SWAPMaine: The real post.

You'll Do Good

So, all week I’ve been hinting and whispering about SWAPMaine, an excellent, local event that is happening TOMORROW at Head Games salon on Free St. in Portland from 10am-4pm.  First, a little background:

A handful of ladies who are Portland, fashion and all-things-good bloggers got together months ago and had a loosely woven idea of something that would be really cool to do.  Being that their expertise in writing and life is looking ravishing, a clothing swap was really a natural outlet for all that creative energy.

Coincidentally (or, not really, because they are movers and shakers, all of them!) some of these women have done wonderful things to help me out in the past.  Kate Sullivan-Jones, of A Sweet Disorder fame (and of dancing-really-crazily-at-Geno’s-shows fame) has helped me tremendously just by being a cool friend and shooting weddings and events with me sometimes.  Annnd, when I was organizing The BIG THAW, Forefront Fashion and Sweeter Salt did promotions on their sites for me, Sweeter Salt had their debut craft fair experience by being a vendor at The THAW and Allie Munier of Broke 207 (and a guest blogger on many other blogs) was the most excellent volunteer during the day of the event, not even letting a trip to the emergency room in the middle of it all get her spirits down (don’t worry, she’s okay!)

So when the opportunity arose to help these excellent women as well as Goodwill of New England (who they have partnered with and for whom all proceeds and clothing donations will benefit) I was like “Oh yeah!  Donatin’ time!”

So while, yes, I anticipate bringing a bag of clothes with me and taking another bag of clothes home (yeahh!!) I will also be shooting with Kate Sullivan-Jones to document peoples’ new, pretty outfits.  But the real donation comes in here, with my bottle cap-y expertise:

pins pins pins pins pins i lost count pins pins pins pins

Every SWAPMaine customer who leaves (or at least the first 250 of them) will receive a swag bag full of goodies from local vendors.  I have spent some time and resources this week towards making a limited edition run of SWAPMaine pins!  There’s even information on the pin card about custom orders through Little Eye as well as a 20% off coupon code to my Etsy shop for all the swappers.  So — advertising opportunity?  Yes.  Fashion-friendly people are my #1 niche.  More importantly, it’s an opportunity to give back to women who have helped me and who are helping an organization that deserves all of our attention (and most of my paycheck after rent and bills, which they get, almost every week when I feel like ‘browsing’ aka buying 5 dresses).

Printed Pin Cards, Awaiting the Chopping Block

Pin Cards, Packaged and Ready-to-Go

The Swap will be taking place at Head Games salon at 116 Free St. in downtown Portland (near the Children’s Museum and across the street from Marcy’s Diner – yum!) from 10am to 4pm tomorrow.  You can get a couple of ways:  either bring a bag of gently used, fashionable items and pay $5 at the door or bring nothing and pay $10 at the door.  Proceeds will benefit Goodwill of New England and … pssh, whatever… $10 for a bag full of clothes?  That’s nothing to shake a thrifted, rhinestone studded clutch at!  We hope to see you there!

Swapalong Cassidy, Spread the Word


My favorite: "Swapalong Cassidy"

You know me, just working 8 hours a day then coming home to work for 8 more hours.

Tonight it’s especially fun:  I’m finishing the SwapMaine pins and printing out their jewelry cards for presentation in the swag bags at this super duper awesome event at Head Games on Saturday.  Click on “SwapMaine” to learn more (and come!  and benefit a good cause!  and get awesome clothes!)

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!

Metal Feathers in the Bollard

Local band and friends o’ mine, Metal Feathers, landed the cover of The Bollard this month with some photographs from Little Eye Designs (aka Audrey Hotchkiss).  Here are some shots from the shoot:

Cover Photo, on its side. Woops!

Althea and Jay

Destroy Derek!

Inside Photo (Original) that got chopped up (artfully)


For the record, photographing bands or really any number of people larger than ‘1’ and it’s pretty much like trying to wrangle cats.  I’d like to work on that (placing multiple figures in the frame) and see how their placements affect the overall product.  But, for now, I just have some awesome pictures of my friends.  That’ll do just fine!

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!