i am a slacker

I promised that I would try to blog more regularly and then I go an entire month without a single word. I suck.

So, what has been going on the past few weeks?

Street fair season ended with a bang! I consider the Belmont Street fair to be my street fair home base, since it was the very first one I ever did! (way back in last summer) People seem to really dig the booth display, which is awesome to hear! I got a few customers asking how long I have been doing this and they all seemed shocked that I have only been at it for a little over a year. Either complimenting me on my booth and or the quality of my work. Yep, the warm fuzzies were flying all over the place that day. Not to mention the amazing amount of love shown in the form of sales. It truly was amazing. Thank you everyone!! Made me want a store all of my own that much more. So I could have somewhere I could arrange (and rearrange) displays all day long and also so that I could get to interact face to face with my customers every day… that is the dream. Someday.

Not to mention that I have wanted to do window displays ever since I was a little girl thanks to this fantabulous movie!

Mannequin, you know you love it.

Speaking of shops. Over the lapse Elevation Trade in Sellwood has joined the list of places carrying my jewelry!! They are still working on building out their brick and mortar shop, and hope to have a grand opening in early October. Until they do (and I will post photos and more info at that point) you can find them online at Elevation Trade.

Hmm what else? Oh, I applied to the Crafty Wonderland‘s Holiday sale! A two-day sale in early December that features mostly local artists, crafters, and jewelers. It is super steep competition and there are tons of seasoned jewelry artist who usually sell there, so we will see. Until they announce the chosen vendors everyone is to keep their fingers crossed!

I designed a few sock designs for the Sock It To Me locals design competition! Maybe just maybe (again very stiff competition) someday you will be able to wear some KatMariee designs on your feet! They will be posting the 30 finalist in their facebook page on Sept 28th and at that point it is up to you! Vote. Vote! Vote!!

Other than that I have simply been swamped trying to stock back up from the street fairs in time for the holiday wave, trying to soak in the last few days of summer, getting some yard work done before the rains return, and trying to take a few good deep breaths! (at places like Lardo! Have you been there yet? Go. Get the Pork Meatball Bahn Mi and fries. Thank me later.)

Lardo=meat heaven

This time I will not make any more promises of doing this more often, or that I will be back again regularly… just keep checking back… In the mean time, know that I appreciate you stopping by, even if it is more often that I do! Oh, and here’s this too, ’cause it has been playing in my head since I googled that pic…

Happy… Monday?!? (what?!)       We can build this dream together!!

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happy accidents

It has been a while since I have posted anything here. Honestly, since I have started this page nearly 95% of it was written while I was at my boring office job… it’s a little slow and mind numbing sometimes. I need a little distraction here and there. But about two weeks ago I got the super duper exciting news that I am being moved (part-time, but I’m not focusing on that) into the design department!!! (WOO HOO HAPPY DANCE) I am now working on logo development professionally! This is so exciting, it has me genuinely interested in what I am working on at work. It is a novel idea, and a completely new experience for me… and I am loving it.

However the blog is suffering.

So, here I am sitting at my laptop blogging… FROM HOME!? Crazy, I know. No wonder people do this in coffee shops… I am at home,  I feel like I am supposed to be doing something else right now: making jewelry, painting, laundry, pulling weeds, fixing the downstairs toilet,finishing season one of Downton Abbey, making dinner… the mental lists go on… yoga… to deal with the never-ending list…etc.

Since I am new to this blogging while I could be doing something else thing, this one will probably stay pretty short. I just wanna share how really happy and fun things can come from DamnIt! moments.

I was working on a few new pairs of wooden earrings the other night. All disks had already been coated, images placed, resin coated and cured for two days and ready to be drilled and finished! In other words, through the longest and most time-consuming parts of the process. There I was drilling away, thought I was getting into the zone, and all of a sudden my drill slipped. DAMNIT! I don’t have a picture of the carnage, but suffice it to say one earring was now without its mate. And I was mad at myself for working too quickly and not paying attention and all the normal mood swings that come with messing something up. And tossing a good hours work into the trash can… Then I decided. No. I still like the one that was left over. I set out to make this set of earrings, so I WILL make this set of earrings one way or another. It was time for a Tim Gun moment. I could make this work!

So I opened my case and started digging through my findings… looking to see what I had on hand that I didn’t already have plans for. And between all my forgotten gun metal headpins, my deep seeded love for all things 80’s, a single Tabor tree disk, and the love of asymmetrical earrings that my big sister instilled in me at a very young age: these babies were born.

they are truly truly truly outrageous

Frustrating accident = my new favorite earrings!

I may just have to make more of these just because.

Also, have you guys seen the accessory version of Project Runway? I could totally rock that.

Oh, and you know who else wore asymmetrical earrings? This lovely lady.  

 

I promise to do this more often… blog, I mean, not have happy accidents… but really those are good too… so maybe I mean both.

feelin’ the love

This summer I have done two street fairs so far.

I. Love. Them.

the booth!

