Boston Handmade Downtown Holiday Gallery Opens Today!

Kick off your Holidays by shopping Handmade!

Opening day is TODAY, November 26!

The 3rd Annual 
November 26 through December 24, 2010
Wednesday - Sunday, 11am - 7pm

Make 2010 the season of handmade with gifts created by more than 20 local artists, artisans, and crafts people at 505 Washington Street, in the heart of Downtown Crossing Boston, between West and Temple.

Click image for full list of exhibitors

Danke Schön!

I have a lot to be thankful for. A loving family, friends near and far from various walks of life, a roof over my head, a full time job I enjoy, and a small side business that is more fun than it is work. I'm thankful for little things too, and my continued interest in really making the best of this life and soaking everything in.
Sure, this is all the normal "thankful" stuff, but it's what really matters.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving and have much to be thankful for as well!

Plaid Friday Specials!

You know about Black Friday, but have you heard of Plaid Friday?

The name Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. Plaid Friday is the fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store "Black Friday," and is designed promote both local and independently owned businesses during the holidays.

Plaid Friday was conceptualized in Oakland, CA, a city known for strong shop local campaigns. One of the long term goals of Plaid Friday is to become a resource to make it easier for shoppers to find local businesses in every city across the nation. Plaid Friday brings back the neighborly nostalgic times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable leisurely activity.


To celebrate Plaid Friday, shopping local, and shopping handmade,  I am offering 20% OFF your entire order in my shop when you make a purchase between Friday, November 26 and Monday, November 29 using the coupon code PlaidFriday10 at check out!

This offer is for in stock merchandise only and not valid on prior purchases. 
Sorry, no special orders. Expires 11:59 EST on 11/29/10.

New Photo Series: Love Notes

I've been working on a new photo series, tentatively called "Love Notes." It is a series of positive words or phrases popping up in unexpected places, mostly interesting surfaces. I've only just begun shooting... but stay tuned for more!

Poppytalk's 101 Reasons to Buy Handmade

Poppytalk has a great article with 101 Reasons to Buy Handmade. Here are some of my favorite reasons:

4. When you buy handmade, you are purchasing from artisans and craftspeople who enjoy creating their wares. The object holds that positive energy, and it spreads.

19. Buying handmade guarantees that no one will give the same gift as you!

45. Handmade items are what your Great Great Grandma used to buy.

52. Buying handmade is the best way to avoid shopping malls!

56. Buying handmade is an environmentally sound way to shop - handmade items are often made from recycled materials.

60. Buying handmade encourages traditions - how many happy hours have I spent learning how to knit with my mom and grandmom? There will never exist a knitting machine that can tell so many interesting stories!

67. Buying handmade ensures the discovery of quirky, one of a kind items! Companies won’t commit vast machines/factories to make riskier, odder things at the risk of not selling 1000’s or millions of mass produced units. But that is exactly what is best and most fun about making something oneself. Experimenting with new and different things! Odd shapes and combinations that may not be commercial but are definitely fun.

71. Buying handmade shows our children that not everything in this world needs to be mass produced. It teaches them to love and appreciate the unique and the imperfect. And it inspires them to do their own creating as well.

83. Buying handmade encourages independent thinking that breaks corporation's homogenizing tendencies.

86. Buying handmade allows opportunities for customization where shoppers can participate in the creative process to further personalize the item.

96. Buying handmade is just simply delightful.

For the full list, click here.
If you are interested in taking the Handmade Pledge, click here.

What are YOUR favorite reasons for buying handmade?

Vote for me in the Etsy and NASA Space Craft Contest!

Remember the Space Craft Contest I entered? Welllllllll voting has begun!

I would very much appreciate it if you would take a moment to vote for my submission under the category NASA and Etsy Space Craft 2D Reproduction. It's easy, here's how:

1) Log in to your Etsy account
2) Visit this link:
3) Vote for A Place So Gloriously Wired with Lights and Sounds (that's mine!)

That's it!

Voting ends November 19 so be sure to do it asap!

