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.

Weekly Treasury – Winterize Your Soul


Winterize Your Soul‘ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

This is the time of year to start hunkering down. Last night was our first hard frost of the season, making one want to line their nest. This treasury is all about getting cozy for those long winter nights.

Copper Tea Pot: Vintage Rustic Copper Tea Kettle with Blue and White Porcelain Handle, Shabby Chic, Farmhouse Decor, French Country Home Made to Order: The Autumn Woods Cowl ~ 100% Wool Hand Knitted I-cord Neck Warmer Infinity Scarf with Wood Buttons Cloche hat - Felt hat - Velvet hat - For her Knitted Cup Cozy, Coffee Cup Sleeve, Knit Coffee Cozy, Knit Cup Warmer, Knit Cup Cozy, Coffee Cozies Knit Mug Cozy Tea Cosy Chartreuse Decor
Miniature Glowing House - Fine Art 10 '' x 8'' Photographic Print Knitted Hot Water Bottle Cover / Cosy Cream - KENTON Maya Temple - Gold / 14"x20"  Kilim Pillow Winter Wreath - Elegant Decor - Gold - Natural - Gilded Forest Wreath
8 X10 Fine Art Watercolor Print -Gift for Her- Giclee Print - Renaissance Print - Vintage - Home Decor- Romantic Gift Idea Boot cuffs , boot toppers in Yellow with grey dots Kitchen art kitchen print coffee art large print kitchen decor pastel french decor rustic decor dorm decor office fall photography~ Rustic wooden tea light holder
Fall Home Decor Table Runner Autumn Gold Harvest Plaid Handwoven Cotton Thanksgiving Farmhouse Cottage Cabin November Dining 48"L x 8.5"W Durable Hand Forged Fire Poker with User Friendly Large Scroll Handle and Twisted Barrel for pit and hearth #455 Farmer's Daughter Mitts PDF Knitting Pattern Vintage Rustic Antique French Railway Light Candle Coach Lantern Old Hanging Candle Holder Pendant Retro Victorian

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

 

Winterizing


by Lorne Holden

broniw pic pdfHere’s my confession for today: I flunked out of Brownies. That’s right. I flunked out. Right when everyone was supposed to “fly up” to become a Girl Scout, I was told that I wouldn’t, in fact, be continuing. I still don’t quite understand why this happened, but I suspect that it was because I didn’t understand that great Girl Scout saying: “Be Prepared.”

I am reminded of this every time I look out my window lately and see a crazy grey squirrel who is putting way a stash of walnuts from the tree in our front yard.

She has inspired me, this squirrel (she would have made it to Girl Scouts !) and so I’ve begun efforts to Winterize my home. I think of Winterizing as alter ego of Spring Cleaning. Instead of pulling your life out and up to prepare for the expansiveness of warm weather, Winterizing invites us to batten things down and cover things up, before the long, cold nap of winter.

Here are some great, green tips for Winterizing your home or living space:

+ Cut down on drafts. You can do this with caulking around windows and doors and by using a “draft snake” or piece of fabric under a doorway. Making these draft snakes can be a fun project with kids. Simply sew some fabric into a tube shape and then fill with beans, sand or even kitty litter. Let the kids adorn the snake that will be used for the door to their bedroom.

draft 2

+ Clean out your dryer duct. Again, this simple action can save you energy and money. Here’s a great link with instructions: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-do-dryer-duct-cleaning#b

+ Turn down your water heater thermostat. Many water heaters are turned up too high. Check yours and see if it is at 120F. This simple change can really save both energy and money.

Untitled 2+ Begin the habit of keeping your thermostat lower. There have been studies that state that for every degree that you lower your thermostat, you save between 1 and 3 per cent on your heating bills. And don’t forget that layering up on clothing when you are indoors, can keep you toasty. Apparently, it’s an old wives tale that we lose most of our heat through our heads, but it’s still a great idea to wear a soft hat indoors on very cold nights.

 

+ Switch your ceiling fan direction. Who knew that such a simple act as this could help, but it really does. Enabling ceiling fan blades to spin clockwise will draw warm air trapped near the ceiling down to the living area. This can improve comfort and save money on heating.

