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Posts Tagged ‘forest city’

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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Fantastico!

Our Big Chill poster has arrived, via the talented Kris Johnsen and Meagan Anderson, and we are loving it just as much as our Big Thaw poster last April!  Looks like the bunnies have crept out of the brush from the Spring poster and have been joined by some other woodland friends.  We are making a limited edition run of 100 Big Chill posters, some of which will be for sale in my Etsy shop as soon as they’re available.  Pins and magnets featuring the characters in the artwork will also be available the day of The Big Chill.

If you’re craving some other print-y creations from Kris Johnsen, never fear:  he’s one of our vendors and also sells his work at amazing, new, Pinecone + Chickadee on Free St. in downtown Portland.

Do you want apply to be a vendor at The Big Chill?

Great!  Click here to be taken to the Application Page!

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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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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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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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Good afternoon, everyone!  What with drawing up the floor plan, the systematic poster-ing of Greater Portland, and all kinds of press shenanigans (good ones) going on you can imagine I’ve been a little strapped for time.  Luckily!  The Herbal Revolution, owned by herbalist Kathi Langelier, is a company I’ve written about before after purchasing a number of Kathi’s products.  So without further ado, the Herbal Revolution product review (first published on my Little Eye Designs blog):

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I first met Kathi at the Handmade Holiday Fair in Biddeford in December.  We joked about how it’s always so expensive to travel in state and have to stay in a hotel if you want to be somewhere longer than just a day trip.  Then we volunteered each other our ‘spare spaces’ in our houses whenever one was longing for a change of scenery.

While I’m a ‘city girl,’ The Herbal Revolution quite naturally has its home in Lincolnville, ME, where excellent things grow in gardens and forests.  Kathi harvests and forages the herbs and plants needed for her products and makes good use of them without gross chemicals or stuff that makes my skin all red.

Better Than Botox in Action!

The first product I bought from Kathi was the Better Than Botox clay mask ($9) which is more than a bang for your buck.  The jar itself is pretty sizable, but the contents are powder, not pre-mixed, so by adding your own water (or yogurt, lemon juice, tomato juice or whatever else works for you) you can get the consistency and longevity out of BTB that you’d like.  Above is a picture of me looking so excited for how great my skin would feel in a little bit.  The kelp powder tingles as there is mint and rosemary mixed in the clay and it has a very light, pleasant smell.  The mask also includes nutritional yeast for acne prone skin (that’s me!)  When I wash it off my face feels younger, fresher, and definitely more firm.  Yay to 10 minute, natural face lifts.

After making some Etsy sales last week and a Paypal balance burning a hole in my pocket I revisited The Herbal Revolution as a repeat customer.  I bought a St. John’s Wort oil (for pain relief in my bum!  Sciatica boo, herbal remedies yay) and a small pot of Rose Lotion.

The Rose Lotion ($8) is light and smells exactly like you want it to.  Feminine, breezy and subtle.  The lotion itself is not pink, but a buttery yellow and that’s super refreshing.  Not all roses are pink, people!  And I don’t need any dye in my product to make me more convinced it has roses in it.  Kathi done good.  This little pot is portable and a tiny bit goes a long way (like a pea size for my whole face or two pea sizes for my leathery old man hands).

Kathi recommends using the St. John’s Wort oil ($12) with her St. John’s Wort tincture ($11)which (Thanks, Kathi!) she sent me as a special gift in my package.  Although it tastes herb-y I mix the tincture (20-30 drops) in green tea and apply the St. John’s Wort Oil to my rear end which, for any of you who know me, is constantly ache-y.  I’ve recently begun massage therapy and am retraining myself to sleep in a proper position but the St. John’s Wort battery combining forces with a heating pad don’t hurt, either!

St. John’s Wort is also indicated for depression.  Mainers, I’m looking at you.  It’s been freezing cold for near three months now, fresh snowfall has lost its nostalgic charm and we’re playing the ‘can we make it to April with that much heating oil?’ game.  So:  you’re depressed.  Even if you don’t admit it I know you’re climbing in to bed with a book at 7pm and snoozing by 8.  I know you’re ordering delivery for the second time this week and it isn’t even Wednesday.  Depression has many relievers – this just happens to be my favorite one right now!  Also look at my awesome teacup in that picture up there.

The St. John’s Wort Oil is distinctly herby but the odor is only apparent when you stick the vial up your nose (don’t do that).  Plus, after a few days the aroma is actually growing on me!

Babies and Springtime are the best.

I’m really quite psyched to have found something natural (and effective) right here in our home state.  Kathi’s products leave my skin feeling great and my derriere comfortably soothed.  I’ve got my eye on Calendula Oil next because I don’t think there is much of anything in this world that is more soothing than calendula.  Maybe it’s because all our Mommies used it on us as babies.  Maybe it’s because it smells distinctly and undeniably like Spring.  Either way you slice it, you’ll be hearing from me soon, lady.

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It should be added that Kathi from The Herbal Revolution has begun an herbal CSA – for a flat, one time fee you will receive monthly products from THR… just like a farmer’s market, but for your face/hands/body instead of your table!  Send her a message from her Etsy shop to find out more.

The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale will be held on Saturday, April 16th from 10am to 4pm at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St in Portland.  We can’t wait!

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“One thing I learned at an early age from my Dad, was to look up when you walk. So I do. That’s when I find birds and wires, open skies, clouds and lots of inspiration.” –Sophia Sarno.

Highwire Handmade

And isn’t that the truth?  The simple and striking designs from Highwire Handmade reflect this early training in such a universal way that her designs are timeless.  Pale sunsets with the stark, graphic outline of little birds on the line are something that everyone, everywhere can relate to.

When I asked Sophia what was new with her product line for Spring 2011 (and for all you lovely customers the day of The BIG THAW!) she said she’s been experimenting with plated and .925 sterling silver in her pendants.

Heart Pendant from Highwire Handmade

The precious little paintings are available at Highwire Handmade’s online Etsy shop, but you can also pick up a piece of wearable art at The BIG THAW on Saturday, April 16th at Mayo Street Arts.  We’re so pleased that Sophia (and the other vendor sharing the table with her, Isabelle Dillard) heard about The THAW via the Etsy Maine Team online forum and decided to join us!

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Whew!  What a day.  Three vendor spotlights, a new record.  Now it’s time to talk about Glorijane Winslow of Etsy shop:  Glorijane.

Glorijane on Etsy

Glorijane’s new motto is:  “Dare to be Chunky!” — covetable, substantial buttons linked together with lighthearted little seed beads make great arm candy for vintage lovers everywhere.  All of the buttons in Glorijane’s collection are over 35 years old and in excellent condition.  Unique, one of a kind bracelets for you, no two are the same!

"A Little History" by Glorijane

If you have a stack of buttons or a sweater from your great grandmother coming apart at the seams but want to save the buttons Glorijane loves custom work.

In addition to being a creative lady herself, Glorijane is the wife of Stephen Winslow of Flat Out Tees.  The two will be sharing a space at The BIG THAW on Saturday, April 16th at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St., 10am-4pm.  We hope to see you there!

Salvaged Find by Glorijane on Etsy

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