Art For Life Philly Honors Jane Golden, Judy Brodsky and James Brantley!

On Saturday, November 3rd,  Danny Simmons, and Rush Arts 

invite you to the inaugural Art For Life Philadelphia!

 Honoring Jane Golden of Mural Arts; artist, printmaker, professor, art activist Judy Brodsky, and artist James Brantley at this years’ Art For Life Philadelphia at The Painted BrideJoin us at #ArtForLifePhilly as we celebrate our honorees; showcase the #ArtForLifePhilly Art Auction featuring works by Derrick AdamsRashid JohnsonShepard Fairey & more; and continue to expand and highlight those central to our Rush Arts Philly mission: the youth & artists that bring our work to life!

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018
The Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA
6p Arrivals & Cocktails
7p  Program

For additional information or to purchase tickets visit:  http://rushphilanthropic.org/artforlifephilly/.

Rush Arts Philadelphia (RAP), a project of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (RPAF), has announced the honorees for the 2018 ART FOR LIFE PHILLY benefit on November 3, 2018 at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. It is the first time Art for Life is being held in Philadelphia. The honorees are Judith Brodsky, founder of the Brodsky Center which recently relocated to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art (PAFA) from Rutgers University; Philadelphia figure and portrait painter James Brantley; and Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Artist, poet and philanthropist Danny Simmons founded RAP in 2016 after relocating his home to Philadelphia from Brooklyn, NY. Simmons decided to locate RAP in the Logan section of Philadelphia to spur a revitalization of the neighborhood through the arts. Since RAP’s founding the organization has offered visual and performing arts classes to children and adults, including free progressive, multi-week programs, and exhibitions that have provided exposure to emerging artists and curators of color, while also introducing the Logan residents to high-quality fine art. RAP has exhibition and programming partnerships with the Barnes Foundation, Art Sanctuary, PAFA, the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AMMP), and Mural Arts Philadelphia (MAP), among others.

For Art for Life Philly, Danny Simmons hopes to create a new cannot miss event, with a more accessible ticket price starting at $150. Donors can further support the event by purchasing art donated by visual artists for the occasion.

ART FOR LIFE PHILLY’s hosts are Angela and Vanessa Simmons, nieces of Danny Simmons.  Angela and Vanessa were recently elected to the board of RPAF. Manayunk real estate development and entrepreneur, and Angela and Vanessa’s colleague on the PRAF board Lenny Bazemore serves as co-host andJo-Jo Simmons will serve as honorary co-host.

For additional information or to purchase tickets visit:  http://rushphilanthropic.org/artforlifephilly/.

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Kysaa – Pure Fashion

Handmade Philly got the chance to interview Kinjal Mehta, a handmade artist from Philadelphia.  Kinjal runs a shop called Kysaa – Pure Fashion. Come with me to take a peek into the creative world of Kinjal Mehta.

G1Where does the name of your shop come from?

Kysaa is a Swedish name which means Pure.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

I am a freelance designer. After studying fashion design at Parsons Design school I started my label Kysaa.

Why do you do what you do?

I love fashion and I believe in living with style. Kysaa is my effort to spread pure fashion to all the beautiful people out there.

1-AB7_1096How do you create when you don’t feel particularly creative?

Whenever I am down, I look at the work of my favorite designers, go shopping take a day of to get some inspiration.

When did you start?

I have been into designing and fashion for about 5 years but I started my shop a year back.

Where do you want to go with this?

I want to create hi-end designer label that is all handmade and customized.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Wow, thats beautiful, how long does it take to knit that, you are so creative, etc.

What is your dream project?

To knit a couture piece, dress or gown.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

To believe in yourself and to do something you love in life and not just with the goal of earning money.

Professionally, what’s your goal?

To establish a successful brand.

Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?

I have always wanted to design; I used to design my clothes as kid too, so it has always been my thing to make something.

Which of your handmade pieces is your favorite?

I love all of them as each one is unique but my fave is the orange wrap and black shrug with back design.

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What would you call your style?

