Selasa, 25 November 2014

The Definitive 2014 Holiday Show Round-Up for Boston and Beyond

The official start of the 2014 holiday season is upon us! Our members have been feverishly handcrafting objects, art, wearables, and housewares for your gift giving joy!

Many of our friends and fans have been writing to ask about our semi-annual, pop-up, Boston Handmade Holiday Gallery, and we're sorry to tell you that we will not be producing a gallery this year. We were saddened to come to that conclusion but we were unable to find a suitable venue, and without a home, a gallery we could not make.

The 2014 Boston Handmade Holiday Card designed by The Patterned Peacock

BUT FEAR NOT! The vibrant and talented members of Boston Handmade are showing and selling original, one-of-a-kind, and limited edition handmade work all over Massachusetts from now through the end of December. And when we say, we've got you covered, we really mean it. Between all of our individual holiday show schedules we have a show that will fit any date and location that you seek including shows in 20 different local towns. There is guaranteed to be an opportunity near you to find us and shop handmade this holiday season:
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay

13th Annual Craftland Show
Friday, November 28 - Wednesday, December 31.
Mondays - Saturdays, 10am - 6pm, Sundays 11am - 5pm
212 Westminster Street, Providence, RI
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay

Small Business Saturday at Cristina Hurley Jewelry
Saturday, November 29, 12 - 5pm
Cristina Hurley Jewelry
554 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021
Cristina Hurley
Holiday Festival of Crafts
Friday, November 28, 10am - 5pm
Saturday, November 29, 10am-5pm
Sunday, November 30, 10am - 4pm

Worcester Center for Crafts
25 Sagamore Road, Worcester, MA
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay

Enchanted Hue by Susanne Guirakhoo

Sunday, November 30, from 1-8 pm
Marriott Custom House
3 McKinley Square, Boston, MA 02109
Hacker Creations by Melissa Glick
Linkouture by Bev Feldman
Enchanted Hue by Susanne Guirakhoo

Methuen Festival of Trees
Tuesday, December 2, 5 - 9pm
13 Branch Street, Methuen, MA
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay

The Cup Show
December 4 - 24, Tuesdays - Saturdays, 10am - 5pm
Worcester Center for Crafts, Krikorian Gallery
25 Sagamore Road, Worcester, MA 01605
Early Bird Designs by Jill J. Burns

Art by Jessica Burko

December 5 through 22, Opening Reception: Friday, December 5, 6 - 10pm
Piano Craft Gallery
793 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118 
Jessica Burko

Concord Giftopolis
Friday, December 5, 6:30 - 11pm
7 Eagle Square, Concord, NH
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay

Beryllina by Laurie Lynn Berezin

ArtSpace Maynard Holiday Sale
Friday, December 5, 5-8pm
Saturday, December 6, 10am-5pm
Sunday, December 7, 12-5pm

ArtSpace Maynard
63 Summer St, Maynard, MA 01754
Beryllina by Laurie Lynn Berezin

Early Bird Designs by Jill J. Burns

Fire Works Open Studio
Friday, December 5, 4 - 8pm
Saturday, December 6, 10am - 8pm
Sunday, December 7, 10am - 3pm

The Fire Works Pottery Studio
38 Harlow Street, Worcester, MA 01605
Early Bird Designs by Jill J. Burns

Stray Notions by Sharon Fischer

17th Annual JP Crafts Fair
Saturday, December 6, 11am - 5pm
First Church Jamaica Plain
6 Eliot Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay
Jon Barrows
Stray Notions by Sharon Fischer
The Patterned Peacock by Dana Garczewski
Linkouture by Bev Feldman
Enchanted Hue by Susanne Guirakhoo

Totally Bazaar II
Saturday, December 6, 12 - 6pm
Mill No. 5
250 Jackson Street, Lowell, MA
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay

Hacker Creations by Melissa Glick

Saturday, December 6, 11am - 5pm
Worcester Roller Derby
34 Suffolk Street, Worcester, MA
Hacker Creations by Melissa Glick

StART at the Station
Sunday, December 7, 9am - 5pm
Worcester’s Union Station
2 Washington Square, Worcester, MA 01604
Early Bird Designs by Jill J. Burns

Loomination by Leanne Tremblay

Brookline Arts Center Artist Marketplace
Sunday, December 7, 12 - 4pm
86 Monmouth St, Brookline, MA
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay

