Love Like Hers and a Lobster Boat, too.

It wouldn’t matter if I went blind tomorrow because the ancient expression on her young, young face has been scratched in to my memory.  I don’t generally post little kid pictures on the internet because there’s this thing where they have no choice, yet, but already by the time they are ready to be interested in the internet they have an internet presence.  It’s weird!  Like a million little child stars or something.  But I had to make an exception because I like the composition, K’s expression, and the fact that even in bright mid-day sun one can still catch amazing light with enough tiny, little curls.

This picture comes from a series of images I took when the Northhaven/Isle au Haut branch of our family was in town.  Family visit got coupled with boat-buying excursion and my 15-year-old cousin purchased a lobster boat with the money he’d earned hand-hauling traps for the last three years.  Congratulations, Ethan!

Captain Ethan

We’re so proud of him and I’m looking forward to playing sternman for a day if I can manage to get over the bucket-as-a-bathroom system and invest in a gallon of sunscreen before we head out.  Either that or I can come along and take pictures like these:

The Wheel

Some Levers

Peek-a-boo

Etsy Shopping: The Golden Rule

Lately, thank goodness, I have been making some sales in my Etsy shop.  Where I normally depend on wholesale and consignment “brick and mortar” shops to keep Little Eye Designs afloat, this year is showing me already that there might be an internet market for these little bottle cap things!

It’s all fine and good to reap the benefits of a put-together shop and a network of customers who appreciate quality work.  But I realized this week that in order to truly be a part of the community and keep Etsy (and my business) strong, I’ve got to shop there, too!  It’s a good thing I’ve been looking for some summer essentials this week.  Please ogle all the goodies I got:

Pinecone and Chickadee - Click Image for Website

Ladies’ Wolf Tee, $28 from Pinecone and Chickadee.  A lightweight, airy tee with a suspiciously poet-y design is perfect for throwing on over a bathing suit after an impulsive river swim in the summer.  I spotted this at their table at The BIG THAW and couldn’t get it out of my mind.  Coupled with the fact that I just found a metallic, leopard print gold and black mini skirt at Find (the perfect match) this just had to be mine.

SJohnsonPhotos on Etsy

“Searching the Dial” set of 3 Postcards from Shaun Johnson, $5.  Don’t forget to write!  I don’t know where I’m going on vacation this summer but wherever it is I think jotting down some notes to friends on the backs of these is just about right.

Bread and Butter Vintage: More than just the basics.

Vintage Italian Sunglasses, $28, at Bread and Butter Vintage.  O.K., don’t get me wrong, everyone knows I’m a cheap lady who scoffs at ‘marked up’ items at Goodwill ($7.99 for a dress??!  Only if it’s Pucci!) but these glasses are so unique, so perfect, so interesting, so… mine.  I bought them a couple days ago which unfortunately means you can’t have them.  But you CAN have any number of things sold at Bread and Butter Vintage’s Etsy shop, which is awesome, and the photography is magnificent.  Besides, summer ladies can never have too many tortoiseshell glasses.

So basically.  Next time you think to yourself “I need to get some sunglasses” or “a lightweight t-shirt” or “postcards” or really any luxury (or even essential) item turn your computer’s internet browser towards Etsy rather than jumping in the car and heading for Target.  I mean, we all love target and you can’t beat clearance underwear for $1.25 but I’m really thinking now (with the boost in sales and the happy feeling I get when the mailman comes) that giving back is a huge element in being a part of it all.

Photo Shoot

Have not used my twin lens camera in months, now. Is it because metal gets so cold in the winter or is it because I’m cheating on her with a DSLR?

In any case, I’m looking to take pictures of someone this Sunday. 2+ people for about 24 exposures worth. I’m either going to need you at sunrise or sunset… so let me know if you’re interested!

You Either Stay Up Late or Get Up Early

…or Both.  Sometimes I do both.

I’ve been rather neglectful of this little corner of the internet.  I like to think of it as the cyber equivalent of my bathroom which, up until I had guests over exactly seven days ago, had been ignored in the same, increasingly inconvenient way.

A little recap, here is what I’ve been busy on:

Poster by Meagan Anderson and Kris Johnsen. $8 on Etsy!

The BIG THAW Portland – she is coming to a Mayo Street Arts Center near you and it’s going to be just brilliant, I am sure of it.

Shallots, $6.50 for 5"x5" Print

I’ve been listing photos on Etsy, which while not totally profitable is getting my work included in lots of treasuries, so I cannot complain.  Above is one the community just couldn’t get enough of the first couple of days it was up.

Metal Feathers is Good.

The ‘busy season’ has started at work again, so I’ve spent less time trolling the internet for awesome things.  But in the meantime, you should probably just check out Mike’s tumblr.  Which is fun to watch because Metal Feathers, my boyfriend’s band, is on their sometimes playing, sometimes heckling the people who are playing.  All in good fun, much like their new album, Contrast Eats the Slimey Green, which is so worth listening to.

