Mug Collection: Hearthside Buffetware

Vintage 1970's Mug

Ok, so I don’t think it’s actual Hearthside Buffetware but it’s definitely done after the style of these mugs that I’ve been seeing EVERYWHERE lately.  I like them a lot.  This one’s listed in my shop at $6.95, if you’re local let me know and I can forego the shipping cost if you’d like to pick up!  It’s got a little chippy, but not on the sipping part of the mug.

Want Want Want: Maine Rope Mats

Uh HELL YES for wiping my feet!

I moved to Maine when I was 2, yes 2, wee little years old.  For the die-hards, that means that I’m still ‘from away‘ and that the locale previous to the coast off the Casco Bay area was the San Francisco Bay area is even more offensive.  But to me it makes no difference since I don’t remember those beautiful, sunny, avocado-tree laden hills of the California coastline.  Mmm free avocados…  All I remember is growing up in the manic depressive, muggy and humid then snowy and blisteringly cold, climate up here: Down East.

When my aunt and her brood moved to Maine they were even more enthusiastic about adopting the state than we were:  within years her eldest son was a lobsterman off the waters of Isle au Haut.  So I use that cred every now and again to convince non-believers of my truly rural status despite my urban origins.

Even more cred to my cred would be if I had one of these awesome, recycled Maine Rope Mats from Cox Pond in South Berwick, ME.  As you know, I’ve got a weak spot for ‘things made from other things.’  I also hate throwing away bottle caps, cardboard boxes and really anything that could be used for something other than clogging up land fills and chomping up energy at the recycling facility before its time.  That’s why I double-love these mats.  Check ’em out here!

Lobstercentric Home Decor that isn't cheesy...

 

Super Sunday

Socks for Sale!

Yes!  I finally took the pictures I wanted of my favorite new thing to make:  socks!  The above foot warmers are made with 100% Peruvian wool and are SUPER warm.  Don’t worry about sweaty feet, though, because the wool will wick away moisture while keeping your toes warm.  The ankle-high sock is $29, and the high top sock is $34.  Each pair is made to order, and if you have any special requests I am happy to try and accommodate.  Please specify shoe size (or foot length, from back of heel to tip of big toe) for perfect fit (or, if you’re not sure, ‘small’ ‘medium’ or ‘large’).  These will be going up in my Etsy shop before the weekend is up so come check it out!

Delicious Treats Only Take 30 Minutes

I’m excited, because tonight we’re going to Brian and Tara’s house for a fire.  Because I love fire so much, it doubles the fun of hanging out with friends.  I am going to bring my camera and do weird things with it!  I made the brownies above for the event, and because Brian and Tara are in a band called the Rattlesnakes this concoction is now called ‘Rattlesnacks’ in my mind cookbook.  All you really do is add Reese’s peanut butter chips to brownie mix, but sh, don’t tell.  I did these while I was simultaneously making chicken salad/chicken broth – so with a total of maybe one hour in the kitchen I managed to make lunch, a food staple and dessert in one sitting.  Plus I got to wear one of my vintage aprons so… totally worth it.

Lots of bottle caps

Lots of bottle cap work yesterday, today and tomorrow.  See how each of those has a little jump ring in them?  Well.  Each jump ring must have a hole made for it.  Then the hole needs to be sealed after the ring is put in.  Le sigh…

More Socks on the Way

Started this pair to fill the monotony between bottle cap batches.  A typical day goes like this:  come home from work (7am-4pm), throw stuff on a chair, sit on the couch, turn on the Cosmos, lean over bottle caps, every hour take a stretching, sitting up, dry time break and knit.  Eat dinner at some point, bottle caps, knit, repeat.

If you haven’t seen that applications are open for The Big Chill this December 3rd, then you should click on this to download your application now!

I must be manic today.

