Archive of ‘Shopping’ category

Fund on Etsy


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

A Little Autumn Luxe (In August)

autumn luxeThe sun may be shining and the leaves are green, but in just 1 short week the children go back to school! We’ve been busy with the annual preparations. Clothes need sorting (they grow so fast!), with outgrown items donated and new items washed and hung. Every store has aisle after aisle of back to school supplies. I used to love this as a child, though the gene must be recessive because all I get out of my own kids are grimaces and scowls. For me, the smell of pencils and the reams of clean blank notebook paper held the promise of things to come. (It’s only fair to point out that this excitement lasted about two days into the school year, at which point, like my children, I was also scowling at being in school).

All the back to school bustle got me thinking about how much I missed that for myself. And so I thought of some fun things that I might like to usher in the new season with. I may not need ball point pens or 3-ring binders (let’s be honest, I used Trapper-Keepers), but surely I could find a few small luxuries to invoke that childhood excitement gleaned from the changing seasons. Narrowed down from a very lengthy virtual shopping spree, my top picks are:

1. A black cat ring made with 6mm black spinel and argentum sterling silver. A subtle nod to Halloween and just thoroughly adorable. I haven’t ordered this yet, but I made sure it wasn’t a one of a kind before posting it here because I must have it. From Etsy shop Every Bear Jewel.

2. Custom order cashmere leggings, available in a variety of colors and extra long and slouchy. At my height (6′) and inseam (37″), this shop had me at “custom” and “extra long”. I have a black and a brown pair being made as I type that will be shipped from Israeli shop Duende74 just in time to pair them with over-sized sweaters for the morning carpool.

3. Speaking of that morning carpool, how great would it be to sip coffee from this Bird’s Eye Maple and Mahogany travel mug. Hand turned on a lathe and completely one of a kind by Washington state shop Sageland Studio. One of my favorite gifts for people are things they would love to own but can’t bring themselves to spend the money on. A handmade wooden travel mug certainly falls into this category (hint hint to any family members reading this post).

4. I almost didn’t post these because it pains me to think that someone might see this post and get them before I can. Hand formed and hammered ancient bronze covered in sparkling crystals that are hand wired on the frame. Hand wired glass pearl flowers hang from the center and the colors are absolutely perfect for autumn. I have another set of KarynShonkDesigns earrings (a summary blue and green pair) and I get stopped by people every time I wear them. I need to start carrying Karyn’s cards in my purse when I wear her work.

5. Cashmere throw blankets. I mean, what more do I even need to say? Absolutely a luxury item that is on my dream list, not my sofa. But it’s good to want things, right? Sigh, I may not be able to curl up with my tea and a book under one of these hand knit Italian cashmere lovelies, but maybe someone out there has the means and if so, I am jealous of you and please have me over so I can use your blanket. Available in ivory, oatmeal or charcoal from ibbiknits. Oh, and there’s a flap so that when you fold the blanket and tuck it into the pouch it becomes a pillow.

6. Autumn brings a change in the way we cook in our home. Grilled fish gives way to heartier fare and one of my favorite cold-day dishes is my crock-pot chili. It’s torture to work from home and smell the simmering goodness for 8 hours, but so worth it come dinnertime. This year I’ll be using this Ancho Chili from Oaktown Spice. Owners John Beaver and Erica Perez grind and mix their signature spices by hand every week for optimum freshness. Available from Provisions, the new shopping section of the acclaimed cooking website Food52.

Of course, shopping aside, the best part of any season is the time we spend together and in autumn that means apple orchards and pumpkin patches, among others. But a little retail therapy to deal with the plummeting mercury never hurt anyone. What about you? Any fall splurges planned?

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