Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thirteenth Story, interview with Boldfacers

by Jaye of Thirteenth Story

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lisa Pierpont, the founder and editor-in-chief of As they describe it, Boldfacers is a weekly publication and website dedicated to uncovering Boston's up-and-comers from all walks of life.

It was a real treat to work with Eric Levin (a very talented photographer) and Ian Travis Barnard (an excellent videographer). Having never had this sort of attention, I was grateful for their ease and humor during the photo and video shoot.

The timing of this was perfect, for I had just left my full-time job to focus more on my artwork. Prepping for this interview forced me to step back and really look at my body of work and be able to determine where my energies are best spent in the next couple years. There are some very specific projects I am working on right now (like the first FIN book), but I am also doing more projects and shows that celebrate handmade art and local artists. The spirit behind handmade is so important to me, and something that drives me to do more and improve with each piece.

Check out the interview here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Boston Handmade Marketplace

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed to You

The 3rd Annual Boston Handmade Marketplace is coming to Union Square Somerville, Saturday, July 10th! Mark your calendars, grab your reusable shopping bag, put on your dancing shoes and meet us in Somerville!

More than 25 locally grown artists, artisans, and craftspeople will be showing and selling handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, ceramics, art, photography, handspun yarn, vegan soaps, handblown glass, and more, in Union Square (at the intersection of Washington, Prospect & Somerville Ave.) on Saturday, July 10, 2010, 3-7pm, with a rain date of Sunday, July 11.

This outdoor exhibition promotes local independent businesses and individuals creating one-of-a-kind and limited edition handmade works in small studio environments, not factories. In addition to the exhibitors at the 2010 Boston Handmade Marketplace
there will be live music and craft demonstrations throughout the day. Performers include Boston bands The Grownup Noise and One Happy Island.This event is sponsored in part by, The Somerville Arts Council, and The Massachusetts Cultural Council. Thanks for supporting local handmade!

For more information about the event, directions, and links to all the exhibitors, check out our web site:

Exhibitors represented in above photos:
top left, Cristina Hurley Jewelry, Member of Boston Handmade
top right, Tanner Glass, Invited Exhibitor
bottom left, KnittinK, Invited Exhibitor
bottom right, White Sparrow Bindery, Member of Boston Handmade

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Mosaic - Beach Life

1. Hot Dog on a Stick 8 x 10 Matted Print by Kerry Hawkins Photo
2. Sand Dunes Necklace by Lush Beads
3. Crab Pillow by Bumble Belly Designs
4. Sun and Sea, Sea Glass Bracelet by Sea Glass Things
5. Seaweed Mug by Bancroft Studios
6. Beach Chairs 8x10 Print by Lucie Wicker Photography

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Greater New Bedford Summerfest

by Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography

Calling all southern MA vacationers and residents! The Greater New Bedford Summerfest will be celebrating its 15th year and Lucie Wicker Photography will be there to help them! Summerfest consists of over 70 performers and 90 juried artisans convening at the historic New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park for two days of art, music, food, and awesomeness.

The arts and crafts booths are divided into three sections: the Artisans Marketplace, the Fine Arts Area, and the International Bazaar. I will be in the Fine Arts Area which will be right in the heart of the festival in the Jacobs Family Gallery of the New Bedford Whaling Museum! So cool! All areas are open to the public free of charge on Saturday 7/3 and Sunday 7/4 from 11am to 7pm.

For more information, please visit the Summerfest website, or find them on Facebook and Twitter!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Visual Enlightenment

Allison of Fraske Designs will be participating in the Visual Enlightenment Art Showcase presented by Music Ecology at Wonder Bar on Sunday, June 27 from 7-11. Allison will showcase a selection of her work with several other artists at Wonder Bar through the month of July.

Visual Enlightenment Art Showcase
Sunday, June 27, 2010 7:00pm Wonder Bar
186 Harvard Avenue Allston, MA

This event will feature a group art show by the following local artists:

Allison Fraske
Julia D'Angelo
Landon Richmond
Marcus Griep
Taylor Ashbrook
Justin Madness Delaet
Melanie Maz
Romina Diaz-Brarda

Plus music by Speyeral Vision.

Visual Enlightenment is free to attend, age 21 and over.

Wonder Bar is conveniently located less than a block away from Harvard Avenue stop on the Green Line (B branch). Stop by, have a drink, say hi!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Portland's Saturday Market

By: Jennifer Tang of MaJenta Designs

I just recently returned from a short trip to Portland, Oregon. Nestled within a state known for its natural scenery, Portland is a funky city that has been ranked as one of the "greenest" cities in the USA. Not only does Portland seem to be environmentally conscious, but there seems to be very strong support for local businesses and an expanding and thriving handmade community!

