Sunday, November 23, 2014

On the Road - Craftopia - Pawtucket, RI

Last weekend, I headed east to participate in my first holiday show of the 2014 season: Craftopia in Pawtucket,RI. The halls of the Hope Artiste Village were decked with fantastic makers, designers, and artists from all over the northeast. There was such a festive mood in the air! One moment I was busily setting up the booth and before I knew it, the doors of the show swung open. Once they did, the space was hustling and bustling with holiday shoppers, enthusiastic families, and lovers of handmade.
Twitch and Whiskers at Craftopia November 2014
Craftopia - Hope Artist Village - Pawtucket, RI

I always adore getting visitors at a show. I was lucky to be graced by several friendly faces. My friend and old college roomie Rebecca was visiting from Connecticut and she brought her sweet fiance Michael to the show. It was my first time meeting Michael and I have to say that they make a fabulous pair! My friend and talented artist Wendy Brusick came bearing a unique gift. She gave me a large vintage plastic gorilla bank from the now defunct Building 19 store. She brought it because she knew my other gorilla bank at home needed a friend. I get the best treats! Ashley Vick of Filomena Demarco Jewelry (you have to check out her stunning work) visited with her mom in search of the perfect gift for a vintage-loving family member. They left with a great choice, but I promised to keep it a secret. Shh...
Rebecca and Michael - the glowing couple!
Artist Wendy Brusick and my new plastic pal

Ashley Vick of Filomena Demarco Jewelry and her lovely mom

I was lucky to be right across from the multi-talented Massachusetts artist Liza Abelson of Dasken Designs at the show. All day, I got to gaze at her lovely stained glass creations. Liza has a diverse artistic background in painting, jewelry design, and glass work. My first introduction to Liza's work was when I saw a customer wearing her stunning "Selena" necklace at a show in Boston. The gorgeous swirling lines and vibrant glass center stopped me in my tracks. Liza's nature-inspired pieces are both elegant in their form and spirited in their design. Her cheeky, shapely mermaids with curly hair put a smile on many customers faces at Craftopia. Many of Liza's pieces are ornamental in nature, which makes them the perfect holiday gift. They can go on the Christmas tree, by the mantle to catch the light of the flames, or on the window all year round to welcome in the sun. Make sure to visit Dasken Designs' website, blog, Square Shop, and Facebook page to see Liza's glass work, unique jewelry designs, and paintings. There are still many opportunities to see her during the holiday season, so don't delay! Liza's hands can craft you the perfect gift.
Liza Abelson of Dasken Designs
The unforgettable "Selena" necklace
The dazzling Dasken Designs mermaid

Whimsy meets nature

Capture the light of the holiday season with stained glass.
Rings of all sorts went home with happy Craftopia customers. Visitors loved picking through my Fun 'n' Games rings made from vintage pinback buttons. The sassy slogans with lines such as "You Nasty Man You", "Don't Monkey with Me", and "I'm the Guy that Puts the Stickers on Gooseberries" filled my booth with laughter throughout the day.
Fun 'n' Games and Hob Knob rings by Twitch and Whiskers
This birthday girl gives it her all!
Bling it on!
Ringing in vintage, kitschy style!

The fun continued as ladies tried on holiday-themed, pinback button, protractor, and blinking doll eye necklaces. A wide variety of pieces left the show both as gifts for others and around the necks of happy customers.
A creative mom and son duo enjoyed looking through all the pinback button necklaces.

Red Hot Mama and Let's Make Whoopie went home with some sassy ladies!
Holiday hugs and smiles
Saint Nick lookin' slick.
Blinking doll eye necklaces were popular purchases. Perhaps you will find one staring at you from inside your stocking.

Thank you to all of the wonderful customers and friends who came out and filled my booth with fun and laughter all day. Warm hugs go out to the stellar Rhody Craft organizers who created a door-busting, successful show. A great time was had by all! You can see more photos from Craftopia on Rhody Craft's Facebook page. Support the local, handmade scene and run over to Rhody Craft's wonderful store at its new location at 780 Hope Street in Providence.
Here is where you can find Twitch and Whiskers this holiday season:

November 28th through December 31st - The 13th Annual Craftland Show - Providence, RI

December 13th and 14th - The 11th Annual SoWa Holiday Market - Boston, MA

Visit PURE.original in Rutland, Vermont to all sorts of upcycled and vintage goodies for the holidays, including Twitch and Whiskers designs. Give the lovable Heather a high five for me if you go!
I will be doing a BIG EXCITING GIVEAWAY soon!
Keep a lookout on Facebook and Instagram for more info. Visit our Etsy shop for fab gifts.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

On the Road - Art is...You - Stamford, CT

A superhero donning a cape made of dozens of CD's. Tables piled high with vintage ephemera, doll parts, and colorful buttons. A festive atmosphere swirling with talented and enthusiastic artists. Though it was my very first time participating in the Art is...You "Art Trunk", it made quite an impact on me the moment I walked into the event!
Sallianne Superstar - One of the original creators of Art is...You.
Dazzling dahling!
Wonder Woman! Fighting for your rights, in her satin tights...
Enthusiasm swirling around Suze Miller Weinberg.
Fairy Vintage Rose's bits and pieces.