The people, the fantastic feedback, the encouragement, the sense of community, the people watching! It is all fantastic. But most of all its the in person aspect. Selling your product online is one thing. You can track your page views, you can keep an eye on how many etsy-ers give your items the ❤ and of course the email congratulating you on your latest sale will always be a welcomed surprise in my inbox! But, meeting your customers face to face is on a whole different level. Watching someone see your product for the very first time. Or seeing the expression on someones face when they are really into a certain necklace. Or being able to listen in on comments made between friends about your work when they think you aren’t listening. Hearing a girl try her best to convince her boyfriend to buy her a pair of earrings. Or that moment when your painting caught someones eye from across a stream of people flowing down the street, then watching it pull them all the way into the booth. Moments you will never get to experience when selling online.

i also love the display aspect …. so much fun!

Let me reiterate I absolutely love my online shoppers and supporters. You guys are who got it going and keep the momentum up. Thank you all so so much!

Also, the talking to people. That alone is a huge step for me. When I began this all I was able to talk myself into selling online because I can do it all by myself, sitting at home alone and not having to ‘sell’ myself or my work. I am not a sales person I tried that once and hated every moment of it (for more on that, check out my about page). So needless to say diving into the street fair world was a huge step for me. But the people made it so much easier than I had anticipated. Support and encouragement from friends and family is one thing, but hearing someone you have never met before in your entire life tell you that you are talented…. that is a fantastic feeling. Or the word – beautiful. Maybe I am truly just a girly girl in need of that superficial confirmation, but to hear a stranger tell you that your work is beautiful with such conviction in their voice and sincerity in their eyes… it feels pretty darn good.

Honestly, after a day full of that I could care less whether or not I sold anything. Bottom line: I think street fairs ROCK! And there will be plenty more in my future!

Hubster caught giving up a weekend day just for me… I am a lucky gal.

I wish I was ballsy enough to book myself solid through the summer and do one every weekend, but alas, I like to sleep in too much and the Hubster might kill me for taking away all of his summer weekends. I really do appreciate and love him for all of his help, support and constant encouragement, so I suppose I have to let him have a few weekends off now and then.

Last one for this summer will be Belmont, September 8th! Come and feel the love with me!

Side note: at both of the street fairs this summer a strange kismet was at work and I was placed right next to the same booth of really nice and inventive guys. If you live in the Portland area and have a composting bin that you can’t figure out what to do with… you should probably get yourself a Kitchen Compost Caddy… really they are nice people.

Song of the moment:

You know how you can hear a song and it takes you right back to a certain place, or time, or reminds you each and every time of so-and-so, or brings you plummeting, head first, right back into that one specific point in time with all the visual, tactile, and emotional trimmings?

I woke up with this playing in my head this morning.

**Note I realize I am posting this on a Friday and as I mentioned in my last post Fridays are reserved for 80’s…. sorry, I started writing this on Wednesday… I am a little slow at this blogging thing.

But to make up for it, and because it is necessary for all Fridays, here is your 80’s fix: Happy Friday! 

cheers!

Okay I have been talking about them since Christmas but I have finally gotten enough sets completed and ready to sell that I can tell you all (all 3 of you) about it!

I am now making wine tags!.. wine charms?… glass markers?… what would you call them? Well whatever you would call them, I am making them!

Right now we have a few different sets. But there are more to come!

Sets of various trees. Sets of one tree done in different colors. Sets of words done in a ransom-note cut-out-letters style. Pre-packaged sets of 4 or 6 or pick and choose your own!

Pretty Pretty Wine Tags! (dirty dirty floor… please ignore)

When my friends and I get together with a few bottles of wine there are extra special nicknames and catch phrases that eventually come out. And actually this is how these little guys came about. Whenever there was glass confusion one of my friends used to try to identify her glass based on the chapstick lip marks left on the glass…. not really a reliable source. While I do not fear my friends have any major diseases or anything, my wine is MY WINE. So we needed a better method. We have so many fun drinking phrases it really lent itself well to this idea. And thus was born the very fist experimental set of wine tags. We have used them a few times and all went well. Also, drinking with a close group of friends results in A LOT of great new ideas (as well as a few equally fun but maybe not so marketable ideas). The words lead to more words, which lead to trying to include my paintings, and that lead to me playing with colors more on my painting prints, and that lead me here. With a whole bunch of these guys ready for your drinking enjoyment!

The next obvious step for the wine tags includes you, my lovely customers! I made the first set just for our circle of friends and most people outside of that group would have no clue why you would want your wine glass to say anything about birdshit, but we get it.

we also have a wine whore in our group… or two.

So what do you want your tags to say? Ware your inside jokes? What are your nicknames? Who do you typically drink with and want to keep from stealing your glass? Initials? Wedding party in need of some fun specialized favors? Got a favorite of my paintings you want in your favorite colors? What do YOU want on your set? I can make it happen! Just contact me and we can work out the details. If you aren’t looking for your own set, but have some ideas for me anyways, fire away! New ideas and suggestions are always welcome.

