Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I am an AltCraft 2008 Exhibitor!

Two and a half years ago, I decided to take my burgeoning Artist business seriously. One of my goals to hit somewhere near the five year mark was to be a vendor at the
American Craft Council Baltimore Show.
I did it! I made it in this year!

I was notified yesterday that my amtextiles line of clothing, accessories and wearable art was accepted as one of only a handful of accepted artists/crafters! The AltCraft section explores innovative use of materials and features emerging fine craft and indie crafters (I think we are really both of those at once!)

I will keep posting about my experience getting prepared as things happen! Whoo hoo!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Xmittens on Sale

FREE Recycled Fabric Scarf with ALL ORDERS thru December 1! Use it as a gift, as gift wrap or keep it for yourself
Plus other fabulous sales going on at Xmittens
So, get those Xmittens you have been coveting at a discount thru December 1!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Garbella Handmade Goods and Gear

Garbella is one of my dear friends and fellow Pittsburgh crafters. She makes the best silk screened T's and bags! This scarf is a favorite of mine along with several of the tote bags in her etsy shop: www.garbella.etsy.com
This scarf is currently featured in the gift guides on etsy. I squealed when I saw it on the front page this morning! Go check out her work!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For the Men

My lovely boyfriend finally said yes to posing for some pictures with Xmittens! Now, everybody can see how Xmittens gloves and scarves are great for the men in our lives. NEW- sets of Xmittens and scarves are discounted at www.xmittens.etsy.com!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Decadent Cashmere Cowls

I can't get enough of cowl scarves! I went a little crazy last week one night when I could not sleep and made some out of cashmere sweater remnants. when I tried them on, it was so so so hard to take them off- they felt so good! This one makes a great hood, too!
This is a great way for me to use leftovers from other projects, so I started to make some out of T-shirt remnants, too, like this:Some are for sale at my Xmittens shop on etsy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mavis Staples Concert

Every once in awhile, I have to do a little plug for my day job. It's a good one, so I gotta spread the word!
This Saturday, Calliope is hosting the legendary Mavis Staples at the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Pittsburgh. Mavis Staples is one of my all-time favorite performers. Known for your gospel, her grace and civil rights efforts, Mavis is going to set the hall on fire with her energy!
I can't wait! It's a good time to have a day job!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Whoa! the Holiday Season is upon us! I spent 14 straight hours in my studio yesterday making Xmittens and jewelry all while trying to document it as I went.
All my hard work is paying off though...Xmittens are featured in 2 Holiday Guides! Both have other great items as well, so check them out! Just click on the pictures to see more.

Monday, November 10, 2008

East Otto: A Fiber Art Sculpture

I remember sitting in the back seat of my parents truck in the afternoon. I had moved away suddenly a year or two before and we had not spent much time together since. It was sunny, I read a magazine in the back and relaxed. We traveled to where my dad had grown up- East Otto, NY. We picked flowers on the side of the road, there was milkweed pods and cat tails near the ditch. My dad was happy and smiling. We all were.

This sculpture was created using this moment as inspiration. The bottle is an antique bottle my mom and I found that day nearby. The wire is crocheted, knitted and knotted in fine silver, gold-filled or gold plated. My lovely friend, Tara, found the lamp and it was perfect to highlight the semi-hidden knitted gold beads inside and to make the soft drama I wanted to create.

This is a precious piece for me and my family. I thought I would share.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ambermayhem Textile Art Newsletter

SAVE 10% on any one order on my website www.ambermayhem.com when you sign up for the monthly Ambermayhem Textile Arts Newsletter! Special deals, Textile Art event updates and more sent to you about once a month. The coupon lasts thru December 31, 2008 and is sent to you email address.
It's easy to sign up- just click here: Ambermayhem Sign Up Form
It takes about 30 seconds or less to fill out!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Xmitten Bliss

Xmittens are on SALE! thru November 15, buy 2 pairs of Xmittens and save $5! Buy one for you, and a pair as a gift, or start your very own collection of Xmittens fingerless glove (mine is at about 12 pairs for this year).

Xmittens! are practical, yet fashionable fleece fingerless gloves. Each has it's own unique stitched design and machine embroidery around the thumbhole for increased durability. To be honest, I started making these cuz it is so darn COLD in my studio and I need to be able to use my fingers, but stay warm while I make stuff. These totally fixed that problem.

If you would rather buy Xmittens and a matching Xmittens scarf or Hoodie Scarf, there's a $5 discount on that, too!

Be Warm this Winter!