During my visit, I had the opportunity to check out their famous Portland Saturday Market - and it was quite a site to behold! The sheer number of handmade artisans was already awe-inspiring and to see how well-attended it was, so very exciting to see!

It wouldnt be Portland without some tie-dye!

Some neat signs made out of saws

impressive ideas for lawn ornaments

You can even buy some gourmet catnip here!

I just love how colorful this booth was

very cool wooden sculptures

These were only a small sample of the 250+ vendors that were there! Definitely worth checking out!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Paper Quilts Workshop

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

Pictured above: "Cabin Fever" paper quilt by Jessica Burko made from found paper, vintage photographs, photocopies, and thread.

This Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27, I'll be teaching my first arts workshop at The Eliot School in Jamaica Plain. The workshop is all about Paper Quilts and during the two-day session I'll share examples of stitched paper artwork, demonstrate my techniques of creating paper quilts, and guide workshop participants as they design and create their own paper collages with thread and sewing machines.

Pictured above: supplies for making paper quilts.

I began making paper quilts about two years ago after having various positive experiences stitching paper through bookbinding, and working with paper sewing patterns as collage material. Immediately I felt a visceral satisfaction with this type of collage; each piece was complete without ironing and hemming (tasks that always slowed down my creative juices when making fabric quilts), and I loved the permanence of the sewn holes through the paper and the added detail of the stitches themselves.

Once I became pregnant with my son in January 2009 I began a series of paper quilts in earnest so that I could continue making my work without employing art mediums that have toxic properties. I enjoyed the process of creating the quilts so much that I've continued making them, and have challenged myself to use up all of the mounds of paper collage materials in my studio before beginning another type of project. So far so good! I've been making quilts in a wide range of sizes and formats and have been able to explore new themes in the process.

If you are interested in joining me at The Eliot School this weekend you can get all the workshop information and register on line by clicking HERE.

Whatever you do this summer I hope you take some time to make some art!

Pictured above: "Oh Father" paper quilt made from an original photograph, found paper, photocopies and thread.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aloha Wedding Jewelry

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

Recently I was commissioned to make bridesmaids jewelry for a bride in California. She wanted rings, pendants and bracelets all made with my aloha flowers. I hadn't made aloha bracelets yet, so I sketched out some possibilities and she chose 3 different designs. One bangle, one cuff and two chain bracelets with the aloha flowers as a charm. (Don't mind the coffee stain)

I am really pleased with how the bracelets came out, and will be making more to add to my aloha line.

The Cuff turned out to be a challenge for me. Sketching it was easy, the execution, not so much. Trying to figure out how to make it delicately cut out while still having strength enough not to break in the center turned out to be a lesson I will not soon forget. Without getting into all the nitty gritty, I ended up cutting the flower out separately, riviting it to a strip of sterling and then cutting out the flower openings (again) from the strip.

All the jewelry happily posing together.

The finished bracelets.

And the star of the show... in my opinion :)

I love making jewelry for bridal parties! Keep those commissions coming!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Round Two with Photographing Sea Glass Jewelry

By Marla Kunselman of Sea Glass Things

Here are a few more pics taken and edited by my good friend Nikki (who also happens to be the VP of Creative for AMP Agency in Boston) - these are a little different as we were trying to protect the integrity of the freshwater pearls.

This has been a huge challenge when editing these photographs - reducing glare on the pearls and keeping their true form and texture. Nikki's professional camera made a huge difference with these particular pieces - because Jakie and I were having a really tough time with them. However, Nikki stated that using a stylist is the way to do this (as Allison from Fraske Designs did as well) - and might be something I should think about in the future. We have to see first how this takes off! Eco1stArt is supposed to launch in June - so we shall see!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Mosaic - Red, White and Blue

1. Sailing Command Pillow by bumblebellydesigns
2. Blue ad Red Vinyl Journal by whitesparrowbindery
3. Sailboat Summer Dress by allthenumbers
4. Lavender Moon Seaglass Christmas Ornament by seaglassthings
5. Red Bike Matte Photograph by KHawkinsPhoto
6. Needle Felted Apples by cozycottagecreations

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Eco Friendly Jewelry

by Cristina of Cristina Hurley Jewelry

You might have noticed lately that there is a Green Movement going on all over the world; the jewelry industry is no exception. Many jewelers have become very aware of where their materials come from and how they are brought from the earth to our benches. In recent years you may have heard about conflict free diamonds and the like, but many jewelers are now turning to recycled and lab created materials to produce "fine" jewelry. Many even call it "Green Jewelry" in light of the popularity of the term. Green is not just a color of an emerald anymore. It means so much more.

There are many different sources for alternative materials out there now, and there are many alternative materials to choose from. For example, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires can all be grown in labs. They are natural, but grown by people instead of dug out of the earth.

