I Spy With My Little Eye: November

It’s been awhile since I’ve had time to troll the internet for excellent things, but luckily I’m stuck in bed right now, unable to move left or right for fear of upsetting what little food I could eat, all because my adorable niece, Kiley, wanted to share her stomach flu with me.  Thanks, sweet potato!  Now I’m looking for beautiful things, handmade or not, that remind me of November.

#5.  Angela Adams, “Emma” wallet in Earth

How could I not? $110 at Angela Adams

Let’s be honest, really.  When a neighbor like Angela Adams has such an acute sense of style and a clear vision from inspiration you can’t help but try and justify spending a third of your paycheck (wait, that’s just me?  damn it!) on a beautiful leather wallet.  I chose the longer version because I think in November it’s the perfect time to carry a long, skinny purse with a long, skinny wallet in it.  You should probably also be wearing a long, camel’s hair peacoat and some kind of felt or wool cloche.

Speaking of cloche…

#4.  Queen of Hats – Ivana Cloche by Diva

Ivana Cloche by Diva. $100 at Queen of Hats.

Have you seen Boardwalk Empire, the new HBO series with Steve Buscemi?  If not you should do everything in your power to sweet talk a friend with cable so you can.  It will single-handedly bring back the good parts of 1920s style like cloches and rich fabrics falling off-the-shoulder while leaving things like tan stockings behind.  Thanks again, HBO.  All I want in this world is a cloche, which must be French for ‘the most perfect head adornment that makes everyone look flirtatious.‘  Queen of Hats is one of my favorite stores on Congress St. with probably my most favorite shop owner in town.  She drinks her coffee black and always has a remarkable hat on her head.  I oh-so-badly want to shoot their product sometime, someday, it is so unique and inspiring.

#3.  Ivory-Colored Pearl Necklace from Dutch Pearl on Etsy

Simple. $75 at Dutch Pearl on Etsy.

Whenever I’m staring down the barrel of the winter months in Maine I have a tendency to simplify.  Where I might have combined hot pink tights with a navy blue tunic a couple months ago, it’s now time conserve energy and go with what’s always been right.  Pearls are just one of these things.  Dutch Pearl is consistently one of the most prolific posters of items in the Portland area on Etsy.  Her pieces are simple and striking.  And, luckily, at $75 this means I may be able to pay my electric bill and look wonderful all in the same week.

#2.  Straight Curves Mug by Agru on Etsy

Straight Curves Mug, $22 at Agru's Shop.

You can be head-to-toe together in November but without a place to put your coffee, you’ll be lost.  I like this mug because it’s simple and it doesn’t look like it would be too heavy.  Mugs really are the best branch of the cup family tree.  Their sole purpose is to carry beverages that usually have caffeine in them or, for a change, soup.  These are two great things to put in your feed hole.  Now I have this picture in my head of a lady, clad in camel hair coat and cloche, a strand of pearls around her neck with a sweet little wallet.  She’s having a cup of coffee at a local cafe…but oh, what is she missing?

#1.  OBVIOUSLY, a vintage Mamiya C330

The perfect camera. Click to visit blog for photo source.

The perfect accessory.  All 1.7kgs dangling from your neck, passers-by can not help but stare, trip over their feet or ask plenty of questions.  It seems everyone I meet has a father who ‘had one of these when I was a kid!’ so it’s heartwarming every time someone stops to talk.  But more importantly, it takes images that look like this:

Bradbury Mountain, 2008.

Everything looks older and wiser.  You have to use your noggin to use this camera and I like that very much.  You have to be an enterprising risk-taker to pop a roll of film in a medium format FILM camera these days.  I like that, too.  I suggest searches on Etsy, Ebay and a visit to B&H (either in Manhattan or online) to try and find your own.

Beerings. (glug glug glug).

