PSAW FEATURED PRODUCT: Flashbags

Home Design: Using trays for organizing.

Photo ©Liza Cowan. use a tray or charger  to organize a coffee table.
Tray/charger for organizing coffee table. Photo ©Liza Cowan

 

I like to use trays to help my organize my home. It's a little trick I learned when I was designing and maintaining retail spaces. I found them so useful for display, and they made cleaning so much easier. 

If you don't have some trays or platters already in your home there are so many wonderful options available. Of course, you can go look in resale or junk shops or at yard sales. You never know what treasures you'll find. Stores like Home Goods and Pier One are really useful too, as well as craft supply stores. I'm lucky that we have all of these stores in my small city. But you can buy online too. For better or for worse, it has never been easier to be a consumer. I try to be reasonable, really. I gave away 3/4 of my stuff when I moved last year and I'm trying not to collect more stuff. But I'm in the midst of huge organizing projects, so I do indulge in objects that make the process both easy and beautiful. Trays are part of that process. 

There is now a huge trend for what are called "chargers" which are basically big plates. They are popular now for what is being called "tablescaping."   When I bought the charger above at Pier One, the saleslady told me I should use it for candles on my dining room table. I'm not big on candles; fire makes me nervous,  and I have so many more useful and interesting things to display. Nevertheless, I was amused to find that "tablescaping" is now a thing. I think its an overblown name, but the concept is not so bad.

I use my trays and chargers to keep all the little things that I need in any given spot. Above is the wooden charger I found at Pier One, also very inexpensive. I keep an eye out for sales, of course.  This is my living room, and I had a pile of remotes to wrangle. I found the round paper container at Home Goods, for a song. One other box, also Home Goods, houses emery boards, nail clippers and nail polish. TV watching time is great for an impromptu manicure or nail repair. The final box is hand letterpress from Brookfield, holding their note paper, because I often find I need to make a note

Also vital for me, a box of tissues, these designed for Kleenex by Issac Mizrahi (I bought a dozen, just in case they stop making them) and a bottle of hand lotion. And my eyeglasses, which I tend to lose. But of course it could hold whatever it is that you find you need in your living room. 

The beauty - other than the visual appeal - is that I can whisk the tray right off the table for a game of Sorry or Monopoly with my neighbor's kids, or to make room to serve food for a party. 


Tray platter on dining table desk
Melamine tray on dining room table. Photo ©Liza Cowan

 

My dining room table also serves as my downstairs desk. I like to sit here next to the window for all kinds of projects, including paying bills, and some craft projects. But I also eat here, and the tray is so easy to remove if I need the whole table to serve guests. This melamine tray is from Pier One. Melamine trays are so hot right now, and the new technologies that allow for printing surface design make almost any look possible. This one mimics a worn ceramic. You know I'm all about FAKE!™ so I love this. 

For my table/office I like to keep pens and pencils in a chipped, old cup I painted, back when we still had a paint your own pottery place. I miss that! I have a ceramic dog dish with my ever handy Sugru, and my checkbook in the folder I designed from my FAKE!™ line of paintings, this one a Liza Leger. The checkbook holder was made for me by Flashbags. And another box of note paper from Brookflied. I used to sell Brookfield hand letterpressed note cards in my stores, and I'm happy to have several boxes left over. So pretty. Paper clips are in a little plastic box from Amac, which I also used to sell, and have managed to keep a few for my own use. 

The gorgeous lamp was made by one of my favorite local potters, Kileh Friedman. The round platter in the background was made by another favorite  potter, Pam Black, Paradise Pottery. On it are some examples of bowls I've been making with Crayola play clay. I used to do this all the time with my kids when they were little. Now my young neighbors enjoy coming over for craft time.

Liza cowan photo shinzi katoh tray as organizer for office desk
Tray by Shinzi Katoh for desk supplies. Photo @Liza Cowan


 This is in my studio office. The tray is from Shinzi Katoh, whose adorable products I used to sell at Pine Street Art Works and at Small Equals. I was smart enough to save one for myself. This hold several lucite boxes with pencils, pens, scrap paper and of course, more hand lotion. It too, can be swooped up to clear my table for large projects. 

