Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ephemeral Public Art

By Diane of Lady Dye Yarns

One of the unique aspects about yarn bombing is that it is impermanent. The “enjoy-it-while-it-lasts” mentality of these installations can make these pieces even more special when they are found, and can also make them more accessible to those who might consider typical spray-paint or wheat pasted images vandalism rather than artwork.

                                                       Photo by downtowntraveler.com

In a world where Banksy and Shephard Fairey pieces are shown in museums, our culture is moving closer towards the acceptance of street art as just that- art. And yarn bombing, as well as the concept of “temporary” street art is definitely helping that cause.  By removing the opposing opinion’s biggest problem, street artists can have more freedom to express themselves through their work (and get credited for it if they wish).

For example, artist Mehdi Ben Cheikh, is currently using the aspect of ephemera as a means to push the boundaries of his most recent project. His piece, “Tour Paris 13” is a collaboration of street artists from all over the world. Using a ten-story low-income housing building scheduled to be demolished, he invited collaborators to cover the building, inside and out, from top to bottom, with art. The result is a uniquely beautiful open-air museum that would not otherwise be able to exist outside the confines of a canvas that is set to be destroyed.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Mosaic: Cheers To the New Year

curated by Sharon Fischer of Stray Notions

1. Relax, 8 x 10 Matted Photograph, by Kerry Hawkins Photography
2. Be INSPIRED - Original Handwritten Painting, by McDonaldMixedMedia
3. Namaste: Yoga Print, by The Patterned Peacock
4. 2014 Desk Calendar - Boston Love, by Lucie Wicker Photography

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cody's Creations Year in Review

by Kerrie Beck of Cody's Creations

Every January I sit down and create a goal list, things I want to accomplish, new products to add, new designs. Last year I wanted to add eight new Exclusive Designs to my line, counting up the tally I added 12 (I do count when I offer in different colors as I have to create a new graphic file).

I will be sitting down in the next couple of weeks to write out my goals for 2014, how many Exclusive Designs should I aim for? What are YOUR creative goals for 2014?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Road Trip of the Year

By Diane of Lady Dye Yarns

As we reflect on another year at Lady Dye Yarns, we would like to share with all of you an amazing adventure we went on this past October where we able to make it to Rhinebeck, NY for the Duchess County Sheep and Wool Festival. This has become an annual event for us and what a way to close out 2013 than to share with everyone our favorite road trip event of 2013. Though we are seasoned veterans of the event, it was a good time, as always. There were so many adorable sheep (not to mention a few llamas and angora bunnies in the mix!) Most of them were being given haircuts, although there was one sweet sheep rocking some pretty funky dreads.

The vendor situation at Rhinebeck can be a bit overwhelming, there’s so much to see! One standout was Hope Spinnery, a really cool wind-powered fiber arts studio. Based in Maine, they have really beautiful, naturally dyed yarns as well as patterns and custom knitwear.A few vendors had some pretty interesting displays- both good and not so good. We were really into one in particular that had their yarn meticulously arranged by color into a pretty rainbow pattern-so awesome. As for swag, we were pretty selective this year, but we did manage to score a size-able bag of merino roving for a good price. Lots of dyeing to be done!

We had a great time!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Why Handmade: New Year’s Resolution

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella’s Workshop

We are all exhausted following a busy holiday season, followed by a special Christmas Day for those who celebrate. If your home looks like mine, it is covered with new gifts, many of which were handmade, and remnants of left over wrapping paper. Perhaps you even have a new bundle of joy in your life (I know of one Christmas Day baby!) Now we just wait out the rest of 2013, wondering what 2014 may bring.

Handwoven Scarf by Loomination

This is a time of reflection for many. We can look at our successes and failures of the last year, and make plans for the following year. Many changes will take place, but even more will stay the same, both in our personal lives and in our professions. The beauty of art is the way it constantly evolves, morphs, and becomes something entirely new. Work we created in the beginning of 2013 may look nothing like where we ended the year. For others, we have defined our style, but we will add new types of products.

Charcoal Herringbone Pleated Tote by Lida Brooke Designs

In addition, Boston Handmade itself will look different. Some members of old have moved on, and we have welcomed new faces to our ranks. With this comes new skills, ideas, and adventures to be had.

What is your New Year’s Resolution? What has changed in 2013? What do you hope to change in 2014?

Be Inspired; Original Handwritten Painting by McDonald Mixed Media

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Handmade Christmas

Snowy Forest by Egg-A-Go-Go

Wishing a warm and creative handmade holiday to one and all!

from your friends at Boston Handmade

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Have a Crafty New Year's Eve

by Abby Bohn from Abigail Leigh Handbags

I know that Christmas isn't even here yet, but are you ready for New Year's Eve?!?! If you decide to throw a last minute party or just invite a few people for a gathering here are some fantastic crafty ideas that The Crafty Crow has compiled to make it a festive night.

