Tag Archives: Etsy

Mother’s Day is Every Day. Especially Tomorrow.

10 May


The first cool thing about our mother’s and grandmother’s generations – well, my mom’s and hers, at least – is that they still do the same things they always did: They shop daily on their local main street, they talk everyday (on a real telephone) and they eat – well. They don’t diet. So if you listen to yours, she has probably already told you what she’d love to have (or do) for Mother’s Day. She won’t deliberately drop a hint because she doesn’t expect anything. That’s the other cool part. But if you’ve made time to talk to her recently, you will know all about that little lamp she saw at the corner antique store that’s too much for her to spend on herself. Or you’ll remember those fancy pastries she gets every now and again from her favorite baker. A simple surprise is all it will take to make your mom smile. Which is all I ever really want from mine.

She won’t deliberately drop a hint

because she doesn’t expect anything.

So do consider the local shops in your mom’s neighborhood when buying today and tomorrow, if you haven’t already. If you’re near, make a reservation somewhere she wouldn’t splurge on herself. And if you can’t do either – which is fine, by the way – just give her a call. She would love to chat.

Ideas and more Ideas:

  • Because we avoid pounding the pavement and prefer to shop online, it’s often easy enough to find mom’s favorite shop there, too. We love Etsy for this. And, remember she may have seen something at one of our shows. Almost all of our artists, craftsmen and vendors alike offer online retail, too.
  • Get the good stuff delivered. Check out one of our favorite vendors, Delectable Edibles by Renee for not just amazing edible and artful fruit arrangements, but sweet tooth satisfying goodies, too. Lots of bakers offer local, same day delivery but still order even if it can’t be delivered right away. Mother’s Day is every day and mom won’t mind whenever their treat arrives.

  • Take Mom (Grandma and Great Grandma, too) out. Just about everywhere is offering a Mother’s Day Prix Fixe option. The ProJo has begun a weekly list of restaurant openings. It includes links to current menus, as well as reopening info for those seasonal spots that closed over the winter. It’s helpful to know your favorite is back open and always fun to be turned on to new endeavors, too. Eat Drink, RI has a comprehensive list of statewide offerings, as well.

Thanks for reading, as always, and for giving thanks, however you choose, to the motherly figures in your life. And remember to share this post via Facebook. Festival Fete will be offering giveaways to regulars on our countdown to the start of the 2014 season in beautiful Newport, RI. Stay tuned!

Featured Artist: Meredith Birch

16 Oct

Meet Meredith Birch, an artist who generously shares her dedication, knowledge and passion for art making with her students. Meredith is a perfect fit with Festival Fete because of our common goal and commitment to make art available to everyone in the community.

Extending the classroom into the community helps to make connections between local programs, businesses, and museums, allowing open communication and learning opportunities” says Meredith.

This may be because she has been making art for as long as she can remember. She grew up within an arts culture and is constantly looking for new learning opportunities… “the act of creation has always been a powerful outlet for me to express myself, learn and experiment”.

Meredith is  a full-time art teacher for a nonprofit working with at risk youth. She is also the owner of Birch Fine Art Studio, which offers artwork, private classes, workshops and art parties. She describes her artwork as “an exploration of the various experiences we have throughout our lives. In my work, I use bold color, movement, contrast and symbolism to tell a story of an emotional journey. In painting these moments I am able to capture the essence of the perceived emotion. I have found that through this process I am able to appreciate it more; release it or take away a bit of knowledge to build upon in the future. In sharing my work, mutual connections are made and new stories are experienced.”

I asked Meredith makes her artwork unique, and she replied,

That’s a great question and one I as myself a lot. I would say that the reasons behind my work and how I represent them makes my work unique. For instance, in my tree series, like many before me, I use the tree as a symbol of life and the bold mood evoking background is the emotional story told for that life.  For example, in my painting “Fire in the Belly” I created a deep red, orange and yellow watercolor background to show the passionate energy one gets when they have “Fire in the Belly” and paired that with the tall vertical branches of the matte black tree showing power and resilience.

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The Festival Fete Experience

2 Oct

FETE: a festive celebration of entertainment.

Have you experienced a Festival Fete? It’s true that Festival Fete is an art festival – but there are so many layers to a Festival Fete that make it a different kind of festival…it’s an experience. “This is not your grandmother’s art festival!” says Jennifer Neuguth, who created Festival Fete two years ago.


Sure, at a Festival Fete you can buy one of a kind, exquisite works of art from local artists, have a nosh on some delicious goodies from one of the specialty food vendors, let your kids make some really cool crafts at the Creation Station, listen to music, watch amazing street performers, have your picture taken in the Smashing Photo booth, and more…but the true beauty and essence of a Festival Fete is that you walk away feeling like you have experienced a truly unique event.

My family and I walked away from the East Greenwich Art Festival (produced by Festival Fete) fully entertained, happy and inspired to create. Clay, glue, paper, paint and various ephemera were spread out all over the table for our creations. Dinner was delayed until we all felt complete in our work. This, to me, is the magic of a Festival Fete experience. And I was thankful to have that joy carry over from a wonderful day into my home and family.

