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Good morning, internutz!!  Big Chill December 2013 applications are now open!  They will run from October 1st through 31st.  Please click the ‘apply’ tab at the top of the page, or here, to find the link to download.

This year, The Big Chill will be on Saturday, December 14th and will feature Mayo Street Arts’ main floor filled with local artists, crafters and vendors.  Snacks, beer, wine and soft beverages will be available at our bar for shoppers while they do their thing.  Additionally, we are transforming the artist studio space downstairs in to Santa’s Workshop where kids and kids-at-heart can make their own holiday gifts for $5.  Mom + Dad can leave the kiddos downstairs while they do their shopping, or stay and make crafts if they’d like!

Please direct any questions to audrey [at] mayostreetarts.org

 

Thanks!

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Kid’s stuff from Juggling Geese Crafts!

Snuggly Monster Blanket

Cloth Napkins, For Your Style and For the Earth

Plenty of Blankets to keep little ones warm all winter!

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Hey, hey, Tuesday!  Thanksgiving is upon us and birds are on everyone’s brains (or tofurkies, or if you’re like my clan you’re thinking of a delicious brunch menu) but one person in particular, Sophia Sarno of Highwire Handmade, has birds on the brain all the time.  Hand painted, delicate little earrings, pendants, rings and more feature birds on wires, an iconic image familiar to everyone, everywhere… as long as the power lines are above ground.  Here are some goodies:

Birds on Wires Ring, $24 from Highwire Handmade

Hand Painted Stud Earrings, $35 from Highwire Handmade

Chevron Pendant, $32 from Highwire Handmade

Highwire Handmade will be sharing a space with IDILLARD, who makes painted home accessories with animals.  Stay tuned for a Vendor Spotlight on IDILLARD and start making your wish list now!

The Big Chill Arts, Crafts + Vintage Sale will take place on Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo Street from 10am-4pm.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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Happy Sunday!  It’s a busy day in Big Chillville so we bring to you a quick snapshot of vendor Lori Dennis of Lofted Designs.  Lori couldn’t be with us for the Big Thaw in Spring so we’re super psyched she’ll be selling her silver necklaces, earrings, rings, dog tags and more at The Big Chill on Saturday, December 3rd at the Mayo Street Arts Center.  Without further ado:

Featherweight Hammered Earrings

Kinetic Ring with Rotating Wooden Finding

Peacock & Poppy Resin/Silver Necklace

Personalized Birthstone Necklaces

Veggie Resin/Silver Necklaces

 

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Michelle from My Little Anchor at her post!

May I regail you with tales of organizing a craft fair?  I hope so.  The #2 biggest fears I had in the days leading up to the event were #1:  Are customers going to show up?  and #2:  Will all the vendors fit?  Because I spent the month leading up to The THAW in hyper-contact mode with friends, message boards, newspapers, Facebook and more #1 was all taken care of.  Signs up and down the street directed people towards our little shin dig and people just kept pourin’ in.  Good!  #2 was a little scarier – turns out my estimate of how much space everyone would get was a little, er, generous and we had to do some last minute rearranging as the vendors were setting up.  FORTUNATELY we hand-selected a group of very friendly, flexible and happy people to play at The THAW and everyone was psyched just to be there selling their goods.  So officially:  THANK YOU to all the vendors who didn’t get mad at me!  :)

Madder Root products

Madder Root was located upstairs in front of one of the amazing, huge, gorgeous, pretty, awesome windows in the main room at Mayo St.  I’m so excited because their clean, white linen and saturated screen printed inks looked beautiful in the morning light.  You can also see from the photo that they thought ahead (along with other vendors) by bringing coupons for customers to use on their Etsy site in the future.  Good idea, ladies!

David Jacobson

Look at these gorgeous, spring-y colors from David Jacobson Glass.  Lots of vendors thought ahead and included items at their spaces that got people in the mood for the season.  Although it was about 40 degrees that day and more than a tad chilly (pro tip:  always bring a warm layer to a craft fair!) people were ready to forget about snow, especially the April Fool’s Day storm.  David’s pieces brightened up the back of ‘the island’ (a grouping of vendors in the center of the floor) and his “conversation pieces” (trademark by David Jacobson) are the most clever things you’ll ever leave a note on.  Click on the image to visit his website and learn more!

A New Heirloom

Ashley Tyler (A New Heirloom) is setting up her wares at her great display innovations in the corner next to Jen from Quercus Design. Her work is so beautiful, just take a peek at her Etsy shop and tell me you don’t want everything in it.  We’re excited for Ashley, as she’s moving in to a brand, new studio in Biddeford this month where she can spread out and get really creative.  Yay for real studios replacing corners in our apartments!

That’s all for now, everyone — I plan on posting daily until all the photos are gone!  Again, please email any snaps you might have taken of the day to:  thebigthawportland at gmail dot com.  Thanks!

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Good morning!  Ok.  24 more hours then The BIG THAW is on!  Yessssss.   :)  This morning we’re talkin’ with Anna Low from Purplebean Bindery whose journals, sketchbooks and more are functional, colorful and affordable.  Check it out!
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Anna Low from Purplebean Bindery

How did you start making books?

I bound my first book in kindergarden but the obsessive binding really started in college with a great book arts class. I started working my way through all of the bookbinding instructions I could find and had to give away my little book experiments to make room for more. It’s grown from there into a nice ‘job’. I love making functional art. Every book I make is different and I think of all of them as collaborations between myself and whomever the book goes home with. I like that a hand-bound blank book might inspire someone to fill it’s pages with amazing sketches or writing…or something completely banal in a colorful cover.

