Used clothing alchemist since 1987

Hey, Welcome!


WELCOME!  I’m Crispina ffrench. Recycled textile artist, author, teacher – creator of many things. My sister and I run The Dolphin Studio, a second generation, family owned screen-printing business. My hubby and I own Shire City Sanctuary, a Makerspace in an urban Cathedral in the heart of The Berkshires where my studio is housed. It’s a pleasure to share here creative high-jinx, as we work toward environmental consideration of all aspects of living.

ReConsumerEYES: Screen Printing


by Lorne Holden

I f you are a fan of this site, you no doubt know about the blast of beauty that appears each December known as the The Dolphin Studio Calendar. Originally created by John ffrench and his wife Primm, the calendar is now created by daughters Crispina her sister Sophia and their families. The calendar is a unique work of art – each month offers up an image created by a family member. It’s also is a superb blend of creativity and information which makes looking for a day or date an adventure for the eye and mind! Feast your eyes on this below from a past Dolphin Studio Calendar.

January Dolphin
If you don’t know about this calendar, hop on over here and learn more about it. While you’re there, be sure to join the mailing list, so you’ll be the first to know when next years calendar goes on sale. There is only ever a limited supply – you won’t want to miss your chance to get one.

How is the calendar created?

It is silk screened. Silk screening or screen printing is a form of stenciling. A screen of mesh is stretched over a frame. A stencil is then formed when parts of the screen are blocked off in the negative image of the design that is to be created. The open spaces, the places where the screen is not blocked off, is what takes the ink or paint and thus creates the image. The process is simple and creates striking results.Slkscreening process pic

Silk screening originated in China during the Song Dynasty (960 -1279 AD). The process was further developed by the Japanese and then adapted by artists in other countries who created newer methods. The process grew in popularity in the North America when the artist named Guy Maccoy helped create a large poster project for New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia during the Great Depression. Silk screening then became a good option for artists to reproduce their work affordably and in turn, be able to sell pieces affordably at a time when money was tight for everyone.

WPA image

Andy Warhol is generally credited for popularizing silk screening as an art form.His screen posters of Marilyn Monroe, printed in garish colors, are iconic examples of Pop Art. Other well know 20th Century artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Helen Frankenthaler used the method, as did artists such as Lolita Lebron, who created posters in support of political ideals.Marylins
Silk screening is a process that anyone can enjoy, even kids of course! A great tutorial about how to do a homemade version of silk screening if you don’t have a studio or even a frame can be found here. It’s a great project for a family on a wintry day at home.

Pssst! A few copies of the 2015 Dolphin Studio calendar are still available – visit the shop on Etsy to grab yours.


Lorne Holden is an artist and author of the bestseller “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done.” 

 

Weekly Treasury – Black & White


Black & White‘ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

Preparing a silk screen is like making a stencil on a fine mesh. Areas are blocked out, then ink is forced though the screen, except for the blocked areas. Once you’ve created a screen, you can print on virtually anything.

Witch House Screen Print T Shirt 12 x 12 Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach Screenprint on Canvas Cactus Pouch - Soft Leather Hand Pulled Screen Print "La Mujer del Agua"
Cali Jet Black - Hand screen printed Eco cushions 40cm x 40cm Cause in s aky full of stars I think I see you shirt- screen print wing tshirt with glitter stars Metal Gear Solid Alert Hand Pulled Limited Edition Screen Print Whip It - Screen Printed Cotton Flour Sack Kitchen Tea Towel - Whisk - Hostess Wedding Housewarming Gift
Astute Fashion Silk Screen Print Pillow Cushion GEOFOX screen printing 32x21cm Believe In Magic screen print, Chatty Nora, Roald Dahl Quote, typographic print, typographic art, Hand Screen Printed Onesie- Hipster Owl design
black & white Linen Purse, tobacco pouch, coins purse, feather print, screen print, unisex. Marble Speckled Wrapping Paper Let's go back to my place...CARD Scandinavian Jen and Joe screen printed Jane Foster plush toys  - retro modern geometric fabric

 

Every week we gather a handful of treasures around a theme, from Etsy - an online marketplace featuring handmade wares, vintage items, and supplies for making. Weekly treasuries are normally featured here on Mondays.  You can click on the images above and be taken to a place on Etsy where there is more information about and pictures of that item. Crispina’s online shop is located on Etsy along with a whole ton (like over 800,000) of other handmakers, vintage resellers and material retailers. If you have a minute, leave a comment – it is always so nice to hear from you and build community right here in cyberspace!  Join us in supporting Handmade, Recycled, Organic, and Locally Produced wares for living. Enjoy!
Powered By Toastie Studio – Etsy Tools

Weekly Treasury – For The Birds


For The Birds‘ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

The geese have flown south, the chicken and ducks’ laying is down and you’ve harvested the turkeys. Some of you are inside next to a warm fire ordering your seeds and chicks for the coming spring. Let these images to tided you over until then.