There are many, many more ideas at The Crafty Crow to make your New Year's Eve a crafty one!!  Have a safe and happy New Year!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Why Handmade: Last Minute Holiday Shopping

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella’s Workshop

Are you one of those people who wait until the last minute to do your holiday shopping? Just can’t be bothered until it is almost too late? No judging here! I am right along with you, still trying to figure out if I have all of the gifts I need for my family. However, we are there! This is the last minute to find the perfect gift for the people who matter to you most.

The department store shelves are nearly barren of anything you may have planned to purchase, or they are congested with all of the other people who forgot to do their holiday shopping early. (Which is amazing really, when you remember this happens every single year at the same time!) Besides,
nothing they are selling is special or unique. You want something one-of-a-kind for that one-of-a-kind special someone. Hmmm…what to do?

I know! Come to the 2013 Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery! We have a plethora of unique one-of-a-kind pieces in our inventory still. The gallery is perfectly sized so that you will not feel crowded from swarms of people. You have already been by? We have new items coming in regularly, and the shop is as full today as it was on the first day. You can shop in a warm inviting atmosphere completely stress-free. Whether you are looking for a handmade candle, a silk scarf, baby shoes that won’t fall off, or a piece of jewelry for a special woman in your life, we have it, and so much more.

Join us Saturday, December 21st from 3-7pm for:
Under The Wire: An 11th hour Extravaganza!
You meant to start shopping earlier this year, you wrote your list and checked it twice, but somehow something got in the way and YIKES! It's almost Christmas! Well come on over to the Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery and let us solve all your last minute shopping dilemmas with a shopping party! Live Music from local musicians, treats from our sponsor Whole Foods Market, free giveaways, and more! This will be an end-of-season night to remember.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Handmade for Kids: How to Make a Paper Tube Napkin Ring

by Bev Feldman of Linkouture

Hosting a family-friendly dinner party or holiday meal? Involve your children in the decorating process and add a little pizzaz to the table with these easy-to-make and super inexpensive paper tube napkin rings. You can make them holiday-themed or generic for any day of the year. 

For this craft you will need the following:
  • Tissue paper or colorful magazine pages
  • Paper tubes (hold on to them when you finish a roll of paper towels or toilet paper)
  • Mod Podge
  • A pair of scissors
  • A sponge or foam paint brush*
*Don't have either a paint brush or spare sponge? Fingers work as well!

1. Cut the paper tubes into smaller pieces, about 1-2 inches in width. Children might need help with this step, or you can draw lines on the tube to guide them in their cutting.

2. Cut the tissue paper or magazine pages into little square. Alternatively, younger children can tear them into pieces.

3. Using a sponge or a foam paintbrush, start to paint the Mod Podge onto the tube, doing a small section at a time. (You might want to pour a small amount of Mod Podge into a paper or plastic cup or plate for your child.)

4. Start gluing the paper pieces onto to the paper tube. If the pieces are overlapping, more Mod Podge will need to be added so that the tissue paper is glued securely to the tube. Don't worry if the tissue paper bleeds. What matters most is that your child is having fun in the process!

5. Make sure that the interior of the tube is also covered.

6. Let the tubes completely dry, about 20 minutes. Paint another coat of Mod Podge over the surface and interior of the tubes. Make enough for each place setting, and use at your next dinner party or family dinner!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Mosaic: Our newest members

We are so pleased to welcome five new members to Boston Handmade. You can see (and buy) some of their work live at a special event at the Boston Handmade pop-up Gallery in Brookline Village on December 21st from 3-7pm (more details here).

1. Florence and the Stars - Original Mixed Media Collage Ready to Hang, by Shannon McDonald

2. Black and Purple Leather Clutch, by Lida Brooke Designs

3. Cotton Handwoven Scarf, by Leanne Tremblay of Loomination 

4. Sculpture mobile, by Kim Poler

5. Glimmer Glass Pillow, by Lauren Teller of Trope Pillows

Saturday, December 14, 2013

DIY Gift Idea: Mulling Spice Bag

by Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography

Here's a quick and easy gift idea that smells and tastes fantastic! I present to you the mulling spice bag:

Add the spice bag to a pot of heated red wine or apple cider and it becomes a festive holiday beverage. Steam in hot water and it will make your home smell divine! With all of the components found at grocery and craft stores, this is a fun project for a little gift.

What you'll need for one bag:
Card stock for the tags
Hole punch
Decorative string
Muslin bags (found in a local craft store or online by googling "bouquet garni bags."