Monday, November 3, 2008

If you must choose, be brave...

My true blue bestest friend ever, my dear Cherish, once said "If you must choose, choose to do the bravest thing." This thought process has changed my life. It has helped me be a better person leading a happier life.

So, for my 30th birthday, I decided I needed to face another fear. One of my biggest is singing in front of people. I am terrified! Especially, on a stage and/or with a microphone. My fear cemented itself after a middle school talent show (eeeeeekkk!!!). I still continued to sing in my school chorus, but never could get the courage up to sing a solo, even after practicing for hours for the audition. I would chicken out.

At this point, not doing something at my best and letting a fear get in my way of doing something I love is equivalent to a sin.

So, i am in a voice class. Yep, took the plunge and joined up with several other fearful singers to try and just get over it, be brave and love it.

And, I do! It is one of the best things I have ever done. An investment in myself, a bit of love just for me, to help me bring my best to the world.

I am singing, appropriately, Amazing Grace and singing it well. It is in my soul, a little bird of grace, in the form of a song.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Made It! Market Holiday Edition

I love I Made It! Markets. This great Pittsburgh project (which expanded to L.A earlier this year) partners with local non-profits to create low barrier nomadic marketplaces for indie crafters.

Check out my work in person at the next one:
December 6 -- I Made It! Market-- at the Union Project in Highland Park from 12 - 5 pm.
Great place to support local artists, crafters and get presents for your loved ones!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Xmittens at Baz Biz Cleveland!

Yeah! One of my goals for 2008 was to be a vendor at a show/festival/fair outside of Pittsburgh and I just found out I was accepted into Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland!
A fabulous and fun 2-day indie craft event, BazBiz Cleveland is sure to be a GREAT time. I am going to bring items from my Xmittens: Recycled and New collection including Xmittens fingerless gloves and more!
Check out the details below:
Bazaar Bizarre- Cleveland
Sat. Dec. 13th (12 PM- 9 PM)
Sun. Dec. 14th (12 PM- 6 PM)
78th Street Studios: 1300 W. 78th St to 1305 W. 80th St., North parking lot, North entrance — accessible from W. 78th OR W 80th St.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Surprise to me! Two lovely Etsy sellers included me in their latest treasuries on the same day!

Check out these great collections:

Autumn Skies


Stick Your Neck Out

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gonna learn how to do this!

Who knew you could spin old newspapers into yarn?
I think this is a great way to re-use materials and save the energy that would go into recycling them into other things. Now, it is human power rather than non-renewable power being used to re-create.
Here's a simple tutorial to get you started:
Spin Newspapers from greenUPGRADER
I actually just got a package from a friend of mine who lives in Japan (Hi, erin!) and he sent me some newspapers to use in this latest addiction of mine. Some newspapers from Germany should be coming soon, too, from my host family there.
My plan is to spin yarn from all of the places that have touched my heart/where I have lived and create a piece that connects them all via re-used materials.

I will keep posting as I go!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New amtextile art etsy shop!

I LOVE to dye fabric. I feel like an alchemist when I stir all of the different colored dyebaths. Recently, I realized that my hand-dyed creations were getting lost in the mix with the knitted jewelry and recycled fabric accessories.

So, I made an online shop just for my Hand-dyed Japanese Textile Art-to-wear!
is the latest of my online shops featuring my 3D Bubble Wraps in Autumnal colors.

Come check it out and let me know what you think :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Custom Orders

I Love Custom Orders!

It's so much fun to make something inspired by a customer. There's always something new to work with- whether it's a fabric I have never used, or a color scheme I had not thought of- I love how I can make something for a specific someone! Above are some pictures of some of my latest custom orders- loose fitting, silk dupioni "origami" jackets. Such a great item. Named by my customer, the origami inspiration is made by my signature design elements- 3D thread ridges. They can be worn in so many different ways, fit so many sizes and shapes becomingly and silk dupioni is a sculptural and GREAT fabric!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Front Page of Etsy!

This chartreuse hand-dyed silk organza bubble necklace made it to the front of Etsy today!

SO many people viewed my shop- Thanks so much!

Check out more 3D Japanese Shibori Textiles at my www.ambermayhem.etsy.com shop!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sunsets in Pittsburgh?!

One of my biggest complaints about Pittsburgh, my acquired hometown, is that with the hilly topography and river valley nature of the place, we cannot see sunsets.

Watching the sunset on the dock was a HUGE part of my growing up experience. Dead hour and dancing while watching the magnificent colors of a Lake Erie sunset was THE (i.e ONLY) thing to do in my original hometown.

