Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Craftland School Of Craft

Reusable Eco-Friendly Lunch Bags

For a complete lunchtime set, this beginning sewing class will show you how to replace that boring brown bag with a fun fabric lunch bag that has a fold-over button closure. With fashionable cotton fabrics and a wipeable liner, you will also make bags for a sandwich and two snack sizes that are great for chips, cookies and fruit.

Course fee: $35 Materials fee: $15

Wednesday, April 28, 6pm – 8pm

Craftland is located at 235 Westminster Street Providence RI 02903

I'm returning back to Craftland to teach easy, functional, and eco-friendly sewing classes. Other than the reusable lunch bags, I'm also teaching a revamp your plain t-shirt into a fun embellished tee for the summer. That class will be in May so look for my future post to sign up. You can also go to the Craftland site and sign up for my lunch bag class and any of the other great classes their offering.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Taste of Summer

By Kiki from All the Numbers

In honor of the lovely sunshine we've seen the last week, I have some new summer designs to share with you. These vintage-inspired sun suits are perfect for the hottest days. Made out of breathable cotton, they're available in sizes 6 months and 12 months, and will be up for sale on my other site on Friday.

All photos courtesy of the amazingly talented Allison Cottrill.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Mosaic - Boston Handmade Weddings

*You must have Flash enabled to see the mosaic. For a free download, please click here.

Last Tuesday Boston Handmade member Crystal of Vintage By Crystal demonstrated her spun cotton technique on the Martha Stewart Show. At the end of her segment, her boyfriend got up on stage and proposed! You can watch Crystal and Ben's romantic moment here. Congratulations, Crystal and Ben!

Planning your own handmade wedding? Here is a selection of fabulous wedding creations, brought to you by the members of Boston Handmade.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Growing Up Handmade

by Beth of Elizabeth Brennick Designs

My kids aren't babies anymore and now they're older when they get money for birthdays or holidays like Christmas they get to keep it. Living with a mom who sews and sells her things online and at shows they appreciate the hard work, quality, and love that gets put into every item. I try to take them to my shows especially the local ones. Once they hear they're coming to a show those piggy banks are shaking. Here's some photos of my children and there most favorite handmade buys!
In this photo Noah (10 yrs. old) is at his desk in his room with his dog and cheetah. The dog was bought back in 2007 at Bazaar Bizarre by an artist called Skunk of Skunkadelia. I remember with all the chaos going on at that show he was enthralled with Skunks designs made from bicycle chains. Since we have cats and no dogs he felt that it was the perfect choice for him. He moves around the room from the end table to the dresser back to his desk. I think it helps with homework.

The cheetah was bought in 2008 at Boston Handmade's first Somerville show. I was manning my booth while my husband Justin took the kids around to shop. I think Noah stopped at Crystal of Vintage By Crystal booth and was hooked. I don't blame him! The cheetah now hangs out on his headboard and at playtime attacks clone troopers.
Abigail who will be turning 9 in May is posing with her bunny and artwork of a girl and her bird. The bunny was bought at the 2007 Bazaar Bizarre from Marilyn Patrizio of So Softies. As you can see she loves pink especially pink crocheted amigurumi bunnies. She hangs out on the lap of another bunny on her dresser then other times cuddled for bedtime.

The artwork was purchased online at Calobee shop on Etsy. When we added a second level to our house to make room for our kids, Abby wanted a pink room with birds. When looking for artwork we came across a designer close to home. We fell in love with her whimsical and playful designs. Abby thought the little girl in the photo looked like her and found the girl swinging in the birdcage funny.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

Tonight is Earth Hour from 8:30pm - 9:30pm. Earth hour was designed to promote Climate Awareness. I participated last year, and although I was alone in my dark house, I felt like I made a difference. This year will be no different, unless of course I go out, then I will hopefully be somewhere where the lights will go out as well (cause that's always fun).
If I stay home tonight, my home will be dark from 8:30 - 9:30pm. I will light candles, catch up on some sketches, or finally start reading that book I have on the sidelines.
I hope you all join me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Little Fun

