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

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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?

 

 

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