Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice and Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and my heartfelt wishes to everyone for a warm and cozy winter indoors, (when we aren't outside playing in the snow!).

I would like to give a Big Thank You to my supportive family and friends, fellow artists, and all my wonderful customers for making 2009 such a great year for Mountain Ash Design. I am feeling very encouraged and have big plans for sustainable expansion in 2010 (don't want to grow too fast now and loose my family and playing-in-the-snow time). My plans involve some new venues for getting out into the world many, many lovely/fun skirts, aprons to increase your domestic bliss, belts for men (new!) and women, HotHolders featuring Tommy, Oscar, Lars, Steve, and Chad, and maybe even some new designs for women's tops made from reconstructed clothing. Early 2010 will see me re-writing my business plan, timing my construction process, and re figuring my costs so I can offer more goods to stores and add shows in Waitsfield, Northampton and New York City (gulp).

I think I'll include an image of the inside of the mysterious and initially baffling serger in an upcoming post. Now that I think of it, I'd also like to thank the serger for making it possible to restock enough aprons between shows this holiday season and not have to pull grueling all-nighters. "Sustainably Handmade" means many things to me.
Happy New Year everyone!
(felt and sequin xmas stocking above made in the early 1970s by my "Grandma," Marion Curtis)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

last show - Holiday Artist Market

I am working on a sweet batch of aprons on Colee's miraculous White serger and looking forward to my last show of the season, BCA's Holiday Artist Market. That will be in City Hall, Burlington, VT this Friday, Dec. 18th from noon - 8, and Saturday the 19th from 10 - 6.

The Norwich Holiday Market was totally worth holding the date for. I'm working hard to restock the 17 aprons I sold there (in 5 hours!!). I guess they make great gifts. Skirts are still selling well, as gifts and self-treats for shoppers. All one of a kind, like you.

I'll try to get some pictures up in the next few days. I'm very excited about what I've been making. I'm dipping deeper than usual into my vintage fabric collection for girly apron trims and big Gardening Apron pockets. The colors and prints are lovely and so inspiring for me. And I'm also thrilled to report I've had another breakthrough regarding the serger as I figured out the other day that I can piece together bits left over when I cut out skirts - enough to make, what else? - aprons!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I won the lottery sell my wares at the Norwich Holiday Market!

I've developed some nice relationships in the Hanover/Norwich area by having a stall at the Spring/Summer/Fall outdoor Farmers Market, but the Holiday Market is hard to get into unless someone cancels.

Well, someone did, and straws were drawn to determine who on the waiting list would get the spot. It's me!

Here are some new aprons I'll be bringing, plus apron-inspired wrap skirts, HotHolders, belts and more. (Did you know that if you click on a picture on my blog you will get a blown up version of it? Go ahead - try it!)

Hope to see you in Tracy Hall, Norwich, VT on Saturday the 12th of December from 10 to 3.
And if not, my last show will be the Burlington City Arts Holiday Market at City Hall on Friday, Dec 18, noon to 8pm and Saturday, Dec. 19, 10 to 6.

Happy Winter!

Friday, December 4, 2009

one of a kind

Here are some pictures of some of my newest work for you to enjoy. I'm taking them all to the Lake Champlain Waldorf School Holiday Fair right now: Friday, Dec 4 6:30-9pm, Saturday, Dec 5 10-3

New aprons patiently waiting for the photo shoot to take place in front of the barn.

Monday, November 23, 2009

holiday preview + vending schedule

I've been feeling like a good little elf lately. A tired yet driven one. Sometimes I'm impressed by my own stamina at this production thing. I'm three weeks behind schedule because of family illness including my own wisdom teeth finally getting the chisel, er, boot.

Time for a little show and tell since I've been doing quite a bit of sewing the past several days. All gift oriented, though I suppose they could be for you. I say, if you can indulge in American handmade goodies, why not? especially if you share.

Item 1: leather iPod holsters (and that's what we call "Stick Season" in the background. it has actually been a gloriously warm and sunny November here.). two belt loops in back. made from recycled leather and bits of jacquard trim. I need to get a hold of some different size iPods to measure...

