Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sights ~ 347 Broadway ~ Providence

The Charles L. Eaton House
347 Broadway
Providence, Rhode Island

This impressive Queen Anne-style Victorian sits directly across from Seven Stars Bakery. 
347 Broadway, Providence

I wasn't able to find anything of note about Charles L. Eaton, but the house itself is online, because apparently it's for sale. It's been converted to mixed use and houses a medical office.

The interior images from the sale site show great detailed woodwork, stained glass and ceiling painting. It's a stunning example.

Rhody artists ~ Michael & Erin Waite ~ Pawtucket

Michael and Erin Waite
Olive Spoon Studio
Pawtucket/Providence RI
Blog: http://olivespoonstudio.blogspot.com/
Twitter: WaiteErin
Facebook: not yet, but coming this weekend!

1. Tell us about your work
Michael and I repurpose vintage and antique silverplated flatware into jewelry, garden markers, and message-stamped silverware. We both love to hunt through garage sale, estate sales, and little out-of-the-way antiques shops all over New England. In today's economy and with the growing trend to make do, or to make new, spoon jewelry is making a comeback in popularity. The detail and artistry of antique flatware is amazing, and it is such a shame to come across a box of gorgeous silverware, tarnished and forgotton, in the back corner of a shop. We love to rescue it, shine it up, and give it a new function!

image: etsy

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter?
I have always had a need to create. I studied ceramics for many years, eventually becoming a professional potter and ceramic instructor, teaching at art museums. After having my second child, I chose to put pottery aside for a season and focus on raising my babies. However, the pull to create led me to dicover the world of metal clay, and I began making and selling artisan jewelry at Purple Blossom Studio on Etsy. My love of flowers, jewelry, and vintage silverware (we have quite the collection that we use as our daily utensils!) all came together into this wonderful venture I share with my husband.

Michael has the kind of brain that can look at a complicated piece of machinery, and understand how it works. He can take it apart, and put it back together, often altering it to function better. He is the King of Repurposing, and many times has built machines out of odd bits and pieces. As he says, he likes to start with a pile of nothing, and end up with something! He loves to design items for his huge organic garden, like the moveable greenhouse he built a couple of years ago, and the giant compost bins made of old treadmill running belts. He finds a lot of pleasure in taking something that has been labled as junk and modifying it to have a new life as part of something else.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Inspiration is often found within the spoon or fork we are working with - the design will lend itself to a certain style. For the handstamped message utensils (coming soon to the shop), the daily joy and humor of marriage and family life is our inspiration.

image: etsy

4. What’s your favorite item to make?
Rings! It is so fun to see how old eating utensils become the most glamorous of adornments when bent, formed, and placed on a finger.

image: etsy

5. What’s your best seller?
Ask us in a year! Our shop is brand new, but it will be interesting to see which of the different types of items we create from silverware will become the most popular.

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I have lived in RI for eight years, and Michael has lived here for four years.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
Probably our favorite place in all of Rhode Island is Wickenden Street in Providence. We had our first date on that street, sipping coffee from The Coffee Exchange, and later chatting with the owner of the glass studio, Gallery Belleau, in the middle of the night (he was packing up for a show). Ever since, each special occasion has been marked by the gift of a glass flower, and everyday is begun with The Coffee Exchange's wonderful brew.

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
We have a dream: to someday have our own little homestead with chickens scratching in the yard and a large garden out back. Land enough for our children to roam and discover through all their growing-up years. Olive Spoon Studio is the first step towards that dream becoming a reality!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dining ~ Liberty Elm Diner ~ Providence

Liberty Elm Diner
777 Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI 02907
(401) 467-0777

When Bear and I were living in the South Side of Providence, we loved to stop at the Liberty Elm Diner after church every Sunday. When we moved to the Northwest Side, we found we don't get there as often. That's a shame, because they serve great food at reasonable prices.

Liberty Elm Diner

Liberty Elm diner

They're a popular spot both locally and for out-of-towners, which you can see in the guest book they keep on the counter. I usually see Tink and Judy there, always friendly, as much with the newcomers as with the regulars.They even remembered us from our last visit, more than a year ago.

