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December Arts + Crafts Markets: Boston + Providence

[updated on 11/30 to add rag + bone and the wears + wares events, both on dec. 2nd. see below for details.]

Before I get started, this post isn’t just for the locals — all can benefit. How? By being nosey, of course! Click around on all the links below and browse each website because tucked away in many of them, you’ll find links to vendors that often have online stores. Cha-ching!

Looking to shop ’til ya drop this month, but cringe at the thought of taking on another (deadly) shopping mall experience? Try these friendly marketplaces packed with fresh finds from affordable art to home accessories + so much more! Here’s your handy guide, complete with dates, times, links, admission fees, and complete addresses so you can map out your course and set sail!

TIP: Print this out and keep it on you during the month!

Boston Public Library Holiday Sale
Dec. 1, 10-5
Johnson Lobby, 700 Boylston Street, Boston.
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Crafts at the Castle
Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street (first floor), Boston.
Dec. 1, 10-8 pm
Dec. 2, 10-6 pm
Dec. 3, 10-5
Rain or shine. $15.00 for adults. $12.00 for seniors. Children under 12 are free.

Rag + Bone Factory Sale
Rag + Bone Bindery, 1088 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI (near Providence)
Dec. 2, 10-4 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Wears + Wares pre-Holiday Market
Downtown Crossing, on Summer Street (past Filene’s) in the lobby of 101 Arch, Boston.
Dec. 2, 11-5 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Cultural Survival Bazaar
Two locations. December 2-3, 10-6 pm at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge.
Dec. 9-10, 11-7 pm at the Hynes Convention Center 900 Boylston St, Boston.
Rain or shine. Free admission.

MassArt’s Annual Holiday Sale*
MassArt, Tower Building (lobby), 621 Huntington Ave. (corner of Huntington Ave. and Evans Way), Boston.
Dec. 4-9, 10-7 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

School of the Museum of Fine Arts December Sale*
SMFA, 230 The Fenway, Boston.
Dec. 6, 12?8 pm
Dec. 7, 12?8 pm
Dec. 8-11, 12?6 pm

RISD Alumni Holiday Art Sale*
Rhode Island Convention Center, One Sabin Street, Providence.
Dec. 9, 10-5 pm
Rain or shine. Admission is $5; children under 14 or current RISD students (with ID) get in free.

Union Square Winter Craft Market
Union Square, Somerville where Washington Street, Prospect Street and Somerville Avenue meet. Additional vendors will showcase their goods inside Toast Lounge, located directly off the central plaza.
Dec. 9, 11-5 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Fort Point Holiday Sale
Artists’ Building at 249 A Street, Boston.
Dec. 9, 11-7 pm
Dec. 10, 11-5 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Sowa Holiday Market*
Cathedral High School Gym, 74 Union Park Street (South End), Boston.
Dec. 9, 10-8 pm
Dec. 10, 10-6 pm
Rain or shine. $5 admission. Free for children under 12.

Bazaar Bizarre*
Cyclorama (Boston Center for the Arts) at 539 Tremont Street (South End), Boston.
Dec. 16, 10-7 pm.
Rain or shine. $1.00 Admission.

Month Long Markets

Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair
First Parish Church, on the corner of Mass Ave. and Church St. in Harvard Square, Cambridge. This fun fair runs for 12 days, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 15-17, and 19-23.
Sats: 10-7, Suns: 12-6, Weekdays: 11-7.
Rain or shine. Free Admission.

Craftland Show (month long!)
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.

Whew! (wiping forehead) What a list! If I’ve missed a venue for Boston or Providence, please comment below with the scoop.

*Events that rock it like your momma, grandma, and little sister Sally!

[Stay tuned, tomorrow decor8 west coast contributor Anh-Minh Le features the best markets in the Bay Area! If you feel like writing about markets in your neck of the woods, contact me at decor8blog AT yahoo DOT com for specifics. But for now, decor8 is only covering Boston, Providence and San Francisco.]

(images from risd)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, events + markets, shopping, travel on November 29, 2006
decor8 great.ly shop

Rabbit Toes Personalized Dinnerware – New!


A huge thanks to Jessica who wrote in yesterday about Rabbit Toes – her fun and contemporary new line of personalized dinnerware. A new limited-production design is available each month! From her lovely 1884 carriage house in Minneapolis, Jessica creates designs to commemorate weddings, anniversaries and other events that you feel the need to highlight in your life. Each plate is made in Italy, but the custom design and application are her own creations. I’m in love with the silhouette plate – perfect for wall or shelf display, don’t you think?

Thanks for the tip Jessica!

(images from rabbit toes)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, ceramics, kitchen on November 29, 2006

Thomas Paul Pillows


I’m sure these already made their way around the blog circuit, but these Thomas Paul pillows made me really happy today and for those of you who may have missed them, enjoy. I think they are so charming, I love the two tone patterns – a leaf here, a bird there, some coral… All are available at Pillows + Throws online. They remind me of the colors in my own home as a child with all the navy, goldenrod, and various shades of green. Do you have any TP cuteness in your home? I only have his melamine silhouette serving trays…


(images from pillows and throws)

Posted in textiles on November 29, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {nov 29 ’06}


Shadow boxes are making a bit of a comeback, at least at Anthropologie, where I spotted them gracing the walls yesterday in all their 3-D splendor. With roots in Victorian times (just like silhouette art), they can be a nice way to display cherished memories in your beautiful boudoir – giving guests a bit of a peek into who you are. I’m not big on the ornate, so I wouldn’t want to style my own box after these above because they look a little too dated for my taste (the exception being my favorite shown above, top right corner, with the 3 birds inside – that’s quite cute.)

What drew me to these boxes yesterday is my own crazy hoarding issues, which is totally OCD, I know. I have a few shadow boxes that I’ve never touched, but have felt somewhat guilty over saving. They’ve been tucked away in tissue paper for a few years now. Maybe it would be a fun December project to stop saving them and put them to good use, huh? They are in modern uncomplicated wood frames, just like the birdy box shown above, with a white interior and a creamy burlap background. A little magnet keeps them closed. I have two. I just have to come up with a clever showpiece. That’s where I’m stuck.

What would you put inside a shadow box?

I’m leaning away from the traditional (ticket stubs, photos, lace, velvet ribbon) and considering a simple tree branch with a handmade paper bird resting on it. A branch created with pretty wrapping paper or a brightly colored blue road map, something like the Real Simple sections that Happy Mundane wrote about a few months back. (I loved that post, Jon!) Or maybe steer away totally from the map idea and go with something more personal, like a 3-D diary of sorts but that may clutter the box too much and I’d like to keep it simple. Maybe I could take 12 of my favorite little badges or pocket mirrors in bright colors and in a perfectly neat grid, pin or super glue them inside.

TIP: Go learn about the history of the shadow box. A fun read indeed!

Have any clever shadow box ideas? Have you ever used one in your decor?

(images from anthropologie)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, diy, shopping, tips on November 29, 2006

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