Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Oy vay...

Oy vay... I can't believe how neglected this poor blog has become. Summer just got away from me, and now fall wants to do the same. So much has happened since my last blog posting when the calendar changed from June to July. I participated in a number of great shows this summer with one of the major highlights being the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA. This 2-day music festival was a blast... I even got to be set-up next to one of my dear friends, Ben Westbrook of BMW Ironworks. Here are a few pics from the weekend:

View of the main stage from my booth.

Festival attendees visit my booth.

This summer I devised a new display for my bags and totes.

I also had a custom button case built for me... I LOVE IT!

Balloons afire on Saturday night.

Sunday afternoon balloon launch.

In the coming weeks, I'll be sure to share more pics from my whirlwind of a summer. Hope you had a blast under the big warm sun this year as well ~♥~

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Farewell June, Hello JULY!

I am quite pleased to announce that you can now find my 1" pin-back buttons at Inspirit Common, located in Northampton MA. Sometime in the next week or so, you'll also be able to purchase my new 1" magnets at the shop! Hooray! If you ever find yourself visiting the Pioneer Valley, be sure to stop by Inspirit Common's lovely gift shop, and take a yoga or drumming class while you're at it!

In other news, I had a lovely time at both Handmade In The Park and the South End Open Market this past weekend. We evaded the rain throughout and lots of friendly faces came out to both events. Thank you to everyone who attended and made it such an enjoyable weekend!

This week I've been restocking my button inventory, sewing some wallets, taking pictures for new listings, and weeding my garden... But there's tons more to scratch off my 'to do' list! Luckily, I've got the house all to myself and NPR to keep me company (yes, that's right, I am a giant NPR dork). Despite all the busy business, I did manage to find the time to snap a few beautiful pics in my yard last night. Here are a few of my favorites...Farewell June, Hello JULY...

~Cheers~

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fabulous Fox

Holy smokes... I've been on the move so much lately that an entire month has slipped past me since I last posted on this blog! I've been busy crafting and making, vending at markets and shows, working on building Artisans of Western MA, getting my ducks in a row for the Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar, working in my garden, and seeing live music (a major source of inspiration!); YIKES! There's so much that I'd like to share with you on this here lil' blog... I'll just start with a few pictures that I snapped in my driveway yesterday, shortly after returning from a mini-vacation...They're so damn cute... they're making it hard to stay focused and productive... I've seen them a few times now and I seem to be spending more and more of my time staring out the window, hoping for their return. I'll be sure to post more pics if they visit again.

Enjoy your afternoon! ~Cheers~

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Delightful Lovelies

As the weather warms up and the forest around my house comes to life, it can be hard to find a balance between work and play. There are days (and weeks) where I don't want to do anything in my house. But that's the beauty of running my own business... When the weather is glorious, I can take a break and head for the garden. This has been one of those weeks that the outdoors is calling me. My Love is leaving for a summer tour in a few days so I've been taking every opportunity to go and frolic outside with him. We've gotten a little gardening work done, gone for some hikes, and yesterday we dipped into an icy cold mountain stream. On Monday, I snapped a few pictures of the delightful lovelies that are growing in our yard, while my Love pruned wild blueberries. Here's a few of my favorite shots...Enjoy your day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Great Start to the Season...

Vendors get prepared for the weekend. Photo by Lou Leelyn.

Last weekend, I headed east to Boston to sell my work at the South End Open Market with my friend Lou of Lou's Upcycles. It was a long weekend and a lot of work but totally worth all the effort. My Saturday morning started at 4:00am and I arrived home at 9:30 Sunday night. It's a lot of work to set-up and break-down a mini storefront each day! Luckily, we stayed with a friend of mine in Cambridge on Saturday night. Despite the long days, I had a lot of fun chatting with customers and fellow vendors, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect or picturesque! There was a strong turnout and I happened to bump into old friends from high school and college. The new location for the market is great. It's easier to find, on a major road (Albany St), and visible from I-93. Plus, the new spot is just one block away from the Medieval Manor, a theater-restaurant that my family owns and operates. We'll have to head there for some good laughs, feast, n' flagon after one of the upcoming markets!
Part of the Moon & Sundries display.

