I Am an Artist eCourse Registration Now Open!!

11/10/15

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Hello friends!

I am thrilled to announce that registration for my new eCourse, I AM AN ARTIST: TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR PATH TO A THRIVING CAREER, is now open!

This eCourse will run from January 8-10, 2016. It is designed for aspiring, beginning or more established artists who feel stuck or need a good push.

Whether you have been making art your whole life, are just getting started or work a full time job (or anything in between) this class is designed to help you take steps to make art your livelihood — full or part time.

Work alongside me intensively for three days as I guide you through live video, engaging reading material, interviews with fellow artists, reflection and planning exercises & tools, and a private community forum for feedback, discussion and questions.

This class will help you unravel where you are stuck (even the places you may not realize) and move past your fear and perceived limitations and into a thriving creative career.

Read a more extensive overview of the class (including what we’ll cover every day) here.

Register BEFORE November 30 and get the early bird price of $329 (after December 1 the price goes up to $399). Or grab one of five VIP spots here (includes an hour call with me the week after the class).

Questions? Check out our FAQ. Ready to register? Head over and grab a place in class!

Thank you and have a great Tuesday!

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New Products in the Shop!

11/09/15

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Hello friends! I am so happy to release today my next batch of products in my shop! Start your holiday shopping early because we expect these products to sell quickly, especially the limited edition poster. Today here’s what I’ve got:

TRAIL OF STARS POSTER // LIMITED EDITION

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This is my 2nd release of this 12×18 inch hand-pulled screenprinted limited edition poster, and this time we’re offering it in a sweet grey/brown color. There are only 50 of this edition in stock. Metallic gold ink on grey/brown archival quality French Paper Company stock. Once these metallic gold on grey/brown posters are sold, they will not be available again, so get yours today! Each poster is signed and numbered by Lisa. Each poster was printed by hand in a small print shop in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Print reads: “YOU WILL LEAVE A TRAIL OF STARS IN YOUR WAKE” and is the perfect gift for the super star in your life, including graduates, newlyweds and newborn babies.

These posters are shipped FLAT in a sturdy envelope protected by chipboard.

Get yours here.

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I AM AN ARTIST NOTEBOOK SETS // SET OF THREE

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I am also offering a set of three specially-designed blank Scout Books! Scout Books are offset printed with vegetable-based inks on 100% recycled papers. They are hand-crafted by a talented team of expert printers at their in-house print shop in Portland, Oregon.

These sharp pocket-sized notebooks have a kraft cover, white staples. The imagery on the patterned notebooks wraps completely around to the backs! They contain blank pages – perfect for sketches, notes, and bucket lists! They are 3.5″ x 5″ each and contain 32 pages per book.

Get your notebook set here.

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I AM AN ARTIST TOTE BAG // BLUE INK ON CANVAS

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Share with the world your passion by carrying this bold I AM AN ARTIST tote bag! This bag is made from 100% certified organic sturdy 10 oz. cotton canvas made in the USA. The bag is 18 inches wide by 15 inches high with a five inch gusset (bottom). One inch wide strap is long enough to easily throw over your shoulder.

This bag makes the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love.

Get yours here.

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TOMORROW: Registration opens for my new online class called I AM AN ARTIST: TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR PATH TO A THRIVING CAREER (which will run from January 8-10, 2016). Stay tuned for an early morning announcement & links to register!!

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Reviving the Living and Dining Rooms

11/06/15

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{The living room in our 1898 Portland Victorian}

As many of you know, my wife Clay and I moved 7 months ago to Portland, Oregon. We mostly moved here to be closer to my family (my sister and parents have lived in this city for years), but in the process, we also had the opportunity to buy our first decent sized house together — something we couldn’t afford to do in the Bay Area of California. Last June we purchased a 2000 SQFT 1898 Victorian on a corner lot in the heart of the Kerns neighborhood. We loved this house instantly when we first walked in — it has enormous windows with fantastic light, a wonderful flow and beautiful high ceilings. It is surrounded by trees and just a short block from a beautiful park. But it also needed a lot of TLC, and we began quickly to make renovations. So far we have finished the downstairs half bath, which you can see here. And just last week we finished the living and dining rooms (more on that in a moment). We still have a long way to go (the complete renovations will take years), but it feels really good not only to be making progress on fixing up the place, but also to be nesting. Clay and I are both homebodies. We love to cook and clean, to organize, tinker and hang out at home.