CANADA GOOSE Watercolor Print by Dean Crouser Baby Duck Photo, Farmhouse Decor, Bird Photo, Beige, Pale Yellow, Cream, Rustic Wall Decor, Farm Decor, Baby Chic, Fine Art Photography Watercolor CHICKEN Print, rustic, farmhouse decor, 8x10 print, ready to frame, chicken decor, watercolour Wood Duck Nesting Box / House
duck photograph nature photography bird photo fine art brown blue original etching of a mother goose and gosling Farm Salvage Poultry Waterer Rusted Farm Art Rustic Yard Art Chicken  Watercolor Print, Print, Children's Wall, Art Home Decor, animal watercolor, watercolor painting, Chicken poster
The Coop Reclaimed Wood Chicken Coop Sign 3 Chicken Treats and Cookies, pet food, wildbird seed, organic pet treats, chicken coop, chicken feeder WILD TURKEY Watercolor Painting Art Print Signed by Artist DJ Rogers Goose Greeting Card
Egg Labels, Personalized Egg Carton Label, Food Label Packaging, Customized Label, Chicken Coop, Backyard Chickens, 2.5" x 4.25" Watercolor Painting - Turkey Painting - Watercolor Turkey - 8 by 10 print - Archival Print, Home Decor, Nature Art BLADE RUNNER - Origami Chicken Prop (1:1 Scale) Chicken Coop Plans and Step by Step Videos and an ebook with all instructions

Every week we gather a handful of treasures around a theme, from Etsy - an online marketplace featuring handmade wares, vintage items, and supplies for making. Weekly treasuries are normally featured here on Mondays.  You can click on the images above and be taken to a place on Etsy where there is more information about and pictures of that item. Crispina’s online shop is located on Etsy along with a whole ton (like over 800,000) of other handmakers, vintage resellers and material retailers. If you have a minute, leave a comment – it is always so nice to hear from you and build community right here in cyberspace!  Join us in supporting Handmade, Recycled, Organic, and Locally Produced wares for living. Enjoy!
Powered By Toastie Studio – Etsy Tools

ReConsumerEYES: Gentle Leaders/ Power to the People


by Lorne Holden

As Martin Luther King Day approaches and our world has tilted towards violence once again, it is important to remember that visionary leaders exist who are inspiring examples peaceful leadership. I am delighted to bring to your attention two such leaders: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and José Mujica.

Ellen Johnson Sirleafellen better

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is President of Liberia and is the first elected female Head of State in all of Africa. Liberia is a country with a rich history. Located in the West of Africa, it was founded in 1820 by African Americans, most of whom were freed slaves. The country then grew with help from the United States and experienced 130 years of stability. By the mid 1900′s, the country fell into turmoil and tremendous political strife resulting in two civil wars. A peace agreement in 2003 led the way for democratic elections in 2005, when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President.

Sirleaf once brilliantly said:

“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”

Sirleaf herself was born into poverty but was able to dream up a life of higher education and ultimately received a MA in Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. During the political strife in Liberia, she worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. In 1999, she was one of seven prominent leaders assigned the task of investigating the Rwandan Genocide.ellen-obama

In 2011, Sirleaf won the Noel Peace Prize jointly with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen. The three women were awarded the prize for their commitment to non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for the right of women to fully participate in peace building work. In 2013, before a crowd of more than 60,000 fans, President Sirleaf was awarded the Global Citizen Movement Award in New York’s Central Park, for championing the cause of gender equality.

A woman of dignity, dedication and humility, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the kind of leader we need in the twenty first century.


José Mujica 

jose firstPresident José Mujica of Uruguay is a former Marxist guerilla who spent 14 years in prison, mostly in solitary confinement. He refuses to live in the Presidential palace and instead lives in a one bedroom house on his wife’s farm. He rejects the perks of the presidency and drives his own 1987 Volkswagen rather than traveling by the customary motorcade.

“I don’t live in poverty,” he states, “ I live in simplicity.”

His visionary and progressive policies have made him a leader who is truly unique in the world. He donates over 90% of his salary to charity so he makes the same as the average worker in Uruguay. He supported his nation’s groundbreaking legalization of marijuana and in 2013, signed a bill making Uruguay the second nation in Latin America (after Argentina) to legalize gay marriage.