Elegant, chic and sophisticated.

Did you ever feel like giving up?

Yes lot of times, as it’s been hard for me to spread word out of my work but somehow I always get my inspiration back.

What’s the best thing about being a handmade artist?

Your freedom and being your own boss.

What’s the worst thing about being a handmade artist?

It’s a struggle to spread out the word and so to earn a living.

1-AB7_1124(1)Any advice you want to give anyone starting up a business of their own?

It’s going to be hard but hang in there because nothing else will give you satisfaction than doing what you love.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

Making my first scarf for my Spiritual Guru, it gave me so much happiness and satisfaction.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

I am a part of Philly’s Raw artist community, where I did a fashion show and was nominated for the Philadelphia Fashion Designer for the Year. I also promote social networks too. I have also opened my shop on Zibbet and Threadflip besides Etsy.

Let our readers in on some of the frustrations behind the work, or an especially difficult project.

The biggest frustration with knitting is you can’t go wrong, it’s difficult to get accurate fit. And since the whole piece is made from one thread, you can’t easily alter the design, patterns once made.

Where else can we find you?

Facebook- kysaa | Twitter @kysaak

Tumblr- http://kysaa.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kysaak/boards/

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About the Author: Niesha Kennedy-Robinson is a lover of things handmade.  Besides being a wife and a mother, she is the owner and operator of Wee Bit Trendy, a small online shop that provides Handmade Faux Treats for Baby.  She loves DIY (why buy when you can DIY), and doing PR for Sharp with Art Group and West Park Arts Festival and giving back to her community by volunteering for different organizations.

Your Pink Angels Pink Pop Up Boutique

Your Pink Angels Pink Pop Up Boutique

Come shop, network and listen to LIVE music while encouraging cancer survivors. Meet some of your Handmade Philly members who will be vending at this event.

Boutique featuring shoes, jewelry and custom made items, clothing and more.

Sun October 27, 2013 3-7 pm
Soup Factory Studio
6143 Germantown Avenue

A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to cancer focused organizations.

Knitted Luxury for Women, Children & Home by Jemma Helliker

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Jemma Helliker is a fellow Handmade Philly member and is on the Handmade Philly Etsy Team.  Her shop, Squidge & Bean, contains hand-knit accessories crafted from the finest merino and alpaca wool sourced from independent hand dyers from the USA and Uruguay. Each item is lovingly created by Jemma in my smoke-free, pet-free home. We got a chance to ask her a few questions about exactly what it is that she does.  Check it out below.

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Where does the name of your shop come from?

Squidge & Bean comes from my children’s nicknames. Squidge is my adorably bossy almost four-year-old daughter and Bean is my frighteningly fearless almost two-year-old son. As my children inspire so much of my work, it is only natural that my shop is named after them.

 Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

I am originally from the great city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (think the Brown Ale) in England. Eight years ago I followed my heart and moved to Philly.

While here, I have had quite a journey. I first became a middle-school teacher, then I became a mum, and now I design and create hand-knitted accessories for Squidge & Bean and sell my items online and at craft fairs.

I’m happy to say my British roots are still alive and kicking; I am unable to get through a day without multiple cups of tea with milk and I continue to insist it is pronounced, “tom-are-toe”.

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What is your favorite…

Color: Purple

Animal: Elephant

Season: Spring

Movie: Dirty Dancing

Book: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

What would you call your style?

My style is classic and simple. I am committed to using only independently produced animal and plant-based yarns and I create items that allow the yarn to be the star.

When and where did you start?

My grandma and mother introduced me to the art of knitting on a cold winter evening in 2009. They patiently fixed my mistakes as I struggled through my first baby beanie. The finished hat was ugly, but I was hooked.

Knitting is my addiction and now my work. I dream about new patterns and spend my free time experimenting and creating new accessories out of beautiful yarns.

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 What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

I have transformed a corner of the spare bedroom into my studio/office space. With two small kids, it is a little difficult to create any sort of regular pattern and routine, but during naptimes (if I’m lucky) and in the evenings I love to retreat to “the office” to design, create, and enjoy some quiet time.

