Sunday, November 30, 2008


by Jaye of ThirteenthStory

I've always been a little proud to be part of the handmade movement, and tonight I saw something really special that I wanted to share with you guys. There is a new movie coming out in February, called Coraline. Its is a stop-motion movie down with "puppets".

Everything is 100% handmade, and it is stunning. There is only one way you can see bits of production for it right now, and that it to go to: and enter a "key."

The keys that I think you would appreciate are:


Saturday, November 29, 2008

It is in the details, Downtown Boston

By Kerry of KHawkinsPhoto

I dropped off my art work today at Boston Handmade Holiday Market. I decided to take some time to walk around Boston and take some photos. It was a bit windy, but I walked on. Sometimes, I don't have an area in mind, I just wander. Today, I wandered from Downtown Crossing to The Financial District, I eventually got the train back to Dedham. Most of the photos are in Downtown crossing including, the third photo which is Locke-Ober

Friday, November 28, 2008

Boston Handmade Downtown Grand Opening!

article and photos by, Jessica of Reclaimed To You

Boston Handmade Downtown opens for business TODAY, Friday, November 28th, at 11am. The gallery will be open Thursdays through Sundays, 11am - 7pm until December 28th so you will have plenty of opportunities to shop handmade for the holidays!
hand spun ornaments from Vintage by Crystal

Final preparations for our post-Thanksgiving debut in Downtown Crossing were made on Wednesday. Randi Lathrop, Heidi Burbidge, and Sandy Hussain from the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) came to the Boston Handmade gallery space along with the producers of three other temporary gallery spaces opening in the district. Jen Matson will be opening a gallery at 34 Bromfield Street called Artists Crossing, Scott Cipolla brings her vision of making art accessible through Alternate Currents to a space at 604 Washington Street, and a gallery of fine art and sculpture called Art Market will be opening at 439 Washington Street. We all met, shared news, and discussed how lucky we are to have this opportunity created the BRA and supported by local property owners The Druker Company and Northland Investment Corporation.
from left to right, Jen Matson, Sandy Hussain, Randi Lathrop

All four galleries will be having a coordinated reception event on Thursday, December 4th, from 5:30-7:30pm called "Art Meet Culture" where exhibitors, gallery producers, and representatives from the BRA will be on-hand in an open house setting to discuss the creative culture in Boston, and celebrate the presence of these artist spaces in Downtown Crossing.

The December 4th event is free and open to the public, and we encourage everyone to join us for the evening's festivities.

Generous donations of refreshments will be provided by Ivy Restaurant, Fajitas & 'Ritas, and the Omni Parker House.

Needle felted objects by Cozy Cottage Creations and mini-books from Books by Bexx

With all of the hand crafted items now at home in our Boston Handmade Downtown space at 505 Washington Street we are excited to share our wares with gallery visitors. We have over 30 artists, artisans and craftspeople showing work this month, and new inventory will be delivered to the gallery each week so be sure to stop by frequently to see everything we have to offer!Child's hat shown here by Elizabeth Brennick Designs, knitting & tote bags by Usable Goods

We've already been getting a lot of attention for our gallery and we are just opening today! Be sure to pick up a copy of the Boston Globe on Sunday which we've been told will contain an article about Boston Handmade Downtown and the BRA initiative to bring all four gallery spaces to Downtown Crossing for the Holiday season.

Jewelry by Little Wishes and Lush Beads

There may also be an article in next week's Boston Herald so keep an eye out for it, and on top of all that, we have received a major sponsorship for our creation of this gallery from in the form of a Team Grant. The grant will help us offset the many costs associated with renovating, producing, and maintaining our gallery space.

In addition to being a vibrant group of creative people, Boston Handmade is also an official Etsy Local Team which means that we get to tell everyone, all the time, all about Etsy and the tremendous benefits of buying and selling handmade. We hear that staff from the Etsy Mothership in Brooklyn, NY might also be joining us in our gallery for the December 4th reception event so that is even MORE of a reason for you to be there!