He has courageously confronted corporate abuse, as evidence by the struggle his government is waging against tobacco giant Phillip Morris. A former smoker himself, he believes smoking is a killer. In a recent meeting with President Obama, Mujica apparently stated that Americans need to smoke less and learn more languages.

Mujica’s visionary leadership is expansive. He is an environmentalist, a supporter of women’s rights and is working towards a redistribution of his country’s wealth. He is critical of the model of development supported by affluent societies and in 2012 at the Rio+20 Summit stated:

” We can almost recycle everything now. If we lived within our means – by being prudent – the 7 billion people in the world could have everything they needed. Global politics should be moving in that direction.”

Under his leadership, Uruguay recently welcomed 4 detainees from Guantanemo and has insisted that Uruguay help work to close the controversial prison. He is a global peace activist stating:

“The only solution is negotiation. The worst negotiation is better than the best war, and the only way to ensure peace is to cultivate tolerance.”jose 2

We have much to learn from this leader of a small South American nation. Jose Mujica has put Uruguay on the map as one of the world’s most successful and exciting examples of progressive governance.


Lorne Holden is an artist and author of “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done.” 

Weekly Treasury – Word


Word‘ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

There have been many inspiring leaders over the years. They come in times of unrest as a beacon, showing us that the true measure of strength is gentility, and there is no greater measure of power than peace.

MLK Photo Magnet - Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere Large 2.25 inch Martin Luther King Fridge Magnet Vinyl Wall Decal Sticker Art - Quote by Harriet Tubman - Every Dreamer - large wall mural Kindness is my Religion Typography Digital Print - Dalai Lama Quote - Be Kind - Violet Purple Plum - Home Decor Quote by Rachel Carson written in calligraphy (Italic) on hand decorated paper with cancelled stamps.
Nelson Mandela Education Quote Change the World on Vintage Upcycled Recycled Dictionary Art Print Book Art Print ROSA PARKS Quote Hand Typed Quote Made with Vintage Typewriter Rosa Parks Quote The Future Belongs to Those Who Believe in the Beauty of Their Dreams, Elanor Roosevelt Quote, Original Hand Painted Art Print Abraham Lincoln Quote Poster - Create Your Future  - Black and white vintage Inspirational Print
Enlightenment Quote When you accept yourself, the whole world accepts you."  Lao Tzu Motivational quote Gloria Steinem quote - letterpress poster - The Truth Will Set You Free If You Are Neutral In Situations Of Injustice ... - 5" x 7" Motivational journal, inspirational journal, journal, notebook, diary, scrapbook 12 Change the world cards - featuring a quote by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Illustrated with original artwork- set of 12.
Maya Angelou quote- "how people make you feel" People are often unreasonable illogical and self centered forgive them anyway... Mother Theresa quote wood sign Gandhi Be the Change You want to see in the World Raw Art Letterpress typography poster Martin Luther King Jr Quote - Our LIves Begin To End The Day We Become Silent About Things That Matter - MLK Quote - Dictionary Art Print

Every week we gather a handful of treasures around a theme, from Etsy - an online marketplace featuring handmade wares, vintage items, and supplies for making. Weekly treasuries are normally featured here on Mondays.  You can click on the images above and be taken to a place on Etsy where there is more information about and pictures of that item. Crispina’s online shop is located on Etsy along with a whole ton (like over 800,000) of other handmakers, vintage resellers and material retailers. If you have a minute, leave a comment – it is always so nice to hear from you and build community right here in cyberspace!  Join us in supporting Handmade, Recycled, Organic, and Locally Produced wares for living. Enjoy

Powered By Toastie Studio – Etsy Tools

Blog Theme – Gentle Leaders


79f0a4c63d5fca8c6fcdb3694e088ac2
Ganesh – Hindu Deity – Remover of Obstacles

As Martin Luther King Jr Day approaches, here in the USA, we are reminded of the eloquence, clarity, and peaceable nature of this fallen leader. This week’s theme, Gentle Leaders, brings to mind many internationally recognized political Gentle Leaders, Mahatma Ghandi, Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, There are others, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield changed the way the world does business in 1978 with the founding of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Sharon Charde changed the way I see the world with gentle guidance in her counselor’s office. Who/What are your gentle leaders? Do you have a mentor or guru who deserves a shout out? Each Friday, a column here called One Thousand Words features a collection of images submitted by readers based on that week’s theme. Send an image with 1000 Words in the subject line by Wednesday night to Crispina ffrench@gmail.com for inclusion this week!