Moon & Sundries' Pressed Leaf Earrings. Photo by Lou Leelyn.

In other news, I just found out that I will be selling my work in the Community Marketplace at the Garlic & Arts Festival this year! I'm jumping out of my seat I'm so excited! This is one of my very favorite cultural events and I'm so honored and excited to be a part of it for the first time this year. Mark your calendars for October 2 & 3... you don't want to miss it!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Craft Show Craziness Begins

The time has finally come... after a quiet start to the year, the craft show season is upon us. I have already participated in 4 shows thus far in 2010, but now I'm getting into the thick of things (You can see my complete 2010 show schedule down the right hand side of this blog).

Last weekend I was part of a lovely little show in Florence MA called the Annual Mother's Day Craft Fair and Plant Sale. It was lots of fun to do, as there were many Artisans of Western MA in attendance. I love that I've made pals with so many other local vendors through this group. Shows seem to fly by in a flash when you've got some friends there with you.

Up next is Opening Weekend at Boston's South End Open Market (also referred to as SoWa Market), this Saturday and Sunday. So far, it looks like we're going to have fantastic weather (knock on wood)... 70's and partly cloudy. It should be a grand ole time- a farmer's market, lots of crafty folks, and an antique market- It all adds up to an awesomely unique outdoor shopping experience. I'll be sharing my booth with the lovely Lou Leelyn of Lou's Upcycles. Also at the market will be our good friend from AWM, Betsy Archer, selling her photo t-shirts and such. I'll have lots of new work with me this weekend, things that have not yet debuted in my Etsy shop. You won't want to miss this celebratory event that's kicking off the South End Open Market's 2010 season. Visit their website for more info: http://southendopenmarket.com

Hope to see you out at a show sometime this summer! ~Cheers~

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sustainability Festival + The Front Page

This past Saturday, I participated in Amherst's First Annual Sustainability Festival. Many of my peers from the Artisans of Western Mass also participated and we were all set-up next to each other. The weather was gorgeous and lots of people came out to check out the demonstrations, music, and craft. I used to live in the center of Amherst, so it was a real treat to see lots of friends on the common that I haven't seen in a while. It was also so lovely, to be set-up amidst all of my new crafty friends. The other people behind the Artisans of Western Mass have really become quite dear to me... It's so nice to have found a supportive network of people who are on the same path as me. We took this group shot in my tent at the end of the day... Unfortunately, I think we're missing two people who were still assisting their customers. Throughout the day, my biggest seller was my buttons, which makes perfect sense seeing as it was a sustainability festival and my buttons all deliver messages about the earth, agriculture, and community. Really, the entire weekend was all about the buttons for me... On Sunday afternoon, a set of my buttons in my Etsy shop were featured on Etsy's front page! This was incredibly exciting... I've been with Etsy for almost 3 years and this is my first front page appearance. It's a real milestone for my business. My product photographs have improved drastically over the last few years and I couldn't be happier about this latest development. Here's a screenshot from yesterday:
I hope that you enjoyed your weekend as well. Get out there and soak up the spring; it's beautiful out there! Cheers~

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

AWM Gets Some Press


I've been working diligently with some other area artisans to get a new organization off the ground. I guess I haven't mentioned it much here on this blog, but things are really starting to move. The time is now to get a 'buy local, buy handmade' movement off the ground in Western Mass. Energy for this movement abounds. Our new group, Artisans of Western Mass (AWM), is striving to be the driving force behind this simple message.

