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coffee + cre8tive {dec 5 ’06}


I’m drawing (no pun intended) some major inspiration today from talented freelance illustrator Debbie Hill in the UK. “I like to experiment with lots of materials and processes in my work,” Debbie adds that some of these include “experimental drawing, photography, textiles, embroidery, monoprinting, bookbinding, animation, drypoint printing and book design.” Visit her blog and website to view her portfolio. I’m loving the addition of buttons to pencil illustrations, giving them that added dimension, so precious!

(images from debbie hill)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, blogs on December 05, 2006

Craftland Providence – Full Scoop!

[After posting a round up of Boston and Providence craft shows last week, Jason wrote in from Rag + Bone Bindery offering to cover the the first weekend of the month long Craftland show in Providence, RI. Couldn’t pass up that offer, so here’s the skinny reporting live from the artsy capital city of Providence, Rhode Island. Take it away, Jason!]


Craftland – Not Your Grandmother’s Tea Cosy
By: Jason Thompson, decor8 contributor

The Craftland arts and crafts show in Providence, Rhode Island is truly a glittery, seasonal retail wonderland. Whether you’re looking for gifts that will interest your more ‘creative’ friends and family this year, or merely searching for that quirky one-of-a-kind handbag, t-shirt, art for your blank walls, or a happenin’ little journal, Craftland is your one stop shop. The best part about Craftland is that the fun lasts all month long (hours listed below) so you can return again and again to browse through the latest in ‘made by hands’ craft and design from over 100 artists. Yes, 100! There is something for everyone.

These folks caught our eye: If’n Books + Marks, Tiny Showcase (make sure you check out the Tiny Showcase Printing Machine – only $1.00 per print!), Fishcakes, Flying Fish Design, Eli + Ra, Scraps of Paper, Honorable Mention, Alec Thibodeau of Ink Ape, Heather Toupin Design, Egg-A-Go-Go and Jen Corace. Jen was very sweet to autograph the Craftland postcard, which she designed, for our five-year-old daughter. We left with a generous goody-bag from opening night and have already been back to shop again. It’s quite addictive, so we don’t think we’ll stay away for long.

Hats off to Deb Dormody for putting together the hippest, most glittery holiday shopping event in beautiful downtown Providence!

psst: Watch a video of opening night on the Craftland website here. If that doesn’t entice you to visit, maybe these photos will…

Welcome to Craftland, step inside!
Two great magazines that you should try getting your hands on. Both are usually stocked at Barnes + Noble but are available all month long at Craftland.
Shoppers enjoying a stroll through Craftland
Affordable art alert! This terrific print from Alec Thibodeau (aka Ink Ape) is only $25!
Sonic Temple bags caught our eye…
Sugarsnap Design hand screenprinted cards.
Eli + Ra goodies
Egg-A-G-Go cards, pillows, paintings, illustrations + more!
Fishcakes and the coolest tea cosy ever!
Sweet finds from Flying Fish Designs.
Faux vinyls from Heather Taupin.
Great graphic neckties from Hilary Treadwell.
T-shirts from Red Prairie Press.
Quilty bits from Jennicakes.
Art by Shawn Gilheeney (sorry no website).
Sarah Gray gives the ‘vinyl’ bag a whole new meaning (sorry no website).
Notepads from Sewing Stars.
Toys for Cats, “Things The Cat Should Not Be Playing With”. (sorry no website.)
Tiny Showcase is amazing, as always.
Pillows and things from Three Cat Nite.
Jen Corace Journals.
James Quigley of Gunsho.
Crafty kits from Teresa Levy.
Jewelry from Magpie Molly.
For more photos and Craftland coverage, visit Jason over at the Rag + Bone Blog. Thanks, Jason!

[Craftland, 70 Eddy Street (near city hall), Providence. Friday Dec. 1st until the 23rd, open five days a week, Wednesday – Sunday 11-6, and Thursdays from 11-8 pm. Note: The storefront retail area is the back of the Peerless Building behind City Hall at the corner of Fulton Street.
Rain or shine. Free admission.]

(photography provided by Jason Thompson)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, events + markets, shopping, travel on December 04, 2006

Alena Hennessy – Soars to New Heights!


