Category Archives: blog

05.19.15.1

Here in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts is it simply beautiful, our new leaves are turning from that sweet baby leaf green to a hardy summer hue. We have been busting out AWESOME denim and corduroy picnic blankets in the studio and developing a full line of clothing from 100% cotton recycled t-shirts. While my attention has been focused on production, there has been a little unexpected hiatus here at www.crispina.com. A few things have been going on that are wreaking havoc on our usual sequence. Becca, our trusty weekly treasury builder who normally posts on Mondays has run into a glitch with the software she has been using to create her posts. Jay, our creative genius webmaster is working on figuring out what that is all about – even while traveling in Iceland with his brand new baby boy, Atticus and his lovely lady Huck who is participating in an arts conference there. Laurie, who writes ReconsumerEyes that normally posts on Tuesdays is out of commission due to threatening emails, phone calls and written correspondence over the use of images found on the internet with no indication of copyright. Apparently the images in question were produced by Getty Images and have copyright protection. YIKES!

While Jay is working out the software glitch, I am committed to getting things back on track using only original images. Thanks for staying tuned. I’ll keep you posted on how things unfold.

The good news is that it is finally raining in our Beautiful Berkshires. The fruit trees my hubby and I are planting will be very happy about this.05.19.15.2

Farmers' Market Dresses made 100% recycled cotton t-shirts
Farmers’ Market Dresses made 100% recycled cotton t-shirts

I started my business in 1987 with confidence that I could change the way the world saw discarded material – introducing fresh ways to conjure use where none had been seen prior.
Earthday 2015 was just a few days ago (April 22nd) and every year I feel like the world is more full of environmental atrocities that seem insurmountable. It gets me down.

This year I viewed a screening of a film called Inhabit, The Permaculture Prospective on Earthday. I am so happy to say that I am full of hope and a newly imparted drive to spread the word that we can make a giant U turn for our environment. Rather than working toward sustainability – I’m marching toward reparation.

In my shop you will find my latest contributions to my march toward being part of the solution.

You in?

We at Crispina are inspired to do what’s best for the environment. By reusing discarded clothing, not only are we keeping them out of the landfill, we are conscious of reducing our consumption of raw materials. Here are some like minded artisans.

Click here to view on etsy.

Kids Long Sleeve Dress with Thumb holes Upcycled from Recycled Wool Sweaters and Jumpers 100% Wool longies with Peacock feather detail Eco friendly necktie bag, made from upcycled and recycled clothing in blue and red. hand embroidered suit fabric shoulder bag eco design Tunic with cap sleeves, square neck and large pockets, red and green gingham check. Upcycled recycled repurposed, one of a kind
Punk Top, Stripe, Floral, Recycled Clothing, Cotton Top, Rainbow, Strawberries, Rustic, Dance, Boho, Hip Hop Women Tshirt Dress Recycled Clothing Reconstructed Handmade Soft Knit Eco Stripes Grey Black Pink M Mystery Vintage Dress Outfit,Recyled dress,Repurposed Look,Vintage Womens Clothing,Recycled Upcycled Frocks,Boho Fashion,WEAR OLD JUNK Blue Dress Plaid Lavendar Rosettes Embroidered Upcycled Bohemian Peasant Recycled Clothing Size Medium
Teal Hoodie Upcycled clothing Eco friendly clothing Recycled Outerwear Upcycled jacket Altered couture Hippie Hooded jacket SaidoniaEco Womens Upcycled Striped Tunic Tank Top, Pinstripe Blouse, Boyfriend Shirt, Recycled Clothing, Ethical Fashion, Repurposed Neckties Cropped Jacket & Lace Shirt   | Repurposed Lace Top | Women's Upcycled Fashion Clothing | Junior Clothing Up-Cycled NECK TIE Skirt, Mini Skirt, tie skirt, silk neck tie, mens tie, chevron tie, golden tie, recycled tie skirt, repurposed ties
Bell Sleeve Patchwork Maroon Knit Upcycled Recycled Bohemian Kimono Cardigan Sweater Jacket Boho Festival Womens OOAK Size Medium/Large Handmade dress, recycled clothing, vintage,Size XS/S,Summer dress,Beach city,woman dress,Vestito mare,Vestito fatto a mano,vestito donna Upcycled Repurposed Altered Clothing Bodice Ivory Red Green Floral Poppy Print Burlesque Lace Strapless Black Dress ,upcycled recycled repurposed cotton summer dress,long skirt

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

Shire City Sanctuary is seeking a Super-Ninja to replace our current Super-Ninja, Cate, who is off to seek her fortune next month. The skillset/character traits required for this position are listed below. The position is full time, hours are 11-7 daily, closed Wednesdays and Sundays.

