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Posts Tagged ‘munjoy hill’

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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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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Radio Print by Shaun Johnson

Our vendor spotlight on Shaun Johnson Photography is brought to you today by Malaika Picard of Hand Me Down Designs.  Thanks, Malaika!

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Although I’ve met Shaun before, I only recently became aware that he did photography.  And after seeing his work, I was very impressed.  I asked him a few questions about himself and his art, and this is what he had to say:

When and how did you first become interested in your craft?

I have always been interested in photography, but I never really took it seriously until July of 2010 when I participated in the Kelby International Photowalk. After the photowalk ended, my picture was selected best of the Portland photowalk and was entered into the international contest for the photowalk. Needless to say I was shocked. I was an armature with a simple point and shoot camera, and my picture was chosen over professionals. That is when my interest was really peaked to precede more into photography.

Crashing Waves by Shaun Johnson

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from everything around me. I like to take something everyday and turn it on its side to create something new and not really noticed before.


Is there any impression or statement that you would like your work to make?

What I would like my work to say is that anything can be turned into a work of art, no matter how obscure.

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Many thanks to Malaika and Shaun for their time!  You can find Shaun and his photographs at The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale on Saturday, April 16th (this Saturday!) at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo Street in Portland.  Can’t wait to see you there!

 

Sunset by Shaun Johnson

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