Used clothing alchemist since 1987

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The First EVER Scrap Bag Challenge


04.22.14 Scrap Bag ChallengeOn March 22nd while continuing my studio purge, we discovered a couple large tubs full of scrap material taking up space.  In an effort to pass on a little creative inspiration to those around me, I thought I would offer a free box of scrap to anyone interested, in exchange for documenting the process.  Within 24hours of that first – admittedly off-the-cuff facebook post, and following eblast, we had over 50 responses!  People from literally around the globe wanted in!  We actually ran out of scrap and had to limit the offer to the first 50 responses.

The next day we packed 50 boxes and sent them out into the world inspiring creative High-Jinx from Australia to Brooklyn and pretty much everywhere in between!

Everyday since March 22 we have been sent images that amaze!  The enthusiasm, joy, and unleashed creativity that came across our computer screens was inspiring and completely unexpected!  Our plan was to post images of all the finished work in a Cyber Art Show opening on Earthday.

So here it is just about the very end of Earthday 2014.  With a little more work to do to get this Cyber Art Show up and running.  Stay tuned.  Check back right here in the next day or two and see for yourselves the magic that I speak of, and in the meantime get a little glimpse here.

Weekly Treasury – Love Your Mother


‘Love Your Mother’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

Do you think about your impact on earth and how to reduce it? We shouldn’t need an Earth Day to bring awareness to how we treat Her and Her resources. I hope we all think of every day as Earth Day.

Click this link to view this week’s treasury list on etsy.

earth-2

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 – Hello Birdie


‘Hello Birdie’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

The sun is shining and the birds are singing, spring is here. Invite those melodious avians into your yard with an enticing home or a spot to refuel.

Click this link to view this week’s treasury list on etsy.

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) – DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) – DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

 

 

 

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 – It’s A Wrap


‘It’s A Wrap’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

Even though it’s warming up, there’s still a chill in the air. A pop of color is still needed to brighten our days in these first weeks of spring. A beautiful, hand-crafted scarf will turn any outfit into a spring statement.

Click this link to view this week’s treasury list on etsy.

 

By Cbgde08 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Cbgde08 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
 

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 – Flora


‘Flora’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

I think it’s finally spring in the New England! Spring is about rebirth and renewal. The blooming crocuses and budding trees are a testament to this. Want to see some blooms sooner rather than later? Checkout this treasury to see some stunners.

Click this link to view this week’s treasury list on etsy.

800px-Crocus_vernus

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 – Pisces


‘Pisces’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

I know we’re towards the end of the astrological phase of Pisces but I wanted to celebrate this intuitive sign with a treasury. Here’s to all the dreamy water lovers.


Quilt – ocean rain – made …

$545

Pisces Pendant hand cast res…

$15

Pisces constellation Zodiac …

$6

Pisces Necklace, Pisces Cons…

$29

Pisces Carved River Rock

$8

Dreamy beach photography, oc…

$25

Nautical Fish Leather Bracel…

$21

Pisces

$100

PISCES Healing Crystals Brac…

$27

1 Pair BLUE ICE Chakra Earri…

$9.99

Ocean Jasper (wave) handcut …

$25

Pisces Zodiac Constellation …

$38

Pisces Notecard

$5

PISCES – Zodiac STONE KIT Cr…

$4.95

Pisces Ring Feb 19- Mar 20

$18

Pisces March Birthday Fish T…

$20

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

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

Weekly Treasury – Lunch To Go


‘Lunch To Go’ by  Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

We all want safe and affordable food options but we’re not always sure what we’ll get when we leave our houses. One way to know is to bring it with you. Not only will our food be safe but there will be little to no trash when you’re done.


