Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolates in Vespertine!

What an exciting development this is! I am now carrying locally made Escazu chocolate bars.  This is amazing chocolate that I can attest to enjoying for quite some time.  I am thrilled to have the Beaufort Bar (sea salt and dark chocolate), Chipotle and Vanilla, and Pure Dark.  These I will have in the future as well, but just for the holidays I also have Endangered Species Hazelnut Toffee pieces in gift boxes~ drooool. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Store Renovations

I am remiss for not posting these photos earlier! A few weeks ago I was finally able to get all of Flytrap's Men's Shirts hung on the wall~ I think it looks totally fabulous!

This crazy photo makes this corner of the middle room look very colorful indeed! New Flytrap cotton scarves, New Miss Fitt felted hats (ammmmazing details, check out that owl!), Kitty Rice Heat Bags, and awesome pillows from my mom.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

barnwood mirrors

A collaboration with my father, who has been making these beautiful frames from 100 year old barnwood and heart pine. The wood is so grooved with holes and knots~ it is full of character!

I applied some of my OneUp vinyl decals as an accent. I always have to add a little extra color...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

vintage lucite earrings!

A very exciting batch of earring bits arrived in the mail last week~ I found a stash of vintage Lucite leaves and awesome large filigree pieces that I have been assembling ever since. (oh yes, there are even large brightly colored owls and strawberries!) Although I'm still a little bummed Summer is over, Welcome Fall!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

1st Anual Circle City Rat Rod Rock-a-Billy Rumble

My friend Marc spent the day at Vespertine cutting vinyl for his 55 Chevy's debut in Pittsboro. The City Tap booked a great band and the car folks came out to fill the old Thrift Shop parking lot and mill around chatting. Such a beautiful night for a music-filled stroll through Pittsboro.
Before his transformation with the interior of the 55, soon to be sparkle silver and complete the grey-scale look of the car.
Marc's alter-ego Rat Fink in his custom converted lawn mower... Note the excited boys in the background..

Saturday, August 21, 2010

plain jane..

It only took me two requests on Etsy for a plain state with no inner cut outs for me to get one in the shop! You can tell I'm fairly pleased with myself.

I'm getting more skilled at cutting out the Old North State.. but of course just when I break down and buy a gross of saw blades I seem to stop breaking them as often, always how it goes!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

more wanderlust...

Ahhhh, the thrill of an overseas flight! These buttons were made from stickers that I got on my first ever trans-atlantic flight when I accompanied my mom and my aunt Frankie to visit family in Dresden, Germany (with side trips to Austria and the Czech Republic). Our flight out of Washington DC got canceled, and so for some reason they decided to reroute us to Texas and then to Germany. The only good part of that was that we got upgraded to Business class, which was amazing. I still have my little socks and sleepy mask they gave us... What a wonderful trip too..

Thursday, July 15, 2010

happy house (with a little flag)

A new design I've been working on, little houses with silver wire and flags(or branches coming soon). They make me so happy, especially when sitting in front of a postcard of my friend's (Cindy Bainbridge) paintings.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

restorative beach trip

I've said it before, and will continue to do so, but summer truly is my favorite time of year. There's no school, there's my birthday, there's the long days... and best of all, there is swimming in the ocean(comfortably... I have been known to throw myself in in January as well).

This summer has been especially good to me: a dear friend visiting from California and some family that I don't get to see often were in town~ an occasion that demanded a get-together at the coast! Closing the shop for a few days was really good for me too, I have returned to it much inspired and renewed.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sneak Peek: Hannah's Dress

Here is a little behind the scenes look into how Hannah's wedding dress was embellished! Hours of stitching down some wonderful loopy merino wool thread that I found on my first trip to California, followed by singeing circular flower petals, sewing them on, and finishing it all with a little gauze along the hem for an extra elegant look.

Matching jewels and headband were awfully fun to make too. The wedding was lovely(and it was an unbelievably hot day)~ very fitting for my dear friend... Awwww, pretty girl!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Haberdashery Dreaming..

This week's featured seller on Etsy is very inspiring to me, even though I don't really wear hats.. and I don't actually think I could pull something like this off 'round here anyways.
I have really been feeling "Atelier Vespertine" as I am embroiled this week in embellishing Hannah's wedding dress (pictures soon) and making something in lieu of a veil to put in her hair. I was really pulling for the little deer, but it got voted down! It has been so nice to work with needle, thread, merino wool ribbon I got in California, and of course gauzy flower petals.
Photos from Zara Carpenter, check it out here!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What's playing at Vespertine..

