Sunday, October 30, 2011

Craft Out Loud! {next weekend}

If you live in the St. Louis region, I would love to see you next week at this new art venue: Craft Out Loud! The event is sponsored by our elementary school and was designed by a group of very cool people who wanted to give the Central West End an eclectic, one-of-a-kind, locally-harvested art extravaganza. The artists are so terrific - several of them have been featured here: Chris, Cbabi, Charity to name a few. There also is a great representation of accessible craftspeople too - me for one, and plenty of potters, bowl makers, jewelers, textile artists...I cannot get over the diversity of skills that will be represented.

November 5 & 6
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
New City School
5309 Waterman Blvd., Central West End
{$5 entry fee}

It's going to be great event! And did I mention the locavore food?!

Please pop in (and do come say hello)! xo

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Charity Fedde: : Jewelry

Today we are visiting the studio of Charity Fedde, jewelry designer. Charity creates necklaces, earrings and bracelets with a specialty in metal box collage.
Each of her pieces is one-of-a-kind. Each is titled and has its own story.
Two years ago, Charity and her husband moved to the country. Her studio is in her basement, in a retreat-like setting. When she sits here...
...these friends come to call at her door.
Or sometimes these friends come calling.
Here is Charity's studio. When her family moved in, she remodeled the entire space: new flooring, new lighting, counter space galore, fresh paint and wall treatments, lots of storage, electricity. And plenty of natural light thanks to her walk out (shown above).
Since she is a mixed media artist, her work happens in many different steps.
Charity started making jewelry about 10 years ago when she couldn't find pieces that she really liked. 
She and her daughter started pounding metal outside on the cement, she made a few things, her husband encouraged her and a business was born!
She began using her husband's tools and it was soon obvious that she was going to need more specialized tools (drills, a grinder) that allowed her to work on her intricate, sometimes delicate pieces.
When Charity started selling at art shows, colleagues would tell her not to take metal smithing classes. "If you study under the masters, you learn their streamlined techniques," she said.
"I've reinvented the wheel in an off beat way and now I make my boxes in a really unconventional way."
She most recently has started carving into cuttle fish bone, using this as her mold.
Charity creates with recycled and upcycled materials whenever possible. Most of her metals are recycled.

She loves to shop the basement clearance at Shapiro Supply. She finds elements for her collages at antique and thrift stores and estate sales.
I even think her tools look like art.
Her organizational skills are impressive, and necessary to produce as she does!
Spring and summer are Charity's busiest seasons. She creates all winter to prepare.
She is also updating her website. I'll post it here when it's ready.
Charity participates in several shows a year. Her next show is Craft Out Loud, November 5 and 6 in the Central West End.
Charity says that she loves to meet customers at art shows and tell them the story that accompanies their piece. She has several collectors.
She has also started selling her work - as a featured artist and the sole jewelry designer - at Wood Icing in Chesterfield.
Charity says many of her pieces are designed as part of a series. Her three newest series include: hands in fine silver, boxes and lockets, and branches and birds.
Thank you Charity!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


{I can't believe it's over} The Big Surprise

I believe we pulled off a lifetime memory last week.
We picked three unsuspecting kids up from school on Wednesday, theme music playing in the car and drove straight to the airport.
 We landed late in Orlando, home of many things, but for us, Harry Potter Land (as I'm still calling it).
The kids were completely shocked, speechless, overwhelmed to a degree. {Yes, it was awesome.}
 Kyle rode his first roller coaster.
 The kids loved the butterbeer. David and I might tell you it was syrup in a cup.
There were no fewer than 4 million places to hold and buy wands. We stopped at all of them.
Joey read all the books and saw the movies multiple times. Peace has been restored, however, all of his wand pictures make him look like he's trying to...ummmm..."eliminate" someone. Have to talk to him about this.
Do you recognize this wand?
 Family photo...
Salad in a cauldron? Awesome! Being about an inch-and-a-half too short for the big roller coaster? Not so great.
 My hams in front of the Three Broomsticks - the food was really good!
More wand discerning. 
 Kyle getting his postcards sent by Owl.
 Stamped officially don't 'cha know.
Joey - again with the look.
Now I don't think Universal Studios is for everyone (it's actually not-so-much for me really), but I would like to highly recommend implementing a total surprise in your life - for a friend, a partner, a child, a co-worker. Go camping, see a movie, invite someone secret over for pancakes...whatever. We did not tell our friends, our family, our teachers about our plans (I felt kind of bad for not telling our teachers) and we pulled off a surprise that will go down in our family's proverbial history book.

And for me, that made the weekend magical! xo

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Magical indeed...

Our family went on a magical adventure this past week...details tomorrow. xo

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Food Truck Friday - that's tomorrow friends!


The last Food Truck Friday for this season is tomorrow! Tower Grove Park, closer to Kingshighway than Grand, although I recommend driving into the park on Tower Grove and then parking as close as you can get. You have to search a wee bit for vegetarian options, but they're there and they're delish! DE.LISH. {I highly recommend Cha Cha Chow's curried sweet potato taco.}

Do the Groark Blanks recommend Food Truck Friday?
(That's yes! We do!)

Other city news: Peridot is closing its doors this Saturday. Mia is moving to Florida with her family to follow a great opportunity for her partner. Bittersweet. But the store will be open until Saturday - I was there today and there is still lots of homemade goodness, artwork, gift ideas... Happy Weekend! xo