Item 2: flask jacket. this is just the prototype. should I make more? I like it, but how big a demand is there for such a thing? are other people's flasks a different size and shape? should I be providing the flask also? and what about what's inside? ????

Item 3: new belts. cast-off vinyl + jacquard trim; loteria cards and vintage bark cloth with D rings (and black vinyl on the back). Richard has been urging me for a while to make loteria belts for the guys so here I am trying. I made two, but I sold one within a few hours to a friend who came over to pick up a duck and some squash (they gave us a lamb). Then I went in the house and got on the phone and ordered a gross of steel D rings in antique brass. (ugh, so compulsive sometimes. I think I do it to ensure I'll have to keep making stuff.)

Item 4: marsupial aprons. most of these have two pockets now after I posted this picture on facebook and asked if I should sew a seam up the middle. the feedback was unanimous in favor of the seam except for the cutie pie who said she wants no seam so she can hold her own hand. But I really think it's because she wants to have secret thumb-wresting wars against herself.

Item 5 (not pictured): new "Gardening Aprons." four big pockets. not just for gardeners but nurses, teachers, child-care providers, vendors and other types of folks seem to like them too. heavy-duty fabrics such as bark cloth, denim and home decor fabrics. think basic rectangles with lots of contrasting bias binding around the edges. I sold my last one the other day sooo...Time for a new batch.

Item 6: new "BBQ Aprons." the style that a man would likely wear. though I sell most of them to women, so I can't call them "Man Aprons." all repurposed and scavenged (okay, just cast-off yardage I actually paid money for) fabrics. reversible. I sold my last one today, so I stayed up late making a few more.

Item 7: Holiday Vending Schedule
Nov 27-29 Women's Festival of Craft, Burlington City Hall
Dec 4-5 Holiday Fair, Lake Champlain Waldorf School, ShelburneAdd Image
Dec 12 Norwich Holiday Fair, Tracy Hall, Norwich, VTDec 18-19 Burlington City Arts Holiday Market, Burlington City Hall

Want more details? Ask and ye shall receive.

good night now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

movie deal

There's been an exciting result of my participation in the current Featured Artist show at Art on Main in Bristol, VT (through November 13th): NYC costume designer and Bristol native Ciera Wells, stopped by on a recent visit and checked out the wrap skirts I have in the show. She liked them so well she called me that night to arrange for one to be made for the leading lady in the film she's currently working on. And she added that she might need an apron as well.

The movie is called When Harry Tries to Marry, directed by Nayan Padrai. It's an indie romantic-comedy-meets-Bollywood sort of piece, set in NYC and India. From the Los Angeles Chronicle:

"...a top ten finalist from this years (Screenwriting) Expo, When Harry Tries to Marry, has announced that they will begin filming this week. A romantic comedy about a young Indian-American college student who shocks his assimilated Indian family when he insists that he wants an arranged marriage, the film will be shot on location in New York and India under the direction of Nayan Padrai from the original script by Ralph Stein and Nayan Padrai."

You can read a short article about it in the Hollywood Reporter here.

It's been interesting working with Ciera as I've never before had a look into the creative process of a costume designer. She told me that the character would be wearing mostly reds and turquoise, and in order to help me grasp her vision for this character's style she sent me an image file of her "research," which turned out to be a collage of fashion photos cut from magazines and catalogues like Bowen and Garnet Hill. It was really quite helpful, as words can only describe so much.

These are the aprons I made from primarily vintage fabrics for possible use in the film. The skirt I made for her is similar to the one pictured here, but with a firey red/orange collar and a black gingham waist and back ties. It will be exciting if I get to see it on screen.

More publicity for this movie:
Screen Daily
Los Angeles Chronicle
Hollywood Reporter

Sunday, October 18, 2009

frosty NFM

Here's one of the beautiful displays of veggies at the Norwich Farmers Market yesterday. This was right next to my stall at Your Farm of Fairlee. Get a load of those enormous Brussels Sprouts.

