Summertime in the PHX

The temps are in the triple digits which means summer has officially hit us. Tourism slows down, folks hide in their air-conditioned homes, or go somewhere cooler to escape the unrelenting heat that punishes us every year. The craft shows come to a screeching halt or move out-of-town for the summer for this very reason.

Well, what if I told you that you could shop handmade items, eat from your pick of 5 different restaurants, sip a refreshing adult beverage, and listen to great music all while inside a beautifully spacious air-conditioned space?

Look no further than the Desoto Central Market in downtown Phoenix. They’ve started a summer market that takes place every Friday from 5pm-9pm and Sundays from 10:30am-3pm. This is happening all summer long dudes! I’m super excited to be participating this Friday the 19th!

Pop Up Market HighRes

I’d love to see you, so come by and people watch with me! Maybe have an adult beverage or two…or three. Whatevs, I won’t judge you!

See you there!

Xo

-Xappa

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Putting in work

As I said in my last post, I’ve been busy. Busy making up for lost time.

One of the changes that’s been eluding me is the name of my shop. I’ve been feeling that “Space Cadet” just isn’t fitting to me anymore. I only have 2 designs left over from the original line, and they no longer fit with anything else I’ve produced.

I feel a change is happening with my work, my aesthetic, my life in general and it’s time to move on. So, Xappaland is the new name. Wow! Crazy right? Lol! I just figure it’s the last step in making everything flow seamlessly.

Since everything has been moving so fast, documenting it was something that didn’t even cross my mind. I participated in the RAW Showcase in Scottsdale at Martini Ranch on the 9th. This was quite the undertaking. You were responsible for everything including selling 20 tickets. I was pestering people for ticket sales, donations, rounding up models (2 of which backed out the day of), coordinating times for the models to try on their accessories, making the accessories as well as items to sell for the show.

It was insanity and I’m so proud that I was able to do it without freaking out too much! I want to take the time out here to thank the folks that helped me out. Thank you RAW! The program director was awesome and extremely helpful! Thank you to Lilly of Dead Meat Designs! The first few hours would have been so boring if it wasn’t for you guys! We had to be there at 3pm and the showcase doesn’t start till 7pm. Thank you everyone who purchased tickets (especially the one’s who did even when they weren’t able to attend), it’s an incredible feeling to have that support! The models were fantastic! A friend who doesn’t model, but saw that I needed help, volunteered for the runway. I’m so glad she was there! One of the models just happened to have a friend come to the show to support her and asked her to bring a black dress “just in case” I needed an extra model. As time got closer to the runway and the last model was running late, I ended up needing her to do just that. My friends and family who came to the event were very supportive and even braved the extremely loud music to see my show. I can’t thank you guys enough! So grateful that things worked out the way they did. Of course, there are lots of things I’ll do differently for the next event (whenever that is). It was a great learning experience and I was happy with how it came together.

I’m going to have to wait for a few weeks on the photos of the event, and I didn’t think to bring my camera with me. I did take some pics of a few items made for the runway show…

Hells bells earrings
Got ’em in brass too
Lava ring
Lava necklace
Nomad bracelet
Firebird headpiece
Talon headpiece

There were a few more items but, I think they need some revision before putting them up in the shop. The items above, with the exception of the headpieces are available in my Etsy shop. www.xappaland.etsy.com 

I’m also having a name change sale. Just enter xappy4me as a coupon code at check out and you’ll get 25% off your order. The sale will be on until midnight tomorrow. I’ve listed quite a bit of items recently. Check em out and feel free to pass the info onto your friends and family.
So, now that it’s over I’ve been switching gears and moving into the artwork for the Lambchop show next month…

This one’s gonna be a doozy!

Since I’m so bad at keeping secrets I’m gonna give you a tiny teaser from a piece I just finished for the show. It’s been a while since I’ve done any real drawing or painting….

Not too shabby me thinks!

I’m super excited to be a part of this show as I’ll be alongside some incredibly talented people. Hopefully I’ll see you there, and if not I’ll make sure to bring a camera this time around. There’s also the possibility of prints in foreseeable future. Stay tuned!
In the meantime here are some of the artists whose work I really enjoyed at the RAW showcase:

Deadmeat Designs

Patrick Murillo

Vania Elise

Cody Nathaniel Johnson

Check these folks out! Talent just oozing out of their pores! Love it.