Refined and recycled metals can be bought from different sources. One company, Hoover and Strong, sells mine-free recycled metals. They are my favorite source for metals.

There are also different types of synthetic stones out there, such as Cubic zirconia, which are also lab created and look just as great as diamonds, without the conflict or the cost.

Here is an example of a recent set of rings I made:

Anti Wedding ring set in Silver
These rings are made from recycled sterling silver, and set with Cubic Zirconias for some sparkle. They are then oxidized using an Ecofriendly technique which involves a hard boiled egg.

Pretty cool huh? There are even entire jewelry sites dedicated to selling green jewelry, like the company Green Karat. They are dedicated to selling what they call "Ecologically Responsible Jewelry."
So the next time you look for that perfect piece of jewelry for a friend or a loved one, make sure you go Green! :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ugly Necklace Contest 2010

by Liz of Lush Beads

Fewer entries does not mean things were any less ugly this year in the Lush Beads Ugly Necklace contest. The judging was held on May 1st this year, and almost 100 people voted in this anticipated event! Entries featured such varied materials as yarn, polymer clay, glass, pineapple fibers, eyelash yarn, and stone.

Boston Handmade's own nancyrosetta created a piece for the contest this year, titled Pineapple Voodoo Chicken Blood Wedding Necklace. Rumor has it that a fellow BHer who is getting married this summer may want it for her bridal necklace! (Or not...)

In total, there were 7 worthy entries. The winner, by a landslide, was "Trash to Treasure":
This necklace is chock full of handmade resin pieces, containing all manner of...embellishment. I have been told that there is at least one dust bunny and one chewed piece of gum in this piece.

All of the entries can be seen in the Photos section of the Lush Beads Facebook page. Many thanks to all who participated, voted, and made this our 2nd year of ugly fun!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Etsy Craft Party Meet Up At Craftland

By Beth of Elizabeth Brennick Designs

Etsy Craft Party at Craftland Friday June 18th starting at 5 pm.

Craftland volunteered to host the Rhode Island Craft Party and they couldn’t be more excited! They were one of the top 50 parties voted on. The team at Etsy sent them a little party pack with crafty suggestions and patterns, Etsy promos, coupons and gift certificates, supplies, and surprises from amazing sponsors.

It's Free to attend just rsvp here or go to their facebook page

They will also have a supply swap so clean out those crafty bins!!

Craftland is located at 235 Wesminster Str Providence, RI

IT'S NOT TO LATE!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Print Arts Fair, Sunday June 20th

by Melissa of Pressbound

What better way to celebrate Father's Day than bringing dad to the 7th Annual Print Arts Fair at The Museum of Printing in North Andover. Pressbound will once again be participating in this wonderful event for letterpress and printmaking enthusiasts as well as the paper obsessed. There will be lots of local letterpress printers, bookbinders and paper artists selling their wares and/or equipment, doing demonstrations, and sharing their enthusiasm.

Museum of Printing
800 Massachusetts Ave.
North Andover, MA
Sunday, June 20, 10am-4pm
Click here for directions

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bonding over sewing...

by Katy Brown of muchacha K handmade

I began sewing at age 6, at my mother's gentle prompting, by way of a small sewing kit in a tin. Sewing was always a nice way to bond with the important women in my life.

Well it's time to bond with a new generation over the needle and thread.

In July, I officially become step-mom, although my relationship with my almost step-daughter is already in full swing. We've just begun our first MAJOR bonding project...making her dress for the wedding. She is 8 and has a lot of opinions. She initially drew a pic of the dress of her dreams...which inspired her father to chuckle "I don't know which is more terrifying, the karate kid style headband, or the fact that she drew herself with breasts!"

I knew better than to argue with her about her choices too far ahead of time. I gave her a palette to choose from, drawing implements, and free reign. If figured that if she really wanted the first dress she drew...looong, daaaaark...and rather serious for an 8-year-old...that at least it would fit the palette and could be adapted to be age appropriate. However, my vision was of her wearing a blue dress with white flowers to contrast the clip you see here of MY dress:
I said nothing to her about my idea...but when I came home the other day with fabric for the tablecloths she immediately grabbed the pretty turquoise blue fabric and said "IS THIS FOR MY DRESS!? We could do my dress in this color so it matches the blue in YOUR dress! And I could have a flower in my hair!"

YEAH! I told her that of course, she could have a pretty blue dress. And when I suggested adding white flowers to it, so that it's the opposite of mine...oh la la, was she every excited.

