Friday, December 7, 2012

Introducing P.D. Barkington – Leather Goods for Man & His Best Friend

Lofted Designs is excited to introduce P.D. Barkington – handcrafted leather goods for man and his best friend.

These attractive collars are handmade in Maine (by my talented husband Patrick) using 10-12 oz. English Bridle leather and rugged hardware in solid brass and stainless steel. 

Collars are available the following colors and sizes:

• English tan with brass hardware 
     Extra Small - 14" - 17" (3/4" wide) 
     Small - 16" - 19" (3/4" or 1" wide)
     Medium - 18" - 21" (3/4" or 1" wide)
     Large - 20" - 23" (1" wide)

• Chestnut brown with stainless steel hardware
     Small - 16" - 19" (1" wide)
     Medium - 18" - 21" (1" wide)
     Large - 20" - 23" (1" wide)

Visit the Lofted Designs and P.D. Barkington store (booth #45) at Bazaar Bizarre Boston to see these handsome collars in person and purchase your canine friend a holiday gift. If you can't make it to our event, these will be available for a limited time in the Lofted Designs Etsy shop

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Buy Local Open House – Sunday, December 2nd

This coming Sunday, December 2nd from 12 - 5 pm, I am honored to be participating in an Open House Holiday Extravaganza event at Ocean Fire Pottery in York, Maine.

Each year, Amy Clark of Ocean Fire Pottery invites her favorite artisans to display their goods at her studio and this year Lofted Designs is invited! I'll be ready with a table full of necklacesearringstie bars for men, sterling silver ringspet tags and leather dog collars (made by my husband Patrick). There will also be refreshments, pottery mini-lessons, wool spinning demos, and kids art activities throughout the day!

A sampling of Lofted Designs jewelry
Other participants include:

Amy Clark – Ocean Fire Pottery (our gracious hostess)
One of my favorite local artists, Amy makes incredible handcrafted wheelthrown stoneware and combines elements of the earth to create functional art that evokes joy every day. I am the proud owner of several Ocean Fire Pottery pieces. You can preview her creations on her website or check out her Facebook page.

Laurie Wallace – Hand-Spun Knits by Laurie
Handspun items including hobo gloves, soft alpaca cowl neck scarves and hats, handwoven belts and dog leashes.

Erin Donovan – Twig Naturals
All-natural, hand poured soy candles scented with essential oils that smell amazing! Erin also makes beautiful lightboxes, collaged original art, coasters, and gorgeous pocket mirrors that would make perfect stocking stuffers. 

The Details:
Sunday, 12/2/12
12:00 - 5:00 pm
23 Woodbridge Road, York, Maine
* Plenty of parking is available at Kennebunk Savings Bank, diagonally across the street from the studio

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bazaar Bizarre Boston Features Lofted Designs

What an honor! What an exciting time! The Bazaar Bizarre Boston has featured Lofted Designs on their blog!! (And yes, I am blogging about a blog.)

I haven’t even announced my participation in this event yet because I am still pinching myself, but I am very pleased to tell you that I’ll be a vendor at Bazaar Bizarre Boston this December 16th! Read the full interview here and learn everything you need to know about shopping at this fantastic event on their Shopper Info page.

This show will be HUGE and I can't even believe I will be there with all these other amazing vendors. Until then, I'm signing off because I've got a LOT of things to make. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Craft Fix - Sunday, 11/25 - Kittery, Maine

Greetings, holiday shoppers near southern Maine & Portsmouth! If you are sick of maddening big box doorbusters, crazy check-out lines, and crowded parking lots, I've got the perfect event for you. Come hang out at Craft Fix on Sunday! 

Craft Fix Poster

Lofted Designs will be there with a table full of sterling silver necklaces, rings, tie bars for men, sterling & vintage button earrings, NEW Jamaican beach stone earrings, pet tags, leather dog collars from P.D. Barkington, and more! 

The Details:
Buoy Gallery (next to the Black Birch)
2 Government St., Kittery, ME
10am - 5pm*
*Come early to avoid the crowds and get the best selection!