Cate the Super NInja Screen Printing during 10x10 Festival at Shire City Sanctuary
Super-NInja, Cate, Screen Printing during 10×10 Festival at Shire City Sanctuary 2015

Skills/Characteristics/Tasks

Communication

  • Eloquent Smart, Positive, Honest, Confident and Clear, Friendly, Sincere and Fun-Loving
  • Greeting/Meeting visitors, giving tours
  • Writes kick-ass Press Releases
  • Gives good phone
  • Represents Shire City Sanctuary in community

 

Punctual

  • Keeper of open hours at Shire City Sanctuary
  • Keeper of Shire City Sanctuary Calendar including Promotional/Press
  • Schedules weekly/monthly workings of Shire City Sanctuary

 

Hardworking

  • Physically strong
  • Organizes space for events, ie, moves furniture
  • Weekly Trash, Recyclables, Cleaning inside and outside of building
  • Plant watering

 

Cyber Savvy –

 

Creative

  • Screen Printing Knowledge/Interest
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Graphic Design
  • Sewing Knowledge/Interest

 

Management

  • Curates/Assists onsite gallery shows
  • Heads-up Event Production
  • Manages Makerspace and oversees Rectory (next door)
job Opportunity at Shire City Sanctuary
Super-Ninja, Cate working on grant applications and being silly – one of Shire City Sanctuary’s displays of balance.

Send letter of interest with resume or CV to ShireCitySanctuary@gmail.com

Shire City Sanctuary is The Berkshires first Makerspace housing a Screen Printing Shop, Sewing Lab, and Commercial Kitchen, with Meeting, Workshop, and Event Space. We are located in a former Roman Catholic church in the heart of Pittsfield, MA. Crispina ffrench and her husband Chris Swindlehurst own Shire City Sanctuary and rectory next door that has been converted into 6 apartments.

Embroidering takes a steady hand, an artful eye, and a careful attention to detail. I can’t say for certain, but I suspect that each of the items in this inventory were made with a lot of love, too.

Click here to view on etsy.

Hand embroidered Eliminate Girl Hate pink patch or merit badge with yellow and white daisies, pin on back,pink felt backing, feminism Hand Embroidered Victorian Couch Oranament Girls Tea Party Dress Hand Embroidered Apron Knot Dress Toddler Unicorn Art, Artwork Original, Mixed Media - Hand Embroidered - OOAK - Always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn quote
Textile wall hanging hand embroidered faux gem in emerald green with glass beads on canvas MADE TO ORDER Pillow cover red, hand embroidered, Mexican Textiles home decor handmade, handwoven, colorful sunflower and arum lily Hand emroidered white floral blouse H   Bright Felted wool mittens  hand embroidered with bright colored flowers  size small lined with fleece
Moon Phases Hand Embroidery Hoop Art hand embroidery diorama - Connection no. 8 textile art fiber art Art hand embroidery willow pattern china pottery vase with pink blue and white flowers. Handmade Framed Embroidery Art - Fall Grass - Textile Art
Embroidery Kit, Hand embroidery - Botanical flowers Hand Embroidered Crystal Heart Patch / Brooch. Pink Heart Gem Sew On Patch or Brooch / Pin. Spring 2015 Trends. Hand Embroidered Siesta Sleep Mask Hello Sunshine Hoop Art. Embroidery Hoop Art. Needlepoint. Hand Embroidery. Home Decor. Wall Art. Fabric Art. Wall Hanging. Stitched Art.

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

Not excited by what’s in style or can’t afford that fancy name label? Why not make your own clothes or find a local seamstress? The sense of accomplishment and knowing you are wearing a one of a kind is all the motivation you need to get started on a new wardrobe.

Click here to view on etsy.

Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine Model 221-1 Portable Electric with Accessories Cotton Thread - Light Sky Blue Vintage sewing basket, mid century, sewing box, basket Antique Wooden Sewing Darning, Mushroom Style Wood Darning, Sewing Items, Sewing Machine, Sewing Accessories, Seemstess Gift - Vintage 1930s
Fun Tapes, Assorted Fun Colors, Fun Colors Measuring Tapes, Craft and Sewing supply Seam Ripper Hand Turned on Lathe Blades on One Side Sewing Notion Quilting Tool Curve ruler / Sewing ruler sewing tools / Sewing supply / Seamstress gifts / Dressmaking / Gifts for seamstress / Sewing accesories Featherweight Blind Stitch Attachment #160616. Vintage Singer 221 & 222  sewing machines
Handmade Wood Thimble Country Lane Wood Folding sewing station storage cabinet Set of 4 Seasonal Tree Ceramic Buttons, Family Tree Button, Novelty Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter Tree Sewing Buttons, Genealogy Buttons Wool Felt Needle Book, Needle Case, Embroidered Flower Needle Book, Felt Needle Holder, Beaded Needle Case, Felt Sewing Kit
4 Rolls of Hug Snug Seam Binding Ribbon - Message us your 4 colors! Great for Scrapbooking, Crafts, Floral Arrangements, Sewing & More! Kid's sewing pattern pdf/Toddler Kid's/ suspender skirt / jumper skirt/ overall skirt/ All in one with fox face, sizes 2T to 7Years. Felt strawberry, emery pincushion, needle sharpening, nature pincushion, felt fruit, cute pincushion, gift for seamstress, sewing tool, elin Liberty of London Stile FQ Bundle

