Monday, August 31, 2009

ChiliFest

Once again this weekend, I participated as a craft vendor at a local farm festival. This weekend was ChiliFest at Stone Soup Farm in Belchertown, MA. It was originally scheduled for Saturday but postponed until Sunday because of rainy weather. I have to say, it was well worth the delay; we had perfect weather on Sunday! Stone Soup Farm is a lovely place that grows a wide array of beautiful fresh produce. There was lots of great food to snack on including a variety of salsas that were made from different types of hot peppers. They even had a chili cookoff!

I was also lucky enough to have my craft show schedule overlap with Rusty Belle's tour again at ChiliFest. Although they were only 3 this weekend (down one Jazer), they still rocked my world. I used to live with all of them in the Amity House and I miss hearing their sweet melodies drift into my room as they rehearsed at night.
It's been such a treat to meet so many friendly local farmers in the last few weeks. I recommend getting out to a farm festival this fall. You not only get the chance to meet new people, you also get to acquaint yourself with the place that your food is grown! These events often feature local artisans, live music, and tasty treats; it doesn't get any better than that! If you can't make it to any special farm events, be sure to do some of your own apple picking this fall, you'll be happy you did!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rainy Day Farm Festivals

Last Saturday, I participated as a craft vendor at Red Fire Farm's 9th Annual Tomato Festival. Although the weather was a bit crazy and intermittent, there was a great turnout of friendly folks who were there to enjoy and soak in the fun & festivities. I was flying solo that day, so I didn't really get a chance to wander around. But I was close enough to the stage to hear my old pals Rusty Belle play and I was lucky enough to be setup directly in front of a row of zinnias and sunflowers. Red Fire Farm is a beautiful place that abounds with organic glory! All of the farm staff is kind and full of smiles! I will definitely be going back in the future. Although I forgot my camera, my old friend Jazer lent me his so I could capture my setup, which quite possibly had the most beautiful backdrop it's ever had.

Thanks to everyone who came out and made it such an awesome day! I hope to participate in this show for many years to come!

*CHILIFEST* Stone Soup Farm's ChiliFest, which was supposed to be taking place today, has been postponed until tomorrow in hopes of some better weather. Please come out and join us for a day of live music, local artisans, hayrides, chili cook-offs, and more! Hope to see you tomorrow! 275 Jackson Street, Belchertown, MA; 12-6 pm.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Karen's Picks :: Vol. 7 :: Back to School

I was startled to see parents waiting for the school bus to return with their children this afternoon as I drove down my road. It's crazy to think it, but today was the first day of school in my town. The rainy July that we had here in New England made this summer feel quite short. Nevertheless, school is back in session and that's why this week's Picks is 'Back to School'.

The first thing you need to get ready for a new school year is a spiffy new backpack. This penguin pack would be absolutely adorable on your little munchkin! By BoutiqueID, $50.
Here is a backpack for the grown-up gals. It transforms between a cute backpack and a gorgeous shoulder bag. I would love to have one of these! By MimsMaine, $76.

This felt ID tag may save your little one from loosing his or her stuff. Cute and practical! By MiChiMa, $3.
You'll need a delightful little pencil case like this one, to keep all of your writing utensils handy! By Cheryland, $13.
Here's a beautiful handmade wooden pen to put in your owl pencil case. Made from native walnut. By WoodenPensandPencils, $29.
A small sketchbook (or two!) is a must have for any back-to-school-er. This gem of a notebook is modern, compact, and made from recycled materials... Huzzah! By BurgundyDistrict, $10.
Here's another lovely little hand-bound book for your thoughts and notes. One-of-a-kind. By OliveArt, $13.
My nephew was recently diagnosed with a peanut allergy. I've been thinking about how important it is for any new teachers or daycare providers to know that a child has a food allergy. These helpful tags are a constant reminder when attached to a child's day bag. By TagsOnBags, $5; marked down from $6.


I've always liked to pack my own lunch. In high school I remember reusing plastic shopping bags to carry my lunch. There are plenty of better looking, reusable, options on Etsy! I particularly like this bright and cheery one by JulieMeyer, $21.
Carry your sandwich in reusable style as well! These 'Sandwich Saks' are made with a food-safe nylon that is free of PVC, Phthalates, BPA, and lead. Who knew your lunch could look so good while saving our landfills from disposable garbage? By WasteNotSaks, $7.50.
Treat your apples right with this stylish purple 'Apple Sweater'. You'll have the finest dressed produce in school! By HandmaidenBC, $14.
Got a little one who loves to doodle and draw? This 'Crayon Wallet', complete with a pad of paper, is a cute and functional toy. By GetSassed, $12; marked down from $15.
Thanks for checking out Karen's Picks this week! Good luck on your next academic endeavor!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Karen's Picks :: Vol. 6 :: Organic T-Shirts

Once again, I've failed to get Karen's Picks out on time. So I decided to just skip a week. Think of it as a mere hiccup in time. The good news is that I've been deep in wallet production. The ladies' wallets have been revamped and I'll be introducing them to my Etsy shop sometime in the upcoming weeks. I've also recently added some more shows & festivals to my fall line-up. I'm excited to get back into the swing of doing shows and meeting people face-to-face!

