Wednesday, July 29, 2015

On the Road - South End Open Market at SoWa (dog edition) - Boston, MA

Last Sunday at the South End Open Market at SoWa, I must have had "man's best friend" on my mind. First thing in the morning, I created a special necklace display featuring different dog breeds on vintage pinback buttons. My husband Thom followed suit and donned a dog tin clicker necklace. Little did we know that this set the stage for a fabulous dog-themed day in Boston!
dog days of summer
pups on protractors
Twitch and Whiskers at the South End Open Market at SoWa
It turned out to be a beautiful summer day; not too hot, not too cold. As expected, visitors (many with dogs) were out in full force. You can always count on seeing the most amazing pups on parade in Boston, especially at this market. It is a very dog-friendly place. Many vendors love their four-legged visitors and some even leave cool bowls of water out for their special guests.
South End Open Market at Sowa - Boston, MA
Perfect shopping day in the South End.
little dog - big smiles
Ears and personality for miles!
Two weeks old and too cute!
Hope. The kind volunteers at Last Hope K9 Rescue have plenty of it to go around, and thank goodness they do. They offer hope to those who need it the most. They filled the market with wet noses, floppy ears, and oodles of puppy love. They were in the south end to spread the word about their all-breed rescue organization that focuses on saving abandoned, neglected, and abused dogs from high-kill shelters across the United States. They do not discriminate against dogs based on age, pre-existing medical conditions, or breed. This loving, volunteer-based group was started in March of 2012 and since then, they have saved over 2,500 dogs. I had the pleasure of meeting several of their volunteers, including Steph P., their medical coordinator. She told me how their volunteers travel to states where dogs are most at risk. They transport the dogs to foster homes in the Boston area. The dogs are taken care of until they are matched with their "furever" home. Fostering is an important part of the process because it increases the dog's chance of being adopted. It puts the pups in a loving home (instead of a shelter), gives them the care they need, and exposes them to the community through their foster family. What made the biggest impact at the South End Open Market was the one on one contact with these beautiful animals. Visitors couldn't help but stop to pet, and play with these dogs. There were smiles and wagging tails all around. If you are looking to adopt a loving companion or would like to foster a dog, I highly recommend looking Last Hope K9 Rescue's website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or Instagram page. Your home and heart will never be the same!
Last Hope K9 Rescue - volunteers and four legged friends
So many beautiful dogs to adopt and foster!
How can you resist these beautiful baby blues?
belly rubs, cuddles, and warm hellos
Waves of crowds came through our tent all day and as always I met the nicest people. One of my earlier sales of the day went to a new elementary school principal who found her school's mascot on a vintage whistle necklace. Other tin whistles also found their way home with shoppers at SoWa.
visitors at Twitch and Whiskers
A new principal found the perfect whistle with her school mascot.
roar and toot
one classy ride
Rings of all sorts were popular purchases this week. Bold Bakelite statement rings and sassy pinback button ones found their way onto happy hands. 
bold Bakelite and bright colors
"Tell it to the marines!"
sassy pants rings
I always enjoy sending jewelry home in pairs and this happened twice on Sunday. A set of adorable twins and two close friends went home with similar pieces and I think they looked fabulous!
tin clicker necklaces times two
a magnetic friendship
magnet necklaces
A variety of other necklaces left with shoppers on Sunday, including Hob Knob necklaces, pinback button necklaces, and an interactive antique match safe locket with a little deer inside.
Hob Knob necklaces and rings
Cut it out.
Well, hello there Ginny!
On very gentle feet - match safe locket
My day ended with a terrific trade with Sweet Beetle Jewelry. Lindy got a silver thimblism necklace with lightning bolt and I took home a pretty blue vintage cabachon ring. I've been wearing it everyday since Sunday!
Lindy of Sweet Beetle. I love my new ring!
It was a great summer at the South End Open Market at SoWa. I enjoyed all of my visits from customers and friends (both old and new). Thank you to everyone who stopped by to see Twitch and Whiskers in Boston this season! Remember, you can visit the South End Open Market at SoWa until the end of October, so head on over for the best handmade in Boston!

And with this blog post, I say goodbye to my summer show season 2015 and hello to a big...