Wherever possible, Liberty Elm sources its food from local farms, meaning you're getting fresh, local produce and meats. It definitely shows.

Bear always gets the Monte Cristo sandwich, which she discovered at Liberty Elm and has loved ever since. I like to switch it up among their Mayflower turkey and cranberry, the Black and Blue burger, a breakfast sandwich and their terrific French toast. And it's always served with a little paper umbrella. Also highly recommended: the fresh-squeezed lemon-limeade served with a bottle of simple syrup so you can sweeten it to your own taste.

The diner itself is a 1947 Worcester Lunch Car (#806) and was originally operated as the Central Diner at 27 West Exchange St. There had been a diner there since 1932, although not in this particular car. In 1953, the car moved to its present location at 777 Elmwood Ave., under the ownership of Ralph J. Narducci.


Narducci ran the diner until 1968, when it passed to Christopher Artigian who ran it until 1972. After a series of owners and names (and paint/siding jobs), it was purchased by Carol DeFeciani who restored the diner to its 1947 charmand renamed it the Liberty Elm as a nod to her pledge to give 1% of profits to restoring the elm trees on Elmwood Avenue that were lost to Dutch elm disease or street widening.

Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives visited the Elm, and gave rave reviews to its chowder, johnnycakes and turkey. He wasn't alone, as the clip below shows, native Rhode Islanders know where to find great versions of their home state's favorites.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Events ~ Slater Mill Fiber Arts Yard Sale ~ July 10, 2011 ~ Pawtucket

Fiber Arts Yard Sale
Slater Mill
67 Roosevelt Ave.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rhody artist ~ Elsie Collins ~ North Providence

Name: Elsie Collins
Location: 58 Waterman Ave. N. Providence, RI 02911-1132  Phone: 401-231-4343
Etsy shop: Thistle Cottage Studio
Website: http://www.orsinimedici1951.etsy.com/
Blog: www.merchantcircle.com/blogs/thistlecottagestudio.
Twitter: orsinimedici195
Facebook: Elsie Collins

1. Tell us about your work
I am an apparel-costume designer, master dressmaker/patternmaker,milliner, and teacher.

image: etsy

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter?
I've been a designer who has always pushed the boundaries of my creativity, always looking to try new mediums. I am predominantly self-taught, and attended Rhode Island School of Design in the 80's, where I studied apparel design and pattern drafting.

I spent 3 years as an apprentice to an Italian tailor, and at that point considered myself a true professional. Read on, for the details of my career progression, as a shop owner, and costumer in the theater.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
The short answer is that I am lucky to have always kept my creative channel wide open, and ideas simply pour into my mind and heart like rain!! I love history, art history, fashion history, the Renaissance, the Victorian, and Edwardian eras, beautiful textiles, other artists, movies, nature, and so much more--I guess that's more than a short answer!!

4. What’s your favorite item to make?
At the moment, I just cannot stop making hats, and am learning new, professional techniques of blocking and sizing my hats with millinery materials I've never used before. It's VERY exciting!!!

image: etsy

5. What’s your best seller?
My bestseller has been, hands down, my line of Peruvian Inspired Crocheted Chulla Hats. they are very folk artsy, and very rich in colors and textures. They are beautiful, cozy, warm, and lots of fun to wear!! And they are also very affordable!!

image: etsy

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I have lived and loved Rhode Island all my life, with the exception of having lived in Seattle, WA for 7 months when I was first married.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
What I love about Rhode Island is it's incredible beauty, it's small size, and it's rich historical heritage, combined with a very complete art scene, including our award winning Trinity Repertory Company, where I spent 2 years sewing costumes!! I was bitten and smitten with the theater bug as a Project Discovery kid in high school, and have been involved with the theater off and on throughout my life, even having survived summer stock twice!!

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
My contribution would not be complete without including a little bit of my family history, which is my Etsy usuer name, orsinimedici. This is from my Etsy profile page.

