RADCOW: I got Interested in Leather craft about a decade ago, when I was a teenager hitch hiking across Canada. On my travels I met a wonderful old hippy man named Longevity John. He was nearly 7 foot tall, with hair down his back, and eyes all full of kindness. He lived in a shotgun shack with no running water, or electricity, but made incredible and inspiring leather crafts and sold them on saturdays at the farmers market in town. John showed me a few things, and got the seeds of inspiration planted in me. The thought of someone making their living with their own 2 hands from thier crafts made my heart swell. Later, I got a job at a leather craft store, and began spending most of my pay cheques on tools, and most of my time playing with leather. Since then, the seed has grown, and I too make my living this way, selling here, and at festivals and craft fairs. I feel like I am on my true path, and I am eternally grateful to etsy, and to all of you who support hand crafters. You allow the creative instinct to grow and flourish. Thank you!
Jane of Sweet Dixie Designs began painting furniture as a creative outlet after graduating college 25 years ago. With a degree in Textile Design, painting furniture began as a fun outlet. She painted rocking chairs and stools to give friends as baby gifts and then it just grew into a business. Her experience ranges from painting large items such as armoires to smaller home accessories and she has sold them through craft shows and stores. After taking some time off from painting while her children were little, she wanted to get back to being creative. She found Etsy and opened her store selling photo frames in November. These frames are a great way to add color and pattern into your home decor and to showcase your special photos. Isn’t the little scalloped detail along the edges sweet?
Jane is inspired by what she sees happening in home decor magazines and even fashion magazines. You can definitely see her textile background in her fabric-influenced patterns.
I have always loved color and pattern and like the idea that at first glance it may look like the frame is covered in paper or fabric and then you realize that it is paint. My style isn’t really modern or traditional, I just like what I like.
Jane is a mom of three and her fourth child is her “Sweet Dixie” a rescued greyhound, her shop’s namesake. She enjoys finding new patterns and colors and hopes to add a variety of items to her shop as time goes on.
I think buying handmade is so important. After being out of the craft market for a while coming back into it I now see how many people make a living from their art. The time and care that goes into each item cannot be duplicated.
Sweet Dixie Designs frames would make great gifts for that upcoming baby shower or wedding. Go visit her shop, there are tons of great designs and color schemes to choose from!
When I spot a poster of Providence designed by hand and printed by hand, I feel like I live someplace famous.
The subject matter is clearly important to the artist. Jean took the time to study this iconic image of Providence. He learned the lines and slight curves of this cityscape by re-creating these lines on paper. His own interpretation was given to the scene in the form of composition and color. His acts are much more deliberate than a simple photograph.
Jean is passionate about his city, he cares about preserving events. His images allow one to display their celebrations, inviting the community to join in. Once the event is over it still lives on in Jean’s posters. He leaves behind mementos of fond times.
To appreciate this body of work we don’t need to have a relationship to the event. Just an appreciation for the artist’s vision, his interpretation presented in these colorful images. (As an aside, I enjoy how the event’s details are fit ever so snugly into the clapboard on the side of this house in the “Blood From A Turnip” print. It is quite impressive.)
Jean also works with his own agenda. Taking time to make work which will spread his cause, making his vision known.
No matter what the cause of subject matter is Jean is passionate about his city and his process. Speaking of process, there are some great photos of Jean’s prints in progress on his updates page.
Aside from Jean’s posters and prints for sale in his secret store there is a great portfolio of work in the posters and projects section of Secret Door Projects site. I am amazed at the array of work Jean Cozzen has to offer. His body of work ranges from political pieces, advertisements for events to wedding invitations. Take a peek and be impressed.
As if the sometimes overwhelming commitment weren’t enough, confusion in recent years over whether or not a locavore diet is “worth it” — not just for ourselves, but for the environment — has added a new dimension of frustration for budding farmer’s market foodies.
A recent article from Newsweek, ‘Swallowing Eco Hype‘, highlights an interview with author James E. McWilliams who, despite his book’s title, Just Food: How Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, claims not to be entirely anti-locavore himself.
While McWilliams and I may not see eye-to-eye on every point of the argument – few of them, indeed — there’s a strong case to be made for some of the underlying fundamentals to the approach he has taken in tackling the problem at hand.
I don’t have a green thumb (by any stretch of the imagination), but last year’s tomato crop was so dismal that I barely harvested enough fruit for a caprese salad, never mind a batch of marinara sauce. This year, however, is looking much, much more promising. With the first “early girl” turning red as we speak (and plenty more on the vine), I am beginning to see a bowl (if not multiple bowls) of pico de gallo in our near future. Of course, that will have to wait until we have ourselves a real harvest, because the first one is going to be sliced and eaten with nothing but a sprinkle of crunchy fleur de sel. If I can hold off long enough to slice it, that is.
Bolstered by my tomato victory, I am already getting organized and planning next year’s garden. At the risk of getting cocky, in addition to the varieties available at my local garden centre, I think I might try my hand at some heirloom varieties. I have always been attracted to heirloom varieties, partly because of their funny names and unusual appearance, but also partly due to their nostalgia and historical significance. This repurposed organizer (above) by Red Truck Designs is the perfect catch-all for seed packets, sketches, clippings and photographs. The piece’s designer, Susan, has even attached strong magnets to the vintage forks (included) so that you can hold even *more* ephemera and inspiration.
I don’t know where I got the idea that have heirloom varieties would be hard to grow, but I have kept away from them for just that reason. After doing a little bit of research, though, I have discovered that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Other than getting them started, I’ve been assured that they’ll be no more difficult than my usual tomato plants. And, with a little luck and a lot of sunshine, by this time next year I could be sitting down to a salad of Cherokee Purples, Yellow Brandywines, Striped Romans and Black Krims grown from seed by The Bear Foot Shaman. My mouth is watering just at the thought of it! After all, rather than being grown for the perfect appearance and long shelf-life of modern varieties, heirlooms are known for their TASTE.
No smell is more evocative of gardening to me than that of the tomato plant itself. Sometimes, on a hot summer’s day, even if I am not working in the garden I find myself running my hands through the leaves and over the stalks of my tomato plants just to pick up the lush and pungent scent. I swear; it’s better than any perfume. The Dirty Housewife Soap Co. has captured that scent in this vibrant, verdant soap (pictured above). Containing Chlorella, a single-celled algae touted as a true “superfood”, each 5oz ruffled bar will leave your skin soft and smelling of summer all year-round.
Of course, it’s not enough for tomatoes to just taste and smell good. They have to up the ante by being good for you, too. Thanks to a certain ketchup company’s marketing, we have all heard of lycopene, a powerful phytochemical found in, you guessed it, tomatoes. Responsible for giving tomatoes their vibrant red hue, lycopene is an efficient anti-oxidant compound that attacks damaging free-radicals in the body and promotes healthy cell-growth. Although it is best known as a preventative measure for prostate cancer, lycopene is beneficial for both sexes. Maybe we should change that old adage to “A tomato a day keeps the doctor away!” Let these cute little earrings by Mouse Market (pictured above) remind you to eat your tomatoes and get your daily dose of the good stuff, because the less time you spend in doctors’ waiting rooms, the more time you can spend in the garden!