Guest Post: Carriage House Creations

 Jewelry exhibitor Lorraine Frelier wrote a guest post for our blog – going back to her earliest inspiration and giving an inside look into how she creates her pieces.

DSCF0023I’ve always been creative. My first love was sewing, which my mother taught me. I also love needle work, especially embroidery. This taught me patience, to follow directions and determination. I’ve made several quilts and love the colors and textures found in vintage linens, quilts, curtains and drapery. One of my pastimes as a kid was untangling costume jewelry found on my mom’s vanity. I wondered at how they were put together and how they were made. As I got older, I would go to flea markets, yard sales, church bazaars looking for antique, vintage and unusual things to wear and bring into my home. I’ve refinished lots of furniture, which my mother also taught me, and have repurposed many of my finds. I started making jewelry from some of these found items. I made pearl bridesmaid necklaces for my wedding party from some of these things. This was the seed to Carriage House Creations.

DSCF0046 As I stayed home with my growing family, I found outlets for my creative interest. I was also making jewelry for myself and friends and thought I could sell some of my things. I was inspired by a vendor I spoke to at an arts festival. I originally made my jewelry upstairs in my 1870s carriage house, giving my budding business a name, Carriage House Creations. I have since moved to the basement in my home and have two kilns, a work bench and great storage. Like many jewelry artisans, I started with found items and craft store jewelry findings and beads. Through the internet the availability of more varied and better quality materials became much easier to obtain. As beading became more popular and the cost of silver went up, I noticed an increase in copper items featured in magazines and on some of the web sites I used. I recalled growing up in Ithaca and my 6th grade art teacher, Mr. Dobert, teaching us to enamel! I still have the piece. This art form uses copper and I thought enameling would be something unique. So, off to the library to find every enameling book published in the 1970s. YouTube was also helpful. I find a real joy in creating my jewelry pieces using simple materials: powdered enamels, raw copper and a high temperature kiln. The creative possibilities are endless.

DSCF0069It’s a very involved process containing many steps to successfully finish a piece. I shape the copper, clean it, decide how it’s to be fastened, enamel several times to get different effects. I incorporated these pieces with jewelry findings, some that I create and other I purchase (like chain) to make unique jewelry.

My jewelry reflects some of my beliefs. Not everything happens as planned and some of the most interesting things happen by chance. There are so many variables in both the enameling process and in life itself, things do not always come out as expected. I believe you need to be open to unexpected outcomes and always look for the “silver lining.” I love the uniqueness of each of my pieces. By using basic, simple scaled down materials – raw copper, powdered glass and fire – I’m creating timeless pieces of jewelry. I think the pieces have a unique, relaxed and comfortable feel to them.

I’m very excited I was chosen to participate in this festival this year. I have participated in the past and have really enjoyed the festival. My jewelry can purchased at Cheshire Union, just south of Canandaigua, Mendon Fountains and Flowers in Mendon and a new shop, Creations Gifts and Treasures, in Pittsford along the canal, in Northfield Commons.

I can always be contacted by email at or you can see my facebook page:


“inSpiraled” Pieces Play with Color and Texture

Becky Blair loves color and texture, and plays with both while creating beautiful jewelry pieces under her business name “inSpiraled.”  The seasoned artist will be joining us this year at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival, to showcase and sell her jewelry during the 3-day festival.

Working in a studio in her 16th floor condo, Becky uses the eclectic pieces in her workspace, including repurposed furniture and artwork collected from her travels, to inspire the pieces she creates. In the past, Becky has worked on paintings, art dolls, and fiber arts. It is jewelry, however, where she truly shines.

inSpiraled Leather Necklace(Pyrographed floral pattern has 7 yellow & red flowers with leaves; beaded dangles.) inSpiraled Earrings(Gold-filled spiraling earrings with sterling silver Balinese cylindrical bead and hammered dangle. 2″)

Recently, a drive through Pennsylvania and parts of New York inspired Becky to create a red leather collar with blue leather flowers. Drawing from the blue skies, green hills, and red barns she saw on her trip, the piece was finished within just a few days and sold before even making it to a show!