Ok, ya got me.  Every now and again on a Friday, Saturday…er, Monday, Tuesday (really any day_ I have been known to enjoy a drink or two.  It started long, long ago in a world where Audrey was (kids cover your eyes) 16 and making friendships simultaneously with ‘the big kids’ and the ever-economical life-of-the-party, Natural Ice.

“Ew.  Gross!”  you’re thinking but no, you’re wrong!  It was the succession of Natural Ice to Miller Lite, Miller Lite to Miller High Life, Miller High Life to PBR and so on and so forth that eventually led me to such heavenly beverages as Stone Brewery’s Smoked Porter and the take-no-prisoners destruction behind Unibroue’s Fin du Monde.

No holds barred. Those Canadians are crazy!

And, lately, whether recapturing the ‘back-steps-of-the-grange-hall-at-an-indie-show’ days or purely from lack of bankroll I’ve been remembering, embracing and yes, even celebrating the poo-poo beers of my past.  Here’s how to celebrate yours:

Forget Montezuma's revenge after a night of these bad boys

Miller Lite actually doesn't taste that bad at all...

Order shamelessly at Local 188 and you'll save yourself a whole lotta green

Hot Dogs. Miller High Life. Need I say more?

Because, gosh darn it, the only way to make something that is already nostalgic and delicious even better is by putting it on something you can wear.  Beerings are on sale at my Etsy store (click any image to get there) for $10 and I’ll even drive them over to you if you live locally to save on shipping.  And that’s not all – no matter what your brand I can make it, so if it’s not pictured here or in my shop that just means I haven’t drank that recently!  I would be happy to buy a couple of singles of your favorite, down ’em, and then break out the dremel tool.

Some favorite memories of beer, through time, won’t you walk with me?

1.  Climbing the quarry at night, drinking in the woods at the top and then realizing, perfectly inebriated, that scaling the rock wall down was unanticipated.  (Hint:  you have to jump the remaining 10 feet)

2.  Panicking at bars after my 21st birthday feeling desperately in need of having ‘my drink.’  This soon became Newcastle which makes sense because I have a wild sweet tooth.

Don't panic, Audrey!

3.  Any of a handful of nights involving brewskis that led to seeing the next morning without all that pesky ‘sleep.’  The most notable of these would be prom night, watching the sun rise at Willard Beach with friends.

4.  The opening of Novare Res in the Old Port, and any subsequent new beers that I’d never tasted before that I learned I loved.

5.  Tasting home-brewed beers from a wedding I shot last year.  The labels had my photographs printed on them!  How cool is that?!


I would love to hear of any and all your favorite beer memories, …is that an oxymoron?

I F%#&ed Up, But Don’t Sweat It

Tonight I had a turn around in my ‘business strategy.’ (If you can call sitting on the man chair in the living room watching The Wire DVDs while endlessly editing images and posting listings on Etsy a ‘strategy’)  It’s cool.  I’ve spent the last two months really pushing my ‘online presence’ following instructions to leave thoughtful comments on other blogs, ‘favorite’ other sellers on Etsy, etc. etc.  But really – the #1 reason I started doing all this bonkers bottle-cap-and-photograph stuff was because it was fun!  And when I go to a blog I like to see content!  Not to mention my entries with the highest hits are the ones where I tell funny stories that have nothing to do with jewelry.  SO!  I thought tonight I’d revisit other times I’d fucked up and my forgiving and understanding nature got me right through it with a smile.

This article had advice in it that made me smart again...

#1 – The time I dropped my camera at a wedding. Not only is this horrifying, but the wedding was just teeming with photographers.  OK, RIT alum, what the heck are you doing in Blue Hill, ME, anyways?!  The bride’s photography I’d seen before the wedding was beautiful.  Her friends had super snazzy cameras that put my Mamiya TLR to shame.  Then, just as the sun set and the guests made their way to the reception tent, ahh…I dropped my frigging camera on the ground and broke the flash mount! Cool, Audrey, real cool.  I spent the next hour trying to figure out a new camera (fail), borrow someone else’s camera (fail) and eventually settled on Macgyver-ing the damn thing and not being able to let go of my flash for the entire night.  Here are some pictures from that night:

