Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Artists ~ Sabrina Azevedo ~ Warwick

Artist’s name: Sabrina Azevedo
Shop name: Sabrina Melody Designs
Blog: Coming soon!

1. Tell us about your work.
I design sterling silver jewelry with wire wrapping and Swarovski crystals and seed beads. The majority of my designs are necklaces but I have started making earrings, and very soon there will be bracelets. Most of my pieces are one of a kind but I am creating some pieces that are not one of a kind so the same piece can be reordered. I feel there is something special and unique about a piece that cannot be duplicated. However, storeowners have been asking me for jewelry that can be reordered and it does make sense. I will still continue with one of a kind pieces as well.

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
My business began in 2008 when I attended a wire-wrapping class. I loved it so much that I soon began designing pendants and selling them in stores throughout New England. I am also a graduate student of Fashion Design and will be receiving my MFA in spring 2015.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I know that many artists sketch their designs first but with jewelry I design as I work with the wire. It has to feel right as I'm making the piece. There have been times when I am close to completing a piece and have either started over or completely scrapped the idea, all because I wasn't feeling it. Jewelry has to look beautiful to me or I can't offer it to customers. There is something we ask ourselves in fashion design class and that is, would you wear it yourself?

4. What’s your favorite item to create?
Although the majority of my designs are necklace, it's been fun designing earrings, and they do not take as long to make. I also want to make new designs in necklaces and will be posting them to my website and Facebook page. I'm hoping to have them available for sale this spring.

5. What’s your best seller?
The drusy quartz necklaces are my best seller. I sell out of them constantly. I use drusy stones in blue, magenta, white and gray. These necklaces bring a lot of attention because the stone reflects light and shimmers so beautifully.

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I have lived in Rhode Island my entire life. I grew up in Warwick, lived in Pawtucket for 3 years and then moved back to Warwick. I feel more of a connection to Warwick.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I especially love the artists of Rhode Island. It's important to keep art alive and Rhode Island does a great job with events such as the Wickford Art Festival, Scituate Art Festival, RISD and its museum, Newport Art Museum, Hope Artiste Village...the list goes on and on.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Events ~ An Evening with Authors ~ October 8, 2014 ~ East Greenwich

An Evening with Authors
October 8, 2014, 6:30 PM
1598 South Country Trail
East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Tickets are now offered at buy 5 get 1 free for teachers, students, book clubs, and librarians.

Books will be for sale and proceeds will go to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Artists ~ ASH ~ Providence

Artist’s name: ASH
Shop name: Giraffes and Robots
Twitter: @giraffesrobots

1. Tell us about your work
ART that makes you SMILE.
The media is constantly bombarding us with sad, violent and depressing images. I want to counter those images with big, bright, happy, peaceful images that make you smile. Everyone seems to be in search of happiness nowadays and I think a big piece of that puzzle is choosing to be exposed to images that are happy, positive and peaceful.
So, turn off the news and look at the Giraffes and Robots art on your wall instead!

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
While studying biology at Brown I had a lot of friends from RISD. I would study my neuroscience textbooks while they painted and sculpted. I loved what I was learning, but I was also in awe of their completely different college experience. While I was spending all my time in labs, they were spending all their time in studios. That lifestyle was so foreign to me and also so interesting. Don't get me wrong, a lab can also be a very creative and fun place, and I was having such a good time, but there is something about doing art that is so appealing too.
Years later, while living in Barcelona, I fell in love with the way the city lives and breathes art. Everything in that city is art. The buildings, customs, history and people. I found myself wishing again that I could live the life of an artist. So, one day I went to a little corner art store and bought a blank canvas, a few paintbrushes and an acrylic starter set. I went back to my apartment to give it a go - and loved it! I was painting constantly and sometimes would be so into it that the sun would come up and I would realize I forgot to sleep!
After those two years spent painting daily in Barcelona, I became an artist. I still consider myself a scientist too. They are both parts of who I am and I think that my science background positively influences my artwork.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
From books, toys, photos, travel, play, good design, colors, artists, scientists, dinosaurs, people and meditation.

4. What’s your favorite item to create?
I am always creating new things and coming up with new ideas, so what would be a favorite now will probably change by next week. I love not knowing today what will be my favorite tomorrow.

5. What’s your best seller?
My best seller is the Pio Pio print, which includes a popular Spanish lullaby. I love how it elicits happy memories in people of all ages. From kids that know the song because their parents or grandparents sing it to them now, to adults that remember the song from their childhood. It makes me so happy to see their faces light up when they recognize the chorus. It is amazing how people react to the memory of a song. In this case, the art goes beyond the visual input and makes people smile through memories and music.

