Monday, November 30, 2009
Burnt out from the Thanksgiving holiday? Relax with these beautiful blues and calming ocean scenes from the members of Boston Handmade.
Kerry Hawkins Photography
Reclaimed to You
All The Numbers
Sea Glass Things
Christine Marie Art
Lucie Wicker Photography
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
On the walls of my local library there are framed book pages, handwritten in heavy black ink with decorations along the borders. These pages date from the 13th Century, and they are gorgeous.
When looking at them, the words themselves become part of the overall design, the lines are less like letters and more like patterns. I am left to wonder about the artist, and what it was like to sit for hours and hand copy books word-for-word. When the sunlight faded, did they then work by candlelight?
It seems a daunting task, and it makes me smile that the monks and other people working on these books used the margins of the page to creatively convey the words in the story, or to have a diversion from the endless stream of letters. The first letter of a paragraph often has a very large capitol letter, these "initial letters" are heavily decorated and are in themselves spectacular pieces of miniature art.
The pages differ and can be of parchment, vellum, skin, or paper. Using gold leaf or red ink, color is introduced into the pages I have seen, but I understand the illustrations found around the world are mostly in full color.
As for the calligraphy, the lettering style is called Gothic Script, Old English Script, or Black Letter. Its something I have practiced myself and eventually abandoned, for my hands were cramping up. If you would like to give it a go, the best nib I found for the style was a Speedball C-2.
If you want one of these pages, of course you can find them for sale or auction online. A quick look today yielded two pages of results with varying prices. For a few hundred dollars (US), it seems you can own one of the beauties to frame for your own wall. And then you can sit and wonder what it was like to create such a fine thing.
Friday, November 27, 2009
The 2nd Annual Boston Handmade DOWNTOWN holiday gallery opens today at 11am!
We'll be open for business from today through Christmas eve, December 24th. Our hours are Wednesdays through Sundays, 11am - 7pm.
And join us for a celebration at the gallery tomorrow night, Saturday, November 28th from 5-8pm.
Have a happy handmade holiday!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
In anticipation of the opening of the Boston Handmade Downtown Crossing Gallery, I have been in production mode. I am sure I'm not alone!
And a sneak peek of 16 very dirty unfinished pendants ready to go in the tumbler to clean up, shine up and harden.
Bails and chains or cords will finish these off, but you won't see those unless you come on down to the downtown gallery!
Along with these pendants, I'll be offering bracelets, earrings, rings and other necklaces/pendants all made from sterling silver and made by hand. Boy, my hands are sore.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Besides Boston Handmade, I also belong to another team on Etsy, the Quiltsy team. As a group, we "share our experience and knowledge with each other, so that we might grow as individual artisans and as a quilting community." I've learned countless tips and tricks from our members, and also enjoyed a lovely comradeship.
You may be aware that recently Etsy headquarters moved its offices. Their new space is an open floor plan - very different than before, and they found themselves looking for interesting room dividers. They contacted our team with the idea of a collaborative effort - a giant quilted Etsy Banner!
Each member of our team that wanted to participate created a cream quilt block of a standard dimaension, any design, and a few members pieced them all together. On top were appliqued an orange E, T, S, Y and a '.com' and then they were all quilted. After waiting with bated breath we got a thank you note and a picture last week. They wrote:
The response to the quilts has been awesome, everyone is so blown away and keeps thanking me for working with you all to create these great pieces. So, thanks from me and everyone here at Etsy!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
This is just a small sampling of what is available at Boston Handmade DOWNTOWN, you've got to come check it out for yourself! Open November 27th through Devember 24th - for more information check out our web site.
Check out previous blog posts about the gallery here, here, and here!
Since 2001 Boston's Bazaar Bizarre has been wowing Boston area shoppers with an eclectic mix of handmade wares. This year more than 100 local handmade artists will be selling their goods, ensuring holiday shoppers will be able to find something for everyone on their list.
While past shows have featured a Boston Handmade presence, with various members exhibiting on their own, this year’s show marks the debut of “The Boston Handmade Marketplace”, (an area made up exclusively of Boston Handmade artists).
Fifteen BH members will be showing at the marketplace, featuring a wide assortment of gifts that are both unique and personal including: knitted outerwear, funky clothing & accessories, heirloom toys, hand-bound journals, stunning jewelry, groovy decor, original art and so much more. We hope to see you there!
When: Sunday, Dec.6th Noon-7pm
Where: BCA Cyclorama 539 Tremont St Boston, MA
Cost: Admission $1
Boston Marketplace Vendors:
All The Numbers
Elizabeth Brennick Designs
Vintage By Crystal
White Sparrow Bindery
Monday, November 23, 2009
Our holiday retail gallery opens THIS FRIDAY, November 27th, at 11am! Be there for first dibs on one-of-a-kind and limited edition handmade art, craft, decoration, functional objects, and wearables.
