Monday, September 29, 2014

On the Road - Jamaica Plain Open Studios - Jamaica Plain, MA

Right on the cusp of fall, I got to head north for one of my favorite family friendly arts events: Jamaica Plain Open Studios. It was my third year participating in this annual show and second time located at the Samuel Adams Brewery with a wonderful group of artists.
A beautiful weekend at JPOS!
Bustling at the Brewery.
I was nestled into a cozy corner of the courtyard under a brand spanking new tent. The beautiful in-between-seasons weather welcomed a good amount of foot traffic through the Brewery both Saturday and Sunday.
A beautiful almost fall day.
Twitch and Whiskers at the Brewery

What's really nice about returning to a show year after year is reuniting with the people you've made special connections with from the community in the past. Back in 2012, I met a very creative boy named Jack and his mom Erin. Jack showed an interest in jewelry design, so over the years I have been sending him care packages and he's been busy creating his own special pieces. It was so nice to get hugs and hellos from Jack and his family.

Erin, Chris, Jack, and Kieran
I also got a warm visit from my friend from work Judy and her husband Stan. It was their first time at JPOS and they really enjoyed exploring the different locations throughout the town.
Smiles from Judy and Stan
On Saturday, a dad and his enthusiastic daughter swung by my tent right after a soccer game. The young girl said that she wanted to be an artist one day and so she was checking out all the booths at the Brewery for inspiration. I think I spy a future JP artist!
A JPOS artist in the making!
The nicest treat of the weekend was being next to Amy Jensen Trueblood of Amy J. Designs. All day long we laughed, shared stories, and laughed some more. I got to meet her fabulous family and by the end of the weekend, I felt as though I had known her for years! In addition to being an all around funny person and great mom, Amy is a talented jewelry designer. Amy searches the world for public transit tokens and coins and turns them into gorgeous necklaces, rings, cuff links, and bracelets. Her small pieces pack a lot of nostalgia. She often gets to hear customers' tales of grandfathers who've worked for the railroad and family memories of riding transit lines. Amy appreciates the beautiful details of each coin. The cut out letter-shaped centers, the old fonts, and the tiny pictures hold a piece of history that's unfortunately disappearing. Thankfully, Amy is there to preserve these tiny relics in her fine silver and gold work. Amy specializes in custom work and is the perfect person to contact for wedding party and regionally-inspired gifts. Visit Amy J. Designs' website and Etsy shop to see a fine sampling of her jewelry.
Amy Jensen Trueblood of Amy J Designs
tokens of nostalgia
Get a perfect pendant from any part of the US.
Elegant earrings
Amy's daughter Gwen and Tegan were the sweetest helping hands around!
The customers at JPOS were very enthusiastic and fun to talk to. I met a school nurse who found several whimsical pieces to wear to work, including a Miss Curity necklace and several lenticular pieces. She said they would be the perfect thing to wear to cheer kids up when they visited her office.
A stylish school nurse wearing her Miss Curity necklace
Miss Curity pinback button necklace

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A sweet mother-daughter duo visited the booth and had fun checking out many of the necklaces upcycled out of vintage tin toys. Mom went home with a vintage Cracker Jack tin fish whistle. Her daughter's tenth birthday was just around the corner and she left with the perfect ring to celebrate.
Mom looks fabulous in a tin fish whistle necklace.
A special 10th birthday ring!
It's always a hoot to see customers checking out the Fun 'n' Games rings made out of vintage pinback buttons, poker chips, game pieces, and wooden nickels. Some of the novelty pinbacks from the 1940's are especially sassy and many went away on the hands of happy ladies.
Fun 'n Games rings
"Chicken Inspector" and "It's O.K" rings look great on these two friends.
These twins are adorable times two!
The biggest surprise came in the form of a cute five year old customer who purchased her ring two years ago at JPOS. I was thrilled to see that she was still wearing the ring and amazed at how much she had grown in two years!
Age 5 - Still looking as stylish as ever!
Age 3 - Looking cute when she first got her ring.
Toward the end of the show, I met Bridget and Takara; two friendly local artists who share a studio space just down the street from the Brewery. They took the time to look through my entire stock of blinking doll eye and brooch necklaces. I think they found the perfect pair!
All eyes on these creative gals!
blinking doll eye necklaces
Thanks to all of the wonderful customers, artists, and organizers for making another year of Jamaica Plain Open Studios a success! I'm looking forward to returning again next year. 

Twitch and Whiskers' fall/winter schedule:
October 11 - Art is You - Mixed Media Art Retreats - Stamford, CT
November 16 - Craftopia - Pawtucket, RI
End of November through December - Craftland Holiday Show - Providence, RI
December 13 & 14 - New England Open Markets - SoWa Holiday Market - Boston, MA

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