Set of 6 Bottle Cap Wine Charms, $8 on Etsy

Lastly, but not leastly, I’ve been working on a new project do develop bottle cap wine charms.  I’m also in to the idea of flipping these guys upside-down and doing custom orders for weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, etc.  The wedding market is truly untapped by Little Eye Designs.  Why, oh why?  First of all, I love weddings.  I love shooting weddings.  So why wouldn’t I furnish them, too?

This is just a little dose for now.  If you’re jonesin’ for some smarmy writing it’s probably better if you go visit The BIG THAW for awhile until all the dust settles in mid-April.  That’s where most of my efforts are, these days!

A Heap o’ Accomplishments

Oooh-la, what a week.  About Wednesday (blizzard day) I got hit with the winter doldrums, big time.  Really honestly for the last four days it’s all I can do to get out of bed before noon and make food for myself.  I’ve been infected by Kate’s love of cheesy lifetime movies and it’s really not helping my case at all.  In fact, I’m watching one now.

While I learn the real life story of Andrew Luster, MAX Factor Heir (and sex criminal) I thought I’d jot down my progress this week… to remind me that no matter how lazy I am I’m still pretty darn productive!

Weddings! Oh, I’d like to book some more 2011 dates – if you know anyone getting hitched, send ’em my way — here’s what I’ve been working on this week:

Boutonierre Fastening

Newly Married!

All About the Details

I’ve been working on prints, framed pieces and albums from orders from a wedding I shot last year.  Fun!  It’s like reliving the day and all its touching moments — I’m not afraid to admit I am the wedding photographer that cries every time (every.time.) the bride walks down the aisle.  Hormones or just naturally sensitive – who knows?  🙂

New things. For awhile now I’ve been thinking about (and talking about) trying something new with the jewelry.  I love my bottle caps, and I’m going to be churning them out in magnets and pins to no end… but I wanted to class up the necklaces and rings a bit… and also try out earrings!  Here are some pictures from the first run:

Birches and Blue Sky Ring and Earring set – $18 by Little Eye Designs on Etsy.
Dill Shadows – The Herbalist’s Ring $9 by Little Eye Designs on Etsy.
Lights and Lines Filigree Pendant and Drop Earrings Set – $25 by Little Eye Designs on Etsy.

Craft fair. Super sweet!  The BIG THAW applications keep showing up on my doorstep and it’s amazing to see all the talented people who want to spend a whole day with me!  Click here for The BIG THAW website.

Also… I’m guilty more than anyone of keeping to myself in the winter time.  No matter how good your intentions of ‘finally taking up snowshoeing’ or ‘getting out more this year’ at the beginning of December you will always, always be holed up in your second-story apartment waiting, just waiting for the cold to go away.  This weekend I overcame!  It was Kate Sullivan-Jones‘ birthday and we had lots of fun (and whiskey) at her apartment.  Here’s a pic of me there with friends and wearing an awesome t-shirt (that got lots of compliments) that I traded a photograph for with Repurposeful Punk.

Click for Carmenmerie of Repurposeful Punk’s Shop.

Oh!  And here is a shot of my photograph in her living room.  Looks great, Carmenmerie!

Brighton Lights in Winter - $25 Framed Print by Little Eye Designs.

OK, everyone, back to work for me tomorrow morning so time to hit the hay.  What have you all been working on this week?  Leave links below, if you’d like!

Little Eye Shopping Spree: Bezels!

I think I’m going through an identity crisis.  Truly, I knew that bottle caps wouldn’t be my end-all, be-all for the rest of my life.  Wouldn’t that be awful if it was!  At the turn of 2011 I found myself craving a new adventure and I have decided to take a step-up by honing my skills and investing a little more time, money and finesse making rustic, unique pieces that stem from my original vision.

First off:  don’t worry!!  Bottle cap pins and magnets are still in the wings and I’ll be churning those bad boys out forever.  And I’ll definitely keep on creating the necklaces and hair clips as those do very well for my customers.  But!  Stay tuned at my Etsy shop and at retail locations that sell Little Eye for some bronzy, brassy jewelry that I’m so, so excited about.

I went on a shopping spree yesterday and picked out some pendants, rings and earrings (earrings!!)  I can’t wait.  Bottle caps were a little prohibitive in the earring department as they’re super heavy and not all ears can handle the weight!  These findings are dainty but bold, light but substantial:

 

Click for bunnysundries shop on Etsy. Findings galore!

Right?  Right??  I also got something similar in post earrings that come a little smaller.  I’m so freaking excited.  Did I say that already?  The biggest challenge with these and the rings will be to find a method of pouring the epoxy so that the bezel itself is on an even surface.  Otherwise I am afraid I may ruin yet another coffee table.