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

The snow is slowly but surely melting here in the Berkshires. Maybe the gathering of all the essentials for a bountiful garden will draw spring out. I hope spring has arrived promptly for everyone else.

Click here to view on etsy.

Bachelor Buttons Mix -Seed-Organic Heirloom Flower Seed Organic Bronze Mignonette Lettuce Heirloom Vegetable Seeds garden journal Back-Ordered** Driftwood Herb Garden Markers - Wood Burned
June:  Doubled natural raffia trilby crown with floppy brim and bamboo finding with chocolate leather trim Gardening Dungarees Vintage Galvanized Watering Can SLUGS Fleece Rain Boot Liners in Solid Purple, Fleece Socks, Festival Picnic Style, Boot Insert (Med/Lg 9-11 Boot)
Whimsical Bird House, Painted Bird Houses, Chickadee Birdhouses Old French garden trug vegetable basket gardening basket pannier grape pickers panier French country home 1/2 lbs of Red Wiggler Worms / Compost / Eggs for Vermiculture Composting Little Flower Pots (Set of 4)
Garden Tools Hand Forged Potting Trowel Utility Apron with pockets - gardening apron - vendor apron - half apron Rainbow Carrot Mix - 300 seeds, 7 Varieties of Carrots - (Organic/non-GMO) Cedar potting bench with soil tray

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

Skateboarding never seems to get old. But skateboards do. And these enterprising craftspeople have repurposed old skateboards into something beautiful and new. Waste not, want not, bruh.

Click here to view on Etsy.

Sitflip - The Artist Series Nr. 001 - Skateboard Art - Triptych - Skateboard chair Recycled Skateboard Clock, Wood Clock, Office Accessories, Skateboard Art, Reclaimed Wood, Handmade Gift, Mini Clock, Bespoke Art One of a kind recycled skateboard dice Recycled Skateboard belt . Made and ready to ship. Black vegan belt.
Recycled Skateboard Cruiser No Rest 4: Table made from recycled skateboards (cut pieces skateboards, frame in wood) Recycled Skateboard Wood Bracelet Set Recycled skateboard #38 bottle opener
Hand made  maple wood recycled skateboard ring, size 10 and 3/4. Recycled Skateboard Keychain No.237 - Old school "Pig" shape Wood Sunglasses, Red Rounded 7-Ply Wooden Eyewear, Recycled Skateboard Wood Sunglasses HALF CIRCLE recycled skateboard jewelry // unique, geometric, wood jewelry, jewellery, copper chain, striped, red, green, blue, spring, art
Custom Recycled Skateboard Shifter Knob Recycled Skateboard Guitar picks (2) Hair pins hand-made from a recycled skateboard, available in different lengths, styles and colors Set of 4 Recycled Skateboard Round Drink Coasters

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

03.22.15.2

03.22.15.1This weekend I taught a Sweater Chop Shop to a group of friends who gathered in my studio for two full days of hands-on used sweater alchemy. We had a blast chatting, telling stories, sharing memories and the sweaters they made were fantastic! It was such a wonderful way to connect scattered friends – sharing creativinty a lot of laughter. The weekend flew by and each person left with a unique, handmade garment that they had made in a circle with their friends. Magical.

Think about planning a creative weekend with us and a group of your friends! Choose from all manner of workshops offered at Shire City Sanctuary and stay near-by at one of the many options for accommodations. We can help you plan you trip! Shire City Sanctuary is The Berkshires’ first Makerspace focusing on textile arts and silkscreen printing. My hubby Chris and I own the property – a former Roman Catholic cathedral in the heart of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts ‘Uptown Cultural District’. The church houses a sewing lab, screen printing shop, commercial kitchen and event space. We turned the rectory next door into 6 separate living units with a lovely garden with outdoor sitting areas.

Once this post goes live, I’ll be packing my bag for a trip to California to meet up with my family and head to Craftcation at the end of the week. Stay tuned for posts about our adventures.

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