Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Gift Guide 2007

If you're looking for fine handmade gifts this year, let Greenjeans be your source!

I'm working hard to get everything into the online store. Meanwhile, if you see something here you'd like to order, just give me a call (718-907-5835) or send an email to info@greenjeansbrooklyn.com and we'll take care of you!

Remember: This Thursday night is our Wish List Party with Rare Device and Shoe Mine! From 6-9pm, come enjoy mulled apple cider (spiked!) and jot down the items you'd love to receive as a gift. We'll keep your wish list on file so when your loved ones come in to shop for you they can be confident they're purchasing just what you want! If you can't wait that long, we're offering 10% off most purchases that night, too...

Now, a sneak peek!

(Top right: Stockings by Jennifer Lawrence made from reclaimed materials, $48 each)

Unique flameworked blown glass ornaments by Matthew Eskuche (about $48 each).

Vibrant dichroic glass jewelry by Susan Pratt-Smith ($72-150).

Jewelry by Connie Verrusio, a shop favorite ($33-180).

Stainless steel "Arborio" handbag with detachable strap by Wendy Stevens ($295).

Incised porcelain cups by Elisa DiFeo ($40).

Stuffed bear made from reclaimed suiting fabric by Judy Geagley ($46).

Carved wooden spoons by Dan Dustin, truly one-of-a-kind ($40-200).

Pocket-sized hardcover books by Dennis Yuen (around $50 each).

Sculptural jewelry by Melle Finelli ($100-290).

Raku-fired finger puppet sculptures by Jane Kaufmann ($25 each).

Classic wooden toys by Frank Ridley ($8-125).

Stay tuned -- there's more to come!

Posted and photos by Amy Shaw, except book photo by Dennis Yuen.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday Card Project 2007

Greenjeans is pleased to announce its second annual Holiday Card Project for Charity!

The year, the project will benefit the art therapy programs at three Brooklyn shelters: the Park Slope Women’s Shelter, Broadway House Women’s Shelter, and the Atlantic Men’s Shelter. The three shelters are run by CAMBA, a non-profit Brooklyn-based social services organization.

Residents participating in the art therapy programs created the handmade cards, and they are each a totally amazing and charged work of art. Looking at them closely can be quite moving, as I found CAMBA's "The Home Project" art exhibition to be back in June (and which I blogged about here).

As last year, Greenjeans is providing all the card stock and envelopes for free, and donating 100% of the selling price to the beneficiary. Cards are available to purchase for $4.00 each at Greenjeans now through Christmas.

Jessica Fox, the art therapist at Atlantic Men's Shelter, wrote about the experiences some of the residents, referred to here as clients, had while making the cards:

"The client who drew "Enjoy your winter" deliberately chose not to do a holiday card. He wanted it to be a general card and... used stencils to decorate the card. The [Gift Wrapping] card was something the gentleman would have liked to receive, a gift in the mail or card as the gift. The "4 You" card was made by a gentleman that enjoys art; he explored the media and thought outside the box. He is close to his mother and the holidays are not as hard for him since they have a relationship, he visits her weekly.

"The sunflowers were done by an individual that has contact with his Aunt but shows delusionional thinking. His card reminds me a lot of a Van Gogh painting. He has made several cards and has really embraced the theme and to create without boundaries. The leaf card was done by an individual that has low-self-esteem and is dating someone that he believes steals and gets arrested regularly. He felt very accomplished after doing this card and a few others... The one that says, "Love You" was done by a schizophrenic gentleman that has obsessive compulsive disorder. He he chronically ill. He has a family that lives in Brooklyn and a child but has limited contact with them. He believes he will live with them but unfortunately they are not willing to have him in their lives. He enjoys the arts and shows artistic skill. The last resident created a few cards by cutting out his own shapes from design paper. He enjoyed the project and thought outside of the box."

