Friday, October 26, 2007

Elizabeth Behan's Bio:

Elizabeth's had more creativity in her since she was little than she ever knew what to do with. Her youngest creative memory is making doll
clothes out of toilet paper. After many years of not paying attention in school (due to creative projects floating around her head) she attended East Tennessee State University and studied fiber arts. This gave her a definition of what she had been all those years: an artist.

After years of traveling and selling different wares, she settled down to become a wife and mother of two children. Adi is 10 and Teagen is 5. With all the clothes, cakes, costumes and gifts that come with children, she spent the the next few years creating an exciting atmosphere for her children - including parties where the house was totally transformed into another place (ie. Narnia) and tons of children had full costumes to become the characters in the books! Her
latest creative passion is making jewelry from broken china.

A friend asking her to do something "creative " with her collection of broken china collected from the ocean created a love, in Elizabeth, for sea china. A trip to New England where she and her husband found as much sea china as her friend had found in 10 years cemented the dream as one God had for her, so she was off and running! Upon looking around at the uneven stacks of china she had inherited another idea was born. Using another talent she had developed over the years, breaking dishes, she decided to add a line of jewelry made from broken antique china. This naturally grew into the china a new bride picks out being purchased and broken and made into gifts for the wedding party.

Her work can be seen at

Home parties, art shows and weddings showcase these beautiful creations. Past years' Mamamade shows have been an important step in encouraging the blending of mothering and pursuing her own business. It showed her that the season of being a mother to little ones didn't have to be over, or overtaken for a passionate home business to grow. She was also so excited to meet other moms who live in the same creative place she does.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy news--my product list for MamaMade is getting longer! My love of limited production work has kicked into high gear with these little notebooks. They're inspired by How About Orange--that girl is such a genious. Simple, lovely ideas nearly everyday!
I love to have a little notebook with me at all times--and let's face it, the insides of my purse are serious battle ground. It's nice to not carry around my greatest handmade journal and let it get so beat up.

I decided to put fabric on mine. They're 4x5 inches and I used Wunder Under to attach some of my favorite prints. I know they could get a lot more detailed, but I'd like to keep them simple, and the price point low.

I'll be selling them at the Mamamade Openhouse on November 17th. And I'm going to send some to my cousin in St. Louis for a show she and her husband are participating in there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Hello. I am Beth Porter Lawrence, a.k.a. "Freshie". Zero is my Jack Russell.

I began making jewelry when I was ten years old. At that time, I molded friendly plastic into earrings and sold them up and down my street out of my pink & purple Caboodle, and wholesaled them to my first store in downtown Franklin, Tennessee. I believe my going price was around $3-$5 which probably didn't cover my expenses, but what did I care - I was making real money!

After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Belmont University where my focus was photography and painting, I moved from Nashville to Atlanta. I worked in a craft gallery there and rediscovered my love for making jewelry, and I began stringing beads and recycling vintage components under the name "Freshie Designs". I sold my jewelry in three stores in Atlanta until I moved back to Nashville and put my jewelry on hold while I tried a career in sales for a couple of years. However, this intense job left no room for creativity, so I resigned from my position and launched Freshie & Zero after a couple of years of carefully developing my own unique style.

Simple, modern, and elegant are all words I hear used to describe my jewelry. I start out with a piece of sterling silver or gold filled wire which I shape into a circle, square, or some other little form. I then take it to my anvil and hammer it out while purposefully leaving the hammer marks for a distinct look. Often I add finishing asymmetrical touches of gemstones or freshwater pearls, resulting in a dainty and delicate style.

From Carrie:

Dear friends, just a note to say Los Pollitos Dicen (The Little Chicks Say) will be offering some new designs and holiday savings specials for Mamamade shoppers.

Watch this space for design previews!


After today's Roadway arrival, the note I sent along to Juliana Forbes: mentor, coworker, Mothers Acting Up co-founder and Midwife Maven to the Annual MAU Handbook:

My truckload of 20 boxes of 2008 MAU Handbooks has just arrived in the rain… they now sit on my front porch, save for the one box I brought into the house and ripped into immediately to take a look. And I’m just BAWLING…. THEY. ARE. SO. BEAUTIFUL. I’d love to call and tell you so, but I don’t think I can speak for being a blubbering mess of gladness.

Love and lots of it.



(I have always been of the sensitive persuasion, but since having become pregnant with my son, and then these two years after his birth, even, I am just a walking jangle of happy-sad-beautiful-crazy human-ness, both tender and tough, with a penchant both for laughing and weeping uncontrollably. The already wonky world goes a bit madder in motherhood, I find.)