There are also some filigree, antiqued pendants with enormous bezels that I’m really excited to try out – I am picturing black and white photographs and oval crops that harken to an older age of photography.  Oh!  Also this new line will only be my photographs, no found images – save that for the quirky bottle caps!  Check back for the results in a couple of weeks…or a few weeks.  Or a month.  Let’s just say be safe and check back a bunch because most likely I’ll have funny things to say in the meantime.

Honing the skillz, people, honing the skillz.

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!

Day 2 of Giving. Photographs and Small Drawings.

It’s day two of “25 Ways to Give Without Really Trying” and I’ve been thinking all day about what to write about.  After some deliberation, a drink and some fudge at Angela Adams‘ jewelry collaboration opening and an evening of clipping coupons (such a dork) I’ve finally decided:

Give photographs and/or small drawings to people.  Real ones.

little eye loves photography!

It’s no secret that I love photography.  If I didn’t, it wouldn’t make very much sense to come home from nine hours working in a photo studio to clip out 1″ diameter circles of photographs and found images to put in to jewelry.  That’d be psychotic if I really, really loved, say, football.  Then I’d spend my days coaching and my evenings at Sports Bars.  But that is someone else’s path, not mine.  So I’m sure you’re not shocked that I think it’s a nice way to give!

guaranteed sunshine when you send pictures of cute kids

The no-brainer is to send updated kid photos to family members who haven’t seen them in awhile.  Easy enough to do over email or Facebook, but why not go the extra mile and order a print, stuff it in an envelope and mail it out?  That way Aunt Emmie can put it on the bulletin board by her desk, on the fridge, or anywhere she might need a little brightening up throughout the course of the day.

What about the single and/or childless?  Seasonal pictures or just genuinely good photographs are always nice, too.

You'd be so pumped right now if this was yours.

When I was a bartender in Boston I worked with probably one of my favorite people in the world, Maryanne.  In addition to being just about the most sensible, forgiving and compassionate person I’ve ever met she’s also freaking hilarious.  She would draw ‘greeting cards’ made out of folded receipt tape with animals and slogans drawn on them.  I know I have some in boxes somewhere, and one day when I find them I will come back and post them here.  But how sweet to open up an envelope or folded piece of paper someone hands to you to find a drawing, personally scribed for you?  So good.

For prints, I’d suggest Photo Market’s really easy-to-use online ordering at www.photo207.com.

look out, little stick figure girl!

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…

Photo Shoot SNAFU for the ages!

Ok, ok, ok.  Quick story, this was great today.

 

GREAT afternoon. Good job, guys.

 

Kate Sullivan-Jones and I had made plans to use her mother’s AMAZING digital camera (amazing to us because we don’t have to then scan our negatives in order to get digital files to) to make new listings on Etsy.  About halfway through, Kate said “Oh my god, we’re out of frames!”

Because neither of us had made the leap to digital yet, there were no extra cards lying around so we flipped through the images (deleting the “bad” ones) to make room.  Finally we’d gone through the whole batch and got back to set.  On the first frame the camera then says “Check battery pack.”  Again – no back ups for us, we’re new at this.  So then Kate goes to plug the charger in the wall and almost simultaneously…

THE POWER GOES OUT.  Awesome!

 

Kate, modeling, before the power went out!

 

We waited for a minute or two to see if it would come back.  Right before she had plugged the charger in she was also talking about making us pasta.  Oops again, no power to do this.  So we decided to go up to the gas station to see if they had some power and samosas.

 

photo credit D.S.Lobley

 

Cool!  They had samosas, well just one actually, sitting atop the counter in the middle of a store with no power.  I bought the usual fare of Doritos, A&W Root Beer and a Snickers bar.  I can’t help myself.  Kate just went for the samosa.  The guy tallies our items in his head (no register!) and we leave.  About halfway across the parking lot Kate has taken a BITE out of the SAMOSA which instead was a doughy pocket full of rancid meat and moldy fur!  Ahhh!  No, Kate, no!!

After she spit it out I said we had to go get something different for her.  She felt really bad for some reason, although if I just had taken a mouthful of furry meat I would definitely be more angry than sorry.  I told the guy we needed to exchange it and he said he was making more samosas (grease was still hot, so it was still cooking!) and Kate was brave and wanted a new, fresh samosa that had just been cooked.

So we waited outside on the stoop.  Portland is so quiet and peaceful without power.  No usual hum and buzz of unnecessary electronics.  As we’re sitting out there I’m like “Ugh, what is that burny smell?!” and Kate’s like “I don’t know!”  Then the guy came out a couple minutes later and pointed off to the right, and ran over and started kicking this little thing in the parking lot that was on fire.  “What is it?” and he yells back  “It’s a sock full of tobacco!”  True as truth, that’s what I had smelled a couple minutes earlier.

Everything after that was pretty normal.  We went back to Kate’s with a fresh samosa, got things set up for a couple days from now when had more time, more daylight and more power being on!  Not too bad for a Sunday afternoon.

Check soon with my Etsy site:  http://littleeyedesigns.etsy.com for the work we did today!