Thursday, January 6, 2011

Handmade Holiday Festival Part 3: Fiber Arts Junky

Happy New Year to all! I've been saving this post for the eve of my return to Alchemy Initiative, this time for a Crispina ffrench workshop this Saturday. Here's Crispina at the Handmade Holiday Festival, wearing one of her signature sweaters and the MAD skirt she acquired at Twist in November.

At her stall full of sweaters, xmas stockings, potholder rugs and wool scrap wreaths, Crispina's sister, Sofie, inspects the skirt. I had to buy one of those wreaths. Every year I am always late getting an evergreen wreath on my door. Problem solved. And the trees whose branches I'm not going to be cutting off in future - well, I think I solved their problem, too.

Let's get a better look at what Sophie is wearing. It is a Crispina sweater - a hand sewn composite of parts of various felted wool sweaters that were no longer very useful or appealing on their own. I don't know if Crispina made it for her or if Sophie made it herself under Crispina's instruction. Either way, it's cool! And suits her so well. It is just such a sweater-making instructional event I am attending on Saturday. I'm very excited.

More handmade attire. The folks at Alchemy Initiative came up with a brilliant way to repurpose t-shirts into useful aprons. Just right for those people who want something soft and fun, but not too "pretty" to freely wipe their hands on. I watched the truffle-maker whose stall was next to mine buy this Elmo apron right off of this volunteer.

Another Alchemy Initiative t-shirt apron worn by co-founder and painter Diane Firtell, who created the trademark image of the bell tower for AI. Her studio is in the church basement and I hope to see her again when I'm there for the workshop.

I am such a fiber arts junky. At the HHF I kept going to visit Christine Fromm's booth three down from mine (pictured here wearing her own creation), which was also full of repurposed sweaters. She makes the most beautifully finished skirts, dresses, hats, capes and more. They are stunning. This photo does not do justice to her work.

Hey, speaking of what people are wearing, here's Suzi Banks Baum of Fe-Mail wearing her MAD skirt. I loaned her my grandmother's red petticoat for the day to keep the skirt from sticking to her black jeans. I have found it's good to have such things on hand at a show.

No group of posts about the HHF would be complete without my home-state pals Moe and Matt of Recycle Moe. We spent a lot of off hours together when in Pittsfield for this show, enjoying food together, comparing consumer xmas philosophies and sharing stories of thrift store scores. In keeping with the fiber arts theme of this post, I would like to tell you that Moe makes those cute birds from recycled sweaters (there are plenty to go around, folks) and Matt crocheted his hat. In fact, I can't think of when I have ever seen the top of his head. Stay warm, everyone!

1 comment:

Suzi Banks Baum said...

Love this post Sarah O. I do miss you so, even after only 2 days in proximity. Any chance of an art rendezvous? Hugs and snowy love, S