Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BH returns to the JP Holiday Fair

It's that time of year again! Boston Handmade will once again be on the stage at the JP Holiday Fair THIS Saturday from 11am to 5pm. Participating BH members include:

The show is at the First Church Jamaica Plain on 6 Eliot Street at the monument (for directions, click here). We will also have a some free goodies to give away too. See you there!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Mosaic - Purple

1. Love Roots Us Mandala 8 x8 Print by Art Asana
2. Fabric Bunting Pennant by Merriweather Council
3. Red and Blue Splatter Notebook with Stitched Spine by White Sparrow Bindery
4. Floral Pocket Mirror or Keychain Bottle Opener by MaJenta Designs
5. Organic Vegan Shoulder Bag in Aubergine Microsuede by Pansy Maiden
6. Polish Wycinanki Folk Art Pattern Card by Pressbound

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Danielle From Merriweather Council Interviews Herself

By Danielle of The Merriweather Council

Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff)
Hey friends! I’m Danielle, I currently live and work in my apartment near Fenway Park in Boston. I just graduated in May from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in 3d Fine Arts with a concentration in fibers! (Yay –strings and threads!) I was born and raised on Long Island, NY and I have one brother and a slight addiction to coffee…. (Those things don’t really go together do they?)

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
When I was growing up I had 5 American Girl dolls and would cut up my own clothes to make doll clothes, that makes sense right? I remember drawing and stuff like that when I was much younger, but my doll clothes were my first real creative endeavors. I also learned to crochet pretty early on and I made lots of doll sized blankets. They weren’t all that bad, just kinda crooked.

What are your favorite materials?
My favorite materials are DMC embroidery floss, wooden embroidery hoops, and vintage fabrics – which I love hunting for.

How do you promote your work?
I really like to make treasuries on Etsy, and I think that has been a great way to promote so far. I have a blog and a tumblr as well as a Facebook page and a twitter. I post new listing on those sometimes. I’ve done exhibitions on Paper and Stitch as well which I think helped also.

How long have you been involved with Etsy and what have your experiences been?
I listed my first item on Etsy at the end of June 2010, so far it’s going pretty well! I’m so new though, maybe it isn’t, I don’t have anything to compare it to. But I have been on the front page a bunch and I’ve gotten interviewed on a variety of blogs, I’ve been featured in Etsy Finds, on Apartment Therapy, in the December issue of Cottages and Bungalows… and all those people found me through Etsy, so in that way it has been very positive. I have had someone try to resell my work, I’ve seen imitations popping up and I’ve encountered a few awkward moments but overall it’s going really well!

Name your favorite books, movies, etc…
My favorite book of all time ever is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer and my favorite movie is probably Garden State but I do also love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind… I know, I know, typical art school kid… But those really are my favorites!

If you were a fruit what kind would you be? What kind would your best friend be?
I would be a banana, she would be a kiwi.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Mess of Rings!

by Cristina of Cristina Hurley Jewelry Design

I love to make all styles of jewelry, but one of the styles I love to make the most is rings. Rings are like sunglasses; even if you are a conservative dresser, you can wear a ring that stands out for that extra bit of flair you might want to express, without getting to wacky. They can be super simple, or totally outlandish. They can mean nothing, or everything to the wearer. I am making a ton of rings right now. I noticed when I saw this mess of them on my bench.
Enjoy the process!

Drilling to set stones

Hammering a ring to the right size.

Forming a ring to shut the seam.

Filing a setting.

Sanding the inside of a band.

That's me with all my rings!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Grand Opening Today!

The 3rd Annual Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery
opens TODAY at 11am
We're back in Downtown Crossing
November 26 - December 24, 2010
Wednesdays - Sundays, 11am to 7pm

Join us on opening day to begin your handmade holiday season by supporting local artists and craftspeople, while purchasing unique gifts for your loved ones.

We're giving Free Gifts to the first 50 Gallery Customers!
Shop early to receive your gift bag of items made by Gallery Exhibitors, and shop often to see new one-of-a-kind and limited edition items arriving in the Gallery throughout the season.

Opening Day 2010 features live music
by legendary Boston street musicians Steppers Heaven performing original music from their latest CD titled, Downtown Crossing.

Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery
505 Washington Street
between West Street and Temple Place, in Downtown Crossing
November 26 - December 24, 2010
Wednesdays - Sundays, 11am to 7pm

With 25 artists and artisans exhibiting at the 2010 Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery, a wide variety of media will be on view and available for holiday gift giving such as hand crafted jewelry, clothing, accessories, home goods, art, photography, holiday d├ęcor, greeting cards, handbound books, and toys.

Searching for something to give the person who has it all? The Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery is the place to be for unique and high quality locally made gifts.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today Is National 'Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day"!

By Allison of Fraske Designs

Everyone has a unique talent, skill, or quirk at which they truly excel. Today is the day embrace those skills and celebrate your unique talent!

Boston Handmade is chock full of people with unique talents. Crystal of Vintage by Crystal specialize in spun cotton, a century old technique used for making holiday ornaments and figures in old world Germany. She uses many vintage materials and other 100 year old techniques when creating her quirky characters.

