Posts in CRAFT YOUR OWN LIFE
CRAFT: Black & White - Twelve Quilts

I love the intersection of heritage craft and contemporary design, for nothing wonderful is ever wholly new. It's always a combination of influences and ideas. Whether these disparate ideas are taken from different cultures, periods of time, or methods of construction new thoughts combined with old-school techniques (or vice versa) is always compelling and so very beautiful.

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DUDES: Photographer Mikael Kennedy Studio Sale

"It's not about equipment, it's not about what type of camera you use, it's only about the vision you have that you are constructing. The first book I self-published I shot with a $30 toy camera, because that's all I could afford. Ignore what everybody else is doing and just go out and take pictures and build your own unique body of work." - Mikael Kennedy

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VENTURES: Sam Huff & Meghan Wright Talk Money, Marriage, and Making it Work

  Money -- and it's accompanying psycological counterparts -- choice, security, independence,  autonomy -- are deeply at play in all parts of our life. And all parts certainly include the center of our most intimate relationships. Sam Huff and Meghan Wright are husband, wife, and business partners. Wrapping arms around the needs of both their companies -- Tanner Goods and Mazama Wares respectively -- while also making marriage (and money) work is certainly no small feat.

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CRAFT: Denim Rag Rugs, Blue Jeans, and American Handicraft

It is the very human need for textiles that makes them such compelling pieces of art. Most always pieces like Jay's indigo fabrics and my mothers woolen hooked rugs are incredibly time-intensive and crazy-laborious to create. Once finished, they are beautiful, as it's almost as if a bit of the other person's soul is captured in the custom piece you now hold in your hands.

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SHOP: Mountains vs. Plains Holiday Cards

The holidays can be a great time of year -- full of exhilaration, exciting plans, and welcome surprises. And they can also be bummer-y. The Christmas music is everywhere. The airports are crowded. And the people? They're all grumpy. And so for all the fun and feel-good vibes we expect to get from now until the 25th, there can be an added element of seriousness created by all our hysterical efforts to make things feel WONDERFUL! with a capital W. It's enough to squelch all the good humor and Christmas cheer we work to cultivate. I guess what I'm trying to say is this: that even during this most jubilant month of December, there are times when we just need a good belly-laugh. An LOL. Hell -- even a seldom used ROTFL.

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GEAR: Nipomo Blankets

Functional, simple, and joyful, Liz Clark's collection of blanket rolls, totes, and straw baskets are a celebration of culture caught at a crossroads. Raised near the border of Mexico and California, Liz takes inspiration from  the colors of the coast, the history of Southern California, and the traditions of regional artisans for her collection of colorful basics.

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MUSES: Emmylou 

"Animals have a much better attitude to life and death than we do. They know when their time has come. We are the ones that suffer when they pass, but it's a healing kind of grief that enables us to deal with other griefs that are not so easy to grab hold of. I think one of the keys to any kind of peace in the world is to live in the moment. I guess that's why I love dogs so much, because they are so in the moment. They just keep bringing you back to that." — Emmylou Harris

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VIBES: Remsy Music

"With a Johnny Cash guitar-strum shuffle and breathy vocals that sound as though they could have been sung through a tunnel, Remsy's first single 'Lucky Two' is nothing if not entirely promising. Her dreamy, throwback melody gets some moody texture from exemplary sound mixing, accomplished here by Grammy-award winning sound engineer Jeff Lipton.  There's the contemporary lyricism of love lost yet not forgotten. A lively, bright guitar riff at the bridge. And finally a staccato sort of hand clap or gun shot that punctuates throughout, like the slash of a cracked whip or a winding lasso as it cuts through the sky."

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IMBIBE: Blue Henn Craft Tonic + A New Take on the Gin Rickey

Officially launched not even three months ago, Blue Henn is the brainchild of Julia Brosz and Kari Madore, two gals who first met at the UofM while studying interior design. The two quickly bonded over their love of artisan cocktails and a shared passion for all manner of well-made ephemera. Crafted with care here in Minnesota, Blue Henn tonic syrup is made with pure cane sugar, aromatic lavender, and natural citrus oils. Rounded out with a sticky-sweet texture and an herbal, medicinal scent, the syrup's sap-like viscosity can be attributed to the use of naturally-harvested and slowly-steeped Cinchona bark. This slow and natural quinine-extraction process gives the tonic it's signature green-herbal taste that is nothing if not sophisticated.

