Thursday, August 22, 2013

On the Road - The Grand Finale Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA

Six trips up to Boston in one summer. It has been a great opportunity to share my jewelry, visit with wonderful friends, and meet new people. I definitely have the Greenway Open Market to thank for that. My last summer trip up to Boston started with an overnight stay at Jen Gubicza's home (of Zooguu). It was wonderful hearing about her recent experiences at Boston Comicon and seeing new works in progress. The Greenway Open Market on Saturday offered up lots o' sunshine and plenty of foot traffic. Though I was excited to start the day, it was also bittersweet because I knew it would be my last Greenway show of the season.
The Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA
A beautiful day at the Greenway!
You know it's going to be a great day when you start it off with a gift. "Captain Neon" came by and lit up my day with a squishy, flashing, starfish ring. It turns out, he volunteers a good amount of time in children's hospitals spreading joy with his visits and by handing out his trademark rings. Lisa DiMeo of Red Staggerwing was also thrilled to get one. We proudly sported our dazzling stars all day.
Captain Neon and my new flashing starfish ring
Lisa DeMio of Red Staggerwing and I were ring buddies at the Greenway.
My eyes kept getting drawn to a nearby booth where a gorgeous print with vibrant turquoise waves crashing against a slate grey and russet brown rocky shore caught my eye. I just had to walk over and meet the artist behind the seaside scene and I was so glad that I did! Hannah Phelps of Hannah Phelps Fine Art warmly greeted me and shared her artwork and fascinating work process. Hannah is inspired by working outside in the open air. Her landscape paintings, brushworks, and prints use a variety of techniques and reflect her deep appreciation of nature. I learned that the piece that caught my eye is called Private Wave and it was created out of carefully carved wooden pieces that jigsaw together. The carvings are meticulously inked and printed one piece at a time. How's that for skill, artistry, and a great understanding of composition? Learn more about her incredible techniques and see a great sampling of her work by visiting Hannah Phelps' website, blog, and Facebook page
Hannah Phelps of Hannah Phelps Fine Art
Private Wave - jigsaw reduction relief, oil on paper
The intricately carved pieces from Private Wave and Maine Wave
Over the past two weeks, I had been working non-stop to create new lockets, blinking doll eye necklaces, and new Fun 'n' Games rings for the Greenway. It was exciting filling my booth with an exciting selection of new jewelry.
lockets galore
blinking doll eye necklaces
Fun 'n' Games rings
I recently started incorporating vintage pinback buttons into my rings and they were a big hit at the show. It was fun seeing people carefully pick through and read each ring until they found their favorite.
Two rings are on their way to Copenhagen.
Fun 'n' Games and good friends
One customer was especially drawn to a necklace that featured a sweet 1940's novelty pin. I came to find out that she had a 1940's USO-style wedding. I got to hear all about all the special touches she included to make her guests feel like they stepped back in time, from vintage clothes and accessories to 1940's music and a reception in an old dance hall. I love it when the right piece finds the perfect person!
Pretty 1940's flair
In the Mood - pinback button necklace
It's a real treat to meet local creative people in Boston. Kathy Weller of WellerWishes visited my booth wearing the most adorable vintage necklace with baby blue plastic beads. Once we got to chatting, I learned that she is an illustrator who is starting one seriously cute revolution. When I got home and visited The WellerWishes World of Cute website, I was overcome with smiles. Kathy's whimsical world is filled with colorful dancing chicks in tutus, cats and dogs raining from the sky with umbrellas, and frosted cakes on pedestals in every color of the rainbow. Her adorable imagery adorns greeting cards, prints, phone cases, puzzles, and books. Since we loved each others work so much we decided to do a swap-a-roo. My favorite pieces (so far) are her Be the Change Ghandi art print and her Jive Cats Wall of Cats print. Before Kathy left, she snapped a few pics in my booth and featured me in her blog. How kind! Visit Wellerwishes' blog, website, and shop and be swept away in happiness!
Be the Change Ghandi art print
close up of Jive Cats Wall of Cats big art print
I would love to send a huge thanks to the organizers of the Greenway Open Market, the wonderful fellow artists at the show, and of course the incredible visitors for a summer filled with summer adventure and new connections. My very last show of the season is coming up this weekend:
Picnic Music and Arts Festival - August 24 - Portland, ME
Twitch and Whiskers has one INCREDIBLE line up for the fall and winter. Drum roll please...
Jamaica Plain Open Studios - September 21 & 22 - Jamaica Plain, MA
Crafty Bastards - September 28 & 29 - Washington DC
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
Check back. More dates may be added! Visit Twitch and Whiskers on Facebook and Etsy for new items and updates. See you in Maine at Picnic this Saturday!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

