our thanks to penn treaty special services district

•March 21, 2014 • Comments Off

for their generous and thoughtful $2000 grant to krampuslauf philadelphia.


krampuslauf philadelphia 2013: parade of spirits… THE VIDEO

•March 21, 2014 • Comments Off


very grateful to all who shared footage, and to dentana for her music.

parade of spirits: artifacts of krampuslauf philadelphia, a group exhibition

•January 17, 2014 • Comments Off

Krampus invite.doc

yes! that’s happening, and the opening is this saturday, january 18th.

feel free to follow along on flickr to see us hanging and enjoying the show.

also, this morning ben and i were on g-town radio talking to the infamous ed feldman. what we had thought would be a ten minute or so interview went for well over an hour! we had a great time.


ed feldman is a treasure. we had a great time!

and, in an incredibly timely coincidence, renny and rocio of iMPeRFeCT gallery were featured the day before the opening on artblog radio. they are the reason we ventured to germantown in the first place and we love them!!!

please also enjoy the beautifully made “the artwork has left the building”: video by gary reed


•December 30, 2013 • Comments Off
poster by james g. mundie

poster by james g. mundie

IT NEVER CROSSED MY MIND IT WOULD TAKE ME MORE THAN TWO ENTIRE WEEKS TO GET A BLOG POST UP ABOUT KRAMPUSLAUF 2013. but things have been that busy and there have been that many pictures to edit and that many more things going on — including, of course, another opportunity to participate in krampuslauf beginning january 18, in a gallery exhibition at iMPeRFeCT gallery in germantown.

but first, a recap of krampuslauf philadelphia 2013.

first of all, our maker workshop got snowed out. not snowed out like we figured out not to go before we got there — or put the giant goat-bird hybrid chris carson was building into the U-haul we had rented — but snowed out in the way that we got there, got everything out, worked for fifteen minutes, then decided we all might have to spend the night if we did not go back home right then.

with lauf only a week away, the weather reports for our big evening continued to look rather frightening. some snow, or snow all day leading up to lauf time, or lots of snow, depending on the hour and source. i fielded a lot of messages wondering about rescheduling. eventually, we decided that, even if we knew that people coming from some distance would not be able to travel (including 100 high school students who had spent the year preparing for krampuslauf philadelphia, with a grant they had been given for mask and lantern making), that this was an alpine tradition, and we were going ahead.

this is not to say that any of this was done bravely or cheerfully on my end, at least not with any consistency. i cried. there was one three-hour period of catatonia. i yelled at tucker when he asked how to open an odd type of bottle.

and, even though we can now say cheerfully that chris carson made this thing, for most of the weeks leading up to krampuslauf, chris carson had not ENTIRELY made That Thing, and was doing so exclusively in my house.


i, a complete slave to holiday mission creep, had decided to Not Deal and just make new christmas stockings for my kids that better matched the ones i was making the twins, and so was more or less bolted to the couch knitting and checking weather reports.

the day of the lauf came and linda and janet were sure we were at one with the universe. it was snowing. it was going to continue snowing. the habergeiß, even though chris wanted to make more adaptations even hours before lauf (and still does), had to be loaded into the truck. the stage was being cleared of ice, for the fire dancers, out at liberty lands.

we got dressed and got everything together and got in the car.

photo courtesy of jill saull

photo courtesy of jill saull

what ended up happening was undoubtedly our most spectacular lauf yet. this was as much snow as anyone could have comfortably stood for, and things got wet… and cold… we had some casualties as far as lanterns were concerned… but das mädchen — that’s what we decided to name the habergeiß the day or two before lauf — was coated in that new rustoleum spray that smells horrible but makes things virutally waterproof. the masks tucker had made for himself and béla were also covered in this stuff, and spared from the snow. i was so busy, i never got my perchta mask or spindle or distaff out of the car.

photo courtesy of sam moon rafferty

it didn’t matter. i didn’t need them.

we made people happy.


our krampuslauf philadelphia family grew and strengthened in many ways, including a return performance — IN SLEET — of fire dancers lux arati. (who quite reasonably call krampuslauf 2013 their “most hardcore show of the year”.)

my only real regret is that not enough people got to enjoy the company of artist len peralta, who had to take cover in standard tap to do his drawing — the weather was just too intense. so not as many people got drawn as could have by far, but what we saw was pretty great. (rob’s is my favorite.)

gedreier eckhart, aka rob, by len peralta

gedreier eckhart, aka rob, by len peralta

local coverage from PHL17 went undetected during the actual event, but gave us this lovely photo set.

our official set of photos from 2013, from which we will choose images for our yearly book.

