Tracy Levesque Returns to the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival in 2017

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Paintings by Tracy Levesque at the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival

Painter Tracy Lévesque was born in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts and credits her rural childhood for her abiding love of nature and its prominence in her artwork. Lévesque studied Graphic Design at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA and received a double BA in Theater Arts and English and American Literature from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. While her early work depicted realistic scenes, she “quickly abandoned realism,” she writes, “for a more impressionistic,  symbolic style that spoke more to the psychological realities of human existence rather than the more conventional interpretations of them.”

Massachusetts painter Tracy Levesque

Tracy Levesque in her booth at one of Craftproducers 2016 Festivals.

Lévesque will return to Craftproducers Stowe Foliage Arts Festival in October, 2017. Come to the Festival at Topnotch Field on Mountain Road in Stowe to meet this incredible Artist and see her paintings in person. Besides original paintings, she will also have prints and gifts featuring her work available for sale.

Watermelon Salad from Seven Barrels

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Summer in the North Country is a marvelous thing, but even here it does get hot. And there’s truly no better food on a summer afternoon than watermelon… unless it is watermelon and cucumber, with some ripe tomatoes warm from the garden, a crumble of goat cheese, a few sprigs of fresh basil…
This delightful salad recipe is brought to you from the good folks at Seven Barrels, purveyors of olive oils and aged Italian balsamics and one of the fabulous Specialty Foods Exhibitors at the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival, starting this Friday (July 31) and happening all weekend at Camelot Village in beautiful Bennington, VT!
 
WATERMELON SALAD
1/2 seedless watermelon, cubed
2 ripe red tomatoes, cubed
1 English cucumber, cubed
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp basil, chopped
1/2 c arugula, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
For dressing
1/4 c Prickly Pear Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp Lime Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Basil Olive Oil
In a small bowl, jar, or container, mix the vinegar and oils for the dressing – whisk (or shake, if using a lidded jar or container) well and set aside.
Cube, crumble, and chop salad ingredients and add to a large serving bowl. Lightly toss to mix. Drizzle dressing over the top and gently toss again to coat. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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A New Year of Great Art and Craft Festivals!

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Happy New Year! At Craftproducers we are looking forward to a new year of successful and enjoyable Festivals. We have great things in store for 2015!

We begin the year with the Crafts Pavilion at the New England Home Shows in Boston and Foxborough, MA. These extremely popular home shows are augmented by the addition of a dedicated handmade art and craft section organized by Craftproducers. Fine art, clothing, fine furniture, and more will be on display. These shows are coming up quickly – Boston in February and Foxborough in March! You can find out more about the New England Home Shows here, and even buy tickets in advance.

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Craftproducers own fine Art and Craft Festivals begin June 19-21 in Saratoga Springs, NY with the Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival. This is the second anniversary of this Festival which features over 150 fine art and craft Exhibitors set up in soaring Camelot tents. Specialty foods, food and beverages to eat on site (including beer and wine!), and live music create an exciting and festive atmosphere, and then of course there are the balloons! Hot air balloons will be launched each morning and evening (weather allowing – high winds can be dangerous and we are all about safety at the SBCF!) and tickets for this once in a lifetime experience can be purchased prior to the show at www.balloonandcraft.com. On Saturday and Sunday evenings the Festival will be open late for the magical Balloon Glow – over 15 tethered hot air balloons lit from within, with live music and concessions. Don’t miss it!

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Next up is the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival, July 31- August 2, a southern Vermont summer tradition that was moved from Manchester to Bennington three years ago. Bennington has proven a delightful home for the Festival, with a supportive arts community and easy access for visitors from the surrounding areas including Albany, Saratoga Springs and northern Massachusetts. Come meet and purchase fine handcrafted items from over 150 Exhibitors, enjoy great food and live music, and then explore lovely and historic Bennington, Vermont. This weekend kicks off the newly formed Bennington Art Week.

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Moving into Autumn, we have the 27th Annual Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival, October 2-4 in Manchester, Vermont. Surrounded by the green mountains with their flaming orange and gold foliage, the setting is nearly as impressive as the art and craftwork within the tents. The Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival is an institution in southern Vermont. Formerly known as the Hildene Festival, the name and location have changed along the way but the quality and production of the Festival remain top-notch. Around 200 Exhibitors include fine art, furniture, clothing, jewelry, sculpture, photography, wood products, and more and many Exhibitors demonstrate their craft techniques in their booths. A separate tent is home to a selection of Specialty Food Exhibitors – jams and jellies, maple syrup, salsas, and locally distilled spirits and liqueurs. Head over to the Dining Tent when you need a break, sit down with a plate of great food and a glass of beer or wine, and enjoy live music until you are ready to shop once more!

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The Stowe Foliage Arts Festival is our northern Vermont equivalent to the Manchester show. Taking place the following weekend – October 9-11 – just outside the quaint village of Stowe, this Festival is usually right at the peak of the Vermont foliage color. Stowe is a destination year round, but if you want to experience a Vermont Autumn this is the time and place. 200 Exhibitors, Specialty Foods, craft demonstrations, great food and beverages, live music and entertainment combine to make this a not to be missed family weekend event. The Festival takes place at the Stowe Events Field, which is located on the Stowe Bike Path for easy access from the village and on up into the resort and mountains.

October Art and Craft Festival in Manchester Vermont

We end the 2015 Festival season with a brand new show! The First Ever Queen City Art and Craft Show in Manchester, New Hampshire will take place October 30-November 1. We look forward to sharing more details about this exciting new adventure soon!

