Saturday, August 11, 2012

On the Road - The Greenway Open Market - Last Show of the Summer Season

The last few weeks had been a flurry of activity with a trip to LA and shorter excursions around the northeast. It was time to plant my feet solidly on the ground and have my final summer show of the season. I got to set up at one of my favorite outdoor locations - The Greenway Open Market in Boston. 
The Greenway Open Market
My day started off with hellos from some of my favorite regular vendors at the Greenway. Laura of Hoist Away Bags swung by with a smile and gifts! She set aside some bright vintage charms for me and walked away looking fabulous in a whale tail thimblism necklace. Soon after, Irene and Max of Mei Mei Street Kitchen, paid a friendly visit. They had the day off and were strolling about and enjoying the day. I couldn't wait to congratulate them in person for recently winning the Best of Boston Award for Best Meal on Wheels. High fives guys!
Laura of Hoist Away Bags
Max and Irene of Mei Mei Street Kitchen
I love meeting other teachers on the Greenway. I know, I know, I'm biased but this talented artist drew me in with her vibrant block prints before I even knew she was a high school art teacher. Jamie Palmer Keating creates gorgeous linoleum and wood block prints of sea and ocean creatures. My favorite piece had to be The Underwater Alphabet with colorful critters from anemone to zebra shark. Market goers were treated to Jamie in action, as she artfully scraped away at a fish wood block throughout the day. The Greenway is conveniently located close to a lot of attractions, including the New England Aquarium. Jamie's aquatic prints were the perfect handmade souvenir for visitors to this popular family spot. Visit Jamie's Etsy shop, FB page, and online portfolio to fish for a great sampling of her work and to find out where you can see her next.
Jamie Palmer Keating
fabulous from A to Z
o is for octopus
a sea of color
The Greenway always offers the best eats in the area. Once the hunger pangs hit, I dashed over to Mei Mei Street Kitchen for some sweet blow torched corn and delish pan fried miso-tofu dumplings atop rice. It really hit the spot! For dessert, I flagged down Ocean Ave Pops. Grace Napoleon of Folk Couture and I got tent-side service and cooled down with the most refreshing strawberry and coconut pineapple (with a subtle hint of nutmeg) pops.
Mei Mei Street Kitchen
Ocean Ave Pops
Despite being a steamy day, it was filled with neighborly fun. Grace Napoleon of Folk Couture sent many fabulous frocks home with ladies at the Greenway and provided lots of laughs (as usual) throughout the day. Ali Rose Arts displayed lovely handmade quilts, bags, and baby items whose details warmed the heart but it was Ali who ultimately helped me to cool down. We took a quick dash through the Rings Fountain before packing up at the end of the busy day.
dress by Folk Couture
best way to cool down at the Greenway
Ali - my sprinkler buddy
It was a superb day at the Greenway for Twitch and Whiskers. My favorite bicycle headbadge necklace traveled off with a tourist from Australia who was busy visiting all parts of the US. Many other one of a kind pieces went home with happy customers. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing people wearing a smile and piece of jewelry when they leave my tent. What a perfect finale to the summer show season!
Bicycle Headbadge necklace
REcap bracelet
Garland Variety necklace
Garland Variety necklace
Juckpulver - tin locket necklace
circus themed necklaces - Big Top Hippo - sold
Before you know it, I will be digging out the number 2 pencils, shifting desks around, and getting ready for 22 fresh faces at my classroom door. Before then, I hope to enjoy every last drop of the summer and use my time to create as much as I can in preparation for the fall/winter show season. Here's to a summer filled with travel, adventure, friendship, and art. Thanks to everyone who came out and showed their support. See you in the fall!

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Friday, August 10, 2012

On the Road - A Providence Interlude and Fascinating Night

After a fun Thursday night at Dogwatch Artisan Market, I had my Friday free before heading off to the Greenway Open Market on Saturday. I decided to take full advantage of the day and explore some of the fabulous people and places of Providence. Back in July, I met Anh Sawyer at the Greenway Open Market in Boston. She had found me through this blog and wanted to check out the Greenway in person to see if it would be a good prospect for her and her husband's line of clothes called Philip Sawyer Designs. Anh opened her doors to me so I took a visit to their home/studio in the morning.
Ahn Vu Sawyer and Philip Sawyer
Both home and studio are nestled in The Plant building in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence. This unique converted mill houses live/work spaces, restaurants, non-profits, artist studios, and commercial spaces. Ahn and Philip have the best of both worlds: a gorgeous living space filled with creative decor and a generously sized work space for designing and producing clothes.
The Plant - Providence
surrounded by beauty
work space
Both Ahn and Philip have traversed interesting and diverse paths to get to where they are today. Ahn is the author of the book Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, which chronicles her harrowing escape to freedom during the war in South Vietnam in 1975. She has worn many hats since then: student, teacher, author, speaker, designer, and artist just to name a few.

