Craftopia: Rhode Island & Why you should buy handmade for the Holidays - Really!

Hey everyone! Get ready for HOLIDAY SHOPPING!

I know, people really get ruffled & fluffled
 when they start to think that "Holidays = Gifts".  

 The fact is that the Holidays present a TON of opportunities to gather with friends and family, go to parties and spend more time together than at other times of the year. That's a good thing, right?
When you visit others, it's always nice to have a hostess gift, or bring something for the children. It's tradition for many to give for 8 days Hanukkah or for Christmas. It happens every year, and I hear people freak out about it every year. *The Holidays and gift giving shouldn't feel like hell.

Handmade gift-giving is what makes shopping and giving FEEL REALLY GOOD*. When I buy something handmade, I often get to meet the person who actually used their hands to create a beautiful product. They put a lot of thought into making it. I put a lot of thought into buying it.
 I think about the person I am giving this to. See all the thoughtfulness? 
It's not made up, and that's the important part. 
If you shop at a local boutique or gallery, a craft show or on etsy online- it will directly affect the buyer (you), handmaker (me) and the gift-getter (that's now a word) in a positive way. 
Win /Win /Win! No tears! No tearing your hair out!

(See how happy I am at Twist - Northampton MA Nov 2012)

My advice- go to a local craft show. Go to my craft shows (of course!). Go to Craftopia (and the million other ones on my show list). Bring a list of people you want to make feel really special and buy a handmade gift for them. Now it's done and you haven't gone to the mall.

If you want to go a step further- I recommend you make gifts yourself! I'm not kidding. Seriously! If you don't want to buy something from me or all my crafty show friends, we won't mind. In fact, if you invite us over to make stuff too, all we require is wine (yes, that's how we do it). Go to Martha Stewart online and get some crafty gift ideas. Holidays are happy times!


Open Studios at the IO Mills! Jewelry, Photography & Hair Accessories Trunk Show w/ the Popko Sisters

The Dane Gallery welcomes you with lively music and a new show by all the artists.

Visit this Saturday and Sunday, Nov 10 & 11
to see 50+ Artists and their studios! 

I'm having a trunk show with butterfly jewelry, fused glass jewelry and accessories, lockets, silver jewelry, earrings, rings,  everything you can imagine that I make will be there! I have a ton of space, so unlike a craft show, I can have it ALL out on display and for sale. Hooray!

I'll personally be there on Saturday 12-4pm. 
Sunday, my space will be open 12-4pm with an assistant on hand (thank you mom!) 
while I am away in RI for a craft show. Please stop by and have some cheese and crackers and maybe a cocktail or two- its after noon! 

There will also be a free raffle drawing in my studio! Ooh la la!

 My sister Ann-Marie (www.annmariepopko.com) will have a full gallery display in my studio where you can purchase her work and see the gorgeous photography that she makes. 

She is taking orders for your custom photo wall art for the Holidays. Now is the time!

One more perk! My mother is super talented- how do you think we got creative? She will be part of the trunk show with her sewsoft products- quilts for your baby (crib and carriage quilts), sewn placemats, napkins, and holiday table runners. She's awesome and so is her work.

I hope to see you on Saturday!


Hello TWIST, Hello Holidays! Northampton Show this weekend:

Twist Craft Fair

It's that time of year again! The first of many Holiday shows always begins with TWIST! 

This time, it's also the very LAST Twist ever, 
so come say hello to me, and farewell to the most fabulous fair in Northampton.

Find me there with NEW things, yes for real! I have more rings, brooches, earrings and new necklaces as well. I've been working very hard (and still am in the studio all day and night) getting ready for you guys. So come over! 

I have 3 free guest passes, so get in touch with me if you want to be on my list.  
Comment here, or head to my facebook page to holler louder.

My sister AnnMarie (annmariepopko.com) will be there again with her photography and graphic goodies too. She has notecards, wall art, photographs and more lovelies. 
She also does custom photo art for you -editing & mounting your personal photos 
onto wood panels and making them beautiful- 
 which is good for gift-giving, so if you plan now you can have them for Christmas!

Twist Craft Fair


Showtime at the Popko Shop! Craft shows, gallery shows, open studios- oh my!

It's Showtime! 
I've got a LOT going on this Fall and Winter-
so make sure you check out my Show Schedule.

It's jam packed with 9 show days, 3 gallery shows, open studios
and new stores that carry my jewelry.
Please see the schedule and visit me- shop handmade for the Holidays! 
Thank you!