Do you listen to music when you create?

I’m a Pandora addict. The Mumford and Sons station is my current favorite.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m busy getting ready for the 30th Street Craft Fair on June 15th. I love the challenge of creating knits for spring and summer. For the kids, I’m working on Montessori inspired toys, for the home, I’m creating beautiful covers for vases and candle holders, and for her, I’m working on a range of detachable collars and yoga socks.

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What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Custom orders always produce the best responses from customers. There is something very special about developing a relationship with a customer and picturing them as I work. Last year, I worked with a great customer to create a pair of cashmere fingerless mittens for her cousin. They turned out fabulously and I keep her happy feedback and photos close by if I’m ever in need of motivation.

What’s the best thing about being a handmade artist?

Creating beautiful things with my hands.
What’s the worst thing about being a handmade artist?

Too many ideas and not enough time.

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Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I would love to be working on Squidge & Bean full time. I hope to not only be knitting, but also producing my own yarns and teaching others how to knit. And who knows, maybe in ten years I may have some folks helping me achieve all this!

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

I’m still new to Etsy, but the one thing that has stood out to me is the importance of good photography. Learn how to take drool-worthy photographs and get familiar with the photo-editing tools on your computer. I am amazed by the improvements to my photos with a few clicks.

How do you keep in touch with the public?

I update my blog, closeknitblog.wordpress.com, with behind the scenes news and updates and Etsy treasuries inspired by my life.

You can also keep in touch with me on Facebook (squidgeandbean.facebook.com), follow me on Twitter (@squidgebean) and shop online at squidgeandbean.etsy.com and in person the 30th Street Craft Fair on June 15th.

Handmade Philly Etsy Treasury

Just wanted to show some love to my fellow Handmade Philly Etsy Members.  I created an Etsy Treasury of some of the coolest items handmade by Philadelphians.

Handmade Philly

Niesha Kennedy-Robinson is a lover of things handmade.  Besides being a wife and a mother, she is the owner and operator of Wee Bit Trendy, a small online shop that provides Handmade Faux Treats for Baby.  She loves DIY (why buy when you can DIY), and doing PR for Sharp with Art Group and West Park Arts Festival.

Handmade Philly Member Feature: Danni M

Danni Morinich, a member of Handmade Philly was given the opportunity to create a soap for The Italian Market Visitors Center. She lives in the neighborhood, she was not only honored to be asked, but so pleased at the result.

If you’re in the neighborhood for the Italian Festival Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th, stop by and see how she worked with the Italian Market Visitors Center to create a soap with an appearance that pays homage to the originators of the market in fragrances that are a nod to the importance of food in the market.
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These gems make perfect gifts for the tourist, the foodie or those who still call Philly home while taking up residence elsewhere.

This soap is available exclusively at the Italian Market Visitors Center 919 S. 9th Street (Just south of 9th and Christian between Montrose Street and Salter Street (215) 278-2903.

Niesha Kennedy-Robinson is a lover of things handmade. Besides being a wife and a mother, she is the owner and operator of Wee Bit Trendy, a small online shop that provides Handmade Faux Treats for Baby. She loves DIY (why buy when you can DIY), and doing PR for Sharp with Art Group and West Park Arts Festival

Featured Handmade Phillyer: Meet Alyse Schulte

Alyse in Mexico City
Alyse is a graphic designer and currently runs an Etsy Shop called Random Lake. Random Lake sells a variety of items in the shop and all items are design and made by Alyse. Let us take a peek into her world.

Where does your shop name “Random Lake” come from?

The name Random Lake comes from a small town right outside where my aunt lives in Wisconsin. Not only is it a beautiful town, I felt the name described a lot about me and my design.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?

