Drum roll please.......this months collection is, the SHASTA Collection! If you couldn't tell I love the mountains and any chance to go further North is a win for me. I have driven past Mount Shasta on my way to Oregon as a kid but I've never been to the town. Michael and I have been had it on our travel list for a while, so when I was scheming weaving inspired destinations, I knew I wanted Shasta to be one of them. We loved the town. It was super tiny, adorable, and surrounded by trees - all of our favorite things. We stayed at the KOA in the town of Shasta. It was beautiful and every campsite was covered by large pines. We did some exploring and spontaneously drove down a forest service access road. We drove around bend after bend until finally, we saw the North side of the mountain in all of her glory. It was breathtaking. We pulled over so I could grab some photos and Michael could do a little skateboarding. It was a downhill longboarders paradise. After, we went in search of food. We stopped by the famous Hi-Lo Cafe in the town of Weed. It's traditional diner food and the wait staff was super welcoming. Michael had a beer from the Local Brewery which he loved. We went back to our campsite and slept under the stars and woke up the next morning surrounded by lush green, it was magical. Now it was time to complete our mission and photograph my collection. We traveled up the mountain and stopped at the base. The views were incredible. In front of you was the mountain and behind you was the entire valley. It was the perfect spot to capture what I have envisioned for this collection. Last but not least, we made one last stop on our little adventure - Middle McCloud Falls. I don't know about you but I LOVE rivers & waterfalls.
Fun Fact: my husband is actually a retired professional kayaker. He toured all around the world and at one point was one of the top 10 kayakers in the world. The largest waterfall he went over was 80 ft. high and he's the only one in the world to do it!
Needless to say, we love waterfalls in this family and neither of us had been to this one. It was absolutely amazing and I would recommend it to anyone. A short walk in and you're there.
Well, that was our trip. Short, sweet, perfect. I'm so excited to finally share this collection with you all. I pushed myself in new ways and can't wait for you to see my labor of love.
So I've been keeping a little secret under wraps but now I finally get to share with you all my exciting news!
About two months ago, I was desperately trying to find inspiration. I felt like I was grasping at straws and life was being harder than usual. The hubby and I were both feeling in a funk so we decided to head up on to one of our favorite places - the Yuba River. The Yuba is a short drive from our home and is a beautiful and magical place. As I wandered across the stones I slowly was gaining motivation and finally feeling inspired. I looked out over this beautiful place and I knew I wanted to make a collection specifically based off of it. I also missed coming to beautiful places that inspired me and I wanted to change that. So, the hubby and I sat down and we both decided to basically take The Northern Craft on the road! We tentatively planned out the remainder of 2018 and came up with a schedule of sorts. Each month I will release a collection, that collection will be based on a certain location, once I've completed the collection, we will then take it to the location it is based on and photograph all the pieces there. While there, we'll do a little exploring and not only release a new collection but take you on the journey with us and show you all the things and places we discovered and loved about the trip. Each month will be a surprise which makes it all the more fun. I'm so, SO, excited about this next little chapter of our lives and The Northern Craft's journey, and I'm even more excited to share it with you all.
This months collection is based on the Yuba River. The Yuba is located in Nevada City, CA. It draws artists, photographers, nature lovers, or someone just looking for a little break from the Sierra Nevadas hot summers. Most people think I live in the middle of nowhere. I recently had someone mistake our home for a vacation house because they didn't know how we could live here full time (lol). I can see how it seems like we're so secluded (which we are a little), but I've grown up here all my life and it's where my soul thrives. For my first collection, I wanted to highlight my home and the beauties of it. I also wanted to show that living "in the middle of nowhere" has its perks.
Nevada City on the left, Grass Valley on the right. Each town is small and whether you live in one or the other, both are home.
You got to see the jewel of the town, now I wanted to share some of our favorite places to eat. We're foodies if you can't tell!
From left to right, you have Pete's Pizza & Tap House (Grass Valley & Nevada City), Three Fork Bakery & Brewing Co. (Nevada City), & Jernigan's Tap House & Grill (Nevada City).