Back in February, while I was vending at the Stitches, Needles, 'N' Guns Alternative Craft Fair, I met a nice gal named Heather Vandenengel who was interviewing crafters about their trade for a journalism paper she was writing. She approached my space and asked me some questions about Moon & Sundries. While I was chatting about my business, I mentioned Artisans of Western Mass and our conversation shifted to the group. A few weeks after the event, Heather contacted me again about writing a piece on AWM. I was happy to share the story about our new beginnings and put her in touch with some other members.

Here is the resulting article...

By Heather Vandenengel

Western Massachusetts has been a haven for the locally grown food movement for years, but it is now extending its support to local artists.

A group taking advantage of the support is The Artisans of Western Mass, a collective of about 40 members who are encouraging Western Mass shoppers to stay local for their craft needs.

“Our idea was to piggyback on that idea and to educate people in our community that shopping local doesn’t just mean supporting local farmers but also supporting local artists and turning to them for local decor and accessories as well,” said Karen Ducey, a 28-year-old crafter from Shutesbury who helped form the group.

The collaborative, which formed in October of 2009, materialized from the popular craft shop website, Etsy. The website gives members the chance to join “street teams”, based on geographic location or type of craft, Ducey said.

The Western Massachusetts street team had about 100 members online, but when they had monthly meetings, the majority would not show up, she said. However, there was a core group of five people who consistently did and decided to form the Artisans of Western Mass.

“We wanted to create a physical presence in western Mass and not just an internet based one,” said Ducey, who primarily sells cloth wallets, checkbooks and pressed-leaf jewelry.

From there, the group has expanded to 40 artists from Western Massachusetts counties who work together by sharing skills, helping each other find spots on the craft show circuit and supporting new artists.

“By being part of an artisan collective, an artist is not on their own desert island while navigating the show season,” said a founding member Lou Leelyn, in an e-mail.

Leelyn, 33, makes “upcycled” bags and accessories out of un-recyclable plastic wrappers and packaging, like a small pocketbook made from a Sun Chips bag.

The sustainability also comes full circle within the group. “The trash that I make in my studio, I save and give it to Lou,” said Ducey.

Promoting their products and practices as green is an important selling point for their products, they said.

“I boast about everything that I do to make my shop green on Etsy,” Ducey said.

The collective also provide skill-sharing workshops on how to sell your shop as being very environmentally forward thinking as well as how to take better product photography and how to use credit card machines, she said.

Despite getting a later start, Leeyln says that the local crafting movement can be as successful as the locally grown food movement.

“Just as food is a necessity, so is art. There are baby showers, birthdays, holidays, weddings, and other occasions every day that need a little something to be purchased, she said.

“These items are being purchased at larger chain stores, malls, box stores and online from other states when an artist could be living right down the street who can provide a better product with less environmentally harmful materials.”

Artisans of Western Mass is one of several local artist collectives in Massachusetts, said Leelyn.

The group Berkshire Made, whose tagline is “buy locally, buy handmade”, has existed for about a year longer than Aristans of Western Mass, said Ducey. Unlike Artisans of Western Mass, there is closed enrollment and members have to apply and be voted in, said Ducey.

“There are many many other groups promoting the arts in the area but none are like us in the way we are using art to increase local economies through purchasing power,” said Leelyn.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Treasury

About a week ago, my Yellow Iris Wallet was featured in a lovely springtime Treasury on Etsy. Although the Treasury is expired now, I wanted to share it with you here. 'New Shoots' was curated by Kendra of Underhill House (aka knittyvet.etsy.com). It features an array of work from talented Western Mass artisans...I am quite happy to say that my daffodil and garlic shoots are indeed up- a true sign of the abundant summer to come!

