Hilary Treadwell is the witty charmster behind bit & little bit. An artist, designer and teacher, Hilary loves to make things and to instigate creative trouble with children. Once I saw her leading a line of toddlers onto a RIPTA bus. Her bio reads:
"She babysits for some great families and works as a birth doula. She dances. And she loves the ocean and raccoons and the great murmurations of starlings."
Okay, she's amazing, but what about the stuff she brings to The Flea? Let's start with the t-shirts. The legendary t-shirts.
Clever designs for adults and kiddos are her specialty, so look for silkscreened tees, onesies and more that showcase that gritty, quirky Rhode Island pride.
But don't worry, there's lots more:
Cards, accessories, decor, magnets, toys and more all with the clever twist and handmade integrity of bit and little bit.
Stop by The Flea this weekend to meet Hilary, experience her smile and check out what she's been making. You won't regret it!
One day Marilynn decided to take her mother's rooster cookie jar and her nana's casserole dish, throw in a few things she found at a thrift store, and create a bird bath.
Happy Cat Creations was born. That was 3 years ago and Marilynn Harper, who has spent most of her creative life as a painter, has made over 100 of these beauties since. People use them indoors and out for birds, plants, admiration or ??.
Each piece is made entirely from repurposed bowls, vases and other treasures. See the sweet chicken in the base of this one:
Mr. Buster, her "Happy Cat," keeps Marilynn company while she creates (editor's note: Mr. Buster used the term "supervise").
Marilynn loves seeking out new objects for her creations.
"The thrill is in the hunt. I go to thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets looking for just the right pieces for my creations. Sometimes I can put 2 or 3 together (not glued) in an hour and other times, after a few hours, I come up empty."
I'm imagining one of these lovelies holding homemade salsa or a garlicky bean dip for the next party in the yard. Why should the birds have all of the fun?
Come meet Marilynn and see her beautiful work at The Providence Flea next weekend!
Josephina's Creations is a veritable smorgasbord of flowers, succulents (her personal favorite), cactus, air plants and other garden delights that Josephina Sullivan has planted in old French pots, sea shells, birdcages, various vintage containers and hypertufa forms that she makes herself!
Josephina told us, "I love the vibe at the Providence Flea..whenever I've gone I've had the best time and I've picked up some of my favorite treasures."
Jo also makes chair gardens, terrariums, and jewelry out of quahog shells... with still more vintage and garden items sprinkled throughout her arrangements. Now she's working on "living walls" -- plant frames that you can hang up outdoors!
Jo said, "I love to garden, collecting fun items that interest me and putting it all together. It's a great experience to share a piece of yourself with others!"
Go Green, literally, with Josephina at The Flea this weekend!
Nancy Laboa is the creative mind behind Rusty Scissors. Nancy makes primitive folk art dolls by hand and is a veteran of the local craft show scene. She uses vintage buttons, material, and other found items as much as possible in her work.
Check out her Cat Lady. You know you've met her!
Nancy tell us:
Making my dolls is a labor of love. My customers inspire me when they smile just looking at the dolls. I love hearing their great comments.
Meet Nancy on an upcoming Sunday soon at The Providence Flea, and take home a soft new friend!
I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that even if you don't have a yard, it would be worth your time to stop by Katey's Garden Flower Art booth at The Flea.
"I will use the term 'whimsical' to describe my yard art."
And this, dear reader, is super cool whimsical yard art:
How did Katey get started making these?
"A friend of mine introduced me to plate flowers through a photograph she found, and I was hooked. I wanted to just make a few for myself, but we know how that story goes. That was 3 years ago, and I'm still at it. Let me compare it to Lay's Potato Chips*: I just can't make just one!"
Um, no, she can't:
Where on the good green earth does Katey find so many plates?
"I find pieces at the secondhand shops that everyone goes to. I also have been lucky at estate sales and antique shops. Yard sales can be good, but I don't find as much as you would think. I do have a couple of secret haunts that will remain nameless. Friends stop by my house and give me things. I think people are happy to give things away when they think that something unique can be created with it. My friend Al from Big Al's Poke and Pick spent part of last winter finding items for me too!"
