Category Archives: blog

finished on table

Potholder Rugs weave all sorts of things together. Since I started recycling clothing, it has become apparent that my work is actually all about mixing our culture together at the base. Setting the stage for random assortments of people to find connection and allowing them to discover how much they love each other.

weaving3This aspect of my work began as a happy accident and has moved toward center stage. When my product first came to the marketplace back in the late 1980s I imagined all the people who wore the clothes that were cut and pieced together. As time progressed, the makers of all that cut up clothing came to mind. . .   . in far away places with less than stellar work conditions. . .   … making clothing for us that we deemed so inconsequential that we discarded it before it was worn out.

The ridiculous American demand for excess (particularly clothing) never leaves my mind.

What if?

What if we ‘fat Americans’ all stopped the demand. We all just woke up one day and realized the damage we are doing to the planet, our collective diversity and culture with our over-consumption? Life could be simple and whole.


I get on tangents.

getting started

If there is one good thing about Donald Trump its that he has inspired me to show how connected and interwoven we, as people on the planet, actually are. Let me explain.

As Shire City Sanctuary, where my studio is housed, hosted the Berkshire County Bernie Sanders Campaign Headquarters last winter, I got all amped-up and excited about the idea of a government that actually represents its people. And – I got super disparaged by the bigotry and ignorance that seems rampant in some of the other candidates’ campaigns.

first few rows

A magical opportunity arose for me on April 23rd.

April 22nd, 2016 marked the 26th Earthday. To honor this sacred day – I participated in a groundbreaking for Great Barrington’s newest community garden with a Clothing Drive and Community Potholder Rug Weaving. My friends, Alan and Nancy Timmons in collaboration with The Great Barrington Fairgrounds, orchestrated the event. While a tractor filled raised beds built by volunteers, fledgling gardens were being nurtured and caressed with loving hands. Soil was turning; there was face painting, live music, jesters, food and drinks.

When Alan asked me to participate he suggested I hold a clothing drive – for material for my work. What a WONDERFUL idea! I was stoked to finally have a way to support a community event in a mutually beneficial way! With his suggestion I was inspired to bring along a big loom and weave a Potholder Rug onsite with some of the donations. It was super inspiring to witness the day unfold. From the moment I arrived there was support and assistance with smiles and able hands.

From loom construction in the morning, cutting material all day and finishing the edge of the rug right at the end of the day eager helpers were abundant. A true woven community, in, what Smithsonian says, is the best town in the country for lifestyle.

nearing completion

We used donations gathered that day to make 3x5ft Potholder Rug on site. Visitors brought along sweaters, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and fleece tops no longer useful to them. They cut and knotted and warped and wove. At the close of the afternoon event the rug was complete and over 30 people had contributed to its construction.


Today we have a super amazing rug  made by many diverse hands on the same mission. It is for sale in my online shop with proceeds going to support the Great Barrington Community Garden. I have a feeling that this is the first of many community events where I can participate in this way. Take a gander over to my online shop and take a look at the finished rug and know that with your purchase the garden will be fed, grow and feed.

taking it off

My pattern of learning and accomplishment revolve closely around deadline and time constraints. Yesterday and last night I shot and made my first video ever. It was submitted today for a super huge and awesome grant right on deadline.  It was noted on the application that we are not being ‘graded’ on video production (PHEW!).

Not only was the result of my pressured learning curve successful, the process was enjoyable and the tool so useful! Here is the fruit of my midnight oil. It is just a simple little visual tool for sharing more about our project proposal. Shot with an iPhone 5 edited with an app called Splice, and uploaded to Vimeo – all fist time experiences for me. The hardest part is remembering all the passwords.

Now here is a taste of what Shire City Sanctuary has in store.  Feels super positive and there is a strong sense of team spirit building in each of us working on this bright beacon.  Take a look.

And then stay tuned for teaching videos bringing my workshops and more to you wherever you are! Yay!

 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. is where to order.  

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…


Women’s accessories – Fe…


Felted Wool Shibori ‘Bub…


Little Black Felted Evening …


Needle Felted Wool Painting …


Pixelated Heart Throw Blanke…




Black Felted-Leather Bag &qu…


Pressed-5x16mm Dagger Beads-…


Felted Woolen Shawl in Green…




5.45′ x 7.02′ Felt R…


Red felt flower wreath


Rita Bandita – “Bad Com…


Fiber Art, Blue Handwoven Fe…


Sunflower Carpet Bag


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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

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.