May the world find a way to be Gently Led to global harmony.

1000 Words – Hand Sewing, Tatting, Cross Stitch, Embroidery,


At the end of the week we feature a gallery of photographs summing up the week from our readers.  There are no words, just images.  Weekly blog themes are posted right here on Sundays and you can get a glimpse of what is coming up at my Events feed.  Feel free to submit your original images to Crispinaffrench@gmail.com for possible inclusion.  Please include your name so we can credit you.

So here you are, the pick of the week – our theme this last week – was Hand Sewing/Tatting/Embroidery.  Thanks to all the contributors this week!

Cait Graham
Cait Graham

 

Cruel Work
Cruel Work

 

Jennifer Reilly
Jennifer Reilly

 

Teodora Galway
Teodora Galway

 

Kelly Lorraine Caldwell
Kelly Lorraine Caldwell

ReConsumerEYES: It’s All Good


by Lorne Holden

When my son was an infant and toddler, I spent hours upon hours at home. I was full of love for him but to be honest, I was also bored out of my mind. As a single parent, no one came home in the evenings to talk to, and I would often go for days without having anything that resembled an adult conversation.

I took to turning on the radio simply to hear the sound of another voice and to feel a sense of the larger world outside my home. But I would always turn it off after just a few minutes - the news was always so awful! Why don’t they just call it the “Bad News,” I wondered? And then I’d have a big laugh at the thought of hearing things like “From London, it’s the BBC Bad News” or “Midday Magazine begins right after the Bad News!”woman at radio

This got me thinking about an antidote.

What if there was a radio station that aired only good news? It could be called simply “The Good News” and every story would be just that – good news. Every ending would be happy. The thought of it blasted my brain around a shiny new corner. I began having fantasies of reporting the stories under the radio name “Mickey Bright,” I saw myself in red lipstick and a white blonde wig. I imagined myself looking everywhere for good news. I would dig it up, let it shine all over me and then report it – pummeling listeners with joy.

Not surprisingly, when I began to think about this, I started to see good news everywhere. Here’s one example:

Couple-DogI found a story in the local paper of an older couple who had lost their beloved dog and even after a year, had never stopped searching for him. One day when they were out driving and calling his name out the car window, they found him running through a field. He was fine. They were ecstatic. After a year they were reunited! How often to we hear stories like that?

The radio show remains a dream but for now I am delighted to be share some more stories of truly good news.

Food From the Sky

When I lived in London in the early 90′s, my home was a neighborhood called Crouch End. Even now, whenever I go back to the city, this area still feels like home. So, imagine my happiness when I learned that the Budgens grocery store in Crouch End – a national chain- was doing something amazing: growing vegetables on the roof of the store and then selling them in the store every Friday. As they say on the website, it was only “10 meters from soil to shelf.” It was an idea so brilliant that we could file it under “D” for “Duh” but let’s file it under “G” for Genius.” What hadn’t anyone thought of this before? Why wasn’t everyone doing it everywhere?

Here is the story of this amazing adventure. Recent news states that they’ve had to move the garden to a new place due to the rooftop needing repair, but the news is still good: the Crouch End garden sprouted a wave of people growing food in unlikely urban areas.

http://foodfromthesky.org.uk/about/Food from the Sky

Healthy Food is Now Available at the Airport

Ever embarked on an airplane journey feeling terrific at take off and like a wreck when you land? Who hasn’t? Between the long periods of sitting, the dry airplane air, the noise, the rude passengers and yes, the terrible airplane food, it’s hard for anyone to arrive at their destination feeling very fresh.

Savy eater and entrepreneur Michael Levine, chief executive of “Tastes on the Fly,” decided to take a stab at offering people healthy food options in airport settings. His company operated food establishments in several airports around the country and several months ago he opened Berkshire Farms market in Terminal B at Boston’s Logan Airport. Dubbed “farm to flight”, the market sells a variety of food offerings that are made in the Berkshires, such as maple syrup and roasted nuts, gluten free baked goods and more. They also sells smoothies and sandwiches.

So now when you are departing from Logan Airport, you can pick up a healthy lunch to eat right there or take on the plane. It’s good news for your mouth!

Food Waste Ban in MA

Anyone who has ever moved through a cafeteria line in a large school setting knows how much food is consumed by large organizations and inevitably, how much food is thrown away.

