Posts Tagged ‘Bloomington’

I spent last Thursday in Bloomington to host a webinar with Traditional Arts Indiana.  I had a few minutes to spare before the webinar started so my daughter, Hannah, and I stopped to chat with Sally Harless at Anatomy Vintage and Handmade.

Shop is located on what appears to be an alley a block south of Kirkwood Avenue near the I.U. campus.  The most striking part of the shop is its size — it’s tiny!  This unique little building began life as a residential garage.  Sometime later some shed additions were added to the south side of the building as well as a two story storefront addition.  It really is a unique and interesting space.

Though small and filled with merchandise, it’s not tight or cluttered.  When shared the space with 2-3 shoppers as well as Sally and had no problem navigating.  There are interesting things to look at (and to purchase) at every level iincluding a shelf of my flatties — full size 2-dimensional versions of my carvings.

I must confess that I didn’t look at much — the selection had a decidedly female appeal — but my youngest duaghter, Phoebe, would love to explore!

Don’t miss this tiny hidden gem while roaming the Kirkwood shops.

Email: amber.anatomy(at!)gmail.com
Phone: (317) 606 – ERAS
visit my storefront at 116 S Grant St., Bloomington, IN
shop the Etsy store: http://anatomyvintage.etsy.com
twitter @Anatomy Vintage
blog (you’re there!) anatomyvintage.blogspot.com
Facebook: Anatomy

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Like most early songbird carvers, Elmer Crowell carved decoys.  When work slowed and for the summer tourist trade he carved miniature songbirds on Cape Cod.

Elmer is well known.  His decoys are the most valuable and sought after in the world.  A preening pintail and a Canada goose have both sold for over $1,000,000 at auction.

The attraction to his carvings is the masterful attention to detail and painting.  His forms are amazingly graceful and though not highly realistic they seem life-like.

His miniature are also sought, though they don’t draw six figure bids.  These little birds reflect a master’s touch and each have a distinct personality.

These delightful songbirds have been a major influence upon my work since I discovered his work in an old auction catalogue I picked up in Bloomington.

Carved Miniature Nashville Warbler
A. Elmer Crowell, E. Harwich, MA, Ca. 1930′s

Mellow, essentially mint, original condition. Rectangular stamp with ink species name.

2 3/4″ long.


Available for purchase and study here.

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Hear me (and a lot of smarter folks) talk about our art, the alternative craft movement and Saturday’s Bloomington Handmade Market.

WFIU – Radio Broadcast about Saturday’s Handmade Market

Tuesday, March 29

See images and links for all of the vendors here.

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50 Little Birds plans to be out and about this spring.  Look for us at the following shows:

Greene County Marsh Madness Festival

Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6

8:00 – 6:00 Saturday and 12:00 – 5:00 Sunday

Humphrey’s Park, Highway 54, Linton, Indiana

Bloomington Handmade Market (Pending Acceptance)

Saturday, April 2

10:00 – 4:00

Bloomington Convention Center, 302 S. College Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana Artisan Marketplace (Pending Acceptance)

Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17

Saturday 10:00 – 6:00 and Sunday 10:00 – 5:00

Admission $8

Exposition Building, Indiana State Fair Grounds, Indianapolis, Indiana

INDIEana Handicraft Exchange (Pending Acceptance)

Saturday, June 12

12:00 – 8:00

Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 n. Delaware St., Indianapolis, Indiana

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I love Hoagy Carmichael! He’s the ultimate jazz man, the original singer songwriter and raised 100% Hoosier.

A few weeks ago I learned of someone that was making an effort to record every song the Beatles had recorded. I joked with a friend, on facebook, that I doubt there would be much interest in a similar project focusing on the works of Hoagy.  She agreed that there may not be much interest.  Much to my surprise a number of folks, many of whom I didn’t know, chimed in that they would love to see such a project.


I am announcing the “Everything Hoagy” event planned for Blue Stone Folk School in November (Hoagy’s birthday is November 22).

