Sunday, November 29, 2015

On the Road - Craftopia - Pawtucket, RI

Two weekends ago, I packed up my car and drove to my favorite Rhode Island craft show: Craftopia in Pawtucket. The halls of the Hope Artiste Village were filled with talented artists and a warm, festive mood. This annual show is run by the lovely folks at Rhody Craft; a special handmade gift shop that showcases Rhode Island's best makers and artists. The show featured a selection of these artists as well as great works from the surrounding states. 
Craftopia 2015
The packed hallways of Hope Artist Village for Craftopia.
Every year, Craftopia issues a a fun commemorative pin. This year's adorable design was made by pyrographer Meg Walsh of Big Han Little Pep. Love the little hedgehog!
2015 Craftopia button by Meg Walsh
Twitch and Whiskers was set up and ready to go with a bunch of new pieces, including some holiday-themed necklaces. 
Twitch and Whiskers at Craftopia 2015
In the Christmas spirit
Bold and bright
Throughout the day, I had surprise visits by fellow friends/artists, which is always a treat!
Amazing husband and wife artists Alycia Matthews and Buddy Pritchett
Vicky Vitello of Little Piece of Moon with husband Charlie and their love Birdie.
At the show was local Cranston soap maker Kim Gozonga of Stella Marie Soap Company. Kim's booth was abuzz with excitement during the whole show because she is known for her high-quality, unique line of soaps and body products. Stella Marie goods are lovingly created using green practices and contain no palm oil. Kim has been crafting soaps since 2007 and has named her company in honor of her two grandmothers. Kim also pays tribute to her favorite movies and music. With soap names like The Bad Seed, De La Soap, and La-TEA-fa, you can't help but smile while perusing her products. The holiday-themed Stella Marie soaps flew off the shelves at Craftopia. I especially enjoyed the rich Frankincense scent and sparkle of her Three Kings soap. I brought home a few bars of my personal favorites: Rockaway Beach with it's creamy coconut scent and the bright and refreshing Rosemary's Baby. In addition to soaps, Kim makes lovely body scrubs, bath fizzies, body butter, and a lip care line. Kim also has gift sets and offers soap making classes. How cool would it be to receive a certificate for a class for the holidays? For the perfect gift or personal treat, visit Stella Marie Soap Company online. You deserve to be pampered by Rhode Island's best soaps!
Kim Gonzaga of Stella Marie Soap Company
Stella Marie Soaps
body and lip scrubs
 Festive holiday soaps
I enjoyed being visited by both old and new customers at the show. Throughout the day, ladies tried on pieces and many walked off wearing new Twitch and Whiskers creations. My favorite material to work with lately had been vintage tin whistles, clickers, and toys. I was happy to see many of my favorites leave with happy customers! 
tin whistle, clicker, and car necklaces
Photographer Deb Hickey found the perfect necklace with a tin camera whistle
fish whistle necklace
colorful bird whistle necklace
Rings are always a popular item at craft shows. You get one-of-a-kind vintage appeal at stocking stuffer prices. Folks enjoyed picking through rings made out of old pinback buttons, game pieces, and guitar knobs. 
Fun 'n' Games rings made from vintage pinback buttons and other doodads
Having fun with Fun 'n' Games rings
A sparkly Christmas ring and bright smile to match
Hob Knob rings make from electric guitar knobs
A nice mix of other Twitch and Whiskers necklaces left Craftopia including ones made out of protractors, old rouge compacts, and pinback buttons.
Looking lovely in a vintage protractor and floral brooch necklace.
Kim treated herself to a vintage cherry compact locket
Pinback button necklaces
Thank you to the Craftopia organizers and volunteers, the incredible artists, and enthusiastic customers for making the event a great success! If you're ever in Providence, make sure to swing by Rhody Craft to see work by many of the artists featured at Craftopia and other handmade goods made by talented Rhode Island hands.
Rhody Craft - Providence, RI
Twitch and Whiskers' final holiday show of the season will be SoWa Holiday Market on December 12th and 13th in Boston. See you in two weeks!
SoWa Holiday Market - Boston
You can also find us at Cari Cucksey's RePurpose Shop in Holly, Michigan for their Artisan Holiday Market. If you know of anyone in eastern Michigan, send them over!
RePurpose Artisan Holiday Market
Purchase Twitch and Whiskers pieces online for the holiday season by visitng our Instagram account and Facebook page. See a piece you like? Contact us at for purchasing and shipping details.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

