Saturday, June 30, 2012

5th Annual Boston Handmade Marketplace TODAY

Photo from the 2011 Boston Handmade Marketplace. Tanner Glass will also be at today's 2012 Marketplace with her handblown and handsculpted glass gifts.

The long awaited day is here - TODAY is the 5th Annual Boston Handmade Marketplace and we have an amazing line up of exhibitors, performers, hands-on DIY projects, and so many surprises!

Artists and craftspeople from all over New England. Check out the full list of Marketplace exhibitors here:

An afternoon to celebrate all things handmade with demonstrations, activities, and original items for sale including jewelry, glass, art, textiles, ceramics, housewares, accessories, and more!

Union Square, Somerville, MA at the intersection of Washington Street, Prospect Street and Somerville Avenue. Click here for a map and directions:

TODAY! Saturday, June 30th from 3-7pm.

Shopping locally and buying handmade goods means you are supporting local small businesses and strengthening your hometown economy while building a stronger and more vibrant community. Be a Handmade Hero, and say hello to Boston Handmade today in Union Square.

Photo from the 2011 Boston Handmade Marketplace. Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design will also be at today's 2012 Marketplace with her hand spun, natural dyed yarns.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Member: Anna Koon, Artist

Anna Koon/a2n2 of

My name is Anna Koon and I am one of the new members of Boston Handmade. It is an honor to be joining you, and I am looking forward to getting to know the other members. In order to begin introductions, I’ve answered a few questions about myself. You can view my work at, and
handmade blog

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

A: I was born in Boston while my father was finishing his business degree. My first home was the uber-small married housing at Harvard (which the college still uses today). Our little family (Dad, Mom, Me) moved to Dixie after graduation, so I grew up all over the South. I returned to New England for college to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, and during those years I fell in love with the North. After RISD I moved to JP, but only remained for a couple of years before heading South again to be closer to my family. However, I visited friends in Boston often. Through my best friend from RISD, I met my husband. After a year of long-distance courting (He-Somerville. Me-Atlanta.) we got married and moved to JP. We’ve been here for over a decade. I never tire of living here. I love Boston, and I love New England!

Q: How long have you been doing your artwork/craft?

A: I started creating when I was a baby. In fact my mother took some of my drawings into an elementary school for feedback. The teacher she spoke to said, given the attention to detail (in this case: ears, pupils, and belly buttons) the child who made the art was around 6 years of age. I was two at the time. No one else in my family (Dad, Mom, and three younger siblings) is creative so it was a bit of a challenge to get the support and understanding I needed as a young, angsty artist, but these days family members come to art events when they can. In fact, my Dad and Mom are coming to JP Open Studios this year.

Q: Describe your work. What inspires you?

A: For the most part my work is mixed media paintings of moments in contemporary, urban life. I am inspired by my life as a female in the city of Boston. I walk everywhere, and when I say everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE (JP to downtown, to Cambrige, Watertown, Arlington, Waban...), so I find a lot of inspiration during my walks. My schedule is set up to allow me to get to appointments and meetings on foot, so I take in new images and ideas for hours at a time.

Q: Apart from creating things, what do you do?

A: Are you ready for this? In addition to managing my full-time art career, I am a small business consultant and a creative coach-offering practical assistance and pricipled guidance in both capacities. I develop and teach professional workshops for creative entrepreneurs through the Jamaica Plain Arts Council and the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston. I also volunteer-my husband and I are spokespeople for the national, non-profit RESOLVE, and we run a ministry through Park Street Church-You Are Not Alone-to support individuals and couples battling infertility. I manage our home, including all the finances. And I’m a writer. My husband says I’m the busiest person he knows!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Finds in the North End, Boston

By Kerry Hawkins of Khawkinsphoto

No matter how many times I walk the North end or other parts of Boston to photograph, I find new things, some things I haven't seen before. Boston's North End is a very vibrant neighborhood. This last visit we took a friend to see the Old North Church and discovered a small walled-in garden nearby. It was a wonderful find. We explored the North End for quite awhile. Always a fun visit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Marketplace Preview: Handmade Happenings

Can you feel it?? The June 30th Boston Handmade Marketplace in Union Square Somerville is very, very close. Listen carefully and you can hear the whirring of the sewing machines, the clicking of knitting needles, and the frantic finishing of all types of handmade items getting ready to make their grand entrance under the big, white tents.

