Used clothing alchemist since 1987

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Blog Theme – Picnics/Outdoor Dining


Recycled Denim and Corduroy Picnic Blankets available in my Shop
Recycled Denim and Corduroy Picnic Blankets available in my Shop

Each week there is a blog theme that usually has something to do with what is going on in my world.  On Friday, my hubby, daughters and I are headed to Tanglewood for a picnic. We plan to meet friends and make it a potluck event. I am envisioning clear and starry skies with a gentle breeze to keep the bugs at bay.  Frisbees will be packed along with a cooler full of summer’s best edibles, most will be sugar and gluten free to accommodate yours truly. (My dietary limitations are a post for another day.) This week’s theme is PICNIC/OUTDOOR DINING. Let’s see what the week brings and who might join the fun on the lawn this Friday night. Crazy to think, tickets are cheaper than the movies at $10, kids under 18 are free! The Boston Symphony will be tearin’ it up with a program including Strauss, Copeland, and Beethoven.  Gates open at 5:30, we plan to eat at 6. Music begins at 8:30 so there should be plenty of time to explore the grounds with the kids and toss a little disc – can’t wait!

Oh HEY!  Did you know that YOU can participate in our weekly themes by submitting an image that sums up your week and somehow speaks to our theme?  Send entries to my email by Wednesday evening for our Friday ONE THOUSAND WORDS column.  Include your name and business name if you have one to be used as the caption.

A picture says ONE THOUSAND WORDS.

One Thousand Words


At the end of each week we feature a collection of photographs summing up the week for each contributor.  There are no words, just images with captions with the name of the photographer and their business name (if they have one).  Weekly blog themes will be posted right here on Sundays.  Feel free to submit your original images to Crispinaffrench@gmail.com for possible inclusion.  Please include your name and business name you would like included.

So here you are.  Our first collection of images around Screen Printing – our theme this last week.

Jen - Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA
Jen – Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA
Crispina ffrench - Shire City Sanctuary
Crispina ffrench – Shire City Sanctuary
Pat Hughes - The Dolphin Studio
Pat Hughes – The Dolphin Studio

Weekly Treasury – Printed


‘Printed’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

Screen printing is simple enough to do in your own home, but opens up a world of possibilities from posters to pillows. This treasury is a testament to the beauty and versatility of screen printing. If you can dream it, you can screen it!

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

Freak of the Week ~ Alan Hayes


Some of you may know that my husband and I bought a former Roman Catholic cathedral in Pittsfield, Ma and have been renovating it for over 8 years. (Come see our fledgling site at www.ShireCitySanctuary.com) Our current push is to complete our commercial kitchen where we plan to accommodate artisanal food producers, including Hayes Home Roast.images

07.02.14 Alan Hayes Portrait
This is me, illustrating my one precept. I know that various people have more than one:4, 7, 10, who knows, but one is all I can consistently remember. It’ s to not take things too seriously.

Each week – usually on Wednesdays, we feature a FREAK who speaks to our theme. This week’s theme is Coffee and Alan Hayes is worthy of our Freak of the Week title – and he is a Coffee Roaster, proprietor of Hayes Home Roast.

1. Tell our readers about you,
My most recent worldly manifestation is as a coffee roaster and coffee entrepreneur. This a development of my experience roasting my own coffee, for my own use, for the last 13 or 14 years.  Stop on over and get a one-time-only free sample of our coffee of the week!