Happy tray- scaping.!!

 

 


4 Ways To Improve Your Business Facebook Page

I was planning to teach a class at  Winooski Circle Arts, a store I managed, about  using Facebook for business. Since WCA is closed, I thought I’d share some ideas here. The examples are from two Facebook business pages I created: Winooski Circle Arts and Small Equals.

I've framed this for business pages but the ideas hold true for any professional pages: art, writing, publishing, theater, cooking classes, or anything. 

The four key ideas are:

Image + Story 

+ Acknowledgement + Engagement

 

 1) Use images:

Winooski Circle Arts vintage shopping image
You can use vintage images on your facebook page. Add text with imaging software like PicMonkey, which is free online.

Use images as often as you can. It’s best if you can shoot your own.  iPhone or smartphone pictures are great for this. Better still - take an extra few minutes to crop, frame, and add text if you want. Remember to add your logo, and add photo credit if the photos are not your own, or even if they are. I use online photo editing software, PicMonkey and think it's a great program. There is a free standard version or you can upgrade for more versitility.

Take pictures of your product, your office, studio, employees; take pictures at the craft or business fairs you attend. Take photos at events you speak at. Take pictures of the equipment you use to make your product, and the people who are using the equipment. Take pictures of your customers interacting with your product - but only use them with permission.

Old images are great too. Take advantage of google image searches to find a vintage image that is no longer under copyright. These are fun and people enjoy them.  Do not use images that are copyright. Rule of thumb, stick to images made before 1925. That’s not precise, but good enough.

2) Tell a story.

flashbags vermont, vintage parsnip seed pack, illustrating facebook page,
Photo of a small equals product being made in the Flashbags studio. Photo ©flashbags vermont

Story sells. There’s always something to tell about your product or service. Do you make something that uses ingredients or components? Write a paragraph or two about them.  In my business, Small Equals, I like to write about how my bags and placemats are made by Flashbags in Burlington, VT. Or about the boxes that are made for me by Vermont Wooden Box. Go to your supplier, ask some questions, snap some photos. Link to their websites.  Do this often.

Did you start working with a new manufacturer, with a new tool, a different paint? How is it different? What does it look like? Where did you get it?

Unless you go into the woods and chew down trees to make your paper, your supplies are made somewhere. This is interesting when you think about it. Your customers will think so too; even more so if you actually do go into the woods and chew down the trees.

Did you read an article or see a film that inspired you? Even if it is only tangentially related to your business, your readers might like to know about it too. Remember, your customers are well-rounded people, and they want to hear about your ideas as well as your product.

If you’ve written a blog post about anything related to your business, make sure to link it on facebook. And, of course, make sure you have a facebook link on your blog.

3) ACKNOWLEDGE EVERYONE

Acknowledge your employees. Photo of Saturday shopkeeper, Willa Cowan.
Acknowledge your employees. Saturday shopkeeper, Willa at front desk.


No business, maker or artist works completely on their own, nor do they get their ideas out of thin air. Did someone give you a terrific idea that you put into production? Were there books that inspired you? Tell your customers about it. They want to know, and the person who gave you the idea deserves credit.

Is your product being sold in a local store? Go there and take some pictures, or at least write a little post about them. Make sure you link to their facebook page, too. This lets your customers know where they can get your product, and builds good relations with the store. This is very important. Do this often.

Did you consult on a project with someone? Tell your readers.  You have an amazing accountant, fed ex driver, editor, publicist?  A customer who was particularly encouraging or funny. Share the story.

Write about your employees, mention their birthdays, or if they got an award or had a baby or if they accomplished something interesting or important for your business.  Everyone likes to be recognized, and your readers will like peeking behind the scenes.

This is all about building good will with your customers, friends and employees.

This is also known as building community. It matters. A lot.

