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"Eat Your Weeds" say the good folks at Herbal Revolution!

Sunday, Sunday!  And less than a week to go before The Big Chill!  Yay!  Today we’re learning about Kathi Langelier and her two ventures, Herbal Revolution and Three Roasted Beets.  I can say with personal experience that the homegrown + foraged personal wellness products from Herbal Revolution are amazing.  Plus, while you’re dropping them in your tea, rubbing them on your face, sore muscles, or whatever you can think of her wandering the woods outside of Lincolnville looking for just the perfect twigs and roots to help your skin, aches and pains, attitude and more.

The Big Chill:  What is the first sign of winter, in your opinion?

Herbal Revolution:  When the tip of my nose is cold all the time.  When the ground is hard to dig in to.  When I am ready for bed by 7:30.  And my favorite first sign of winter is the first real blizzard of the season.

Don't pretend like you don't need stress relief this time of year. Herbal Revolution's tinctures can be added to water or tea to provide support where you need it!

TBC:  What items from your business will keep customers happy + warm all winter long?

Herbal Revolution:  There are plenty of herbal products to keep everyone in the family happy throughout the winter months.  We have tinctures, elixirs and teas that will keep the immune system boosted, the nervous system uplifted and cheery and the respiratory system supported.

We have some great lotions, cream and oils to keep the skin moisturized and nourished during these drier months.

Lastly, we also have some great knit and felted wear.  Arm warmers, cowls, scarves, shrugs and wraps.  Plenty of warm wool to keep everyone warm and cozy throughout the chilly months!

Better than Botox by Herbal Revolution - From personal experience, I can say this freshens and tightens skin without leaving you looking like a cat in a wind tunnel! Definitely better than botox. :)

TBC:  What’s your favorite comfort food in the dark of winter?

Herbal Revolution:  Roasted tomato and red pepper soup with a fresh mozzarella, red onion and kale sandwich.  Warm gingerbread or ginger snap cookies with fresh whip cream  And I am a serious sucker for smart puffs cheese puffs as a snack, … oh, and how could I forget a Rogue Chocolate Stout beer to top it all off!?

Wow!  Thank you, Kathi, for your thorough replies.  We’re excited Herbal Revolution and Three Roasted Beets will be joining us on Saturday, December 3rd at Mayo Street Arts Center (10 Mayo St., Portland) from 10am to 4pm.  WoohoO!

Herbal Icy Hot from Herbal Revolution - Amazing muscle relief tested here at the Big Chill labs!

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Happy Black Friday, everyone – we hope you’ll be scouting out the deals at local shops instead of waiting in long, crazy lines at the mall today!  And we hope even more that you’ll be joining us on Saturday, December 3rd at the Mayo Street Arts Center (10 Mayo St., Portland) to find some great, local products handmade (and hand selected) by your neighbors.

Today we feature pig + fish, the brainchild of Nanako O’Donnell and Deb Gill, two Mainers with a knack for stylish organization.  We were so excited when their application arrived in the mail – being able to bring these gorgeous key holders, clocks, bud vases and coat racks to Portland (even if just for a day) was too much to resist!

It's about time you bought this gorgeous clock from Pig + Fish - click to view listing!

The selection of colors, patterns, found imagery and clean lines in the items from pig+fish provide accents for any home.  Boy, oh boy, that clock up there would look great in my mustard yellow and rust orange living room.  Where would you put it?

Modern Wall-Mounted Flower Vases

Deb and Nanako wanted shoppers to be sure their flower vases are great pieces for your home all year round:  “Flower vases aren’t just for the summer – fresh flowers are welcome any time of year!  Our cheerful flower vases uplift year round.”

Who doesn't love airstreams?

And perhaps, most functionally, these key holders (which come in many patterns + colors) are a dream come true for someone like me – I think it’s genetic, but we are constantly losing our keys in my family.  If you have a gorgeous place to put them (like, say, the airstream key holder above or the bright and cheery one below) then how can you possibly resist putting them in the same place every time?  Favorite.

Gorgeous Colors/Lines for this one of a kind key holder!

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Happy Thanksgiving to all!  We are stuffed!  But not quite in the same way the goodies from Louisiana 1966 are… Julie Bailey brings us lots of funky, plushy goods at The Big Thaw on Saturday, December 3rd!  Take a peek:

Shirley the Sock Doll from Louisiana 1966

Bright colors and warm, handmade stitches are sure to warm up any winter night for your wee ones!  At $18, it’s quite a deal for a handmade plushy!

George the Sock Doll from Louisiana 1966

Polka dots and black for the kidzzz.

Messenger Bag in Brown by Louisiana 1966

Louisiana 1966 makes bags, too!

Ophelia the Sock Doll from Louisiana 1966

This one’s my favorite.  :)

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Tomtes!

Happy Friday, everyone!  Today we bring you MonkiVintage, an amazing selection of vintage Scandinavian and letterpress goodies and all kinds of great home decor.  We interviewed MonkiVintage and you can see their lovely responses below!

The Big Chill:  What’s the first sign of Winter, in your opinion?

MonkiVintage:  Snow!!  And leafless trees (and water views!)

