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Hello world! How the heck are you? We are staying warm, cozy & busy here at the shop. January found us with more ‘down’ time in the shop which we have not had since we opened. In part it is nice to be able to focus on some of the things we tend to put aside while we were so busy through the holidays. Like inventory, unpacking the back room (thank you Rachael), getting new fixtures, etc. Many ideas are flowing for the upcoming year for The Stashettes, and we are implementing as many as we can ASAP! We do need your help to ‘pass the word’ around about the shop. We will only be feasible as long as the community supports this venue. Below there are a few categories of things we are working on:

Special Events:

First Friday: The First Friday of Every Month (THIS FRIDAY) from 5-8 p.m. Come on in, and enjoy refreshments, music and local art with the Stashettes!  Different artists featured monthly.

  • February theme: Artful Duets
  • March theme: TBA

Iron Dog Race Finish Day! Saturday, February 14th, 10 am to 6 p.m. Come in and breathe easy at The Stash! Get out of the snow machine exhaust while you sip hot beverages, snack on cookies and make a take home craft for your lucky snowmachiner. Craft $5 All Supplies Provided!

The Stash Lends A Hand:

This is one of ways, The Stashettes; give back to our local community.  Each month we choose a different local group, collect items for them and present the donation at the end of the month.

  • February recipient:  Literacy Council
  • March recipient:  TBA

Classes:

Intuitive Drawings: Jen Otey will be in on Saturday the 21st from 12-4 doing Intuitive Drawings!  There are a few spots still available if you want, please call ahead and we will fit you in…
Therapy Sessions:
Wednesday, February 18th, 5-8 p.m. Yep, you read it right!  The Stash is now offering Therapy sessions (a.k.a. UFO Night)!  You bring your project & a dish to share and let the session begin.    RSVP so we know how many to expect… Price:  $5 per person.

Beginning Sewing: Private Class (6 hours) taught by Janie Magelky. This is about sewing basics, tools, patterns and methods.  All students will leave with a finished project.  Price: $75 per person

Beginning Crochet: Thursday, February 12th, 6 – 8 p.m. Come on in learn a bit about yarn, basic crochet abbreviations and pattern reading, learn the basic crochet stitches and make a dishcloth to take home.  A take home help sheet will be provided too…. 4-5 person limit – $25/person. All supplies provided!

Valentine Making Class: February 7th, 3-4:30pm Local artist, Jennifer Eskridge, will be in the shop to guide students in making unique, one of a kind valentines. Ages 5 and up. Price: $10 All supplies included!

Knitting! Caitlin Winebarger is here to teach you how or refresh your rusty knitting skills.

  • Drop in Knitting:  Fridays 11-1 p.m. Supplies: Bring your own project.  This is an excellent opportunity for knitters of all skills to come, work on projects, and get that little extra help you need to tackle something new. More fun, and less expensive than private lessons, this time provides opportunity for one-on-one assistance in an open and welcoming atmosphere. Come share your trials and tribulations, as well as your successes!  Classes are $10 per person.
  • Knitting on Demanda.k.a. By appointment only. Come deal with your knitting “issues” in a one-on-one environment. This is an excellent opportunity to get started on a new skill, or to get help fixing a heinous knitting emergency. What ever you decide, it’s all about you! $15 per hour

Yoga: Our Stash Yogi, Rachael Brechan, is getting the year going with some sensational classes…  Please call ahead to reserve your spot!

  • Adult Yoga: Tuesdays 6-7 p.m. or Fridays 6:45-7:45 a.m.  This is a relaxing beginning level, hour long yoga class.  Bring your mat and be ready to breath!  Price:  $10 per class $15 per private lesson
  • You-Name-It Yoga:  Let us set up a private yoga class in your own home.  Our certified instructor will teach a class for you alone or a small group of friends.    Classes are $25 per person.
  • Yarn -N- Yoga for Kids:  Fridays from 3:30pm to 4:30 p.m.  This will be an open class, for those interested in a beginning crochet class for kids.  There will be 20 minutes of crochet, 20 minutes of yoga, finished with 20 minutes of crochet… Price:  $10.  All supplies provided!
  • Parent & Preschooler Yoga: Fridays 11-12 p.m.  Here is a class that is perfect for parents looking for a special time to reconnect with their little one.  Price: $10 per class.
  • Yoga for Kids:  Fridays from 4:30pm to 5:30 p.m.  A beginning level yoga class for kids.  We will stretch, and strengthen our bodies while attempt to quiet our minds and have fun all at the same time! Price:  $10.  All supplies provided!

Out in the World:

We are broadening our horizons with technology, and we wanted to share with you! Currently The Stash has a place on:

  • Facebook: Do a search for The Stash Alaska, and you will find us there. We are finding this social network a FABULOUS place to meet people, and share information about what we do!
  • Café Press: Shopping at your fingertips, head on over to: www.cafepress.com/thestashalaska and let us know what you think!
  • Blog: We are still blogging, however, it seems to me that time has escaped me between entries! I will try to get better at that, but DON’T hold your breath. Time… Grasping it is so hard for me.
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We delivered the blankets today for North Star Council on Aging… 47 blankets in hand, and there are some more coming too! So we will make another delivery later in the month…

Here is a photo from earlier today! Thanks to everyone who helped out… north-star-council-of-aging-blanket-drive-21

From left to right is Janie Magelky of The Stash, Rachael Brechan of The Stash, Brian Wooldridge of The North Star Council on Aging Senior Center and Ginny Kawasaki, a Senior Center volunteer.