Pete's was actually one of the first places I went a date with my now husband. It was pouring outside and we ate delicious pizza & fell in love.
Three Forks is farm to table. They get all their ingredients locally and have my favorite local Kombucha company on tap. They also make a lot of their food & baked goods gluten free or vegan. A lot of locals here are vegan so you'll find plenty of choices for that, especially in Nevada City.
Jernigan's is usually a go to. It has the best burgers you've ever tasted and about 15 beers, ciders, & sours on tap. This is our "we worn out, don't want to make dinner, & want to treat ourselves" place.
This post is somewhat of a basic guide dedicated to those who have taken one of my weaving workshops and need a little refresher. At the end of each workshop, I give my students a little card with terms and things to remember when weaving. However, cards get lost, so for those of you who took my class, rather than dig around in your junk drawer trying to remember what you did with the thing, I thought I would post it here for your convenience. Happy weaving!
I recently had the privilege to work with Katie Ring, a student and employee of Herewith Magazine. I grew up with Katie and couldn't wait to see her again. We had so much fun doing this shoot and I mean, wow...how great of a photographer is she?! She is a lady boss and so ambitious. I know one day she's going to be famous and I just feel lucky to have gotten my picture taken by her. Here are some of my favorites.
It's January of this year, Michael and I have just moved into our first home. There is wallpaper hanging from the walls, boxes that need to be unpacked, and it's freezing both outside and in. It's late and we are laying on the sofa together, a fire is barely staying alive in the fireplace, and a candle and the flames of the dying fire are the only things lighting the room. We are quiet in the cold, dark house, staring up at the ceiling, entangled in each other, trying to stay warm. We start talking about goals, my goals. I tell Michael, my goal for the year is to have my work featured somewhere. Whether that be a coffee shop bathroom or a high-end art gallery, I just want it somewhere. We talked about how I need to have smaller goals to try and achieve my big one. We talked about timelines and how often I should be working. We talked and dreamed and thought of the future. Then I asked Michael, "What happens if I achieve my big goal before the year is up?" He replied, "Then you get a bigger goal."
Though it has been only six months since that conversation on that cold winter night, it feels like eons ago. I am proud to say that I have achieved and surpassed my "big goal". Not only have I gotten my work featured, but I have six pieces for sale in two separate locations, made multiple sales, and I can now announce that I am in the process of working with four different locations on teaching workshops and classes! When I was laying on that couch, thinking of myself passing that big goal, I really didn't imagine it like this. We all imagine success in different ways. Sometimes our minds get set on a path and we don't even realize all the other amazing paths our success can take us. I am thankful for the goals I've achieved and I am humbled for the goals I haven't. I know it may sound like I am super happy and positive about what has happened, but I have plenty of days where I feel like a failure. I get upset because I didn't post enough on social media, or I watched tv all day instead of working or didn't finish a piece fast enough. I've learned that goals are relatively easy to achieve, but it's the emotional side of things that is the hard part. Feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, fatigue, self-doubt, these are all emotions I struggle with. There are some days when I feel so overwhelmed I don't even want to keep pursuing all of this. I think that a day job would be easier because then I wouldn't have to try. I would just go to an easy job and be able to come home and do whatever I want instead of always putting effort into building this dream. However, I know the pure joy that comes from doing what I love most. It's hard, it's exhausting, it's demanding, but it fills my soul in a way other things can't. So when it does get hard, I live with the knowledge that this crazy, seemingly impossible thing I'm doing is so, so worth it.
In my last post, I talked about my new found love for weaving. I'd thought I'd share what I've learned thus far, from a beginners perspective.
1. DIFFERENT LOOMS
When I first started out, I wanted to buy a loom (what you weave on) but when I looked them up on the internet, I got directed to giant (like the size of a smart car) sized looms. I was confused and eventually learned that there are several different kinds of looms. I still don't understand how the smart car looms work but I know they are for creating rugs, clothes, blankets, and other things that humans don't need to hand weave anymore. I eventually found what is commonly referred to as a "frame loom" or "lap loom". This is what I was looking for, and this is what most people who make hand-woven tapestries, weave on. My loom is from Lost Pond Looms on Etsy. If you're looking for a loom, Etsy is the place to find one. I've only used one loom so I can't recommend others but I'm going to add some of my favorite resources at the bottom of this post.
