Sunday, December 7, 2014

Weird Happenings at the Native Marketplace - Dec 2014

As I said yesterday, I have been doing a few shows. We did a Native American Marketplace yesterday, 10am to 3pm. As promised, here are three odd occurrences from yesterday's event.

1. Man who overheard me talking about the event, then came and found me.
     There is a back story to this. I work about an hour from home via public transit. While on the train in the mornings/evenings, I work on baskets. Keeps me mostly out of trouble. I was headed home Friday night (the night before the show) and a lady from out of state asked me what I was working on. She asked if I had a shop in town. I told her that I do not, but that I would be at a Native Marketplace at such and such a place. I said if she wanted to come, she could google the location and find it on a map. She said she would be there.
     Well, here I was sitting at the booth and this guy comes up. He peeks over the table (not unusual for me. I work on baskets and people enjoy observing the process) and watches me work for a bit. I stood up to to to the bathroom and was asked, "do you make these?" When I said I did, he asked "were you working on them on the train yesterday?" I told him yes, I was. "Oh. I was standing nearby when you were telling that lady about it, and decided to come and find you. [...] and I thought I would buy some baskets." ... and he did.
     What was odd about it was that not only did he hear about it when I was talking to someone out, but he googled it to find the place, walked around to find me, and purchased items. It made me wonder how many other people pay attention to what I say on the train... It was flattering, however, that he did take all that effort to see a finished basket, and find some gifts for family members. I hope the recipients love them!

2. Woman who was honored to meet me.
     I sell baskets intermittently and always hear how they will be gifts for others. I am my own worst critic, and am always surprised to see how much people love my work. I was away from the table when the woman walked up. I came back to her holding a penguin basket and asking if she could purchase it. She asked if I made them, and I confirmed that I did. She then said, "I am so honored to meet you." ... Huh? She had been gifted some baskets that looked like mine. I said I had sold a good number, so it was possible. Could she describe them to me? One was a black and white one, the other black and white and blue. Blue? I have done two like that. She pulled up a photo with them in the background and, sure enough, those were my baskets. They had been gifted to her two years prior and she really enjoyed them. I was so glad they had gone to a good home.
      I am still fairly new to the basket world. I was floored by the idea someone was honored to meet me. I could see meeting my teacher, a world-renowned artist, and being honored. But me? It still feels a little weird...

3. My mother-in-law was thanked for having me.
     I am not joking. An artist friend of mine, who is a darling and sweet man that I have purchased a good amount of jewelry from, was set up at the table next to mine. I was happy to buy a few new pairs (after one earring fell somewhere, which made me very sad). The day went by pretty well, and both tables where very busy. Afterward, he was done packing up and was headed out the door. He stopped, and looked at my mother-in-law. He said, "Excuse me. Thank you for having such a great daughter." My mother-in-law looked as confused as I felt, and stated she had only been around me since I was 15. He gave his thanks and headed out. We were both kind of confused, and both kind of flattered. It was odd. Heartwarming, but odd.

Do you have some odd but touching stories? Please share!
~Pícpic Tewlikítpe

Off Hiatus

Since I was honored last summer with a place at Vista House in Oregon, I have been on a hiatus. I moved, twice, and then had several family concerns. After this landslide of things, I pretty much closed up shop. I am sincerely sorry for not being around as much.

It has been about a year, and I am starting to get the hang of doing more than just one or two of these things again. This month, I have done two shows. I had a blast at each. I think I am officially off Haitus, and will probably be opening my Etsy shop again soon. Dependent on how difficult my homework is (oh, I went back to school, too), I should be able to create & post more often. Be on the lookout for more artist features!

If you have been following me on social media (links here and here), you would find that I have been creating more, and created a few new designs. Remember the snow-people? Well, I have decided this year to make penguins. Please meet Perry and Gunter. My coworkers, friends, and family enjoy naming them. :)

Here is Perry, my second-ever penguin
Please say "Hello" to Gunter, my fourth iteration of the penguin design.
I have decided on the next few shows, and will be traveling to areas in the Pacific Northwest. The next one will be New Year's Eve, heading to Portland for the annual NYE Sobriety Powwow. This is a clean & sober event that goes almost until the ball drops! It will be great.

Next post: odd happenings from the show!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Vista House?!


I know it has been a long time. I got a job, was looking for an apartment, and my computer went kaput All in all, it has been busy. However, I am hoping to post more often. My hubby has a laptop I can borrow most of the time, and I now live about 20-25 minutes closer to work. :)

Now, for the big news. I was accepted to sell my art in the gift shop at Vista House! I am focusing on patterned baskets and basket jewelry! My wares haven't made it yet due to some technical difficulties with my tags, but they will be soon!