Lucie Wicker photographing Marketplace visitors in her 2011 live photo booth
You already know the Marketplace is home to all the best, most unique, gotta-have-it wearables, decor, functional objects, and art, but did you also know there will be activities, demonstrations, live music, DIY projects, and a live photo booth too?
photo courtesy of Creative Union
Creative Union will be at the Marketplace with a mixed-media project extravaganza for anyone who wants to participate. This VERY local organization has it's year-round home right in Union Square and is a partnership of two social service organizations, Walnut Street Center and Outside the Lines Studio. Their mission is to provide dynamic artistic environments for people with disabilities and to foster community collaboration accessible to more artists both with and without disabilities.

photo of Common Cod Fiber Guild Members by Jessica Burko
Joining the Marketplace for their 4th year in a row is The Common Cod Fiber Guild creating a "fun and supportive environment for learning and participating in fiber activities" with their tent o' textiles. Pull up a chair and hang with these guild members as they knit, crochet, spin, and do all kinds of stitching. Special bonus this year: Rebalance Bodywork & Massage will be with the Guild doing chair massages all afternoon. Oh yeah.

photo courtesy of Stitch House
If yarn and fabric is your thing, you will love seeing Stitch House at the Marketplace. In past years this wonderful Dorchester home for all your textile needs (and a generous wealth of classes) has presented DIY sewing projects to Marketplace visitors like quilting and quick sew broaches. Who knows what tempting treat they will present this year, but whatever it is, you'll love it. We promise.

photo courtesy of Gather Here

Making their debut at the 2012 Marketplace is Gather Here, Cambridge's first stitch lounge offering space for creating with fabric, fibers, classes, and knowledgeable instructors. Gather Here aims to provide a creative, fun, inspiring environment for the maker in everyone, and at the Marketplace they will be doing some hula hoop weaving. What is "hula hoop weaving" you ask? Find out in Union Square on June 30th!

Staff of the Somerville Arts Council dressed to the 9s in Lucie Wicker's 2011 Marketplace photo booth
Feeling silly, frisky, wild and wacky? Jump into Lucie Wicker's live photo booth with some feathers on your head and fun in your heart. The photo booth was a highlight of the 2011 Boston Handmade Marketplace and is returning for a 2nd year to capture your moment in the spotlight.

There will truly be something for everyone at the Boston Handmade Marketplace on June 30th so don't skip a beat, grab a pal and check us out.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Mosaic: Summer Vacation

Curated by Kerry Hawkins of KHawkinsphotography

1. Yummy Candyland Felt Art by Hibou Designs
2. Merry-Go-Round, France by KHawkins Photography
3. Carpet Bag Purse by Stray Notions
4. Leash  6ft. Red Hots by Cody's Creations
5. Bus Trip Postcard by Cricicis Design
6. Gravity Print by Fraske Design

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New at the Marketplace: Handmade Raffle

There's a first time for everything, and 2012 is the year that we provide the opportunity for you, yes, YOU, to enter to win an amazing assortment of handmade goodness at the Boston Handmade Marketplace on June 30th from 3-7pm in our first ever Handmade Raffle.
All you have to do to enter is bring the postcard you got in the mail, or picked up at your local cafe, to the Marketplace and give it to the lovely volunteer at the Boston Handmade booth with your name and a way to contact you. At the end of the Marketplace we will be drawing one very, very lucky name out of a handmade ceramic vessel to be the winner of a BIG basket of handmade love.
Don't have a Marketplace postcard? Don't worry! You can also go to our website and print out the raffle image you see there and bring that to the Marketplace on June 30th.

Much gratitude goes out to the talented folks who contributed items:
City by the Sea Ceramics
Cody's Creations
Cozy Cottage Creations
Cricicis Design
Elephunk's Trunk
Gilded Days
Jessica Burko
K. Hawkins Photography
k.o'brien jewelry
Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design
Lucie Wicker Photography
MaJenta Designs
Monkey Chow
Nancy MacCallum
SepiaLepus Illustrations
Stray Notions
The Grownup Noise
Toil and Trouble

See images from all these artists, craftspeople and performers on our website:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rebounding from Rejection

by Liz Stewart of Lush Beads

This year I decided to try some new art and craft shows.  I was looking to expand my customer base, and try some new venues to see how my work sold there.  I researched a variety of shows, picked the ones that I thought would be a good fit, filled out my applications, prepped my images, and sent in my jurying fees.  Then, I waited.