Enjoy your weekend~

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tags

It took me about a week to mentally recover from the big craft show that I did. They can be really draining; especially when they are multi-day shows and you're doing all the loading and set-up alone. But I survived and I'm back in the saddle now! Yesterday I spent the day cleaning and sorting, in an attempt to uncover my work space. When a patch had cleared, I finished cutting up some product tags for my totes. It's a bit of a process but I'm happy with the end result. First I get the layout set-up on my computer and print too many copies (to make sure the front and back line up the right way), then I make lots of copies on cardstock at the local print shop, I then cut them by hand, stamp them with my logo, punch little holes in them, string them up, and attach them to my wares. It can be a little time consuming, but the price is right, they look great, and they've got my own personal touch. Here's a picture I snapped of the stamping process...Happy Tuesday to you! ~Cheers~

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Old Deerfield Spring Sampler

There is only 2 days left until my first major craft show of the year! I've been sewing like mad to build as much inventory as I can... Hopefully I'm fully prepared. I will be there with 3 of my Artisan of Western MA comrades... Lou's Upcycles, Katie Ray Arts, and Sieber Designs. We'll be in booths 147-150. It's supposed to be a rainy weekend up here in the Northeast; so if you're in the area and looking for something to do, come check out the handcrafted work of over 200 vendors! There will be demos and crafting workshops, and you could win shopping gift certificates. Here are the show details:
The Old Deerfield Spring Sampler
Saturday & Sunday- March 13 & 14; 10am - 5pm each day
The Young Building at the Eastern States Exposition Center
1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield MA
Admission is $6 (print admission coupons off the Old Deerfield website!)
http://www.deerfield-craft.org/

Friday, February 26, 2010

Nose to the Grindstone

There's so much going on in my little crafting corner of the world! Production is steady. Some of the new displays that I ordered have arrived. I used a coupon to score a new pop-up tent for a great price (I'm switching from the EZ-Up brand to Caravan... I will keep you posted on my thoughts regarding the two). I met with a very nice gal from a local non-profit about spaces to have craft shows in. And now, the countdown is on... I have 2 weeks to finish preparing for the Old Deerfield Spring Sampler. There's lots to do between now and then but I think I've got it well outlined... production, Production, PRODUCTION, print some more business cards, redo tags for products, make new table signs, practice setting up my display, pack and then quadruple check my pack to make sure I'm not missing anything, and then cram in whatever other production that I have time for. *sigh* I'll have to treat myself to a little something special when this is all over :)

Happy Friday!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Birthday Break

Hello! I was absent from my blog this past week... Wednesday was my birthday and I've had so much going on lately that it's been challenging to keep up with things here. I have cranked production up into high gear because I found out that I have been accepted as a vendor at the Old Deerfield Craft Fairs. There are 4 of these shows throughout the year: The Spring Sampler, The Summer Fair, The Fall Fair, and The Christmas Sampler. I'll be vending at all of them except the Fall Fair (unfortunately, the Fall Fair falls on the same weekend as stART On The Street and that's my very favorite show, so I can't skip it). These are by far the biggest and most professional shows that I have been accepted to thus far in my crafting career! I have been accepted as part of the Artisans of Western MA group application... I'm really excited that our group will be represented at these shows. We will all be set-up together in one area, which is nice because I will know my neighbors and we'll be able to support each other throughout the events. We will also be working to spread the good word about buying locally and handmade right in western Massachusetts as well as handing out additional info about our group. The Spring Sampler is just around the corner- only 3 weeks away! Gadzooks, I have a lot to do!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Karen's Picks :: Vol. 18 :: All you need is LOVE

Happy Valentines Day... almost! This week's 'Karen's Picks' pays tribute to the holiday of love, handmade style. After you see these sweet treats, you'll never want to step foot in a hallmark again. Enjoy!

