Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

By Beth of Elizabeth Brennick Designs

This is Abigail the Honey Bee wishing Boston Handmade, their families, and especially to all the readers a spooktacular Halloween. Be safe get lots of candy just no belly aches.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A New Home

by Brooke Pickering of Bancroft Studios

Recently my business, Bancroft Studios, hit some rough water. To make a long story short, I have been forced to leave my studio space (where I was also renting kilm space and purchasing green ware) and go it alone. There have been many hurdles to overcome and in the last fice weeks I have been frantically trying to get all the pieces in place so I can start up production and eeek out whatever holiday business I can find.

With a new clay supplier, a kiln on order and a promise to all my vendors that the "new" tableware will be as close as possible to the lines that they have been carrying for 2 years, the last obstacle was to find a new place to call home.

Well here it is – my little corner of a shared artist space in the Lydia Pinkham building in Lynn. I’m not all moved in yet but am getting there and the best part is that I am just downstairs from fellow BHer and ceramic artist/expert Kirsten Bassion! I can’t wait for my kiln to arrive and get the party started!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ode to Autumn... Embracing the Magic of Fall

By Marla Kunselman of Sea Glass Things

The leaves have turned their autumn hues… falling gently to the ground… they crunch under our feet as we walk. There is a crisp… yet fresh aroma to air that heralds the cool days this time of year brings. With summer clothes packed snugly away – we wrap ourselves in sweaters and comfy jeans. Each day the night sneaks up quietly like a deer in the woods – coming earlier than the last.

Candy corn pops brightly in a bowl on the coffee table and a medley of spices fill the room with pumpkin and apple pies cooling on the counter. Fall… a time for carving pumpkins and apple picking… hayrides and scarecrows… spooky decorations… flag football with friends and bonfires on the beach nestled in a blanket.

Soon… children will dress in their favorite costume… knocking on doors to see what treats may await and each will count their bounty several times that night. The magic of Halloween will fade… and we will be giving thanks for the year that is soon to pass.

Illustration by WellerWishes

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Watercolor Cowboy

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

Custom Art Framing and Gallery 9 is hosting a gallery opening for Don Weller on Friday night October 30th from 6 - 8pm.

I have a copy of this magazine from 1975 framed in my kitchen. Blast from the '70s!

Don is a celebrated illustrator, art director, graphic designer and cowboy. He spent years as an art teacher for Colleges and Universities in California, Arizona, Utah, Texas, and Washington State. Over the years, he has done covers for TV Guide, Time Magazine, posters for the Hollywood Bowl, the 1984 LA Olympics, and the NFL to name a few.

Currently he raises Cutting Horses in his ranch high up in the mountains in Oakley, Utah, while continuing to produce amazing artwork. His style has changed over the years, but there is always something familiar in his artwork that tells you it is his.

Don recently published his newest book of western inspired watercolors titled Watercolor Cowboys .

I am very close to this artist, he is my father.

If you are around the Norwood area on Friday, October 30th, please stop by and have a glass of wine with us.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Making Old Coats New

by Jen Paulousky of Blue Alvarez Designs

There are just a few spots left for a class at the Eliot School in Jamaica Plain that starts this Saturday, Oct. 31st!

Come with an old coat or your latest thrift store find, and leave with brand new-to-you outerwear of your own design!

You can read all about the class and sign up here:

Making Old Coats New: Alteration, Lining, and Embellishment

Revive an old jacket or coat from your closet or a thrift store. Take an old coat to pieces and reconstruct it with new insulation, lining, and styling. Learn some fundamentals of tailoring, alteration, embellishment, and best practices for re-using textiles, and create something unique and fashionable in the process. Bring coat to first class. Pre-requisite: basic sewing skills. Limit 6 students.

Instructor: Jen Paulousky. $140

4 Saturdays, 9:30am–12:30pm, Oct. 31–Nov. 21

At the Eliot School, 24 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain. Register now at

Hope to see you there!

Patchwork Pumpkins for Halloween

by Kathy Weller of WellerWishes

This season inspires me every year!  For 2009, I came up with these new note card designs. I call them "Patchwork Pumpkins". A Note-card 4-pack, featuring 4 individual designs (two of which are shown above), is available in my Etsy shop. Hope you like them!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Assemblage Art

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

'Family of Three' by Amy Hitchcock

I have always been a fan of assemblage art, long before I even knew of the assemblage master Joseph Cornell, and my current favorite artist working in this genre is local Boston artist Amy Hitchcock.