Asylum Winter Open House
Sunday, December 7, 12pm - 4pm
Artisan's Asylum
10 Tyler Street, Somerville MA 02143
Hacker Creations by Melissa Glick

Holiday Trunk Show at Cristina Hurley Jewelry
Sunday, December 7, 12 - 5pm
Cristina Hurley Jewelry
554 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021
Prunella's Workshop by Lynn and Duane Mohney

Linkouture by Bev Feldman

Holiday Trunk Show at Cristina Hurley Jewelry
Saturday, December 13, 12 - 5pm
Cristina Hurley Jewelry
554 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021
Linkouture by Bev Feldman

Union Square Pop Up Holiday Sale
Saturday, December 13, 11am - 6 pm
Sunday, December 14, 11am - 6 pm

11 Sanborn Court, Somerville MA 02143
Hacker Creations by Melissa Glick

Brookline Arts Center Artist Marketplace
Saturday, December 13, 12 - 4pm
Sunday, December 14, 12 - 4pm
86 Monmouth St, Brookline, MA
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay
Early Bird Designs by Jill J. Burns

Holly Fair
Saturday, December 13, 10am - 6pm
Sunday, December 14, 12 - 5pm

See Linkouture by Bev Feldman
in the metalsmithing studio: 42 Brattle Street, Cambridge, 02138 basement level

Handmade Holidaze
Saturday, December 20, 12 - 5pm
Moose Lodge
67 Fitchburg St, Marlborough, MA
Loomination by Leanne Tremblay

The Patterned Peacock by Dana Garczewski

Etsy Artists of Boston Winter Bazaar
Saturday, December 20 10am – 5pm
Sunday, December 21, 10am – 5pm
Arsenal Mall 485 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA.
Hacker Creations by Melissa Glick
The Patterned Peacock by Dana Garczewski

Make 2014 the Year of Handmade and shop locally, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind for your friends and family!

Senin, 24 November 2014

Monday Mosaic: Happy Thanksgiving

curated by Susanne from enchantedhue

Thanksgiving Holiday Banner by thepatternedpeacock
Handwoven Tea Towel by loominationstudio
Custom Arts and Crafts Mission Style Table Linens by straynotions
Cocktail Napkin Holder by jilljburns

Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year or are you invited? Is your house ready for guests? Have you picked your hostess gift?

No worries if not, BostonHandmade members offer a wide array of unique hand-created pieces to dress up your table and walls, and to surprise your host and hostess. If you are traveling and don't want to bring it in your luggage, your purchase can even be mailed directly to your destination, just request an alternate address at check-out.

To get you into the mood, here is my favorite Thanksgiving song!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kamis, 20 November 2014

The Wellesley Marketplace is happening this Saturday!

by Bev Feldman of Linkouture

The 38th Annual Wellesley Marketplace, featuring over 175 boutique vendors, including Boston Handmade members Liz Stewart of Lush Beads, Dana Garczewski of The Patterned Peacock, and Bev Feldman of Linkouture, is happening this Saturday!

In addition to buying fabulous handmade gifts for everyone on your list, there will be fabulous raffle prizes up for grabs, including tickets to see your favorite Boston sports teams in action, exercise passes, and an iPhone!

You can buy your tickets ahead of time online. Be sure to also review everything you need to know to make your handmade holiday shopping experience a huge success, and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Senin, 17 November 2014

Monday Mosaic: Warm and cozy

curated by Sharon, Stray Notions


1. Coffee Mug, Tea cup, Mug, porcelain, handmade mug, - Dandelion, Early Bird Designs
2. Felted Wool Coffee Press Cosy - stylized roses, Stray Notions
3. Handwoven Tea Towel in Raisin & Navy - 11 x 23" - 100% cotton, Loomination Studio
4. Cup of Tea Print, The Patterned Peacock

Rabu, 12 November 2014

Boston Handmade at Jamaica Plain Crafts Fair

by Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography

Are you ready?! Boston Handmade will once again be representing at the best holiday fair in Jamaica Plain!

This show is always full of talented artisans and we are super psyched to be a part of it this holiday season. The following Boston Handmade members will be up on the stage selling lots of holiday gifts and art:

See you there!