I'll be part of a truly great (and diverse) group of vendors this year. From jewelry, greeting cards and handbags to fresh caramels, knits, yoga mat bags and paper cut creations, you'll be able to shop for handcrafted and vintage items for everyone on your holiday list! Artists include (click the links for a sneak peek):

BONUS: While you're in town, check out the incredibly beautiful exhibit at Drift Gallery around the corner and also the open artists studios down the road at Art on the Hill!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Close Buy Catalog 2012 – My Largest Order EVER

Lofted Designs was lucky enough to be selected once again to participate in Close Buy Catalog, a fundraising initiative to benefit schools and non-profits in Maine and beyond. The list of benefiting non-profits and schools grows each year, and I'm so honored to play a role in supporting these organizations. 

This year's fall fundraiser catalog was chock full of incredible products handcrafted in New England, and Lofted Designs pet tags were available in two styles:

Lofted Designs Pet Tags

I sold almost 100 tags (my largest and most production-intensive order to date), and tackled the project in small batches. Each tag was cut by hand from a large sheet of aluminum. I then filed the corners to round them, stamped the lettering and cut out the tiny hearts by hand with a small saw.

Once the hearts were cut out, I soldered silver rings to the top of each tag. 

After soldering, the lettering was darkened and each tag was carefully polished. And here they are: 

Each tag was placed into its own special pouch and they are finally ready for mailing! 

The final step – shipping to the fulfillment house in Lewiston, Maine, from which they (and many other great Close Buy Catalog products) will be distributed to schools and non-profits in early December. What a tremendous sense of accomplishment! A whole lot of pets in New England are about to get way more stylish. 

If you'd like to outfit your pets with some snazzy new tags in time for the holidays (they make perfect stocking stuffers), visit the pet accessories section of my Etsy shop to place an order today!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Portsmouth, New Hampshire - A Private Tour

It's not every day I write a blog post for one person. In fact, it seems completely weird and un-blog-like to do so. But my super-mega-girl-crush Geraldine Fishkin might be coming to town, and if she does I want to be sure she has a great time. And if other people benefit from this post, that's great too!

A note for everyone else: As most creative professionals in the seacoast area know, SEOMoz is coming to Portsmouth, New Hampshire this week. While all of my co-workers are flipping out about Rand Fishkin, the company's CEO who is coming to speak, I am way more excited to meet his wife Geraldine. (Rand Fishkin trivia for the nerds: he and I were born in the same year and in the same small farm town in NJ.) Geraldine will be tagging along on the trip, touring the area and most likely writing some funny tweets and insightfully hilarious blog posts (which is why I love her so much in the first place). I've been reading her blog for ages and I've become a little obsessed. Not in a scary, Single White Female way, but in a "she's so totally relatable, we have so much in common and I totally want to be her friend" kind of way. I'm sure she gets this a lot.

To stand out from the crowd of other potential BFFs, I've decided to add some value by putting together a list of my most favorite spots in Portsmouth as a sort of private tour of public places (in no particular order). You'll notice they're almost exclusively food related. I didn't think you'd mind.

The most fun you'll have eating breakfast in Portsmouth is at the Friendly Toast. The service can be questionable (i.e., you'll have something to blog about for WTF Wednesday, probably), but the menu is interesting, the food is great, portions are HUGE, and the atmosphere is truly unique. Unless you've been to the Cambridge location of the Friendly Toast, in which case you should skip it and head to Colby's on Daniel Street instead.

For good coffee, you really have two local options. If quality coffee (and traditional German pastries and strudel) are what you seek, try Kaffee Vonsolln on Daniel Street. If you aren't particular about the coffee or in the mood for baked goods but want a great people-watching experience, head to Breaking New Grounds in the middle of town in Market Square.
Kaffee Vonsolln Streusel & Mocha
If you're looking for delicious, made-from-scratch baked goods or a delicious, healthy and hearty lunch, stop in at Ceres Bakery. In business for more than 30 years, you will not find food this lovingly prepared anywhere else in town. Bring cash.

For great, locally brewed beer, don't miss the Portsmouth Brewery. They always have several of their own brews on tap, as well as a few Smuttynose options (their sister brewery) and usually a guest tap. If you're looking for a small snack to accompany your beer, ask for a side order of pretzel rolls. They aren't on the menu, but they're the best beer side imaginable. Also, this establishment is home to the most awkward restroom in town.

