Monday, February 15, 2016

Love, love, love: EcoWorks in New Haven, CT

Nothing gets me more motivated to create than a room filled with raw material and colorful junk. When you walk through the doors of EcoWorks in New Haven, Connecticut, you cannot help but be inspired by the shelves, drawers, bins,and tables filled to the brim with fabric, string, scraps, plastic bits, and sparkle. It really is an art supply wonderland! 
EcoWorks in New Haven, Connecticut
EcoWorks is the only creative reuse center in Connecticut and it was founded by two dynamic, creative, and eco-minded women: Sherill Baldwin and Lisa Spetrini. Sherill and Lisa developed a very special space that provides low cost materials to artists, educators, and creative-minded people in the community. The materials are donated from both individuals and industry. Each brought to the table their own talents and experiences in environmental protection and the arts that made for a perfect team. Together, they lead the charge to divert materials from the waste stream through creative reuse. 
Lisa Spetrini and Sherill Baldwin of EcoWorks
supplies galore
I can tell you from first hand digging that there really is something for everyone there. Whether you knit, sew, collage, paint, design jewelry, sculpt, or dabble in any kind of art, you'll likely uncover some useful materials in their ever changing stock of supplies. 
thread count
games and paper by the stack
laminate samples
buckets o' wood
grab 'n' go ecotubes
twine for days
rocks and shells
a little bit of everything
much to explore
I didn't come looking for anything in particular, but left with a big box of inspirational treasures.  
defiance components 
flip off
glass beads
Busy Blocks
synthetic leather samples
I already put many of my purchases to use. I used the synthetic leather samples as backing material for a new line of brooches and some of the beads have found their way into my necklaces. 
I used the synthetic leather scraps to back my new brooches.
upcycled brooches (backed in synthetic leather samples)
In addition to offering supplies, EcoWorks also showcases local Connecticut artists in their reBoutique. You can find a little bit of everything there: clothing, jewelry, decorative arts, and furniture. All items sold at the reBoutique are made up of at least 85% reclaimed or scrap material. Stay tuned! Soon you will be able to find Twitch and Whiskers in the reBoutique!
ornaments and hats
beautiful embellishments
collage - multimedia work
game board journal
EcoWorks also has a calendar of fun events that are open to the public. Upcoming events include workshops on knitting, t-shirt design and paper making basics. In the future, Sherill and Lisa hope to expand store hours and the kinds of events they offer. 
Make something at EcoWorks.
Want in on the fun? Swing by EcoWorks at 262 State Street in New Haven, Connecticut. They are open on Thursdays from 1 PM to 7 PM and on Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM. EcoWorks is funded thanks to several community grants but depend heavily on public support. Every donation and purchase you make helps to contribute to a greener and more creative Connecticut. 
EcoWorks hours
Go. Shop. Be inspired and spread the word. For more information, visit EcoWorks' website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page. It is bound to become one of your favorite local spots!
You never know what you'll find at EcoWorks!
Twitch and Whiskers is in the process of booking shows for our spring/summer calendar. Stay tuned! For updates, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
lenticular necklaces mounted on vintage playing cards
protractor necklace
Fun 'n' Games rings

Monday, January 18, 2016

On the Road - SoWa Holiday Market 2015 - Boston, MA

Happy New Year! I'm starting off 2016 looking back to my last (and one of my best) shows of 2015: SoWa Holiday Market in Boston. It was my fourth year participating in this annual arts event. Like all years, the fine array of vendors and beautiful location attracted droves of people Boston and surrounding areas. The halls of the Benjamin Franklin Institute were decked with trees, wreaths, and even Santa sat on stage with a very special guestOn the first day, there were a lot of shoppers coming in from Boston's Ugly Sweater Run donning some amazingly gaudy tops (for a great cause). As always, SoWa Holiday Market was filled with excitement as soon as the doors opened.
12th Annual SoWa Holiday Market
SoWa Holiday Market at the Benjamin Franklin Institute 

Deck the halls!
The sweaters were impressive from all angles!
I was visited by some wonderful friends during the weekend. Judy, a friend from school, came by with her husband and daughter to spread some cheer. I also got a visit from my friend Jack, who shares a passion for jewelry design with me. It's always a pleasure to see him and his family. A really sweet return customer popped by with a surprise: a vintage-inspired kitty tea towel. The weekend was filled with smiles, kindness, and holiday spirit!

