It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…

Image courtesy of Sara Picard from Beyond the Lens

O.K., I’m going to do a little bragging here…

See that amazing photo above?  (You know you want to go jumping in puddles, too!).  That photographer is my very own daughter.  I’m just a tiny bit proud of her….o.k., a whole LOT proud of her!

Sara started taking photos with the camera we gave her for her 12th birthday.  She’s since upgraded to a fancy-dandy DSLR camera that she bought with money she earned taking photos.  I have to say, she’s taken some pretty amazing shots over the years.

My favorites are her still life photos

She’s also done some great photo shoots for families, individuals, graduates, and delegates, not to mention the handful of weddings she’s been hired to do.  If you check out her Facebook Page, Beyond the Lens-Photography, you can see some of her best shots.  You could even “like” her page if you want to…I’m sure she’d appreciate it! 🙂

Advertisements

Selling Local

I know we’ve all heard, “Buy local!”

I love that concept.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to benefit their neighbors or their own local community.  It’s just plain good for everyone.

But as a producer of goods, I also love to be able to “sell local.”

Thanks to The Merchant Company, I can do just that!

As with all my Monday Maine-ia contacts, I came across The Merchant Company (TMC) through Etsy.  A chat thread on our Etsy Maine Team to be specific (see why I love my Maine team!?)

It was about this time last year when TMC opened their doors.  In their own words, they describe themselves as ” a unique handmade arts, crafts and vintage store with over 80 selected vendors, offering the best in local housewares, clothing, paper goods, jewelry & accessories.”

I share a rented booth space with my pal, Shanna Tice (I know I promised to do a feature on her…I haven’t forgotten!).

I love the shop set up.  All the vendors are hand picked through a jury process, so you know you’re getting great stuff!  And, as vendors, we’ve got the choice to sell purely commission based, or rent a booth space.

There is such a great mix of items there.  Here, let me show you…

Photos from TMC's Facebook album

And here’s a peek at Shanna’s and my booth:

So, if you’re in the Portland, Maine, area, come visit The Merchant Company.  It’s right on Congress Street, #656.  You’ll be glad you did!

Sew Darn Fabulous!

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a great weekend.  It was absolutely gorgeous in my neck of the woods!

And speaking of woods…it’s time for Monday Maine-ia!

This week I want to introduce you to a new and becoming very dear friend of mine, Caren, of Sew Darn Fabulous (you HAVE to go to her shop and check out her banner…it looks JUST LIKE HER!)

Anyway, Caren and I first met this past December when our Etsy Maine Team was having our annual Secret Santa gift swap.  This year I was in charge of collecting all the names and addresses, and when Caren added her information to our list, I saw that she was literally ‘over the river and through the woods’ from my house….o.k., it’s more like a brook than a river, but still…if the trees were cut down, we could see each other’s houses!

So we started talking back and forth and discovered that we’re both stay-at-home moms.  We decided to get together and sew every couple of weeks, kind of a grown-up play date, and we’ve been doing it ever since.  We both really look forward to our time together…it can get pretty quite around the house when kids are at school…or work!

Caren just opened up Sew Darn Fabulous in January and she’s working on a great line of girls dresses with matching doll outfits, but she also makes super fun banners and buntings, as well as adorable hair accessories for little ladies.

Caren’s work is top-notch.  She takes the time to make all of her dresses with french seams instead of using an over-lock machine to finish raw edges.  For those of you who sew, you know the extra time and care french seams take, but the final product is just beautiful!

Not only does she sew, but Caren is a talented scrapbooker.  Her other shop, My Scrapbook Studio, has a fun selection of pre-made albums.

She’s even got one specially designed for Mother’s Day…(hint, hint).

Those dresses Caren makes almost make me wish I had another little girl…almost. 🙂  Maybe she’ll still be making them 10 years from now when I’ve got grandchildren!

Until next time…have a great night!  (See you next week, Caren!)

Mom’s Daily Zen

Hi there! Boy, have I been busy. If you haven’t checked out my new blog yet, I’d love for you to visit! I call it Etsy in Real Life.

In my travels around blog land, I stumbled across a really neat site. It’s called Mom’s Daily Zen, and it’s shaping up to be a great on-line boutique. This is what I saw when I first entered the site:

Cute, right!?

I got in touch with the head of Mom’s Daily Zen, Tiffany, and asked her to tell me about how her site works and why moms will love it. This is what she shared:

Mom’s Daily Zen features the best in handmade products, deals, and giveaways for moms, babies, and kids. We’re a moderated submission website, meaning artists submit their products to us, and we filter and publish what we believe represents the cream of the crop. We also announce deals and sales a few times each week, as well as featuring handmade sellers who cater directly to moms, babies, and kids. Several times a month we host giveaways. Products featured in our giveaways range from pampering mommy to baby essentials to kids apparel.

What makes this website appealing to shoppers is that it is easy to use and brings everything together. Mom’s Daily Zen is one website featuring superior products, ways to save, and freebies! Another reason to choose Mom’s Daily Zen is the fact that it is moderated. Not just any child’s boutique can feature their products, and you can’t “pay your way in.” Only top quality, relevant products, deals, and giveaways are featured, so moms know that we’ve personally screened everything to make sure it is something our moms would love.”

