Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wow - My head is spinning!

This is a picture of me and my sister Sofia. Good for grounding my current state of an extra full life!

Not a lot of time to post right now but did want to pop online to let you know I am still out here breathing air!

We are heading to Ireland for nearly three weeks in nearly three weeks. Biggie, the girls and I will be flying from JFK to Shannon with my parents' luggage. We will get there a week ahead of them and spend time getting their summer digs in order.

We have a 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom apartment available for rent in our Urban Farmhouse. Alchemy Initiative will be graced with new contributors which is exciting. Space available June 1st. (We will be out of the country.)

I am working on a new line of Sweatshirts! No, they are not wool! I am wearing the first of them in the picture above which was shot at Alchemy Initiative's Earthday kickoff event.

Looks like we are buying the convent across the street. It is a visual shambles on the outside ~ the inside is structurely sound. A boutique hostel is in the works for this property.

An internship program will get underway here this summer. Applicants should send their resume and letter of interest to me at crispinaffrench@gmail.com.

Chickens and Bees are coming soon! First week in May.

The girls are growing and so much fun to be with. Ben is a fine and healthy young man of 16.5 years. He just got his driver's permit and needs to practice driving.

Chris and I are good. Ireland will give us some time to share and relax.

The rest of the year's worth of workshops will be posted online soon! Stay tuned!

thanks for contributing to the general good of this planet! Seems to be commonly accepted as the way to behave these days. A refreshing new paradigm is unfolding.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Potholder Rug Making Workshop

A three day Potholder Rug making workshop began last Sunday in the studio. A great group people turned up, some from far away places (like Michigan, Missouri, and Arkansas!) with all sorts of backgrounds. While most people stayed for more than just one day there were single day visitors everyday adding new input and fun to the core group.

My friend Eric made some Potholder Rug looms for me to sell - and they sold! He was able to join in on Sunday to learn the process. He was my first ever male workshop student!

Everyone left with beautiful rugs, a clear desire to continue creating and and a few sore fingers!

My workshop schedule for the rest of the year will be posted on my calendar soon.

The next workshop is a one day event on May 16 - Recycled wool felt flower making. 11-5:30 $150 includes all tools, materials, and lunch

Every Wednesday the studio is open for my Sewing Lounge and shopping.
Come by anytime from 11-5 and see the newest recycled creations from my studio. Bring a project to work on or just pop in.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


This is what I have been working on in the studio. The blanket on the table came back for a repair. It was a little hard to find what the customer was concerned about. The experience reminded me how cool that collection was. Makes me want to make more!

The top image is of the sign I am making for the Alchemy Initiative. In case you haven't heard, we are having an Earthday celebration - the WE of Alchemy Initiative is a group for four, myself, Jess Rufo, Jess Conzo, and Bridget Conry. Alchemy Initiative is bound to grow but for now we are the team making it happen. Join us 4/22 here at the Church from 6-10 pm. See Alchemy Initiative.org for all the deets.

This Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I am holding my Potholder Rug Making Workshop. There are a couple spaces open if you are interested.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Stuff

Finally got in the studio for some creative time. Here are a couple of baby blankets ready for the shop - actually the one on the left sold in minutes after it was posted this evening!

Been at the studio for the last few hours working on new blanket structures - more individual and one of a kind. Will post images of that process tomorrow.

Sure do love to make things!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday

Not sure where this bunny image came from but I found it online somewhere and have been saving it to post commem-orating the best part of the Easter Holiday in my memory.

The hunt was held at my sister's house this year. She always manages to pull off the magic of whatever season or holiday is about. Easter, this past Sunday was no acception! The kids all had a great time dashing around the yard on a chilly afternoon filling baskets with wonder and brightly colored eggs. What fun! It was Violet's first year of on her own hunting. She was not in such a hurry - genuinely awestruck by the idea that the bunny had left all these eggs for her! Wow!

Three jelly beans this morning sent her into a rare sugar induced tantrum before we got out the door. Short lived for both she and her sister - Oh Thank Goodness!~

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Potholder Rugs

This week is going to be busy. Getting ready for my three day Potholder Rug making workshop and Alchemy Initiative's introduction to the community.
Workshop preparations are familiar and clear. I am excited to meet a nice group of women, some traveling from far away places to join in the learning and making scheduled to begin at 10am, Sunday April 19.
Every time I have a workshop I try to add something to the experience, my learning process. Looms to sell are the addition to this Potholder Rug making workshop. My friend Eric has made a couple of lovely samples for students to try and order if they are excited enough about the process to want to continue at home. Looms that make 2.5x3.5 ft rugs are available for $275 and smaller looms - that make rugs that measure 1.75x2.5ft are priced at $175. You can buy them at the studio or from my online shop, www.crispinaffrench.etsy.com

Alchemy Initiative
is unfamiliar as it is so new and really exciting. We, the founding members are a group of 4 women all committed to urban farming, art making, urban center, community housing development and community in general. Our first event is planned for Wednesday April 22 - Earthday. There suddenly seems like there is so much to do! Yikes! Gotta get to bed so I can get up early and work before the girls are up.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Taupe, Shadows, and Sunshine

Spring is here and yard clean up is underway. Here are some images from a recent sunny and cool day. I dig the coloration similarities.

First is my favorite piece of lawn furniture an antique double chaise.

A weathered picnic table topped with votives in a sundry Goodwill glass containers for summer night entertaining

A blanket I recently made of recycled wool sweaters on its way to Lynda Kuznetz in NYC. One of a kind. There will be a similar one on my Etsy shop soon!

Recycled Play Sink

Wow! I love this play sink. Too bad this company does not have their amazing play kitchens available in this country. Learn all about them here

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Contemporary Folk Art

As seen in Elm Street parking lot Pittsfield, Ma on April Fool's Day

Kennedy Park with Jen and Henry

The other day my friend Jen and her son Henry, the girls, and I went for a drizzly cold walk in the woods. We brought the dog and not enough warm clothes. Violet didn't mind and Henry shared his mittens. Lucy slept most of the way in the stroller.
Jen is the editor of Orion Magazine and sits on the board of our local currency Berkshares. She is wonderful! I love her eloquence, parenting style, groundedness, and brilliance.
In addition to all that her dad is a pediatric cardiologist and has had many a helpful conversation with me around Ben's heart condition.

We were chatting and thinking there might be a way to have Berkshares be better represented in Pittsfield if they had an office here. Maybe that could be a facet of Alchemy Initiative??? Just ideas for now but exciting to think of all the possibilities!

Good Morning from Violet

Just a sunshiney smile from one the warmest hearts I know on this cold spring morning. No Joke!