Stashette’s want to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving this year…  We have so much to be thankful for in our new venture, and we all know there is NOT one bit that could have been done without each and every one of you.

Thank you so much…

One of our artists, Jennifer Eskridge, wrote her very first blog entry about us… Thank you Jennifer!  I hope we can live up to your glowing comments!  🙂

Paradise Found – The Stash – Fairbanks Alaska

Okay, I realize that most of you would not consider Interior Alaska paradise, at least not in the middle of winter. Perhaps I am overstating a bit, but during these dark winter days I have found a source of sunshine in downtown Fairbanks – and it’s not just their bright yellow walls. The Stash is generating real warmth.

The Stash is Fairbanks’s own Handmade Gallery and Sewing Lounge.

Sewing Lounge! I love this, what community doesn’t need a venue that supports creativity in a hands-on and straight-forward manner. A sewing lounge, destination for beginner and experienced seamstress, crafter, and fiber artist alike. The equipment you need is there, set-up and rentable by the hour, space to spread out, and if you need it, a little help from your friends at The Stash.

Cool? Yes.

But really, a Sewing Lounge?

In San Fransico? Sure.

In Fairbanks Alaska? Why not?

It is not the first of it’s kind. A drop-in urban sewing lounge exists in the Bay Area for those who long to “sew and socialize” which is aptly named Stitch and gets credit for blazing this particular trail back in 2000. Since then a handful of other locations can boast a sewing lounge, but they are decidely “sew urban” and exist almost exclusively in large metropolitian areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, St. Paul, and Seattle.

However, you don’t need to be an urbanite to see the practicality of a place where you can use, but don’t have to keep and maintain, the sewing equipment you need. In Fairbanks Alaska, we don’t all have sewing rooms or studios, or perhaps we do, but currently the children are sleeping there. However, just as many of us live in cozier accomodations ranging from the classically full home, to dry cabins, or dorm rooms.

This snug bit of truth places our local sewing lounge on the cutting edge of the artist and maker revolution. Just think: this could be the end of dragging your sewing machine out of the closet or, as I do, borrowing one. No longer will you displace meals from the dinner table, or struggle to remember how to use this particular model of sewing machine. No more will you need to hunch protectively over your project, acutely aware of the “premium real estate” you are occupying in-house, feeling rushed to finish what you have started before a riot ensues. Hassel will no longer be the number one killer of Creativity!

Why not? Because the Stashettes, Rachael Brechan, Jane Magelky, and Robyn Neilko – the owners of The Stash – hear you and are providing a haven where ideas flow, artists and makers connect, and creativity isn’t just surviving – it is living LARGE.

You can learn to make duct tape accessories – think craft meets punk rock – or soulful knits, that warm the heart, heads, and hands of those who make, as well as recieve, them.
The Stash hosts special events and participates in First Friday – Fairbanks’s well-established monthly evening of gallery strolling and meet-the-artists type mingling.

In a manner both inspired and practical, the Stashettes are confident that art enhances the quality of life and they are helping others make that connection all over Fairbanks. Already they have hosted a variety of projects including a knit-a-thon, in which local knitters took part in an evening of knitting hat’s for chemo patients. Currently, they are supporting a drive for blankets that will be distributed by the Northern Council on Aging and they maintain display space billed as “For Kids, by Kids” which promotes local artists and makers who are under the age of 18, many significantly younger than 18.

Less than six months after opening The Stash has grown from showcasing a few dozen local artists and makers to approximately 100 local artists and makers whose vision and designs reflect a willingness to take risks, a sassy flavor, or an ironic playfulness that one doesn’t always associate with traditional galleries. Their sign boasts 100% Handmade – 100% Local and is brimming with hand-spun and hand-dyed wools, vintage fabrics, artistically re-purposed materials, and one-of-a-kind products, which are selected through a juried review and all of which support a creativity-based counter-economy.. The Stash is another step forward in the efforts to revitalize downtown. A downtown that recognizes increasing its appeal among longstanding independant-thinking Fairbanksians as well as newer community members means providing more choices for the socially conscious consumer.

To me, all this feels like a begining, an underground movement breaking through, grass-roots social action taking hold. Surely these women are represenatives of the indie craft movement emerging across the nation? When I asked each of the owners, they say it isn’t so. True, they offer an alternative to mass-produced goods. Their shoppers can make purchases and feel good knowing they are directly impacting the local economy. The environmentally consious are pleased to have a selection of artists and makers whose products embody the revamp, reuse, and recycle ethic. Additionally, everyone seems to enjoy discovering just how much talent exists in our community. But no, it turns out that community-building, helping revitalize local economy, and social responsibility are just natural by-products of their collective creative process.