First Church in Jamaica Plain
6 Eliot Street
Jamaica Plain, MA
(click here for to see this location on Google Maps)

Senin, 10 November 2014

Monday Mosaic: Bracelets Bangles Cuffs

curated by Susanne from enchantedhue

Hammer Textured Wide Brass Cuff Bracelet by PrunellasWorkshop
Hammered Silver Bracelet by Linkouture
Simplicity Bracelet by Lushbeads
Oxidized Sterling Silver Sparks Cuff Bracelet by CristinaHurley

Bracelets are my favorite pieces of jewelry. I wear them almost every day. From felt to brass, copper, silver, white gold, fabric, and gemstone; extra wide or narrow stacked; sleek modern or intricate vintage; tribal, ethnic, kitschy - I love them all!

Rabu, 05 November 2014

9 tips for holiday shopping at craft shows

by Bev Feldman of Linkouture

The holiday season is rapidly approaching. Halloween costumes and candy have quickly been replaced with ornaments and menorahs. Shopping lists are being compiled and presents are being bought and tucked away.

Handmade products make some of the best holiday presents. They are unique and special, and they can often be specified to the recipient’s taste (with enough notice to the artist, of course!) Here are 9 tips to help make your handmade holiday shopping a success.

Gift image by The Patterned Peacock

1. Plan ahead
Time is a sneaky thing. You start out thinking you have months until the holidays, and before you know it’s a week before the holidays and you haven’t started your shopping. If you want a custom handmade piece for your spouse/friend/mom, you want to make sure to give the maker sufficient notice. Contact them early and check what his/her deadline is for custom orders. Even a few weeks before December 24 may not be enough time. 
2. See where your favorite artists will be selling
Most artists have a list of what upcoming shows they will be at on their websites or Facebook pages. If not, send them a quick e-mail. They will be happy to have your repeat (or first) business, and you can plan accordingly.

3. Check out what artists will be selling at the shows you will be attending
It can be really overwhelming sometimes to walk into a show and see booth after booth of handmade goodies. Where to even begin? If you know you are going to a specific show, check out to see what artists will be there so you have a sense of what to expect and you’re not quite as overwhelmed when you get there. 

Cranberry freshwater pearl and sterling silver gift set by Linkouture
4. Bring a list
Make a list of everyone for whom you want to buy presents and some ideas of what you would like to buy for them. Think about what their interests are, what colors they like. Do they love wearing jewelry? Have they mentioned to you that they broke their favorite mug or that they need a new case for their new computer? 

5. Check for entrance fees and discounts
At some shows you have to pay even before you have even bought anything. Before you go to the event, check online to see if there are any discounts. Some shows have a coupon you can print and bring with you which will save you a few dollars.

Ornaments by Happy Owl Glassworks, photo by Jessica Burko

6. Bring cash
Between entrance fees and snacks, it’s good to have at least $10 in cash on you. Of course, it’s also good to bring more cash to pay for your gifts, and it will help you to budget. Most artists accept credit cards, but we do lose a small percentage of our sales to pay for credit card fees so cash payments are often preferred.

7. Leave your coat in the car
Holiday craft shows can get really crowded and very hot. The last thing you want to do is lug around your giant winter coat. (Plus, you will want to keep your hands free for all those presents you will be buying!) If for some reason you aren't able to, check to see if the show has a coat check. 

8. Go with a friend or trusted shopping partner
Whenever buying gifts for my family members, I always like to check with my husband who can help me to decide if I come across something that I think one of them will like. Admittedly, going to craft fairs isn't his favorite activity, so I have friends that I also like to go with can give me their opinion. 

Teal & black cowl scarf by Loomination

9. If shopping with a gift recipient, find an excuse to sneak away
On several occasions I have had husbands return to my booth after their wives noted that they really liked a piece of my jewelry. It takes the guess work out for them and they don't have to worry about finding a present later. If you are shopping with someone for whom you want to buy a gift and they have shown an interest in something, find an excuse to return to that booth without them. Tell them you have to use the restroom or you have to make a phone call, and return to the maker's booth. Let them know you are on a secret mission, and we will make sure to get that item wrapped and paid for as inconspicuously as possible!