El Hipster is also a bestseller these days (for obvious reasons) and of course, my dinosaur prints are pretty popular too. Who doesn't love a dinosaur?

Scuba Giraffe, which is one of those early paintings I did in Barcelona (3rd), is also one of my bestsellers.

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I first moved here to go to Brown many years ago. After graduation I moved to London and lived in Europe for ten years. I came back to Rhode Island for three years and worked in a lab at Brown and as a primary school Science Teacher in Providence. Then, I moved back to Europe for 5 years and came back to Providence four years ago. I love traveling and experiencing different cultures firsthand, so I move a lot. As you can see, Rhode Island is definitely a place I come back to often.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I love the Providence Artisan Market, the Providence Flea, and all the other many opportunities for artists. The art community is very supportive and a lot of fun. And I love that they have embraced and accepted a scientist into the mix.

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
I illustrated a children's book that my mother wrote about a Puerto Rican giraffe. It is called Tulipan, the Puerto Rican giraffe. It is available in both English and Spanish versions. The book was recently featured in a children's TV show in Puerto Rico, which is so exciting. It is for sale at Hope Returns on Hope Street.

Giraffes and Robots products are sold at the Providence Artisan Market and the Providence Flea.

Also, at the following retail stores:

Prints, postcards and T-Shirts, along with pieces from my collaborative collage project with Ada H, a collage artist, are for sale at Homestyle Interiors on Westminster Street.

Prints, postcards, T-Shirts and books are for sale at Hope Returns on Hope Street.

Prints, postcards, canvas bags and Copper Rockets jewelry are for sale at White Buffalo on Broadway.

Superhero and Dinosaur prints at Multiverse Comics on Broadway.

Chicken and Rooster prints at CLUCK on Broadway!

Prints are available at I want a Pony at the Somerville Flea.

Prints are available at The Cheeky Hound on Hope Street.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Events ~ First Annual A Day in the Park ~ September 14, 2014 ~ Providence

Creating Awareness of Water Safety
CPR instruction, creating drowning awareness, pool safety and prevention of childhood drowning. Drowning is the leading cause of injury related death among children between ages 1-4. This is a fundraiser to help supply free lifejackets, door alarms and swimming lessons to each family with babies and toddlers. Come out and support.

via RI Creative Magazine

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Artists ~ Eric Hoffman

Artist’s name: Eric Hoffman
Shop name: SpoffordPress
Twitter: @EHoffmanPrints
Instagram: ericvonzip

1. Tell us about your work
My work is primarily in printmaking. I make small relief engravings of things I love, like sea life, animals and even jazz musicians, and then print editions on my printing press. The process is very similar to woodcut and linoleum cut printmaking but with way more fine lines and details in the images! I am also the owner and operator of Spofford Press, a custom letterpress printshop in Warwick RI. We focus on stationery and notecards printed from small engravings and hand drawn images, all printed on our vintage Kelsey press!

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I studied fine arts at Rhode Island College and graduated with my BFA in printmaking and drawing. Over the next 8 years I had balanced working a day job with engraving and printing on weekends and evenings. 2 years ago I found myself in a position where I could take a huge leap and quit my day job to print and design full-time, so I went for it! I opened Spofford Press about 1 1/2 years ago and have been busy since!

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I mainly draw my inspiration from the subjects I engrave and draw. I love 1950s jazz music and old records, so I began making engravings and prints of some of these phenomenal musicians I enjoy. My love of sealife and nature also inspire me to make prints of insects, whales and all types of animals.

4. What’s your favorite item to create?
I love engraving and printing an edition directly from the engraved block. At Spofford Press, we print small blocks onto beautiful thick paper and play with fun colors and designs. I have a blast printing these, but my first love will always be printing my larger engravings in rich black ink on fine papers. Having the printshop is great because I get to balance out printing these fine art engravings with the smaller fun ones!

5. What’s your best seller?
My best seller to date is a tie between 2 engravings, the "Miles Davis" jazz print and "Mother and Calf", which is a print of a mother whale and calf swimming through the ocean. I find my prints of animals and sea-life are more popular then the jazz series, which is to be expected. However, when I meet a jazz fan every so often all bets are off! There are a handful of people who have the whole jazz series and display all 11 of them! It's great meeting people with different interests and connecting over the prints!

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I was born and raised right here in sunny Warwick, RI! I think I'm here to stay!!

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I really love the sense of community and all of the perks that come with living in a small state! It's great going to get a coffee on a Sunday morning and running into 3 people you know at the cafe. I also love the emphasis on Art throughout the state. There are so many wonderful galleries from Providence to Wakefield, and the beauty of it is you can visit these different areas of RI all in an afternoon! From Olneyville warehouse galleries to the beautiful beach in 45 minutes! What's not to love?!!