Well, now that Adam and I have moved, and are on top of a hill near a whole lot of green space in the city we get to see the best damn sunsets in the city. Check them out.

I really love our new place!

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Love, Robots and a Mattress factory

My lovely boyfriend, a talented mechanically-oriented, sweet, creative, stubborn soul has gotten himself into a glorious show at The Mattress Factory. The Mattress factory is a world renowned Installation Art museum that is completely kickass. To be honest, I usually am not impressed with art anymore, gallery art anyway, and the Mattress Factory always impresses me with their shows.

Adam's piece is crazy, whimsical and tells stories. Plus, it's a robot. You should come see it!
Other pieces are rumored to include night vision goggles, embroidery and a space vaccuum. It's gonna be cool!

So, check out this link

Meet The Made
for more info. Lots of other Robot happenings to celebrate Pittsburgh's 250th Anniversary. Umm...don't ask me how it all relates, but the city's PR team thinks it does AND the Art will be cool.

- The opening is July 11!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New House!

Oh, finally, after announcing our imminent move and then having lots of proverbial wrenches thrown into our house-buying process, we finally seem to be really, really close to owning a new home!

Here are some pictures of our soon-to-be-ours-with no-more-mishaps house!

Did I mention there is a jacuzzi tub? Dreamy!
It is much smaller than our current home, but in a safer neighborhood and in relatively good repair. We also have a crazy view to downtown Pittsburgh and in the winter we will have a great view across the Allegheny River. There's a huge yard (for plants and compost and an outdoor stove and chillin') and there is a ton of green space across the street, so our kitties will be able to roam. It's good.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Featured on Knitty.com!

Check it out!

Amy, the editor of www.knitty.com
included my Fine Silver Knit Wire and Vintage Button Necklaces in her Cool Stuff Feature!

She wrote to me to warn me I may be getting multiple orders and I already have gotten one custom order request !!

I really, really love what I make and I hope it shows!

Friday, June 6, 2008

WOW! $975 necklace SOLD!

It SOLD! This lovely hand-knitted tube necklace was made using fine silver wire and 14/20 gold filled wire. This one of a kind lariat style neckalce was made in a 2 day span when I basically could not sleep and just kept knitting and knitting and knitting. When it was finished it took a full 24 hours to complete!

Well, I had to put a realistic price tag on it- I put my heart and soul into this piece. I was not sure if it would sell... I put it in some consignment stores and there was A LOT of interest, but the right customer did not come along. However, someone had been secretly coveting it and when I put it back up for sale on my website- it SOLD!

This lovely piece is going to a great home and person. Thanks for supporting my creative habits! Enjoy this Art Jewelery piece for years to come in good health and spirits!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Featured on The Sampler!

About a month ago, I was thinking to myself "Man, I am need some new ways to market my work". So, I looked around and found The Sampler. The Sampler is awesome and is one of the best ideas I have seen lately. Basically, The Sampler staff collect samples from independent artisan crafters and compile them into cute, send-able packages to buyers AND media. Seemed like a good idea to get the word out a little more on my work and to get some more creative juices flowing ( I work best with deadlines and panic around the edges).

Well, I looked on the website today and found that my fabric and paper collage pockets were being featured on the front page! Check it out at this link:



Sunday, June 1, 2008

Buying a house!

Adam and I have immersed ourselves in the process of buying a house. We love the house we live int, but the neighborhood is sometimes scary and increasingly so...we need to move and get some positive change happening! We put an offer on a house last week and have the inspection tomorrow. It is MUCH smaller than where we live now, so I have already started going through my studio to get rid of supplies I just do not need. I look forward to having less stuff!

Each of us have owned property before, but neither of us has had a mortgage, or used a real estate agent. What a hassle, though I have to say, we found (after many many many trials and errors) the perfect real estate agent for us.

I will include some photos of "our" house in my next post!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Roots of Hip Hop

Thought I would throw in a different topic today- Hip-Hop. Why not? At my day job, I am the administrative element and a creative element to a partnership of 2 seemingly disparate musical genres- Old-Time music and Hip- Hop. You know Old-Time music: got some banjo, maybe a fiddle and singer, throw in some wonderful and repetitive melodies and lyrics (for dancing!!) and that is a very basic overview of Old-Time. Well, Hip-Hop has some roots in there, let me tell you!

