Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sorry - We Will NOT Be at Bklyn Flea's Gifted Today!

Due to a very very bad piece of pumpkin pie at a restaurant yesterday, I am not going to be able to do Gifted at the Brooklyn Flea today as previously advertised.

My sincere apologies to anyone who comes out, finds us missing, and sees this after the fact. We've never canceled on an appearance at the Flea before. Highly unusual circumstances today.

Thank you for understanding.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Greenjeans' Waddle Duck in Vogue

What a surprise I had this morning while flipping through the latest issue of Vogue -- there on page 194, right up top, is Frank Ridley/Different Drummer Workshop's Waddle Duck and our web address!

The piece, by Jane Herman, is about shopping for gifts with sustainable style without breaking the bank. She writes:

"Then, from the Different Drummer Workshop in Solon, Maine, I get a lead-free white-pine pull toy to entertain my favorite seven-month-old baby girl. 'She's in the I-put-everything-in-my-mouth phase,' her mom, Kate, tells me. Here, Beatriz, chew safely on this."

I don't know where the editor found us -- maybe at the Brooklyn Flea? -- but I'm delighted she did and thrilled to be included in Vogue.

We have a batch of Waddle Ducks arriving later this week, along with lots of other favorite wooden toys. You can purchase one for the chew-on-everything tot in your life from our Webshop for just $18. Budget-friendly sustainable style indeed.

Thank you, Jane Herman, for the awesome mention!

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Recycling Big Box Stores

A few weeks ago, I mentioned an article about how towns are reusing the "big box store" spaces left behind by failed Walmarts and Kmarts.

Today, Murketing linked a piece in Slate on the same subject, with a slideshow of images by Julia Christensen who has written a book on the subject, Big Box Reuse.

See all the pics here (no login needed).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Snacks!

It's Friday -- enjoy the snacks!

I seriously think I found my dream car: this sweet little white Smart car with custom leather interiors, all hand sewn, by Hermes. It's called the Toile H, and there are only 10 of them. And they're probably already all sold. But I think I really should have one too. Santa, pleeeeeeeeease? [Via Cool Hunting]

Part mid-century eye candy, part fascinating period piece, check out The American Look, a styliscious short doc the kind they don't make anymore. Unearthed and posted by Brooklyn Modern.

Shannon Sharpe's piece on craft in Brooklyn is in the latest issue of American Craft Magazine and available to read online. ALSO - the magazine's blog feature Zoom is a great way to keep up with news from the craft world at large.

An early little Christmas story: Mary Varanyak planted a small Norway spruce in 1931 after it served as her young family's Christmas tree. Over the years it grew and grew, and she nurtured it, because as she told everyone, one day it would be put up at Rockefeller Center. Although she passed away before she could see it herself, Mrs. Varanyak's Christmas tall handsome tree was indeed selected this year, and it went up last weekend in New York City. [Via Gothamist.]

Um, sorry, can we just look at some more pictures of my car...?


Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shopping Greenjeans for the Holidays

The classic wooden toys! The quirky ceramic sculpture! The distinctive jewelry available nowhere else!

Hoping to shop Greenjeans for the holidays but dismayed because our shop is closed?

Do not despair!

We are making every effort this season to fulfill the gift-giving (and -receiving!) needs of all our loyal customers.

I've been photographing and uploading new items to the webshop like mad, and will continue adding new work until I run out of things to shoot. Scroll down to learn about ONLINE-ONLY DISCOUNTS.

You will be able to find us in person at Gifted, the fabulous new INDOOR gift market taking place Sundays across the street from the Brooklyn Flea. Inside the impressive Masonic Temple, you will find a curated group of about 40 vendors, including us. We'll be focusing on wooden toys and jewelry. You can also pick up special orders from us there. Mark your calendars for all 4 Sundays: Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14, and 21. Gifted will be open 11am - 6pm.

Looking for just the right necklace or earrings for your loved one this season? We are always happy to send images via email or even meet with you in person to show pieces and help you make a winning selection.

All purchases may be picked up from us, or in many cases we can deliver to you (within NYC). This way you avoid shipping charges.

Finally, be sure you are signed up to receive our monthly e-newsletter, the Greenjeans Gazette. The November edition will drop early next week, and it will include the code to use in our webshop for a GENEROUS DISCOUNT on your online purchases. Sign-up on our website or email me.

And keep your eye on the blog -- we'll be offering additional discounts and specials all season to help you save money, stay committed to handmade, and give the most fabulous gifts!

The economy may be bad, and the weather may be cold, but purchasing and giving beautiful handmade gifts will make you feel much better.

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Image sourced here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Write an Essay, Win a Craft Store

Looking for a career change?

The shop/instruction studio Spark Craft Studios in Cambridge, MA, is holding an essay contest for... their entire store!

