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Posts Tagged ‘warm weather’

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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Leather and Horn Necklace by A New Heirloom

Happy sunny Sunday, everyone!  I am about to go out the door for some breakfast at Marcy’s, but in the meantime let’s ogle over some goodies from Ashley Tyler:  A New Heirloom.

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Ashley Tyler is a recent Maine transplant whose work in the fashion industry is bringing muchas cosas to the Portland, ME apparel opportunities available to fashionable women in these region.  At Picnic last December my booth partner, Kate, and I were set up across from A New Heirloom and I think we were slobbering and drooling at the prints, shirts, scarves, necklaces, ponchos for the entire two days.  Tyler’s work is inspired by Native American prints, customs and animals/nature — she says “it lights my brain up” which is just about the best way to describe inspiration I’ve heard in a long time.  This influence is clear in her design, but a deeper level reveals her love for space, stars and technology as well.  Her prints are modern reflections of ancient designs.

Black Printed Scarf by A New Heirloom

When you swing around the floor at Mayo Street next week you will find A New Heirloom stocked with her signature scarves, shirts, bags and necklaces with some sweet summer additions.  How’s about some Aviva t-shirts, tops and skirts, dresses and (drumroll, please…) braided bikinis!  I can’t even believe how awesome these are, and A New Heirloom will be selling them at a steep pre-season discount for all you Maine ladies who just can’t wait to get in to an ocean-state-of-mind.

A New Heirloom: Bikinis! Yes!

And if you’re worried about missing Ashley’s booth at The THAW, never fear:  you can pick A New Heirloom out of a crowd quite easily:  in addition to executing beautiful, luscious silk creations and soft and tactile leather work Ashley also happens to be a whiz out of making something out of nothing:  her craft fair booth set up is one of the most creative we’ve seen at the Maine fairs.  Flashback December 2010 and Kate and I are setting up our Picnic table — Ashley shows up (in wool plaid and jodphurs!) and starts setting up apple crates, towered high, on her table.  A rickety wooden ladder goes on top and garments are hung from the rungs to weight the apple crates which hold folded items.  Oh my gosh!  We asked her how on earth she came up with such a creative way of displaying her work that still did justice to her inspirations and materials.  Here’s what she said:

Just look for the awesome booth set up to find A New Heirloom at The BIG THAW

I’m so glad you liked my improvised booth set up.  I knew I wanted to do something tactile and unique and needed to figure out a way to utilize a small space w/ only a table without a rolling rack.  sooo I decided to use whatever I had around me: Our barn in Limerick is full of apple crates and old ladders so…I literally awoke one morning with the idea to stack the apple crates on the table and then put the ladder across the top of the crates to create a place to hang the garments and stabilize the crates. The end effect was a sort of ‘stage.’

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We can’t get enough of Ashley’s goodies.  See below for some more pictures!  Or better yet, see her next Saturday at The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage sale at 10 Mayo St (Mayo Street Arts Center) in East Bayside, 10am-4pm.  One block down from the big Catholic church off Cumberland Ave/Franklin Arterial in Portland!

Ladies and Gents' T-Shirts

Braided Bikinis by A New Heirloom

Amazing, versatile Diamond Dove top from A New Heirloom

Tree Top in a spring ensemble from A New Heirloom

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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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16 Counties

Yesterday we featured the lady Marchesi (Michelle) from My Little Anchor.  We now introduce the equally nautically-named Merchants Row from Mark Marchesi, the Mr.!  On a personal note, I got to watch Michelle and Mark for two days last December during Picnic at the Irish Heritage center peddling their wares – the crowd could not get ENOUGH of the Maine counties puzzle!  While the challenge of remembering all 16 sometimes strangely named counties is enough for some, the retro-style text and the two-tone compass rose make this not just an interesting conversation piece but a little piece of art, as well.

 

By Merchants Row

We’re not going to pretend like we know what this is, but if you head over to the Merchants Row website I’m sure there will be lots of information for you.  OK – so on second thought we’re not that lazy.  As it turns out it’s a handplane meant for bodysurfing which ought to be an excellent summer pastime to try out!  There’s quite a bit of information about the piece over at the Merchants Row website.

 

Maritime Memory by Merchants Row

The design aesthetic and the types of games Merchants Row specializes in calls to simple pleasures and rainy afternoons spent in a summer cabin.

