Tag Archives: Art Festival

Still Walking in a Winter Wonderland

28 Feb

Doug Hockman’s print entitled ‘Alone,’ given away to a lucky Festival Fete follower last year, inspired this week’s post.

There’s nothing quite like a lone walk in the woods this time of year. There’s no better way to tune into the crunching sound of leftover snow under your (overly) worn boots. Nothing prettier than a monochrome backdrop for a family portrait of cardinals. And the ocean against all the gray, if you’re near enough, is that pale turquoise in the shoals – almost caribbean like if you face the sun and just imagine….

But then you realize you’re still here in New England and so is winter. Lingering. And while all may seem a bit bleak, there is a silver lining. Because this season, however long and drawn out, affords Festival Fete artists the time they need to create. Without the solitude, there wouldn’t be the space needed to produce the bounty we find at our shows. Those seemingly effortless displays at our artists’ booths come from the thoughts, the inspiration and the toil that happens now.

So while I wait to see a single snowdrop peek through the ground, I can’t wait to see what all our thoroughly inspired creatives unveil at the very first show in Garden City this June. Stay tuned and stay warm!


Embracing the palette of the season while adorning yourself and your home in their understated hues can manifest a certain tranquility. Past Festival Fete artists easily find inspiration in the wintry landscape. From upper left, clockwise: Nancy Van Tassel’s ‘big little ring’ in hammered sterling silver; A continuous piece of birch makes this simple necklace by Joyo; Howland Studio’s pin out of finds from a beach walk; Ombre infinity scarf by Nicole Lebreux; Erica Cioe’s simple ceramic plates. 


The ring: http://www.drapedinjewelry.com/index.html

The necklace: http://www.shopjoyo.us/collections/necklaces/products/loop-and-chain

That pin: http://www.etsy.com/shop/howlandstudio

The scarf: http://www.etsy.com/people/nicolelebreux

And those plates: http://ericacioe.weebly.com/index.html

Links to the online shops and websites of festival artists past and present can be found in every blogpost. Check them out!

Thanks for reading!

Please share your inspirations and creations

with us in a comment below or on Facebook. 


Art Happenings this Weekend: including Craftopia!

25 Apr

bulletWow! There are some great art events happening this weekend! This Sunday is Rhody Craft’s Craftopia where you’ll find so many great local artists who also participate in Festival Fete shows, but keep reading on for more artsy fun things to do from Providence to Jamestown. 

Thursday, April 25th (tonight!) begins the opening weekend events for the Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion exhibition at the RISD Museum of Art. They have prepared a fantastic line up of gallery talks, book signing, classes, parties, exhibits, and a gala; all associated with this exciting show.


Friday, April 26th Jamestown Art Center Opening Reception for The Ceramic Spectrum: Survey of Contemporary Ceramics. The opening reception will be on Friday from 6-9 pm plus much more going on so check their website for additional events.


Sunday, April 28th – Craftopia at Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St. Pawtucket from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Visit www.rhodycraft.com for more info.


Also on Sunday, an opening Reception for Sky & Water Art Show by Ruth A.B. Clegg & Barnet Fain from 2:00 – 4:00 at the Providence Art Club: 11 Thomas Street, Providence. The show continues 4/28-5/17

Photo by Ruth Clegg

Photo by Ruth Clegg

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for Festival Fete’s Garden City Art Festival on June 8th and 9th from 10am-5pm daily in Cranston, Rhode Island.

Garden City Art Festival 2013

Garden City Art Festival 2013

Many thanks to our sponsor, Aim High Gymnastics in East Greenwich, RI.


Venetian Sea Glass from Murano, Italy

2 Apr

Do you collect sea glass? If you do, you know what a special and rare treat it is to find one of those gems from the sea. Imagine having a business that requires you to comb some of the most beautiful beaches in the world…

Gary de Blois is a graphic designer, amateur photographer, jewelry maker, and a lifelong beachcomber. His sea glass collecting hobby weaves together all these passions and he now gets to plan “business trips” to places like California, Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Gary DeBlois collecting sea glass in Cayucos, CA

Gary DeBlois collecting sea glass in Cayucos, CA

We featured Gary and his sea glass business, Just Beachy Keen on our blog almost two years ago and it continues to be on of our most popular blog posts today. Sea glass collecting is a hot topic! So I thought I would check in with Gary to see what he has been up to lately…

Gary's pendants made from Murano sea glass!

Gary’s pendants made from Murano sea glass!

Gary works with genuine sea glass found on beaches around the world. While he does travel to collect sea glass, he also purchases from other collectors that he has met at various sea glass festivals. Most recently, he has been working with Murano sea glass from Italy.

Lately, I have been making pendants using glass found by a scuba diver off the island of Murano, in Venice, Italy. Murano has been known as the glass making capital of the world for hundreds of years!