To see what upcoming holidays shows Boston Handmade members will be at, click here

Senin, 03 November 2014

Monday Mosaic: Around in Circles

curated by Sharon Fischer, Stray Notions

1. Sterling Silver Necklace with Mobius Spiral & Freshwater Pearl, Linkouture
2. Simplicity Bracelet - Silver - Lush Beads Industrial, Lush Beads
3. Hammered circle earrings ecofriendly recycled sterling silver, Beryllina
4. Boyfriend Ring Sterling Silver Wide Band set with CZs, Cristina Hurley Designs

Senin, 27 Oktober 2014

Monday Mosaic: Happy Halloween!

curated by Susanne from enchantedhue

Spider Pendant #7 - Rust and Mint - by LushBeads
Original Mixed Media Art by JessicaBurko
Orange White Mini Chevron iPad Ereader Pillow Stand by abigailleigh
Pleated Linen Tote in Taupe and Orange by LidaBrookDesigns

Halloween! That spooky time of year! Spiders and skeletons and bats and ghosts. Orange and black and blinking lights and scary sounds.

I love it! I didn't grow up with Halloween (in Austria, my native country, it was not celebrated at the time), so I am more than compensating now. Not sure what I like more: the eery decorations or being allowed to scare children. Well, just a little bit of scaring...

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Jumat, 24 Oktober 2014

Meet Ava Chan of Sugin Textiles

by Ava of Sugin Textiles

Hello! My name is Ava Chan, and I make and sell felted goods for home and body under the name Sugin Textiles. I became a member of Boston Handmade earlier this year and I’m thrilled to be here.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

A: I grew up in New York City in the South Bronx, during that neighborhood’s bad ol’ days in the 1960s and 70s. My family lived on the top floor of a five-story walkup and outside time was confined to the fire escape and the building’s tar roof. Now I live with two greyhounds in a little ranch house in Brighton that has a small lawn and a back yard. Instead of white picket, the fence enclosing my house is chain-link, but it’s still a world away from what I grew up with. I went up to Boston for college (I studied mechanical engineering at Boston University) and stayed. I’m intrigued by different work environments and how one earns a living.  I’ve worked at general office jobs, as an ice cream scooper, a retail clerk, in a food coop, at a food pantry, as a software developer, as a technical writer, as an instructor of college freshman composition, and as a community organizer. Now I’m figuring out the components of owning a creative business. It is so delightful to be in the company of Boston Handmade members on this current adventure.

Q: What is the first thing you can remember making by hand?

A: I don’t remember the first things I made, but I do remember learning how to knit and crochet when I was about 7 or 8 years old – my mom taught me. I remember struggling with getting my rows to line up and to understand how you knew which way you were going when knitting up a row. I remember the thrill I felt when I figured it out. I still get that thrill now when I’m making something and get it to be what I want it to be.

Q : What are your favorite materials?

A: Generally speaking, natural fibers, wool first and foremost. Most feltmakers use merino fleece, which has a fine texture and felts readily.  I really appreciate it after working with fleece from other breeds of sheep, such as Shetland, Icelandic, and Coopworth. I love the way that linen and hemp become softer with use. Silk is delightful.  I also love clay, its malleability and how glazing and baking in a kiln seem to transform it into an entirely different substance.

Q: What do you love most about what you make?

A: I really love the textures that can be developed with felt. I think like clay, wool has an alchemical nature. It can be made into 2D or 3D objects, and the texture of the finished object is influenced by the type of wool, how much is used, how it is laid out and how you stretch and rub it as you make the felt. Felt can be smooth, soft, hard, or coarse. You can increase the texture of a piece by incorporating various fibers or even pieces of cloth or other objects. Stitching on felt, whether by machine or hand, creates a quilted effect. You can even incorporate solid objects into felt.  The more a piece moves away from a smooth surface, the more intriguing I find it.

Q: What is your biggest obstacle with what you make?

A: Feltmaking is slow! It takes a long time to get even merino fibers to mat together. I wish I worked faster.

Q: What’s your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning?

A: I love cooking on Sunday mornings: waffles, biscuits, fried rice or noodles, and then eating them. I share with the dogs.

Rabu, 22 Oktober 2014

Artisan's Asylum from an Artists' Perspective

by Melissa Glick of Melsplace


As a visual artist, I sometimes feel like a minority at the Artisan's Asylum. This 40K sf. converted envelope factory is home to over 200 members who either work in shops (wood, metal, glass, jewelry) or with new technologies (3D printing, laser cutters, computer controlled routers called shop bots) or on bikes, leather, electronics and much more. The Asylum is a place where you can take a class or develop a business. It is considered an incubator for innovation and entrepreneurs by some.


