Monday, July 14, 2014

On the Road - SoWa Open Market - Boston, MA

If you had told me on Saturday that SoWa Open Market on Sunday would include two surprise visits, tears (of the happy sort), and a prosthetic leg, I would have looked at you sideways. But I guess you can never predict what SoWa will have in store for you. With such a festive atmosphere, anything can happen!

SoWa Open Market - Boston, MA
Twitch and Whiskers at SoWa Open Market

The day started off with a small change to my set up. I created a special stand-alone display for my Fun 'n' Games rings which are comprised of items like vintage pinback buttons, game pieces, Cracker Jack prizes, and wooden nickels. The display was placed toward the front of my tent and caught a lot of eyes. All day, folks gathered around to read the sassy phrases and old advertisements showcased on the rings. One passerby saw the old Red Cross swimming pins and told me that he had spent much of his youth earning these pins as he moved up in the ranks as a swimmer. He proudly recalled that he made it all the way to the final pin and then became an instructor himself. I love it when pieces conjure up fond memories and stories.

New Fun 'n' Games ring display
Ring readers

When it comes to handmade body products, you can see the love and care that goes into an item by the amount of attention paid to the ingredients and presentation. It's these beautiful details that make Urban Kitchen Handmade's home and body products a favorite of many folks in the Boston area. Helene Matteson specially crafts small batch soaps using an old fashioned cold pressed method. The glycerine rich soaps uses the finest natural ingredients that keep your skin nourished and smooth, without stripping it of its natural oils. Urban Kitchen Handmade offers a wide variety of scents like refreshing Tea Tree and Rosemary and fruity Black Raspberry Cream. The soaps are amazing enough on their own, but Helene goes the extra mile by wrapping them in the prettiest printed papers. Their charming presentation makes them the perfect gift for a housewarming or really any occasion. Though soap is Helene's biggest passion, her product line also includes high quality lip balms, solid perfumes, soy candles, massage oils, bath salts, body scrubs and more. She really has something for everyone! You can visit Helene at her studio in Allston on Thursdays to see her in action and to smell all of the wonderful scents in person. For more information, go to Urban Kitchen Handmade's website, Etsy shop, Facebook page, and Twitter page.
Helene Matteson of Urban Kitchen Handmade and her husband James
A wide variety of soothing sachets and cold press soaps
Beautifully packaged lip balms and solid perfumes
Scented soy candles in lovely decorative tins
As a designer and teacher, I feel like I live two separate (and wonderful) lives that rarely cross over one another. It's always a huge surprise when people from my school in Connecticut show up at shows out of state. My first set of visitors included a fabulous kindergarten paraprofessional from my school named Judy, and her family. They filled my morning with smiles and cheer. A little later in the day, I was visited by Cara, a former student teacher and friend. She had recently relocated to the Boston area with her husband. It was great catching up with her and hearing about her new life in Massachusetts.
Judy and her fabulous family!
Cara's surprise visit brightened up my day.
My Fun 'n' Games rings were a big hit at SoWa. One lovely bride-to-be visited with her maid of honor and found the perfect ring to wear to her bridal shower that said, "Here Comes the Bride." A fun-loving couple from Florida visited with the most unique find. They had just purchased a vintage prosthetic leg from the SoWa Vintage Market next door. We had a great chat about collecting curious goods and they even let me hold the leg. One of the ladies left with a "Safety First" ring which I thought was a good match for their prosthetic!

Here comes the bride to be!

No they aren't pulling your leg. They're pulling their own!

Necklaces also went home around the necks of happy customers. One gal enthusiastically zeroed right in on a necklace that suited her perfectly. It featured a 1940's novelty pin that said "I Am Little But Oh My!" and was circled in vintage rhinestones. She happily wore it through the market.
"I'm Little But Oh My!" found the perfect gal!