On to Karen's Picks... This week's theme is 'Organic T-Shirts'. I love organic cotton; it's soft, clean, good for you, and easy on the environment! When you partner those characteristics with the amazing creativity and talent of Etsy artists, you get some pretty amazing t-shirts!

This first t-shirt delivers a very important message: 'Buy Handmade'! I love the color and I also dig the v-neck style. A must have for any Etsian! By phippsart, $24.
A few days ago, I made and canned my own blackberry jam. It was a fun project that I will be reaping the benefits of throughout the winter. Show the world how you can! By, GreenGirlsGlobal, $26.
Yesterday, as I was looking for tees to include in my picks, I came across this shirt... which I also happened to be wearing. I picked mine up at 'stART on the Street' in Worcester, MA and was quite pleased to stumble across it here on Etsy! (This is one of my favorite shirts in my collection!) By planetcarolyn, $28.
Adorable kid. Super cute tee. Enough said. By silkoak, $17.
I love the sweet simplicity of this delightful t-shirt by maryink, $28.
This tee is for those guys who like to let their inner child out to play. By circlesandsquares, $28.
I would love to add this shirt to my collection! It turns out, I already own another design from this same shop! (I've got the 'Beet The System' tee!) By jpharris, $20.
The redwoods of the pacific northwest are a mystical and magical! Celebrate the diversity of our earth with this beautiful hand-dyed t-shirt. By LookForFiddleheads, $28.
'A Whale-Respected Man'. Need I say more? By SquidInkKollective, $25.
I love the off-centered giraffe print on this 'earth moss' colored shirt. It's a lovely, simple print on a stylish, fitted tee. By branchhandmade, $22.
The beautiful image on this t-shirt insights peace and serenity. By Loftymornings, $26.
Be well, support handmade!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Karen's Picks :: Vol. 5 :: Domestic Delights

This week's belated version of Karen's Picks is all about making your home feel unique! I've got some redecorating coming up so I've decided to pick some items that would be a perfect fit in my rustic post and beam home! Do you have an underlying theme in your home decor?

This Rustic Serving Trio is a beautiful set crafted just down the road from my house! I'd love to serve up some tasty treats with it! By firewoodfurniture, $47.
I love having lots of plants in my house. They add a splash of color and certain plants even help improve indoor air quality! This amazingly cute Snail Planter is made from a vintage design and would look adorable with a spider plant growing out it's back! By fruitflypie, $39.99.
It doesn't get any better than HANDMADE with RECYCLED MATERIALS! Love this Funky Fork Coat Rack, by jjevensen, $20.
I think that this flower vase was made with my house in mind. I really, really like it! And it's even made with a glass vase liner so that it holds water nice and neatly. By MadeintheHV, $24.
The carving done on the handle of this handmade broomstick is magical! Who thought cleaning could look so good? By BROOMCHICK, $64.
Cupcakes are my favorite thing in the world to bake and this batter bowl would be a lovely addition to my array of kitchen tools! By risingsky, $27.95.
These 'On A Limb' shelves are simply exquisite! The clean lines, elegant branches, and eastern design are amazing! If it's possible to find true love in furniture, I think I've found it. By edgelinewoodstudio, $2,800.
Bring a piece of the great outdoors into your living room with this guarenteed one-of-a-kind driftwood table! By morowood, $248.
My old pal Ben Westbrook makes delightful forged steel churchkeys (aka bottle openers). Each one is unique and sure to bring you lots of pleasure as it will surely open many fine beverages to come! By hammeronsteel, $20.
Once again, it really doesn't get any better than HANDMADE with RECYCLED MATERIALS! I've made one or two of these recycled-bottle glasses myself, but these ones in particular have a lovely rounded finished rim! It would be great to have an entire set like this, crafted from old wine bottles! By bodhicitta, $70.

Hope you had a nice, relaxing weekend! Enjoy the week ahead!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Porcupine & Tomato Festival

Great news... I will be vending at Red Fire Farm's 9th Annual Tomato Festival! The best part is that my old pals Rusty Belle will be performing there! This event includes crafters and artisans, live music, a 5k Tomato Trot, wagon rides, kid's activities, pick your own, and a tomato tasting. The festival features 100 varieties of organic hybrid and heirloom tomatoes! Oh my! And it's only 2 weeks away! So mark your calendars and come on down to the tomato part of town :)

I apologize again for not getting Karen's Picks out on time this week. I have not forgotten about it. My love's computer is busted so we've been sharing mine lately... so I haven't been getting all my computer activities in. Have no fear, Karen's Picks will be posted before the weekend is out! (I can't bring myself to do it right now because it may be the most beautiful day out... ever.) But for now I will leave you with a few pictures of our porcupine friend who came for a visit the other day. Enjoy!