Sunday, August 31, 2008

York Beach, Maine - Land of Nostalgia

I got to spend half the day in one of my most favorite and nostalgia inspiring places - York Beach, Maine. It isn't just that I have spent some part of almost every summer of my life there (whether it be a weekend or a few weeks), it's also that York is pleasantly stranded somewhere in the 50's. Not the oppressive, socially restrictive 50's, but the idealized, Shirley-Temple-drinking, golly-gee-whiz 50's.

My husband and I hit all the usual hot spots, our only break from tradition was going to Short Sands with some friends rather than Long Sands. After lounging on the beach and doing some end of the season boogie boarding, we ate at the Goldenrod. Nothing like grilled cheese with tomato, potato chips and bread & butter pickles to make you feel like you are 7 again and that nothing could possibly ever go wrong in the world.

Then it was time to get serious, we played a 10 game series of Skee-Ball at Fun-O-Rama. Once again, I got beat badly by my husband, this time by 7 games to 3. I need to figure out some way to get there and practice without him so I am ready next time.

Inspired by our trip to Fun-O-Rama (despite my crushing defeat), I thought I would check out Etsy to see if I could find anything that captured the glory of 25 cent Skee-Ball and I wasn't disappointed. This screenprint, titled Boardwalk Arcade, was made by fellow New Englander Alisha Gould and I have to say, it's totally awesome. You should look at the other items in Alisha's Etsy shop, a lot of items have the air of nostalgia and the ocean about them without being the least bit cliché. She has some very fun, hip prints, not to mention a kick-ass Queen Elizabeth I art doll. Wow, seaweed, Skee-Ball, and Queen Elizabeth - were we seperated at birth?

We wrapped up our brief visit at Brown's. When I was young I would always get bubble-gum ice cream there because it felt like a super treat. When else would my mom let me have both ice cream and bubblegum? Never. But Brown's made it OK, and I took full advantage. Today I got the strawberry cheesecake frozen yogurt, which I don't recommend. While I did suffer a mild case of food regret, we still had a good time with friends anyway. On some level the ice cream doesn’t matter anymore, it's the experience that brings us back. Which in a way is what nostalgia is - the experience of being brought back, whether or not you were ever "there" in the first place.

Yesterday's Project

Getting ready to go to the beach for the day. Watch out 25 cent Skee-ball, here we come! This is what I worked on yesterday. I had planned to make a few different versions of my bird card and finally got to it. This little bird says "thank you."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

On the Road

It has been great having a long weekend. I am still catching up from crisscrossing the state of Massachusetts in about 26 hours last week. On Monday I drove all the way west to North Adams and then first thing Tuesday I drove in the complete opposite direction to Provincetown. Both were work related trips and in the end I put 540 miles on the Corolla. It was nice because my husband got to come with me (and share the driving) to Provincetown.

In Provincetown I went to the Provincetown Art Association and Museum where I enjoyed a Herman Maril exhibit. I don't think I had come across him before, but it was the just the thing for me to catch my breath between drives and soak up some Cape atmosphere through the light and color in his paintings. This is one of his paintings from the exhibit; unfortunately I don't have the title on hand. If you are down in Provincetown for any reason be sure to stop by the PAAM.

While in P-Town my husband and I got some lunch. Unfortunately I was so starved that we stopped at the first mediocre place we came across that had at least 1 vegetarian item on the menu. After lunch I had a bit of food regret when I saw all the amazing looking eateries we could have sampled. Then we walked around for a bit and saw these great clothespin fish in front of Tristan Gallery on Commercial Street.

I regret not having brought my camera on my trip to North Adams. When I was heading back home after my meeting and was going back over the mountain, the view of the valley speckled with city lights, with the silhouette of the mountains across the valley and an orange backdrop from the recently set sun was amazing. Next time...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Find - Jenny Bag

I was destined to feature this great bag - it has my name all over it! That doesn't mean you can start calling me Jenny though, that right is reserved for my cousin Ben and my aunt Jill. I found this in Piano Nobile's shop, which is a collective shop and is filled with great stuff. I love this bag for its combination of antique letterpress letters and bright, bold graphic qualities. If you like the Jenny Bag featuring Letterpress Print in Sky, you will also love the Henrietta Tote Bag in Sunshine Letterpress Print. Both bags make me want to go day tripping!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Morning of Chrysanthemums

I slept in a bit and then spent the morning reprinting my curry chrysanthemum cards. I decided to add pool and papaya to the mix too so I would have something new for my shop. Get ready corner punch, you have 200 chrysanthemum cards coming your way!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Find - Feeding the Birds

I figured I should post my Friday Find first thing since last week, Friday was over before I knew it and I missed my chance.

