Monday, December 21, 2009

Time for a glass of vino...

The last 2 shows of the 2009 season are done. Yay! And these shows were ok... it's been a season of learning and experimentation and I'd summarize that if a show is in a 'hard to find' location or it's below 20 degrees out, it might have a negative impact on the number of people who show up... just a thought... Anyway, as usual, extensive hanging out with my artsy pals was the highlight of both shows, something that's not possible when a show is busy. It was a small group of vendors at the Chestnut Hill show including Trish from Idazz, Sue from SueBdo , Christine from Little Man, and my new bff, Hilary Crane-Stern of Hilary.
On Saturday, I did a show on Harrison Avenue in Boston and, fortunately, when I pulled into the parking lot I spotted my pal Nicole Deponte so I knew I was in the right place (btw, if you're a film scout looking for a totally sketchy building/parking lot for a murder scene, have I got a spot for you!). So we gave eachother a quick hug, moved our stuff into the building and hoped for a good day. Again, things were slow so I got to spend lots of quality time with my neighbors, twin sisters Heather and Kerry from Twigs + Heather: and Cadence of Cadence Innovative Designs.
Check out the inside of the venue/warehouse at BANG! (below) It's hard to see in this photo but there were animal crates stored above us... AND it smelled of cat + dog urine! Yum! The perfect scent for holiday shopping!All in all, a fantabulous year! Thank you to everyone for your support and I look forward to creating new and fresh things in 2010. Wishing all a happy, healthy holiday season!

Monday, December 14, 2009

First Two weeks of December...

James Library + Art Center December 5th
Design Hive on December 6th
Transportation Building on December 9+10
Holly Fair in Cambridge on December 12+13
The last 2 weeks have been a blur… It started with a trunk show at the James Library + Center for the Arts in Norwell (my hometown) on December 5th followed by the Design Hive on December 6th in Cambridge. A few days later, I set up shop at 10 Park Plaza for the 22nd annual Transportation Building’s Holiday Festival on December 9 + 10, and then wrapped up at the Holly Fair in Cambridge on December 12 + 13. There are still two more shows before I finish the 2009 season and I’ve learned a lot about overloading one’s schedule as well as how to function (well) on less than 3 hours of sleep. Since it’s been a few weeks since my last update, I have lots of fabulous vendors to mention and my plan is to list everyone in an abbreviated fashion so this doesn’t go on and on…and on. Plus it’s a busy time of year for everyone and I’m finding everything is taking me longer to do than I’d like. So enough with the blah, blah… here are the fabulous folks: Mary Draper Murray, Outside the Box Jewelry Designs was my neighbor on December 5th at the James Library Trunk Show. Former model and dancer Dina Canducci, Ducci Designs displayed her one of a kind designs at Design Hive on December 5th!
Lisa DeMio, RedStaggerwing Designs also brought her fabulous goods to Design Hive… all the way from NH! (love this pillow! yum!) Fun and funny Liz Ballard of Crafty Lizzie was across the aisle with her handmade greeting cards for all occasions.
At the Holly Fair in Cambridge on December 12 + 13, I shared a teensy room at 42 Brattle Street with three lovelies including Sue Randall, Thistledown (hats, gloves, scarf, baby bibs - sorry folks, she doesn't have a website); Keyse Angelo, Flauxy ...colorful and fun jewels (happy birthday girl!); and Rob Charlton, Goosefish Press pictured above with his printing press in South Boston.
I probably left off a few people I'd like to mention but I'm rushing and will remedy with the next post! Wishing everyone a happy, healthy holiday season! I’m off to give hugs to my nieces and nephew and light the menorah!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Harvard Square - Nov. 28 + 29

The Harvard Square Holiday Fair celebrated its 24th season and I was happy to be a part of it. Many of the vendors will continue on through the end of December in the same location on Church Street but I’ll be doing many other shows instead (the count is now officially 6 different shows!!) which I’m pretty sure will be lots of fun! Yay December! Ok, so there was an eclectic mix of vendors at the Harvard Square show including my neighbor Mary Risley, MR Jewelry. She brought her nature inspired and one of a kind, embossed sterling silver goodies all the way from Northampton to share with the Harvard Square crowd. And they loved it! It’s always nice meeting new, creative people but it’s especially nice to be situated next to someone at a show that’s genuinely sweet, engaging and fun to be around. I hope we'll be neighbors again soon! Lisa Kerr, Design Consultant (fabulous) was also present showing off Tuff Cookie’s playful, colorful hats for kids and ladies. My mom has a mild obsession with hats (oh, and other accessories) and it took about 30 seconds before she spotted Lisa’s table, selected a hat and completed a purchase. Anyway, the next 3 weeks will be INSANE. Between the full-time job, the evening studio hours, the online shop and the 6 shows in 3 weeks, I hope to keep my sh*t together. So far, so good and that's the plan… but I'll likely fall apart on December 20th which actually works out fine since I have a week off between Christmas and New Years.

