Friday, November 23, 2012

Handmade Gifts Guide

As you select gifts for your loved ones this holiday season, I hope you will consider the beauty, uniqueness, and character of hand-crafted gifts, made by artists and craftmakers either in your neighborhood or in a faraway corner of the world. Here is a selection of items made by artists whom I know, whose pieces I own and cherish, or whose work I admire. Happy thoughtful shopping, everyone!

Oh, and if you are up for treating yourself or a loved one to a hand-knit piece from my wearable fiber collection, please enjoy complimentary shipping, now through November 26, on all orders placed in my Online Shop (just enter code "ilovehandmade" at checkout).

Top Row, left to right:
Handwoven Table Runner by Kate Kilgus (Nutfield Weaver), New Hampshire, US
Miss Cabbage Letterpress Print by Lori Langille (Automatism Atelier) Ontario, Canada
"Sheltering" Collagraph Print by Kathleen Buchanan (Grey Seal Press), Maine, US
Middle Row, left to right:
Seashells from Repurposed Sweaters by Eve Geisler (EvesLittleEarthlings), Ontario, Canada
Bottom Row, left to right:
"Gnarly Twig" Sterling Silver Earrings by Barbara Michelle Jacobs (BMJNYC), New York, US
Ranunculus Photograph Print by Jessica Nichols (Sweet Eventide), Oregon, US

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Work and Upcoming Fall 2012 Events

I have a few new designs and pieces to share with you today. I also want to let you know about two NYC-area events where I will be presenting my designs in the next few weeks.

Persimmon Orange Botanical Lace Knit Capelet in Merino Wool
This is a very versatile design in that it can be worn as a capelet, a shoulder warmer,
and a dramatic cowl scarf (see photos below).

Botanical Lace Knit Capelet in Organic Merino Wool

Botanical Lace Knit Capelet in Bamboo & Silk

First up is CraftWestport in Westport, CT. This show takes place Saturday & Sunday, November 17 & 18, 2012.  For directions, hours, and a discount admission coupon, visit the show's website.

Produced by Artrider and sponsored by The Westport Young Woman's League, this event will feature 160 contemporary craft artists working in fiber, jewelry, wood, ceramics, and glass. Although this will be my first Connecticut show, I have met many fans from Connecticut at my earlier shows in MA and NY, so I am looking forward to CraftWestport very much. I look forward to showing my new designs as well as the familiar favorites and bestsellers.

Merino Wool Blend Knit Infinity Cowl
"Victoriana" Knit Scarflette in Chunky Merino Wool

Fiber Art Jewelry - Necklace - 100% Silk

Knit Wrap in Merino Wool & Cashmere - Mustard Yellow

Two weeks after CraftWestport, I will travel to Morristown, NJ for Holiday CraftMorristown. This show is perfectly timed for the holidays and is three days long - Friday, Saturday, Sunday, November 30 through December 2, 2012. NOTE: I have several COMPLIMENTARY admission passes to this show that I would be happy to mail to you. Please get in touch if you are interested in visiting me at Holiday CraftMorristown.

I hope to see some of you at these events. And for those of you who are not in the area, my online shop remains open for the holiday season. Most of the items in the online shop are ready-made, and I will have time for only a few, if any, custom orders this season. If you have had your eye on a knit treat for yourself or a loved one, I invite you to shop early for the best selection. You are always welcome to get in touch with me to discuss a bespoke knit piece, just note that production time is likely to be at least several weeks.  Visit the Elena Rosenberg Wearable Fiber Art Shop Online (Tickled Pink Knits on Etsy).

Stay tuned for news of 2013 events -- I have several exciting opportunities already lined up!

Fiber Art Jewelry - Lace Necklace / Lariat - Terra Cotta - 100% Silk

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TAFA Tour: Get to know the Textile And Fiber Art List community

Several months ago, I joined a wonderful organization -- TAFA, The Textile and Fiber Art List. With several hundred members from all around the world, TAFA is a juried online community of artists, small businesses, and entrepreneurs, all rooted in textile and fiber art products and traditions. Among its members are quilt artists, studio weavers and embroiderers, wearable art designers, art doll makers, vintage textile purveyors, art educators, and many more types of creative people passionate about fiber art. TAFA has a vibrant website and an active presence on Facebook. TAFA members frequently participate in art and fine craft exhibitions and shows. You can buy work by many TAFA members online.  I am happy to be part of this marvelous organization, and I want to introduce you to just a handful of its members. Visit The Textile and Fiber Art List online to learn more and see work by many other talented TAFA members.

Salley Mavor of Wee Folk Studio is an award-winning fiber artist who creates three-dimensional, extraordinarily detailed fabric relief miniatures. Her work has been used to illustrate numerous children's books, and the original fabric relief illustrations from her most recent project, Pocketful of Posies, are currently touring the country. I recently purchased one of Salley's (autographed!) books as a gift for my new nephew, and I was thoroughly enchanted by the magical worlds she creates with needle, thread, fabric, and found objects. See Salley at work and hear her talk about her work in Rabbitat.

Salley Mavor. Self-Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion.
The original fabric relief sculpture incorporates miniature dolls, which represent a year in the artist's life. The dolls spiral out from the center, passing through time, from birth to age 52. Each 1" to 3" figure is dressed in an outfit she would have worn that year. The piece is stitched entirely by hand, including the endless french knot pattern in the border.
Dianne Koppisch Hricko has had a long career in art education and now works as a fiber artist specializing in wearable and non-functional dyed and painted silk. I am drawn to the use of botanical and abstract motifs and unusual color palettes in her work.
Dianne Koppisch Hricko. Cascade2007
18 x 54 inches
Two sided lined hanging. Hand painted, stamped and breakdown printed with MX dyes on silk organza.
Serged, hand stitched and beaded.
Lotta Helleberg is a contemporary textile artist and surface designer whose work I have admired for several years. She uses plants from her Virginia garden for fabric dyes and also includes them in natural printing techniques such as leaf-printing.  I met Lotta through Etsy a while ago and was fortunate to meet her, however briefly, in person, when she came to visit me at the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore in February 2012.  I have a growing collection of Lotta's work, and as someone who continually experiments with new techniques and directions, she never ceases to surprise and intrigue me. Her online shop currently has a bounty of art quilts, home linens, and artist books.
Lotta Helleberg. Forest Floor.
leaf printed, plant dyed linen, wool thread,
hand stitched
21" x 33"

Betty Busby, a RISD graduate in ceramics, has worked as a fiber artist for nearly two decades. Her magnificent, very richly hued art quilts and collages have won many international awards.  I am particularly drawn to the textures and mesmerizing patterns of her "Macro" series. In her online shop, Betty has work that would please the tastes and budgets of new and seasoned fiber art collectors alike. 
Betty Busby. Tentacular
art quilt, 59" x 52"
TAFA, the Textile And Fiber Art List, owes its existence, spirit, and success to its visionary founder, amazing woman, and friend, Rachel Biel. In addition to running TAFA, Rachel heads up an emporium for textile addicts, Rayela. Find out more about Rachel's journey, art, and services for other artists and creative entrepreneurs on her website, Rayela.Com.
Left: Rachel Biel, a collage from
Right: Yo-yo Textile by Rachel Biel