Friday, October 31, 2008

Animal Friendly Art

by Crystal of Vintage by Crystal

The annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival is one of my favorite local events and I look forward to it in anticipation every year. Of course the free give-away's and samples are more than good reasons to go in and of themselves, not to mention that it's one of the few places I can buy my favorite vegetarian faux meat...
but one of the main reasons I go is to check out all of the great product design! I don't know who the artist's are (I pulled these images off of Herbivore Magazine and Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe websites), but I just love the new colorful, gorgeous and best of all, animal and environmentally friendly paintings, illustrations, photography, and digital art they sell on clothing, bags, buttons and stickers. They're so incredibly inspiring!

Go check them out! The Food Festival is tomorrow - See you there!
Saturday, November 1, 2008, 10 AM - 6 PM
13th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival
Reggie Lewis Athletic Center
1350 Tremont St.
Boston, MA

All Hallows' Eve

by Liz of Lush Beads

(Taken a few days ago at the pumpkin carving party Liz attends each year)

Halloween is upon us! I chatted with some members of Boston Handmade recently to see how they are celebrating the holiday, and what it means to them.

Lucie says: "This is a photo I took at Jamaica Pond in the spring. I thought it gave a distinctly creepy, Halloween-y feel with the bare branches looking almost unnaturally curved, like a haunted forest. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, second only to Christmas. I have always loved costume parties, ghost stories and candy!"

Kerry says: "I have a black cat but he doesn't like to pose for photos. I love Halloween and every year we have a pumpkin carving party. To me, it is the beginning of the holiday season. It is such a symbol of Fall and is such much fun." She took these two photos at her local Stop & Shop, of all places!

Crystal says: "Halloween is the only time of year where most people feel comfortable going out in public wearing silly, scary, or over the top costumes and outfits. It's a fanciful holiday where fantasy takes over and the atmosphere is storybook-like with leaves falling, children running around with buckets of candy and haunted hayrides where it's encouraged to let out a scream and then a laugh."

Here are two of her spun-cotton creatures. You can see more in her Etsy shop.

Marla combines her love of sea glass with this holiday to create some fanciful witch earrings.
For me personally, Halloween is the absolute best time of year. The fall chill is in the air, the leaves crunch under your feet, apples are fresh and plentiful, and the smell of burning leaves and fires becomes more prevalent. I attend an annual pumpkin-carving party. We toast pumpkin seeds, enjoy mulled cider, and decapitate poor innocent squash. Take a peek at my award-winning pumpkins from last year!
I hope have a great time wherever you will be this Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spring 2009 Color Forecast

by Betsy of Stonehouse Studio

Ever wonder what makes a color "in" for a particular season? Most people assume that designers have color epiphanies while looking at the sky or at a feather or whatever. Wrong. It's the color gurus over at Pantone who have the final say, and they've been doing it for the last 45 years. They actually forecast colors several years ahead of time. It amazes me that designers follow them so blindly, but that's a theme for another post.

Here is the 2009 color forecast. As Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute said: "New York’s fashion designers encourage hopeful attitudes with lively colors, while sophisticated, grounded hues address the need for stability in times of economic uncertainty.” I say "Pantone for President" - maybe color will solve all our economic woes!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Workspace Wednesday...

with Sedruola Maruska of Yarn Obsession

My workspace is varied. Right now because we live at my parents home, I have all my items stuffed into one cabinet in a spare bedroom. I can't really use that room as my workspace because it's used as a "catch-all" type of room with laundry piled high, my son's old clothes and lots of other things. So, until I get an actual workspace, where I am with my bag of yarn, is my workspace.

This picture is a photo of my work on my lap, my universal workspace. I have it with me wherever I am and I use it all the time. I'd hate to leave home without it! For now, it is my most used and cherished workspace.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Inspiration

by Sedie of Yarn Obsession

You never really believe your life will change when another life becomes attached to it until it happens. When I got married, my outlook turned from a "me" to a "we" and it motivated me to make certain changes in my life. Not without growing pains, but they were made. Two years ago our "we" was expanded and things have certainly not been the same.

