Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Days -- Portland Saturday Market

Summer days in the Pacific Northwest can range anywhere from dismal and dreary rain to melt in your shoes hot.  Regardless of the weather though Portland Saturday Market is open and waiting.  The musicians play, the vendors are out and waiting for crowds to show up.

This, year however, we have been having fantastic summer weather, with just about perfect temperatures.  Ok, the temperatures is always open for debate as each person has an ideal temperature they prefer.  

For the Pacific Northwest though this has been a sublime summer.  Temperatures in the high seventies and eighties for the most part.  Minimual rain, which is unusual, we rarely make it through a month without rain regardless of the time of year.

The nice thing about summer is it not only brings our the fair weather locals, the tourists tend to be out and about more.  We enjoy talking with people from all over the country.  And from foreign countries depending on the day.  Plan a day you never know who you could meet.

Portland Saturday Market
Hours of Operation
Saturday:  10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday:  11:00 am to 4:30 pm

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pro and Cons of Event Specific Jewelry

Creating event specific jewelry has its ups and downs.  On the one hand it can generate a significant boost in sales for that specific event.   What you have left, however can be a challenge to move out of inventory if you  have created something that doesn't exactly fit with your overall inventory.

It may not seem like it would be an issue for us, since we tend to create unique pieces. However, we tend to create more elaborate piece targeted for a specific age range and look.  Both for everyday wear as well as for more elegant occasions.

The mock feather earrings are definitely fun and can be worn everyday, yet only for those of a certain age.  Designed with ribbon and fluffy ribbon as an alternate to those who are allergic to feathers, they have been well received by teenagers and young adults. Totally a success and fun and while most of our designs are aimed at being fun, they are also aimed at being wearable in most work environment.

The crosses were made for a rodeo event that we didn't end up attending for a variety of reasons. It happens and ended up being a good choice for us, however it left us with the crosses.  We take four individual horse shoes, bend each one of them into shape and then wire wrap them in a specific pattern so that there is an x in the center where the wire overlaps, completed with a leather cord. While people do like them and they definitely have a market it is limited and they do not necessarily fit within the overall scope of our shop.

So while event specific jewelry does present some challenges, in the long run it is well worth the challenge.  It shows the care and adaptability a business is able to achieve when picking an event to market themselves.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jewelry Pieces in Progress

A glimpse of an organized day of creating our artisan jewelry creations.  Usually, I am not very organized and have multiple projects going at once.  Anyone else looking at my work table wouldn't be able to see one single piece much less multiple pieces.  Today however, was not one of those days.  When I sat down to work on jewelry today I was having one of those rare days where I was actually organized in my creative process.

I don't use the tray much anymore, yet today was  a day I had it out and was laying out pieces, so it worked nicely to hold my stones in one place and allow me to lay out multiple pieces in an organized manner.  In the bottom necklace I am using a handmade clay goddess piece.  The gemstones I have paired with it are ones I am still trying to identify.  Yet, they are a lovely mottled black, gray and the piece will be completed with gold wire in loops and wire wrapped combination.

Center row has an oval of sunstone and orbs of green aventurine, showcasing a green with pink hues goddess pendant, not sure yet if I am doing this one as a simple necklace or add wire work to the piece.

The top row is all sunstone semi precious gemstones in various sizes and shapes.  Showing in the row are random cut nuggets; it will have three ovals of sunstone  evenly spaced from the center out. Silver wire work is what I intend to complete the piece.  similar to what is showing on the left in the picture above, that is part of another project I have set aside.  It just isn't working right for me at the moment, which is a pretty standard occurrence in the creative process. At least in my experience anyway.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Firebird Cafe -- Portland Saturday Market

When working Portland Saturday Market we usually pack our lunch, however on occasion we want something different.  Being  gluten/wheat free and now following the Paleo lifestyle it does present a challenge eating out.  Gluten/wheat is in everything it seems like.

However, never fear Portland Saturday Market has us covered.  Our favorite when we are in the mood for breakfast is the Firebird Cafe.

We avoided them for the first year, because mostly what is visible  is gluten items, scones, cookies, crepes and shortbread.  Boy are we sorry we made that assumption.   Checking them out this year we have found they offer some fantastic items that are gluten/wheat free and Paleo or at least Paleo friendly.