4) ENGAGE WITH YOUR READERS

Converse with your customers. winooski circle arts.
respond to your readers. If they don't matter to you, you are in the wrong business.

Don’t just post and run. Make sure to respond when someone comments on a post. A “like” will be the barely acceptable minimum. A “thank you, Sally,” is quick and easy.  If someone asks a question, answer it. If someone’s comment inspires you to write back, do so, even if it's brief.  Conversation is engagement. Conversation lets your customers know that there is a real person there and that you care about them. If you don’t care about your customers, you are in the wrong business.

Sometimes your readers will post a comment you disagree with. If it's truly offensive, if it uses slurs or attacks, you certainly have the option of deleting it, and often that is the best thing to do. But if readers are responding with a genuine concern or interesting idea, even if you don't agree, try to think of this as an opportunity for engagement. You lose credibility by ignoring or deleting comments that don't tell you how wonderful you are, or that don't parrot your own ideas. Eventually your readers will figure out that you do this, and will realize that what you have provided is not a community but an echo chamber. All but the diehard fans will leave, and this is not really something that will help you promote your business.

These suggestions mean you have to check in to facebook regularly. I’d say minimum of once a day. Keep posting, keep responding to your readers. Engage! This is an important part of your job. Just do it. And have fun with it.

Your business is not just about you. It is about relationships. Build them.

PS: I wrote a post several years ago about reciprocity in business that covers some of the same topics. Find it HERE

Winooski Circle Arts is not open right now, but here's the Facebook Page.

Find Small Equals Facebook page HERE

 

 

 


Build a better business through reciprocity

Call it the Golden Rule, the threefold law of return, Karma...every culture has it's version of Do Unto Others. Running a retail  business offers endless opportunities for beneficial mutual exchange with all kinds of people...vendors, customers, suppliers, staff, delivery people, neighbors, tech support: the question is - what are you going to do with it?


 Kids on seesaw, constance heffron, happy days, 1951, allyn and bacon
 It takes a relationship to make it work. Illustration by Constance Heffron. Happy Days, 1951 Allyn and Bacon

For me, part of the thrill of retail is being able to cultivate relationships. If I'm excited about a piece of art, a product, a service, a website, I want to get to know what, or who, is behind it. My first impulse is to write an email, make a phone call, write a blog post, send a note on facebook or twitter. If I like something I want to tell the world about it. But after a point, I really do need to be supported in kind.

It's been my experience that only a portion of the people I extend myself to bother to respond in kind. Do I understand why? Not really. I guess some people are just not connectors. Do I accept it? Yes. And move along.

I'm not quite snarky enough to tattle on those businesses who don't see generosity as part of their work ethic. The law of threefold return will bite them in the derriere eventually. If I like their products or services enough I might continue to use them, or sell them, but I won't go the extra mile to help publicize them. There's no juice in it.

But those who do... ah, the sweetness of mutual delight and support. Here's to the connectors.

Manufacturers:

flashbags Flashbags started in business the same time I did. We are all Burlingtonians. Our kids go to school together. I adore them, personally and professionally. We've always featured each other in promotions and events. Ali and Laura, now just Laura, are the most generous, enthusiastic co-conspirators a business could ask for. Flashbags are the staple of my retail business and I couldn't imagine retail life without them.

 

I was excited about Cardboardesign from the moment I found out about their products.Liquid cardboard I think I read about them on a design blog when they first started, and was one of their first wholesale accounts. Because I was so in love with their product I started blogging about them. Because their marketing director, David Rosenzweig is such a nice and cool guy, he started emailing me. His daughter even commented on this blog. Did I mention he knows Simon Doonan? (who has never contacted me, ahem...) And recently they quoted me on their new sales brochure. Was I excited? You bet. Does this translate to sales for me..and them? Of course. Why? Because the personal connection, the reciprocity, makes me want to work that much harder for them. [update: sorry to report that Cardboardesign went out of business. sniff...]

