Category Archives: Local

En Garde Fencing Mending

So, I’ve mentioned En Garde Fencing before.  Now that the holidays are over, I’m back in massive mending mode.  If you see me covered in little white bits of thread shrapnel, don’t be surprised.  I’ve been using my super huge seam ripper to take out broken zippers.  Don’t worry, I don’t stab myself too often.  And I’m told by Goose Girl Sews that my saliva will get the blood out.

Here are my current piles of work:

These I haven’t started on.

Fencing 1

These need new point guards.  It’s this flap around the neck that catches a foil tip and prevents it from sneaking up under your mask and stabbing you in the throat.  Very important.

Fencing 2

These have had zippers removed and I need to go buy new zippers.

Fencing 3

This is a shot of me in action, removing a zipper with my amazing seam ripper.  I got the biggest one I could find after breaking my old one on the tough fabric of the fencing jackets.  I love the big sturdy handle.



A huge next step might be to start creating old fashioned fencing jackets.  Just a lot of thick material, padding, and quilting.  I hear there is a niche for old school fencing gear that isn’t being met.

What are you working on?  Is there something you do that you don’t consider “art” but you still enjoy?  Want to help me sew in some zippers?

This post had more stabbing than usual.  Don’t worry, I’m healing.



Like a BOSS!

I was biked 29 miles since last Friday… like a BOSS!

It’s been to the Made Local Marketplace and back a few times (5 miles round trip) and then to the Fairgrounds for two days of working at the Heirloom Expo for Chelsea Green Publishing (7 miles).

The second and third days in a row were hard!  Usually I’ve got a few days in between biking.  But strangely the fourth day was easier.

Here’s my fabulous bike.  It’s older than I am.  My mom bought it when she was pregnant with me.  I’ve added the orange and red paint, the purple velvet seats, and the baskets.

My First Wednesday Night Market

Two weeks ago I vended at the Wednesday Night Market.  Huzzah!  It was my first time EVER (since I was about 5) sitting at a table trying to sell art I’d made.  I was nervous all day.  “How well I sell is NOT a reflection of my worth,” went through my head all day and I tried to believe it.  I knew some of the Made Local Marketplace artists had done really well and some hadn’t sold anything.

Here’s what my booth set up looked like, and the other booths from the Made Local Marketplace.

I accidentally left the fabric I was going to use with a friend.  So instead of burgundy satin I used black satin with burgundy burn out velvet (my old bedroom curtains) over it.  It looked okay, but I decided I needed a different table cloth next time.  Something brighter and able to tie everything together more.  This looks a bit mishmash to me.  The orange glazed almonds got attention, but not enough to be worth bringing again.

The canopies were unnecessary.  We haven’t put them up again.  We’ve got shade the whole time, including during set up.  Though the tables were close to the front of the canopies, I think people don’t want to “enter” the booth space.  It also made it pretty dark at the end.  The biggest problem… WIND!  It has been super windy.  Other group’s tents have flipped over.  Bags of chips were blowing down the street like tumble weeds.

The wind is probably a reason some people haven’t been doing as well.  Weather is a big factor in outdoor events like this.  Especially one that some one could say, “Naw, it’s too windy.  Let’s go next week.”  Since the Wednesday Night Market is all summer long, people have the luxury to go another night.  I think attendance will pick up with the weather.

Another artist at the Made Local Marketplace was kind enough to put my idea into action of the cute bunting.  Bunting is hot right now and the Share Exchange already has it around the awning of it’s building.  What a perfect visual tie in!  Except… the flags are too long to hang off the front of the canopies.  People that wanted to approach the tables had to duck.  No bueno.  Super cute, though.

In the end I’d call it a very successful night for me.  I sold two things, one of which was to a stranger!  (It’s exciting when people I don’t even know buy my work, not just the people that love me).  Speaking of love, I felt it from all the fabulous friends that came by my booth to say hello.  It really helped keep me relaxed and pass the evening.  I did end up really enjoying myself, even if it is a lot of work.  I also have to thank my husband for supporting me in this and bringing me a chai latte and a burrito.  I couldn’t do it without him.

Stay tuned for a much more timely review of the Wednesday Night Market I worked last night! 😉

Wednesday Night Market

The Wednesday Night Market has started!  Though I haven’t vended at it yet, I’ve been coordinating other artists from the Made Local Marketplace to share booths for the summer.   In case you don’t know, the Wednesday Night Market happens down town Santa Rosa, focused on 4th Street.  It’s a farmers market on steroids.  There is a wine tasting garden, art for sale, political booths, hot food from local restaurants, and of course, produce. This happens every Wednesday night (except July 4th) between May and the end of August from 5pm to 8:30.

Coordinating has been interesting, using a survey that didn’t collect names, then wouldn’t let people retake it to add their names.  Coordinating an event I’ve never participated in is a lot of stumbling in the dark with my hands out.  People have been thankful to have an opportunity to be in the market at all, even if we don’t have the resources to get them as many spots as they’d like.  We’re doing three booths a night with two vendors per booth.  It’s a nice representation of work from the Made Local Marketplace and good exposure for the Share Exchange.  Maybe next year we’ll have 5 booths, but this year I’m at my mental limit.

