Friday, August 27, 2010

Good Eating in Portland, Maine

I think I promised to do a post on all the amazing food we consumed during our June visit to Portland, Maine but then July got crazy busy and I never did. Now, with so many of my crafty friends going up to sell at Picnic tomorrow in Portland, I thought I should share some of my faves. (I'll be in New Jersey celebrating my grandmother's 90th birthday.)
Every trip to Maine seems to start with lunch at Robert's in Kittery on our way up to Portland. By this point, D is desperate for a Maine lobster fix and I love the water view from the deck. Good place to break up the trip, and their onion rings are amazing.
Our first dinner that trip was at The Corner Room, the newest restaurant by Harding Lee Smith. Diverse menu, perfectly sized portions and wine by the carafe made this a delicious meal.
The next morning we went to Local 188 for brunch. For my crafty buddies, I would highly recommend this one. The walls are covered with awesome art, and it's eclectic vibe made us feel right at home instantly. (Across the street is a pretty cool used book store, and also the delicious Evangeline that we went to on a previous trip.)
Also good for breakfast, but also for lunch is The Porthole. This one is located right on the water and has a very Maine coast vibe to it. For D, who needs a daily lobster fix while in Maine, this is often a place we hit for a lobster roll. I had an incredible beet salad there, while David had his lobster club. I loved that the cornbread I ordered was served in the cast iron skillet it was baked in.
This past trip we were determined to have dinner on the East End of town. We had been shopping there before (faves such as Eli Phant, Ferdinand, Angela Adams are all on this side of town) but had never eaten. This was a Sunday night, so 2 of our contenders were actually closed, making our decision easier, so we sat outside and ate at The Front Room, another Harding Lee Smith restaurant. (His third one in this town is The Grill Room, also awesome.) Our meal here was amazing, and the vibe was great. The fried oyster tacos were incredible and the bacon and mushroom risotto that was part of D's meal was out of this world.
I'm a big fan of breakfast, and we'd heard about Bintliff's for awhile. There was always a line though, so since this last visit we were there on a Monday, we were able to go without a wait. D had lobster benedict and I went blueberry pancakes.
Our final dinner of this trip was at the legendary Fore Street. Ever since we started going to Portland about 4 years ago, everyone seems to tell us they went and it was amazing, and is shocked we've never been. Why hadn't we? Basically because we always got a bad vibe when trying to go. Still, we felt like we had to. The food was definitely great, and it's got a great look, but I still wouldn't wait 2 hours to eat there in that good of a food town. I've had plenty other meals in Portland that were as good or better. (I was also a little turned off by the open kitchen. Granted, I'm not a fan of them anyway, but it made the dining room really loud.)
Definitely my favorite summer beer to have when I'm up there is Allagash White.
Also, no visit to Portland would be complete without a visit to The Top of the East, the bar on the top floor of the Eastland Hotel. Perfect for a nightcap after dinner, or for a glass of wine before heading out. It's got a great view of the city.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Levi's Traveling Journal Project

I've been keeping a secret for the last two months and just got the thumbs up to go ahead and share it!

In July I was contacted by a company in London asking if I would like to make two books for a project for Levi Strauss. I was one of eight bookbinders chosen from Etsy to make two books as a part of their Traveling Journal Project. These sixteen journals will be sent to young women around the world who are using their creativity to make a difference in their communities. Here's the official description from Levi's:
"Levi’s is accessing its roots in craft, authenticity and self expression in a new project to discover how young women around the world are shaping the future–and who inspired them to be who they’ve become.

Eight professional book-binders, all members of ETSY, have created a total of 16 amazingly beautiful journals and boxes that are being adored and adorned by creative young women around the world who have made a difference for themselves, their community or for the world only.

Each woman who inscribes the book will provide a 4-6 page story, written and or illustrated, about who or what made a difference in their lives and what advice they have for other young women who will follow in their footsteps. Each woman has one week to complete their assignment. A donation to a global women’s charity will be made in their name."
For me, this seemed almost too awesome to believe it was real. In fact, I didn't believe it was real at first! I love to travel, and make books with maps in part because I love sending them on journeys around the world and then hearing people tell me stories about where they've been, and what was special about that journey. I'm also inspired by women using their creativity to make a difference in their lives, to become more self-sufficient and empowered.

For me, traveling means learning about different parts of the world and the people who live there. It's about connecting to people and learning about life there. The thought of my books being filled with the stories of different women around the world makes me so excited.
I'll keep you up to date, hopefully I'll get to see some of the books when they're filled up and completed. For now, here are some photos of my books!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Indie Arts Fest 2010: the recap

July 31 I participated in the Indie Arts Fest which took place in Burnside Park. It was a fun show, I sold lots of books and got to meet a lot of people. This show is unique in that it runs from 1:00 - 8:00, so I can actually wake up at a normal time, have breakfast and not rush out the door. It's also fun to be selling when the evening crew comes out into downtown. Thanks to the team for putting on a great show! I think this one gets better and better each year.
I may not have rushed to get out the door in the morning, but when the show ended it was a mad rush to get back downtown. We packed up the car in record time, drove home and dropped off product, then rushed back downtown to see the Rhode Island Philharmonic performing at Waterfire. It was a great night. Tons of people were out, the Turks Head Plaza was full of chairs and people listening and not only did the Philharmonic sound great, their music was also what was piped throughout all of Waterfire. It was a beautiful night to be in Providence.

For lovers of Waterfire, this Saturday will be another good one. Salsa dancing this time!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monthly Post

I just finished up my monthly post over on the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team blog. Click here to read about record keeping as a journal, and a few thoughts on social media and privacy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Craftland 2010: Apply Now!

Sorry for being MIA lately, July ended up being a super busy month. I'm determined to relax and refresh this month. I love August, so I'm planning on enjoying it before getting ready for fall and the holiday handmade rush.
Speaking of which, the application for the big Holiday Show at Craftland is live! The application period ends on August 31, so go apply now! Here's the official info:

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the 9th Annual Craftland Show application is now available online! Yes!! We cordially invite you and all your crafty friends to apply here:

* August 1 - August 31: Application period
* September 17: All Craftland 2010 applicants notified
* November 27 - December 31: Craftland Show 2010

Craftland Show is a quirky holiday sale located in downtown Providence, Rhode Island featuring an eclectic assortment of fine crafts and cutting-edge handmade items by 170 artists. Craftland Show will be open seven days a week, from November 27 - December 31, 2010. And since we operate in a retail consignment format, artists do not need to be present to sell their work!

We're switching things up a little bit this year, so be sure to read through our Frequently Asked Questions page here: . And if you're a part of a non-profit, there are specific new and separate instructions for you! We've also got a great link in the FAQ to an article entitled "Wowing A Craft Show Jury" from our friends over at So start gathering up your stellar images because THE JURY IS READY TO BE WOWED!

Apply now!

The Craftland Gang