Hey, Hey, hey!!! The FREAK OF THE WEEK is BACK!  Come see what makes Kristen Parker tick and check back next week for more!

super dad - screen print on paper - Kristen Parker 2016
super dad – screen print on paper – Kristen Parker 2016
  1. Tell our readers a little about you, and your history, your passion, your work.02.05.16 KP portrait

Hi!! I grew up in the eastern part of Massachusetts. I moved out here to the Berkshires about 8 years ago. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to stay long, but then I found great friends and had a ton of adventures. I now have an awesome family and couldn’t see myself anywhere else!

I started making art at a young age. My mom is a seamstress/pattern maker and when I was little I would stay up late with her in the studio. cutting holes in fabric, making button covers.. pretty much admiring her skill set.

I studied photography in my early 20’s and completed a two year program at The New England School of Photography. Although I consider photography to have stolen my sole, I have a really hard time staying focused in one medium. When I want to explore new things.  I don’t really let anything hold me back. I haven’t found many mediums I have disliked working with, frustrating.. yes, but I just seem to love it all and feel there is always room for new ideas and processes.

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Paris Street – handprinted photo – Kristen Parker 2013
  1. Tell a story, have we met? When? Where? Who introduced us? Oh, maybe you are my niece, well, just give a little history here. People love a setting.

Oh we’ve met!! At a bar.. lol!! I first met you at The Dream Away Lodge. I think I bought one of your skirts (I still have it). We just got to know each other over they years and when I found myself preggos a couple years ago.. you hired me as a hand stitcher.. which for me was great.. because I wasn’t sure how I was going to stay active artistically, since most of my projects at the time weren’t too fit for a pregnant lady. I was very thankful that you took me in and kept my hands and brain busy!

bikes - handprinted photo - Kristen Parker 2013
bikes – handprinted photo – Kristen Parker 2013
  1. Imagine a story. It is 2030, what are you up to? What is the world looking like?

OMG! I’ve programmed robots to update my website, track my inventory, update all my paper work on a bi weekly basis! My daughter Pippin is off exploring the underworlds of the earth (whatever that means). I’m home my with husband.. in a home we built ourselves.. with our pigs, cows and goats. My studio is off in the back and I’m still showing art. Along with that, I have an awesome art center I run with my friends offering residencies /workshops / classes whatever our young hearts put our minds to!

  1. If you had the power to make one change in the world what would it be?

I would make everyone stop blowing each other up.

elephants - screenprint - Kristen Parker 2015
elephants – screenprint – Kristen Parker 2015
  1. What are you most passionate about?

My family, my art and seeing all the world before I die.

  1. How did this passion come to be?

I don’t know. I’ve always been a family kind of gal, I’ve always made art, and I’ve always had travel in my life. I owe that to my parents for exposing me to the idea of seeing the world, and exploring other cultures.

  1. Who/What has been most influential in your work/life?

Again.. lol.. my family. On my mom and dads side, my family is filled with designers, painters, drafters, writers.. And my daughter keeps me moving. I want her to see me as a role model showing her that hard work pays off and she can fulfill any passion she has. The way she sees me means a lot to me and how I work.

free range - handprinted photo - Kristen Parker 2014
free range – handprinted photo – Kristen Parker 2014
  1. Where do you find your inspiration/motivation?

Books mostly. I love books!

  1. Aside from working, how do you spend your time?

I try to walk a lot with my dog and my daughter. (although this cold weather would prove me a liar right about now) I play frisbee golf with my hubby every once in awhile. He’s really good at it so when I play the competitive side comes out for sure. I also love to cook from scratch!

  1. Tell about a life transformation you have experienced.

When I experienced child birth for the first time.

  1. Do you have a prized possession? What is it? How did it come to you?

My moms drafting board. I don’t use it as much as I use too, but she gave it to me years ago, and I’ve just kind of held on to it. She also handed down 2 of her really nice sewing machines to me.

  1. Tell about a magical moment that comes to mind when you look back on your life experience.

When I held my daughter for the first time. I know, so cheesy, but the funny part was I couldn’t stop looking at her.. The nurse brought me a turkey sandwich at like 4 in the morning, and at that point, I asked her if it was ok to put my baby down.. because I really needed to go to sleep. I had this terrifying moment thinking that I wasn’t going to have free hands again for 18 years.. lol. The nurse laughed at me, and put my baby in her bassinet.

