Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tangle With a Turkey and Other Adventures on a Maine Day Trip

Yesterday morning I headed out for the two and a half hour drive to Lewiston. My only goal was to pick up the puppets I had in The Maine Craft Association's Biennial Show. Little did I know the adventures and misadventures that would fill my day.

Despite the driving rain and high winds, I made it to Lewiston without any trouble. Turning into the road that leads to USM, I noticed rte. 9 went to Lisbon and Topsham. So after picking up my puppets, I headed down rte. 9 on a whim, figuring I'd stop at Target in Topsham and get some shopping done. (Target, why do I love thee so? Let me count the reasons. 1. Your Iams dog treats are way cheaper than Hannaford's. 2. You aren't quite as evil as Wal-Mart. 3. I can find Stylin' clothes on your sale racks...)

The drive through Lisbon (the birthplace of Moxie Soda--it's a Maine thing!) was quite lovely and truly a Maine experience: everything from green parks to old empty mills to trailers to gentrified ranch homes; antique dealers next to self storage units. Lisbon has a kind of retro feel. Main Street looks like it hasn't changed much since 1965. It's REAL and not all spiffed up and fancy. I liked it! Enroute I decided I might as well go to Freeport and stop at arguably the best bead store in Maine, The Beadin' Path. So after a quick spin through Target, I hopped back onto 295 and was soon picking out lovely beads at The Beadin' Path to resell at The April Bead Show I organize in Ellsworth (the lucite beech leaf beads above are going to offered for sale at the Ellsworth Show). Beadin' Path has a great selection of vintage and contemporary lucite beads and also beautiful Czech glass beads. Also stopped in at the hip Horny Toad outlet on Bow Street.

For the long trip home I decided to take 95 to Augusta, then rte. 3 to Belfast. Just outside of Belfast, while listening carefully to a story about the new iPad on NPR, I suddenly noticed a HUGE wild turkey out of the corner of my eye. It was fluttering rapidly towards me, perhaps flustered by the heavy wind and rain. In a flash it smashed its 50 to 60 pound body into my driver's side, sheering my rearview mirror right off. With my rearview now hanging by two skinny electrical cords and a pounding heart I drove into Belfast. Amazingly, the rearview was the only thing damaged. I survived the incident shaken, but unscathed. The turkey, I fear, wasn't in very good shape. Having stopped in Belfast, I figured I might as well stop into the retro-chic store Yo Mama's Home, where I hopefully didn't bore the salesperson too badly with my woeful turkey tale. Feeling grateful to be alive and unhurt, I pulled my smashed rearview into my car and headed out, through the ongoing wind and rain for HOME, always the best place ever after adventures big and small.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Creature Feature Preview

I organize a show every year called Creature Feature in Ellsworth at The Grand Theatre. This year is the third annual show, so it's called Creature Feature III. I'm excited to be working with four other talented artists on the show this year: Rebekah Raye of Blue Hill, Suzan Scribner-Reed of Winterport, Heidi Daub of Blue Hill, and Laura Balombini also of Blue Hill.

This year my work is looking a little different. I wanted to create pieces for the show that were inspired and based upon vintage graphics from the '60's and '70's. I have an inexplicable love for German memory games from that era and I based my Creature Feature images this year on graphics used in those. I will be previewing work by myself and the other artists here from time to time in the lead up to the show. The actual pieces will be hanging in the Grand Theatre lobby May 1-21, with a special sale of the work May 21st, 3-7pm. If you'd like to pre-purchase work I will have the pieces up on my website and you can purchase them there before the sale.

The piece above, Sleeping Fox, was based on a fox from a 1966-68 memory game. It was adapted from an image with a sitting fox. This piece has the vintage appeal of the original graphic but has my own composition and design. The media is Derwent Aquarelle Watercolor pencils on watercolor paper, which is a new medium for me.

I hope you will check back from time to time to get a glimpse of what will be in the Creature Feature III Show. By the way, 10% of the sales from the show will be donated to The Grand Theatre.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Upcoming Bead Show in Ellsworth

Have you ever gone to a bead store and enjoyed perusing the sparkly gems and glass beads? If so, you may be pleased to hear that Beads and Baubles Downeast Spring Bead and Jewelry Show will be returning to downtown Ellsworth on April 16th and 17th. This show and sale features everything a beader could desire...all manner of beads such as Czech glass, crystal, gemstone, vintage beads, spacers, seed beads, focal beads, pearls, felt beads, porcelain beads as well as handmade lampwork glass beads produced by local artisans. Findings such as clasps, toggles, earwires and the like will also be available for purchase. Folks who like to sew may be intrigued by the vintage and unusual contemporary buttons that will be for sale as well.

Over 20 vendors will be selling their beading related wares at this 2nd annual event. Lampwork artisans Sihaya Hopkins, Penny Gentle, Kathleen Henderson, Sally Bowen, Ginny and John Hackney, and Ray Cooper will offer handmade artisan glass beads, buttons, marbles and jewelry. Several bead stores, including Sticks ‘n Stones of Brewer and The Beaded Moose of Bangor, will be on hand with a large inventory of all types of beads. New this year several artisans will be selling their beautiful handcrafted beaded jewelry. Jackie Haines of Blue Leaf Beadwork will be showing and selling her intricate seedbead earrings, necklaces and bracelets, and Lisa Salsbury will bring her Swarovski Crystal and vintage bead jewelry. The show will take place at The Maine Grind (upstairs, 2nd floor) 192 Main Street, Downtown Ellsworth on Friday April 16th, noon-6pm and Saturday April 17th, 10-4pm. For more information visit The Gifted Hand Show Website.