For me it is the place I go almost everyday, were I am surrounded by creative people making things, not un-like a medieval guild. Having access to tools and knowledgeable people makes The Asylum an environment with endless creative possibilities for me, but it can also be overwhelming for someone who has a hard time focusing.


It's thrilling to learn about 3D printing, software programing and electronics, but not having studied physics or computer science, I can feel pretty ignorant. When someone tells me about their project, I need to stop them at the first step because I don't understand how a change in temperature could activate a switch or how playing your recorder attached to a computer can result in notation and sound files you can then use in loops.


I was already working with obsolete technology when I came to The Asylum looking for a work space. Little did I know what a perfect match it would be. The first thing that tipped me off was when successful inventors and PhDs joined me for "take apart sessions. They told me they enjoyed disassembling old computers and that as children this was how they first became interested in what they do now.


Even though we come from different backgrounds, no one looks at me like I'm crazy when I use old computer parts in assemblages combined with collage. Or when I hung little wooden reclaimed chairs, painted in primary colors from the 50 foot ceiling. Seen here during the construction of the Veladrome, which bikes rode around demonstrating the power of centrifugal force. This is an awesome video of the building of the Veladrome in fast motion and put to music.


The best thing of all is that these ingenious, talented people are kind and generous with their knowledge. Working out of the Asylum has had a tremendous influence on my work and I am learning new skills all the time. At first, I used gears as a decorative element in my work, then I leaned to use battery powered motors to make them move. Currently, I am converting computer cooling fans to be reversible in a piece that combines purple glass tiles and collage. My next blog will be about the collaborative project, The River of Connectivity, a 6ft x 4 ft Hacker Creation with 8 moving fans controlled by an ardino processor!

Senin, 20 Oktober 2014

Monday Mosaic: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

curated by Sharon Fischer, Stray Notions

While some might think there can be too much pink (myself among them) there is never too much awareness or effort in support of finding a cure for this and other cancers which claim the lives of too many loved ones each year. Abby of Abigail Leigh Handbags is donating 25 % of the proceeds from two of her specially designed clutches to support breast cancer research.

1. Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness Bra Print Wallet with Detachable Strap, abigailleigh
2. Maine pink tourmaline twist ring handmade with recycled sterling silver size 7, Beryllina
3. Flower Garden Cowl Infinity Scarf - Cotton Handwoven - Pink Variegated & Gray, loominationstudio
4. Upcycled Bike Gear Clock, Hacker Junk Creations

Kamis, 16 Oktober 2014

Local Art Where it All Began: Fort Point, Boston

This weekend, October 17-19, is the 35th annual Fort Point Open Studios. That's right, 35 years strong. The Fort Point neighborhood of Boston is widely recognized as one of New England’s largest and oldest arts communities. The Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC) pioneered the concept of Open Studios in Boston in the 1980's and the non-profit community organization continues to be run by neighborhood artists and volunteers.
Studio of Amy Baxter MacDonald, showing at 319 A Street, 2nd floor

The FPAC Open Studios weekend is a chance for the public to visit more than 150 local artists showing in 10 buildings throughout the Fort Point neighborhood, as well as galleries and pop-up exhibit venues, where original art and fine craft will be available for sale. The weekend schedule is packed with special events, demonstrations, and participatory art-making activities. If that's not enough art and creativity for you, the neighborhood itself becomes a show space with four temporary public art projects viewable morning, noon, and night.
Martin Berinstein's studio, showing at 249 A Street Coop, 3rd floor
photo credit: S. Darsch

The weekend begins early with a celebration TONIGHT, Thursday, October 16th from 5-7:30pm at The Fort Point Arts Community Gallery at 300 Summer Street featuring The Annual Members Group Show, with individual works in all media by more than 75 Fort Point artists. The festivities continue with the Friday Preview Evening of selected studios and group spaces, from 4-7pm on October 17th. These events culminate with the Open Studios weekend, Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19, from 12-6pm each day.
Nicole Aquillano Ceramics, Porcelain tableware with inlaid architectural drawings,
showing at Midway Studios, 15 Channel Center, 2nd floor

