New Workshops, new shows!

fern, shell terrarium web
Excited to announce that I’ve added a couple of new workshops to my August roster, in addition to the upcoming glass-etching workshop on August 27th. I’ll be teaching two workshops on terrarium-building on August 14th and 23rd!  These two classes will focus on how to create sustainable tropical ecosystems under glass, with step-by-step Moss and plants for terrrarium workshopinstruction and tips on keeping your terrariums beautiful long-term. Attendees will get to personalize their terraria, and we’ll use truly unique glass vessels (no fishbowls here!) to build in.  Very excited to offer this class at the Presentation School Foundation in Brighton, as previously, I’ve only offered it and Brookline Adult and Community Education and Newton Community Education.  If you live in the Greater Boston area, or will be on August 14th or 23rd, join in!  You have to pre-register to attend, register here.

This Sunday, I’ll be exhibiting at SOWA Boston, debuting some new pieces. I’ve created new terrarium ornaments, botanical-gilded lanterns, terrarium shadow boxes and botanical-etched decanters. SOWA is open from 10 AM – 4 PM on Sunday, and is free to attend (it costs $10 to park, but you can use the parking voucher at any of the vendor booths!)Gilded Botanical Lantern 2


Make It Your Own: Glass-Etching Workshop

Olive bottle and blue bottle square web
If you’re in the Greater Boston area (or you will be in August), come to one of my workshops and make something awesome!
On August 4th (Thursday) at 6 PM and August 27th (Saturday) at 1 PM I will be teaching workshops on glass-etching at the Presentation School Foundation Community Center.  The Center is at 640 Washington Street, Brighton, MA, and we’ll be in the New Balance Room on the lower level.
We’ll take reclaimed glass and transform it using custom stencils we’ll create right there in the workshop.  Your own original artwork, permanently emblazoned on glass that you take home with you the same day.  A vase, perhaps?  An oil diffuser?  It’s up to you!
And no, you don’t have to be an artist to participate, I’ll teach you everything you need to know!  You can register here (registration is required, no drop-ins).
The workshops are 18+, because, you know, chemicals and all.  Safety gear will be provided.  I will be teaching terrarium-building workshops in August as well though that are all-ages, so stay tuned!
Holding fern-leaf vase web

What are YOU doing this Sunday?

Gifford Cat Gifford Cat Gifford Cat Gifford Cat Orange CatTomorrow, is the Ellen M. Gifford Sheltering Home’s Fall Festival.  The Gifford is a no-kill cat shelter in Brighton, MA, founded in 1884, that houses a variety of homeless cats, either surrendered, rescued, feral, or special-needs.  They take incredible care of the cats, providing them excellent medical care, socialization and affection, and housing them until they can be adopted to loving homes.  Some of the Gifford‘s long-term cat residents have been there for 10-15 years!  As a “no-kill” shelter, they never euthanize animals because of space issues, behavioral issues, curable illness, or because a cat has been at the shelter long-term.  Recently, an outdoor enclosure was constructed to allow the cats to safely roam outside, enjoy some fresh air and sun, and play, as they were meant to.  The shelter itself allows the cats to roam freely inside, with no tiny cages stacked one on top of the other, with barely enough room for the cats to turn around in.  They’ve also constructed an outdoor facility to house feral cats (cats the have either been born/raised outdoors, with limited socialization with people, or who have been outside long enough to lose their domesticated status).  The feral colony pen offers a safe environment for these cats to live, without the danger of passing cars, starvation, unfriendly folks who might try to eliminate them as pests, as well as gives them the opportunity to socialize with humans and possibly, be adopted some day.  I’ve been a volunteer at the Gifford since 2004 (nine years!) and will be vending at the Fall Festival Sunday, September 15th, with a portion of my sales going to support the Gifford and their amazing cats.  The Gifford Shelter really is a special place, and I feel great about supporting them and the work they do.  Over the years, I’ve been the Gifford’s ad-hoc cat photographer, and all of the portraits in this post are of the adorable kitties I’ve had the pleasure to meet.  I highly recommend anyone in the Boston area who may be looking to adopt, looking to donate, or looking to volunteer stop by on Sunday, to see this amazing shelter in person.  You’ll get to meet the kitties, eat some delicious cupcakes and cookies, and support a wonderful charity with purchases!  The Fall Festival is Sunday, September 15th, from 1-4 PM.  The shelter is located at 30 Undine Road, Brighton, MA.  It’s accessible by the the B-line Greenline train, at the BC stop (last stop on the line).  There’s plenty of street parking as well!  Hope to see you there!