On the Road - The Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA

Zooming lines of helmeted tourists on Segways. Squealing children dashing through the sprays of the Rings Fountain. Teams of costumed scavenger hunters rushing by with lists in hand. The Greenway is rich with the sights and sounds of Boston and there's always something different going on. The Rose Kennedy Greenway hosted Figment on July 27th. It is a free participatory arts festival. Dancers, musicians, and visual artists provided a day filled with family activities and entertainment. It was an extra special treat to be vending at the Greenway Open Market on that day. The weather was gorgeous and sidewalks were filled with visitors.
Dancers from Traveni Dance Studio in Brookline at Figment
Greenway Open Market - Boston
Style. Originality. Love. Education. That is the heart and soul of Solefull Lounge, a lifestyle brand that reflects the shared interests of co-founders Diderot Jean Phillipe and PJ Jules. These friends have been producing hats and t-shirts with a wink to pop culture and music since 2008. At the Greenway, their clever Jaws-inspired sneaker shirt, reminiscent of the iconic movie poster, was a real standout. Shoe laces are a repeated theme in their designs and can be found on their logo tees, fitted caps, and even wrapped around tape reels on their cassette tape packaging. Diderot and PJ not only design clothes, but also present music and art events. On August 23rd, they will be sponsoring the Soul Spotlight Live Concert Series at Cafe 939. Visit Solefull Lounge's website, blog, shop, and Facebook page to find out more about their fashion and upcoming events.
Pj and Diderot of The Solefull Lounge
clever Jaws-inspired shirt and logo hats
Ten points if you can name that movie!
I've been busy all summer making new pieces for the Greenway and my upcoming fall/winter show season. I brought with me a new batch on pinback button necklaces and brass drawer pull necklaces.
pinback buttons, toy magnets, and wooden nickels
give a hoot
I met many friendly tourists and locals at the Greenway. I was happy to send some of my favorite necklaces home with some lovely ladies including blinking doll eye necklaces and rouge compact lockets.
An eye-catching beauty!
 Looking lovely in a rouge tin locket

Two gorgeous gals at the Greenway
La Jaynees - vintage powder tin locket with butterfly
With a steady flow of foot traffic all day, you just never know who will show up. I got two lovely surprises. First, I was beyond thrilled when a past customer came by wearing her blinking doll eye necklace. She looked dazzling! At the end of the day, a friendly woman walked by with an Envirosax bag, just like one I had with me. I learned her name was Aimee and we ended up talking about reusable bags for a bit. Before Aimee went on her way, she handed me a beautifully stamped, handmade card. She told me she was handing out random acts of kindness cards in honor of her late husband Tony. It was her touching way of paying tribute to him and focusing on the positive in her life. She also shared with me a link to her Six Words Blog which chronicles her life experiences. It was certainly a tender way to end my day at the Greenway.
I spy a Twitch and Whiskers eye!
A much-appreciated random act of kindness!
I packed up after the Greenway, grabbed a yummy bite to eat with Jen Gubicza of Zooguu, and drove home with a delectable chocolate mint brownie (that didn't quite make it home). How's that for a fabulous and full day? My first day of school is just around the corner but I have one more BIG show before then. It will be my first time doing a craft show in Maine and I couldn't be more excited!

Saturday, August 24th - Picnic Music and Arts Festival - Portland, Maine

Stay tuned for one VERY exciting fall/winter schedule. In the meantime, visit Twitch and Whiskers on Facebook and on Etsy for upcycled jewelry galore!