Canetti frames Canetti frames are, after Flashbags, my best selling product. It's always easy to sell a product I love so much. But when owner Nancy Halper and I started exchanging chatty emails, when she took the time to research and answer my questions, when she invited me to Linked In,  I knew there was a real person behind the product and that relationship spurred me to be even more excited to sell their beautiful, pure acrylic magnet frames. I'm sure that in the scope of things I'm not that big of an account for them. Au contraire. But Nancy always makes me feel special. At their booth the recent NYC gift show, Canetti featured my store advertising postcard in their frames. Yeah, it's a great card, looks super in their frames, and mentions them on the back. But they didn't have to do it. Again, wow. 

Tech Stuff:

I used to send gallery and shop announcement  email blasts via my website, which was cumbersome. Then I only used facebook, which is good but doesn't have any extra oomph. Then a few months ago I was blog surfing and someone mentioned Mad Mimi email marketing. I regret not remembering which blog, but a couple of days later I googled Mad Mimi, browsed their site, and decided to give them a try.

The MadMimi webpage was inspiring, their testimonials glowing. I decided to give it a try. Heck, I need to promote this store.  At some point while I was designing my first promotion I had a question, even though their design program is super easy to use. I emailed their tech support and ....right away someone was there, live, in real time, answering my questions. Patiently. Nicely. I mean, Hello!!...when does that happen??

But then there was a bigger bonus - besides my amazing and amazingly easy to design promotion. At  the Mad Mimi site they have a gallery of some of their clients and I decided my goal was to get into that gallery. They've got cool stuff there - great clients. I emailed and got a really sweet response from Gary, CEO and Founder.  We chatted about this and that...he lives in my old Brooklyn neighborhood..and yes, they loved my promotion and put it on their site. So...not only did I get super tech support, get to design and send a gorgeous email promotion, which my customers loved, but also they put me on their website. Again, sure, my promo was great... but that's the thing. They didn't have to. But they - Gary, Dean and the others on the team,  understand reciprocity, they are nice, down to earth folks running a savvy business. Part of their savviness is in their genuine customer relations. 

 

If you've ever tried to get tech support from web or blog providers, you know just how frustrating this can be, and how likely you are to get the response, "we got your question and will be back with you soon" and then you wait and wait - and wait - until you get an answer that confounds you even more. Not mentioning any names typepad.

Some tech support makes me want to gnash my teeth and tear out my hair, which makes my happiness with MadMimi  even more impressive. 

Link some Love:

Love what someone's doing, selling, writing, designing? Send them some link love. Why not? Tweet them, it costs you nothing, and the goodwill you get back is astounding. Or post a link on Facebook. I'm new to the tweet world, an old hand at Facebook, and here's what I think: you can build community through links, tweets and retweets.

A while back, book designer and blogger Ian Shimkoviak tweeted a post of mine. I only knew because I followed the trail on sitemeter when I noticed a bump in readership. Then I wrote about him in my recent post on book covers. Then he tweeted that. And it was picked up by a couple of his followers. Again...wow. Today I tweeted MadMimi. They tweeted me. And tomorrow??? Maybe I'll tweet you. Or you'll tweet me.

Community

What it boils down to for me is more than the golden rule: in my mission statement I say that Pine Street Art Works is in business to build community  through retail. I am a fierce advocate for local neighborhood community building, but,  in addition, in this cyber age, neighborhood can be anywhere and everywhere. We build it one email, one tweet, one link at a time. Share the love.


Set your table

Time to set the table. Holiday festivities are coming up, and then there's just plain every day gorgeousness. Check out what we've got for your table.

Table top at PSAW and AO! Glass
Here's what's on the table: Jello Placemats, made by Flashbags for Pine Street Art Works. Goblets by AO! Glass. Vase by AO! Glass. Mid century condiment bowls. Boxed sets of stationery as guest gift.

In the background: Ginny Joyner food illustration prints, mid century botanical school charts.

Also available for you table: Shinzi Katoh tea pots, Liquid Cardboard tabletop sculpture, more mid century vases and dishes, pottery from Paige Russell.

