Personal Moment: Can We All Shut Up a Sec?

Click here to download me saying this instead of having to read it yourself.  Working the kinks out so that maybe soon you can just click a button!


It’s early Summer, officially or not, and the sounds of the city have already begun.

Someone is taking their sweet time pawing through the cans and bottles across the street.  Trash and recycling night, although we save ours and throw the winnings in the laundry money jar.

Downstairs there’s a party that I’ve repeatedly been invited to.  No, thank you, despite the fact our new neighbors are lovely and normally quiet I’m not in the mood to meet new people.   You have to be in the mood to meet new people sometimes.  Their voices funnel up through the alleyway and bounce against the attic walls through the open window.  They’re greeting each other with niceties like “How the hell are you!” and “Is this your new place?!”

No, it’s my place.  I’ve lived here on the corner for nearly two years which is also about twice as long as I’ve lived anywhere with the exception of my now-sold childhood home.  I wish all four floors of this house were ours and that somehow we could magically conjure a 1/4 acre of green space to plant a garden, and a table with two chairs, and a little umbrella.  Those missing things would make this place perfect.  Sena called our house ‘the ketchup and mustard’ house to make sure she had the right place once.  I just love that.

Cans and bottles.  Party guests.  The slowing and idling of cars moving through the intersection outside.  The cop cars and paddy wagons have a more serious grumble to them and although J. doesn’t believe me I swear I can tell the difference between them and regular cars just by the sound of the engines.  Life is all about the smallest details.

I ran my gas gauge down to the very bottom on the way home from Yarmouth tonight.  I hope that I can start her in the morning.  I also need to buy cat food.  This is about as bad as it gets these days, so I feel pretty okay about that.  The cats are just pretending to be hungry, they’ve been snacking on the undone dishes all day.

Kiley says “Hi!” whenever she hears the apartment door open.  She wouldn’t stop saying “Bye” when I left this evening, full of pizza and soda, making me think she and Ya-Ya were trying to get rid of me.  She also yells “Go! go! go!” when she slips down my legs like they were a slide on the playground.  The slide is her favorite thing on the playground.

You can hear an owl halfway up the block about an hour before sunset lately.  It’s weird, because we are also three minutes from I-295 and Marginal Way.  She doesn’t hoot like a regular owl, but kind of moans about something that makes you think she didn’t mean to end up in East Bayside.  Also, the crows are getting worse on the rooftops, now, which is to say that the crows are getting better.  They will do a better job of waking me up in the morning than my alarm clock, and Yuna makes this funny chirping noise whenever he sees birds out the window.  I like the crows.

Why is someone playing frisbee in the street?  Frisbees are the worst things ever to be made out of plastic.

I’ve been thinking about a story I’d like to write where a retired neighbor moves to a more affordable apartment in the city.  He’s got a little toolshed in his yard and he fills it with his lawn mower and garden tools and volunteers to help the single mothers, ESL families and graveyard shift fathers fix up their yards.  The neighbors can’t pay him but he won’t hear of it anyways and just says that all he wants is to join them once a month for dinner.  The story would be about all the different meals and all the different families and the neighborhood becoming really beautiful inside and out.

I worry that the noises outside are keeping up the neighbors’ children.  They have about five of them, and they range in age from about 3 or 4 to at least 10.  Keeping kids up past 11pm on a school/work night is ludicrous.

Sometimes you can see stars over Portland but tonight is not one of those nights.  The sky is murky and dark brown to black, with little lights in windows everywhere.  The trees on Munjoy Hill are darker and you can sense from the air that the ocean is waiting on the other side.  I can’t wait ’til the summer and the saltwater are warm enough for night swims, even if I’ve only done that once or twice in the past, it really is the best.

The cars begin to slow and the owl has stopped completely.  Laughter and party sounds continue to swell.  There’s no escape from the noises of the peninsula in summer.


Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Donation

Lights and Lines, 5"x5" Photograph by Little Eye

Many thanks to Judy Babin from JudyB on Etsy for bringing a donation opportunity to my attention.  Oftentimes I can’t afford to donate money to the organizations that I support, but being able to give art for silent auctions, fundraisers and other events is a real great thing.

Judy came by tonight and picked up the photograph “Lights and Lines” at the top of this entry (framed), and a matching necklace (pictured below).  In all, it’s a $35 value which will hopefully rake in even more than that at their silent auction for the New England chapter coming up.


"Lights and Lines" Necklace, $10 by Little Eye Designs

I also had the opportunity to donate for the second year in a row to Mayo Street Arts‘ “Art With Heart Hootenanny,” a Valentine’s celebration that is meant to raise funds for the Center to make improvements to their venue.

