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Monday, April 30, 2012

Gore Fest was awesome!

This past weekend was Gore Sheepshearing Festival and it was my first time there selling my pottery. It was so much fun, I love doing shows were there are frisbee dogs, herding dogs, and alpacas! I was only able to step away from the booth for a couple of minutes but it was so much fun to see the animals and fiber artists, and it was a nice start to my craft fair season. The sun was shining, and while it began very chilly, it turned out to be a pretty nice day.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nara, Japan Chawan Expo photos

The exhibit in Nara ended a bit ago and one of the participants, Gerta Genijn, emailed us all photos of her visit to Yusai Gallery for the show. There's some really nice shots in here and photos of all the work in the exhibit. You can check it out here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Colorado craft beer

American Craft Beer Week is almost upon us! It's no secret I love good craft beer, and if you really know me well you know that I love a good stout or porter more than anything. I've mentioned my recent visit to Colorado and Wyoming. While my trip was short, there's always a visit to the store and a stop at some of the local breweriesto buy some favorite beers I can't get at home.

My suitcase came home with Alaskan Smoked Porter, New Belgium La Folie, New Belgium 1554, and my very favorite Odell's Cutthroat Porter. I also managed to drink a fair share of New Belgium's flagship beer Fat Tire. It's the Rocky Mountain equivalent of Sam Adams here in the Boston area. It's incredibly available and popular, even with those that don't generally drink craft brews. When I lived out there it was alright, I drank it here and there but it tastes so much better in the last year or two, a really nice biscuity chocolate flavor.

We also swung by New Belgium, Odell, Fort Collins, and Funkwerks breweries, all in Fort Collins, Colorado. It's always so nice to grab a beer fresh on tap and generally find something unique to try that isn't available otherwise. Colorado is home to many breweries so it only makes sense that there is a Colorado Beer Week, which coincides with American Craft Beer Week. Where ever you are in the country I fully encourage you to find yourself a favorite craft brewery and beer and celebrate May 14-20, though not necessarily each of those days. If you're in Colorado, all the better, have a Cutthroat for me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

DIY Cherry Blossoms

To help spruce up my table this craft fair season I made some cherry blossom branches to stick inside my vases from this project I found on Pinterest. It's really easy, cheap, and it gets nice results. All you need is tissue paper, a glue gun, and branches.
I used the clip part of a pen cap to stick the flowers on instead of the suggested pen itself. I found it easier to work with since it fit right in my hand. I also doubled up my layers of petals. One layer of tissue paper was nice, but the color was a bit softer than I wanted. Attaching a second layer on top of the first added the extra bit of color I was looking for. I really like the results, I'd like to do some more with bright yellow tissue paper so it looks like forsythia, but any color would look nice.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Building some shelving

This week I get to build new shelving for my booth this craft fair season. Anyone that knows me knows I'm clumsy, so it makes sense that I am very uncomfortable with power tools. I can handle the drill, but the saw makes me nervous. Hope fully the end result is some beautiful shelving that I can easily collapse and pack in my car at the end of the day. I'm going to adjust this project slightly, it should be perfect for me. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

purchases that benefit others

I want to share a couple of opportunities to make a purchase that helps others. The first I came across last night and I am so excited to find. As soon as my season starts up and I have a few sales under my belt, I'll be making a purchase. There are two different shirts available for $40 that benefit the rebuilding of the Hamada Museum in Mashiko, Japan. It was destroyed in the earthquakes last year, and as I've discussed in the past, the destruction in this town has particular meaning to me. I love the designs on these t's and can't wait to grab them. 