p.s. thanks to Kenny, lead singer of Motherboar, (nominated 2 years in a row for Best Metal Band, Boston Music Awards - good luck on Wednesday!!), for keeping me company and helping with breakdown on Sunday :) You're the best!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wellesley Marketplace - Nov. 21st

On Saturday even though I was a last minute addition (hey, I'll take it!), I participated in the 33rd annual Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club Marketplace and it was fabulous. Very organized and many enthusiastic volunteers from a great organization. Plus there were many fantastic, talented vendors including Cathy Cahill, Sew Cuties (um, prepare yourself for an explosion of cuteness!!). If you need a gift for a baby shower or toddler or just something for the kid in you, check out Cathy's world of creatures and drawings. Her work is so fun (and so is she)!
Oh! and for those of you on Facebook AND Etsy, I just discovered a new application that lets you set up a "My Etsy" tab on your facebook profile. Click here for more info. pretty sweet!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chestnut Hill Mall - November 14th

I hadn’t been to the Chestnut Hill Mall in a long time and I was finally able to check it out, so to speak, this past Saturday thanks to the Jamaica Plain Arts Council. I was invited to participate in a holiday artisan showcase having participated in the JP Open Studios in September. So from 10am to 6pm, a sizeable group of JP affiliated artists took over the empty space adjacent to Bloomingdales & Brooks Brothers and though it was raining outside, the feeling inside was cozy and warm. Plus I got to see some friends and check out their newest creations including Cathryn Blackwell, Blackwell’s Stained and Leaded Glass. Yes, we’re both stained glass artists but we've got very different styles. She’s the lady you go to see to restore a lovely leaded window that needs some tlc! She's super and I loved her table set up with the glittering "snow" table! Anna Koon, painter, photographer and writer, was also at the show. She's involved in lots of creative ventures including film projects. yay! I enjoyed looking at her newest mixed media pieces, especially the ones depicting birds on wires. The images feel musical to me, probably because of the color combinations but mostly because birds on a wire remind me of sheet music!Lastly Rob Festa, Dog Devil Studio is an architect by trade but he's also a photographer so it makes perfect sense that he has a great eye for design, color and composition. His photographs have a painterly feel and warmth. I love the piano portraits... simply beautiful. I'd like to say thank you to my friend Nicole for stopping by, bringing me much needed caffeine in the form of coffee, and helping with the break-down session. But alas, it's not all work and no play... we were able to reward ourselves with some delish wine following the show at Aquitaine, I believe it was 14 Hands Merlot. Yum!
See you on Saturday in Wellesley... yes, I am a crazy person who has overscheduled herself! But I love it!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hello November!

To begin - pictured above is my booth at the 23rd annual Christmas Festival at the Seaport World Trade Center since I still don’t have photos of my “clean” studio which honestly isn't really all that clean or organized… yet! Also, I missed an update last week (heavens no!) because I had limited computer access + many long hours in the studio so you’re in for a treat as this is a double update! Woohoo!