Have a great week!

xoxo

Xappa

Transitioning…again

I’ve been sort of comfortable in my life for the last 3 years. However, the recent death of my Grandmother really made me stop in my tracks and think about my life. I mean, REALLY think about it. My grandmother ( we called her “Nana”) was someone who always put herself last. I used to think that was a beautiful quality until I was old enough to see how it affected her and the people whom she came in contact with.

She was an incredibly creative and talented person, though she was always quick to dismiss compliments. She knew how to sew, crochet, make pottery, bead work, and was (of course) an incredible cook. Her craftsmanship was impeccable. She taught me how to make anything I asked. If she didn’t know how she would figure it out. This was always amazing to me and even somewhat magical.

It was because of these things that I felt she deserved more. So much more than what she even gave herself! The maybe’s could go on for years if I let them. This brings me to my point.

I don’t want to feel comfortable not doing what I am capable of. If 35 years of creating from my heart isn’t something I’m willing to invest in, than who the hell is? Over the years I’ve avoided trying to be completely on my own whereas my business is concerned. Too scared to let go of the side of the pool. Well Nana, it’s time to take the fucking swimmies off!

I’ve put in my notice at work and have been working feverishly on everything I’ve been putting off for the last 6 years. It’s time, and I’m scared shitless. Honestly though? I feel like this is the right thing to do. You know what else….?? Check this out…

When my Nana started getting sick I started working on new stuff:

brass and leather 2 finger ring

Piece work leather cuff made on my new walking foot sewing machine.

I began experimenting with materials and techniques. Challenging myself. I bought a pretty hefty piece of equipment and while I’m still learning how to use it, it’s building my skill. Here’s the first clutch attempt. If you like it you can purchase it here.

The last week of March I flew home to attend Nana’s funeral. It was quite a surreal experience. Crying every night I was there and working on a collage of her for the Rosary/viewing. I felt exhausted. This is a picture I had never seen before, and was overwhelmed by how well it captures her spirit.

I’m the one in the green jumper.

Returning home in a haze and exhausted from my visit. I recuperated with more work and lots of tv. My mom wasn’t doing well and decided to get out of the rain and visit us. It was a very short 9 days but really great for both of us. She returned home sunburned and refreshed.

 

 

Not the best picture, but I was happy to have the time with her.

After mom left, I felt rejuvenated. Plans began to propel my business forward began. My time was spent designing and creating. While I was working there was a lot of online television watching. I started watching Rupaul’s Drag Race. Oh the sheer entertainment and “shade of it all”! I love it! I particularly enjoyed this seasons winner, Sharon Needles.

I just thought Sharon (Aaron Coady) was a star! Completely different from any other lady on the runway (or the show for that matter), and so incredibly funny and talented. I was enamored with her and was really hoping she would win. And of course, she did. I went to work right away on something I thought she could wear with pride. I decided to design a lady death headpiece custom for her with a lot of black.

Here it is upon finishing:

 

The flowers were made from black leather with vintage faceted glass beads in the center of each. Faux crow skull I silver leafed last year. And lots of black, iridescent, and purple feathers. I was really proud of the way it turned out and packaged it up nicely for her. I sent it on Monday the 11th not really knowing if he would receive it, or if he would even like it, (although I really thought he would).

Less than a week later I come home after giving my lovely employer of 3 years a 30 day notice. My post work ritual of checking emails and Facebook was business as usual until I scroll through my news feed and see this…..

 

 

 

There he was as Sharon at an event in NY wearing the piece! Words cannot express how incredibly overwhelmed with emotion I was. It happened just when I was doubting my decision to take that leap. I commented on the photos and he commented back. Squeee!!! Such an amazing day!

After my high died down I went back to work on my stuff. I’m really excited to start the next chapter of my life, and I think Nana would be excited for me too. The first couple of pages are good so far…..what do you think?

 

 

Hello 2012!

I hope that everyone’s holidays were fantastic! Mine were great. It’s always great to catch up with friends and family.

Before my relaxing vacation, I took on a lot of work for the holidays participating in a bazillion craft fairs in addition to my wholesale and consignments. In addition to my many craft fair adventures I finished up my entry for the Sketchbook Project.

