Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Handmade Holiday Festival, Part 2: The Wares

Here are some up-close photos of some of the wonderful and unique products that were for offer at last weekend's Handmade Holiday Festival at Alchemy Initiative in Pittsfield. Above, hand stitched dolls by Claire Fox.

Imagine my happy surprise when I found my own Richard's paper in the work of my new pal, Suzi Banks Baum and her creative partner, Karen Arp-Sandel of Fe-Mail.

Knives are not usually my thing but these were right across from my stall. Amazing materials and craftsmanship.

These great little paper collages are so much like quilts and so much like fish scales. They were made by Ellie Kreischer, (below, on the right) of Winged Rabbit Designs.

Ellie was one of my close neighbors at the show and I bought good from her right away (shhh - stocking stuffers). She and her friends Alison and Emily were such great company, during the show and after hours at the Red Lion Inn ("the Den"?).

Birch bark and twisted, burly wood lamps by Warren at Roots and Rust.

These hand dyes, spun, & knit hats by Linda Clayton of Lulu Knits were even more amazing live and in 3D.

Doria Polinger of BiscuitsBones had these cute rag dolls and and animals at her stall and also a variety of truffles that satisfied by chocolate needs on Saturday afternoon.

Text is necessarily rather brief on this post. I'm taking a short break from finishing up skirts for Thursday's Upcycled Fashion Show at ECHO in Burlington. I'll try to come back later and add the links.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Handmade Holiday Festival, Part I: Scarves

Every new show is an adventure for me. This weekend I was in Pittsfield, MA for the amazing Handmade Holiday Festival. As I kept telling the locals who rolled their eyes when I said I felt like Suzi Muppet from the farm visiting Sesame Street, I have to drive many hours to reach this much pavement!

In continuing my series on Craft Fair Couture I had fun snapping photos of vending artists. This is Michael Vincent Bushy, MVB Printmaker and bookbinder.

One of the clear style trends of the weekend was artfully worn wraps to keep necks warm in this inspiring and unique venue. The festival took place at Alchemy Initiative, which is housed in an old church in downtown Pittsfield. It looks like this post is going to have a duel focus: scarves on artists and church as craft fair venue.

There were a few young couples running booths together at the festival. This is Molly and Aurel of Moho Designs. Note the stained glass windows behind them. Their women's line is quite elegant, and their underwear would bring anyone a chuckle and get the localvores nodding and smiling.

The show started on Saturday morning with a silent auction to raise money to help restore the church's beautiful windows and other Alchemy Initiative projects. Pews can be purchased to support the same ends. To get one call 413-236-9600 or contact them online.

Wendy Akroyd of Artemesia staying warm in her boot cut leg warmers (great over clogs) and similar what-you-need for your arms & hands. All her beautifully crafted goods are repurposed from cast off sweaters.

The view directly in front of my booth. I did not get their card but their work was lovely in a Martha Stewart kind of way. I managed to score a little pot of paperwhite bulbs with catkins twigs and moss packed around the base before they sold out. I always need to have these around during the holidays. They bring back fond memories from my childhood. Each year my dad had a secret project in his basement workshop of planting a pot or two of paperwhites in wide shallow bowls. They would appear under the tree on Christmas morning and were always a delightful and a surprise.

Pretty cute, huh? This is Stephanie Iverson before her jewelry display (Sundance would love her work). She knows how to rock plaid against black. In fact, even after a few friends tried to steer her towards prints, she bought a solid black MAD skirt with red plaid sash.

There's the view from the stage facing the back of the church, with my racks of skirts and aprons and Winged Rabbit (to be included in an upcoming post) up front. A big thank you to all of my new customers, all the very welcoming AI people and friendly vendors, to Crispina and Suzi for wearing their MAD skirts (stay tuned for pics), and to Moe and Matt for being my family for the weekend. I hope to return soon for more Alchemy Initiative adventures!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stuck in Vermont

I got Stuck in Vermont at the Women's Festival of Crafts! Check out the resulting video by VT State Treasure, videographer Eva Sollberger. If you watch all the way to the end you can hear me talking about my grandmother (by biggest influence) during the closing credits.

Click here to watch the video (it's only 5 minutes long). Or possibly here.

Also, this just in: I got a call today to come join the team of artisans at the Handmade Holiday Festival at Alchemy Initiative in Pittsfield, MA this weekend. I am so excited to be part of an event produced by this inspiring collective.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Craft Fair Couture: Women's Fest O' Crafts

Inspired by the creatively dressed artists at my last show, I present the first of what might be a regular series, Craft Fair Couture: artist in their creative attire in front of their vending displays.

Whatcha got in yer boot pocket, Claudia? She made the hoodie tunic, cool obi and little sweater cape that she's wearing via Claudia Venon Designs.

Our fearless leader, Megan Humphrey of Sweet Basil Cards wrapped in a beautiful teal shawl.

Kacey Grasso-Freel of Subsixstudios in lovely layers, including hat by Red Thread, cargo apron by Mountain Ash Design plus necklaces and earrings by Subsixstudios.

Rachel Laundon in her one of a kind appliqued jeans.

Terry Zigmund of Burlington Community Glass Studio. This outfit is all about the shoes. ...but that picture didn't turn out so... Actually, it's also all about this rad shirt and necklace.

Upcycled Fashions star designer of central Vermont: Janice Lloyd of Red Thread Studio. She made that skirt - and more below!

Genius painter Jess Graham in her Red Thread hat. Last year it seemed like half the vendors bought them.

The always attractively attired Jennifer Kahn. Dig the belt.

Fellow seamstress Emily Riesenfeld of Red Clover Handmade in her Red Thread skirt with hennaed hand by Rebecca Freedner of Heartfire Henna.