I’m neither a child nor a mom of little ones anymore, but I think I might just have to have one of these!

Featured on Mom's Daily Zen

Stop by Mom’s Daily Zen and see all the other cute things that are there!  Nice work, Tiffany!

The BIG THAW

Good morning!  Did you have a good weekend?  Mine was too short.  Oh well, that’s life!

Anyway…it’s Monday morning, time for the next installment of Monday Maine-ia, yay!

Today I’m featuring an event, and I have to say, it’s probably one of my favorites.  It’s a bi-annual craft fair…spring edition called The BIG THAW, and holiday edition called The Big Chill.

This craft fair is very near and dear to my heart for a lot of reasons.  First of all, I was part of the initial spark that got the whole idea rolling in the first place.  As I recall, the conversation went something like this…

(Etsy Maine Team Discussion Thread, January 2011)

Team member #1:  “Boy, sales are sure slow right now.  Anyone else feeling the same?”

Team member #2:  “Yup!  It’s that time of year!”

Me:  “I was thinking might be fun to have team craft fair, something like “Cabin Fever Craft Fair” or some such thing.”

Audrey of Littleeye Designs:  “That sounds like a fun idea.”

…end of discussion.

…later, in an e-mail…

Audrey:  “You got my planning gears turning and I think a craft fair would be a great idea.  Wanna help?”

Me:  “Sure!  Whatever you need!”

And so the first ever BIG THAW was conceived.  Thanks Audrey!

Audrey is amazing…she’s so creative, and she lives right in town on the edge of the arts district, practically in the middle of the action as far as the creative crowd is concerned.  She found this amazing space to hold our fair in, an old church converted into an arts center and she enlisted the skills of a couple of designer/printer  friends of hers to make us some stunning posters…

Gorgeous artwork by Meagan Anderson and Kris Johnsen.

The space we were renting was small, and we had a LOT of interested artisans, so we had to go through all the applicants and choose the very best (SOOO hard to do!  So many talented folks here!).

The end result…and AMAZING craft fair, cram-packed with unique arts, crafts, vintage goods, and, best of all, customers!  It was such a huge success that before the day was even over there was talk of a sister fair during holiday craft fair time!

I’m sad to say that I wasn’t able to continue being a part of the process, but, come late summer, Audrey was sufficiently recovered from all the hard work she put into the spring event and announced the 1st Annual Big Chill!  Same great location, same quality promoting, same fantastic showing!  Here’s the poster from that fair:

same great artists responsible for the first poster!

And now it’s spring again.  You probably know what that means…time for The BIG THAW #2!  And I expect it’s going to be as fantastic as ever!

and they've done it, once again!

If you’re going to be in the Portland, Maine area on May 12th (that’s the day before Mother’s Day…just a friendly reminder), then this is a must-see!  This is the first one I’m going to have to miss (kids are graduation from high school and college, kinda can’t skip that!), and I truly am sad to be missing out.

Audrey, you’ve pulled off an amazing event more that once, I just KNOW this one is going to be great, too!

Good Golly, Miss Mollie!

In the spirit of connecting Etsy-world and the real world, I thought it would be fun to share some people and places from Maine that I first found on Etsy but have met or experienced in person.  Introducing a new weekly series called Monday Maine-ia!

My first feature is about a person who, appropriately, is a self-proclaimed “Monday” person, always eager and ready to jump into the new week…my dear, sweet friend, Mollie Meserve of Rough Magic Creations (and Rough Magic Holidays, and  Rough Magicals).

I first “met” Mollie on the Etsy Maine Team, but I got to know her better when we decided to partner up during Etsy’s Holiday Boot Camp.  Mollie is the kind of person who, regardless of age, is young at heart.  When she’s in the room (even the virtual room), everyone feels a little happier!

And she’s an amazing copper-smith and jeweler.  With Etsy so full of great jewelry, it takes a true artist to be able to stand out in the crowd, and Miss Mollie, in my humble opinion, stands head and shoulders above the crowd.  I love how she combines the colors and textures of various metals and stones.  And I’m pretty sure she makes all of her own findings.  Now that’s one-of-a-kind!

The first time I met her in person was at a team-sponsored craft fair.  Mollie didn’t participate as a vendor, but she made the long trip from Down East just to meet the rest of us.  The minute I saw her I ran over and gave her a big hug, and got an even BIGGER hug in return!

Oh, and Mollie is the creator of my most favorite pair of earrings:

I wear these almost every day…they go great with all my outfits!

Mollie is also a super star at creating Etsy Treasuries.  She’s challenged herself to make at least one treasury for every day of this year.  Wow!  That’s a lot of treasuries!  And she’s so good at it, too!  You can find all of Mollie’s treasuries here.  I hope you take the time to check them out; they are works of art in and of themselves!

So, there you have it, my first feature of the beauty of Maine on Etsy.  There is so much more to share…hope you’ll join me next time!