Thursday, July 25, 2013


I've been branching out. 

I know I have been trying to write more here, but along with that, I've been working on a book of poetry and (quite unexpectedly) started work on a what might be a small business. Nope, this is not a heavy post with a lot to consider and a lot of metaphor to unpack. This is, instead, a post about hair accessories. 

Yeah. Could I be more of a suburban housewife? I craft. 

This is a summer of trying new things, that's for sure. We signed up for the Breezy Willow Farm CSA, and I've tried more new recipes in the past two months than I had in the past year. G and I kicked off the summer by trekking up to Syracuse, NY, to be in the wedding (the first besides our own) of his awesome brother and equally awesome wife. I got to wear my first bridesmaid dress, G, his first really spiffy suit with a deep purple pocket square. Another first of this summer belongs to my sister - she's getting braces next week, and this week had a fair amount of teeth taken out in preparation. 

Other firsts - we are going to be in our friends' wedding in December, and we've been spending more time with them. As such, we went up to the Celtic Fling and Highland Games in Pennsylvania and saw caber tossing, Irish dancing, and (shopper that I am) lots of crafts. 

Meandering in an out of craft booths is one of my favorite things to do at a fair. At the Fling, we had stopped to wait for friends outside of one such booth, and (obviously) my eyes quickly caught on gorgeous jewelry, pins, and hair clips. It was terribly hot, my hair was sticking to the side of my face, and after the millionth time of tucking it behind my ears I was primed for purchase - anything to deal with my hair. Anything. 

Anything turned out to be a deep red flower - five layers of petals with a few feathers and an iridescent purple center, set on an alligator clip. The proprietress, I then noticed, had six or seven lengths of fabric hung from the canvas roof of the shop, each with hair clips within a color group. Greens, blues, reds - little riots of silk and scrap and plume; I think she had about 100 of them hanging, each for ten dollars. 

Ten dollars seemed like a more than fair price for a flower the size of my fist and a solution to my problems. I even had cash - it was meant to be. But I ended up buying something else along with that one clip: I bought an idea. 

I can do this. 

I think it's safe to say that I feel a little silly about having a eureka! moment over a hair clip. It really isn't rocket science. But I had some glimmer of inspiration, which is, after all, the essential spark of what it takes to create. So I chased the glimmer - I went, within the week, to the crafts store, and in three days I had made 75 clips. I started by thinking about what I would want, what would please me, but after having made so many (bobby pins, larger alligator clips, French barrettes, and pieces with peacock feathers and French netting which are begging to be worn at the renaissance festival) I thought, hot damn, I could sell these. 

More firsts these summer? Having the conviction, the confidence, to get space at two craft shows in the fall. Having the nerve to invite people over for afternoon tea and wine tastings in August to take a look at my work and (perhaps) purchase a few items. Believing in myself, even if my current eureka! moments have more to do with hand crafts than great novels. Considering things like kickstarter and etsy and a PayPal merchant account. 

Doing, instead of thinking about doing. 

Today, I'm going to go over all of my items, make a few tweaks, improve on some of my earlier designs. I've never been much good at editing (well, I just didn't ever want to) so that's a first, too. Tonight we are getting more fruit and veggies from the farm, and I will have to quickly figure out what to cook - and actually follow through on it. 

I'm branching out. 


Here are three of my first creations. I think I've made well over 100 at this point:

Here's a giant wall of about half my product (all of these are the large size with alligator clips):

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