Butterfly kaleidoscope - real wing photographs

 I have a lot of butterfly wings in the studio. They are beautiful. I often just open and close the boxes to get a little glimpse of them shimmering in the light. They have unusual shapes, and unique patterns and some have the most rich, velvety colors. I started photographing them to make these kaleidoscope images. I'm working towards a project that's a little different that my jewelry. 
(Keep an eye out for the finished project by late October.)

It's refreshing to have something to work on just for the fun of it right now. I am neck high in custom orders, which I love (don't get me wrong), but I already know the outcome of that work. I know what they will look like when I'm done. This is a little more free- perfect for the last long lazy days of summer. I can just let my imagination play.

I used real butterfly wings, photographed them in different formations and then started manipulating the images on my computer.


In the Studio: Curious Finds

 I'm preparing my new studio, yes, still. It's been a very very VERY hot July and August and at some point I just became completely afraid of melting if I even approached the third floor. 

Oh just look at it, clean and empty. I should just have gotten it to sit still and not even bring a single thing to work on, like a meditation room. I love empty spaces.

I decided to clean out some storage and put it all into my new space to properly go through the boxes (completely interrupting the zen), while I still had a lot of open space to spread out with that project. I found a lot of old things. I studied Sculpture in school and there were a few things I hadnt taken out of the box for 12 years. I know. But seeing them again was lovely. It reminded me of all the hours I worked diligently on them. I'm talking about the feet in the box.

They are casts of my own feet, in different walking positions. They have holes on the undersides so I can set them on pegs in the grass. I cast my feet with wax (made for peeling off your skin). Then made rubber molds (which I had to learn the hard way how to make sure they didn't leak). Then poured plaster into the rubber molds, then coated them with wax. I didn't let them dry enough before waxing them though, and they never fully took to the plaster.
I used to do a lot of casting back then.
Bronze plaques/plates, about 4x4" and 4x6"

I actually don't quite remember making the bronze plaques of body parts. I think these may have been after college, when I apprenticed for a Sculptor in Provincetown. We poured a lot of bronze back then, but I cant jog my memory when I cast these. They appear to have some reasoning behind the amount of casts I did, in sets, maybe to make a box? I plan to finish these.

Its almost September now, and the weather is better, cool at night. My studio should be ready for work very soon. *crosses fingers*


New work: New store - Color Me Clayful in NH

Here's a dozen new pieces created just for the Color Me Clayful boutique attached to the paint your own pottery shop in Amherst, New Hampshire.

The 'glass dome' necklaces that you see are something new in my line 
(#2,3 & 4 L-R, the sunset moth dome, a small blue and large blue dome)

I think they will be a big seller at shows this fall and winter.  They are simple, reversible, and feel nice and smooth.  I even made one for myself- yes I did, for the first time in years I have my own new piece of jewelry, for me, made by me. That says a lot. This style can be made in almost any color wing. Look for them in my Etsy shop in September.

Hope you are all having a fabulous summer- and go to CMC!


Spring stART on the Street 2012 - from storms to sunshine & shoppers!

After being postponed a week due to predicted storms, this was my first springtime "stART" and it was a success!  In their 10 years they've had a rain date in place, but never actually had to use it..until now! This is actually why I do apply to this show. With outdoor events that don't have a rain date- and do rain- the vendors just lose their money. That's it, you lose your booth fee and you don't get a planned paycheck. Its totally depressing. BUT- but! stART on the Street is an outdoor show that has this, its rare and wonderful. This year it worked in my favor. 

 I've decided that I need a little more something in my booth if I do more outdoor shows. A big sign in the back, or draping fabric or some kind of color in the background. Large photographs are probably the best idea. I just don't know how many outdoor shows I want to do this year. Maybe 3? Is that worth investing in some more oomph?

As always (I've done a few fall and winter shows with them), it was well organized, full of positive energy and had a ton of shopping traffic. A vendors dream!
They were in a new location this year- I don't know much about Worcester so I didn't know if it was going to affect the show.  Would people still go? Would it be as grand? Yes. 

 I didn't plan on doing this 'stART' because of a graduation party. Turns out the party wasn't even on that day! I thought I had missed a spring show opportunity, I was totally disappointed- especially because my sister was going.

AnnMarie's table, photography and mixed media home decor.

Two weeks before the show, they posted on facebook that there were a few more spaces available (cancellations etc).  I knew I was available by then and snapped up the chance to apply. I WAS IN!! What a rush! I felt like I won the lottery...or at least a paycheck!