“Over the years, I have learned to stay true myself and to make pieces that I feel will stand the test of time.  I have no interest in following trends, or creating a trendy body of work. I don’t want to wear what everyone else is wearing.” – Becky Blair

We at the art festival are excited to see what Becky plans to showcase at our event in July. Working with a variety of sterling silver, patterned leather, gemstones, and found objects, every piece of wearable artwork from inSpiraled is a unique treasure.

Glass Beads in Every Shape & Color

Joining us for the first time this year at the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, we talked with Francesca DeCaire about her glass beads. Francesca’s lampwork glass creations have a uniquely bold and playful style. Not every bead artist tackles such whimsical subjects as she does: pigs, owls, cupcakes, and more fill her collection. She also makes more traditional beads, but these too exude vibrant and eye-catching colors.

Francesca has been making beads for 7 years, but has only started selling them recently.  She found that her passion had left her with quite the stockpile of beads, and that selling them only made sense.

Consumed by bead making and melting glass,
I knew it was time to think about selling my work. I couldn’t keep my creations under the bed any longer. Obsessed with trying to make each bead better than the next, I’ve ended up with thousands.

Francesca handcrafts all of her beads from the glass tubing (pictured above).  She shapes and sculpts them individually with the aid of a torch, a technique called “lampworking.”

I learned to lampwork in 2005, making small vessels with borosilicate glass tubing and a National torch. Currently soft glass beads are my passion. I work mostly with Effetre glass. I now use a GTT Lynx Torch and have been making beads seasonally since 2008.

She describes her work as “minimalistic” when it comes to using components she doesn’t create herself.  The playful and sophisticated beads and pendants certainly stand alone.

It comes as no surprise that Francesca receives glowing reviews from festival goers.  She says that customer favorites are usually her owl and cupcake beads, but she also makes marbles, glass rings, cabochon pendants, wine stoppers, and wine charms.

Francesca draws her greatest inspiration from her family.  Her son Lucas and his father Jason are the backbone of her project.

 I want to make these guys proud someday.

Aside from the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival from July 13 to 15, you can read more about Francesca and view her work on her website and Etsy page. The vast array of styles she showcases will certainly attract a large crowd at her booth, and we look forward to seeing her there.

Delish Handmade Glass: Playing with Fire and Creating One-of-a-Kind Hand-blown Glass

By Kelly Sabetta

Delish Handmade Glass is a company that offers specially handcrafted glass jewelry, beads, and sterling silver products. Based in Rochester, NY, the company was created and designed in 2007 by Jeremy Griffith (of Carbondale, IL) and Chelsea Foehr (of Redding, CT).

How did you get your name?

Jeremy: So the story goes…in 2006 I was asked to be a teaching assistant at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA for Jeremy Lepisto and his wife Mel George. They told me that having two “Jeremy’s” was not going to work, so they said I better come up with a nickname. The other teaching assistant was Mark Salsbury, aka “T-Bone.” Therefore, they said that if I didn’t come with a nickname they would call me “Delishious” (that is how Mel’s spells it –she is from Australia), so that the assistants would be known as “Delishious T-Bone.” After that so many people knew me as “Delish” that Chelsea and I decided to call our company Delish Handmade Glass.

When was the exact moment you realized you wanted to be an artist?
Chelsea: I don’t think there was one instant where I went from not being an artist to being one; it has always been my nature, from birth. I suppose the realization that I am an artist occurred over time as I discovered more qualities about myself that were already there.

Jeremy: I have always loved to make. As a child/teenager I was a painter and then toward the end of my teenage years I saw my first glob of molten glass. I was hooked and from that moment on I knew I wanted to be a glass artist.

How did your company come about? What inspired you to create something like this for the community?

Jeremy/Chelsea: It’s kind of odd, but we knew several people that were closing their glass shops due to hard economic times while we were in the midst of opening ours. Many of the glass shops that closed or are currently closing are on the west coast (mainly Seattle, WA), which has the densest population of glassworkers in the country. We decided after being in Rochester for a bit that it seemed like a great place to start up a shop. There aren’t too many of us out here. Rochester is close to so many metropolitan areas and people in New York love art –we’ve always done well at the shows here. So, we decided to take the plunge and give this a shot.

