Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Boston Handmade Artisan Fair at Jamaica Plain First Thursdays

By Leah of cricicis design

Jamaica Plain hosts an event put on by the organization JP Centre/South Main Streets every first Thursday of every month from May to September in which local businesses, local artists, and musicians open up to the community and neighborhood. It's a beautiful neighborhood and a ton of people are out and about enjoying themselves.

This will be Boston Handmade's fifth year participating in the Artisan Fair for First Thursdays. Come see us this Thursday, Sept 1, at 633 Centre Street, next to the Jamaica Plain post office, from 6-8pm.

Exhibiting Boston Handmade members will be:

Sharon of Stray Notions
Leah of cricicis design
Karen of City by the Sea Ceramics
Kerrie of Cody's Creations
An Li of An Li Studio

And Jessica Burko of Boston Handmade will be selling our freshly designed and printed Boston Handmade T-shirts at the show as well.
It will be a lovely mix of jewelry & accessories, apparel, ceramics, embroidery and paper goods. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Boston Handmade knitting night

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

Diane teaching Karen how to knit with 4 double-pointed knitting needles.
Last week Diane of Lady Dye Fiber Arts and Designs invited Boston Handmade to her home for a night of knitting. The beauty of a knitting night with an expert like Diane is we can have all our questions answered, get help on current projects, learn new techniques, and check out all the cool knitting "tools" and yarns that someone of Diane's caliber has in her stock pile.
Diane taught Karen of City By The Sea Ceramics how to knit with DPNs (double-pointed needles) so she could make strawberries to use in her ceramics displays at upcoming shows. Check out Karen's finished product above! So amazing - and she is a brand new knitter too! What talent.
I spent the night working on a baby wrap-around jacket for our daughter who is due in November, and I was tragically stuck on one part of the pattern. Diane guided me through it and now all I have to do is sew up the seams, add a ribbon tie, and it will be finished! I'll post pix of this finished product and other tiny items I'm making for our daughter-to-be when they are all camera ready.
In addition to being an expert knitter and a knitting teacher, Diane dyes yarn with natural dyes, and spins her own yarn too. I love this photo of Diane's latest batch of natural dyed yarns and can't wait to see them in person at upcoming shows.

Thanks for a great knitting night everyone!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Mosaic: Golden Hues

Curated by Lynne of Cozy Cottage Creations

1. Dream 5x7 Photo Print - France , by Kerry Hawkins Photography
2. 18K and silver bimetal Kufu Pendant , by Cristina Hurley Jewelry Design
3. Felted Black Eyed Susans , by Cozy Cottage Creations
4. An Ancient Teardrop hammered steampunk pendant , by Purpleshiny designs
5. Golden Yellow Harvest Heart Hand , by Merriweather Council
6. Fields of Gold Chiyogami Pocket Mirror ,by MaJenta Designs
7. Adelaide Tiara , by Parrish Relics
8. Gravity - 8x10 Fine Art Print , by Fraske Designs
9. Felted wool sunflower brooch , by Stray Notions
10. Nightingale square bookplates , by cricicis design
11. Porcelain Sake Set for 3 , by City by the Sea Ceramics
12. Goldie the Owl Organic T Shirt by An Li Studio

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summer Bounty

By Kerry Hawkins of K Hawkins Photo

One of my favorite things about summer is farmer's markets. I love buying fresh vegetables and photographing them. We are lucky to have a wonderful farmer's market in Dedham, which I look forward to going to every week. My husband will also stop by markets in Boston to bring home some veggies or bread and sometimes both. I love the bright colors of the market. I also, like that I am supporting local farmers. It is a good feeling.

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Photography Portfolio

I am about to graduate from the Center for Digital Imaging Arts and recently completed a two week class in portfolio development, our final class. It was pretty intense; we had taken thousands of photos (in my case, over 15,000!) and we had to narrow it down to 25. We had to go through critiques, creating portfolio spreads, printing, more critiques, and then the final touches. Brutal! But I definitely learned a lot and feel good about what I wound up with. Here are a few of mine that made the cut-

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Exploring Local Wildlife Sanctuaries & Nature Trails with a Mass Audubon Membership

by Jen Parrish of Parrish Relics

My husband and I recently visited the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary on a whim, and were lucky enough to be offered a membership discount. A membership card gives you year round free entry to all of the Mass Audubon locations and other great perks. Highly recommended!