Spice Contents
*one teaspoon whole cloves
*one teaspoon dried allspice berries
*two cardamom pods
*two whole star anise pods
*two small cinnamon sticks


On the card stock, print out or write:

"For Mulled Cider: Pour 1 gallon of cider in a large saucepan and immerse bag of mulling spices. Add a splash of Grand Marnier or Calvados to taste, if desired. Heat over medium until steaming and very hot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let the spices mull until cider is fragrant and tastes well-spiced, about 25 minutes. Discard spice bag before serving. Serve hot or cold."


"For Mulled Wine: Add the mulling spice bag to a 750ml bottle of red wine, 1/4 cup honey, and 1 orange (sliced) OR 1/2 cup orange juice. You can also add 1/4 cup of brandy if you like. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for at least 15 minutes. Strain, and serve warm. Add cloves, allspice, cardamom and star anise to the little bags. Tie closed with string along with the cinnamon sticks and tag."

When the tags are cut out, punch a hole in each corner. Take your spices and add the cloves, allspice, cardamom, and star anise to the little bag. Tied closed with the string. Attach the tags and cinnamon with the same string or use a second one.

Voila! You have a lovely little gift item for a loved one (or just for yourself!). 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Why Handmade: The 2013 Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery, Housewares and Jewelry!

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella’s Workshop

I know many of you have stopped into the Boston HandmadeHoliday Gallery, because I see you there. I also know some of you haven’t had a chance to stop by yet. These wonderful items are selling like hotcakes, and we are constantly adding new inventory. If you’ve already been in, we’d love to see you again, and you can see all the great things we’ve added to replace what you bought last time! To tempt you, I have taken many pictures of the wonderful items I’ve seen, and I have more artists I want to tell you about.

Let’s talk jewelry. Yes, I know. It’s a bit of a favorite topic for me, being one of the jewelry artists, but I am so excited about the amazing artists we have showing! Bev from Linkouture is exhibiting her elegant and modern chainmail jewelry. She weaves jump-rings together to create amazing intricate designs. In addition, we have Liz from Lush Beads selling her fun industrial line of jewelry made from new and repurposed hardware. Make sure you check out her Morse code necklaces. What better way to say “I love you” than with a necklace that says it in code! We are pleased to also have Cristina Hurley Jewelry Design showing her sterling silver artistry. I keep hinting loudly to my husband about one of her necklaces, but I don’t believe he’s listening. Last but not least, I am there from Prunella’s Workshop with my brand new line of funky copper earrings. I love the deep warmth and earthiness
of this metal, and I am sure you will too.

I am intrigued by the beautiful handmade housewares we can find in the gallery as well. Early Bird Designs has brought us lovely handcrafted and painted porcelain using the Korean technique called
mishima. Aron Leaman Glass is selling elegant unique blown glass designs, sculpture and functional art. If you have a glass collector in your family (I do!) you must check out his pieces. The way the lights reflect in the glass is breath taking. Trope Pillows has come to the gallery as well with lovely pillows made from vintage and reclaimed fabrics. I love these pillows that have a pocket where you can place a special photo. You can gift a pillow with a picture of a favorite family member or pet.

The pets were not forgotten! Kerry from Cody’s Creations is selling her thoughtful and fun pet supplies, including dog collars in every color and size. Every pet deserves a hand designed collar and leash.   Maisonwares has fantastic catnip toys for your favorite cat. I know my cat needs a catnip moustache, pizza and French fries too!

Maisonwares brought items for people too, including, but not limited to soy candles and light switch plate covers. Urban Kitchens brought delicious smelling soaps, candles and other sweet smelling items. I must tell you, if you are looking for these nice items, you better hurry. We can’t keep it on the shelves!

Are you overwhelmed yet? I haven’t told you about the stationary and wall hangings! Sarah from Egg-A-Go-Go brings us illustrated cards and wall hangings with her beautiful watercolors. She also has fun baby clothes. Jessica Burko is selling one-of-a-kind art and encaustic collage. Kerry Hawkins Photography has beautiful art photography from around the world. You can feel her bright personality in each and every picture. Lucie WickerPhotography is there too. She has fantastic photos of the Red Sox and Fenway Park for all of you baseball fans! Last, bet definitely not least, we have the beautiful prints from Dana at Patterned Peacock. I have already bought a beautiful print with carousel horses for my baby girl’s wall.

And why aren’t you in your car driving to the gallery yet?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Boston Love 2014 Desk Calendars Are In!

by Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography

Hey Boston lovers! Need a quick and easy holiday gift this year? Look no further! I have a brand new 2014 desk calendar featuring 12 months of scenes in and around the Boston area, from Fenway Park to the Zakim Bridge to Jamaica Pond. It even comes packaged in its own case which doubles as a stand.

