Monday, December 12, 2011

What Could Have Been

A dear friend of mine recently shot and edited this documentary as part of a class assignment. It is incredibly powerful and beautiful and I hope that she will continue to work on it.

Please take a moment to watch.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Buffalo on the Bowery

I am thrilled to announce my participation in Buffalo on the Bowery, an art auction to support two of my favorite organizations: Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center and PUSH Buffalo, hosted by the Charles Bank Gallery @196 Bowery New York, NY.

The event takes place October 11th, silent auction begins at 6 and the live auction begins at 8. I only wish my schedule allowed me to be there for the event, but I sincerely hope you can!  The event features some of Buffalo's best and brightest, organized by the incredible and unstoppable Julian Montague. I'm excited and flattered to be a part of this event.

From the website:

Over the last 150 years Buffalo, New York has experienced its share of highs and lows. But from the rise of and fall of a great industrial economy, to the population loss of recent years, the city has always hosted a vibrant and influential art scene. Buffalo on the Bowery is an auction of artworks by artists with strong associations to Buffalo, proceeds of which will support two essential Buffalo institutions both, in their own way, devoted to preserving the city and encouraging and supporting communities that foster this unique creative energy. Artwork by artists, both emerging and established will be represented.

People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center are teaming up to bring this exciting auction to New York. Both grassroots organizations strive to improve the local Buffalo community, whether by directly addressing housing conditions on the West Side, or by providing an invaluable cultural asset to Buffalo’s downtown neighborhood. Outside of Buffalo, both organizations are notable on a larger level—they have great worth to the rest of the state of New York and far beyond. PUSH strives to create a replicable model of grassroots neighborhood organizing and redevelopment that can be employed in other low-income neighborhoods throughout the Rust Belt. Hallwalls is a center for contemporary art from all over the world and a sounding board for challenging ideas, expressed in an atmosphere of freedom.

We are pleased to have Buffalo-based artist Julian Montague serving as the curator for the auction. Julian is an active member of the Buffalo arts community, and has been showing regularly in New York City with Black & White Gallery since 2005. With support from Hallwalls—an organization with a strong history of promoting artists at critical phases of their careers—Julian’s selection will feature artworks by significant artists to whom we should all be paying attention. This event occurs at a grave moment for government funding of cultural institutions, which continues to be cut severely—most recently on a county level.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tender Ardour

Apparently I've been too busy, or too lazy, or well, both -  to post images of my new apartment. So here's one from my friend Molly's blog Tender Ardour. This is a shot of the 'reading nook' in the front of the apartment. I promise to post more images soon..

And while you're over there at Tender Ardour, you really should check out her new cooking blog: My CSA Adventure. She joined a CSA this summer and has been cooking up some amazing results. I can personally vouch for the avocado and lime coleslaw, seen in the picture below. I'm thinking I need to make some myself...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Photos

I did accomplish one thing this summer. My good friend, Lukia Costello came by and helped me out by taking some gorgeous product shots of my work. I had a bunch of traditional product shots another friend had taken earlier in the year- but I wanted some less formal photographs too. Below are some examples of the photos, some of the previous shots, and my own images are added in as well.

Of course we also had to get a shot of MacKenzie in there too! She wandered around all during the shoot, and eventually was all worn out and went off to nap. Sunday was her birthday- she's 4 years old already! But still a kitten at heart...

I'll be posting some new listings on etsy soon. I'm also working on a collaboration with the lovely JoAnn of Vintage Refashioned. I'll get some info and photos of that up as soon as possible.

In the meantime I'll be running a photo contest soon! Do you own something by crude crafts? Take a photo of it in your home or office - the best photos will win deals in my etsy shop! So get snapping!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Where did my summer go?

Seriously. How can it be August already?

I had such grand plans, as I always do of what I would accomplish this summer. But moving into a new place that was undergoing some pretty major rehab and working on a web design project pretty much consumed most of my time.

So, some little moments from the summer so far.

Last weekend's CSS workshop at VSW in Rochester. 

 I managed to ruin my favorite table cloth with an ink stain, but managed to cover it and keep it useful by hiding the stain with a multitude of little stitches.

The first tomato finally makes its appearance!
I taught a workshop on yarnbombing as part  of Camp Create at the Burchfield - Penney Art Center. The camp last over the course of a couple of weeks and different artists come in and talk to the kids ages (6-10, roughly) about their practice and shows them how to make something new. We decided to cover an easel and the kids learned to make small woven pieces on a cardboard loom. The rest of the easel was wrapped with yarn. The kids really got into it, especially two of the boys- which made it a lot more fun. And look at their awesome results!

Photos of my new place will come soon, I promise. For now though, I have to get back to work!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New items: Just Listed!

I listed two items in my shop today, one of my screen printed pillows and some of hand bound journals. More will be posted tomorrow so be sure to check back in!