After one more long weekend to prepare the Boston Handmade DOWNTOWN gallery for opening day - - we have achieved completion!
Lots of volunteers came in to help get all of the merchandise displays arranged, the art hung on the walls, and the storefront windows filled with handmade delights. With snowflakes cut and hung from the ceiling the space looks like a real handmade winter wonderland! Check back here tomorrow for a preview of gallery items that will be available for sale You won't want to miss it!
Until then, you can check out our exhibitors on our web site, and be sure to come in to our Downtown Crossing space between November 27th and December 24th at 505 Washington Street. We'll be open for business Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am - 7pm each day.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Christine Marie Art
Elizabeth Brennick Designs
Vintage By Crystal
Cozy Cottage Creations
Lucie Wicker Photography
Reclaimed to You
Sunday, November 22, 2009
My life consists of wearing multiple hats for my multiple roles - I'm a full-time PhD student, part-time intern psychologist at a hospital, and continuous artisan and business owner of MaJenta Designs!
So when it comes to my artist "workspace" - it ends up being a space that serves multiple purposes as well! Here is a photo of my dining table that also serves as my study table and my crafting table too!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I recently joined up with a networking group called DARE to be Phenomenal. It is a woman's business network that focuses on increasing sales and opportunities for your business. I met the woman in charge, Maureen, at another networking event called Friends of Kevin, which brings together business people, artists, and non-profits.
What's nice about joining a networking group like this are the tips and reminders to market. Marketing is one of those things that comes second nature to some people, and I am not one of those people. I really have to be in a marketing mindset to do it properly, and I have to be reminded to shift into that mindset on a regular basis.
This marketing group is hosting a Holiday Extravaganza on Tuesday December 1st from 6-10PM at the Wyndham Hotel in Andover, MA. I will be there, vending and networking. (Successfully, I hope!) There will be appetizers, a raffle, and more. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance - I have tickets available for anyone who is interested. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Friday, November 20, 2009
I've been crafting away getting ready for the holidays. As always, lots of ideas for new products have been swirling around my head. I've chosen three of those ideas to bring to life for the holiday season. I'm excited about them all, but the one I'm most eager to unveil is a new type of felted bowl.
It's a real departure of style from my previous work. The idea for these was truly one of my very first when I began working in wool three years ago. Over time, this idea has gestated in my brain. It was over the summer while browsing in a very inspiring fiber shop (I'd call it a yarn shop, but they sell so much more than yarn) in Portland Maine that I discovered the final element that crystallized the idea and inspired me to bring it to full form.
I call these Geode Bowls because they remind me of those rocks which when cracked opened reveal a spectacular inside. Although they can still function as a bowl, I see them more as an art object. Hope you like them! You can find these Felted Geode Bowls for sale in a few weeks both in my etsy shop and at Boston Handmade's Downtown Gallery.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
THE HOLE THING is excited and honored to be featured on Daily Grommet today. They came to my studio recently to learn more about my felted wool goodies and taped this video clip. THE HOLE THING'S garlands and necklaces and pins are available for purchase at the end of the video, or if you'd like you can go direct to Daily Grommet.
Celebrate Newton is a great holiday craft show with live music, food, and children's activities. THE HOLE THING has been an artisan at it now for 3 years and can't wait for this year's extravaganza. Celebrate Newton takes place on Sunday December 6th at Newton South High School from 10AM-4PM. Stop in and find something unique and wonderful for the holidays.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Looking for an easy place to shop for all the little ones on your list? Do you like massages, manicures, and free swag? You do? I have the Holiday Show for you!
Mommies Who Shop is holding it's 2nd Annual Holiday Gala. Sip and Shop with your friends in this upbeat boutique atmosphere. Enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres and wine, spa services, loaded gift bags and more! This is where the hippest mama's meet the hottest designers featuring the very best in unique clothing for chic-baby and trendy tots, plus accessories, toys and gear. For the Ladies, we will feature a carefully edited selection of casual women's apparel, accessories, jewelry, handbags, fine stationary and gifts. All of the items at Mommies Who Shop will be offered at exclusive MWS event pricing.
- simply the best shopping ever - edited just for you - all at sale prices
- complimentary wine and gourmet treats provided by Aura Restaurant
- mini-spa services and beauty products compliments of Bella Sante
- loaded gift bags (over $50 retail) to the 1st 200 tickets purchased
- AMAZING door prizes, raffle and charitable silent auction
Mommies Who Shop Holiday Market
November 19, 2009 from 6-10 p.m.
