Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Arts in Rhode Island Spring Show!

After the success of last year's spring show at West Side Arts, we've decided to do it again this year. Come by Saturday between 10 and 4 and check out the wide range of crafty goodness. I'll be there with lots of books and some new things! Come by and say hi! You will surely find the perfect gift for Mother's Day, or get a jump start on Father's Day!

West Side Arts is at 745 Westminster Street, right down the street from White Electric Coffee.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Bookmarks & Confessions of a Reader

Last week I designed and printed (with my Gocco) new bookmarks for my shop. I'm really loving them. These were inspired by a few different things.

This first bookmark was inspired by a bookshelf cleaning & sharing project. My home is such that there's just no room for another bookshelf, and if I'm honest, it does have a fair number of books that I read and won't read again, or, ones I picked up years ago and haven't gotten to. I (obviously) am a bit of a bibliophile and find it hard to part with books and am known to only loan them to people I know will return them. But, aren't books meant to read? While some are special and I won't part with or even loan out, plenty of others can be enjoyed by other readers and should be passed around and sent out to the world.

This second bookmark was inspired by all this iPad and Kindle talk lately. While I love almost everything Steve Jobs touches, and can definitely see some good purposes for an iPad or a Kindle, I do still have a thing for real books. The paper, the smell, the feel. So much of my life is spent in front of a computer, and I love my computer, but I also think it's good to have some other sensations in life that involve more of your senses. Not to mention, a year ago I was on a flight behind a woman with a Kindle and she had to turn it off when all electronic devices have to be turned off. She sat there reading the Sky Mall magazine! It's bad enough the iPod has to go off then, the thought of not being able to read then freaked me out. What if you had to sit on the runway for an hour?

The last bookmark was inspired by the current book pile (5 high) on the nightstand next to me. Why am I not getting through them faster? The answer, partly, is the time I spend on the computer. I love Twitter, blogs, Etsy, all my online haunts, but I also love that feeling of unplugging when I go on vacation. Lately, I've been trying to force myself to unplug more often when I'm home so I can enjoy relaxing.

All bookmarks are on sale in my Etsy shop!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Knitting Club at Craftland

This Sunday from 2-4 I'll be hosting a Knitting Club in the Craftland School of Craft. For only $5 you'll get some snacks and 2 hours to do nothing but knit peacefully. Bring whatever project you're working on, or have been meaning to start, or have put aside because you dropped a stitch, and come hang out with some other crafty people. I'll be bringing this project.

This is geared more for people who already know how to knit, if you've never knit before and need to learn the basics, then the Learn to Knit class might be more up your alley. (I'm teaching that one on May 7, you can sign up here.)

See you Sunday! You can pay the day of the class, or you can sign up in advance here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Saturday D & I drove up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for a night away. Only 2 hours from Providence, Portsmouth is a small New England city full of great independent shops, restaurants, and a lot of historical charm.
Some of the highlights were stopping into one of my favorite book stores, Gulliver's Travel Books, meeting Deb from the fabulous shop/gallery Nahcotta and checking out a new letterpress stationery store, Gus and Ruby. We had a delicious tapas dinner at a place we've been meaning to try for awhile, Cava, which included one of my favorite tastes of spring, fiddleheads.
We also walked through a cluster of historical buildings that we seemed to have missed on previous visits. Their closeness and colorful exteriors gave a feeling of stepping back in time.
The only drag was the cold, wet weather. My new rain boots got a lot of use! (All the credit for these great photos goes to D.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gocco Project: Hope Anchor

It's been awhile since I brought out the Gocco. Yesterday I printed some new cards. This design is based on the Hope anchor from our state seal. Little bit of trivia, the anchor is on our state seal because of this bible passage that Roger Williams found inspiring, "Hope is the anchor of the soul."

I had taken a photo of the anchor on a recent walk around town, and then worked with the shape a bit to try and get something a little interesting. Printed it in blue, felt fitting in both the nautical sense and since we're such a blue little state.

I think I held down the Gocco a bit too long when I made the screen, you can see some of the texture of the pad, which I don't actually mind all that much since it adds a little texture to the otherwise flat shape. So, this is my test run, if these prove to start selling, I may redo the screen.