Recycling Clothes at Its Finest

Click to View Listing from Hand Me Down Designs, $35

You know that really awesome piece of clothing that you can’t live without but then you start… expanding… then it’s a little too small.  Then it gets a stain.  Now there’s a hole in the zipper.  Oh, darn it – now your favorite skirt is a weird, swiss-cheese sausage casing that you try to wriggle in to once a week with no luck.

I finally parted with my favorite red corduroy skirt, and I’m glad I did.  I donated it to Malaika of Hand Me Down Designs and she made a fantastic Fall bag out of it (see picture above).  The skirt was cut on the bias and I love that that shows in the body of the skirt, with the contrast of having it run vertically up the strap.  Great browns were added – it’s so cool to see my favorite skirt renewed and possibly someone new’s favorite bag!

Great job, Malaika – keep up the good work!

If you’re interested in donating your weird, swiss-cheese sausage casing clothes (or just ones you’re tired of) to Malaika to give them a new life shoot me a note and I will get you her contact information, or you can convo her on Etsy.  Making old in to new is a sense of satisfaction only topped by the fact she gives you a coupon for a $5 credit to her shop when you donate a bag of clothes!

Where are your feathers coming from? A few reasons you might want to consider skipping the extension trend…

Roosters, actually. Thousands of euthanized, uneaten roosters from Colorado. Photo copyright Audrey Hotchkiss of Little Eye.

I’ve had something stuck in my craw for a few months now, and perusing Etsy’s tips from the Merchandising Desk (September edition) I decided it was finally time to resolve some unanswered questions and feelings I have about feather extensions.

About halfway down the page in the “Trending Topics” category they state:  “Feather earrings:  still going strong.”

Yes…so it seems.  Ok, crazy Audrey, why is that a problem?

Well — if you run a search for “feather earrings” on Etsy you get over 30,000 results.

When you run a search for “feather earrings humane you get exactly 72.

~~~

Whoa!!  I was expecting there to be a discrepancy but that is just f-ing ridiculous.  The real kicker is that now, about a century and some thirty years after feather fever swept America in hat-form, no one actually seems to be aware that millions (yep.  millions.) of birds are being plucked/bludgeoned/slaughtered in the way of that“Ooh, that would look so pretty attached to my scalp!” mentality.  The Audubon Society took great pains at the end of the 19th century to inspire legislation against the hunting and killing of birds like great blue heron and egrets that were otherwise destined to rest, sometimes in full-on taxidermied form, on the macabre coiffures of the gentle lady-folk.