One of my fave customers (KP!) encouraged me to make a post about the music I play in the store. I thought it was a brilliant idea, because not only am I crazy about my music, but I do have some interesting stories regarding customer reactions to what I am playing. I get a looooot of questions, and a lot of great reactions when people walk in and I happen to be playing their favorite semi-obscure artist(Cat Power). Today I have a mp3 cd on shuffle that has Broken Bells, the Fleet Foxes, and these guys, that KP liked:

This a great band from Brooklyn, Grizzly Bear, that I discovered on a icy day this winter while lounging around surfing YouTube looking for John Oliver stand up routines.. I have had many customers try to guess who they are, most notably Neil Young, which still makes me giggle.

The story for this song happened recently and involves two teenage girls who walked in, and upon insulting most of the soap flavors asked "what is this you are listening to". I was taken aback because 1. this is an incredible song and 2. this is the second most popular band in the universe(I'm putting them right behind the Beatles, and I mean, very close second). I told them it was Radiohead and the first girl professed her love of Radiohead and said she was a big fan while her friend pointed out that she hadn't even recognized the song. "Oh", she said, "it must be from one of their old albums", which made me feel ancient.. I can remember as if it was yesterday laying on Hannah's bedroom floor, our heads near the speakers, listening to Radiohead... so lovely! But yeah, these girls probably weren't born yet....

This last vignette into life as a shop owner comes from when I had just opened my shop on the big street, and people hadn't figured out I was here yet. (who am I kidding, people still don't know, three years later) A couple came in the shop and browsed around, the woman was quietly admiring everything. As they were at the door to leave, the man came back, leaned into my face and whispered "I think there is a sick woman over there". I was worried and confused as they were the only people there and his girlfriend looked fine. "A sick woman" he went on, "a very sick woman, I think it has something to do with her stomach" Then he gestured to the Bose and the ambient music (which was the above song) and I realized he was attempting to tease me about my music choice. At the time I just smiled politely and waited for them to leave.. but I have always wished I'd told him to stuff it...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

summer colors

Got into the shop early this morning and took some photos in the soft light. Love love love the new colors of hairpins I've been working on lately. They are meant to invoke daffodils, bougainvillea, redbud blooms, and mimosas.

I went on a labeling bonanza last week: packed up all the tub teas--Rose and Provence are back in stock, then I spent wayyyyy too long on Photoshop working up new Solid Perfume and Lip Balm labels (although it was very fun to get to use all the brushes I've been downloading). Lots of flavors of perfumes including Honeysuckle, Gardenia, Patchouli, and a minty refreshing Headache Relief.

New Lip Balm flavor: black pepper! Hannah says it's great.. so there you go!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

lovely cat hat

Would that CatFriend (my attack kitty) would wear this! Check out more in their Etsy shop.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

may flowers

My CSA (community supported agriculture) from Harland's Creek Farm is getting better and better each week. I'm not sure how Judy is going to top herself after this bouquet featuring some wild roses, peonies, and iris.

This has been quite a month for me so far... Some worrisome things like friends starting cancer treatments, a sick dog, canceled appointments, and never having enough time to finish anything have plagued me. I've also had the pleasure of dear friends visiting, setting up my new studio space, finding some awesome things while cleaning and re-organizing my workspace, and perhaps best of all is that it's starting to feel like summer.

This has always been my absolute favorite time of year (no school plus my birthday!). I procured for myself some fabulous fuchsia colored sandals for exploring rivers and oceans and next week I get to visit the new Art Museum and also an outdoor concert. Planted some basil last week....yessssss...I think it will be a good summer!

Friday, April 30, 2010

When I grow up...

I'd like to be Coco Chanel please! Minus the cigarette of course, all all the tragedy and heartbreak. Just the business and creative success...

I've been reading a great biography of Chanel recently after watching the new movie with the lovely Audrey Tatou about her early life.. I'm much more interested in the paths she took to set up her business and all the ups and downs along the way.

Some things I've really taken to heart are how she opened several branches in resort towns. Once I had a dream so vivid of having a second shop in Carrboro that I woke up in a panic because I hadn't scheduled anyone to work at the second shop that day! So, while I'm in absolutely no position to open another shop, I did just manage to rent a lovely little studio space in the Blair Hotel where I will have all my jewelry operations--metalsmithing and beadwork. I got my key today and I can hardly stand all the excitement and possibilities this will entail.