We meet people from around the world who have amazing sea glass, and we now have friends in England, France, Italy and Greece just to name a few. Now we just need to find time to visit them all! – Gary DeBlois


In his youth, Gary began sea glass collecting while spending summers on the coast.  This is where his passion for beach combing began. Those zen moments spent strolling the beach, enjoying the sights, sounds and scent of the ocean… ahhhh… tonic for the soul. Finding sea glass, in its myriad of shapes and colors, was like treasure hunting to Gary. At days end, these beachy gems were brought home, and placed in jars as keepsakes, colorful reminders of all the fun times spent playing in the sand.


Now, he explores the coastal regions of the US as well as the world for sea glass, collecting it, photographing it and making jewelry and other whimsical objects with it. Only the most genuine sea glass is used, collected by Gary himself or his sea glass collecting cohorts. He works with sea glass as it is found on the beach, never grinding or reshaping the glass, only occasionally drilling as required. The result is a unique, one-of-a-kind, sea glass pendant, earring pair, etc.

de Blois1

You can read much more about Gary’s other pursuits and even find one of his recipes in the blog article Sea Glass Journal. But be sure to stop by the Just Beachy Keen booth at the Garden City Art Festival on June 8th and 9th to see his genuine sea glass jewelry and other works using sea glass. They will also have t-shirts, note cards and photography that follows the sea glass collecting theme.

The Sea Glass Stoop in Cayucos

The Sea Glass Stoop in Cayucos

Check out Gary’s online magazine for sea glass collectors at www.seaglassjournal.com and his Etsy store for sea glass jewelry at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SeaGlassJournal

Garden City Art Festival 2013

Garden City Art Festival 2013

Festival Fete would like to thank our sponsor:

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Holiday Market Artist: Deb Terilli

30 Sep

We are so pleased to have Deb Terilli, jewelry designer returning for another Festival Fete!

Deb works in a hospital as an IV Nurse, but relishes the time she spends in her small studio at home in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. Because she wears an I.D. badge every day at work, it was a natural fit for her to design some very creative ways to wear her badge, including some whimsical fabric covered name badge buttons.

In addition to the badge buttons, Deb creates beaded lanyards and eyeglass holders. All very beautiful and functional too! She continues to work with hammered copper and silver wire to create her one of a kind jewelry.

Deb says that she is so inspired by all of the jewelry artists that she has met and says, “I can’t wait to see everyone at Festival Fete’s Holiday Art Festival! It’s always an awesome time!”

We look forward to seeing Deb’s latest designs at Festival Fete’s Holiday Market in Garden City this December 1st and 2nd.

See you there!

Festival Fete would like to thank our sponsor Cardi’s Furniture for their support!

Featured Artist: Mermaid’s Baubles will be at “Art on Tap” in Newport tonight!

28 Sep

One of Festival Fete’s artists, Melonie Massa will be a featured Artist at ART ON TAP tonight from 4:00 – 8:00 pm at Adornment Fine Jewelry, 213 Goddard Row, Newport, RI. (There will also be a beer tasting from Coddington Brewery – hence, the name Art on “Tap”)

Melonie Massa was one of our artisan vendors at the East Greenwich Art Festival a few weeks ago, and Festival Fete is happy to once again include Mermaid’s Baubles at Festival Fete’s Holiday Market in December. Melonie’s creations are unique handcrafted works of art including sea glass, shells, beads and genuine “gifts from the sea”.

Melonie began making her baubles from the sea years ago when she saw an exhibit of antique sailor’s valentines on display and was “utterly captivated by their romantic history …and the exquisite artistry that went into each vintage framed piece.”

The tradition of Valentine’s Day sailor gifts began at the beginning of the  late 19thcentury and continued for nearly the start of the 20th century. It is said that seamen used to bring glass-covered octangular boxes made of wood which had sea-shells glued inside in beautiful patterns to give as gifts to their loved-ones at home. Read more about the history of sailors’ valentines: http://www.marineinsight.com/marine/life-at-sea/the-history-of-sailors-valentine/#ixzz27i7DwnAI

Melonie decided that she wanted to re-create the seashell flowers in a sailors’ valentine to be worn as jewelry, headbands and ornaments. So she did her research and consulted with modern day Sailors Valentine artists, she began creating Mermaids Baubles for her own enjoyment, and opened an Etsy shop in 2009.

“It makes me incredibly thankful to be doing something I absolutely love…something that allows me to work from home, raise and homeschool my 4 children and gives me permission to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes entirely guilt-free: Beachcombing!” says Melonie.

You can see Melonie’s Mermaid’s Baubles tomorrow night at Adornment Fine Jewelry and again at the Festival Fete’s Holiday Market

Festival Fete would like to take this opportunity to thank one of our sponsors, Garden City Center, the host location for our Holiday Market.

