Write Words Every Day

Fire Portrait I made Kristina take of me. Stay tuned for more Fire Portraits, one day.

Just recently my good friend and co-worker, Anna, helped me figure out that I don’t really feel the need to do anything unless I am accountable to other people for it.  That’s kind of extreme – there are certainly days when I treat myself to cleaning my closet or painting my toenails, but for the most part my truly fabulous accomplishments happen when there are brick and mortar stores, craft fairs, or others that are relying on my elbow grease.

Same is true for keeping a journal.  The only reason I would write anything (that wasn’t a children’s book or a novel… one-day-dream that I hope I can accomplish before kicking it) is to have others read it.  Thus begins my efforts to post something here every day, art-related or not, a little link or an epic tome, just to get the fingers moving.

Let’s recap this utterly insane weekend.

On Friday, Kate of A Sweet Disorder and general awesome-lady-ness announced she was going to get married on Tuesday.  Yeah, like yesterday!  Being that she’s the light of Portland it was imperative to put together something weird, fun, quirky, and kinda expensive (but not too expensive).  And swanky.  Definitely swanky.

Brain-Shatteringly Amazing Women in front of a pretty cool vehicle

Enter:  white limo.  Kate came over on Monday night and we surprised her (well, kinda, of course I spilled the beans 20 minutes before it got there, what an asshole) while drinking frozen white russians and talking about weiners.  Yeah, bachelorette party!  Sierra brought a sweet-30 rack of High Life that we poured in to the champagne-of-beers flutes in the limo and cruised around, stopping momentarily for pees around Portland and french fries at Wendy’s in Saco.  Mmm.  Also, p.s., props to Bayside Limo for being the bestest, cheapest limo service off the peninsula!  Definitely recommend.

See: Jerk Chicken at top left of grill

Saturday (going back here) was nice and quiet with errands and a Goodwill trip ruling the day.  We also picked up $15 worth of chicken and started marinating for a party at 6pm on Sunday.  When it comes to jerk you want that shit to be dredged, marinated, and SPICY.  P.S. it worked and peoples’ mouths were burning up.  Kate even said the inside of her ear was tingling!

Sunday we went to Tara and Brian’s house after I met with Elise of eden. and Kate of Kate Sullivan-Jones to finish our space at The Merchant Co. which is having its grand opening First Friday on Congress St., across from Bang! and the cryptozoology museum.  It’s freaking awesome in there.  The Merchant Co. will have a swanky space for classes and crafting in addition to housing goods for your purchase of nearly 50 Maine (and mostly Portland) artists, designers and vintage resellers!

Summer is Here

Tara and Brian’s house on Sunday, per usual, was great.  A manicured backyard, delicious chips and dips, a smorgasbord of meats and veggie options and oodles of people who mostly make things out of instruments, art and fabric when they’re not slaving away at their 9 to 5 jobs.  I helped Tara put up Christmas lights just before everyone arrived and Brian lit a fire when the sun went down and aren’t night time parties freaking gorgeous?  I want a house, mostly so I can have a back yard.  Le sigh… one day…

Yeah, yeah, and Monday I didn’t have to go to work but I did go to Michael’s and buy a Yudu with Jason which I’m pretty sure is super cheesy but the results look pretty good and it’s a good start to learning screen printing.  It’ll come in handy for a number of reasons, but the one I’m most excited about is helping Mom get away from the clutches of Cafepress and start selling on Etsy.  Step away from the dark side, Momma!

The Daisy Buchanan Dress. Click the image to go to the listing.

I’m also psyched because I just started listing some of the dresses that I buy at Goodwill going ‘this is cool, I can probably sell it on Etsy’ that have been piling up in my closet but either don’t fit me, aren’t exactly my style, or are so far out there (but still excellent) that I couldn’t help but purchasing.  The newer ones (I have lots of Banana Republic for some reason) will go on Ebay and the vintage items get a nice, little corner in my Etsy shop.  Hoo-rah.