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{Looking down on our Eames coffee table}

When we moved into the house, I connected immediately with my friend Kate at Rejuvenation to begin helping us pick out some new fixtures and furniture. They house hadn’t been updated since the early 1990’s. In addition to lighting and some other accents, one of the things we needed was a new living room sofa. I wanted something modern, but I also wanted something that would reflect the old feel of our Victorian house.

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{Living room arrangements of some of my favorite things}

One day Kate invited me to visit the Rejuvenation salvage warehouse (which is also the location of their 87,000-square-foot U.S. based factory). And while I was there I spotted a simple 1920’s vintage sofa, stripped down to its bare bones, and fell in love. I think Kate could see the adoration in my eyes, and so she suggested that we collaborate with Leland Duck of Revive Designs — a partner with Rejuvenation — to reupholster the beautiful old piece for our home. I quickly agreed. For the record, here’s what the piece looked like before:

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Shortly thereafter, Clay and I went to North Portland to meet with Leland of Revive Upholstery & Design and his wife Chelsea in their new showroom and workshop to discuss what we’d use to give the piece a new and modern look. I’m not sure what I expected when I walked in, but I didn’t necessarily expect to see a young couple! So I asked Leland how he learned to reupholster furniture so beautifully (his showroom and workshop were filled with really gorgeous stuff he’d worked on). I learned that day that her learned the art of reupholstering by working on vintage cars as a teenager. In his early twenties this unique skill, combined with his keen eye for the good bones of cast-off furniture and love of historically significant fabrics, led him to creating one-of-a-kind chairs, sofas, ottomans, and pillows that are far greater than the sum of their parts.

In the newest segment of their partnership, the gurus from the Rejuvenation Salvage team have scoured antique shows, flea markets, and vintage dealers across the country rescuing rare pieces and trucking them back to Leland’s skilled hands. The result is a truly original and one-of-a-kind collection of furniture finds, each with a unique story to tell. I felt so lucky to have this furniture find and so honored to be working with Leland to make it new again!

After our initial meeting, we decided on a subtly textured blue fabric (I’m really into blue these days!). I went off to Hudson New York for my residency, and Leland set to work on transforming our new sofa. When I returned from Hudson, he came over to drop it off, and I was thrilled with the results!

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Leland’s work was impeccable, and we adore the white accent stitching. That’s a vintage Chinese textile hanging on the back of the sofa and the beautiful pillow is by Anna Joyce.

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We also replaced the former light fixture with a new globe pendant hanging light from Rejuvenation (which we love) and which you can see below. Trio of prints hanging on wall by Katherine Jalaty.

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We also worked with Jen Garrido of Jenny Pennywood to purchase some yardage of her beautiful screen-printed fabric to cover the cushions on our vintage side chairs. The bold pink flower pillows by print maker (and my best friend) Jen Hewett. The abstract paintings are by me.

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We also got a fabulous new light fixture for the dining room — a Cobalt Blue Butte Dome Pendant from Rejuvenation, which you can see below. We think it’s the perfect match to our blue accents and Danish dining furniture.

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More from the dining room:

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To celebrate the opening of their new showroom and workshop, Leland and Chelsea of Revive are hosting a grand opening party from 6-11 pm tonight at 2030 N. Willis Blvd in Portland. I will be there and if you enjoy Leland’s work, I hope you will check it out too! Drinks! BBQ! Live music!

From my home to yours: have a great weekend & happy nesting.

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Introducing: The Craft Industry Alliance

11/04/15

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Friends, I am so happy today to tell you about a new trade organization for makers, suppliers, designers and professional bloggers. It’s called The Craft Industry Alliance, and their mission is to exist as a source of industry information, creative inspiration, and community for craft professionals. Their goals include helping members:

+Stay current on industry news, trends and opportunitues

+Make connections with other small business owners

+Develop viable business models

+Achieve profitability

+Run their businesses according to their own standard of ethics

+Membership gives you access to three different kinds of benefits.

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Membership in the organization comes with benefits designed to help makers build and sustain profitable businesses. Here are some benefits to membership:

1. The Journal

Craft Industry Alliance members receive a subscription to our bi-weekly, professionally written, digital journal packed with craft industry news and analysis, and articles that address the business issues most important to craft industry professionals.

