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Posts Tagged ‘etsy’

One Woman Studio

As you may know, there’s a pretty special place in Little Eye’s heart for those things-that-are-made-from-other-things.  Burlap coffee sacks, feed grain bags and sails are no exception!  Today’s Vendor Spotlight is for One Woman Studio, the creation of Julia Ventresco, who has a way with a sewing machine and raw materials that can’t be rivaled.

One Woman Studio

Since The Big Thaw is happening the day before Mother’s Day, we asked Julia about how her mother has influenced her art:  “Suffice it to say I spent my childhood at my mother’s elbow watching her sew, paint, wallpaper and pretty much transform any available surface or material into a work of art – be it functional or frivolous!  As I grew older, it was I who was doing the sewing, wallpapering, painting with my mother at my side to guide and teach.”

One Woman Studio

“I can think of no greater influence in my life and creative endeavors than my mother.  In addition to the tehcnical skills and design wisdom she imparted to me, one of the greatest she taught me was “Be yourself (no matter how wacky!) and do what you love.”  I’m happy to say I am doing both.”

We’re pretty enamored with your mother, too, Julia, if she is responsible for fostering the growth of such a creative person!  Repurposed sail bags, coffee sack backpacks and totes, and feed bag totes abound.  Don’t be silly enough to miss meeting Julia and shopping the wares at One Woman Studio at The Big Thaw on Saturday, May 12 from 10am to 4pm at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St.  See you there!

One Woman Studio

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It’s pretty cold out right now – and dark.  Very dark very early.  It’s a good thing our next vendor spotlight is on My Tattered Whimsies, owned and operated by Andra Johnson, who also happens to make the warmest + cutest ‘glittens’ this side of the North Pole.  (Yes, I know that that covers a lot of ground:  …they’re that good!)

See the happy pin cushion man? That could be you.

We met Andra for the first time as a vendor at The Big Thaw last April, and her selection of crocheted items, handmade jewelry and hair accessories has grown tenfold since then!  We’re loving the crackled, turquoise beads, rustic gingham fabrics and brassy chains she’s included in her work.

Likes: the color red, bobby pins, and anything that reminds me of going on a picnic.

So sweet!!  We asked Andra when she thought winter started, and when a shopper might be in need of some fingerless gloves for cold nights full of knitting, crafting, or just when you need a little extra warmth:

Well, it used to be that the first signs of winter were when the stores started putting out the fake plastic evergreens and bright, sparkly ornaments.  However, that seems to be starting before the tourists start heading home and the beaches are still packed.  So, I would say that winter officially starts in Maine when you have to dig the ice scrapers out of storage because defrosting the car just won’t cut it anymore.

I’ll say!  Although we know Mainers will stay at the beach well through September when they can, we couldn’t agree more about the obnoxious ‘early birding’ the big stores have been indulging in in past years.  That’s why we’re psyched The Chill is happen in December – when it’s officially O-K to think about ice scrapers, sparkly ornaments, the holidays, indulging yourself and your loved ones, and buying local and handmade!

Buy this gorgeous necklace in December!

In addition to My Tattered Whimsies, Andra is also a talented illustrator and painter and has items available from her shop, Andra’s Whimsies, which we will feature in the coming weeks.  Busy busy busy!

Come visit Andra at The Big Chill arts, crafts and vintage sale on Saturday, December 3rd, 10am to 4pm at Mayo Street Arts Center, 10 Mayo Street in Portland, Maine.  Wahoo!

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Sweet, lovely Jackie volunteered to set up shop in the coat room which, by the by, is an excellent space to hang vintage clothes!  So let’s take a walk through memory lane…

Jackie and her Man in the coat room boutique

Pillows from Mildred

Ooh! Love!

Paper Goods from Mildred

Vintage Shoes a Happy Customer Make

 Mm!  So visit Jackie’s Etsy shop when you can’t find her at The BIG THAW.  She’s a lovely lady and a pleasure to do business with!

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What a fun day we had nearly three weeks ago!  The BIG THAW elves are busily compiling photographs for your viewing pleasure.

In the meantime… the rumors are true!  The BIG FREEZE is slated to commence post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas of 2011.  For more information on this upcoming event please subscribe to our blog in the field at the right.  Or email:  thebigthawportland at gmail dot com for more information!

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Ya-da-da! Melon Bee!!

Hola, readers!  We caught up with Bevin Holmberg of Melon Bee who will be sharing her space at The BIG THAW with Melissa Bankhead, seamstress extraordinaire.  We learned that Bevin is a recent Maine transplant (Welcome, Bevin!) and that she has a super cool ‘day job’ to help pay the bills…
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The BIG THAW:  What goodies can customers expect to see while they’re browsing at The BIG THAW?

