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.