Craft powerhouses Etsy, PNCA, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and the Portland Etsy Team are hosting a very cool event tonight — stop by if you’re in town! There’s lots more info here on their blog, too.
Etsy, PNCA, Museum of Contemporary Craft and the Portland Etsy Team welcome Portland’s vibrant community of makers, PNCA students, Portland craft guild members and the general public to connect during I Heart Art: Portland Meet ‘n’ Greet.
The event is a great opportunity for Portland-based makers to network and learn more about this burgeoning partnership and future opportunities for professional development. Featuring light food and drink, music, button making, Gocco printing (with Cathy!) and more.
Such a cool partnership — since I teach at PNCA, sell (occasionally) and shop (lots) on Etsy, and got married at the craft museum, I am a big fan of all parties involved! I’m so hoping to make it — see you there?
Things have been a little crazy lately and our Valentine’s Day/long weekend kind of evaporated, to say the least. Trying to catch up with all my work in the meantime hasn’t left any time for fun crafts, photos, or other things to share over here. I’m excited for March on all those counts! So I thought I’d post about two local craft fundraisers you might enjoy supporting (one is now exclusively online, so no worries if you’re not in Portland) and then vanish for a bit until things smooth out again.
Andrew, Pearl and I went out to the First Thursday art openings downtown this month and saw both these shows in a very happy back-to-back. Wieden+Kennedy hosted a Handpulled for Haiti opening this month to sell prints of original designs created by their studio artists, with all sales going to Mercy Corps.
I am a true lover of screen-printing and seeing what a few dozen super-talented graphic artists can do on a dime, with a worthy cause to inspire them, was absolutely stunning.
All the money raised goes to Mercy Corps and W+K is matching 100%, turning your beautiful $25 poster into a $50 donation for our local heroes making a difference in Haiti. We chose three posters and I love them all:
Each print is signed and numbered and you can scoop yours up here. Thank you to W+K for their generous support of Mercy Corps, and thank you to the artists who did such beautiful work for such a worthy cause. So inspiring on all counts!
Equally lovely is the Valentine’s Invitational at Reading Frenzy, with dozens more local artists and crafters pitching in. The artwork was unveiled via silent auction at the beginning of the month and is now for sale at a set price, with 50-100% of the sales going to a cause dear to Chloe Eudaly‘s heart, the Special Education PTA of Portland.
I snapped a few quick photos but you should really go in and enjoy all 60 or so pieces in person in their sweet salon-style collections… it will all be up through the end of the month. I have a little piece in there along with some of my favorite artists, and as far as I know it is still up for grabs, along with lots more artwork.
The Valentine’s Invitational benefitting SEPTAP is up through the end of the month, and the Handpulled for Haiti show is now living over here until the shop is empty and Mercy Corps’ coffers are full.
p.s. one last update: I am sorry to report that SB 1032 was caught in a deadlock in our state senate yesterday, and the bill that would have banned BPA in certain children’s products in Oregon is no more. I am thankful that activists in Washington, Minnesota, Connecticut and Massachusetts have had better luck, and I hope we will see some progress at the federal level soon too. My deepest gratitude to everyone who worked on this project, contacted their reps to support the bill, and supported me in my efforts to spread the word. Thank you.
Well, I have suddenly found myself in the toddler-passed-out-in-the-carseat trap so after a trip through the Burgerville drive-through, here I am in my car, in front of my house, with my laptop jammed awkwardly between myself and my steering wheel. Thank goodness for wi-fi! I had planned to post some new Valentines to make but my camera and cord are inside, and Pearl and I are out here, so I think I’ll just share some I made last year again instead… and next year you can see the new ones.
This beaded card was fun to do, and all you need are a needle and thread, a dozen seed beads and a couple pieces of cardstock. You could use any colors for your beads and paper, of course. I love red and turquoise together, but how about red and pink, or silver and red, or whatever you happen to have handy? You can find the complete tutorial over here.
And here’s one of my all-time favorite crafty projects, Valentine’s Day or not: heartfelt fortune cookies and rings. These are also super easy, and you can make six cookies and a bunch of rings from one 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of felt — not bad! The tutorial for these is over here.