At 4x6" it's the ultimate stocking stuffer! I'm currently offering these babies online in my Etsy shop. They will also be available at:

2 Brookline Place (entrance on Pearl St)
Brookline, MA 02445

145 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02108

554 Washington St
Canton, MA 02121

Happy 2014 from Boston!

Monday, December 9, 2013

TweetUp with Boston Handmade and Whole Foods Market

Our partnership with Whole Foods Market continues to be awesome! Join us TOMORROW, Tuesday, December 10th, from 6-7:30pm for a Twitter chat (aka: TweetUp) featuring members of Boston Handmade and exhibitors from our 2013 Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery.

We'll be talking about our creative work, the gallery, offering some ideas for fun holiday craft projects, and answering questions about easy ways to DIY the holidays. There will also be refreshments and treats provided by Whole Foods catering (woo hoo!) and we will have examples of our work for everyone to see!

The event will take place at Whole Foods Market River Street located at 340 River Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 and if you'd like to join in the fun register for free HERE using Eventbrite. Hope to see you tomorrow!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Why Handmade: The 2013 Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery, Textiles!

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella’s Workshop

I finally got to see the Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery this week, and let me tell you, you don’t want to miss it. There are fantastic gifts for all ages and tastes. Whether you are looking for a small token for the people you work with, or something personal for someone you love, there is a gift here for you. Handcrafted gifts are extra special and thoughtful.

Maybe you are looking for ways to keep the people you love warm and cozy? Stray Notions has delightfully warm, fingerless gloves (I have my eyes on this olive green pair…) and Lady Dye has brightly colored, warm scarves. Perhaps you are one to knit your own, or know a knitter. Lady Dye also has hand spun, hand dyed yarn available.

Walls are bedecked with wonderful stuffed animals from KittyKat Crafts and Stephanie Cave Design Studio, as well as darling baby shoes from Kaya’s Kloset. (There are sparkly ruby red slippers that just might have my daughter’s name on them if they are the right size!) If you know someone who will be delivering the holiday gift in the near future, there are hip and fun maternity shirts from Discobelly.

Maybe you are looking for a hand painted silk scarf? Enchanted Hue has beautiful ones certain to make your mother, wife, sister, aunt, or friend feel positively elegant. You can complete the look with accessories from Abigail Leigh’s Handbags. She sells more than handbags, too, with fun e-reader pillows, and more. 

Don't forget!  December 7, Susanne Guirakhoo from Enchanted Hue will be holding a workshop on making gingerbread ornaments from 12 to 2 pm. Don't forget to check out our other workshops!

This only scrapes the surface of the wonderful textiles I saw. You just have to go see it for yourself. I know you already want to go, so what are you waiting for? Head on in, or you'll have to wait until next week when I tell you about more if the fabulous vendors!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My (mini) Handmade Shopping Adventure

by Jessica Burko

Have you been to the Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery yet?? I've been there. A lot! And every time I go I can't help myself from shopping. Most of the handmade items that I have purchased I am not at liberty to show you because they are going to be Christmas gifts - - gotta maintain the surprise! However, I've also purchased a few little treats for myself at the Gallery and I'm delighted to show you those...

1. A cup cozy made by Stephanie Cave Designs. Yes I have travel mugs at home, but yes, I often forget to grab one in the early morning insanity that is my life with two small children and everyone needing to get out the door by 8am. When I need that morning hot cup of tea (and the afternoon one too) I now have my sturdy and adorable polka dot cozy at the ready!

2. A tiny egg bowl made by Early Bird Designs. I have an inexplicable urge to collect tiny ceramic bowls. I have collected quite a few over the years from a myriad of craft fairs and artist studios, and I keep them on a shelf in my studio just to look at and hold in my hand. I'm delighted to have this new lovely bowl in my little collection.

3. Satsuma Guava soap made by Urban Kitchen. The fragrance of this soap completely knocks me out! It is uplifting and enlivening. The instant I took a whiff I knew it had to be mine. However, since I've brought it home my 4-year-old has laid claim to it. (I still use it when no one's looking.)

4. Keychain made by Cody's Creations. On many occasions I have looked longingly at all the great pet accessories made by Cody's Creations and lamented that we have no pets (due to some extreme pet allergies in our family). Last week my ever growing collection of keys was really getting me down and Sarah of Egg-A-Go-Go suggested that all I needed was a big key chain and boy was she ever right! Can a key chain change one's life? This one might have.

The moral of my shopping tale is that your gift list can be conquered, and all your ills can be cured, by stepping into the magic that is the Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery and letting the joy of shopping handmade be your guide! Swing on by and see for yourself..

The 2013 Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery
2 Brookline Place (entrance on Pearl Street)
Brookline, MA 02445
November 29 - December 24, 2013
Gallery hours: Tuesdays - Saturday, 11am - 7pm
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