This outfit is also all about the shoes. Joanne Kalisz of Happy Fantastic Designs.

Susan Luce of Luce Creations rocks her vintage crocheted sweater.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Indie Craft Fair Report

I'm two shows into a nice holiday vending schedule this year. My wares seem to appeal to different groups of people so the shows at which I exhibit have different flavors also. I've sold at two great "indie craft fairs" so far. What does that mean? As Kelly McMahon of May Day Studio puts is, "This is the craft fair where there are tattooed girls crocheting." Last weekend was such a fair: Queen City Craft Bazaar in Burlington, VT, illustrated here. I had a few moments to snap some pictures. Above, a super awesome rhino made from recycled skateboard decks by Calvin at COOB Originals.

I live in quite an out of the way, very rural part of Vermont. After working alone all week, getting rather lonely and feeling isolated, I really look forward to some artistic camaraderie at shows on the weekends. I was really looking forward to seeing every one's work. Once I parked my car and started to unload and catch a glimpse of a few of the other vendors I immediately realized I was really excited to see what everyone was wearing. Attire is of course one of my favorite modes of creative expression and the QCCB artists did not disappoint. No hunter orange or even Carharts to be seen anywhere. Above is the hi guys! creator who was wearing a stunning dress with surprising purple striped socks. It was such busy day I didn't have time to think until the drive home that what I really want to do is take pictures of the artists in front of their displays.

Dan Seigel of danmade pottery rocks his hoodie and vintage Western plaid shirt and specs. Get your ceramic ninjaware here.

Get clean with Clean City Soaps. Maker Missy Bly is one of the best dressed women in Burlington, but alas I didn't get a picture of her. QCCB was a great show. It's a great community of artists and we had a terrific turn-out of enthusiastic shoppers. I greatly appreciate producer Kacey Grasso-Freel for pulling these events off.
But first there was Twist in Northampton. My neighbors are illustrated below.

Rachel Hooper and Erinn Simon with scruptous donuts, cinnamon buns and kitties crocheted by Erinn of urban farmgirl.

Sweet family of octopi by Erinn.

The view from the Vermont block: Recycle Moe engaged with the crowd at her table.

Up next in the vending schedule:

Women's Festival of Crafts in Burlington's City Hall this Friday eve, plus Saturday and Sunday all day. Check my schedule for more shows here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Slow Fashion

Join me and two other Vermont designers as we present an evening of Slow Fashion at Burlington’s ECHO Center. The ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center is branching out to expose their public to other environmentally-minded movements going on in our fair state.

We Vermonters are highly conscious of, and feel a lot of pride in, our hot shot local foods movement. [above, my neighbor's Bourbon Red heritage breed turkeys, coming to a Thanksgiving dinner table near you soon.] We are second only to Italy, right? And "green" design/build companies don't have to do so much explaining anymore about how they can help you reduce your footprint on the earth.

Now ECHO wants to help folks make the connection between ecologically-minded consumer choices and that other basic necessity: clothing. I feel very honored to be included in ECHO's UpCycled Fashion Show happening on December 9th from 6:30 - 9:30.

Gyllian Rae Svensson of The Bobbin, Rebecca Mack of Flying Hen Studio, and I will talk about our production methods, materials and philosophies and be available for a Q & A session after a runway show highlighting our latest lines of Slow Fashion. For more details call 802.864.1848, ext. 135 or check ECHO’s website for updates.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Holiday Shows 2010

As they say in my home state of Minnesota, there are only two seasons: Winter and Winter is coming.

The strongly pressing Winter is Coming feeling these days is inspiring me to add plaid trim from red to teal to beyond preppy for the festive season that is just around the corner.

My Holiday vending schedule is shaping up and it includes a few dates in the Burlington, Vermont area, a weekend in Northampton MA, a pop-up shop in Central Vermont and possibly a stint in the Upper Valley.

To start out the season I'll be at Twist Fair in Northampton on November 12th and 13th. Find me near the food, beer and DJ. Seriously!

I'm super excited to be back at the premier show for Vermont's indie craft movement, the Queen City Craft Bazaar on November 20th. Find me at the bottom of the stairs. The following weekend, just after Thanksgiving, I'll be in City Hall, Burlington at the Women's Festival of Crafts. Come see me again in Burlington's City Hall at the Holiday Artist Market on December 17 & 18. For a full schedule see my Vending Events page.

Ongoing outlets for Mountain Ash Design aprons and wrap skirts with sweet bows include Artisan's Gallery in Waitsfield, VT, Revolution in White River Junction, and Art on Main in Bristol, VT. Find my wares at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT during their holiday member show. Details to come so...stay tuned!

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Work

The Vermont Life Artisan Gift Catalog came in the mail the other day and I am very happy with the way my "Classic Kitchen Apron" is presented.

The description starts, "Sarah Green's creative calling is sustainably handmade apparel, sewn from vintage, recycled and new designer fabrics." You can get a free catalog by calling 1-800-455-3399.

I've had some exciting sessions in the studio recently in preparation for the Peru Fair (Sept. 25) and the VNBH Open Studio Tour (Oct 2 & 3) and am sharing pictures of some of the results with you here.

Note the new fall/winter fabrics. More new prints and some inspiring solids (black is inspiring, right? "Yes, but is it a color?") are coming so stay tuned.

Richard the paper maker who provides the paper I use for my shopping bags will be open at the very same address on the Open Studio Tour.

Visit the Vermont North By Hand website to check out all 20 artists and see a map of the tour.

The foliage will be at its peak in our part of Vermont so come out for a drive and give your eyes a feast, inside the studios and outside, too.