The Piano

My father found this video and passed it on to me the other day, it has only a musical score, but is so heart-breakingly beautiful and does such a great job of communicating a story through images alone. I think I may have to show this one to my design students!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yarnbombing: Success and Loss

We had such an amazing time Thursday night at The Western New York Book Arts Center! There was a great turn out and folks were really excited to engage in the process. The piece was finished and went up yesterday morning, but by this morning, it was already gone. I can only hope that someone who needed it to keep warm got a hold of it. I guess if you see someone wearing a super colorful patchwork "blanket" you'll know where it came from!

With the help of some new friends I now have many plans for public art fiber projects in the coming weeks. So stay tuned! In the meantime a few pictures of the process and the results.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yarnbombing: Thursday April 28 @WNYBAC

Hello friends. Sorry I've been missing for a little while. My camera refuses to turn on and while I research a new one (suggestions please!) I've not been able to photograph all the fun stuff I've been working on.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this awesome video of a Paris yarnbomb. Yarnbombing (or Yarn Graffiti) is a non-permanent form of public art. In this video, artist juliana santacruz herrera uses fiber to transform the potholes in her area.

I'll be teaching a crash course in yarn bombing this Thursday, April 28 from 7-10pm at the Western New York Book Arts Center.

You don't need to know to knit or crochet to participate! I'll be giving introductory lessons and we'll be talking about ideas for June 11th INTERNATIONAL Yarn Bombing Day! The cost is only a $5 donation and we will have yarn and needles/hooks on hand (if you have your own please bring them so we can accommodate as many people as possible) so all you need to do is bring some creativity!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I gave in and joined twitter. I'm not entirely sure how to best make use of it. But I'm having fun finding all my friends and favorite makers. Follow along with me as I try to navigate yet another social media site! @crudecrafts

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thank You!

The Small Press Fair was just as amazing as ever. I am always so touched and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the Buffalo Arts Community. A special thanks belongs to Chris Fritton the fair organizer. I really don't know how he manages to pull it all off, but I sure appreciate it!

I'm deep in recovery mode right now but will be posting new items in my shop soon, so stay tuned!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Buffalo Small Press Book Fair: TOMORROW!!

The 5th Annual Small Press Book Fair

Saturday, March 19th 12-6pm

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Porter Hall @ 453 Porter Avenue 

I can't believe it's already March! I've been working a lot of different jobs lately (7 at last count) and its meant this little blog has been getting neglected. I'm looking forward to some more "free time" in the near future and hope to begin posting more regularly. In the meantime- come see what I've been up to at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair!

The Fair always marks the beginning of spring for me and its always such an amazing event. This year's fair will feature over 100 local and regional vendors along with a variety of workshops and presentations. Come join in on the fun!

So, you might ask. What will I have on hand at this year's festival? I suppose I could give you a little peak....

And so, so much more... but you have to come by to see it all. Hope you can join us!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Need a last minute Valentine's gift?

Stop by Can Can Candy on Elmwood Ave (across from the co-op) and pick up one of my new recycled wool heart ornaments. $6 each or two for $10.

Monday, February 7, 2011

In season

I've been knitting for about 5 years now. And every time I start out to make something for myself, half way through I decided someone else should have it, or that its not quite right so I rip it out. At long last I made this little neck scarf just for me and me only!

It's made from my favorite yarn Suss Love, it's 100% tactel nylon which is the softest (though definitely not the least expensive!) stuff I've ever touched in my life. The color is "love red" - so its very seasonal of me! It's from a pattern that I believe originally was published in a Martha Stewart Living magazine, though I've seen it many other places. The pattern is available for free - here.

I don't think I'll be able to take this off for months!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Love for Sale

Photos by Percy W. Oaks

A sneak peek of the new works I'm making for the upcoming group exhibition at Studio Hart "Love for Sale." It's curated by the amazing Molly Jarboe and opens February 4th.

More details to follow soon. See you THERE.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Heart Breaking

By now everyone has heard about the shooting in Arizona. While I always find violence upsetting, these events have upset me in a way I never would have expected. Hearing about it, and reading the stories breaks my heart. I've found myself a little obsessed, reading every article that gets posted.

I want to hear from my congressman, my senators, my president, I want to hear what they all have to say for themselves. We're all "sorry" and "sending our prayers," just as we should.

But what do we do now? What does anyone have to say for themselves? We've been all letting it go, passively accepting these things and look whats happened. People are dead. So what do we all have to say now? I don't want platitudes. I want answers, action and responsibility.