Kate & Mike's 'Ceremony' officiated by the lovely Kristina Balbo

Then on Tuesday night we kind of impromptu went over to Mike and Kate’s, not realizing they were going to get married in their apartment, and witnessed them tie that knot real tight!  Above is my favorite pictures from what I took.  More to come soon!

How was your long weekend?  As nutso as mine or did you get to relax with a mojito and wiggle your toes in a kiddie pool for three days?

While You Were Sleeping…

One of my New Year’s goals for Little Eye was to get myself on the front page of Etsy.  I feverishly curated treasuries all month in hopes of the favor being returned, and although I did ‘get it’ once (a friend in a different time zone told me) it was at 4:00 in the morning on a weekday.  C’mon!  Well!  Tonight I was noodling around Etsy and found an easier way to find out if you’ve been in any treasuries that made it to the FP that your friends just didn’t see!

Step 1:  Select the ‘treasuries’ button from the front page to do a treasury search in the field at the top of the screen.

Step 2:  Search your shop name (in my case, littleeyedesigns) just as it appears on your account.

Step 3:  Click on all results with 100 or more comments.  If any of those comments say:  “Congrats on the FP!” well then, kiddo, you were on the FP.

Phew!  So for all that feverish worry and work it turns out that I’ve been gracing the front page of Etsy since I really started taking my shop seriously in October of 2010.  Although it’s the exception and not the rule, sometimes things are easier than they seem!

Etsy Shopping: The Golden Rule

Lately, thank goodness, I have been making some sales in my Etsy shop.  Where I normally depend on wholesale and consignment “brick and mortar” shops to keep Little Eye Designs afloat, this year is showing me already that there might be an internet market for these little bottle cap things!

It’s all fine and good to reap the benefits of a put-together shop and a network of customers who appreciate quality work.  But I realized this week that in order to truly be a part of the community and keep Etsy (and my business) strong, I’ve got to shop there, too!  It’s a good thing I’ve been looking for some summer essentials this week.  Please ogle all the goodies I got:

Pinecone and Chickadee - Click Image for Website

Ladies’ Wolf Tee, $28 from Pinecone and Chickadee.  A lightweight, airy tee with a suspiciously poet-y design is perfect for throwing on over a bathing suit after an impulsive river swim in the summer.  I spotted this at their table at The BIG THAW and couldn’t get it out of my mind.  Coupled with the fact that I just found a metallic, leopard print gold and black mini skirt at Find (the perfect match) this just had to be mine.

SJohnsonPhotos on Etsy

“Searching the Dial” set of 3 Postcards from Shaun Johnson, $5.  Don’t forget to write!  I don’t know where I’m going on vacation this summer but wherever it is I think jotting down some notes to friends on the backs of these is just about right.

Bread and Butter Vintage: More than just the basics.

Vintage Italian Sunglasses, $28, at Bread and Butter Vintage.  O.K., don’t get me wrong, everyone knows I’m a cheap lady who scoffs at ‘marked up’ items at Goodwill ($7.99 for a dress??!  Only if it’s Pucci!) but these glasses are so unique, so perfect, so interesting, so… mine.  I bought them a couple days ago which unfortunately means you can’t have them.  But you CAN have any number of things sold at Bread and Butter Vintage’s Etsy shop, which is awesome, and the photography is magnificent.  Besides, summer ladies can never have too many tortoiseshell glasses.

So basically.  Next time you think to yourself “I need to get some sunglasses” or “a lightweight t-shirt” or “postcards” or really any luxury (or even essential) item turn your computer’s internet browser towards Etsy rather than jumping in the car and heading for Target.  I mean, we all love target and you can’t beat clearance underwear for $1.25 but I’m really thinking now (with the boost in sales and the happy feeling I get when the mailman comes) that giving back is a huge element in being a part of it all.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Donation

Lights and Lines, 5"x5" Photograph by Little Eye

Many thanks to Judy Babin from JudyB on Etsy for bringing a donation opportunity to my attention.  Oftentimes I can’t afford to donate money to the organizations that I support, but being able to give art for silent auctions, fundraisers and other events is a real great thing.

