arun’s first visit!

•April 24, 2014 • Comments Off

so. first, there was a long time ago.

this brings back memories!!!

this brings back memories!!!


before ever meeting each other, arun inspired me to start krampuslauf philadelphia, and we have talked one another through each others third and fourth laufs to date. i knitted him that krampus as a way of saying “hi”, more or less before we’d ever had much conversation at all.

also, before ever meeting each other, he designed a four part tattoo for four people, among whom i am one. (after 43 years of swearing there was nothing on earth that would ever warrant commemoration on my body with ink.)

for his bloomsday birthday, our family has, two years running, recorded bloomsday readings for his use, and i wish i had the picture of what my particular reading inspired last year. but i think i deleted that photo from my phone. goodness though, i should make those readings available, at least last year’s. ben, tucker and the children all did a bang-up job. well, why not, here’s a playlist of all of them. 

anyway, all this before ever laying eyes on him. that is how the world works.

and then, there was the last few weeks — when arun came to visit. he held a mask-making workshop and did an installation at iMPeRFeCT gallery which will be up for the next three weeks, at which point he will be back for a community dinner and to talk about his work some more. we got to eat crepes, listen to “jesus christ superstar” and craft together, and went to a free boy george concert!



we did g-town radio together!


(click below to listen to the entire show!)

here are all our photos from the visit, including the maskmaking workshop photos.

a little video from the workshop as well is included in that set.

other best moments include…




we are happy arun will be back in a few weeks!


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.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers