Audrey, Where Have You Been??

Hiding! Ok, actually just giggling.

Short answer:  busy!

Long answer:

Since The BIG THAW completed its wonderful, whirlwindy, nutso course I’ve been doing a few excellent things.  In no particular order… celebrated three birthdays, spent quality time with family, got really, really, really, REALLY sick, got better, got sick again, can’t hear out of my right ear for 48 hours (current), have been working on an enormous wholesale order, have been building stock for tomorrow’s craft fair (9am to 1pm at the Williston West Church, Saturday May 7th, Thomas St. in Portland’s West End) and desperately trying to clean my house… only to mess it up again very quickly with the previously mentioned wholesale order.

Bottle Cap Wine Charms, $10.00 for a Set of 6

It’s pretty cool.  A beer and wine novelty supplier out of Washington State saw my work online, contacted me, and enlisted me to make a bunch of these wine charms.  One of the really great things about making things with my hands is that oftentimes my window shoppers and customers are the most inventive with ideas for new products.  Without them I wouldn’t have made pendants (necklaces), wine charms, earrings, custom magnet and pin sets, wedding favors, alphabet magnet sets, and on and on.  This is the latest addition to my line up.  What’s next?  Mike Cunnane (of Brass Cankles, Huak, Rattlesnakes, Sunset Hearts fame) suggest ‘beer medallions’ as a beer drinker’s alternative to the wine charms.  I am so on it.

Together, at last

Talk about a whirlwind month.  After 8 years of us not being in the same room, college buddies and bestest ladies in the universe (myself included) met up in Boston.  The reason we were able to do this was that Jet (center) was visiting with her boyfriend who is the director of photography in upcoming film Bellflower.  It’s going to be in theatres in August and we got to see the flame-throwing car that Evan built for the film.  And lit it up in the parking garage outside of Boston University!  Rock.  Well, anyways, she lives in Ventura, CA and Shira (right) lives in Boston and me (left), I’m the yokel who decided to move away from any major metropolitan area.  I love Portland.  But I think I might love Jet and Shira more.

Brunch! Family!

You know what else I love?  The Good Egg.  It’s even better when, once a year, my grandmother (on the left side of the table) visits with her brother and his wife.  This year I joined them along with my aunt, uncle and two cousins who were down for the weekend from North Haven.  My cousin bought a lobster boat with his own money saved up from hauling traps by hand for 5 years – he’s 15!  Pictures of that to come.  🙂

The BIG THAW Pictures are coming soon!

I got some awesome pictures of vendors, shoppers, helpers and purchases from The BIG THAW.  The images will be up on the website shortly (finally!!) as soon as I can get twenty minutes to do it.  So bizarre to look back at them and think how smoothly and wonderfully the day went.  Yesss.

Clothes are Awesome! Share them!

That’s Kate in an awesome dress at Althea and Jay’s marriage celebration.  Coincidentally, she’s involved with a team of Portland fashion bloggers who have organized Swap Maine, a citywide clothing swap to benefit Goodwill of New England.  It will also benefit you because you get to pick out clothes you like just for donating your own!  Or paying $10 at the door.  It all goes to Goodwill and you get to fill a bag with awesomeness.  The first 250 shoppers will receive a swagbag, and included in it will be your very own Swap Maine/Little Eye Designs bottle cap pin.  I’m excited to work on this, support great writers and support Goodwill of New England.  Yes!  Please click here for more information about how you can join in the fun.

That’s all for now, I’m sleepy and I have to sell a bunch of stuff tomorrow!  Seriously.  My craft fair dream is to sell half the stock I bring… if I did that tomorrow maybe I could finally catch up on my student loans.  Which I just deferred.  For a year.  Thank you, pro-credit score governmental initiatives.  Maybe I’ll start looking at grad schools now…?

Joke!

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Progress

Here’s me making a bunch of signs for The BIG THAW:

Step 1: Paint fumes

Step 2: Mess up the living room

Here’s my cat, Cash, snuggling with my friend, Kate.  Awwww!:

Kate has a great jacket

The Silliest Paws

Here are some bottlecaps that Kelley gave me.  Thank you, Kelley!

Future Little Eye Designs

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!

Vendor Spotlight: Photo Market

Hey y’all, just getting rejoining the internets here.  Seems I’ve taken the month of September (originally intended for relaxation and learning new craft skills) and turned it in to the month of being insanely busy getting ready for an art show, making jewelry to match, going on location at work and thinking far ahead in to the future (i.e. December) and figuring just how many little bottle caps I’ll be squirting epoxy resin in to for the next 60 days.

nice purple grey vines, PM!

Considering my recurrent need for them over the last several days, I want to take a minute to give all credit where its due to the folks at Photo Market at 945 Forest Ave. in Portland.

perfect September sunset gradation

I use these guys for everything.  And no matter how busy they are whenever I go in someone is bound to be good for a laugh.  Which works for me because my internal laugh-o-meter gauges how endearing others are.

this one prints perfect every time

Most importantly, the staff there has embraced (albeit reluctantly, I mean, who wouldn’t) my fickle process of shooting in film and printing digitally.  It’s born out of necessity (no darkroom access and…no time!) but they stopped making fun of me and trying to sell me digital cameras long ago.  Thanks guys.  🙂

art show at a flower shop ooh la la

So if you’re curious to see the handywork of their printers maybe you might like to stop at the gallery above Harmon’s & Barton’s on First Friday for a peek at my solo art show “Orchards and Atmospheres.”  Not only did they print the photographs but they printed the images I use in bottle cap jewelry, magnets and pins.  On Friday you’ll see these little versions alongside the large photographs…a more portable, affordable version of the real thing!

the perfect set for your friend molly

P.S.  What else is new?  I’m going to Find tomorrow to drop off some wares!  Paper Moon in Westbrook gets a visit later this week.  Meanwhile I’m plug-plug-plugging away at getting my Etsy site full of interesting listings.