Celebrate the Holidays RNEST Style

Although I will be leaving my beloved Rochester NY Etsy street team in early 2012, at least my time will end with a bang! This summer our team won an Etsy Grant to rent a space in the city to host a variety of creative, community activities. All through December members of our team will be hosting a variety of events. Please join us!

Below are links to our events on Facebook
  • Craftmas: Etsy Style! First Friday Holiday Craft Sale
    (Friday, December 2nd, 5pm-9pm & Saturday, December 3rd, noon-4pm)
    A Handmade Holiday hits the Hungerford Building! Come shop from a selection of quality items made by local artists. Give the gift of handmade this holiday season!

  • Clothing Swap
    (Monday, December 5th, 7pm-9pm)
    It’s time to clean out that closet!
    Bring in your unwanted clothing and take home some new-to-you pieces for your wardrobe...all for free! RNEST artists will also be available to teach demos with techniques for altering and upcycling your clothes into fun, new items!
    *Any clothing left over at the end of the night will be donated. Nothing will go to waste!

  • Creative Play Session HOSTED BY MYSELF and HEATHER VITTICORE!!!!
    (Saturday, December 10th, 7pm-8:30pm)
    Creativity boosting activities and exercises to spark your artistic inspiration and get out of a rut. Come with an open mind and leave with ideas for new projects! (For ages teen and up)
  • Open Craft Night: Etsy Style!
    (Thursday, December 15th, 6pm-9pm)
    Demos: glass pendant soldering, knitting, bead weaving and MORE! Everyone is invited for a handmade, fun-filled evening of simple planned projects and unstructured time with RNEST artists. Bring your crafty works-in-progress, share our supplies, experiment with our tools, and ask us about tips and techniques. A small sampling of our works will also be available for sale.


I Said Yes!

This weekend the most amazing thing happened.

I went to Cleveland...

...and I got engaged to one of my best friends and the love of my life!

What the what?!

In 2002 I met Carl in an Intro to Ceramics class at The Cleveland Institute of Art where we were both students at the time. I came into the first class late and caught his eye. He asked me to partner with him on a project and it didn't take long before we fell in love. We dated for 2 years until he graduated ahead of me and moved for work out of state.

Over the half decade since we tried long distance, fell out of contact for a short time, and then reconnected for years of deep friendship over the phone and through email. For over a year we have been trying to visit each other in person again.

We finally had our chance with a trip to Cleveland on 11/11/11. You'd think after 4 years apart, that a proposal would be out of the question, but I just had a feeling (and a hope!). Luckily so did he. After he proposed at Cav du Vin (my favorite bar in Cleveland!) we visited the place where we met a couple days later to shoot these engagement photos.

In January we will be relocating together for his new job in Pennsylvania as a designer for Crayola. I am so thankful for this chance to make up for lost time, to make a fresh start in a new place, and to have the best partner in the world to do it all with!

I feel amazing :)


Get In On Small Business Saturday

Occupy has been occupying my mind...One of my favorite new aphorisms from the movement is: "If you want to occupy Wall Street do your holiday shopping at a small independent merchant."

The weekend after Thanksgiving sometimes brings our ugly consumerist selves to the surface. Black Friday ads from monster size companies that help no one, but the 1% are in our faces already. More recent Cyber Monday (online) sales are joining the line up. Some suggest boycotting the biggest sale days of the year all together to consider what's really important. I say spend your money wisely with these deals if you must, but really put your holiday bank into the newer Small Business Saturday.

For more info visit the official website: smallbusinesssaturday.com

Buenahelena is a small independent business. It's run by a teacher, part of the extremely shafted 99%. My items are handmade, with care, professional skill and for a fair wage, in America.

I am offering a discount for the entire Black-Friday-Small-Business-Saturday-Cyber-Monday weekend (November 25th-28th). Use the coupon code: BUENATHANKS and receive 20% off your purchase at buenahelena.etsy.com (excludes shipping).

Support local! Support handmade! Support your community!


Finished...for the Root of Art and Craft

I posted about my newest piece, Sacred Heart, in progress recently. Well, I finally finished and exhibited it at The Root of Art and Craft this past Saturday. One or two labor intensive works a year are all I can handle while teaching, but molding minds is pretty excellent. I can't complain. This piece feels like a good fit for a show mean to reconcile the gray area between art and craft.

When I helped set it up the night before, I saw this painting of Mother Teresa going up and thought my piece would go nicely with the religious imagery in a kitschy and strange way. I don't know how the painter felt, but I was pretty stoked by the combination.

Here is the artist statement that goes with the piece, including the text embroidered on the cloth the antlers are set on:

" During my BFA thesis research at the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2006 I began working with deer imagery as a way to explore the effect of suburban sprawl on the herd population in my hometown. That work led to an investigation of hunting and hunters as a solution to culling unhealthy herds. By talking to hunters, studying literature on hunting and getting my hunting license in Ohio, my eyes were opened to an ageless activity imbued with ritual and reverence for nature. This most recent piece calls that spiritual power to mind by mixing evidence of hunting with the decorative elements of a religious object.

Hunting has become my personal metaphor for creative inspiration and art making. The quote embroidered on this piece speaks to that belief: ' The emotions that good hunters need to cultivate are love and service....The sentiments of the hunt then become translated into art.' -James Swan, In Defense of Hunting

Carol Traynor, October 2011"