In the shop, vol. 1

polaroid land camera - highlander

polaroid land camera – highlander

The time is nigh, dear readers, we are on the eve of my 30th birthday.  That, in itself, is pretty exciting.  I’m also feeling a very wanted surge of energy in the Etsy, photography, professional, creative departments.  Must be all those old cells replacing themselves.  In any case, I think I’d like to bring you more updates about all the wicked cool things I’m stuffing my Etsy shop full of these days.  Periodically I’ll throw some listings up here so you can ogle them.

1950s noise maker with cigar smoking clown

1950s noise maker with cigar smoking clown

For the last few years I’ve been amassing some particularly interesting, mid-century finds.  The Polaroid Land Camera (Highlander) above was manufactured from 1954-57.  The noise maker with the clown blowing smoke rings should date back to the 1950s (my best guess).

antique rifle oil flask

antique rifle oil flask

The little oil flask above I absolutely couldn’t not resist.  It fits between your thumb and fingers so perfectly.  It stores oil to lubricate a hunting rifle.  It’s very, very old and so terrific.  The little cap screws off easily, it’s just really a wonder to hold in your hands.  People used to make things with such intention.  And keep them forever.

simultaneously awesome + gross:  WWII soap dish and (original?) soap

simultaneously awesome + gross: WWII soap dish and (original?) soap

In addition to all these bits from the past, I’ve been posting a few creations of my own.  Take a minute to stop by the shop and click around – even if you’re not in the market for 70 year old soap or rifle oil flasks they sure are lovely to look at!

musical notes post earrings

musical notes post earrings

 

 

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Music to Your Ears

found image clef earrings by little eye.

Just listed in my Etsy shop, a pair of treble and bass clef earrings made with found images from a Jimmy Buffett songbook, of all places!  The little cut out sheet music bits are set in 14mm antiqued brass bezel post earrings.  These are a great seller at the craft fairs, so I’m hoping the internuts like ’em, too.

I’m also kinda happy with the fabric in the background – I can’t tell if the flowers are too distracting yet but they seem just fine for now.  What do you think?

Speaking of music, time for me to go practice guitar — our band has a show in like a week and I’m super rusty!

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.

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!

I Spy With My Little Eye: Ardent1 (Etsy)

Apple Seed Ring, $80

Doesn’t this ring just grab you?  It’s a remarkable piece from Anne Arden McDonald whose Etsy shop, ardent1, is hands down my favorite find of the week.  She creates jewelry from organic matter which is then cast in metal.  The process is fascinating.  A relationship develops from the pieces origins and its current, metal state that makes me stop, look a little longer.

Green Onion Earrings, $100

Although I am a soup and spaghetti budget type of girl in her middle late 20s, I’m totally digging McDonald’s prices because they’re confidently saying “Hey, this isn’t easy, but the final product is really gorgeous so you should save up for this if you really love it,” which I probably will, because I do.

Graphic Fern Ring, $80

Plus, I’m a sucker for anything remotely fiddlehead-y.  Now I’m off to spend some time at McDonald’s website to get impressed and inspired while anxiously watching election results.

Goodnight, my little voters!

Oh Snap! New Photos and Outer Space Audrey…

Kate and I took pictures again today.  It will be the last time for awhile until one of us buys a sweet camera because we have to give Maggie (Kate’s Mom) her rig back.  😦  She misses her camera!  This time we did it in my kitchen so that nothing weird would happen… luckily left to our own devices weird things will always happen anyways:

At which point, Cash decides it's time for her to get out of the kitchen.

Sidenote:  I have an insatiable desire to put cooking implements on my head and/or use them like drums and drumsticks.  For the record, yes, I did do enough of this as a child…just really enjoyed it and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.  Dinner party at my house, anyone?

So big big plans for listing on Etsy this week and being a productive person.  (Sidenote again:  the following paragraph will be distracted because Cash (pictured above) is licking Yuna’s toes while he sleeps…)

Uhhh…hmm.  Ok they’re done.  My favorite picture from the shoot will NOT be listed on Etsy but you CAN go buy these earrings at Find now, because that’s where Kate and I went after the photo shoot.

Favorite. Go to Find.

Vintage Photographs from a school photo sheet Kate gave me.

I got sweet pants that I will just need to lose 5 pounds to fit in to, an awesome ring, and Kate got a jacket with removable arms from Kenya.  Which makes me think of this awesome jacket from L.L. Bean’s Signature line that costs way more than the coat Kate got, and is just as versatile and wonderful.

Black Point Parka. Those arms zip RIGHT off.

My second favorite picture will be listed on Etsy soon, but here’s a sneak-preview of the Bubba’s Sulky Lounge Dance Floor Necklace and Barrette Set on Neil Young’s Trans Am.  Long title!

This is the album where Neil Young stole Peter Frampton's Vocoder for awhile.

It also happens to be Halloween, grocery shopping and leg-shaving day.  All simultaneously.  So I better get off the computer and get started on those things.  Shaw’s had dollar-doublers in their flyer this week!  Momma’s buying a new razor…

Part of the Team

Wellity, wellity, wellity!  I’ve never been one for team sports…but team crafts are a totally different thing.  Marking the reinvention and invigoration of my ol’ Etsy site, I decided once I had 20 or so items in there that belonging to the Etsy Maine Team was not an ‘if’ but a ‘when.’  So throwing caution to the wind I said ‘now’ and this is turning out to be really, really fun!

Everyone knows people from Maine have great taste.  If you search the keyword “maineteam” on Etsy this will become very obvious to you, too.

Here are some picks from my first week of connecting across the counties to my brothers and sisters in craftiness (P.S. This was hard choosing just a few, and I plan on doing this often so stay tuned!):

JudyB.

Uhhh…how long have these earrings been on my wish list?!  (1 month, I’m such a miser!)  Uhhh how many times have I told my Dad I want these for my birthday?  (2 times).  If the weekend is up without this gift wrapped from him, Judy, you can plan on wrapping those up because they’re mine!

 

JudyB

 

Long Winter Farm.

Believe me, when it comes to impulses I am one tough cookie.  But when I read the description for the Midnight Lotus Skin Cream the cookie crumbled and I gave in.  “This particular 4.5oz jar is scented with midnight lotus fragrance oil, which is a super clean, sexy scent. Think of a brand of dryer sheets that’s only for use on little black dresses.” Plus, this fabulous stuff comes from a yurt!  Wallet spontaneously opened last week.  Tonight I smell like fresh cotton and a little (woah!) like the soap from my pediatrician’s office when I was a kid.  The doctor’s office was in a barn.  These are all great things.

 

Long Winter Farms

 

urbanknitfit.

Alert!  Lucky lady is preggers so if you need to take advantage of her awesome prices you need to do it before October 20th.  You have a couple days to peruse the lush colors and honest knits that she has in her shop until Mama takes a break.  The headband below is my favorite.

 

urbanknitfit

 

In Other News:  Holiday Craft Fairs are COMING!!

What are everyone’s favorites to attend and why?  I’m putting my joint application with Kate to PICNIC on the top of the pile (because of local awesome easyness, excellent jurying, and monies potential!!), and then a sweet little temptation from a start up called Creatorium is enticing me, too, but I need to find the link again on Roots and Tendrils‘ Facebook page.  Oh, P.S. PICNIC is two days this year.  Yes!

What fairs will you be applying to?