Tag Archives: Michelle DaRin

Tenting It

The AmeriCu Arts & Crafts Festival is celebrating its 50th year in downtown Syracuse, New York. Located on the streets surrounding Columbus Circle, there are about 150 artisans and crafters represented in this three-day event. It ends around 4pm today, July 25, 2021, so there is still time to check it out!

There’s food trucks, drinks and music too. My sister and I were there for two hours yesterday. So fun!

This is a juried exhibition. Lula Castillo’s booth at the festival won an honorable mention award. Her work is incredible. She uses plants, nuts, seeds and organic dyes to create exquisite pieces of jewelry. I’ve never seen anything like this!

The colors are so vibrant and fun. I loved everything about her sustainable materials collection.

She comes to us from Long Island, New York (formerly Columbia!)


Booth A17

I thought Erin Primerano’s presentation of her handwoven fine art clothing was wonderful. Her tent looked like a real store! The pieces are one-of-a-kind looks, using a mix of fibers from silk to cotton, to wool and can be hand-washed.

Her company is called Haute Made and you can find her on Etsy! She lives in Syracuse, New York.

Booth A4

I met Ted Greenfield from Chittenango, New York, last week at his City Market booth. These wood charcuterie boards are gorgeous! His company is called Bayside Wood Products.


Booth E15

It’s always a pleasure to see the effervescent Barbara Conte-Gaugel (Syracuse, New York) and her mixed-media handbags and satchels. Everything is handmade from recycled fabrics (including leather and old flour sacks). The larger bags are among my favorites with whimsical patterns that inspire positivity. She is selling these bags at the festival but she is also a fine artist – paintings and assemblages.


Devin Mack from Baltimore, Maryland, creates these fun wire sculptures of animals. He was in the process as I photographed him, said he does not use photographs, just whimsy, and the results are stunning!


Booth F13

Kathleen Scranton from Coventry, Connecticut, creates vintage book purses under the logo BeeZ. She comes to us from the business and marketing world. A chance rendezvous with a library eliminating old books sparked this plan to turn their covers into handbags. Purses come with a paperback version of the book.


Booth C12

Michelle DaRin, Pompey, New York, is a rock star around here. Her face is on billboards, as she is currently represented by Cazenovia Jewelry! I noticed that everyone who walked by Montgomery Street was a customer, including me (I was wearing three of her bracelets!).

Michelle DaRin Jewelry is a one person operation – she is the face of the brand. She selects the stones, cuts the metal, does all the metal-smithing and strings the leather.

The look is upscale Bohemian-chic/’70s vibe meets the new millennium.


Wildflowers Armory is a co-op – artisans who share in the responsibility of selling their wares in their store in downtown Syracuse (217 S. Salina Street). Co-owner Michael Heagerty posed for a few pictures with Kathy and me. He is an amazing person who has single-handedly changed the view of the local art scene in Syracuse – a beautiful person inside and out! <3

They have a double tent set-up on Montgomery Street at the festival with an eclectic mix of items for sale.

Merchandise includes clothing (like the awesome Everson is for Lovers shirt!), soaps, notecards, crafts, and artwork.

They also have an online presence – https://wildflowersarmory.com/

Finally, I want my Superintendent to buy these metal bear sculptures for our school (We are the Chittenango Bears!). And I want the cardinal sculpture for my back yard.

OMG, Dale Rogers! His work is exceptional. The sculptures are crafted from stainless steel in his studio in Massachusetts.

Booth C1-2


Art City



I visited with four friends in their tents on Montgomery Street yesterday.  They are all participating in the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, which continues today from 10 am – 5 pm.  The festival occupies and includes four streets around Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York.


Barbara Conte-Gaugel sells unique, handmade handbags and wallets.



John Oneal Heard (johnonealheard@gmail.com) is also a drummer.  His paintings on glass reference music.




Charlie Sam creates whimsical illustrations on T-shirts.  They are known as having a “both cute and creepy” dichotomy.




And, of course, Michelle DaRin.  I love her vibe – and feel privileged to be among her tribe. <3




I spent the weekend creating encaustic paintings of horseshoes to exhibit in my sister’s new yoga studio.  Sophie Tashkovski will be opening the doors to Syracuse Yoga sometime in May.  This is such an exciting time for our family!  We are so proud of Sophie.  She is an amazing yoga instructor and business woman.


Sophie’s logo is a quatrefoil of horseshoes.  It is a combination of relaxed elegance, abundant positive energy and a pinch of luck.


The artist in me had been dormant of late – the facelift I gave the Honor Thy Master series kickstarted an eruption in me.  The red hot magma (love saying that) is the passion/blood/desire flowing from me to paint again.  On Friday, I purchased some supplies then spent all day and well into the evening on Saturday in production.  I felt the electricity of luck flowing through me as I worked.  Today I mounted the dozen piece collection onto chalkboard-painted masonite.  Tomorrow I will do touch-ups and pick up some hooks to attach to the backs so they will be ready to hang.



I also plan to purchase a few more things from the art supply store.  I have momentum now and I don’t want to lose it.  I will continue to make progress.  There’s a smaller series of horseshoes on deck and I hope to create angel paintings and maybe more hearts – they are my bread and butter.  I love when I not only have an idea in the creating of work but in addition, a place to put them once they are done.  Yessss!


Janine came over as I was painting and I gave her a lesson in encaustics.  That was fun – she took these great photographs to document the process.  (And, OMG – no make-up and junky paint sweats, lol!)





