We’ve had a lot going on this summer at Miss MorningWood. We bought a van, got rid of most everything we own and moved to the mountains. Sarah also got hit by a car while crossing the street and Ashley ended up in the ER on our first week here in Denver. We had an amazing adventure along the way that we can’t wait to share with you and we already have our next Lucky 13 artist ready to over-share. As for the werkshop, we are busy building a live/ work space with a built in “treehouse”, finally found some legit repurposed wood sources and have an art fest in October that we are prepping for. But we really miss this little blog and all of the connections we’ve made and we can’t wait to get back to it. Doing my wordpress homework and hoping to have some more appealing features when we return. We Wish You Were Here and will See You Soon!
What is it? A Hammer
How do I use it? Hammers can actually be really dangerous, trust me I hurt myself a lot! Let’s just trust the experts at WikiHow on this one
When do I use it? When can’t you use a hammer? Miss MorningWood uses it to pull nails out of lathe and to push our lathe pieces into place on our panels. We use it with a chisel to chip bark off logs and we use it with nails for…many things. You should absolutely use both “hammered” and “nailed” as verbs as often as possible. If you are a lesbian, you will certainly need to use a hammer once or twice in your life to impress a girl. We suggest splitting wood for a fire while sporting a red flannel (which should work for men trying to “nail” straight girls too.) Check out The Family HandyMan for a few other uses and the amazing Hammer Like a Girl blog for inspiration!
Last week Sarah designed her first wood panel in our new GingerPino WerkShop (aka our newly cleaned garage.) It happened to land right on our 2 year anniversary making it a perfect gift for one lucky Ginger. Swoon. I guess that’s why Sarah is the only magic man in my life. I must be a pretty good Ginger Muse too, because the magic kept on flowing this week with several gorgeous reclaimed lathe panels.
As soon as Sarah and I booked our tickets to Stage Coach, I went on the search for my perfect summer adventure necklace. That’s how I found Flux of Feathers, aka Arieana Michelle Grills, and her fiercely beautiful handcrafted jewelry. Her pieces are made of bones, feathers, claws, taxidermy and stones and like Sarah, she is committed to breathing new life into the broken and dead. You can check out the flux of feathers necklace I scored on our GingerPino Trippin page.
1.What are you working on at the moment? At the moment I am really trying to work on my social networking and media. Taking pictures of all the pieces that I make and getting them out there for the world to see. It doesn’t help that Im not that tech savvy but Im getting better! Im also currently working on two collections for different online shops and a handful of custom orders.
2.What drives you to do what you do? What drives me most is the excitement I see in customer’s faces when they find the right piece of jewelry thats unique just like them. Its a lot of fun to uncover that bit of shining handmade underground that most people don’t get a chance to see.
3.What is it like to be a woman in your line of work? Two major portions that make up my life are cooking and making jewelry. Being a women and a chef is a lot harder than you’d think. Ive been in positions where Ive had to work twice as hard as everyone else just to prove that I can cook with the big dogs when I was such a young girl. This gave me an extraordinary amount of confidence, once I was able to prove myself. Making jewelry is a bit easier in a sense but I really think I feel that way because Ive gained so much confidence working so hard in the kitchen industry. Making it in this world you really have to be 100% secure with yourself and what you’re putting out in the world.
4.Do you have any regrets?
As a young adult I had to choose between going to school for art or going to culinary school. I figured that if I went to culinary school Id at least never be a starving artist haha. Sometimes I do think about how my life would be if I chose to go to school for Jewelry design and Metal Smithing but then I realize I can use both outlets, I don’t have to choose just one. Working in kitchens full time and trying to start your own small business is very hard and Ive just recently made the switch to working 2 to 3 days and creating jewelry the rest of the week. I feel that Ive worked hard and deserve to excel in my dream of making jewelry
5.Do you have any scars?
Too many to count, Im quite the clumsy lady. Working in kitchens didn’t help my case much either. If you looked at my hands you could tell they’ve done a lot of hard work
6.What do you believe in?
I believe that people can be anything and do anything they want in life. Its just up to them to acquire the tools to build their dreams
7.What is your best dream?
Ive been wanting to move to Austin for a few years now. Ive only been there about 5 or 6 times but often dream about being out there. At the end of the year my boyfriend and I are making the move and I couldn’t be happier to see what a new city will have to offer for Flux Of Feathers
8.What could you not live without as an artist?