Tension has been my biggest enemy with weaving. Tension is how tight your yarn is stretched across your weaving. When you have good tension your weaving will turn out with straight edges and it won't pull in weird places; it should lay flat. Bad tension is when the weaving has curvy edges, has a wonky appearance, and instead of laying flat, puckers in odd places. I personally like weavings that have clean lines and look overall, very symmetrical. I've noticed that some weavers don't seem to care what their tension looks like but for me, it's a big deal. I'm still learning and experimenting how to weave in a way that will give me the best tension but it is a challenge!
Learning about weaving has been the biggest challenge with weaving. There just aren't that many resources. It's not a hugely popular thing anymore because like I said above, humans don't NEED to do it anymore, we have machines for that. But after lots of research I discovered a few people who also share the love of weaving and here's a list!
Over the years I've discovered I have a problem with not sticking to one medium of art (as I'm sure you'll see in my shop). I just LOVE being creative! Whether it's art, home decor, fashion, writing, cooking; whatever it is, if you can be creative with it, I love it. So that makes being an artist a little bit difficult sometimes. I'll start on one project but I have so many ideas constantly running through my head that by the time the next day rolls around I already want to start three other projects. My husband does so well with my affinity for so many mediums. However, I honestly feel for the guy whenever we venture into an art store. I'm running around like a kid in a candy store while he patiently follows me around, shaking his head no because I do not in fact need 5 different sketch books and 17 tubes of paint. Thank God I have him.
Recently though, I have discovered weaving. Some mediums will be just a phase and rarely I find one that I actually love, but, weaving was one of them. I always had a curiosity for knitting but lets be honest...knitting is one of those things that unless you've been doing it for a long time and you're super advanced, it never looks good. We all have that relative or friend that got into knitting and tried making you a scarf or beanie that came out looking like a scratchy, misshapen sock. Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on knitting. I know people who knit some really beautiful things; it's just not for me. Anyway, since I didn't want to knit but I liked the idea of it, weaving seemed like the perfect alternative. So, I bought a loom (what you use to weave on), started weaving, and I absolutely love it. I've completed one weaving and I'm currently working on my second. Both are an experiment of sorts because I'm using different techniques on each. My goal is to have some ready for the shop very soon! In the meantime, here are some pictures of my weavings.
This past year has been full of one thing, and one thing only: change. In 2016, I got married, became a wife, (yes those are two separate things) left my childhood home, moved twice, bought a house, dropped out of college, and quit my job. I have felt thoroughly overwhelmed with the amount of change and the speed at which it has happened. Nothing can prepare you for the launch into adulthood; and nothing can prepare you for it to happen all so fast. Not only has my life changed, but I have changed with it. I am trying to find my place and asking myself the honest questions; Am I happy? Is this what I want to do with my life? If not, then what is? Part of me is figuring out that you never stop asking yourself these questions, you'll never reach a point where you "have it all together", and you'll never stop changing.
I was looking up change in the dictionary and saw that one of the synonyms was metamorphose. Metamorphose means, "to completely change in nature". Change is the end of one thing and the beginning of another. This year has been a year of a lot of endings; the end of my childhood, the end of singleness, and the end of a lot of dreams. I have achieved so much, so young, so fast and I should feel happy and successful but I've actually felt the opposite. My greatest dream since childhood was to get married to someone I loved. I did that. After getting married, I wanted a house for us to grow together in. I did that. I did these things, these things that take some people lifetimes to achieve, in less than 6 months. I was so happy, all my dreams were coming true, but yet, I felt something nagging me. That nagging helped me to realize, it was time for new dreams. The Northern Craft is something that I've wanted, tried, and failed, to do for a long time. However, dreams have changed, I have changed, and the time to start is now.
Hello & Welcome, I'm Cassidy.