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
I would like to thank you for asking me to be a part of I{heart}Rhody ! Spofford Press is just now starting to really take off and I love the opportunity to be introduced to all of your readers!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shop Local ~ Calm-a-Mama

by Mommy

Moving is stressful, no matter which way you slice it. If you've ever moved with four children under the age of eight, then you know how my summer went. With apartment hunting, job hunting, school registration, and transferring medical records, life has been just a little overwhelming. So when I passed a booth for Calm-a- Mama outside of whole foods, it immediately caught my eye. Mom got excited because Calm-a- Mama follows I {heart} Rhody on Twitter.

When reading their product description, I thought it was too good to be true! Could 4 drops of flower essences really help with all the levels of chaos my family experiences? In a word, YES! I was completely blown away by how quickly and effectively this product took effect.

I received my sample in the mail last week, and not a moment too soon. It was midday and I had a couple of screamers on my hands. Wren is 20 months old and she is non-stop action. She hadn't had an afternoon nap in over a month, no matter how hard I tried. Poor Peppy (3 months) suffers from yucky gas that prompts fits of frustration and pain, making it impossible to nurse her.

So here I was with two unhappy babies and a little blue bottle of what has quickly become a household go-to remedy. Peppy got hers first, four drops, right on the tongue. Within a minute, I was able to breastfeed her, and six short minutes later, she was down for a 2 hour nap. But she is the easy one. Babies always sleep.
The real test was Wren. She took her drops and went from a wild animal to a sweet sleeping Angel in under 20 minutes. Nothing short of a miracle.


It's been great for me too! In moments of stress and anxiety (like this morning, the first day of school), I feel much more Calm and together.

Calm-a-Mama comes in different blends, for new moms, stressed moms, fussy babies, school aged kids. Even daddy gets one! There are custom sessions to create your own blend.

The only issue we have found with the product is that it is preserved in diluted brandy. It's not a concern in terms of alcohol content for babies and nursing mommies, but the toddler spits it out. It can be made with glycerin, which is also very safe, and I will make that request with my next order.

Long story short, visit . My family love love LOVES this product and wishes there was a way to have it delivered by the gallon, milkman style.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Big changes at I {heart} Rhody

Meet Papi, Mommy, Pappo, Peeper, Wren and Peppy.
Papi, Wren, Peppy and Mommy

Pappo, Wren and Peeper

Mommy is my middle daughter (Bear's sister), and the rest are her husband and children. They've just moved to Rhode Island and are jumping into the I {heart} Rhody gang.

With the addition of four children under age eight, we'll have more kid-friendly activities and product posts, and how restaurants, sights and venues handle the needs of the quite young. We'll also continue with the grown-up stuff. We'll be looking at some old favorites with fresh eyes, too.

We hope you enjoy sharing our adventures. See you around Rhode Island!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sights ~ St. Thomas Church ~ Providence

St. Thomas RC Church
65 Fruit Hill Ave.
Providence, Rhode Island

Church and grounds

I had the opportunity to stop in at St. Thomas Church and tour the sanctuary. I've seen this church lots of times, and have even been into their community area to donate blood, but I'd never gone into the sanctuary itself.

The people there were very welcoming, and happy to let me wander and take pictures. One gentleman even showed me around a bit.

I wasn't able to get any history from the church's site, but I do know the church was founded sometime before the cornerstone of the present building was laid in the late 1800s. A second cornerstone is dated 1913, which may be the date that the current building was erected.

cornerstone 1913

The interior has an almost mid-century feel to it, except for the apse, which is more gothic.

Sanctuary from choirloft
This view is from the choir loft.

sanctuary from altar
And this is from the altar.

The sanctuary boasts lots of stained glass windows.
stained glass windows

stained glass 4
I wish I knew more about styles of stained glass. These are mostly square panes with the occasional insert.

Below is the detail from the trio of windows in the choir loft. The choir no longer uses the loft, however.
Front Gothic stained windows from indoors

Instead, the choir performs to the side of the altar.
Choir area

You might notice behind the altar is some more stained glass. That's part of the "crying room," a small sanctuary behind the altar that's set aside for parents with crying babies, so they can hear the mass without their children disturbing services. It's also used for weekday masses, which are lower in attendance.

"Crying Room"

Even the crying room has a smaller, private space for contemplation.
meditation room

In common with many churches, there's some lovely statuary as well.

St. Thomas seems to enjoy a very active parish life. Aside from a Catholic school, they also have frequent activities, blood drives, craft and holiday sales, etc.