Amy creates emotionally moving artwork that incorporates found objects and images. Of her work she states, "My assemblages and collages attempt to tell stories based upon such items as vintage photographs, sewing notions, discarded toys, postcards, and other paper ephemera. I believe that these found objects can bring forth memories of one’s past and family history. It is my hope that by using such materials, my work is interesting and accessible to the viewer." Amy exhibits her art throughout New England and you can also see it on her great web site, - - check it out!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vampire Bite Cupcakes

By Allison of Fraske Designs

Vampires are all the rage these days. Combine that with Halloween season, and what better snack to make than vampire bite cupcakes? Thanks to Shake and Bake over at Mad Tasty for inspiring me to make these vampire bite cupcakes for Halloween! It all started with their clever vampire cookies influenced by Baking Bites. Turns out Baking Bites had another tutorial for vampire cupcakes so I tried them out and look what happened:

I whipped up these delightful strawberry and vanilla cupcakes... complete with strawberry filling... because what is a Halloween treat without simulated blood and guts? The bites were made by piercing the tops with a skewer and trailing it a bit through the icing with leftover strawberry filling at the tip of the skewer.

Here's hoping you have a Halloween filled with plenty of more tasty treats!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Needham Craft Show this Saturday


This Saturday October 24th is the Needham High School Craft Fair from 9:30-4:00. In it's 29th year, it is a very well established craft show that is the annual kick off for the holiday shopping season. The show is well attended by some of the best artisans in the Boston area and is so large that it fills two gymnasiums.

THE HOLE THING will be there again this year with lots of felted wool goodness in booth #37 in Gym B.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Urban Handmade in Ohio

Recently I was in Ohio visiting family just outside of Cincinnati. One of the days I was there we had lunch in Yellow Springs, a small town surrounded my corn fields and farms. The home of Antioch College, it is a super cute and funky town with cool boutiques, coffee shops and an art theatre. We had lunch at the Sunrise Cafe, an delicious all-natural place with local artists' work decorating the walls.

Next door was a store called Urban Handmade. Turns out they are "a collective of independent artists and crafters who believe that inspiration, creativity and hard work can be rewarded" who, in addition to the store, organize local craft fairs.  Hmmm, sounds familiar! Their store was filled with awesome handmade creations- clothing, jewelry, cards, wall art, etc. They were nice enough to let me take some pictures to share here on the BH blog-

Lots of fun clothing, candles and bags.

More handmade goodness.

My 6-year-old cousin, Hope, was really into the jewelry.

Antioch College is closed for the year so it is pretty quiet right now but hopefully that will change next fall when it reopens. If you live in the Cincinnati area or happen to be near by, I highly recommend a day trip to Yellow Springs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beauty is Basement Deep

by Betsy of Stonehouse Studio

I live in a Civil War era attached rowhouse in historic Charlestown. Although the house has been restored, the basement remains a scary place. Fieldstone walls, old beams, uneven floor and 6 foot ceilings are just part of its dubious charm. I say basement, but it's actually a sub-basement. I live on the slope of Bunker Hill, so you enter the second floor into a double parlor - the back parlor is my studio. Upstairs are the bedrooms, downstairs is the kitchen, dining and family room, all opening to a good sized urban style garden. Below that is the basement, a good 15 feet below street level! So what better place than this dark, creepy place to set up a photography station?

I use two lightboxes - one for jewelry closeups and one to house Curvaceous. Curvaceous is my mannequin and was rescued from the dumpster when the local Curves went out of business. Unfortunately, she has since undergone a rather severe mutilation, having been cut in half with my jig saw to make her fit into the lightbox. But I make it up to her by letting her wear my fab jewelry - much more attractive than those silly purple workout outfits she modeled during her stint at Curves!

Anyway, I think my product shots are wicked cool. All thanks to my creepy, dark cellar!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ghoulish Fun

by Kerry of KHawkinsPhotography

A few fun photos of Halloween displays in Jamaica Plain. I had walked around the pond with a friend of mine and decided to take a few shots on Centre Street on the way back. The center two photos are of Boomerangs windows. I went in the shop looking for goofy things to buy and hopefully photograph; no luck but it was fun looking.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Trip to Burlington

by Brooke Pickering, of Bancroft Studios

A couple of weeks ago I went up to the University of Vermont,
where my son is a freshman, for parents weekend. It was a wonderful weekend filled with Rugby games, shopping trips, dinner with new friends and families and exploring all that Burlington had to offer. Besides some truly great food, Burlington is home to a very active arts community and my son and I had a lot of fun taking it all in.

One gallery show that we particularly like was at the Firehouse Creative Arts Center, entitle HUMAN=LANDSCAPE: Aesthetics of a Carbon Constrained Future This exhibition, part of The Energy Project, a partnership between ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain and BCA, with support from the University of Vermont, seeks to explore the future of the Vermont landscape as it grapples with the aesthetic challenges of a carbon-constrained world. The exhibition poses several questions to its Vermont audience: 1) How has our vision of the landscape evolved over-time in response to changing economic realities? 2) What makes a landscape “beautiful” or “ugly 3) What might a sustainable-energy rural landscape of 2020 look like?