Let Mr. and Mrs. Pacman share their magnetizing love with you from your refrigerator all year round. By Livethislife777, $11.50.This t-shirt is perfect for tandem lovers! One of my teachers from high school retired from teaching and rode a tandem across the country with his wife... this tee reminds me of them. By darkcycleclothing, $18.Be mine. Be my belt. By BareTree, $15.
If you occasionally suffer from 'trucker talk', like myself, this Valentine is the perfect exclamation for your lover. By Glademade, $4.50. I love these two little lovebugs. So sweet and simple. By alinahayes, $17.I love coffee, a lot. If you love it as much as I do, you would go to great lengths to drink it while it's hot... So show off your love for coffee with this love smitten cozy. By KnittyVet, $8.50.
These colorful crayons would be a playful way to share your love with your little buddies. By GaddyNipperCrayons, $5.95.This little red bird wants to sing love songs to you all day long. By NewMoonStudio, $15.Sweet and simple earrings for the lovely lady in your life. By phoebestreasure, $12.An iconic quote and one of life's ultimate truths... By Tessyla, $12.50.
Spread LOVE. ~Cheers~

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Craft Show Saturday!

This Saturday, February 6, I will be participating in my first craft show of 2010. The Stitches, Needles, N' Guns Alternative Craft Fair will be taking place on the 4th floor of the Printers Building, 44 Portland Street, Worcester MA. The show goes from 10am - 3pm and is being sponsored by Central Mass Roller Derby. I can't wait! This will also be the first show that Moon & Sundries will be accepting credit and debit cards. I'm looking forward to seeing how this will impact my sales. I've been opposed to taking cards for a long time and for a variety of reasons, but in the end, fellow crafters have convinced me that it's worth the fees, time, and hassle. We shall see.

Here's the event poster. It makes me want to improve upon my illustration skills. I think the Snowflake Bazaar poster needs a little help this year...I'm also really looking forward to checking out the space that this event is being held in. The event coordinators sent out two photos to give the vendors a preview... I'm sharing my sneak peek with you here... They aren't top quality shots, but they give you an idea.
I love all the graffiti and big windows. It looks like the perfect setting for an alternative craft fair. I hope to see you and yours at the event this Saturday... Because what else are you going to do on a freezing cold winter's day?

~Cheers~

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Karen's Picks :: Vol. 17 :: Warm Winter Knits

And we're back! After a long hiatus for Karen's Picks, my weekly feature triumphantly returns! Without further ado, let's get down to business.

This week's picks are all items that would keep you quite warm and cozy through the winter. I live deep in the woods of the northeast United States, so warm (and stylish) knits are important accessories... You don't want to leave home without them.

For many, keeping that cup o' joe warm in the morning is critical. Now you can keep your favorite beverage warm and look good doing it. By CuffeShop, $14.Leg warmers are an under appreciated winter accessory. I like the simplicity of these ones. They'd be nice to lounge around in... By midnghtdolphin, $30.These mittens are beautiful. I fell in love with them the moment I saw them. So sweet and simple. By sweetcaitlin, $18.I don't do heels. Ever. But if I did, and I wanted to wear them out on a blistery evening, I would want some of these lovelies... By scarfmaker, $42.I'm going to start off by saying that fingerless gloves must be very popular these days. About 75% of the products found under gloves and mittens on Etsy are fingerless. Who knew? Personally speaking, I like my fingers covered. But I do appreciate fingerless gloves for driving. Anyways, after searching through tons of them, I finally settled on a pair that I really like. By homelab, $35.This neckwarmer is reversible... and the best part is that each side features different buttons- one side is quite feminine, while the other more masculine. This is a neckwarmer that you can share with your lover! (not at the same time, of course...) By yarncoture, $69.I don't get all dolled up very often, but this would be a lovely shrug to wear over a little black dress at a wintry party. So pretty... By trendyknitting, $72.If you know me, you know that everything in my closest has a hood attached to it. It's actually a little but silly. But anyways... This hooded scarf is just my speed. I think I need one. By Wrapt, $32.
These are just plain amazing. They make me want to go skiing and drink hot cocoa. By MockPinkDesigns, $40.Maybe you want to knit your own amazing accessories? This pattern looks great. And I love the name of this shop... By karendipity, $8.
And lastly, I had to include these. They are just the cutest darn things that I have seen in a long time. I want every small child on earth to wear them. By SaintReagansHollow, $39.99.
Enjoy the day and keep warm. ~ Cheers ~