Music! Its such a huge part of my life. Punk Rock and Rock n Roll were my saviors as a confused little girl. The first place I felt I fit in. It opened up a whole new world for me as a kid and I don’t think Id be the person I am today if it wasn’t for music
9.What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Stance and Huff socks. I can’t get enough of them! Ive never been one to buy fancy pricey socks but after I got a pair as a gift I couldn’t help but buy all the pretty colors and patterns. Not to mention they’re made so well!
10.Who is your Woman Crush Wednesday?
Chelsea Wolfe. Newest music crush and she’s a total babe! I love the songs she does with her brother King Dude. She’s got such haunting voice and great lyrics
11.Which woman artist out there today would you love to shine the spotlight on?
My dear friend Alexz Sandoval of Bird Trouble. Ive always looked up to her for what she made out of her small business. She makes purses, clutches and bags from repurposed fabrics and also does a lot of custom work. Most of the work she does ends up being one of a kind and I absolutely love that. Recently she moved from Chicago to Mexico to further her dream and has been flourishing. Its wonderful to follow her blogs and Instagram and see all the fun and colorful things she gets into so I highly suggest you follow her too!
12.Where can we stalk you?
I post most often to Instagram @fluxofeathers
And you can find a video interview at http://www.RawArtists.org/Flux787
13.Anything else you’d like to (over)share?
If you’ve got a dream, follow it! Sometimes its so crazy to me that Ive made this small business out of absolutely nothing. Hard work does pay off if you have good intentions. My one and only intention with making jewelry is that I want to be able to give the dead and broken new life.
To fur or not to fur? For me, the question has the same answer as many other conscious consumer quandaries. Here is my checklist for feel good shopping:
1. Buy old: A great thrift find, a vintage steal or a refurbished master piece- it’s already made, it’s already taking up space in this ever shrinking world. The best shopping you can do is the kind that doesn’t create more excess in this consumer culture. Turning trash into treasure is an essential for our own art and what we look for in other art. When it comes to fur- yes, I actually think it is more ethical to buy an old fur (like this $40 mink steal from the Alameda Antique Fair) than to purchase a new vegan leather jacket. Other bonuses: it is often cheaper, nobody else has the same one and we all know rescuing a dog is better than breeding a dog
2. Buy human: There is just something undeniably beautiful about things made by hand. Maybe it is the minor flaws or the unique nature of each piece. The quality just doesn’t compare- things made by hand are durable enough to sustain wear and tear. (Hence, why buying old is another good guideline.) I love the actual connection in small shops and etsy stores that Target doesn’t offer. There is nothing better than meeting the person who made what you are buying- it also ensures you aren’t wearing something made by little hands or underpaid workers. Other bonuses: You can often make a connection to the artist that can lead to promotion of your own work, possible bartering and collaboration on future projects.
3. Buy Woman Made: First of all, we are lesbians- so we kind of have a crush on any woman who makes anything… But more importantly, there is a long and vibrant tradition of women making things (food, clothing, house goods, etc.) and having their art discarded as mere “craft.” These functional arts have made our daily lives more beautiful and have the ability to empower women to live life on their own terms. We have all heard that investing in a woman is often more beneficial to a community than investing in a man. They are more likely to reinvest in the community and more likely to teach someone else their craft. Other bonuses: We also know first hand how hard it is to break into a male dominated industry, like upcycled furniture. We are out there, fund us, support us, buy us (er, our goods.)
4. Buy Local: So much could be said about buying local. We live in a peak oil world, anything to cut back on the toll shipping takes on the environment is a worthy venture to us. In addition to the eco benefits, you get the same benefits of human made and women made. You are investing in your community and getting to make actual human connections. Other bonuses: buying local tends to come in the form of fun events like art walks, craft fairs, farmers markets and neighborhood exploration.
5. Love above all else: You can’t always help what (or who!) you love. I’m not going to lie, sometimes Target is the most practical, affordable place to find a good interview outfit or some cheap heart shaped shades that you know you will lose in a week. I believe if you practice the prior rules, they will begin to be organic choices that you make more often. And in the meantime, if you find a dope t-shirt made by a guy in Mexico- GET IT! We live in troubled times and sometimes piece of mind requires a little less self judgement. If you are being a conscious consumer most of the time, you are already making a big difference.