Thursday, September 30, 2010

Making Old Coats New

By Jen Paulousky of Blue Alvarez

Photo courtesy of 4dpg.

The Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, MA has asked me back again this year to teach a really fun class - Making Old Coats New.

In this 5 week class, students will bring in a coat or jacket from their closet or a vintage find, and learn how to take it apart, reshape and restyle, and then reassemble it to create a fresh, new style for the season.

If you have any interest in learning some basic tailoring, repair, and design, this is definitely the class for you! Basic sewing skills and experience with a sewing machine are required, but no design or tailoring experience is necessary.

Class runs from October 24th through Nov. 21st. You can get more information and sign up now at the Making Old Coats New class page or visiting

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Movie: Local Color

by Jaye of Thirteenth Story

I wanted to let you know about an indie movie that came out earlier this year, called Local Color.

Written and directed by George Gallo, Local Color is inspired by a true story. It is about an aspiring painter (played by Trevor Morgan) who learns that a painter he has always looked up to is retired and living in his home town. He approaches the older master and asks for lessons, only to discover that his would-be mentor is a curmudgeonly man disinterested in the art of the day.

The film explores the relationship between teacher and student, and the relationship between the people who make art and their audience. It is a well put together, and visually calming movie.

The official website of the movie is here, and it is available on iTunes to rent or buy.
I wholly agree with this review... “Filmmaker George Gallo has reached into his soul to make this deeply heartfelt story. Local Color is funny, angry and totally human-- with resonance for everyone who dares to dream.” - Jami Bernard, Film Critic, NY Daily News

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hunting Season

By Marla Kunselman of Sea Glass Things

Fall and winter are the best sea glass hunting times. Storms and rough seas churn up the oceans floor exposing more gems on the shore. You can find me on the beach in the dead of winter on a stormy day... snow falling... winds blowing and I am out there collecting when everyone is sipping hot coca fireside.

I was out collecting recently at a couple of my favorite spots at an early low tide and realized that the pickings were just not that good.... and at places that usually yielded great loot all year. It got me wondering if someone had been there before me... had more people discovered my "secret" spots? Or is it the fact the shore and sea are changing and just not producing the bounty it used to. Or could it be a fluke day? I hope it is the latter and that the bounty returns this fall - I really don't want to go out of business!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Mosaic - For the Boys

1. The Man the Legend by Reclaimed to You
2. Guitar Onesie by Elizabeth Brennick Designs
3. Guy Original Art by Thirteenth Story
4. Ford F150 Bookplates by Cricicis Design
5. Little Jackie Paper by Bumble Belly Designs
6. Big Man Sterling Silver Band by Nancy Rosetta

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Favorite Bead Shops, Other Than My Own - Part II

by Liz Stewart of Lush Beads

I have been beading for 10 years. In my travels, I have visited every local bead shop (LBS) I can find. Why? Because I love beads and beading supplies, and every shop has its own unique personality and local charm. This hasn't changed just because I run my own bead shop, either.

Today I want to let you know about La Mia Felicita in Plaistow, NH. This shop has been in business for over 4 years. The owner, Cathy Tedesco, is friendly and fun. Tell her I sent you over!

The store is located 3-4 miles off of the highway in a strip mall seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Once you enter this bead oasis, though, any thoughts of a strip mall will disappear. This is truly a "bead boutique".

The shop carries a lot of glass, stone, Swarovski, and books. And the seed beads...!! HOLY MOLEY. This shop carries the Toho line, so you will see some different colors than you usually see at most bead shops. (Most bead shops, including my own, carry Miyuki seed beads.) Any of you bead weavers will be overjoyed at the size and color selection.

I definitely recommend taking the drive to Plaistow. It's about 25-30 minutes from Lowell, and less than an hour from Boston. My friend Donna and I always make the pilgrimage when she visits from GA.

Sometimes I go shopping -without- my friend Donna - we'll talk about that in my next installment.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Visiting the Chinati Foundation

By Leah of cricicis design

This summer I had the opportunity to fly into El Paso, Texas, and drive three hours south to a tiny town called Marfa. Here I stayed on the grounds of the Chinati Foundation, a contemporary art museum on the site of former Fort D. A. Russell. Chinati brings art into a natural
landscape like no other museum. The above building houses 100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982-1986 by Donald Judd.

Placement of everything on the grounds is intentional. From large-scale sculpture works standing in the fields surrounding the forts, to small Russian artifacts scattered throughout a fort disguised as an abandoned schoolhouse, each piece is set in a time and space of it’s own, but at the same time staying integral to the landscape.

Conceived by Donald Judd in the seventies, Chinati houses these large-scale installations throughout the grounds. Concrete, aluminum, fluorescent light sculptures, and various other sterile materials form the majority of the work, but the art is linked to the flat, raw
landscape in a way that turns these materials organic.