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VIBES: Robert Ellis

We here at Western Daughter -- and by we of course I am referring to only myself -- are big fans of sir Robert Ellis

This may have happened when we heard his first record back in 2011, or perhaps the flames of fiery fandom were vigorously fanned earlier this year, when we saw him decidedly trump everyone at El Cosmico in a rousing game of Stump.  Or maybe it was upon finding this rad assemblage of deep cuts hand-picked by the Texas-born, Tennessee-livin' troubadour himself. Either way, Ellis' 'Baby's All Right Brunch' is an ever-updated playlist of curated tracks, hand-picked by one heartbreakin' hombre of the modern-day honky-tonk and it is always very, very good. Vibe on.     

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MUSES: Kate Worum

A graduate of Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Kate works for Target in trend research and development by day, and her side hustle is comprised of a steady stream of freelance illustration work by night. Kate’s personal projects are where her flippant and freewheelin’ sense of humor really come out to play – (um, hello boob-print wallpaper) and every piece she creates never fails to put a smile on my face or a spring in my step. A breath of fresh air, this one.

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CRAFT: Winter Session Coffee and Leather Workshop

If I was lucky enough to be in and/or around Denver next week, I would most certainly be attending Winter Session's latest event -- a Ladies Coffee and Leather Workshop. Madison Chandler of Blue Door Coffee will be walking you through the ins and outs of bespoke coffee roasting, and afterwards Tanya Fleisher of Winter Session will be offering instruction on how to make your very own leather amulet necklace, as well as how to customize said amulet with healing herbs and gemstones

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Garza Marfa Furniture: How A Husband + Wife Design Duo Craft a Life Of Their Own in West Texas

Enveloped in the endless space of Presidio county, with it’s boundless sightline of grassy scrub and heaven-scraping Sotol plants, lies the studio of Jamey Garza and Constance Holt-Garza. The couple launched their line of modern furniture in 2012, during a debut show at San Francisco’s Heath Ceramics titled ‘Marfa Amigos.’ Shortly thereafter photos of the pair’s oval chairs and exquisite pillows made from Bolivian frazadas began populating both my blogroll and my daydreams. I made a photo of their saddle leather chair my desktop screensaver, and taped images of Garza Marfa’s unique and zen-like Southwestern silhouettes to my refrigerator. I fell in love with the minimalistic, high-desert design language of their pieces -- so distinctly expressive of the arid and expansive landscapes I love.

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VIBES: Leon Bridges

What first got me tunin' in to Texas heartthrob Leon Bridges and his swoon-worthy ballads wasn't from hearing a catchy song carried along on the wind, and it wasn't from stumbling upon a soundcloud or spotify profile, and it certainly wasn't after seeing Leon live; as he has yet to play to a Minneapolis stage. Rather, my fandom began after finding his instagram. I promptly got a sore thumb from liking nearly every photo shared by this Sam Cook-worshippin', Louisiana-tourin', pleat-front-trouser-wearin' sun-of-a-gun.

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SHOP: The Wrong Store

I was making my way from Alpine to El Paso and needed a diversion before a long and meditative drive along I-90 through mesquite scrub. This is when I stopped by a church on sleepy West Dallas Street. It's monastic profile was almost entirely obfuscated by clusters of prickly pear cacti and statuesque blue agave. A five-foot tall neon horse shoe stood sentry not far from the entrance. Part bordertown iglesia and tourist trading post, the church belongs to artists Buck Johnston and Camp Bosworth. The two relocated to Marfa on a whim, purchased the abandoned place of worship, and have since turned it into their private residence, studio space, and storefront.

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GROOM: DS&DURGA

It is not surprising then that my favorite perfumes are handmade by a young couple who came to their craft honestly and unexpectedly.  David Seth Moltz and Kavi Moltz started their small-batch perfume company, DS & Durga; from their Brooklyn apartment. The sophistication of their scents is the same as those cooked up by the most veteran of perfumers. Between them, their vast and varied experiences make for a line that is all the more inventive and impressive.

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