In your own words, what types of products do you offer?

Jeremy/Chelsea: One-of-a-kind hand blown glass. We make a large variety of items, from jewelry to home decor. Our portfolio is much larger than what we make available at our festivals and we are always looking for a challenge. We have the capabilities of doing custom pieces and larger, architectural scale commissions as well.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your work?

Jeremy/Chelsea: We are often told by customers that they have never seen anything like what we do. We strive to have unique designs in our forms, patterns and color techniques, and are pleased when we hear that our customers recognize that.

The biggest thing we hear from the public is, “How do you do that?” and, “How often do you get burnt?”

What should attendees expect to see from you at this year’s Festival?

Jeremy/Chelsea: A large collection of unique, one-of-a-kind, hand-blown glass art with something for everyone! We have inexpensive, fun items like bacon and egg earrings as well as elegant sculptural vases.

What’s one thing that you’d like people to know about you, that they may not already know?

Jeremy/Chelsea: That we have a new studio location where our work is available for purchase and that we will soon be teaching bead and pendant-making classes there as well.

Where/how can people purchase your work?

At our upcoming art shows that are always posted on our Web site,,, and at our studio every first Friday of the month from 6:00-9:00 p.m. (or anytime by appointment).
1115 East Main St
Rochester, NY
Door 2, Floor 3, Room #350

You will also be able to find Delish Handmade Glass at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Friday, June 16th through Sunday, June 18th. Stop by their booth to see their original, one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass.

Inspirations Inspired by Natural Creativity

By Kelly Sabetta

Donna and Arie Lilienthal, a husband and wife team, are the creators of Inspiration, a company that specializes in making custom jewelry where no two pieces of artwork are the same.

Originally from Wellington, Florida, Donna and Arie, have been working together for nine years, when they decided to pick up a new hobby to keep them busy.

“We never took a lesson,” said Donna. “Our passion was sparked by having fun and using our creativity, which I never knew I had.”

Donna, by trade, was a social worker; and her husband, in the printing business. They recalled the first time they purchased beads, which led them into their new world of creativity. They’ve purchased beads and work with people from all over the world, including Israel, Ecuador, and Guatemala.

“Beads are different, so nothing is exact,” said Donna. “Colors constantly change, producing different pieces every time.”

Donna and Arie personally design the jewellery once they receive their material. Their most popular piece is Tagua. “Tagua is all natural. Ecologically, it’s not depleting the supply, rather it’s using the supply that’s already there,” explained Donna. “In its raw form, Tagua looks like ivory, and needs to be carved.”

Donna describes her work as constantly evolving and changing. “My husband does one type of work and I do another,” she said. “I do beading and he does wire work. People always say, ‘wow, those pieces are beautiful,’ because many of the finished items are bright and colorful. People like it so much that we do a lot of custom work.”

Some of their custom work includes jewellery specially created and handmade for bridesmaids, gifts for bar mitzvahs, and bracelets for grandmothers, mothers, and daughters.

What inspires Donna and Arie the most is helping others and making people smile. “Because we’re using such natural, saturated items, it’s helping underdeveloped countries grow above a poverty level,” said Donna. “Also, the creativity of beading and finding new designs for our jewellery always makes us and our customers happy.”

One thing that sets them apart from other designers is that they always prefer to work behind their booths during the festivals and shows they attend. If people request specific jewellery while there, they will be able to make it. “Individual attention is very important with us,” explained Donna. “We work with a lot of people, and that’s what we like to do.”

You will be able to find Inspirations at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, and experience their creativity and customized jewellery. Please stop by the exhibit of Donna and Arie, Friday, June 16th through Sunday, June 18th.

What to Expect at This Year’s 2010 Canandaigua Art and Music Festival

By Kelly Sabetta

This year’s annual Canandaigua Arts and Music Festival is almost underway, and is expected to be even bigger and better than previous years. The Festival, which will be held July 16th – July 18th, will feature not one, but two stages of musical talent performing for those who attend.

Similar to previous years, there will be a main stage, Commons Park Stage, where the majority of acts will be performing. Unlike previous years, there will now be a second stage, Time Warner Stage, which will only be active on Saturday July 17th and Sunday July 18th. The second stage will feature a Country and Bluegrass theme, and will continue to add to the Festival’s quality and diversity of music performances.