But the frost in this picture was the real inspiration for this little picture essay. When I arrived to set up at 7:30 the heavy crunchy frost was all over the market grounds, and didn't leave the shadows until after 9:30. I was freezing my tail off.

Here's where I get my usual morning sustenance of croissant and coffee: The Baker's Studio of White River Junction. I ran in to my husband, Richard, there. He arrived early for his Animal Behavior class at the Montshire and came over to hang with me and take in the scene at the market.

Giant Banana Slugs - I mean Squash, lolling in the frost at the Red Rooster Farm stall.

"Look Ma, no racks!" Oh, the packing of my car is so much more efficient since I rigged up these thick dowels with curtain rod ends for hanging the aprons and skirts directly from my canopy. I can see out my back window. It's awesome. Of course this is my last outdoor show of the year. I have to figure out how to incorporate the curtain rods to my indoor display (with no overhead infrastructure).

More pretty displays of the excellent produce at Your Farm. I got a bag of salad greens and arugula from them at the end of the market. It was just the thing to add to Richard's grated raw carrot and beet salad for our neighborhood pot luck last night. Many savory hot dishes were served and the salad made a good balance.

Friday, October 16, 2009

sneak peek

Well folks, I have really had my nose to the grindstone lately.

I suddenly realized at my last Norwich Farmers Market three weeks ago that I
was really low on most of my items, and needed to focus some time on buliding up inventory.

I don't really have much to say, just images to share of this creative/productive burst. It's been alternately exhilarating and exhausting. Several holiday show applications came due during this time also, and another exciting something that I will share if it all pans out.

Here are results of my efforts in the form of the aprons and skirts, most made primarily from new designer fabrics, with vintage and recycled accents. All are one of a kind.

Next week: HotHolders(tm), followed in future weeks by key fobs, belts, gardening and Super Pouch aprons and who knows what else???

I'll be at the Norwich Farmers Market one last time tomorrow, from 9am until 1pm. Then back to my wood-stove toasty, high-ceilinged workroom in the barn.

Friday, October 2, 2009

exhibit at Art on Main in Bristol

Please join us for the artist reception today from 5 to 7 in the charming town of Bristol. My quilts are on the wall alongside Jess Graham's wonderful windswept leaves and lovely mountain-biker. And there are plenty of skirts on the rack. The show will be up until November 13th.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall & Holiday sched + past & future to-do

I think I'm going to make it. Um, maybe. A lot has happened since my last post and many preparations are underway for future events. Here's a summary:
behind me:
1. Got a Virtuous Baby Quilt with instructions and photos off to Crafty Planet for their upcoming book: Crafty Planet Goes Green.
2. Send the remainder of my fringe belts to a sweet little shop of "handmade, eco, misc" in Brisbane, Australia called nook. Hope to get some edged belts to them before too long.
4. Experimented with making skirts with drawstring backsides for those who might be tentative about wrap skirts. Anyone want to weigh in on this issue?
4. Adapted (somewhat), with the help of sewing machines borrowed from my dear friends Birdi and Rowan, after my Bernina broke down last Tuesday. It's fixed now and I'm picking it up tomorrow.
5. Acquired a great pair of display racks at Mainly Vintage in
White River Junction "it's not so bad!", VT.
6. Sold aprons, skirts, key fobs and belts at the Fashion and Accessories Extravaganza in the SEABA tent as part of Burlington's South End Art Hop. The STRUT fashion show followed in the same tent: A wonderful diverse group of very creative VT designers, including Gyllian Svenson of The Bobbin, Ava Bishop, and the very adorable and serious furry black-strapless dress clad fifth-grader, Rebecca Berlind of reBecca reWear and her brilliant leg bands. So fun to see all the fashion collections on the beautiful and expressive models. Can't wait for STRUT 5!
7. Got artist statement and bio plus images for poster, etc. off to Art on Main in Bristol for my upcoming show there (October 1 - November 13) with none other than the inimitable genius painter of Wolcott, Vermont, Jess Graham.