The mission of FPAC is "to promote the work of our artists to a broad and diverse audience; to preserve the artists' community in Fort Point area; to maintain and expand access to affordable studio space; and to increase the visibility of the arts in Fort Point." These efforts take many forms including original artwork created by artists in live/work and work-only studios, two Open Studios events produced annually in Fall and Spring, advocacy for the development and preservation of permanent studio space, organization of art lending programs, the running of galleries and a community store, the creation of temporary public art, and FPAC actively participates in decisions that affect the overall neighborhood. The fall Open Studios is a big part of what Fort Point is known for, but it is only one aspect of the activity from these vibrant local artists.
Boston Handmade Director, Jessica Burko will be showing her one-of-a-kind encaustic collage
at the FPAC Open Studios Group Space, 319 A Street, first floor.

If you've never been to this historic artist neighborhood, or even if you are a veteran of the many events and shows held in Fort Point, take this opportunity to explore Boston's historic waterfront warehouses that are home to painters, sculptors, ceramicists, jewelers, performance artists, printmakers, book artists, photographers, and more. Meet local artists and craftspeople, and get a behind the scenes look at where Boston artists create their work. Find established artists, and discover new emerging talents. Stroll, ponder, and browse. Buy original art directly from the people who make it.

Fort Point Open Studios THIS weekend:

Dates and hours:

Thursday, October 16, 5:30-7:30pm, Fort Point Open Studios Group Show Reception
Location: FPAC Gallery, 300 Summer Street, M1, Boston MA 02210

Friday October 17, 4-7pm, selected studios open
Locations: Preview artists will be marked with a * on FPAC web listing and directories

Saturday and Sunday October 18 and 19, 12-6pm, studios open
Locations: Channel Center Street, 249 A Street, 319 A Street, 63 Melcher Street, 300 Summer Street, 346 Congress Street, and more

Also on view during Open Studios weekend:
Atlantic Wharf Gallery, Big Picture, a group show featuring large works by FPAC members.
Location: 290 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210
Guest juror: Randi Hopkins, Associate Director of Visual Arts at the Boston Center for the Arts
Works by: Dirk Ahlgrim, Domingo Barreres, Brian Bishop, Denise Bosco, Jessica Burko, Don Eyles, Dylan Hurwitz, Helen Lee, Amy Baxter MacDonald, Stephen McMillan, Maria Molteni, Andrew Neumann, Pamela Reynolds, Jonathan Sahula, Dorothea Van Camp, Floor van de Velde, Charles Win

Free Parking all weekend: Channel Side Parking Lot, accessible from Binford Street off of A Street

For more information visit:

Rabu, 15 Oktober 2014

October Birthstones: Tourmaline and Opal

by Laurie Lynn of Beryllina

an INCREDIBLE collection of pink, green, and watermelon tourmaline on display in Maine
October babies are lucky enough to have two birthstones, and both can be mined in the USA! Tourmaline exists in a stunning array of colors (pink, green, and blue, to name a few), and each variety has its own unique name. Some of the most common in Maine are:

Elbaite - green tourmaline

Rubellite - pink tourmaline

Indicolite - blue tourmaline

Schorl - black tourmaline

Watermelon tourmaline - tourmaline crystals with a pink center and green outer later

One of my favorite things to do is go mining for tourmaline in Maine. This necklace is called "Mountain Treasure" and I handmade it entirely with a fabulous "elbaite" crystal that is terminated (has a natural point) that I mined there.

"Mountain Treasure" necklace with eco-friendly recycled silver and Maine tourmaline by Beryllina

Another interesting fact is that tourmaline can be "pleochroic", meaning it can be different colors when looking at the stone from different directions (for example looking from the side versus through the end of the crystal). This means that a gemcutter has to be mindful to intentionally cut the stone in the direction to display the color he/she wants to showcase. Here's an example of pleochroism in one tourmaline crystal that my husband Jared and I mined in Maine this summer:

Pleochroism in Maine tourmaline crystal, mined by Laurie Lynn in 2014
Pretty cool, huh?

