Archive of ‘Home decor’ category

Fund on Etsy

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Several months ago we were contacted by Etsy to see if we were interested in participating in their new crowdfunding pilot program. We have been known to keep some very late hours in the studio pressing mugs and were thinking about adding another mug press to allow us to create twice as many mugs each day. The timing couldn’t be better!

IMG_6362Many crowdfunding programs depend on donations, which I wouldn’t have been comfortable asking for. But with Fund on Etsy, contributors are actually pre-ordering a product. I created two new mug designs to choose from for our campaign.

Both designs are on our favorite large 15 ounce, Made in USA mugs. I use one every morning for coffee and every afternoon for tea.

If you have a moment, I would love for you to check out our campaign here. We have until July 14th to reach our goal and will begin shipping mugs right away if we make it there.

Thank you so much for your support! xo, Sarah

The Best $5 I’ve Ever Spent

procrastinate  I’ve always loved this Jessica Hische quote because it is exactly what brought me to my life as a small business owner. Bogged down with the left brained requirements of my science degree, I found myself drawn to creative procrastination. Any chance I got, I substituted metal stamping, sewing, and glass etching for gram stains, probability distributions, and repeated measures ANOVA tests. I found the work I should be doing, and I honored that.

 

IMG_5697 Which brings me to the $5. While making my usual silverware rounds at an antique auction, I came across an old binder that had creamy thick papers sticking out. Inside was a huge collection of architectural drawings. I had my eye on reproductions at Restoration Hardware, but $695 reproduction prints didn’t suit my budget or my common sense. The auction was almost over when they brought the old binder up for bidding. By then most had gone home and the auctioneer was obviously ready to wind things down for the night. He thumbed through one or two papers and said, ‘Alright, we have some old drawings here.” Then he started the bidding at $15, quickly working his way down to $5. No one else showed any interest, so I won the entire binder of antique sketches for a measly five bucks.

Most are of a brewery in the Caribbean, built in the nineteenth century. The brewery drawings are square and industrial. But mixed between the pages of these work sketches were the most beautiful scrolling columns and classical reliefs. Perhaps the daydreams of a skilled architect taking a break from the cast iron factory designs he made his living on?

I safely archived all of his finished works. It was his daydreams I chose to have framed.

Here is our new living room the day we moved in: photo(1)And here it is this morning:

living room, after

IMG_5696Still so much to do (paint the walls, hang curtains, add crown molding, etc, etc etc). Curtains will go a long way towards enjoying them more (kicking myself for not upgrading the glass to non-glare museum grade). But I rarely walk through the room without stopping to look at his sketches.
PicMonkey Collage

Studio Tour

IMG_6626Well, obviously my studio isn’t the kitchen, but I thought it was important to lead off with this photo for a few reasons. One is that Ryan gets home from work while I’m still wrapping things up and he usually opens a nice bottle, pours me a glass and sets to work on that evening’s dinner. No, he not a Stepford husband, he just happens to be an amazing cook and the entire family prefers his grilled duck breast with balsamic reduction over my boiled pasta noodles & Prego, hands down. I also started in the kitchen because that’s where the door to my studio is.

The entire house is sunlit and bright, with the exception of the finished basement. That is my lair. As you descend the steps from the door in the kitchen, you can look up to catch your last glimpse of natural light… IMG_7255The basement is divided into two sections, the finished area where I work, and an L-shaped unfinished area that surrounds it, where the washer/dryer and storage is. Coming down the steps and looking to your right, you’ll see this: IMG_7256See my little window up there? That’s it for light, but I’ve got space for days which makes up for the miniscule Hopper window.

If you come down the steps and turn to your left, you’ll see this: IMG_7257My stamping area and supply room. I’ll admit, I vacuumed the floors and tidied loose papers before taking these pictures, but there is no tidying the supply area. Boxes, bubble wrap, mailing tape, packing peanuts… it just takes over despite my best efforts at shelving and organization. The butchers block is where I do all my metal stamping, wearing those highly fashionable pink earmuffs. When I started in stamping, I didn’t bother with them, but after walking around with ringing in my ears for a week straight, I realized that they were a must.

My collection of steel stamps are on the shelf to the left, and if you were to turn around from where you are looking in that picture, directly behind you is my silver closet. To some it may look like something off of an episode of Hoarders, but to me it is a thing of beauty: IMG_7258This is the current haul in a constantly rotating inventory. And yes, every last one of those boxes is full to the brim. I Love (with a capital ‘L’) vintage silver. I would roll around in it, but I’d probably injure myself, so instead I just open the closet and sigh happily.

Closing my magical silver closet and heading into the main section of the studio, you would look back and have this view: IMG_7259The two doors you see lead out into the unfinished L-shaped portion of the basement. My work table gives away my not-to-subtle fabric addiction as well as a peek at some coffee-sack totes I’m working on for an upcoming craft show.

If you walked over to the work table and all that delicious fabric, then turned around, you’d see this: IMG_7260Yes, more fabric of course, but also a comfy velvet couch which is the best upgrade I’ve ever added to the studio. In our old house it was an isolated area. But now that couch is usually home to my children, who keep me company by reading or playing video games there. Also in this picture you can see my knitting basket by the couch. I put that there because I had the notion that in my down time I could curl up on the couch and work on knitting (something I do just for me, not for the shop). But that cream-colored cowl peeking out of the basket was supposed to keep me warm this past winter and sadly it’s not even halfway complete.

Turning slightly to your right, you’ll find my desk, which is also where I do much of my packaging. I keep my finished pieces in the bookcases along the adjoining wall, so it’s easy to find someone’s order, print the label and wrap everything up right there at the desk. IMG_7261Speaking of those bookshelves… here are the rest of them:IMG_7262In addition to my ready-to-ship silver, the bookshelves are a monument to nearly every crafty idea I’ve started and keep thinking I’ll return to. I could probably stock a craft store with the contents of the far right unit. Now, if you look to the very right of that picture you’ll see one of the two doors that leads to the unfinished area. This is where I do my messy work, like polishing silver (the smell is…. pungent) and etching glass. In the main area here there is white carpeting, but out there, its bare concrete, so I can safely rinse down the area after etching  (breathing glass dust is not a good idea). But I’ll warn you… this is an unfinished space: IMG_7263Yeah, not quite as cheery out here, but I adore my antique butchers block and it is great to keep the messy work separate.

And that’s it (for now). I have some new things in the works that will likely lead to some re-arranging and reconfiguring, but for now this is where I go to work. At the end of the day I go upstairs and close the door. And when I hear the click as the lock catches, it’s like the sound of someone turning off the “Open” sign.

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