Your Custom Little Eye Magnets

A couple of months ago I was delighted to receive custom orders from Malaika of Hand Me Down Designs and Laura Duplissis LeBrun of Sweeter Salt for two very different wedding-related orders.  Malaika needed gifts for bridal showers (magnet sets with the couples’ images and two bottle cap charm necklaces of the same) and Laura wanted some unique, DIY-type gifts for all her wedding guests.  Tonight, I want to illustrate the custom option that Little Eye has to offer for wedding favors, birthday presents, stocking stuffers, Easter hide-ables, baby showers, etc. etc. – the sky is the limit!  I love working with people and their designs, making them fit in bottle caps, and working together to color coordinate the caps for maximum customization.  It’s all about you, guys!

Laura wanted little wedding favors that were affordable and memorable – the first thing you should know about custom work from Little Eye Designs is that bulk ordering (100 pieces or more) is priced wholesale.  If I can get a whole bunch of work done at once I’m happy to pass the savings on to you!  So, Laura’s graphic design-savvy fiancé (now husband!) designed the perfect graphic to describe them, illustrated it in their wedding colors and passed it on to me:

Ross and Laura Sailing, Waving

Yes!   Ross sized the image in to a circle for me, but most of the time I am working with raw images and I will do a few crops and submit to my customer’s approval.  Some images are better at being ‘circled’ than others – I usually recommend that people send 2-3 images of the thing they might want in their custom caps, that way if one picture is not as good as the others for the crop then there will still be plenty of options.

After receiving the image, Laura and I decided that sunshine-y yellow backs for the bottle caps would be the perfect color to complement the image on the front as well as their wedding colors.  Coordination is everything, no?  Now, Audrey — get to work!

Custom Images - Printed and Cut

First, I made templates and printed out the design Laura and Ross wanted – then I cut them all out and stacked them up in little columns.  I am a bit specific about my process…

Prepared Caps and Fixed Images

The little Rosses and Lauras are then put in to prepared bottle caps (backs painted, half-filled with epoxy) and fixed with a crafters glue to prevent any color bleeding.  Then I did this about a 100 more times while I watched silly programs on television – most likely “The Cosmos” with Carl Sagan because I don’t have the right kind of attention span for “The Bachelorette.”

Ahh, finished!

You can see from the shiny-ness above that these are the finished caps.  The glued images were then covered in a layer of epoxy and let to dry and cure for maximum strength.  .5″ diameter ceramic magnets are then attached to the back using jeweler’s glue (pretty powerful stuff) which makes for a strong hold (3 take out menus?  One exceptionally heavy macaroni craft?), good functionality while not being too bulky.  You can also see the bright, yellow finish with white dappling which is my handy-dandy “Little Eye” technique.  Now put these babies up on a vintage ‘Frigidaire’ door at the entry of your wedding’s dining hall and you’ve got a really cool way to help your guests remember you, your wedding day and how much fun they had every time they open up their refrigerator door.

Here are some applications for custom Little Eye magnets.  (I make pins, necklaces, hair clips and rings, too!):

-Bridal Showers (photographs, wedding date, a ‘set of 12’ as a gift)

-Bridal Party Favors (flowers, images of the bride (and groom), sayings)

-Wedding Favors (illustrations, photographs, wedding date)

-Baby Shower Gifts and Favors (ultrasound images, illustrations)

-Stocking Stuffers (inexpensive gifts for everyone)

-Baby Announcement (set of 2 with photograph of baby and birth date/weight) in addition to greeting card announcements

-Birthday Presents (do your friends really like Twin Peaks?  How about a magnet set!?)

-Band Pins (your band’s logo or photo to sell at shows with other merch and music)

-Anything else you can dream up in your noggin!

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you’re interested in any of the above or more!

You can reach me at the ol’ gmail at:  littleeyedesigns

Metal Feathers Band Pin with Bumper Sticker Graphic - Click to See Their Page!

Brick and Mortar Opening: pinecone+chickadee

Hey!  Don’t you guys just love Picnic?  Hasn’t it made living in Portland just that much cooler?