Each year, Greenjeans partners with a different charity for its Holiday Card Project. In 2006, we partnered with Millennium Villages, a project of Millennium Promise and the United Nations Development Programme working to eradicate extreme poverty in Africa. The cards were made and donated by artists and artisans whose work we offer at Greenjeans.

Thanks to Jessica, Kate, Kelley, Shawn, and Teesha at CAMBA for making this all happen, and to Hiroko Kurihara for introducing us to our neighbors at the Park Slope Women's Shelter. And a BIG thank you to all the artist-residents who made the beautiful cards! Happy Holidays!!

Posted and photos by Amy Shaw.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wooden Toys are Great, but Do Kids Like 'Em?

Sometimes our customers ask if kids really like the classic wooden toys by Frank Ridley we sell. After all they aren't brightly colored, they don't show up in TV commercials, and they don't beep or buzz or otherwise perform for kids.

Well, I'll tell you -- every day, kids come in to Greenjeans and go half nuts over the toys. Their eyes light up, their fingers can't resist touching, and we've witnessed a fair share of tantrums over having to leave them all behind.

Case in point: This morning, friends David and Sherise came by with their 13-month-old Evan to purchase a toy as a gift for a friend's new baby. It didn't take Evan long to go into full play mode, testing out every truck and car and boat. As you can see, he literally got right into it! (No tantrum at the end, though.)

So if you're thinking of giving wooden toys to the young folks on your holiday list this year, never fear that they will be unpopular or unloved. Kids dig these simple toys that rely on their imaginations and innate sense of play rather than beep, flash, and instruct. And parents love them too because they look great, are non-toxic, and encourage more peaceful play.

Great seeing you guys today, and thanks for letting me take pictures of adorable Evan!

Posted and photos by Amy Shaw.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Toys, Toys, Toys!!

We just received two big boxes of classic wooden toys from Frank Ridley's Different Drummer Workshop in Maine!

NOW is the time to order (online or by phone) to ensure you get what you want for the holidays, since our supplies are limited!

We are restocked with Choo Choo Trains, Waddle Ducks, and Sail Boats, among other favorites. I'm loading them into the online shop today.

We're expecting more toys to come soon (including Building Blocks!) so if you see "sold out" on the site, check back in a week or two. Or let us know what you're waiting for and we'll call you when it arrives!

Read more about Frank and these great classic (and toxin-free!) toys right here.

Did I mention these are going to go fast...?

Posted and photo by Amy Shaw.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Holiday Events & Hours

With Thanksgiving about to gobble us up and the gift-giving season glittering before us, it's time to switch into holiday gear!

Our HOLIDAY HOURS this year:
Open 7 Days, 12-7pm

We're CLOSED THANKSGIVING DAY, but will be open this Wednesday and Friday all day.

(Of course, our online store is always open!)

ALSO, join us on Thursday, November 29, from 6-8 pm for a Wish List Party!

Along with our neighbors Shoe Mine and Rare Device/Sodafine, we will be offering yummy libations and snacks for you to enjoy as you check out what's in store this holiday season. Get gift-giving ideas and register for the things YOU really want. Then later, when your loved ones come in to holiday shop for you, we can look up your wish list and point them in the right direction!

We'll also be offering 10% off most items during the party! (Alas, this is not combinable with other discounts.)

And remember, many of the works we offer at Greenjeans are one-of-a-kind or very limited production, and after 12/1 chances become slim that we can fulfill a special order before 12/25. So we recommend shopping as early as possible for best selection!

Stay tuned for LOTS of pictures of new work at the shop and the 2007 Holiday Cards made by residents of Brooklyn shelters...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted and photo by Amy Shaw.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Call for Entries - Small Quilts


This winter, Greenjeans is presenting a juried exhibition of small original quilts handmade by quilt-makers working in all styles and techniques.

From the experimental to the traditional, we want to offer a taste of what quiltmaking is today.