  1. If you were able to spend an afternoon with anyone – dead or alive, who would it be? What plans would you make for your outing?

Idk…. Probably Irving Penn, a well known fashion photographer.. I don’t know what I would say to him.. but I would probably want to have coffee with him.. and just pick his brain about life.

  1. What is your favorite place and/or way to spend time?

On a large body of water.. Ocean or Lake. Getting in and out of the water! Maybe body surfing with my sisters..

  1. What is your goal or main focus for your next 12 months?

I’m trying really hard to organize my life as an artist. I’ve put together a website and have been making a lot of new work.. and want to continue with this. I’d like to expose myself to new places to exhibit and sell my work. Im ready to take this side of my life more seriously.

  1. Do you have an upcoming event or significant happening that you would like to promote with your blog posting? When? Where? Details and contact information please.                                                                                      YES!! You can view my new work on my website www.contourlinesandshadedspaces.com and at Shire City Sanctuary’s BINGO! gallery for the month of February at 40 Melville St. in Pittsfield, MA.  Come to the opening on Friday Feb 5th 5-8pm –  So friggin excited!!!postcard_front

Every week a treasury is gathered from around Etsy centered by a weekly theme.  This week is focused on healthy eating and how Macrobiotics has put me on a path to good health after an Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis nearly four years ago.

Check back to read posts on this topic on a more regular basis.  In the meantime, enjoy this collection.  You can click on the images below to be taken to a selling page for that item.

Does your diet support your health?  Leave a comment if you have time about how your food choices support your lifestyle.


Vintage Asian Kitchen Cerami…

$45

Cookbook -Vintage MACROBIOTI…

$11.99

Kitchen Mixer Hand Mixer Ham…

$48

HEN • Canvas half apron �…

$38

Vintage kitchen tools aqua k…

$49

Organic Heirloom 200 Seeds B…

$1.79

Set of 12 Kraft Letterpress …

$10

35 Crochet Play Food Pattern…

$5

Dolphin Studio Kitchen Towel…

$25

Hand forged vegetable choppe…

$69.99

Botanical art print Antique …

$10

Two 3×6 Cedar Raised Garden …

$86

Radishes Food Photography, P…

$15

Scottish Spurtle cooking sti…

$16

The Healing Foods | Rodale P…

$5.95

Vegan heart American Apparel…

$20

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This week our theme is communication.   In this day of immediate ways to communicate it seems that thoughtful conversation and written communication is more valued than ever.  Click on any of the images below to be taken to a selling page on Etsy for that item.

What is your favorite way to receive information?  When is the last time you were sent a handwritten letter and how did you feel?


Postcard Set, Flower Photogr…

$9

Bark Script Fabric, Birch Wr…

$5.4

Vintage GPO Black Bakelite T…

$169.99

Blue Gingham Letter Writing …

$10

Writing journal, spiral note…

$7

Custom Calligraphy Love Lett…

$50

Portable Amp and Speaker for…

$30

Bicycle Stationery Set retro…

$10

Vintage Pen Tips Set of 10, …

$22

Message Silver Band, Black s…

$110

Pink 1950s Royal Aristocrat …

$595

Pencils // Made Of Awesome P…

$6

Bellsouth Pay Phone Home Tel…

$275

Custom Envelope address prin…

$45

Antique Writing Lap Desk, Sl…

$94.5

Notebook/Journal SMALL

$12

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Each week we feature a treasury from Etsy (a giant marketplace of handmade and vintage items) around a theme.  This week I’m focused on alternative transportation – and missing my bike commute with the frigid weather.  You can click on the images below to be taken to the selling page for that item.  Take a look around.

If you are a bike commuter I would love to hear about how you stay warm in the cold weather.


