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Arts + Crafts

Arts + Crafts, Rooms, Shopping + Products, Travel

The Ribbon Jar

May 17, 2007

Have you heard of The Ribbon Jar? I discovered it while browsing the wonderful world of the amazing Matthew Mead. The Ribbon Jar is an excellent source for super cool ribbon.

The Ribbon Jar
I love the nordic style of these waves, and the preppy pink and green ribbon. Some of these would be terrific on clothes, but also to trim a lamp shade, sheets, pillowcases, and even the hem of curtains. Do you sew or are you the glue gun queen of the world? I am mixed, depending on time, but I do have a rule that I follow. I go the glue gun route if I never plan on washing the item. But since I sew, I usually sew things on. If you don’t sew and you cringe at the sight of a glue gun, try the amazing velcro tape that my crafty mother introduced me to eons ago. It is actually great stuff. Anyway, check out The Ribbon Jar and see if you spot anything for your next project.

The Ribbon Jar
Psst: If you’re not familiar with Matthew Mead, I wrote about him in March here on decor8. Here’s a glimpse of his work above. He’s amazing, I bow to this man. You have to visit his website and watch his style cast videos from his studio in New Hampshire. He is so creative, I refer to him as the male Martha.

(images from the ribbon jar and matthew mead)

Arts + Crafts, Events + Markets, Shopping + Products, Travel

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market

May 17, 2007

This weekend officially kicks off Spring here in Boston with the SoWa Art Walk on Saturday and Sunday May 19-20, 2007 from 11-6. Yeah!

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market
And while you’re in the South End checking out all that fabulous art in the mill buildings, head over to Chris’ gem, The South End Open Market, to mingle and shop all the artists, craftsmen, farmstands and other cool vendors as they open for the season, kicking things off on Saturday and Sunday from 10-4. Free parking and admission is yours at this open air feast for the eyes (and tummy!).

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market
A few places on my list for the SoWa Art Walk:

Boxx Furniture: Custom designed furniture by Pablo and John, check out their furniture and let them help you create something you’ll love. You can find them all weekend long in their SoWa showroom located at 46 Waltham St., Studio #210.

Garage Sale: Gorgeous high-end furniture, art and jewelry that may not be marked at garage sale prices, but you can expect to score some things that you love for at least half of their original cost. This store is located at 55 Waltham Street.

Polly Becker’s illustration studio. Because a Holly Becker must meet a Polly Becker, right? Located at 258 Shawmut ave #5.

Design Salon Group Show “Five Females”, featuring Jennifer Hill from JHill Design, Ann Karash of mittenmitten, Kelly Smith of etcetera media, Jill Rosenwald of Rosenwald Ceramics, and Erica Von Sc of Vonica Designs. Total girl power at 46 Waltham St, Studio 305-A.

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market
Simplemente Blanco – A must stop on my list. I can’t wait to visit with Fernanda and see what she’s been up to. I love her home accessories and soaps. Beautiful things. Don’t miss this studio. 46 Waltham St., Studio #203

Julie Shaw Lutts – Fantastic artist, can’t wait to visit her studio at 450 Harrison Ave, Studio 412-A.

Jennifer Hughes – Another amazing artist that I want to visit. I love the idea of walking around the South End all day from studio to studio, checking out all this beautiful work on display. We did it last year and had such a great time. 460 Harrison Ave.

Linda Cordner – Her encaustic work is beautiful, you have to check it out in person. 450 Harrison Ave., Studio 316-B.

And Yuko Adachi. I don’t know much about her work, but her website is so intriguing, I have to visit. Plus, anyone born in Tokyo and raised in Japan, Paris, London and the USA has to have a lot of cool energy. 450 Harrison Ave., Studio #228.

Locals: SoWa Art Walk + South End Open Market

(images from jhill design (thanks jen!), south end open market, and sowa art walk)

Arts + Crafts, Handmade, Rooms

Ambrosia Porcelain – Love!

May 14, 2007

Ambrosia Porcelain, the mother/daughter team of Miriam and Linda Aubry, really surprised me last week with a gorgeous plate that I had to share here on decor8. It’s a porcelain piece I asked them to customize since I wanted something with birds, faux bois, and that I could hang on the wall. Isn’t this perfect?

