Saturday, December 31, 2011

First the Good News

by Sharon of Stray Notions

The good news -- winding down from the holiday season and planning for a better year to come -- because there's always room for improvement, right? Tomorrow my big plans are to take me and some personal stitching (embroidery AND knitting) projects down to the stitcher's brunch at Gather Here in Cambridge and enjoy working on something just for me (well, actually the embroidery is a gift, but without any pressure).

The picture shows both the good news and the alluded to bad news, as they are inextricably linked. All of the items -- the gorgeous variegated yarns that I usually don't splurge on and the nifty wooden display spinner were purchased this summer at at deep discount from a needlework store that was going out of business. I was happy to get them, but so sad that the store is no longer. So, while enjoying the great company and treats I also plan to support the retail end of Gather Here cause I'd be really sad if one day they weren't here. Please think about doing the same for your favorite local businesses.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Mary Michael Bronze Artist

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

I recently met bronze artist Mary Michael in Las Vegas at the Art of the American Cowboy show. My father was showing his work there as a featured artist, and I had some time to take in all the art that was on offer. Her piece "Tall Cool One" broke the ice for me and I had to meet her and get to know how she makes her art.

Mary is a fascinating woman with a wonderful family who were all there supporting her as she she manned her booth. I had a little chance to talk with her and learn about how she has her sculptures cast into bronze. First she uses clay to sculpt the artwork, then she sends it to be made into a mold that will either be a one of a kind or a limited edition. She likes to experiment with patinas, it was interesting learning some of the techniques she uses to achieve different colors and textures on the bronze.

Here is Mary doing what she loves. I loved seeing this horse in progress, it already looks like a winner to me! She is super talented!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Art of the American Cowboy

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

Early this December, my father was honored to be the featured artist in a show in Las Vegas called Art of the American Cowboy. I was lucky enough to be able to go to the show and see all the amazing artwork. His artwork is featured in their banner and signs!

Here is Dad with his wife ChaCha and my husband Scott, along with a variety of his framed paintings. His booth looked amazing.

Along with all the artwork on display, there was a rodeo...right in the resort! It was the first rodeo I have ever been to that was inside a building. Pretty spectacular.

And this waiting/practicing area was also INSIDE the resort! My vantage point is from above looking down from a window. These people all looked very nervous getting ready for their chance at a portion of 4.2 million dollars in a roping contest. Of course the horses looked completely at ease. :)

Even though I went to this event to support my fathers artwork (and him), my favorite piece was from one of his horses that he had on display in his booth. A testament to his sense of humor and his horse's mighty tongue.

Click the image to see the title plate bigger. I love the humor.

I'm so glad that I could attend this event in support of my Dad. He and my step-mother were so glad that we could be there and that meant the world to me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Food (and Beagles)

Delicious food and happy dogs seem to make up a lot of my photos from the holiday this year-


Homemade cookies

Raspberry cake

Buche de Noel

And now the dog, finding and opening his present-

Another successful holiday! How do you spend yours?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rounding It Up

by An Li Liu of An Li Liu

This is the first quiet week in awhile – my hands are resting after printing up a storm for Bazaar Bizarre and Craftland. I’m looking forward to a little reflection and digestion of the year’s events, and enjoy this peaceful time before barreling full force into new designs and projects.

I took time out for an old friend’s wedding in my hometown Toronto earlier this month, and got married myself a week later! So needless to say, life has been hectic, and full of all sorts of energy. All things considered, this has been a fantastic year of experimenting and learning, and big leaps of faith. I’m excited about the year to come, and all the surprises it may bring.

Speaking of surprises, I have to share my new kitchen appliance Santa brought me for Christmas – the cutest and most high-tech rice cooker ever!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

So now is come our joyful feast,
Let every man be jolly;
Each room with ivy leaves is dressed,
And every post with holly.
Though some churls at our mirth repine,
Round your foreheads garlands twine,
Drown sorrow in a cup of wine,
And let us all be merry.
~George Wither

Wishing you a warm, safe, and happy holiday from Boston Handmade!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Very Beagle Christmas

Every year our holiday card features our beagle, Apollo. This year we did a little shoot right in our neighborhood in a spot that had vibrant yellow leaves, the color was amazing! I let him do his thing (with some "instruction") and wound up with these three photos for the card.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Little Holiday Decorating

by Jen Parrish of Parrish Relics

Decorating a new home for the holiday can be so much fun, just hanging a few ornaments here and there and a garland over the door can make such a difference. A ribbon across the kitchen wall holds cards received, fun to add more as they come in.

