Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

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!


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!


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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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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Well, well, well — what a beautiful day in Portland, Maine!  At the end of a long week there was no better way to wind down by meeting up with Elise Loschiavo of eden. to go over her pure, natural, light, delicious products for her vendor spotlight feature.

Sunset lip balms, pretty!

Eden lip balms are nearly weightless, Elise had brought Lavender Mint and Grapefruit Vanilla for my sniffer.  Oh man!  Delicious and mild.  So, I was partial to the lavender mint seeing as today is the first day a fashionable lady could walk around town in a skirt with no tights – it’s got a spring-y, herb-y scent without throwing too many flavors at your kisser.  The grapefruit vanilla is great for people who are partial to fruitier flavors, and mid-summer it’s something to pack in the beach bag to prevent chapping in the salty wind of our rugged, Maine beaches.  An added bonus? Eden balms are made with shea butter, cocoa butter and apricot kernal oil to moisturize.  Jojoba oil, too, is infused with calendula which is that awesome herb in baby lotions.  If it’s good enough for babies it’s ok on my lips!

Practical note I learned later:  the packaging for all of Elise’s products is simple and easy to find in a huge, jumble-y purse (note:  mine.) not to mention the unique shape of the lip balm tubes, an oblong circle, more complimentary to one’s natural lip shape and easy to find with searching fingers.

Citrus Harmony Body Lotion

On to the lotions/creams!  Elise has been working on a ‘travel size’ lotion, a great product for craft fairs while shoppers are trying to budget so they can get a little bit of something from everyone.  The price point is less than half of the larger, 6 oz. size and is great to throw in a clutch, keep at your desk at work or give as a little gift to friends.  Doesn’t Citrus Harmony just sound totally perfect for the coming warm weather?  Of course get the larger size if it’s going to be your home stash – a little goes a long way but don’t you want to smell edible all the time?

Bath Salts

Lavender Bergamot Bath Salts

With a wide variety of products like bath salts, lotions, lip balms and more you’ll undoubtedly find something you love at the Eden. table at The BIG THAW.  Everything Elise creates is made lovingly in small, controlled batches so no detail is missed.  I’m so in love with the following quote from a VERY satisfied Eden. customer – an excellent note to end on!  P.S.  — if you have any flavors in mind that you don’t see in Elise’s shop don’t hesitate to get in touch and see if it’s something she can make and have ready for you the day of the fair!  After 45 minutes of chatting I’ve learned very quickly she’s an enthusiastic, adventurous, open-minded lady.  Loves to try new things!

Shea Butter Hand Cream

Shea Butter Hand Cream

“I have to tell you how great the shea butter hand cream is. I have had an unusually difficult winter with splits in both thumbs and my right hand pointer finger. As a seamstress, you can imagine how painful it is to work. I went to the dermatologist who said to use liquid Band-aid in the cracks, Neosporin and gloves at night, and another type of hand cream often during the day. I was having only moderate success, the splits would heal for a day or two, but when I banged my thumb on something or would sew for several hours …the split would come back. It was more than a quarter of an inch long on my right thumb and I feared it would keep going. Occasionally, it would bleed if I hit is just right. In just two days of using your hand cream product, my splits have healed and new skin is growing in and over the splits. The hand cream is truly amazing and it feels wonderful when applied. I keep the container by my bed, but I need to order more to have in my kitchen and purse!!”

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Welcome to the first of a series of 39 (give or take!) spotlights on our amazing BIG THAW vendors.  Although we have a handy-dandy vendors directory for you to peruse, sometimes it’s nice to really get to know what our amazing neighbors are up to.


Kid's Tiger Shirt

Today we’re focusing on Pinecone and Chickadee, the graphic design and screen printing house of Portlanders Amy Teh and Noah Defilippis.  As a ‘seasoned’ (I get around!) craft fair seller and buyer I’ve grown accustomed to seeing one or both of their smiling faces among a forest of silk-screened tees, cards, journals and more.


Strong Man Tote

Pinecone and Chickadee’s simple, satisfying aesthetic lets adults be lighthearted and kids even more totally nuts than they are.  We highly recommend checking out the merchandise on their web page to get your wheels turning about what P+C delights you’ll be carrying home in a shopping back with you from The BIG THAW on Saturday, April 16th (ohmygosh!  It’s less than a month away!)


Picnic Poster 2010

Not only do Amy and Noah create their own masterpieces of apparel, they are a good chunk of the driving force behind PICNIC (our craft-fair-crush of the decade).  They have also recently designed a line of t-shirts featuring animals from coffee-growing regions for local caffeinators, Coffee By Design.  Mmm art and coffee, okay, I give up, you win!

Lady + Llama Women's T-Shirt


Ladies, you’ll also be pleased to know Pinecone and Chickadee carry a line of women’s shirts that are more flattering than your average silk-screened T.  I personally am saving a bit of my 2011 tax refund for the Lady + Llama T-Shirt or a Crying Tiger.  I can’t decide which!

And no outsourcing here:  all of Pinecone and Chickadee’s wares are designed, silk screened and hand printed by Amy and Noah.

Stop by The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale on Saturday, April 16th at Mayo Street Arts Center in Portland’s East Bayside to pick up some P+C wares for yourself!

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Forefront Fashion Interview, Audrey Yapping, of course

Portland aesthetics:  unite!  I met with Laura and Nate of Forefront Fashion at Coffee By Design on India St. the other night to go over some of the detail of The BIG THAW.  Naturally, they posted a very flattering picture of me, some of The BIG THAW wares, and lots of info about TBT vendors to come!

Click here to read the awesome snippet!

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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.


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


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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Wowee wowee wow – the response was tremendous!  Thank to you to all the crafters, artists and vintage resellers who have submitted an application.  Because we have more applications than spaces available I’m afraid we won’t be able to accommodate everyone at this go-around of The BIG THAW.  However!  Plans are in the works for making this a yearly event, so fear not.

We will be going through the applications this week and will have vendors announced sometime very soon.  Thank you, again!

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