As much as I love teaching, I really wish this could be my life all the time.  It is so much fun! I would need more than a kickstart of motivation though, in order to turn it into a real 24/7 business.  I would need to be passionate about the business end and that is more dormant/inactive (really closer to extinct) volcano in me all the time. When Sophie and our friend Gina were talking spreadsheets over drinks at Kitty Hoynes last month, I kind of zoned out, as if they both sounded like the teacher on Peanuts.  Blah-blah-woh-waah….


Gina operates Saunacuse, a sauna studio using infra-red technology.  (At Christmas, I bought my sisters gift certificates to go there – it is amazing!)  I wish I could be as business savvy as they are, and like our friend Michelle DaRin is.


She is the business woman’s business woman role model – artist, educator, wife, mother, jewelry designer, and…kickstarter.

Michelle and her husband are looking to expand their business, which has gotten a lot of press/national attention recently.  I am in awe of her raw talent.  Her work is infused with so much positivity.  Wearing the copper-based enameled bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces, you can actually feel the energy radiating from the collection and affecting you harmoniously as you dance your way about the day.  And by you, I most definitely mean me.  I LOVE wearing her jewelry!

Michelle DaRin jewelry bracelets, BCBGMaxAzria dress and leggings, Ralph Lauren boots

Banana Republic T-shirt and skirt, Michelle DaRin jewelry, Calvin Klein sandals

Michelle DaRin Jewelry has started a Kickstarter campaign.  They are looking to fund a project in which Michelle has more studio space and in addition, a place to teach metal-smithing classes (She has an Art Education degree from Syracuse University).


Check out the link to the funding page at the bottom of this blog post – you aren’t just handing her money for the heck of it.  It is a business transaction.  You will receive jewelry – and basically get it for a lot less than the retail value.  The more you give the more you get of her hand-made one-of-a-kind pieces.  The money will also go towards the hiring of staff trained in the manufacturing of the goods, as there is a strong need to meet the demands of the increased interest in her work.  Win-win!


I am so honored to know these beautiful, talented young business women!  They are truly kickin’ it!


Click the link below to see how you can participate in manifesting this new and improved vision for Michelle DaRin Jewelry!  I promise you will love it! <3



Tashionista’s Trinkets & Boots

BCBGMaxAzria top, pants and belt, BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria top, pants and belt, BCBGGeneration sandals

I’ve been in a whirlwind of social activity, including art stuff – like I went to Plowshares, an art show at Nottingham High School in Syracuse, NY over the weekend.  I went there to shop for Christmas gifts because I am a firm believer in buying local.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots

The vendor in particular – Michelle DaRin.  Michelle is a jewelry designer and I absolutely love her work!  She often does art shows and fairs but you can also find her work here.  For Christmas, she is offering different specials every day.

Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan, Rachel Roy top, Champion yoga pants, Nine West booties
Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan, Rachel Roy top, Champion yoga pants, Nine West booties

I also stumbled upon a great boot sale at ninewest.com.  On Black Friday, they had 50% off boots then an additional 20% off that, so, I bought lots.  Not that I needed them, of course, but now that I am fashion blogging, I just desire new things.  Curbing spending will be a New Year’s resolution…or not.  I say it in my head then go – nah!

JCrew sweater, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West booties
JCrew sweater, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West booties

Most of my waking hours are spent on bcbg.com.  They have 60% off stuff!  Just bought a top, and pants that I haven’t worn yet.  As you can see, my new belt has been in heavy rotation these past two weeks!

JCrew cardigan, Trina Turk dress, BCBGMaxAzria belt, Nine West boots
JCrew cardigan, Trina Turk dress, BCBGMaxAzria belt, Nine West boots

I see Amanda LaDue at Miracles in Fayetteville, NY every three weeks.  She added more highlights to my hair to the point that my blonde sister asked me if I was single-white-femaling her, lol.  We are definitely twinning right now!

Trina Turk dress, Steve Madden boots
Trina Turk dress, Steve Madden boots

I took my sister’s yoga class for the first time ever.  She is an instructor at O Yoga.  It was really pretty amazing!  I am a pilates girl but I think Sophie is about to convert me to yogini – nah!, well…maybe….

Lord & Taylor cardigan, Bailey 44 top, Trina Turk pants, Nine West booties
Lord & Taylor cardigan, Bailey 44 top, Trina Turk pants, Nine West booties

Trina Turk was doing 30% off stuff.  What you need to do is get on the emailing list so that you can receive invitations for all the special sales.

BCBGMaxAzria dress and belt, Ralph Lauren boots
BCBGMaxAzria dress and belt, Ralph Lauren boots

I am not sure what is up next – there are loads of craft fairs going on.  A new art gallery in Armory Square and several art exhibitions that I have been invited to attend through my connections on Facebook.

Banana Republic cardigan and pants, Bailey 44 top, BCBGGeneration booties
Banana Republic cardigan and pants, Bailey 44 top, BCBGGeneration booties

As for my own work, I will wait for whatever comes my way in the new year.  I am planning to revise my Shopify.com store and you can still purchase merchandise with my artwork on it – phone cases, T-shirts and mugs – through http://www.redbubble.com.

Free People cardigan, Lucky Brand top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Nine West boots
Free People cardigan, Lucky Brand top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Nine West boots

I guess that is another New Year’s resolution – to be more the vendor than the customer – nah! well, you know…yes!

BCBGMaxAzria sweater and belt, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGGeneration booties
BCBGMaxAzria sweater and belt, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGGeneration booties