They offer omelets with your choice of  2 toppings and you can add extra toppings for a reasonable upgrade charge.  Choices include kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and guy-ere cheese to name a few.

Hunter's  scramble is another of their fabulous items.  It is three eggs with your choice of 2 toppings and garlic home fries scrambled.  Garlic home fries are wedges of red potatoes, not 100% Paleo, but definitely gluten/wheat free.

Even more fabulous is they use all fresh eggs that they crack at time of creating your order.
As far as the other items, they must be fantastic as well as they are ordered often.  

If you have tried some of Firebird Cafe's items, please feel free to 
leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Portland Saturday Market Hours of Operation
Saturday  10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am to 4:30 pm

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kaleidoscope of Color

Sometimes a burst of color is what is needed. Fortunately for us browsing Artfire provides a kaleidoscope of color choices.   So many choices to choose from, it was so hard to choose.   Relaxing lavender herb pillows, have a lovely array of, purple hand stitched guitar straps,and the simple strokes of color in the painting.  Jazz up any summertime outfit with a green and flower purse. From pendants to bracelets to cookie jars, mix things up with a bit of color.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Taking Chances

Taking chances is right up there in my book with goal setting.  Here's the thing goals can range from the simple to the extreme, yet if you do not occasionally set a goal to stretch ourselves and try something that is outside our comfort zone, goals become stagnant.  Life looses its zest and its appeal in the most extreme cases.   Not to say that simple and achievable goals are not viable, because they most definitely are.  It is more a reminder (for myself mostly) that if you are not trying new things, stretching beyond your comfort zone occasionally you are not growing and learning as an individual.

 So why don't we do it more in our society?
 Unfortunately, the answer is simple.

Our society has come to a point that it has created such a stigma about failure that it is kind of frightening.  In some respects failures these days are seen and treated as punitive.  Think about children who are grounded or have things taken away because they didn't get a perfect grade?  Now that is not to say that sometimes it isn't warranted.  Children who are not doing the work, should have repercussion's.  No I am talking about the children who work their hardest, stay after class ask for help and still just do not get or worse get it but do not test well.  Testing is a whole different subject for another day perhaps.

When did we as a society shift to failures being punitive?

Failures, in my opinion should be looked upon as a teaching tool and learning experience.  Not a self esteem robbing, punitive punishable experience.  It doesn't  have to be big chances, little chances, like changing up your routine, taking a drive without clear directions and exploring the new areas you find work just as well as bigger chances.

We learn, we grow, we our more creative when we take chances. Inspiration can be found by taking chances, stepping out of our comfort zone or simply changing up our routine.

Though chances also must be tempered with reality.  If you want to learn to ski but do not have health insurance, it might not be the right time to take that particular chance.  I say this as someone who is accident prone and challenged in coordination. 

My advice, take a chance and see what happens?  I know I will be.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spoiled Cat -- Portland Saturday Market

Portland Saturday Market has a few artisans that specialize in pet products.  Here in Portland, Oregon we take our pets very seriously and like to spoil them rotten.  While currently I (Tammy) do not have any pets Tina and here crew have two cats.  They are spoiled, the first day in the new house Tina was feeding the two cats corned beef by hand.  Yes, you read that correctly.   So I know what I am talking about when I say pet owners in our neck of the woods spoil their pets.

One of the favorites is Spoiled Cat.  They are all about toys and treats for the well loved and pampered cat.

Look for there sign, they are located by the food court this year and easy to find.

These adorable cat toys are durable and long lasting.  While filled with top of the line catnip for your feline's pleasure.

A  wide array of colors and designs to match, compliment or stand out against your homes decor.

As you can see in the booth photo cats love their handmade toys.
They also offer loose catnip for sale.

We take pampering our pets very seriously. 

You can find Spoiled Cat at the market every weekend.

Market Hours of Operation:
Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am to 4:30 pm

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fire Fighters, Fire Engine Birthday Party!

What kid doesn't love fire engines?  How about a birthday party theme of fire engines?  I pulled together two collections from Artfire that are fire fighter themed recently.  Inspired as a Thank you to the men and women who fight fires for us.  Enjoy and let them inspire you...