Flower of the Day – August 7, 2012
“Friendship is love without its wings”
“Friendship is love without its wings”
“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.”
~ Lydia M. Child
This past weekend at the Orenco Station Farmers Market , I came upon a unique relatively new vendor to the market called Fancy My Feathers. The brain child of two designers Heathyr Croasmun and Gina Du Bois, who creativity use feathers as embellishments in their designs which range from earrings, hair clips, and shoe clips, to long feathers clips for the hair, to tea-cup hat hair pieces, to other forms of art. Each piece is a handcrafted original; unique, with no two items being the same. The commonality each piece embraces – a unique feather. All types of bird feathers are used depending on the product. All pieces are environmentally friendly.
When I finally discovered an opening among the crowded outside their booth, I jumped at the chance to squeeze myself in to see what all the fuss was about. All I could see – feathers! Like great Scott! There are so many feathers. And cute tea-cup hats embellished with fancy to subtle adornments on the sides. So many feathers and wonderfully designed pieces of jewelry. Adorable! I inquired, if I might take a few photos of their work, and immediately was given the spiel, “well, we don’t like people to copy our work.” I totally understand that one. No problem. The thing we artists have to realize, is – there is always some slime ball out there who is going to try to copy our work. Whether it is the use of our photos, copying our photos, or copying the designs of Fancy My Feathers, it happens. It has happened to me, horribly I might add. And could sadly happen to these girls. The one piece of advice I give them now, which they likely already know is: Copyright! Copyright! Copyright! And Trademark, Trademark, Trademark! This will help you if you’re concerned with people copying your work. I hope it doesn’t happen, like I hope it doesn’t happen again to me, but if it does to me at least now, I hold the copyrights to all my photos and articles I write. After I assured the girls I had no intention of copying their work I merely wished to feature them in my blog for the weeks segment, did they become more relaxed and proceeded to show me with great enthusiasm, I might add, their line of merchandise.
I was immediately enamored with Gina, as she explained to me about the feathers and how the treatment measures required before being used according to Oregon State Laws and other standards for using feathers for art purposes. To how they go about working with their designs. Once the feathers have been through the cleaning and drying process, they are hand chosen to become their next pieces of art. While some of their products may look similar, no two are the same. This is because no two feathers are alike. Rather like fingerprints.
Enlarged Hair Clip/Brooch
While, I have seen other vendors carry items made of feathers, none have come even remotely close to those made by Gina and Heathyr. Most are cheaply put together, with the feel they would likely fall apart after one use. Not so with products from Fancy my Feathers! Feathers used for Fancy my Feathers designs are meticulously placed in a particular item with care and precision and made with the finest feathers and materials possible. Every item is solid. These girls don’t mess around! They have a fantastic product unlike anyone I have seen, and of superior quality. Yay, we have a winner. They exude the “Wow Factor” so important in a business. And these gals have nailed it.
“Meet Gina De Bois (Left) and Heathyr Croasmun (right), Proprietors of Fancy My Feathers!”
Steven Tyler eat you heart out, as you would die to own some of their products; especially those made with their creative flare for feathers including their long feather hair pieces or long feathered earrings, concomitantly with your ability to pull off wearing feathers. A wonderful marriage of product and spokes person. Since Steven is likely not available, darn, you will likely have to serve as your own spokesperson. But know this, your items are a wonderful and a must have addition to anyone’s accessories. These feathered goods are fabulous. Not only are the items celebrity quality, they are for everyone and can make anyone feel like a star. I sure did when I put that cute little black teacup hat on.
Each item is very versatile; if you love feathers these are a must have to embellish any outfit, or accessory including shoes, handbags, and hair attire. From long feather earrings and hairpieces, each item is unique and one of a kind. No two are alike. That sparked my appeal, that, and the fact the items are so well made and attractive. And not merely the hats, this holds true for all the items they make. But, is especially true are the mini hats. These are not your mothers or grandmothers hats, my friends; these are but tea-cup hats which clip on to the side of one’s head. They’re made in a variety of colors and patterns, and of course feathers, feathers and more feathers, and tiny lace veil. These pieces, including the hats not only will be awesome to see on one of the many actors and actresses, they will make anyone feel like a star. Can you tell I like the hats? Seriously, these items are all a must have for anyone wanting to add a little spark to their look, that is extra special.
