The Big Chill

Well, I’ve been up to it again!  Applications for The Big Chill arts, crafts and vintage sale are now up at The Big Thaw website.  Is that confusing?  I just didn’t want to make a whole new site to re-name the winter fair.  It will be held on Saturday, December 3rd from 10am-4pm (9-5 for vendor set up, break down, etc.) at Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St. in Portland, ME.  Applications are $45 for upstairs spaces and $35 for downstairs spaces – and spots are limited!  So send in your applications!  🙂

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Just Listed

Chicken Barrette, $6 from littleeyedesigns on Etsy

‘Ello!  If you haven’t peeked in to my Etsy shop lately (click there), you’ll be blown away at all the new items.  I’ve been hemming and hawing about new listings and I realized that when you sell tiny, little specialty objects it really is a numbers game:  the more I pack in there, the more chance there will be someone who connects with the artwork featured in the bottle cap!  Many new listings still to come, but I especially like that chicken barrette.

I’m also offering FREE SHIPPING on any order over $10, all you need to do is enter “ISPENT10” (all caps, no spaces) at checkout and the shipping charge will be removed.  That’s neat!

http://littleeyedesigns.etsy.com

Pickles, Picnic, End of a Season

Good afternoon.  I’ve been curating again!  So much fun to make treasuries when you’ve got the time…  Click on each image to be taken to a selection of 16 items by awesome artists and vintage superstars.

Design Your Own Embroidery Hoop by merriweathercouncil.

Picnic! Treasury featuring items by vendors who will be at this weekend’s Picnic festival.

Chilled Dill Pickles Print by hartart13

pickle people Treasuryfeaturing delicious, pickled perfection.

2 Bicycle Etched Pint Glasses by phoenixfirestudios.

 end of the summer Treasury – featuring all those good, Autumn-y thingies.

I Spy With My Little Eye: The Herbal Revolution

Looking back, maybe that last entry was a little pessimistic.  Maybe I just needed to complain a bit so that I could complete all of the following yesterday:  grocery shopping (twice), living room tidying, cooking dinner, finishing a book and updating The BIG THAW website.  Now that the steam’s let off, I’ve got some energy for a really positive shout-out to Kathi Langelier at The Herbal Revolution.

I first met Kathi at the Handmade Holiday Fair in Biddeford in December.  We joked about how it’s always so expensive to travel in state and have to stay in a hotel if you want to be somewhere longer than just a day trip.  Then we volunteered each other our ‘spare spaces’ in our houses whenever one was longing for a change of scenery.

While I’m a ‘city girl,’ The Herbal Revolution quite naturally has its home in Lincolnville, ME, where excellent things grow in gardens and forests.  Kathi harvests and forages the herbs and plants needed for her products and makes good use of them without gross chemicals or stuff that makes my skin all red.

 

I am so excited! Click to buy this Halloween Costume for yourself!

The first product I bought from Kathi was the Better Than Botox clay mask ($9) which is more than a bang for your buck.  The jar itself is pretty sizable, but the contents are powder, not pre-mixed, so by adding your own water (or yogurt, lemon juice, tomato juice or whatever else works for you) you can get the consistency and longevity out of BTB that you’d like.  Above is a picture of me looking so excited for how great my skin would feel in a little bit.  The kelp powder tingles as there is mint and rosemary mixed in the clay and it has a very light, pleasant smell.  The mask also includes nutritional yeast for acne prone skin (that’s me!)  When I wash it off my face feels younger, fresher, and definitely more firm.  Yay to 10 minute, natural face lifts.

After making some Etsy sales last week and a Paypal balance burning a hole in my pocket I revisited The Herbal Revolution as a repeat customer.  I bought a St. John’s Wort oil (for pain relief in my bum!  Sciatica boo, herbal remedies yay) and a small pot of Rose Lotion.

 

A lotion by any other name wouldn't smell as sweet!

The Rose Lotion ($8) is light and smells exactly like you want it to.  Feminine, breezy and subtle.  The lotion itself is not pink, but a buttery yellow and that’s super refreshing.  Not all roses are pink, people!  And I don’t need any dye in my product to make me more convinced it has roses in it.  Kathi done good.  This little pot is portable and a tiny bit goes a long way (like a pea size for my whole face or two pea sizes for my leathery old man hands).

 

Pinched nerves don't stand a chance!

Kathi recommends using the St. John’s Wort oil ($12) with her St. John’s Wort tincture ($11)which (Thanks, Kathi!) she sent me as a special gift in my package.  Although it tastes herb-y I mix the tincture (20-30 drops) in green tea and apply the St. John’s Wort Oil to my rear end which, for any of you who know me, is constantly ache-y.  I’ve recently begun massage therapy and am retraining myself to sleep in a proper position but the St. John’s Wort battery combining forces with a heating pad don’t hurt, either!

 

St. John's Wort Tincture, $11

St. John’s Wort is also indicated for depression.  Mainers, I’m looking at you.  It’s been freezing cold for near three months now, fresh snowfall has lost its nostalgic charm and we’re playing the ‘can we make it to April with that much heating oil?’ game.  So:  you’re depressed.  Even if you don’t admit it I know you’re climbing in to bed with a book at 7pm and snoozing by 8.  I know you’re ordering delivery for the second time this week and it isn’t even Wednesday.  Depression has many relievers – this just happens to be my favorite one right now!  Also look at my awesome teacup in that picture up there.