No tree this year but I'm surrounding myself with friends' artwork and photography, the surest way to make a house a home.

In the center of this photo, an image from my friend Chris Kowalski, who sadly left us this year but will forever be remembered.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

From the hands of wise children

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

On November 28th the best holiday gift arrived to our family - our new baby Naomi. About a week later the best new baby gift arrived from two classrooms of 2nd graders at St. Peter's School in Philadelphia courtesy of my dear childhood friend, and amazing teacher, Jessica Kulick.
Every 2nd grader handmade a beautiful card and wrote a heartfelt letter of "advice for a good life" to our new baby daughter. I am so grateful for all the letters we received and for the great advice (in fantastic handwriting!) such as:

"You should not watch too much TV or play too many video games because it makes your brain go mushy. Do not be mean to your brother. Do not cry too much in the night" from Christian and, "Listen to your mommy and daddy! You should also try not to bite people in your family or anyone else!" from Charlotte and, "Get washable markers and paint." from Trevor and, "You should be a good friend so your friends will be good to you." from Drew.

Wise words, and sweet gifts. Receiving this amazing package also got me thinking about handwritten letters and how I rarely send or receive them anymore. The letters from these children inspired me to write a few letters of my own, by hand, on nice paper, and mail them to friends and family. Sometimes the sweetest gift is the simplest one.

If you're looking for nice stationary for sending some handwritten notes, check out these local artists on
Cricicis Design at
Albertine Press at
Sophy Tuttle Illustration at
Zoetropa at

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Color Palette at Work

By Diane of Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design

I am sorting through my inventory for the last couple of days and I was really inspired by the array of colors that I had created the past 6 months. Although most of that inventory has been sold, which makes me very happy, I am always producing more yarn each week. After looking at my inventory I have realized how much I enjoy mixing my color palette up with color combinations that make you think outside the box. I really have found my niche for my color and it's because I have taken the time to find inspiration from modern and contemporary artists but also I am trying to spend more time going on excursions locally to find interesting materials and people wearing amazing colors.

I don't like to boast about these accomplishments but I have seen a progression in my work that I am extremely humbled by. As crafters and artist, we need to continue to evolve in our own crafts. Sometimes you have to go against what you have always been comfortable producing in order to create new and innovative artwork and crafts.

Check this one out!

Why not another one to show you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Minute Gift Idea: Homemade Pickles

by Allison of Fraske Designs

If you are looking for a neat homemade treat that's a little different than cookies or pie, give this easy homemade pickle recipe a try! They are really very simple to make (it is a refrigerator, non-canning method), the ingredient list is short, and prep time is quick! I am making them as hostess gifts for Christmas this year (shhh don't spoil the surprise) because... who doesn't like pickles?

There are several non-canning methods you can find online. I adapted my recipe from the website Never Trust a Skinny Baker.


3 cups distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp of pickling spice
2 cups hot water
2 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced in spears or discs
1 bunch of chopped fresh dill
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped


Mix vinegar, sugar, salt, and pickling spice in a large, heat-safe bowl. Pour the hot water (I just boiled it in a kettle) over the vinegar mixture, and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Chop cucumbers into spears, and divide them into jars (I used pint sized Ball jars which you can find in your local supermarket or hardware store for cheap).

Chop the dill and the garlic, and divide it evenly among your jars, and pour the cooled brine over the cucumbers. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to two weeks, and enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Mosaic: O Tannenbaum

1. Sterling and CZ North Star Pendant , by Cristina Hurley Jewelry Design
2. Plush toy scissors , by Hibou Designs
3. Leash - 6ft Pupcake Cupcake Mini , by Cody's Creations
4. Trefoil of the Grove - Stained Glass Gothic Arch Window Necklace , by Parrish Relics
4. Butterfly Flower Cap Sleep T-shirt , by An Li Studio
6. Boat , by Arthur Halvorsen
7. Green Rope Inlay Stoneware Mug , by City by the Sea Ceramics
8. So Sari Beret in Green , by Elephunk's Trunk
9. Springtime Festive Floral Explosion , by MaJenta Designs
10. Dandelion 8x10 Photo Print , by Lucie Wicker Photography
11. Needle Felted Fruit Ornaments, by Cozy Cottage Creations
12. Dragonfly brooch green and majenta , by Stray Notions
13. Northern Ireland 5x7 photoprint Featuring Cows, by Kerry Hawkins Photography
14. Recycle N Reuse Leg Warmers, by Elizabeth Brennick Designs
15. Adult Village SQRZ T in Green, by Evan Webster Ink
16. Holiday moose postcards, set of five, by cricicis design
17. Fenway Park Red Seat 8x10 Photographic Print , by Fraske Designs
18. Green polka dotted gift tags , by Reclaimed to You
19. Green Meadows 170 yards tencel and merino wool , by Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Designs
20. Aloha Pendant, by Nancyrosetta

