Monday, January 8, 2018

New Years: Leather Earrings and my Inner Spider

One of my new years resolutions is to create more, and hopefully in creating more, I'll also blog more. I spent a lot of time last year working on keeping my vintage space in Found on Fremont well stocked. My space partner and I have a pretty distinct style in how we merchandise, and after next month - it will have been 2 years together in our space! Hard to believe so much time has passed. I'm planning to focus more on my creativity this year, since it's always been my favorite form of self care.

Post Christmas display - retro blues/groovy oranges
One of the constantly restocked handmade items that I routinely sell at Found are my leather earrings. After the Christmas rush, I was pleasantly surprised to find out almost half of my sales were entirely from my handmade jewelry! Recycled leather earrings in simple, rustic and leafy designs seem to be quite popular and it amazes me that I've been working with same leather scraps/colors for over 5 years now.

Along with making more jewelry lately, I've started weaving again. I learned to weave when I was 9 years old and I was at one time the youngest member of the Portland Handweaver's Guild. It's something I've been considering joining again if only I wasn't so bitter about the trendiness of weaving these days... (Yes, over/under on a frame loom is technically "weaving" - but it's also the same technique I taught kindergarteners and there are MANY weaving methods/looms in existence). I taught weaving for about 7 years to children at an elementary school, which always kept me weaving in my spare time. During college, I started weaving less and less, mostly because it is incredibly time consuming. My inner spider (nature's weaver) has been motivated to weave again, particularly while Netflix binging. :) It's only January and I've already finished two new pieces!


Outside of my crafting endeavors, my job takes a lot of my time. Between the commute, meetings, post work networking events, and studying for licensure exams - the weekends never seem to be long enough! Crafting and my vintage resale hobby definitely make for a good way to decompress after long weeks.
Old things and wastewater engineering. Sometimes my job is perfectly in tune to my interests.
Portland's 1920's Ankeny Pump Station. I'm looking forward to managing the ventilation upgrade soon.

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Year Passed and Seasons were 'Found'

Not going to apologize for almost a year of not blogging...

During this lapse of internet presence, I have been to San Fran to visit the Keane museum (eventually I'll post about this fabulous place and all that it means to me), traveled to England/Ireland/Scotland, am officially an Engineer-in-Training, been promoted to a Construction Manager, and have actively engaged in an alternative institution, called the Flying University, with some amazing colleagues of mine.

Crafting landmarks have included - teaching myself to use my sewing machine, completing two cosplays (Catwoman / Alana from Saga), purchasing my first dress form, and falling back in love with making jewelry! I have a lot to learn with sewing and I'm hoping to break out some vintage patterns soon, but I am so excited to have a new craft.

All the while, I've been running a small vintage business with my fellow vending partner - Blind Cat Vintage. Lots of etsy listings, long weekends thrifting, and constant redecorating has left our space looking pretty snazzy through the seasons. Thought I'd share our booth's seasons at 'Found on Fremont'... Check us out on instagram: @blindcatvintage

Halloween is our thing - this display was out at the beginning of September and lasted until nearly Thanksgiving. Creepy clown dolls, kitschy halloween books, and jack-o-lantern anything is super fun to shop for. This display would have been better if I hadn't hoarded the goods to decorate my own house.

Thanksgiving, or Turkey Day - We agreed 70's power colors and any bird seemed festive enough for this holiday. 

I've been told our space looks like Christmas "threw up" on it, but I like to take that as an endearing compliment. For two grinches, my space partner and I, really went all out for Christmas. Shop local this season!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I missed Christmas too

Yep, I'm blogging about Christmas in January, because December flew by and I never took the time to share anything here... But, I have to post about the holidays because we had a cute Christmas display at Found on Fremont and I had my first Christmas in my house - where I discovered I LOVE shopping for ornaments. 
Evidence of Christmas display at Found On Fremont - featuring tinsel tree, matador, and Santa mice :D 
Evidence of my first Christmas tree. Not shown are the approx. 20 more ornaments I managed to cram on this mini tree. Next year's tree will be BIGGER.