Did someone say party?


NEW WAYS TO ENJOY JELL-O EPHEMERA

If you know me, or follow this blog, you know I'm a bit over the top about my Jell-O ephemera. I have almost every Jello recipe book ever made, starting at the turn of the last century. And I know that many of you come to SeeSaw for my Jello images. One of the top google searches that brings people here is "Jell-O and condensed milk", as well as searches for Jell-0 ephemera, Jello images, and the like.

Now I have some Jell-O images from my collections available as handmade handbags by Flashbags, and reproductions which are fine- art laminated by Silver Maple Editions, here in Burlington.



  • Hello jello silvermapled blog
  • Jello ice cream powder fine art laminated blog
  • Jello flashbag web
Jello flashbag web





OBAMABELIA - FLASHBAGS

With the Inauguration only days away (YAY!!!) I want to remind you about the Obama handbags by Flashbags. These make great Obama inaugural gifts,Obama inaugural commemoratives, and of course, are a piece of inaugural history. They are bound to become valuable and valued Obama collectibles.

Flashbags, the wonderful woman-owned, independently operated micro business in Burlington Vermont has been making Obama bags since early in the campaign days.

These beautiful bags are made of laminated paper, with images inside as well as outside,  hand stitched and sewn with swoops and swirls that complement the composition of each image.  Each bag features  a cellphone pocket, and handles made of beverage tubing. The main edges are bound with clear plastic to keep your bag durable. Very sturdy and comfortable to carry.

Flashbags has been making handbags and accessories for over three years, I've sold them since we both went into business, and I stand behind their amazing product.

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Obama Inaugral Flashbag

 

 

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FLASHBAGS BOUTIQUE AT PSAW

After a great three year association between Flashbags and Pine Street Art Works we have decided to take our partership to another level. PSAW is now the home of the Flashbags Boutique! What does this mean for you? A bigger selection of Flashbags handmade handbags and accessories at the shop. More products, more choices.

Psaw flashbags boutique card for blog

I am now carrying Flashbags by Katherine Montstream, Gilian Randal, Woody Jackson and all the other Flashbags artists, in addition to the ones with images from PSAW, including great stuff from my ephemera collections (Jello, needle packs etc ) and by PSAW artists like Cara Barer, Richard Gombar and soon, Ginny Joyner.

And of course I still am carrying the amazing Obama Limited Edition bag as well as the Obama Inaugural bag.

So stop by and see the expanded collections. And if you're in the neighborhood on Saturday Dec. 20th, Flashbags will be having a blowout holiday palooza here from 1 to 5.

And soon, when I get it all figured out, I'll be adding paypal buttons to my items for those of you who are shopping from afar. But remember you can always give me a call or send an email and I ship anywhere.

liza(at) pinestreetartworks.com
802 863 8100


OBAMABELIA : OBAMA INAUGURAL HANDBAG BY FLASHBAGS

Obama inaugural bag b:w

 

Be the first on your block to carry the Flashbag Obama Inaugural handmade handbag. Obamabelia at it's finest!

Flashbags, the wonderful woman-owned, independently operated micro business in Winooski Vermont has just come out with their Obama Inaugural Handbag.

These beautiful bags are made of laminated paper, with images inside as well as outside,  hand stitched and sewn with swoops and swirls that complement the composition of each image.  Each bag features  a cellphone pocket, and handles made of beverage tubing. The main edges are bound with clear plastic to keep your bag durable. Very sturdy and comfortable to carry.

Flashbags has been making handbags and accessories for over three years, I've sold them since we both went into business, and I stand behind their amazing product.


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Youth for Obama!

My youngest customer yet, that is, the youngest to ever spend her hard earned and hard saved money, came in on Saturday to buy an Obama bag by Flashbags.

SPY with obama bag

SPY (her initials, not her job description), who is twelve years old and in the seventh grade, saw the bags here at Pine Street Art Works during  Art Hop and decided that it was well worth spending her own money on. She plans to use the bag to carry her school books. Burlington, VT  is passionate for Obama, and our infectious hope for the future has inspired our young people.

