bulls, bears and bees

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Last year, rounding the calendar I decided to apologize less.  A lot less.  Not the really real apologies, where they are truly meant or needed, no:  the “sorrys” on the chopping block were casual, numerous and daily.

“Hey, did you do this thing that I haven’t asked you to do yet?” (co-worker)

“Sorry, no!  I’ll get right on it” (old me)

“I haven’t!  But I’d be happy to.”  (new me)

So this year I’m taking it one step further and making myself comfortable with saying No.  And not necessarily saying it, but doing it – as excited I get about every project everyone is working on I am going to focus by saying “Nope!” to tasks that aren’t directly related to my personal goals.

A-ha, now the fun part:  what are my personal goals?

This year I’m going to focus on two pretty substantial projects:

-Bees.  (Yes, real ones.)  I’m going to build them a home and share honey with them.

-Understanding the stock market.  Maybe even using the stock market.  Maybe.

So there it is, propolis and residual honey and portfolios and residual income.

happy new year, folks.

marlo, our newest

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Our little guy!  Obviously this little bit of web space has not been updated in awhile, and as life is wont to do there have been changes, changes, changes.

Change #1:  We bought a house.  Yes!  It’s awesome, and terrifying.  More on that later.

Change #2:  We are increasing our chances of becoming crazy cat people, the population has grown from 2 to 3 since we last posted.

A warm, July evening my husband met me in the driveway as I came home from having 12 inches of hair chopped off.  He held up his phone with a picture of a kitten and said “Wanna go get him?!”

Of course, husband, of course.

So we picked him up from a friend’s farm in the countryside and rode home with him in my lap in the dying light.  I remember the temperature was the perfect kind when you can’t tell where your skin stops and the air starts.  Marlo was trembling in my lap so I wrapped him in my hoodie and held on tight.

A friend recently reassured me that in order to graduate from ‘cat people’ to ‘crazy cat people’ the ratio of cats to people needs to be 3:1.  So frankly we’re three cats away, and considering husband’s allergies’ reluctance to adjusting to Marlo I think 3 is going to be the number for awhile.

Welcome home, buddy!

new in the shop!

I’ve been stocking up my shop in anticipation of Picnic Holiday Sale, which will be Sunday, December 15th (for any of you who might want to shop the bestest craft sale in Maine before the holidays).

This year I will be selling under the name of my new project, Maine Forager’s Field Guide, which will feature not only goods from Little Eye Designs but some products from friends/Maine makers as well as oodles of vintage sweaters, plaid shirts and vinyl.  I’m pretty excited about it.

So Little Eye has been up to some new things.  In no particular order:

Harbor Seal blank greeting cards, set of 5.  $12.00 on Etsy

Harbor Seal blank greeting cards, set of 5. $12.00 on Etsy

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Airstream Greeting Card – Blank Inside. $12.00 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer.  $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer. $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer, $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer, $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer, $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer, $14.95 on Etsy.

It’s so nice to have pulled the knitting kit out of storage and cast on these projects.  For me, late fall and early winter is inspiration for curling up on the couch and knitting a few inches.  Know what I mean?

easy as rocket science

DSC_4667Yes, someone very new became a little wiser today (yesterday, actually) and yours truly was in charge of the confections.  Initially, I had delusions of grandeur:

zoe bakes, click for link

But after an unpleasant run-in with the standing mixer (okay, it wasn’t the mixer’s fault) JR took an emergency run to the only gas station with frosting (thank resurrected Jesus!) that was open on Easter.  The cottage cheese textured frosting, which left me sitting at my kitchen counter laughing maniacally at 8 o’clock this morning, was quickly ‘fixed’ with a little food coloring and piped edges to make it look a little less, err, regurgitated.

DSC_4657Yes, ‘before’ pictures do exist and no, I’m not going to post them, it’s just too revolting.  I think the lesson in all of this was that we all screw up sometimes in ways that are truly, truly unimportant.  Granted, the texture of the sour cream butter cream left much to be desired, but the taste?  Oh, the taste!

DSC_4695Plus Brother’s girlfriend reminded us all that there’s an inverse relationship with flavor and looks:  “The uglier the cake, the tastier it is!”  So while I’m not quite in the running for cake wrecks, I do know that if you can’t make a gorgeous cake you ought to at least be able to whip something up that can make everyone laugh.  And ultimately, this is all that matters:

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sold!

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printborn02As far back as I can remember, selling has always been super exciting for me.  When I was in first grade, my friend and I bought erasers, pencils and other junk and set up a combination lemonade stand/gift shop at the edge of the yard.  I don’t think we made too much money, but I do remember a rather substantial stack of ones about 6″ thick (folded) that I would cram in my little pockets whenever I was ready to open up shop.

In my teen years my dad used to take my brother and I to thrift shops on weekends in the city and we could always get one or two things.  This is an especially exciting adventure for young people, because the price tags are reasonable when your income is essentially zero, plus it is WAY more interesting than picking one of twenty barbies off the shelf at a big box store.  Thank you, Dad, for that thrifty training.

In college, I followed my heart rather than my wallet to art school where I gained tremendous satisfaction in turning real, lived experiences in to frozen works of art using photography as a medium.

Now, as my interests focus on sustainable practices I’ve found that two pastimes  one education have effortlessly meshed in to the perfect amalgam of supplemental income.  The satisfaction of the hunt, then the find in thrift stores, yard sales and other various windfalls is exciting.  Then the sculpting, brushing off and photographing the artifact, making it new again.  Lastly, the thrill of the sale and of course the economic benefits of doing so.  Just perfect.