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Archive for the ‘Sharing the Love’ Category

I’m privileged to know a lot of fantastic artists of all kinds — actors, singers, musicians, dancers, writers, fine and graphic artists — and I like to support them however I can.

Two of those artists have taken to Patreon to support themselves as working artists. For those unfamiliar with the site, it’s a crowdfunding resource for artists. People can offer to contribute money on a monthly basis to an artist, and in exchange the artist provides supporters with various perks based on their contribution level.

The first artist I want to draw (see what I did there?) your attention to his my friend Marrus, with whom I’ve collaborated on the Demon Fae patches. I’ve been a fan of hers for years and I’m happy to call her a friend as well as an occasional partner in art.

The other artist I’m spotlighting is Patricia Lupien, who does the artwork for my husband’s novels. She just started up her Patreon page a few weeks ago and it’s in its early stages, but I expect to see a lot of cool stuff coming out of it in the weeks and months ahead.

In addition to their Patreon pages, they both sell their wares online, so go check them out and buy yourself some awesome art!

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Talk about some great timing! I’d planned to do a post for today spotlighting my friend Dean Calusdian, and two days ago Shallow Graves magazine decided to do the same thing.

Art and copyright Dean Calusdian

Go read the interview to get to know Dean a little better, but here are the highlights about my artist friend: my husband met him back in 1995 when they were both working a well-known local renaissance faire; Dean wrote and directed a low-budget horror movie, Tortured Hearts, which features several of my friends; he was the main creative mind behind the Castle of the Damned Halloween attraction that ran at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA for several years; he’s active in youth theater; and more recently he put his artistic chops to use on a graphic novel, The Stocking Dead, and on horror-themed T-shirts he sells at New England-area pop culture conventions. He’s also a really nice guy, so if you happen to see him at a con, say hi and check out his stuff!

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coffee-soapToday I’m giving a quick shout-out to a fellow Etsy vendor, Wix Wax Candles. As the name suggest, this merchant sells homemade candles and candle-making supplies, but we’re mostly big fans of the natural soaps, such as this one pictured at right made with coffee grounds, which scent the soap nicely and act as an exfoliant. We also love their vanilla bean and sea salt caramel soaps, because who doesn’t enjoy smelling like a cookie?

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We first met the folks at Auntie Arwen’s Spices at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire, and we quickly fell in love with their staggering variety of spice blends. They’ll be at Arisia in Boston this weekend, and I plan to do a little stocking up while I’m there.

ugiWe of course love one of their signature blends, Ultimate Garlic Insanity (at right) and their many beef, chicken, and pork seasonings, but we’re big fans of many of their sugar blends as well. Try their Get Up and Go Ginger Sugar or their Luscious Lemon Sugar in a cup of tea, or their Vermont Happydance Cinnamon-Maple Sugar on some French toast!

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Since we’re winding down the year and it’s traditional to do end-of-year countdowns and reviews — and because I’m feeling a little drained from the stress of filling holiday orders — this week’s Sharing the Love entry is a review of the artists and businesses I’ve spotlighted here throughout 2016.

January – indie author of swashbuckling historical fiction J.M. Aucoin

Honor

February – New Orleans-based artist Marrus

Marrus896, Tue Aug 19, 2014, 10:45:44 AM,  8C, 4512x5734,  (88+1002), 66%, bent 6 stops,  1/10 s, R126.7, G103.0, B112.7

Marrus896, Tue Aug 19, 2014, 10:45:44 AM, 8C, 4512×5734, (88+1002), 66%, bent 6 stops, 1/10 s, R126.7, G103.0, B112.7

March- Connecticut playwright Scott Kegler

Champagne

April – costume designer extraordinaire Eldritch Arts

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May – steampunk clothing designers Chrononaut Mercantile

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June – all-woman stage combat troupe the Vixens en Garde

Vixens En Garde

July – illustrator and graphic artist Patricia Lupien

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August – chainmail artist Meloria Maille

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September – indie author (and Storied Threads minion and husband) Michael Bailey

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October – faire photographer Festival Fotos

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November – Worcester, MA-based comic book shop That’s Entertainment

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Normally I feature a fellow artist in this space, but today I’m going to shine the spotlight on a local business here in Worcester that I can’t praise highly enough for its always awesome customer service.

logoThat business is That’s Entertainment, a comic book shop right down the road from my condo. It was one of the very first businesses we visited after moving to Worcester and it quickly became one of our favorite places in the city thanks in large part to its amazing, friendly staff.

My last comic book shop was not, to put it kindly, the most welcoming environment for girl geeks, but I’ve never had any such problems at That’s Entertainment. Everyone is very welcoming to geeks of all kinds and they’ve never talked down to me when we discuss comics, movies, TV, etc.

They really went above and beyond recently when I went looking for an obscure but fun Luc Besson movie called The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec. I remarked to one of the employees I was on the lookout for it but could only find overpriced used copies online.  The very next week, he presented me with a copy he found completely at random in a supermarket bargain bin. They pretty much ensured my lifelong loyalty to them right there and then.

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Photo by Festival Fotos by Jennifer Provost Photography

Welcome to the latest installment of our ongoing series, Sharing the Love. There are a lot of small and independent artists out there working in all sorts of mediums — writers, painters, jewelry makers, leather crafters, actors…this list could go on and on. And it turns out, I know and admire an awful lot of them!

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Photo by Festival Fotos by Jennifer Provost Photography

Festival Fotos by Jennifer Provost Photographyct is a company that specializes in – as the name suggests – souvenir festival photographs. She visits renaissance faires and other themed events, sets up a booth that is part tent, part Tudor cottage, and takes amazing pictures for you to remember your visit. She even has a wide selection of costumes and accessories you can borrow for your photograph for extra fun and silliness.

Jen is a great photographer who will take a ton of pictures for you, letting you choose up to four favorite pictures to take home as prints or as digital copies, depending on what package you choose.  The best pictures happen when you relax and have fun, of course! Let yourself be a little goofy  in front of the camera, and you’ll be amazed at how that changes the pictures.

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Photo by Festival Fotos by Jennifer Provost Photography

Right now, you can find Festival Fotos for three more weekends at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire. She’s right by the front gate, so be sure to stop and have your pictures done! I promise, you won’t regret it.

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