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Holiday Calendar of Events

Though it's not quite November yet, artists and crafters like me who work the festival/market circuit have to have their entire holiday vending schedule mapped out by now. Applications need to have been sent in, fees need to have been paid. Mine is mostly solidified now, though there could be some last-minute additions in December - things always seem to pop up. But for now, here's where you can find me and/or my wares between now and Christmas:

Freret Market
Saturday, November 7, 12pm - 5pm
Freret Street near Napoleon Avenue (Uptown)

Handmade Nation screening + New Orleans Craft Mafia market
Wednesday, November 18, 6pm - 10pm (film screens at 8pm)
1638 Clio Street (near Lee Circle)

Elysian Fleas
Saturday, November 21, 11am - 5pm (Marigny)
527 Elysian Fields Ave between Chartres and Decatur (look for the sign!)

Unofficial Po-Boy Fest market
Sunday, November 22, 11am - 5pm
1226 Dante Street (two houses off Oak Street, Uptown)

Craftland Show
Opening Party: December 4th, 5pm - 9pm
Open daily: December 4 - 31, 10am - 6pm (til 8pm Thursdays/Saturdays)
235 Westminster St | Providence, Rhode Island

Freret Market
Saturday, December 5, 12pm - 5pm
Freret Street near Napoleon Avenue (Uptown)

Bacchanal Wine Holiday Market
Sunday, December 6, 1pm - 5pm
600 Poland Avenue (Bywater)

Saturday, December 12, 12pm - 5pm
Freret Street near Napoleon Avenue (Uptown)

Miss Malaprop's Handcrafted Holiday Home Shopping Party
Sunday, December 13, 6pm - 10pm
email me if you'd like to be invited

A New Orleans Craft Mafia event
Thursday, December 17, 6pm - 10pm
1638 Clio Street (free parking at Fleet Tire across the street)

Elysian Fleas
Saturday, December 19, 11am - 5pm (Marigny)
527 Elysian Fields Ave between Chartres and Decatur (look for the sign!)

And The Chaos Continues...

October was a very active month, market-wise and otherwise. I don't have as many market appearances planned for November, but I will still be crazy busy, largely because I'll be taking a week out of the hectic early holiday shopping time to go on a cruise!

As many of you know, in my other work life, I am the Music Reviews Editor for Curve Magazine, a position I have held for five years now. (I've been writing professionally since the early 1990s, including lengthy stints at Girlfriends Magazine and The Advocate, as well.) Occasionally, I do other kinds of assignments beyond CD reviews, including music/celebrity interviews and features of all kinds. Heck, two years ago, I even did a crafty DIY tutorial on how to make a recycled CD holiday ornament via stencilling.

So now I've been tapped to cover the inaugural cruise from new lesbian travel company Sweet. You've probably heard of Olivia Cruises for lesbians; Sweet is a new entry in the lesbian travel market, but an interesting one, due to their attention to ecological issues and voluntourism. They also do a really brilliant payment plan, to make taking such a vacation more affordable. And in addition to cruises, they also have planned a Kenyan Safari, a Salmon River Rafting Adventure in Idaho, and Cozumel Palace Resort week.

The cruise Fae and I are going on leaves in 13 days, on November 8th. I've known about it for a few months, but it's just now sinking in that we're really going. Neither of us has ever been on a cruise before, so there's been a learning curve to figuring out how it all works, booking our excursions, figuring out what to pack, etc. Lots of research and reading up has been going on, with more to come, since I'm actually covering it for the magazine. I'll be writing a combination travelog of our week and a profile of the company, based on our first-hand experience. So it's kind of a big deal.

Meanwhile, amidst all this pre-cruise frenzy, I've been stocking up on inventory and trying to start getting together my box of stuff to ship off to Craftland. I've been making, photographing, and posting to Etsy lots of my new bamboo-cotton jersey scarves (like the one pictured to the left). And hopefully soon I'll have a retail outlet in the French Quarter that I can send folks to in order to find some of my recycled LP clocks! And, simultaneously, the holiday custom orders are starting to come in. I'm a little frazzled.

As for my November schedule, the next market I'll be appearing at will be the Freret Market on the 7th of November, right before I leave on the cruise. I'll be on the high seas for a week, and when I return, I'll be at the New Orleans Craft Mafia's encore presentation of the indie craft documentary Handmade Nation, Wednesday, Nov. 18th at the Big Top. More info on that coming soon. Elysian Fleas on the 21st and an unofficial Po-Boy Fest appearance on the 22nd round out my work month before I take off to enjoy Thanksgiving weekend.