Melon Bee:  Well, Melissa is going to have some really neat fabric items, like aprons, cute baby bibs, and sweet iPad covers.  She does fun fabric trades with her mom, all the way on the other coast in California.  I (Bevin) am going to bring prints of a series I painted… it’s an animal for every letter of the alphabet!  The originals are colored pencil, ink and water color.  I painted all the animals during a pretty miserable winter in Minnesota, and I really believe they helped me maintain some sanity!  I have also been working on some little painted panels inspired by Swedish textile patterns lately, and I will have a few at the sale.

Loggerhead Turtle by Melon Bee

TBT:  Lots of your work deals with animals and animals are our favorite.  Do you pick the ones you want to illustrate at random or for a reason?
MB:  Growing up, if I wasn’t outside exploring, I was inside pouring through world book encyclopedias, trying to draw all the interesting animals I found.  As a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist, and my favorite animal was a manatee, so that was a given for the letter ‘m’ in this series, but I tried to make some stretches for most of the other letters!

TBT:  When you’re not painting what occupies your time?
MB: When I am not making art on my own, I am hiding in the backroom of Trader Joe’s, working on signage for the store.  I also love riding my bike and walking around Portland (don’t have a car)… there’s so much to explore!  I’ve been taking a ceramics class at Portland Pottery, too, which has been fantastic.
 

Melon Bee

TBT:  What do you love most about the Spring in Maine?

MB: Well, I actually just moved here in September, and the Fall was beautiful!  …So, I haven’t experienced a Maine Spring yet, BUT I am super excited because I imagine it’s similar to Minnesota.  People just come out of hiding, and everyone is thrilled to get outside and take a deep breath of fresh air.  There’s something about warmer weather after it’s been so cold that just makes your whole body relax!

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Thanks, Bevin!  You can find Melon Bee’s creations and more at The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale on Saturday, April 16th (this weekend!) at 10 Mayo Street (Mayo Street Arts Center).  Please email thebigthawportland@gmail.com if you have any questions!

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Oh. My. God. Allsey has the best stuff, ever!

The BIG THAW:  What vintage goodies and repurposed jewelry are you stocking up on for The BIG THAW?
Allsey:  I once managed an antique shop and collected some unique items through that experience and also caught a serious vintage collecting bug, which continues to this day. At the show, I’ll be bringing vintage handbags, all kinds of jewelry with repurposed vintage findings/charms and lots of kitschy goodies collected over the years.

 

It's the simple things in life, according to Jen from Allsey

 


TBT:  What inspires the creation of your work?  A lot of it seems funny, sweet, nostalgic.  Where do you get your inspiration?

A:  I grew up in the DC area, but my dad is originally from Westbrook and we always came to visit my grandparents in the summer here in Maine. My favorite memory is visiting the Lobster Shack at Two Lights with my family, which I still do as often as I can. My biggest inspiration is the wonderful circle of quirky family and friends that loves to just laugh and have fun, thus my obsession with all things that elicit a smile. Life is too darn short not to surround yourself with goofiness, giggles and not taking things so seriously.  I was also lucky to be a child of the 70s and let’s face it, there was some really kitschy stuff developed from that decade, but wonderful simple pleasures. I remember watching Romper Room, digging through my cereal box for that latest plastic toy and watching my mom buy Avon. With everything going so fast these days, often we forget the experience of just experiencing things. Collecting vintage is such a reminder of slowing it down a bit and remembering that playing Parcheesi and listening to an old radio is way more fun than that latest digital application.

Kitsch from Allsey


TBT:  What do you do in the spring time to celebrate the yearly thaw?
A:  I am fortunate to have some space to garden in but unfortunately lack the green thumb. However, I still try my best and try to look like I know what I’m doing by digging holes, planting seeds and throwing mulch down. Sometimes, things actually do grow; it’s always a surprise, especially since I usually can’t remember what I planted where. Also, last spring, I started an archaeology dig so to speak down by the banks of the Saco River where there once was an old farm (where I live), so now that the snow cover is receding I’m back down there carefully unearthing interesting treasures. Some I’ll be bringing to the show, you’ll have to come and see what I found!

Excellent Machinery from Allsey

 

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Buried treasure by the Saco River??  Yes, we will be there to see what you’ve found.  Once I had a friend whose mother worked at a place that had an old carriage house out back and we would always find utensils, medicine bottles, etc. in the sand.  So cool!  You, too, can come see what Allsey found by the banks of the Saco River, and get an up-close look at all these awesome wares (mostly the little kid at the top of this article) at The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale on Saturday, April 16th, 10am-4pm at 10 Mayo Street (Mayo Street Arts Center) in Portland.  Hurrah!

 

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Conversation Pieces by David Jacobson Glass

Ohhh drizzle, drizzle.  The weather’s forecasting cloudy and in the 40s for Saturday but as long as it’s ANYTHING but this we’ll be psyched!  Actually, rain is a huge part of the thaw – after all, how would thirsty crocuses get what they need to start popping their heads out of the ground?

