A Week in Pictures

Cash and Jason surveying our seedlings, mostly salad stuff like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and mesclun mix. But we've got some summer squash and basil in there for good measure. Yum.

Jason and I finally learned how to use the Yudu. It's definitely a machine meant for soccer moms, but to burn a screen and make a decent print for beginners is pretty sweet. Next task is to learn how to mix our own emulsion so we don't have to pay for those ridiculous sheets. Still! Bath Salts t-shirts are on their way!

Little K turned 3 last week, but we celebrated tonight. She is so interesting at this age - learning how to be shy (finally) but also regaling everyone with her sense of humor.

Ice Cream Cone Shaped Cake. Deliciously sweet, I think we all crashed about 10 minutes after each having just one teeny bit of it!

My favorite photograph this week: Cash blisses out on tissue paper under the coffee table and the excellent dinosaur print 'tablecloth.' She's a crowd pleaser while the other darn cat runs away and hides, which is fine because he smells a little funny most of the time, so it's probably better that way.

Spending unusually large amounts of money on unusual tchotchkes at the Prides Corner Flea Market

Perfect little objects, like this 4 inch tall kerosene lamp, perfectly usable and perfectly in tact, are definitely worth $10, even for a cheapskate.

We've been eating remarkably well, and almost entirely from the international market, Mittapheap, on Washington Ave. in Portland, ME. Neighborhoods need to support their international markets, frozen crickets and all, because where else will you find plantains, rice noodles, nag champa, sriracha, Vietnamese coffee supplies and pocky under one roof? Nowhere else.

Hey-yeah! I’m a winner.

Secrets Inside Just for Me!

Last week I participated in the giveaway Chrissy-jo from Kindred Images and Creations held on her Facebook fan page.  And guess what?  I’m the winner!  Extra exciting because Chrissy-jo is a member of my favorite Etsy team, the Maine Team (obviously it’s the best).

So Many Goodies

The intoxicatingly herb-y package arrived in the mail yesterday, and with some nice, wintry late-afternoon light I had a chance to photograph all the goodies.  I’ve already used the comfrey healing salve on my aching neck + head (swollen sinuses for both of us this weekend, makes for a headache-y house!) and can’t wait to use the bath goodies.  The salve was so soothing and not overpoweringly scented.  Love at first rub.

Head over and ‘like’ Kindred Images and Creations, or visit the Etsy shop here!

Ahh, the goodies again

Want Want Want: OOAK Monkscloth Bandana from Legacy Arts

Gimme gimme

I’ve been a bit grabby lately.  First she wants a recycled rope doormat, now she wants a painted, one-of-a-kind monkscloth bandana.  What’s next?  Probably something just as cool.

Let me explain!  Mentally, I’ve been in ‘clean out’ mode since the little niece finished opening all her presents on Christmas morning.  I’ve got four WhoFoo bags packed to the gills and waiting to go to Goodwill.  That’s pretty good, but I still need to purge a little more.  Naturally, when you get rids of bags and bags of stuff you don’t need/want/like any more there’s an impulse to replace a little.  So we don’t actually need a door mat, so we don’t actually need a bandana, but so what?  They’re awesome, I’m awesome, so it’s only natural that we should be together.

So anyways, there’s my justification for all past, present and future ‘want want want’ entries.  If you’d like to take a look at all of Legacy Arts’ offerings, you can click here to view Jason’s Etsy site.  Bandanas are machine washable and come with a button latch.  Perfect.  I found out about these, and the other products Jason makes, when he was a vendor at this year’s Big Chill craft fair at the Mayo Street Arts Center.  Urban, rugged, and each one a little bit different.  Want want want.

Thinking Ahead: Valentine’s Day

Nothing Says "I Love You" Like a Morning Constitutional Outdoors

Only seven weeks away, and if you make a week’s allowance for shipping in time for February 14th that really only leaves six weeks.  This year the name of the game is preempting the seasonal trends.  Two months seems like a long time, but for research, development, execution, photography and listing it’s not that much!

Above is a popular photograph I sold last year, available both as an 8×10 print, or a 8″x8″ photograph framed in a 10″x10″ frame.  The photograph is of an outhouse my Grammie has outside her cabin in rural VT, which she’s using as a toolshed.  Let’s also not forget that on this very same photo-expedition in the woods behind her house I also saw a HUGE BEAVER gnawing on a tree, thought it was a baby bear, and promptly ducked behind the biggest tree I could find lest its Mama Bear found me to be a threat.  But then after a bit I am thinking to myself “Why is that baby bear chewing on a tree?” and quickly remembered the beaver pond was due east.  Ha-ha!  The pictures of the beaver aren’t the clearest, but if there’s enough interest I may throw a snapshot up on the blog.

Coming Soon to Little Eye

I’m also excited to report I’ve done a little Photoshop, graphic design fun time and came up with the above graphic as a future ‘set of 3′ magnets + pins.  I’ll also be making mix n’ match earrings and barrettes with the designs as well as pendants.

We used to have a bar here in Portland called The White Heart, a spoof off the famous UK watering hole called The White Hart.  For those of you in-the-know, you are totally aware that mature stags (appx. 5 years and older) used to be referred to as ‘harts.’  Now they’re just plain awesome.  I’m really digging these graphics because although they’re clearly seasonal, they’re applicable any time of the year.  I was considering doing a pink/red version of the set but something about that feels wrong so it’s just going to stay as is.  I might be persuaded to do red/baby blue since that’s my favorite.  In any case:  tell your friends!  Or don’t tell ’em and get them a nice, $5 set of 3 pins or magnets as a little way of saying “I ❤ you” this Valentine’s Day.

~~~

You know what else is happening around Valentine’s Day?  Our band, Bath Salts, is playing its first show up in Brunswick with excellent acts:  Foam Castles, The Rattlesnakes and Berth Control.  Details to come – but you should come hang out with us!  Ok!

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.

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!  🙂

Peaches in the Summertime, Apples in the Fall

If I can't have the one I love, I won't have none at all

That’s the boyfriend, about two years ago, picking apples with me at Apple Acres in South Hiram, ME.  We went again, today and apropos to those “Shady Grove” lyrics, there was a bluegrass festival happening at the orchard, and the apple festival in Cornish, ME.

And it was annoying!

The more I’ve come to know myself, the more I love solitude in places that should be solitary (apple orchards, mountains, beaches) and I love streets teeming with people where they should be (cities, lines at city hall, grocery store deli counters).  So, our day trip west to the rolling hills of Hiram turned in to more of an epic walk from a satellite parking lot, a mad dash to get our apples, and a disappointing wait for apple pie in a line that snaked around the gift shop.

15 lbs. of Apples!

Enter:  good news.

The apples we bought (15 lbs give or take) were a LOT cheaper than we were anticipating – so that was good!  And we had a really excellent drive around route 160 through the hills and along the Saco river, which you really can’t shake a stick at.  And I managed to get some awesome shots of apples before my camera’s battery died:

Dangler

Bumper Crop: Everything was pick-able

Cortlands!

 

So now, a few hours later (ohh, just 11:40pm) I have an apple pie in the oven and still, an enormous bag full of apples for various sauce, butter, crisp, salad, sandwich and more purposes.  So despite the crowds and the mad dash for apples we’ve got this year’s supply in hand and have officially begun the ‘summer winding down’ process.  Although it was warm enough today for the beach, I’m already unpacking and folding my autumn sweaters for these excellent, crisp days that are coming our way.

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!