Kerry Hawkins of Khawkinsphoto

I had a bit of fun with this one. I found Harmony through fellow artist and blogger Nathalie, Her drawing are a bit more accomplished than mine. I took the liberty of using a bit of photoshop to ad color to the "boy wearing a crown". Try it and have some fun. It is a blank canvas for your creations

Thursday, March 25, 2010

3 Meals a Day: Functional Pottery

by Karen Mahoney of City by the Sea Ceramics

The Annual Staff Show at The Potters Shop Gallery inside Gorse Mill Studios features the work of Jenn Barbe, Sarah Whitlock, and myself. The title of the show is 3 Meals a Day and is all functional work. I was able to snap some quick photos while setting up last week.

Jenn makes a bit of functional work but usually she is more focused on making her small scale sculptures. For the functional show Jenn made porcelain bowls, cups, and vases. Many of them have been inscribed with images that resemble a strange language.
Sarah makes only a handful of functional pieces a year. The body of her work consists mainly of cat and bird sculptures. For this show Sarah brought her large bird sculptures to 2D form, silk screening the figures onto plates, bowls, and sugar pots.
The vast majority of my work is functional so I didn't skip much of a beat preparing for this show. Most of work on display in the gallery is mugs, plates, bowls, and trays. I was particularly happy with some slab plates I had made using a new glaze. Love them!
The show runs until April 23 and can be viewed M-F, 11-5. The Potters Shop is in Suite 206 inside the Gorse Mill Studios located at 31 Thorpe Road, Needham MA 02494, 781-449-7687

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Experiments with Digital Printmaking

by Melissa from Pressbound

In the last few years I've been experimenting with ways to bring in a handmade element to my graphic design work. I've been a freelance graphic designer for almost four years and constantly pushing myself to grow and stay fresh. I entered an MFA program in graphic design and illustration just over a year and a half ago and really gave myself room to grow and experiment. Before entering the program I took several improvisational woodblock printing courses with Somerville, MA artist Annie Silverman (who will be offering several classes this spring, by the way). In discussions with Annie I immediately began to find direct similarities between her style of printmaking and working with layered images in Photoshop. I thought about experimenting for sometime before actually getting the opportunity in my MFA program.

My first experiments were to scan prints I created and use them within text. I also experimented with hand rubbing ink from a cloth over stencils on paper and then scanning that in. Resulting in the below cover from a book from my fall 2008 semester.
Many other experiments were to follow until I finally discovered that making a set of Photoshop brushes of my prints was the best method. I played around with blending layers and opacity, as well as layering many different textures and masking. The result was a series of what I'm calling "digital prints" that I used on another cover for a book in my MFA program in fall 2009.

Last week I decided to experiment with the new logo I recently developed for Pressbound and reworked it as a digital print. Though I think that there is still plenty of room to experiment with this technique, I am certainly pleased with the direction that this is taking.
I never thought I would say this but making digital images that look like prints is almost as fun as making them on an actual press. But for very different reasons. The digital aspect of this opens the doors to new experimentation I would most likely not have time to achieve nearly as quickly in the analog world. I am not afraid to try anything because I know I can easily command-Z my mistakes or save files in different levels of completion or delete layers to easily rework a print. I don't have to worry about matching ink colors or printing a color that doesn't match the others in a print. Plus I am not wasting paper or spending money on renting press-time or buying inks and paper. The experiments I am doing on screen also help me understand ways that I can create on a press. Though my time is limited and my usual method of printing is letterpress, I can't wait to eventually get back onto the relief press and see what new work I can create by hand. Nothing can replace the smell and feel, and most importantly, the satisfaction of creating an actual print.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

City Snaps

Kerry Hawkins of Khawkinsphoto

What I love about cities is you can walk a half hour and can see so many details and totally different things. I always find something to photograph when I take walks in Boston. It could be downtown, the back bay, Beacon Hill or another neighborhood all together. It is fun to challenge yourself to find that thing you haven't noticed before or it may just be by accident. New discoveries in the path well worn.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Mosaic - Spring Flowers

*You must have Flash enabled to see the mosaic. For a free download, please click here.