I am always upset by the use of violent metaphors from anyone but especially in politicians. To use cross hairs over a district in advertising campaigns, to say you want to "take out" your opponents, or suggest "second amendment solutions" to the country's problems is as offensive as it is irresponsible, and people on
both sides of the isle are to blame. I'm tired of people not taking responsibility for their actions. I don't tolerate it in my students (suggesting that they just made -fill in the blank- because they felt like) and I won't accept it anyone else. Words have meaning and actions have consequences. If you run around suggesting violence you can't act shocked and offer trite "well he/she misunderstood me...." comments when it comes back to bite you. Enough is Enough!

In the wake of the mass shooting of some 20 people, including a NINE YEAR OLD GIRL, we must end the violent rhetoric that has exploded over the past few years. I may be young, but I'm old enough to have seen a change in American politics. Disagreeing, and spirited conversations are how we grow as a society, how we find the best options for all of us. When did we start deciding that there was only one way to be, to be an American? I think of my family, my friends and even those of you I hold nearest and dearest to my heart and I know that even we don't agree on everything, and I prefer it that way.

Anyway, I signed this petition, its calling on every member of Congress, as well as the major TV news networks, to put an end to any overt or implied appeals to violence in our political debate, and I hope you will too.

I know, its a petition, not a solution. But its a first step.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top 100 Tutorials of 2010!

Image from The Long Thread

One of my favorite things about the new year is the The Long Thread posts its annual Top 100 Tutorials. It's FULL of amazing projects for the home, for gifts, for holidays and for the kids.

I know a few kids who need these awesome recycled crayon valentine's cards and the plantable seed paper is just too much fun to pass up.

What are you going to make?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Determinations Not Resolutions

This time of year everyone is making resolutions, cleaning house and taking stock. I, of course am doing the same. Trouble is, resolutions always fail me.

And it seems to me they fail everyone else. Over the week surrounding the holidays I was able to visit a number of greatly missed friends and family members. Of particular relevance to this is my friend T, a yoga instructor with whom I was able to spend a night where she was dog sitting and take a yoga class with. At the beginning of the class she spoke about sankalpas. Sankapla is a sanskrit word that basically means "will" "purpose" or "intention."

Resolutions are made because we feel something is wrong with us. We resolve to lose weight because we think we are fat. We want to get organized because we believe we are terrible slops, and so on. Each resolution holds in it a negative thought directed towards ourselves. Conceptualizing ourselves, and any desire for change in this manner will only lead us to disappointment.

A sankalpa is inherently positive, and focuses on the reasoning behind each wish or desire. It's about getting in touch with your wants. Rather than saying "I will never eat another cookie!" the thought becomes "When I am feeling stressed I will seek the root of that sadness rather than muffling it with sweets."

I related strongly to this concept as a practicing Nichiren Buddhist. The basis of this type of Buddhism could easily be summarized as "self-determination." Rather than self flagellation we seek to bring awareness to what is causing us pain and keeping us off our path and correct it by setting these determinations. Again, focusing on what I want in my life and not what I think is wrong or bad.

By conceiving of it in this fashion I am able to approach the new year with positive energy and am much more apt to stay on track rather than getting frustrated by not immediately shedding 20 lbs and stuffing my face with left over Holiday candy.

So, my determinations?

Most importantly, to expand my business.

I made a lot of really great inroads this past year and met some really wonderful people. I have my work for sale at Can Can Candy, Talking Leaves Books and Rustbelt Books. I opened my etsy shop and participated in 4 regional indie markets. I was able to find more sustainable ways of creating my work and this year I know it will only get better.

My business brings me a great deal of happiness and there are few things better than when someone walks away with something I made and a smile on their face. So, my sincerest thanks to those of you who help me make that a reality!

Personally? I want to take more time for myself and bring more attention to my own health and happiness. I will leave the specifics of how I might do that up to what I need or want on any given day. No more giving myself guilt about having a cookie or sleeping in if that's what I feel like I need to do.

So, what are your determinations/sankalpas for this year?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men....

I had the best intentions this holiday season for my little etsy shop, and I failed completely.

Riding on the high from The Salt City Urban Art Market and Second Storie Indie Market, I wanted to stock the shop so that those wonderful folks who made purchases from me could use the little coupons I gave out to them.

And then, it never happened. I never put anything in the shop and I feel terribly about it.

I've never been able to translate the tactility of my objects into decent photos and that's a large part of why I missed the mark this year. I took some photos and they just looked terrible...

BUT, there's an upside. Fortune has brought me not one but TWO photographers who are willing to help me photograph the work properly so I can get my shop back up and running.

The best part? If you have one of those little coupons the best part is that when my shop gets loaded (I'm shooting for the end of January) your coupon will STILL be valid! PLUS, I'm offering free shipping to those in the Buffalo/Rochester area.

I do hope you'll check in with me then and find a little something special to bring a little comfort and color to the post-holiday grey days!

Happy New Year!!

Hello 2011. I have decided you're going to be the best year yet. Are you listening Universe? I'm talking to YOU!