I couldn't really venture off to see all the performers or musicians or art projects for kids, but luckily some were traveling down the street!

 Lots of people shopping- they were all really nice, interested and appreciative of creative businesses. I also got to meet up with two of my past clients. That was really a highlight of my day. Both purchased a new piece from me- a feather in my cap!

Across the way is a really cool craft show friend- we've been at a few of the same shows in the past few years.

 My first attempt at taking a photo of Chrissy Ann Ceramics was foiled by this giant pig on wheels!

 Chrissy Ann Ceramics was doing double duty! She had her sisters goods there along with her own, while her work was also being sold in Providence at a show- double booked because of the weather. She had just come from a show the day before, too, I don't know how she stayed so bright and lovely all day but she did. I just learned that she just recently took her ceramics business on FULL TIME! Congratulations!! This is great news, because the world could use her products- literally! Theres a dish she has with such a gorgeous finish on it-

She also gave me some snap peas to plant, someone shared with her, she shared with me. Thank you!

Town Farm Gardens LLC was my show neighbor. Laurie makes home-made pickles and jams out of Brookfield, MA. It's hard being next to that kind of delicious looking stuff all day! I lent them a wall to hang behind their table so as not get so much sun in their booth. At the end of the day I was going to buy something, finally, after drooling all day, and they gave me a jar of their hot pepper jelly for borrowing the tent wall. YAY! It was gone in three days. I'm not kidding. I couldn't stop. Unfortunately there's no website, so I have no idea how you can get some too.

Below is how it all begins and ends on a craft show day. Heavy lifting and a long ride home.

Actually, it usually ends with a cocktail!


stART on the Street with the Popko sisters!

stART on the Street: Spring Edition

Sunday June 10, 2012 11am - 5pm 
Green Street, Worcester

I'll be at stART on the Street this weekend selling my butterfly and leaf jewelry, my famously sparkly glitter pop rings, and a collection of fused glass pendants and rings will make a cameo as well. This was originally planned for June 3, but a huge thunderstorm postponed it to this Sunday.
 June 10th is going to be a gorgeous day!

My sister AnnMarie is also showing her work (hopefully right next to my tent!)- encaustic photography, photo frames, and notecards. Hip hip....hooray!

Please mark your calendars and see you in Worcester, MA!


There will be bears in the streets!

I went to Easthampton today to touch up my bear before the big event on Saturday. I'm getting excited for a day where I can show off my work and also enjoy all the festivities- brass band! ice cream! beer probably! art! fun!

 Tree Warden George Malega getting the logs

 I say this because when I sell my jewelry at craft shows, I am always a part of the event, but I never get to actually enjoy the event like everyone else. I'm working. This time- I'm free as a bear to follow the brass band parade all the way to the Easthampton Savings Bank Green (they sponsored my bear!) where there will be music, food, beer, all around fun stuff. 

They were one of the tip top sponsors of Bearfest 2012 - a POLAR BEAR sponsor, meaning they donated $10,000 to the Bearfest (holy toledo!!), and in turn, get to have a few bears on their lawn and fame and glory and thanks and praise that comes along with being such a great patron of this event. Lucky for me- they chose MY BEAR to sit front and center on their perfectly mowed lawn. It's quite the honor for me. It's actually bananas for me. It's GREAT! I cant wait to see the other bear they chose as well. I'm actually lying- I saw it and it's awesome, I just can't tell you...yet :)

Waiting for a mystery bear on Main St.

Sooooo, my excitement grew today when I saw the big log/stumps in place all over town. They are ready for their bears! The committee puts all the bears out on Friday night. I love that.  They drive around in the dark so that when the town wakes on Saturday for the unveiling, its TRULY an unveiling!

 This is where my bear was in 2009. I cant wait to see who's up next! It was a great location.

I hope this guy doesn't mind when a bear takes his stoop!

I had a little taste of all the bears today in the bear lodge (they are being stored in Eastworks) and promised not to reveal any pics of them until Saturday, but I cant wait to post them because there are so many awesome ones. People really went to town on their bears, a lot of extra sculpting and adding and props on these bears. They all look fantastic.


Easthampton Bearfest ....BEARS REVEALED!

 Here's a sneak preview of my bear before the BIG REVEAL on June 9th. I've been posting progress pics on my facebook page but not the whole bear just yet. The streets will be filled with bears and bear trackers this Saturday and I cant wait!