Felt good to Gocco, and doing it always reminds me that it's not as easy as it looks. Gocco masters like Heather Jeany have really expert skills.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Craftopia: The Recap

Sunday I kicked off craft show season with Craftopia, a first time show in Pawtucket, RI. I have been to that space before for Open Studios and the Winter Farmer's Market and really love it. I have a soft spot for old mill buildings, and love how there was still a sign on the door where I walked in that said "Weave Shed 2."

As a first time show, I wasn't sure what to expect, but the day was a success. It was bustling the whole day, I sold a lot of journals, and got a big pile sewn too. It was also great to see a lot of artists I hadn't seen in a while, and also to meet some whose work I've gotten to know through selling it at Craftland.

This was only the second table show that I've ever done, so I'm still working on my display. I liked this solution of having some on the shelf for display, but then bins organized geographically for people to flip through. I think it made a big difference. The clear plastic looks a bit low budget, so I'm planning on covering them with fabric or paper before Twist. I also sold a lot more of the map collage note cards (similar to this one) that are relatively new for me. I had only a few last year, I think having more of them made an impact.
Surprise of the day was not selling the Pawtucket journal I had. Huh...

(A totally random aside, while getting ready for the show, I found my favorite sock that I lost back in October. Where was it? Stuck to D's "My girlfriend makes stuff" shirt (this one) that he hasn't worn since October. A shirt he got a lot of compliments on!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jounal Keeping

I just completed a blog post on the on the Etsy Bookbinding Street Team blog about journal keeping. I had once attempted to do a weekly post on the subject, which ended up getting derailed. I'm now attempting to do it once a month, which seems far more achievable! It'll be the second Monday of every month, and today was on making your own maps. Read it here!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grilling Season Kicks Off!

Sunday we kicked off grilling season. D assembled our brand new Little Weber Grill, look how shiny and new it is! He made some tasty steak tips that got slathered with herb butter, and grilled up some onions and a red pepper. It was such a gorgeous spring day, perfect for grilling. I'm ready for summer!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Knitting Project

I started a new knitting project on Sunday for a new little baby who is coming in June. People I know always seem to have babies in groups, so this is baby sweater #1 of 3 that I'll be working on between now and October. I've made this one about 4 times before, and I just love it. I love knitting cables, and the buttons at the top of this sweater help get it over big baby heads. (I got the pattern in this Knitting for Baby book.) Since this particular baby has an older sister who I made 2 wee sweaters for, I decided to knit this one in a toddler size, so she'll get more use out of it. I've been craving a knitting project lately, it's always a good stress relief for me, so this hits the spot. I'll update as I go along!

Want to learn to knit? I'll be teaching a class at Craftland on May 5, you can sign up here. Already know how but can't seem to make the time? Join us at Craftland's new Knitting Club to hang out with other knitters and cruise through a project, sign up for that one here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Craftopia!

Craft show season kicks off this Sunday, April 11 with Craftopia in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It will take place from 10am to 5 pm at the Hope Artiste Village, the same place as the winter farmer's market. Check out the Rhody Craft Web site for directions and a list of vendors, it's a really impressive list.

Stay tuned this week to find out how to save 10% off your total purchase from my table. The secret will be revealed on Friday!

OK, enough blogging, I'd better get working!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tanner Glass

I'm sure most of you all know that Rhode Island is in the midst of the devastating aftermath from the worst flooding the state has ever seen. Rivers whose flood levels are 9 feet, crested at almost 21 feet yesterday. Thankfully, I live in a high point of Providence and have seen no problems, but my good friend Suzanne, of Tanner Glass, wasn't so lucky.

Suzanne is an Arts in RI member with me and a fantastic glass blower. I love her work. She has a beautiful color palette and her work is lighthearted and heartwarming. She strives to produce glass that's both practical to own, and fun to have in your home.

This week her Cranston studio was flooded with about 6 feet of water and while she hasn't been able to get into the studio, most of the equipment and supplies are predicted to be ruined, not to mention a lot of her inventory. My first thought when I heard the news was of the tools she had bought in Venice, 10 years ago. You can read the incredible story about them here. I'm really hoping they're still usable.

I couldn't think of any way to help, other than by sending her shop some good vibes, and decided to buy a set of cute glass magnets that I've had my eye on for awhile now. I also figured I'd spread the word about her awesome work in case anyone else felt like doing the same.