Look around your life and world and see you can inspire you! Here’s the future Girl Scout of America working on her Winterizing badge. squirrel 2

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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” and the creator of LifeBloom Online Coaching. Learn more about her here and sign up to join her list! www.makeithappenintenminutesaday.com.

 

 

 

 

 

The Day of the Dead


day of Dead 2By Lorne Holden

When I was a little girl growing up in Cleveland, the last day in October always meant two things: costumes and candy. Absurd amounts of candy. And given that the costumes were often purchased at a large chain store, Halloween became a yearly glut of consumer consumption. Buy a costume that would be cast off and never used again! Gather more candy than anyone should be allowed to eat in a year! For a kid, this was heaven.

But as I grew older and became a parent, I found myself drawn to a festival on the same date that seemed to be more grounded in connection, history, beauty and respect. This festival is Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

The Day of the Dead is actually three days: October 31, November 1 and 2nd. It is celebrated widely in Mexico as well as in other countries where there is a high Mexican population. The colorful costumes and painted faces that are inspired by Day of the Dead have become iconic worldwide. We know immediately when we are looking at a scene from Day of the Dead.

Day of Dead 2 good 2

While the American way of celebrating Halloween stems from a history of connection to the Celtic Harvests, the Day of the Dead has it’s history in the ancient belief of celebrating the afterlife. Nowadays, the Day of the Dead reflects the original beliefs shaped by the pre-Hispanic indigenous population as well as Spanish Catholic ideas.

 

The Day of the Dead is Mexico’s most important holiday and is a time of joy and celebration. It is literally a time when people stop to remember, talk about and cherish those they love who have died. Mexican people spend a lot of time in graveyards, cleaning gravestones of family members and leaving gifts. Also, people create ornate and colorful altars in their homes; they make and eat Pane del Muerta, a sweet bread, and create and decorate sugar skulls. It is all a wonderful and expansive celebration of taste, color and love.

day of daed altar 2

 

This year, consider grounding your family’s Halloween celebration is an activity inspired by the Day of the Dead. Creating an altar in the home or taking time to simply remember a beloved, departed family member can offer up a sense of family history and continuity. Taking time to make bread, or create ornate costumes based on Day of the Dead images can remind kids that they have what it takes within them to make this Halloween special and their own. Start a discussion about the difference between creating and consuming. Talk about what it means to remember and respect those who have come before them. Let this years celebration be more than just sweet things to eat.

Skull 2

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Lorne Holden is an artist and the author of  the bestsller “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done.” Learn more about her here: makeithappenintenminutesaday.com.

 

Weekly Treasury – Spooky


Spooky‘ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

It’s that time of the year when you get to decorate with fake blood and nobody will judge you. Scaring the neighborhood kids is acceptable pastime. And buying 20 pounds of candy is encouraged. Halloween allows adults to be kids again.

Moon - smoke fired wheelthrown decorative bowl

$45.00
Witch Spell Bottle Ornies Halloween Primitive Decor

$25.00
HALLOWEEN - My DOE Mummy MASK - My Deer Family

€20.00
Vintage Cauldron Cast Iron Smudge Pot Fireplace Bean Pot Brass Lid Halloween Prop

$52.00
Mini Raven Skull Necklace Halloween (2.75" Small) Resin Cast Skull (Aged Finish Painted Beak) Crow Poe Goth Bird Skull Gothic

$26.00
Haunted - 11x14 Mixed Media Original Print - Black Gray White Tree Branches Dark Night Nighttime Scary Spooky Creepy Haunting Dream Surreal

$35.00
Dark and Creepy Halloween Decor, Doll Like Twin Girls, Zombies, Macabre, Halloween Wall Art

$25.00
Tangled Web Sterling Silver Circle Necklace, One of a Kind Artisan Wearable Art Handmade Abstract Unique Statement Jewelry, Metal Sculpture

$225.00
Black cat photograph, gold & black, Halloween Home Decor, dark, wall decor

$30.00
Roots ,Handmade ceiling light made of pewter wires On Sales! Original price 1,600.00 Euros. Now price at Etsy 930.00.

