some presents to myself

I’ve spent some money on things I couldn’t resist. I will list them in the order I bought them.

I got an IPad in August and I love it. I’ve been using it for running charge cards when I go to markets and so it feels like a legitimate business tool. About a month ago I bought a DODO case and I totally recommend it. The IPad feels protected and the case feels good in my hand. It is an artisan-made product which I have to admit makes me love it even more. Check it out if you are in the market for any tablet case- I think they’ve got them all.

I read this review on Pikaland. I thought, I have GOT to get that! I did. It is amazing! Check it out, Wrap.

My favorite-

Crystal posted some mushroom ornaments on her blog right before the SOWA Holiday Market. I rushed over to her booth before the show opened to check out what she brought. Unfortunately some other vender had gotten in there before me and the ones I wanted were taken. Crystal make me some more when she was back home again. These will not be going back to attic after Christmas. They will be hanging in my studio all year round.

I found this adorable little fellow at Gallery Hanahou. He is made by Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land. I think he will be spending his time hanging out on top of one of the above mushrooms.

And lastly, this owl ornament (I think he is papier mache and approx. 4″ tall). I found him at John Derian.

When I was at John Derian, there were lots of items by Coral & Tusk. I had never seen the work before and was tempted and intrigued. Then, as I was catching up on my blogs on Monday, somebody linked to them! I loved this fox. He has a pocket with a camera!

some more of the NYC trip

We stayed in a hotel in Brooklyn and enjoyed having some time to walk around. When I am there for Renegade I never seem to have a minute to explore!

On Saturday morning we went to the Dekalb Market. It is lots of little shops in rehabbed shipping containers. Plus there were venders selling under canopies and fantastic coffee. Then we headed onto the Subway and over to Manhattan. Next stop, ABC Carpet and Home. How is it that I have never been here before! It is one of those stores where the selections and displays are so exciting and inspiring that it is like a design museum. Next, John Derian, another fun, inspiring, and very crowded, shop. Clearly I wasn’t doing a very good job on the photo-documentation of the first part of the day.

At this point we needed a sit down break. We headed for City Bakery for hot chocolate and a yummy treat that I think they call a Bakers Muffin- sort of a muffin version of bread pudding but crunchy on top. Delish! And, a confession, both Ben and I removed the giant homemade marshmallow from our cups after a few tastes. It was just too much.

We headed uptown to join the crowds admiring the Christmas windows. In our typical way, before we went we googled to get a map of all the good displays. There is something very exciting about being in a crowd of cheerful people, all enjoying themselves. The highlights (ie the ones I took pictures of)-

Barneys– there was some kind of Lady Gaga connection but frankly I don’t really care about any back story. The windows were amazing! This is a room all decorated/ made of hair!

Just beautiful.

Next, Bergdorf Goodman.  They seemed to have a taxidermy thing going on. Some of the windows were small-

yep, that is a squirrel on a bike-

and some of them were big. These bird heads were on human size mannequin bodies.

I was intrigued by the fabric that this gown was made of- little strips if blue fabric sewed onto white netting.

These are Bergdorf’s too, although the theme changed. These windows are materials based. Everything in this one was wood-

This one, glass. The fish are mosaic and the dress is beads.

And now, back to taxidermy. Little mice on purses. This one made me laugh- it is that mouse in the tutu that did it.

This one, all metal.

The next store had theater scenes of cut paper.


And we later saw a giant version when we were on the bus heading downtown. I love the silhouette look in a window.

Tomorrow I will show you the few little things I bought. I can’t remember when the last time I was in New York at Christmas time but it has been a while. I’m so glad we went!

Gallery Hanahou

I had a great visit to New York. I headed down to SOHO as soon as I got there. It was a thrill to see my work in the Luvable and Hugable show at Gallery Hanahou. As always, it is fantastic to see everything in person after looking at the catalog, and so funny to see things where I had a picture of a certain scale in my head and I was way off!

Lots of the other artists in the show are people who I follow online so it was a thrill to see their work in person too.

I loved how they hung the Cotton Monsters from the ceiling!

This is the other side of the room. Aren’t the crochet paintbrushes so funny!

Somehow I seemed to have missed photographing one of my favorite pieces- a plush spray can. I was expecting it (from the photo in the catalog) to be life-size and as a result, didn’t notice it on my first turn around the gallery… because it is much bigger!

My husband and I stopped into the new Scotch & Soda store which happens to be right around the corner from the gallery. I didn’t see any suspiciously familiar fabrics on the clearance rack. I felt the need to check since my sister, who is visiting Australia right now, actually saw some of the offending articles in Melbourne. My spies are everywhere!

