new in the shop!

I’ve been stocking up my shop in anticipation of Picnic Holiday Sale, which will be Sunday, December 15th (for any of you who might want to shop the bestest craft sale in Maine before the holidays).

This year I will be selling under the name of my new project, Maine Forager’s Field Guide, which will feature not only goods from Little Eye Designs but some products from friends/Maine makers as well as oodles of vintage sweaters, plaid shirts and vinyl.  I’m pretty excited about it.

So Little Eye has been up to some new things.  In no particular order:

Harbor Seal blank greeting cards, set of 5.  $12.00 on Etsy

Harbor Seal blank greeting cards, set of 5. $12.00 on Etsy


Airstream Greeting Card – Blank Inside. $12.00 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer.  $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer. $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer, $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer, $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer, $14.95 on Etsy.

Seed Stitch Ear Warmer, $14.95 on Etsy.

It’s so nice to have pulled the knitting kit out of storage and cast on these projects.  For me, late fall and early winter is inspiration for curling up on the couch and knitting a few inches.  Know what I mean?



printborn02As far back as I can remember, selling has always been super exciting for me.  When I was in first grade, my friend and I bought erasers, pencils and other junk and set up a combination lemonade stand/gift shop at the edge of the yard.  I don’t think we made too much money, but I do remember a rather substantial stack of ones about 6″ thick (folded) that I would cram in my little pockets whenever I was ready to open up shop.

In my teen years my dad used to take my brother and I to thrift shops on weekends in the city and we could always get one or two things.  This is an especially exciting adventure for young people, because the price tags are reasonable when your income is essentially zero, plus it is WAY more interesting than picking one of twenty barbies off the shelf at a big box store.  Thank you, Dad, for that thrifty training.

In college, I followed my heart rather than my wallet to art school where I gained tremendous satisfaction in turning real, lived experiences in to frozen works of art using photography as a medium.

Now, as my interests focus on sustainable practices I’ve found that two pastimes  one education have effortlessly meshed in to the perfect amalgam of supplemental income.  The satisfaction of the hunt, then the find in thrift stores, yard sales and other various windfalls is exciting.  Then the sculpting, brushing off and photographing the artifact, making it new again.  Lastly, the thrill of the sale and of course the economic benefits of doing so.  Just perfect.

harbor seals + more

IMG_1529I just can’t get enough of these little baby things, lately.  This harbor seal doodle is an original creation, and we’ve been screen printing onesies in any size for the last year or so, and orders really seem to be picking up.  I decided to add some greeting cards (center) to the repertoire and am just fantasizing what else I can print it on!

Additionally, if our little harbor seal was to have a friend who would it be?  I’m so partial to our native animals.  Another seaside creature or should I venture in to the woods?  Puffins, starfish, sea urchins, sand pipers, terns, humpback whales would all be a pleasure to doodle.  But bobcats, black bears, deer and snowy owls are nothing to shake a stick at either!

favorite find: week of 2/16

usabox11It was Valentine’s Day last Friday, and we are certainly not the romantic types.  If there was a type we had to assign ourselves to, I’d say J.R. and I are more the sarcastic type.  I reserve most of my fawning-over for kittens, little babies with curly hair and messy mouths and (last, but not least) things I find in my favorite color combinations.

Red, white and blue are one of these – patriotism aside (so many flags to adore in these colors!) I just really, really love the way they work together.  So short of painting our living room like Ol’ Glory it’s nice to know that I can just throw in some accent pieces like this amazing, 1950s-era roller skate box that I found at the Pride’s Corner flea market!  It’s listed in our Etsy shop, so you can experience the thrill of the find, too!

snowy day, bright prints

IMG_1482Good lord, it’s happening again:  6-10 inches of the white stuff started falling this morning just before I left for work.  It’s an excuse to break out the bison boots again, and actually nice to cover up the muddy patches since there’s two more months, minimum, of winter in the north east.  Better to look at a soft blanket of snow than the alternative.  The picture above is from this afternoon’s sweep-off of the car after leaving work a wee bit early to beat the rest of the storm.  Oh yeah!  If you’d like to follow me on Instagram, my name is littleeyedesigns.

Guess what, I couldn’t help myself when I drove by the deserted parking lot at the thrift store.  I found some gauzy, cotton dresses in pretty prints that are just begging for an early Spring.  Me too, pretty dresses, me too!  These will end up in the shop or on Ebay sometime in the next week, so definitely check back!


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



screen printing in the rubble

just look at that pegboard!

just look at that pegboard!