Funhouse Blank Journal


What kind of goodies can our customers expect to see at your table at The BIG THAW?

I’ve got all kinds of funky and colorful goodies for The BIG THAW. I’ll have my customary Buttonhole Journals – nice books for journaling, list making, note taking, general musings. I love this binding because it’s both decorative and the books lay open flat. The binding also allows for lots of decorative paper and embellishments, so the books are cheery and user friendly. This winter (it was a long winter) I’ve been a recycling fiend in the studio, so I’ll also have a nice stack of books made with reused material, including some old school flash cards that I’m in love with and manilla paper that still smells of grammar school.

A Selection of Purplebean Notebooks

What textures/colors inspire you most?

One of the reasons I keep making books is because there is so much cool paper and fabric out there. I love colorful. But I also love black and white. And cheesy kitsch. It’s hard to narrow it down. I guess I should say, the next beautiful piece of paper is the one that inspires me the most?


What’s your favorite thing about Spring in Maine?

I love winter and snow but this year I’ve been antsy, antsy for mother nature’s big thaw. I love spring in Maine because it means gardening season is ON. I’ve got my veggie seeds started inside, I prowl the yard for signs of the bulbs I planned last fall, and if I owned a hair drier I’d be using it to melt the last chunk of dirty snow under the lilac. I also love that all the windows are open because 55° feels warm.

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Right on, right on!  55 DOES feel warm and hopefully we’ll feel that tomorrow, Saturday April 16th, the day of The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale.  10am-4pm at Mayo Street Arts Center, 10 Mayo St. in Portland’s East End (off Cumberland Ave between Franklin and Washington).  Look out for the signs!  Can’t wait.  :)

Now we're talking!


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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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Vintage Selections from Mildred

Oh my!  Have you been outside yet today??  Yikes, it’s warm and all I needed to wear was a t-shirt and a cardigan!  That doesn’t hurt at all, no sir.  We’re hoping the weather is nice enough next Saturday that we can open the upstairs AND downstairs doors and all just breathe in that fresh, salty, Maine-y air.  Not to mention Silly’s is down the street so getting a whiff of BBQ and french fries every now and again wouldn’t be, bad either.

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Today we’re featuring:  Mildred!  This lady (Jackie Dubois) will be inhabiting the “BIG THAW Shop” which happens to double as the coat room at Mayo St.  As you’re walking in to the fair don’t forget to stop and flip through her amazing vintage clothing, shoes, and her animal cards and silk pillows (made from vintage kimonos.  Oh god, yes.)

Beast and Fowl card series from Mildred

What can you expect to find from Mildred at The BIG THAW?  Here’s what Jackie says:

“Been stitching up a collection of primitive style quilted pillows made with vintage kimono silks and wools as well as organic hemps and linens. I will also share a few new printed animal cards from the Beast and Fowl series: tigers, antelopes, roosters, hawks, rabbits and llamas, oh my!

My vintage heap will include light and breezy frocks and tops, good plaids, checks and woven prints, boots and heels, leather bags, cardigans, cropped sweater vests, silky scarves and a bit of jewelry.”

The vintage heap sounds like what we need to stock up for Spring in Maine:  not too hot, not too cold, sweltering and freezing all in the same day.  P.S.  Jackie has insane taste in boots and you better hope she’s got something in your size on Saturday the 16th.  Love!

Throw Pillows from Mildred. Ahh! These are awesome!

When it comes to being a vintage seller and artist, Jackie practices what she preaches, too.  Her walls are filled with local artists’ work.  Let’s hear what she had to say about what inspires her:

“I love simple. I also love intricate. A balance of fresh and worn.

My friends inspire me most. I am so thankful for all of the creative people in my life: fashion designers, wood workers, painters, writers, chefs, musicians. My walls are filled with the works of my visual artist friends, my record collection includes the sounds of my musician friends…being reminded of such talent keeps me motivated to keep doing what I’m doing.”

Vintage selections from Mildred. Good vintage transcends time...

Jackie — your favorite decade?  (We love this question).

“I am currently admiring the 60’s Bobbie Gentry good girl style: pegged jeans, gingham and tiny calico tops, western ankle boots (if not bare feet), long hair and leather fringe.

In contrast, I never get tired of the ultra femme and glamorous 20’s: pale skin, short perfectly coiffed hair, sequins, feathers and oxford heels.”

(I can get behind the pale skin and oxfords thing — it’s going to take about 5 beach trips to get my Irish tan on (freckles) to liven up this winter white.)

Perfect for Sunny Naps. Pillows by Mildred.

And, lastly, we will leave you with Jackie’s thoughts about what she most loves about the Springtime in Maine.  Us too, Jackie, us too.

“Watching our yard evolve into a wonderland of wildflowers, herbs, ferns and mushrooms. Sitting on top of mountains. Soaking up the sun. Growing tomatoes. Firing up the grill. Bonfires. Rummaging outdoor
flea markets for old gems. Bike rides. Ocean swims. Hammock naps. Moving projects from the studio to the porch…oh, I can hardly wait!”

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As it turns out, Jackie heard about The BIG THAW from Kris Johnsen of Emblem Studio (via Facebook).  Thanks, Kris, for bringing Jackie to us!!  The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage sale will be happening big time a week from today on Saturday, April 16th at The Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St. in East Bayside, Portland.  10am-4pm.

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