Headline »

Handmade Highlights: craft emergency via Feed the Fish Co.’s Crafterateur

May 24, 2015 – 1:20 pm | 62 views
I absolutely love small tins and seeing as how I have a bit of an Altoids addiction, I always save those tins knowing I’ll come up with a use for them some day. Erin Garcia of Feed the Fish Co is quite the inspiration, her Crafterateur blog being no exception to the latter as she recaps fun DIY events and shares her adventures in the handmade world. What crafty person
Read the full story »
Artist Profiles

meet the talented makers behind all the handmade goodness you see on our shelves

Gift Guides

find that perfect gift by browsing staff picks for all your gifting occasions

Shop News & Events

keep up to date with all the latest and greatest events, promotions and special sales

Handmade Highlights

dive deeper into the world of handmade--from artists in action, to projects to try yourself

MM in the News

share our excitement in seeing our name in the news and in blogs around the web

Handmade Highlights, Store News »

Handmade Highlights: The End and The Beginning of Day of the Artist via Linda Cleary

April 13, 2015 – 6:42 pm | 163 views

We featured an Interview with Linda Cleary in an issue of Handmade Highlights during April of 2014, only a few months into her Day of the Artist project. This recap of her year came out on the 1st of this year and I’ve been saving it for a “rainy day” of sorts (its not raining, just really windy!), but more than that, I suppose I’ve just been waiting for the “right time.” This amazing project of Linda’s was inspiring for me and so many others, so it is deserving of that specially-timed posting, hehe. Its always great to see so many different mediums coming out of one person, Linda being the founder of Ghoulie Girls (those cutely fuzzy monster accessories!), a brilliant musician (Scared Girl) and this painter you see below with colorful feet. :) 

Travel onwards through text for an awesome look into Linda’s mind, ending the Day of the Artist project and beginning the next phase of planning a show to house 365 paintings~

The End AND The Beginning!

Jackson Pollock Day!Jackson Pollock Day!

First of all, I woke up this morning thinking, “Well, better get to painting!” then I remembered that I was done, finished, complete and I had zero paintings left to do with this particular challenge.  I felt a rush of relief, then sadness and then confusion.  This project had infused itself into my life and I’m pretty sure there are elements of it that I will never rid myself of.

I learned so much this past year.  Yes, I learned technical aspects of art, TONS of art history, was introduced to new materials, styles and movements.  I’ve painted paintings I would’ve never thought of or wanted to paint (I said YES!).  I’ve painted some of my best work and some of my not so great work.  I accepted failure graciously and also moved on instead of lingering on that failure.

One of the biggest things I realized was how much I enjoy just the process of “doing”.  This challenge forced me to just “do” and not worry about the result.  And boy wouldn’t it be great to live the rest of my life like that?  Live for just now and not worry about the past or present.  Well, this project was an exercise in that for sure.  I had gotten the question, “How are you doing this?” from so many people and the only answer I could give was, “I just do it.”

This project started out as a personal challenge.  I never imagined how many people it would inspire and

Early on the the project...seems like yesterday!Early on the the project…seems like yesterday!

affect.  I am so glad it did and I am so happy I decided to share it, declare it to all my friends.  I think that in doing so it gave me the motivation and a slight amount of pressure to make sure I did it every single day.

I also made new friends through this challenge.  People who followed and commented on my blog, relatives of some of the artists that I paid tribute to (writing me to tell me that they appreciated my tribute to their grandfather, uncles, grandmothers etc.) and even some artists themselves like Gerard Sendrey, Pierre Silvin, Sophie Orlicki, Anne Billon (Ruzena), John “CRASH” Matos and Matt Sesow.  Gerard Sendrey writes me regularly and we have become friends.  He and his son Pierre Silvin have both sent me their own personal artwork in thanks to my tribute.  Gerard has also written an article about my project/art in a French publication that will be published in a few days!  I was also interviewed by Scott Lefebvre who is a writer and maintains his own blog where he interviews interesting people.

So like I said, so much has come from this idea that I had for this insane project.

That one time (and the last time) I painted with my mouth...That one time (and the last time) I painted with my mouth…

I am going to continue to paint (of course!) and I have many ideas for series of paintings.  I’ll be putting all this experience into larger pieces and I’m going to continue to promote my own art and live my life in the mind frame that I’ve adopted while engaging in this challenge.  My experience has grown and so have I as a person.

I hope I don’t sound too bold when I say that I am damned proud of myself but I also cannot believe that I actually did it.  I hope that this project has inspired you and that people keep on discovering it and it continues to inspire people to challenge themselves, enjoy the process of creating and just “do”.

Keep creating, start creating in whatever shape, form, sound or action you feel.  Don’t worry about people liking it, it being a masterpiece or making money.  Do it because it makes you happy and you are learning something from it.

I want to end this blog with some kind words I received (or people posted about my project).

My friend Rohan had this to say…(He expressed my project in a way that I couldn’t have…and of course it made me cry)

I’m not one to promote other people’s stuff too often on Facebook, but today I would like to profess my sincere admiration for Linda Cleary. When I first met her, now 8 or so years ago I was immediately

Buried in artBuried in art

impressed by her unashamed, unpretentious, and very hard-working creativity. She has always been writing books, painting pictures, making music and acting the whole time I have known her, and unlike so many other folks I know, almost every project is followed through and finished. Those who know me personally will be aware how prolific (and unedited) I am, but Linda puts me to shame. Last year, on Jan 1st, she embarked on a massive, and deeply un-egotistical project – to paint a painting per day, for a year, each one a sincere homage, either stylistically, emotionally, or conceptually, to an artist she admires, some famous, some personal friends, some just worthy of her admiration; a different artist each day for a year. Believe me, having watched the project progress, this is not an exercise in “look what I can do” so much as a genuine pilgrimage through the styles and visions she admires and have influenced her along the way. As the project progressed her blog began

Last day!Last day!

to attract interest, and in some cases, artists she had paid homage to to got personally in touch to express appreciation (and send her pressies). All of this with no intention of making money or becoming famous. Just because that is one of many things that art is about. Yesterday she posted her final, 365th painting of the series. So today I applaud Linda Cleary, and recommend you go and take a look at her Day of the Artist.