Judy came by tonight and picked up the photograph “Lights and Lines” at the top of this entry (framed), and a matching necklace (pictured below).  In all, it’s a $35 value which will hopefully rake in even more than that at their silent auction for the New England chapter coming up.

 

"Lights and Lines" Necklace, $10 by Little Eye Designs

I also had the opportunity to donate for the second year in a row to Mayo Street Arts‘ “Art With Heart Hootenanny,” a Valentine’s celebration that is meant to raise funds for the Center to make improvements to their venue.

I’m not sharing all this to toot my horn and decree the excellence-that-is-my-bountiful-giving-heart.  No, no!  I mean, we already know that so there’s no point in being redundant.  I am posting about giving of yourself in hopes that other people who are as financially limited as me see their time or talents as a way to give without writing a check!

If you or anyone you know is looking for arts and services donations to worthy causes please be sure to contact me at:  littleeyedesigns-at-gmail-dot-com.  I can donate framed photographs, jewelry, gift certificates, custom magnet and pin sets (for families, weddings and baby showers) and am also a portrait and wedding photographer.  No job is too small for Little Eye!

A Heap o’ Accomplishments

Oooh-la, what a week.  About Wednesday (blizzard day) I got hit with the winter doldrums, big time.  Really honestly for the last four days it’s all I can do to get out of bed before noon and make food for myself.  I’ve been infected by Kate’s love of cheesy lifetime movies and it’s really not helping my case at all.  In fact, I’m watching one now.

While I learn the real life story of Andrew Luster, MAX Factor Heir (and sex criminal) I thought I’d jot down my progress this week… to remind me that no matter how lazy I am I’m still pretty darn productive!

Weddings! Oh, I’d like to book some more 2011 dates – if you know anyone getting hitched, send ’em my way — here’s what I’ve been working on this week:

Boutonierre Fastening

Newly Married!

All About the Details

I’ve been working on prints, framed pieces and albums from orders from a wedding I shot last year.  Fun!  It’s like reliving the day and all its touching moments — I’m not afraid to admit I am the wedding photographer that cries every time (every.time.) the bride walks down the aisle.  Hormones or just naturally sensitive – who knows?  🙂

New things. For awhile now I’ve been thinking about (and talking about) trying something new with the jewelry.  I love my bottle caps, and I’m going to be churning them out in magnets and pins to no end… but I wanted to class up the necklaces and rings a bit… and also try out earrings!  Here are some pictures from the first run:

Birches and Blue Sky Ring and Earring set – $18 by Little Eye Designs on Etsy.
Dill Shadows – The Herbalist’s Ring $9 by Little Eye Designs on Etsy.
Lights and Lines Filigree Pendant and Drop Earrings Set – $25 by Little Eye Designs on Etsy.

Craft fair. Super sweet!  The BIG THAW applications keep showing up on my doorstep and it’s amazing to see all the talented people who want to spend a whole day with me!  Click here for The BIG THAW website.

Also… I’m guilty more than anyone of keeping to myself in the winter time.  No matter how good your intentions of ‘finally taking up snowshoeing’ or ‘getting out more this year’ at the beginning of December you will always, always be holed up in your second-story apartment waiting, just waiting for the cold to go away.  This weekend I overcame!  It was Kate Sullivan-Jones‘ birthday and we had lots of fun (and whiskey) at her apartment.  Here’s a pic of me there with friends and wearing an awesome t-shirt (that got lots of compliments) that I traded a photograph for with Repurposeful Punk.

Click for Carmenmerie of Repurposeful Punk’s Shop.

Oh!  And here is a shot of my photograph in her living room.  Looks great, Carmenmerie!

Brighton Lights in Winter - $25 Framed Print by Little Eye Designs.

