The Opulent Squid returns for Season Three of the Flea on Opening Day, Sunday, June 7 from 10 am - 4pm! Owner Melissa Murray has been with us since the beginning. She designs and creates handcrafted "posh and peculiar" jewelry from vintage assemblages and found objects. She tells us, "I try to use upcycled materials and vintage components as often as possible. I find that incorporating these element enhances the character and uniqueness of my work and helps to give each piece a history of its own!"
When we asked Melissa why The Opulent Squid returns to the Flea year after year she had this to say: "I wait for it all winter and actually save some of my new summer lines to debut especially for the venue. The freshness and diversity of my fellow vendors inspires me and keeps me coming back for more, and I know my customers feel the same way!" We're glad to have you back, Melissa!
Support local jewelry makers and see more from The Opulent Squid on June 14!
The Carpenter's Wife RI crafts upcycled, OOAK art and functional pieces from various media. The woman behind the magic, Jerilyn Spaziano, tells us that her inspiration often comes from taking walks in the woods and stumbling upon unique and unusual pieces of wood or piles of oversized acorns. She's also been known to use pallets found behind abandoned warehouses. Each time, she tells us she thinks, "Free wood! I'm going to take this home and make something out of it."
Jerilyn began working with wood in 1975 when she made history as the first woman in her high school to take wood shop classes. She later married master carpenter, David Spaziano, and continued developing her woodworking skills and learning from him. But wood isn't Jerilyn's only talent. She holds a master seamstress certificate and enjoys taking classes in jewelry-making and metal working, too. This carpenter's wife is truly a 'Jill' of all trades and a master of many.
"I feel proud to be part of Providence Flea, which represents an eclectic mix of artists and crafts people from the state of Rhode Island. The vendors are like a family who help each other, while independently hoping to sell their wares." Welcome to the family, Jerilyn!
See the latest from The Carpenter's Wife RI at the Flea on Sunday, June 14 from 10 am - 4 pm!
American Revolution design is Patriot Kevin Travers, and he describes ARD as "25 years in the making, built on hard work and determination...the blood, sweat and tears in your gears."
As a lifelong resident of Rhode Island, he has been building, renovating, restoring and designing homes, new and old alike throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The recent downturn in the economy and a few unexpected bumps in the road ultimately left him with a lot of free time and little resources for new ventures. Holed up in his historic New England farmhouse, he found himself surrounded by years of accumulated junk and decided to build a makeshift workshop in an old chicken coop.
Christine McCarthy of Artful Intuition combines instinct and imagination to offer a uniquely curated selection of handmade and found objects to celebrate, decorate, and commemorate life's special and simple moments. Vintage goods are served up alongside vintage reused creations and vintage inspired crafts and art works.
Christine told us, "All of my work incorporates images and collage materials from the past..." Some of the 'thread' that ties it all together? Vintage sewing notions and knitting; old postcards and sculptural bookmaking; sheet music and beach-combing, and the list goes on. Her vintage product focus is primarily smalls (think: sewing notions, pocket watch parts, and dog show ribbons) and paper ephemera (postcards, flash cards, and labels). You'll even find some antique chemistry lab equipment thrown in for good measure!
A book conservator and artist, Christine tell us she has always made things, collected things, and displayed things. As a child she wanted to be an archaeologist, because the idea of fragments that hold secrets and stories from the past appealed to her.
"The Providence Flea was recommended to me by a customer at an arts and crafts fair last summer," she told us. "I am a Rhode Island transplant in Connecticut, who loves any excuse to come home!" Well, we're glad to be that excuse, Christine--and we're sure Flea patrons are pretty revved about it, too!
Maureen of Inside My Cranium is The Guitar String Chick.
She collects guitar, bass and mandolin strings from local musicians and repurposes them into funky, cool jewelry.
She adds other well used things she finds like keys, key plates and coins to enhance the weathered, layered metal feel of her pieces. She says, "Everything is repurposed and I never buy new to make my work!
Look at the beautiful results:
Meet Maureen and see her work at The Flea next Sunday. If you have guitar strings you don't want, bring them to her!
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.
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!