For the new year, my vending partner and I revamped the space a tad. I got rid of a ton of items to make room for the new wave of vintage finds and I'll be posting new items on etsy soon. Not a lot of updates on the crafting front... jewelry has been made and looms have been warped (but, pictures have not been taken, so alas - you see nothing).

Post Christmas display - Thinkin' pink

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Year Round Halloween

Somehow I missed blogging all through October, which is my favorite month because I can be shamelessly festive in spooky decor without people asking why. Since I missed October, I'm just going to post one picture of the display my vending partner and I had for Halloween. I was so stoked to know I had met another "Hallow-queen" to work with :) We've only met in person once to put our space together and yet somehow our items mesh together soooo well. Decorating via text? Yep, it works. We're definitely kindred shoppers! 
Not pictured - spider webs / skeletons draped over everything. Also, best item featured is that "Don't Drown Yourself in Funeral Expenses" book. More evidence that vintage books are AMAZING.

I haven't been crafting as much as I want, but I have been on the hunt for the shop! Christmas prepping flea market finds from last week made for a great haul picture! I have to say it's not as much fun to shop for as Halloween, but I'm really digging vintage Crackerbox ornaments - handmade with about a hundred pins/sequence to create orb like kitsch treasures. 

Yep, that's Abby Cadabby - couldn't resist that. 
The most recent little collection of brass tones I grouped together in the shop, discretely featuring my bug jewelry. Really enjoying grouping like colors in the space lately. :)


I don't have much to show for the lack of posts. I have been super busy planning trips, working and studying. I decided to slowly go back to school (to start a graduate program in engineering) while working full time still and it's been quite the time suck. I did manage to create a separate etsy shop for my vintage finds. I now have two etsy shops - one for handmade and one vintage (both featured in the sidebar of the blog). It's been slow start because etsy is so over saturated these days, but it's nice to rotate my back stock for the space and post a few things on etsy too. 



Going to finish this post with Ludwig and the $5 landscape that will eventually feature a ridiculous word/font in homage to Wayne White's artwork. Until then, it's this little cat's favorite backdrop. 



Saturday, September 3, 2016

It's almost OCTOBER

Sweater and boot weather is nearly upon us. Also, Halloween and fall festivities. I'll finally have a reason to blog because fall is for craftiness!

I don't have too much to post because I've been spending a lot of time thrifting and finding cool old stuff for my space at Found on Fremont. All summer has been the time for estate, garage, and yard sales, which makes great pickings for Found (and a lot of house decor for my aspiring mid century modern house). The space is so packed now that both my vendor partner and I have started using our etsy shops again to list items outside of the shop. 

Right side of the shop - clothing, jewelry, books, linens, etc. etc. etc. 

We've got such a great collection of old books and vinyl for sale! Such fun to shop for. :)
I haven't been crafting as much as I'd like, but I started making my "Buggy Bauble" jewelry again, which is just in time for the Halloween - the only holiday that appreciates dead things. It's become common knowledge that I collect ethically harvested dead bugs, so I have been getting a lot of jarred specimens from friends with the statement, "Please don't give me back the jar." Basically, bugs in your window seal? I'll take 'em. ;) 

Charmy "buggy baubles" of goodness handmade by yours truly. 
Per usual my job takes up most of my time. Committees, leadership programs, numerous pump station projects, and a little bit of my own project management. Having a blast being a part of the 'City that Works.'


Demo Day at a pump station or a doorway to wonderland?!

My favorite day is Demo Day. Honestly could watch the crew do this all day...