Judy and family
One of my favorite jewelry designers - Jack

smitten with this kitten
Twitch and Whiskers was set up in the auditorium with dozens of amazing artists. I proudly displayed all of my holiday themed necklaces on one of my vintage game boards and put out some newly packaged pinback button necklace on vintage children's playing cards.

Twitch and Whiskers at SoWa Holiday Market 2015

holiday necklaces
Jenn and Damian Liddiard strike a lovely balance. This husband and wife team are the creative force behind Joyo handmade jewelry. I always adore seeing their wares in the Boston area and was thrilled that they were diagonally across from me at SoWa Holiday Market. Their work fuses handcrafted technique with modern technology. They combine their skills in jewelry fabrication, graphic design, and architecture to create modern, nature-inspired pieces. I am a big fan of their cuff bracelets with elegant lines and intricate laser cut patterns. Some designs are reminiscent of stained glass windows while others have more organic curves and shapes. They make a strong statement while feeling lightweight and airy. These traits carry over into their necklaces and earrings as well. It's the thoughtful touches, like whimsical pops of color in their pendents and geometric accents in their earrings, that make their jewelry quite unique. They have their own special style that appeals easily to many kinds of people. You really must visit Joyo in person and online to experience Jenn and Damien's beautiful wares. I'm sure you'll find the perfect, cherished piece for yourself or to give as a gift. 

Jenn and Damian Liddiard of Joyo

Joyo earrings

Joyo unique necklaces, earrings, and cuffs

Joyo necklaces with whimsical color
Customers, both old and new popped by to shop for themselves and others for the holidays. I was excited to see a little of this and a little of that go home with happy folks all weekend. Protractor necklaces were a big hit, including a few holiday-themed pieces.
floral protractor necklace
Santa protractor necklace
on the good list
Our Fun 'n' Games rings flew off the table and went home as gifts, stocking stuffers, and special treats.

Fun 'n' Games rings at SoWa Holiday Market

United We Shall Overcome pinback button ring
I'm Hep and Happy New Year pinback button rings
Pinback button necklaces had many customers smiling with their sassy slogans and vintage appeal. Many of my favorites left the building.
sassy pinback button necklaces
first prize kibitzer necklace
Smokey the Bear necklace
Billie the Brownie necklace
So's Your Old Man necklace
kitten necklace
Folks enjoyed opening the lids to our vintage rouge compact and tin container lockets. Each one has a unique surprise hidden inside and are great conversation starters.
A woman named Heather took home the middle necklace. How perfect!
Outdoor Girl powder compact necklace
vintage rouge and powder compact necklaces
The best sellers at SoWa Holiday Market this year were the vintage toy necklaces made out of tiny cars, whistles, and games. 
vintage tin race car necklaces
vintage ambulance necklace
colorful tin motorcycle necklace
west wagon whistle necklace
cat? pig? bear? whistle necklace
animal boat whistle necklace
Olympic motorcycle necklace
vintage pinball bunny necklace
I couldn't have been happier with my final show of the 2016 season. It was my best SoWa Holiday Market to date and I went home with a lighter sleigh. Thank you to all the customers who came by and shopped handmade for the holiday season. You certainly made my season merry and bright. I hope all the gifts you bought at Boston's best holiday market were a big hit. Huge thanks to all the talented artists, makers, and organizers who filled the halls with spirit and amazing wares. What a wonderful show!

I hope your 2016 is off to a great start! Mine certainly is. I'm in the process of booking my 2016 show season. Stay tuned for a schedule. 

To see our newest creations and hear our latest news, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Interested in a piece you see online? PM me or contact me via email. A new website is in the works!