So yeah. I guess Holiday Shopping Season 2009 is ON. No sleep til after New Year's!

Miss Malaprop's Handcrafted Home Shopping Party

Just a quickie for the locals:

I know many of you come see me pretty regularly out at the markets and are familiar with what I make/sell, and you know the wares of many of my crafty friends, but this is an event not to miss. My friend Mallory, aka Miss Malaprop, is having a crafty home shopping party tomorrow night (Wednesday, 7pm-9pm) and I'm gonna be there, along with a smorgasbord of local crafty folks. Think of it as a Tupperware party except crafts, and in a more intimate setting than a market, with light snacks and alcoholic beverages.

Mallory herself has started selling a smattering of other folks' eclectic crafty wares from across the country, in addition to her own awesome re/de-constructed fashion (which I'm happy to see her getting back to). She hopes to one day soon open a shop, and this is the beginning phase of that. So trust me, it won't just be the same old stuff. Also, most of the locals are stepping it up right about now, heading into gift-buying season, so there will be lots of new and interesting items.

Mallory lives in Midcity not far from my house, so if you're interested, leave me a comment with your email if I don't have it or just email me and I'll give you the address. I think it will be fun and a good way to start getting ideas for your holiday shopping needs.

Also, it's early in the evening, so even if you are planning to head to the Mangos With Chili event later, consider this the pre-party. Fun, casual, low key shopping and hanging out with crazy creative types. And me!

You can read all about the event here on the Miss Malaprop Newsletter.

Hope to see you there!

Cufflinks Galore!

If you've been in my booth out at a market anytime in the past several years, then you know that I almost always have a small display on my table with an assortment of funky recycled/found object cufflinks. The display, pictured to the right, is an old Monopoly game board, cut in half, stencilled, and drilled full of many holes in which to poke all the cufflinks for display. It's the perfect color and was the perfect use of an old Monopoly board.

Well I've finally gotten around to making a whole bunch more cufflinks, and was able to fill up all the empty slots on the board left blank by recent sales. And I have many more that don't fit on the display; I guess it's time to find another board game board that I can drill holes into! (But I'll have to buy a new drill, first, because my old one seems to have crapped out on me.)

Among the new batch of cufflinks are many sets of different colored dice (always a hit), some salvaged laptop keys (stripped from one of my own laptops that bit the dust years ago), many random game pieces given to me by my friend Nita (from miscellaneous pawns to Monopoly tokens to Scrabble tiles to Bingo numbers), and a new idea - recycled spray paint can nozzles, complete with the drippy paint (in various colors) that sprayed out of them! (Goodness knows I've got a million dead cans waiting in the shed for a good idea of how to recycle them, too! Let me know if you've got any ideas!)

All my cufflinks are bonded together by heavy-duty epoxy. My standard disclaimer is: They will hold up to normal usage, but it is just epoxy - don't use all your might to try to pull them apart because you might just succeed. It's not like metal that's fused together. But the epoxy is meant for jewelry making, and so does hold up over time and under normal wear and tear. I've never had any complaints, and I've been making these for at least 3-4 years.

Each set of cufflinks are $15 if you buy them from me in person at a market or other event. I will eventually get many of them up for sale in my Etsy shop, but I think I'll wait until Monday to post the new ones, until after the Elysian Fleas market on Sunday, in case I sell a bunch. But if you see anything in the photo that you simply must have, please email me right away. I can put them aside for you, if you'd like to pick them up, or I can invoice you via Paypal and ship them to you if you live elsewhere or can't get by to pick them up. I generally charge $5 for s/h and ship 1st class with these; the extra dollar or two helps cover the cost of all the bubblewrap and tape I go through packaging and mailing them out.

I should be receiving in the next few days a new shipment of clock parts and also a bunch more fabric from which to cut more scarves. Stocking up for the holidays, y'all. Stay tuned!

New Market: Elysian Fleas

My next market will be on Sunday, October 11th, which of course also happens to be National Coming Out Day. I no longer make a big deal of Coming Out Day myself, because pretty much everyone in my life knows that I'm queer - and has for a long time - but it's still important for many people and in general, and bears mentioning. It does seem appropriate that I will be out hawking my wares on this day, being my queer self in one of the queerest neighborhoods of town.

But I digress... The market I will be doing is a new market, called Elysian Fleas. The brainchild of the ever-industrious Flea Queen herself, Cree McCree, it is aiming to be an upscale flea/art/craft market with old-world flair. This debut market is a bit Halloween themed, as many of the vendors will have costumes and upcycled, refashioned and vintage pieces, but there will also be local art, handmade craft, and various flea goods for sale as well, along with a mix of food, beverage, and live music.