Vermont Art and Craft Festivals and Events

We are beginning a new year with unlimited potential and we plan to make the most of it. We look forward to seeing you at our 2015 Fine Art and Craft Festivals!

Holiday Gift Guide: Handmade For Him

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Our Syracuse Holiday Crafts Spectacular is coming up next weekend – December 6-8 – at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse NY.  This show is a Holiday favorite for Customers and Exhibitors alike! Join us to find handcrafted gifts for your friends and family, holiday decor that will set you apart from the masses, and maybe a little something to pamper yourself…

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There is something for everyone at the Syracuse Holiday Crafts Spectacular. To get you started, here is a selection of wonderful gifts for the men in your life, handcrafted by Artisans who will be exhibiting at the show…

Does he already have All The Tools? How about chocolate ones? Isn’t It Sweet, a chocolate shop out of Albany NY sells a handyman set ideal for fixing up a sweet tooth. If he prefers savory treats, maybe artisan beef jerky made with top quality meats and all natural seasonings would fit the bill. Or for a gift that keeps on giving, select the Roaster’s Pick monthly coffee delivery from Simple Roast Coffee Company.

Of course, there’s a lot more than food. Find wonderful handcrafted items such as personalized golf markers, family name history plaques, fine art, unique clothing… and more.

See more of our picks and find links and info on our pinterest board:

Follow Craftproducers Handmade for Him on Pinterest

Chad Alan Heise, Heise Metal Sculpture

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Chad Alan Heise of Heise Metal Sculpture is an Exhibitor new to our Syracuse Holiday Crafts Spectacular this year. Read Chad’s introduction below, and come meet him in person at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, December 6, 7, & 8. Welcome, Chad – we are so pleased you are joining us!
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Proudly carrying the proverbial “torch” for my uncle, Bill Heise (who started Heise Metal Sculpture in 1966) I strictly adhere to his principles, using only recycled and repurposed metal, the majority of which is turn-of-the-century agricultural equipment and tools collected from the fields and farms of Vermont. Employing this unusual twist on the concept of “swords into ploughshares,” I assemble the various component parts to create sculptures with graceful lines and distinct personalities.

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The delicate lines of the sculptures often defy their rugged origins, and I feel I’m paying homage to the farm equipment which faithfully turned soil for years, as well as to my uncle, who discovered the unique shapes within these components, and who taught me to discover how those shapes could be given new life.

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Artist Spotlight: Heidi Skillman, WinterScarf

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In the days leading up to Craftproducers Autumn Arts Festivals, we are profiling a few of the participating Exhibitors. If you are an Exhibitor and you would like to see your information here, email amanda@craftproducers.com.

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The saying is that “necessity is the mother of invention.” And so it was for long-time business executive, Heidi Skillman, who, while solving a problem, invented the dynamic 360 Scarf and launched WinterScarf.   Skillman’s WinterScarf products exemplify her common sense approach and practical-driven past as well as her creativity.

Throughout her career, Skillman has focused on creative ways to drive strategic change, improve revenue, maximize efficiency and increase customer satisfaction. After years of serving at the top of the corporate ladder in finance, business strategy and supply chain management, Skillman gained the confidence to build her business from the ground up. In 2003, she designed her first 360 Scarf® after a cold and blustery Chicago day when she wanted to walk her dogs in single-digit temperatures. Soon after requests starting pouring in for the scarf from friends, she decided to leverage her business skills and launched WinterScarf. Skillman’s creative and strategic thinking continues to shine in her WinterScarf products as she adds her functional flair to once-mundane accessories like scarves, hats and gloves. Simply put, Skillman’s practical yet strategic approach strived to make the most out of available resources in her corporate life. And in a sense, she continues that work today with WinterScarf.

The fusion of fashion and function is the purpose of WinterScarf. When founder Heidi Skillman created her first 360 Scarf® in 2003, her simple goal was to create winter wear that would keep up with an active lifestyle.  There was a need for highly fashionable, highly functional winter accessories and it took Skillman’s vision to create the 360 Scarf® and launch WinterScarf.

Skillman patented her 360 Scarf® and soon began selling it at local markets. The demand was immediate and she soon expanded WinterScarf across the country at various craft shows, boutiques and over the Internet. Based upon customer demand, the product line has grown to include matching hats and gloves.

WinterScarf believes in using only the finest quality fabrics. All products are made with only the  warmest, softest, and most stylish fabrics for our customers. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority, and we truly believe it drives our success.  We always strive to keep our customers warm and looking absolutely fabulous!

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When people ask you what you “do”, how do you answer?
I have a patent on a unique neck warmer and hand make them along with matching hats and gloves

What mediums do you work with?
Fiber

How would you describe your subject matter?
Highly fashionable and functional at the same time.

What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Warmth and convenience

What do you want your work to accomplish?
Warmth and convenience

What are you most proud of?
The substantial amount of repeat business and customer following I have.

How long have you been exhibiting at Arts Festivals?
10 years

How many shows do you do each year?
Only in the Fall – about 13

How long have you exhibited with Craftproducers?
4 years

What aspect of Festival life do you most enjoy?
Seeing my customers and how much they really enjoy my products

Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
Age 8

Do you have a designated Studio? How does this space inspire or contribute to your creative process?
I work from my home

What is the best advice you ever received about how to be more creative?
Listen to and observe your customers

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Meet Heidi and see the WinterScarf products for yourself at the Manchester Fall Art & Craft Festival, beginning tomorrow – October 4 – and running through the weekend at the Practice Tee at Riley Rink in Manchester VT.

Find WinterScarf online at www.winterscarf.com and on facebook.

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