Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On the Road - Twist in Northampton, MA

This past week was one of my favorite handmade show - Twist in Northampton, MA. Just the mere mention of it conjurers up images of amazingly curated wares, talented designers, fun customers, and a party-like atmosphere. There is really nothing else like it around! Thom and I headed up on Friday and couldn't wait for the show to begin!
Just moments before the doors opened on Friday. Ready to go!
The first night brought hellos from friendly neighbors. I was set up near two of my friends from last year: Chrissy of Chrissy Ann Ceramics and Abby of Abby Berkson Ceramics. It's always great to catch up and spend two days next to such creative and talented gals.
Crystal of Popko Shop, Abby of Abby Berkson Ceramics, Chrissy of Chrissy Ann Ceramics, and me!
Just diagonal to me was the very talented jewelry designer Crystal Popko of Popko Shop. I have always been in awe of her handcrafted necklaces and earrings with real butterfly wings. She wore a blue morpho pendant all day that looked breath-taking every time it caught the light. Crystal's designs combine a unique elegance with bursts of color and iridescent sheen. Her display stopped many people in their tracks at Twist. I betcha there are going to be a lot of happy gals this holiday season when they receive one of her pieces. I couldn't resist getting one of her Glitter Pop Party Rings in bright pink and I can't help but smile when I wear it. If you are looking for a radiant, nature-inspired gift then visit her online shop to find the perfect treasure.

Crystal Popko of Popko Shop
beauty takes flight
Couldn't fit an ounce more of bling in these rings!
One of the best parts of doing craft shows is meeting fabulous artists and designers. When husband Thom was walking about, he discovered the most clever necklaces carefully collaged and embedded with individual letterpress type. From above they reminded me of an aerial view of skyscrapers in a crowded city. When I had a chance to pop over to the table, not only did I discover the amazing jewelry, but I also met the incredible artist behind them. Nicole Monforti of Headcase Press works out of an 100-year old former textile mill in New Bedford, MA and I can only imagine how cool her space is. It was fascinating to hear how she moved her monster of a letterpress machine up an old freight elevator into her studio. In addition to jewelry, she creates wickedly funny cards and journals. Her offerings are well-crafted, and truly unique. Check out Headcase Press!

Nicole and her Dad
my type
Why yes that is a card with a hand knit square. BE impressed!
Back when I did my very first craft show, I remember seeing a colorful display that left a lasting impression - And that would be the honeycomb-like shelves from Jen Gubicza of Zooguu. This North Boston native makes whimsical plush toys to die for. Monkeys and foxes and penguins...oh my! Jen and her husband Brian make their huggable friends to order. You can choose from a wide variety of sizes, patterns, colors, and unique features so your squishy friend fits your every need. Zooguu has a loyal following of kids of all ages and adds several new critters to their collection each year. Most recently, a narwhal with twisty horn and beguiling black eyes joined the lot. This past October, when Jen did SoWa's Market of the Living Dead, she created a zombie narwhal costume to match. How could you not love that? Once you explore the world of Zooguu, there's not turning back!

Kara and Jen
a bunch of animals
there's no place like combs
It always puts a smile on my face when I see ladies donning my jewelry at shows. Lucy and Mel drove up to Twist from CT. I was so pleasantly surprised to see Lucy wearing my blinking doll eye necklace. She looked dazzling! I was also thrilled to see Julie of Bugsella. The last time I saw her was at Brooklyn Craft Central's Shop the Archway where she was displaying her joyful children's onesies, quilts, and accessories. This time she was shopping and I got the special treat of meeting her adorable daughter Ella. They both left with locket necklaces and couldn't have looked prettier.
Lucy and Mel
Ella and Julie
One of the many great things about Twist is its location.  Northampton brings in many supporters of the arts. My customers were all so enthusiastic and fun to chat with. Many of my favorite OOAK pieces went home with folks, including several rouge locket necklaces, a bicycle headbadge necklace, and my favorite protractor necklace called "No Peking."
Mums the Word (left) and Loves Me Loves Me Not (center) left the building.
A happy customer in "No Peking"
A vintage bicycle headbadge necklace called "Spring Carnival" pedaled off.
Twist gave me the perfect opportunity to pick up special holiday gifts for my friends and family.  I visited Chrissy Ann Ceramics and Abby Berkson Ceramics for some hand crafted ceramic treasures. Little Birch Farm provided me with a nice array of fragrant natural body care products that I know will be loved by all. Jar of Wonder had amazing handmade cloth play food and I went home with a dainty delight. Migration Goods was right across from me at Twist so I got to ogle at Eling Chang's colorful ornaments and hair accessories all day. It was hard to choose what to get from her table, but I think I made the perfect choice for my friends' kids. MB by Brigid knitted a special custom-made gift on the spot for me and it was finished in time before we left. How's that for dedication? I wish I could post pics, but that would ruin the surprise for a lucky few, wouldn't it?

Twist my arm. I still won't show ya what I bought as gifts!
OF COURSE I also treated myself at the show. How could I not? Last year I bought a pack of candy button stationary from Heather Jeanny and I bee lined straight to her booth for more. I love my bar of Marian's Mint soap at home from Little Birch Farm so, I decided to grab an orange/cinnamon ball of soap before heading home. This past summer I was set up next to Heather Wells of Bright Lights Little City at the Smith Street Sunday Funday Event in NYC. I regretted not buying her headband with a vintage fruit cluster on it so imagine my excitement when I found she had made another. Guess what I wore the whole second day of the show! My list was topped off with a blossom clip from Migration Goods, a cool card from Headcase Press, a skateboard bangle from Coob Originals (got one last year as well), and my pink Glitter Pop Party Ring from Popko. Oh joy!
Mine all mine! Bwa ha ha!
In a nutshell, Twist = bliss. I so enjoyed the show, the people, and Northampton. I can't wait for the next one!

Here is where you can find me next:

Wellesley Marketplace - Saturday, November 19 at the Wellesley Middle School in Wellesley, MA.

Hot Cup o' Handmade - Sunday, December 4 from 12-4 at Molten Java in Bethel, CT.

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