Girls Insulated Lunch Bag – …

$40

Japanese Bento Lunch Box Mag…

$49

Set of Nine Polar Whiskey St…

$20

Vintage Metal Stanley Thermo…

$54

Reusable Snack Bag – Reusabl…

$40.5

Modern Handmade Napkins- ora…

$6

Vintage Pyrex Refrigerator D…

$80

Dill Pickles – GARLIC – Pure…

$9.75

Sneaky Heat – Ghost Pepper A…

$8.95

Walnut wood 3 piece utensil …

$28

Lidded Spice Pot Spice Holde…

$35

Blue Foliage Landscape Plant…

$13

reusable waxed canvas sandwi…

$12

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookie…

$15

Recycled cotton lunch bag – …

$10

Love Note Cards Flat Mini Kr…

$5

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

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

Weekly Treasury – Hive Minds


‘Hive Minds’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

We are all anxiously awaiting the buzzing of the bees because that means spring will be in bloom.Fill your home with some of these handcrafted items just like bees will soon be filling their honeycombs with pollen.


Reserved for Marjorie W: Bee…

$12

50% OFF SALE – Patchwork Pil…

$14

Honeycomb Cuff Bracelet – Go…

$190

Sunshine Bee Bowl – Honeybee…

$24

Modern wall clock Honeycomb …

$69

Porcelain cup with honeycomb…

$22

SCRIMSHAW Bookmark ORIGINAL …

$16.95

Gold Honeycomb Long Necklace…

$70

Honeycomb Ring, Geometric Je…

$110

Sterling Silver Honeycomb Ne…

$84

Sterling Honeycomb Tie Clip

$78

Stained Glass Honeycomb Drop…

$115

Molecular Art Painting Gold …

$8.49

Honeycomb book page necklace…

$35

Silver honeycomb ring with g…

$65

Set of 5 White Honeycomb She…

$150

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

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

Weekly Treasury – Glimpse Of Green


‘Glimpse Of Green’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

The last few days we’ve enjoyed a bit of a thaw, some have even spied emerging daffodils. Though we’re still in the midst of winter, a little hint of green is awfully encouraging.


Eco Green Dress- upcycled sw…

$39

The “Dread Pirate Rober…

$52

Tilia cordata – Linden Leaf …

$24

Personalised Leather Journal…

$47

Green handmade paper cardsto…

$5

Emerald Green Fused Decorati…

$58

Upcycled salon light made fr…

$125

felted leaf pin brooch GREEN…

$16

Bird green wool felt

$8

PERSONALIZED Message Origami…

$12

Ceramic translucent green te…

$42

Natural Holiday Terrarium

$120

Green Eco Friendly Glass Str…

$28

GRASSLANDS Foldover Clutch -…

$68

Mint Green Leaf Botanical Pl…

$25

Geeky, Science Micro Hydrodi…

$18.88

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

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

Freak of the Week ~ Michael Vincent Bushy


Michael Vincent Bushy selling at Holiday Shindy 2013 – photo by Berglind Hafsteinsdottir

Cff:     What is your line of work?  Tell our readers a little about you, and your history. Please clearly state your name, business name, address, telephone, email, website and business hours of operation so they can be included in the blog post.

I am a printmaker and a bookbinder, a figure artist and an art educator.  I teach art full time at Hillcrest Educational Centers, which is a residential school for severely emotionally disabled teenagers (or, at least, that’s the broad stroke of it), and I have a second business selling my original art, my hand-bound books, printing, and carving custom stamps.  I live in Pittsfield with my wife, Rebecca, and our two dogs, Frank & GG.  I keep a fully-functioning printmaking studio at 703 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield – which I am in at least one weekday evening and one full weekend day (but usually more) – where I create my own art, and teach printmaking classes through IS183, the Art School of the Berkshires.  I have a website that I routinely ignore (http://www.mvbprintmaker.com), and a facebook page that I am much better at updating (https:www.facebook.com/mvbprintmaker), and can be reached by email at mvbushy@mac.com.

Cff:     Tell a story, have we met? When?  Where?  Who introduced us? Oh, maybe you are my niece, well just tell a little history here.  People love a setting.