The main trick to Coco's success (I think) is that she had very capable sales ladies (vendeuses) and models who manned the front of the shop while she was in the back designing dresses and torturing her mannequins (live models who wore the clothes while she pinned all the bits together). This is another dream I hope to see become a reality in the next five years.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

a little story about my parents

this photo and story is just a little ode to the unusual and incredible and insane people who are my parents. we built our house and it is my mother's most cherished thing. i don't know how many times i've waited 10 minutes for toast to toast only to then realize she'd unplugged the toaster oven for a drive to the grocery store.. but i digress..

this spring (and last spring, and the spring before that) a family of little squirrels gnawed their way into the peak of one end of the house.. my parents have tried many things to get them to stop, and have put up all sorts of metal,etc.. but those squirrels are amazing. they have chewed some holes in the poplar logs that are incredible.

on Monday my mother was having a hard morning already, and she was sitting on the couch with her dog trying to compose herself when she looked up and saw daylight streaming in the roof/ceiling of the living room. following a major meltdown and my arrival, my father realized that he had to go get the squirrels out but his scaffolding wouldn't reach that high and our roofing friend was in CT... over lunch he had the idea to lift a ladder up on his forklift that would reach the ridge of the house. (somewhere there is also a photo of my grandfather up a ladder that is raised in the bucket of his tractor, and propped by the other side on a rotten wooden flagpole)

this photo was taken at the moment my father realized that if he stepped to the right or left to put the second ladder up he'd fall off the pallet, the ladder could only go right where he was standing. i narrated from below "and this is the point at which Bob realized he didn't want to go any higher".

so, on to plan c...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

blue bird of happiness

something light today: a little blue bird of happiness!

recently i got a tattoo on my forearm of a barn swallow holding a love letter in its' mouth... it is in shades of teal and turquoise (with a red heart on the letter of course). more often than not, when people see it, they ask, "is that a Bluebird of Happiness"? i love the thought, but as i am a stickler for details i often end up saying "well, no, it has a forked tail, this is a swallow.."

so, when i made this recent batch of little birds, i knew exactly what i wanted to call them.. of course, i don't think they are Bluebirds either.. but they are blue birds.. and i think they are happy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

open kiln with new techniques!

(how do you like this photo? every time i would try to photograph these plates the light would reflect, and if i tried somewhere else it was too dark.. so i just tried to make this look like the most recent anthropologie catologue i got)

it's so hard to find time to go out to the ceramics studio..let alone make the most of my time when i am there.. when i was out there recently i must have had something in my coffee because i ended up having an extremely productive day. i tried something new that i have been longing to experiment with for some time~ slip trailing!

i made a batch of lotus leaf plates--porcelain pressed onto a plaster mold i made of a lotus leaf, and then made a batch of porcelain slip (which was kinda like melting chocolate..but with a sieve) and then carefully drew vines and patterns on the leaves with the slip. i am so very pleased with the results, and especially the way my floating blue glaze pools and breaks over the raised areas!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pittsboro Courthouse in Flames

Yesterday was absolutely surreal. It was nearly closing time when I got a call that the courthouse (less than a block away) was on fire. At first it seemed like maybe just the tower, and there were already fire trucks on site.. Workers had been renovating the facade, hence all the scaffolding. By the time I got home, which is two blocks away, our lovely courthouse was in flames. Even last night when I went out for a walk it was still very much on fire 4 hours later. Last night the floors fell through as well as the tower and the roof. The Chatham County Historical museum was housed on the first floor and is most likely destroyed.

My store smells so strongly of smoke.. as do my clothes and home. Downtown Pittsboro is blocked off today, and possibly longer.

My heartfelt admiration goes out to the firefighters and police who were out in abundance until late into the night.

I hope we can rebuild to its former state. It was such an icon, such a pleasure to drive into town and see the nice shape of the clock tower. Perhaps this can be a town-wide movement for renovation and rejuvenation of this lovely little place that was already on the edge of being taken over by big box stores. I hope this will be a new beginning, and not an end.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Angelina's Kitchen 1 Year Anniversary!

I am so thrilled that my friend Angelina and her wonderful family at Angelina's Kitchen are celebrating ONE YEAR of being open in Pittsboro. It is hard to imagine the community without her, she has brought such warmth, joy, and amazing local fresh delicious food to town. The first time I met her, I felt like I had known Angelina my whole life.

