Friend Feature  Spring Skirts from Whimsy: A Lovely Mother’s Day Gift!

I have been wanting one of Kendra Haskell’s adorable skirts ever since I discovered her brand, Whimsy, at a craft fair a few years ago.  After a fierce winter in Boston, a Whimsy skirt is a refreshing way to welcome spring, and a lovely Mother’s Day gift! (Hoping my kids read this post!)

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Kendra combines vibrant fabrics and fun trims to create limited edition skirts for girls (ages 2 -6) and women.  She also uses applique in many of her designs, like her Mother’s Day butterfly skirt, and adorable Winged Heart t-shirts.
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Friend Feature  Have to Have: Hipster Dolls by Blue Raspberry Designs

Hello! This week I am so excited to bring to you Blue Raspberry Designs by Valentina Felce, of Orlando, FL.  She makes these sophisticated and edgy, one-of-a-kind dolls—and I have to tell you that at 40+, I am totally obsessed with a doll!  Each creation is an illustration (and perhaps a whole persona) that has come alive with sharpies, paint and a bit of muslin and stuffing!

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Do you see who these cool dudes are?  Picasso, Van Gogh and Salvadore Dali!  Also don’t miss her Frida Kahlo doll, one of my favorite ladies.

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Friend Feature  Stairwell Before & After with Julia Rothman Wallpaper

Hello Friends! I am so excited to show off my new stairwell!  I found this wallpaper by artist Julia Rothman about two years ago, and after collecting rolls of it for birthdays and Christmas, it is finally finished!

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In our old house, the hallways and stairwells flow together, so I decided to keep the wallpaper just in the stairwell “chute” since it is hard to find an ending place.  It really feels like you are ascending into the sky as you go up the stairs, and you catch just a glimpse of it from below that piques your curiosity.   (more…)  

Friend Feature  The Happiest Gift of Jewelry from Happy Art Studio

I was honored to be a guest artist at the Happy Art Open Studio last weekend for a holiday sale.  I met Tami Rodrig, the artist of Happy Art Studio, on the craft fair circuit this year, and was immediately impressed.  But, as it turned out, I have been a long-time admirer of her work ever since my husband gave me a lovely set of Happy Art earrings and necklace several years ago. Tami is a mixed media artist who began making jewelry when she moved here from Israel years ago—but her jewelry is just one of the many successful branches of her creative business!

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Friend Feature  Holiday Gift Guide: Best in Show from New England

With the holidays at our doorstep, I am bringing you some of my favorite makers from a year of craft fairs around New England.  It takes some serious scrappiness and downright determination to be a maker and to do the craft fair circuit, and these are some of the best!  This is just the beginning, so hoping you will stay tuned for more of the Best in Show!

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Friend Feature  Etsy Love: Matryoshka Dolls

What is it about Matryoshka, or Russian stacking dolls, that we all love SO much? I just had a few orders for my Matryoshka pillow, and once again, I find myself just staring at them and feeling all warm and fuzzy!  I think part of it is the colors–I absolutely love red and pink and orange together.  HOT colors that both clash and sizzle, make me happy.  I also love their personalities and special outfits, that change as you uncap them and discover who is inside.

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But it is not just me—people I meet just cannot get enough of Matryoshka dolls, and I find it totally fascinating!  I realized that while I make lots of Matryoshka pillows, iPad and computer cases,  I did not know the story behind these specially carved and painted dolls, and it is time to find out!  

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Friend Feature  Perfect Gifts for Kids & Teachers from Dirtsa Studio

One of my favorite makers from the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair last weekend is Becky of Dirtsa Studios.  Becky uses her love for academics and incredible creativity to make some really fun pillows and accessories for the home, and beyond. 

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photos courtesy of Dirtsa Studio

I love Dirtsa Studio’s science diagram pillows, that are made with felt applique in beautiful colors that are appealing for their unique subject matter as much as their design.  I can think of a few doctors, nurses and teachers who would love these, not to mention some science-loving kids! 

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Friend Feature  Guilford Find: Abby Berkson Ceramics

I have so much to share from the Guilford Craft Expo last weekend!  I discovered ceramicist, Abby Berkson, of Easthampton, MA.  Do you know her work?  Abby spins a whimsical batch of stoneware bowls, pots and mugs for kids from 0 to 100.  I love her soft palette, and the way she features some unexpected creatures in her collection. Very refreshing and fun!

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photo courtesy of Abby Berkson

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Friend Feature  Loving Tröskö Pillows!

This weekend Cheeky Monkey was in Marblehead for the beautiful and inspiring Marblehead Festival of the Arts, showcasing 35 very special artisans.  I was honored to be among so many great makers, and in particular the textile designs by Tröskö!  Tröskö is the creation of Solvejg Makaretz—a lovely Scandinavian designer living and working in Yarmouth, ME.

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photos courtesy of troskodesign.com

As an architect with roots in Denmark and Sweden, Solvejg’s patterns have a fresh Scandinavian flair, with clean lines and a touch of whimsy.  She creates all of her own patterns, and sews them in her Yarmouth studio.  I just love the way her collections mix and match so beautifully together. (more…)