Ambrosia Porcelain - Love!
I really love it and can’t wait to find a spot in my home to display it. You have to check these ladies out, they are so talented and their pieces make for a great display piece either in your home or to gift a friend. They’re all one of a kind, so whatever you purchase from Ambrosia, you can be sure it’s their one and only. They’re also bloggers, if you enjoy reading about their business, click on over to their blog. If you are interested in seeing their porcelain and you’re a local, drop by Magpie in Somerville because they always have some of their wares on display. For everyone else, here’s a link to their other blog where you can purchase things. And don’t miss their soap dishes, they’re so cute…

Ambrosia Porcelain - Love!
Thank you Miriam and Linda, this plate is perfection and I really appreciate the time you spent creating this for me!

(top image snapped by holly becker for decor8, bottom image from ambrosia porcelain)

Arts + Crafts, Objects

Purl: *New* Liberty of London Fabrics

May 14, 2007

Purl has some glorious new prints from Tana Lawn for Liberty of London, a British textile artist renowned for making some of the best quality cotton, yet very lightweight, fabrics every — it’s almost translucent. Imagine transforming these patterns into breezy curtains for summer?

Purl: *New* Liberty of London Fabrics

(images from purl)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves, Rooms

Shades of True

May 9, 2007

I know I’ve been showing you a lot of prints lately, it’s just that etsy is exploding with prints lately, seems everyone is selling fantastic prints and you know what, good for them because that means there’s more for us, enough to satisfy all tastes.

Shades of True
Margarita Barry from Colored Gurl sent over news of her new Etsy store, Shades of True, where she will offer soon offer a wide range of original paintings and prints. For now, she only has a few things up, but I thought a little decor8 lovin’ may help her start her new business. It’s so encouraging to see someone venture out into the unknown and start a small etsy business. Constantly making progress is so important in life, don’t you think? And Margarita is doing just that, which makes me very proud of her and all the other newbies rising up and joining the Etsy ranks. Go indie!

And congrats, Ms. Barry!

(images from shades of true)

Arts + Crafts, Inspiration

Find Yourself Through Art

May 7, 2007

I thought it would be fun to give you a quick tip or two on how to find inspiration and tap into that inner pool of creativity – we all have one! True, some may feel their creativity a lot closer to the surface than others, but we all have the ability, and right, to become more creative. And the more creative we are, the better we feel, the happier our friends and family are (because we’re more fun to be around when they see us doing things we enjoy), and our homes even start to look better and reflect our personalities even more. Sometimes, this can begin through art exploration and I’ll tell you a little bit about that now.

Find Yourself Through Art Some of my new works from Curbside Treasure.

Several friends encouraged me to start my own art journal years ago, but only recently did I decide to take them serious and actually do it. I’ve maintained diaries since I was 7 years old and still have nearly all of them, but an art journal, something that is mostly visual, well this is new turf for me. Whether you are addicted to maintaining art journals or not, I think through journals, galleries, classes, and other fun things, we can each explore our creativity and find ourselves through art on some level.

LOOK!: I remember ways I tapped into my creative self when I felt uninspired or in a rut. I’d roam the halls of museums and smaller, local galleries. Everything impressed me on some level, but it was only when I discovered art journals did I think that this was a form of art that I could actually be a part of. That was over 10 years ago while researching the work of Niki de Saint Phalle. Back then, I felt a genuine connection with her work that has stayed with me for years. I attended a revealing exhibit about her emotional turmoil back then — the depression she suffered, all feelings that she worked out through the pages of her many journals exhibited there in Germany where I first saw them. I recall them so clearly, bold and strong, colorful, quite violent at times, and all very abstract. I imagined her pain as I peered into them, and after the exhibit, I spent time alone to reflect on what I saw. Her secrets were no longer hidden. That’s powerful stuff. I was touched by her use of so many different mediums (paint, paper, pencil, photos, etc.) to release such intense emotions. As I explored her art further, visiting exhibitions and seeing some of her larger than life sculptures in Europe and California, I came in contact with parts of myself that I never knew existed. Although my past wasn’t painful like hers on any level, I found bits that spoke to me still. Strange how that works, isn’t it?

It was around the same time that I started to study other artists that maintained journals and those who were into collage and mixed media arts, the merging of paper, paint, and pencil — to convey emotion. This is a form of artistic expression that fascinates me more and more. I think finding an artist, your muse, and the type of art that really speaks to you, can be the first step to finding yourself through art.

Find Yourself Through Art More good stuff in the mail last week from Curbside Treasure.