On the Road - Crafty Bastards - Washington, DC

Two weekends ago, Twitch and Whiskers was Washington DC bound for the ultimate show of shows: Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair. This phenomenal event, featuring over 175 vendors and food trucks was set up under three tents by the foodie-friendly Union Market. It was the 12th year for this Washington City Paper sponsored event. This was Twitch and Whiskers' second time participating in the show and I couldn't get down there quick enough. Crafty Bastards always turns out great crowds, amazing artists, and a festive environment.
Crafty Bastards at Union Market in Washington, DC
The place was packed!
Three tents and over 175 vendors.
Food trucks at Crafty Bastards
Tents with artists galore
My partner in crime and co-adventurer for the show was the dazzling Karen Seiger. As the author of the guidebook and blog Markets of New York City, her expertise made her the perfect person to help out at the show. We stayed with Karen's fabulous sister Andrea in DC. Between these two dynamic sisters and visits from their friends, the booth was filled with laughs and smiles all weekend!
Andrea, Karen, and friend Deanna - What beauties!
Twitch and Whiskers at Crafty Bastards 2015
Rings and necklaces
Protractor necklaces and Bakelite rings
Statement necklaces
Over the weekend, Karen and I met lots of new people and caught up with old friends. We enjoyed meeting the season one winner of Project Runway, Jay McCarrol. We adored his colorful print combinations and we went home with a few treats from his booth. I also made an adorable friend who was sporting a lovely cable knit crown from Lace and Cable Hand Knits. Isn't she the cutest? Karen reunited with friends she hadn't seen in ages and I caught up with one of my dear teacher friends who recently moved to the area. It was a friend-packed weekend!   
It was great meeting Jay McCaroll - Season one winner of Project Runway.
This cutie spread a lot of sunshine in my booth!
I had a chance to see my dear friend Jody!
One of my neighbors at Crafty Bastards had a booth overrun with monsters, and that's a good thing! Diane Koss of Cutesy but not Cutesy is the talented maker of the adorable plush critters. This Philadelphia native has built a cuddly kingdom of antlered, furry, and big eyed beasts. They come in a variety of sizes and colors and have the cutest names like Grumpster, Rockin' Rabbit, and Hipster Monster. In addition to her toys, she offers adorable t-shirts, baby onesies, and the most smile-inducing hoodies I've ever seen. The hoods are lined with shaggy faux fur and crowned with pointy horns and bird perched on top. I couldn't resist buying one for myself in pink and orange and I've been wearing it around the house for days! At the show Diane premiered her new magical unicorn hoodies with rainbow manes. Luckily, you can find her hoodies in sizes from baby to adult, and Diane can even customize one for you in your favorite colors. Her creations make a perfect gift, so keep her in mind for the holidays. Check out Cutesy but not Cutesy's Etsy page, Facebook page, blog, and website for ordering information. Follow Diane on Twitter to find out where you can see her in person next because your life needs a monster in it. It really does!
Diane Koss of Cutesy but not Cutesy
Cutesy but not Cutesy at Crafty Bastards
Monsters galore!
Feel the magic. Wear the magic!
My new favorite Cutesy but not Cutesy hoodie.
This year's Crafty Bastards turned out to be my busiest show ever! A wide variety of pieces went home with happy customers, including necklaces made out of vintage dime store tin cars.
U-turn necklaces made out of vintage dime store tin cars
Police car and ambulance U-Turn necklace
This large bib car necklace is driving off to a Formula One race soon!
Ambulance U-turn necklace
Tin whistle necklaces were also a popular items. These pieces were made from tiny tin whistles from the 1930's through the 1960's.
1940's fish whistles
1950's car whistles
Friends and a fish whistle necklace
Vintage goldfish whistle necklace
Fish whistles with blue drop beads.
Rings made from vintage electric guitar knobs, pinback buttons, game pieces, and wooden nickels went home on the hands of happy customers. One groom to be even bought a vintage "here comes the bride" pinback button ring to present to his bride on their wedding day. Awww...
Hob Knob rings
Fun 'n' Games rings
I'm Not Married and Send Me Home When I'm Full rings
Big Brother Loves You ring
This adorable family went home with a variety of rings.
Husband-to-be with a "Here Comes the Bride" ring
Pinback button and lenticular image necklaces were also a big hit! Here are just a few that left Crafty Bastards.
Souvenir of the Circus (top)
A customer found a cat necklace that looked just like her kitty!
Licensed Kibitzer necklace
Souvenir of Washington DC lenticular necklace
I brought many new protractor necklaces to the show and customers left with an eclectic mix.
Winter Garden protractor necklace
Steeple Chase protractor necklace
Hummingbird Protractor necklace
Happy hummingbird customer
A wide variety of other necklaces also left the show, including blinking doll eye necklaces, assemblages on vintage drawer pulls, and lockets.
Blinking doll eye necklace
Bold kitten assemblage necklace
Antique match safe locket with duck inside.
I had a chance to walk around the show, and as soon as I saw the Snarky Scouts merit badges, I just knew I had to have some. Molly Moran takes vintage Girl Scout badges, writes hilarious (and oftentimes edgy) new narratives for them, and displays them on special letter pressed cards. Lucky for me she liked my work as well, and so we traded! Molly got a protractor necklace with a 1930's fox brooch mounted to it and I got several badges. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you which badges I got because I will be gifting them soon, but I can tell you they are featured in the pics below. Visit Snarky Scouts website and Etsy shop for a guaranteed good laugh!
Molly Moran of Snarky Scouts
Fox protractor necklace
Hilarious Snarky Scouts merit badges 
Earn them all!
One of the best parts of doing Crafty Bastards is the opportunity to shop from the wide range of talented artists. Here are some treats I bought for myself and others:

My favorite finds from Crafty Bastards
Who doesn't want a Kittyconda?
Thank you to the organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and artists for making my trip to Crafty Bastards an unforgettable one! Special thanks goes out to the event organizer Sarah Dick, for making all of the vendors feel energized and well-fed for two days. High fives go out to the tireless volunteers who kept the show running like a well-oiled crafty machine and the Washington City Paper for bringing this much loved event to the community year after year. A BIG hug goes out to all of the customers who showed their love all weekend. I'm still on a high from all of your kind words and support! And of course, a special thanks goes out to Karen and Andrea, who filled my weekend with endless support and laughs.
Sara Dick - the Craftiest Bastard of them all! 
Thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers!
As Karen and I said goodbye to DC and started home, we had the gorgeous blood moon above, and a weekend's worth of memories to keep us energized on our 5 hour ride home. What an unforgettable show! 
Goodbye Crafty Bastards! Hope to see you again soon!
Twitch and Whiskers has two holiday shows coming up:

Craftopia - November 15 - Pawtucket, RI

SoWa Holiday Market - December 12 & 13 - Boston, MA

Our new website is still under construction but in the meantime, you can see all of our new works on Instagram and Facebook. Interested in a piece you see? Contact me and I would be happy to send you a Paypal invoice!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.