Here’s a bit of glass magic from David Jacobson Glass to brighten up your gray day.  We’re intrigued by his text bubbles and beautiful rendered housewares!

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What new wares can customers expect to see at The BIG THAW?

I’ve been making a lot of new work for this show that I’m excited about.  Handblown glass bud vases in celadon, robin’s egg blue, turquoise and white. More slumped glass platters and bowls in new color combinations. For example, black and white stripes, cobalt blue stripes, a pale blue stripe that looks like spun sugar. And, my Conversation Pieces™ — just like the word balloons you see in comic strips, but made out of handblown white glass. You can hang them on the wall, if you choose, and write and draw on them with dry erase markers to say whatever you want, whenever you want.

Vases by David Jacobson Glass in super Spring colors

 

2.  What inspires your glass work?

Textile patterns, and colors and textures that I see in nature. The texture of the finished piece is as important to me as the colors I use and how it looks. For example, the glass bowls I make have a lot of texture as a result of the two layers of glass canes that I fuse together.

Textures and Tones in David Jacobson's Work

 

3.  What is your favorite thing about Spring in Maine?

Knowing that summer is right behind, with tennis and kayaking.

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As if we weren’t excited enough for Saturday!  You can find David peddling his wares at The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage sale this Saturday, April 16th.  Mayo Street Arts Center, 10 Mayo St, Portland, right off of Cumberland Ave on the East End.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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Party Lights by Lulubeans

Today’s Vendor Spotlight is brought to us by Shanna Tice of The Makings of Shanna Tice.  We thank her very much for her time spent putting all this great information together!  You can find Lulubeans set up on the lower level of Mayo St. among the artist studios.  Without further ado…. Lulubeans!

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Basket of Locks by Lulubeans

Soft, dreamy, and luxurious are all things that come to mind when laying your eyes on April Newman of Lulubean’s hand crafted, hand painted fiber and hand spun yarns. April strives for the highest quality fiber when creating an artistic blend for hand spinners. It is also obvious by looking at her work, that she has a sophisticated and elegant color pallet with her hand dyed batches. There is also so much fun in her variety of juicy colors, and she pushes toward a very trendy and modern color combination with her craft as well. I can’t help but think of each batt of blended fibers as a unique one of a kind painting. Not only does April explore color, but she blends fiber in the most creative way using bamboo, faux cashmere, domestic wool, merino lamb, SW merino, sari silk fabric strips, mohair, Tussah silk, baby alpaca, Wensleydale locks, soy silk and kid mohair, and more!

Fiber and Spindles by Lulubeans

When I asked April what inspired her to begin her work as a fiber artist and what gave way to the start of ‘Lulubeans’ she replied, “I taught myself to knit when my first daughter was a toddler. Yarn kept my hands busy and soothed my busy mind. Once I had mastered knitting and purling, making my own yarn was the natural next step!” I then asked her what her favorite part about her work was and the answer didn’t surprise me! ” I love the functionality of what I do. It makes me so happy to know that fiber I have dyed will make a novice spinners first hand-spun yarn, or that a yarn I have spun will be lovingly knit into someone’s favorite hat. Making things that other people use to make things is a great and fantastic thing; the creative chain (and the joy of making!) just keep going, and going. Awesome.” One of her more popular items does just what she loves it to do:  teach others to spin. April sells a complete ‘Learn to Spin Drop Spindle Kit’ which includes one top whirl drop spindle, 4 ounces of handpainted domestic wool top (also called roving), clear, easy to follow drop spindle instructions AND hours and hours of fun! You want to give it a go, don’t you!?!

Walrus by Lulubeans

There is so much about the fiber arts community that excites April. ” I have so much admiration for so many artists and crafters. The fiber arts community is hustlin’ and bustlin’ and growing by leaps and bounds online *and* here in Maine. I’ve been so lucky to virtually meet so many talented people, and connect with so many fantastic artists right here in my home state.” Lulubeans has a wide variety of fiber available including beautifully finished hand spun yarn. April plans to show up at ‘The Big Thaw’ not only sharing her fiber wears to the public, but to meet and enjoy a day with fellow artists. ” I can’t wait for The BIG THAW! There’s going to be so much talent and positive energy in one place and it’s going to be so good to be a part of that!” I think we can all agree that we love ‘The Big Thaw’, but what we can also agree on we love the most is what ‘The Big Thaw’ will do to bring us together! YAY!

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Hear, hear, ladies!  The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Fair will be held THIS WEEKEND on Saturday, April 16th from 10am to 4pm at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St.  We can’t wait!