I will be hosting a concert featuring the great work of Hoagy Carmichael.  I’ve not had an opportunity to perform, in a concert setting, fora very long time and am excited about putting this together.  In addition to myself I will be invited some expected (and unexpected) guests to make the evening interesting.

Other Hoagy themed activities are also in the works including a bus/car/walking tour of Hoagy’s Indianapolis.

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I’m beginning to explore the wholes/consignment side to retailing 50 Little Birds.  So far I’ve kept it very simple.  I’ve product placed at two galleries owned and operated by folks that I know well and have worked with before.  I amm currently developing a wholesale price list and flyer.  If you know of a gallery or shop that would be a good fit with my work, please contact me (info@bluestonefolkschool.org) and let me know about them.

Bloomington, Indiana

The Paper Crane, 401 W. 6th Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47404

Indianapolis, Indiana

Homespun  Modern Homemade, 5624 E. Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

Noblesville, Indiana

Blue Stone Folk School, Judge Stone House, 107 S. 8th Street, Noblesville, Indiana 46060 (Hours very irregular.  Stop by and look for the “open” sign or email to arrange a visit. (info@bluestonefolkschool.org)  This is where 50 Little Birds are carved and painted.

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Saturday, November 6 50 Little Birds will be traveling to Bloomington, Indiana for our second Bloomington Handmade Market.

The Bloomington Handmade Market is a contemporary art and craft fair that showcases modern handmade goods from 45+ local and regional artists.
Our holiday event will be held on Saturday, November 6th from 10 am to 5 pm at the Bloomington Convention Center, located at 3rd and College in Bloomington, Indiana.

Following this I will be playing solo ukulele and singing at The Paper Crane, also in Bloomington.  Party invite below:

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I wrote a bit about preparing for this show.  I wanted to share what a photo, or two, of my sales display table.  I drew quite a few compliments.

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I’ve got inventory under control and am actually working on display and a possible new product.

Little birds are little.  I really enjoy the ease of bringing in inventory and display items in just two trips.  I avoid a lot of the hassles of hand trucks, wagons, plastic containers, etc.  (By my very nature I try to avoid plastic.)

I’ve two goals in mind for the Bloomington Show.  One is to get everything in in one trip…including a table and a stool. I also want to get my tiny merchandise up to eye level.

For years I’ve carried an L.L. Bean Boat and Tote canvas bag.  By coincidence the wood box that my birds live in fits the inside of my bag perfectly.  I’ve ordered two more bags and found another wood box of the same dimensions.  By nesting the boxes I can safely transport all of my small carving safely.

In the past my birds are displayed on a shelf about four feet high and wide.  I picked it up at a yard sale and It’s ideal, but very difficult to fit into the trunk of my Focus.  I spotted a 3-tier “plant stand” at a local antique shop.  It wasn’t for sale, so I shot a few photos and designed my own folding version.

I chose to paint the shelf one of my favorite combinations…robin’s egg blue and bright red.  In my mind, it looks like something that might have been sound at a depression era department store.  The shelf is 20″ tall by 20″ wide and 10″ deep.  It holds over 20 birds and since it has no back, light penetrates it well.  They folk down to a bit smaller than a ukulele. (The ukulele is a standard of measurement in my family.)

As soon as I completed the first I had to build another.  They work well back-to-back, creating a circle and side by side.  By putting one at each end of my table and running light boards between the become an oval.  I’m excited (and a bit perplexed) by their flexibility.

My second innovation is not quite so original.  My workbenches are about 38″ tall.  I’ve some eyesight issues and like the work close to my face.  It’s no secret that retailers place items at eye level and I decided I needed to do the same.

My table stands 29″ tall and its legs are 1″ in diameter.  I bought a 4 foot section of 1″ PVC and cut it into 12″ lengths.  They slipped right over that table’s legs and raise it to a respectable 37″.  They’ll take up very little space in my bag.

My next challenge is to find a space to hand a 22″ bald eagle.

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