Crystal's Spun Cotton Treasures

Arthur Halvorsen is a ceramic artist who uses bisque molds as his primary means of making. He goes to second hand stores, vintage shops, and yard sales to find pieces to pull molds off from and finds inspiration from Victorian Soft Paste Porcelain, Kitsch and Antique Metal Work.

Arthur's Green Pillow Vase

Buddy and JoJo make beautiful handmade eco friendly wooden toys which are organic, safe, and natural for your baby and toddler. Wood baby teethers, toddler push toys, baby blocks and more, all made from sustainable resources.

Buddy and JoJo's Natural Wood Teething Toy

These are just a few of our members with unique talents worth celebrating!

What's YOUR unique talent?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


by Marla Kunselman of Sea Glass Things

You may not remember - but last year for Halloween I created a boutique outfit for my youngest daughter that got rave reviews! I have become hooked on appliques and decoupaging clothing to create that one-of-a-kid look. Here is an outfit I just finished. The applique was drawn by me and hand sewn (after the iron on procedure) to the shirt. I also made a matching bow complete with coordinating button. The tights and and skirt were purchased to complete the outfit! The fabric was purchased at a local Salem shop. The whole outfit cost less than $30 - that include a handmade shirt and bow, tights and skirt! Keep an eye out for her holiday outfit next month!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Mosaic - Happy Hanukkah!

1. Vintage Style Spun Cotton Hanukkah Girl and Child by Vintage By Crystal
2. Classic Car Series 5 x 7 Fine Art Print by Fraske Designs
3. Blue Floral Summer Dress by All The Numbers
4. Spider Pin in Blue and White by Lush Beads
5. Blue/Silver Stars Miniature Book Ornament by White Sparrow Bindery
6. Polish Wycinanki Folk Art Card - Set of 6 by Pressbound

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To you

It's back and better than ever! The 3rd Annual Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery in Downtown Crossing will be open again IN LESS THAN A WEEK and we stay open for business from Black Friday through Christmas Eve (November 26th through December 24th).

Located at 505 Washington Street, between Temple Place and West Street in the heart of Downtown Crossing, the gallery will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, 11am to 7pm. Gallery exhibitors are on staff every day, so when you come in to shop handmade for the holidays you can meet the artists and craftspeople who created the very items you see on display!

This weekend we are setting up the space, receiving inventory, creating window displays, decorating, and getting super excited to see all of you in person for a third year in a row!

The 2010 Gallery welcomes back favorite local artists from our past two years such as Bumble Belly Designs, Albertine Press, and Lucie Wicker Photography along with new exhibitors Requiem Fine Art, Sweet Auburn Soaps, Claudia Bruno Steampunk Jewelry, and more!

THIS JUST IN: The first 50 Gallery customers on Opening Day, November 26th, will receive free gifts from Boston Handmade! So shop early, shop often, and support YOUR local, independent artists and craftspeople by holiday shopping with Boston Handmade.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Visit to the Edward Gorey House

Finally! I have been dying to go to the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouthport (Cape Cod) ever since I found out it existed. It was every bit as informative, bizarre-o, and inspiring as I hoped it would be. We took the guided tour which I highly recommend; our docent pointed out lots of Gorey facts and tidbits we would've missed on our own. Like maybe-

G is for George smothered under a rug (The Gashlycrumb Tinies)

A serpent stone path (created by Gorey himself) and a statue of the Doubtful Guest

And finally the graves of each of the 26 tinies, made by Gorey's friends. So morbidly delightful.

Overall, it was a creeptastic, fascinating visit; I learned a lot about Gorey and what inspired his unique body of work. I wish I could time travel back to the mid-nineties and hang around Yarmouthport just to possibly bump into him.

Next time you're on the Cape, you should pay the house and all of Gorey's meticulous collections a visit. I will definitely be going back!

Friday, November 19, 2010

New York Sheep and Wool Festival

By Diane of Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design

In October, I made the journey to Rhinebeck, NY with my best friend and knitting buddy to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. It was my second time going but this year I went on Saturday instead of Sunday. The New York Sheep and Wool Festival is the Mecca for the knitting community. People from all over the country and world make their way to fairgrounds to see all breeds of animals but mainly to get some good deals on yarn and knitting accessories. Not to mention, this festival is by far the best Fiber fashion show you will every see!

Instead of making it a one day trip, we decided that it would be great to spend the night in Rhinebeck. However, all the hotels were booked months in advance for this special weekend. I guess I was the designated bed & breakfast finder because I spent a week looking up bed & breakfast places for us to stay at all through the Catskill Mountains. Well, I found one in the beautiful city of Purling, NY. We stayed at the Bavarian Inn & Restaurant, a family business. We had so much pre-party fun hanging out at the Inn with drinks and knitting by the fireplace and talking with the locals.