Okay, I hope everyone has a really wonderful Valentine’s Day, Year of the Tiger, President’s Day, Mardi Gras, and weekend! I’m going to put the darn laptop away now and read the mystery I thankfully stashed in the diaper bag this morning.
I wanted to share some of our Valentine’s Day crafts (toddler edition), in case anyone else is looking for a fun and easy project to try with little ones. Pearl’s school is hosting a little Valentine’s party on Friday and I volunteered to help the kids (ages 18 months to 3) decorate their treat bags this week. They’ll exchange small homemade gifts, craft supplies, baked treats, or nature finds, and they each get a turn to deliver the presents to their friends’ bags. Here’s Pearl’s — she was so proud to point to exactly where each felt heart, button or alphabet bead needed to be, and she loved the finished bag!
Here’s how we did it. The crafts teacher had the bags all ready — she cut a strip off the top of a regular lunch bag, glued it on as a handle, and punched holes and wove bright-colored yarn through the corners. I cut out lots of felt hearts and brought along my button stash to dig into for fancying them up. We had lots of fun making the first round yesterday — the kids showed us where they wanted each and every decoration to go and we glued them down. It was a great collaboration.
For our gifts for everyone, we’ll be making small bags of buttons kind of like these and adding a little Valentine’s note from Pearl. (And I’m sure you all know this but buttons go in mouths, so be careful and watch kids closely while you’re crafting or playing with them!)
Then Pearl and I moved on to our next Valentine’s Day project — making cards for everyone in the family. Warning: if you’re one of her aunts, uncles, grandparents, greats, or cousins, stop reading now if you want to be surprised! I almost didn’t post this photo til after they were received, but I wanted to share these ideas in case anyone else was wondering what you could do with a not-quite-two-year-old, before Sunday instead of after. And since a lot of folks are snowed in, this is an easy one for stash-only crafting.
For this super-simple project, I got three of Pearl’s many, many crayon drawings out of her sketchpad, which is cardstock-weight paper (but you could use any drawings you have, on any paper that’s handy). I used a paper cutter to cut the most exciting parts down to roughly postcard-size for mailing. Then I showed her the felt hearts, asked her which one went with which card, and let her choose and point to exactly where they should go. She waited patiently while I glued them down, and then we wrote love notes on the back. They’re going into envelopes and into the mail today (early for once!) and tonight we’ll make some more for her friends, which can be as button-heavy as she likes since we’re hand-delivering them.
Here’s an update on the proposed BPA ban here in Oregon, and our testimony: we got our two minutes in front of the committee of state senators who are considering the bill on Thursday, and gave a longer written statement for all the legislators to read (you can see it peeking out from the stack of many things in my lap).
I also took an additional question from the chairperson after my testimony about what it’s actually like as a shopper to try to avoid bisphenol-A in children’s products right now. (My answer, in case you’re interested too, is that BPA is in all formula cans and baby food jars, to my knowledge, so there are no options whatsoever there. You can carefully research to find baby bottles, cups and utensils manufactured without it, but it’s confusing and they’re often not well labeled, so it’s very easy to end up using something with BPA, and very hard to be sure that you’re not. For more on this, Kendra wrote a very thoughtful post on BPA and plastics in general that I highly recommend.)
This is what the hearing room looked like before things got started. Pearl and I ended up in the front row of the hearing next to Melina and her two kids, and I was so glad to have my daughter with me and be part of the public hearing with another family. It was a really thrilling experience to be able to testify (in fact, the chair in front of the microphone in the meeting-room photo above is where I was addressing the senators). As a mother and a consumer, the chance to tell the lawmakers who have the power to protect our children from exposure to toxins exactly what I thought was incredible, and something I wouldn’t have dreamed of just two weeks ago. I was very proud to be an Oregonian and a voter! My deepest gratitude to those who have taken the time to call or email their legislators in support of SB 1032. I hope we’ll get an update on the bill soon — the vote may be today! It’s all happening in this building…
I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day! It’s Oregon’s 151st birthday on Sunday, too, what could be more festive? I’ll be back tomorrow with some handmade gift ideas for the non-toddlers, too.