€930.00
Hat, Garden Party, Kentucky Derby, Evening Hat, Tea Party Hat

$99.00
three black princesses (print)

$25.00
Fallen Angel, Winged, Skeleton Art

$11.50
Dark spooky farmhouse, landscape photograph, browns, scary abandoned Appalachian homestead, unique gift, Halloween wall decor

$15.00
Surreal Gothic Photography, Ravens Crows Sepia Art, Eerie Gate Ravens,Haunting Spooky Halloween Photography, Dark Surreal Spooky Photography

$30.00
Altered Book, Found Poetry, Africa

$588.00

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 – Halloween/Day of the Dead


Bat spider

Sifting seems to be a lot of how I spend my parenting time. Trying my best to filter out exposure to the world’s atrocities while maintaining a gentle touch with current events and youth culture. When we stop and assess there are a lot of really great things happening in the world. This week we are featuring a ceremonial perspective of Halloween and The Day of the Dead. It is especially pertinent for my family this year, as it seems that FINALLY after nearly FIVE years, the artist creating my parents’ headstone will have the work complete. We will certainly participate in the obligatory mischief and candy hording of trick or treating. We will also spend an evening lauding Primm and John who we all miss.

I took my 7 and 8 year old daughters to the fabric store the other day to get fabric for making Halloween costumes. Violet, 7 wants to be Spider Girl and Lucy, 8, chose Bat Girl. I am pretty out of the super-hero-loop so went to Google to get some images. Holy CRAP! Female super heros are just so slutty! Seriously today’s cartoon world’s depiction of women is abysmal. After sifting through literally hundreds of images I was able to find one for each of my sweet littles that seemed safe to me.

If everything goes as planned, Spider Girl, Bat Girl, a Sugar Skullled Momma and various other ghouls will have high-jinx in the cemetery as October passes into November for mischief, candy, and oh so much more~

 

Are you interested in playing along?  Leave a comment below about how how you plan to celebrate Halloween or The Day of the Dead.  We welcome your participation in this blog by sending in an image that speaks to the theme of the week.  Just email it to Crispinaffrench@gmail.com by Wednesday evening for inclusion in One Thousand Words, our Friday column – a gallery of pictures submitted by our readership.  Captions include the photographers name and business name (if applicable).

 

Life Insurance – Spring Bulbs


Spring BulbsWe are having an unusually beautiful fall in New England this year. Day after day of cloudless skies, perfect temperatures and lush, fresh breezes. It’s hard to want to do anything but be outdoors every minute.

In times of this much beautiful weather, I think about ways I can prolong this sense of nature at it’s best. One of my favorite ways it to make an investment in a future of natural beauty by planting Spring Bulbs. I think of it as stashing away funds in the “Bank of Next Year’s Gloriousness.” There’s always a spectacular return on my investment!
Planting spring bulbs now not only keeps you outdoors during this fine time, but guarantees you a pop of color and inspiration at that time of year when you may still be trying to shake the winter chill off your heart. Also, it’s a great way to spend time with your kids. Let them join you in choosing the variety of bulbs to plant, so that your spring garden is a celebration of everyone’s tastes.Untitled 4

There’s an amazing array of choices in bulbs these days. A visit to a local garden center will dazzle you. Daffodils and tulips offer up cheerful, reliable charm but don’t hesitate to branch out and try something new.

Spring Bulb choices

Here are some tips for making your bulb planting adventure a success:

Buy bulbs that are firm to the touch, with a light paper skin. If there is any softness when you hold the bulb, it might be rotten. After you buy your bulbs, try not to wait too long before you plant them. Get those beauties in the ground!

Dig your holes about 8 inches from the base of the bulb. That means, for example, if you have a one inch bulb, dig a nine inch hole. An interesting trick is to sprinkle a little kitty litter in the hole, which will deter rodents from eating your bulb.

Bulbs are perennials which means that theoretically they will return year after year. However, if you want to assure this, it’s a good idea to use a little plant food around the bulb as you plant it. There are simple, affordable varieties of bulb food available are garden centers.