I can't wait to hit the road with my husband to explore unknown parts of the north! Big things will be happening when I return. There's a new website in the works and I head back into a new school year. Until then, you can follow Twitch and Whiskers on Instagram. Adios buckaroos!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Love, Love, Love: Philadelphia Independents

If you're visiting Philadelphia for a stretch of time, at some point you will find yourself meandering through the lovely streets of Old City to see the well known historic sites, such as Independence Hall or the Betsy Ross House. While in the area, you will experience some of the best shopping that Philly has to offer. On a drive home from DC to Connecticut, my sister Shana and I stopped by Philadelphia to say hello to my long time friend Ashley Peel Pinkham. It had been 11 years since I've seen my dear friend in person, but she's one of those warm people that make you feel like no time has passed at all with a smile and hug. On the drive up, I'd been eagerly anticipating visiting Philadelphia Independents; a shop that Ashley and two of her friends had opened last spring in Old City. 
Ashley and me - So happy together!
Upon entering the space, the first thing you notice are the beautifully displayed, well-curated goods. The shop is chock full of jewelry, handbags, ceramics, baby gifts, items for the home, prints, t-shirts, greeting cards, and much more. The open layout is very shopper friendly and encourages you to browse. On that day, Ashley and co-owner Jennifer Provost were there and filled the shop with smiles and laughter. What I appreciated most about Jennifer and Ashley was how knowledgeable they were about their goods and makers. As any artist can tell you, being represented by a shop that says glowing things about you is a wonderful thing!
Philadelphia Independents welcomes you!
Jennifer Provost and Ashley Peel Pinkham
Philadelphia Independents got its start when the stars aligned for three friends. Ashley, Jennifer, and Tiffica Benza were separately seeking out the opportunity to open a handmade shop. Jennifer and Ashley struck up a conversation at a local market, where Ashley was selling her jewelry. When Jennifer shared that she and Tiffica were thinking about opening a store, Ashley jumped on board and the rest was history. The shop just celebrated its one year anniversary in May. Way to go ladies!
Show some Philly love!
What works so well for these three entrepreneurial gals is that their diverse backgrounds, schooling, and work experience lend themselves so well to starting a shop. Ashley has a BFA in photography and vast gallery experience, Jennifer has a BS in fashion apparel management and strong background in retail, and Tiffica has a BBA in marketing and a lot of business know-how. When you combine their super powers, you get the perfect recipe for a successful, unique, Philly-centric shop.
pillows for home and gifts for baby
a little bit of something for everyone
paper, ceramic, wood, and much more
You can find Ashley's gorgeous jewelry line, INDICAN, at Philadelphia Independents. Ashley got her start in jewelry design back in 2012, when she couldn't find exactly what she wanted in a necklace available in stores. Ashley studied jewelry in art school and always had a special place for it in her heart. INDICAN takes inspiration from many diverse cultures including African, Indian, Native American, Mayan, Incan, and Hmong. Her pieces are bold, chunky, and colorful and include many natural elements such as wood, bone, horn, coral, stone, and glass. My favorite part of her design is her signature coin that dangles off an extender chain in the back. The coins are from different parts of the globe and pay tribute to her worldly inspirations. Ashley's necklaces make a powerful statement with simplicity and elegance. Her classic shapes lend themselves to both casual and formal attire, which offers the wearer many options. Make sure to look for INDICAN necklaces when you swing by the shop. You may even catch Ashley making pieces on site if you're lucky.
Philadelphia Independents offers unique local jewelry, including INDICAN by Ashley Peel Pinkham.
Love the INDICAN signature coin.
bold color and strong shapes
One of the spaces at Philadelphia Independents is dedicated to their 5 X 5 Gallery. Currently on view is Monica O: They Came in Gold. Monica's wood burned images of historic Philadelphia buildings and themes are intricately detailed and have an enchanting quality. The 5 X 5 Gallery features a new artist every 2 months. View the gallery schedule here. In addition to this special exhibition space, Philadelphia Independents participates in First Fridays and will be sponsoring the Old City Festival on October 11th. You can also find them set up at the Franklin Flea. If you're in the area, keep a lookout for their events.
Monica O: They Came in Gold

Before my sister and I headed home, I just had to treat myself to these Philadelphia Independents goods:

My much-loved purchases from Philadelphia Independents
Next time you're in Philadelphia, be sure to take a little piece of The City of Brotherly Love home with you made by local, talented hands. You will be charmed by this new shop in Old City and by the sweetest shop owners around. 

