Lord Have Mercy On My Rough And Rowdy Ways

3 Jul

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my last day working at Target meaning that today marks the one year anniversary of starting the crazy adventure of being a full time artist. I was sitting in bed last night thinking how strange that its only been a year. It seems as if I’ve been doing this my whole life. Not in a way I regret either, it just comes so naturally to me to be doing this. Of course, I’ve worked more this past year than I have in my entire life times ten. Also my social life now consists mainly of outings to the post office and talking with equally socially awkward artists at art shows but I can honestly say that this is the happiest I have been in my entire life. I can’t recall a day where I woke up and regretted my decision. Quite the opposite really, I usually find myself asking why me of all people, do I get to be blessed enough that I actually get to live out my dreams. Most people don’t ever realize theirs and to have mine come true when I was just 24 is nothing short of a miracle.

In a year I’ve gone from having a total of six journals sitting on a shelf and working myself into debt from buying supplies to just recently having my most successful show and looking at getting an apartment/studio along the north shore in the near future. That’s not to say its been easy. Running your own business, especially one where you are creating what’s being sold is a very trying thing for a person to do. You’re more or less selling pieces of yourself making any rejection extra painful. Like I said though, I’ve never been happier in my entire life. Who knew that it was actually possible to do this for a living?

During my most recent show, I had several artists come and tell me how nice it is to have someone young doing art shows. As one rather animated fiber artist said, “I look around and see a lot of gray hairs and it scares me to think that this could die”. It scares me too. One of the things I hope to get more involved in is encouraging other young people to get into the world of creating and selling their wares. I understand that not everybody is as crazy as me where they can just quit their old life completely and start from scratch but even just creating enough stuff to try one small local show can open your eyes to a whole new way of life. If you’re reading this and you have a creative bone in your body I dare you to at least attempt it. If its in your soul and its meant to be, it will be. Just don’t doubt yourself for even a second.

So what do I have planned for this upcoming year? Honestly, I’m not sure yet. I have four shows lined up in the next month and a half so I’ll be spending most of my time working in my studio until those are over. Then I’ll breathe for a week and maybe travel somewhere because nothing frees you like living in your car for awhile. (See? Crazy.) Then it will be time to prepare for Christmas and several more shows. Once that is done I plan on relocating myself to New Orleans for a month or so and then finally look at settling down somewhere along the north shore. And by settling down I mean obtaining a semi-permament place of a residence. Its been a while since I’ve had my name on a lease like a real adult.
So that’s about it.
Perhaps I should throw myself an office party tonight. Just me, my cat and a bottle of wine. Artists really know how to live it up.

“One more for the stars and the eyes of the walls
I saw your face, I heard you callin’ out

I saw your face in the crowd and you came out
Just like the sun and the moon and the stars at night

There was a sign on the door and it reads to me
Just like the sun and the moon and the stars at night”

-The Head And The Heart

Crazy Is As Crazy Does

15 May

Say “hello” to my newest creation, the world’s smallest journal! Or tiny journal or microscopic journal or a journal that’s slightly smaller than a finger nail. Either way, its my new favorite thing to make! Which could be a sign that I’m losing my mind or that I’m a genius… but that’s not what’s important. What is important is that I do have a plan for these little buggers and that is to make earrings out of them. I’ve already made a few pairs and I think I’m in love. Hopefully there are some fellow book nerds left in the world because lets face it, an e-reader would not look nearly as awesome hanging from your ear.

Recaps and The Spring Soiree

4 May

Mini Journals.
I love them.
I also hate them.

This past Saturday was the Craftstravagnza. The weather was absolutely horrible. At one point I was crossing the street with an inverted umbrella, carrying crutches and being drowned in a down pour of freezing cold rain. Not to mention my dreads had fallen out of their pony tail and were attacking my face quite mercilessly. A young man saw me and simply laughed. That’s about all you can do sometimes.
However, I have to say that this was by far the funnest show I had ever participated in. The people there were amazing! My mom comes along to shows to help me out and we sometimes get looks from disapproving neighbors and shoppers with our sarcastic humor and loud laughing but not at this show. People joined in on the fun and you would never have known that the weather was trying to kill us all.
I also had the two most wonderful and talented neighbors next to me.
Green Cricket Salvage and Zoss Design were on either side of me and we spent the day laughing and talking between the rushes of shoppers.
I already cannot wait for next year!