Holiday Market Featured Artist: Honey Hive Handcrafts

20 Sep

Take a look at this picture. Do you see a delicious bakery treat? Think again – this is one of Laura Winward’s creations; a confection of color and wax blended with her careful hands into a candle!

Laura has had a passion for soap and candle making for many years and hopes to reach national distribution while keeping her hand in production. Like many artists, her dream is to be able to turn her craft into something she can do full time.  She got started in her business when she went to an art show and met someone who made their own bath and body products. She was intrigued, and interested in expanding her craft of making beeswax candles, so she bought the products and “was hooked on the spot”. Laura used her experience as a research scientist to develop her own unique approach to scent, color and design. “Much like artists who paint, we can all start with the same basic ingredients and come up with products that are completely unique to our own style. I’ve been selling (my products) around RI, MA and CT for better than a decade, and I haven’t seen anyone else doing bakery/food themed candles and bath products similar to mine.” says Winward.

Laura has managed to fuel her passion for her craft and channel it into several businesses – all while maintaining her “day job” as an environmental biologist. In addition to her candle and soap business, Honey Hive Handcrafts, she owns an artists’ co-operative store in Wakefield called Waves of Creation. Her store offers classes and parties for children and adults, and also features the work of other artists of all media, whom Laura considers her inspiration. She appreciates being a part of the soaping community (did you know that there is a Southern New England Soap Makers group?) that is very generous with their knowledge and expertise. When asked if there is a “fun fact” about her that we should know, it was no surprise to hear her say, “I’m addicted to cupcakes – the real ones!” because you can see the love in her creations.

Make sure to visit Laura’s booth at the Festival Fete Holiday Market on Dec. 1st and 2nd at Garden City Center to see these tempting candles. If you are an artist interested in participating in the Festival Fete’s Holiday Market, there are a few booth spaces left. Please visit www.festivalfete.com and click on the link for a vendor application.


A special thank you to one of our wonderful sponsors, Whole Foods Market of Garden City, Cranston.

Even MORE To Look Forward To!

27 Jul

April Gramolini     Donna Lyons

These two WONDERFUL artists will be at the East Greenwich Art Festival on September 1st and 2nd at the new New England Tech Campus in East Greenwich, Rhode Island! Will you?

Did you know that burlap sacks get discarded after the roaster empties the green unroasted beans? Artist April Gramolini makes accessories for men and women out of local roasters’ coffee bean sacks!

Since coffee sacks are made from woven strands of jute which is natural fiber in the hemp family, it doesn’t need pesticides or even fertilizer to grow, making it even more sustainable and eco-friendly when reused.

April creates wallets, belts , wristlets and more on reclaimed industrial sewing machines from the 60s. The individuality of the coffee sacks’ screen printed designs inspires her to create every single item unique and different from the last. Fabric linings are found from thrift and consignment stores as well as mill overstocks, making each wristlet and purse even more special.

 “I love the contrast when mixing feminine fabrics with rough and rugged burlap.”

 Additionally, April truly loves to hand weave with her Ashford table loom and has recently been experimenting with jute and cotton, mixing those rough and soft textures again.
Make sure to check out April online at her Etsy site and support her beautiful work by “liking” her Facebook page and of course, don’t miss her at the East Greenwich Art Festival!
Donna Lyons, aka Barefoot Henna, creates all natural body art through the use of Henna – a medium sized shrub that grows in hot, arid conditions.
For many centuries, the people of these areas, North Africa, Middle East, and Southeast Asia, have used henna to dye their hair, beards, fingernails and skin.  It is often used in celebratory rituals, drawn on to the skin in patterns, much like tattoos, but not permanent.  The dye in the plant leaves stain the skin cells a lovely range of brown tones, and as the skin replenishes itself, the stain wears away.  Each of these regions has a unique style, for example, the Africans use very geometric, linear patterns, while others use floral motifs, and the traditional paisley type design.

“The Art itself is an inspiration, because each and every henna design, no matter how many times I’ve drawn it, comes out differently because its an ever changing canvas that is the human body.  No two are alike, it’s drawn freehand, so there’s a lot of latitude you can take.  It is always exciting to see the finished product.”

Donna mixes her own henna paste, so she can tell you exactly what is in it…
Henna powder, from harvested, dried, ground, sifted plant leaves.
Lemon juice; used since the acidity helps break down the plant fibers, thus, releasing more dye.  Sometimes teas are used. white table sugar; it helps it stick to the skin. essential oil; typically cajeputi, tea tree, or lavender; others are used, but mostly for scent.  these are monoterpene oils that also break down the plant fibers to release dye.
One important piece of advice from Donna…
Always avoid Black Henna – Do your research on it.
Donna Lyons will be at the East Greenwich Art Festival on September 1st and 2nd and we hope to see you there as well! – You won’t want to miss out!