One day my friend I came up with the Roots of Hip Hop idea as a way to really get to where kids are RIGHT NOW. It is the only way to really teach anything- meet people where they really are.
As a fiber/textile artist, I will be experimenting with a graffiti art component that I know will overlap my own work. I can feel the thrill of new creativity coming!

So, meet the artists: Akil Esoon keyboardist of Formula 412 and Emily Pinkerton by going their myspace pages and websites and keep checking back for news on our exciting progress!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Marbles, Marbles, Marbles

Were you like me when you were a kid and collected EVERYTHING shiny, interesting, that made good sound when it hit something else?

A short list of my collections is:

antique photographs
those poodle sculptures that supposedly predicted the weather by changing colors
old bottles (especially those dug up from icky old trash dumps from torn down houses)
and marbles.

Marbles are the best! They come in a multitude of colors, sound GREAT when they smash into each other, have existed for a long time, you can play games with them. I mean, whoa! Cool, stuff.

Anyway, as I become less of a pack rat and more of a person who makes things out of other things conscientiously, I decided to make jewelry out of my collection of marbles. Earrings, Necklaces, bracelets coming soon... Check out some of the collection at www.ambermayhem.etsy.com

Featured Etsy Treasury!

Whoo hoo! I made it into this lovely treasury! Check out the great blues and black and white photographs- really quite lovely.



Friday, May 16, 2008

Treasury Love!

I got an Etsy Treasury! I tried to find work that was unusual either with its technique, design, or materials. Check it out!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fabric Scrap Insulation?

My love and I are trying to buy a new home. In our price range we can get a nice fixer upper, or some land with nothing on it. After months of looking outside of the city, we realize we need a middle step home- some place in a safer neighborhood that has better insulation so we can be warm in winter (oh, the idea of that make me so happy!). A home that gives us more of what we need and puts us in a better position to find our dream home in the country.

Anyway, my point is that when I mentioned to my boyfriend that I am launching my 100% USED campaign, he thought that maybe my fabric scraps could be used as wall insulation! I have been doing some research and found this simple, but to the point article on eco-friendly insulation. Cotton fiber is on the list, though it is treated by borate to be mold resistant/insect resistant.

Hmmm....Seems like an interesting direction to go with some of my fabrics! Let me know if you have any resources about eco-friendly construction products (that aren't crazy expensive), or even if you know of somebody who is looking at selling or swapping their house in the country, or in Pittsburgh...Why not ask??

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A little info about recycling

I remember recycling as a kid. One kind of plastic, glass and newspapers. That's it. Our small town made a little money by selling off the recycling they collected, taxes weren't raised as quickly and resources were not burned so fast. Now, there are many kinds of plastic to recycle, paperboard (thank goodness!), magazines and all the old staples. I would think we, as Americans and citizens of the worlds, could feel good about the impressive number of items we can recycle AND DO.

However, and there is always a however in this section of American lives, there is a down side. Read this well put together article in the Pittsburgh City Paper. Did you know that most of our recycled goods get shipped using diesel guzzling ships and planes to other countries? umm...Another part to the same problem right there. So, I don't butcher the article by trying to explain it in my words, read the article if you have a minute. It will probably convince you, as it did me, that the best solution is to use less and/or re-use what you already have and support others who do the same.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Xmittens- 100% Used Series

When I opened my latest online shop www.xmittens.etsy.com , I figured it would be a good place to showcase my Xmittens line of fingerless gloves and accessories, but then, I brainstormed a little further and realized I also needed a venue for my recycled/upcycled goodies and a place to really go all out with my personal Manifesto of recycled, reduce, reuse and responsible living. SO, I decided to launch the 100% USED campaign.

The 100% USED campaign is a documentation of my efforts to use, or recycle 100% of ALL materials that come into my studio. This includes, fabric, little pieces of thread, receipts, packaging, Everything!

So far the hardest items to use have been the little itty bitty piece of fabric that gets cut off by my serger when I create clothing. I mean, less than 1/2" of fabric???

My solution is Fabric and Paper Collage Pockets! The photos are some examples. These 4"x 3" pockets of goodness are each a part of the Pocket Series. Give a home to your library card! Need a place for those secret words you cut out of magazines? Need a gift tag? Need a secret place for money in your purse?

There are so many ways to use these! I am going to organize my little stashes of cool fabric inside them and pin them to my bulletin board, plus stuff them full of business cards and use them to enhance my packaging for neat-o items.

Leave a comment about how YOU would use these!

Monday, May 12, 2008


Thanks to everyone who entered the Recycled Scarf Contest!

The winner is...

