Kids’ Almanac (Dec. 12-19)

A favorite holiday tradition in your family

“My husband, a musician and composer, stays overnight in New York City on Christmas Eve for his job as a choir singer, so my daughter Nora and I have a sleepover in her room. We read tons of Christmas picture books and stay up late. It’s something simple that makes her so happy, and I know I’ll miss it when she outgrows it.”


Visualstuff Studios

Matthew Maley, PO Box 41, New Paltz, (914) 466-9761,

Matt’s sculptures are absolutely gorgeous, with their clever connections between natural details of the found items with which he works, paired with the sculptured shapes and forms of the pieces that he creates. He is also the amazing artist behind the “World’s Greatest Search & Discover” poster that you’ve heard me rave about. My kids love it, their friends love it, my husband’s work colleagues love it and we can’t wait for the next one to come out!


Best places for people to buy your work

“Grey Owl Gallery in Water Street Market, New Paltz; At the Treehouse, 5 North Front Street, New Paltz; Heart of Woodstock, 3 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock; and the Modern Dream, 99 Partition Street, Saugerties. The best places for people to buy my poster ‘The World’s Greatest Search & Discover’ are at the October Country Comics in Cherry Hill Plaza, New Paltz; the Rare Bear, 34 Tinker Street, Woodstock; or online at”

Something you wish that people knew about the impact of buying locally, from local artists

“Buying handmade and local items connects people. It’s a collaborative effort – an investment not only for the buyer, but the community.”

What role does your family play in your work?

“My family plays an integral role in my career as an artist. They are my inspiration, support system and first line of constructive criticism.”

Noticed anything this holiday season?

“I have seen more smiles on people’s faces the last few weeks. I appreciate that.”

A favorite holiday tradition in your family

“Sharing the stories of our ornaments while decorating the tree. A great way to remember our family and friends.”

A favorite holiday spot you like in the Hudson Valley

“On top of the mountain overlooking the Ridge towards New Paltz (ideally with snowshoes).”

Anything else you’d like to announce, share et cetera?

“The next poster will be completed this winter! There will be close to 600 finds, as well as some new games and puzzles!”


Cindy Hoose Studio,,

Cindy’s work is an excellent example of an incredible professional skill and a wink. Her stuffed animal collection is grounded in a strong series of colors with hilarious deadpan expressions or whimsical patterns. Her buttons are sweet; some are sassy, trendy; they’re such fun. It’s like she can translate her imagination to the three-dimensional product in a way that most of us will never manifest.

Best places for people to buy your work

“The Modern Dream in Saugerties, the Treehouse in New Paltz, or contact me through my website:”

Something you wish people knew about the impact of buying locally, from local artists

“I feel really lucky to be supported by my community, and in turn I try to purchase items from my neighbors when I can.”

Any roles your family plays in your business?

“My daughter Lucie and I spend a lot of time together in the studio. We influence each other’s work. I keep trying to convince her we should have a business together, but she wants no part of that! I love children’s art. I appreciate the way they can just whip out a piece of art without being self-conscious about it.”

Anything else you’d like to share about your work?

“I love to use recycled materials in my art and craft. Not only does it cut down on waste, but I really enjoy the hunt for materials. The vintage books and fabrics I buy at yard sales, thrift stores and library sales are my inspiration and starting point.”

Something you have learned/appreciated/experienced this holiday season

“I am very lucky to have friends and family who support me in all that I do.”

A favorite holiday tradition in your family

“Holiday decorating is pretty special in our house. Cutting down our tree, decorating with handmade and vintage ornaments, making cookies. I have watched the movie Elf about 50 times. Christmas stockings are my favorite part of Christmas. I really loved my stocking as a child. I remember receiving it as a gift from my aunt. It was handmade with my name, sequins and a white kitten! Now I am making custom stockings for other kids.”


Erica Chase-Salerno lives in New Paltz with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at