30 April 2008

Midcentury Modern Love

A little shop update today (in an effort to stop feeling bad about my previous post). Stickers made from recycled paper with midcentury modern prints and patterns.

I Miss My Hands

Well, obviously they're still here in the literal sense. But aside from making some stickers while watching Becoming Jane (meh) last night, I've done very few projects lately. Oh, I have plans, including an update of classic manila library cards for the shop--- but there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day. Or at least not enough hours in the day where I enjoy the process in that meditative craft "flow."

I left the house at six this morning to get to school and am just getting home now, at six in the evening. I'm sitting down to a beer and am going to make an awesome mushroom ricotta pizza shortly, but first I need to catch my breath. At least it's spring, and even if I don't always have time to pull out my materials, I'm trying to stop and smell the tulips.

Julia over at minecreations also blogged about this problem today. Much more eloquently, I might add.

29 April 2008

Paper Goods for Cupcakes

When we were married last August, we had cupcakes instead of a traditional tiered wedding cake. And then, just to be silly, we cut them with a silver heirloom cake cutter that my grandparents used at their own wedding (I wanted tiers of Rice Krispies treats, but that's another story for another post).

I wish I had known about these filigree cupcake wrappers from Paper Orchid then (first seen on Paper Crave)! They're so pretty and cute.

26 April 2008

Moving Sale

As regular readers know, my husband and I are moving to New Mexico at the end of June. Because I'm the sort who hates to move, I've decided to host a "Don't Make Me Move This" sale in my shop! Purchase any item and receive a second item free (higher price prevails and shipping still applies).

Spring in Boston

I felt so lucky to be on vacation this week. Granted, a lot of time was spent in mundane (and somewhat scary, if it can be both) chores like contacting moving companies and getting fingerprinted at the police station so I can be certified to teach in New Mexico. And there's that pile of research papers I need to grade over the next two days that looks a bit daunting . . .

But all the same, spring in Boston is so lovely. There's so many tulips and daffodils and trees in bloom right now, and it seems like everyone has emerged from winter hibernation in a fabulous mood.

I thought I'd share this vintage postcard (another from my collection) of the Boston Public Gardens. The swan boats are so charming, and are still around (and still operated by someone pedaling it like a bike!). I highly recommend a little boat ride around the lagoon if you're ever in town.

25 April 2008

Red Petals

In sticking with today's apparent red theme (see the prints), I updated the shop with more stickers. Pretty, pretty.

House Wish List: Prints

One of the reasons we are moving is to relocate to somewhere more affordable, where we can (hopefully) buy a nice, roomy house. With the time I spend on Etsy I always find myself adding items to my mental wish list. I especially love all the prints on Etsy, so I thought I would share a few with you.

I definitely want a "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster from sfgirlbybay (who also has a great blog, by the way). I think the vintage red color would look great in a kitchen. I want one in pale blue for my dream studio, too.

Another print I have had my eye on for some time is this one by theblackapple (another artist whose blog is a regular read). Doesn't it make you feel cozy and warm? I love the title, too--- "Cold Toes Warm Heart."

I've also been in love with Jennifer Judd-McGee's work at swallowfield. Her collages are so pretty and cheerful, and she sells them as originals as well as prints. "Red Quilt" is one I really love:

Hmmm, I'm sensing a theme here with the red. I like lots more, too, that I'd love to share later. And I need to go make something today. The weather is so beautiful, but I haven't taken advantage of it to make those cyanotypes I wrote about earlier.

24 April 2008

Simple Supper: Pasta, Pesto, and Beans

Boil pasta. At the last minute, throw in some trimmed green beans. Boil for another minute. Toss with one can of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed) and pesto. Mangia!

On Photography

I woke up this morning resolving to take the camera with me when I walked the dogs. Why? Because I really hate photography. Which is ironic, considering that in high school I toted a Pentax everywhere and fancied myself a undiscovered Ansel Adams.

The problem is that in my head, I visualize Martha Stewart-type arrangements, with color and composition of simple, little things looking achingly pretty. But it never turns out that way.

So, the only way to improve is to practice, right? So here are a few shots from my morning walk. No better subject than spring in Boston. There are more on my Flickr page.

23 April 2008

Camp Chickadee Postcards

It felt so good to break out the Gocco again. I had taken a break to experiment with buttons, but I made these postcards yesterday and am really pleased with the way they came out.

I can definitely see my Vermont childhood in these--- a tent by the lake, a sweet little chickadee, a rustic pinewood font--- it's like summer camp all over again.

I'll be listing sets in the shop later today. If you'd like to see a certain quantity, please feel free to email me!

22 April 2008

Postcard No. 1

Awhile back I shared two vintage photobooth pictures and some Easter postcards from my collections. I think I failed to mention, however, that I have been collecting vintage ephemera since I was a girl. Yep, born to be a dork.

When I was in grade school there was a huge barn full of amazing antiques in the center of town (one of the benefits of growing up in Vermont). I thought it was terribly sophisticated to go in there and browse, but the only thing I could afford were postcards.