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Artist Making Art

By Kerry of Kerry Hawkins Photography

On of the wonderful thing about running and working in a gallery/shop is having artists do their work in the Gallery. At the Dedham Square Artist Guild many of our artist members volunteer to work in the gallery. Often these artists bring their projects to work on. The work ranges from sewing, painting, drawing, to making jewelry. I love to see the process and how artists goes about making a finished project.

1. Iris Sonnenschein 2. Rali Weaver 3.Marietta Appollonio 4.Barbara Trainer

All of our artists are local and many are from Dedham. One of the goals of the Guild is to bring local art to the community. It is wonderful that local artist hang out, work and make things in the gallery.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Knit Christmas Ornaments

by Karen Mahoney of City by the Sea Ceramics

This year I decided to make some small knit ornaments for all the family at Christmas. I still need to find time to embroider some features on the snowman, but I sure do like my cute little ornaments! Besides cookies, what handmade items do you gift during the holidays?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Crafting for the Holidays

By Diane of Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design

I have spent the month of November preparing for my holiday craft fairs this month and I have to say, it was so exciting to be able to do more craft fairs this month and to see the amazing and talented crafters in Boston. I have been spending the last week or so dyeing and spinning yarn and I wanted to share with all of you some of the completed hand-dyed and hand-spun yarns I have done.

I am getting ready for the vibrant colors of spring and summer.

I call this Batman as I used black and yellow food coloring which blend into amazing colors.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Thursday!

Smile! It's almost Friday! Spreading the end-of-the-week love with Allison of Fraske Design's awesome 5x7 "Smile" print, available now in her Etsy shop.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

JP Holiday Fair Report

By Kerry of Kerry Hawkins Photography

Saturday, December 3rd, Boston Handmade participated in the JP Holiday Fair. It was a fun day of crafts, art, music and treats to eat. I really like doing this show. There is a good crowd and I also, enjoying talking with people that attend.

There were eight Boston Handmaders participating this year. Lady Dye Fiber Arts, Cody's Creations, and Cricicis Designs are all new to the fair. I was happy they were able to join us this year.

The Boston Handmade line-up includes: Lucie Wicker Photography, Kerry Hawkins Photography, Cody's Creations, City by the Sea Ceramics, Cricicis Design, Elizabeth Brennick Designs, Straynotions and Lady Dye Fiber.

Boston Handmaders are also exhibiting as a group their work in two venues until January 15. In Boston, Artist Crossing and in Canton, Cristina Hurley Jewelry.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Boston Handmade Etsy Finds

We've been super busy getting ready for the holidays here at Boston Handmade. While we're participating in shows, family gatherings, and holiday parties, we're still listing our goods on Etsy too! Here are a few Boston Handmade finds-

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Recap of West Elm & Etsy Handmade Holiday Workshop

by Kerrie Beck of Cody's Creations

On December 1st several members of Boston Handmade, myself, Kerry of Kerry Hawkins Photography, Arthur of Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics, and Sharon of Stray Notions were part of the West Elm and Etsy Handmade Holiday Workshop. The Boston Handmade Team demonstrated how to make origami paper ornaments. We helped the shoppers make and decorate the ornaments which they could bring home or place on the Christmas Tree in the store. The decorated tree will be delivered to Rosie's Place on December 24th along with any unwrapped new toys that have been donated in the store collection bin.

The evening was a blast! We have fun making ornaments, shopping at several featured Etsy sellers that were set up in the store, and meeting the crowd that came into West Elm for the event. By the end of the night, the tree was decorated beautifully and we were throughly in the Christmas spirit.

If you have a chance, stop by the West Elm in Fenway to view the tree, and if you can, donate an ornament or a toy.

The following photos are courtesy of Kerry of Kerry Hawkins Photography. Thank you Kerry for capturing the event!

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