We could go on and on about Mark and Merchant’s Row – but luckily he has a blog here where he writes about inspirations, experiences and his products.  Hope you’ll give it a peek!  Meanwhile, pictures!  It’s what we do best:

 

Doryman Puzzle by Merchants Row

Wooden Letters Set

World Map Puzzle

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My Little Anchor: Perfect!

Goodness, gracious.  Life is full of little surprises and these fantastically tiny earrings from My Little Anchor are no exception.  The colors, shapes and patterns available speak to many different styles and there is bound to be something for everyone.  Let’s take another indulgent look:

My Little Anchor: Tiny Collection

Whoa!!  It’s like hearing color in stereo!!

Michelle Marchesi is the brains and the inspiration-gatherer behind My Little Anchor.  We are honored, tickled, and maybe even blushing a little that she and her husband, Mark, of Merchant’s Row will be joining us on April 16th.

In addition to these precious little earring duos, My Little Anchor offers a line of fresh, bold and colorful jewelry appropriate for ages 2 to 200.  Wouldn’t that be something?

 

My Little Anchor: Ages 2 to 200?

We think that there is no better time than April (and the coming summer) in Maine to brighten up the wardrobe with juicy reds, limpid turquoise and raging hot pink.  Let’s see a little more:

 

My Little Anchor: Raging Hot Pink and Feathery White

We’ll be featuring the woodworking stylings of Mark Marchesi (Merchants Row) coming up next.  The two will be sharing a table at The BIG THAW on Saturday, April 16th, 10am to 4pm at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St.  We hope to see you there!  And now just one last bit of candy:

 

My Little Anchor: Candy for your ears

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Malaika Picard of Hand Me Down Designs interviewed Shanna Tice of The Makings of Shanna Tice for her vendor spotlight here at The BIG THAW!

I recently had the pleasure of spending the day with Shanna Tice of The Makings of Shanna Tice, and I’m so glad I took the time to make the trip!  It was a day filled with good company, good food, and adorable little girls who also double as models for Shanna’s crochet winter wonder wear.

Shanna has a beautiful array of crochet scarves, hats, fingerless gloves, and cowls, both adult and children’s sizes, but her skill with the crochet hooks extends far beyond cold weather gear.  She also does some amazing work with thread including earrings, headbands, hair clips, and scrapbooking stickers.

When I asked her how she would summarize her work she had this to say about herself:  “I am a mom and an artist.  I love being able to create, and crochet is my current obsession.  It gives me the freedom to be there for my girls and give them the time and attention they need and still satisfy my yearning to make pretty things.”

‘Pretty’ is a word I heard a lot when talking to Shanna about her wares.  “I only make things I would use myself and that I think are pretty.”  Her commitment to these qualities shows up clearly in her work, which makes her items not only fun and functional, but creative and attractive as well.  We can’t wait for her to share her goodies at The BIG THAW!

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Audrey of Little Eye Designs here.  I would just like to make a sidenote and thank Shanna publicly for the support, encouragement and enthusiasm she has brought to the table during the early days when The BIG THAW was just a zygote.  The BIG THAW was an organic, coming-together of various artists, crafters and vintage fanatics and Shanna’s role has been indispensable.  Thanks again, Shanna!!  -A.

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Flat Out Tees by Stephen Winslow

Saturday!  Sunshine, not-too-freezing temps and a run of vendor spotlights on The BIG THAW Blog to show you all the fantastic sellers who will be with us on Saturday, April 16th at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St. in Portland!  Seeing as we have more vendors than days left before The Thaw I’ve really got to get cracking!

Speaking of cracking up, this feature is of Stephen Winslow of Flat Out Tees, a freaking genius of shirts that make you go ‘What the…?” or “LOL.”

Rock On.

While we’ve picked out our favorites for this feature, you really gotta get over to FOT’s Etsy shop to check out all the designs he has up so far — good news, though, for all you absurdists out there:  Stephen is open to custom work so if you have an idea for a t-shirt and would like someone to make it for you he’s your man.

Ninja Tee by Flat Out Tees

Stephen will be sharing a space with his wife, Glorijane, who makes jewelry using buttons, seed beads and more.  Stay tuned for more info!

Please join us for The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale on Saturday, April 16th, 2011 at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo Street in Portland., 10am-4pm.

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