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

We have already also enjoyed visiting Plum Island's Joppa Flats earlier this year-

and more recently took advantage of a beautiful summer day to check out Drumlin Farm in Lincoln.

Drumlin Farm
There is much inspiration in Nature and the faces of the adorable animals you may meet. Wonderful for anyone who is an artist of any kind, or to just find a little peace and stillness to recharge and appreciate the beauty surrounding where we live.

Can't wait to pick the next one to visit before the summer is out!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chanel vs. Harajuku

Every month I receive Boston Handmade’s Artist Opportunities newsletter. The email is always chalk full of information about upcoming shows, grant opportunities, and other exciting ways to make the most out of life as an artist in the greater Boston area. The most recent newsletter contained information about Uforge gallery’s September assignment: Chanel vs. Harajuku.

Uforge is a gallery in Jamaica Plain organized around a unique concept: every month they issue thematic assignments and exhibit the works of any artists who respond to the call. For September, Uforge asked for two dimensional artwork or works of wearable couture inspired by the aesthetic of Coco Chanel and the Harajuku district of Japan—famous for its eclectic mix of counter cultural fashion. It seemed like an assignment created especially for me, so of course I entered. Here is the hat I created specially for the exhibit:

Made with a hand blocked mini pillbox base, covered in brown satin, and decorated with curled pheasant flowers and a cream millinery rose, this fascinator hat combines the elegance of Chanel with the spunk of Harajuku. It will be on display and for sale at Uforge Gallery throughout the month of September.

Where: Uforge Gallery 767 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain

When: Show runs September 1-30. Public reception September 10 6-8PM

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fall Membership Application Review Begins Today

Boston Handmade members Karen of City by the Sea Ceramics and Lynne of Cozy Cottage Creations exhibiting their handmade wares at the recent West Medford Open Studios. Photo by Allison of Fraske Designs.

Since 2007 Boston Handmade has been connecting local artists and craftspeople, bringing together arts professionals in all stages of their careers, encouraging dialogue, and harnessing the power of many to strengthen the success of each creative individual.

As a group, the membership of Boston Handmade is dedicated to working collaboratively for mutual inspirational and professional benefit, regularly producing exhibition and educational opportunities for one another and the Boston arts community. As individuals, our members are committed to succeeding as working artists, creating their original work by hand in small studio environments.

If you are interested in applying to become a member of Boston Handmade please read our full membership information on our website, and submit an application online.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 30, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good Times in Maine

Last month, I took a trip to Maine with my friend Shelley from my knitting group to visit our other knitting friend, Alice, who has a gorgeous lakefront cottage. I had such a great time being able to relax for a couple of days since my summer has been so hectic. Not only is Maine beautiful for it's landscape, but also there most notable yarn shop, Spunky Eclectic.

I have always wanted to go visit Amy's store and boy did I have a blast! Tons of fiber every where, spinning wheels, drop spindles and more fiber galore. Unfortunately I was so excited about what was in the store that I did not really take a picture of the goodies inside but I did make a purchase. This yarn shop is definitely a place for all those who love to spin yarn and weave. Here's a couple of pictures from my trip in Maine.

My purchase

The view from our lake front cottage where we stayed

The cottage

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Classes for Kids in Concord

by Sharon of Stray Notions

It's mid August and the summer venues seem to be clearing out earlier each year. Back to school is in the air ... and truth be told I always kind of liked that. It meant new pencils and art supplies! This year I'll be teaching in a converted school building in Concord, MA. Emerson Umbrella offers classes and workshops for kids and adults along with performances and environmental activities. I'll be introducing kids between the ages of 8-12 to simple hand sewing, embroidery and embellishment. I can't wait to see where they go with it. The first projects include creating a place to keep essential tools -- a needlebook, scissor fob, pincushion, basket, and drawstring bag.

The first 6 session class begins Tuesday September 20. If you know a child who might be interested you can see the full description and register online here or contact me for more information.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Red Nun Music Festival

by Allison of Fraske Designs

September 3 is the third annual Red Nun Music Festival at the Red Nun Bar and Grill in Chatham, MA. Above is the flyer I created for Sidewalk Driver, who participates in this event each year.

