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Posts Tagged ‘public events’

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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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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I am a bit beside myself today.  In addition to having had the honor to feature Bethany Scheidt-Coulombe of Sweet Sincerity (see previous post) I just received an excellent, interview-y email from Jen at Quench Metalworks.  A little background here:  I’ve been salivating over Jen’s work for quite some time now, from seeing the ‘candy’ line (bright, contrasty colors set in beautiful, chunky silver) in stores to her great work popping up on the front page of Etsy on a regular basis — so ‘craft crush’ doesn’t even come close to describing my feelings about Quench Metalworks.  I’m like a giddy, little schoolgirl being able to bring you the following correspondence between Jen and myself this weekend:

Sterling Boot Button Earrings by Quench Metalworks

The BIG THAW:  What products in particular will you be bulking up on for The THAW?  What Springtime crafts get your most excited?

Quench Metalworks:  I’m bringing a nice selection of boot button/sprout earrings and new pendants feature those lovely porcelain, image transfer cabochons in lovely spring hues.  I hope to have some new necklace, earring, and pendant designs to reveal as well.

Springtime crafts: I LOVE decoupaging eggs with pastel tissue paper and vintage papers.  I’ve been blowing out our hens’ eggs, so I have a huge basket ready to create into lovely Easter eggs.

Turquoise and Diamond Sterling Ring by Quench Metalworks

 

 

TBT:  When you’re not smithing or collecting vintage baubles, what do you do in your free time?
QMW:  I’m a mother to a 4 year old daughter (she’s a Leo…need I say more?), so I don’t get a lot of free time.  Free time usually means tending to our flock of hens, enjoying a cup of coffee, a trip to the farmers’ market, making bread, the occasional beach day, planning the garden, planting the garden, weeding the garden…

TBT:  Do you often sell at craft fairs?  What drew you to The BIG THAW in particular?
QMW:  I do about 5 shows a year.  The Big Thaw kicks off my 2011 show seasons for me and promises to have a great line-up of artisans.  AND it’s my first show in Portland….woo!

Collaboration Piece, by Quench Metalworks and Mary's Granddaughter


TBT:  You’ve collaborated with Cindy Steiler from marysgranddaughter on Etsy – describe your long distance collaboration experience and talk a little about the benefits of two (or more) artists putting their heads together:  challenges?  successes?
QMW:  Even though we collaborated via email, her vision mirrored my vision, so the process was seamless.  Before actually “meeting” Cindy, I could visualize her embroidery pieces incorporated into my pendants.  Little did I know, she was thinking the same thing….. Voila!  I would never collaborate with an artist if I was not 100% passionate about the project.  Collaborations should be like a dessert… work to savor after the daily grind at the bench, exciting, and indulgent.

The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale will be held on Saturday, April 16th at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St. in Portland, Maine.  From 10am-4pm you can browse, shop, or totally indulge with nearly 40 vendors at the ready to fill your shopping bags.  The BIG THAW merchandise (pins, magnets and posters) will be available, as well, if you’re totally loving our graphics.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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Greetings from The BIG THAW and hope you’ve had a lovely weekend!  Some highlights in our corner of the universe included waking up to snow on Saturday morning (what the?!), a rousing show from Dirty Rogers, Huak and the Heebeejeebies at Geno’s on Saturday night and a rather impulsive and indulgent shopping spree at Fotoshops (closing…boo…), Material Objects and Bliss (big sale!) with some very nice ladies.

Best Buddies T-Shirt

Speaking of nice ladies, today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to the fine stylings of Bethany Hayes-Chute.  When The BIG THAW caught wind of her Etsy shop we were charmed to bits by the screen printed homage to all things Maine, plaid, and her lighthearted ‘creatures’ that play in geometric space on her t-shirts and onesies.

Maine Tee. Plus that Guy is holding a Chicken.

To follow the handmade code is one thing – but to really embrace it is another.  Not only are Bethany’s ‘creatures’ a cast of characters that have followed her from childhood, but she shares them with the world via a hand made silk screen press.  Mmm and who doesn’t love unique silk screened Tees for a Maine summer?  And look at these colors!

Dance Party Onesie. Your kids can look awesome, too!

And as if making cool t-shirts and onesies wasn’t enough Bethany makes gorgeous, simple, yet substaintial necklaces to boot.  The BIG THAW and Bethany are a match made in heaven — both artist and organization placing a huge emphasis on quality over quantity.  Bethany describes her jewelry work in her Etsy shop as such:

All of the pieces I create are original, one of a kind designs. I have extremely high standards for quality of materials, workmanship and technique. I use only Sterling Silver or Fine Silver findings and materials, never base metal, surgical steel or silver plated. In instances of gold findings and materials, I use either 14K Gold-Fill or 22k Gold Vermeil.

Yes, Bethany, yes!

Palmwood and Copper Necklace

Visit her Etsy shop here to start your shopping list for The BIG THAW on Saturday, April 16th at the Mayo Street Arts Center, 10 Mayo St, 10am-4pm.  See you there!

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Speechless! I’ve literally never written a check for anything so cool as 100, limited edition, four-color screen prints of a fox, a bunny rabbit and two birds.  All of them signed and numbered, ready to share with the local universe (and beyond!)

 

so so so so so so nice!

I’ve made an Etsy listing for local people, click here if you’d like to purchase and pick up somewhere on the peninsula (I’m flexible and mobile).

Annnd here is a listing for those who can’t make it to the Portland, Maine peninsula or for those who are insanely busy like me (I hear ya, we’re nuts!) who would like me to ship it to you.  Really fantastic Spring colors, one of these is promised to a frame to hang in the hallway at my place!

 

look at the fox pop! bright, citrus orange against blues and greens!

The poster, which is printed in four colors on gorgeous, heavy-weight paper, will be for sale at the very reasonable price of $10 the day of the fair.  If you purchase in advance, however, the Etsy listings are 20% off at $8.  Coupon clipping be damned, here is a better way to make some savings!

We’ll be using proceeds from the sales of the posters to printing flyers, making proper sign-age the day of the event, populating Mayo Street with candy dishes full of delicious candy and so much more.

Oh!  Did I mention Emblem Studio was available for custom screen printing work?  Such excellent craftsmanship, we are so, so pleased here at The Big Thaw.

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Did you know The BIG THAW is on Facebook?

Well, it is.

Here is the group page:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_121923504545596

Here is the event listing:  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=104897699588395&ref=ts

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Beginning tomorrow, The BIG THAW website will be shining the spotlight on our vendors so that all you shoppers can start making your wish lists and saving those pennies (quarters, dollars, benjamins) effectively!

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