When Katey's Garden Flower Art is at The Flea she sets up a magical glass and porcelain patch on the Greenway.
"I started this art later in life and it has brought out the good and bad in me. The good part is being able to create fun things that make me smile and hopefully make other people smile too. The bad part is that I have become obsessive compulsive over making them. Does anyone know a good therapist??"
Okay. The work is amazing and you now know exactly what your yard is missing. But even if you DON'T have a yard, don't you want to stop by and see the glass in the sunshine and hear a few more lines from Katey? Come meet her at The Flea!
* The Providence Flea does not endorse or recommend Lay's Potato Chips, but we do heartily approve of snacks and snacking.
All of the shimmer and glam of a star is infused in the design work of Naomi King, the visionary behind Starlite Designs & Vintage. Naomi creates one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, tailored handbags, organic perfumes and carries a line of vintage vanity accessories.
Since 2008 Naomi has used locally-sourced vintage jewelry components in her work--including uncirculated pieces from the Rhode Island jewelry manufacturing industry, some more than 50 years old. She uses precious and semi-precious gemstones and vintage crystals to make her earrings, bracelets and necklaces sparkle.
Naomi has also expanded her work to include a line of tailored, glimmering leather handbags. Just what that Little Black Dress needs...
Naomi is influenced by a love of history, art and nature in her designs. Meet Naomi and see Starlite Designs & Vintage firsthand at The Providence Flea this weekend and throughout the summer. Photos cannot capture the true shimmer, people!
Well hello there, My New Bag.
Diane Hoffman is an artist, designer and teacher. She makes one-of-a-kind loom-knitted bags, pillows and other textiles. Need we point out that her work is gorgeous and we are super excited to have her at The Flea? Of course not.
Diane tells us:
"I appreciate rescuing, recycling and reuse in all things. I use vintage and old linens to make the flaps of my handmade messenger bags. I use mill end-yarns and upcycled leather belts for my knitted items. I upcycle used t-shirts to print my line of rescued animals."
The goat on the shirt above is Alice from Saunderstown. (Awesome, right?) Diane also has some great pitbull, backyard chicken, and cat tees, too.
Check out Diane's funky, local, handmade work at The Flea this weekend. Buy Local!
Our immediate reaction is, "Cool!"
Our second response is, "I want that!"
Affa Dot Designs brings a wonderful modern take on classic industrial materials. The good people at Affa told us: "Upcycle is our motto. Everything we make has been recycled or repurposed using industrial gears, reused metal, and various motor, transmission and other vehicle parts."
Affa takes discarded metal and welds it into bookends, furniture, lamps, signs, decor and an array of creative adaptations where beautiful metal forms meet useful objects for your office or home.
Affa Dot says: "We recently bought an old fire truck and are looking forward to making some unique pieces!"
Intrigued? We are too. Come meet Affa Dot Designs at The Providence Flea this Sunday!
The Two Sisters booth at the Flea is filled with a scrumptious range of finds with a great mix textures and colors. See for yourself:
Two Sisters is back with their haul of antiques and collectibles, and this year they are also bringing some handmade clothing and crafts. Yes!
Ariane says, "It was a great experience to be a part of The Providence Flea last year. It was exactly the type of venue we were looking for with incredible customers!"
Meet Two Sisters this weekend at The Flea!
Rhode Trip Photography brings our state's past back to life through old fashioned film photography. Whether it is a vintage ad for Rocky Point or the listing for Grease playing at the Campus cinema, you can take a trip down memory lane with Rhode Trip Photography.
Artist Paul Davis spent his teen years wandering the used book and record stores of Providence. All of this looking and collecting resulted in an amazing collection of photographs of vintage Rhode Island.
Paul says, "Hand printing photographs in the darkroom and hand making Polaroid transfers in the studio is what I love to do. Finally, my love for antiques, Rhode Island and making have merged. These are the pictures I was born to make."
Meet Paul and share in the "OMG, I remember THAT!" experience this Sunday at The Providence Flea.