Monday, June 24, 2013

Lofty Improvements - Happy Birthday To Me!

My husband and I don't exchange gifts often. It's a rule we set up long ago to take the pressure and guesswork out of holidays. Along with that comes the freedom to pretty much just buy ourselves whatever we want all year round. Within reason, of course. It works for us.

But every once in awhile, we'll surprise each other with a little unexpected gift. This year, he went way above and beyond for my birthday and helped me finish an area of my studio I've been dreaming about and planning for a long time.

I flew off to Chicago to spend my birthday weekend with my mom and sister, and he got to work measuring, planning and building. He even made the ultimate human sacrifice, by which I mean he trekked over an hour to the nearest Ikea all alone on a Sunday and battled crowds to shop for my new desk and shelf. He then carried it up the ladder and put it all together, and I came home to a stunning new packaging and prep area in the loft!

This is how I found it – all put together for me and ready to go!
Here is what the workstation looked like after I added my stuff.

I've gotta say, this new desk has really made a huge difference in my work flow! Making jewelry creates a huge amount of grime so, no matter how much I try to keep up with it, my working surfaces are always covered with dust, metal bits, and polishing compound, not to mention half-finished projects everywhere. 

I use this typewriter to create all of my shipping labels.
I just LOVE the look of a nicely typed address label.

To combat this, I used to manufacture everything in the loft and then transport it down the ladder to the office and/or kitchen table to address and package each order in a clean environment. Now I have a clean station in the studio specifically for processing and managing orders, labeling and packaging. 

 I've organized the built-in shelving to accommodate my gift boxes, envelopes and correspondence materials.
The plan is to stay organized and surround myself with objects that inspire me.

Inspiration in the form of prints by Maria Vetesse (from the beloved and much-missed port2port press Card Society) and Ryan Berkley. I plan to change out this artwork often to keep myself inspired.
And of course I had to add an element of "weird" to the space.
My dad gave me this signed portrait of Oompa Loompa Rusty Goffe many years ago.
It's one of my most treasured possessions.
I am so thankful to be loved and supported by my wonderful husband. Even though Lofted Designs takes up a lot of my time (nights and weekends, mostly, when I could be spending time with him), he understands how important it is to me and how much I love it. I am a lucky gal!

**NOTE: This post is kind of old (my birthday was in March), but sometimes it takes me awhile to get my act together, take pictures, edit and post these things. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Kittery Block Party 2013!

I have it on good authority (from several sources) that the sun will shine on the Kittery Block Party tomorrow, Saturday 6/15, from 10 am - 4 pm in Kittery, Maine! Free admission & fun for the whole family!

Visit their website for a schedule of events, parking info and more:

This event covers the whole Kittery Foreside loop. You can find Lofted Designs directly across from the Black Birch. Hope to see you!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Not all dads are cut from the same cloth. Trust me, I know. As someone with a very unique dad, I've spent years wading through Father's Day cards featuring beer-guzzling, remote-control-hogging, grilling, golfing, football fan dads. Nothing ever seems to apply to my own father. I actually find it really hard to believe that the majority of American dads are fitting those stereotypes, but typical card store shelves are proving me wrong once again this year.

My own father isn't into any of the above activities, but instead is a health-nut, magician, dog lover, antique toy collector and goofball. He's interested in vintage tattoo flash art, classic Disney, reality TV and sideshow freaks, among many other things. (And now you probably understand me a bit better.)

This year my father is getting this card (spoiler alert, Dad!) from Smudge Ink, which I was delighted to find at Gus and Ruby Letterpress in Portsmouth, NH. It's so weird...just like my dad!

Yeah, my dad totally had a pair of these glasses when I was a kid.
Anyway, my point is that all dads are not alike, and sometimes a set of golf tees or grilling tools just won't fit the bill. Lofted Designs handmade accessories to the rescue!

Does your dad dress nicely, and perhaps read GQ or Esquire magazine? These stylish sterling silver tie bars make a great gift for fashionable dads, and if you order quickly I can customize one just for your pop with a special message on the back.

For pops who love pets, maybe a gift from the dog is just the thing! Daddy's girl and daddy's boy pet tags are in stock and ready to ship with heart, paw and bone cut-outs. 

And if all else fails, just give him a call on Father's Day and tell him how much you appreciate him. No matter what type of dad you have, he's sure to love the gift of hearing your voice.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Globetrotting - Clitheroe, Lancashire, England

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I often receive orders from around the globe. Wanderlust-afflicted as I am, if an order comes in from a place I am unfamiliar with, I look it up to see where it is located and to learn about its history, what its people do for fun, what its buildings look like, etc.

Today's global exploration takes us to one of the most darling towns I've seen: Clitheroe in Lancashire, England.

According to Wikipedia:

Clitheroe /ˈklɪðɨr/ is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Ribble Valley in Lancashire, England. It is near the Forest of Bowland and is often used as a base for tourists in the area. It has a population of 14,697. The most notable building in the town is Clitheroe Castle, suggested to be one of the smallest Norman keeps in the country. 

The town's earliest existing charter is from 1283! How cool is that?! I'm so excited to have received an order from this little town so I could learn of its existence. And if all goes to plan, perhaps I'll visit someday.

Where in the world is Clitheroe?

Have you been to Clitheroe? If so, leave a comment and let me know what I shouldn't miss when I visit!