The exciting part is a get to vend tomorrow!  My work and I will be at the Wednesday Night Market!  I’ll be across from Barnes & Noble, first set of booths from the corner.  I’ve been working for two weeks on my displays, hanging jewelry on them to see how they really work.  I’ve got my smart phone and Square so I can accept credit cards.  I have a receipt book, extra tags, little baggies, I’ll get change this afternoon.  I’ll need to wear lots of layers, it’s been colder in the evening, but setting up tables and canopies is hot work.  I’ll also be there June 6th, June 27th, August 1st, and August 29th.  You should come see me!

I still need to turn forks into sign holders.  I’ll post cute pictures of those when they happen.  I’m worried I don’t have enough jewelry, but it will be fine.  I think I’ll have my husband treat me to a burrito tomorrow during the market for my dinner.  Are there any tips you can give me for my first craft booth experience?

Here are pictures of last week’s vendors at the Made Local Marketplace booths.

Proud of What I Do: Made Local Marketplace

I am really proud of what I do.  Proud to tell people I’m an artist when they ask what I do.  I’m equally proud and excited to be volunteering a shift at the Share Exchange where my work is for sale in the Made Local Marketplace.  My Friday morning shift isn’t a lot, but I am happy to contribute to this venture that’s here to support and grow the local economy of Sonoma County.  I love meeting the other makers that come in to fuss with their work and check on things.  I’m already making great contacts for my own work, like meeting a photographer who will help me with product photos.  (Yeah, my photos have improved, but I am CERTAINLY not anywhere near where I could be or would like to be.  I am always learning.)  At all the jobs I’ve liked, I have developed a strange pride of ownership.  You’d think I owned this place if you knew how pleased I am with it.  😉

I can’t deny what a thrill it is to see photos of my work on the Made Local Marketplace’s website.  I have helped conceive and organize some of the upcoming events like the Made Local Marketplace Peer-to-Peer Roundtable (Tuesday April 17th 6:30-8:30), the Makers’ Saturday: Swap, Make, & Eat (Saturday April 28th 11:00-2:00), and a “Open an Etsy Shop” Workshop that I’ll be hosting on Thursday May 10th 6:00-8:00.  This market space is going to help my business grow and I want to help it, too.  It is more than a gallery or shop space.  It’s a place I can get business advice from SCORE, attend a workshop about business or the environment, or just learn to make something new from another artist.

If you’ve in Sonoma County, please go check it out.  You’ll be supporting local artists and business people like me.

531 5th Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Monday – Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 11am-5pm


All photos are from the Share Exchange!

Custom Work: Great Experience or Not So Great

One of the things I didn’t show you in my post friday about recent work was the custom work I just did for my friend Jessie.  Jessie wanted some cute little dangley earrings.  Her style is more delicate and girly than mine, but it wasn’t anything too outrageously different than what I do.  So, she commissioned me to make earrings.  Conveniently, she was at my house and I got to make them in front of her, asking as I went, “How about this?”.

She had also purchased a vintage blouse from my Etsy shop, so instead of shipping her goods to her, she had my husband and me out for dinner on the glorious Northern California coast.  As a hostess gift, I sneaked in a making necklace.  Hehe!  I was super pleased.  She was super pleased.  Dinner was delicious and the company was better. I would happily do custom work for her again and have no problem doing it for a stranger.

Do you do custom work?  Have you approached an artist about custom work?  If you just want something a little different, green instead of blue, silver instead of brass, whatever, the artist will usually be happy to accommodate.  It never hurts to ask.  If you don’t do custom work, why not?

As a stained glass artist my mom Kathryn does custom work almost exclusively.  That’s the nature of that art.  You met with the clients, measure, plan, draw, and get approval before ever starting the window.  In ceramics, however, she’s had trouble with clients wanting custom work.  They see her art  work and like it.  They want something else, maybe a set of bowls, or mugs.  Usually something more practical than just a work of art.  I am now the happy owner of a butter dish a lady disappointed with for vague reasons after commissioning it.  Too brown?  Too swirly?  Not brown enough?  It’s mine now and it holds my butter wonderfully AND looks great in my orange kitchen.

One Thing Leads to Another: A Treasury

This treasury was made as a part of a game my Sonoma County Etsy team is playing.  The winner of the last round (the one who made the best treasury) made the beautiful bag I featured first.  Players use this bag as inspiration for their treasuries.  All of the work her is by artists in Sonoma County.  If you want to purchase something from me, and you are in Sonoma County, use the coupon code “SHOPLOCAL” for free shipping.  Support the local economy!

‘One Thing Leads to Another’ by MadameSaslowsCurio

With a beautiful black and white bag as a starting point, one thing lead to another. Black and white, to black and white with red, to red with lady, to well…. it all makes sense in my head. Can you connect the dots from purse to purse?

Art Deco Handbag – Bird…


Reversible Red Fleece S…


Dream Greeting Card Da …


Corrosion Femme Artisan…


Gray and Yellow Anthro …


Barrette a pink felt …


Circle Scarf – Turquois…


Mermaid Greeting Card O…


Spring sushi dish, fuse…


Vintage Rhinestone & Pe…


Akira Chicago Vintage S…


Pendleton Navajo pillow…


Dichroic glass earrings…


Ponytail tie party favo…


1980’s dr. pepper g…


Large Canvas Tote with …


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio

What’s your favorite item in this collection?