Portsmouth loves oversized sculptural signage
Now Geraldine, I know how you feel about ice cream. Which is why I'm going to point you in the right direction so you don't get swept up in all the Market Square hype of the new Kilwin's (a chain) or some other random frozen yogurt or gelato shop (there are too many to count). Go to Annabelle's for ice cream. A Portsmouth staple for 30 years, this is a scoop shop not to be missed. In fact, let me know if you're going. I'll buy you a cone.
More huge, literal food signage
My absolute favorite restaurant in town is The Black Trumpet – I've never had a bad meal (or even a bad dish) at this wonderful establishment. They use a lot of local ingredients in really interesting ways. My favorite spot within The Black Trumpet is on the 2nd level (a bit more casual than the downstairs dining, the wine bar upstairs is cozy and offers terrific views of the harbor).

You'll probably need something to do between all these meals, so I'd recommend supporting some of Portsmouth's locally-owned small businesses. My favorite shop in town is Gus & Ruby Letterpress filled with heaps of amazing greeting cards for all occasions, beautiful wall hangings, gifts, candles, bags, notecards, books and window displays that will stop you in your tracks. Not to mention the bunch of helpful, lovely ladies who work there. Full disclosure: this shop carries my handmade pet tags and I'm good friends with the owners, so I might be a little bit biased.

Odd Showroom is another favorite of mine and features the work of the very talented proprietress Amity Joy. She has filled her store wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with almost exclusively her own creations, plus some great vintage items. Knit apparel, hats, gloves and scarves, re-imagined vintage clothing, paintings, handbags, jewelry, kick-ass boots – this woman does it all and does it well.

If you have lots of time, I'd highly recommend heading over to the Strawbery Banke Museum, which is less museum and more time machine. The museum houses an entire neighborhood from the past, and you can tour individual homes and shops to learn about the community throughout history, dating all the way back to the 17th century.

And if you find yourself tempted to cross the bridge into my home state of Maine, I strongly recommend a meal (or even just a drink) at the Black Birch in downtown Kittery, which is attached to the occasionally-open art gallery Buoy and housed in an old post office. Fantastic beer list, cozy atmosphere, great bar – they even play vinyl while you dine.

Look, I've even created a map for you! It's so easy! Let me know where we should meet. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

**Sandy Sale Update**

For those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, you know I donate a portion of my proceeds from sales to a local non-profit each quarter. You also know I have an awesome dog named Sandy. You also know that Sandy was excited for her namesake storm last week (since everyone kept saying her name all the time).

Well, now Hurricane Sandy has come and gone and left complete and utter destruction in its wake. Many places near my hometown in New Jersey are devastated beyond belief. Thankfully, all my friends and family are out of harm's way, but the road to recovery and rebuilding will be a very long one.

As a result, beagle Sandy and I have decided to turn her hurricane sale into a hurricane relief fund.

All proceeds from pet ID tags sold on my Etsy site through the end of the year will be donated to organizations on the ground in New York and New Jersey including the American Red Cross and the Humane Society's Disaster Relief Fund (to help pets lost or displaced from the storm). 

I typically choose a local non-profit each quarter for my donations, but this devastation is very near and dear to my heart, "local" is a relative term, and this is where our help is needed most. Beagle Sandy and I thank you for your support, as always.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy's Pet Tag Hurricane Sale

As many of you know, I am the proud mama of an awesome beagle named Sandy. Her namesake storm is headed our way and she happens to be very excited that everyone keeps saying her name...especially those people on the Weather Channel. She thinks they are constantly talking to her! 
"I'm finally getting the recognition I deserve!"
In honor of Sandy's hurricane, Lofted Designs is offering a 20% discount to all canines (and kitties). Save on all pet tags (both ready-to-wear and custom styles). To browse all the ready-to-wear styles, visit this link. To order your very own custom dog tag, complete with name and phone number, visit this link.

"Look how fierce I can be!"

Enter coupon code HURRICANESANDY at checkout. Hurry...this offer is only valid through Friday, 11/2/12. We hope everyone stays safe!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Etsy Maine Team Online Cash Mob In One Week

The Maine Team Cash Mob on Etsy is just one week away! Show your support for the truly talented members of the Etsy Maine Team.

