Showing posts from December, 2015

Artists ~ Ashley ~ Cranston

Artist’s name: Ashley
Shop name: Once Upon a DIY
Facebook: Once Upon a DIY
Instagram: Etsyonceuponadiy

1. Tell us about your work
My work is a reflection of the things that I love. I am constantly inspired by stories, movies, characters, costumes and so much more.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I have always had a love of fairytales, Disney, princesses, etc. I am all about "do it yourself" projects, why buy it when you can create it? I wanted the name to reflect my personality as well as the items in my shop- thus, Once Upon a DIY was born :)

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I have grown up crafting, making messes and constantly being involved in projects. I have ideas in my mind of something I'd love to see or have and find a way to create it! I love turning something "old" into something new and different!

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I have a love of "girly&qu…

I {heart} Rhody artist interview featured in RI Creative Magazine!

We're thrilled to have our interviews featured in each issue of RI Creative Magazine.

This month's is particularly dear to my heart: the Ornament Rescue League refurbishes worn Christmas ornaments and sells them to benefit Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Merry Christmas from I {heart} Rhody!

From our family to yours....

Merry Christmas!

Artists ~ Nancy Ratte ~ Chepachet

Name: Nancy Ratte
Shop name: Nancy Ellen Studios

1. Tell us about your work
I've been sewing since I was a little girl. My Etsy shop is filled with handmade sachets, pillows, journals, gift bags, purses, and more.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
When I first opened my shop on Etsy in 2009, my shop was called Nancy's Bags etc. I changed it a few years when I expanded my line to pillows, and other home decor items.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I started sewing many, many years ago. I made most of clothes growing up. Later on when my children came along, I started sewing for them. I was also doing some tailoring for friends. I've always loved to give my handmade items as gifts to family members. When I heard of Etsy, I knew it was the perfect place to sell my items.

4. Where…

Events ~ 24-Hour Play Festival ~ Wakefield

Contemporary Theater Company
327 Main St.
Wakefield, Rhode Island

From the press release

CONTACT: Maggie Cady
(401) 218-0282

WAKEFIELD – The Contemporary Theater Company kicks off their new season with The 11th Annual 24-Hour Play Festival on January 9. This celebration of creativity and collaboration is a collection of scenes, written, rehearsed and performed in a single day.

“This year I am excited that there are new twists, including the big innovation that the writers this year will work together to create one cohesive story,” says Artistic Director Christopher Simpson. “This is a huge undertaking that’s more challenging and exhilarating than ever before and promises to be a night to remember.”

The playwrights begin the process at midnight, writing through the night until actors and directors arrive in the morning and begin casting and rehearsing the plays. Photos, videos and stories are uploaded to the company’s website…

Services ~ Total Body Affinity ~ Johnston

Total Body Affinity
190 Putnam Pike
Johnston, Rhode Island
(401) 233-2639

by Megan

Self care is something that I have grown to appreciate as I get older and deeper into this mommy business. It is experienced in many different ways and means something different to everyone. For me, I value regular exercise, good eating, going to church, and when it's in my budget, time at the spa. Total Body Affinity quickly became a go-to relaxation haven.

For Christmas last year, all I asked for was spa services. I was so happy to receive a facial from Total Body Affinity, a Johnston based day spa and fitness center. Because of the horrendous weather we experienced over the winter months, I didn't get to cash in on the facial until March. Even three months late, it was the best gift I received!

When I arrived at TBA, I felt an immediate sense of tranquility. The atmosphere was serene, which was a welcome contrast to the hectic mess outside. I was warmly greeted by co-owner Brooke, who's sm…

Artists ~ Sharon Watterson ~ Newport

Artist’s name: Sharon Watterson
Shop name: Wattery Totteries
Twitter: knit_n_scribble

1. Tell us about your work
I knit and write about it, basically. On Etsy, I have several of my knitting patterns posted for sale, and also a few knitted items for babies and toddlers. Most of my sales are from my patterns and custom orders knitted for a network of customers.

In my writing, I try to highlight new and interesting designs for sale and for free, both for knit and crochet.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
It has a jolly sound and was a favorite nickname for us, given by dear friends.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
After an illness, I found myself out of a job, older, just a knitter, with an English degree and it seemed a natural combo, as I had created many des…

Performing arts ~ Planet Christmas ~ Contemporary Theater ~ Wakefield

Planet Christmas
The Contemporary Theater
327 Main Street
Wakefield, Rhode Island

Planet Christmas is making its world premiere at the Contemporary Theater. Written by in-house playwright Andy Cooper, the play takes its name from the store in which much of it is set.

Planet Christmas - the store - is a Christmas theme store on the New Jersey boardwalk at Pine Beach. We spend the bulk of our time in the store during the spring and summer of 1995. Not only does Planet Christmas sell Christmas themed items, even the employees, Holly, Ivy, Mary, Carol and Balthasar, are hired based on their holiday related names. Even founder and owner Cole is shoehorned into the Christmas theme in a running joke about 'Old King Cole,' which wasn't Christmas rhyme anyway. Only the new hire, Summer, breaks that trend.

Although the play never leaves Pine Beach, it travels through time over hundreds of years in either direction from the 1995 core.

The story begins with a soaked 16th century French …

Performing Arts ~ A Christmas Carol ~ Courthouse Center for the Arts ~ South Kinsgstown

A Christmas Carol, featuring Big Nazo Puppets
Courthouse Center for the Arts
3481 Kingstown Rd.
West Kingston, Rhode Island

Courthouse Center for the Arts paired with What Cheer, Shakespeare? and Big Nazo Puppets for the third annual performances of A Christmas Carol.

