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A Cold, Windy Day for an Art Fair

It was a windy day at the Peoria Heights Art Fair yesterday. Windy, cold, overcast, and decidedly un-lovely weather-wise. That was really unfortunate, both for the artists and the shoppers. At least it didn’t rain. And I have extra love for all the people who were willing to brave the weather, after a week of gorgeous, warm, spring-like weather, to come out and see what everyone has been creating. One of the organizers came around halfway through and told me if I wanted to pack up and go home, because of the cold, I could and other artists were doing just that. Amanda and I stuck it out and stayed until the end, though, and I think it was worth it.

Anodyne Design at the Peoria Heights Art Fair
Anodyne Design at the Peoria Heights Art Fair (click image to see a larger version with notes)

Despite the cold and the wind (for which I finally had to figure out how to put the sides up on my tent), I had a great time meeting and talking with new people throughout the day. And I love knowing that some of them left with with a new Little Hootie Owl mobile to hang in their baby’s room, or a journal to give a friend. As usual, the general consensus was that Little Hootie Owls are terribly adorable, and that tiny things are cute.

Of course, today the sun is shining and the wind is gone and it would be a lovely day for a street fair. But it will be summer soon, and I expect there will be lots of lovely days like today at the Farmer’s Market, First Fridays, and Rhapsody in Bloom. And next weekend, just to be on the safe side, the Fancy Schmancy Market, will be indoors, where the weather is always perfect.

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Peoria Heights Art Fair Tomorrow!

I’ve been busy preparing all week for the Peoria Heights Art Fair, and it’s tomorrow! There were will be fine art, jewelry, fine crafts, and food in Tower Park and running down Prospect St. in downtown Peoria Heights from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rumor has it that Anodyne Design will be located on the street near I Know You Like A Book, which is a fabulous little book shop and wine bar. (Seriously, is there a better combination than book store and wine bar?) I’d love it if you’d come by and say hello, and really, it’s just going to be a lovely day for art, craft, shopping, and maybe a glass of wine.

There are going to be a LOT of artists there, but a couple of the ones that I know of for certain, and whom you definitely should not miss, are Joan Furilla, who makes beautiful fine silver jewelry, Razorberries, whose watercolor art never fails to impress, and Yellow Dragonfly Designs, who makes lovely and unique necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, and awesome tables from vintage suitcases.

I have been working on a lot of things, but here’s a peek at some of the new mini journals I’ll have at the fair tomorrow:

Fabric Covered Mini Journals
Fabric Covered Mini Journals
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Action Shots

One of my favorite things about selling online is when my customers tell me what they plan to do with what they’ve bought. Better yet, some of them even send me a photo of their Anodyne Design item in action. I love these photos. They’re so gratifying. Thank you, awesome customers, for sending a little love back to me.

On top of the warm fuzzies I get from seeing an action shot, it has recently occurred to me that some of these shots might be useful to other potential buyers, too. For example, I have a friend who thinks the Little Hootie Owls are cute, but can’t seem to imagine what they are for. So it would probably be extra-helpful for people like her to see some of the owls being used by actual people. Another local friend recently told me that the owls are much cuter in person, and that they are smaller than she realized based on my product photos. Again, action shots could help a lot in this sort of situation.

And so, may I present to you a few customer-taken Little Hootie Owl action shots. This is what these little guys do in the wild:

Little Hootie Owls "nesting" in an orchid
Little Hootie Owls “nesting” in an orchid
Little Hootie Owl as a small hat
Little Hootie Owl as a small hat

I keep an album on Anodyne Design’s facebook page just for action shots. If you have something from Anodyne Design, I’d love it if you would share a picture! In fact, I love action shots so much, I think I may be announcing an Anodyne Design Action Shot contest soon. Stay tuned for that. Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on action shots. Do you love them and save them like I do? Never thought of them? Have a better use for them that just keeping them for warm fuzzy feelings? Let me know!

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Earth Day Festival

Anodyne Design at Earth Day Festival

The Earth Day Festival was marvelous! Despite the constant threat of rain, there was a steady stream of people the whole day, and the rain politely waited until the very end of the festival before it started. I had a great time meeting new people, seeing some familiar faces, and talking about how Anodyne Design is environmentally friendly. From the Little Hootie Owls, which everyone seemed to love and which are made with felt made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, to the wallets and wristlets made from vintage sheets and thrifted clothing, I realized as I was talking a lot of the things I make are really about giving a second life to old items. I also realized that saying, “I made this bag from old pants,” doesn’t sound too pretty, but there you have it. Even though it didn’t sound pretty, the bags are pretty, and the fact that they’re using recycled materials is beautiful.

Thank you to everyone who came out. It was great to see you!

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Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events

Just a little reminder: The Earth Day Festival I’ve been talking about all week is TOMORROW. I know, I know, Earth Day was yesterday, but festivals just work better on weekends. And besides, weren’t you all just saying, “Earth Day should be everyday”? I bet you were. So pretend like it’s everyday and come out to the festival tomorrow.