The other is this Friday in Cambridge. Team Eileen is hosting the event Craft @52 Oxford on the Harvard Campus from 3-7pm. I'm participating as one of the vendors and 40% of all sales are donated towards cancer research. Their Facebook page explains, "In 2011, Eileen Snow, a long-time member of the Harvard Biological Laboratory staff, was diagnosed with breast cancer. A group of her colleagues and business partners from Harvard were inspired by her to raise funds for cancer research as Team Eileen by signing on to participate in the 60-mile, 3 day walk against breast cancer – the Susan G. Komen 3-day for the Cure. Last year Team Eileen placed third overall in just their first year of fundraising for the 3-day walk. This year, we hope to improve upon that achievement and to raise even more. Our fund raising efforts will go towards the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Betty Woodman Pieces in Denver International Airport

I mentioned in my post yesterday about visiting my family. My trip brought me through Denver International Airport, which has a lot of interesting art pieces through the property. One of them is made by Betty Woodman. The railing near the escalators in the main terminal is lined with sculptures of hers. If you walk into the area you can't miss them really, they span both sides of the area. Check them out if you're ever heading through.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My vintage needle bag

I wrote over a year ago about my mom attempting to teach me to knit when I was younger and how it didn't really stick. The scarf she began with me was never finished and I forgot the stitches. I carried around the skeins, needles, project bag, and vintage needle bag for years, along with the project kit I had. At some point, my interest still wasn't there after years of having it and I was moving to a smaller apartment. I decided enough was enough and I only kept the individual kit, giving the rest to the local Salvation Army.

When I learned to knit last year I thought of the items I gave away and was pretty bothered by it. Not so much the needles or the yarn, but I was so sad I had given away my mom's needle case not knowing I would miss it so badly. Yes, it was awesome looking, but it was also my mom's, which made it extra special, and I didn't realize it until it was too late. I've been kicking myself and regretting that decision for a year. I even told Boston Handmade member Diane Ivey about it at a knitting workshop she hosted for our members. She said that at least someone out there was really enjoying it too, that it didn't become useless. That did make me feel better, but I was still sad.

I visited my family last week and had planned to raid my mom's supplies of any extra's she gathered over the years. She told me where in the closet her item's were and I was stunned. There was the bag I was so sure I had given to Salvation Army. Somehow I had remembered giving it to them, but my mind was confused. Here it was, along with the project bag, needles, and even the same balls of yarn. I was ecstatic. I told my mom about what I thought I had done and how happy I was to find it. I told her I didn't care if she kept it, I was just happy it wasn't lost. She gave me the needle case back along with a different vintage project bag. I told her not to worry, this time they wouldn't be going anywhere.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The MFA and Juno

So I wrote about my trip to the MFA and the Art of the Americas wing, but there was something else really special happening while I visited. The largest Roman sculpture in the country was delivered to the museum shortly before my visit, and I got to peek inside the gallery while it was getting settled in.

Juno is the name of the piece, and was acquired from a family in Brookline, who had been keeping the piece in the yard as a garden sculpture. At 13 feet tall, she is pretty impressive. Even more impressive was her entrance into the gallery space. While there are very large elevators to accommodate works, Juno's 13,000 pounds was too much to hold so a skylight was taken off the roof and she was delivered by crane. On the MFA's website is a video and slideshow of the project. It's really pretty interesting, especially after getting to see her with a crowd of curators and such fussing over her two weeks after her delivery.

Monday, April 09, 2012

The MFA and Art Smith

Last week I went to the MFA here in Boston for my first real look at the expansion. I had worked there for a few years and left just as the new wings were being opened, but I never really got to explore them, so I decided it was time. The Art of the Americas wing is awesome. It's a really great space and has interactive exhibits around, giving visitors a look at some behind the scenes work that goes on in a museum, a chance to rearrange the composition of paintings in the collection on a screen to better understand and see meaning, and even a chance to vote on if the museum should add an antique sewing machine to the collection (I voted yes).

One of the best things to have seen was so many individual pieces the museum has finally out on display. They have a stunning collection of American Art, but it was rarely seen. Sure, a piece or two would make an appearance in a temporary exhibit, but essentially what they had was hidden away from the public. Wandering through the new wing there were a number of pieces I recognized from former temporary exhibits.

I even stumbled upon one of my favorites, a necklace from jeweler Art Smith. I instantly recognized the piece, I had stared at it a few years ago when the museum had a jewelry exhibit while I was still on staff. I absolutely love his style. It's like bohemian art nouveau; lively, fun, and decorative, but still grounded and simple. The lack of glitz and glam is apparent by Smith's use of stones instead of gems, and is completely up my alley. Someday, I hope to have a home filled with crafts and I would be ecstatic to have a piece of his included.