I think the one above was one of my earliest "acquisitions." As a kid and a huge Anne of Green Gables fan, I couldn't imagine anything more romantic than a note from a secret admirer.

This must have been in the back of my mind today, since I broke out the Gocco again and made some vintage-inspired postcards for my shop (though mine are more cute than romantic) . I've never made postcards before, and I hope they are a hit! I'm waiting for them to dry so I can photograph them and list them tomorrow.

21 April 2008

Marathon Monday

Today is Patriot's Day in Massachusetts, otherwise known as Marathon Monday. Basically, the whole city shuts down because no one can go anywhere! I forgot this until this morning, which means things like calling movers for estimates will have to wait . . .

But it does mean I can update the shop later! I might also wander down to Beacon Street to watch a few marathoners on their way to the finish line. Chesney, our Jack Russell, likes to howl at the runners as they go by.

I don't have a fitting photo for this post (I need to take more of day-to-day life), so I'll just share another set of magnets from the shop.

20 April 2008

Eggs and Asapargus: Recipe Link

From the comments here and on my Flickr page, it seems that eggs and asparagus are an appetizing springtime dish to a few folks.

I thought I would quickly post a link to the recipe, which I originally got from Vegetarian Times. It's super easy and quick.


After posting about my ideal plate wall twice, I had to share one of my favorite Etsy shops, Trixiedelicious. She embellishes vintage plates with witty (and often dirty) catchphrases. The results are both pretty and hilarious.

I'd love to own the Seven Deadly Sins tea plate set above.

18 April 2008

Lisa Congdon's Plate Wall How-To!

Remember this lovely wall of plates by Lisa Congdon I posted about awhile back? (Well, I didn't post it originally, but I was totally enamored with it and shared a link via Poppytalk.)

Lisa just posted a tips on building a decorative plate wall on Bluelines.

Green Drendobium Orchids

Several blogs, including two of my favorites, Style Me Pretty and Housemartin, have posted images of green and chartreuse drendobium orchids lately. I'm really drawn to them, which is funny, because a few years ago I think I would have found them too '80s, too gaudy. Right now, though, they seem to be finding their way into flower arrangements in fresh and pretty ways.

{All images via Flickr: 1. Dendrobium emma green, 2. P8130008, 3. Dendrobium Suree Gold, 4. dend. burana green}

17 April 2008

I Feel Like I'm Cheating on My Gocco

But we're just "taking a break." It's so fun to repurpose the childrens' encyclopedias I picked up. This is a set from an encyclopedia entry on different state birds (just don't quiz me). I love the one in the center with the lilacs.

15 April 2008

Eggs and Asapargus

I made an easy spring dinner last night. Eggs and asparagus (and cheese and thyme). I broke the yolks on this one by accident, so it doesn't look as pretty, but it was still good. Served with a ciabatta from Clear Flour (our favorite neighborhood bakery) and red wine. Yum.

O Canada

Another shop update with these Canada-themed magnets. I'm always threatening to move to Canada. Prince Edward Island in particular. Perhaps I should hold on to these.

(I made my husband some New Mexico magnets in anticipation of our move--- a zia symbol, a map, and a roadrunner. So cute!)

14 April 2008

Mushroom Magnets

I managed to update the shop with new magnets tonight. I think my current favorites are these kitschy mushrooms. I'm loving the unexpected pink and green.

13 April 2008

Lists . . . and Boston

So we came to the realization awhile ago that we are leaving Boston in a matter of months--- months! We got slightly tipsy and, in our stupor, made a list of things to do (and do again) before we leave the city.

I went to college here (like lots and lots of other people), moved away for grad school, returned, and have had a love-hate relationship with the city for twelve years now. As much as I feel ready to leave, I'll also be sad to go. I was walking the dogs this morning along the Charles River, and the sunrise, the scullers moving across the water, the ducks and geese along the banks and the daffodils in bloom--- all of it made me rather sentimental.

Here's some of our list for the next few weeks:
If you are not a local and are visiting any time soon, I highly recommend doing all of the above, and then some.

12 April 2008

Custom Stationery

Completed two custom stationery projects this week . . . one is a Mother's Day present (don't worry, my mom doesn't read my blog). My sister and I would always buy my mother a hanging fuschia for Mother's Day when we were children, so I thought I would send her some stationery along those lines.

The other project was for Jessica, who won my blog giveaway. I'll be sending her custom stationery (with the name of her Etsy shop, Ivy and Mae) out in today's mail!

Microloans with Kiva

As my husband and I get closer to the big move, I get more and more nervous. I'm an anxious, Type-A person who tends to get easily overwhelmed. And the more anxious I feel, the more distracted I become--- hence the compulsive button-making lately.

I was discouraged by my own job search the other night when I decided to finally set up a microloan on Kiva. For those of you who don't know about Kiva, it's a nonprofit organization that arranges microloans for entrepreneurs in developing countries. You can give as little as $25 to help someone meet their goal, and you get updates on their progress.