Spring has sprung! Enjoy this lovely bouquet of flowers, bought to you by the members of Boston Handmade.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Historical "Costuming"

by Katy Brown of muchacha K handmade

So my boyfriend calls me a few weeks ago, with an unusual costuming request. He was about to perform an above-ground synchronized swimming routine in the "Teacher Talentless Show" at the school he teaches at...and he and his skit partner needed 1920's men's swimsuits.

Amusingly, he sent me a pic from online of Mimi Kirchner's tattoed men dolls as an example, not realizing that I know Mimi :)

I had one night to finish the suits...I ran down to the fabric store, praying that they would have an appropriate fabric. Something stretchy, but not too clingy...I settled on a fleece, believe it or not, that was striped like LifeSavers.

I measured the boys and weirdly, they were almost exactly the same size. And I suddenly had a realization: NO CURVES. All at once I could see that fitting clothing for men was perhaps the holy grail of easy fitting. And I was right. I just followed their measurements and the suits fit perfectly, without a fitting. Here they are below, in a particularly intense moment of their performance...which apparently had fellow teachers crying from laughing so hard:

Certainly a unique portfolio piece!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Some New Work

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

I am realizing that I really like to tinker. I made all these little bits and pieces and had such a great time riveting it all together.

Do you see the two little tiny pieces of silver next to the tree trunk? Those are 22ga! I may have ruined my eyesight trying to hammer just the rivet without marring the silver of the trunk, but I got it done! How cute is this tree pendant?

And a happy little house.

I'll definitely be making more layered pictures with metal, they are really fun to make!
I wrote about how to rivet last year if you are interested in the process.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Products for Summer 2010

by Amy of Bumble Belly Designs

I have been spending these last few weeks playing with block printed fabric and using some of the prints in my encaustic work. Here's a preview:

Bags in process.

Finished bags.

An encaustic mixed media piece in process.

Here are the cut blocks,

and here is my lovely dining room.

Summer season is approaching as evidenced by the "craft sprawl" in my house!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cool + Collected: Treasures of the BPL

By Leah of cricicis design

I worked in the Fine Arts Department of the Boston Public Library a few years ago, and was always coming across amazing things behind the scenes, way back in the stacks. Architectural models, old magazine collections and amazing archives of photographs and newspaper clippings all told stories about great Boston artists and designers- but from my perspective were only bits and pieces that I would occasionally stumble upon.
Finally the BPL has dug into those back rooms, dusted off these gems, and put them on display in a brilliant exhibit titled
Cool + Collected: Treasures of the BPL.
The exhibit has been divided into three chapters and runs until the end of June. The third and last chapter is currently on display, with some of the best pieces- so even if you missed the first two parts, go take a look before it's all put back, out of the public's eye. The material is all great inspiration for artists and designers. You can also catch a glimpse on the BPL's flickr account.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Repurposed Fashion

by Katy Brown of muchacha K handmade

I'm a huge geek for a good Oscar-viewing party, and it's not every day that a person finds a "formal" occasion to dress for where I live. So I get a little excited about these opportunities quite frankly, and they always inspire me to sew something fabulous to wear.

So here is this year's Oscar dress...and I would like to point out that it was made from taffeta curtains salvaged from the WalMart clearance racks. Total cost of the material for the dress was $25 (includes fabric, boning, thread, hooks, zipper). Total sewing time, approx 16 hrs.

All photos by Katy Brown except the "Oscar" photo by Scott Bulger.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Recycled Puppy Fashion

by Katy Brown of muchacha K handmade

This past Fall I got myself an awesome little puppy, Chico "Che" Guevara. And he's not just little because he IS a puppy, he's tiny because he's half rat terrier and half chichuahua...and you know what that means: permanently tiny dogs in winter in New England must have clothing!