Oh, so why do I both love and hate mini journals? Well, I love them because out the 50 items I sold at Craftstravaganza, over half of them were mini journals. Not to mention, they always seem to bring a smile to people’s faces when finding something so small yet completely functional. Why do I hate them? Because they take longer to make than anything else I create. If I don’t get some crippling hand disease it will be a miracle. Oh well, every artist must suffer a little bit, right? 😉

This weekend is the Spring Soiree put on by Design Vertigo in North St. Paul. It will be a chance for you to go out and enjoy the (hopefully) nice spring weather while supporting local shops and artists. Not to mention that The Historical Society will be having their annual plant sale! If you’re looking for something to do then definitely check this event out! I’ll be there selling my work in the Design Vertigo parking lot with other local artists.

That’s pretty much it here on the home front. Since this blog is severely lacking in photo department, I’ll leave you with this…

I think I’m going to do a contest in the near future where I’ll shove a bunch of mini journals in a jar and whoever guesses the correct amount wins a regular sized journal.


27 Apr

I think its impossible to say that word without the least bit of excitement, even if you have no idea what the Craftravaganza is.
If you don’t know what it is then check this out:


The funny thing is, the other day I realized that I had attended this show about five years ago with my friend Kate. There was a booth there where you could make your own buttons out of old books and newspaper clippings. I was looking through a dictionary/thesaurus trying to find another word for “traveling” or “wandering” and a few minutes later I was wearing a button with the definition for “wayfaring”. If you had told me that five years from then I would be selling my work at the very same show under the name Wayfaring Art I probably would have laughed and called you crazy.

This week has been going surprisingly smooth considering Craftstravaganza is my first show of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I have a to-do list a mile long but the fact that I am not having one mental break down after another is a modern day miracle. Today I have the always interesting task of buying clothes. For those of you that don’t know, clothes and I don’t mix. I have no fashion sense and don’t really care to have any. The problem with this is that if I showed up to art shows in what I wear on a normal day, I might be mistaken for a homeless person. While it would be fairly correct to assume such things about me, I am making a valiant effort towards dressing fun and quirky for my shows this year.

Here is a glimpse of what I have so far…

Its a skirt I got years and years ago from the vintage section at Ragstock when they still had the warehouse in downtown Minneapolis. I’ve never worn it in public before but have always kept it because I knew someday there would a good use for it. My mom informed that its a handmade skirt from the early 1970’s. It scares me to wear something with such bright colors and patterns but I’m excited to go with something other than my usual black and brown combo. So anyways, today’s goal is to find something… anything… that goes with that. Its times like this I wish I had someone to dress me because goodness knows I don’t care enough to do it well on my own.

Oh, I also wanted to remind people to watch the Fox 9 Morning News tomorrow because the lovely MA Rosko will be doing a feature on Craftstravaganza. I believe she will be talking to some fellow artists selling at the show.

I guess that’s it for now. I know its the St. Paul Art Crawl this weekend as well but if you can pull yourself away for a little bit on Saturday, I highly recommend coming out to the Craftstravaganza and checking out all of the wonderful arts and crafts work being sold there! I’ll be there in booth #24 selling my journals and other little items. So come on out and support handmade!

Friday’s Finds

22 Apr

Welcome to the first installment of “Friday’s Finds”! I had wanted to have this posted by this morning for all the people that were stuck at work on Good Friday but I guess you can peruse through this while you’re relaxing before the crazy Easter weekend.

A few of my fellow artist friends that blog do posts similar to this so I’m really just latching onto their bright idea.

Friday’s Finds are going to be blogs about anything and everything that has absolutely nothing to do with my business! Sounds great already doesn’t it? They’ll have everything from the weird to the beautiful, the funny to the down right scary. Today’s though is all about sugar, fat and all the things that make life worth living!

For those of you that don’t know, I’m two months into a weight loss battle. So far I’m winning with a total loss of 22 pounds but with that being said, I spend a fair amount of time browsing through the “plants and edibles” section on Etsy.com dreaming of the things I can’t have.  Here are some of my favorites…

First off are Robin Blueberry Truffles from the Calabasas Candy Co found here:


Part of the description reads “tucked inside is a delicious surprise of white chocolate mixed with real fresh blueberries” Makes me wish that it was blueberry picking season. I guess until then these will do just fine and by just fine I mean somebody please buy me these before my stomach leaves my body and goes knocking on this lady’s door? 😉

Next up is something that combines three of my biggest weaknesses in what’s appropriately called Salty C from Gucci’s Goodies


The description for these reads “Some of us strictly have a sweet or salty tooth, but these babies are for the certain few who love the best of both worlds! These cupcakes are a rich chocolate cake, cored and filled with homemade caramel…then topped with a dark chocolate frosting with amazing sea salt sprinkled on top”. Can someone please smack me to make sure I’m not dreaming? And yes, smack…a pinch would hardly do the trick.