8. on the Langdell-Green homestead big harvests of squash, carrots, onions, corn, and beets are underway. If you want to see more pics you can friend me on facebook (Sarah O. Green) and view my growing "harvest 2009" photo album and be subject to other foibles of my personal life (snore).

ahead of me:
1. finish designing and ordering new business cards
2. sand, paint and hinge display units and print & assemble portfolio for Art on Main show.
3. figure out Mail Chimp and put out first e-newsletter.
4. Pick up Bernina from Buzz and sew, sew, sew! I feel so behind on production. belts, key fobs, skirts, and aprons all desperate for restocking. That's what I get for taking on a vending event every weekend.
5. Undergo a product development session experimenting new reconstructed tops for ladies. Plenty of long back (and front) ties, mixed up fabrics and who-knows-what are swirling in my head. I really do wonder what will come out of this.
6. Case out a few shows to possibly do next year.

My fall and holiday vending schedule will be more reasonably paced. Though now that I look at it, if seems almost thin. Here's what I have lined up so far:

Sept 26 Norwich Farmers Market, Norwich, VT
Oct 2 Reception at Art on Main, Bristol, VT
Oct 17 Norwich Farmers Market, Norwich, VT
Nov 21 Wellspring School Holiday Faire, Chelsea VT
Nov 28-20 Women's Festival of Crafts, Burlington, VT
Dec 5-6 Burklyn Arts Council Holiday Market, Lyndonville, VT
Dec 12 ?? Norwich Holiday Market ?? If someone cancels, maybe I'll get a spot. You never know.

Keeping my head above water.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mid-Fair Update: Mad River Valley

I'm half way thorough a glorious weekend outside at the Mad River Valley Craft Fair in Waitsfield and it is a sweet happening. I am happy to report that I remembered to take pictures of some of my customers while they tried on the goods that they bought.

Here's my first customer, Terry, and her friend, Mary, wearing the two aprons she bought. You might recognize these aprons from the Sweet Batch of late May. Sometimes I make things that I particularly dig and it take a while for the right customer to come along and dig them along with me and claim them as their own. The items in this post are like that. It's a wonderful moment when I finally meet these kindred spirits to these particular parts of my aesthetic soul.

Another woman came along and loved my strawberry skirt as much as I do. It is darling on her! She was clearly psyched, which is so gratifying for me, as the creator, to witness. Her boyfriend was psyched. And I was psyched. I love it with the boots. And we all got to enjoy seeing her wearing it during her entire prolonged stroll around the fair.

There was lot's of talk at the show among customers and vendors about the wonderful weather, how much we deserve it, and how long it's going to last. Yay! More vitamin D for us all. I'm already planning another few days of mini mid-day sunbathing breaks while the kids are back at school next week.

Time to rest up for tomorrow. Hours of the fair will be 10 - 4. Off to call in those credit card sales, read some Harry Potter to Edie, and get vertical for several hours.

Good night, folks.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MAD goes over to the Dark Side

Sometime I get requests from my customers for aprons made from dark fabrics. You know, to hide the inevitable stains. I'm glad these people are thinking about spaghetti and chocolate sauce and splattering hot oil meat fondue in this way because, My gosh! What could those yummies we love to cook and eat do to our clothes?? Who has time in this day and age to Stain Stick everything before the next load of laundry? Much less change clothes just to make dinner after a long day at work??

Well, now you don't have to Spray'n'Wash your pink gingham apron, you can get a dark one from Mountain Ash Design and the tell tale signs of meals that came before will just, you know, blend in like the beaten egg whites into your angle food cake batter. It will just be an improvement in substance.

Many of the aprons pictured here were made primarily from button-down shirts. See them live this Saturday at the Art Market, along side the Farmers Market in Burlington City Hall Park.

Other vending events coming up soon for Mountain Ash Design:

Sept 5-6 Mad River Valley Craft Fair, Waitsfield, VT

Sept 19 Art Hop Fashion & Accessories Extravaganza, Pine Street, Burlington, VT

Sept 26 Norwich Farmers Market, Norwich VT

Oct 17 Norwich Farmers Market, Norwich VT