Philadelphia Independents
35 North 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(between Market and Arch Street)

Shop and view online: Website, Facebook, Instagram

Did you hear the big news? Twitch and Whiskers will be moving! We're opening a new website by the end of summer. For the month of July, we'll be offering sales, contests, and giveaways. Come celebrate with us and take part in the fun on Facebook and Instagram

All items in our Etsy shop are currently on sale. Use code: movingsale for 25% off your purchase between now and July 21st.
July is a time to celebrate!
There is one more chance to catch us in person this summer. Swing by the South End Open Market at SoWa in Boston on Sunday, July 26th. We will be bringing in special sale items to the show. Hope to see ya there!
Twitch and Whiskers will see you on July 26th!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

On the Road - South End Open Market at SoWa - Boston, MA

The South End Open Market at SoWa was sizzlin' last weekend. The hot summer sun shone down on the rows of tents in Boston as shoppers perused the northeast's finest handmade goods with cool summer drinks in hand. Twitch and Whiskers was set up against a tall brick building and enjoyed the few degrees of coolness that the shade provided. I was so happy to be back at the market again. I arrived just on the heels of a non-stop family road trip, so a change of pace was just what I needed. 
South End Open Market at SoWa
Twitch and Whiskers in Boston
It's always great to be greeted by friends first thing in the morning, especially when they arrive donning your necklaces! Carrie of SepiaLepus and Jen of Zooguu were also set up at the market and were ready to start the day. It had been a month since I'd been to the South End Open Market at SoWa, and I brought a nice new batch of pieces to share.
Carrie of SepiaLepus and Jen of Zooguu lookin' swell in their Twitch and Whiskers necklaces
Vintage toy car, tin whistle, tin clicker, and pinback button necklaces
There's nothing like the warmth and companionship of a pet and artist Syd Hardin of Pop Zoo really knows how to capture that love. Syd and her husband Eric were set up at the market this past weekend and it was wonderful to see them both. Syd's vibrant and highly detailed paintings are full of character and color. She is well known for her commissioned pet portraits. I have been following her on Instagram for a while, and I have always been in awe of her process. Syd carefully paints layers upon layers of zero-VOC latex enamel paint (aka non toxic house paint) with teeny tiny brushes to make each portrait come to life. She pays attention to each pet's unique personality and is skilled at translating features like the curious look in a pup's eyes, the soft curve of a piece of fur, and playful perky ears onto canvas. In addition to paintings, Syd offers prints, coasters, pillows, and note cards. Visit Pop Zoo's website, Etsy shop, Facebook page, and Instagram account to see Syd's amazing work, commission a special piece, and to find out where you can see Pop Zoo in person. 
 Artist Syd Hardin of Pop Zoo and husband Eric Herot 
Cuddle-worth pillows
Vibrant pet prints
Adorable coasters
My favorite materials to work with lately have been tin whistles and toys from the 40's and 50's. Their bold lithographed images and happy colors make them the perfect pendents. I was happy to see that visitors enjoyed these pieces as much as I did and a bunch went home with happy customers.
A 1940's tin bird whistle flew home with this lovely lady.
Tweets and clicks
These two vivacious sisters were on a 5 week trip together. It was great to hear about their adventures. They looked adorable in their wagon whistle and rainbow car necklaces. Happy trails ladies!
wagon whistle necklace
car whistle necklace
Lucky Egg whistle necklace
a one of a kind vintage water warbler necklace
rainbow tin car necklace
Protractor necklaces were also popular picks at the market. 
Twitch and Whiskers protractor necklaces
bird protractor necklace
Pegasus protractor necklace
Rings and necklaces made out of electric guitar knobs,vintage pinback buttons, and other odds 'n' ends found their way home with many folks.
She wore her Hob Knob necklace to the market to get her new ring! How cool is that?
Ready to rock in a Hob Knob guitar knob necklace.
Hob Knob rings
It was a fine day at the market and I thank everyone who came out in Boston to say hello and shop. I look forward to returning to the South End Open Market at SoWa one more time this summer. You can catch Twitch and Whiskers on Sunday, July 26th. 
Just one more South End Open Market at SoWa to go!
Did you hear the BIG NEWS? Twitch and Whiskers is moving! We will be opening our own online store by the end of summer. In celebration, we're having a big moving sale on Etsy. Enjoy 25% off your Twitch and Whiskers Etsy purchase between now and July 21st with the code below:

Visit us each day during the month of July on Facebook and Instagram for more sales, giveaways, and contests. 
Stay tuned for information about our new shop and upcoming fall/winter shows!