It’s rainy and miserable out today, but I have it from a good source (yeah, that the rain should let up for the whole duration of the festival, the sun should peek out, and the temperature will be a positively balmy 70 degrees. Seriously, take advantage of the break in the rain to come out, hear some music, eat some food, celebrate being good stewards of the planet, and check out the local art and craft scene. While I can’t speak for everyone, I know I will have lots of specially-prepared eco-friendly goodies out, and yellowdragonfly designs will be there with some awesome vintage luggage that she has transformed into tables.

Bloomington Farmer's MarketI have a few other events to tell you about,  too! First, did you notice that I have a little “Upcoming Events” box in the right sidebar? In case you are looking for Anodyne Design this summer, you can find out where I’ll be by checking that space. After the Earth Day Festival, I’ll be at the Peoria Heights Art Fair on May 8th, and the Fancy Schmancy Market on May 15th. I will also be sharing a space with yellowdragonfly designs at the Bloomington Farmer’s Market all summer long, starting on May 15th.

I’m really excited about the start of market season this year. I just started doing them last year, and being a naturally shy person I was pretty nervous about it. I hadn’t anticipated how fun and satisfying it would be to interact with people who share my interests in buying local and handmade. I’ve missed it all winter. I hope to see some of you at one or more of these markets and festivals. If you make it out, do stop and say hello!

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I’ve Been a Busy Bee

The Earth Day Festival is coming up this weekend, so I’ve been busy since last weekend preparing. I have been focusing on making environmentally friendly items, and I’m loving how they’re turning out. I have been making tiny pincushions out of bottle caps and felt scraps, and it’s like I’m creating a tiny felt garden! I’ve been saving the bottle caps for awhile… I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to start making these little guys.

Pincushions made from bottle caps and felt scraps.

Also in the “I’ve been saving for awhile, why am I just making these now?” category: Wristlets made from recycled fabric.

Upcycled Wristlet

The fabric comes from a variety of places, clothing from thrift stores and from pants and shirts that are perfectly nice but for whatever reason are no longer being worn, thrifted vintage sheets, and from my giant collection of fabric scraps. Every sewing project generates scraps of fabric, and I haven’t the heart to throw out perfectly good, but tiny, pieces of fabric, so I save them for “someday.” Until someday comes, I risk being buried alive by fabric scraps and bottle caps and all the other little things I save to upcycle. Well, someday has come, and I’m glad I’ve been saving my scraps. The fabric scraps are particularly useful for adding applique embellishments to bags.

Upcycled Wrislet with Applique Mushrooms

It feels so satisfying to give something new life instead of trashing it. I just need to do it more often, so I don’t end up featured on an episode of Hoarders!

I’ve got lots more to make before the festival, so I better get back to work. I’d love to hear, though, how you use recycled elements in your art and craft. And what are your plans for celebrating Earth Day?

P.S. If you like seeing a peek of my projects in progress and what I’ll be debuting at upcoming events, check out my Facebook page. I frequently share mini updates there that don’t always make it to the blog!

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Owls, Owls, Everywhere!

A new flock of Little Hootie Owls in shades of brown, green, and blue has flown into the Etsy shop. New to the group are the light brown owls, and I think they make a great addition to the more natural looking owl colors.

Parliament of Owls

Additionally, you may notice that Anodyne Design is sporting a pretty, owly new logo. Just in case you missed it, here it is:

Anodyne Design Logo

Isn’t is lovely? I thought it was time for Anodyne Design to get a more identifiable and consistent image, and I really think this will do the trick. The marvelous work was done by Amber of a. mabe design. I’m creative, but by no means a graphic designer. It was a pleasure to work with someone as talented and professional as she is. I can’t say enough nice things about her or the logo. It’s nice to be so happy with something!

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Just One Thing…

I walked into the fabric store yesterday with the intention of just picking up some purple fabric to complete a custom order. But then, of course, they were having a sale, and there were some great things in the remnants pile, and those little owls were calling my name, and and…

New Fabric
New Fabric (+ one kitty paw)

And I walked out of the store with a stack of new fabric.

When Roo saw me getting ready to take a picture of the pile of fabric, he hurried over to help me style it. Hence the errant paw. If he had his way, I don’t think there would be a stack of fabric or photo untended by him.

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So Very Cute: Embroidered Buttons

I recently received a ridiculously cute set of embroidered buttons from Mollie at Wild Olive. We were partners in the Feeling Stitchy Embroidered Button Swap, and I couldn’t have received a better partner. Seriously, how adorable are these little guys?

Embroidered Buttons by Wild Olive

I love them all, but I definitely think the little sock and the cube are my favorites. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to use them, because I like thinking about how I could use them so much. I don’t know if I can give them up. I guess I’ll have to wait until the perfect project comes along. Fortunately, Mollie also has an Etsy shop, so if I can’t part with this cuteness, I can always get some more.

Thanks, Mollie! You are so talented!