Tentatively titled “Sweet Dreams,” Titled "Under-cover," the exhibition will also feature new sculpture by Jane Kaufmann around the theme of beds.

The exhibition will be on view February 7 – March 20, 2008, with an opening reception on February 6.

Deadline for submissions is January 15, 2008.

For submission guidelines and full details, click here! And feel free to spread the word!

Posted by Amy Shaw.
Photo of quilting fabric sourced here.

New Issue of the Greenjeans Gazette

The latest issue of our monthly e-newsletter, the Greenjeans Gazette, went out this morning! If you didn't get one emailed to you, click here to check it out.

One correction: I wrote that we have new earthenware pottery by John Zentner. In fact, John makes stoneware, which is much more durable!

To subscribe, click here and scroll down.

Thank you for reading!

Posted by Amy Shaw.
Photo of Canterbury Shaker Village by Greenjeans.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Porcelain Beer Cans

I just saw this on Craftzine's blog...

They're porcelain beer cans! They're made by Chinese artist Lei Xue. I don't know much else about them... except that they're awesome!

I wonder if he's seen Matt Eskuche's work (pictured below, and on view at Greenjeans thru Sunday Nov. 11)...

They would make a nice addition to our Garbage Collection show!

Flameworked blown glass sculpture by Matthew Eskuche.

These pieces are also glass and start like the ones above, then Matt paints them in oil paint.

Posted by Amy Shaw.

Solmate Socks Back in Stock!

We just received our new order of Solmate Socks!

We have a full supply of adult mediums (and all other kid's and adult sizes) now -- so come and get 'em while the gettin's good!

Also, we're introducing Solmate's newest item: Socktinis for babies!

These wee little socks are just as colorful and fun as their larger counterparts, and I'm sure will be a hit! Pictured here are the Socktinis in Honey Bee. We also have them in a blue, pink, and purple colorway.

If you're new to Solmate Socks, here is some info about this wonderful company:

"Spunk, color and a conscious! There are so many reasons to love our mismatched socks. For one, we are incredibly proud to be an American-made product: our yarns are dyed, spun and knit at small, family-owned businesses here in the US. Also, from the very start, our cotton socks have always been knit using recycled cotton yarns. These yarns are recovered from the production of other cotton products (mainly t-shirts), and re-blended with other fibers and spun into yarns for Solmate Socks.

"Not only fun to wear, but American made and environmentally friendly! There's just so many reasons to smile every time you put on your mismatched socks from Vermont's Socklady." (from their website)

Posted by Amy Shaw.
Image courtesy of Solmate Socks.

"Garbage Collection" Extended thru Sunday!

We have extended the run of our fall exhibition "Garbage Collection" --

it is now on view thru this Sunday, November 11th!
If you haven't been in to see the amazing trompe l'oeil glass sculpture by Matthew Eskuche, or the
wonderful works on paper by Brooklyn artist Anders Bergstrom, there's still time!

All works are for sale, and there is something great at every price point (from $40 - $12,700).

Works of art make great holiday gifts, too... come get a jump on your shopping!

Posted by Amy Shaw

Sunday, November 04, 2007

"On Garbage and Tenderness" by Robin Nagle

In honor of the final week of our fall exhibition "Garbage Collection" (it closes November 7th!), I wanted to share with you the wonderful essay by Robin Nagle written to accompany the show.

Nagle is an anthropologist at New York University specializing in material culture, the study of everyday life, and labor issues as they relate to garbage and solid waste. Her book, Picking Up, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. In this essay, she was able to write about her personal feelings toward garbage, something her professional writing doesn't usually allow. Thank you, Robin, for writing such a thoughtful, and thought-provoking, piece!

On Garbage and Tenderness
by Robin Nagle

We know them intimately, yet we ignore them. They populate nearly every part of our lives, but we don’t truly see them. Used once and discarded, they are so thoroughly overlooked that they don’t even earn the status of Forgotten because they were never held in memory in the first place. Sociologists refer to this category of material culture as “unmarked.” Such objects are relegated to the status of the invisible; indeed, they are so literally unremarkable that they serve as the most mundane symbols of everyday life.