As of October 2014, places in Massachusetts that normally waste tons of food a year, are no longer be able to send that food to landfills. Govenor Deval Patrick finalized a bill that required any place that produces more than a ton of organic food waste per week (hotels, universities, grocery stores etc.) to either donate the usable food or send it to composting facilities, to biogas plants or to farms for livestock feed.deval patrick

David Cash,commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, described the many benefits of the ban — including more food for the hungry, money saved on waste disposal, fewer landfills and less greenhouse gases, more green energy and green energy jobs and even fertilizer. NPR reports that Cash said: “This is not just a win-win situation It’s a win-win-win-win-win-win-win. Seven wins.”

May these stories bring a shine and a wonderful start to all for 2015.


Lorne Holden is an artist and the author of the Bestseller: “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done.”  She teaches an online course called “LifeBloom” which is three weeks of support, inspiration and accountability for people wanting to MAKE IT HAPPEN in their own lives. The next course begins January 12, 2015. Visit her site, sign up and have your Best Year Yet!

Weekly Treasury – Pins & Needles


Pins & Needles‘ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

It’s amazing what one can create with a needle and thread. There’s something for everyone – from clothing to art, the projects are limitless. If you’re not inclined to make your own fiber arts, there’s plenty to choose from right here.

Cotton bag with hand sewn applications - Underwater World - Unique Item Soft Doll PATTERN, PDF email pattern, Softie, Soft Toy, Cloth Doll Pattern, Rag Doll Pattern, Ragdoll, e pattern Do You Suppose She's A Wildflower? Whimsical Embroidery Hoop Art - Wall Hanging - Alice in Wonderland Quote - Lewis Carroll Black lace bracelet, tatted bracelet, black bracelet with beads, wide bracelet, statement bracelet, cuff bracelet,  tatting jewelry.
Cross stitch Pattern PDF. Instant download. Chemistry Lab. Includes easy beginners instructions. Mini Yo Yo Quilt Layer Hand Sewn Spring Florals Pink Mint Blue Green White Navy Photography Prop  Custom Made by Bliss Studios 4 O'Clock Yellow Felt Watch Alphabet Sampler, Blue, Cross Stitch Pattern, PDF file
Embroidery Art: 'Audrey' 4x4inch Modern Stitching Custom Wedding Floral Embroidery Hoop -Bridal / Anniversary Plush Fox Recycled Sweater Cashmere Merino Wool embroidery kit // Paloma the pink sheep - hand embroidery kit
Astrological Hand with Aura Embroidery Art // Astrology Palm Reading Needlecraft // Palmistry Spiritual Hoop Art Tatting Lace Embellished Top,Crocheted Embellishments Tank  size medium to large tank Trees & Flowers of Tudor England Crab Apple Hand-painted Needlepoint Canvas Tatted rose ring made in Italy | tatting lace rose ring | wedding jewelry ring | christmas gift

Every week we gather a handful of treasures around a theme, from Etsy - an online marketplace featuring handmade wares, vintage items, and supplies for making. Weekly treasuries are normally featured here on Mondays.  You can click on the images above and be taken to a place on Etsy where there is more information about and pictures of that item. Crispina’s online shop is located on Etsy along with a whole ton (like over 800,000) of other handmakers, vintage resellers and material retailers. If you have a minute, leave a comment – it is always so nice to hear from you and build community right here in cyberspace!  Join us in supporting Handmade, Recycled, Organic, and Locally Produced wares for living. Enjoy
Powered By Toastie Studio – Etsy Tools

Blog Theme – Handsewing, Tatting, Embroidery, Cross Stitch


Sweater Chop Shop at Shire City Sanctuary
Sweater Chop Shop at Shire City Sanctuary

Last Friday and Saturday Shire City Sanctuary hosted my workshop entitled The Sweater/ Sweatshirt Chop Shop. As with all my workshops, a whole bunch of overwhelmingly amazing students turned up from far flung places from West Stockbridge, Ma to Northern Ontario! We spent two solid days delving into creative high-jinx cutting and hand sewing garments from the thrift shop into personalized wearable art.  Finished pieces were as noteworthy as makers, ranging in age from 13-60 this time around.

Witnessing the empowerment that free-range creativity has on a roomful of willing workers makes me know this teaching path is the right one for me. Hand sewing is magic in my summation. The simple act of pushing thread through fabric with nothing more than ones hands can transform a flat piece to anything imaginable. Inexpensive, Simple, Transformative, and Ancient.  Magic Certainly.

Maybe you are a hand sewer? What is your favorite kind of hand sewing? Each Friday, a column here called One Thousand Words features a collection of images submitted by readers based on that week’s theme. Send an image with 1000 Words in the subject line by Wednesday night to Crispina ffrench@gmail.com for inclusion this week!01.06.15 Handsewing 2