As a seamstress and an activist for all things handmade, I wasn't simply going to go out and BUY dog gear. I also figured this would be a perfect time to recycle some materials, and I had a ton of clothes that for various reasons were no longer wearable.

The moth eaten cashmere sweater. Some cool ski socks that had holes. Long-sleeved tees that were simply too sloppy for me to be wearing anymore.

So I busted out some scissors and my serger, and started freestyling some puppy wear, or as we like to call it "Chi-wear!".

He now has a pirate shirt, an orange ensemble with head covering, a ski sweater, and a cashmere sweater.

It's warm enough now, finally, for him to just go outside to pee and be puppy-naked while doing it. That just means many months between now and next winter for making more awesome puppy clothes from recycled materials.

Tip: tiny dog torsos often fit nicely into sleeves! Cut a tube of sleeve off, cut holes for legs, sew a turtleneck on and some sleeves...instant pup fashion!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Mosaic - Easter Treats

*You must have Flash enabled to see the mosaic. For a free download, please click here.

Get ready for Easter with these picks from Boston Handmade!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Review - The Beader's Floral

by Liz of Lush Beads

I have to be honest - I have never been a fan of beaded flowers. I think many of them are tacky looking and not worth all the work necessary to put them together.

So when a friend gave me a copy of The Beader's Floral, I was dubious. After doing a few of the projects, though, I think I am hooked.

This is not your standard French beaded flower technique book. You use needle, thread, and bead stitching techniques to create anything from a simple leaf to a more complex lily. Sometimes you will use 3 or 4 bead stitches to create a finished flower. There are projects worthy of beginners and more advanced beaders. There are patterns for generic flowers, and patterns for specific types of flowers like iris, cornflower, snowdrop, and daffodil.

The book is a visual feast! There are a lot of beautiful color photos showing off all the different flowers and variations you can create. There are also a lot of color-coded diagrams to help you see where you are supposed to put your beads and your needle.

One of my favorite features in the book is the "fiddly factor" - how much fiddling around do you need to make this particular flower? Very helpful.

This book isn't easy to find since it is an import, but if you can get your hands on a copy I highly recommend it!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Marc Digeros and Other Boys That Get Low

by Arthur of Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics

I received an email about 3 weeks ago asking if I-
1. Had work on hand, about 10 pieces, and
2. If I was interested in being part of a group show at Red Star Studios in Kansas City MO.

I screamed! I never thought I would reach this point where galleries are reaching out to me and asking if I want to be in a show! I immediately said YES and I began packing and shipping.
**I found that shipping a 25lb box, Fedex was the cheapest and fastest (aside for the unplanned snow storm in the heartland of the country) and off it went.

I thought I was going to be part of a group of 12 artists or so. HAHA the next day I found out I was one of 5 and the youngest at that too! I was thrilled! The show is called Marc Digeros and Other Boys That Get Low *Meaning guys that use low fire earthenware or terracotta.

Red Star Studios is located in Kansas City MO and I consider that city (and may others too within the ceramics community) to be the Mecca for ceramics in this country thanks to the Kansas City Art Institute. Here are a few photos from the show taken by the gallery director cause I'm not able to make it out there for it.

*As you walk in the front door this is what you see.

Joe Pintz I have looked up to Joe since I saw his work in college.

Marty Fielding I came across Marty's work recently and just fell in love! There is a square bowl in his etsy shop that I have had my eye on for quite some time now!

Marc Digeros I really enjoy Marc's color combination on his pots, and his forms are to die for!

Brian Jones I love the color blocking Brian uses in his work, and the bright colors he uses too!

And Last but not least Arthur Halvorsen ME!

So please check this show out if you just so happen to be in the area, I would love to know your thoughts about the show. The show runs now through March 27.
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