Opals are beautiful stones too, and are also found in several varieties. What makes some opals unique are their "play of color" (enhanced by their high water content), though this stunning rainbow of colors is not found in every variety of opal. Australia is most well known for their abundance of fiery opals, but they can also be found in the US in Idaho and Nevada. One variety without the rainbow flashes is named Fire Opal (rich red, orange, and yellow), and this can be found in Oregon and Washington. Here are a few samples of Washington Fire Opal that I have yet to set into jewelry:

 Fire Opal from Washington state
Like I said, October babies have some fabulous options for birthstones! Which do you prefer, opal or tourmaline?

Selasa, 14 Oktober 2014

What I'm Working On

by Abby Bohn

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I wanted to do something to give back. I have a wallet in 2 great Pink Ribbon fabrics and will be donating 25% to finding a cure.

"About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.  In 2014, an estimated 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 62,570 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.  About 2,360 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2014. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000."  Statistics from

Every dollar helps to fight this ugly disease. 

Senin, 13 Oktober 2014

Monday Mosaic: Columbus Day Celebration

curated by Susanne from enchantedhue

'Use the 19th' A Morse Code Bracelet by LushBeads
Starry Night Origami, Mixed Media Collage Print by McDonaldMixedMedia
Sailboats in Harbor Photo Card by jbarrows
Brant Point Sunset, Nantucket, MA, Photo Print by LucieWicker

I never thought too much about Columbus Day. I knew it is the celebration of Christopher Columbus' arrival in America on October 12th, 1492. But that was the extent of it.

I did not know that this day is also celebrated in the Bahamas, Spain, Argentina, Belice, Uruguay, Italy, and many Latin American countries, although under different names. Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1906. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared it a federal holiday.

But not all states honor Columbus Day: Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Iowa, Nevada, and South Dakota do not observe it as a holiday, although some mark the day with an alternative observance or commemoration. Hawaii, e.g., celebrates 'Discoverers' Day', which commemorates the Polynesian of Hawaii.

Happy Columbus Day!

Kamis, 09 Oktober 2014

Boston Handmade is now on Instagram

by Abby Bohn

Boston Handmade is now on Instagram!!! If you are on Instagram follow us at @bostonhandmadeteam for what is going on with our members and the latest news with the team. Also use hashtag #bostonhandmadeteam for more posts from our team members. We hope to see you on Instagram but in the meantime check out these posts from our page.

Rabu, 08 Oktober 2014

Upcycling with kids: How To Make a Drum

by Jessica Burko

It's no secret that I love to make use of everyday objects and what other people might call "trash" to create my own artwork and also to do craft projects with my kids. A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post featuring my then 3-year-old son making a drum from an oatmeal container, and since then we have made many, many musical instruments with recyclables. Recently my almost 3-year-old daughter made a drum for her friend's birthday and I thought I'd share this updated DIY post for a slightly different way to achieve child-made drum greatness!

This project is appropriate for any child able to sit up and hold a paint brush, with a parent along side of them providing age appropriate assistance. Especially good for toddlers and children ages 2-4.

• cardboard container - - such as an oatmeal container
• dry pasta - - any type but we prefer penne
• liquid glue - - white school glue or glitter glue
• paint - - the washable kind is recommended!
• paint brushes - - foam or bristle with an easily grip handle

1. Select your container. Any size will do, and the best ones will have a plain cardboard surface.
2. If your container has a removable label, peel it off.
3. Once you have a blank "canvas" you're ready to begin creating your percussion masterpiece!

4. A cardboard egg carton makes a perfect paint pallette
5. Dispense one paint color in each egg cup and set-up your brushes

6. Before you paint add a couple of handfuls of dry pasta to the inside of your container. This adds a great additional sound to your drum while playing and also allows the instrument to double as a shaker.
7. Depending on hand size, 2-4 handfuls of dry pasta should do the trick.

8. It's important to glue the lid to the container top after adding the dry pasta so that the drum stays intact while being played by small children.
9. Any liquid glue will work. My daughter's favorite is purple glitter glue so we used that. Make sure there's an adequate amount all around the interior edge of the lid but not too much so it drips down the outside of the container.

10. Begin painting the outside of your container and paint it some more!
11. Anything goes for the decoration of you drum and it's guaranteed that your toddler will love getting into the painting process!
12. Once your drum is painted to your child's satisfaction let it dry completely before playing.

Bonus step (not pictured) is to cut the letters of your child's name out of colorful construction paper, and using a glue stick, adhere it to the outside of the drum so your toddler can feel even more pride of ownership! Have fun!