When my little boy was born we made decisions that were best for the three of us and continue to do so every day. When I speak of "my inspiration" I speak of what I'm inspired to do to make sure we're moving in the right direction for my son to have the best we can give him (I'm not speaking monetarily here) wherever we are. When I travel an hour and a half to get to and from work, it's because I'm inspired to do what needs to be done now, to move to where we need and want to be. When I work on crochet or knit projects on the train, or after my son has gone to bed, it's because I'm inspired to develop a business that will allow me more time at home with my family and less on the train to work.

Inspiration comes through motivation to do what is best for those in my life and myself. Sometimes, when I look at my son and how happy and healthy he is, I can't help but pick up my needles or my laptop or my hooks and yarn to chart the course I'd like to see Yarn Obsession take. I know that having my own business, with my own hours, is the only way I can give my son my presence, the best thing I could ever do for him in the long run.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Necessity is the mother of invention

by Jen of Blue Alvarez Designs

I am currently car-less by choice (like childless by choice, but less controversial-sounding), and as such, need some serious cold weather gear to help me in my efforts to stay mobile on two wheels through the New England winter.

So today I finished knitting this:

While it will no doubt keep my head very warm (it is soy silk and cotton plaited together at a chunky gauge), it also made me think immediately of two things:

1. The Sublime.

2. The Ridiculous.

And of the two, really the ridiculous came to mind first.

Do with that what you will. It's a fine line between utter geek and fashion plate, and as Johnny Cash said, I walk the line.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Resurrected Vestiges

by Marla Kunselman of Sea Glass Things

I have always loved these two words together and have seen them frequently used... "Resurrected Vestiges". So mysterious and limitless. The meanings, however, so simple: res·ur·rect·ed: to bring back to life, notice or use ; ves·tiges: a visible trace that something once existed. In my searches I have come across items that have traveled through time... still embodying the form in which they began - only to be transformed into something new.

It is believed that in 1870 a German ship, once carrying porcelain doll parts, sank off the Atlantic coast... if you are lucky enough you may be able to find one of the doll parts while beach combing. I have only found one - and I transformed into an interesting, yet beautiful necklace - full of history.
On my many journeys I have also uncovered old pieces of tavern pipes and glass buttons. Clay tavern pipes were used as far back as the 17th century and were plentiful during the Civil War. Shards and full pipes have been unearthed from old battle grounds and they have also been washed ashore - lost at sea from tobacco smoking captains.
Tobacco smoking and clay pipes were initially introduced to Europeans from Northern & Southern Native Americans. Pieces of these pipes would be frequently be broken off, and discarded, for sanitary purposes. Glass and bone buttons are fun to find as well. I always imagine where they came from, what type of clothing they were once on, and how there were separated. Under light and when wet - the button below is a dark plum purple. If you are out strolling the shore around active harbors... keep on the lookout - you never know what you may find!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Needham 27th Annual Craft Show

Georgia Girl debuts THE HOLE THING sweater vest.

by Louise of THE HOLE THING

TOMORROW, Saturday, October 25th, is the 27th annual Needham Craft Fair. The fair opens to the public at 9:30AM and closes at 3:30PM. This popular event will have over 100 crafters from the eastern seaboard offering unique crafts which make perfect holiday gifts. They will also have a silent auction of which THE HOLE THING will be also be a part of. Look for THE HOLE THING's whimsical felted wool sweaters, housewares and accessories at booth #96 in Gym B.

Portable Art

by Linda of Linda B. Dunn

I have just finished several new pieces for my on-going "Portable Art" series. Each piece begins with a few words and a pile of fabric scraps. Four by six inches in size, they can go through the mail, fit in a frame, or stand up beside the computer. Art that fits
anywhere, just $30. Portable art pieces will be on at my Etsy store. You can also find them at Cambridge Artists' Coop in Harvard Square. I will be selling them in person at the Unitarian Holiday Artisans' Fair at the Armory in Concord, Massachusetts, November 1, 10AM-4PM. Please stop by and say hello.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Photography as Exercise

by Kerry from Khawkinsphoto

I often take long wandering walks with my camera. I take photos in my neighborhood or take a drive over to where I think might have some interesting buildings and shops. Sometimes, I only take a few photos that are worth showing and sometimes, I am lucky get a slew of photos. These photos are of East Dedham, which, is not far from my home. Even though, I am familiar with the area, I had never explored the neighborhood just to photograph. I love the idea of finding something new or unexpected.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Workspace Wednesday...