“Earrings and Hair Feathers For Hair”
After talking with the girls for a bit, they were more than happy to have me do a piece on them for my blog. I’m thrilled to feature their products as much as possible, and their creators Gina and Heathyr. They truly have a great product and I love promoting it as I share their passion so much I purchased three hats and two hair pins, one of which is for me while the rest are being shipped to Australia, for my nieces. Yes your products will now be international. Yay you! One of the best qualities about these items are the prices. These knock out pieces of bling are very reasonably priced, running from 3 dollars to roughly 22-25 dollars for the hats. Depending on which hat you choose. It depends on the embellishments used. All pieces were well worth the cost. And don’t quote me on the prices as they tend to vary. Just because I didn’t see anything over 25 dollars doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. You will have to check with Gina or Heathyr regarding pricing.
“Wreath for a Wall”
These young ladies were such fun to talk with and share with me their wonderful handcrafted items each with a flair for feathers. Their work is superb. I can’t say enough wonderful things. Beautiful designs, some simple some challenging and others very eclectic, and creative and each containing at least one feather.
The feathers are all from local birds in Oregon and have been cleaned and processed according to Oregon State Laws, and are simply unique.
In addition to carrying feather hair pieces, earrings, and feather clip-on hair pieces, they own the market on snap feathers for shoes adding a spicy piece of bling making a pair of ordinary pumps or stilettos look like a million dollars, or at least a thousand dollar pair of Milano Blahnik shoes. You have gotta love the shoe and boot clips!
Close-up of the Detailed Hairbands”
The head bands are brilliant as well. So, I couldn’t resist, I had to buy at least one item for myself. This red hair clip or brooch below. I plan on wearing it as a brooch for a black sweater I have. I might even go wild and where it in my hair. I love it. I have a rule about red. Red is for accessorizing not for clothes unless you are a model or star – Red is for shoes, boots, handbags, wallets, hair adornments, gloves, wallets, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, you get my drift. Red rarely looks good on anyone unless you have the right body and right complexion. Most of us are human and have a hard time pulling off red. Red is luxuriously sexy.
This is the up and down side of the hair clip I purchased. I loved the red color for the reasons I gave above, which I will use as either I hair clip or clip to hold my sweater together at the waist.
This lavender piece below is wonderful. I bought it for my niece Gemma who also lives in Australia. She will love wearing it because it came from her favorite Auntie – Louise, who lives in the US. Sorry Cecily. I should have picked up more. I loved the hats I really wish I would have purchased another one of the black ones with the black embellishments and feather with a tint of green and blue in it. Kicking myself. I think I will have them make me one. I will be purchasing more of the hair/brooches though.
More hair products, each embellished with a feather. These wonderful blue colored clips are multipurpose hair piece/ brooches. I love the black on in the corner with is made from a frilie feather, like ostrich. I don’t know my feathers so I am in all likelihood wrong. So don’t quote me.
I saved my personal favorite items for the very last – the tea-cup hats – made in a variety of designs and colors. Most of the colored hats were sold by the time I reached their booth. No problem, there were plenty of other choices. And I preferred black anyway.
These mini hats are about the size of your hand or fist, and clip easily in anyone’s hair and look absolutely amazing!!! What immediately captured my eyes were the tiny hats embellished with among other things lace, beads, ribbon, and feathers. These hats are straight from the hat era of the 20s and 30s updated for 2012, to a smaller hat that clips on to the side of ones head. Metal clips are adhered to the inside of the hat on both sides which keeps the hat gently in place. It was fun to pick out the hats I did for my nieces. What I loved about them is that they are lightweight even given the embellishments and clip easily in the hair without the feeling it is going to fall off. Gina had one in her hair. I was so excited, I should have had her turn to capture a photo of her wearing her clip in her hair. She told me that she always wears them. I also should have had her turn to model the hat. Again, excitement.
These are simply the best! The hats come in all colors and leopard prints to solid colors, each embellished with feathers made for the hat. Brilliant! And absolutely adorable. While they look a bit fancy, they are multipurpose hair pieces that can make any bad hair day look fabulous. Apart from jogging or going to the gym, these trendy mini-hats can be worn anywhere and everywhere. I loved them so much that I purchased these three hats I am showing, for my nieces who will absolutely love them. They will be the talk of the horse races in Queensland, Australia. Surprise! Your hats are on their way after I stop gawking at them. Okay, since my nieces read my blog, they are now aware they will be getting new hats to wear to the races. They will have to figure out among themselves who gets which one. They are all so cute, so maybe you will have to do some trading. Just know that the purple hair clip is for my Gemma.