The name Thistle Cottage Studio comes from a trip I took to the south of Scotland in 1995, and was so charmed by the fact that people name their houses. I adore the U.K., English decor, shabby chic, antiques, vintage textiles, European and particularly Italian Renaissance history, art, art history, mask making, period hats and costumes, period movies and books, Jane Austen, J.W. Waterhouse, mythology, poetry, period and Celtic music, and a more gentile way of life. The name orsinimedici comes as a result of the research I did, while costuming an original opera about the life of Michelangelo, in the summer of '08. In the process, I began to connect myth with reality! I would hear tales in my childhood, of how the Orsini's were once royalty in Italy, and that we had royal blood in our veins. My mother was an Orsini, and my grandfathers' ancestors were the Orsini's who married into the Medici family in Florence in the 1400's. These two dynasties went on to build all of Florence(
Fiorenze), and much of Tuscany, making it the center of art and culture in the Renaissance world, and as we know it today. It was also the Orsini-Medici fleet of ships that defeated the invasion of the Port of Venice, by the Ottoman Turks in the 1500's. A tower in the port commemorates the event.The Orsini's were the owners of the now Castello Odescalchi in Bracciano, until the 1700's! It is the same castle that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married in!! There were 3 Orsini Popes, several Cardinals, including Cardinal Orsini, who was poisoned by Alexander Borge, in his ruthless efforts to gain the throne of the Italian Papacy. Even Mary Queen of Scots shows up in our family tree, as the daughter-in-law of Catherine de Medici, when she was married as a young girl to the Dauphine of France. Learning that my mothers' ancestors were responsible for the patronage of Michelangelo, DaVinci, Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Bellini, Brunelleschi, and so many more, is someth
ing that I may never be able to fully absorb. Now I understa!
nd my bones, and why my mother was such a creative genius!! Who needs a PhD, when you have this kind of DNA?!

Rhode Island School of Design/Apparel Design
3 yr. Apprenticeship to an Italian Tailor
1987-95 Owner of Samsara Designs/Retail & Custom Design, Prov.,RI
2002 RI State Council on the Arts and Humanities Award Grant for my
Exhibition: One Hundred Years of Fashion:1850-1950
(over 200 pieces of authentic designer vintage, and my reproduction clothing, hats, accessories and wall art).

Theatrical Costuming for:
Trinity Repertory Co.(RI), The Walnut St. Theater (Phil.PA), The Shakespearean Theater of Maine at Monmouth, Celebration Mime Ensemble(S.Paris ME), Everett Dance Ensemble, Opera Providence,
Opera RI, Looking GlassTheater, Barker Playhouse, CCRI, Bristol Community College, American BioTechnologies TV commercial, and most recently (2011) "Triangle" for Hope High School. This play is heading to the Fringe Festival in
Edinburgh, Scotland this August..
I now create merchandise for my ETSY shop, and teach apparel design and textile related courses in my studio to adults and children as young as seven years old!
I have been sewing since the age of ten, at my mothers side. I still use and teach on her
ca. 1976 Bernina 830 sewing machine!! I'm certain that she is watching over my studio, and is very happy to see her Bernina humming away with little ones learning to sew on it!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr group

Narragansett Bay
Narragansett Bay by 12MeterCharters

Providence R.I.
Providence R.I. by BlueisCoool

bright in the sun
bright in the sun by boliyou (I {heart} Rhody)

WaterFire Providence, RI 4-27-11
WaterFire Providence, RI 4-27-11 by Dave Amadio Photography

Fish Ladder
Fish Ladder by Here At All

IMG_9125 - Copy
IMG_9125 - Copy by mary jane 43

With you always
With you always by MattJohnston401

Sunrise on Greenwich Cove - East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Sunrise on Greenwich Cove - East Greenwich, Rhode Island by misterfoto

Bridge At The Carousel In Roger Williams Park
Bridge At The Carousel In Roger Williams Park by MyDay247

Water and Rocks
Water and Rocks by nat_19901

Conanicut Lighthouse, Rhode Island
Conanicut Lighthouse, Rhode Island by nelights

Atlantic Beach Coastline & Beach Houses, Westerly RI
Atlantic Beach Coastline & Beach Houses, Westerly RI by Perpetual Twilight Photography

Misquamicut (Westerly, RI)
Misquamicut (Westerly, RI) by NetParrot

Untitled by provbenson2009

Gazebo at Pawtuxet Cove
Gazebo at Pawtuxet Cove by R Joanne

Trying to slip under the lip
Trying to slip under the lip by robert.rinkel

under the dome: rhode island state house #1
under the dome: rhode island state house #1 by undergroundbastard

