Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Three-In-One Necklace Plus Seven New Lockets

Small vintage tins and compacts have inspired me to make locket necklaces with little surprises hidden inside. I tell folks that they are "two in one" necklaces because you can wear them with the lid on or off for two distinct looks. Thanks to a great suggestion from my husband Thom, I've made my first "three in one" necklace. "Paw on the Faucet" features a vintage faucet handle, a tiny tin, rhinestones, buttons, and a brass kitty.

Look #1 - lid on
Look # 2 - lid off
Look #3 - flip the pendant over for a rhinestone flower
"Paw on the Faucet" with vintage bar link chain
Who knows, perhaps a "four in one" necklace is next?

Below are seven other new locket necklaces upcycled out of vintage rouge compacts and tins.
A Wise Decision and Her Majesty's Secret
Topical Paradise, A Romp Through the Heather, and Bewitched Hazel
Florient Express and Feather in the Heather
You can find these necklaces on Etsy and at my upcoming shows (more dates to follow).

November 11 & 12 -  Twist 7 - Holiday Fair - Northampton, MA

November 19 - The Wellesley Marketplace - Holiday Craft Festival - Wellesley, MA

Monday, August 22, 2011

Love, Love, Love: Surprises in the Mail

Last spring, I was set up next to Karen and Steve of Little Birch Farm at Twist in Northampton, MA. They offer a great line of skin care products with unique birch bark packaging, and on top of that they were super friendly neighbors who were a joy to hang out with. When Karen noticed that I used thimbles in my thimbilism necklaces she mentioned that she had a box of sewing notions at home that she could pass on to me. Recently, when a mysterious package arrived in the mail, I ripped it open and jumped for joy. Here's what I saw when I opened the box:

Little Birch Farms sent a BIG surprise!
A sweet note on birch bark paper and a smiling straw kitty face greeted me. As I dug deeper into the box, more treasures revealed themselves: wooden spools of old thread, cloth tape measures, bobbins, a strand of decorative pearls, fasteners, needles, a beaded necklace, tiny plastic clothes pins, silver sequins, vintage buttons & buckles, and of course the coveted thimble! 

I've got the notion(s)!
One of the biggest questions I get as a person who upcycles is, "Where do you get all your materials?" The best way to answer that is "everywhere" and that's what makes the process so much fun. Whether I discover things on treasure hunts or pull items out of the recycling bin I can find ideas practically anywhere. Though I have to say, the most inspiring thing to me is the kindness and generosity of others. I can't wait to dig into my new materials!

You can visit Little Birch Farm and Twitch & Whiskers again at Twist this November. See below for info. More show dates to follow.