I grew up and went to school in Florida. I moved to Philly about two years ago and love everything about it. I am a graphic designer, I enjoy freelancing and all the people it has allowed me to meet and work with.
Why do you do what you do?
I love how stimulating all the creativity in my life is. I am always searching for new ways to express my ideas, which is what led me to creating Random Lake. It allowed me to design for myself and then share with everyone, instead of vice versa.
How do you stay fresh?
I keep a very open mind when coming up with ideas for projects. I love trying all new types of projects and if I’m stuck with a print design, I’ll move over to jewelry design or a different medium until my ideas make their way out.
How do you create when you don’t feel particularly creative?
If I am not feeling very creative, it always helps me to look at what other people are doing; a lot of times my inspiration comes from seeing what others are capable of. During the weekends, when I want to get away from my computer, I love taking day trips out of the city. I enjoy going hiking or exploring interesting places in the area. One of the last places I’ve been in Philly that really stood out to me was The Cliffs, (the house where Sarah Franklin sewed bandages for soldiers during the Revolutionary War) in Fairmount Park.
When did you start?
I have been designing as long as I can remember, but I started Random Lake in February 2013.
Where do you want to go with this?
A dream of mine would be to run a kind hybrid between a graphic design shop and boutique. For now though, it would be great to see Random Lake expand and become recognized in the community.
Brownstone Earrings

Brownstone Earrings

Adjustable Deer Ring

Adjustable Deer Ring

Who is on your Ipod?
I listen to a little bit of everything. Some of my favorites are Rilo Kiley, The Weakerthans, AA Bondy, and Wye Oak. One musician that can always motivate me is Buddy Holly, its hard to be lazy when I hear him. I also love a lot of different podcasts, including WTF with Marc Maron and Comedy Bang Bang.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
A lot of historical sites and stories inspire me.The most recent project that I have developed has been dedicated to the USS United States. I’ve been keeping up with the news of the plans to destroy the ship for scrap metal if enough money isn’t raised over the next month. I designed a poster to help raise money to preserve the ship.
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What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I really love doing personalized projects. People are always so grateful and love to see their designs and ideas in motion.
Did you ever feel like giving up?
 My creativity usually comes in marathon sized packages. I’ll spend every waking minute for weeks working on things until every idea inside of me has come out. This usually leads to a period of time where I don’t do much in the way of designing or crafting. I have learned to develop hobbies that don’t require much room for variation to keep myself productive. I have taken up canning and gardening for those times when I just can’t work in the studio.
What is the first craft project you remember making?
I remember making my own play-dough with my Mom when I was a kid. The first part of the process, I remember thinking we were making cookies, when I found it was a toy, it was even better.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

I am a new Etsy seller myself, and I would definitely say put your all into it. Every time you have an idea, do it! You’ll most likely end up with an awesome piece for your shop.

Do you listen to music when you create?

I usually have music, a podcast, or the tv on, but it’s really only background noise. I usually in my own head when I am working.

Have you had formal training?

I went to UNF in Jacksonville, Fl for Graphic Design and Digital Media. My classes were really small and it was a tight-knit group.
Where do you live & how does it influence you?
I live in South Philly, just off Passyunk Ave. I have a small house with my boyfriend and I have enough room to have my own studio. Our house and neighborhood is a dream come true, we have great neighbors and a little garden on our patio. Being happy with where I live has definitely made an impact on how I work. I spend less time fantasizing about what I could have and I have started creating and working with what I do have. A lot of my work is inspired by the city and the different personalities the neighborhoods take on.
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Alyse’s first craft show is going to be the 30th Street Craft Market on June 15th in Philadelphia. She’s very excited about it, so hopefully you’ll make a visit to her booth and let her know that you saw her interview on Handmade Philly.  You can shop with Alyse Schulte at her Random Lake Etsy Shop, Read her Blog at Made By Alyse.
Interviewer: Niesha Kennedy-Robinson is a lover of things handmade.  Besides being a wife and a mother, she is the owner and operator of Wee Bit Trendy, a small online shop that provides Handmade Faux Treats for Baby.  She loves DIY (why buy when you can DIY), and doing PR for Sharp with Art Group and West Park Arts Festival.
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