So we will go this week to pick her fabric together...and the project will begin. She took a sewing class in school this past year and is excited to help with the sewing...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quiet Time in New Hampshire

by Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography
I recently attended the Squam Art Workshops in New Hampshire, a very magical experience worth checking out! While I could go on and on about the lovely kindred spirits that attend Squam every year, one thing I look forward to almost as much as meeting new people is the down time. I love walking in the woods, feeling as far away from the city as possible, the only sounds heard are those found in nature.

Here are some pictures from Squam that reflect that precious solitude I enjoy so much:

For more pics, please visit my Flickr page.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Unique Alphabets

By Leah of cricicis design

All spring I've been working hard on alphabet illustrations that feature birds perched atop the first letter of their name. Here's a sneak peak:

You can find more of the alphabet on my flickr account.

I've always loved the idea of illustrating the alphabet, whether its with found objects, like this pebble alphabet:
pebble font by Clotlide Olyff

...or if it's a collection of amazing drawings to illustrate each letter like this print:

Animal Alphabet by petitcollage

...or if it's a tediously arranged alphabet:

daffodil alphabet by Vladimir Koncar

Since I've always wanted to make my own alphabet like these, and I've been on a huge bird kick, I had a go at it. I only have a few birds and their corresponding letters left to draw- and then I may be offering prints of the entire alphabet in my shop. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Free Film Screening at the ICA/Boston

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

There is a pretty incredible organization in Boston called The Art Connection. Members of Boston Handmade have donated their work through The Art Connection, and have written about it several times in this blog. You could definitely say that we are fans of the work they do. This nonprofit, founded by artist Fay Chandler, seeks to enrich under-served communities by expanding public access to original works of art. This powerful concept has achieved overwhelmingly positive results since its inception in 1995. The art donation and placement program is like a "museum without borders" as it places the work of donor artists and collectors on the walls of community service organizations such as homeless shelters, rehabilitation facilities, and health centers. In these environments the original works of art stimulate dialogue, creativity, learning and healing. This simple but powerful idea has resulted in thousands of installations into scores of Boston area organizations. As local agencies receive these art donations, they do more than expand their horizons, they also become art collectors.

THIS TUESDAY, June 15th, The Art Connection commemorates fifteen years of bringing art to those who often have the least access to it. In conjunction with the ICA/Boston, The Art Connection is co-sponsoring a celebration of collecting local art with a film screening of 'Herb and Dorothy', the incredible true story of the world’s most unlikely art collectors. This event is free and open to the public, though an RSVP is required by calling 617-338-7668 or emailing

The evening at the ICA/Boston begins at 5:30pm with a reception and cash bar. At 6:15pm the program will commence with an introduction by ICA/Boston Associate Curator Randi Hopkins. After the film, Hopkins will lead a Q&A session about finding and buying art that you love, on a budget. The film 'Herb and Dorothy' by Megumi Sasaki won the Best Documentary Prize at the 2009 Provincetown Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2008 Hamptons Film Festival. The story of Herbert Vogel, a postal clerk, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, illuminates how the couple managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means. They began collecting art in the 1960's and after thirty years the Vogels managed to accumulate over 2,000 pieces, filling every corner of their tiny one bedroom New York apartment.

In appreciation of collectors big and small, The Art Connection is sponsoring this unique evening event to celebrate artists and collectors who make art accessible to people from all walks of life. The ICA Boston is located at 100 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210. MBTA Silver Line: waterfront connector from South Station to Courthouse Station. For directions visit and for more information about The Art Connection and how you can donate art, visit

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wedding bells are ringing!

By Crystal of Vintage by Crystal

Seems like every May and June, brides (and grooms) everywhere are coming out of the woodwork to plan their weddings...and I love being a part of it! I've been working on cake toppers like crazy lately and I thought I'd show off a few of the custom ones I've recently completed. The one above is really wacky, for a wonderfully wacky couple! Aqua and red is my new favorite color combo and is the groom's bat wings really make the piece....magical. :)

Ben really liked this one and said he wanted me to remake it for our wedding. The moon groom and owl bride make a most unusual pair and the cardboard bass will be well played throughout to reception I'm sure.

This adorable duo also makes an unusual pair. I can only guess at the inside jokes and pet names required to make this couple request such a topper. I just love how it turned out!

This mouse couple of England will top a cake made from cheese...that is if the mini mice pair don't eat it all before the real bride and groom get a slice.

This piece isn't a wedding cake topper or really a cake topper at all. But it's built like one and came out so cute that I couldn't help sharing it with you.

This traditional piece is modest and elegant. Perfect for this super adorable couple.

This after-wedding keepsake box will be gifted to the bride and groom from a very generous friend. This kind of gesture always melts my heart!

And lastly, this one holds the faces of a very special bride and groom!

I just loved creating all of these toppers and am always tickled when I get a request to make something completely different. And if you're interested in ordering your own custom cake topper, visit my website and check out my custom cake topper order form. :)

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