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2. The Community

This is my favorite benefit: Craft Industry Alliance members have access to a vibrant online community of industry professionals through their secure, online forums and specialized groups. Connect, collaborate, and get your questions answered! Members can use the classifieds to find what they need or offer their own services.

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3. The Resources

Each issue of the digital journal comes with a printable or tool you can download and use right away. Over time these will build into a library of business resources just for members. You’ll also get access to webinars with legal, accounting and other professionals (this is one benefit I’m also super excited about!).

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Joining Craft Industry Alliance is an investment you’ll be making in yourself and in your business. I joined today and I am super excited to be part of this new alliance of makers.

A big thank you to founders Abby Glassenberg and Kristin Link for their amazing work to on behalf of makers everywhere!

Join today.

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Lea Redmond: Knit the Sky

11/03/15

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Hello friends and happy Tuesday! I am back from my trip to Spain and Portugal, and I am so excited today to share an interview with a really amazing artist and maker.

A few years ago when I was still living in San Francisco, I discovered the work of Lea Redmond (pronounced “Lee”). She was setting up one of her World’s Smallest Post Services at a local shop in San Francisco, and I popped in quickly to check it out. Lea became famous for her teeenneeee weeeneee letters (see below), hand scripted and sent through regular mail; periodically she would set up a live letter-making desk where she created the tiny letters specially for folks who passed by. Shortly after seeing Lea’s work for the first time, I got a surprise email from her asking if I wanted to hang out. A few weeks later, we got together to talk about our mutual love for art, crafts and books at a local pie shop. At that first meeting, Lea began telling me about a book she was beginning to concept — a book all about knitting from patterns that guide you through recording your experience (and not from a traditional knitting pattern). Think of it as a journal of your life, not with a pen and paper, but with knitting needles. That book, thousands of hours and hundreds of balls of yarn later, is finally with us! Knit the Sky: Cultivate Your Creativity with a Playful Way of Knitting was released recently by Storey Publishing. And it’s illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators. the amazing Lauren Nassef.

I sat down virtually with Lea recently to ask her all about her background, her new book and her approach to creativity. Lea is one of the cleverest & smartest women  I have ever met. I think you will enjoy her too, and so I present to you Lea Redmond in my Interviews with People I Admire series!

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{Lea holding some of her tiny letters, which she creates with her own hands and a magnifying glass!}

Lisa: Lea, tell my readers a little bit you. Who are you? How did you get started as a maker, as a knitter? What are some of the things you have done before Knit the Sky?

Lea: I have loved making things since I was a wee one. As I grew up, the pinch pots and puffy paint t-shirts of elementary school turned into the wheel-thrown teapots and hand-knit sweaters of high school. And then I largely tucked away my art supplies as I fell in love with ideas at my little liberal arts college, and busied myself with books and writing. My mother was a Montessori preschool teacher and my dad a scuba diver. Combine those influences with some clay, yarn, Thoreau, and Heidegger, and I think that sums me up pretty good.

Back in 2008 I did a quirky art project called the World’s Smallest Post Service in which I set up my tiny post office (wooden roll-top doll desk and all!) around town and transcribed letters for passers-by. I would then send the itty-bitty missive to their recipient with a magnifying glass. To my surprise and delight, people really loved it! I wasn’t trying to start a business, but this project quickly turned into my creative studio, Leafcutter Designs, that offers all sorts of thoughtful objects and playful gifts like Seed Money, Recipe Dice, and Letters To My Future Self.

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{Lea reading from her book Knit the Sky}

Lisa: Your new book Knit the Sky: Cultivate Creativity with a Playful Way of Knitting is different from any knitting book I’ve ever seen! Describe how this book is different from most (or any) knitting books out there and why it was an important book for you to make & put into the world.

Lea: My book offers a way of knitting that is full of adventure, stories, and personal meaning. It’s not instead of typical knitting patterns; it’s simply a compliment to them. The best way to explain is with examples. In one scarf project, you observe the weather and add one stripe per day in yarns that match the color of the sky out your window. In another project, you collect gumballs from machines around town, and the order in which they dispense determines the order of the stripe colors. In yet another, you knit a cowl in the spirit of the moon, which can then be worn to match the current moon phase.