But I am most seriously a photographer. My photography, which I pursue for its own sake, in significant ways fairly aimlessly, is the best expression I have in the world, my deepest exploration, the deepest impression I make on the world. I began taking pictures seriously about fifteen years ago.This is a link to a representative sample of some of my photographic work: http://www.generousmedium.com/RETROSPECTIVE/installationcatalog/index.html

Prior to that I had various careers in craft of different sorts, from carpentry and woodworking, to graphic design, to most recently, a foray into acoustic metal sculpture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2Oe2FYF4zg

None of this activity has ended up particularly associated with getting money, which is why I’ve started putting together a extremely small scale coffee roasting business. This is a manifestation of craft, though at the heart of it is a process analogous to making popcorn. What I am finding is that it is a very good way of being in the world, interacting with people, and making sufficient money to pursue my deep heart pursuits. I feel extremely fortunate to have found a money gig that is so profoundly satisfying on so many levels. Coffee is something that a lot of people really like, and I am in a position to provide them with a kind and quality of coffee that not all that many people have ever experienced. It’s very nice to be able to so simply give so many people such a basic pleasure.

07.02.14 Alan Hayes 32. Have we met? When? Where? Who introduced us?
I first met you at one of your holiday open houses, where I  became aware of your remarkable work and purchased a blanket, which is one of my prized possessions to this day. Then some years later we became facebook friends, partly I think because I was always ready to encourage you to keep your girls home from school, the way my mother did me. Then when we met up again, we knew each other a bit. One of the great things about the internet is that it provides a means of finding the other nuts like yourself!

3. If you had the power to make one change in the world what would it be?
I would arrange it so that everything for which it was feasible would be kept in Ball jars. I understand that this would probably make very little difference in the world, but that doesn’t keep me from thinking it should be done.

4. What are you passionate about and why?
I am passionate about art, my own, and others. I am deeply concerned with social justice, in the simplest sense of treating all people equally. I am very committed to doing whatever I do, photograph, sculpture, book design or coffee, at a high level of accomplishment.

07.02.14 Alan Hayes 25. Who/What has been most influential in your work?
My former wife, Rosemary Starace was extremely important in my development as an artist.  My identity as an artist is the most important thing in the world to me.

07.02.14 Alan Hayes 46. Where do you find your inspiration/motivation?
Don’t know the answer to this one. I guess I would say I spend a fairly large amount of time moping, and then it just comes. A lot of stuff originates for me at a totally preverbal level, as body feelings, and vague sensations of motion, and a feeling of being in space.

7. Aside from working, how do you spend your time?
Work has always been pretty central for me. I tend to be happiest when I have some work to do. Outside of working I spend a fair amount of time just thinking, and being with a few friends. Never got the whole vacation/entertainment thing particularly. I like to cook, though I cook simply, to eat; and read voluminously. And then there is the internet!

8. Tell about a transforming memory or magical moment that proved life-changing.
This is going to be a weird one! But you did ask! I once had a dream which featured an aquarium. The aquarium was fairly large, filled with water, colored gravel, the whole bit. Floating somewhat beneath the surface of the water was an old style half gallon ice cream carton, which was leaking small magenta/pink plastic nuns from one corner. That’s basically all of the dream that I remember. It convinced me of the utter meaninglessness of dreams, while at the same time becoming a lifelong obsession. I’ve considered various way of actualizing it. Carving nuns out of styrene (they were definitely styrene!), getting them injection molded, sending to China and getting a container load made, finding out where the local moldmakers drink their beer and making friends, but part of me just wants to leave the whole business in the unactualized realm…

07.02.14 Alan Hayes 59. Do you have a prized possession? What is it?
Well, there’s my Crispina blanket! Tools are very important to me. I have a few that I have had most of my life, and even some that came to me from my parents. I have reached a point in life where I’ve become the keeper of heirlooms. It’s more the meaning and associations of things than the things themselves, though the things can hold the magic.

10. If you were able to spend an afternoon with any one person – dead or alive, who would it be? Why and what would you plan for your time together?
I always have trouble with this sort of question, but what came to mind is that I would like to have been able to spend some time with the photographer Milton Rogovin, just talking, showing each other pictures.

11. What is your favorite place and/or way to spend time?
I like to be making things or working on photographic or graphic projects, things I can lose myself in. These days a lot of this is just sitting in front of a computer, of course.