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Nearly 700 shops represented!
Now with over 13,000 unique handcrafted and vintage items!

Here's how it works:
1. Visit (or use the Etsy app on your tablet or smartphone)
2. Type "maineteam" into the search bar (one word)

For more specific results, you can also search for "maineteam jewelry" or "maineteam pet tags" (for example) to narrow your search.

You do not need to live in Maine to participate in our cash mob. This event is open to the world. Many shops will also be offering coupon codes and discounts valid on this day only (check individual shop announcements on Etsy for details).

Come join the fun, get a jump on your holiday shopping and show your support for Maine's online small businesses. Here's an easy link to take you directly to "Maineteam" items on Etsy: click here and start marking your favorite items now!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

York Village Marketfest

This Friday & Saturday!
October 12 & 13
9 AM-4 PM

York Village Marketfest Logo
Visit Lofted Designs this Friday and Saturday at the annual Marketfest celebration in historic York Village, Maine. The forecast looks lovely and I can pretty much guarantee you've never seen more beautiful fall foliage in a such a quintessential New England village setting. 

As if Lofted Designs wasn't enough of a draw, this festival features:

• Dozens of talented artists and craftspeople
• An amazing variety of delicious foods
• Sidewalk sales
• Musical performances
• A "prisoner performance" (WHAT?) at The Museums of Old York
• Petting zoo
• Scarecrow contest (vote for your favorites!)
• Book sale
• MUCH more! You can seriously make a whole day of it. 

I will have a booth just behind the big food tent on Friday and Saturday from 9AM - 4PM. Unfortunately, the event website has virtually NO information on it, however this newspaper article lists a schedule of events. I've also created a Facebook event with all the details. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meet Sammy

Meet Sammy, one of my happy 4-legged customers, proudly wearing his "Rub My Belly" tag! He's had this tag on his collar for many years, and it looks to be holding up pretty well. 

"Belly Rub" tags and many other styles (including custom stampings with your pet's name, address and phone number) are available in my Etsy shop.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jitterbug Perfume

Sterling Silver and Resin Beet Necklace Photograph

If you tell me you are ordering one of my beet necklaces because of an obsession with the Tom Robbins book Jitterbug Perfume, you'd better believe I will wrap it up in passages photocopied from the book for you. Obviously. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wedding Inspiration – Alicia & William

On June 23rd, I was privileged to witness the marriage of two of my closest friends – Alicia and William. It was a truly magical day filled with laughter, sunshine, dancing, singing, happy tears and the most genuine and joyous revelry imaginable.

When the bride requested my earrings as gifts for the women in her wedding party, I was tremendously honored. She clearly had a vision for the day and knew she wanted the ladies to wear my brushed sterling silver teardrop earrings. Modern and simple, they would go with anything, which worked out great since the four fabulous ladies in the "wedding posse" (as they were called) were told they could wear anything they wanted.
Images by Jess Sheldon, Hazel Brown Photography
In these photos, the lovely Lizzie can be seen wearing Lofted Designs sterling silver teardrop earringsThanks to Alicia and William for including my jewelry in your special day! And special thanks to Jess and Lizzie for allowing me to share these photos. 

If you have a vision for your wedding that calls for something uniquely handmade, I hope you'll consider Lofted Designs accessories. Sterling silver tie bars also make terrific gifts for groomsmen. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Picnic Music + Arts Festival - Saturday, August 25th

Guess what? It's time to get excited if you live within a reasonable driving distance of Portland, Maine! That's right...this coming Saturday is the 5th Annual Picnic Music + Arts Summer Festival! Check it out on Facebook and tell all your friends. I am so honored to be a part of this festival again, surrounded by all of my favorite Portland artists!

This will be the first Lofted Designs public appearance of 2012, which means I will be debuting tons of new stuff at this weekend's event. I've just made some gorgeous picture jasper necklaces, lots of new sterling silver earring styles, fun new pet tags, and if we are all very lucky (and my husband can finish them on time), some gorgeous handcrafted dog collars.