What is it? A rest stop along the Historic Columbia River Highway. It was "dedicated in 1918 as a comfort station, a scenic observatory, and a Memorial to Oregon Pioneers" (Source: Friends of Visa House Membership Invitation pamphlet). They promote wares from local artists, and like to focus on the historical, local flora and fauna, and Native American handicrafts.

Where is it? Vista House is in Oregon, along the Columbia River. It is on the old Historic Columbia River Hwy. I have included a map below for your convenience. :)

View Larger Map

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Updates 4/15/12

Well, hello. As suggested by my previous post (which was oh so long ago!), I have been very busy with my new job. Unfortunately, this means I have been neglecting you, my dear reader.

I am currently in the midst of teaching a 3-part basketry class with the Evergreen School District. My first official basketry class! It has thus far been an exciting and valuable learning experience. It has also given me some food for thought and ideas about how I should structure my classes in the future.

For example, I now intend to bring basket starts along with me for any short (1-hour) class. If there are subsequent short classes, I may consider starting them on the bottoms the next time. This would be after they get a hang of the basic motions. I also want to come up with some sort of useful handout. Unfortunately, since this is a very hands-on type activity, that may not work very well.

I am also back to work trying to get my website up and running. If I do, my blog will likely move over there so I have everything in one place (less easy to forget!). I will keep you posted.  For now, feel free to pop in every once in a while for updates.

I hope you all are taking care, and staying inspired.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Status Attained!

So, I realize it has been a while since I posted. I try to keep up, but it would appear I am failing so far. Perhaps I need to make up a blogging schedule... and try to keep to it.

My current obsession has been cleaning. Unfortunately, I let my space get to a certain level of uncleanliness, then it bugs the heck outta me until I turn around and furiously clean. Well, I have been doing more furious cleaning than letting it get to a cleanliness-challenged state lately. I realize this is a good thing. I also realize that I should not let myself get so frustrated with it in the first place, and perhaps just try to keep it clean instead. We shall see.

Oh, right, this blog post is supposed to reflect my newly acquired status! I am now no longer amongst the unemployed! I have been given a job! I have to say, it was an interesting process.

It started back in early November, when I applied for the job. Well, they had actually decided on their candidates when I had submitted my resume and cover letter. Recently, however, a person in the Receptionist/Office Assistant position has been promoted to a different position within the organization, so they needed to fill the spot. They pulled my resume and cover letter! (Oh, I didn't know that detail until after my first interview)... so I was asked to an interview. I attended, dressed in nice slacks, a white button-up shirt, and black jacket. It went well, in my opinion. After that, I anxiously waited. They said they would be calling people starting the next day... And they did. I was thrilled to be offered a second interview.

I wore a nice gray skirt and a fave top of mine to the second interview. I intended to be there early, but due to my car breaking down, I was afraid I would be late! What did I do? I called as soon as it happened (one hour before my interview) and told them I might be late. Thank goodness I wasn't! I was dropped of with three minutes until my interview.

I must say, being interviewed by four people, one of which being your potential boss, can be a bit intimidating. I tried to be less nervous by joking a bit. Hopefully that was a good thing, right? Well, they asked me a bunch of tough questions, including what my weakness/challenge/need-to-work-on might be. I answered honestly: being 23 years old, recently out of college, and with only two internships under my belt, I am still learning professionalism in the workplace. I understand healthy boundaries and professionalism, but am still learning how best to put them in practice. Much to my frustration, when I asked what they were looking for "understanding of professionalism and boundaries" was near the top of the list, after dependability and the ability to do the job. Needless to say, I left the interview feeling less than confident.

My family (birth and chosen) inspired me to continue smiling, despite being scared. If I didn't get the job, it was a great opportunity and I learned something out of it. They were all very confident I would get the job, so much more than I was.

Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call requesting my references, which I happily gave. I tentatively took it as a good sign I was still in the runnings. I was then asked to fill out an application. I wondered if this was a good sign, or if they just needed it to put on record whether or not I did get the job. I waited... and waited...

I was very excited to get the call. I was offered the job! I just needed to fill out some background check information and complete a UA (Urine Analysis, the standard drug testing procedure). I wasn't entirely sure when I would start, but I am so very excited to have the job! I will now, once again, be a part of the working class. I will have an income again!

I did wonder, though, since I admitted to a MAJOR weakness... did they just appreciate my honesty and willingness to learn/work on it? Or did they decide that I was worth the effort to try despite my shortcomings? I guess I also wonder if I was their first pick, or someone else was offered the job and turned it down... like they were given another offer already or something. But, whatever the reason, I am pleasantly hired.