Postcard Front

 Every Third Thursday – all year long – Shire City Sanctuary hosts Public Print where you can witness and event participate in screen printing.  Take home a free print!

AND – This month its GAME NIGHT too!

We have an awesome show called Your Turn Dear at BINGO! (Shire City Sanctuary’s gallery).  Jacinta Bunnell and Cindy Hoose from the Kingston NY area have collaborated on 52 paintings with a game theme. You really have to come see this work in person to feel the richness of layers including collage, paint, ink, and found objects.  So, on Thursday night Shire City Sanctuary is hosting a Game Night.  Guests are encouraged to bring a game to share or just play a game already here – from Banangrams, Scrabble and Gin Rummy to Candyland!


Jacinta and Cindy will be here to play and discuss their process. In addition to their amazing body of work, they have decks of cards, magnets, pins and art prints for sale using imagery from their paintings. Public Print and Game Night is from 6-8.  Families Welcome ~ FREE


Wowsers! Busy busting out product for the upcoming Holiday Shindy at Shire City Sanctuary. Figuring out fun, functional displays for my new work. Sticking to either handmade or recycled so this week’s Etsy Treasury is full of fresh booth ideas. Check them out here, then visit #HolidayShindy2015 12/11-13

Mannequin Head Green Faux V…


French mannequin head, manne…


Vintage Primitive Wall Mount…


Mid Century Crocheted Clothi…


Industrial Non-adjustable Cl…


Antique Primitive Drying Rac…


Set of 20 vintage funky kits…


Vintage mannequin head flapp…


Vintage Rolling Clothing / G…


Abstract Unisex Mannequin He…


Reclaimed Wood T-Stand Displ…


Vintage solid timer coat han…


Antique Burrowes Folding Car…


antique drying rack / umbrel…


Wooden Print Stand


Retro Cheery Padded Clothing…


Every once in a while we curate a group of products we love around a theme from Etsy – an online marketplace featuring handmade wares, vintage items and supplies for making.  This week I am focused on booth display for my upcoming selling events.  Click on the images above and be taken to a place on Etsy where you can purchase, and find more information about (and usually a bunch more pictures of) that item.  Both of Crispina’s online shops are located at along with a whole host of other handmakers, vintage resellers, and material retailers.  Join us in supporting Handmade, Recycled, Organic, and Locally Produced wares for living.  Enjoy!

10.06.15 Carri's painting-1
painting by Carri Skoczek – read the interview tomorrow!


Every week we gather a group of products we love around a theme from Etsy – an online marketplace featuring handmade wares, vintage items and supplies for making.  This week’s theme is Freaks/Sideshows.  Weekly ‘Treasuries’ are normally posted on Mondays.  Click on the images below and be taken to a place on Etsy where you can purchase, and find more information about (and usually a bunch more pictures of) that item.  Both of Crispina’s online shops are located at along with a whole host of other handmakers, vintage resellers, and material retailers.  If you have a minute, leave a comment at the bottom of this post, it is always nice to hear your thoughts and build a little community right here in cyberspace.  Join us in supporting Handmade, Recycled, Organic, and Locally Produced wares for living.  Enjoy!

This month we are gearing up for Halloween and conjuring up creative original costumes.  Join us at Shire City Sanctuary on October 24 we are holding an Introduction to Sewing class from 2-4pm.  This class is designed for adults or adult/kid pairs.

With that said, take a gander around this week’s treasury.  October is in full bloom! Let us inspire your Halloween festivities with enough time to pull some sort of wonderful costume together as we celebrate all saints ~ of any creed.

Victorian Sideshow Circus Fr…


Old Style – Crustacea Mini S…


Sideshow Alley – Carnival Ga…


Detroit River Mermaid Art P…


Print 8×10″ – The Tatt…


Circus Clowns Carnival Sides…


Huge Famous Vintage Travelin…


Circus Freaks Snake Charmer …


Boris Shrunken Head Dangler


Melancholy Kids at the Circu…


Needle felted wool sculpture…


Father’s Day Tattooed St…


The Sideshow at Coney Island…


Custom Carnival Freak Show S…


ON SALE Circus freaks Siames…


Tattooed Lady doll


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