Friday, April 30, 2010

Farmers Market collection on Pie Bird

My Farmers Market belt was recently included in a similarly-themed blog post by Katy at Pie Bird.

I have one of these. As she says, it "vents while baking." It is so cute and useful for juicy apple and rhubarb pies.

This is just a teaser. Go see her wonderfully curated collection. Almost farmers market season here in VT (now that the snow has melted. again.) Yay!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vendor Special on Handy Cargo Aprons

Whew! I have been feeling both overwhelmed and blessed by opportunities lately. In order to share the joy I'm offering a special to vendors of my May shows: $10 off one of my Handy Cargo Aprons (details below).

In a week I'm going to try doing two shows on the same day - in two different states. I'll be a newbie at Twist Fair in Northampton on May 7-8. But I couldn't bear the thought of leaving behind my home state scene: the Queen City Craft Bazaar in Burlington on May 8th. The latter consists of a exciting community bursting with fresh creativity. I feel like I have grown up with these artists the last few years.

I sure am going to miss my homies while I'm in NoHo, but Mountain Ash Design will have a presence at QCCB - my usual spot at the bottom of the stairs. Please stop by and say "hiya!" to my lovely assistant, Lauren, as she holds down the local fort so to speak, and go check out all the other fabulous goods by other artists at the show.

I am full of giddy anticipation about Twist. My dearest cousins live in NoHo and will be helping me and I'll also have fellow VTer Recycle Moe right in the next booth to hold my hand. Come see me in the center isle of the big room.

To tie these events together I'm offering a Vendor Special on my Handy Cargo Aprons. I started making them a year ago as Gardening Aprons for the Floribunda show, but I have since sold them to nurses, teachers and plenty of vendors. Four roomy pockets hold your receipt book, calculator, pens, business cards, bank, with room still for a handkerchief and Cliff Bar. Never again experience that feeling of disease as you walk away from your cash box. Uber-knitter Kathleen Dowd-Hill says, "I don’t know how I’ve managed all these years at craft shows without my new apron, it is awesome!"

The regular price is $42. For co-vendors they are $32. Bring your business card to my booth and I will be happy to set you up. The ones pictured here are brand-spakin' new, made from sturdy vintage and new home decor fabric, double-stitched and bound on all edges with contrasting colors (black is a color, right?). I have one of each and will be splitting them up between the two shows. Click on the pictures to see them in detail. If you'd like me to reserve one especially for you leave a comment here or email me at I am packing up for QCCB on May 1st so let me know before then. Otherwise, stop by my stall and check them out.

Delectably Pink on Haute Whimsy

My Black Birds Skirt was recently featured on a pink-themed post on the design blog Haute Whimsy.

Right near this Squirrel Girl by the Black Apple.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Foxy Apothecary

Mountain Ash Design was recently featured on the design blog Apothecary Fox. "Remedies for a More Lovely Life." Blogger Sarah Fox loves pink&green, red gingham, and vintage influences, so she totally gets me! Click on the "my brother" link for a special treat ; >

I recommend her other posts, too, and her profile has a very nice tone. She's a Vermonter, too so I hope to meet her someday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

BUST Spring Fling

This just in: Mountain Ash Design has been accepted as a vendor at the BUST Spring Craftacular on Sunday, May 23rd at The Warsaw.

Brooklyn, ho!

Friday, April 16, 2010

penpal potential?

Interesting tidbit: The most frequent locations I ship to from my Etsy shop are Maryland and Australia.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Join me at Twist Fair in Northampton on May 7th & 8th and at the Queen City Craft Bazaar in Burlington on May 8th. Wait a minute...

patron of the arts

This post is dedicated to Jack Thurston, news reporter extraordinaire for our own local WCAX. Not only is Jack a sharp reporter (CNN picks up his stories from time to time), he is also a patron of the arts, an encouraging supporter of upstart craftspeople like myself, and an advocate for recycling and other "green" actions.

You can see him in action in some of his stories from last winter by clicking here for the Champlain Bridge demolition reaction, here for a Made in Vermont feature, and here for Jack reporting on the mysterious disappearance of Pearl.

Jack is admired by many for his pointed reporting, but he is also beloved by those who get to know him for being a very warm, classy and adorable person. I first got to know Jack a few years ago when he featured me in his Made in Vermont series on WCAX.

When he he came over for an interview and filming session we developed a friendly connection over the course of his visit to my then bedroom/work space.
[I cannot believe I was in production where I slept. Those were the struggling early days. I am so glad I made the move out to the barn studio. Separation of certain parts of my life is essential to my well being.]