“Close-up of the Pink Ribbon Hat”
These hats simply clip on to the side of your hair are about the size of your hand or tiny fist, and depending on the embellishment some can cover the side of the head like a mini version of a 1020s of 1930s hat; the look – simply divine. I can’t tell you how much I loved each of their products. As I have repeatedly stated, I purchased three hats for my Aussie nieces who will die when they see them and most certainly will be the talk of the horse races when they arrive dressed to the nines adorned with their posh mini-hats. Everyone will want one. I am still kicking myself for not purchasing one for myself. I may have to revisit that booth, or check them out on Facebook.
A close up of the “Black Hat.” My favorite of the hats. If I were to keep one, which I am not, this would be the one I would choose.
The hat fits on the upper side of one’s head, and is roughly the size of a ladies hand. Back of the hat has a short veil which comes down along the ear. You can hold the hat cupped in one’s hand. The best part about these hats are once you put it in your hair, you don’t have to worry about it falling out. Two nice sized clips are fitted on the underside preventing the hat from slipping or falling off. Simple push the clips and the hat is removed. Perfect!
A close up of the “Round Black Hat” below
All my girl friends will be envious. Sorry ladies. While I did think of you while I was there, most of you visit the market and could have picked one up if you wanted.
I believe Gina and Heathyr have a wonderful future ahead of them. I wish them all the best. Keep in mind each item is an original hand-made piece for which no two are the same. Yet another reason these items will be so hot. These two girls are sitting on a gold mine. If they are at the market this weekend, I think I will be picking up another hat and a few more of the hair clips/brooches. These products are a must have for anyone who wants to have a little something, something going on or represents the “Wow Factor” perfectly. These hats are the new must have’s for everyone’s seasonal accessory list.They are perfect in all four seasons. While they are still working out the kinks for a webpage and blog you can find them and more samples of their work on Facebook or via email.
Thanks to Gina and Heathyr for allowing me to include Fancy My Feathers in my weekly write-up. And I hope others out there will stop by your site or see you at the markets, and fall in love with your hats and other feathery items as much as I have. Thanks for following us in return, we appreciate it.
The weather in Portland this time of year is generally in the high 70s to mid 80s with an occasional not so nice day. As the summer greets the area in July the temperatures are generally in the 80s most days with an occasional 90+day tossed in for fun. August is generally a repeat of July with warmer days and the occasional 100+ day tossed in just to make sure you are paying attention. So, imagine if you will, when in June the temperatures are in the mid to low 60s with an occasional 50+ added in the mix, just so Portlander’s can complain. And let me say they do complain. Myself included. It is ridiculous, having cold horrible weather. Did the weather gods not get the memo that is summer in the northern hemisphere? And to think this entire week I will be dressed in my winter woollies as the temperatures will not surpass 60. Maybe next week it will finally arrive. Summer. We can always hope. It is rainy and cold. We apparently didn’t receive enough rain this winter and spring, we must contend with more. Note to the weather gods, we received plenty of rain this winter and spring. Thank you. Can we please have summer.
This being said, all of the signs of summer are here. The market we attend each week is booming, the flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, kids running around as classes are over until September – summer is here. This past weekend the market was busy with more people than last year, even given the questionable weather, which mind you was on the cusp of raining. It becomes frustrating as I pack my hat, scarves, and any extra warm clothing I can shoove in my handbag, which has grown to the size of a small suitcase, in order to also allow room for my camera, to go anywhere. This past Sunday was no exception. I packed myself up, Lloyd and I headed to the market. I wore at least three layers of clothing. I fit right in. The markets in Portland attract an often eclectic clientele which dress in anything from near nothing to being bundled up with so many layers one can barely move, which adds to the fun of shopping for produce and whatever else excites one about shopping at the market. This past Sunday we were finally in the mood to buy plants for our patio and front porch where we like to sit outside and enjoy the summer warmth. Who brought the money?
So, please keep in mind, each Sunday morning you will find us at the market – we never miss a day, not even if it is pouring down rain. So one would think we would be ready with money in hand to buy our produce and other items (plants), in case the vendors don’t take a card; this past Sunday no different. We forgot the cash. No problem there is a cash machine handy to help those of us non-planners get cash. That is unless the cash machine is broken, which it was (I swear it is every week). This creates a bit of a problem when one has all of their plants ready to go to the car and oops, no money. We look at each other like the other should have it. Well, it would have been a disaster not to mention an embarrassment and disappointment to leave behind the items we had picked out. We were nearly living in that situation, when this delightful man who sells plant hangers and squirrel feeders leans inwards and whispers “you know that you can buy tokens at the information desk.” No kidding! Who knew one could simply buy tokens at a token booth for use at the markets. Where have we been? We have come to the market for the past five years….. I never noticed anyone buying their produce with tokens before, but interestingly enough each vendor accepts these tokens, our problem was finally resolved. While Lloyd went to secure our tokens, I thanked the nice man. I could now relax and began mission number one to snap a few photos, while we made our way around the market checking out who was there, chatting with a few friends we happen to run into, eat (Lloyd loves to eat from the Bohemian stand and loves their fresh gnocchi. (Bohemian Gourmet Food) I pass on the food offerings as A) I don’t eat food with gluten, and B) I generally eat before we come to the market, so that I don’t pig out on the gluten-free desserts, newly available at the market this year. Must stay away from the dessert booth. Mental note to self.