Creating this gallery has been a truly wild ride for the past few weeks, and we look forward to another few weeks in the space sharing what we love with all of you!

Take the T or hop in the car and check us out. Buy Handmade this holiday season and support your local economy and the arts in Boston!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving card made by

Wishing you a warm Thanksgiving holiday from Boston Handmade

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Workspace Wednesday...

Two dolls in progress amid the chaos that is my studio. The messier the room, the more I am getting done. The room gets cleaned up on the bad days. Or when it gets completely unworkable!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Tube... You Tube... We Tube

By Marla Kunselman of Sea Glass Things

In the era of Internet Marketing and "reaching the masses" - I decided to jump on the ol' bandwagon & attempt marketing through a well known site You Tube.

Being the online leader in video broadcasting, You Tube has millions of viewers world wide... and is free. It only made sense to put together a marketing piece in order to tap into resource and hopefully potential customers. Check out Sea Glass Things video now on You Tube!

I used Microsoft Power Point to put my slides together. I arranged the layout, timing and transition of the slides. I also added audio. Now the tricky part was converting the Power Point to a video stream suitable for broadcast. Through a lot of searching and trial & error I came across ABOILSOFT.

I was able to download and utilize a trial version of the software and convert it to a .avi file. Though it may not be the best product out there, and the audio isn't as crisp as I would have liked - it seemed the most user friendly.

So check it out - reach the masses and broadcast yourself today!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Boston Handmade Downtown Opens THIS Friday!

article and photos by Jessica of Reclaimed To You

Let's recap:
November 3rd :: I met with the Boston Redevelopment Authority at City Hall to discuss their offer to bring Boston Handmade into a Downtown Crossing storefront for this holiday season.
November 4-17 :: 30 exhibitors signed on to show their work in the Downtown space and agreed to help renovate the space, arrange the gallery, and work in the space during open hours. Also during this time Boston Handmade became "legit" by opening a bank account, getting a PO Box, obtaining insurance for our gallery, and setting up credit card service.
November 18 :: Keys to the space were received and the work of transforming the space began.
November 22-23 :: Inventory from exhibitors was received and display designing began.
Today is November 24 and for the next three days we will continue designing the space as we eagerly anticipate our opening day of THIS Friday, November 28.

Sound like a crazy whirlwind of activity to you? That's because it has been.
Photos and narrative from our first two days of renovations (November 18-19) can be seen here and from the next two days (November 20-21) can be seen here. It's really incredible what can be accomplished when you work with a group of people who are passionate and dedicated to their art, their Colleagues, and to the handmade life.

A montage of "end of the day" photos starting with a "before" shot:Saturday we had a parade of helpers in the gallery doing all kinds of important work like laying additional carpeting as seen in this photo of Sedie, DeShawn, Lucie, and Beth's Husband Justin:
Setting up inventory (Beth on the left) and repairing the display fixtures (my Husband Alex on the right):Liz and Nancy created a wall system for hanging jewelry:
Jaye, Colleen, and Marla helped design displays:
I had fun hanging ornaments with Beth's children Noah and Abby:
Brooke created a beautiful arrangement of her ceramics:
And by Saturday night there was quite a renaissance happening:

Yesterday more helpers arrived and worked together to decorate, beautify, and continue creating displays for the 1800 square foot gallery space.

Marla's Daughter Taylor was super helpful as she made a pile of gorgeous snowflakes and hung them from the ceilings in our display windows and throughout the galelry

Kiki hung a couple of her hand stitched quilts in the space and one behind the sales counter which makes the area a very happy one indeed.

Jen and Betsy worked various forms of magic to create display areas, the window displays, and dressing the mannequins so that we really get everyone's work to pop and shine!

It's been really wild seeing this gallery take shape so quickly and it's been an incredible experience getting to know everyone better than ever as we work so intensely to make our vision a reality.
More soon!

