Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday Mosaic: Happy New Year!

curated by Susanne of enchantedhue

May 2015 be filled with happiness, love, success, joy, creativity, health, and new beginnings.

A Very Happy New Year from all of us at Boston Handmade!

Yin Yang Sterling Silver Pendant by CristinaHurley
Tiny Original Collage Art on Wood by JessicaBurko
Desert Sunset by jbarrows
West Roxbury by ChrisLangPhotography
Chocolate: Assemblage of Computer Parts and Collage by Melsplace
Olive Tray - Pickle Tray - Cracker Tray - Snack Tray by jilljburns
Willow Green & Gray Open Weave Infinity Scarf by Loomination
Blue and Grey Leather Clutch by LidaBrookeDesigns
You Can Have It All - Mixed Media Collage by McDonaldMixedMedia
Silver Flower Ring Daffodil Ecofriendly Recycled Sterling Silver by Beryllina
Snow Dyed Silk Scarf by enchantedhue
Pretty Peacock Print by thepatternedpeacock
Jasper Copper Ring by PrunellasWorkshop
Drop Pearl Earrings With White Freshwater Pearls by Linkouture
Orange White Mini Chevron Zig Zag iPad Ereader Pillow Stand by abigailleigh
Simplicity Bracelet - Silver - Lush Beads Industrial by LushBeads
Embroidered Tea Cozy - with Steaming Kettle in Red and Aqua by straynotions
Gaga Fingering Weight Yarn by ladydyeyarns
Boston Skyline Print- 5x7- Boston Photography by LucieWicker

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Creative Way to Do Boxing Day

by Jessica Burko

Bus Box made by the Gee-Burko Family

At our house we celebrate Hanukkah, at my In-Laws house we enjoy a little Christmas, and after all of that we have our own version of Boxing Day where we craft art, toys, and musical instruments out of all the brand new boxes we have received during the month.

Actual Boxing Day is celebrated in the UK and has a debatable set of roots according to a variety of sources... Boxing Day started because a ‘Christmas Box’ in Britain is a name for a Christmas present... Boxing Day was a day off for servants and when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master... A box to collect money for the poor was placed in Churches on Christmas day then opened the next day, Boxing Day... Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck and if the voyage were a success the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas.

Regardless of how you celebrate Boxing Day consider flexing your creative crafting muscles and think about empty cardboard boxes as blank canvases on which you can paint, draw, or make a bus (see above photo). You can cut boxes up to make flowers, to make collage shapes, a spinning mobile, or the letters of your name. With a little imagination you can use your empty gift boxes, ripped wrapping paper, and any other recyclable items around your house to make something fun. Wishing you a great Boxing day!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Merry to you
Christmas Robins by The Patterned Peacock

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas today and joy throughout the holiday season!

Stay crafty,
Your Friends at Boston Handmade

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wear it. Share it. Get yer swag here.

Show your love for handmade, support local artists, and get it NOW!

Never was the time better to give yourself, your loved ones, your coworkers, and your neighbors a genuine Boston Handmade t-shirt or tote bag. We are ringing out 2014 by pricing every item at $14 with FREE local shipping throughout Massachusetts. PLUS free gifts will be included with every purchase.

Place your order TODAY:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Mosaic: Snow, Snow, Snow

curated by Susanne from EnchantedHue

Lady of the White - Collage Art by McDonaldMixedMedia
White Leather Card Case by LidaBrookeDesigns
White Pearl Bracelet by Linkouture
Snow Birds Photo Print by LucieWicker

Can't believe I am saying this, but I miss snow!

Thankfully, Boston Handmade members have created some wonderful pieces featuring creamy whites.

Hope soon we will have a lovely snow covering like the one Lucie captured!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Handmade Weekend Plans

by Liz Stewart of Lush Beads

Looking to do some handmade holiday shopping this weekend? I have 2 suggestions for you.

Western Avenue Studios has 245 working artist studios, of which you can expect to find 100-125 open during this weekend's Holiday Open Studios from 12-5PM. There will be snacks for sale in the loading dock area so you can fuel up to visit 5 floors in 2 buildings full of art and fine craft. I'll be in my studio A-205 with my Industrial jewelry from 12-4 on Saturday only, but feel free to stop by on either day! Other great places to visit in the building: Made in Lowell, The Loft Space, and Mill City Glass Works.

On Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, I will be exhibiting for the first time at Gift Local Lincoln. The event will be held at Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Road, Lincoln, MA.  Stop by and visit me along with 20+ other handmade artists on Saturday evening from 6-9PM, or Sunday afternoon from 1-6PM.  My fellow Western Ave artists Arlette Laan and Joelle Felyce will be there as well!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Mosaic: Chilly Scenes of Winter

curated by Sharon Fischer, Stray Notions

I hope you all are having a lovely beginning to the holiday season.  I spent Thanksgiving with lots of folks and no power on the actually day --- cooking was an adventure but the views and textures were gorgeous.  Today's mosaic was inspired by the colors in this photo.


1. Photographic encaustic art, Jessica Burko
2. Yin Yang Sterling silver pendant with 18 or 20 inch leather cord, Cristina Hurley Designs
3. Small Brown and Blue Cross Body Bag, LidaBrookeDesigns

4. Kiva, Jon Barrows
5. Snow Birds, North Square- 8x10- Photo Print, Lucie Wicker Photography
6. Violet and Gray Double Infinity Scarf - Handwoven Cotton - Openweave, Loomination

Friday, December 5, 2014

Boston Handmade at JP Crafts Fair THIS Saturday!

