On NPR, to talk about “handmade”

Under the Radar announcement.jpgI’ve done an interview on “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley,” about trends in handmade, the current handmade marketplaces, and Etsy Artists of Boston.  You can hear it here: “Connections to Nature, Artists Transform Handmade Crafts into Trend.


It’s that transitional time of year…

Assembled at Assembly RowIt’s a sunny Sunday, and I am beat!  Vended all day yesterday at Assembled, and the evening prior, celebrated Afro-Brazilian music and dance with Uhuru Afrika, an amazing DJ/drummer collective that performed at Naga in Cambridge.  Lots of Carnival-style dancers in full regalia shaking everything, conga and dengue drums, strobe lights and Afro-Brazilian beats.  You know how I know I’m getting old?  Every muscle in my body was sore the next morning.  But that’s a great sign that you’ve had a lot of fun, right?  Being sore the next morning!Sao Paulo Carnival Dancer
I’m going to produce another Assembled market on September 7th.  I am really excited about it because many of the vendors whose products I absolutely love, like Kristilyn Stevenson of Zombie Romance, who couldn’t join us for the May 18th opening show of Assembled, will be there for September 7th!  YAY!  So, in a really selfish way the September 7th Assembled will somewhat be a live version of my Etsy favorites list or my Xmas shopping list, but, you’re just going to have to trust my taste, folks!  These vendors really are exceptional, they’re stars in their own right, and we really are lucky that they’re going to be there!  Here’s a preview of some of their fantastic wares!

Zombie Romance by Kristilyn Stevenson

Art by Zombie Romance’s Kristilyn Stevenson

Maybe you have no idea what Assembled is or why you should care, so let me back up a little and explain; Assembled: A Handmade Arts Market at Assembly Row is a weekly outdoor arts market that takes place at the Assembly Row development at Assembly Square in Somerville.  Assembly Row is kind of the re-birth of an old, delapidated strip mall, which has been razed, and will be turned into a brand new, swanky destination, with a movie theater, a collection of restaurants (Legals’ C-Bar, Papagayo, JP Licks, etc.) and outlet stores.  They’re even building a T-stop (public transportation in the Greater Boston area) at Assembly Row, to increase access for the public.  It’s major, because frankly, Assembly Square was a bit of a waste before.  There was, and will still be, an art supply store there that I shop at all of the time, but the area just wasn’t well-kept, there was nothing of interest to do or see there, and it wasn’t inviting.

Fabric Bag by Moozydoo

Fabric Bag by Moozydoo

I’d drive there to grab supplies, then high-tail it out of there as quick as I could.  Now there really will be a reason to visit Assembly Square and stay to hang out.  They’ve already put up a brand new Starbucks with a ton of outdoor seating, and Assembly Row actually has an oft-ignored waterfront which they’re cleaning up beautifully.  At the first Assembled show on May 18th, a lot of people who live in the area came by to check things out and inquire, and the overwhelming commentary was that they were grateful for something cool to do in the area, and that the development was getting some much-needed attention.  The Assembled market is such a great way to draw folks to the area, AND support local artists, and allow us to connect with customers.  So I’m happy to be producing another Assembled show.  As the show approaches, I’ll post more about the artists who’ll be there and the things they make.  Assembled takes place at Assembly Row at Assembly Square, 145 Middlesex Avenue, Somerville, Mass, Saturdays, 11 AM to 4 PM.

The Power of Purple

Some time ago, I asked my friends, what color jewelry could you use more of in your jewelry box?  Almost all of the responses were “purple!”  And rightly so, because purple’s a great color.  So I’ve made a terrarium necklace that’s all about it, and just listed it today, on Etsy!  Check it out, here.


The rainbow collection

You need color in your life.  How about a rainbow, in treasury form?


Looking to the future!

Dara's black and white wrapping scheme

Dara’s black and white wrapping scheme

I hope all of you have had wonderful holidays!  It’s been a busy, busy time.  But also awesome!  Lots of great holiday craft shows where I was either a vendor or a holiday shopper (or both), festive parties (including one where I won for Ugliest Holiday Sweater!), and general holiday fun-ness.

The cats tore all of the ornaments off of the bottom of our Christmas tree, and undid a fair amount of carefully-crafted gift-wrapping.

I went with a black/white theme for the gift-wrapping this year, and was happy with the end result.

melissa schmidt necklace

melissa schmidt necklace

I did a lot of craft-show shopping, finding some unique gifts for family, like a hand-crafted wooden pen from Turned Wood (Gary Kaplan) for my dad, who collects pens, via the Old South Church Christmas Craft Fair, and the most extraordinary (and expensive!) gold blown-glass earrings from Melissa Schmidt via CraftBoston Holiday.  I must say, the earrings were so pretty, I had a hard time giving them away!

Sparrow earrings by ThisIlk

Sparrow earrings by ThisIlk

I definitely shopped small/local this year, purchasing a bunch of gifts from Etsy sellers as well, like these sparrow earrings for my sister from ThisIlk on Etsy and this hysterical Ipad case for my other sister from ReAuthored on Etsy.

ReAuthored Ipad Case

ReAuthored Ipad Case

My sister has some sticky-fingered co-workers, so this incognito Ipad case is just the thing for her!

And I’d coveted a few of An Li Liu’s items for years and finally got the chance to get a couple of her t-shirts, one for my bro with an awesome fox on it, and one that became a gift from me to me.  Haha.  Merry Christmas to me!


An Li Liu's fox tee

An Li Liu’s fox tee

In addition to making/shipping December orders, I’m working on getting new items up on Etsy, and new photos of some of our existing pieces.

I made a bunch of new pieces over the holidays; some new styles of terrarium necklaces and others, but haven’t gotten around to listing them online yet, so that’s something to look forward to!  I’m hoping to do a Valentine’s Day craft show or two, but I’ve gotta build up that inventory first!  Amidst the Hieropice madness during the holidays, I had a lot going on in my personal life, including finding out I was a bone marrow match for an infant with leukemia.  She’s unfortunately not well enough to receive a transplant right now, but fingers crossed that she gets there!  It’s so bizarre, a family-member was awaiting a transplant as well, and was notified they’d found a match at the exact same time!  The transplant’s been postponed unfortunately, due to the condition of the donor, but I’m hopeful another donor will come along!  I had a bit of minor surgery myself, but I’m on the mend, and still working hard for my fantastic customers.  Here’s to an amazing upcoming year!



What what?!



JP Rocks and Rolls was fun, and I got to meet a number of my fellow Etsy-ans in real life/in-person, as the digital and corporeal worlds collided.  Yay for communing with fellow artists!

I had a moment today (a good one), as I discovered Hieropice had been featured in Madalynne’s lovely blog, here.  Madalynne loves terrariums/terraria as much as I do, it seems, and wrote a piece celebrating the best of them!  Check it out!
Have a good one, all.