The Design Hive in Cambridge on November 1st was full of great exhibitors as usual including the lovely "Nicoles", that's Ms. Lyons of Lola’s Urban Vintage and Ms. Deponte of Lilian Asterfield. Some other fabulous designer pals I haven’t mentioned before who were also showing their goods at DH include Erica Walker, Walker Silverworks – beautiful, clean and simple, her silver designs are crafted by hand in a tiny house in New Hampshire. Each piece has been formed with skill and celebrates the beauty and natural qualities of silver (love these earrings!);Kim Gonzaga of Stella Marie Soap Company with the slogan “a good bath freaking rules” says it all - as if relaxing in warm water wasn’t awesome enough, you can enhance the experience by lathering up with a yummy smelling cupcake. Come on, it doesn’t get better than that!; and last but certainly not least, Sara Harding of Sara Danielle Designs, handcrafted precious and semi-precious gemstone jewelry - Sara is a ball of positive energy and her work is delicate, feminine and sparkles with joy (like Sara)! Plus we're both Leos, have curly hair, AND we have the same camera! Here's hoping we have a bigger group of attendees for the next Design Hive on December 6th -the room is full of talent that needs to be seen and experienced!
The last 2 weeks I was up pretty late every night in preparation for the 23rd annual Christmas festival at the Seaport World Trade Center on November 6-8. Lots of last minute details to attend to and then... move in! I arrived at the Seaport WTC at 6pm on Thursday Nov 5th and even though I was moving at a feverish pace, I still wasn't done at 9pm. That's 3 hours of non-stop setting up!??!! So I had to leave the building at 9pm (actually, they announced they were setting the alarm at 9pm and I had 2 minutes to get out! subtle!) and return the next morning to finish setting up. Hey! it's not so easy to create an inviting, spacious 10'x10' world that includes paintings, jewelry AND stained glass, but I think after more than 5 hours, I did ok. I give myself a B-. Next time, I'll set up with the tables out front. Because I felt like people were intimidated to approach my space and walk in. Front and center is key.
That's momma (sporting a white pendant on a 30" inch chain) keeping me company on Sunday...
Despite the unseasonably gorgeous weather, there was still lots of foot traffic at the show though the vast majority of passersby simply passed by, likely overwhelmed by the endless amount of things to see, or maybe they just didn’t like the look of me, my booth, my intimidating mermaids, or my portraits of scantily clad ladies… hey, it’s possible! Needless to say, it was very fun people watching! And I still managed to find my people amongst the masses... yes, you special ladies and gents with style and flair who appreciate the unique & handmade! Papa and I had a particularly fun time and lots of laughs (after AAA retrieved the keys from his locked car ;) on Saturday when we encountered a familial threesome from Poughkeepsie, NY; Danbury, CT; and Lincoln, RI (above). And on Sunday, it was a hoot to meet artist Rose Bryant from NH who'd been reading Artscope on the ride to the show and spotted me and my Artscope centerfold and stopped to say hello! I meet the greatest people!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting organized...

For anyone who's seen my studio recently, disaster zone is a fitting description. I had a path from the door to my work table and everything else was essentially thrown on the floor. And don't even get me started on my "office" space... Anyway my wake up call came when a good friend and fellow artist was over a couple of weeks ago. We'd been talking about messy studios, as if it was someone else's problem...ha!, and the look on her face when she saw my space was priceless. Knowing me well, I don't think she expected to see such chaos which only reinforced how pathetic my situation had become.

So here's the deal, I have limited studio time since I work full-time during the week, and for numerous reasons, I'd been putting off the organizational activities in favor of just creating. But this only increased the mess, the clutter and my denial. In fact, the chaos was preventing me from finding materials, working in proper, safe conditions, and getting things done efficiently. For example, let's take cutting glass. It's best to work on a clean, clear surface with good lighting. Right? Or trash... let's talk about trash. It's sort of a well accepted concept that it should be thrown in a bin or bag and NOT on the floor. blah, blah, blah... so I guess what I'm saying is... "my name is Liza and I had a MESS of a studio + office". There, I said it... and I finally decided to do something about it:

Step 1: I cleared EVERYTHING out my studio, and I mean everything. p.s. not. fun.
Step 2: I selected what would go back into the space... or not. p.s. fun.
Step 3: Lastly every item was given a home, preferably labeled. To help with organization and increase work surface area, I purchased 2 new shelving units and a 4' table. p.s. if you're freakishly organized and enjoy this sort of thing, give me a call.