The Lighthouse Ballroom at the Seaport Hotel
1 Seaport Lane, Boston, MA
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Relics that were once known
And some still remain to us a mystery
Shards of glass, pottery, porcelain and stone
Transcending through the waves of time
Far beyond where they began
Each journey different and so sublime
Seafoam turns to frothy white
And brings about gifts and lore
Of mermaids and shipwrecks alike
Footprints in the sand are left behind
But slowly disappear
Searching for that one rare find
Glistening in the warmth… a souvenir
Soft greens remind of something sweet
While cobalt sends a warning
Red held wine for the elite
Lilac shades the sun is turning
A bounty the sea has left behind
For others to reclaim
Destined again to be refined
Monday, November 16, 2009
Yesterday was a massive day at the Boston Handmade DOWNTOWN gallery. We went from a completely empty space to one with tables, displays, inventory, and plans for arranging it all! Big thanks to all the exhibitors who donated their time: Betsy, Cristina, Colleen, Taylor, Chris, Lucie, Lynne, Kerry, Rebecca, Brooke, Nancy, Jaye, and DeShawn.
We are gearing up for opening day Friday, November 27th. Be there! We're located at 505 Washington Street in Downtown Crossing Boston. And also please join us for an opening weekend party on Saturday, November 28th from 5-8pm.
We got lots of exhibitor inventory in yesterday including these wearables by Fisherman's Daughter. This year at the gallery we will have a fantastic array of handmade gift items created by members of Boston Handmade and a few invited guests. You can see a listing of all our exhibitors on our web site.
While we were at the gallery all day yesterday we also had our monthly Boston Handmade members meeting and made some awesome promo buttons that we will be giving away at the gallery this season. Special thanks to Lynne of Cozy Cottage Creations for heading up the button project! We also had a visit from Guido Stein of It's A Purl Man and the Common Cod Fiber Guild who shot a video of our space and posted it on-line - - thanks Guido!
With so many exciting things happening for us this season we hope to be able to share it all with you! Stay tuned to our blog, Twitter feed, and Facebook Fan page for our progress and all of our goings-on!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
We've always had a Xmas tradition in our family - only unusual ornaments are allowed on the tree! No Santas, Rudolphs, Frostys, or glittery snow scenes allowed. I guess this all started when we were kids in Mexico. I remember those early trees with with colorful straw garlands and repousee tin ornaments in bright colors and all sorts of shapes - roosters, tucans, parrots and even pigs. The ornament collection grew as we moved on to Panama, the Phillipines and Brazil. The Phillipine tree was the most unusual. Firs and pines were not imported, so our tree consisted of a bare tree branch painted white. Perhaps considered chic today, but weird when you're a ten year old kid.
So, when I decided to make a line of tree ornaments, I naturally looked to the non-traditional. My work this year has been heavily influenced by Asian design elements, so what better subject than geishas and Chinese landscape scenes? I'll have a whole series of polymer clay ornaments with image transfers of bijinga (beautiful women) from ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) by printmaker and painter Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) for sale in the Boston Handmade holiday store at Downtown Crossing.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
According to a recent study from the University of Rome, published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, newer art elicits a more emotional response than older, or ancient works of art. I found that to be the case while visiting the Museum of Modern Art in New York this past weekend. While I have visited and enjoyed some of the "big" museums in the past (The Louvre, The Uffizzi to name two), I had a physical reaction to a piece at MOMA which surprised me.
"Blessed Art Thou Among Women" by Gertrude Käsebier is a gelatin silver print of Agnes Lee, (wife of Francis Watts Lee, an amateur Boston photographer and printer) and their daughter Peggy, in their Boston home. It is smaller, comparatively, than the impressive works of Monet, Matisse, Picasso, van Gogh and others that I saw that day. But it's impact was no less great.
I have no idea why I got choked up when I first saw the image. It reminded me of my mother, my grandmother, my daughter, the bond between women in general -- nothing individually that would elicit an emotional response -- but this image kind of pulled it all together? I don't know, but I'm trying to understand.
It would be interesting to know if any works of art have hit you in a similar way.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Searching for something to give the person who has it all?
Want to support your local area artists?
Boston Handmade DOWNTOWN is the place to be!
modern handmade by All The Numbers
Make Boston Handmade DOWNTOWN your first and last stop for holiday gift shopping, and make 2009 the season of handmade!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Talk about a labor of love! It took a while but I finally finished my brand new 2010 desktop calendar. I used black & white, sepia and color pictures all taken in Boston, even the nature ones. They are available in my Etsy shop now and will also be in stock at the Boston Handmade Downtown Gallery when it opens on November 27th.