Making this move has had its ups and downs.  Sometimes you’ll be driving in the car for what seems like DAYS just to get to a decent Thai food place.  But then you go downstairs and realize:  “What??  I have a workshop?!  A real, live workshop!” and then suddenly pad thai accessibility doesn’t seem like such a deal breaker.

It should be noted that the nearest, decent Thai restaurant is only a ten minute drive away.  It should also be noted that I know I’m a crybaby.  City people are so spoiled.

Right now, the workshop kinda looks like this:

mystery boxes

mystery boxes

Even though we’re working with only 20% of floor space I had a chance to break out the ol’ screen printing tools and go to work today.  I had two onesie orders to fill from a couple weeks ago when all our stuff was in limbo, and Metal Feathers needed t-shirts so I got to work.

Click on the image to buy your own Harbor Seal Onesie!

Click on the image to buy your own Harbor Seal Onesie!

I made five of these in different sizes to complete the current stock I have.  If you think the harbor seal design is cute and want one of your own just click right here.

metal feathers

metal feathers

Then came the MFers tees — this was a tough design to print, because the glasses are so thick and the writing was pretty thin, so getting the ink saturation was difficult.  I had to go over it once and then a second time, with emphasis on the ‘m’ and the ‘s’ at the bottom/top of the design.  The guys said they came out well, though, so I guess my work here is done.



There are a lot of lovely things about the new house, but one thing in particular is the utility sink in the workshop.  Just genius.  So now instead of running up to the kitchen or outside to the hose I can just walk my screen over to the sink and wash it, no threat of getting ink in non-crafty places.  Well, I can wash it conveniently right after I drop it on the floor and start screaming at the Yudu machine.  Seriously — it’s the dumbest machine to rely heavily on because I refuse to learn the right way to do anything.  Anyways, check this out:



Mostly it was just really relaxing to actually start making things with my hands again.  They’ve been busy with packing boxes, lifting boxes, scraping walls, ripping up carpet, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning for the last month.  I also picked up some light, summer knitting (100% cotton happy beach time hair bands… coming soon…) to do while we watch the Netflixes.  Handwork is essential to me and I’m glad I don’t have to put it on the back burner anymore, even if there are about 100 boxes that need to be unpacked…

New Year, Refreshed Vision


snowed-over beaver pond at my grammie’s house last week – the little hump to the right in the background is their lodge, the dam is on the left but hard to see

Lissa, over at Barnacle Bags, inspired me this weekend because she came up with a word that she will keep in mind for the coming new year.  Take a look at her blog, it’s pretty lovely.


My word for the year, or at least for now, will be ‘simplify.’  I’ve always loved simple, clean things and am inspired by  stark white landscapes, pared-down closets with only a few, quality options, lack of clutter.  Oh, clutter, I know you well.  So this year (or, for now) I will work on simplifying, cleaning out and the reduction of all those little noises in my world that begin to drown out the real music when they get out of control.

Happy New Year to all of you!

merry xmas

from little eye (aka audrey)

from little eye (aka audrey)

Happy tidings to all you out there in cyberspace.  Our very fake, little bright green tinsel Christmas tree is bring very real warmth to our home and every day more presents are appearing beneath it waiting to be delivered to their new homes.  Little gifts, meant only to show we were thinking of you, but yes, with the prudence of a healing economy and, of course, two people who are saving, wishing and dreaming of a house one day (soon?)  Still, the little pile of wrapped sentiments, tied with wool remnants and little, handmade tags makes me feel happy and abundant.

The niece and I made sugar cookies last night while Ya-Ya fried up some wontons and rice for family dinner.  Little one is talking up a storm, and now we are all dreaming of days past when she was much quieter, and much less demanding.  🙂  It turns out, now that she’s a fluent English speaker, that she’s even more assertive than any of us thought.  We continue to be a family of strong women (and strong men, too).

There is a short, snowy road trip in our future – heading west (to Vermont) for the New Year.  On the docket are:  short hikes to the beaver pond, a hopeful Molly the Moose sighting, wood stove stoking, cooking and reconnecting with family, spoiling a cousin who recently had knee surgery, looking at old, old books, goats, chickens, and all under the shadow of Mt. Mansfield, a rocky formation that looks like the face of a man forever watching the sky.  It also happens to be the tallest mountain in Vermont, and is an item on the bucket list that I haven’t yet completed, in nearly 30 years of going to VT.  Next year?

Here’s to wishing you well, safekeeping for you and your family, and always striving to put good things in the world despite the challenges against it.  Happy Holidays!

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...