Sunday, September 8, 2013

On the Road - Picnic - Portland, Maine

What better way to celebrate the end of summer, than with a picnic? Picnic Music and Arts Festival in Portland, Maine was my last hoorah before heading back to school. Thom and I decided to take off a few days before the event to enjoy the sites in Portland. Our mini-vacation started off with a relaxing drive up, some local thrifting, and a trip to Caravan Beads.
Picnic in Porland, ME
pump organ interlude at Goodwill
Caravan Beads
On our second day in Portland, we met up with Thom's friend Galen. He was kind enough to show us around town. We swung by Pinecone + Chickadee to check out their vintage and handmade wares. The owners of the shop are also the organizers of Picnic. I have always been a fan of their Crying Tiger t-shirt and all their silk screened goods. I really enjoyed seeing their creative space in person!
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall...
Pinecone + Chickadee - Portland, ME
In my humble opinion, the one thing that can take any vacation to a whole other level is pinball.  When Galen walked us over to Coast City Comics on Congress Street, we were in absolute awe. Over a dozen machines + a pocket full of quarters = pure bliss. I spent some quality time with Elvira and left with a solid flipper fix. And just when I thought the day couldn't get any better, it did. Galen took us to BODA for apps and drinks. Galen tends bar there a few nights a week so he knew the ins and outs of all things delicious on the menu. We enjoyed little bites of savory quail eggs with scallions and soy, which reminded me of flavors from my childhood. The highlight of the meal was the Miang Kum Som-oh, a complex, flavorful fruit and shrimp salad served on individual spoons. You really must go to BODA if you're in Portland.
Coast City Comics - Portland's pinball oasis
BODA -unforgettable eats
On Saturday, the weather was absolutely perfect for Picnic. The tree-lined pathways of Lincoln Park were filled with over 100 talented indie vendors. A stage for live music showcased ten local bands and kept shoppers rockin' all day.
Picnic Arts and Music Festival - Portland, ME
wheels and deals
I started the day with a visit from Carrie Wagner of SepiaLepus and her adorable dog Frannie. She had many fabulous illustrations to offer at the show including her Maine Map. Thom's friend Galen came by with the gift of vinyl. He gave us a copy of his newest Computer at Sea album called Palace of Lightbulbs. We couldn't wait to get home to immerse ourselves in his circuit bent, 8 bit, electro pop sounds.
Carrie Wagner of SepiaLepus and Frannie
Galen Richmond of Computer at Sea and Thom
Friends and fellow makers, Karen Grant and Zandra Zurow hopped over to share the news of the official launching of Little Yellow Couch. Their newest endeavor brings the world of handmade to your mailbox each month. They offer artful boxes filled with specially curated, hand crafted goods from talented makers.  Abby Berkson of Abby Berskon Ceramics was also showcasing her critter covered ceramics at Picnic. She came by to spread some joy and ended up leaving with a Twitch and Whiskers U-Turn car necklace in orange and black, which perfectly matched her shades.
Karen Grant and Zandra Zuraw of Little Yellow Couch
Abby of Abby Berkson Ceramics
When simple, clean jewelry design meets beautiful craftsmanship, you find yourself with some pretty special pieces. New Hampshire artist Erica Walker of Walker Silverworks offered lovely nature-inspired necklaces, earrings, and rings at Picnic. I have long been been an admirer of her Organic O Necklaces, which are strung on a vibrant silk cord with the color of your choosing. Erica's silver and resin earrings come in a multitude of candy hues and look delicious on any wearer. The real show-stoppers were Erica's semi-precious stone and silver rings. I have officially added the big orange red carnelian ring with decorative edging to my wish list. If you would like to treat yourself (or me!) to Erica's work, visit her website and Etsy shop. Make sure to click on her event schedule to see where you can find her gorgeous work in person this holiday season.
Erika Walker of Walker Silver Works
Organic O Necklace on a variety of colorful silk cords
silver and resin earrings
beautifully crafted silver and stone rings
It's a double treat when you meet two talented artists under one tent. Vermont friends Beth Robinson and Kristin Richland shared a space at Picnic and they sure packed a lot of punch onto their patch of grass at Lincoln Park.
Beth Robinson of Strange Dolls and Kristin Richland of Sweet Enemy Art
Absolutely hypnotic. You cannot help but gaze the first time you meet Beth Robinson's Strange Dolls. Beth artfully sculpts a macabre cast of characters out of polymer clay and paint them to life with sullen eyes, carefully placed trickles of blood, and eerie expressions. Vintage fabrics adorn each doll and you can feel peculiar personality in every stitch. As a person whose had a Halloween Wedding, you can imagine how excited I was to see her at Picnic. I know Beth's Day of the Dead Dolls and Hanging Cat Dolls would fit perfectly into my curious collection at home. I was so impressed by her vast portfolio of commissioned and OOAK work online. It's no wonder that people collect her work worldwide. View Beth's remarkable assemblage of dolls and creatures on her website, blog, and Facebook page.
Handmade Strange Dolls
Hanging Kitty Dolls
Pin Cushions
When whimsical feathers and fur are on parade, you can count me along for the ride. Kristin Richland of Sweet Enemy Art showcased a menagerie of painted bunnies, bears, birds, and other critters (not beginning with "b") at Picnic. Kristin's work is a touch of storybook sweet with a pinch of darkness.  She creates a dreamlike world on her canvases, cards, prints, and shirts. I enjoyed floating along with her "Ghost Bunnies Drift" series and wished I had been invited along to "Cupcakes for Friends." Where is MY cupcake? Kristin's imaginative world is always growing and expanding. Take a joyful romp with Kristin at Sweet Enemy's website, blog, Facebook page, Society 6 shop and Etsy shop.

