Friday, February 10, 2017


My best friend Patti Searle, of "Paganoonoo Patti Blouse" fame died yesterday. She was the most extraordinary woman I have ever known.

Her commitment in life was to make a positive difference with people, and she did.  She had a living memorial 1 year ago, invited 500 people and 250 came. If you viewed even a few minutes of it her contribution would become clear.

Her death was a planned exit, permitted by California's death with dignity law. She'd had cancer, breast (10 years ago), then bone (4.5 years ago) then lungs-liver-etc. Stage 4 for about the last 12 months.

She publicly shared the intimate details of her cancer treatments with everyone in her life -her feelings, everything about the journey including her decision to stop treatment and request death with dignity. Her goal was to change the dialogue about cancer and death & dying. Her journey is documented on her Facebook page.

I had the privilege of supporting her, going to all Drs appointments, chemo treatments, etc.  She had a wicked sense of humor and we were often the only ones laughing and having a good time in the infusion center.

I moved in with her a week ago to help while we waited for the meds to go through. She was rapidly deteriorating and did not want to be stuck in limbo, in pain, unable to end things (legally you must be able to take the "cocktail" yourself.)

Today, with a team of loving friends by our sides I held her as she died. I am a far better person for knowing and loving her.

#deathwithdignity #remarkablewoman #bff #centerforspiritualliving #nastywoman #paganoonoo

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Puyallup Sewing Expo soon and more events in early 2017!

Hello and Happy New Year! All kinds of good things are going on at Paganoonoo:

I've accepted an invitation to go to Ohio and film 3 segments for It's Sew Easy,  the nationally syndicated sewing show. I am honored and thrilled with this opportunity to newly introduce many stitchers to the concept and benefits of upcycling.
We film in early February and episodes will air sometime over the summer.  I will keep you posted as to dates.  The program is shown on PBS affiliate stations, and also on the web and their YouTube feed.  I've never done TV before so I'm a bit nervous.

The following week I will also be participating in a TV panel of fiber artists for a local Santa Cruz show, Step Into Fashion.  Air date TBD.  The production is affiliated with a benefit show put on by Palo Alto Medical Foundation in early April.  Paganoonoo will have a booth, more details to come.

March 2-5, 2017 – Paganoonoo will have a booth at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA, USA. If you've never been consider going, it is the largest sewing expo in the US and it takes at least a couple of days to get through all the exhibits and squeeze in some workshops.
I'm thrilled to have been selected to teach again. The topic is transforming a unisex t-shirt into a more feminine silhouette. The class will coincide with the release of a new pattern, the Ellie Shirt.  An example is shown above. It will also include a trunk show of various other upcycled t-shirts.

 The two-needle workshop is on Sunday, March 5th.  
It is open for registration now, #2710D 
Transform Your T-shirt with Upcycle Sewing, $20.00

Speaking of pattern releases the long, long overdue Rebecca Shirt Dress will also be released at the expo.  Anne and Ellie have been proofing the final patterns and test sewers are trying out the instructions right now!  
Here are some in-process shots and Rebecca herself modeling the prototype.

A knee length version of the Rebecca Shirt Dress.  Looks great below the knee too!

Many of you have probably noticed I’ve not posted much lately.  I’m still working very hard on Paganoonoo but I have spent a considerable amount of time on my “day job” in medical device regulatory compliance consulting during the last 6 months (pads the bank account).  Our son was married in out backyard (a wonderful day). And a number of other scheduled shows and events have kept me on the verge of burnout.

While I would like to think I am the Energizer Bunny, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, I do in fact suffer from anxiety and depression (long family history).  Most of the time I’m able to productive but then there are “crash days” (ask my husband).  Thanks to family and friends, I have a great support system that helps pick me up when I’m down and stroke my head when I need it.

Over the last 6 years, my best friend has been battling cancer and the fight is just about over.  We are very close and seeing her move towards the end has been painful to watch and I’m very glad her pain will be soon over.  She's promised to record some short video clips I can watch when I need a dose of BFF.

Why am I talking about all of this??  I want to promote transparency for those in the same kind of battles I’m in.  Knowing I’m going to lose my very dear friend has made me think about my own future and legacy – I’m still youngish, but you never know.  Paganoonoo/upcycling is my passion. I’m committed to having all stitchers try upcycling at least once, have a successful experience and add it to their toolkit – together we can make a huge difference for the planet and each other.

Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm.

 I hope to see you in Puyallup.  Happy Upcycling!!  Michelle

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

40% through Cyber Monday, Paganoonoo is thankful for you!

Hello Upcyclers!

For those of you in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

In the American tradition of offering discounts over this weekend (today through Cyber Monday) all items in the Paganoonoo Store are 40% off with code 40THANKS.

For everyone:

I'm thankful for each and every one of you.
I'm thankful for my family, my friends, for good health
I'm thankful for the progress humanity has made in recognizing that we can make a difference in:
  • Social Justice (fair wages and safe working conditions)
  • Environmental stewardship (pollutants, energy, waste streams, etc.)
I'm thrilled that upcycling is becoming more common and that we as stitchers can make a difference by using existing resources and look great at the same time.

I'm thankful for the wonderful conversations I've had with experienced and new upcyclers, and their enthusiasm for Paganoonoo products.  

I'm thankful for those who have spread the word about upcycling and introduced the concept to those who have not yet heard about it.

I'm thankful for the perspective shift that occurs when people start to look to see what can be re-used and repaired, not just with clothing, but with anything.

My wish is that all stitchers in the world have a successful upcycling experience and add upcycling to their creative toolkit.  My instructions are designed to give upcyclers excellent support in creating garments they are proud to wear.