TBC:  What items from your business will keep customers happy throughout O’, this dark and endless season?

MV:  All our items are vintage, most are one of a kind and our stock is continually changing.  Many of the items in the shop are selected for their happiness-inducing qualities!  At any given time we’ll have brightly colored Scandinavian enamelware like Cathrineholm and Finel, mid century ceramics like Bennington Potters and Glidden, or teak or brightly colored and whimsical “toys” and objets like Kay Bojesen monkeys, Hans Bolling ducks or Scandinavian style blocks.  We also carry a large inventory of vintage letterpress type that we sell in sets of cheery words and phrases like “be happy,” “you & me” or “I love you.”  We also offer custom type sets, so the winter weary can create a typographic reminder of whatever makes them happy, like the beach or sun or Bowser or wine or bacon art…

TBC:  What’s your favorite comfort food during those “Oh my Gosh, it’s 7 degrees out, I have to let the faucets drip all night and wear two pairs of socks in bed!!” days?

MV:  Gravy Danger from Silly’s in the East End.  70,000 calories of cheesy, salty, bacon-y comfort in a takeout tin.

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Oh, yes!  Living down the street from Silly’s is big trouble (and pretty awesome) in the middle of the winter – we totally know what you mean!  Come see MonkiVintage’s letterpress art, vintage home wares and mid-century goodness (and stop at Silly’s for lunch afterwards!) at The Big Chill arts, crafts and vintage sale on Saturday, December 3rd from 10am to 4pm.  Mayo Street Arts Center, 10 Mayo St., Portland, Maine.  Yeah!

Yngve Tjader Horse - Gorgeous!

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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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Ladies + Gentle Bens, we are so excited to bring to you the first of THIRTY ONE vendor spotlights featuring our wonderful artists + collectors who will be selling at The Big Chill on Saturday, December 3rd at the Mayo Street Arts Center (10 Mayo Street, Portland, Maine) from 10am-4pm.

Jocelyn Kahn of The Last Domino, as pulled from her Facebook page!

And why not start off with a bang?  Portland’s own Jocelyn Kahn of The Last Domino is our first feature.  Doesn’t she look sweet?  Click here to visit The Last Domino’s facebook page and “like” her!

It’s no secret that we love ‘stuff made from other stuff’ as proven by our past and present vendor rosters.  Jocelyn is no exception:  her primary products are pendants, earrings, necklaces and more made from repurposed dominos.  Yes!  Colorful, aquatic creatures with watercolor pigments grace the pages of her Etsy shop (click to see!) as well as a fortune of mermaids and pretty, art nouveau ladies with swirling hair.

Mini Domino Pendant Pair, $15.00 by The Last Domino, click to view listing

That there turquoise-toned bare-naked tree is what we’ll be looking forward to beginning very, very soon.  I can’t think of a better homage to a barren landscape than with bright hues.  At $15, this pair falls in the middle range of what you can expect to spend at The Last Domino’s table.  Items as low as $6 (pre-drilled dominos for the DIY spirit) and as much as $75 for this super-excellent rabbit-running-around-your-neck domino medley.

Domino Gamepiece Necklace, $28, by The Last Domino. Click to view listing!

We’re also totally impressed with the eastern-inspired, zodiac-like, cosmos-themed game piece pendant we saw at Jocelyn’s shop.  Can you believe this?  And with a long, brass chain the necklace is ready to wear as soon as your dollars change hands with The Last Domino.

We asked Jocelyn what she thought the first sign of winter in Maine was, and she said the smell of frost and woodsmoke.  Yes!  With this warm weather snap we’re supposed to have for the next few days it may be awhile before we smell either of those, but you can be sure her bright, colorful designs will keep you from feeling down on even the darkest and woodsmokiest of winter days.

Jocelyn will be peddling her wares alongside Monica from Beadlebot, who we will be featuring this month as well.  Stay tuned!

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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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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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Clutch by Boom Chick-a-Boom

Oh my goodness!  Only four days left for us to create, stock up and pack up for The BIG THAW.  We can’t wait to see you all there – in the meantime, a little goodness from Molly Angie at Boom Chick-a-Boom:

 

Red Booties by Boom Chick-a-Boom

We caught up with Boom Chick-a-Boom tonight and were dying to know what was in store for her shop at The BIG THAW.  Molly’s been cranking out oh-so-soft baby booties, handmade printed baby hats, and linen tops and skirts for the ladies.  The baby hats are a collaboration between Angie and her friend, Kim Teret, who supplied the drawings.

 

Baby Hats by Boom Chick-a-Boom

When we asked what inspired her work, Molly said “My son, Javi, who is 19 months old. Also, all the beautiful fabrics at Z Fabrics.”  Yes!  We love Z Fabrics on Congress St., too, and are always amazed they can fit so many awesome fabrics in to one little shop.  And the our kids’ ability to teach us is endless, they keep it fresh and always hilarious!

While the weather gets warmer and warmer we asked Molly what she was looking forward to unpacking for her summer wardrobe:  “T-Shirts, for sure.

We’re with you on that one, lady!

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The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale will take place from 10am to 4pm at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St. in Portland, ME.  We look forward to seeing you there!


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