I applied to approximately 8-10 shows.  I was rejected from all of them.  Every single one.  Each time I received a rejection, my kind friends comforted me:  "Jewelry is very competitive," "It wasn't the show for you," "Your work is fabulous and it is their loss," etc.  After the first few, though, I began to wonder what I was doing wrong.  Did I really pick all the wrong shows?  Was my work just not that interesting?  Were my photos actually total crap?  The final straw was when I was rejected from a show that I have done for 3 years that has been a huge moneymaker for me.  I was floored to receive that rejection letter.

After the initial panic of losing that expected income, I tried picking myself up off the floor. First thing I realized is that I needed to give myself some time to mope and be cranky about all of it.  Being rejected that many times stings a lot, and I needed to deal with those feelings.  Then I started brainstorming ways to replace that lost income.  I'd been considering a total revamp of my existing jewelry anyway, and this just made me kick that into gear sooner rather than later.  I'm going to ask some honest folks about my product photos and take their advice to heart.  I'm going to work harder on my Etsy shop, and on promoting it.  And I am going to look harder at consignment shops to see about putting my work there.  A friend suggested that I look into creating non-jewelry beaded items - I will consider that as well.

I also just released a new line of badge holders, a project I am doing in conjunction with the Northeast chapter of FEW.  Every week there will be a new "Badge Holder of the Week", along with the regular offerings.  I'm hoping it really takes off.

Sometimes you need a serious kick in the pants to step back and look at your business with a critical eye.  That is what I am taking away from this experience.  What about you?  How do you think you would react?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Marketplace Preview: Handmade Accessories

Are you looking for that final touch for a special outfit? Searching for a perfect little gift for the friend who has everything? We've got you covered at the 5th annual Boston Handmade Marketplace in Union Square, Somerville in just 9 short days, on Saturday, June 30th (rain date Sunday, July 1st) from 3-7pm.

The finest accessories, the freshest designs, straight from your back yard to you created by local artists...

Returning to the marketplace after a few years hiatus, 83West brings clutch bags, wristlets, handbags, and sunglass cases made from sweet and sassy fabrics with solid and print designs.

New to the 2012 Boston Handmade Marketplace is Red Thread Belting, maker of durable sequin and reflector belts. If you wear pants, you need one of these.

Member of Boston Handmade and return Marketplace exhibitor, MaJenta Designs creates Asian inspired gifts and party favors. Tiny mirrors, purse holders, sweet tins. You can't have too many.

It's all there for you at the Boston Handmade Marketplace on June 30th!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Union Made is coming!

by AC Regan from Hibou Designs

With the beautiful weather coming back I've been in a mood for salads lately....
Here is a new felt scene I have been working on, it is called "I'll Eat You Up!"
A table everybody!

You will find this "feltscape" and many more felt creations made by HibouDesigns at the Boston Bazaar Bizarre Union Made show on June 24th in Somerville MA.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Marketplace Preview: Handmade Housewares

Grab your reusable shopping bags and floppy sun hats, it's almost time for the 5th Annual Boston Handmade Marketplace in Union Square, Somerville! The event is coming up on Saturday, June 30th (rain date Sunday July 1st) from 3-7pm.

Thinking of sprucing up your home with new decor? Check out these handmade housewares designed and created by local Boston area artists...

Got wood? We do! For the first time at the Boston Handmade Marketplace we have wood represented by sculptor and wood turner Ken Lindgren of Walk Softly Wood Art. No live trees are used to create his work; all Lindgren's vessels and sculptures are carved from fallen and found limbs. A sculptor and a gentleman.

Returning favorite Tanner Glass will be exhibiting this year with her sparkling glass magnets, paperweights, key and jewelry hooks, bud vases, bottle stoppers and other objects to beautify your space. Don't stop at one bud vase - - collect them all!

As their motto says, "Your neighbors don't have this." Toiluxe touches your fanny and tickles your funny bone with their wild, retro, outrageous, and always original toilet seats. Toiluxe "could possibly be the best thing to hit your bathroom since two-ply toilet paper."