Hurray for the progressive voters of tomorrow, who know they can make a difference today. $20 of her purchase price has been contributed to the Obama Campaign.


HEINRICH HARRER AT BURLINGTON, VERMONT ART HOP: PINE STREET ART WORKS

Lordy. It was in the nineties and humid as the tropics. But we had over a thousand visitors to PSAW  during Art Hop to see the amazing exhibit of photographs of the last free days of Tibet, taken Heinrich Harrer at the request of the young Dalai Lama. Harrer was the author of Seven Years In Tibet. Publisher Leslie DiRusso, who came up from New York for the opening, was astounded and gratified that even in the thick crowds, even with all the other events and exhibits going on for Art Hop, people stood and read all the commentary, stayed to ask questions, and were so engaged with the work.

Dalai Lama, Heinrich Harrer, escape from tibet

Dalai Lama's Flight from Tibet. 1951. Photo by Heinrich Harrer. Used by permission.

Text for this photo, taken from writings by Harrer:

The wind springs up early across the treeless, almost lifeless, Tibetan plateau. By midday it sweeps with gale force, carrying sand or snow, stinging and cutting travelers' faces. What light there is casts a bleak twilight pall over the wastelands.

Here, second from the left, the newly invested Dalai Lama, flanked by two of his personal khenpo (abbots), staggers against the winds on the Plain of Tuna in his flight from the Chinese advance. In the foreground struggles Phala Dronyer Chenmo, the Lord Chamberlain.

[ available as a 16x20-inch individual silver gelatin photograph.]


 

My annual Art Hop guest vendor is Flashbags, our wonderful local bag and accesories manufacturer. The amazing Ali Marchildon and Laura Cheney filled my back room with their goods, which they make right here in Vermont. The biggest hit was their Obama Bag! These are made of laminated paper, individually stitched on their sewing machines, using grommets and beverage tubing for handles. Each bag has the image inside and out, and there's even a cell phone pocket.

Obama_bag_web 

Obama bag by Flashbags.

You can get these online from Flashbags, or if you are in the neighborhood, I have them in stock.


 

I also gave away almost a thousand Obama Or Else postcards to a crowd who are anxiously biting their nails to the nib over this election. It was gratifying to get such an overwhelmingly positive response to the card. I know, it's a self selecting audience in Burlington, Vermont, big surprise, not. But still. My message to them, and to everyone, is - do something every day to help elect Obama and defeat the lying liars.

Blog card with white border

Obama Or Else postcard. Design by Liza Cowan, Pine Street Art Works. 2008

I got a wonderful email about the cards on Saturday, after the opening of Art Hop.

Liza, I just had to tell you how awesome your "Obama - Or Else" card  is!  You have said it all with just a few words.  I am 71 years old and have never been so worried about the outcome of an election.  I just pray that he makes it for the sake of my grand children and the next generation.
   Thanks! Bill


I've got 5,000 more cards coming next week. I am giving these away. If you want some, send me a stamped self addressed envelope and I will send you a bunch. 10 cards = $.59 postage (I just checked at the PO) If you want to make an extra donation that's fine, but not neccesary. My address is Pine Street Art Works, 404 Pine Street Burlington, VT 05401.


MEDIA WHIRL

Yesterday the new issue of Best Of Burlington Magazine came out. My copies were hand delivered by the publishers, John and Robin Gales.

Bobspringcover

The cover story is Flashbags!

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Ali and Laura, Photo by Rose Murphy, Best Of Burlington Magazine . That's my Liza Leger bottom right.

Here are some scans of details of the pages because this story is not online. (Hint Hint Robin and John.)