School No. 6, 1993

School No. 6,

untitled (Marfa project), 1996 -
Dan Flavin

untitled (Marfa project),
- Dan

various works, 1972-1983 - John

I wanted to share some of my photos from the trip, although they really don't do the land justice. It was an immensely inspiring experience, and I felt really close to the process of those works at
Chinati. Even though most have stood still for over thirty years, I really got a sense of when and why they they were designed and constructed. Where they were placed then, they still stand today. Donald Judd didn't place interesting art in an empty space- he built art around an interesting landscape. Coming back to work in my studio which consists of a desk in my living room (fair enough, I don't really need a whole field in the desert of Texas for my work, which is
tiny in contrast), I realized that appreciating my workspace and environment is just as integral to my own pieces.

I haven't had so much fun taking photos in a long time. This was a truly unique experience, and I hope the experience helps me link my work and my environment more organically.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lowell Open Studios

by Liz of Lush Beads

It is open studios season, and Lowell is hosting its 10th annual event on September 25-26, 2010 from 11-5 each day. Over 120 artists at 9 venues will be participating this year! The arts is truly the heartbeat of this mill city, and Open Studios weekend is a great time to explore what's going on north of Boston.

Stop downtown at the Market Mills Courtyard where you can visit various artist studios as well as see member work of the Arts League of Lowell. After a short walk to visit The Whistler House or the Ayer Lofts Gallery, take the shuttle bus from the National Park Visitors Center to Western Avenue Studios. You may spot an artist you saw on Chronicle!

I will be showing my work in my shop at the Western Avenue Studios - you will find me in A-313. There is plenty of free parking at Western Ave, and the shuttle can take you to and from downtown. A quick drive from Western Ave will bring you to the UMass Lowell University Gallery, or the 119 Gallery.

Once you've had your fill of art (is that possible?) grab something to eat at one of the many restaurants in downtown. It's a great time! So come on up to Lowell on September 25-26, 2010 and see what the mill city has to offer you. Visit for directions and information on all participating artists!

17th Annual Jamaica Plain Open Studios

by Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography

It's September and that means it's almost time for one of my favorite shows of the year- Jamaica Plain Open Studios. 220 artists in over 50 locations all over the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston will be participating in the event, now in its seventeenth year.
I have participating to JPOS since 2007 and I always look forward to it. Art lovers come out in droves, rain or shine, and their enthusiasm for the event and the art itself is so touching and inspiring.

I will be showing my work in my front yard (weather permitting, otherwise I will be inside!) at 19 Eliot Street during the event which is Sat & Sun, Sept 25 &26 from 11am to 6pm. Hope to see you there!

For more information, please visit the JPOS website. You can download a map of the artist locations by clicking here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Boston Handmade Returns to SoWa Open Market

On Sunday, October 10 (10/10/10!), SoWa Open Market in the South End will be hosting Boston Handmade at their weekly outdoor artisan fair. We will be showing and selling our handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, ceramics, art, photography, handspun yarn, and more, so mark your calendars and get psyched!

Participating BH members include:

Amy, Bumble Belly Designs
Arthur, Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics
Bexx, White Sparrow Bindery
Brooke, Bancroft Studios
Cristina, Cristina Hurley Jewelry Design
Crystal, Vintage by Crystal
Diane, Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design
Katy, muchachaK
Kerry, Kerry Hawkins Photography
Laura, Pansy Maiden
Leah, cricicis design
Lucie, Lucie Wicker Photography
Lynne, Cozy Cottage Creations
Nancy, Nancyrosetta
Sharon, Stray Notions

SoWa Open Market can be found at 460 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA, 02118 and is open from 10am to 4pm. You can also RSVP to this event on Facebook by clicking here. We are really excited about doing this show and would love to see you there!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


by Arthur of Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics

As part of my creative process I am CONSTANTLY looking at the work around and finding the little things that inspire me. That may or may not include clay. I try not to look at other clay artists work for inspiration because I don't want o be too influenced by them. I did that in the beginning with my friend Kari and her old work but I feel like I have separated myself enough from her at this point and I want to make a name for myself.

When my work is out in the world I want people to think of me and not my friend's old work. That's the fine line that I knew I was walking when I made the transition into functional work. I hope you like some of the things I look at for inspiration!
I love this photo of water lillies all clustered together.

Antique porcelain pieces play a huge part in my creative process. I really love the ones that serve multiple functions and are more of a centerpiece rather then a one hit wonder.

Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday of the year! I love getting the fake tree (has to be fake in my house to be Christmas) and decorating it. The twinkle, shimmer and the nostalgic memory associated with each and every ornament I own is a really cool springboard for decorating pieces.