OK, everyone, back to work for me tomorrow morning so time to hit the hay.  What have you all been working on this week?  Leave links below, if you’d like!

Etsy Seller Spotlight: A Greene Bean

Hiya, hiya, everyone.  I hope you’re all enjoying the end of a long weekend.  Or, if you’re like me (and working), at least reflecting on the advances our culture has made in the last 50 years and also appreciative of how much farther we have yet to go.  With all that has been in the local news lately with our (in)famous governor and hate crimes overnight in Biddeford, it’s leaving Little Eye a little lackluster in the creativity department.

Good news, though.  One of the great parts about being a creative person is the dwelling, cogitating, thoughtful, inspiration-seeking side.  This involves a lot of looking at other peoples’ work, asking them about their work, wishing you could do what they do, etc.  So for today I’ll put production aside and revel in the goodness that other Maine artists are putting out in to the world.

The Mist of Morning Original Artwork, $95 by greeneleaf on Etsy.

Which leads me to my next though… Today I thought I would spotlight newcomers to the Etsy MaineTeam:  greeneleaf. Greeneleaf Painters is the collaborative effort of Jeremy Greene and Sabrina Thiemke-Greene.  At first, I responded to the skillfully rendered mixed-media paintings in the Etsy shop.  Then to learn that the work was the product of not one, but TWO people I was even more impressed.  All original artwork in their shop is very reasonably priced and is sold to raise funds for their inspiration, the dream of becoming parents.

Not only are the two of them talented painters, but Sabrina sews as well and has an adorable entry on their blog about her sewing crafts she has made in anticipation of her future Greenebean, I think they should definitely sell some of these on Etsy, too, they’d do great!

Old House Original Artwork, $85, by greeneleaf on Etsy.

Really a fantastic find on a Monday morning just lazing around the internet.  I trust you’ll love their paintings and their story, too, and you can read it here at their blog:  Making a Greene.

~~~

In other news, I did make a new blog today … probably because I am a child.  Seriously, the maturity level at LePage Look-a-Like’s is not very impressive, but his uncanny resemblance to lots of other people/places/things is!

Crafty for a Cause – Get Involved.

A few weeks ago a fellow Etsy Maine team member and past feature on my blog, Judy B., announced a call for entries for a silent auction to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).  When I heard about it I knew I had to donate work for several reasons:

1.  My newest, most favorite pair of earrings were a gift to me from my father hewn from the blood, sweat and tears of Judy.  Here are a pair just like them (you want them.):

 

Earrings Oxidized Silver Hoops $20 by Judy B. on Etsy

2.  The JDRF and I go way back. Well, to about 2005 when I volunteered to photograph a walk in Boston during my “I think I want to be a Photojournalist days.”  I didn’t become a photojournalist (thank goodness) but I had the opportunity to practice my social skills behind a camera and, for the first time ever, command a group of 100+ sitters for a group portrait.  Whoa!  Now, at weddings, telling (or sometimes yelling) 10 people where to stand is a piece of cake.

3.  The most obvious reason. Growing up my friend and next door neighbor had juvenile diabetes that started around 1st grade.  No one really talked much about it – I just knew that she had to get her finger pricked a lot and her Mom had to administer shots once or twice a day.  There have been so many advances in medicine we’ve made since then (late 80s).  Bloodless testing and more.  So it’s only natural to believe that anyone trying to make children’s lives more manageable if they are diagnosed is definitely someone who is deserving of a donation from me.

