Monday, July 23, 2012

South Side Works Exposed Recap

Several of our artist members can often be seen vending at local indie craft fairs and artist markets.  On July 13-15, 2012 several of them vended at the South Side Works Exposed artist market that was sponsored by I Made It! Market and featured over 60 unique artists.

Countless shoppers came over the course of the weekend and we thank each and every one of you!

Following are pictures of our members who were at the market, their booths, and several of their items.  If you see something you like, chances are good it's for sale at the Boutique.  If not, our members always take custom requests.  Please feel free to ask.

First up, several shots of the booth of our founder, Tamara Barker, of Barker's Herbs & Heirlooms:

Next up, Lisa Parker, of On the Rocks Designs.  Unfortunately, she was so busy with customers that I was only able to get one picture of her.  Doesn't she have a fantastic display? 

Marcy Bates, of Recycled Reads, makes fabulous book sculptures and other items out of discarded and unwanted books:

Shelly Picard, of Neighborhood Blonde, makes a wide variety of items from repurposed materials, including the ever popular dishwasher magnets that let everyone in your house know if the dishes are clean or dirty: 

Lucy McClure, of Belmonili, makes a number of items, but the most popular in the boutique are her flowers that feature vintage button centers and jewelry made from bits of repurposed vintage jewelry:

Even a few of our artists that offer their items on consignment in our boutique were there vending.

Nicole Santella, of Concrete Zen:

Amy Garbark, of Garbella:

Chrissie Barcelona of Party, Paper, Scissors (Gillie is pictured here and we hope she'll soon be joining us as well):

Joel Brown of Surreal Banana Peel:

Kathryn Carr, of Go Carr Go:

We hope you enjoyed these pictures of some of our artists and their booth setups and hope you'll stop into the boutique to see these items, and many more, in person soon.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Artist Bio, Lisa Parker of On The Rocks Designs

Artist Bio: Lisa Parker, dba, On The Rocks Designs

I am a native of New Castle, PA where I was lucky enough to have had a great high school art program (as well as teachers!) and had the opportunity to learn jewelry making for four years.  I attended the University of Pittsburgh and received a bachelor’s degree in Studio Arts & Fine Arts and continue jewelry casting at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Founded in January 2007, "On The Rocks Designs" focuses on creating one-of-a-kind, art jewelry. The name was inspired when I lamented changing my name after I got married. So when I heard the commercial for the liqueur "Disaronno" on the rocks, it sounded so similar to my maiden name, Lisa Wrona, I was inspired.  At that point my business, "On The Rocks," was born and pays tribute to the artistic heritage of my family's talents and namesake. Each unique piece is named after a classic cocktail.  I experiment with enameling, metal fabrication, and beading, but especially enjoy the fluidity and variety of techniques allowed by Lost Wax Casting to create unique designs which are not typical of metal, and making each piece as individual and one-of-a-kind as the person wearing it.

Artist Process
My primary method of creating one-of-a-kind art jewelry designs is through Lost Wax Casting.  During the design phase, the interplay of melting wax and the refinement of the model is a “stream of consciousness” process in which I let the wax lead me to a design.  While in this stream of consciousness, an organic flow of “mental” shapes and forms are extracted and then controlled through carving and melting the wax.  The shapes that appear are a result of an emotional state or mood —the wax serving as the outlet which sets them free.

Artist Green Mission Statement

On The Rocks Designs brings a decadent and unconventional style to accessories, with one-of-a-kind jewelry in cast sterling, enamel, fabrication and innovative beading.

As an artist, it was difficult to choose just one medium and stick with it, but I seem to have an addiction to silver, shiny & unique items!  Fortunately, making jewelry allows me to enjoy three of my favorite mediums:  Lost Wax Casting, photography, & graphic design.  I also love designing new displays as much as making jewelry.  As an eco-conscious designer, cast sterling items include 40% recycled sterling silver and all enamels used are lead-free.  I also enjoy the challenge of re-purposing scraps and using recycled materials, so the displays are often made of sustainable materials, leftover products from other projects, or discontinued store samples. 

On The Rocks Designs jewelry is available online at and the following Pittsburgh locations:  Boutique 208 (Downtown), WildCard (Lawrenceville), and KoolKat Designs (Mt. Lebanon).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Artist Bio Lynn Forman of Textile Gifts

Ok.... get in your closet and dig out your Grandma's old hankies, or if you're like me and your kids do every activity under the sun, then pull all of their sports and activity t-shirts out and put them to good use. Next, make sure they're clean and get them to Lynn.  She will turn them into something useful and lasting. She also offers workshops, so you can learn how to make your own personally designed bowl or basket. Read up on what she does and then stop in the store to pick up a pre-made basket, custom designed bowl, or to take a workshop. Have fun learning a little more about Lynn.
Amy Levier

I have always loved beautiful fabric and interesting shapes.  By selecting fabric that is fun as well as functional, I try to create the perfect gift for you or someone special in your life.  Since I only create one or two of an item using the same fabric, each purchase is unique.   I welcome custom work, especially when it involves preserving memories by repurposing vintage crochet pieces, antique handkerchiefs, or favorite jeans and t-shirts into individually designed bowls or baskets.  I also refashion treasured fabric into one-of-a-kind scarves and purses. I am excited to add that I just finalized a deal with Simplicity Pattern Company.  They will be publishing a jeans/t-shirts bowl and mirror pattern in Spring 2013.  

