Sunday, December 26

Artist to Watch: Bonnie Macallister

I recently found this blog for a fellow Handmade Philly member, Bonnie Macallister. It was amazing to see all of the shows and arts orgs. in Philly she is connected with, people I'd never heard of before. Where is the Germ Bookstore?

Sunday, December 19


I made it a goal to swap as many gifts as I could this year because there's just no need to be broke the whole month because you overdid it on the gift giving. I asked my friends to go easy on the gifts as well.
So I started by asking Etsy sellers who had items that my familyand friends would like if they would be up for a swap. AMAZINGLY, three different sellers I've never talked with before said YES!

One was James Steeno who runs jsteeno on Etsy. I saw the listing for the cards below and asked him if I could get an 8 x 10 of just the cardinal, my sister's favorite bird. He said sure and after checking out my shop selected my bike cards as a trade.

James is an illustrator and watercolor painter in Milwaukee, WI and in addition to the bird paintings, I really like his Milwaukee Skyline painting. He was super nice and matted the cardinal print and got it in the mail with plenty of time for the holidays!

Another seller, Brenda Gartman with the shop Bgartman is a Handmade Philly member with me and when I asked her about her dichronic glass necklaces and swapping, she said she has a certain family member who is into biking who might like one of my bicycle prints. When I shared the site with my mom, she of couse picked out the most expensive necklace

I also found this cute necklace for my sister who really loves owls:

Brenda was great about the swap and selected two other pieces from my ceramics shop to trade, a balloon pot and one of my new succulent planters. Today I'm headed off to Media, PA to meet her and swap the gifts (a huge help sinde ceramics can be expensive to ship!)

Finally, Tara of Sewtara, agreed to swap for this awesome coffee cuff:
She made it fun by saying she wanted a surprise! "Something cool in Philadelphia" so I looked through my print drawer and picked out one I thought wasn't too obvious but was awesome.
Her coffee cuffs are hysterical, like this Hello My Name is...
I'm still waiting on this one, but Tara's in Toronto, which is not too far away, but mail from Canada to the US seems to take forever!

Saturday, December 4

Here Come the New Ceramics!

Cases of ceramics with photo labels

Boxes of ceramic items in transit

I'm spending the weekend working on new items for the holidays and FINALLY adding new items to my ceramics shop on Etsy: It has taken me forever because my work was in storage in my dad's basement for the last 5 years and I had no place to house it in my own house, but that's all changed!

Today I will start posting them to my Etsy shop and next Friday they will be for sale at the University City Arts League Holiday Craft Sale along with my photography, cards and wall hangings. The UCAL Holiday Craft Sale runs through December 23 and has wonderful handmade art work from their many students and professional artists. a portion of the proceeds benefit the Arts League in their providing visual and performing arts classes in West Philadelphia.

Sunday, November 28

Cooking From The Garden and Farm

I've been cooking every weekend, mostly because I have no money and need food and getting it from the garden where it grows for free is the only way to eat, but I love cooking so it's been a fun time. I stopped by the garden last weekend and found turnips, chard, over-grown scallions, chives, fennel and the usual herbs and a few leaves of collards that were not hole-city. Oh, and a few red tomatoes!

I got them home and wanted to capture my harvest so I started taking pictures on the counter, which turned out to be a great backround for green veggies. I'm just so proud I can grow a vegetable. They may not be gorgeous, but they're mine!

I cooked up some Middle Eastern Stew, then muffins, first with banana, barley, oat, then with pumpkin from the Halloween pumpkin and pumpkin seeds.

Washing Greens
Cutting the Chard

This weekend I cooked up similar but better stew, Yam and Chard Stew.

1 large yam

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 turnip (I used three small ones)
1/2 yellow onion

10 large chard leaves

1/2 cup rice (I mixed basmati and arborio)

3/4 cup red lentils (I got them from Margerum's Herbs)
1/2 tablespoon curry

1/2 tablespoon cumin

salt and pepper

I'm working on my food photography in hopes of getting some cookbook or local farm/food vendor advertising work. If you know anyone, let them know I'll do it for free to get some experience!

