Sasha Bell: I love shiny things and I love being crafty. I have been making jewelry for 6-7 years now off and on, and am so excited to be back on again. My love affair with metal started at the Kootenay School of the Arts where I completed 2 years of small object and Jewelry design.My design taste is rustic, modern, and textural. I’m fascinated with mechanisms-hinges/rivets, and I’m crazy about patinas-I will tarnish anything I can get my hands on.
This weekend I spent a few snow-free days in Western Massachusetts for work. Pioneer Valley is full of colleges and cultural opportunities. You can experience world class dance at Jacob’s Pillow, or see where Emily Dickinson lived–all within a half an hour drive. But the closest I got to sampling the local flavor was a quick pit stop at Friendly’s–that’s what happens when you have a 1 year old and a three year sitting in the back seat! My trip inspired me to find some local Western Mass artisans online.
I have always loved polaroid transfers, and this by Briana Taylor is one of the nicest I’ve seen. It reminds me of an old postcard from the early days of photography. I also love the story behind the artist. Like many creative souls, she took a winding path to her present day life as a working artist. She has become a part of the vibrant arts community of Western Mass. and you can feel her creative joy in all of her art.
Living in a creative community certainly makes it easier to find real studio space for making your art. The creator of these milk bottle inspired vases, Cara Taylor, used an electric kiln to fire them. She also has handthrown pieces for sale. Hey, wouldn’t these be perfect for those long stem roses coming your way for Valentine’s Day? Or maybe not. Either way, these ceramic vases have a distinct New England sensibility that makes them lovely and useful items to have in your home–or maybe in my home!
What is more indicative of New England life than a quilt? Seriously, quilts never go out of style–and they are one thing you can never have too many of. A quilt has so many applications in the home–at the foot of your bed, over the back of a sofa, or folded carefully in the corner waiting patiently to be put to use. This charming quilt by Pioneer Valley Girl has a red and white patchwork pattern that’s complimented by a classic ticking stripe facing with a thick lining. What a perfect way to stay warm and cozy inside as the last days of winter come barreling through.
These rings are simply beautiful. They make me wish for Spring in November!
Every piece of jewelry in my shop has been handmade by me. Lost wax casting is my primary medium and everything in my shop has been cast in my studio. I make all my own models and do my own casting, fabrication, and finishing. I use green sources whenever possible, recycled metals, certified conflict free diamonds, and nickel free sterling silver. I use solid 14k, or 18k gold earwires and posts on many items for strength and for those with sensitivities.
Even though St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, I wanted to make up for the fact that I completely forgot about it this year. It’s probably because for the the first time we celebrated two birthdays within a two week period of time at our house–my daughter turned 3 and my son turned 1. So the end of February until well into March was a bit of a whirlwind. It wasn’t hard to find really great items in Ireland, I actually had a really hard time choosing just three to show you.
Truth be told, I’ve been coveting Bonzie’s fashion designs for several years now. Her romantic, Victorian style has a modern edge that makes everything she designs totally wearable yet totally unique as well. The shop is run by Bonzie and her Auntie Ger out of her studio in Waterford, Ireland. isn’t that just the perfect dream of running your own business, being able to work with your own family?
Embellishments…now there’s a word only people who handcraft know and understand. I have many embellishments that are so precious to me I don’t use them when I probably should! Geraldine of LittleSnippets has been embroidering since she was 4 years old. She was taught and encouraged by her aunt Maureen Ryan. I never even thought about making my own little embellishments like these celtic birds, but what a great way to make use of leftover material, thread, buttons, etc.
This piece of wearable art is the creation of Artist Lisa Falzon of Malta, but who is now living in rural Ireland. You will find more wonderful art in her shop Meluseena, which is taken from the name “Melusine” who is the heroine of a French fairy tale. Each piece of art in her shop is amazing, and her technique involves collage, painting, and other techniques to achieve the dreamy, beautiful images. She says that selling her art online is much more gratifying than working through a gallery or an art agent. It’s just stunning how much talent one can find by just poking around a bit.
I just had to post a second illustration, this is Snow White and Rose Red two sisters from the Brothers Grimm. I always say my little girl looks like Rose Red, and most people don’t know what I’m talking about. This illustration is a perfect gift for my daughter, I can save it and give it to her next year for her birthday–I’m sure it will be here before I know it!
eliza B green: I’m a green designer, working with eco fabrics and existing clothes, repurposing to create something new. All my items are original, one-of-a-kind or limited edition, built from scratch.