The musical acts, booked by Rainbow Talent Agency, continue to grow each year. There are more than 20 bands performing throughout both stages this year, with incredible talent from around the Upstate NY region.

Carl Labate, Producer and Agent of Rainbow Talent Agency, is responsible for booking all of the musical acts and making sure they are a good fit for the venue.

“The bands must be a good quality act and very good at what they do,” said Labate. “This is our fourth year doing this and we now have a good waiting list of bands who want to play.”

Labate, who believes in providing opportunities for original bands who create their own material, makes sure he also provides the audience with a wide variety of music, different from year to year.

“This year is really exciting, because we’re adding a new stage,” Labate said. “This year you’ll hear some of the best bluegrass and country bands playing on that stage. And on the main stage, you’ll hear a great variety of bands, from jazz to rockabilly to Latin.”

Along with Rainbow Talent Agency, we must also thank Canandaigua’s Business Improvement District for putting this event together. This year with the expansion of musical talent and second stage for performances, people should expect to see more high-quality acts and vendors, and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere.

“We were very impressed with the quality of artists who came in and were accepted, which benefits the community in numerous ways,” said Denise Chapel, Owner of Sweet Expression and Co-Owner of Mobile Music, with her husband Tim. “The festival helps our stores and restaurants during that particular weekend, provides great exposure for the community, and keeps people coming back,” Chapel continued. “It offers another outlet that residents can enjoy that’s free, and is always family-friendly.”

Whether you join the festivities for one day or all three, it’s guaranteed that you will enjoy the variety of music, vendors, and the friendly atmosphere.

“No matter what time of day people come, they are going to catch good, top-quality entertainment,” said Labate. “I refuse to have anything else.”

For those of you who plan on attending this year’s events and activities, festival hours are:

Friday, July 16th: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 17th: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, July 18th: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

To see this year’s musical acts, please take a look at the schedule of performances.

Friday, July 16th:

Commons Park Stage

12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Sam & Levi

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.               It’s My Party

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.               Steve Grills & the Roadmasters

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.               NEVERGREEN

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.               Speak Easy Three

Saturday, July 17th:

Commons Park Stage

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.           Legacy

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.               Out of the Blue

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.               Dirty Bourbon Blues Band

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.               Matt Homan & The Bluegrass Disciples

Time Warner Stage

12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Ruckus Juice Jug Stompers

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.               Josie Waverly

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.               The DixieKats

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.               Dang!

Sunday, July 18th:

Commons Park Stage

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lake Effect

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.               Bachata Jazz

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.               GRÜVOLGY

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.               Kristen Maxfield Band

Time Warner Stage

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.             The Skiffle Minstrels

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.               Gone Fishin’

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.               The McCarthy-Paisley Band

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.               Grand Canyon Rescue Episode

Crystal Creations, Weaving Earth’s Treasures into Jewelry

Wendy Miller, owner of Crystal Creations,  has always been an energetic and creative person who likes to keep busy.  Today, not only does she do hairdressing and work at Clifton Springs Hospital, but she also creates stunning jewelry pieces  of gemstones, pearls, crystals, semi-precious stones and woven wire.


“Each of my pieces takes at least 15 feet of wire to create the handwoven chains.  On some of the pieces, I weave as many as 300 crystals into the chain design.  You can imagine how long that takes!” she laughed.

Many of her pieces also incorporate pearls that she buys from China and Malaysia.

“The new pieces that I’m adding to my line this year have mother of pearl coins as their centerpiece, and they are really lovely. ”


When Wendy creates a piece, she selects the gemstone she wants to use and then works her magic around the stone, using it as the centerpiece.  She selects the wire color, the crystals, pearls and other adornments based on the color,  shape and size of the gemstone.  Many of her pieces have a magical aura of the Renaissance about them.

“When I go to the festival, my stepdaughter often comes with me.  She makes children’s crystal name bracelets onsite, often customizing the bracelets for each child.  The kids and parents love it! ”

Be sure to stop by Wendy’s Crystal Creations at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival where her jewelry is affordable, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind works of art.