My friend Clay posted this:

Today is the last day of my very good friend Linda Cleary’s incredible project. She has created a painting every day, each honoring a different artist, for the past year. When she first told me of her plans to do it, I didn’t believe there was any way a person could be so committed to pull that off. Today however, will be her 365th installment in the series. I highly encourage you to check out some of the work on her facebook page and at dayoftheartist.com, where she also includes a short bio of each artist for each day. I’m so incredibly proud of her and she inspires me so much every day. I’m also crazy excited to say that I will be partnering with her for next year’s project. More info on that soon, but wish us luck. In the meantime, check out her stuff and tell her how awesome / insane she is pulling this whole thing off.

I am honored and humbled for those posts!  SO many of you have written me, commented and told me in person how inspiring this project was to you and every word means so much.  Thank you to you all for your support, encouragement and inspiration.  I love you all!

Whew!  This is just a portion of the paintings...there's about 50 hanging and a whole other stack of the 3-D paintings that can't stack. Whew! This is just a portion of the paintings…there’s about 50 hanging and a whole other stack of the 3-D paintings that can’t stack.

P.S.  I could keep writing and writing about every single thing I learned from this project, but I’m saving that for my doctoral thesis.  Does that even make sense?  Sorry, I don’t have a Ph. D. ;);)



The End AND The Beginning! | Day of the Artist.

Artist Profile: Hearts and All

April 5, 2015 – 3:07 pm | 197 views

Remember when stick figures were the big thing when you were young? Well, they’ve stuck around through the years and found themselves in the hands of Mitchell Joe of Hearts and All! Inspired by life experiences, his stick figure art is sure to charm the butt off of you, possibly leaving you giggling and smiling. Hey, sometimes the best things are the simplest, right? :] Hearts and All art is …

Handmade Highlights: Things I Have Learned in 40 Years via Outlaw Soaps

March 29, 2015 – 3:20 pm | 175 views

Outlaw Soaps’ Danielle & Russ are the definition of an awesome power couple. Everything about their brand is simply amazing, rad and…well, awesome! The specific awesomeness I’m referring to though isn’t just their brilliantly crafted soaps (lip balms, lotions, etc), its the realness that they let loose in their business. There are some folks that are completely different people when they’re not behind their business name, but Outlaw Soaps seems

Artist Profile: Panic in Polkadots

March 22, 2015 – 1:41 pm | 249 views

Do you have a big sweet tooth? We sure do, a big sweet tooth for Alameda-based Katie McKinnon’s adorable plush treats! Taking the island and beyond by storm comes Panic in Polkadots, bringing with her a brilliant eye for vintage fabrics and a very official degree in Awesome, making her a connoisseur of cute to the sugary sweet-craving masses.  Her hand-sewn buddies come in all colors, shapes and sizes, …

Handmade Highlights: DIY Tree Ring Aisle Marker Craft via Foreignspell

March 15, 2015 – 6:16 pm | 217 views

Artist Profile: Deborah Sullivan Art

March 8, 2015 – 3:13 pm | 213 views

Straight out of our island of Alameda, Deborah Sullivan heats up the Winter with her lovely glass housewares! Each set of coasters has a design to tie the set together, but is in a range of colors. This is great for telling apart whose beverage is whose, which can be a serious issue in some households, hehe. Recently added to her beautiful collection are matching glass dishes to the Bee …

Saint Patrick’s Day Gift Guide!

March 2, 2015 – 6:17 pm | 297 views

Here in the States when you mention Saint Patrick’s Day, the majority of folks will immediately associate the holiday with the colors of the Irish flag: green, white and orange! In addition to that, most of us will celebrate by going out with friends and family for food and drinks or staying in for a green party. Traditionally, St. Paddy’s is a day of spiritual renewal for the sake of …

Handmade Highlights: 2014 Year in Review by Kuro-Same Arts

February 23, 2015 – 12:45 pm | 279 views

Still thinking about 2014? I don’t blame you. I think it is pretty natural to compare a lot of the new year’s happenings to the previous year, hence why Kuro-Same enjoys recapping the year’s activities to push forward towards the new year. Out with the old and in with the new, but with a thorough retrospective that helps us learn. 2014 was a big year for a lot of folks

Artist Profile: Yes & Yes Designs

February 7, 2015 – 6:59 pm | 292 views

Re-purposing old objects are a great way to reduce, reuse and combine the new with the old. Yes & Yes Designs uses new technology (laser cutting) and old unwanted books to create unique and colorful accessories that are truly one of a kind. Laura Bruland Shields, founder of Yes & Yes, is based right out of Oakland. Sometimes our artists’ businesses change so much, that they need to revamp their …

Handmade Highlights: Jody Cedzidlo Interviewed by Bett Wilson Foley of Chatham Arts Council

February 1, 2015 – 2:22 pm | 309 views

[Although she's all the way on the other side of the States, Jody is one of those artists we just have way too much fun interacting with via emails. The fact that she's in North Carolina and we're in California doesn't seem to make a difference, her amazingly fun attitude translates through text very well. Reading up on this article by Bett Foley of the Chatham Arts Council in NC