I’m going to give you a peek at my favorite pages and once the tour is well on it’s way I will give you all the info so you can check it out in person.

Here are some of my favorite pages.

 

 

 

 

This project was really fun and challenging for me. At first, the sketchbook sat for quite some time on my desk. I was almost intimidated by it. All those blank pages. Plus, it was the first time I decided to use gouache. Finally, I decided to let go and sketch some ideas that had been rolling around in my head for awhile. I figured if it didn’t make any sense at least it would be entertaining. Gouache was really fun to work with and it will now be another tool added to my arsenal. For more sketchbooks and information you can visit the Art house Co-op. There are some really amazing artists on their site, and maybe you’ll want to sign up to participate in a sketchbook project of your own.

 

Spring fever

Spring has definitely sprung here in the desert. The season here is very short and makes way for the blistering sun in a few weeks. We’ve been taking advantage of the weather and enjoying time outdoors as much as possible before the heat hits.

Our first attempt at a composting bin has been successful and we purchased herbs and some pots to put them in. So far, they’ve lasted longer than any herbs I’ve owned before. Which isn’t that long but, for me it’s quite an accomplishment. We’ve already put some to use in our cooking. Using fresh herbs makes a huge difference.

I used some of our fresh rosemary for some Italian greyhounds. I used the recipe here. Deeeelicious! Such a refreshing drink.

We had them with black bean burgers, chips, salsa & guacamole. So good!

I get so excited for light drinks during the warmer weather. If you have any drink suggestions or recipes please share with me!

Even though the swaying trees and smell of jasmine in the air make me want to lay in the grass and daydream my life away, Space Cadet has been keeping me busy. I’m proud to say that Firefly Gallery is now carrying my line! If you’re in or passing through Paso Robles, California  stop by and check the place out. Locally and handmade items by some very talented artisans. It’s adorable!

Annnnnd in local news, Space Cadet is now available at Wet Paint artist’s supply in Tempe, Arizona!

If you’re local and you don’t know about this place, shame on you!  Lots of art supplies, locally made wares, crazy selection for all your spray paint needs, and an impressive stock of art related magazines, books and dvds. Now get your ass in there and buy something! Jess and Dump will take care of you.

On top of the new locations, I will be participating in the upcoming Getty Crafty Event in Sacramento, California.

So far over 70 vendors have signed up for this event and I’m proud to be one of them! There will be live music, food, and very talented crafters slingin’ their wares. Learn more about the event and the cause here.

I’ve already started on some enamel pieces for the show. Can’t tell you how excited I am about using my kiln! It’s a love affair, really.

I can’t wait to turn these into necklaces and rings. And yes, that is an octopus and an anatomical heart up there.

Here’s some pics of the last batch I made that were more illustration oriented.

There will be a good mix of the two for the show. I plan on making more hearts in the future. maybe even teeth with pretty designs on them. I’d love to hear some suggestions on what you’d like to see on a necklace.

Gettin artsy fartsy

As you may or may not know, I’ve been on a hiatus from painting. There’s been a little dabbling here and there, but I haven’t really made the time to sit down and create a piece from start to finish. That is, until recently. An old friend of mine asked me to collaborate on a piece with him for an upcoming show. “Yes!”, was my immediate answer. I was surprised that I agreed to do it and so soon at that. The idea was robots. Which is great because I LOVE robots! I love drawing all the joints and cogs and wires and figuring out how they would be functional.

I got the canvas first and the idea was that he would finish it. So, I decided to document my process and show you the end result. Here are the idea sketches. I wasn’t sure what body position would work best.

I decided to go with the position on the far right.

So, I forgot to take pics of the background coloring process. It’s 4 different shades of spray paint. Nothing too crazy. I sketched her basic shape onto the canvas after I was done with the background. Then covered the sketch with gesso and sketched her again, this time with detail.

After I had her mostly sketched out I started adding the base color/s. I started to add the outlines here and there. I go back and forth with color and outline.

Once I had the outline completed, I added more detail and shading. Then the “babies”.

Once I added the bronze onto the details of her seams and rivets, I went in with spray paint to “clean” her up.

I handed the canvas over to Jules and he finished it with some truly amazing results!

This was our first collaboration together, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity. I only wish we had done this sooner! Here are some really blurry pics of the rest of the paintings from his show. I didn’t want to use a flash because it just makes everything look flat and unappealing.