The window shopper gave me a tip to check out Alena Hennessy’s new bird creations, Birds in Flight. Available in silver, pale sky blue, soft pearl, and bright white, these birds boast a 17″ wingspan and can be adjusted to suspend from any ceiling height. Alena created them using a hydrostone mold and then sands and handpaints them to perfection. I love the shadows that they create on the walls, don’t you? Alena also produces prints, paintings, scarfs, tees, onesies, and tiles as art, too. She’s quite a busy girl! The winter tree in sky blue is my absolute fave (shown below in white), along with the birds in flight, of course. Oh and there’s free shipping on orders over $65.

We love your latest creations, Alena!



(images from alena hennessy)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, ceramics, fashion + accessories on December 01, 2006

December Arts + Crafts Markets: San Francisco Bay

[We’ve covered Boston and Providence markets, now it’s time to see what’s happenin’ out west. Anh-Minh reports live today from San Francisco for a full report. Take it away, a-m!]

By: Anh-Minh Le, decor8 contributor

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it?s time to get down to the business of holiday shopping. Luckily for those of you in the SF Bay Area who insist on waiting until after the turkey is eaten before you even think about presents, there are a plethora of great shopping events coming up.

The following is a list of some local happenings where you can find unique, handmade gifts that are sure to please your friends and family.

Post-Postcard 10 at the Lab
11/30 (6-9pm); 12/01 (1-8pm); 12/02-03 (11am-6pm)
For affordable, small-format art, the 10th annual Post-Postcard Show is not to be missed. The promo material says it best: ?Art lovers can explore original works and discover hidden gems at affordable prices while supporting emerging artists and a great alternative art space.? Everything is priced between $1 and $30.

Hayes Valley Block Party
12/01 (6-9pm)
Not really a sales event, but rather a very cool holiday thing to do. For the Block Party, vendors usually stay open later, many offer snacks and drinks, and you?ll even find a DJ or two at some businesses. I hear that Santa and Mrs. Claus may be hanging around as well.

Mill Valley Community Center Holiday Craft Fair
12/02 (10am-5pm)
Shop for gifts and decorations ? including jewelry, cards, knitwear and candles ? handmade by over 50 local artists.

Artist-Xchange Holiday Party
12/08 (8-10pm)
Live music, refreshments, hors d?oeuvres and ? of course ? lovely artwork will be your reward for stopping by this Mission District gallery for their holiday party. Even those on the tightest budget can find something beautiful here.

(Psst…Mention the ?Shop Local First? promo between December 4-9 and you?ll receive 15% off at the Artist-Xchange! To see which other Mission businesses are participating in the SLF event, click here.)

CCA Holiday Fair
12/09 (11am-3pm)
You?ve got just a few hours to shop goods made by the talented students, alumni, faculty and staff at CCA. (For those without a car, the Oakland campus is accessible by BART.)

Feria Urbana
12/14 (6-11pm); 12/16, 12/17 (12-5pm)
That?s right. You get three chances to shop at one of my favorite resources. Not only can you pick up beautiful handmade goods from local artists and designers, but you can even grab a cocktail or bite to eat at Canvas (the restaurant/art gallery that plays host to this regular event). In the past, I?ve purchased handbags, calendars, jewelry, clothing and small-scale art at Feria Urbana.

The Crucible?s Gifty Holiday Art Sale + Open House
12/16-17 (10am-4pm)
Cross more people off your holiday list with a trip to the Crucible. There will be jewelry, sculptures, glass, ceramics, clothing and more. You can also catch a demo, enjoy refreshments, and take advantage of a kid?s activity area.

This list is by no means complete, so if you know of any other events ? around San Francisco or other parts of the world ? please feel free to add them in the comments section of this post.

Happy shopping!

[Update: This just in from Victoria from SFGirlbyBay. More fun sales! See Victoria’s bits below. Thanks, Lady V!]

Here’s a couple of smaller gift shows going on – these are some really talented friends of mine. I know there’s more coming up, so if I hear of anything else I’ll let you know!

Holiday Smackdown
12/01, 7-10 pm
154 Andover Street in Bernal Heights
Catch Jill Blissen, Lisa Coris Designs, Dog + Pony Show, Jen Garrido, and more!

Velo Rouge Cafe Sale
12/05, 4-8 pm
798 Arguello Blvd near the entrance to GG park
Call for show details.

(image from feria urbana)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, events + markets, guest bloggers, shopping, travel on November 30, 2006

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