Monday Mosaic

With Thanksgiving approaching many of us are thinking of getting together with friends and family, sharing a meal, and giving Thanks. Here are some items that remind us of the season made by members of Boston Handmade...
Kirsten Bassion
Fraske Designs
Mimi K
Stonehouse Studio
Books by Bexx
Elizabeth Brennick Designs
Lucie Wicker Photography
The Hole Thing
Linda B. Dunn
Christine Marie Art
Yarn Obsession
Lush Beads
Sea Glass Things
Hand Me Downs
Vintage by Crystal

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Boston Handmade Members Favorite Purchases

by Allison of Fraske Designs

Tis the season to buy handmade! As you know,
Boston Handmade Downtown is going to be open for business soon. Since buying handmade is a choice many people are making, I decided to ask some Boston Handmade members to share their favorite purchases from Etsy.

Jen of Blue Alvarez bought a lovely Citrine Facet Silver Wire Wrap Ring from kims jewels, one of a few people on Etsy working with square sterling wire. Jen loves it because it was even nicer and better quality in person than in the picture... not to mention, she gets loads of compliments on this unique piece.

Nancy Rosetta adores this handspun yarn from knitty dirty girl... aptly named Godzilla Eats Pumpkins! Check out the finished product on her dog.
Mimi Kirchner bought this fabric swatch from legacy... this fabric swatch has been most successful as the inspiration to her tattooed men!
There is much more where these came from. Stay tuned for more favorite purchases from our members at Boston Handmade.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Boston Handmade Downtown - The Place To Be!

article and photos by, Jessica of Reclaimed To You

The activity in the Boston Handmade Downtown retail gallery space continues at a fever pitch!

Exhibitor volunteers have been pouring in all week to help set up the space and prepare for holiday shoppers and enthusiasts of all things handmade. We have less than a week before our opening date of Friday, November 28th and we are well on our way to welcoming the public into our handmade home.

Shopping bags for gifts and goodies are emblazoned with our logo, ready and waiting for Downtown Crossing to discover the wonders of gifts made by hand, and display windows announce our upcoming arrival to the neighborhood already bustling with seasonal spirit.
The big happening on Thursday was the arrival of our floor covering. Nancy and Betsy rolled it out and the fit was perfect!
Yesterday was a HUGE day for the gallery as we gratefully accepted donations of display fixtures from local merchants and property owners in Downtown Crossing. The neighborhood is being phenomenally welcoming to us and assisting in our arrival in many ways. It took quite a few helping hands to bring all of the displays down Washington Street and into our space and we couldn't have done it without the assistance of Boston Handmade members Betsy, Lisa, Marla, Brooke, Kerry, and an extra helper, my husband Alex.
With the furniture and fixtures in the space, we are ready to receive inventory from the 30+ gallery exhibitors. A few tiems have already arrived, but everyone else will be delivering their goods today and tomorrow.
It is amazing to me what can be accomplished in so short a time when there is a group effort behind it. I may have gotten the ball rolling, but it is the dedication of everyone involved that is making this gallery a reality.
Check out part one of our renovations HERE

The Art of Craftivism

written by Nicole of designs by lulu belle

While perusing through "blogland" the other day, I came across a new site. As the holidays approach, I'm constantly trying to find ways to teach my children about how it is more important to "give than receive".
Mama to Mama does just that. The woman behind Mama to Mama is Amanda Blake Soule. She is a mother of three young children, a crafter, and author of the book The Creative Family. Amanda blogs at SouleMama.

A quote from the Mama to Mama website puts it all in perspective --

There are so very many reasons why we craft. We craft out of necessity, we craft out of love, we craft for pleasure. And we craft, sometimes, to bring a little peace to our lives, to our hearts, and to our everyday moments. Taking that just a step further, we can - and do, like so many crafters before us - turn our crafting into peace for the world beyond our homes. The simple act of creating something with intention and heart - for someone in need, can have a beautiful effect on the lives of others. We can, indeed, do something to create a more just and peaceful world...all with the simple, mindful and crafty work of our hands.
The first project of Mama to Mama is the the Caps to Cap-Haitien Project: A Partnership with Konbit Sante, which will initially provide newborn jersey caps to be distributed in Safe Birthing Kits in northern Haiti. Konbit Sante is a Maine-based volunteer partnership working to save lives and improve health care in northern Haiti. The statistics surrounding childbirth in Haiti are staggering.