About the contest: NASA and Etsy invited Etsy members to celebrate artistic exploration and commemorate the end of the NASA Space Shuttle Program with a creative challenge: Share an original handmade item or work of art inspired by the NASA Space Shuttle Program and space exploration at large.

Prizes include a trip to an upcoming launch as NASA’s VIP guest, Etsy shopping sprees, and cool merchandise from NASA and Etsy. The winning artwork might even be flown on the Space Shuttle! If you vote for me, I might bring you as my guest if I win the grand prize :)

Not an Etsy member? Then it's high time that you register here:

Thanks everyone, and wish me luck!

More Matt and Melissa Engagement Photos

Remember Matt and Melissa's engagement photo shoot
Here are some more of my favorites from that day.

In front of Daniel Marsh Chapel at Boston University

Matt preparing to blow a kiss to Melissa

In front of Melissa's old apartment building

Matt being his charming self

This was such a fun day! I really enjoyed spending this time with two of my favorite people and I am so excited and happy for Matt and Melissa!

Fraske Designs Etsy Shop Turns 4!

Whoa! Four years ago today, I set up my Etsy Shop. I remember it like it was yesterday: A brisk fall day, it was also an election day in Massachusetts. I was home sick from work with a bad cold, but semi-functional, so after I walked down to Davis Square to do my civic duty, I was home on the couch with my laptop and some kleenex.

Someone had recently told me about this new website and I was checking it out. I had been making cards for friends for a while, and had been taking pictures since I had enough Bazooka bubblegum wrappers to exchange for a camera that shot 110 film with no flash. I poked around and read Etsy's policies and steps to set up a shop selling my very own handmade items. It was a no-brainer: Probably an hour later, I had set up, stocked with cards and prints, and ready to go.

It took a few weeks for me to get my first official sale. Then momentum started picking up, best-sellers started proving themselves. My Fenway Park Red Seat photo was the clear favorite, followed by You Are My Sunshine. As the months went by, I added and refined the products in my shop. I started to list more prints and less note cards. Increasing my Red Sox themed prints definitely helped with the traffic.

Fast forward to November 2010, Etsy has proven itself as an international go-to resource for handmade, and it has really made a positive impact on my life in so many ways. As an artist, it has offered me an outlet to share my work with the WORLD as well as those in my back yard. Thanks to Etsy, the store Magpie - a great local store selling handmade wares in Somerville - found me and asked to sell my prints and cards in their awesome brick and mortar location. This gave me the confidence I needed to start doing craft shows as well as approach more stores to see if they too would like to carry my work.

As a consumer, I have become even more aware of the importance of buying handmade, and the hard work that goes into the production of every item listed. And let's not forget the amazing people who have entered my life thanks to Etsy! I found the amazing group Boston Handmade, and have made some great friendships through that association.

It has been such a wonderful experience to connect with other artists and crafts people in the area. I have learned so much from getting to know these amazing people and immersing myself in the handmade culture. It has also helped me to push myself as an artist and small business person. While my small business is still basically a micro-business, I feel like I have taken great strides to integrate my art into my life and to find a way to share it with others. I wonder what the next four years will have in store!

Bazaar Bizarre Boston | 12.5.10

I am excited to announce that I will be a vendor at the Bazaar Bizarre in Boston for the second year in a row on Sunday, December 5! I will be there with Boston Handmade for what I think is one of the most exciting craft shows of the year.

We will exhibit at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama 
in the heart of Boston's South End neighborhood
on Sunday, December 5th from 12-7pm.

Bazaar Bizarre 2009
If you plan on going, get there early, because the line literally wraps down the street and around corners!

Starting TODAY at 10:00, a small number of early bird tickets will be available for presale. For $10, you can get into the 2010 Boston Bazaar Bizarre one hour (11am-12pm) before it opens to the general public. You'll be able to shop with a group of just 100 people, instead of the thousands of shoppers that will descend upon the Cyclorama as the day progresses.

If you miss out on the early bird special, or just would rather save $9, definitely stop by between 12 and 7!