Pearl and I are heading down to Salem Thursday afternoon to testify in favor of SB 1032 — the bill I mentioned the other day. It’s up for vote soon and if it passes, it would ban BPA in all children’s products here in Oregon!
The Oregon Environmental Council invited me to speak and submit a written statement at the public hearing in Oregon’s majestic State Capitol building tomorrow. I’m nervous and excited and very, very hopeful! Thank you to State Senator Jackie Dingfelder for introducing the bill, to the OEC for asking me to join the effort to pass it, and to Kendra and all my friends for their encouragement.
Wish us luck! Hope to see you tomorrow at Reading Frenzy — back to crafts after that!
The show will benefit the Special Education PTA of Portland, and the opening should be a lot of fun! Stop by the shop on Thursday, February 4th between 6 and 9 for free beer and Valentine hugs and kisses.
Here’s the little piece I made for the show — I embellished a vintage postage stamp print with lots of sparkles and hearts (just like the ones I made for the blondies, minus the toothpicks, I seem to be on a hearts kick this month) and put it into a
secondhand reclaimed wooden 8 x 10 picture frame.
You can see the list of all the other artists and find out lots more about Reading Frenzy here! I have some other exciting news but I’ll save it til tomorrow… see you then! (and hopefully on Thursday too!)
I’m so happy to report that from what I saw, both Haiti fundraisers were a huge success! We brought our bag of food, diapers, and first-aid stuff to the Super Sunday event right when it kicked off around 11. It was so great! They were setting up the food (vegetarian and meat barbecue, awesome) and music and everyone was so friendly and energized. We brought our donations to be sorted by the volunteers, who were bustling putting everything in the right boxes — so good to see how generous our community is!!
There was a forklift (which Pearl LOVED) putting those same boxes, once they were filled,
right into the freshly painted container (which I loved).
So inspiring. Thank you, Jeff!!
Then we zipped over to the vegan bake sale to drop off our blondies. I have to admit that I was feeling shy about my vegan baking skills, and the list of treats was full of pretty and delicious-sounding stuff. I wanted to make it as easy as possible to turn my humble little blondies into cash money for Mercy Corps, so I added little heart toppers to each one to fancy them up. I think it definitely helped move them along!
If you would like to make some heart toppers for your blondies, cupcakes, club sandwiches, or Valentine’s Day treat of choice, here’s how I made mine — they couldn’t be easier. I cut out nine hearts freehand out of felt, each about 3/4 of an inch tall. Then I used tacky glue to add a colored rhinestone to each one and let them set for 20 minutes or so.
After that, I flipped them over and added a generous dab of glue to attach a plain old wooden toothpick to the back of each one and let that set too… and there you go! Pearl sat in my lap the entire time intently watching me glue each little bit together (let’s hear it for non-toxic craft glue) and it was so cool to do a project with her instead of rushing to finish it during her nap. It’s been so exciting to see her turn into such a big kid!
So this morning I was thrilled to hear that the vegan bake sale raised more than $3,000 for Mercy Corps! Way to go! I haven’t heard exact details on the Super Sunday wrap-up (I hope that Jeff, the one-man-operation himself, is taking the day off), but judging from the amazing start to the day I am sure it was a fantastic success.
Okay, here comes the favor I mentioned, if you’re up for it. If you are in Oregon, concerned about the environment, and have a few minutes, the new Oregon Senate Bill 1032 is coming up for vote very soon. It would ban the toxic chemical BPA from all reusable food and beverage containers (like baby bottles and sippy cups) and formula cans and baby food jars (single use) intended for children under 3 — protecting the youngest, smallest and most vulnerable from this pervasive and toxic chemical.
If you also support the bill, please take a minute to call or email your representatives (find all their info here and email them here) and let them know that you encourage them to vote YES on 1032. It took me less than five minutes to call both of mine this morning and they (well, their staffers) were glad to hear from a voter about it! My thanks for reading and especially for considering adding your voice to the effort to get this bill passed — I am hopeful.
More hearts tomorrow!