Cree can tell you better about it than I can, so I will let her press release do the talking, pasted below. It is a bye week for the Saints, so you have nothing to lose by leaving your TV and coming out to investigate what might just turn out to be the new hit outdoor market of the holiday shopping season! Hope to see you there!

Elysian Fleas Brings Magic (& a Magician) to New Marigny Market

October 11 debut spotlights creative Halloweenery, Oktoberfest oom-pah-pahs, a sleight-of-mind street magician, string troubadours and plenty of fab vintage bargains & art

Great news, vintage mavens and NOLA arts appreciators! A new outdoor market with old world charm is opening in the heart of Faubourg Marigny, where Elysian Fleas offers a spicy New Orleans mix of vintage merch, upcycled fashions, fine jewelry, arts and crafts; delicious food and drink; and outrageous live entertainment.

Presented by Artist Inc, and sponsored by Old New Orleans Rum, Abita Beer and the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association, Elysian Fleas launches October 11 in the shady, tree-lined courtyard next to Michalopoulos Studio at 527 Elysian Fields on the corner of Chartres St. Hours are 11 am to 5 pm.

Miss Claudia and her Biergartners roll out the barrel to celebrate Oktoberfest at the debut market, which also features the sleight-of-mind illusions of street magician Mark Faulkner and the old-timey string music of wandering troubadours The Picklers.

With Halloween on the horizon, seasonal spirits will also be out in force. Shoppers can play dress-up with one-of-a-kind costumes, masks and headdresses from High Bohemia, Howlpop, Avant Garbe, New Orleans Masks, Ann Marie Popko and other fashionistas, including Cree-ations' 2009 line of Vampire Cocktail Couture.

Organized by flea queen Cree McCree, author of Flea Market America, Elysian Fleas features vendors selling everything from used & rare books, antique furniture and retrochic clothes to second line umbrellas, urban folk art and handmade soaps.

Shoppers can get their nosh on with sweet & spicy pecans, homemade ice cream and Beaucoup NOLA snowballs; sip handpressed Cane Elysée sugar cane juice spiked with Old New Orleans Rum; and chase Woody's famous fish tacos with a cold Abita beer. Also on the menu: Moroccan cuisine, Crepes a la Carte and spicy XXX Catering.

"I'm really excited to have all these terrific creative people, vintage vendors and outdoor chefs in the same spot," says McCree, whose local career dates back to the legendary Mermaid Flea Market. "We couldn't ask for a better location, which allows us to draw in tourists as well as locals. And the funky mix of merch is perfect for the Marigny."

So is the funky mix of live entertainment.

"The old world European village flea markets are the inspiration behind Elysian Fleas," says Artist Inc.'s Reese Johanson, who runs the Salon and Un Route cabaret at the Blue Nile. "Merchants and buvette (food and drink area), yes of course, but it wouldn’t be complete without the colorful troubadours rolling through to entertain the villagers."

Elysian Fleas continues with holiday markets on November 21 and December 19. Hours are 11 am to 5 pm.

For more information, and to inquire about vending, contact

New Product: Bamboo Cotton Jersey Scarves

At the urging of my lovely girlfriend, Fae, I'm trying out something new. I've been silkscreening t-shirts for years now (and before that, stencilling them with spray paint), but I haven't branched out much to other apparel or accessories, aside from the occasional thrift store oddity or vintage wear.

At her prompting, I'm trying out the idea of printing some of my designs on these sweet, lightweight bamboo/cotton (70/30%) jersey scarves. (Fae is modeling one in the picture on the right.) These prototypes measure 58" x 18", have rough edges which curl gently, and the material is soft, soft, soft, just like your favorite t-shirt. The designs are printed with eco-friendly water-based inks, which seep into the fabric instead of resting heavily on top of the fabric, keeping the softness of it intact. For this test batch, the price will be $16.

The one Fae is wearing in the pic is bright red with one of my "NOLA Heart" prints in black, on the corner. Doesn't it look cute? I'll be printing up a few more today, on red, orange and black material, which I will bring with me to the Freret Market on Saturday to see how they do. If the response is positive, then perhaps I will order some more material and print up a bunch for the holidays, as I think these will make for great little gifties and be yet another vehicle for my designs for those who aren't really into t-shirts.

So what do you think? Which of my designs do you think would look cute on these?

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