Check out some of my designs online at 
I will also be offering workshops at Boutique 208 in the fall of 2012, so please check for the schedule.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Artist Bio, Jennifer Baldauf of Charmed by Jenn

Artist Bio, Jennifer Baldauf of Charmed by Jenn

I met Jenn the first day I worked at Boutique 208. She has a great personality and makes an array of different styles of jewelry. She makes all of her pieces one of a kind. With a huge selection she definitely has something for everyone! She has designed for celebrities and charities. She has also won numerous awards. She is typically in the shop every Thursday evening with her sister Anna. Stop in and find a beautiful peice of one of a kind jewelry.
Amy Levier

Jennifer Baldauf of “Charmed by Jenn” is an 8 time award-winning jewelry designer and DIY artist originally from Pittsburgh that began designing in 1997 while living in the beautiful South West in Tempe, Arizona.  She drew great inspiration from the desert backdrop, especially in Sedona and found a different inspiration from the mountains and landscape in Flagstaff, AZ.  She received an award in Arizona for helping to better women's lives. She also won two awards for best in shows as voted by the public. In 2002 she returned to Pittsburgh to focus on her designing and establishing her name in her hometown.  Since returning she has designed jewelry and focused on her artwork, pulling inspiration from the seasons, the city, music, her family and friends. 

Her artwork has taken her on a journey, opening her to opportunities to collaborate with musical artists.  This has lead her to accomplish a dream goal of designing an album cover.  She has designed three thus far, and has collaborated on lyrics for another, and is in the process of working on her 4th cover now.

Jennifer believes that everyone is unique and their jewelry should be, too, which is why all of her designs are one of a kind and never duplicated!
You can find her easily under her own name on Facebook, Charmed by Jenn on Facebook, or reach her at

Artist Bio from Courtney Duzyk

Welcome to another Artisan Bio from Boutique 208. When I received Courtney's Bio on her art of paper cutting I knew that it had a deep and long history. I researched the art and what follows is a short description on the history of Paper Cutting. Paper cutting is a craft dating back hundreds of years, yet it is still very popular today. Paper was invented only around A.D. 100 in China .The art of Paper Cutting began almost at the same time. Soon it became very popular in China, especially at the time of the Sung Dynasty (10th - 13th century). Paper Cutting in China was wide spread as folk art and people used it for many reasons, such as: window decorations, pasted cutout pictures for lanterns, house door decorations, etc. Large Paper Cuttings were used as decoration for sedan chairs, boxes, chests, and saucers that were burned at funerals. The patterns for Chinese Paper Cutting were mostly taken from Chinese mythology. Silk paper (a very thin paper) and parchment are generally used for this art.
Amy Levier

I began paper cutting as an animation and design student at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I was drawn to the organic nature and layered techniques of cutout animation, and even took the medium a step further in creating storyboards as cutout designs as well. Since then, I have incorporated multimedia collage techniques, and researched the history of paper cutting techniques to develop my own style.

Most of my work incorporates silhouette with original photography and textured papers. Many of my ideas stem from the free-flowing lines found in nature, which begin the contours for the layered pieces. I also prefer to balance traditional paper cut forms with abstract shapes. I enjoy that each layer of a piece could stand alone in form and style, but together the layers say something completely different. The layers draw the viewer in closer, to experience the paper cut in a whole new way.

My work focuses on using both modern and traditional paper cutting techniques. I enjoy the idea of combining two very different styles. My most recent work is a series of Victorian heart patterns layered with handmade paper, digital prints, and vellum. I am also working with incorporating other media such as watercolor, pen and ink, pencil, and found objects into my paper cuts. I am exploring recycling my own paper “scraps” into handmade paper, which will be used in future work. This is an effort to make the art form more sustainable, and give a sense of history with previous pieces. My goal is to do less planning with the cut designs and rather be more intuitive with the pieces to give the designs a more free-flowing approach.

I'm currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, soaking up all the creative energy that the city has to offer. I get endless inspiration from the rebirth of our historic city, as well as the incredible wealth of talented artists that are in the area.

Boutique 208 is full of some of those talented artists, so when you get the chance stop in and buy local, handmade!