Incredible but true: inventory, fixtures, website, signage, EVERYTHING is YOURS if they select your essay detailing why you want to own Spark Craft Studios and why you are the best person(s) to win the contest.

This is an unbelievable opportunity for someone who is interested in running their own craft business. And sounds like it's in a nice neighborhood, too (Porter Square).

Entries are due 11/26/08.

Learn all about it here. And good luck!

[Hat tip to Hrag Vartanian.]
Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Image sourced here.

Greenjeans Recommends: The Phillipe de Montebello Years at the Met

Amidst all the amazing art there is to see in NYC every day, there's one show I saw a few weeks ago that keeps coming back to mind. It also makes me lament that we don't use the word "decorative arts" any more. (Someone remind me, what's so dishonorable about that phrase?)

It's no secret I'm a big fan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the 10 years I've lived in NYC, I've gone there as often as possible, sometimes as much as once a week. And I can tell you -- no one does big amazing shows like the Met.

There's a show on there now, though, that trumps all others I've seen: the exhibition assembled by curators from every department in honor of the 30 years Phillipe de Montebello has served as director of the Met.

This show presents 300 of the most unusual, exciting, and beautiful works of art culled from the 84,000 (!!!) works collected during the venerable director's tenure.

Eighth century Chinese scroll with a horse painted by Han Gan? Check. Five foot long silver serving tray from France like the one owned by George Washington? Check. Stunning Vermeer painting that inspired a novel and a movie? Check.

Besides these treasures, I was amazed by the full set of 52 playing cards from the 15th century, the quilt by a 19th century American girl who collected signatures by the world's luminaries and stitched them together with pieces of silk, the Walker Evans photograph from 1936 of the New Deal Barbershop, the mesmerizing watercolor drawing of a bat by a 18th century Indian artist, the most beautiful painting by Celia Thaxter, one of my favorite flower painters ever.... and I'm not even scratching the surface.

It would be much better for you to go see for yourself. And if you can't, or can't wait, check out the website for the exhibition here -- you'll find pictures and descriptions of every object.

Oh Met, how do you do it???

The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through February 1, 2009

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Images all sourced from the Met here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Designing the 2009 ACC Searchlight Artists Exhibtion

For the past few weeks, I've been quietly working on a project I'm very excited about, but its formal announcement was embargoed until today:

Every year, at the American Craft Council's February show in Baltimore, they present work by a juried group of emerging makers -- the Searchlight Artists -- and this year they've asked me to design the show!

Technically the "Searchlight Retail Advisor" as today's press release points out, I'm meant to "create a dynamic retail space" to present the work of these artists, who were "selected because they exemplify craft’s cutting-edge direction."

The 2009 Searchlight Artists are an awesome group (scroll down for pics), and their work has been very inspiring to my plans for the exhibition design:

Jessica Benzaquen (Albuquerque, NM)
Eun-Suh Choi, (Rochester, NY)
Annica Cuppetelli (Detroit, MI)
Jennaca Davies (North Kingstown, RI)
Hiroe Hanazono (Philadelphia, PA)
Matthew Hutton (Portland, ME)
Maya Kini (Sacramento, CA)
Sylvie Rosenthal (Asheville, NC)
Richard Saja (Jackson Heights, NY)
Nanda Soderberg (Richmond, VA)
Amy Tavern (Asheville, NC)
Stacey Webber (Chicago, IL)
Kai Wolter (Santa Fe, NM)

Though I can't give hints or peeks at my exhibition design yet -- just isn't fleshed out enough -- I can say this: be assured it's not gonna be yet-another white-walls-and-pedestals gallery show...

Many thanks to the American Craft Council for the opportunity to do this -- it's an engaging challenge and a great privilege. I hope people like the show!

Come see it, along with work by 700 professional craft artists, during the American Craft Show, Feb.27 - Mar.1, 2009 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Here's a look at work by some of the 2009 Searchlight Artists:

[TOP: Steel Drain Brooch by Maya Kini.]
[MIDDLE: Embroidered Toile Cushion by Richard Saja.]

Amy Tavern

Matthew Hutton

Hiroe Hanazono

Jessica Benzaquen
Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Images courtesy of the artists.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Friday Snacks!

It's Friday -- enjoy the snacks!

These lovely trees by Yuken Teruya sprout from toilet paper rolls. [Via Oh Joy!]

Speaking of cool trees, this inspiring roundup of knitted graffiti courtesy of Deputy Dog [Via Craftzine]

Speaking of tree-killing, if you missed the wonderful hoax edition of the New York Times, the work of the Yes Men and others, you can check it out online. I've never seen mischief so thoroughly and brilliantly executed. And never read news so hopeful...

Not a hoax is the new look of Greenjeans Blog (pictured here for the benefit of those who subscribe to the blog through a reader and therefore don't usually see the layout). I may not knit or paint, but my Illustrator and HTML skills sure are improving...!

