Saturday, November 29, 2008

December Studio Sale

After making several unsuccessful trouble shooting attempts to correct the problemo of VERY WEIRD color translation of the accompanying image, let me just say that:
On December 13 and 14 I will be hosting a brand new kind of studio sale! 23 of the Berkshires and surrounding area's finest makers will gather at my studio to sell their wares from 10-5 both days. Affordable gourmet lunch will be available on site as well as Holiday greenery, pottery, jewelry, mobiles, and more. Gift wrapping will be provided by donation by Melville Street's very own Youth Alive. There will be music and hooping and all manner of high jinx to be had as well as a lot of great gift ideas inclucing Dolphin Studio Calendars and John ffrench ceramics.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Chris Mangiardi, Ben, Filis, and I went shopping in Boston/Cambridge for the day so celebrate Ben's 16th birthday. First stop was The Garment District which was the first company I ever bought my raw materials at wholesale. That was back in 1989! The company is virtually the same from retail shoppers eye. Behind the scenes is different. Bruce sold the company a few years back to Chris and they are not wholesaling any more. There are lots of interesting stories of my shopping there - maybe better for different post.
We met up with Filis, my favorite college roommate, there and proceeded to Whole Foods for lunch. We were all quiet while savoring the taste treats there! I had Apple Pumpkin soup which was AMAZING!
Newberry Street was our final shopping destination for the day. Ben is all about the buzz of busy urban shopping neighborhoods. Filis and I drove around for 30 minutes and finally parked in a garage. Ben and Chris were off to the Guess Store, Johnny Cupcake, Hugo Boss and my favorite Newbury Comics.
Filis and I found a coffee shop with ceramic cups (as opposed to the customary paper). We sat and enjoyed large caffinated beverages and poked around the Anthropologie shop on Boylston Street. I am inspired by their in store display creativity. Paper chains, ornament shaped paper cut-outs hung on long lines of orange nylon, coat hanger jumbles stretching across the third floor ceiling, and ropes made of fabric strips dyed and strung throughout the shop. I wished I had my camera!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Calendar Time

The ffrench family business, called The Dolphin Studio started 38 years ago by John and Primm, (my Mom and Dad) is in the throes of another busy calendar shipping season. We produce a hand silkscreened calendar every year and have since the beginning. When I was a kid printing was one of the daily chores that each kid was required to carry out. It was our task to register the paper on the table and then carry the fresh, wet prints from the print table to a clothesline to hang to dry. Since then things have gotten a lot more organized and fluid.
Primm cuts all the stencils, John did do all the printing single handedly for many years. This year he had help from his friend and master screen printer John Ahlen.
Sofie, my sister, and I have been heading up the mailing and shipping departments. It has been really great to have time to add this to my day.
Just last year Primm hand wrote each mailing label and 'thank-you for your order' enclosure. She swore off it after literally doubling sales due to features in the NY Times Magazine and Sofie and I hold onto her personal touch as much as we can while adding computer printed labels and UPS pick-up to the mix.

We normally sell out by mid December and they are going fast so if you want to get one, don't wait. They cost $50 and can be ordered right from here: The Dolphin Studio.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Laundry at My House

Finally got Chris to put up a clothesline for me. Sure beats burning fossil fuel on a dryer! Saves the three storey trip to the clothes yard too.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


A few weeks back my camera and wallet were stolen from my friend, Jayme Hummer's car. It was a real drag. She drove to a truly lovely banquet celebration of 25 years of Storey Publishing at Jae's Inn in North Adams, MA. Storey will be publishing my first book soon - but that is another day's story.
At any rate. Without a real camera it has been hard to keep up with blog entries and the rest of what has become standard almost everyday needs for digital documentation. Long stor(e)y, but I did end up being reimbursed the value of the stolen items by Storey Publishing. (Ummm who has ever heard of THAT?!? - not my insurance company, not the establishment's insurance company and not even Storey's insurance company, but the host organization of the most lovely banquet ever, out of their kindness and high moral standing, sent me a check for the total value of the contents of my wallet and the camera taken.

Shortly there after I found JUST the camera I was looking for on CLEARANCE at Target - thanks to Chapin, my friend and frequent Target shopper!
So now I have really good quality imagery and a Canon Rebel camera to beat the band!

I am learning to use the camera. These are some of the first shots I took with it. There will be more to come.

That is Violet the little bathtub fairy, with Okemo keeping her company. Lily's leading the way to magic at Kennedy Park and the amazing color we were blessed with this fall. Oh my, it was the most amazing display of nature's magic I can remember.

Gone now, moving into cozy darkness.