Jennifer M. in Auburn , Indiana!

Congratulations! I will create a recycled fabric scarf just for you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ok, New Blog Contest!

I really want to give stuff away, apparently, so, NEW BLOG contest!

Want to know what you are entering to win?

A Recycled Fabric Scarf in your choice of warm, cool, or combination of colors!
See those pictures up there? Those are some examples of the kind of scarf- each is one of a kind and made with scraps of fabric left over from other projects. Silk, cottons, linen, patterns and plain, who know what fabric will be included? If you win, you can decide which color scheme you would like!

Hot to enter:

Leave a comment on this blog from May 7- May 9, 2008 and make sure to leave your email address, so I can get a hold of you.

Two ways to enter! Join my email list and automatically get a 10% off coupon good in any of my online shops AND get entered into the blog contest.

I will randomly draw a name from all eligible entries Saturday, May 10, 2008 and will announce the winner on this blog!

Good Luck!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Day Job

As with most creative types, I have to have a day job. However, unlike most creative people I know, I actually enjoy mine. Currently, I am the School, Outreach and Office Manager (oh, non-profits and the multi-level job descriptions) for Calliope: The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society. Established over 30 years, ago Calliope promotes and enhances folk music by providing opportunities for local, national and international folk musicians to perform. The definition of folk music spans the genres of Irish traditional, Appalachian bluegrass, Old-Time and even Hip-Hop.

Ok, that is the spiel- what I really want to say is that this here day job gig helps me to expand and challenge other creative parts of myself. I am learning how to play the guitar, I am facing my fear of performing and microphones (slowly, baby steps) and I am learning how to excel as an arts administrator which really only helps me as an arts business owner.

If you are in the Pittsburgh, PA area on Thursday- check out the Calliope Student Showcase at the Shadow Lounge near Whole Foods. Many of our most recent classes and several Calliope teachers are performing. I know I am going to dance!

Monday, May 5, 2008

My crazy cat!


SO, here she is. Crazy, a bit senile and totally awesome... Tasha Mao is my friend.

Today, she decided she was oh-so-needy and, as I got dressed, would look pitiful and reach out her one paw and try to get me to pet her. Sometimes, I have to remind her that I go to work, so that I can afford to feed her, but it does no good.

Anyway, I was reminded this morning, too, about how Tasha Mao contributes to my fiber art. She left me a big 'ol clump of her fur the other day that I can add to my collection of her other fur that I use sometimes in my non-wearable art projects. Some day I hope to make a giant thread art installation made entirely out of spun fur! For some, this might be a little gross, but I get a little giddy just thinking about it!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dyebaths Dyebaths Dyebaths

Sometimes, I feel like an alchemist with my dye chemicals, hardcore respirator and colorful dyebaths! I made 14!! the other day, all different colors, each with it's own dowel rod stirrer that I would twist the fabric around with, making sure each received an equal amount of color...I stand there like an old-school witch, wondering what will happen next...

I love to work in my dyeing studio to create fabulous colors, adding fabric as I go...Most of the time, I decide what colors to make as I go "what am I in the mood for?" and hope that my customers will feel it, too.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Spring in two places


NY then Pittsburgh

I have basically lived in two different areas of the country- around the Lake Erie area of western NY (not upstate, never upstate NY) and Pittsburgh, PA. Some may think that these 2 places are too close in geography to be much different, but there is actually quite a bit of difference.
Recently, I traveled around my 2 homes, on the same day, and took pics...here are the results of Spring in 2 places. Pittsburgh is south enough to have tons of flowering trees in bloom and green green green backyards! Western NY had little hidden pockets of wild flowers, but was still on the edge of winter. Inspiring colors, shapes and experiences in both!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Recent Feature



So, I started offering custom recycled and/or revamped clothing and my very first taker on this was a great gal who featured me on her blog! Above is a great picture of her wearing her unique made-for-her-ReVamped Shirt and the link to her blog as well!

I really enjoyed the collaborative spirit that goes into custom orders. You have ideas, I have ideas, where do they meet? Fun Stuff!

Check out the Introductory Prices for Recycled/Revamped clothing at my Etsy shop:


Wednesday, April 30, 2008


New Blog!

Wheeee! I have been blogging only for a few months now and realized recently I needed a new blog host. So, I have started this new blog to continue my random art and textile thoughts and let them sail through the world differently (and I think more easily). Check back often for more posts filled with musings, observations, textile art, featured artists and travel stories!

To see what I posted before, go to http://site.ambercoppings.com/blog