Well, some of the brains and adorableness behind Picnic (pinecone+chickadee) are having a Grand Opening of their brick and mortar shop for First Friday:  tonight!  Amy and Noah will have delicious wine and snacks, but it really doesn’t matter booze or not, since you can purchase a purse shaped like a taco, a funny looking head of a tiger roaring (vintage), a weird lamp with fake plants in it that ‘rains,’ designs by Kris Johnsen (Emblem Studio), Meagan Anderson and more.  Big, chunky jewelry, the memory game from Merchants Row and, of course, your favorite designs from pinecone+chickadee.

There are a myriad of other reasons to head to Free St. tonight.  First of all:  Friday afternoon coffee at Arabica will ensure that you’ll be peppy and awake for the FINAL Marie Stella Show at Empire Dine + Dance with Hi Tiger and the Sunset Hearts.  P.S. They’re all good.  Secondly, pinecone+chickadee is situated between your caffeine fix and Find, which has the wherewithall to sell MY products (yeah!) as well as vintage and gently used clothing selected with impeccable taste.  Perfect!

Fine Feathers Make a Fine Bird by Meagan Anderson

Strength in Numbers: A 4th of July Collaboration with Mollie Ann from Rough Magic Creations

Eureka!  This week has the important distinction of being the week I finished a collaboration with another talented crafter, Mollie Ann, of Rough Magic Creations.  It all began when the Etsy Maine Team came up with a 4th of July Team Challenge, to create (by yourself or with a partner) a holiday-themed piece for Independence Day.  Being the enormous fan of red, white and blue that I am (my photo background has been only that, lately!) I was super psyched.

I got in touch with Mollie, knowing that she was way more talented with metal than me.  I’ve been thinking for a long time about branching out of the bottle cap bezel world, and this was a great first opportunity.  Mollie and I put our heads together to make a star-shaped earring and pendant with a circular bezel hammered right in the center.  Here is our initial sketch:

And by 'sketch,' I mean image of a star I copied and drew elements on!

From there, we agreed that sheet aluminum would have the right color we were looking for (Mollie usually uses copper, but the silver color and price point of aluminum worked well with our design) so she ordered it and I waited with much anticipation to receive my new bezels in the mail!

Empty Bezels, Waiting for their stars + stripes

Finally (okay, I say ‘finally’ but it was so fast, like a day later!  I was just like an excited kid on Christmas morning) I received the lovely pieces (pictured above) in the mail, ripe for the epoxy-ing!  After cutting some custom size circles, gluing and mixing epoxy Mollie and I were the proud parents of the pieces you see below:

Stars and Stripes Earrings, $26 on Etsy

Stars and Stripes Pendant (You pick stars or stripes) $24 on Etsy

Stars and Stripes Earrings and Pendant Set, $48 on Etsy

Mollie and I are so pleased at how these turned out!  The photo prototypes are our ‘rough drafts’ so we’ve made some changes, including making the bezels deeper so that the epoxy doesn’t bleed around the edges of the circle … which you can kind of see in the picture but won’t be an issue on any further runs of the sets.  If you’re interested in ordering a pair of earrings, a necklace, or a set of earrings and a necklace please know you can specify what combination of stars and stripes you’d like!  Order from either Mollie or I in our Etsy shops (you can click on the images to link to the listings) and let us know what you’d like!  We can also do the stars with totally different images, not just stars and stripes.  🙂  The stars and stripe sets are made of lightweight charms with a nickel ball chain for the necklaces and sterling silver ear wires for those of us with sensitive ears!

All orders received by June 22nd should be shipped to you in time for the 4th of July.

Serious Dress Habit #2 – Skirting the Issue

Hmm, I seem to have found myself, yet again, with more vintage dresses and skirts that I need to clean out of the attic.  I swear that closet is the doorway to Narnia… here are some new dresses and skirts – click on the image to be taken to the Etsy or Ebay listing!

Gosh darn it, I wish this one would fit me. So gorgeous, but more for a size 4 than a size Audrey!

This is a double-lined stretchy number from Banana Republic – weird how my Ebay items always end up being BR!  Stylish, but often too small for yours truly.  Hope someone out there with less of a penchant for pad thai and ice cream will love it as much as I do!  Click here for the listing.

Olive Green Wool Blend skirt by Banana Republic.

This one’s actually been in my personal collection for over 10 years now — I bought it back in high school when I worked a Christmas season at BR (p.s. worst November ever, don’t recommend doing that!) in the stock room in the basement.  In any case, I was a size 2 in high school, then a 4 in college, then a 6 the years following and still squeezing my woman-y body in to it until this last year when it’s basically an invitation for acid reflux if I squeeze my torso in to this skirt!  I’m so sad to see it go, but again, I’d be more sad to stop eating ice cream and pad thai and am totally. fine. with the few extra pounds I have to carry as a result.  🙂

Vintage Ultramarine Pencil Skirt, 100% wool from Jones of New York.