Typically a knitting pattern provides step-by-step technical instructions, charts, and photographs that guide you to make a particular garment in a particular size. These patterns are wonderful, beautiful, and extremely helpful. Pattern design is tough work and I’m so glad there are great designers providing excellent technical guidance for all of us yarn lovers. Most of the playful concepts in my book work just fine with very simple garments, like garter stitch scarves or simple hats, or you can combine them with more challenging patterns by your favorite designers.

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Lisa: How do you hope this book changes people’s experiences with knitting? Or elevates their experience of creativity in general?

Lea: What excites me most is the idea that knitters might read my book and be inspired to knit something that is infused with the unique details of his or her own life. Knitting in this way is almost like keeping a journal. It’s a chance to reflect on life, honor someone important to you, celebrate something, be curious about a place, etc. It’s of course lovely that we end up with a beautiful garment, but that’s almost beside the point for me. In the end, I’m most interested in the experience along the way—the adventure that is the process. (Though I will admit that I truly love that we get to keep a souvenir!)

And even thought Knit The Sky is full of ideas for knitting, I think folks can read it and apply this way of thinking—as well as the particular concepts in the book’s projects—to pretty much any medium of life. Read the book and knit a scarf, or maybe just read the book and plan a dinner party! This way of working goes across medium and—ha ha—the sky is the limit!

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Lisa: What is your favorite project or set of exercises in the book and why?

Lea: The “Mood Ring” project is one of my favorites, probably because the mindfulness involved in making it has the potential to be extremely powerful. Inspired by those dime-store mood rings of childhood, you knit yourself a cowl that tracks your emotions for a month. Each color represents a group of emotions and then every day you take some time to reflect on your inner life and add a few colors to the cowl that match how you’ve been feeling that day. Since you can see the colors from previous days and weeks, reflecting on them might inspire you to change how you spend your time or how you react to various situations, thus affecting your future mood and stripe colors.

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{The work of Illustrator Lauren Nassef}

Lisa: The illustrations are by Lauren Nassef and they are stunning (I am a huge fan of her work!). Why did you select her as your illustrator? What mood did you hope she would be able to capture?

Lea: I agree! I am overjoyed with Lauren’s illustrations for the book. I feel so lucky and grateful to share the pages with her. I was first drawn to Lauren because of her quirky, whimsical compositions. I want to live inside some of her drawings! She takes everyday objects and phenomena and adds a little twist that sparks curiosity, wonder, and delight. I also love her careful, intentional line work. The knitting projects in Knit The Sky are creative and playful, but they are also extremely thought out and full of intention. To me, Lauren’s work with pencil and brush embodies a similar sort of care.

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{Illustration from Knit the Sky}

Lisa: How did you accumulate all the project ideas in the book? Were these ideas you’d been collecting and trying out over the course of years? Or did it happen more recently than that? Did you test them out first (either yourself or with others) to make sure they would work well?

Lea: I first posted my “sky scarf” pattern online back in 2008, so the book is really the slow accumulation of ideas since then, plus a big surge at the end! To dream up these projects, I basically just look around, then maybe read a book, and then look around some more. I find most of my creative inspiration in the details of everyday life—in noticing the extraordinariness of the ordinary. The projects in Knit The Sky are inevitably a reflection of my own life, which is why I included a section at the end about how to invent your own project based on your own life. I can’t wait to see what people dream up!

The projects in the book with trickier elements (like knitting hexagons or the butterfly pattern stitch) were tested by me and the folks at Storey Publishing before the book went to press. There are indeed a few full patterns included (for a basic hat, scarf, cowl, socks, etc.), but this knitting book is vastly less technical than most. My hope is that people mix the concepts with their favorite patterns, or even make up their own!

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{from Knit the Sky}

Lisa: If people are interested in getting to know you and what you do better or in sharing or learning from you, where can people find you online or in real life? (this is where you get to talk about your newsletter, any online places, classes, events, etc!)

Lea: For Knit The Sky related news and events, find me at knitthesky.com. There, we have a calendar of book tour events and workshops I’m teaching. You can find yarn kits to go with some of the projects and can also sign up for the Knit The Sky newsletter. I post whatever I’m currently knitting on Instagram: @lea_redmond. You can find my playful goods and other creative studio work at leafcutterdesigns.com, on IG: @Leafcutter and on Facebook: facebook.com/LeafcutterDesigns

Lisa: Thank you Lea for sharing your genius with us!

Hope everyone has a great week.

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