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Flash_in_b_of_burl

To see the whole article you are going to have to subscribe or buy a copy at a news stand. There's also an article about my favorite bookstore, The Flying Pig, in Shelburne, VT, and a wonderful article about Burlington's Architectural Gems.  visit their website :Best Of Burlington Magazine, 802 295 5295

And remember, I have new images for sale on Flashbag products.
Like this:

Broadway_check_blog
A delightful checkbook cover with an image from a vintage needle book.



MAIRA KALMAN BAG & OTHER FAB ACCESSORIES

I'm a huge Maira Kalman fan. I love her childrens' books, her New Yorker covers, and mostly I love her mannequins. I consider myself lucky that I get to live with her art every day because I own five of her mannequins produced by Ralph Pucci International. I put those mannequins to work every day in my display window, on my showroom floor, in 24911502my ads and even on my handmade handbags by Flashbags.
Maira Kalman bag from Barnes & Noble.

Yesterday I was cruising the magazine racks at Barnes & Noble in Williston when I came smack dab upon Maira Kalman tote bags. They're nice enough and they're inexpensive but I really prefer mine. Everything about mine says fun flash design. From the image, to the beautiful stitching, to the cellphone pockets. And I wonder where the B&N bags were made? China? Mine are made in Vermont.

Maira_bag_blog
Bag photo and image design copyright Liza Cowan for Pine Street Art Works. Maira Kalman mannequin made by Ralph Pucci International. Bag made in Vermont by Flashbags.

Flashbags are hand made in Winooski VT  (just outside Burlington) by a small group of fabulous women. We have collaborated on many designs. My own art is on some, as well as pieces by artists who have shown at PSAW.

Now they have made me a collection of ephemera bags based on my ephemera collections. Jello, children's readers, needle books and old coloring books form the core of this collection of bags and accessories.

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Whoope_its_jello_blog

Whoopee! It's Jello Flashbag. Images from PSAW collections by Rose O'Neil, famous for her Kewpie Dolls. Made in Vermont by Flashbags.

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Images from chilrden's reader and old coloring book. Collection PSAW. Made in Vermont by Flashbags.

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Checkbook cover with image from mid 20th Century Needle Package. PSAW collections. Made in Vermont by Flashbags.

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Checkbook cover with Jello illustration. PSAW collections. Made in Vermont by Flashbags.

You can order all my bags and accessories at www.flashbagsonline.com Or, if you're in the Burlington, VT area, come over to Pine Street Art Works and pick one up here.

Seven_days_2
Ali Marcheldon and Laura Cheeney of Flashbags sitting on the display steps at psaw a couple of years ago. Image courtesy of SevenDays Vermont.


WHAT'S HOT AT PSAW? FLASHBAGS!

Small_bag_4I cant keep these products in stock. They are my number one best seller this holiday season.

Two years ago Ali Marchildon and Laura Cheeney started making  Flashbags, handmade laminated handbags in Ali's dining room in Burlington, VT. At the same time I was getting ready to open Pine Street Art Works, right down the street. We started collaborating immediately.

Last year the bags sold steadily but slowly. But those gals have a lot of flash, as well as a fantastic product  and two years of hard work and a lot of great business sense are paying off. Their new atelier in Winooski, VT is a hive of sewing and packing activity. They have expanded their line to include checkbook covers, clutches, bins, wallets and placemats. Their new line of Red Sox items are a big thrill for many Vermonters, who consider the Sox their home town team.

This year the bags are flying off my shelves.

On the top is Liza Leger from my series, Fake! Paintings by Liza Leger, Liza Picasso and Liza Matisse.

Midnight_bag_white_bg_2 Flashbags is also now working with Cara Barer, the fantastic photographer from Houston TX, whose series of photos of soaked and shaped books  is a staple at PSAW. Cara's work is  in the Houston Museum of Fine arts as well as in a couple of  other fine galleries in the US. 

You can come here to PSAW- 404 Pine Street, Burlington VT - to shop for your Flashbags bags and accessories or go directly to their site to buy their array of images and products, or, for even more fun, order a custom bag.

Make sure to tell them that Liza sent you. And stay tuned for my new line of bags based on my ephemera collections, coming sometime this winter.