November 11 & 12 -  Twist 7 - Holiday Fair - Northampton, MA

November 19 - The Wellesley Marketplace - Holiday Craft Festival - Wellesley, MA

Friday, August 19, 2011

On the Road - SoWa Open Market

Sunday was a big day for me. It marked my last official craft show of the summer season. With a new classroom full of second graders coming just weeks away, I knew this was going to be my last hoorah before getting back into number two pencil mode. It was also a big day at the SoWa Open Market and Farmer's Market. They were throwing their 8th annual B.Good Family BBQ to benefit Art Street. Twenty bucks got you piles of outdoor food and drink. After a few light sprinkles in the wee hours of the morning, the rest of the day stayed dry and cool for people strolling about at the market. One of my early visitors set a fun tone for the day by showing me there is more than one use for a REcap bracelet.
that bracelet's got bite
I got the warmest welcome ever from Pam Laurenzo of Black Sheep Designs. I met her about a year ago when I did my very first craft show in Newport. She reached out and was very encouraging to this nervous newbie. In addition to being in education like me, she also loves to reuse and repurpose vintage items in her jewelry. I adore her whimsical Junque Drawer necklaces with vintage toy license plates. She offers a great variety of one of a kind and limited edition earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Her patinaed findings and brassy pendants are nicely paired with vintage beads and stones for a classy antiqued look with a fun twist. Pam's clever jewelry displays made from old books, bottles, wash boards, and other treasures make you feel like you're browsing around a curiosity shop. Make sure to visit her on Etsy and check her out at SoWa for a new take on old treasures.
Pam Laurenzo
for the lass who loves brass
What a clever display!
After hearing my friend Grace rave about Nathan Murrell's Highjacked Ceramics and unique decor, it was terrific to finally meet him and see his display. Nathan has a background in ceramics, sculpture, and bookbinding so it's no wonder his mixed media pieces and pottery blend a mishmshosh of materials and techniques. I was instantly drawn to his Post Office Box Reliquaries with combination doors that actually lock and have hidden space inside. Being a fan of found objects, I appreciated his use of metal decorative flowers, old glass bottles, and hand molds in his designs. When I picked up one of his Tea Tumblers, I was amazed at the patterned details and unique glazing. It turns out he rolls his clay over old wood block patterns and layers on glaze to achieve his antiqued look. Anyone who appreciates handmade creations with a nod to the past and a touch of the enigmatic should visit him at SoWa. Visit his online store and his blog to learn more about his work.
Nathan Murell
Post Office Box Reliquaries
glove mold magic
Every time I've done SoWa Open Market, I've been set up near the lovely Adrienne Midash of Magdalina Designs and her dazzling hair accessories. It was a treat to be across from her smiling face again! Feathers, sequins, and delicate beading embellish her handmade headbands, stretch bands, pins, and clips. As an experienced costume designer and a former dancer, she has a flare for the high design with high quality materials (with a very affordable price). Adrienne can also custom design the piece of your dreams for weddings, formal events, or any special occasion. She is currently donating a portion of her proceeds from her pink pieces to Susan G. Komen For the Cure. Come September her team will be doing the 3 Day for the Cure in San Francisco; a 60 mile walk to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. Visit her at SoWa and online to add a bit of sparkle to your life or to help sponsor her walk.
Adrienne Colleen
the perfect accessory
a headband for any occasion
  I hadn't seen Carrie Wagner of Sepia Lepus since Brooklyn Craft Central's Shop the Archway show in May and it was a pleasure to see her again! Last time, we traded a pin for a necklace and I get tons of compliments every time I wear the adorably illustrated bear and squirrel pin of hers. As always, she offered a wide array of original illustrations, prints, cards, jewelry, magnets, and other pieces with her whimsical animals. Bunnies, bears, squirrels, and sea creatures fancifully romp across her work in imaginative scenes that evoke childhood storybook memories. Her creativity and skill won her the best costume award last year at SoWa's Market of the Living Dead last year. I can't wait to see the costume she comes up with for this year! Visit her Etsy store to get a peek into the world of Sepia Lepus.
Carrie Wagner
a great big wall o' adorableness
The Most Spooktacular Costume at SoWa - 2010
Since SoWa is known far and wide, you get a chance to chat with folks from all over. I was visited by a family from Toronto who were on vacation. One of the daughters tried most of the tin locket necklaces before deciding upon "Hazel's Garden"; a piece created out of a vintage witch hazel salve tin, a textured celluloid button, and flowers from an old forget-me-not bouquet. She liked the fact that the necklace was "two in one" because you can wear it with the lid on or off. She looked fabulous in the piece. Other necklaces went to happy homes including an "I'm a Little Deer" pendant created out of a child's tin pin, a brassy filigree embellishment, and old button. Kelsey, a dancer in the Boston Ballet and customer from The Greenway on Saturday, returned wearing a piece she got the day before called "My Dog Has Fleas." I'm so glad she swung by to say hi and I loved seeing the piece on her.
"Hazel's Garden" with the lid off
vintage tin pin necklaces with button backs
"My Dog Has Fleas" with little red dog hidden inside
After SoWa, my friend Grace and I actually found time to do a little thrifting. I dug deep in the crates to find my husband Thom some vinyl to add to his already towering collection and Grace also scored some nice bargains. That night we settled in with leftovers from Pomodoro and enjoyed His Girl Friday on the tube. The next day, before heading back to Connecticut we had breakfast at Zaftigs, a fabulous Jewish deli in Brookline. As an ode to my half Jewish, half Chinese side, I had the Pacific Islander omelet with scallions, soy sauce, and mushrooms. It was very reminiscent of the breakfast eggs mom used to make.
well trained at diggin' in the crates
Pay no attention to the woman behind the napkin.
SoWa was a fine finale to my summer show schedule. Up next on the agenda: savor every last moment of the summer before school starts! Thanks to everyone who came out to show your support this summer. See you in the winter! In the meantime, visit my Etsy shop for more Twitch and Whiskers.

Here are a few places where you can find me this winter. More dates will be added soon!

November 11 & 12 -  Twist 7 - Holiday Fair - Northampton, MA

November 19 - The Wellesley Marketplace - Holiday Craft Festival - Wellesley, MA

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On the Road - The Greenway Open Market

