Dear Readers-

If you know me personally you know that I am a luddite except for my sewing machines. And those of you who know the origin of the word luddite will get the irony of that statement.

In my attempts to learn what it takes to be a successful artist, over and over again I have been told–you’ve got to put yourself OUT THERE. I’ve stubbornly resisted this component of being a working artist. I fiercely wanted to believe that if I just focused on staying in my studio and making art, I would eventually have the career I wanted. But I was wrong. Making good art is only part of the equation.

With this blog I am addressing two of my biggest fears–dealing with technology and putting myself and my work out there for you to look at.

What should I say? The thing that feels most natural for me right now is to share my journey into making clothing out of repurposed wool sweaters. So that is where I will begin.

Over the next few days, I will be posting the story of how I started designing clothing out of thrift store wool sweaters. I am calling this up-cycled clothing ArctiCouture. I love the name, but my husband and I disagree about the pronunciation. I like it with a french accent.

He says no Alaskans are going to speak with a french accent unless they are French.

Oui or non?

What do you think?


Here are three of the first sweaters I made.

Here are three of the first sweaters I made.


This entry was published on December 27, 2012 at 8:23 PM and is filed under History. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

13 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. I find that people pronounce THAT particular word based on how they first heard it. I heard it the french way so it just occurs to me that way. People do what they want… As for your new blog! WAY TO GO! Love it. Following you where ever that may lead?!

    • Nysha–On Project Runway last night, they were designing for 5th Ave. It reminded me of our shoe shopping adventure last spring. What a great time that was. Color blocking really is just a fancy word for patchwork.

  2. I think your husband is right

  3. The French accent thing only goes bad if it is done poorly. A slight accent and people will just think a lobster pot hit you upside the head a bit strong but did not affect your sense of fashion. 🙂 Be brave. Say all you want about what you want. (I like the red one, but would look like a whale in it until I shed some excess consumption benefits. )

    Go. Write. Stitch. Happy New Year. Dokey

    • Dokey- I’m afraid I am one of those individuals who is over the top with the french accent. It might have something to do with being from Silver Lake, Kansas. You and Roy are probably the only ones from that town who would get it right. Thank you very much for the vote of confidence.

  4. Joanne Peyton (Thompson) on said:


  5. Kathy Falconer on said:

    Since I don’t know that word I am not sure how you want it to sound . . . arctic-coocher? My brain wants the word to make sense so my first attempt was arctic-culture. The sweaters look beautiful, Maria. I am waiting to see what classes you will be teaching at the QZ so I can sign up. Thanks for sharing your journey. You are fearless, it seems to me. Happy New Year!

  6. Shelly Stubblefield on said:

    Maria, I love these sweaters and the idea of repurposing! I want to try slippers and hats. wish I could participate in your endeavor and lend you my body as a model, alas I’m still here in Valdez, but I look forward to seeing what you come up with! I can’t believe we were quitting together, can it be 7 years ago and now look at you!! I loved the email, and will keep in touch, maybe send you a pic of my circles and curves quilt when it’s finished. Happy New year!

    • Shelly- It would be great to see your final version of Circles and Curves. I know so much has happened in the last almost eight years.You are a momma now. And he sure did look cute in his Christmas p.j.s!

  7. Pingback: Happy Anniversary! | Maria Shell

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