Gently Falling and Spiral Drift from the "Ghost Bunny Drift" series
Cupcakes for Friends
Bears Like Berry Snacks and Bears Like Honey II
My first show in Maine certainly didn't disappoint. I was impressed by how well the local community and tourists support the art scene in Portland. I brought many new Twitch and Whiskers creations to the Picnic.  My Fun 'n' Games rings made out of vintage pinback buttons, game pieces, kitschy novelties, and wooden nickels left the show with happy customers.
Looking heavenly in an "I'm a Little Angel" matching ring and necklace.
Fun 'n' Games skull ring compliments this gals amazing statement necklace
All kinds of upcycled necklaces left 'round the necks of lovely ladies, including ones made out of protractors, decorative brooches, vintage tins, and souvenir coins.

A fabulous mother-daughter duo sporting Twitch and Whiskers necklaces
"It's Complex" tin locket
Parade-worthy and pretty in "I Love a Parade" necklace.
Kendra Haskell of Whimsy popped by my tent at the show. This talented maker attended Picnic as a shopper. Kendra looked adorable in a vintage bicycle headbadge necklace and Smokey the Bear piece. Blue is certainly her color!
A beauty in a blue bicycle headbadge necklace
Prevent Forest Fires - upcycled pinback button necklace
From start to finish, Picnic was a fantastic show to be a part of. Thanks to all the wonderful people who came out in droves. High fives to the organizers, artists, and musicians who made Picnic a great success and a special thanks to Mother Nature for a picture perfect day. The grand finale of my summer was grand indeed!
Thom lending a hand to Booster Signal

Just around the corner is a big fall/winter schedule:

Jamaica Plain Open Studios - September 21 & 22 - Jamaica Plain, MA
Crafty Bastards - September 28 & 29 - Washington DC
Brookline Marketplace - November 9 - Brookline, MA
Craftopia - November 10 - Pawtucket, RI
Wellesley Marketplace - November 23  - Wellesley, MA
Craftland Holiday Show - November 27 through December 31 - Providence, RI
SoWa Holiday Market - December 14 & 15 - Boston, MA
For updates, sales, and pics of new pieces, follow Twitch and Whiskers on Facebook and Etsy.