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New Work from IDILLARD

Good morning, everyone!  We did the walkthrough of Mayo Street with our first draft floor plan this week and good news:  all the vendors are going to fit!  Ha-ha!  Just kidding, we knew they would all along but it was so exciting to be in the space and imagine all the activity that will be there in just over a week.  To all you vendors out there reading, I’ve been a nutcase between the day job, marketing, dentist appointments (ick) and you-name-it.  Never fear!  The floor plan will officially come out by midnight tomorrow night (Friday the 8th) so that you can all make some plans about the way you’re going to pimp out your space.  :)

Lucky me, being the nutcase that I am, Sophia Sarno of Highwire Handmade has written a lovely piece about her table-partner, Isabelle Dillard of IDILLARD.  Here we go!

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I have the great fortune to share my space at THE BIG THAW with a friend and fellow artist, Isabelle Dillard, of IDILLARD. Her work combines original artwork with functional home decor in the form of super fun light switch plate covers. When I asked her about her work here is what she said…

IDILLARD

“The first photo transfer i did was the crowned crane and as soon as i saw it with the bright watercolor splatter- it made me smile and I haven’t stopped making them since.”
“It is my artwork, something you can hold in your hand, and i love each piece- the light switch plates allow me to reproduce the work and reach more people so they can enjoy it on a budget”

IDILLARD


“I love the playful imagery and whimsical feel of the original paintings- and i make them affordable because there’s something special about owning a one of a kind piece of work”

“I wanted to create affordable accessible artwork for everyone- something original that wasn’t expensive”
Isabelle’s newest work continues to use her signature bright colors paired with black and white photo transfers, as well as original watercolors.  Here, [in addition to the buck at the top of this article], is a peek at her latest work:

IDILLARD

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Ladies and gentlemen of the internets, I present to you our vendor spotlight on BIG THAW vendor, Hand Me Down Designs.  Malaika Picard, owner and seamstress extraordinaire, has been such a valuable resource and not shy at all pushing her sleeves up and getting her hands dirty in the muck of craft fair construction.  OK – that involves writing emails, making tough calls, hanging posters, writing spotlights, networking, scouting locations, brainstorming poster ideas, etc. etc.  So it may not be mucky, but it sure is hard work!  Shanna Tice (our other fearless, volunteer, totally awesome coordinator) has taken the time to write this Spotlight.  Thank you to both of them for being so, so, so, so, so, (you get the idea) helpful to me.  I <3 them, 4-eva.  –Audrey

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Your beloved, now too-tiny, corduroys repurposed by Hand Me Down Designs

Pockets, pouches, and snaps, OH MY!  Malaika Picard is the bright and clever mind behind Hand Me Down Designs, a new enterprise featuring all things remade, transformed, up-cycled, and re-invented. The beloved corduroy pants you can no longer fit into will be metamorphosed into trendy wallets, a new purse, or an essential iPhone or blackberry case.

Checkbook Cover/Wallet by Hand Me Down Designs

The once preferred pair of jeans that you don’t want anymore, will be reborn into tote bags you will use every day, spacious slouch bags, checkbook covers, or the most fantastic little business card holder you’ve ever seen!

One-of-a-Kind Slouch Bag from Hand Me Down Designs

Malaika’s has an attention to detail that extends to every aspect of her excellent sewing skills. She is very deliberate when placing pockets on her designs or choosing a shape for her creations. I had the pleasure of sitting down with her one day and discussing her budding business, and the origin of her merchandise. When talking about where she gets her idea’s she mentioned with a big grin on her face, “From my customers!” She went on to explain that so many of her inspirations for her new idea’s comes from customer suggestions. However it is also clear that she has a sophisticated  eye for what she likes and what she thinks will hold up to her standards as a design.

Recycled Denim Barrette from Hand Me Down Designs

Recycled Denim Bracelet by Hand Me Down Designs

Something also very impressive with Hand Me Down Designs is Malaika’s desire to be versatile. Among her meticulous bags, wallets and pouches you will find fun and fresh uses of these re-purposed materials in hairpieces, bracelets, and cute little key chains.

Hand Me Down Designs is a venture that Malaika is delighted to have started. She loves that it will give her the opportunity to maintain a focus on being a stay at home mom who home schools while making money for her family. She is also praying that this adventure gives her unique ways to stay in God’s will and share it with others. I am just delighted to have become fast friends with Malaika and to be sharing experiences with her in this super fun event as a ‘Big Thaw’ vendor!

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Many thanks to Shanna Tice for her awesome feature!  It should also be noted that Malaika offers custom bags, jewelry, barrettes, key chains, etc. if you have a special garment that is no longer wearable but you’d like to see turned in to something functional again.

Hand Me Down Designs is one of nearly 40 artists, crafters and vintage vendors who will be peddling their wares at The BIG THAW on Saturday, April 16th from 10am to 4pm at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St. in Portland, ME.  We are so looking forward to seeing you there!

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