Posts Tagged ‘jewelry’

All Strung Out

Hello, hello!  Welcome to the first installment of our Vendor Spotlight, featuring All Strung Out from Nancy Desrossiers.  Because the Big Thaw falls on May 12 this year (one day before Mother’s Day) we’ve asked some of our vendors how moms have influenced their work.

All Strung Out

How has your own mother (or mother figure) influenced your art, craft or endeavor?

I was blessed to have two special ladies who influenced any craft project I ever attempted growing up – my mother and my grandmother!  My grandmother was a talented woman who could make anything and she shared her passion for crafting with me as a young girl and taught me how to knit and sew.  Through the years, my mother supported anything I wanted to try by first buying any supplies that I needed and later by encouraging me to try new things.

All Strung Out

 When I started making jewelry about 8 years ago, she was the person that I went to for her opinion about any new items I had made and she would offer suggestions … or usually just enthusiasm!  She had received quite a few handmade items over the years and was always thrilled.  She passed away about four and a half years ago and my husband has stepped in to her role of guidance and support (poor guy!)  He is such a good sport.

All Strung Out

We agree with you, Nancy!  Making and receiving handmade gifts in the family can mean so much more than the gift card from Amazon or Forever 21.  Hear, hear!

If you’d like to see more from All Strung Out, check out these links:

-All Strung Out on Facebook

-All Strung Out on Etsy

-All Strung Out on Twitter

The Big Thaw will be held at Mayo Street Arts Center (10 Mayo St., Portland) on Saturday, May 12th from 10am to 4pm.  It’s the day before Mother’s Day – so why not treat your favorite lady to a shopping spree full of handmade goods?

Also, we just made a Twitter, so follow it for the latest.

G’night, everyone!  We’re going to have trouble sleeping,… Kris just told me that the screen printed posters should be ready very soon!!

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Evening Sun Ring by Sweet Sincerity

Ok, duders!  Time for some jewelry!  Surprisingly, we had very few jewelry applications this year.  One of them came from the wonderful Bethany of Sweet Sincerity jewelry, located way up there in Bangor, ME.  In advance:  thanks for driving down to see us, Bethany!!

The beadwork of earrings, bracelets and necklaces at Sweet Sincerity have always been fancy, ornate, and colorful – and just this year Bethany has been learning jewelry smithing, adding an entirely new dimension to the products she offers.  Sweet Sincerity is on Facebook – click here to go to the page and “like” it!

Bethany is intense, like the jewelry at Sweet Sincerity!

Bethany answered some of our “Big Chill” questions, here are her answers!:

The Big Chill:  What is the first sign of winter, in your opinion?

Sweet Sincerity:  When I stop shaving my legs, comforted by the knowledge that they will not see the light of day for the next 7 months…

TBC:  What items from Sweet Sincerity will keep people happy throughout the dark days of winter?

SS:  I hope that the thought of the Sweet Sincerity Jewelry they know they are wearing somewhere under the layers of long johns, mittens, sweaters and scarves will warm their little hearts!

TBC:  What’s your favorite winter comfort food?

SS:  Tea and cream-filled cupcakes.  Or tequila.

Us, too!  Join Bethany from Sweet Sincerity for some salt, lime and tequila (ok, not really) at The Big Chill arts, crafts and vintage sale on Saturday, December 3rd at the Mayo Street Arts Center in Portland.  Yes!

Stellar Earrings from Sweet Sincerity

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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



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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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.


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!”


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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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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If ever there was a THAW day, it’s today!  Love the birdies singing and tolerating the ice cream trucks turkey-in-the-straw-ing all over the neighborhood.

Today we bring you the lovely Sweet Sincerity jewelry!

Sweet Sincerity jewelry designs has been humorously and enthusiastically recording her (Bethany’s!) process as a new seller to Etsy via her Blogspot blog.  She also tracks gaining new skills in jewelry classes and anecdotes, in general, that make you feel like you know her even though she’s stationed alllll the way up in Bangor.  Her budding silver smithing skills, advanced beading techniques and enthusiasm are what make us so sure she’s a perfect fit for The THAW!


Precious Bouquet Pendant


Celebrate Spring with this charming trio!

Recently, Sweet Sincerity has made the addition of one beautiful sister who first started modeling for Bethany and soon started making jewelry, too!  We love when families craft together, so these girls will fit right in among Threads of Hope, Flat Out Tees, Glorijane, My Little Anchor, Merchants Row and MORE at The THAW.

In addition to beaded assemblages, Sweet Sincerity also has gorgeous little jewelry boxes perfect for putting a special gift for someone in.  Here’s a floral number that would be perfect with the necklace we posted above:


Purple Primrose Jewelry Box by Sweet Sincerity

So if you have a little Sunday afternoon time, we highly recommend you take a look at Bethany’s Etsy shop to get the gears turning about what you must must must have at The THAW.  And!  When you’re done with that and up for a laugh, read the Sweet Sincerity blog, a chronicle of Bethany’s jewelry, life, successes and mishaps all with her incredible sense of humor.

Please make 50,000 of these, Sweet Sincerity, because I will buy them all!

The BIG THAW Arts, Crafts and Vintage Sale happens in LESS than two weeks at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo Street in Portland, Maine.  10am-4pm you will have 40 talented people just dying to fill your shopping bag with goodies!  We’ll see you there.  🙂

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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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