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The New Orleans Craft Mafia Gets Great Press!

As most of you know, I am a member and founder of the New Orleans Craft Mafia, a collective of crafty gals (and currently one lone guy) here in New Orleans who have banded together to support each other in our individual businesses but also work together to outreach to the community about our crafty ways and the virtues of craftacular recycling and all things handmade.

I mentioned a little while back that we're about to celebrate four years of being together (we started in June 2005, right before Katrina), and are joining forces with two of our friends in the local indie biz community, Antigravity Magazine (celebrating 5 years) and Twisted Hair Salon (celebrating 7 years), to throw the Triple Threat Birthday Bash this Thursday from 6-10pm at Twisted (4824 Prytania). There will be free food from Louisiana Pizza Kitchen (Uptown), birthday cake and mini cupcakes by PopKitty, a keg of beer from NOLA Brewing Co (we love them!), dj facialhair in the house (Leo from Antigravity), and a fashion show with models sporting Craft Mafia wares and Twisted hair styles. It's gonna be a blast!

Well ever since our appearance in the eco-village at the Bayou Boogaloo over Memorial Day weekend (members Heather MacFarlane, Mallory Whitfield, and Kerry Fitts staffed a demo tent where they showed Boogaloo-ers how to recycled their old - or even sometimes brand new! - t-shirts into new exciting creations), we've had an onslaught of positive press... and many requests to do t-shirt demos!

The article that started it off was featured on's fashion blog, written by fashion editor Susan Langenhennig. They got such an amazing response from that article, Susan told me, that the Times-Picayune decided to run it in print a few days later, gaining an even wider audience.

Well after that, we got a request to appear on ABC26's Good Morning New Orleans show, the broadcast of which just happened this morning at 6am, actually. Here's a screen shot I took while watching members Mallory Whitfield and Rachelle Matherne interact with show host Cyndi Nguyen. (Kerry Fitts appeared in the first segment, a t-shirt recycling demo, of which I did not manage to take any photos.) Both segments can now be viewed online on their website, here and here.

In the mean time, we'd been contacted by the Handmade News, an online site/blog associated with the new handmade marketplace They did individual interviews with each of our members and also interviewed me about the NOCM as a whole. The first of the "Featured Artisan" pieces went up late yesterday and features me, art by mags! Others with all the rest of our members will follow this week. The "Main Feature" on the NOCM will also remain up all week long, as Handmade News celebrates Mafia Month.

The Boogaloo demo tent apparently also got us noticed in the Consciously Rebuilding blog as well. Check out this cool blog about a new eco-conscious effort in New Orleans.

And, after the initial piece about us at the Boogaloo, fashion editor Susan Langenhennig asked to interview more of us in the NOCM about the group and has now published a larger piece on and in the Times-Picayune about the indie craft movement across the country and its impact here in New Orleans, using the NOCM as an example. It's a great article, and we really appreciate the support Susan has given us.

Come see what all the fuss is about on Thursday!

Upcoming Obama Art Books!

I've been meaning to mention for a while but since there hadn't been any official press releases yet about them, I was waiting to do so... but then I ran across this brief article in The Atlantic. So I guess maybe now the cat is out of the bag and I just missed the press releases!

Anyways, it appears there will be an onslaught of art books released in the coming months dealing with the Obama art movement. I personally have been queried by three such books, and have signed releases for all three, so I am assuming my "Obama 'Believe'" stencils, spoke cards, stickers, tshirts, and/or canvases will be included - though I have no way of actually knowing until I see the books themselves. But I am being led to believe my work will be included.

The first one is being published by Shepard Fairey himself and one of the organizers of the Manifest Hope shows. As mentioned in the above Atlantic article, it is entitled Art For Obama: Designing The Campaign For Change, will be released in October, and is apparently already available for pre-order via! The original title had the words "Manifest Hope" in it, so my understanding is that it will largely include the artists who took part in the two Manifest Hope shows in Denver and Washington D.C. I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of this one; I can't believe I'm going to be in a coffee table art book alongside artists like Shepard Fairey and Ron English!

The second book mentioned is entitled Hope: A Collection Of Obama Posters And Prints, and is being put together by Kansas City Art Institute professor Hal Elliott Wert. Wert apparently did a traveling exhibit of Obama art (I had no idea!) in partnership with the Mid-America Arts Alliance, and I know he bought a stencil print from me early in my process. So I'm assuming I was in that exhibition, and he did contact me for permission to reproduce the print in the book. It is also available already for pre-order on, is being released in October, and will be a hardcover.

The third one I have the least info on, but I was contacted about several months back. Entitled Designing Obama: Art Inspired By The Campaign For Change, it is being put together by Scott Thomas, who was the Design Director of New Media at Obama for America. All I know at this point is from a response to my email query in which Scott says, "We are in the editing/production phase with hope to release the book mid-summer." He also mentioned that they are not using traditional publishing methods, but did not elaborate, so I'm not really sure what that means. I guess we'll see! I'm still extremely flattered to have been asked to participate, and I look forward to the final result.

And while I'm on the topic of my Obama art... I recently discovered that my stencil was included in yet another international publication, The Art Newspaper, back in December. I was informed about it by several people, but couldn't track down a copy until just a few weeks ago when the buyer of my last Obama "Believe" canvas (the red one that was up in the SEIU gallery in D.C. during the inauguration) was kind enough to scan it in and send it to me. Thanks Ricardo!

And just so's ya know, I know by now the Obama fever has dissipated, but in case you are still a fervent supporter and never managed to get one of my Obama "Believe" t-shirts, I still have a bunch for sale in my Etsy shop for only $15 plus s/h. With only a few left, they are definitely a collector's item now!

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