All the details:
Saturday, August 25th – 11am - 6pm 
Lincoln Park, Portland (corner of Congress & Franklin Streets)
Rain or shine (but let's all hope for shine)
There will be live music! (view schedule)
Preview all the amazing vendors here

My booth this year is near the corner of Federal & Pearl Streets. 
I sure do hope you can make it!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Big Thaw - Saturday, May 12th

If you live in the Portland, Maine area and you forgot to buy Mom a gift, you're in luck! The Big Thaw is this Saturday. As in tomorrow. As in the day before Mother's Day. And it's the perfect place to find something unique and awesome that will rock her world and show her how thoughtful you are.

Here are a few ideas to get you started – there will be more than 30 incredibly talented vendors there besides me though, so come see for yourself.

What mom wouldn't love these super sparkly "diamond" earrings. OK, so they're CZ's in sterling silver settings, but hey, for a mere $18 you'll still have enough cash left over to get her some flowers to go with her sparkles.

Some new necklace designs will be premiering at The Big Thaw. These are a combination of my always-popular bubble necklaces and my one-of-a-kind beach stone necklaces. Bubbles meet the beach. The bubbles are drilled through the stone, and they swing and move in a fun way.

Need an adorable Mother's Day gift from the dog? How about one of these handmade heavy-duty aluminum dog tags?

And, just in case you have already covered your Mother's Day bases and are already shopping for Father's Day next month...well, I've just started making sterling silver tie bars for savvy, stylish gentlemen. Something for everyone!

Here's the nitty gritty: 
Date: Saturday, May 12, 2012 
Time: 10am - 4pm 
Place: Mayo Street Arts Center, Portland, Maine 

Check out the complete list of vendors.
RSVP on Facebook here.
Amazing organizer Audrey of Little Eye Designs has been posting daily vendor spotlights here.

I'll be downstairs (in the basement), so come find me and say hello! Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2012 Graduation Jewelry - It's Not Too Late

Graduation is an exciting achievement for many young people this season. If you know a student graduating from high school or college in the coming months and you're looking for a unique gift idea that won't break the bank, I have just the thing!

Class of 2012 Graduation Jewelry - Custom Necklace - $45

A gorgeous sterling silver circle is hand cut and custom stamped with "Class of 2012", the school name, graduate's name or initials, a date and even school colors! A sterling silver chain, polishing cloth and gift box are included so you receive it ready for gifting.

Order yours here. Please allow up to two weeks for custom orders to be shipped.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Custom Rings - The Boo of Your Dreams

I make a lot of custom rings – in fact, these are one of my best-selling items. Many people choose to customize the inside of their rings with personal messages, initials or dates. Recently, I received an adorable custom ring order I can't resist sharing. 

A couple wanted matching sterling silver rings and they are huge fans of the TV show Parks & Rec. They were inspired by Tom Haverford's recent serenade to his "boo" Ann Perkins, and wanted their custom rings to pay tribute. Here's an audio clip for those of you not familiar with the show:

His ring would be stamped "I can be..." and hers would be stamped "the boo of your dreams" on the inside.
I took this "in-progress" photo as I made the rings.

As if their idea weren't awesome enough, I also received this amazing thank you email from them:

"We'd like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your creativity and time that you put into our purity rings. We have worn them every day since they arrived. We were also able to show them off while were in Nashville to our fellow Parks and Rec fan friends and they adored them. We are loving them, and are very pleased. You're awesome."

Hooray for happy customers!!! :D

Order your very own personalized ring here or contact me to discuss your creative ideas.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Oops! Forgot I had a blog...

Yeah, so sometimes I get distracted. I have the best of intentions to write regular blog posts and I am always thinking of new ideas and topics to write about, but when it comes down to it I don't find the time to get it all together and post it.

I know, I know...I sound like every other slacker blogger on the planet. But really, I will get better at this.

Here is a recent project I worked on. These two new dog tags were handmade for lucky pups in Virginia! Their names are on the back: Faith & Hope.

Every dog (and outdoor cat) deserves to have a special tag to help identify them if they happen to wander off. You can order one for your pet (or your friend's pet) here. Customization is always available on the front, back or both.

Thanks for sticking with me. I promise to write more!!