I love lavender. The fellow above made its way home with us to sit on our porch and made the air around us smell of fresh lavender. For those times when we can enjoy our porch. Last year we sat out on the porch two time. Twice, because it rained the entire summer. This year I am determined to sit out there if I have to wear my layers – hat, scarf, and blanket if necessary.
Bows that are as bright as sunshine for every girls hair. These are very cute. I actually purchased some last year as gifts. I noticed that two vendors seemed to be selling these it looked like. I could be wrong. The booth was too crowded for me to find out for sure. I will check in case anyone is interested in buying some. I can post this next week. They are about three dollars apiece. Last years prices anyway.
Freshly grown organic herbs and vegetables.
Hand woven baskets. I keep looking at these baskets. I may end up with one for Lady Morgana, our little girl kitty. She is a bit too big for her basket bed now, even though she gets in it each night. How, I have no idea.
The wool products shown here are from sheep and alpaca and some silk. What makes these items different from others around is that the wool comes from a local farmer and is is spun on a spinning wheel. I featured this vendor in a blog last summer (See archives August 2011). The yarn is then used to either knit or crochet these remarkable products from hats, gloves, scarfs, and shalls (which are extraordinary, shown below), potholders, and various stuffed toys.
My favorite place at the market apart from people watching and taking photos of the people is the flower vendors. I love shooting photos of the wide selection of flowers that come through the market. All are grown locally from nearby farms and brought to market each week. It is fun to watch as summer temperatures change so do the varietals of flowers.
Typical flower arrangements that make any room or patio look lovely. You will pay between 7 and 15 dollars for the flowers. Most are 10 dollars. Very reasonable. The number of vendors this year has increased thus the prices are very competitive. I would buy some each week if I weren’t allergic to most of them. This is in part why I love to shoot flowers; it is the only way I can enjoy them. Plus if we had flowers, I am sure our cats would love them too. Best remained in picture format.
Quite an eclectic group of people from the neighborhood and some that actually drive specifically to this market each Sunday to purchase local products.
I had to do a double take when I saw this grass species, which is actually papyrus offered for sale by a local nursery that features native plants but also grows a few exotic species you may not find anywhere else in the area. The papyrus was special for me as we saw a lot of growing in Egypt. I was reminded of our trip to Egypt and specifically Saqqara where we went to a papyrus factory and saw first hand how the papyrus was made into paper. It was a fascinating process that takes several days before ending up with dry paper that is tough enough to write on. We actually purchased a (extra large) large papyrus painting, which is now framed and hangs in our living room. The Egyptians make wonderful paintings on this paper. Ours papyrus tells the story of a married man and woman painted with gold, silver, and bronze flecked paint with turquoise, pink and a few other colors, and the story is told of their love for each other on the hieroglyphs in the scene. We had our names added in hieroglyphs at the top of the piece which made this piece very special.
You know you are at a market when you can buy Elk burgers and fresh fish not far from one another.
These planters caught our eye as we had seen several people in the neighborhood who have them, but never figured out where they purchased them. They are made in Australia by a girl named Mia, and sold by vendors in certain areas of the US and elsewhere. The plants literally grow upside down. They are beautiful. We purchased one of the terra cotta pots in the large size, which we had potted with a Martha Washington Petunia. Beautiful. Our mission of purchasing plants was a tremendous success. If anyone is interested I can get the information from the vendor this weekend. It seems that every vendor we stopped at were out of cards.
This planter was our other purchase. We have one very similar hanging on our porch but I wanted another one to match and offer more privacy from our neighbors.
Wooden hanging baskets up close. We have one hanging on our porch. They are three-tiered and nicely block the view to our neighbors porch. Love them.
This concludes our Sunday experience at the market with a few tokens remaining for next time. The hood strawberries are ready. Can’t wait. So, with plants in hand we made it home; the plants waiting to be hung. A job for Saturday. Now if the weather will recognize that it is summer, then we will be in great shape to sit outside and enjoy our flowers. I am hopeful the weather will at least give us one day this weekend to enjoy our porch. Keeping my fingers crossed. Until next time.