2013 believe it tours clip video (as we still work on our own)…

and a very big thank you to everyone who came faithfully, worked HARD, got cold, had a very good time. we love you.

das mädchen definitely loves you!

photo by jill saull

photo by jill saull

it is the goal of a number of our growing “core people” to do more regular maker events throughout the year — this, making things together, and growing community through art and time spent together, is the only “growth” i want to see for krampuslauf philadelphia. so do stay tuned for information. we are sorry to have missed the company of those who in the past have come from so far away, but are glad that those who braved it made it home safe, and i don’t think any of us can say we’d have wanted it any other way. krampuslauf in the snow is the way to go. see you in 2014!

gifts we exchange

•December 29, 2013 • Comments Off

even though i am late getting up the post about this year’s lauf itself i wanted to make note of all the gifts that went back and forth between and within our lauf and others’. we had a small craft exchange sign-up last year which sort of half-happened, and i had my usual goal of making special gifts for the krampus groups with which we have the closest year-long relationships. some surprises came to our house, too!


my mantle got krampussy with handmade sculptures by marva holmes in seattle, and from sam moon rafferty.



i made a krampus hat that lori designed for herself… this was part of “craft exchange” in that lori took my kids overnight this summer and let me go to manhattan with the rest of my family, which counts.


the biggest surprise of all that came this year was from chris steffler of austria, who was the subject of our interview with the krampus last year. he had this bust made for me from langegger masken, and it is even inscribed “for frau perchta”. i knew chris was a sweetheart, but i was really amazed by this!



portland is the city we have exchanged gifts with the longest. i was thrilled when arun sent us this banner, which he had beaten with birch switches coated in pokeberry dye. it’s so cool!


my gift for the cities of portland, pittsburgh and los angeles were these “beautiful” frau/”crone” frau perchta topsy-turvy dolls that i knitted.




and also, here are some things i made during the craft exchange — knitted gruß vom krampus balls — one for marva, and one for rob, who gave me marshmallow plant seeds, which i also consider a perfectly crafty gift!



we also received a lovely gift package from RVA krampusnacht in richmond VA, a town where we have a loved one and like to have an extra reason to visit! we hope to strengthen our relationship with that group as well as others in this coming year! and on the night of lauf itself, my hands were full of gifts i had not expected — a hand-designed krampus bell from michael at believe it tour, a “hello krampus” magnet from kyle, vintage postcards from michael, and st. nikolas, krampus and angel cookie cutters AND a t-shirt from bryan demory. i am very touched. i am glad we do what we do!!

once again, wolfgang böhm makes my day

•December 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment

he made my day last year when he first contacted me. he made all of our days with his krampus live from austria videocasts.

he taught me what a habergeiß was and how to say it!

as much as i wish he would let me share the whole thing, he’s convinced his english is not as good as it could be (and it’s very good). but he said it was ok to share parts of his message to me yesterday, which made my day.

“About your philosophy and your recent posts on the whole Krampus Lauf thing let me say this:

I am very very grateful that I got to know you…. exploring something I loved and got excited about as a child inspired me in a way nothing ever has before. I took a closer look and found a new approach on the whole Krampus thing, something that just made my life better and got me in touch with a lot of wonderful people. And I am not just talking Facebook friends….

All of that happened because you showed me how to take this whole Krampus thing and make it a social nexus for people to bond over art and culture – simply how to form a community. It wasn’t before I heard about your Lauf, that I realized what tradition is really all about.

so you see, I don’t care that what you do is probably not following the “rules” of Alpine folklore – the real heart of your Lauf lies within the people you gathered and the community you built. That is exactly what I will try to communicate on Dec. 14th.

I hope you can keep the spirit alive. Snow is fun though ;)”

thank you wolfgang, you know i wish you were here.

weather challenges continue. but you expected a big sappy post from me this year as usual, right?

•December 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment


lorelei sweeney sent me this photo this morning, of her kids making a snowman wearing the krampus hat i made lori. she also sent me a message concerning this weekend’s dicey weather: “Der Habergeiß wird in Philadelphia laufen! It’s gonna be fantastic! Fuck everything else.”

i have had chris carson in my home for up to twelve hours a day lately, building one of the most amazing things i have ever seen… and thanking ME for letting him be there. my friend regina — known for a few years now as the friend who literally ran through a neighbors home, across three backyards, onto the roof of my house and through béla’s bedroom window at a time i was stuck home alone and too sick to take care of my kids alone — was here yesterday sewing knees onto the habergeiß. the support i receive from linda soffer, janet finegar, and jhon sanders, just to name a few, gets me through this week every year. and this year, even though we have already been challenged with a snowed-out workshop, it has gotten me through.

we do not know what is going to happen with the weather saturday. we are looking at our options. i cannot guarantee that people’s travel plans will work out the way they thought they would or that the event will be exactly the same as it would if we had a clear saturday. but i can guarantee this: something amazing is going to happen. saturday, sunday, sometime soon. tucker said to me this morning, “this will find it’s slot”. and that was the beginning of a new understanding for me. (i used to wonder exactly how an eighteen year-old boy could be such a good friend to a 42 year old crone-in-training like me, and now we’re about to be 20 and 44, so i guess there’s no time limit on figuring that one.)

these magical items being made in homes and studios will be coming out. that is the whole point of this celebration. it’s winter. we have no control over it, but we also do not have to let it control us. the first rule of krampuslauf has always been that you are responsible for your own fun and some of someone else’s. we hope that the weather does not make things inconvenient or difficult this year, but i want everyone to mediate on this, if i may ask you to: krampuslauf philadelphia is not for you. it IS you. and whether it looks like we thought it was going to or not — even if we are a small group going door to door with our beautiful lanterns and monsters, whenever the most of us are free to do it — it will be happening.

please think hard about the deepest and best meaning of this event, and be glad, and be hopeful, and be ready. we will continue with updates!


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