Melting Cake Topper

Sweet Vintage-y Dancing Shot with my metallic flash thing I made

#2 – I drop things at Craft Fairs. The first time was at the end of the fair, so that was really no big deal.  But last summer when Kate and I were rolling our wares to Lincoln Park for PICNIC we lifted this dumb little thing we’d rigged up to carry a bunch of stuff at once, tipped it right, and smash!  All my candles that I’d been testing out crashed on to the pavement.  Some were spared.  Most were dangerous to touch.  We just laughed a lot, though, because it was so silly.  And besides later on I learned a better way to get the soy wax not to pull away from the vessel.  So it’s a good thing I didn’t sell them, anyways.

At this particular fair I DIDN'T drop anything. Phew!

#3 – I’ve probably ruined three huge batches of bottle caps in the last year. Due to impatience and improper measuring.  The weird thing about epoxy resin is that if you eyeball it, you’re probably in good shape.  But if you eyeball it and haven’t slept much or maybe have been in a small attic with too much paint, epoxy and mod podge fumes for too long then maybe that won’t be so good.  Botched epoxy pours are obnoxious because they’re kind of like melted saltwater taffy, in texture.  You go to touch one to see if it’s ‘ready’ and then BAM your finger is covered in sticky junk.  Then it kind of ends up on everything as you try to get all the bottle caps safely in the rubbish bin.  Then you get it on your shirt as you’re trying to wash it off your hands and you think to yourself  “God Damn it, that’s the third shirt I’ve gotten epoxy on this month, now I need to go to Goodwill.”  (Another silver lining!)  In any case I’ve wasted probably 20 hours of my life fucking up something that I should be relatively good at doing by now.  Oh well!  Just crack open the windows next time…

A lot of man-hours to be screwin' around with, Audrey

That’s all you get for now, this has been embarrassing (but enlightening!) enough.  For the record, though, all of my posts up until now have been sincere and well-thought out.  But my redirection leads me more to a self-centered place that’s less about telling and more about doing.  I’ll leave comments when they matter, ‘tweet’ thoughts that are thoughtful or pertain to the business, and let Facebook be the conduit of these things.  Off to bake a pie, take a bubble bath or knit a sweater.  Ahh, much better already!

I Spy With My Little Eye: Ardent1 (Etsy)

Apple Seed Ring, $80

Doesn’t this ring just grab you?  It’s a remarkable piece from Anne Arden McDonald whose Etsy shop, ardent1, is hands down my favorite find of the week.  She creates jewelry from organic matter which is then cast in metal.  The process is fascinating.  A relationship develops from the pieces origins and its current, metal state that makes me stop, look a little longer.

Green Onion Earrings, $100

Although I am a soup and spaghetti budget type of girl in her middle late 20s, I’m totally digging McDonald’s prices because they’re confidently saying “Hey, this isn’t easy, but the final product is really gorgeous so you should save up for this if you really love it,” which I probably will, because I do.

Graphic Fern Ring, $80

Plus, I’m a sucker for anything remotely fiddlehead-y.  Now I’m off to spend some time at McDonald’s website to get impressed and inspired while anxiously watching election results.

Goodnight, my little voters!

15 minutes!

Kate's Pearlized Button Earrings, $8.

…of fame in Portland, Maine.  🙂

Just a quick one, here, both Kate and I were featured at Forefront Fashion’s blog tonight.  In case you didn’t know, they wander around Portland taking pictures of well-dressed Portlanders (of which there are many) and write wonderful things about them.  They also feature artists, shops and others that make dressing one’s self in the morning that much easier.  Guaranteed to help stick the Forest City to the fashion map which, like my closet, I can only imagine is strewn with expensive clothes that it got for a wicked steal.

Bookmark Forefront Fashion for frequently updated diversions from other more productive but dramatically less awesome things to do.