Overall the trip was great and there was so much beautiful scenery all around us I had to take pictures. I did have a great time at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival despite the shoulder to shoulder comfort I received from the thousands of fiber enthusiast who showed up. At first, I thought I was going to buy yarn for my etsy shop however, I left with yarn and roving for myself which felt so great! It has been a long time since a purchased fiber for just for me and I have to say it was money well spent :)

Our long drive to the Catskills Mountain in NY. The different color leaves were all around us and the sky turned blue for just this moment...then it rained the rest of the trip that Friday

The Bavarian Inn & Restaurant where we stayed...it was quite the experience

Having a good time at a local restaurant. I decided that a beverage and knitting made the perfect meal :)

This kid was so adorable! Ms. Llama was the main attaction walking around with all the knitters :)

Our drive home from Boston watching the sun set was amazing! Those look like mountains but they are actually clouds. Truly an amazing sight to see!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not Real, Boston

by Kerry Hawkins from Khawkinsphotography

My favorite thing to photograph, mannequin and mannequins in windows. It is my heaven! I found these recently, while taking one of my photowalks in Boston. I really like how the buildings reflect onto the mannequins. It gives the photos a surreal quality.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wellesley Marketplace 2010

by Amy of Bumble Belly Designs

This Saturday will be the 34th annual Wellesley Marketplace. It takes place at the Wellesley Middle School from 9-4. It is a fabulous place to begin your Holiday shopping (or finish it!) There will be 130 vendors with unique gifts for even the most challenging on your holiday list. Hope to see all fans of Boston Handmade there!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pop-Up Art Loop Chicago

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

Recently, my husband and I visited the wonderful city of Chicago. Like most cities these days, they have a plethora of empty storefronts in the downtown area. It's sad, but just like Boston, they are appealing to artists to pretty things up. The Pop-Up Art Loop transforms empty storefronts throughout the Chicago Loop area.

Not only are there pop-up art galleries with regular business hours like the one pictured above, but there are installations viewed by the public through the glass windows like the pictures below.

And of course, they force little cute kids to stand in windows and smile at the public as any great city does.
About this picture: These kids had the most pouty sourpusses on their faces until I took my camera out...I think they were in a time-out.

I am in love with Chicago, I encourage you to visit if you can. Don't even get me started on the architecture...that will be a different blog post!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Mosaic - Thanksgiving

1. Pick your Own Set of Felted Fruit Bowl by Cozy Cottage Creations
2. Set of 2 Plates by City By the Sea Ceramics
3. Farmer's Market Print by Kerry Hawkins Photo
4. Vintage Style Spun Cotton Thanksgiving Boy by Vintage by Crystal
5. Turkey Day Dogtag Keychain by Stitchy McYarnpants
6. Thanksgiving Morning Hand Embroidered Wall Art by Merriweather Council

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holiday Inspiration

By Leah of cricicis design

It's the second week of November and I have yet to get new holiday items up in my shop. I'm working hard on a few day planners, a calendar, and a 2010 holiday card set. I have a lot of work ahead of me in the next few weeks, but I thought I'd quickly share some of my personal favorite holiday papergoods found on etsy, to get in the spirit!
gift tags set by a little hut

Peacock Merry Christmas set by Michelle Brusegaard

Moon Mittens card set by essimar

Oh Tannenbaum by crackeddesigns

I love the clean look of those gift tags- simple shapes
and stark white, but completely delicate because of the cuts. And this Oh Tannenbaum card is so great, with it's use of pattern to create a retro feel. The craftsmanship of all of these items go above and beyond mass produced boxed sets. They each seem so individual and special!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What's in a name?

by Karen Mahoney of City by the Sea Ceramics

It never fails that at some point every time I show my work, someone asks about my business name, City by the Sea Ceramics. I'll hear "Are you from Manchester by the Sea?", or if they first ask where I'm from they'll reply confused, "But Needham isn't by the sea...". I always have to explain how the name has nothing to do with my actual location. So how exactly did I get my name and what does it mean? I'm so glad you asked!

When I chose to focus on pottery I decided I needed a business name to sell under rather than my actual name, Karen Mahoney. My name is pretty average, nothing flashy or unforgettable. There are many Karens out there and even more Mahoneys. I needed to stand out. I needed a shop name.

Next I decided that it was important that my name didn't pigeon-hole me and my work. I didn't want it to reflect anything specific, should I decide to take a drastic turn with my work at some point. While right now I want to make pots forever, you never know what the future holds. Some day I may just decide I need to make giant sculptures. Karen's Cups wouldn't cut it if that turned out to be the case.

So where did that leave me? I started thinking about what inspires me. While I've always loved Asian art the most, I've definitely been influenced by so many artists, time periods, and cultures beyond that. The Greeks, French, Romans, Inuits, I could go on and on. All of them have offered something notable to art that I enjoy and admire. This idea brought me to the next idea, that all influential cities throughout time have been near some form of water, be it a lake, river, or the ocean. I decided to work this angle into my name.

Using the word 'sea' as a general term for water, I decided upon City by the Sea Ceramics. I was able to honor the art history that the world has offered, keep the name broad enough so it doesn't focus on one specific thing, let people know it was ceramics I was offering, and still make it easy enough and catchy enough to remember. Perfect!

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