New Shop

In light of some of the sudden changes Etsy has been making, I’ve decided to branch out to other platforms. Right now, I’m getting started on BigCartel as an e-commerce link. There’s not much there at the moment, but I’ll be adding to it in the coming weeks, including some one of a kind pieces that I’d rather not put on Etsy.

Tell me what you think! (also… I got a new logo! More on that in another post. =D

We interrupt this blog…

We interrupt this blog…

For a small rant. I keep seeing articles like this fluff piece from the New York Times about Etsy’s new policies and in particular  this one fraudulent seller who is getting a lot of attention for supposedly making a million dollars a year hand knitting legwarmers. I’m pretty sure most people reading this blog understand that importing sweatshop-made goods by the shipping container and slapping a button on them isn’t really handmade, and why that’s a large problem when Etsy sellers who really do responsibly make their own goods are forced to compete with this sort of unscrupulousness.

However, one thing I keep seeing pop up as justification in almost every single one of these arguments is the whole “well you can’t really call YOUR legwarmers handmade either because you bought that yarn”. From the NYT article:

Nicole Burisch, a fellow with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and an expert on crafts, said separating the handmade from the manufactured would always be tricky. After all, she said, how handmade is a hand-knit sweater or clay pot?

Most of the goods for sale on Etsy were never strictly handmade, she said — “that is, unless you are digging your own clay, weaving your own cloth, raising your own sheep.”

Excuse me here, but seriously, what a load of utter and complete garbage.

I am so tired of these false arguments. Are you any less of a painter if you don’t grind your own pigment or weave your own canvas?

No, and no one would even begin to question it.

What people expect when they buy a painting from an artist is that the artist picked up a paintbrush and created that image themselves. Not that they imported 1000 screen prints from AliExpress, slapped a little gel medium on top and signed their name. When someone buys a pair of “handmade” leg warmers, they expect similar, which is that the seller picked up her needles and ball of yarn and turned them into the piece for sale. No one really expects that the knitter is raising their own sheep any more than they expect the painter to be pulverizing ore or pressing their own linseeds. 

So let’s just nip this false argument in the bud, shall we? I think we are all a little smarter than that.

Legendary Aphrodite

Legendary Aphrodite

For the 2015 SMITE tournament, Angie, who cosplayed the traditional Aphrodite last year, came to me and asked about making the Legendary version for her this year.

screenshots of this skin:

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Once again this stuff is so easy when your model basically looks like the character, but here are shots of the finished product:

10845574_883473071702821_6407513103110205963_o Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 6.47.09 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 6.47.31 PM

The wig she chose was extremely heavy so we made the crown oversized to help keep it forward. Also, the shoe detail was a lot of fun:

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“Fire Cider”

About 2 weeks ago I decided to start a batch of fire cider. There are recipes all over pinterest, but I just used what I had on hand… Organic Apple Cider vinegar, chopped garlic cloves, ginger gratings, lemon slices, jalapeño and cherry pepper slices, turmeric, and some rosemary. I didn’t have any onion or horseradish, which are often standard ingredients.  This stuff is great for boosting the immune system, or for knocking out a cold quickly. Some people take it every day, but I tend to just use it when I’m feeling run down.

fire cider

It still needs to ‘cook’ a little bit longer, but I wanted to remember how I made it for next time.

Interestingly, when searching for recipes, I discovered that someone trademarked the name? That seems weird anyone would be allowed to do that since it’s a generic term for a centuries old tonic.

More on that, here:


making a harness

making a harness

One of the great things about the new machines I got is once again being able to sew leather. (or in this case faux-leather) A friend had a vision for a “gunslinger” Cupid costume for an event in town and asked if I could design a harness top and gunbelt to go with it. Of course!

I modified the holsters slightly after this was taken, but here is a shot of it on the mannequin, then photos of her at the fitting. The shot above is by Dorn Brothers, taken after the event.

harness Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 10.49.00 PM

More Cosplay

More Cosplay

Two new cosplay pieces, both in the shop.

First, Assassin’s Creed inspired white faux leather capelet with a deep red satin lining. After looking up the images the client sent me, I have to say this game looks intense and I might have to play it. I love the scenery and costumes the various characters wear.


Next is a piece I actually made last fall, but just recently got sent client photos. She wanted to be the angel Castiel from Supernatural, except as a girl. So, I turned his iconic trench coat and blue tie into a short cape with a trench collar, and handpainted angel wings inside. She sent me these shots of her meeting the cast at a con. So fun!

Castiel  Castiel

Vintage sewing machines

Vintage sewing machines

A few weeks ago, I lucked into links for an auction of several vintage sewing machines and sergers. I won the auction for this 100 year old Singer powerhouse, which means that I can once again sew leather with ease.


My Husqvarna would sew leather, but since I use it approximately 40 hours a week already, I feel better about having an alternative for anything that might put added stress on it. I was also lucky enough to snag this Pegasus overlock from the 1960s. Finally! A working overlock. That’s been on my list ever since my former studio mate moved to Florida and took hers with her.


So say hello to my two newest friends!