Wrap-up of Event at Chowgirls Lounge during Art-A-Whirl®

It was a fun and lively event! I had a great time, and so glad to get to meet some new folks out there. The space was packed for the whole time, despite the heavy, unrelenting rain. When you put together music, food, drinks, art and open studios along with makers of wearables and use-ables, well, I guess you can draw a happy crowd. I had fun talking to many people. One of the fantastic things about getting to do events is all the connecting with other vendors and learning about what they have to offer. There are some pretty darn cool businesses and artists around here. It was so busy that I did not have a lot of opportunity to wander away from my booth, but I did get to know my most immediate booth neighbors. For those of you who didn’t make it out, I’d love to tell you about them.
Tammy Rice with her recycled inner tube jewelry
I was in good company on the sustainable and ecofriendly front. Tammy Rice was there selling her recycled inner tube jewelry. How cool is that? Her passion came from learning that inner tubes, which take years to decompose, are often not disposed of properly because there are often fees involved to do so. She decided to do something about that—and is now making useful, wearable and very cool goods. She makes bags, zippered pouches, and all sorts of jewelry, combining the inner tubes with other repurposed and recycled materials. Check her out at stonyhill.webs.com. The Elixery is another gem in the eco-fashion world. They take great lengths to ensure that the raw materials for their cosmetics are safe, ethical and free of animal testing. They make a beautify array of lipsticks, along with essential oils and skin care products. It is formulated and created right in their laboratory in Minneapolis. The owner, Karoline Wells, sure knows colors. I watched as lipsticks were suggested to women for hours this weekend, with impressive results. I overheard the lament of not knowing what color to wear repeatedly, and watched people put on the suggested color which was flattering every time! I had to get in on the fun myself. One day I wore Love Potion, a purple that I would never have picked out for myself, but loved it! It was a fun change of pace for me. On Sunday, I wore Devious, a flattering shade that I could wear every day. Gotta love that name, ya know? Now for the art: this was in fact an art event! So I was pleased to be in the middle of the NE art community with two artists across from my booth, with two very different styles.
art-a-whirl Nelson Patrick Cain, abstract artist
Nelson Patrick Cain had an array of acrylic abstract paintings, all achieved without paintbrushes! He uses anything he has around: potato mashers, credit cards, ketchup bottles and garbage bags, to name a few. So, as you can imagine, texture is a major theme in his work. And he is a hoot to talk to. I loved hearing his stories, and how he makes his art. Staring right across at this art each day, there were particular pieces that just drew me in more and more. That’s what I liked best about his art: the changing vista as the light changed, noticing the subtleties over time and the growing feeling of enjoying them more the longer I looked. I’m sure his customers will get that feeling, too—and he had a lot! Biggest surprise is that he says this was his first art show. You rocked it, Nelson!
art-a-whirl Meg Erke
Meg Erke was also across from me, displaying mixed media artwork of natural scenery, abundant in fresh greens and soft blues. Go take a look at megerke.com. She also spent much of the time binding books! Meg makes and sells hand-bound journals—which lay completely flat when open. We also bonded over talking about our little ones, as we both have two young children. There was other clothing nearby, too. It is fun to have other clothing nearby, creating synergy with our different but complementary styles.
art-a-whirl, Radiate Helga Lange of Radiate Activewear
Helga Lange, who was the one who got me connected into the this event, was a bit further down the hall, with her line of yoga clothing, Radiate Activewear. My favorite text from one of her t-shirts is “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” She graciously shared her dressing room with me as well as ideas and tips. I love the vibe she puts out: sharing, mutual support, positive energy, passion and creativity.
art-a-whirl Ash Photo and Design
Additionally, I must tell you about the woman who organized the vendors for this wonderful event, Jen Hanlon Ash. She has the most artful leggings I have ever seen! Those of you who have followed my blog may remember my post about leg-wear. Well, if you want statement leg-wear, look no further. She takes art and photos and prints them onto fabric, and then produces these truly unique leggings. And she is multi-talented: she displayed her photography and drawings as well. Even though working a three-day event was exhausting, I ended up feeling reinvigorated. Talking to people who share similar passions, meeting other creatives and just getting my wares out there stimulated new ideas and energized my own sense of purpose. So thank you to all who you who participated and made it happen!