Untitled 3There are many ideas about how many inches to leave between your bulbs, but I think it’s best to simply decide how you’d like the flowers to look when they bloom. Do you want a concentrated spray of color? Then plant a handful of them close together in a circle. Want them in a line? Then plant them about 6 inches apart. Want them to have a natural look to where they sprout? Hold a handful of bulbs and simply toss them onto the dirt. Wherever they land is where they get planted!

Water the bulbs only lightly after planting. Afterwards, it will probably not be necessary to ever water your bulbs unless there is an extensive period of dry weather.

Let the thought of these bulbs hum within you during the long months of winter. Sit back and know that you’re guaranteed to have a vibrant spring, full of colors that you yourself made happen.

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Lorne Holden is an artist and author of the Amazon Bestseller “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/ The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done” and creator of LifeBloom Online Coaching

Weekly Treasury – Life Insurance


Life Insurance

As the chill of fall sets in we are loading our lawn with all sorts of Spring bulbs to bring early cheer at the end of our long cold season. Get inspired here to brighten your end of winter. Insurance for early signs of life in Spring.

Antique Tulip Print, Spring Bulbs, Vintage Flower Print, Large Botanical Print, Oversized Botanical Wall Art, Wall Hanging

$39.00
Spring Floral Plate Kaiser of Germany Wall Decoration

$10.00
5 SNOWDROPS early spring flowers bulbs Naturalize Snow Drops Earliest Blooms

$6.99
10 Mini Paper Daffodils - Pale Yellow -  Made of mulberry paper with wire stems - Great for card making, wedding favour & boutonnieres

$6.50
crochet scarf  crochet  lariat ,flower  crochet scarf

$49.00
Antique Tulip Spring Bulbs Natural Scientific Plate Illustration Digital Download for Papercrafts, Transfer, Pillows, etc Burlap No 6147

$1.00
Hyacinth Bulbs-Muscari armeniacum, called grape hyacinth, spring-blooming-25 Bulbs~NOW SHIPPING, Pepennial

$8.95
Batik Cotton Tulips - Three Flowers

$14.00
Beautiful Primrose Original Vintage Botanical Print / Spring Flowers / Summer / Floral / Illustration / Art

£3.49
Fresh Spring sale, Happy bulb and Lilly, Silver stackingrings set, stack rings, Romantic ring, Gift for her

$108.00
Single Hyacinth Flower Bulb in Forcing Vase

$25.00
Vintage Lace & Crochet Kilt Pin - Spring Bulbs

£15.00
Spring Bulbs Terrarium Ring

$25.00
Spring Bulbs with Leaves Photograph 8 x 10 inch by J. L. Fleckenstein

$20.00
promise

$16.00
Striped Tulips Handmade Block Print Note Card

$4.75

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 – Spring Bulbs


field-of-daffodils-david-freuthalThis week I am planting spring bulbs in my yard. We have lived in my husband’s family’s home for two years now and have been putting it off as my hubby threatens to dig a new foundation here and grade out a slope there.

My father was house proud. He was an avid gardener with lovely blooming plantings from one corner of his small lot to the other. He indulged in perennials of all forms from trees to the sweetest early snowdrops. I share his affinity for nature and gardening. I am married to an earth mover. My husband loves trucks and large equipment. He drags whole trees from the woods with his giant tractor.

We have agreed to keep part of our large swath of Berkshire forest free from heavy tires. This is where my bulbs will be planted. Snowdrops – for my dad, lots of Daffodils to welcome the new life of Spring after our long Massachusetts winter, and checkerboard lilies because I just love them. It feels like home when there is a garden. This is my start, the vegetable garden fence will be installed this fall too so planting can begin in early spring. The thought of this brings calm and wholeness to mind.120069189_snowdrop_375279c

 

Weekly Treasury – Break It Down


‘Break It Down’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

Living a sustainable life can seem unattainable at times but the compost pile can be your new best friend. Some everyday items can be thrown in and made into rich earthy goodness. Check this link to be sure: http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/.

Click this link to view on etsy.

 

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!

Weekly Treasury – DIY


‘DIY’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

There’s a certain satisfaction you get from making something with your own two hands, whether it’s knitting a sweater or rewiring a lamp.But, it’s always good to have a little help. Here are some fun filled kits to get you started.

Click this link to view on etsy.

 

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!