The Art Trunk was part of the five-day mixed media art retreat at the Stamford Sheraton. The Art Is...You Mixed Media Retreats have been around for nearly ten years and stretch far and wide to California, Australia, and of course Connecticut. It was great to have one in my neck of the woods. The Atrium at the Sheraton was packed with displays from artists who were teaching at the retreat, mixed media suppliers, and a nice mix of artists from the surrounding states. I was excited to be in the artful mix.
Art is You 2014 - Sheraton Stamford
Twitch and Whiskers at Art is...You
upcycled rings and necklaces
It was so nice to see a friendly and familiar face at the event. Janice Kissinger is the creative force and talented hands behind Felt Sutra. I originally met this Rhode Island native while vending at SoWa Open Market in Boston. Janice is known far and wide for her one of a kind, hand felted creations. Janice is a sculptor of fabric. She starts with natural, loose wool fibers as a base and builds with other textile elements such as Merino wool, reclaimed vintage silk saris, and hand dyed silks. Her process involves soap, water, a careful eye, and a lot of elbow grease. The results are pure magic. Janice's shawls, scarves, and stoles wrap you in elegance and ease. Look closely and you will see interesting folds, bold shapes, and gorgeously blended colors. Her sculptural hats and purses are full of personality and whimsy. Janice's customers love the versatility of her artful pieces. I have seen pictures of happy customers wearing her designs both with casual jeans and at red carpet events. You really must see her work in person. Visit Felt Sutra's webpage and Facebook page to see a fine sampling of Janice's wearables and to view her upcoming shows and events. Janice is also happy to do custom work, so keep her in mind for that perfect, unique gift.
Janice Kissinger of Felt Sutra
vibrant sculptural hats
beautifully hand felted wraps, stoles, coats, and dresses
accessories with interesting textures and vibrant colors
The best part about vending at a show for the first time is meeting a whole new group of wonderful people. This show proved to be the perfect place to meet a fun array of mixed media artists and suppliers. In addition to being a creative lot, these folks were very welcoming, oodles of fun, and great to chat with throughout the day! Click on the links below to learn more about this clever bunch.
Cheri Moyer (hard at work) - Fairy Rose Vintage
Jenny Holiday, Aaron Nieradka, and Lieutenant Dan - Every Day is a Holiday
Vanessa Kiki Johanning - The Rhinestone Contessa
and the wonderful work of Persimmons Studio
Doreen Gay-Kassel - Doreen Gay-Kassel's Uncommon Creatures and Beasts
Brittany and Debbie Gabel - 413 Glassworks
Carol Boden Mania of Lodestar Wovens
Throughout the day, I got to mix and mingle with both Art is...You attendees and teachers. The folks at the event were very kind to this newbie and left with a nice variety of Twitch and Whiskers pieces.
Hob Knob Rings
Lookin' fab in her Fun 'n' Games rings!
Wet Paint and Tell It to the Marines
Turn up the volume with Hob Knob Rings.
Some of my favorite playful and interactive necklaces went home with happy customers.
U-Turn vintage tin car necklace
Looking dazzling in her new dexterity game necklace!
Tickle Your Prince - interactive dexterity game necklace
vintage 1940's rouge compact necklace
floral surprise inside

I cannot thank the organizers, artists, and attendees enough for making my first experience at Art is...You a stellar one! I am counting down the days 'til next year's event. I look forward to taking some classes myself and meeting even more fabulous people!

Psst...the secret is out! I was featured on NPR's Education Blog series called "The Secret Lives of Teachers" Check it out!

There are three chances to catch Twitch and Whiskers during the holiday season:

November 16 - Craftopia - Pawtucket, RI
November 28 through December 31 -Craftland Holiday Show - Providence, RI
December 13 & 14 - New England Open Markets - SoWa Holiday Market - Boston, MA

You can also find my pieces all year round at the oh-so-fabulous PURE.original in Rutland, VT. 

Follow Twitch and Whiskers on Instagram and Facebook for new pics, promos, and updates. Swing by our Etsy shop for the goods.