And finally, a pic of me and Jules and my boobs. If you’re interested in any of the artwork you see here or more from Jules you can go to his website www.julesdemetrius.com it’s fantastic!

And of course, I can’t let you go before I tell you about another place to eat. One of my favorite things to do!

The spot is called Thai Rama and it is located at 1211 W. Camelback rd. in Phoenix. As per some suggestions we stopped by this place before going to the art show. It was delicious! Here are some photos of the evidence. Almost all of the entrees are under $10 so, it’s pretty easy on the wallet too.


And my Thai iced tea with cream.

If you live here. Go to this place. Now.


New projects

I’ve been in creativity land now for a week and it’s been lovely. For awhile there I was bogged down with work and falling behind on my business duties. i.e.; my shop, my consignments, this blog…

Now that I’m caught up and well rested it’s like the creativity flood gates have opened! I finally got my kiln going this weekend and spent my entire Saturday getting to know it better. I had recently purchased a pyrometer. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a doohickey that allows you to see what temperature your kiln is. Anyhoo, the pyrometer didn’t work. Ugh! Oh well, it didn’t matter though cause the kiln works wonderfully! It heats evenly and I used it all day. It took me awhile to figure out a routine (Its been awhile) but, I feel pretty confident in what is needed  to make things run smoother.

Here’s the first actual piece of jewelry made yesterday. It’s a large pendant.

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be working with something new!

Speaking of which, I’ve been working on some new headpieces for a photo-shoot next month. I actually made my first headpieces for a bride and bridesmaid. The bride requested a detachable veil…which for some reason had never dawned on me. They came out great! She’ll be taking photos for the wedding and I’ll share them with you later. Until then, this is my first dramatic headpiece. It features poppy red leather flowers, (from an ugly leather jacket via the 1980’s) Russian veiling, pheasant feathers, and vintage lace.

This project was a blast! The other pieces are still in production at this moment but as soon as they’re finished you’ll be the first to know. Let me know what you think.

I’ve been getting the itch to paint lately as well and had the opportunity to do some small ink pieces. They’re different that what I normally do but, it was a really fun exercise for me. I call the maroon-ish one “the flood”, the green one “the storm”, and the orange one “the lightning”.

I mounted the pieces in little vintage frames which I spray painted matte black. I’ve got this obsession with matte spray paint lately and bought a crap load from a hardware store nearby. They actually carry some really good specialty paint at an unusually cheap price. Which made me suspicious, but not suspicious enough to not fill my cart and spend $60 instead of $120. I am so not gonna tell you where this place is.

But, I am gonna tell you where some good eatin’ is! Although the blog is entitled “New projects”, and these 2 places are a) not new and b) not projects you’ll still love me for giving you the scoop anyway!

The first place I’m going to share with you is called “Scramble”. It is located in the shopping center on the Northwest corner of 7th St. and Mountainview in north Phoenix. It is very yummy and it is very reasonable. I took a photo of one of my delicious breakfasts there.

This is their Santa Fe eggs Benedict. And before you ask…yes, that is turkey on it. I’m back on the meat. *sigh* I’m hanging my head in shame right now. Moving on…All of their menu items are under $10, their patios are doggy friendly (they even put out little bowls of water for your furry friends), aaaaand they serve breakfast till 2pm. The honey bunny has a box at the Post office across the street and we use that as an excuse to eat there.

The next spot we like for happy hour is…..Cherry blossom noodle cafe. They have an awesome happy hour menu from 3-6pm Monday through Friday. We eat like pigs and we were both very full and happy for $30. The desserts look pretty awesome, but I didn’t make room. Here’s a picture of a few dishes we got.

Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe is located at 914 E. Camelback rd. It’s in the Shopping center next to Oregano’s on 10th st. I have some more places but, I’ll wait till I get some pictures first. If you have any suggestions on good places to eat share them in the comments below. If you’re nice enough I’ll share the location of that hardware store…..maybe.

’till next time!

xoxo

-Xappa

Adventures in socializing

Hey there!

