Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Artscape Success Story

Back from Baltimore! What a wild, wacky show! I had a great tent mate, Fran of Martha Rotten. Awesome, rockin' pewter jewelry, designs of skulls, baby doll faces and roses, set with Swarovski crystals. Between Fran and company and our crazy neighbor, Raygun Robyn, there was always something happening. Oh, and art cars and wild tattoos, and lots of dogs and good weather, yes, something was always going on...

And, on Monday, I got this fabulous email from a customer that came by over the weekend:

Dear Jen,
I bought it on Saturday from you, and I love it. It's awesome. The colors are perfect (which I knew when I picked it), but also it's super classy, and it is the perfect size and shape. It carries everything I need (notebook, knitting, little wallet/purse, water bottle, LUNCH), and it all fits. Plus, the bag fits into my bike bag, and I no longer have to carry my stupid bike bag into work, I can just cruise in, pull out this purse, and I'm gone. It's great.

Attached is a picture of me and the bag, so you can appreciate how
awesome the bag is, and hopefully tell how much I like it.


P.S. I'm giving you a thumbs-up in that picture.


Well, if that didn't make my whole month! Elinor was so cute on Saturday, came back a few times, even though I could tell she loved the purse the first time. And, she had these really cutie socks on that totally made me want to wear tights in the summer. Elinor's blog documents her many wonderful knitting projects. Perhaps next time, she'll trade with me...

Thanks to all those that made it to Artscape this year and to those that couldn't, but sent me much luck! It worked! Great show, wonderful arts and crafts and not too hot. What more can a girl ask for?

I'm not doing many shows in August, but I'll be working on new products and fall styles. It'll be here before you know it!! ~Jen

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Artscape This Weekend!

Art Car Parade from last year
Been sewing for two days straight and am ready for a show break. And, what a show... Just finished 10 new purses and three new tote bags for this weekend!!

Looking forward to seeing all the great crafts, music acts and craziness fun that is Artscape.

Here are a few of the details:

Friday, July 17, Saturday, July 18 & Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hours: Friday: 12-10pm, Saturday: 12-10pm, Sunday: 12-8pm

Where: I'm on Charles Street, in the DIY area, space #44.

The rest of the show is around Mount Royal Avenue & Cathedral Street / Charles Street
Bolton Hill neighborhood & Station North Arts & Entertainment District


Artscpae is HUGE and HOT and pretty awesome. Just be prepared for some crowds, bring some water and walking shoes. Make sure you come and find me!

Looking forward to Baltimore!~Jen

Green Tip~ Be Safe in the Sun

A lot of people don't like to use sunscreen due the harsh chemicals. However, for very pale people like me, it just isn't an option to not wear it. There are some safer solutions that aren't as toxic as older versions.

You can use the Environmental Working Group's website to research better brands and keep updated on the latest news. There are handy charts and feedback to let you know which are not only the safest for you but the most effective.

In addition to proper sunscreen is proper sun exposure. "To protect yourself

* Stay out of the sun when it is strongest (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
* Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher
* Wear protective clothing
* Wear wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection
* Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds"
Above is from the NIH. More details can be found here.

In addition to sunburn, extreme heat can also lead to heat exhaustion, which can lead to death. If you are feeling nauseous, vomiting, having changes in the level of consciousness while out in the heat, seek medical help and a cool environment as quickly as possible.

I hope we don't need this advice this weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

June Play Days and July Markets

Megan's work in progress.

Sometimes, it is good to get out of your life and go play. Sometimes, you have neither the time money or patience to do this. Sometimes, you can take a vacation without really going away.

Two weekends ago, I was able to take a workshop with the fiber artist Laura Cater-Woods. The class which was given at Artistic Artifact Annex in Alexandria, was about pushing the boundaries of surface design and embellishment. The concept was to create pieces of art using new, innovative techniques. Mesh, chiffon, ribbon, tissue paper, printed textures, hand crafted silk paper, beads and metallic threads combine to create a multidimensional work.

However, once demonstrations and teaching was over, we played and found our grooves. Laura was wonderfully intuitive about zoning in on what each artist was excited about and encouraging that direction. Some of the group loved the fusing many layers of colors, textiles and fibers. They used some new products to bond together differing textures and add depth to pieces. I literally walked away from this kind of work. While there was a lot of beauty and joy in the work others were doing with this technique, I did not enjoy it or what I was doing.

Instead, I spent most of my days making gelatin mono-prints on various weights, colors and types of fabric. I had such a fantastic time working with the inks, the textures and developing layers of color and interesting interplays. I kept working and working and working and making fabric and making fabric. And then, I made some more!

The inspiration I got from this whole group of artists and the work they produced was awesome! Scroll down to see some of the project the group developed over the weekend.

Some of the supplies we shared, cut up and spread around.

Susan worked on a travel/journal/photo book for her son.

Megan's creations were going to be combined into a small screen. I thought her colors and textures were so beautiful.

Some of the fabric I printed.

Diane's wonderfully simple aesthetic.

Elizabeth's work always reminds me of Monet.

I can't properly express the good time I had at this workshop. For me personally and artistically, I was able to really get out of my life, immerse myself in a different creative endeavor for a little while. The environment allowed for experimentation and *play*. Doesn't that sound wonderful?...

If you are looking for a store to meet your experimental environment expectations, stop by the Artistic Artifact Annex. It bills itself as "your place for creative found art supplies“ and can be a great resource for artists, crafters and designers of all types. Mixed medium and jewelry artists might be drawn to the antique buttons and beads. Scrap bookers might snatch up the hand dyed lace and ribbon. Quilters drool over the vintage kimono fabric. And, textile designers (like myself) might grab the fusible thread and decorative foil sheets.

For more information on supplies, classes and hours of operation, please visit the Artistic Artifact Annex's website at

Sadly, I have not had a chance to really make any bags with these fibers, but I have been working on everyday shopping totes, both in fun fabrics and from recycled tent tops. Also, sun hats for men and women. Don't let the sun get into your eyes!

So, come out to Ballston this Saturday to check these new goodies out.

What: Ballston Arts & Crafts Market

Where: Welburn Square, Ballston, Arlington, VA

When: Saturday, July 11, 10am-4pm

Who: LOTS of jewelry artists including the ever cutie Dawn of Poppi, who will be hanging out right next to us.


See you there~Jen

Green Tip~Pick up a Jen-A-Fusion Shopping Tote
Created from trash picked, recycled tent top, these mid sized totes are tough and ready to haul your veggies from the farmer's market or the milk from the grocery store, or the shoes from the mall, or the wind shield wipers from the auto parts store....I think you get the idea.

Price to move at $8 each alone, or $5 with a purchase of anything else, including another bag. Check them out on Saturday, when they make their debut!