~~~

Let’s back up a little, here.  I am not, by any means, discounting that there are people out there who are responsibly collecting and crafting feathers in to earrings, or whatever.  I’m not saying that those 30,000 feather earrings are created by monsters.  I eat meat.  Sometimes I even eat meat from 7-11.  I wear leather.  Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and my cats are scurrying around my feet I kick them (nicely…?) out of the way in my sleepy stupor.  So I’m not riding around on this high horse saying it should stop – I’m just saying we all need a little awareness that feathers have always and will always come from being attached to the skin of a bird.  What you want to do with that information is up to you.

~~~

If you just gotta jump on this trend, though, I suggest perusing the selections (and doing your reading) from the ‘humane’ search and see what you can find.  Here are some lovely ones from LoveLifeWear:

No bird died in the making of these earrings... but strangely, 3 people did. Freak feather-wrapping accident! Joke. Click to View Listing from LoveLifeWear.

And, for a little extra reading on the topic I’ve found these informative articles about feather fever:

-Stylist Kristin Jackson explains why she’ll never offer feather hair extensions in her salon

-Ke$ha and Steven Tyler are totally stealing food out of the mouths of fishermen.  Way to go, crappy ‘musicians’!

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

FREE SHIPPING from Little Eye on Etsy

Click Here for Shopping with Free Shipping!

Hey duders — guess what!  If you spend $10 or more on any order in my Etsy shop you can get free shipping by entering “ISPENT10” at checkout.  All one word, all caps.

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.

New to my Etsy Shop: Beachy Photographs. Also I ate at a fancy restaurant.

Sometimes, covered in bottle caps, I forget that I’m actually a photographer.  It’s refreshing to dive in to the archives and see what might look nice in my shop display:

Mussels and Seaweed - Click to View Listing

Washing Ashore - Click to View Listing

Lighthouse. Dirty (Negative). Click to View Listing

All these were taken about a year ago at Preble Light in South Portland, ME.  My friend, Kendyll and I went driving around looking for a place to shoot pretty photographs of her.  There was a rainstorm during our drive and we were like “Aw, crap,” because no one particularly wanted to get wet (although in retrospect:  good photo op).  But then the skies parted, the sun shone through the mist and all the photographs came out with this vintage-y light and soft, smooth lines.  Too bad my negatives were so dirty… but I think it adds to them.  Some more will be going up tomorrow, along with some fireworks pictures from Boston and some other random ones I found.

Click on this picture to vote for the Maine Team 4th of July Challenge

In other news:  the Maine Team 4th of July Challenge is officially up and voting goes through July 3rd.  Visit the Facebook album here and “like” your favorite listing.  I’d implore you to vote for Mollie and my’s aluminum star earring and necklace set, but in the spirit of the birthday of democracy I just urge you to vote whichever one you like the best.

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Also — tonight we ate at the Salt Exchange, because our LivingSocial deal was up.  Hmm.  The food is so freaking good that it’s a shame the front of house isn’t as well trained as the back of the house.  I’m not in to trashing restaurants that I eat at because I’m generally a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl so I will start off by saying that the 4 dishes we split were just about the most well constructed flavor parties I’ve tasted ’round these parts, and this girl’s even been to Fore Street.  The proportions are perfect and you really don’t need to eat that much to feel satisfied (we were fine splitting four dishes).

Only problem is I’ve got handfuls of years of front of house restaurant experience under my belt, and I have a problem not projecting ‘what I would do’ when I see someone making service mistakes.  We kept on hearing the hostess tell people that she would seat them as soon as she can, that she was just waiting for menus to come back.  Now, I get this — because sometimes that is what it is but it doesn’t make sense to your average diner.  They think to themselves “Oh, well we can just sit down and get our menus after,” or, worse — she suggests you sit at the open seats at the bar and there are two menus right on the counter when you get there … just too much information.  Less is more.  “Your reservation was for 6:15, I will seat you as soon as I can.”  (We were there early).  Serious lag between our ‘1st course’ (first 2 dishes we ordered) and ‘2nd course’ kind of truncated the delicious mouth and tummy experience.  Because the portions aren’t huge it’s really easy to move from course to course pretty quickly, so when you’re caught waiting 20+ minutes between salad/mussels and pork/seafood the stomach starts to grumble again.  Same thing when we were finished with 2nd course – the check came right away but we waited for a good while (at least 5 passes of the server by our table) with the check hanging off the table with my card right in sight.  We opted to switch it out for cash and took off after we decided we just couldn’t wait any longer.

So about the food!  So excellent.  J. and I decided that Salt Exchange is probably best if you’re going out for drinks and want ‘a snack’ because the $8 Mussels is pretty excellent.  9 mussels plus some bread, pork and onion was really flavorful and totally worth our money.  I didn’t see the dessert menu (if they have one) but it’d also be really nice to sit at the bar, split a dessert and have some coffees.  The caesar salad was great, and pretty good portions considering they ‘warn you’ ahead of time about ‘small plates’ and how that means you should order ‘3-4 per guest.’  Uhh… they must be making that recommendation based on the average American’s consumption at meal time, cause we were totally find with the 4 total that we picked.

Mmm pork tenderloin was our main course and we had a crab crostini to pair with it.  It had the best damn lime reduction…sauce…uhh… ever to dip the crab in.  And here we are, hours later at 10pm and I am still content.

So, there it is – trying something new.  Not that I’m snitty about my food at all – generally speaking we are most frequently diners at Rosie’s, Ruski’s, Hi Bombay!, Sengthai and Marcy’s.  But it’s nice to dress it up a little every now and again…