- Acrylic on canvas by Dean Russo.
- Poster by omkarma
- Collage by Marie-Chantale Turgeon
- Print by MarcoArt
- Mixed media painting by StOrmOne
Today is a fantastic day :)
Shopping blog featuring products made by people not factories.
Check out these whimsical creations from The Daily Pincushion, and I dare you to only choose one to be your favorite.
Melissa Lew has been an artist her whole life. Some of her fondest childhood memories are of making jewelry with her mother. These days, in addition to her graphic design day job, she is also a painter, a photographer, a classically trained pianist, and of course, the designer and sculptor of her own jewelry line.
The current Melissa Lew jewelry collection includes four lines, with four themes: Transcendence (cherry blossoms), Prosperity (goldfish), Longevity (Asian dogwoods), and Resilience (transfers of Melissa’s paintings on bamboo). Melissa uses mainly recycled, sustainable, and eco-friendly materials to create her jewelry, including recycled fine silver, stainless steel, and bamboo. All her recycled fine silver jewelry is hand carved, so every single piece is completely unique!
Although Melissa has wide-ranging experience in the visual and performing arts, her interests were focused into jewelry making partially through her exposure to recycled fine silver. The material intrigued her, and she found it was an excellent medium to translate her passion for her Chinese heritage into a personal, wearable form.
“I love how personal jewelry is,” she says. “I love that instead of being hung on a
wall or placed on a pedestal, people wear it and enjoy it.”
Her inspirations come from her Chinese heritage, and from the deep reverence the Chinese have for the natural world. Classical Chinese proverbs, symbolism, and tradition all play a part in the creation of Melissa Lew jewelry.
Melissa taught herself how to make jewelry, which is unsurprising for someone attracted to all types of art and handcrafting. She had always been interested in sculpture, and jewelry-making, the way she does it anyway, is just like sculpture on a very small scale.
In addition to her love for recycled fine silver, Melissa also hopes to experiment with other recycled metals, including copper, bronze, and gold.
Melissa Lew Jewelry has won several awards and has been shown in exhibitions locally and across the country. Most recently, locals may have seen her jewelry adorn the models at DC Fashion Week in February.
Not surprisingly, Melissa’s DC-area customers are drawn to her cherry blossom themed Transcendence line. She supposes that the extremely popular National Cherry Blossom Festival here makes it easy for locals to form a personal connection between the understated flower and their hometown.
You can find Melissa Lew jewelry online and at local arts and craft shows. The next one will be the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market in Arlington, Virginia on June 12. Melissa’s web site is updated regularly with news on her upcoming events and appearances, so check often!
Here, last weekend marked the final Farmer’s Market of the year. While it’s a bittersweet passing of time for growers — the loss of convenient, weekly contact with customers is never a welcome thing, but the late fall and winter downtime that is a result of a lightened market schedule is imperative in the planning of the next year’s crop — it’s mostly just bitter for shoppers. Especially those new to eating local and those who are not accustomed to stocking up. Many will have few choices other than to turn back to their local chain supermarket to feed their families.
Last year in On Year-Round Appreciation, I briefly grazed the topic of keeping in touch with your local growers year round, and the advice there is still relevant and useful to this day, but if you’re committed to eating local even in the off-season you may need to dig deeper. The end of organized markets doesn’t necessarily mean the end of local food, but you may have to do a bit more homework to find it. And even if your local Farmer’s Markets are still open, doing your homework may yield you better sources of local food than you had before.
Most locales are still supporting some growth, though the variety will be less impressive than it has been. If your markets are still open be on the look out for those early spring vegetables that are making a comeback for a second season this year. Greens are huge — spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, collards — as are fast growing root crops. Think: radishes. Also keep your eyes peeled for long-season crops that are just now ripe, such as leeks, egg plant and winter squashes, as well as those crops that store well for winter like potatoes, onions and garlic. Those that store well can be stocked up on now, and eaten throughout the coming cold months. Just be sure to ask the grower to make sure the variety they’re selling is one that stores well; not all do.
While you’re out there also ask the vendors you frequent whether or not they’ll have limited crops available during the time when the market is no longer operational. You may be able to pick up local food on-farm all winter. If your market, like mine, has already closed for the winter search Local Harvest for growers near you and get on the phone to line up sources of your favorites for the whole winter season.
Of course the transition to the non-growing season also means a transition to those foods that have no season. Meats, soft dairy and hard cheeses can be produced and harvested year round and are excellent staples for hearty, warming winter meals. Canned products, if you didn’t can your own during the months of summer bounty, are also something you may want to be on the lookout for as December approaches. Think outside the box and even a simple jar of jam can go a long way. Raspberry, spread atop a pasture-raised pork loin is to die for.
However you choose to round out your winter pantry this November, happy local shopping!
Blue Pumpkin Corsetry: I’ve been making corsets professionally for three years now. I was studying the construction techniques and pattern manufacture for two, previous to that.
I really do believe that a good quality corset is comfortable and wearable. I also believe that a corset can be made for any occasion, not just formal or bedroom occasions.
I have made corsets for clients all over the World and for all manner of reasons. From underwear, to office wear and day-to-night corsets.