*Side note I really love the look of Christmas lights that are outside and have a blanket of snow on top like in the photo of the bush.

Carnivals again for their lights at night time like Christmas, and the color combinations that they put together is another awesome springboard for glazing.

Toile and damask I love to look at for their repetition of pattern. I see this happening in my work with the molds that I use, I almost see the bisque molds I use as sort of a printmaking process in clay.

Candy has had a huge influence on me and my work. I love the colors that candy comes in!

Wedding cakes, or pastries in general. I love the look of thick slip applied to a piece, it totally looks like frosting if you didn't know any better.

I had to throw this photo in from the fabric workshop in Philly. The artist took the school photos from his bullies in elementary school and made them into fuzzy wallpaper. Its glowing from the black light, and to top it off its installed in the men room, how cool!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Upcoming San Francisco Vegan Fashion Show

By Laura Collins of Pansy Maiden

I am so pleased and excited to announce that my bags will be worn on the shoulders of sashaying models on the runway of San Francisco's very first Vegan Fashion Show. This October 2nd event will take place during the San Francisco Veg Society's 11th Annual World Veg Festival Weekend.

Karine Brighten Events, the organizer of the Vegan Fashion Show, will welcome the following cruelty-free labels to the runway: Reco Jeans, Vaute Couture, Lion's Share Industries, Mission Savvy, Melie Bianco, Cri De Coeur, and yours truly (!) Rory Friedman, famed vegan author of Skinny Bitch, will be the emcee. I am especially proud to be the only designer representing for the one-person, handmade, DIY contingent. Exciting!

You might be asking, "What makes a bag vegan/cruelty-free, Laura?" Well, I do not use any materials derived from animals such as leather, wool, or silk. I wash my fabric using a plant-based, eco-friendly detergent, and when glue is called for, I use an animal-derivative-free brand.

Your next question might be, "Why bother?" That's a totally warranted question. You see, I wrap myself into every single aspect of Pansy Maiden so I want my business to be a reflection of my personal values. This is why I choose to run my business in the same manner I live my life: Cruelty-free.

Why am I vegan? Well, there's a long answer and a short answer. The short answer: for health reasons. My own personal health, the health of our Earth, and the health of our animals. If you are interested in my longer answer, feel free to shoot me an email.

But anyway...I bought my plane ticket to San Francisco earlier this week so it's feeling real and official! I will definitely blog about my experiences at the fashion show so look for those entries next month. And wish me luck!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Mosaic - School Bus Yellow

1. Felted Yellow Tulip by Cozy Cottage Creations
2. Ceiling Fan Postcard by Cricicis Design
3. Charlie B. Miniature Book by White Sparrow Bindery
4. Antique Shop Print by Thirteenth Story
5. Cutting Line by Bumble Belly Designs
6. In Lighter Vein Art Deco Small Journal by Pressbound

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Waterfire in Providence, RI

by Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography

After a recent Boston Handmade meeting in Seekonk, BH members Arthur, Beth, Beth's husband Justin, and I piled in the car and headed to Providence, RI for Waterfire. Waterfire is a public art exhibit that takes place on certain dates throughout the summer and consists of one hundred large bonfires set actually in the rivers of the city. It draws a huge crowd but the mesmerizing fires keep the noise level significantly hushed and peaceful; it was unlike any public art event I've ever been to.
Even from the shore, the heat from the fires was intense; we were lucky it wasn't a really hot night. In addition to the fires, there were singers stationed around the canals, gondola rides, and even a few living statues. There are still a few dates left this season to catch Waterfire; I highly recommend that you do!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kindness Among Crafters

by Amy of Bumble Belly Designs

Every time I go away, I have to take a bag of supplies to keep me busy. Encaustics don't travel easily but I will take my paints and drawing supplies to create elements to use in my work. I was also lucky enough to get the chance to learn needle felting from Lynne of Cosy Cottage Creations at a class last spring and I couldn't wait to get started on another sculpture after Lynne was kind enough to provide supplies for us to go home with.

I started forming the shape but broke my needle early on. I went on-line to find out if there was a supplier on Cape Cod and the first one to pop up was a fellow Esty seller named Gerry who happened to live a few towns away. Her shop is Gfelted and she does some really amazing animals and custom pet sculpture.

She also has a fiber shop on etsy for supplies.

We had a wonderful conversation about my project and she was so helpful. I bought several needles and she even sent a little package of goodies for me to use.

Here is my finished mermaid mounted on a piece of driftwood and holding a moonsnail both of which I found on a beach walk one day. I must say Gerrys additions of the hair fiber and the silk for the tail made her truly unique.

She's a nice handmade souvenir and a reminder of kindness among crafters. Thanks Gerry!
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