I found this one yesterday and thought the high quality, U.S.A. construction and 100% wool skirt was too much to pass up.  Currently listed in my Etsy shop, this one’s a size 10 for some more realistic expectations.  I kinda hope no one buys it so I can wear it around!

Vintage 1980s L.L. Bean Maxi Skirt in Farquharson(ish) Plaid

Awesome!  I love it when I find plaid things with old L.L. Bean tags.  This’ll be a dream to wear around while I wait for someone to pick it up out of my Etsy shop.

Don't Even Think About It

Okay, at first I was going to make this an Ebay listing.  But on second thought I’m going to add this one to my permanent collection.  Pretty white pin prick polka dots on a flowy black skirt??  I just can’t resist.

Little Eye Destash – Audrey Cleans House

Ceramic Owl Beads, Set of 4

Or, “Audrey Cleans Bead Drawer” is more like it.  Probably not enough to make boyfriend completely elated (I would start getting rid of clothes and shoes if all his wildest dreams were to come true), but it’s a start!  Spring cleaning has to begin somewhere.  Throughout this post I’ve peppered images from listings just recently posted on Etsy.  Keep in mind if you want to buy the whole lot of them and call it good I’d be happy to quote a price for you at a pretty substantial discount.  I just want them gone!

Now, to rant…

For the fifth day in a row this week I managed to sleep in.  This time it wasn’t just the 10 or 20 bewildering minutes that I’d been snoozing extra at the beginning of the week,… no.  A good, solid 30 minutes AFTER I was supposed to be at work I heard the boyfriend’s alarm go off (not mine) and jumped out of bed like a bat out of hell running madly around the house collecting articles of clothing and bits of breakfast, hoping that it would come together in a whirlwind as one full outfit and meal.  No dice.  By 9am I was sweating in unseasonal clothes and my tummy was grumbling hardcore.  Good thing boss brought in donut holes.  Yes!!

I’ve been wondering all day after this, the most egregious of sleep-ins, what the hell is causing my new exhaustion.

Gold and Enamel Autumn Leaves, Set of 2

Mononucleosis?  That’d be a trip, considering I’m not a 13 year old girl.  I used to fantasize about kissing the wrong person and getting out of school for a month.  Basically my main objective through middle and high school was to be as manageably and convincingly ‘sick’ for as long as possible.  What can I say?  I’m an independent learner.

Warm weather?  As a clammy, weird, pale Irish girl I’m somewhat prone to the moister months of March and April.  I was born in San Francisco where fog replaces snow in the long ‘winter’ season.  So when it starts to get hot and humid I basically soak in the atmosphere and get all puffy and sweaty.  Attractive?  Yes, obviously.  The only other benefit is that it makes me sleep deeply once I can manage to ignore my weird, pale Irish cheek sticking to the pillow.

Must Be All That Sun

Party Girl?  Granted, our downstairs neighbor had a real rager ’til 2am on Tuesday.  That’s weird!  So maybe it jumpstarted my week in a bad kinda way?  It explains Wednesday, at least.  But the only other ‘partying’ I did was to split a 6-pack with boyfriend last night which should hardly put me so under that I can’t hear the dang alarm in the morning.  Either that, or I’m becoming a lightweight.  Thank goodness!  It’s so much less expensive when you’re drinking out…

Both Ends of the Candle Are Burning:  That’s definitely true.  I hardly have a minute… scratch that, I don’t even want a minute!  So naturally there comes a little exhaustion with that.

I suppose it could be any of these or a combination of them all.  I’m just glad the weekend’s here, the alarm clock’s off, and I can catch up on all those beauty Z’s and internet duties I’ve grown so accustomed to.  Hope you enjoy yours as much as I know I’ll enjoy mine!!

Jointed Fish Pendant from China Trip 1999

A Week in Favorites: I’m a Drug Addled Hippie

Etsy has the charming feature of making something ‘a favorite.’  Which isn’t always favorite so much as it is ‘neat’ or ‘memorable’ or ‘something someone I know would like.’  But it does have the benefit of being basically a photographic memory version of window shopping, so no one’s complaining here (unlike usual!)