Kickstart your holiday shopping THIS weekend! The annual holiday JP Crafts Fair is happening this Saturday, December 6, and some of your favorite Boston Handmade members will be there:

Up on the stage in our usual spot will be:

In the hall:

We will also be have some fantastic Boston Handmade items to give away so will not want to miss out! Bring your shopping lists and see you there!

First Church in Jamaica Plain
6 Eliot Street
Jamaica Plain, MA
(click here for to see this location on Google Maps)

11am to 5pm

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Feltmaker’s Bookshelf

by Ava Chan of Sugin Textiles

I recently hosted a Boston Handmade meetup, and gave a lesson in feltmaking. That made me think about the resources out there for learning how to make felt.

I have a number of feltmaking books that I refer to, when I have questions about technique or when I am looking for inspiration. The Boston Public Library has a surprising number of books about felt, though most are in their Reference collection in the Central Library. Many of the authors also teach workshops on feltmaking in the USA and internationally. I have a number of books that I refer to often, each one for different reasons. Some of these have gone through a couple of reprintings, while others are out of print, although finding used copies on the Internets is relatively easy. Here’s how I break out these books:

For diehard felt fans
Sadly, Felt: New Directions for an Ancient Craft (Interweave Press, 1996) by Gunilla Paetau Sj√∂berg and Patricia Spark is no longer in print, because it’s one of the few books that provides both a comprehensive history of felt, including modern trends for felt as an artistic medium, as well as detailed instructions on many techniques. There’s also information about sheep breeds and comparisons of their wool when made into felt.  

 Learning the basics
Uniquely Felt (Storey Press, 1996) by Christine White is pretty much the Bible of feltmaking. It’s still in print, and is a great first choice for a strong grounding in the fundamentals of making felt. The equipment section describes why some felters prefer one tool or anther, helpful input for your own choices. The projects include detailed explanations of the factors in play in the feltmaking techniques, as well as suggestions for rescuing projects that are going awry, which teaches you a lot about what exactly is going on when you make felt. 

Feltmaking and Wool Magic (Quarry Books, 2006), by Jorie Johnson is another excellent technical book, but is currently available only as an e-book. Originally from Boston, Jorie Johnson has lived and taught feltmaking in Japan for the last 30 years but also offers workshops worldwide. Her chapter on making felt samples from different types of fleece provides helpful guidelines for making felt swatches from the wool you are using in order to measure the result and achieve consistency for future work. 

Combining techniques in feltmaking
The projects in Fabulous Felted Scarves (Lark Books, 2010), by Chad Alice Hagen and Jorie Johnson, show you how to incorporate a variety of three-dimensional textures into scarves and shawls, and take advantage of felt’s properties, such as its resistance to raveling when cut. A number of projects borrow dyeing and shaping techniques from shibori, Japanese resist-dyeing, to add layers of pattern and design. 

Fabulous Felt Hats (Lark Books, 2005), also by Chad Alice Hagen, is, sadly, out of print. It is a great introduction to basic millinery with handmade felt. The projects showcase how to use the malleable quality of felt – how readily it can be shaped as it is being made --  to create simple berets, understated hats with brims, or more theatrical headpieces with greater dimensionality and protuberances. 

Books that generate ideas
How We Felt (Interweave Press, 2007) provides an inspiring gallery of projects and artists and show the possibilities for feltmaking, including rugs, bags, hats, and boots, beads, upholstered furniture, and sculptures. Having prior feltmaking experience is recommended if you want to try these projects; the instructions are rather condensed.

Sheila Smith’s Felt to Stitch (Batsford, 2014) and Lizzie Houghton’s Felting Fashion (Batsford, 2009) are also easier to grasp if you have some felting experience. Both authors are British artists. Both books provide many close-up photos of the surfaces of the finished pieces, in order to highlight the textures you can create when you add fabric to felt, stitch on it, dye it, stretch or cut felt.  Felt to Stitch offers general guidelines for making a nuno felted jacket that are really useful to an experienced felter. 

Doing it old-school
Modern feltmakers, at least in the USA, use pool noodles, bubble wrap, and thin pieces of plastic in their feltmaking process. But if you want to know what the previous  generation of feltmakers used before plastic became ubiquitous, check out How to Make Felt (Search Press Ltd, 1995) by Anne Belgrave, another British feltmaker. Check out the animal masks on her website.

What how-to books have made it onto your own bookshelf?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday: Handmade Style!

by Susanne of EnchantedHue

These are some of the Cyber Monday special deals members of Boston Handmade are offering TODAY and good through midnight so get some handmade goodness for the holidays...

Save 20% on Linkouture handcrafted jewelry all day! Use coupon code 20OFF2014.
PLUS the first 5 people who spend $200 or more will receive a $20 gift card to spend in 2015

Chunky Silver Bracelet by Linkouture

The Patterned Peacock offers free shipping to all US addresses. Use coupon code FREESHIP

Monogram Christmas Gift Tags by The Patterned Peacock

20 % off each order from Stephanie Cave Design. Use coupon code SEWSMALL

Custom Christmas Stocking with Monogramming in Festive Burlap by Stephanie Cave Design

25 % off on street art inspired yarn by Lady Dye Yarns. Use code ldycyber14

'Meadows' Superwash Merino by ladydyeyarns

15 % off all fine jewelry by Cristina Hurley. Use coupon code CYBERMONDAY15

Sterling Silver Hammered Texture with Emerald Wedding Set by Cristina Hurley

Free shipping on orders over 25 $ at LushBeads. Use coupon code LUSHFREESHIP25

Short Standoffs Silver Pendant by LushBeads

Happy shopping!
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