I convinced my family to fork over $4.50 a lb. for a bird from a local farm in Lancaster and despite all of the complaining about the price of turkeys at ShopRite, it was beautiful and tasty. We joked about having no idea how to cook a turkey without a pop-up button or wrapped in plastic, and it did take an hour longer than we thought it would, but it was super good.

I brought over beets and Peruvian Purple potatoes from the garden (further convincing my family I was crazy), but my mom loved the potatoes and you barely need butter they're so smooth. My mom has a funny masher that makes everything look like fat noodles.

Friday, November 19

Walk into the Woods Opening is Tonight

The show opens tonight at Wellpoint and I'm very excited. The images include waterfalls, creeks, trails, and rocks from Bushkill, Dingmans Ferry, the Wissahickon, the Adirondacks and Ithaca. If you know any hikers, campers, outdoors folks, environmentalists, geologists, biologists, bring them along!

I think my work appeals to a particular crowd of folks who can see the beauty in some lichen on a rock surface and the peacefullness of water in a creek.

The show opens at 6 pm and runs until 8:30 at Wellpoint Oriental Medicine, 2014 Fairmount Ave. in Philly and there will be food, wine, hot cider, and I'm raffling off a prize of an original 11 x 14 photograph. You get a raffle ticket just for coming. There will be music and free acupuncture and massage demos throughout the night. Should be lots of fun!

Friday, November 5

Wellpoint Show is Getting Closer!

My photography show WALK INTO THE WOODS is getting closer: Friday, November 19th at Wellpoint Oriental Medicine at 2014 Fairmount Ave. The large prints arrived from the printer today and I am very happy with them. The show emcompasses two rooms and a hallway in the center and the opening will be from 6:00 - 8:30 pm.

There will be free massage and acupuncture demos, hot cider, wine, food, music and everyone who attends will get a raffle ticket to win a free signed print!

Monday, October 25

Phoenixville, PA

When I arrived in Phoenixville this Sunday after a 2.5 hour journey on the train and then a bus that tours every suburban mall and plaza and hideous corporate park in the region, I was excited to see the small town main street was worth the 45 minute wait at the Norristown Transportation Center.

I came for an architectural tour, but thanks to Septa's "signal problems" I missed the tour and wandered around on my own. Bridge street serves as their main street, crossed by Main street (little odd) running parallel to the river. Church street is further up the hill and had several churches (surprise) and a block of older houses with second story wrought iron balconies on porches that reminded me of New Orleans. The homes are unique and some are being renovated and the unusual woodwork restored.

The town is filled with independent businesses that had a home-made and fun feel, from the second floor bookstore with snarky signs, to the hand carved lava rock fountain store, to the movie theater playing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the Fire House Bingo Nights (every Tuesday!). It's renovated, but still seems to belong to the town, not to trendy new business start-ups.

Right along the river, the old foundry was made into a Schulykill River Museum with a bridge, a small falls and a paved nature trail. Two bike stores in town rent bikes, including a tandem, for $9 - $14 per hour.

Iron Hill Brewery and Majolica are amoung the restaurants that offer local farm fresh foods and there were several coffee houses to choose from including a nice one with handmade ceramics piled up in the window and applesauce muffins

I'm planning another trip back to bike the trail and try the restaurants.

Wednesday, October 20

Upcoming Show: Space Planning

I'm currently showing work at Wellpoint Oriental Medicine in Fairmount in Philadelphia (2014 Fairmount Ave.) in an evolving show over the month. I had to move some work in to keep the walls from being empty as another artist moved out, but I only had the work sitting around my house to put up on short notice.

Starting next month, date TBA, I'll hang work in the waiting area, hallway and a second room that doors treatment doors open up to face. The space appealed to me because the eastern medicine, acupuncture and massage connects well with my nature photography and environmental conservation interest. It led me to start thinking about Feng Shui when I was hanging the nine pieces currently in the waiting room (the flowing water photo should flow into the building, not send energy out).

I wish I had more training in wall placement and creative show hanging. It's always a struggle to hang shows myself and feel like I did something to make the work more dynamic and not just static dots on the wall. Anyone teach a class in show hanging?
Come check out the results as they change from what I already hung in the space to the new pieces that go up in early November!