I’ve picked some of my favorite ‘favorites’ this week and the prognosis isn’t good:  somehow I’m reverting back to 16-year-old patchy-pants, long-hair, patchouli-princess Audrey.  Oh well, what the hell — here goes nothing:  (click on the images to view the shops/listings)

Vintage Poppy Embroidered Throw Pillow from kaftansarafan

Ooh-la-la.  The haze of an opium daze never looked so stylish!  I’m mostly in love with this because of the color combination, but there’s a counter culture wannabe in me that just can’t resist poppies in any form.

Hippie Chic Long Sleeve Vintage Dress from OhSweetJosephine

Here’s a number.  A large number.  Of flowers.  Although I’m not normally an elastic neckline kinda girl I’ll totally take it with this listing.

Vintage Rhinestone Butterfly Brooch from OhSweetJosephine

OhSweetJosephine is 2 for 2!  If you didn’t take mushrooms before you hallucinated this rhinestone brooch it’s high time for a schizophrenia screening.  Speaking of mushrooms…

Zen Girl by elsita

 This here’s my favorite favorite from this week.  Look at how happy she is!  It’s probably because her hairdo is so cute.

Hedwig Barometer

I was wishy washy all day about spending 20 bucks to go see Hedwig.  Was it going to be like that time I went to see Cat Power after she released “The Greatest” and she basically just played the album cover to cover then a few more songs at the end?  (Still awesome).  Was it going to be like the movie or its own thing?  Would I be able to sit through two hours without having to pee too much?

Good news, folks, it was TOTALLY WORTH IT and you should probably go tomorrow night for their last performance.  If you haven’t seen Hedwig then you’ll be a little lost but still entranced.  If you did see it a long time ago and can’t remember it all you’ll be so psyched to remember all those songs.  20 bucks can be easily justified by “well, it’s just one bill so it’s not that much” or “I just won’t go out to eat three times this weekend,” or “Oh, the fam will just have to eat vegetarian (aka carrots, lettuce and celery only) this week,”

On a very related note – I will now be explaining and justifying everything through tracks from the score, which is also known as my “Hedwig Barometer.”  i.e.  The reason marriage equality should exist is because “when the earth was still flat and the clouds made of fire and the mountains stretched up the sky sometimes higher folks roamed the earth like big rolling kegs…” and any number of reasons that candy and sex are inextricably linked. 

I need to find my red glitter lipstick and blue eyeshadow, but for now you can enjoy with me famous trans movie endings that make me cry:


Half-Off Hi Bombay!

Tandoori Spice Kit, $14, from cookoutsidethebox on Etsy

Thank goodness, because it’s been a whole 4 days since I last had their samosas, garlic naan, malai kofta, uhhh, basically everything.  If you’d like to save 50% off the best Indian food in Portland (divisive, I know!  It’s my opinion, people, relax) then click here and go get you some tandoori deliciums.

Hi, Bombay! is awesome if you live in Portland, like good food, are a little lazy sometimes, or live outside of Portland (Portsmouth?  Bangor?  Bar Harbor?) but want to save some money on vacation eats next time you’re in the Forest City.

Additionally, break the ice on a first date by sitting underneath their flat screen TV that is constantly looping Bollywood vignettes with outlandish storylines.  Great atmosphere, greater food, and a mindblowingly good deal.  Yeah!!  I don’t know which I love more, Hi, Bombay! for always having coupon offers or The Portland Daily Sun for offering it up this time.  Good teamwork, guys!

From the Archives: Moody Art Student


Would that I could show you the rest of this picture without breaking some questionable content rules that WordPress most likely has.  This, a self-portrait, was taken in the Brighton apartment right off of Commonwealth Ave.  I’m glad of it and the reason are threefold:

1)  Being a photographer, I rarely have good pictures taken of me.  This is unfortunate, because I love looking good and having it frozen forever in time.  Even here, I had to do it myself.  Somehow I always end up dating musicians and not photographers…

2)  Look at my sassy attitude.  That was a good time for me because it was about three months after a break up so the bad parts were over and the good parts (being a sassy lassie) were starting.

3)  The part of this picture you can’t see is smokin’ and should be printed and posted somewhere around, on or near my running sneakers.  Seriously, what happened to my body in the last four years??  Buffalo chicken happened.

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.