorable work!  Or follow her on the addictive Instagram at @beetleinkco!

By Joanna Kurimsky