I’m not sharing all this to toot my horn and decree the excellence-that-is-my-bountiful-giving-heart.  No, no!  I mean, we already know that so there’s no point in being redundant.  I am posting about giving of yourself in hopes that other people who are as financially limited as me see their time or talents as a way to give without writing a check!

If you or anyone you know is looking for arts and services donations to worthy causes please be sure to contact me at:  littleeyedesigns-at-gmail-dot-com.  I can donate framed photographs, jewelry, gift certificates, custom magnet and pin sets (for families, weddings and baby showers) and am also a portrait and wedding photographer.  No job is too small for Little Eye!


It’s no secret that I’ve been busy the last couple of… years.  No, but seriously, just as everyone else is winding down after the holidays, taking it easy, waiting for Spring to get here Little Eye Designs is starting new projects and venturing in to uncharted waters.

Enter… The BIG THAW.  Wow!  What started as “Hey, we should put on a craft fair, that’d be cool…” became “Oh my Gosh!  We are putting on a craft fair!!”  Saturday, April 16th to be precise, at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo Street in Portland, Maine.  The fair is called The BIG THAW and by clicking on that anywhere in this post it’ll take you to the fair’s site for more info and how to apply.  We’ve already got some excellent people on board, including Kris Johnsen of Emblem Studio and Meagan Anderson, who collaborated once upon a time and made this thing of beauty:

Kris Johnsen. Meagan Anderson. 'Nuff said.

Don’t you love those zebras??  I think they’re cuddling.  We’re looking at a celebration of all things not-winter and we figured it’d be safe by mid-April to hope for good weather!  We’re very excited to be holding the event at Mayo Street Arts, which in addition to being very community and arts oriented has NEVER had a craft and vintage sale before!  So we’re going to debut in that amazing, brightly lit space in what used to be a church.

So for all the info you need, one last time, go to


IN OTHER NEWS. I love new materials.  I posted awhile ago about the new findings I’d gotten from bunnysundries on Etsy and how they’re going to change my world.  Last night I poured epoxy in to them and will be shopping for brassy, bronzy chain this weekend to make them shine.  I nearly threw up while I was pouring last night because I’m so excited about how they look already.  Around 6pm tonight we’ll know the truth.  If all goes well this will be a great way to class up Little Eye while staying true to the concept of making affordable, attainable, functional art.  I may strictly do necklaces, rings and earrings with these findings but bottle cap pins and magnets will always be in the product line!  Ohhh, *sigh* photos to come!  Sure hope I mixed the epoxy right…

Day 4 of Giving: I spent 4 bucks on you!

Whoa!  What a day.  I tried my hand at barista-ing again after a few month hiatus at Coffee By Design on Washington Ave. today.  There’s really nothing like a short shift in a customer service position in a neighborhood of people you think are great.  Today I talked to Colleen from Silly’s, Ernie, my landlord, Tiff, Marnie of Red Eye Vintage, Jan from WMPG’s “Local Motives” and so many more.  Then I walked down Congress St. for the East End Stroll stopping off, getting stamps, spending little bits of money that were easy to part with and finally entering my raffle in the box at the Yoga Studio at 72 India St.

My window shopping/under $5 spending afternoon got me to thinking about another really easy way to give.  Spend $4 or less on someone you love!

Here are some ideas:

At the coffee shop, people were treating each other left and right to coffees.  Ask a friend to meet you at your favorite cafe and when it’s time to order, foot the bill!  Better yet, if you know a friend’s favorite drinks (Kate loves mochas, Jason loves red eyes, etc.) then on your way to see them, pick one up!

Needle Felted Wool Star Baby Sula by moondogfarms. Click to view Etsy listing!

I landed at the Portland Fiber Gallery on my roundabout walk back home, and for under $5 you can get an ounce of wool and a felting needle.  The woman there was so helpful and didn’t make fun of me at all when I kept on liking wools that were not good for felting.  Woops!  She showed me a good one and I think I’m going to try my hand at making a snowball.  If I do alright, I might make a snowman.  So if you have a crafty friend who has never tried it before, what a nice way to say:  “Here…make something for me!”  😉

Little Eye pins custom made for Metal Feathers (band). Click to view all pin listings at my Etsy shop!

PINS!!  I bought one at Ferdinand for $.50 and felt so good giving Diane my money and at the same time being able to put something cool on my sweater.  It’s so much fun to root through pin baskets in stores and at craft fairs to find pieces that are perfect for people you didn’t even know you wanted to give a little gift to!  Even better that pins are normally under $4 unless they’re a brooch, in which case it’s totally fine to spend more, because they are so classy.

There have to be a thousand ways to show someone you were thinking of them without breaking the bank.  Which is good, because just a week after Christmas and it will be *dun Dun DUN!* tax time!