The true unveiling of these little guys will be this weekend at the Mississippi Street Fair! I am super excited about it! It will be my first street fair this summer, and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate nicely! I have been stocking up for the last few weeks. I will have my 4×4 paintings there as well as a few of my bigger ones, tons of jewelry and these new wine tags! Hope to see you all there! It is this Saturday, July 14th from 10am-9pm! I will be between Beech and Failing, drop by, say hi, mention the blog and I just may give you a discount 😉

CHEERS!

 

***UPDATE****

Wine charms have hit the shop! Check em out here! 

i feel like i am cheating

Last night I had an extremely productive night. I managed to do two batches of resin application and get two of my three panels done for my street fair booth display I have been working on for a while now. (craigslist adventures and fun with burlap coming soon.)

Aren’t they pretty?  Ohhh, and there’s something in this pic hinting at what they are going to be!

Any-who the main point of this random posting today is to tout the amazing wonders of my new heat gun. The heat gun I got was intended for embossing and super fancy-pants scrapbooking that I will never have enough ambition or patience to even attempt, much less complete. No, no, MY heat gun has other things in its future! But let’s back up for a moment.

Last fall I attended the always wonderful Crafty Wonderland Holiday show. It was fantastic. I gathered cards from other fantastic local makers, artists and crafters. I bought a few Christmas gifts. The hubster even (very sneakily) bought my Christmas gift right under my nose! As I was wandering about in a fog of awe and inspiration, I came across these lovely pendant necklaces that looked very similar to my own. Wait, let me be specific here: if one of my necklaces were next to one of these necklaces, they would NOT have been mixed up. They looked totally different. But they were making jewelry with prints of their own art work set in pendants under resin. Same technique, obviously different out come. Anyways, what really caught my eye was just how pristine their resin was! I mean glass-clear, perfect. I was in awe. I had to inquire just how they did it. I mean, it was perfect! Even what I was considering at the time as some of my best pieces still had tiny little bubbles in them. I was completely impressed. So I asked if they were willing to share their process or at least offer me some tips and what did I get in return? Hello, Helpful!! She not only gave me an extremely detailed step-by-step of what they do (temperature controlled room for 3 days, heat lamps, precise measuring, heat gun, the works) but she also told me that they offer a class once a month specifically focused on resin and getting it just right!

At that point I finally looked up from the perfect jewelry that had me mesmerized and realized who’s booth I was in. It was Collage. A lovely little craft supply store on Alberta. (Looks like they recently opened a second shop down in Sellwood, too.) I have been there before, I knew they taught classes on these kinds of things, and I sorta felt totally oblivious that I hadn’t realized who I was talking to sooner… oh well.

After that, well after the Christmas shopping hangover wore off and I had some time to work on my jewelry again, I ran right out with my Micheal’s 40% off coupon and got my very own heat gun! (You all know that you can get one of those cupons at any time right? Just go to their website and print one off. Totally worth it. I mean it’s 40% ANY one item in the store! Just had to share… I got my $28 life-saving heat gun for $17!!… sorry… back on topic now.)

The heat gun. My newest love. It works like magic. Once you have your resin on whatever it is you are putting resin on, you just flip on your heat gun and lightly blow across the surface and like a swift wave of Hermione’s wand, they are gone. The big ones and the ones on the top go first, and if you are in the right light you can see the surface crackle across as they pop. It’s kinda cool. If your resin is thicker in depth you may need to go in with a toothpick and stir the ones clinging to the bottom free, give it another pass with the gun and they’re gone too! Just that quick. Done and Done! The first few times I worked with resin it took me at least an hour to lay the resin on the pendants then go back through with a toothpick turning each piece in the light just right so I could see all the bubbles and then fishing each one out… while the resin was slowly setting up… getting thicker and thicker on me… getting worse and worse the longer I fought with them. Basically: it sucked. I was frustrated. And riding the border to just going over to the dark side and trying this “diamond glaze” stuff…. Luckily I didn’t. Instead I happened upon the lovely wealth of information at Collage and am happily cranking stuff out left and right, I mean two batches in one night!? I felt like I was cheating it was so easy.

THE Heat Gun and all the fun things I was able to accomplish last night because of it

Last night I was able to do TWO batches of resin, get them bubble free and still have time to make dinner, a new jewelry stand and some serious progress on my booth display! Hooray Heat Gun! And a bigger Hooray for Collage. I haven’t taken any classes there yet, but am considering the metal embossing one coming up (I will keep you posted if I do). Seriously guys, thank you! I suggest anyone in need of craft supplies, crafting tips of any kind, or if you are just looking for a fun new place to check out in Portland give them a visit!

What is that I put resin on last night? you ask. They aren’t quite done yet, and I am still working on how to display/package them, but as soon as they are ready for your viewing (and purchasing) pleasure I will let you know, promise! I’m kinda excited about them.

Also, if anyone has any questions specifically about how I work with resin, what I use, where I get it, or my jewelry making process, just ask me. I am happy to share. I know a lot of people in the craft world have very unique, personalized ways of working that they view as their own and guard very closely, and I understand that for some things. However, if it weren’t for YouTube and Etsy discussion boards I wouldn’t have had a clue as to where to start. So, if you have any questions, just ask, I am glad to share any info I have and, of course, welcome any additional tips you may have!