And I really enjoy the job. I have completed my first week and am loving it. The people I work with are all very nice, and understanding when I make a mistake (which, first week, there were understandably a few). The clients have all been very friendly and patient with me (another plus). I am looking forward to continuing to work with these wonderful people.

Where does that put my artwork? Well, it does put it a little bit more behind. I admit to being sleepy this weekend and didn't really do too much. (Okay, I did do some housework yesterday, but that was just the bathrooms and some dishes. In a big house, not all that much.)   I hadn't been doing much during the week, either, after learning so much new and running about.   I do have time, however, when I am riding public transit. I will be working on basketry then, and twiddling my fingers all the way to work and back. I anticipate some neat new stuff. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Movie Review: Imprint

Image courtesy of
In my last blog post, I casually tossed out the name of the film Imprint. I realize now that some of you, my faithful readers, may have never heard of or seen the movie. I have thus decided to educate you.

The film was released in 2007, and was the 32nd Annual American Indian Film Festival Winner in the Best Film category. It tackles the difficult issues of minorities in the current white American society and spirituality in the modern world, but doesn't focus on it. It instead focuses on the occult, ghostly images that the main character encounters. What is this film, then? A review by "Variety" on the cover calls it "an old-fashioned ghost story with a Native American twist." And it is, a ghost story. A compelling story with excellent cinematography. And they actually speak in a real Native American language!

I will admit to not liking thriller, ghost, or horror films, as my friends can attest to, but I enjoyed this one. It takes place where many Native American films do: the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It follows the journey of Shayla Stonefeather, played by Tonantzin Carmelo. After a trying court case, Shayla returns home to Pine Ridge to find apparitions and hauntings, which she believes to be connected to her missing brother. After that? Well, you will just have to see. I really don't want to spoil it for you. I want you to take the adventure for yourself.

Better yet? Watch the trailer.

Interested yet? I sure hope so. And I hope you enjoy the film when you watch it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Movie Review: Older Than America

The new year has been very busy for me thus far. Actually, since my last post I have been going going going. I was a vendor at the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest's New Year's Eve Sobriety Powwow. I didn't really make much money, and I am cool with it. I really enjoyed seeing people and meeting with friends that I haven't seen in a long time. However, that is not what I wanted to chat about.

For Christmas my mother-in-law gifted the family a film called Older Than America, a movie featuring Native-American actors and about the Native people. We had never seen it before, but there are a good number of great actors.

Image courtesy of

The lineup includes Tantoo Cardinal, Adam Beach, and Wes Studi, all well-respected Native American actors. Tantoo Cardinal has been in Dances with Wolves, Smoke Signals (playing Arlene), and a great deal of other films. For her full filmography and bio, click on her name. It will direct you to the IMDB page for her. You may recognize Adam Beach from Smoke Signals (playing Victor), Wind Talkers, and the recent Cowboys & Aliens. Dances with Wolves also featured actor Wes Studi. He also starred as Sphinx in Mystery Men, and can be found in a variety of films as both a comedic character and a serious one.

The film was well-done, with a compelling story, wonderful cinematography, and relate-able characters. Older Than America also discusses some very sensitive, difficult subjects that, quite honestly, some people wouldn't touch with a ten-meter pole. Yes, I said ten meters. There are people who wish to deny the existence of some of these issues.

Issue One: "Indian Boarding Schools." These schools were where woefully misguided people believed that it was better to "Kill the savage, save the man" in order to civilize and save children. These children were taken from their homes, their clothing burned, forbidden to use their Native tongue, and suffered physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, and inter-generational trauma. The film takes into account both oral and written histories of the events that occurred in the schools.The inter-generational trauma still exists in the minds and beliefs of Native Americans youth today. The elders remember it. These schools were mandatory for Native American children as recently as 1975. Yes, that is the late 20th century!

Issue Two: Medical diagnosis within the ideals and confines of the Native American spirituality. Commonly, when discussing a variety religions, including many recognized "world religions," it is difficult to say whether visions and visitations are symptoms of a psychological disorder or not. I won't give anything in the film away, but it does question the balance between reality, mental illness, and spiritual encounters.

It has a similar feel to Imprint (never heard of it? Click the link). It isn't a depressing film. For a story going into a painful and difficult history, it is actually quite uplifting. Like I said, it is a strong, compelling story. I would highly advise giving it a watch.

Remember, the title is Older Than America.

Happy watching. :)