Gilbert Stuart Museum
Gilbert Stuart Museum by SteelToad

Harbor View - Newport, RI
Harbor View - Newport, RI by sgitlin

Untitled by siriusthinking

Castle Hill Light
Castle Hill Light by robtm2010

Rhode Island Sunset
Rhode Island Sunset by Sandytravelbug

Gilbert Stuart birthplace and museum
Gilbert Stuart birthplace and museum by Rick Payette

Watch Hill Light
Watch Hill Light by rexp2

Daylight Fading
Daylight Fading by loki851

IMG_3577 by little art-girl

My first quahog
My first quahog by kristin82175

yellow sign
yellow sign by kobrienjewelry

Derby_5133 by KLout Photo®

Love Is Life
Love Is Life by J Adams Photography

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rhody Artist ~ New Moon Studio

Hilal Minda
Providence, RI
Etsy shops: http://www.newmoonstudio.etsy.com; http://www.newmooncrochet.etsy.com

1. Tell us about your work
My focus is to develop lines of functional ceramics as well as decorative pieces. I create all my work on a turning wheel or build it by hand. I also have a degree in architecture and I try to incorporate principles and ideas from that field into my artwork.

image: etsy

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter?
I always loved playing with clay since I was a little girl. I was making miniature cups and bowls from our garden soil. I loved watching them dry in the sun…My mother noticed my interest and talent and gave me an opportunity to take extra art classes after school. After one year of preparations for the entrance exams I was accepted to the Marmara University Department of Fine Arts in 1996 and I studied Ceramics/Sculpture for four years. I came to United States in 2000 and established New Moon Studio in April of 2001.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I come from very rich cultural background. The Anatolian and Mediterranean history, traditions and way of life have always been a great influence on my work. These can sometimes be seen in the shapes or in my bright colors choices. I love using contrasting colors on simple or organic shapes.

4. What’s your favorite item to make?
I absolutely love making nested bowls. I have several nested bowl designs and I am always searching for the new ones to explore and refine. They are also a lot of fun to make!!!

image: etsy

5. What’s your best seller?
My best seller item is the Red Pomegranate Vase!

image: etsy

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I have been living in RI since 2000.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
First of all I love living very close to the ocean. Rhode Island has so many wonderful sceneries all year round. Nature is beautiful every season but I think my favorite time is fall. I LOVE seeing all the magnificent trees turning to their magical colors. This is a wonderful state full of great history to learn and discover.

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
Thank you for the great opportunity.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Events ~ Picnic at the Point Festival ~ August 21 ~ Warwick

Picnic at the Point Festival
Conimicut Point Park
Warwick, Rhode Island
August 21, 2011
12:00 - 5:00 pm

Event ~ True Blood Drive ~ June 24 - Providence

BelieveIt Tour
True Blood Drive
Rhode Island Blood Center
405 Promenade Street
Providence, Rhode Island
June 24, 2011
5:00 - 8:00 pm

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dining ~ Charlie's 404 ~ Providence

Charlie's 404
404 Benefit St.
Providence, Rhode Island

Charlie's 404

Bear and I took a walk around Benefit Street a couple of weeks ago. One of our stops was Charlie's 404, a little sandwich shop on the corner of Transit Street, not coincidentally right next door to Darwin's liquors.

Darwin's liquor

The interior is cozy, with dark wood and reds.

Charlie's 404 interior

Charlie's 404 interior

Kurt behind the counter was friendly and helpful. He told us about the specials and "build your own" sandwiches. It's easy to see why this is a popular neighborhood place. They also offer board games, reading material, TV and free wi-fi.

Charlie's 404 interior

Bear had the pulled pork sandwich with sweet sauce. She declared it "really good." I had the French Dip with horseradish cheddar. Whew! the cheese was potent! It was a great sandwich.

We also tried Darren's own baklava. I don't know who Darren is, exactly, but he makes good baklava. It was sweet and moist. Flaky without falling apart all over.

We'd definitely make another trip there.