I initially selected a woman named Ami from Togo (above) because she only had 8% of her loan met. A few days later, she has met her full goal! It felt so good to get the ball rolling.

What I like about Kiva is the same thing I like about the handmade movement--- individuals supporting other individuals' endeavors, the idea that your actions, no matter how small, can have an impact on someone else. What a welcome and positive distraction from my own worries.

08 April 2008

More Fun With Buttons

I thought I would just share some pictures of more of my new buttons . . .

I decided to do themed sets. Here is a selection of bunnies:

And a hummingbird:

And some mod illustrations of Australian wildlife:

It's Here! Bright Buttons and Magnets

My addiction to using repurposed paper to create patterned stickers has developed into a new project: using my new button maker to create cheerful buttons and magnets made from 1950s childrens' encyclopedias. It's kitschy meets vintage meets green.

Each set is unique and no two buttons are alike. I'll be listing themed sets (like the songbirds above) in my Etsy shop over the new few days and weeks!

07 April 2008

Sweet. Summery.

When I get bored and in a creative rut, I like to look at pretty pictures on Flickr. Yesterday, on a cold, rainy Sunday, I found this cheerful set of decorated cupcakes from Hot_Bake. Summer and sweet. What could be better?

I also have an exciting new toy to make more items from repurposed paper. Pictures soon (when the clouds here finally lift).

06 April 2008

Home Sweet (Fantasy) Home

House lust has fully set in . . . every Sunday night, my husband and I buy a bottle of our favorite red wine (Rex Goliath, if you want to try it) and browse realty sites and gush over charming adobe houses in Albuquerque. The real challenge has been finding something pre-1950!

Besides a kiva fireplace and beamed ceilings, I'm also excited for a larger studio space. Right now I work in our living room and am constantly shifting my supplies (or thinning them out) to make room for our day-to-day needs.

I'm in love with the Organized pool on Flickr, which shows off people's orderly domestic spaces and collections in the prettiest sense of the word.

{All images from Organized Flickr pool}
1. kitchenwall, 2. All Kool Aid, all the time., 3. Eve's Eggs, 4. Silk Threads, 5. Untitled, 6. white, 7. wooden clog collection, 8. Untitled, 9. tall stack, 10. Dimensional Letters, 11. from the kitchen window drawer, 12. beautiful things from the sea, 13. skinny_030508_sm, 14. collection from nature, 15. blue candles, 16. Blogged by Poppy Talk

05 April 2008

Organize, Recognize

Before you gush, this isn't my studio space. I just wish it was. Jan at Poppytalk is currently profiling artists' studio spaces, and considering I work mostly in the alcove in our living room, I'm both green with envy and pale from embarrassment. I fantasize about having some studio space once we move this summer.

The picture above is from Country Living, and it's an idea I'd love to put to use someday. I love the reused glass containers (I recognized that the jars are from my favorite French jam, Bonne Maman) under the shelving.

Sticker Addiction

I've been addicted to making these stickers lately and updated the shop with more listings.

I really enjoy using repurposed materials in my items--- not only because it's more ecologically sound, but also because the results are really interesting to me. Even in simple objects like die cuts and stickers, I see patterns and shapes emerge that weren't as noticeable in the original material.

Right now I'm obsessively tracking (stalking?) a package from UPS that will help me create a line of more goodies made from repurposed materials. I took a trip to one of my favorite city thrift stores this week and stocked up on a lot of supplies that are calling my name . . .

02 April 2008

Pink and Grey

Every Mother's Day when we were young, my sister and I would give our mother a fuschia plant. I have no idea why. We just did it.

My mother no longer lives near me (well, at least not until this summer!) and I think of these as a "portable fuschia plant," stationery that can brighten someone's day this spring. These are listed in my Etsy shop in sets of five.

Perch Earrings

I've had the pleasure of meeting the very sweet Amy Olson in person and getting to know her over the past year.

More recently, I had the pleasure of acquiring and wearing these Perch earrings--- I got compliments all day today! They're the perfect mix of rustic and vintage.

The design is available in Amy's Etsy shop.

01 April 2008

More Cyanotype

Another cyanotype by Victorian botanist Anna Atkins. I like how this one is a departure from the usual ferns and plants. It's interesting to see the way feathers translated once the cyanotype was exposed to light.

I'm waiting for a sunny day to experiment with sunprint paper. Aside from ferns and feathers, I'm scoping around looking for shapes and objects that might be interesting. Lace would be cool.

Moving Announcements and Other Projects

I just finished creating these custom moving announcements for a couple that bought their very first home in Seattle. Their new home is a funky turn-of-the-century Victorian, which fit in so nicely with the images I'm drawn towards . . . The client was very flexible, open to ideas, and was a joy to work with!

It's so much fun to be creating custom stationery for the special events in people's lives.

I have the day off, so I'm going to try to update the shop with new Mother's Day cards soon. And . . . I have some very fun equipment being delivered in the next few days!
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