It's a charming version, played for comedy, with a lot of young talent.

Big Nazo provides the ghosts in the story, from a hilariously gruesome Jacob Marley to some silly Past and Present ghosts. It's very kid-friendly.

Even the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who appears intense at his arrival (a 12-foot ribcage, skull and hands, draped in black), is quickly un-scarified.

There are lots of Rhode Island in-jokes, musical numbers set to traditional and contemporary Christmas tunes, and a general light-heartedness that fits what we want for the season. Definitely worth a look.


"White Christmas" charms at PPAC

Irving Berlin's White Christmas
December 8-13, 2015
Providence Performing Arts Center

Perennial holiday movie favorite White Christmas comes to the stage with just as much joy, snark and energy as the film version.

Here's the basic plot:

Phil Davis and Bob Wallace are song and dance men in 1954 who had served together during World War II under General Waverly. When another Army buddy writes to ask them to critique his sisters' song and dance act, the two travel to Florida for the favor. There they meet the Haynes sisters, Betty and Judy.
The sisters are booked to perform for the holidays at the Columbia Inn in Vermont, coincidentally owned by now-retired General Waverly. But there's no snow in Vermont this December, and the inn's guests are cancelling. Things are looking grim.
Wallace and Davis are dedicated to their former C.O., and decide to rehearse their dance troupe at the inn for the holidays. Will that be enough to save the inn's fortunes and the General&#…

Artists ~ Jenna DeAngelis ~ Providence

Artist Name: Jenna DeAngelis
Etsy Link:

1. Tell us about your work:
I hand paint ornaments, I enjoy painting on a very small scale and my ornaments are my little canvases.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
When coming up with a name for my shop I wanted to combine two words that work well together. I hope that my products make people “joyful” and I enjoy the combination of that word with generation. In a way JoyfulGeneration is a vision of optimism.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I love to give people things I create. A couple years ago I had painted ornaments for family and friends as Christmas presents and thus JoyfulGeneration was born.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I am a college student pursing a degree in art so I am constantly inspired as I continue to learn. Generally, my ornaments feature my favorite things. I am an animal lover, and a majority of my ornaments are animals. I …

Holiday Cheer in Warwick

We took the grandbabies to the Picozzi Family Christmas display in Warwick last week. It was a terrific hit. The grownups, and kids from 8 to 18 months were transfixed and charmed by the light display set to music.

They were out of the car, dancing and clapping to "Dominick the Donkey," a family favorite. By the time "Let it Go" came around, we were back in the car, listening to the music on the family's radio station, 97.1 FM, which broadcasts 17 songs on a loop. The entire loop runs about an hour, and you'll hear "Let It Go" twice. If you've been "Frozen" out, as many adults have, you'll appreciate that they've truncated the song by cutting out the bridge. Still, the kids love it.

This year the family is collecting donations for the Rhode Island-based Tomorrow Fund. There's a donation box at the front of the display, and 100% of receipts go to the Fund.

It's a great gift to the community.

Press release ~ Ocean State Theatre Company ~ Warwick

WARWICK, RI – Ocean State Theatre Company (OSTC), the not-for-profit professional theatre company, which is currently celebrating its fourth season in its state-of-the-art theatre in Warwick, is thrilled to have surpassed last season’s “Take a Seat” Challenge goal, by nearly 20%! During its first season, 89 seats were “taken,” and are proudly displaying dedicated nameplates throughout the theatre.

“We are so humbled by the response and grateful to every supporter,” said Amiee Turner, OSTC’s Producing Artistic Director. “The second phase of the ‘Take a Seat’ Challenge has already begun and we are thrilled with the number of seats which have already been taken as part of the new phase. Our patrons have seized the opportunity to support our organization and become a real part of Ocean State Theatre for years to come by placing their name, the name of a loved one, and business names on one or more of the fixed seats in the audito…

Artists ~ Elisha ~ Westerly

Artist’s name: Elisha
Shop name: Dark Moon Designs
Instagram: @liiiiish

1. Tell us about your work: 
My work includes mostly natural materials. I really love working with natural wood and items I find on my own. Healing crystals are also worked into a lot of my pieces as well. I'm a little obsessed with them...

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business? 
I am crazy about the moon. I work best at night and I sort of flow by the phases of the moon. Sounds silly but you do what works, right?

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer? 
Well I wouldn't call myself a "professional" really...I do it on the side of my main business as a full time independent hair stylist. I just love to create and work with my hands. I've always been a crafter/artist since I was very young. I get it from my mother who was an artist when she was my age.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration? 
It really has to just strike me. I have dry spells where I literally…

Shop local ~ Shelfdig

A few months ago I helped beta test a new service called Shelfdig. It recently launched for general use.

If you like shopping local, this is the site for you. They've connected with local shops and artisans around Providence and broken down their offerings by neighborhoods, stores, and gift guides for all types of recipients.

You can also search by product. A search for "silver rings" brings up dozens of shops in the Providence area, as well as a map so you can find what you want, closest to you.

I found this unique orange and black sapphire ring at Pie in the Sky on Thayer Street.

From there, I could place a hold with the merchant, or add it to a shopping list or wish list.

In fact, I'm making a wish list on shelfdig right now.  Hint hint.

Small Business Saturday should be a year-round thing. With shelfdig, it will be.