One of the highlights was an enormous; spinning sculpture by glass artist and UVM student Ethan Bond-Watts that welcomed us as soon as we enter the main lobby. Long vibrant tubes of colored glass cascades from the center of the piece while a spinning wood and canvas “windmill" rotates on top. Ethan is also responsible for an instillation commissioned by the University that now hangs proudly from the ceiling at the Davis Student Center:

see video of instillation

A great weekend full of fun, food, family and great art!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Meet Ken Goldstrom

by Kirsten of Kirsten Bassion Ceramics

Local ceramic artist Ken Goldstrom has been creating whimsical and original art in the Boston area for over 25 years.

Ken is well know for his bi-relief tiles that are full of bright colors and animals and people. He has fantastically whimsical sculptures that are often placed on wheels like toys.

His work can be seen in art festivals around the Boston area as well as at galleries like the Society of Arts and Crafts on Newbury St. and the Cambridge Artists Co-op.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Drive along 109, Westwood, MA

Kerry of Khawkinsphotography

I decided to take a drive down Route 109 and stop in Westwood Center. I have driven through Westwood hundreds of times and never stopped to walk the center. Everytime, I do this kind of walk I really discover hidden gems that you would never see when just driving by. I usually find some fun subjects including, old signs, funky shops, cemeteries, an a old house or two.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Few Hours in Rockport

by Jennifer Tang of Majenta Designs

On a sunny autumn Friday, my fiancee and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go on a mini-trip. Having only heard great things about the North Shore, we decided to go explore Rockport for a few hours.

It's such a cute little town, similar to other New England coastal towns, with plenty of art boutiques to explore and peruse. I love checking out all the unique creations and the local scenery-inspired paintings too!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

See Boston Handmade at SoWa - Sunday October 18th!

Autumn is here and Boston Handmade is headlining at the
South End Open Market!

With fabulous hand crafted wares, live music, and the excitement of Boston's hottest spot for shopping, it's an event not to be missed!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Insights & Observations

by Liz of Lush Beads

On October 9th, I attended the opening reception for Insights & Observations at The Loading Dock Gallery at the Western Avenue Studios.

Featured in this exhibition are artists David Barton and Jessica Cohen. David is a mixed media artist who loves to recycle old mannequin pieces, jewelry, machinery, fabric, and other items into fanciful and textural sculptures. Jessica focuses on painting and drawing, and her pieces in this exhibition are sketches of people in everyday life. Both show how insight and observation can lead an artist down a variety of artistic paths.

The exhibition runs through October 25, 2009. The Loading Dock Gallery is open Wed-Sun 11AM-4:30PM.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Salem, Ma... Halloween... And Learning a New Craft!

by Marla of Seaglass Things

October is a great time to be living in Salem, MA. We celebrate Halloween all month long here - thousands of people migrate to Salem to participate in Haunted Happenings... to hear about the famous Witch Trials and simply have fun getting caught up in all the hype of the season. I digress a little though. Ever since I have been in the "handmade" environment - I have been so impressed with all the artists who design children's clothes. I love that one-of-a-kind boutique look that you can't buy in stores. A particular design caught my eye - decoupaging with fabric.

I wanted to learn how to do this... however, the sewing machine scares the daylights out of me... I can sit through any horror movie you put in front of me and not flinch - but stick sewing machine in my face and I start screaming... running for the door. I am not sure why I have never taken up this craft... My grandmother was a top notch seamstress and by the third grade my mother was able to make her own dress that she then wore to a recital... so... why wasn't that gene passed onto me?!?

Well - I was doing some fabric hunting and found the cutest Halloween fabric square pack by Moda. I did a little research on decoupaging clothing and I was off. Will all the supplies I needed I made a go at it. My mother was able to help with sewing the edges of the fabric on the jeans... and presto! I completed my first boutique outfit for my daughter! I am hooked... I now know why these are sold for so much as it took me about four days to complete.

I even hand embroidered on the jeans and the shirt! Devan wore the outfit to school today and got a lot of ooohs and aaaahhs... and when she was asked where she got it - she simply said... "My mom made it" and though small... I really felt proud of my accomplishment.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Works in Progress...

by Crystal of Vintage by Crystal

I've been working hard in my studio this week! There are little naked bodies everywhere and I'm busy trying to get them dressed! :)

This cat family is still naked, but at least they're smiling!

I know it's hard to see...but there are flying bats and dresden banners here. Even the little details take time to dry...and those tiny clamps really help keep things together in the mean time!

These pasty white bodies will be colorful and sparkling in no time!

This guy is finally done...a large Santa.

A messy workspace only means you're spending more time getting things done than organizing...right? Maybe?
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