As an artist who works in multiple media, I tend to collect and accumulate a lot of different materials because you never know what you'll need or may come in handy. However, sometimes that pile gets a little overwhelming and grows untouched for months if not years and there's a point where it needs to be addressed. So anything I hadn't used in 4 years (and yes, it's been 4 glorious years in Plymouth!!), I put in a box, or let's face it, several boxes, and I plan to reassess each item: keep, donate or toss. It's still a work in progress and I have loads more to do but I've made a small dent and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. And now I look forward to working this weekend in a clean, organized space! Pictures of the newly spiffed up spaces to be posted shortly...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Drummer Boy Park in Brewster - Oct 9-11

Time to bundle up with a warm scarf and some hot cocoa!!
Even though it's a tad chilly, I participated in one of my last outdoor shows of the season... a 3-day show with 20 vendors in Brewster, MA this past weekend. The Cape is lovely this time of year but the weather was rainy/windy on Friday so I left a smidge early. Then Saturday was supposed to clear up but never really did. AND as the day progressed, it got super windy! We're talking 15-19 mile an hour winds! Not the greatest tent/display weather! So by the time I left on Saturday evening and buttoned up my tent for the night (yes, we leave the tents up overnight), I drove away hoping my tent would be there upon returning. Below is the scene at around 6pm on Saturday when I was leaving... biting my fingernails with worry... And fortunately, when I returned the next morning all was well, but I did notice that a few of the other tents looked like they had a really rough night. The photo below was from my drive home on Saturday night... (yes, I took the photo while driving.. oops... not nearly as bad as texting while driving, right?)On Columbus day, I played catch up in the studio. The christmas ornaments have been a hit thus far so I prepped, cut, foiled and soldered til my lil hands couldn't take it...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Two Paris Paintings

I'm excited to report that 2 paintings sold this week!
I traveled to Paris last year with my pal Nicole, Froggie Baby. We both snapped a ton of photos (who could blame us!). And I was so inspired by the trip and the beauty of the scenery that I started a series of paintings based on the photos. "Green Chairs" (above) was purchased at the Plymouth Art Center's most recent juried exhibit, and "Wine After Marie Antoinette" (below) which depicts a well-deserved glass of wine had its last public viewing at the Jamaica Plain Open Studios. Such memorable images of my time in the beautiful city of Paris! For anyone interested, limited edition giclee prints are available of these paintings.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

JP Open Studios - Sept 26 + 27

I’d been looking forward to spending the weekend in JP for open studios and now I know why… the crowd is engaging, interesting and supportive of the arts/artist; and the exhibiting artists are talented, inspiring and great company! The weather was gorgeous on Saturday so we were set up in the parking lot adjacent to the Sam Adams’ Brewery on Amory Street. My immediate neighbors were the lovely couple Jim and Helene of Urban Kitchen, handmade soap and distinctive accessories (their tent smells AWESOME!), and Amanda Accardi, painter and new owner of Around the Corner Custom Framing, 637 Tremont Street. Congrats! I’m pretty sure I heard talk of the "grand opening" on October 8th so be sure to check it out and definitely head there if you have framing needs. On Sunday, the weather was not so nice and, fortunately, we were able to move inside. I condensed my set up to one table and shared a fantastic space with 3 other artists in an exposed brick hallway in the Brewery building. They are Shaun Provencher, custom jeweler; Marc Cote, printmaker (and Chairman of Art and Music at Framingham State College); and Gwen Friend, handbuilt ceramics.Thank you to all who came by to shop and say hello. And happy new year to my MOT's!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

stART on the Street in Worcester – Sept 20

On Sunday, I participated in stART on the Street in Worcester, an overwhelmingly organized event from beginning to end. There were several hundred vendors plus musicians and food kiosks and the plentiful volunteers made everything from arrival to departure seem like a breeze. And nothing brings people out to a show like clear blue skies and sunshine. Yay people!

This week’s “forgetfulness” award goes to none other than moi… ah yes, #1: I left all of my business cards at home (seriously, they serve no purpose sitting on the kitchen counter); #2: though I remembered to actually bring my camera this week, it was rendered useless since I forgot the battery back home..errrrr....; and lastly #3: the forgetfulness continued on site when I left the table covers in the car and had to retrace my steps up a mountainous path to the artist parking lot to retrieve them. Yup, I’m losin it folks! Fortunately, I made lots of new friends and had my lovely iphone to capture at least a few pics of the day.
I tried a different set up, the old inverted "L" which I'd say worked out quite well except it was a bit cramped, only leaving me a foot and a half of space behind the table. Overall, I think this set up was a success especially if I have more items to display but I need to work on it. So the pursuit of the ideal setup continues as well as the hunt for a clever way to display and simultaneously protect the more delicate glass items (hello!) from little hands... because as much as we love 'em, those little creatures touch EVERYTHING!!