By Crystal Hanehan of Vintage by Crystal
Here is another little peek at my always messy studio... Believe it or not, it has been cleaner than ever these last few weeks. Every once in a while I get a brilliant storage idea. I guess if you get enough of these ideas, over time you start to notice a more organized space! :) For instance, one of my best, more recent storage ideas: Stop storing so much stuff!! Easier said than done...
Here's a closeup of my overflowing vintage millinery flower drawer.
This is my vintage Christmas accessories drawer (not to be confused with my Christmas decorations collection, which is stored in many many boxes in the basement). These are for crafting purposes only and I have to thank Mimi for recently donating some of my now best crafting pieces!! :)
The surface of my first desk...
The surface of my second desk...
The wall above my desk...
And lastly my dress form (she was only $1 at an estate sale up the street!!)... What dress form you say? Trust me, she's under there.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

WARNING: Travel leads to artistic inspiration and lots of fun!


by Kirsten of Kirsten Bassion

Detail of door hinge in Oxford - University of Oxford - View from Church in Garsington

I have always found traveling abroad to be one the most refreshing and reinvigorating things that I can do for myself as an artist. Most every location I have had the opportunity to visit has been an enriching cultural and visual experience....blah blah blah....but really traveling is just a ton of fun! In these hard economic times I have to save every penny to get anywhere! This might actually be making the trips more special since they are more rare.

Adelaide on Rainy Streets - Inside Natural History Museum - Parents on the way to the wedding

Recently my family traveled to England for the wedding of my exchange sister from when I spent a month with a family outside of Oxford when I was 12 years old and then on to Madrid to visit my exchange family from when I spend a semester in Spain at 16 years old. (It is good to have so much family to visit!)

Bank of Spain, Madrid - Addy, Me, Ron, Jose, and Lucia in Plaza Mayor - Gate into Toledo

The food, the friends, the smells, the architecture, the museums and cathedrals, and language all inform my art and myself as a person! I love to borrow details of pattern, texture, or color from Medieval churches or hand wrought gates. Since my work is functional pottery, food often is a source of inspiration and will dictate a form or a function.

Jamon Serano ( Ham) - Addy and Uncle Jose - Walled city of Toledo

Every country has its own flavor and unique aesthetic. If I can keep scrounging the pennies together to travel I will! A unique challenge with a little ones but well worth it!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Mosaic - It's a Stitch

A stitch in time saves nine, and there are so many wonderful things one can do with stitches! Check out these items of clothing, jewelry, art, dolls, and more all made through the act of making stitches created by Boston Handmade members...
The Hole Thing
Linda B. Dunn
Yarn Obsession
Reclaimed To You
Designs by Lulubelle
Sea Glass Things
Mimi K
Elizabeth Brennick Designs
muchacha K
Stonehouse Studio
Let these stitches inspire you to make something today!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Perfect Fall Field Trip

post by muchacha K/Katy Brown

Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden is just over an hour’s drive from Boston, and totally worth the drive before New England freezes over. First of all, the scenery is lovely—the leaves right now in Concord, NH are just about perfect, and the Gallery is located on Hopkinton Road, which winds from Concord to, of course, Hopkinton, NH.

Second, the Gallery and Gardens are located on a NH horse farm…the sculptures are part of the beautiful scenery. You are welcome to browse, and sit, and ponder in the serene surroundings, at your leisure. I happened to go on a day when the gallery was participating in a local “gallery crawl” so I also got to enjoy a bowl of ice cream, and take home a free pumpkin, grown on the farm.

Diversity in the works offered also made for a nourishing experience. Both realistic and abstract styles were represented, 2-D works, as well as 3-D, classic sculptures cut from marble, and sculptural works that appeared to grow from the land itself.

While you’re there, oogle the scenery of the area, and stop into Concord for lunch…here's the WEBSITE for the Gallery…

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