Monday, August 12, 2013

On the Road - Creative Adventures in Providence and Worcester

One of my favorite parts of selling jewelry on the road is the opportunity to meet new people and explore new places. Prior to the Greenway Open Market several weeks ago, I had a chance to visit with some pretty amazing folks and do some digging for treasures. My trip started in Providence with lunch with a new friend. I met Wendy Brusick through my Etsy shop. Her daughter ordered a blinking doll eye necklace for her as a gift. And when her daughter's birthday came around Wendy and I collaborated on a custom necklace for her. Through our exchanges, we got to know each other and discovered that we are inspired by and drawn to many of the same things. 
Wendy Brusick with a mixed media piece "Serious Moonlight"
A double sided necklace for Wendy's daughter made out of a vintage magnifying glass and a new Dr. Who pin.
The other side of the magnifying glass reveals an antique image of two women from 1865 (provided by Wendy).
Wendy is a storyteller at heart who expresses herself in paintings, drawings, assemblages, and in words. Her surrealistic works are breathtakingly beautiful and strong with emotion. I remember the day she sent me a link to her website. I was instantly taken aback by the vivid tentacle-like purple petals  and stoic body of the mysterious Lady in Waiting. The deeper I dove into Wendy's work, the more intrigued I was by Flowertopian Imagery. It's incredible how she captures the personalities of her floral women through subtleties in body language, and by playing with light and color in her settings. Wendy often uses vintage photographs as a starting point for her surrealistic work, which makes her pieces feel very familiar, yet other-worldly.
Lady in Waiting
Ars Moriendi - mixed media
During our lunch I got to hear about Wendy's studies at Valparaiso University and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. While getting her four-year certificate in painting, she received the prestigious Schiedt Memorial Traveling Scholarship. This enabled her to visit art museums in ten European countries. Wendy currently resides in Cranston, Rhode Island where she not only paints, but also writes non-fiction. I highly recommend visiting her website and Facebook page to view her stunning work and learn more about her background. Before we parted ways, Wendy shared with me some old photos that she'll be referencing for future work and proposed that we collaborate together on a special project. I couldn't have been more thrilled with the idea. Stay tuned...something fabulous is in the works!
vintage inspirations - paintings to be
After my get together with Wendy, I headed out to some of my favorite treasure troves in Providence. I spent several hours  sorting, sifting, and picking through vintage beads, findings, and embellishments. It's really hard to contain my excitement when I'm in these magical spaces. I loaded up my car with boxes and bags filled with supplies galore and headed to another friend's home.
Can you dig it?
drawers and drawers and drawers
That night I visited and stayed with Anh and Phillip Sawyer in Providence. I met this creative couple through the Greenway Open Market last year. Anh is the Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Coalition of Central MA (SEACMA) and author of Song of Saigon.   Philip is the creative force behind Philip Sawyer Designs and a continuing education professor at RISD. I had the opportunity to visit their design studio/home last year and enjoyed learning and blogging about them. Recently, Anh invited me to teach an upcycled jewelry making class at SEACMA and I couldn't wait to visit their headquarters in Worcester. I brought with me crates filled with game pieces, toys, and doodads. The participants made a variety of colorful bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. It was a real pleasure creating with the members of SEACMA and hearing about their recent Asian Festival. The afternoon ended with a delicious bowl of Vietnamese pho with Anh. With a full belly, I headed back to Providence for the evening.
stuff for making stuff
Twitch and Whiskers upcycled jewelry workshop at SEACMA
Manyu sporting her new bracelet.
The night ended with a visit and stay with my favorite Providence artist and friend Carrie Wagner of SepiaLepus. The last time I saw her I was looking for a new pair of glasses. I adored her dark purple frames and ordered the same pair. It was fun reuniting with my 'spectacle sister.' I'm so proud of Carrie because she recently quit her day job to go full time with her art.  She has been keeping busy with shows at the Providence Flea, SoWa and Waterfire. Carrie has also been setting up a new studio space in her home and will soon be wowing the world with new SepiaLepus masterpieces. The evening ended with my first gut-busting experience with all-you-can-eat Korean Barbeque. Carrie, her husband Jim, and I ate all that we could (and then some) and finished off the night with some gore for dessert ala Evil Dead on TV.
Wonder Twin Powers...ACTIVATE! Form of a Corgie!
Korean barbeque eating frenzy
With two full days of feasting, friends, and creativity under my belt, I was definitely ready for my Saturday at the Greenway Open Market. To be continued...