My studio is a disaster right now. I managed to get myself into a crazy gridlock. It started because I am trying to clear out a little bedroom and uncover the bed since all the kids will be home for Christmas. This is the room that I’ve been tossing everything into for a while now. I needed to take out some of the furniture including a bookcase. I can always use another bookcase in my studio but to get it in, I needed to rearrange things- which involved emptying other bookcases. Yikes, what a mess. The little bedroom is getting close- I think it will be ready for tomorrow evening when it is needed. Then I can move onto clearing out the front room so we can set up the Christmas tree.

Tomorrow I will post about some of the other things I did in the city.

nyc report 4- wrap-up

and the rest of the story.

We spent a lot of time walking around and on buses. The unlimited transit path is the best.

Great storefront!

I went to the Folk Art Museum and saw a show of paintings by Ammi Phillips. Excellent. I always like to visit the gift shop at MOMA– lots of excellent design. And it is right across the street from the Folk Art Museum so why resist?

The embroidery show was well worth the trip uptown. It was all a little overwhelming- the kind of show that I’d rather visit several times because there is so much to absorb.

Here are some pictures of Central Park- it is always a surprise to me- how there can be this space in the middle of Manhattan.

We spent lots of time on a bus, looking out windows, enjoying neighborhoods.

Isn’t it amazing that NY really looks like this?

And we got home on Saturday night. It was a great trip and already I can’t wait to return.  I have been back up in my studio, so I hope I will have some new doll work to show by the end of the week. Goal of the week? Keep warm!

nyc report 2- Redhook

On Thursday morning (day 2) we headed out to Brooklyn again. This time we were going to visit Jen and Brian at their studio in Redhook. I can’t seem to stop myself from gushing… the area was incredible! So, lots of pictures-

look at the windows, and the shutters-

This wall- amazing-

Windows with great metal shutters-

Industrial views-

Windows from the inside-

Me talking- bla, bla… see the wall behind me and the window?

And back outside again- the Statue-

I just can’t get enough-

It was a great visit!

nyc report 1

Day 1- we left Boston in a winter storm. It is becoming a habit.

We went on the BoltBus. It has wifi and that was great fun. I was very happy that I wasn’t the one driving in the terrible weather. We made it safely to the city and only a little bit later than scheduled.

The snow had turned to rain by the time we got to NY. We left our baggage at the hotel and went out again. First stop- Kinokuniya– the Japanese Bookstore. It is very close to where we were staying. I was hunting for some decorative package tape to liven up my Etsy packages. They have a great stationary department at Kinokuniya, but no luck with the tape. Lots of other very interesting things to look at though. Next was a walk through the Fashion District- always fun.

We stepped into a store full of magazines and because it was in the fashion district, I shouldn’t have been amazed when I realized that almost every one was fiber and fashion related. Wow! I picked up one magazine that looked interesting- embroidery in fashion- price $55- eek!

We were on our way to Brooklyn to see Disfarmer, Dan Hurlin’s newest puppet show. To add to the fun, we took a water taxi to get there. Everything in the city was wet (including us), shiny and beautiful  (not us). I experimented with trying to get some night photos- I’ve been inspired by the city photos of my Boston Handmade friend Kerry. I love the way she captures the feeling of neighborhoods. Here are some of my wet city pics-

Waiting for the water taxi-

And then on the boat-

and outside the window- everything is jiggly because of the movement of the boat-

That is the Chrysler building above.

We made it to Brooklyn, had dinner, saw the show, made it back to the hotel… phew! What a day! That’s enough for now. I’ve been away from my studio for way too long and I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things today.

a crazy kind of week

let me see. We had loads of snow- that was last Sunday. I love it when it snows like this- it looks like cotton balls in the azalea bush.

The snow made for lots of icicles on every house-

There was the wonderful day of the inauguration. I loved watching it on TV and then a neighbor had a celebratory tea- such fun. The day took a turn though- a bit before 5 I got a call that my son had cut his hand at work and the rest of the evening was spent doing the adrenaline mom thing. Table saw + finger= bad combination. It really wasn’t bad but I totally freaked. My husband took him to the ER. I am such a wimp. I couldn’t even bear to hear him describe what happened. So now I will probably always remember that as part of Obama’s inauguration.

And, what else? I have been working very hard on a project that you’ll know about in a few weeks- so that is boring to blog about. I am planning to do a class on tiny worlds but have been too busy with that other project to post the info. I will try to do that tomorrow. And, lastly, I am going to New York City (and Brooklyn) next week- Wed. 1/28 to Saturday. Got any great ideas for what I should do or see?  I am planning to go to this embroidery show. And, if anyone is interested, I am always up for a meet-up.