There is a pdf available with instructions on how to make these simple newborn caps. To date, over 255 caps have been received. It is the perfect project to get children involved and teach them the importance of giving back.

Warm wishes to everyone as we begin this holiday season,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lyndhurst Castle

by Kirsten Bassion
Celebrate Clay in Westchester County New York!
From NOW through November 30, 2008
All Fired Up is a clay symposium across Westchester County with over 600 artists working with ceramics. I was lucky enough to be invited into one of the many shows for All Fired Up. I was part of a show called the Artful Tabletop along with 105 other contemporary functional ceramics artist at the Lyndhurst Historical Trust in Terrytown, NY. So, recently I drove down to see some of the shows in the clay symposium and it was fantastic. This is the biggest clay event in the country other than our annual NCECA conference. Below are some other works from the Artful Tabletop show.
I was very impressed by the Confrontational Ceramics show in White Plains and the 6x6 Show in Port Chester if you are heading that way.
The coolest thing was that my image and name was featured when they reviewed the show in the New York Times!!! (Sept. 14, 2008) I guess I can retire now!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Test Your Color IQ

By Betsy of Stonehouse Studio

How's your hue perception? Here's a fun test to see how good your eye is. If you do badly, you can always blame your monitor!

I scored an 8 out of 1409 (the perfect score is 0). But then again, I've taken Maggie Maggio's workshop that totally changed my approach to color. Maggie's normally over on the left coast, but she'll be in our area this winter giving her non-traditional Smashing Color workshop up in Vermont. Invaluable color skills regardless of your medium!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boston Handmade Downtown Is On It's Way!

article and photos by, Jessica of Reclaimed To You

It's been a whirlwind of activity for the past couple of weeks as we accepted an invitation from the Boston Redevelopment Authority to utilize an empty storefront space in Downtown Crossing as a retail art and craft gallery during this holiday season. Plans for a major effort to bring people into Downtown Crossing for holiday shopping and seasonal activities was announced on November 12th by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. The City has created a web site Called Mayor's Holiday Special which highlights all the great and fun holiday season activities happening in the Downtown Crossing area. Boston Handmade will be participating in the invigoration of the Downtown Crossing district by setting up shop from November 28 through December 28 at 505 Washington Street in an 1800 square foot space that we are converting into Boston Handmade Downtown, a gallery of art and craft from the studios of Massachusetts artists, artisans, and craftspeople. Our space will be set up as a winter wonderland of holiday handmade delights, but it is taking us a lot of elbow grease to make it happen! Our space began as a pretty raw environment but just in the past two days members of Boston Handmade brightened, warmed, and have begun to make our space very inviting indeed. When we first entered however, our gallery looked like this:But then Kiki, Brooke, Nancy, Betsy, Chris, and Kim got a hold of it and the painting began! It's amazing what a nice coat of Boston Handmade Blue can do for a few walls.It's been a tremendous group effort, and I keep having to remind myself that it's only been two days! We have a lot ahead of us, but so far the group spirit of neighbor helping neighbor is alive and well, pulling down wall paper, and getting the job done!One improvement of the space that we were struggling with was how to make the big fluorescent ceiling lights warmer and more attractive. Then Kim had a brainstorm of draping fabric down the entire length of the ceiling billowing over each bank of lights, and today Brooke and Betsy tackled it and triumphed! The lights look amazing and it really improves the entire feel of the whole gallery. So as of tonight the space is fully painted, the lights are covered, the floor is vacuumed and tomorrow we receive our carpeting and from there we can begin really moving in! LinkFor information on Boston Handmade Downtown and all of the exhibiting artists check out our web site, and also take a look at Nancy's blog post about the renovations yesterday. And stay tuned, I will post again here as we continue to create our holiday handmade home away from home.

Check out part two of our renovations HERE
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