Deja vu. That's exactly what I felt as Grace and I loaded up her car for another double-show weekend in Boston. The week prior, we participated in The Greenway Open Market and SoWa and we were headed back to Boston to do it all again. A kind friend let us stay at his apartment in nearby Brookline. Upon our arrival, we settled into the comfy abode and then headed out to Pomodoro for a delicious meal. We enjoyed every bite of our linguini bolognese & seared scallops with chorizo, veggies, and risotto. After a full belly and a full night's rest, we got up bright and early for The Greenway Open Market.
Pomodoro - Brookline
Over-sized blue foamy blocks, bright plastic fish, and many other games were set up in the middle of The Rose Kennedy Greenway to attract kids of all ages. You could hear familiar squeals of excitement racing through the sprays of the Rings Fountain. The beautiful summer day and light wind welcomed in pedestrians from all parts of the city. Grace Napoleon of Folk Couture and I were set up next to each other. Grace moved her usual shop set up around for a new look and I excitedly displayed my new blinking eyeball necklaces front and center on my table.
all fun and games on the Greenway
wink wink
Folk Couture
When I saw Shara Porter setting up next to me, I instantly recognized her eye-catching silk screened leather goods from the BUST Craftacular. I have always admired her work and was thrilled to be neighbors with her at the show. Small suitcases lined her table alongside perfectly displayed colorful wallets and change purses. Shara is known for silk screening on just about anything made from leather and originally started screen printing on vintage items. She now offers both vintage and new creations to suit everyone's needs and tastes. I loved her cleverly-chosen images, from woodland and oceanic creatures to everyday objects and nautical symbols. With a broad pallet of leather colors and a wide variety of clever images, it's easy to find the perfect handmade gift at her table. Visit her website to see her unique work and find out where you can catch her next.
Shara Porter
colors abound
you can rock a raccoon
Driven by fine fabrics and classic design, Natalie Therese's handbags were a standout at The Greenway. She offered her hand sewn bags in a variety of styles and colors that could suit any occasion and function. I first noticed the smooth shape and styling of her Round Up bags. They would look great tucked under the arm of any gal walking about the city. Many of her bags were embellished with a stylish matching cloth flower and her clutch bags with bold patterns were definite crowd-pleasers. My favorite pattern was the "red pepper" with its striking red lines. For everyday or that special event, grab one of Natalie's bags for that perfect finishing touch.
Natalie Therese
lots of lovelies
red pepper- hot stuff!
Grace's hands have been on high speed this past week with over ten new pieces for her Folk Couture line. My favorite was her suspender print dress cleverly cut and sewn so it looked like the suspenders were in use. Many ladies happily emerged from her dressing room looking like a million bucks. Grace custom tailored several pieces for customers on the spot to make for a perfect fit. What a pro! Judging from the smiles below, you could say it was a very Grace day at the Greenway.
suspenders and a skirt work!
pretty in plaid
dazzling in dots
The Greenway is the perfect place to meet people from all over. Folks stopped by from all parts of the States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. RECap bracelets, Thimbilism Necklaces, and a variety of my other goodies will be spanning the globe with happy customers. My favorite Swedish headbadge necklace called "Near Perfekt" went off with a lovely lady from New York City.
New Yorker in Near Perfekt
Originally from California and transplanted to Boston via the Boston Ballet, dancer Kelsey Ivana Hellebuyck started her day searching for one of her favorite jewelry designers in the neighborhood. She just happened to come across the Greenway Open Market during her travels and I'm so glad she did. It's no surprise she looked smashing in everything she tried on, considering the Boston Globe named her one of the 25 Most Stylish Bostonians of 2010. She left with several statement pieces, including "Ideal Split Shot"; an assemblage necklace using a vintage fishing sinker tin and a mix of vintage chains. The next time I'm in Boston, I hope to catch one of her performances with the Boston Ballet and you should too!
Kelsey looking ideal in "Ideal Split Shot"
The afternoon was topped off with a melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork sandwich with carrot slaw, soft onions, and bbq sauce from The BBQ Smith food truck and I savored every bite. At the end of the day, Grace and I reloaded the car and we noticed there was more space in the trunk thanks to the busy day (always a great sign). To celebrate our day at The Greenway, we met her daughter Siena at Cognac Bistro in Brookline for a French dinner. Steak, seafood, and wine rounded out our night nicely but we had to top it off with ice cream from J.P. Licks to end things on the perfect note.

The BBQ Smith = yum!
sweets for the sweets
After a nonstop day, it was a breeze to fall asleep. I had to rest up because the next day I'd be at the Sowa Open Market for day two of my Boston adventures.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ten Tempting New Necklaces

I'm heading back to Boston this weekend with a nice variety of new necklaces. With Halloween (my favorite holiday) just around the corner, I was inspired to make a blinking batch of eyeball necklaces. Yes...the eyes really flutter open and shut!
Ready For My Closeup & I Only Have Eyes for You
Starlet Starlight & Melodrama
Tiny tins and compacts have treasures tucked inside. You can wear them opened or closed for two distinct looks.
Polished and Primped, Flight of Fancy, Kiss on the Chic, and Bee Ware
Birds and feathers found their way onto two new pieces; a vintage bicycle headbadge necklace and multi-strand assemblage.
Light as a Feather
Come visit me at The Greenway Open Market and SoWa Open Market to see these and other upcycled creations.

Saturday, August 13 - The Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA

Sunday, August 14 - SOWA Open Market - Boston, MA