Philip had his beginnings in International Affairs, education, and humanitarian aid projects. Eventually childhood influences (mother and grandmother were seamstresses and quilt makers) and passion for design lead him in a new direction to where he is today. Add to the mix three beautiful children and several major moves across the country and you end up with a design company steeped in family love, mixes of cultures, and unique perspectives.
clothes for both women and men
Charlotte blouse
Philip and Anh view clothing as art and when you get to see their pieces in person, that vision is very clear. The fine fabrics, beautiful details, and elegant lines make the wearer feel quite special. I had the pleasure of trying  on a gorgeous wool twill coat and loved the draping, shape of the pockets, flattering fit, and versatility of the coat. You can visit Philip and Anh at their studio in Providence or visit their storefront in Newport, RI to see their pieces in person. It's well worth the trip!
Philip Sawyer Designs
As I walked out of Anh and Philip's studio out into the parking lot, I bumped into a familiar face - Devienna Anggraini of DA Metals. What a small world! I met Devienna at my first Twist show in Northampton, MA. She creates brightly-colored enameled jewelry with unique geometric shapes. Devienna was just getting settled into her new space and was gracious enough to let me take a quick look. I was quite impressed by her spacious and bright showroom and workspace. Soon she will have an official studio opening but until then, check out her website and Etsy shop to see her vivid pieces and learn more about DA Metals.
Devienna Anggraini
DA Metals
Soon after leaving the Plant, I zipped just ten minutes away to one of my favorite crafty queens - Wendy Baker of Bendywho. It was love at first sight when I saw her bold floral and layered pieces back in May and I now that I know Wendy, I adore her as much as her jewelry! I got to swing by her house/studio and felt right at home among her space filled with vintage findings, baubles, beads, and containers full of what-nots. We instantly started digging through supplies and trading. I brought her a box of chandelier parts and vintage jewelry and she gave me a tons of letter tiles, glass leaves, beads, and curtain tie backs.
I love Wendy to pieces!
We traded a few choice words...
We took a mini road trip to one of our favorite vintage jewelry supply warehouses in Providence and did some damage together. Before we parted ways, I got to try on a gorgeous custom necklace in bronze and black, which is soon flying off to a famous chef in Asia. I also picked up a Bendywho ring and earrings for two friends. I guarantee you will love Bendywho designs as much as I do if you check out her Etsy shop or visit her on FB!
Wendy Baker and her gorgeous statement necklace
not your garden variety necklace
My next and final stop for the evening was friend Stacey's place in Hull. I always get five star accommodations when I stay with her. She welcomed me with a bright yellow Lego head container and a hug... who could ask for more? I bestowed upon her a Bendywho ring, freshly picked just hours before. I have to say, she wore it quite well.
Lego love
Stacey in Bendywho
After settling in, we walked to the main thoroughfare of Hull and stopped for a light drink and dinner by the water. Next we headed off to participate in our favorite Hull tradition - Fascination! This old fashioned amusement game is a cross between a sitting version of Skee Ball and BINGO. Add to it a killer patchwork linoleum floor, the carnival barker style commentary of the "Fascination Master" in a raised booth, and prizes and you have one exciting evening out! Guess who was the big winner of the night? STACEY! Never has a seven buck jackpot felt more like a million dollars. After a full day of friends, art, and games, I went to bed one happy camper, recharged, and ready for the Greenway on Saturday.
a light drink
All hail the great and powerful Fascination Master!
somewhat fascinated
high roller of the evening

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On the Road - Dogwatch Artisan Market

It was an easy breezy kind of day last Thursday as I drove from Connecticut to Fairhaven, MA. I was excited to be participating in the Dogwatch Artisan Market because it was my first time in that neck of the woods and two of my crafty pals were going to be there: Chrissy of Chrissy Ann Ceramics and Carrie of SepiaLepus
Chrissy Ann Ceramics
The cozy 6 artist show was set up across the street from the “Music in the Center” concert at the town hall. That night Captain Malibu played a variety of rock and reggae cover songs to the locals on the green. 
Captain Malibu
In addition to seeing old friends, I got to meet a sweet group of gals at the show:

Thea Katon of Oh How Cute Coaster Co. combines her love of photography with nifty coasters, magnets, and trivets. I was especially drawn to her Nautical Lines set of coasters with bold, textured, coiled ropes. I could have spent hours pouring over her amazing images. Who doesn't love gifts that are useful, handmade, and beautiful? Thea definitely gets the award for all three!
Oh How Cute Coaster Co.
Ecaruso.handmade was set up next to me at the show and every time I looked over at her booth, I discovered a different, wonderful handmade treat. From tea towels with bright yellow 45 adapters and patterned bow ties to wrist warmers repurposed from sweaters and sculptural assemblages, she had a little something for everyone. Thank goodness Elizabeth Caruso has so many interests and talents. It makes shopping at her booth an exciting experience!
When I walked into the Dragonfly Handmade Soap booth, I was taken away on a fragrant journey. Robin Schmidt crafts luxurious soaps with fresh scents such as lemongrass, bay rum, and sandalwood vanilla. I had to pick up and smell every bar of soap and it gave me the evening pick me up I needed. Robin changes up her offerings seasonally, so that's a great reason to seek her out different times of year. Lather up!
Dragonfly Handmade Soap
Before I left, I got to send a few gems home with locals including some Thimblism Necklaces. One of the best parts of doing shows is being able to trade with other artists. I swapped my circus-themed necklace for a Sepialepus parrot brooch and flying squirrel print. Win-win! At the end of the night, I was treated to a lovely dinner from Chrissy and her husband Rocky. They even took this crafty foster child in for the night. I went to bed happy, full, and well-rested for the next day's adventures.
Thimblism Necklaces
sweet swap
Chrissy and Rocky - the hosts with the most
To be continued...