Antiquing In the Brimfield Tradition

It has become a tradition (cue the Fiddler on the Roof theme!) for my mother and I to hit Brimfield twice a year- once in spring, and once in the fall. Brimfield is a town in Massachusetts that becomes the antique mecca of the US three times a year. The town is overtaken by a baffling quantity of antiques dealers from all over the country, selling every possible thing ever made. That is what I like most about it. While I may be seeking certain things for my various collections, mostly I like to take pictures of the oddities that I never expected to see. And so, I share them with you! I hope you appreciate the old and odd, too!

Who you lookin’ at, punk?

I didn’t expect to see Harrison Ford, for example.

Harrison and Mom, together at last!

Early Christmas!

Are they live, or are they cooked?

Here you can see a set of the original, deadly steel-tipped Jarts, along with a painting of…questionable content.

What is going on in that painting?

I can’t buy everything, but IF I could, this would be amongst the purchases:

You can never have too many wooden bunny carts, I always say.

Here’s another one of those “Wha???” kind of items. They are plaster wall hangings depicting… human peas?

OH, the humanity!

These make me want to be a chocolatier, so I would have an excuse to own them all!

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Books of a Certain Age

I was at Savers the other day (which is a secondhand department store), and was happy to find a cache of semi-vintage children’s books.

I don’t know about you, but I am always attracted to books from the 60s and 70s. I guess that is due in no small part to having grown up then. Be that as it may, there is something oddly comforting about the cheap printing, limited palettes, and distinctly “quieter” storylines from this era. And at 69¢ each, my children’s library is filled with such things. A lot of them tend to be library discards…how sad!

It must have been hard to illustrate back then, knowing you sometimes had to work with only one or two colors. Not to mention having to do the separations by hand- no computers to make that task easy. Huzzah for modernity, at least some of it!


A couple of weeks ago I was asked to come speak to RISD students in the illustration department about my work. It was great fun to be able to go back to the very building I spent many hours in (the ISB, which hasn’t changed a bit) and talk about the post-RISD experience!

There’s the unchanged ISB. What has changed is in front of it- a beautiful waterfront complete with art tile-encrusted walkways and arches. It’s about a million times nicer than the late 80s landscape I saw as a student!

Here’s my first indication that I would have to be “professional”!

A Professional Practice flyer about me!
Check out those great student watercolor studies to the left!

My talk was mostly in the dark, with a Powerpoint display, so no pictures there! But afterwards, the students could come up and play with the array of my products, toys, children’s books and kid’s menus that I brought along.

I like seeing peoples’ initial reactions to these things… it’s very telling.

While I was in the vicinity, I had the chance to walk over to the always-fun risd/works store nearby, which is now part of the cool new wing of the museum.

risd/works carries a lot of my design items, and displays them in a gorgeous setting!

Here’s a wall o’ fun from the Fred Co. My designs shown are: CooKeys, MonKeys, EarRing, TropSticks, and Cool Jewels.

Aristocakes is a new product of mine. Crown-shaped cupcake bakers!

Pastasaurus sighting!

A great array of my art glass items… Winestein, Half Pint, and Calf and Half.

If you go to risd/works, and you really should, be sure to say “hi” to the ultra-friendly and helpful Evan and Dinah!

Aren’t they cute? Be sure to tell them Liz sent you! 🙂

A Very Good Design Day, Indeed.

TODAY, I was surprised to see that my Aristocakes cupcake bakers were featured on the Today Show! Yep, there they are with Matt Lauer and Bobbie Thomas, the style editor, in a segment about giving your mom the royal treatment. Well, this was a treat for me!

Later, I was flipping though the June/July issue of the Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine that had just come in the mail, and there’s another one of my current products in the Fun Faves section! These are called Tropsticks… flamingo-shaped, easy-to-use chopsticks.

Yeah, it was a good day.

My Book In Rhode Island Monthly!

The May issue of Rhode Island Monthly Magazine has a feature called Rhode Readers, highlighting books by local children’s authors. How happy am I to see What Does A Seed Need? in the lineup!

Check out the other titles by friends Anika Denise and Chris Denise, Peter Mandel, and my old RISD teacher, R.W. Alley and his wife Zoe B. Alley. There are so many great artists and writers in this state!