Angelina is trying to expand into having sit-down dining, and I admit, I spent an enjoyable afternoon dreaming up some buttons for her to sell in her fund-raiser to support these efforts. Get 'em at her restaurant~ give as much as you can, and rest assured, Angelina and Co. will give back just as much!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gentle Beauty

Jeremy came running into my shop this afternoon saying "there is the most beautiful dead songbird outside your shop". He wanted me to use it as a display, (yes, interesting fellow he is) but it was so sweetly detailed and beautiful I couldn't resist taking some photos of it. I wished I could have gotten out a nice sketch book and to sit down and draw some renditions of it. Although to get the full effect I would have needed to paint the gentle color shifts in it's beautiful feathers. Luckily, Link came by and I sent the bird along with him in a little white box for him to study it with Jasper later in the afternoon. Perhaps they will draw some pictures of it.

P.S. Two friends wrote in to tell me this little bird is a Cedar Waxwing, and that they love holly berries. That probably explains why it was at the base of the Holly tree.. And why I've been seeing flocks of birds fluffing around in the trees all up and down Hillsboro Street!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Heart Belongs to Chatham

A little celebration of this great community and county I live in~ with options for other folks in the area (heart and star)...

Carefully sawed out of a sheet of silver (check out that coastline!) then tumbled to work harden it, and finished with three levels of polishing to give it a nice matte finish. Click here to visit them on my Etsy page

Show that Chatham Pride!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chartres Star House

A little something lovely from the kiln... Inspired by my trips to Chartres France. There is a lovely church there with spires of different heights, too cool.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mouse Paparazzi

"I'm your biggest fan, I will follow you until you love me...."

So, the excitement today at Vespertine is that I have a little pregnant mouse (and Mr. Mouse too) scooting around my feet! Now they seem to be sleeping, but earlier they were out foraging for food. Jeremy was sitting at the computer and they came out to his feet, I grabbed my camera, and flash going, shutter clicking, I was able to get a few shots. Mrs. Mouse didn't seem to mind at all, which brought to mind the above quoted Lady Gaga Lyrics.. (thanks Ariel and Derek for all my pop culture references, I haven't actually heard the song myself, but we had an in-depth discussion of Lady Gaga when they were in town last!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

peace houses

New design from the ceramic studio: little houses. I had such a great day making a whole village of these recently. I am also kicking off my new etsy page VespertineCafe. Maybe check it out in a few days when I get more things listed, hah!

Between all the craft shows I did and the holiday season, I majorly burned out on jewelry.. this page reflects my changing gears this year. I got a commission to paint some rocks for a customer and it was my favorite thing of the holiday season... Upon reflection, I decided to focus on that aspect of my creative mind a bit more.. Let's see what I come up with!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a Valentine...

Here is a little Valentine's collage of all the lovely pink and red things scattered around Vespertine right now! I am so fond of pink~ it's been really nice to get to use even more of it than I usually do... Makes me wonder why I feel I need a "reason" to use pink... Hmmm, I'll keep pondering that....

A lovely project from Leslie Fesperman Re-Created glass~ Nostalgic Coke bottles filled with kisses and a little vintage Valentine. After you scarf down all your chocolates you have a wonderful juice glass left!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

what ceramic bunnies get up to when the customers aren't around...

..of course they cook dumplings! I'm pretty excited that this antique bunny I found months ago is the *exact* correct height to pour water in his steamed dumplings. I'm actually going to be working on a series of these, perhaps in postcard form? Today I'm just goofing around and trying to get inspired.....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A "Plug" for my Father's Business: South Chatham Tackle.com

I'm very pleased with my title for this post about something I worked on for my father: a label for his Pirate Plug Sampler! These Pirate Plugs are actually pretty cool (excellent colors) and they are a family effort lately! Wrap your mind around this for a moment: my father machined the mold, cast the lead, and powder coated them beautiful colors. Over the holidays my Mom and I helped put the reflective stickers on, cut the squid skirts and glued them on, and packaged them in neat bags with the Seal-a-Meal (which is awesome!) and then stapled on pretty paper tags and punched holes in them. Also, I tie the rigs that come with them (it's a lot like making jewelry actually). Mom and I also spent a day packaging up these awesome assortments of them and this week I worked on the label. Needless to say, the assortments look GREAT and I really hope he sells out at his fishing show this week in Raleigh!

This is the Victorian image of Black Beard that inspired my label.. I think there should be a revival of this game.....