My favorite moment of the show happened when a vivacious couple and their daughter swung by and were browsing around. All of a sudden, the wife gasped and said, "I'm going to cry!" This of course got my attention and so I asked what was going on. The couple picked up a necklace made out of a Vari Vue, lenticular card. It featured an image of a young couple sitting on a bench. When you tilted the card back and forth, the couple kissed. They explained that they had used the exact same lenticular card on their wedding invitations 25 years ago! Tears, laughter, and cheers filled up the tent. The husband treated his wife to the necklace and she absolutely glowed when she put it on. It was so sweet to see them make such a loving connection to the piece. This is why I love using small, vintage treasures. Despite their small size, they sure can hold a lot of meaning and nostalgia.
Happily ever after for 25 years!
Needless to say, I will never forget this particular SoWa Open Market. I only have one more craft show this summer season. I will see you back at SoWa Open Market on July 27th

Stay tuned for the Twitch and Whiskers fall/winter show schedule.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

On the Road - SoWa Open Market - Boston, MA

Summer. Sun. SoWa. Three words that go so perfectly together. The end of June welcomed us with a radiant day at SoWa Open Market and Twitch and Whiskers was excited to be a part of it. Rows of tents, talented artists, and beautifully crafted goods welcomed  a steady stream of visitors into Boston's South End.
SoWa Open Market - Boston, MA
fun times three at SoWa
The tall brick building that houses SoWa Vintage Market provided a nice spot of shade for me throughout the day. Many folks stayed cool by strolling through with Italian ices and frozen lemonades. As always, I enjoyed meeting both locals and tourists and sharing new pieces of upcycled jewelry with them. On display for the first time was one of my biggest statement pieces called, "Public Transit." It's a bib necklace that's constructed out of seven white plastic buses and rows of primary colored beads. I also displayed new lenticular, Vari Vue necklaces with moving images.
Twitch and Whiskers at SoWa Open Market
Lenticular, Vari Vue necklaces and Hob Knob rings
Giant vintage plastic toy bus necklace and tin clicker necklaces
Kirsten Scarpetti creates a whimsical world of jaunty foxes, happy pink cupcakes, and prancing elephants with needle, thread, and brightly colored fabric. She's the magical hands behind It's Sew Kirsten Cole.  I had the pleasure of being her neighbor for the day at SoWa. Kirsten offers well crafted items for people of all ages. For the little ones in your life, she hand appliques adorable onesies and bibs with images like animals and places of interest (like Cape Cod and Rhode Island). Her compact sized wall art featuring block letters, collaged scenes, and woodland creatures would look great on anyone's wall or shelf. Kirsten does everything with an eco-friendly bend. She repurposes as much material as she can for her products and packaging. Many of her accessories use organic cotton and other earth friendly fibers. Make sure to check out It's Sew You... by Kirsten Cole on Facebook and Etsy to see all of her items for children and accessories for home and body.
Kirsten Scarpetti of It's Sew You
Cheeky handmade cotton pillows
Hey Cupcake! Howzabout a onesie?
Small appliqued wall art packs a big punch
I love seeing customers play and interact with my jewelry. My current favorite pieces are made out of vintage toys, games, and noise makers. In that same fun category are my Vari Vue, lenticular pieces with moving images. Several animated pieces went home with some wonderfully animated ladies!
Keeping balance with a tight rope walker
Movers and shakers - Vari Vue necklaces
A fabulous family of four came through and picked up my newest creation - a locket made out of an old match safe. Inside, it housed a tiny diorama of a Spanish figural brooch with words from a Spanish translation book (read more about it here). The youngest member of the family looked adorable in her new conversation piece.
Fantastic four
Vintage match safe locket
Hola Senor!
I look forward to returning to SoWa Open Market two more times this summer: July 13th and 27th.

I am taking the month of August off but can't wait to return to shows during my fall/winter season. Stay tuned for a listing of events!

NEW NEWS! Did you know that Twitch and Whiskers is now on Instagram? Follow us here.

But wait...there's more! We have been filling our Etsy Shop with upcycled goodness. Tons of new items have been listed this summer and many more are to come. Check back often.

And finally, please like us on Facebook. You can always get show updates, coupon codes, and see works in progress on our page.