Like I’ve said before, this time of year is really busy for me. My little hands have been working hard on some new things! My mind is swimming with ideas and it’s hard to keep up with it all. I love it and hate it all at the same time. So to catch you up…here’s what I’ve been doing the past few weeks…

First off, I just wanted to show you the cover I did for a 7 inch my friend’s company released under their new label Jamille. It was a nice clean simple project.

Very happy with the way it turned out. I don’t get to do this kind of thing much and I have a good time doing it.  I had to do most of the work with the logo. He only had it on a piece of paper, so I had to go in and trace it in Illustrator. I wanted him to have a digital logo for print work. Anyhow, he had the records pressed up recently, and I was happy to be a part of the design process. Let me know what you think!

Turkey day was fantastic! Dom and I stayed at a friend’s house for a few days while they were out of town. Coincidentally, they live across the street from his cousin. So, we had a small dinner with her and later that night when her husband came home we ate sandwiches with him too.

We started off in the afternoon preparing everything while the turkey was in the oven. We snacked on fresh veggies and had some mimosas…

I made some really awesome chipotle-cranberry sauce with a recipe I got here. It was delicious! I’ve experimented with other recipes and this is my absolute fave! Definitely going into the files.

I didn’t take any pics of the other dishes or our made up plates ’cause I was too lazy/hungry to get up from the table and get my camera. However, I did get a pic of the beautiful turkey. It was our first time doing it on our own. High fives all around, ’cause it was AWESOME!

Sorry it’s a little blurry, but you can see how good it looks regardless!

The next night, I went to visit with a friend and her family.  Her baby boy is growing so fast!

Some of Jen’s handy dandy decorating…

and a really silly dancing santa.

After recovering from Turkey day and a cold, it was back to work I went. It was a short week for me because I had signed myself up for 2 shows this week. One thursday and one Friday. The one I did on Thursday was kind of a bust. Not my market. Oh well. The one I did on Friday made up for it.  Although we were freezing our butts off! The event was outside and a chilly 38 degrees. I was a friggin’ icicle! Friends came out that I hadn’t seen in ages. And of course it was lots of fun with the PHX DIY crew. We always keep each other entertained. LOVE those girls!

Here is what the table in my studio STILL looks like.

A fellow artist friend once asked me about my process. She asked if I clean up after each project, or if I continue to work on top of the mess. We found that we both work on top of the mess. Once it gets out of control we clean. You mean this isn’t out of control? You ask. Nope. It’s out of control when I have no more space to put anything down.

Here’s what comes out of it though…

and this

and this

And this.

There is a method to the madness!

I took these little treasures down to the Crafeteria on Friday at Frances. I got alot of good feedback and my $5 basket was a hit! Thank you universe! I took some pics of our setups. Here are some of the lovely ladies freezing their asses off.

I don’t think you need to see mine for the umpteenth time so I’ll spare you. Here’s one of our newest members Jennifer Bates of Sea Lemon. She makes journals by hand and does a damn good job! She was my neighbor for the Crafeteria that night.

Amanda and Melissa of Perfect Dressipe had their setup looking fantastic as usual.

Another new member is Morgan Kunse. She had her photography set up. I took 2 pics ’cause I was shivering too much to get the first one right.

Ashley had a really sweet and simple setup for her stuff. Again, I took 2 pics. Hopefully this makes up for the crappy pics I took last time.

And Jamie of Kenzie Noelle Designs. Her setup always looks great!

And I took a pic of a friend’s setup who isn’t a member of PHX DIY but makes fantastic stuff! Her setups are always beautiful! Her name is Angie and you can purchase her stuff here. She was another friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. It was nice running into her plus she gave me some chocolate. What a lucky girl I am!

We’re already planning some bike riding business.

So, after the crafty festivities were over and done with I went home to unload and eat something quick. I met up with my boyfriend and our friends at Sidebar. I unfortunately forgot my camera, ugh! There were soooo many camera moments I was kicking myself. Afterwards we did something we NEVER do. We had people over for an after-the-bar-drinking-more-beer kind of thing. I don’t want to say “afterparty” because that sounds ridiculous coming from me. But there was drinking, dancing, and lots of laughing.

Our friends are the shit is all I can say. No drama, no egos, no games. Just good peeps. Again, thank you universe for blessing us with them!

It was finally time to go to sleep. We tried to convince Tige to sleep on a bed or couch of some sort but he was happy with his piece of the floor next to the records.

Good times.