Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New find -The Orange Owl skincare products

On April 30th I went to The Sheepshearing Festival at Gore Place in Waltham Mass.

The festival is a big deal, draws hundreds of families who come to watch herding and shearing and eat fair food. There are reenactors walking around in period costume sometimes playing instruments and dancing. Also you can buy yarns and fibers (big draw for me!) and there's a craft show. I've vended at that show, the year I did it it was 90 degrees, no exaggeration.

This year the weather was warm but cloudy, perfect for attending as a customer. I was pretty much the only person without a stroller LOL!

While wandering through the craft booths I discovered The Orange Owl who it turned out was doing her very first show! I was immediately attracted to the lovely way she set up her all-natural skincare products. And also by her friendly and open demeanor. I love being greeted kindly by a vendor, it really makes a difference.

Her packaging is so modern and cute I was drawn to sniff the soaps. You know what a handmade soap addict I am :) I loved how each scent had a story about the melding of her Indian culture with local favorites. For example, her lemon scent has a hint of cardamom, what a great idea!

But Akshata's products go far deeper than just cute packaging and appealing scents. I found out that her life experiences and education led her to create skincare items in a thoughtful as well as scientific way:

"I always wanted to be involved in scientific research in some way or the other and that led to my first MS degree in biochemistry. While that opened avenues for research, it still seemed a bit incomplete. While working at the Emergency Department at the University of Rochester and studying brain injuries, I had the opportunity to get my second MS in applied clinical nutrition (while my husband was getting the same degree and his doctor of chiropractic degree as well). This just made 7 years of biochemistry in my head all click together perfectly. The research I had done on the immune system, toxins, injuries was all tied together by what we put in and on our body. So came about Alternative Roots Wellness Center in VT and The Orange Owl :)"

I couldn't resist bringing home a bag full of handmade goodness:

Now I smell great and my skin is super soft! So please check out The Orange Owl and welcome her to the crafting community. She'll be vending at Boston Bazaar Bizarre's Summer Fair on June 19th in Union Square, Somerville, MA. I also talked her into starting a Twitter account so now you can follow her there :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Not Buttons

Some of you may know about and indeed share my passion for, OK obsession with vintage buttons. I have a fantastic and extensive collection of old buttons that I sorted by color, material, number of holes. Yeah, it's serious.

I buy jars of mixed buttons at thrift shops and yard sales. When I need some meditative time, I'll pour a jar out on the table and spend a few hours sorting the buttons.

Along with the buttons there are often other objects mixed in. I keep these items too, I think of them as "not buttons". I recently snapped a picture of them which sparked interest among my Flickr friends.

My friend, JunkCulture suggested I do a photo series called Not Buttons and I loved the idea so here is the beginning of that project! All images taken with iPod Touch and the Hipstamatic App.