Well, one Saturday last summer when I was peddling my wares in City Hall Park Jack stopped by with a bag of hand me downs. He knew I liked to repurpose cast off clothing and decided to skip the step to Goodwill Industries and bring his cast-offs right to me. Jackpot! Did I mention he is one classy guy? The pictures you are enjoying here are of skirts and aprons trimmed with bits of the shirts of Jack Thurston (sashes and pockets). There once was a time, it went on for many many years in fact, when I couldn't bare to cut up a pretty shirt. Well, I got over it and all to spread around the love. Jack's shirts do not get made into single aprons, but are cut into strips so they can be spread over as many projects as possible.

Jack was in de-cluttering mode last year. He told me in December, as he dropped off a bag of particularly stunning shirts, that he hasn't bought a new shirt in a year. (I wonder if his fast is over?) Not only is he generous towards me with his cast-off, I happen to have it on good authority that he has provided Recycle Moe with enough raw materials to produce a significant number of baby bibs.

Now time for a quiz: Which of the skirts in the following sneak peek photo include an element that used to be Jack Thurson's? Answers will be given in an upcoming post on this here 'ol blog.

Now remember, like all photos on this blog, if you click on them you can see them blown up and get the detail of the beautiful fabrics.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Megan + me

I was going to call this post "Experiential Learner" but I'd rather dedicate it to Megan Humphrey. I got to spend the entire day (and night) with her on Saturday as peddlers of rare handmade goods at the Vermont Women's Expo.

Here's Megan of Sweet Basil Cards, her line of incredibly charming vintage collage and sweetly transporting photographs.

After the show Megan and I went to see the Green Mountain Derby Dames thrash the Calamity Janes of Maine. Two of Megan's neighbors are skaters on the VT team. We hung out with their boyfriends, who were wearing "roller derby widower" t-shirts, in the beer corral. It's too far from Topsham to go home that late at night (ahem 8:00pm) so I spent the night at Megan and Terry's house, where I slept in until noon on Sunday, something that would not have happened had I been at home. She took very good care of me <3.>

Though the artsy-craftsy types were far outnumbered at the Expo, we were in good company. Folks filled Stacie Mincher's booth the entire day, as is usually the case : >

Loree Gunn of ZeZu & Company had a sharp looking display at my opposite corner.

Painter Kimberlee Forney showed off her cows and friends downstairs in the main exhibit hall, you know, near the Chi Machine display and demo (!?!).

Claudia Venon got the word out about her new boutique and studio location in Burlington.

Here I am holding down the fort. I love it when I get to use my quilted banner. This was not the kind of vending event I usually do. Since I know I am an experiential learner, I'd rather try things out than sit at the computer and make lots of phone calls doing research. I do some of that, but on the ground learning is my way. Can we call it field research?

Check this out - the crowds waiting to get in before the gates opened at 10:00. Traffic was Very Heavy for a few hours on either side of lunchtime. Absolutely packed isles. I have never been asked so repeatedly by different people, "Do you have a store?" It took me the entire day to realize how I should be responding to this, since Bruce Baker advises that the last thing you want to tell an in-the-flesh-and-in-your-booth potential customer is that you have an online store they can shop at later, unless it is the last thing you say to them.

Okay, the hidden agenda for this post is to show you the brand new bloomers I wore for the very first time at this Expo. I have problems with slips. They are always showing, and not evenly all the way around, which would be cool in the case of my grandmother's red petticoat that I usually wear at shows. Also, my legs get cold and I need something pretty to hide my snuggies. Plus I am usually standing on my bar stool at some point fiddling with my display and I am quite modest. So there you have it. I searched on Etsy and bought four pairs from Loulahbelle, which is in England. They are very well made and comfy enough to wear as pajamas. The shipping was surprisingly fast. This is the only satin pair I have. The others are cotton and different lengths. The shop is very fun to browse. Just so you know I didn't buy any with extra ruffles in the back, though maybe I should have!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

presser foot 5

This post is both how-to tip and confessional. I hereby declare without shame that I am completely dependant on presser foot 5.

It came with my Bernina 1031 when I bought it many years ago.

I use it to hem all my skirts with a tiny hem folded over twice...

...and to hold the bias binding in place when edging belts...

...and my half aprons with the big pockets.

Last fall I had a production crisis when my machine needed to visit the warranty place for repairs. Fortunately my Bernina dealer lent me a newer model with it's own version of foot 5. Saved my skin.

Does anyone out there use a different brand of machine that has a similar foot?