Next up are Lemon Poppy Seed  Shortbread Cookies from Butter Blossoms


“A burst of fresh lemon zest, a sprinkle of poppy seeds & a rich butter crumb make these luscious lemon poppy seed cookies absolutely scrumptious…you will NOT be able to eat just one!!” I believe every word they just said, especially the not able to eat just one part. It also just occurred to me that its not just the salt, carmel and chocolate thing that is my weakness. All of these things are. Which I guess is why they’re in the blog and why I’m currently trying to lose weight.

Lastly, because its almost Easter… Peeps Lollipops


“Perfect for Easter…or anytime really ~ Peeps aren’t limited to one holiday anymore, which is obviously a sign of our society moving forward!” I agree. Peeps are something that you either love or hate. To all the haters out there, its time to just accept the overly sugary, slightly unnatural texture and taste that makes Peeps so wonderful.

Now for those of you that are upset with my lack of recognition for what Easter is all about. I have something for you as well from our always lovely Oriental Trading Company…

“Each 2 1/2″ religious pop is on a 4″ plastic stick. Assorted fruit flavors. Individually wrapped. ” Because I’m sure when Jesus died on the cross for our sins his dream would be that one day we would all be able to suck on colorful candy versions of his sacrifice.

Happy Easter everyone!

Diversify…Diversify and then when you’re sick of that… Diversify some more

18 Apr

As I noted in my last entry, business has been rather poor. I’m sure its not very professional of me to say that but lets face it, when it comes to business, some months you sell a lot.  Some months you sell nothing.

So in an attempt to put a stop to the pity party I’ve been throwing myself lately, I’ve decided to feature some of my creations that aren’t journals (well, for the most part they aren’t).

When I originally got into the arts and crafts world all I wanted to do was make and sell jewelry because when it comes to jewelry I’m, well… obsessed.  So to let that side of me show more in my work, I put up a few pairs of earrings including this one:

Northshore Waves

This pair was inspired by the color and movement of the waves of Lake Superior as a warm summer sun dances across them. They are made of 18 gauge bronze wire that I’ve hand pounded and molded. I just really love working with wire and metal and being able to pound it into whatever form you want… its a fabulous stress reliever!

Another thing I just put in the shop are my bookmarks made from my handmade paper. Due to my refusal to throw away any scraps leftover from book making I literally have a closet full of paper scraps. And aside from using them in my guinea pig and rat cages or as eco-friendly (ugh, I swear I’m not always so cliche) packaging materials, about the only thing you can do with paper scraps is form them into new sheets of paper. Right now I’m making cinnamon, tea and pine needle bookmarks…

Handmade Paper Bookmarks

Last but certainly not least, I’ve put some more of my Wayfaring Stranger Series journals in my Etsy shop. I love these little journals. They are rough and rugged and 100% me. They are made from my rustic leather scraps and each one has a 1930’s hobo symbol burned into the front cover.

Wayfaring Stranger - "Safe Camp"

In other news, today I went to a silent auction. I originally went to win a couple tattoo shop gift certificates but came home with a local coffee shop gift card, a fascinating African piece of art and a gift certificate towards a class at a local art center. What more could a girl hope for? I’ve been checking out the classes offered at the art center and I really want to take the sculpture class because I would learn all about welding and large scale metal work and get to make my own outdoor metal sculpture (for the record, I decided long ago that if bookmaking fails me, I’m definitely entering the world of sculpture)… Unfortunately the class is a bit out of my price range. So I’ll probably take the ceramics class… I’ve been meaning to take on the wheel again after it thoroughly kicked my butt in high school ceramics…

“Well I tried to wake it.
I tried to break it.
I tried to lay it down by the river
Even the river wondered…
Which side are you on?”

-Breathe Owl Breathe

Its Been A Long Time Old Friend…

16 Apr

Well, its been painfully long since I last wrote. Things got busy and time slipped away. However, I hope to change that. Business has not been doing very well at all lately. I’m not entirely sure why but its frustrating to say the least. I’m doing my best not to let it get me down and instead focusing on the upcoming art show season but it isn’t always easy.

So one of the things I am going to do to keep my mind focused on other things is blog and entertain all of you with my wildly witty thoughts. Or at least give you a glimpse into my life and current creative process.

I’m still not sure how often I’ll write. Maybe once or twice a week. Either way, I hope you’ll be up for finding out more about Wayfaring Art and the creative mind behind it.

I’ll end this post with a photo of one of my newest creations. Its a journal I made for my brother with some personalization burned into the cover. I usually (ok, always) shy away from personalizing journals just because it never turns out as nice as I hope and can often ruin the look of a journal, but this one is a graduation gift for one of his students so I decided to get a little creative with it. Much to my surprise, it actually turned out!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

"This old heart it's getting old but it still 
-Matt Epp
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