Bamboo Bike

$800

Bicycle Bottle Opener Headse…

$17.95

Berlin – wooden rack for a b…

$70

CONDOR” BASIC. BiG VinT…

$1795.99

Temple Cycles – Classic Ladi…

$680

Roller Derby Custom GLITTER …

$60

vintage roller skates, Chica…

$52

Bicycle Basket – Red Chestnu…

$49

Cruiser Bicycle Rubber Stamp

$3.5

Bike Skirt Guard, ‘Peaco…

$38

Bare Knuckle Grips – Leather…

$42

Pair of vintage panniers / B…

$86.2

Vintage 1960s Dunelt English…

$599

LED Bike Wheel Lights ( 2 Un…

$12.95

Bike tyre belt with Star Buc…

$54

PVC pannier POPCYCLE bicycle…

$80

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 Have you heard about The Dolphin Studio calendar?  It’s sort of a Berkshire thing. We handprint 1500 of them each year and sell them far and wide. Sofie and I started working in the business as young kids. Now we run the business. Each month is designed by a family member. It’s not too late to have your own. Be part of our tribe.  $63 for twelve months of original handmade artwork. www.thedolphinstudio.com is where to order.  

As we head into the wild blue yonder of a new year full of cyber connection and online interaction, I like to track my days with handmade creative goodness. Here are some inspiring examples to set and achieve your goals for 2016.


2016 Desk Calendar / Nature

$16

2016 MOON CALENDAR – Midnigh…

$25

Screen Printed Flour Sack Di…

$12

2016 Blue Silver Moon Phases…

$48

Nauli Daily Planner 2016 – c…

$22.5

LOVE Book , Black Leather Bo…

$85

2016 Dolphin Studio Calendar

$63

2016 Kraft planner | weekly …

$30

letterpress herb datebook wi…

$35

GILDED FOLIAGE | Anytime pla…

$15

Textile Pattern 2016 Planner…

$30

Katharine Watson 2016 Letter…

$22

10 Grand Press 2016 Calendar…

$44

2016 (44) Leap Year Datebook

$116

2016 LIMITED EDITION letterp…

$34.95

Grow Your Own Seasonal Plant…

$45

Each week posts made here are centered around a theme.  This week are are looking forward to 2016 with handmade calendars, date books and planners to keep the handmade creativity in your every day.  Be inspired to bring one of these carefully crafted tools into your life.  Click on any image here to be taken to the selling page for that item in Etsy.  Happy New Year!

This week starts off with a bang, finishing up a few custom orders, preparing for our Procrastinator’s Sale on Wednesday, shipping orders, and WOWSERS!  I just found that one of my pixelated heart throws has been treasured on Etsy!  Check it out here:


Brown Fringe Shoulder Bag wi…

$750

Women’s accessories – Fe…

$25.1

Felted Wool Shibori ‘Bub…

$1800

Little Black Felted Evening …

$250

Needle Felted Wool Painting …

$420

Pixelated Heart Throw Blanke…

$495

Pair RED VELVET BIRDS Milli…

$10

Black Felted-Leather Bag &qu…

$260

Pressed-5x16mm Dagger Beads-…

$6.56

Felted Woolen Shawl in Green…

$280

Red CASHMERE, Rare WIDE Bri…

$325

5.45′ x 7.02′ Felt R…

$495

Red felt flower wreath

$30

Rita Bandita – “Bad Com…

$299

Fiber Art, Blue Handwoven Fe…

$3240

Sunflower Carpet Bag

$325

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Things are super busy this time of year around here.  We are in the final stages of preparation for our annual Holiday Shindy – a festive makers market  housed in both floors of this amazing former church.  Please come see me and all the nearly 60 notable makers.  Do your holiday shopping, have lunch, learn from the makers here selling their work and enjoy the welcoming, community, holiday vibe.  postcard front

  
Today I sat on the end of her bed and sewed while she slept. Didn’t want to wake her. Passed time being together. Felt sure that she enjoyed the company  as much as I did.  As I sat there the news from the next room was blasting on TV. It all sounded so urgent/emergent. 

Finished my sweater for today. 

Three Things I Love

  1. to have work that transports easily
  2. hanging out with my sister while she’s relaxed and comfortable.
  3. the spirit, camaraderie, and sincerity of the people who care for Felicitas. 

My preference is calm. 

It’s a pun, while I am an advocate, our planning has to do with travel and getting ducks in a row.

 

We are heading ‘across the pond’ in August to spend a year in our family’s home in Kinvara, Co. Galway Ireland. Lucy and Violet will go to school there. Chris and I will learn to downshift. We are super excited about the adventure and connecting to my family and homeland.

Researching what we need for papers and working out logistics.   Will we take our dogs?  We’ll need to rent our sweet forest home. Things at Shire City Sanctuary are falling into place with a strong and able staff.

Chris is in charge of our actual travel will it be air?  Freighter?

The journey is already fun.