Candice Cruz Dintino, Boston Genie

Boston genie, Candice Cruz Dintino, shares her favorite makers, places, and new project.

Candice is a talented maker (of super cute cards at ShortcakeScraps), blogger, and local guru who’s plugged into the Boston crafts, food, and all things kid-friendly scene. We’re in awe at how Candice always seems to know the newest and best stuff around town so we sat down recently to talk about some of her favorite makers and places.

What makes you covet a product? What qualities do you look for?

CCD: I tend to look for the uniqueness of a product, how it was made, and its usefulness. I prefer to spend a little extra on something that is handmade because I appreciate the time and work that went into creating it.

What recent finds in Boston are you most excited about?

CCD: Have you heard about the chalets at Boston City Hall Plaza?

THY: Yes! Love it! (Check out our post about it here.)

CCD: We sort of stumbled upon them last year when we were in downtown for some reason, and I’m excited that they are bringing them back this year. They are adorable little buildings that are set up near Government Center T that are filled with local artists from the day after Thanksgiving all the way up until New Year’s Eve. There can sometimes be up to 3 different vendors in each chalet, so the variety of goods offered is pretty awesome. And it’s a wonderful way to support local artists. I’m excited to see what kind of holiday shopping I can get done there this year! They had an ice skating rink, a beer tent, a wine tasting area, and more within that whole area so I hope they bring that back too.

I’m also really excited about the opening of Bow Market in Somerville next spring. It’s going to be a marketplace with a brewery, a few very interesting dining options (pierogis! empanadas! seafood!), and shops that will feature fair-trade goods.

Who/what are your favorite 3-5 makers/artists/stores in the Boston area?

CCD: Gosh, to narrow it down to such a short list is a difficult task! Here are a few of my favorites:

– Yeiou {paper objects} – Abigail is the designer and “paper engineer” behind this wonderful business of creating unique paper craft kits, and you’ve probably seen her adorable paper houses by now. She is the master of paper cutting tools, and measures and applies every single strip of adhesive that it takes to put projects together. I love how the kits are simple (you can put it together in less than five minutes!) and how they can be personalized by color scheme, size, you name it. Our daughter loves the red barn kit that comes with animals, and it makes a great gift idea for little hands. She also has pretty geometric shaped boxes that are great as party favors or for packaging up presents. Abigail has a contagious smile and you can tell that she loves what she does!

Just Enough Nonsense – Jen is a crafting addict and also a printmaker in Somerville who focuses on handmade stationery and products for the home. She’s also part of the team at a letterpress company in Charlestown where she creates hand-lettered or hand-drawn designs that are transferred to polymer plates and printed on one of the presses. My two favorite things that she has created lately are her Boston tote bags and a letterpress print of the Boston skyline. They are great go-to gift items for friends that are both local and living out of state.

Beth Ann Fricker Photography: Beth Ann has an incredible talent when it comes to portraiture photography. She did the school photos at our daughter’s preschool and her photographing style blew us all out of the water! The children’s photos were absolutely stunning and unlike the basic photos we’re so used to with regular photography companies that get hired to do this sort of work. If you follow her on Instagram you’ll see how she makes beautiful connections with families as she captures them on film (especially babies! ahhh, the newborns are my favorite!).

Gather Here: As one of the only stores in the Cambridge/Boston/Somerville area to offer more than just one type of crafting, this is a favorite store for many crafters! Virginia, Noah, and their team offer a wide variety of classes to help the community learn about sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilting, and more. And they carry a great variety of yarn, fabric, and notions to create awesome projects. Their staff is very knowledgeable and helpful.

Shepherd’s Run Jewelry: Rebecca Scott has been one of my all-time favorite jewelry designers since the very first time I laid eyes on her work at Spark Crafts Studio (I wonder how many people remember that place?!) Her pieces are timeless and created with so much thought and care. She has such passion for jewelry making that it shows in her carefully crafted designs.

What places do you like to bring visitors to the city?

CCD: Lately I’ve been bringing visitors to the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston. The city has come so far with cleaning up that whole area after the completion of the Big Dig to create a beautiful, open, green space that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. I love how there is constantly some sort of art exhibition on display along the way. We generally park some place near the South Station side and walk along the greenway toward Faneuil Hall toward the North End.

Another place that is great for visitors is the Boston Public Market. I love the variety of food options there and it’s a nicer option compared to Quincy Market where I find the prices to be jacked up a bit too much (and it’s always super crowded), so I’ve directed people there lately.

The Cyclorama building in the South End is also interesting to check out. A lot of events and fairs are held there (Bazaar Bizarre used to be there). The resident artists sometimes have open studios.

What is your favorite country or city that you have traveled to?

CCD: I spent two months studying abroad in England back when I was in college, and I loved travelling around Europe during those weekends. Although it was forever ago, I thoroughly remember enjoying the feeling from being in London. In fact, that trip was part of what inspired me to move across the country from California to Boston.

What is your next destination?

CCD: My next big trip is going to be next summer when I turn 40 years old (yikes!). My mom, sister, and I are going to meet in Vancouver, British Columbia. My husband and I went there for part of our honeymoon, and it’s probably in my list of top three cities I would live in if I could. Neither my mom or sister have ever been there so I can’t wait to show them how beautiful it is, and we’re also looking forward to walking over the Capilano Suspension Bridge together. Is that crazy or what?!

What project are you working on currently?

CCD: My new project is “crafty lunch lady” where I take a picture of what I make for my daughter’s lunchbox each day. It also ties in with paper crafting, my other love. (THY: The notes you leave in E’s lunchbox are so sweet and inspiring!)

Check out Candice’s blog at https://shortcakescraps.com for some crafting inspo. She’s gifted Geniegoods some of her lovely handmade cards which we will be sharing with the community shortly. Thanks, Candice!

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