Saturday, June 22, 2013

Making Paper at The Daylily

The Artisans of Western Mass. have been advertising for a couple of weeks that one of our members would be conducting a workshop on making paper.  I know a lot of people have done this but I never have.  So I was fascinated by all the ingredients Donna Beck of 230am Studio used to create the pulp that eventually becomes paper.

She had 3 stations set up with blenders, water, and screens, lots of cloths and sponges for absorbing excess water, spices, pencil shavings, dried leeks, onion skins, and lots of different flowers.  Several people stopped by but I was particularly happy to see a couple of men arrive, one alone and one with his daughter.

Looks like spaghetti sauce but it became red paper.

I made a nice piece of tea green paper.  But the girls that came all opted for brighter colors with flowers and glitter, of course.

Many thanks to Bridget Heller of The Daylily for letting us use her back room.  It's a great space.  And the gift shop always has a wonderful selection of locally made hand crafted items and fine art.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Saturday Morning In Greenfield

I'm not usually out and about very early on a Saturday morning unless I'm set up at a craft show.  So my husband thought it was a bit strange to find me dressed and ready to roll before 8 am.

There was a new craft show at the Greenfield fair grounds organized by Karen Towle and Betty Sokoloski  that I wanted to check out and thought I'd hit a few tag sales before it opened at 9.  I don't go to tag sales very often anymore but I'm a little low on chains for my steampunk designs and tag sales are a great place to find them.  As predicted I managed to pick up 3 chains, 2 of them vintage for sure, and a couple of new books to read.

Greenfield Fair Grounds Craft Fair

I got to the craft fair just before 10 and didn't see much traffic.  The fair grounds are a perfect locale for this type of show.  As you go through the gates there's a wide street suitable for tents.  Unfortunately there were only a few set up with a lot of space in between.  To the right of the gate was a covered pavilion with 10 or 12 vendors.  After checking that out I walked down the wide open area and was thrilled to find Sapling Naturals from Vermont who make goats milk soap.  I've been disappointed in the quality I recently bought online so I bought a few bars hoping that this could be my new supplier. I noticed a couple of food stands on this stretch (great idea) and then saw people coming out of another building attached to the race trace seating.  That's where the goldmine was.  I found D & D Fine Woodworking from E. Longmeadow, 2 herbalists, some hand crafted Ukrainian style wooden plates and bowls, really well made Irish type knitted sweaters, crocheted shawls and capes, and AWM's own Cozy Home Critters pet beds and treats.    After telling Olive Natural Beauty that I really love goats milk soap, they gave me a sample of their olive oil soap that I'll be trying out.

Overall I think this show has a lot of potential.  June is not the best month for craft shows but Karen and Betty managed to attract quality vendors from a wide area.  They have 2 others planned for later in the year.  There were, as is common, way too many jewelers and several with similar products.  Given the size of the area they needed to fill I understand why they accepted them.  Hopefully in the future, they will get more non-jewelry applications and, as they become more well known, also more traffic.

My last stop was the Greenfield Farmer's Market.  I try to get there a few times in the summer but this time it was almost noon so many of the stands were pretty much empty.  A few of the AWM members were set up here and it was nice to chat with Zoe, Karen, and Steve on such a nice sunny day.
Saturday Downtown Farmer's Market, Greenfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts

The Farmer's Market is in the center of Greenfield at the corner of Bank Row and Main St. and is open every Saturday until around 12:30.  Great produce, quality crafts, and nice people.