The right light, however, and the right care can lift the veil of invisibility to reveal startling beauty. Matthew Eskuche and Anders Bergstrom perform acts of magic with lyrical renditions of the unlikeliest of subjects. In their hands, crushed bottles, dented cans, and bent drinking straws, or slumping piles of newspapers, paper bag-clad bottles, and empty, broken baby strollers become voluptuous and textured. Eskuche’s sculptures tempt the viewer to stroke the re-imagined plastic liter soda bottle, to lovingly consider the elegance of a spent wine bottle. Bergstrom’s drawings, paintings, and prints — often on found paper — offer a gentle affection for the anonymous miscellany that collects in corners, or falls through sewer grates, or knocks around the curb when a mechanical broom fails to scoop it up.

Bergstrom and Eskuche quietly remind us that a definition of a thing as garbage is merely situational, even accidental. It’s easy and quick to relegate an empty beer can to the trash. The object asks nothing of us, requires no thought, demands no respect. Yet at the same time it represents us, now and forever, unloved but uncompromising, offering future lore and fact about who we are as a civilization. That landfilled can, or newspaper, or soda bottle (only a small percentage of these are recycled), even as they remain forever unmarked, become our marks, our traces, launched into an unknown future.

“Human beings are mere placeholders in time, like zeros in a long number,” notes archaeologist William Rathje in his book Rubbish! “Their garbage seems to have more staying power, and a power to inform across the millennia… The profligate habits of our own country and our own time — the sheer volume of the garbage that we create and must dispose of — will make our society an open book.”

A table of contents to that book is found in the works of Eskuche and Bergstrom. There is much to criticize about the so-called “American way of life,” but there is much to treasure in it, too. These artists ask that we remember to be tender toward ourselves by looking with kindness on the common unseen objects that populate our everyday rhythms. Any one of them can stand for who and what we are, where we are from, where we are going. If we follow Bergstrom and Eskuche, we can love — yes, love! — the dented beer can, see beauty in the twisted soda bottle. Surely we can use the vision they inspire to see how much more there is to love in the landscapes of waste and labors of wealth that comprise the glutted, lovely world in which we live.

September 2007
New York, NY

Posted and image by Amy Shaw.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sneak Peek at Colorful New Jewelry

After a very warm fall, the weather has turned legitimately chilly in Brooklyn. Today it's only about 50 degrees out, but tomorrow will be somewhat warmer and sunny, perfect for the New York City Marathon! (Good luck, Dag!!)

In contrast to this gray, cold day I wanted to give you a sneak peek at some brand new jewelry that arrived to Greenjeans this week. If you're tired of plain ol' metal and are looking for some COLOR to warm your winter days, we have some great pieces for you!

Most of them are double-sided, too, so you're getting two pieces in one. What more could a girl need?

At top right, new work by Alison Mackey (Mackey's Mark). The color in Alison's pieces come from the photographs of plants and flowers she takes, then cuts and sets into sterling silver bezels rendered in organic shapes. Most pieces reverse to a different color. The little double-circle pieces in the foreground are cufflinks!

Juicy new pieces by Lulu Smith. Lulu custom colors resin with artist's pigments and pours it into sterling silver bezels she has constructed in bold shapes. This new batch includes some fabulous rings!

Enamel pendants by Alana Dlubak. All of these pieces are double-sided, with a totally different color composition on the other side. Some are strung on pretty gold chains, and others on adjustable leather cords.

Once you own a colorful piece by Alison, Lulu, or Alana, you won't know how you ever accessorized without it!

I don't have them in our webstore yet, so if you can't come in personally but would like something you see here, shoot me an email (amy @ greenjeansbrooklyn.com) or call us at 718-907-5835.

Posted and photos by Amy Shaw.