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!

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Java Jewelry at Coffee By Design

The biggest business news of 2010 for Little Eye Designs is the launch of Java Jewelry at Coffee By Design.  When they approached me at the beginning of this year about an exclusive line of jewelry for their website and four amazing locations in Portland and Freeport, Maine, I was tickled pink.  I had worked at CBD wearing various hats for three years and could not be more excited about tailoring a line of bottle cap jewelry to the company that I know and love so well.  (P.S. The biggest personal news of 2010 is that I became an aunt.  That little girl is a spitfire.)

The fruits of these labors can be seen here, at the Merchandise page of their snazzy new website.  Seriously, Tugboat Creative have outdone themselves.  The java jewelry features six images, my favorite of which is the flowering white Caturra plant from Jardin, Colombia, the prettiest stage in the coffee consumption process (other than maybe the part where we get jazzed up on caffeine and make art!)  This is the picture:

Installation of jewelry cases and necklaces, hair clips, rings, magnets and pins happened at the end of last week in all three Portland locations.  To see these epoxied confections in person check Coffee By Design’s website for directions.   You can also order the jewelry online for the non-Portlanders out there.  Hint:  you can also buy a pound of Coffee By Design’s micro-roasted which basically gets me through early mornings, late nights, after-lunch snacks and pretty much everything else without falling asleep.  I recommend the Costa Rica La Minita which is not only delicious, but coffee from an estate whose philosophies you can feel good about.  I think one day I’d like to visit them to take the creative process one step further and photograph my own images of cherries and flowers…something we’re a bit wanting of here in the cold North East.  Cameras and Costa Rica?  Why, yes, thank you very much!

I think it’s safe to say any time I begin a new, challenging undertaking (like whipping up dozens and dozens of these necklaces!) new ideas are formed and add to the overall craftsmanship of the work I do.  Because I didn’t want beer brands sullying the purity of the coffee images I decided to make some attempts at finishing the backs in CBD’s signature orange, white and black color scheme.  Well, I thought it was so great that now all the Little Eye Designs bottle cap jewelry will be sporting bright colors with splits and splats and gradiants of all colors.  Some experimenting with paints, sealants and finishers guarantee that none of this stuff will rub off on your decolletage!

Annnd if I do say so myself these are pretty much the perfect gift for coffee lovers everywhere.  Matching latte art hair clips, a ring with a big ol’ coffee bean in the middle of it, or a set of magnets for the fridge or pins for your messenger bag.  To boot, the folks at Coffee By Design have decided to make it easier for you to stock up and are offering 10% off of 4 or more magnets or pins.  Perfect!

So excited to share with you this new development after two months of hard work and creativity.  I love coffee, I love staying busy and I love doing custom work so this was truly a pleasure.  Please share any feedback or questions you have about the product or the process!