I have been admiring all the prints in Hadley Hutton's shop for a while. They are all gorgeous, but Feeding the Birds fits today perfectly. The light and temperature have been changing and I am starting to get that autumnal, back to school feeling, which this painting seems to have too. It feels like the last day of summer spent in a park before going back to school or heading south for the winter.

All of the paintings in her shop are beautiful and atmospheric like this one, so be sure to go to visit her Etsy shop, or check out her website

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My First Fair

So in about 1 month I will take part in my first craft fair as a vendor (I have been to plenty as a shopper, most recently the SOWA open market with my husband. My husband "loves" craft fairs almost as much as he "loves” yarn stores but he goes with me anyway, which is why he's so great).

I will be taking part in the stART on the Street Festival in Worcester on September 21st. I had learned about it during my last trip to Worcester.

I will spend the next month getting ready, reprinting some cards I am low on, and hopefully printing some new cards. I will try to decide if it is too early to print holiday cards (Will you be buying holiday cards in September? Will you even be thinking about the holidays in September? Oh, the mysteries of seasonal retail). Don't worry, I'll keep you posted about this endeavor. I am excited and nervous, but think that no matter what it will be a good experience.

Now begins the craft fair countdown, T-minus 32 days...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Front Page Day

I was happy to get an email from my mother-in-law telling me these cards were on the Etsy front page. It is exciting every time. These and my peony thank you cards always seem to be the ones that get picked for treasuries, and thus have made it to the front page a few times each. I got over 400 views on the chrysanthemum cards, 30 new people hearted my shop, and I sold a pack of cards.

This all helped brighten my day since I am a bit under the weather and have been laying on the couch too tired to do anything, but not tired enough to sleep, somewhere between hungry and nauseous, hot and cold, and with what would appear to be two black eyes, but really only dark circles from a night of no sleep.

Etsy has a way of cheering you up when you are blue. Of course, Etsy is also fickle at times and holds back "the love" but, when it's good, it's good.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Invitation Factory

I spent the day printing custom wedding invitations and RSVP cards for a customer on Etsy. I am happy with the results despite some challenges I encountered while printing. I still have some work to do, I have to mount the invitations onto card stock tomorrow.

Our multi-purpose room (library, office, closet, gym, and studio) became Gocco central today. Here are some photos.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Find - Mini Prints

Each Friday I will try to highlight a great Etsy find here. There is so much incredible stuff on Etsy, I could do this for a million years and not run out of things to highlight. I will feature a variety of peices, but expecct to see a lot of prints...

I found this amazing mini print set in Restless Things' shop. I love it because the prints have a sense of mystery and discovery about them. It's like you've leafed through an old book and found someone's notes or pressed flowers and you wonder about the person who put them there in addition to the item that had been secreted away. And, the colors are great. There are more great finds in Restless Things so check out her shop.

Adventures of Maisie Dobbs

I have been doing more reading than crafting, I read the third Maisie Dobbs book in about 24 hours. It is one of a series of mystery books set in England between WWI and WWII, and I initially started reading them solely because of the gorgeuos covers. This is the first cover that got my attention. They are fun, light, and as my mother-in-law calls them, "potato chip books." There is some ambiguity - the characters and their actions are in shades of grey, but everything is neatly tied up at the end of each book, as it should be. Sometimes you need a happy ending.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Nest Full of Stars

I know, I know, I am a little treasury obsessed right now. But check out my nest treasury before it comes down on Tuesday afternoon.

On Friday my chrysanthemum cards were in a treasury that made it to the front page of Etsy and the cards sold after 45 minutes and 250 views. It was an exciting day. I am on vacation now, in the not-so-wilds of PA. I will try and put up some photos of the landscape here, it is really beautiful.