– Dara

Fall Can’t Come Fast Enough

Hieropice at Assembled

The Hieropice tent at Assembled

The sun is waning, we’re moving away from the “Dog Days” into Autumn.  I’m allergic to sun, so I’m certainly not mourning the end of Summer as most folks are!  I love Fall, and can’t wait for colorful leaves, apple-picking, crisp air, pumpkin pies, intense sunsets, Thanksgiving, and busting out my shawl collection.  Yup, I’m ready for Fall, bring it on!
I posted a while back about producing September 7th’s “Assembled: A Handmade Arts

Zombie Romance by Kristilyn Stevenson

Art by Zombie Romance’s Kristilyn Stevenson

Market at Assembly Row” arts festival; it’ll be my second.  I’m really excited about the vendors we’ll have on Saturday; particularly the artists who I’d really wanted to join us for the May 18th opening show, but who weren’t available.

Zombie Romance will be there on Saturday, with original illustrations by Kristilyn Stevenson in comic, jewelry, card and print form, as will Uni-T, will t-shirts and prints featuring artist Eujin Kim Neilan’s original artwork.  Moozydoo will join us, with her handmade cloth shoulder bags in vibrant colors and bold patterns, and Dominique Custeau will be selling her handmade fused glass jewelry.  I am proud to call these artists my friends.  And there will be a lot more, perhaps even a flashmob around 1:30 PM, but you didn’t hear that from me.  Assembled takes place at Assembly Row (formerly the Assembly Square Mall, in Somerville), at 145

Uni-T by Eujin

Uni-T by Eujin Kim Neilan

Middlesex Ave., Somerville, from 11 AM to 4 PM, Saturday, September 7th.  See you there!

Old South Church Christmas Craft Fair

old south church candles

Alright, I’m no longer in denial about it pretty much being Winter now.  Fine, fine.  It’s cold.  It snowed today.  Again.

But… That also means that the holidays are upon us!  I LOVE Christmas so much, for purely non-religious reasons.  The lovely music that never changes, the leafy garlands and pine-smelling wreaths everywhere, red berries, snow, beautifully-wrapped gifts with big ribbon-bows, hot chocolate, cider and eggnog with cinnamon, twinkling lights and giant, animatronic santas that would be tacky any other time of year, ice-skating, and that love-your-brother vibe.  I think that vibe is my favorite.  That warmth.  I love the palette of this time of year, the white, red, green.  It’s abundant and alive in the midst of a time of year that can be a bit bleak here in New England, before everything renews in the Spring.  Old South Church Craft FairLast year, I went to midnight mass at this unique Catholic church in Waltham, and the service was mutli-cultural, with singing from Congolese congregants, pine-bow decor from its Italian congregants, and all of this hushed singing in the darkened church and candle-lighting throughout the service that was just wonderful.  Looking forward to exploring a new church of different denomination this year, and experiencing some new traditions.

It’s also a crazy, crazy time for a small independent jeweler/artist/crafter like me.  I am grateful for all of the opportunities, and wonderful customers.  But I am in complete work-mode.  I’ll be doing a few craft shows in December, beginning with the Old South Church Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday, December 1st.  The venue for this show is stunning, a very old, exquisite church in the heart of Boston, with all the charm a church of its age brings.  From what I’ve seen, they deck it out quite extravagantly for Christmas as well, so I’m just excited to get to be there!  If you’re in the Boston area, come by 645 Boylston Street (Copley Square) between 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM and say hi!Gordon Chapel at Xmas


Happy holidays!