07.02.14 Alan Hayes 712. What is your goal or main focus for your next 12 months?
Getting my new business, Hayes Home Roast to the point where it is supporting me and letting me have sufficient time for my artistic pursuits.

13. 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.
The biggest thing I have coming is the official roll out of my coffee roasting business. This has been awaiting the securing of a proper commercial space to do the roasting, which looks, finally, to be imminent. Please take a look at my new website, www.hayeshomeroast.com

Weekly Treasury – Daily Brew


‘Daily Brew’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

The whistle of a kettle or gentle murmur of a drip; the deep burnt umber of the brew; the sweet, earthy aromas and tastes. Brewing that morning cup of coffee is a treat for all the senses – no wonder it’s so vital to the morning ritual for so many.

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 – Farm Fresh


‘Farm Fresh’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

It is now officially summer. The longer and hotter days are ripe with fresh produce. If you don’t already grow your own veggies and fruit why not support your local farmer and order a CSA (community supported agriculture).

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 – Father’s Day


‘Father’s Day’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

I know Father’s Day was yesterday but why limit celebrating dads to one day, why not a week? A year?  With all our fathers do for us, don’t you think they deserve it?  Maybe they also deserve some of these…

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 – Buggin’ Out


‘Buggin’ Out’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

Summertime is here and so are the bugs. Adults are more concerned with keeping them away than inspecting them. Kids, on the other hand love to spend hours collecting and observing them. Don’t forget the bug spray!

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

Scrap Bag Challenge – Barbara Fama


Each artist who participated in the First EVER Scrap Bag Challenge that ran from March 22, 2014 til Earthday, and answered my virtual interview questions will be featured here over the next few weeks.

The Scrap Bag Challenge took place, on the fly, as a part of the unearthing and purging in my studio.  As Shire City Sanctuary comes to be, my studio shrinks with glee – allowing me renewed freedom from stuff  and allowing our Makerspace room to accommodate a sewing room, screen printing shop, and teaching space.

We had over 50 responses within 24 hours of posting on facebook and sending our eblast announcement!  50 boxes packed full of studio scrap were shipped across the world from Germany to Australia to our neighbors here in Pittsfield!  Wowsers!  The EXCITEMENT!!

Check out Barbara Fama! She is a passionate quilter/fabric artist.  Look at what she made and take note of the materials she was given – SCRAPPY SCRAP and WOWSERS!  Here ya go ~

06.02.14 Barbara Fama.3

About Me:

06.02.14 Barbara Fama.4Resident of Troy, NY where my husband and I are owned by an old Victorian with demands and often visited by our daughter who is in constant motion throughout the world.
Number Nerd for 39+ years working alongside 9 diverse artist/architects for a small nonprofit dealing both with historic preservation and affordable housing issues.
I knit but my real passion is quilting.

Additional materials used:
Birds – quilting cotton scraps, wire, beads.
Runner – stabilizer for T shirt materials, left over scraps of batting and cotton.
I am STILL knitting a rug with the rest of the t shirt material and using the beautiful felted pieces for a hot pad and small bag. I haven’t used felted wool before and am a sloooow learner.

My inspiration for the runner is from what I love to do (quilt) from the colors I love (blacks, greys and brights) and for the birds from Kajsa Wikman’s book and blog.

My fondest Recycled/Reused experience is my quilting for Quilts for Kids (www.quiltsforkids.org). This project uses the overruns, errors and unsold cotton fabric from manufacturers that used to end up in landfills to make quilts for children in hospitals.
Your challenge was one of the best experiences I have had because I had to think about materials I am not used to and move because of the tight time frame.

Advise to a large group of people?
Be yourself, and make a difference, no matter how small.06.02.14 Barbara Fama.5

Weekly Treasury – Tick Tock


‘Tick Tock’ by Becca Strout for Crispina ffrench

Time is fickle. It’s slow when you’re waiting for something and fast when you need that extra minute. These longer summer days can become jam packed before you know it. Slow down and watch the time elapse.

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