The Red Nun Music Festival benefits the Pals for Life Foundation is a response mechanism dedicated to providing emergency funds to families and/or individuals in need of immediate assistance.

Labor Day weekend is a popular time on Cape Cod, so if you are in the Chatham area on September 3, I encourage you go get out to this event to hear some great music and support a great cause!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Science & Art in Washington DC

By Jennifer T. of MaJenta Designs

I recently took a trip to Washington DC. The nation's capital definitely is beaming with art, from museums housing portraits and American history icons, to even the architecture of their monuments. However, I enjoyed finding artwork in unexpected the Air and Space Museum.

My favorite unexpected finding, was this stained glass piece that displays the electromagnetic spectrum in the earth's atmosphere

The different colors symbolize different light rays, as well as how deeply the rays from space penetrate the earth. Below is the placard that explains further about each of the different color.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dedham Open Studios Window Project

By Kerry Hawkins of K Hawkins Photography

This summer, Dedham Open Studios started a new project in Dedham Square. The bringing together of art and an available store front in Dedham Square. This is a wonderful space to put local artists together and add artistic vibrance to Dedham Square. Many cities across the country have this type of program. I have been involved with such a project when I lived in Tucson, Arizona.

Jen Barsamian, Dedham Open Studios founder and artist, Cat Ciccolo Tucker help clean the store window. Cat lent her beautiful prints and handmade books for the art display.

For this round of artists I choose Gretje Ferguson, Photographer, Cat Ciccolo Tucker, and Marietta Apollonio, painter and illustrator. I have been trying to pick a variety of mediums and art that compliments each other. I am thankful to the talented artists and the local interest in this project. If you are in Dedham Square take a stroll and soak in the creativity.

Stay tuned for other projects from The Dedham Open Studios. This project is also featured on the Dedham Rocks blog.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Custom Order Pendant Contest!

by Cristina Hurley of Cristina Hurley Jewelry Design

Designing and making jewelry for myself and my shop is really fun, but what really gets my creative juices flowing is making custom orders. Since I opened last year, I have had the opportunity to do a lot of custom orders for some really nice clients, and working closely with them and seeing the final results is really thrilling.

Since I enjoy it so much, I figured, why not do a custom order contest! Three people will win a custom silhouette pendant made by me. It's fun and easy, just tell me what you would like your silhouette pendant to look like!

All the information and rules can be found here:

I love all the ideas people come up with for jewelry, and I would love to know yours. Some of my most inspired pieces have been custom orders!

Good luck!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Merriweather Council Goes to Brooklyn

By Danielle of The Merriweather Council

TOMORROW night, Monday, August 15th, I'll be leading a Craft Night at the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn! I'm pretty excited! Of course I'd love it if you could all come to NY and hang out with me but I understand that's not possible - and so does Etsy and so there will be a livestream video demo. Nerve wracking for me, awesome for you. I will be teaching the butterfly stitch, the running/basic/ backstitch (lots of names for it), the split stitch and the somewhat challenging french knot. All of which are pictured below, except for the french knot... we will have to see if people are up to it. ;)

For more juicy details, check out the Etsy blog post!

See you on Monday!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fascinating Fascinators

By Celeste of ElephunksTrunk

The recent wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton has been credited with the rise in popularity of fascinators in the United States. While I cannot deny that the elaborate head wear of the royal wedding guests provided much eye candy for the stylistically inclined, fascinators have in fact been gaining in popularity for several years. But what exactly defines these head pieces?

Wikipedia defines fascinators as “delicate, frivolous, head decoration....[that] attach to the head by comb, headband, or clip.” Milliners are somewhat divided about exactly what makes a fascinator. A search on Etsy will reveal everything from simple flowers on hair clips to elaborate constructions of buckram, wire, and feathers. Some milliners contend that only the later should qualify, holding fascintors to the standards of the dress code for the Royal Ascot horse races. Others cast a wider net, more akin to the Wikipedia definition, that encompasses anything that must be fastened to the head. Personally, I fall somewhat in the middle, separating out my simpler hair combs from my fancier fascinators.

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