TAKE A CLASS: Next, after you’ve found art that you can relate to, try to take a class either with that artist or with a teacher that seems to be on your level, who ‘gets’ you. A local established fine art painter and teacher here in New Hampshire, Lisa Occhipinti, has many art journals that she uses as a diary of sorts, mostly for private use. One day in her studio, she opened one to show me what the pages looked like, things that inspired her. Beautiful, inspiring, magical. Journals can be a special place where artists display images and feelings that they would not otherwise present in public. Some artists show these pages to the world, however Lisa uses her journal as a compass of sorts, sometimes an inspiration for her next painting. Her paintings tell a story in a most fluid, emotional, and very alluring way. Like Lisa, they have strong opinions, a sense of style, and are very colorful yet sometimes quiet and reflective. Here’s a few paintings that I own on display here in my home. If you’re interested in her work, she is represented by Jules Gallery in Boston, MA. Or, you can take a class with Lisa, which I’ll get to in a moment.

Find Yourself Through Art These are a few paintings I own by Lisa, each is 12 x 12″. You can see close-ups here.

After so many years of enjoying collage art and mixed media paintings, I searched New Hampshire and Boston for art schools and galleries that taught mixed media art but couldn’t find a program that spoke to me. I started my search in 2004 and everything I came across felt very, well, bleh. You can only imagine my joy when I discovered that Lisa is soon to teach a week intensive in mixed media painting this summer at the Currier Art Center, which I registered for without hesitation. Since registering, I’ve recruited a decor8 reader who lives nearby, who will take the class with me. Yay! (If anyone else is local and would like to take the class, please join us!) I can’t wait to explore mixed media art with my own hands because her work inspires me so much. Learning more about this form of art by using my own hands, this is another way you can find yourself through art. Take a class! Get involved!

Find Yourself Through Art
BUILD A COLLECTION: Ever since I started this blog over a year ago, I’ve been showing collage art because it’s something I really love and actually have enjoyed as a hobby since 6th grade when my art teacher told me I had a future in it. Of course, my passion wasn’t there, and without passion, a skill doesn’t go very far. So I simply collect collage works and rotate the smaller pieces around in my home.

Find Yourself Through Art“Ahmed’s Flower #1” by Donald Baechler.

Curbside Treasure, a San Francisco-based artist, offers many great original collage works. I went on a mini shopping spree there recently to add some of Curbside’s work to my collection. Collage is so exciting because it’s something we can ALL get involved in. You do not have to draw a straight line or learn how to paint well. A pair of scissors and a glue stick is a great start.

There are so many great artists out there that explore collage, from Donald Baechler to the new on the scene set, Michelle Caplan first comes to mind, but of course there’s Dawbis, Claudine Hellmuth, Lorena Siminovich, and a slew of others that have gained a huge following in recent times. Maybe we can join them by doing a bit of our own collage work at home in our journals, or for our walls. We can also show support by purchasing the art we love, it doesn’t have to be expensive works, just start by building a small collection. It’s a great way to find yourself through art because you’ll start to see a pattern in what you are drawn to, and this can help you begin your own body of work.

Find Yourself Through Art
EDUCATE: If you keep an art journal, collage, paint, or do anything else that is creative, chances are that you’ve purchased a book or two about it. For instance, you can learn how to collage even better by reading blogs like Marieke Berghuis’ Treats & Treasures from Amsterdam. Or grab this amazing creativity notebook and card set that I recently scooped up called, “Wide Open: Inspiration & Techniques for Art Journaling on the Edge” (Book & Card Kit) by Randi Feuerhelm-Watts.

Randi is one rad lady — Her book and card set is so great because it’s loaded with cards that give you all of these inspirational stories and journaling tips. Like this one, “Keep an artist date once a week. Hang around with people or things that speak your language. Some of my best artist dates have been spent in a bookstore, jotting down notes on napkins.” Randi gives tips for art journaling that I found so helpful, telling us how to use color, photos, words, lines, crayons, circles, in different ways. Find yourself through art by learning about the techniques, discovering tips, and watching the process of others. Educate!

Find Yourself Through ArtWork of Claudine Hellmuth.

So, whatever your inspiration… Whether you study your favorites, take an art class, purchase work you love, read about it on blogs or in books, just make it your point to soak up everything as inspiration and if you want, start your own art journal, using collage techniques, pen, pencil, paint, and anything you can get your hands on to create fantastic pages that speak to you.

This is just one part, a very large part, of how I found myself through art, maybe you can find your unique voice, too. :)

(images from claudine hellmuth, curbside treasure, randi feuerhelm-watts, and donald baechler)

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