Last by not least, we remember Miriam Makeba (1932 - 2008). If you've never heard her song "Pata Pata" you owe it to yourself to listen right now -- it'll make your day more happy and beautiful! [Via Murketing linking Funky 16 Corners]

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Making Updates to the Website

If I've been a little quiet lately, it's because I've been working so much on Greenjeans Webshop, getting it ready for the holiday shopping season. Websites take so much time to keep current, but it was definitely time for a tune-up!

Besides photographing and adding new items, I've been trying to make the site easier to use, whether you're shopping or looking for information about an artist. I'm in the process of creating Collection pages that will improve shopping by category. And I'm constantly adding bios to the Meet the Artisans page.

To see what's new now, go to the Jewelry Collection -- there's lots of new work by Lisa Crowder, Erica Schlueter (pictured), and more. In the Wooden Toy Collection, you'll find updates on forthcoming inventory. And over the coming weeks, you'll find newly listed items in many more categories including Ceramics, Children's Books, Sculpture, and more.

Also coming soon: a new logo, a new blog header, and new items to view and purchase.

Now I must note, I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE SHOPPING EARLY if there's something in particular you'd like from Greenjeans this year. The wooden toys are available in limited quantities, and almost everything else in the Webshop is one-of-a-kind. Shop online or contact me if you want to get started early.

Stay tuned to learn about where you can find Greenjeans in person this holiday shopping season.

And be sure you're signed up for our newsletter, the Greenjeans Gazette, because I'll be offering special DISCOUNT CODES and more to use in the Webshop all season!

Do let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements to the Webshop -- I want to make it as good as I can for you!

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Image: Embroidered Pink Flower Pendant by Erica Schlueter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Handwashing at American Apparel

Apparently it's not enough to just be MADE in America anymore.

It must be "Crafted with pride." Or something.

Spotted yesterday in Tribeca at American Apparel.

Posted and photo by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Update about Potter John Zentner

Today I wanted to share some not-good news with you about our friend, the wonderful potter John Zentner.

It seems John's cancer has spread. About a year ago, John was diagnosed with head/neck cancer. He went through very intensive treatment over the winter, and by late spring seemed to be making a slow recovery. Then yesterday I received an email from his partner Michele that the cancer has spread to his spine, shoulder, and left femur.

John is unable to work or move around very much, and has chosen to be at home in Northwood, NH, with hospice care rather than go into the hospital. Michele has been able to take a leave from work to be with him and care for him.

We wanted to share this with you because we know how many of you are fans of his work. We ask you to please send your prayers and positive energy his way. He is a beautiful person and we love him very much.

Read more about John Zentner.

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Photo by Michele Hastings.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday Snacks!

It's Friday -- enjoy the snacks!

I came across this most amazing power generator for your laptop -- I love this!!

Did you know Jimmy Carter makes furniture? [Via Brooklyn Modern]

CAMBA, a Brooklyn social services organization and the beneficiary of our 2007 Holiday Card Project, is having a Food Drive. Food banks around the city are struggling to keep stocked, and so could really use our contributions. There are 5 drop off locations: 19 Winthrop, the Park Slope Shelter at 1402 8th Ave., 1720 Church Ave., the Grey House (Church Ave. & Flathbush), and 885 Flatbush Avenue.

Obama pie! [Via Craftzine]

This awesome wooden gear heart made by a Japanese artist is really cool! (It goes into motion about 45 seconds into the video.) [Via Craftzine]

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Our Next President!!!

Screen shots taken about an hour ago...

Congratulations to all Obama supporters, and welcome EVERYONE to the bright, promising Obama Era!

What a great night it has been!!!

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Your Voting Questions Answered!

Got questions? Find non-partisan answers on the League of Women Voters website!

What else will be on the ballot besides Obama/McCain?
How do I use a voting machine?
How late are the polls open?
What I.D. do I need to bring?
Where is my polling place?

The League of Women Voters website will point you in the right direction.

Here's the link to info for New York State voters, including what kind of voting machine to expect, and how to use it.

Don't let technical questions keep you from the polls --


Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans. Image sourced here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NYC Marathon & NO Flea on Sunday

The NYC Marathon is tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 2), which means 2 things if you're in or around NYC:

1) There is NO Brooklyn Flea this weekend, as the route goes right past the market grounds, and

2) You don't want to miss coming out to experience one of the most invigorating, inspiring, and energetic events of the year!

I LOVE watching the marathon, and usually find a spot along Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg where the atmosphere is festive and a funky brass band plays.

In fact, there are few things more cathartic for me than watching all those thousands of runners striving down the street. I love to call out their names or their country or whatever is written on their tops, and inevitably at some point I start to cry through my cheering -- it's just so beautiful and overwhelming to me!

The marathon's website has a thorough guide to viewing the race live, including a bunch of good viewing spots.

Go runners!
Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Image of lead men running through Queens sourced here.