~~~

The silent auction will be held at the 10th Annual Granite Gala on Saturday, May 7th in New Hampshire.  Visit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Northern New England Branch site for more details as the date approaches:

http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=100080

You can also contact them by phone at (603)222-2300 for more information.

~~~

Here are some of the fine people who have already committed to donating for the auction in May:

 

Peapod Necklace $6.50 by allsey on Etsy

Allsey is a repurposer from Maine who puts good use to trinkets, beads and toys that she finds.  I love the peapod necklace above, I almost bought it for myself at the Biddeford Art Walk last month but instead got a necklace with a pair of glasses bead for my friend!

 

 

Poppy TTV Photograph $10 by ConstantGalore on Etsy

Constant Galore‘s Etsy shop features fiber arts, photography and some really excellent naughty candies that she probably won’t be donating to the walk.  🙂  I love this photograph of a poppy taken through the viewfinder of a Brownie camera with a digital camera.

 

 

Rotary Phone Acrylic Charm Earrings $12 by EastoftheSun on Etsy

East of the Sun is a multimedia extravaganza.  Zines, charms, pillows, prints and more.  I bought a set of 4 zines about animals from her for my niece to use as coloring books for the holidays.  Nice!

 

 

Converse All-Star Bottle Cap Barrettes $12 by littleeyedesigns (me!) on Etsy

Little Eye Designs:  That’s me!  I’ll be donating a combination of a framed photograph and bottle cap jewelry with the same photograph inside of it.  Because the auction will be in May I’ll probably use an image from the Farmer’s Markets in Portland that I’ve been taking throughout the years.  Pink flowers?  Radishes?!  Who knows!

Precious Blossom Pendant Necklace $24.99 by SweetSincerity on Etsy

Sweet Sincerity is one of my new internet friends.  I love her enthusiasm and her feminine designs.  Check out her blog at:

http://sweetsincerityjewelry.blogspot.com

~~~

Do you know of any other organizations looking for donations from artists, crafters and people with other talents?  Leave a comment and share below!

Part of the Team

Wellity, wellity, wellity!  I’ve never been one for team sports…but team crafts are a totally different thing.  Marking the reinvention and invigoration of my ol’ Etsy site, I decided once I had 20 or so items in there that belonging to the Etsy Maine Team was not an ‘if’ but a ‘when.’  So throwing caution to the wind I said ‘now’ and this is turning out to be really, really fun!

Everyone knows people from Maine have great taste.  If you search the keyword “maineteam” on Etsy this will become very obvious to you, too.

Here are some picks from my first week of connecting across the counties to my brothers and sisters in craftiness (P.S. This was hard choosing just a few, and I plan on doing this often so stay tuned!):

JudyB.

Uhhh…how long have these earrings been on my wish list?!  (1 month, I’m such a miser!)  Uhhh how many times have I told my Dad I want these for my birthday?  (2 times).  If the weekend is up without this gift wrapped from him, Judy, you can plan on wrapping those up because they’re mine!

 

JudyB

 

Long Winter Farm.

Believe me, when it comes to impulses I am one tough cookie.  But when I read the description for the Midnight Lotus Skin Cream the cookie crumbled and I gave in.  “This particular 4.5oz jar is scented with midnight lotus fragrance oil, which is a super clean, sexy scent. Think of a brand of dryer sheets that’s only for use on little black dresses.” Plus, this fabulous stuff comes from a yurt!  Wallet spontaneously opened last week.  Tonight I smell like fresh cotton and a little (woah!) like the soap from my pediatrician’s office when I was a kid.  The doctor’s office was in a barn.  These are all great things.

 

Long Winter Farms

 

urbanknitfit.

Alert!  Lucky lady is preggers so if you need to take advantage of her awesome prices you need to do it before October 20th.  You have a couple days to peruse the lush colors and honest knits that she has in her shop until Mama takes a break.  The headband below is my favorite.

 

urbanknitfit

 

In Other News:  Holiday Craft Fairs are COMING!!

What are everyone’s favorites to attend and why?  I’m putting my joint application with Kate to PICNIC on the top of the pile (because of local awesome easyness, excellent jurying, and monies potential!!), and then a sweet little temptation from a start up called Creatorium is enticing me, too, but I need to find the link again on Roots and Tendrils‘ Facebook page.  Oh, P.S. PICNIC is two days this year.  Yes!

What fairs will you be applying to?