Paige La Grone Babcock AKA Ms. Booty Homemaker is a writer and communitarian engaged in the Apron-string Revolution where peace begins at home. Her return to the pink collar world after a year tending hearth and raising baby is as public Joy Warrior and work-at-home-mama. Outreach coordinator and community organizer for the exuberant movement Mothers Acting Up, Paige puts to work her writing, teaching and theatre background crafting community. She hosts a schedule of playgroups and potluck socials & salons, and makes regular visits (child on hip) to the offices of her state and local elected officials advocating for MAU's Mother Agenda. Paige organized Nashville's 1st and 2nd Annual Mother's Day Peace Parade and has developed the workshop MAU Now: the Joy of Activism, a template for helping far-flung MAU mavens and other community leaders share adapted versions of the recipe in their own home communities. Paige also answers to Wife and Mommy, mixing it up with activism, art and domestic anarchy. She is a (slightly lapsed) voracious reader, messy gardener and a joyful cook / chowhound. She lives in a cozy urban cottage in East Nashville with her Beloved Mister, their curly headed toddler Ziggy, and rescue cats and dog. She loves them all wildly and with abandon, and dreams of raising chickens in the country.
A portrait in the 2007 Mothers Acting Up Handbook & Engagement Calendar, Paige will be selling this year's model at her second Mamamade, along with homespun aprons and Nashville MAU tees, all for the benefit of MAU, which exists as a national non- profit & non-partisan mother-led, mother-fed movement of mothers (and others) to passionately and publicly advocate for the world's children (including the ones right here in Nashville). One of Nashville MAU's most joyful moments this year was taking the lead in helping the Nashville Public Library and its stellar Main Branch children's programming salvage its entire proposed budget cut from Metro Government's chopping block. Paige and her family are HUGE fans of books and public libraries in general and of the Professor, Mary Mary, and Library Pete in particular.
Paige is available to facilitate discussion, lead workshops and speak about MAU, mother activism and raising socially conscious children in a changing culture at your home gathering, church or knitting group or national conference. She can be contacted at paige at mothersactingup dot org.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The story of Jenni Hopkins...
Simply put, I am a West Virginia girl livin' in Tennessee, with my hilarious husband and two baby boys, and I love to try to make the world just a little more beautiful than I found it.
I grew up in Charleston, West Virginia and found both my love of art and the love of my life there. I have attempted most kinds of creative ventures, from macrame to collage, and have found that paint and a sewing machine are my favorite tools of expression.
Formally, I studied television production and costume design for theatre at the University of Kentucky and went on to do some graduate work in costume design at the University of Texas and in fashion design at Parsons in NYC.
After the birth of my son, Wyatt, we moved to New Orleans, the place where Nate and I were married 5 years before, and lived there only 3 months before hurricane Katrina hit. With everything turned upside down, I found myself craving simplicity and those things that are quintessential to the feelings of home. Beauty, comfort, personal style, the little things that make it well... home. So I started embroidering and making pillows and painting art for my sister and my friends. I found such peace and satisfaction in doing this I wanted to do it full time. I would be honored to make something beautiful for your home!

Hisae Shiratori and Mari Beth Sartain came up with their business idea when they both were pregnant and searching high and low for baby kimono. Baby kimono are the "onesies" of Japan favored by mothers because they wrap around the baby instead of going over the head, and because the seams and tags are on the outside so not to irritate the baby's delicate skin. Hisae, who was born and raised in Japan, and Mari Beth, who spent several years living in Japan, both recognized the functionality and the beauty of the baby kimono. With no luck trying to purchase baby kimonos, they decided to make the kimonos themselves. They named their company after the two babies who inspired the kimonos: Tomo&Edie.

Tomo&Edie organic baby kimono and their vintage Japanese silk kimono hair accessories can be found in selected boutiques around the United States. The kimonos are noted for the unusual red and black tag in Japanese and English. The logo Chikyujin Tomo&Edie -- chikyujin (pronounced chee-Q-jeen) is a Japanese word they like to translate as "world member." Literally translated, the character chikyu is "earth" and jin is the character for "man"

They say that their children, Tomo&Edie, remind them daily that they are "world members" so they must do their part to promote peace, protect the environment, educate the children, and be nice.

This concept gets translated into both their organic baby kimonos and their vintage kimono hair accessories.

Did any of you hear that high pitch whine today? It was me and my router going full bore. I made some serious sawdust today routing some chair sides for a set that I am working on. I only got through four sides before my year old router said "I am DONE!" The blasted thing won't start. I mean COME ON! it was only 4 sides you wuss. I am so not happy. So off to the repair shop it goes on Monday, after I spank it for being a pain in my rear and slowing down my progress. My hubby took a few shots of me before the router revolt. Here they are.