Handmade Collective in Costa Rica

My husband and I just went to Costa Rica on an adventurous eco-tourism honeymoon! Inspired by City by the Sea Ceramics‘ blog entry about her and her husband’s anniversary tradition , I was hoping to find something memorable during our honeymoon trip as well.

During our visit to Monteverde, an area known for its Cloud Forest Reserve, I read that a great place to pick up souvenirs was at CASEM which is filled with products all made by local artisans.  CASEM stands for “Committee of Aristans of Santa Elena and Monteverde.”  It was started in 1982 by a group of 8 local women – and now it has grown to 94 artisans, 3 of which are men.  The goal of CASEM is “to enhance the economic and social well-being of local women artists” and their community.


Monteverde & Santa Elena Reserves are famous as a wildlife reserve with 100s of species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 2,500 species of plants and tens of thousands of insect species!  So you can imagine why so much of their artwork are of various flora and fauna of the region.

During our visit we were so lucky to catch a glimpse of the elusive Resplendent Quitzal! Unfortunately, my photo does not do this gorgeous bird justice!

But because of that rare sighting – we definitely wanted a fun memento of this bird in what we pick out for a souvenir as well!

These magnets are all made out of leather and hand-painted.  Definitely was excited to get the Quetzal one to spice up our new bare refrigerator!

I also love to collect Christmas ornaments – ideally one a year symbolizing a special place or memory from that year.  So you can imagine how excited I was to find this adorable felted Quetzal ornament!  It will be sure to stand out in our tree this year!

Brainstorming DIY Wedding Ideas

Title: “Brainstorming DIY Wedding Ideas”

By: Jennifer Tang of MaJenta Designs

As I go through my wedding checklists, I find myself most excited in daydreaming of all the fun things I can personally make to give our wedding some personal touches. I have been googling images of wedding reception decorations, gift favors, and more – to get inspiration of ideas of things I could make for my own wedding!

For example, since our wedding will be an outdoors, summertime wedding – I thought it’d be great to make something similar to these programs that double as fans to help cool down our guests during the ceremony!

If only I had the time – I think making some place cards similar to these would really make our reception stand out!

These funny strawberries were actually from a social gathering I went to, and think it’d be such a  fun idea to serve such unique tasty treats at the wedding.

There are so many fun things to think and daydream about!  Now if only I had the time to handmake it all!

And of course since MaJenta Designs, my handcrafted business, is such a large part of who I am now, I definitely want to incorporate those designs into our wedding somehow too!  I’m thinking of making some sort of gift favors using these useful mint tins! 🙂

Shop Local!

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, shopping malls are packed with massive crow, dsand for those who support handmade and local artists, there are also plenty of exciting holiday craft shows and markets coming up and Boston Handmade’s Downtown Crossing Gallery too!   However, for those who want to avoid the crowds and still want to support handmade by shopping from the comforts of their own home – there is still yet another option!   Etsy’s “Shop local” function!

Its very easy to do, just go to Etsy’s homepage, then click on the tab on the left hand side called “shop local” and then you can just enter your town or state and it will find some of the Etsy shops closest to you!  This way you can feel good about supporting local artists and buying unique handmade gifts, and rest at ease that you can get your items sooner in the mail too!

Boston Handmade Downtown Gallery!

Boston Handmade - Downtown Gallery - Poster

Come shop handmade and support local artists by doing your holiday shopping at Boston Handmade‘s own gallery store in Boston’s Downtown Crossing district!  Here are the details:

~ NOVEMBER 27 – DECEMBER 24, 2009 ~
“Boston Handmade Downtown Gallery”
Wednesdays – Sundays
11am – 7pm
505 Washington St.
Boston, MA
Downtown Crossing

Boston Handmade - Downtown Gallery - store

Come find something for everybody!  Photography, notecards, pottery, baby clothing, children’s toys, fine jewelry, and more!

BH Gallery closeup

MaJenta Designs will also be selling her glass pendants, keychain bottle openers, pocket mirrors, magnets, and portable purse hooks, and more!

purse hooks - variety mix

BH outside

OCTOBER craft shows

BH SOWA flyer

OCTOBER 18, 2009 (Sunday)
“South End Open Market”
10am – 5pm
540 Harrison Ave.
Boston, MA

I’ll be at Boston’s outdoor handmade market in the South End with my lovely fellow Boston Handmade artisans!

DSC01785

***And in case you’re planning ahead, here are some of my other upcoming shows for the remainder of 2009 ***


NOVEMBER 1, 2009 (Sunday)
“Design Hive Market”
10am – 5pm
Maria Baldwin School
28 Sacramento St. (off Mass Ave.)
Cambridge, MA

DECEMBER 6, 2009 (Sunday)
“Bizarre Bazaar”
12-7pm
BCA Cyclorama
539 Tremont St.
Boston, MA
$1 admission


Reminder of Boston Handmade’s show in Somerville on July 11th!

July Handmade Marketplace in Somerville, MA

BH - Marketplace avatar

Boston Handmade Marketplace in Union Square Somerville

Union Square, Somerville, MA: July 11, 3-7pm

More than 25 artists, artisans, and craftspeople will be showing and selling handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, housewares, art, photography, toys, and sculpture in Union Square (at the intersection of Washington, Prospect & Somerville Ave.) on July 11, 2009, 3-7pm, as part of the Somerville Arts Council ArtsUnion series.

BH_Marketplace_300x300The Boston HandmadeMarketplace is an outdoor art and craft exhibition featuring work by Massachusetts area artists, craftspeople and artisans associated with the arts group Boston Handmade and Etsy.com: helping people make a living making things. This exhibition promotes local independent businesses and individuals creating one-of-a-kind and limited edition handmade works in small studio environments, not factories. In addition to the individual exhibitors at the 2009 Boston Handmade marketplace musicians will be performing throughout the day. Performers include Boston bands The Grownup Noise and One Happy Island. There will be also be handcraft demonstrations with Faculty and Staff of The Eliot School of Jamaica Plain, and Members of the Common Cod Fiber Guild of Somerville. Another highlight of the afternoon will be martial arts demonstrations from the Shobu Aikido of Boston.

About BOSTON HANDMADE: A group of Massachusetts artists and craftspeople actively engaged in selling their handmade work on Etsy.com, a web site dedicated to the handmade life.  Visit BostonHandmade.org for more info.

About MAJENTA DESIGNS: Your one-stop shop for handcrafted Asian-inspired jewelry, housewares, party favors, and knick knacks all for under $15! Come find gifts for everybody: your mother, girlfriend, coworker, bridesmaids, even your husbands too!  We make pendant jewelry, magnets, cufflinks, portable purse hanger hooks, pocket mirrors, keychain bottle openers, and more!  Some of the items that will be available at the marketplace can be found in our Etsy Shop, plus even more items not currently listed!  such as night lights, tea canisters, and more!

Come find our booth at the BOSTON HANDMADE MARKETPLACE in Union Square, Somerville, MA on July 11th!

start on the street show