I Spy With My Little Eye: Ardent1 (Etsy)

Apple Seed Ring, $80

Doesn’t this ring just grab you?  It’s a remarkable piece from Anne Arden McDonald whose Etsy shop, ardent1, is hands down my favorite find of the week.  She creates jewelry from organic matter which is then cast in metal.  The process is fascinating.  A relationship develops from the pieces origins and its current, metal state that makes me stop, look a little longer.

Green Onion Earrings, $100

Although I am a soup and spaghetti budget type of girl in her middle late 20s, I’m totally digging McDonald’s prices because they’re confidently saying “Hey, this isn’t easy, but the final product is really gorgeous so you should save up for this if you really love it,” which I probably will, because I do.

Graphic Fern Ring, $80

Plus, I’m a sucker for anything remotely fiddlehead-y.  Now I’m off to spend some time at McDonald’s website to get impressed and inspired while anxiously watching election results.

Goodnight, my little voters!

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Vendor Spotlight: Beadin’ Path

When I moved back to Portland a full grown adult with dozens and dozens crafting and art-making needs, I was quite overwhelmed with the many suppliers in the area.  While they all had great selection, my allegiance always lies with the greatest overall customer service experience.  Every now and again I’ll be sharing these happy places with you so we’re giving credit where credit’s due.  🙂

Today I’d like to point out the amazingness that is Beadin’ Path in Freeport, Maine.  Right across from the fire station.  Searching, searching, searching for a very specific item: ring backs.  Who had it?  They did.  And what’s more — who had it and made a point of communicating with me via phone and email when I made an inquiry?  They did.  And when I went to go pick the items up the in-store service was friendly and thorough as always.

The vintage ring backs I love and use for my bottle cap rings are adjustable and have a really excellent industrial feel.  I know I’ve been Java Jewelry happy lately, but really who shouldn’t be?  So here is a Java Jewelry ring using these awesome rings:

i love big chunky rings

side view

I would definitely recommend signing up for their mailing list on the website for news about classes, contests, new product and much, much more.  I get the emails about once a week and they are superdeeduper.

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!