How lucky are we? Okay, admittedly I gush. Go see for yourself – l’ll see you there.

Well Day #2 was a blur of people, sales, and sore feet!  🙂  We could not have asked for a better response from Fairbanks at Holiday Market Place.

Thank you!!!  🙂

This was us in October!

Well, we worked like dogs this weekend…  And we got it, well at least 80% of the new shop up & going.  🙂

Friday was crazy!  The old shop was completely empty by 3 p.m. and all moved over to the new place.  Papa Stash (i.e. Russ) was a HUGE help here!  Not only did he move stuff, but then he set up our computer system too!  If you know me (Janie) then you know that stuff is way over my head…

Bre came to help & even brought her stroller to move some things over too, her and Katelynn (Robyn’s daughter) did wonders with their wheels.  🙂  Laura brought my dolly over on her lunch break!  Yep, anything with wheels was much appreciated.  Natasha (Robyn’s daughter) & Robyn stuffed boxes, Rachael, Janie, Jolie, Ali, Thane & Mike all moved things!

Here are some

of the progress of the day…

Saturday was much of the same…  Well, unpacking rather!  New (to us) cabinets came, backroom was made more kid friendly for all our little one’s.  Pizza party, unpacking, shifting of the shit from one place to another…  That really is what this felt like after a while.

Sunday, the day of hanging.  Not each other, but pictures.  🙂  Many of the things went UP on the walls on Sunday…  Photos, paintings, curtains, shelves, hooks, hangers, and all.  It is all melting together & starting to work out.  We still can’t believe how much more room we have in this new place.  It has even worked out to leave most of the carpet free & clear for all of Rachael’s yoga classes too!

Today I am covering the back of the desk that we are using for checking out customers.  Filling storage shelves in the backroom.

This week, I will get the base cabinets & countertops for the sewing center.  Re-working the brochures to be ready for First Friday & our Re-Grand Opening Friday night.

Whew…  It was a whirlwind, and I definitely need a NAP!

Yep, it is official…  Rachael & I are strong believers in denial.  Procrastination is our best friend these days.

To this point, we haven’t gotten much done for the ‘M’ day (i.e. MOVE).  Hung a sign in the window, delivered a few furniture pieces, took a few photos and painted a wall red.

What is left to be done you ask?  EVERYTHING….  🙂  Including our drawing straws ‘event’ for who gets to clean the bathroom for the first time.  The toilet, well, I don’t do things like that well, so I am already starting to gag thinking about it.  I know I am a wienie…  It’s just gross.

So many people have inquired to what our plan is for the move.  So far, closing the shop on Friday & Saturday (this week) and be in by Sunday, up and running by Monday.  🙂  Easy as that!  (Oh, and dreaming about the moving fairies that will come and make it all beautiful & do all the work for us….)

Robyn’s husband, Tony, leaves for Iraq today or Thursday.  So we have been gently planning around that first, because it does take precedence over it all.  Or it at least puts it into perspective for us.  We will miss him!  But guaranteed we will keep Robyn busy & giggling until he gets back…

Okay, I guess, YES I am using even this blog to procrastinate the inevitable…  Back to the task at hand!

Moving…

Today was the day that it all started.  Well, okay, the actual ‘work’ started on the new shop.  🙂  You can see in the photos below what the shop looks like now.  Rachael got herself busy on the red wall.  That will be the sewing wall, so picture a really long counter with a few base cabinets in there & about 4-5 sewing machines available to sew on.  Yummy huh?

Check out the wood beamed ceiling!  Isn’t that great?

The long wall on the right will be yellow.  I got the electrical stuff all taped off, so we can crank that out.

Moving is scheduled for Friday thru Sunday the 26t-28th!  Keep your fingers crossed that it all goes well.

Yep, we did it again…  🙂

Our local newspaper, Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, had an article about the shop last Sunday!  🙂  They did a great job & made the store sound wonderful…  Well, it is wonderful!  Okay I know that I am biased here.

Things are still moving right along at the store.  Although I think that Rachael & I are in denial about the quantity of work that needs done this month.

So many things have changed in the last 2 weeks.

  • Our partner, Laura, has moved on.  😦  She received a job offer that she couldn’t refuse.  We are happy for her, but miss her all the same.  I did coerce her into helping me at The Holiday Market Place in November, so we will have a day of play there.
  • School started, woo hoo!  But that in itself is another hurdle that we have to jump.  All the after-school activites that our kids are in can put a pinch on our now 2 person shop.  I think it will all be fine once Rachael & I (and our husbands) get some sort of routine down.
  • We have 82 artists now…  Mind boggling isn’t it?
  • We are moving the shop in 22 days, denial is a beautiful thing.  Secretly I am hoping that the painting & moving fairies will show up and do it all for us.
  • Rachael & I have acquired a new partner!  Robyn Neilko will be joining our sassy bunch to bring us up to 3 Stashette’s again.  Yeah…  Robyn brings a ton of personality & vision to the shop and will make for a wonderful new addition.  She has been a Director for Pampered Chef for a while now, and is also one of our artists.  She makes fused glass jewelry in her spare time.

Off for now…  To much work to do and to little time!  🙂

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

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