Several weeks later in a conversation with a friend, I learned of another family who had been inspired creatively after a day at the festival. So I began to think about how unique that experience is, and I talked with other families about the festival and what a lasting impression it made upon them.

“What I loved most about the fair was watching our kids get so inspired by all the different artists and their work. Seeing the children (artists) selling their work really got the wheels turning in their heads. (Learn more about the Young Artists Booths and how they support Art is Smart) They came home and immediately started working on boiled wool acorns, getting the whole neighborhood involved.  I loved how contagious their enthusiasm was!” says Rebecca Stearns, East Greenwich mom and photographer.

Felted acorns photo by Robyn Ivy Photography.

Rebecca brought a friend along with their children all ages 8 and up, and mentioned how the older kids really had fun with the photo booth brought by Smashing Photo Booth Rentals.  She is already planning to attend the Festival Fete’s Holiday Market in Garden City on December 1st so that she can purchase one of Autumn Olive‘s handmade skirts that she admired at the East Greenwich Art festival.

Rebecca Stockdill, from Warwick, brought her two kids, ages 5 and 7 and her parents to the East Greenwich Art Festival.  Rebecca is a crafty girl herself (she creates whimsical “Amigurumi“, which are crocheted anthropomorphic creatures) so she enjoyed so many of the handmade crafts but her kids couldn’t get enough of the Big Nazo performers.  “They (the kids) could have followed Big Nazo around for hours!

The kids also really enjoyed the Creation Station where they made their own silk-screened t-shirts and paper and ribbon flags that they could take home. I like how recycled items were incorporated into some of the crafts”. Rebecca and her family had discovered Festival Fete for the first time last June at the Garden City Art Festival, and she says that they will “definitely plan to attend future events. Unlike other festivals that we’ve attended, it is obvious that the planner (Jennifer Neuguth) put a lot of effort into making this a true family event”.

When Jennifer and her husband David Riordan conceived of the Festival Fete experience…this was precisely their hope. Their inspired vision has created a one-of-a-kind event that we can all look forward to.

So, have you experienced a Festival Fete? If you have, please tell us about what part of the experience resonated most with you and your family and prepare for the next festive celebration coming up on December 1st and 2nd!

We would like to thank one of our fabulous sponsors, a wonderful photographer!

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.

Support Local Art!

14 Mar

Neal Drobnis     Transtition Jewelry by Kathleen Barris

Support your local Garden City Center Art Festival featured artists today by visiting their personal websites and checking out their beautiful art work!

Neal Drobnis and Kathleen Barris are just two of our many unique Garden City Center Art Festival featured artists. Come out to the Garden City Center Art Festival on June 9th and 10th to see what all the fuss is about

And remeber to “like” Festival Fete on Facebook in order to receive the latest updates and special opportunities regarding our upcoming festivals!

Join us for live entertainment by The Toe Jam Band and The Big Nazo as well as free kids activities and fun for the entire family!

We would like to thank our wonderful sponsors!

Street Art We Love

17 Feb

We believe regardless of your likes, dislikes, hobbies, professions, etc. that artists, art enthusiasts and the average Joe alike can all appreciate a good piece of art work.

Street Art is a growing epidemic and we are PROUD supporters

Today we want to share with you some of our all time favs.

We are sure that most of you are familiar with this image…

But did you know that the person famous for making this Obama poster, so prominent during his campaign, was none other than street artist Shepard Fairey?

The rest of his work may also seem pretty familiar, and it is DEFINITELY worth the time to check out!

Another recognizable name to you may be BANKSY.

Recently, England native Banksy has gained a tremendous amount of attention in the media and here’s why…

If you are interested in learning more about street art, Banksy is a great place to get started

Learn more about Banksy and his work by checking out his website. He’s got some great examples of both his indoor and outdoor art!

Lastly, I want to introduce you to one of my personal favorites. Not as well known as Shepard Fairey or Banksy, but DEFINITELY a talented artist.

I came across Hush on Brookylnstreetart.com and I am SO glad I did.

Hush is currently living & working in the UK

However, one of my favorite works by Hush is his “In the Tenderloin” display in San Francisco, California.

I absolutely recommend reading up on Hush. His style is truly unique.

In other news..

Don’t forget to attend the Garden City Center Art Festival on June 9th AND 10th (10am-5pm Daily)

And as always we would love to thank our lovely sponsors!

More Local Art!

8 Feb

Purple Bean Bindery     Chelsea Bird

Interested in doing your part to support the local art world? Here’s your chance!

Check out Purple Bean Bindery & Chelsea Bird today by clicking the above links!

What are YOU doing June 9th & 10th?

Come out to the Garden City Center Art Festival and join us in celebrating all that local art has to offer!

For the second year in a row, the Garden City Center Art Festival will take place in Cranston, Rhode Island at the Garden City Center!

Come out for TONS of local art, live entertainment by The Big Nazo & The Toe Jam Band, Free Kid’s activites & MORE!

And a HUGE Thank You to Our Sponsors!