We’ve met.  I helped you get all the pews out of your church, remember?  That was a laugh riot.  I actually stumbled upon your studio during one of your holiday sales shortly after moving to town, a little over four years ago.  Then I got involved with AI, and helped out with some events.  Not terribly exciting, I’ll admit.

Life Drawing – photo by Leo Mazzeo

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

I do have that power.  The most expedient way to change the community, country and world for the better is to empower women.  Vote them into office, hire and promote them into positions of authority, and then actually listen to what they have to say.

Cff:     What is your current passion?

I never tire of printmaking.  Ever.

Cff:     How did you find that passion?

I was fortunate enough to have a printing press in high school.  Once I turned that wheel, I was hooked.

Cff:     Who/What has been most influential in your work?

I’ve had great teachers, great role models, and studied great artists.  But the person who’s voice I trust the most is my wife Rebecca.  She implicitly know what works aesthetically.  I mean, she’s got almost 3000 followers on Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/honeybee16/), by basically telling them what is beautiful.  By my tally, that makes her an authority.

Cff:     Where do you find your inspiration/motivation?

Artists don’t need therapists.  While that’s not entirely true, throwing oneself into their art helps to shuffle off the stresses that come with life.

Cff:     Aside from working, how do you spend your time?

Mostly, quiet time with my wife and our dogs.

Cff:     What is one of your most transforming memories?

The aforementioned press wheel-turning thingy.

Cff:     Do you have a prized possession?  What is it?

I have a spectacular CMC rolling-platen printing press that’ll crush a bicycle.

Etching in Studio – photo Dana St. Pierre

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

Let’s see… I totally botched my proposal to Becca, so that’s out.  Um, I bowled a 240 once?  No.  I lived in a haunted house in New Bedford, does that count as magical?  At least it’s supernatural…

Cff:     If you were able to spend an afternoon with anyone – dead or alive, who would it be?  What plans would you make for yourouting?

I miss my father-in-law, Harry, constantly.  I think I miss him more now than I did when he first passed away three years ago.  Not that we’d talk a ton, but he was such a calming presence.

Cff:     What is your favorite color?  Why?

Burnt Umber.  There’s such a warmth to it – the reds are perfectly balanced with its earthiness, with subtle notes of chocolate and a warm bone black.  And it’s timeless; burnt umber will never go out of style.

Cff:     What is your favorite place  and way to spend time?

I try to live in the moment and enjoy wherever I am at the time.

Cff:     What is your goal or main focus for your next 12 months?

Etching Plates in Studio – photo by MVB

To continue to grow my bookbinding business.  I have a precious small amount of time to spend with it, so I have to carefully consider all opportunities to show and sell – I don’t have the luxury to just throw stuff at a wall and see what sticks.

Cff:     Tell about how you imagine the world might look in 10 years.

Ideally, I would like to be living with Becca somewhere with a little bit of space, and keep a studio and gallery space where I can conduct classes, keep residencies, and work on my own art.

Cff:     What/who is your community?

We are very happy with the community we have encountered since moving here from Cape Cod.  This community is very welcoming, and takes you for however you self identify.  When we rolled into town, and I began introducing myself as an artist, people didn’t scoff “Well, where’s your gallery?”, they asked which media I work in.  We’ve built relationships not just with members of the artistic community, but also within the food culture of the Berkshires.  There’s an abundance of young professionals in this area, and enough of them are transplants that one can walk into a bar, a gallery, or a farmers market and engage people without being seen as an outsider.

Cff:     How are you seen within your community?  Do you see your role?

I am the printmaker guy with three names in the vest that binds books.  Ask around.  I’ve been pretty consistent in branding myself that it’s moved past affectation and into compulsion.

Cff:     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.

Nope!  I am trying to use the winter to focus on exploring my etchings, writing my printmaking handbook, building my stock of books back up, filling some custom orders, teaching some classes through IS183, sharpening my tools and… crap.  When you see it all written out like that, I’m really very busy, aren’t I?

Bookbinding in New Bedford – photo by Josh Souza Photography