City by the Sea Ceramics is a fixture at craft shows all over New England and we are delighted to have her functional and decorative works at the Marketplace again this year. Of her work, potter Karen Mahoney says, "I want my work to be picked up and admired between uses, for someone to put it right in their face to see the beautiful and subtle variations in the glaze, to run their hand around it because it feels comfortable, and to always grab for their favorite piece when choosing from the cabinet." Marketplace favorite: Mahoney's Raku and sawdust pots.

Hankering for housewares? Be there on June 30th in Union Square, Somerville.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Mosaic: Deep Tones

Curated by Kerry Hawkins

1. Encaustic Collage "Boom Boom" by Reclaimed to you
2. Marian's Window Necklace by Parrish Relics
3. Yarn Bowl by City by the Sea Ceramics
4. Vintage through the window photo print by Kerry Hawkins Photo

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Gone Birding by Jessica Burko, paper quilt, 8" x 10"
Wishing all the fathers out there a great day from your friends at Boston Handmade.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Marketplace Preview: Handmade Jewelery

Have you heard?? The 5th Annual Boston Handmade Marketplace will be held in Union Square, Somerville on Saturday, June 30th (rain date Sunday, July 1st) from 3-7pm. There will be so much to do and see with artists and craftspeople working in all media, along with live music, craft demonstrations and DIY activities. Today's preview: JEWELRY!

Oh the beauty and majesty of handmade jewelry designed and created by local artists. Here's a sampling of what you will see on June 30th...

k.o'brien jewelry creates earrings, necklaces and rings with sterling silver and enamel. Of her work O'Brien says, "I prefer to make one of a kind pieces, playing around with piece after piece leaving some ideas behind and taking other ideas along to blend with the new." This is the first year of k.o'brien jewelry at the Marketplace.

Little Wishes Handmade Jewelry is gemstones at their finest. Little Wishes returns to the 2012 Boston Handmade Marketplace with pendants, charms, earrings, for everyday and for special occasions. A Marketplace favorite is the chunky, funky Bold Collection.

Another newcomer to the 2012 Marketplace is Gilded Days who creates jewelry with sheet music inspired by a love of music and romance. The sweet, sentimental pieces by this artist will warm your heart while it adorns your body.

Local favorite Glamourpuss Creations joins the Marketplace again this year with her handcrafted jewelry designed exclusively from uncirculated vintage components like aged brass charms, lucite beads, and 70s chunky chain.

Want to see more? Check out all of the Marketplace exhibitors here: and see YOU on June 30th in Somerville!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A visit to the Fuller Craft Museum

by Evan of Evan Webster Ink

Going to the Fuller Craft Museum was like finding a crumpled up $20 bill in my pocket. "Wow, I didn't know this was here!" was followed quickly by "How is that possible?"

The museum, based in Brockton, MA, is a gem featuring a great blend of pieces which transcend traditional distinctions between "art" and "craft". You can look at the pictures below for a sense of the place. But I recommend actually going for the full experience. No one wants to be that person who doesn't get a story and is told "you had to be there".  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Come Join the Eliot School for the Student-Faculty Show June 10th

By Diane of Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design 

Come join me this Sunday, June 10 from 3:00-6:00 PM for the Annual Eliot School Student-Faculty Show located at 24 Eliot Street in Jamaica Plain, MA. It's a free and open to the public. I am thrilled to be selected as one of the featured faculty members to showcase my work in the fiber arts along with these other amazing artists:
Cindy Arias (Illustration)
Pablo Friedmann (Painting)
Ellen Shattuck Pierce (Printmaking)
Susan Vannini (Woodworking)

The show will have over 100 Eliot School faculty members and students exhibiting work which is produced in or inspired by classes at the schoolhouse and in the Eliot School’s Partnership Program in Boston Public Schools. This year we will be showing work from a range of disciplines, including woodworking, wood turning, furniture refinishing, quilting, knitting, sewing, upholstery, drawing and painting, mixed media, photography and more.

The Student-Faculty Show is an opportunity for Eliot School artists of all ages and skill levels to share their work and gain inspiration and feedback from their community. It’s also an opportunity for prospective students to connect with the Eliot School community and see examples of things they might expect to make in class. Some faculty work will be for sale, there will be live music and refreshments will be served. The Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts offers training, classes and workshops in crafts and fine arts for children and adults at their schoolhouse in Jamaica Plain, and in Boston’s public schools.

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