RED BANK: FULL-WALL ARTIST AT WORK

deb jellenik 010814 3Deb Jellenik with samples of her custom designs. Above, wallpaper created for a mammography center, and below, work incorporating seashells. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

deb jellenik 010814 2Deb Jellenik won’t be bringing her wallpaper printer to the annual artists’ show at Sickels Market this weekend.

It’s about the size of a compact car, for one thing. And it’s parked in the basement of her Red Bank home.

More than that, though, is the fact that hitting “print” on a custom wallpaper project is among the final steps in a process that requires a painstaking combination of art and craft – not to mention a dash of crazy.

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IN FAIR HAVEN, A HAVEN FOR THE HANDMADE

dave melanie stewart 100913Melanie and Dave Stewart in their new art gallery/retail store, Handmade Haven. Below, t-shirts repurposed as skirts. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

homemade 1 100913The world is awash in mass-produced sameness. Do we really need any more?

A month-old shop on River Road in Fair Haven posits an alternative. Handmade Haven was conceived as an “artisans’ and craftsmens’ retail gallery,” says Melanie Stewart, who owns the business with her husband, Dave.

Everything on its tables and walls is not only handmade, but produced locally, they say.

Think of it as “kind of an Etsy on Main Street,” Melanie tells redbankgreen, referring to the online market for craftspeople and other makers. “We give them a Main Street platform for their work.”

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TRADE YA: SWAPPING HOMEMADE FOODS

Food swap organizer Wendy Weiner (right) samples some of April Lippet-Faczak’s hand-milled oats, which were served with toppings such as molasses, chopped walnuts and fresh bananas. Below, Lois Blake’s chimichurri. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

There’s a quiet thrill in making something from scratch, a reassuring sense of independence that comes from throwing together homegrown ingredients to produce something tastier and cheaper than store-bought items.

This is one of the underpinnings of food swapping, which has now made its way to Monmouth County.

Wendy Weiner of Little Silver was first introduced to the concept of swapping when she read an article in the summer 2012 issue of Edible Jersey magazine. A group known as the South Jersey Swappers learned it from a group in Brooklyn, and the trail apparently leads all the way to England.

“As soon as I read it, I said, ‘we totally have to do this,’ ” said Weiner.

Swapping is an easy way to foster sustainability and make participants more “dependent on community neighbors rather than the government,” she said.

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