Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sheep and Wool Festival Last Weekend

My friend Kelli asked for company to go to the 
Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck this past Saturday.
It started off a bit cloudy but that did not keep the crowds away.
Over by the lamp post there was a vendor selling some type of artichoke goodness
that had a major crowd the whole time we were there.
Kelli is a hat person and this looked lovely on her! It is entirely made from wool and a 
few unusually striped black and white feathers.
There is as plethora of hand knitted, crocheted, woven and beautifully created
woolen goods everywhere!
I purchased a few quarters of wool from this charming lady. I want to try to
rug hook some of my art this winter.
As the day progressed, so did the crowd....
a quick trip up to livestock hill for a black sheep selfie and our day was done!

The artichoke crowd was even worse on the way out so I never did get to try it :(

Monday, October 20, 2014

Imaginative Realism

Jeff Jones
Imaginative Realism is the new name for fantasy art.  That covers all the genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror and gaming art that took realistic painting or sculpture in the direction of things only seen in the imagination.  I do crafts, but my main employment has been as an artist working in the publishing industry, making paintings that will grace the covers of fantasy books.  

In September I was lucky to attend Illuxcon7, the premier convention for Imaginative Realism, created by Patrick and Jeannie Wilshire.  The Allentown Museum of Art is inundated every September with artists, collectors, and students of the fantastic from all over the world.  Only non-digital work is allowed, so the galleries are filled with the most amazing work in traditional methods - oils, watercolors, graphite, and the three dimensional work is beyond description, especially because I haven't the faintest idea what they are using to create their strange and lifelike beings.  There are also wonderful classes and discussions going on in the nearby Baum Education Center, and a stream of students getting their portfolios reviewed by professionals.

Allentown Museum of Art

Here are some of the artists I met and the work that I saw at Illuxcon7.

Stephen Hickman

John Jude Palencar
Bob Eggleton

Marianne Plumridge

Bob Eggleton & Marianne Plumridge

Richard Hescox

Annie Stegg

Travis Lewis

Rebecca Guay

My art display
Mermaid: Blue Eyes

I only have photos of a small part of the show, but more and larger views of the artists' work can be seen at:

Illuxcon is thoroughly inspiring for me.  I love seeing work this good, and find it gets the creative juices flowing in ways that just working alone does not.  It's a pleasure to meet the artists, the collectors, and the fans in an intimate and low key setting.  We all wander around talking and chatting and having a great time.  We also sell some art, which is always good too.


a Studio by the Sea

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where To Find The Hudson Valley Etsy Team This Weekend

Feeling like hitting the road this weekend? How about going to visit Huzzah Handmade at the Fall Fine Art & Crafts at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield/Montclair, New Jersey, this Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19, from 10AM - 5PM. Bloomfield and Montclair are located west of New York City, so you can drive through beautiful north Jersey and enjoy the Fall colors.
Huzzah Handmade will have you covered for all your cozy Fall and Winter needs with her wonderful felted and/or knitted bags, vases, hats, caps, gloves, scarves and more.
Huzzah Handmade
Huzzah Handmade
Huzzah Handmade
Huzzah Handmade
Happy shopping!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stickley Museum

Some times you head off the beaten path and you discover little unknown treasures.  In the summer I was looking for inexpensive flooring for a room I was finishing, and found I could get some at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in New Jersey.  On the drive to Morris, New Jersey, I passed a sign that said "STICKLEY MUSEUM."  My head turned, as any one who loves the Arts and Crafts Movement in the United States knows the wonderful furniture made by Gustav Stickley.  Of course I had to find out what this museum could be. 

It turns out that there was a beautiful property in New Jersey that Stickley bought, and then built as a school for boys to learn a trade.  The school never took off, but he lived there with his family for a short time as his country estate when he was at his most successful, furnishing every room with pieces designed especially for himself and to his specifications.  I took a tour of the lovely grounds and the building with an agreeable and knowledgeable old docent. 

Below is the main building, called the Log House, which is filled with many of his original pieces, wall hangings and decor.  Every room has been loving restored, right down to an old Cornell pennant on the wall of his daughters' room, as it was seen in photographs.  Inside, the fireplaces are of brass with typical arts and crafts style mottos beaten into the metal.  Everywhere are small soft golden electrical lamps hanging from posts or the ceilings, lighting the dark rooms.  It's like stepping into an illustration for a proper home from the Arts and Crafts Magazines of the time.  I was so pleased to come upon this hidden gem!

The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
The tour entry
A box of the beautiful joinery used by the Stickley craftsmen.  No nails!
The gift shop is in the old kitchens.  There was a giant stove and ice room because he thought he would have a school here.
I wasn't allowed to take photographs inside so you can get a better idea of the treasures within by visiting their website: 

What a treat that was!  I love the design and craftsmanship, it was so lovely!


a Studio by the Sea

Monday, October 13, 2014

Out Of My Studio: At Fiber Flame

Recently on this blog we read about a visit by fellow Hudson Valley Etsy Team blogger
Lark Practical to the Rhinebeck Arts Festival. She reviewed the booth provided by Fiber Flame and the wonderful time her son had spent painting a lizard. I decided this month to visit the mother ship- the original Fiber Flame studio located on route 212 between Woodstock and Saugerties. I say mother ship because recently Fiber Flame have also opened a studio in Rhinebeck and can be found at many local events, festivals and fairs.

Mother ship can also be used to describe the inspiring futuristic construction of the Fiber Flame building. Upon entering you are immediately welcomed by a beautifully curated gift shop, combining wares made from local crafts people to fair trade goods sourced from all over the world. This area is truly inspiring for any would be maker to get their creative juices flowing.
Gift shop at Fiber Flame
The space is then given over to numerous crafting tables where visitors are able to get making themselves. Shelves are jam packed with projects for children and adults alike to decorate and assemble. The walk in studio offers visitors the ability to come in whenever fits their busy schedules; Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday 10am-5pm and Friday and Saturday 10am -6pm.
Some Halloween 'blanks' ready for decorating
Visitors first choose a 'blank' on which to work. This could be anything from a onesie to a wooden car, a piece of pottery to glaze or a canvas tote to decorate. Each 'blank' has varying prices from $1 upwards. You also pay a studio fee of $10, for this fee all the studio materials are included in your two hour session; from buttons, beads, fabrics, papers, embellishments, a rainbow of glazes and also help from one of the friendly assistants if you need it.
Fiber Flame also offers a wide variety of classes for children and adults including its monthly Dirty Girls Night Out; offering women the chance to have a night out, make a mess,  try something new, meet and chat with fellow like minded people and get creative.  Previous nights have included embroidery, needle felting, indigo dyeing, jewelry making and pottery.

The studio also throws wonderful children's birthday parties and is open to private bookings including film showings on its huge movie screen. Kids Nights Out are held regularly whereby the youngsters can create, eat dinner and watch a movie while their parents enjoy a night out.

Dirty Girls Night- Indigo Dyeing Workshop

Main area- crafting tables
It is truly a remarkable and creative place well worth a visit -to fill some time on a rainy day, learn a new skill or to make Christmas gifts for the whole family.

"Fiber Flame is our effort to honor and feed the ancient human need to adorn ourselves, our loved ones, and our environment with handmade beauty. In a mass-produced world, it feels good, essential even, to make, have, give and receive one-of-a-kind, imperfectly-rendered objects." Shea and Christina

For more information about classes and events:
Fiber Flame
1776 Route 212
845 679 6132
or visit the new studio at 18b East Market St Rhinebeck
Sarah Omura - So Handmade