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Momentary Update: house, Found, cats & scaffolding

I'm always amazed by how much time flies before I decide to blog, but it looks like several months have passed again... No excuses except that "adulting" has been taking precedence. Seems like naps have been my real hobby lately - well, that and overwhelming myself with the never ending projects I want to start on my house. I was lucky my house wasn't a "fixer upper," but I definitely have a vision of how I want it to look. Realizing that it's going to take a few years before it gets to that vision has been my latest reality. I have to take pride in my little projects, such as conquering the ferns in my front lawn to make a cute littler flower/herb bed instead.

I've also started working on my interior and trying to bring it back to it's late 1950's-60's era by decorating mid century modern. As a vintage vendor and thrifter I thought I'd have no problem finding pieces, but it's proving to be a long winded project. For now - rotating knick knacks in my mod built-in shelves and my record player are the key elements. Still in desperate need of more stuff on the walls since I'm not much of a minimalist...


Outside of my house projects, I've also been spending a lot of time sprucing up my space at Found on Fremont. I started a shared space with another vendor and our vintage/handmade tastes have meshed really well. I've finally had a chance to work on being more selective on what I bring to the store because it's very well stocked and always changing!

My co-vendor and I love vintage books. Our space is filled with such a fun collection!


Outside of Found on Fremont and my homemaking endeavors, I've also welcomed two new family members into my life. Ludwig (van Beethoven) and Wolfgang ("Wolfie" Amadeus Mozart). These fur babies have stolen my heart as well as much of my time. A kitten and "catten" have made for a lot of messes, a lot of cuddles, and a lot of smiles. 
Cute natural poses like this everyday - I'm a happy cat-mom :) 
And, to tie in my 9-5, here's some fancy scaffolding used to repair a 30'' force main over the Columbia slough. I'm really excited for this project to head back into construction after a three month redesign! :) 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mostly my Life and not much Art

Long time no post. I suppose that's nothing new though. I'm a slow blogger, particularly when trying to "adult." The big news is that I bought a HOUSE! A lovely 1955 Ranch style house with all the retro accents still in tact. I had a fantastic real estate agent - Greg Washington - with Living Room Realty. He's been with my family for three generations of home ownership and helped me find my literal dream first house. :) I'm so happy.

See his sweet blog post here:
http://www.livingroomre.com/2016/01/08/three-generations-of-brannons/

Decorating has definitely been the highlight! I'll start sharing more of that as I finish certain areas of the house. Just started working on my art room - the shrunken version of my old art studio. Mom and I used to share, but we've started the process of de-arting the studio. My old room is now going to be mom's art space. *insert Ch-ch-changes song*

Here's a bit of what I've started on my house so far:

Art room progress, one corner at a time - my wall of inspiration.
Rather than hanging up individual pictures, I found these neat wall mount shelves that I can just stack my art on. This is a collection of comicon, gifted, and random art. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my personal art. 

Piano has successfully been moved into a new home. I finally get to put up my "Big Eyes" art. :)
Outside of house decorating, I've been trying to find time to craft on the side. Latest project is trying to utilize my collection of collage papers... Something to confess - I'm a paper hoarder. I save pictures and cut outs for "special" projects. However, special projects aren't planned, so the papers just sit as mine have done for the last three years. So, finally - took some scissors and started collaging my papers on the most un-special craft ever: Votive candles. Not very creative and not very unique, but it's helping me use my supplies and candles like this will be coming to Found on Fremont soon!


Speaking of Found on Fremont, I've still been restocking and working on my vintage/craft space from time to time. It hasn't taken any drastic changes lately, but next month - I'll be moving into yet another new space! This time, with a fellow crafter and vintage lover.
See her blog here: http://nicknameinhighschool.blogspot.com/
I'm looking forward to collaborating vintage curiosities and crafty goodness. :D

So, for the last time (just estimating that I probably won't blog for another month) my current space at Found before it becomes a combined effort. :)


To finish off this post and fill y'all in on what I do on a daily 9-5 basis. Here's one of my construction projects in action off in N. Portland. Storm water vault installation at your service - curtesy of the City of Portland.