 

Look at my awesome teacup. And that tincture for $11.

The St. John’s Wort Oil is distinctly herby but the odor is only apparent when you stick the vial up your nose (don’t do that).  Plus, after a few days the aroma is actually growing on me!

 

Babies and Springtime are the best.

I’m really quite psyched to have found something natural (and effective) right here in our home state.  Kathi’s products leave my skin feeling great and my derriere comfortably soothed.  I’ve got my eye on Calendula Oil next because I don’t think there is much of anything in this world that is more soothing than calendula.  Maybe it’s because all our Mommies used it on us as babies.  Maybe it’s because it smells distinctly and undeniably like Spring.  Either way you slice it, you’ll be hearing from me soon, lady.

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!

Love. Coffee.

 

Coffee love for your locks. Only available at Coffee By Design by Little Eye.

Ooh-ee!  Valentine’s Day is just two weeks away and lucky you, there’s no need to stress about what to get your loved one.  If you’re anything like me and my boyfriend, holidays that make people extra lonely or feel like they need to propose give you the creeps… but you still want to make a little gesture to show that special someone that you really, really like them – hey!  Maybe you even LOVE them, and you’ve been listening.  You know what makes them tick.  Caffeine.

Coffee By Design and Little Eye partnered in June of 2010 to create a line of unique, handmade Java Jewelry pins, magnets and jewelry.  These little gems are available at all four retail locations in Portland and Freeport and, for you cyber-folk who are joining me far from the North East, they are available at their website, as well.

Java Jewelry designs come in six unique images:  latte rosetta, latte heart, CBD logo, coffee cherries, coffee flowers and coffee beans (some of which contain real beans in the epoxy!).  Each image comes in the following:  magnet, pin, hair clip, ring and necklace.

Little Eye has a long, loving relationship with Coffee By Design having slung lattes for three years as a barista and manager before venturing elsewhere.  Next time you’re in for a fix pick up something sweet for the one you love!

 

Latte Love. Like looking in to your mug for the first sip. Only available at Coffee By Design by Little Eye.

I’m Going in to the Woods…

 

"Little Elf" figure $6.50 from monkeyjunction on Etsy

…namely, the woods in and around the Green Mountains of Northern Vermont.  I’ve worked hard for a year taking minimal time for myself and now relaxation at Grammie’s house in the woods for SIX DAYS is my reward!  And, all of them paid for.  Score.

Before I load up the school bus (my dad drives a big, yellow Pontiac Aztek) and jump in with father, brother and niece, I thought I’d poke around on Etsy to check out what the folks in the farm-friendly, rustic and rural state of Vermont are up to.

 

Monkey Finger Puppet $6.00 from monkeyjunction on Etsy

The first of my finds comes from a woman named Meredith out of Burlington.  Her Etsy store, monkeyjunction, features creations that are self-proclaimed ‘super-wonky’ which I automatically like.  Preschool-friendly finger puppets, mini dolls and bean bags are on the menu and Aunt Audrey likes.  Likes a lot.  They’re very reasonably priced and with puppet duos like bird and worm or trios of three blind mice, they are great educational tools for wee ones!  Marked as favorite for when K. gets a little older…  Check out a nice site from Meredith at The Sharing Preschool Blog.

 

Bobby Pin Trio – Retro Chic $16.00 from SweetAvenueJewelry

Just down the road, Martha in Colchester from SweetAvenueJewelry creates colorful, vintage inspired jewelry and hair pieces.  I like the selection above because it reminds me of July 4th…which is about as far away on the thermostat as you can get from what we’ve got right now (not that I don’t love that, too).  Martha is a Renaissance woman, in that she creates jewelry and crafts while simultaneously holding down a 9-5 and playing in a band.  Although my pastimes are a bit different, I can totally relate.  Clear vision and sweet execution – I hope I end up in a local shop that carries her work!  And if none do, yet, then they better start lining up.  🙂

Vermont wouldn’t be Vermont if it weren’t for all the farms we pass on the way to Underhill.  From slanted and decaying photo ops to bustling and vibrant active farms the countryside is carved based on an agrarian way of life.  This is slowly changing, which breaks my heart, but for the time being let’s enjoy.

 

Buy 3 and Save Trio of Rustic Farm Fresh Soaps $8 from oldgatesfarm on Etsy

Old Gates Farm sells on Etsy a wide selection of soaps, knitted work, dyed bags, note cards, fabric-covered buttons and more.  Of all the items in her shop, though, these rustic soaps caught my eye.  I might be a sucker for a beautiful photograph, or maybe it’s because I’ve been itching to learn to make soaps.  OR it could be just that I need to shower more!  Whatever the reason, these beautiful soaps are made with homegrown herbs and that’s a-okay with me.

 

Fine Silver Earrings $50 by courtneyreckord on Etsy

Finally, all things can’t be cute or squeaky clean: these silver, industrial-style earrings from courtneyreckord are huge and amazing.  The rough-hewn shapes are just screaming to be worn by someone with amazing, long, curly hair.  My VT cousin has amazing curly hair – maybe I should get them for her!

In addition to some much needed rest and relaxation I plan on scooting around Chittenden county to find some shops and artists from the Great North.  Blog entries may be sporadic over the next few days, but I’ll be sure to fill you all in when I get back!