On the Edge, Off the Avenue

Published February 16, 2016 by 1leftofcenter

I am a product of the ’80’s. I was in high school when John Hughes movies were shaping lives with their messages, styles, music, and characters. One of those movies changed my life. That movie was Pretty In Pink. I admit that I never actually watched Pretty In Pink, although I had many opportunities. I did, however, have the soundtrack, and I listened to those songs every day for probably close to a year, if not, longer. I still have the cassette tape, and it still works! I memorized those songs and still sing them when I hear them. It’s amazing how Thirty years later, I still remember the lyrics. I discovered several musicians I had never heard of, and found more songs by artists I already loved. The two songs that stood out the most from the Pretty In Pink soundtrack, for me, are Left of Center by Suzanne Vega, and Wouldn’t It Be Good by Nick Kershaw. No, they are not the most popular songs on the soundtrack, in fact, most people wont recognize either when they hear them. That’s just who I am. The elusive B side tracks always speak to me, especially if they are obscure or have a deep meaning.

Suzanne Vega is one of my favorite singers/musicians. She has such a beautiful voice and her lyrics are deep. Her songs speak to me. Left of Center speaks to me more than most of her songs. I feel like it describes exactly who I was in high school, and to a great extent, who I am now. I never have been the mainstream type. While I tried to keep up with fashion trends way back then,lets face it – the 80’s certainly made their mark in fashion history,  I always put my own spin on them. I was always that girl who everyone recognized, but no one really knew. I had friends in all the popular cliques, but mostly stayed to myself; a loner if you will. I was always in the outskirts, in the fringes, in the corner, on the edge. I was never the center of attention and I liked it that way.  When I heard this song, it described me. Finally, someone got it! Someone understood! There was a connection. The bass line and the piano sucked me in, then the lyrics took hold of my heart. it was like left of Center was written about ME!

Even today, I’m still the quirky one, on the outskirts, in the corner. So, when I was trying to come up with a name for my business that described me, and described what I make, I started thinking about how unusual and unique my products are, how they are every day things, just different, just a little off to the left of mainstream; Left of Center. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that one of my favorite songs perfectly describes my work. From that moment, Left of Center Designs was born.

Lyrics:  Read the rest of this entry →

United in Orange…and blue

Published February 8, 2016 by 1leftofcenter

I was waiting until after the Super Bowl, to release my two latest wind chimes. Really, I was waiting to see if the Broncos would win. If they didn’t, I was going to wait until the preseason starts. But, they pulled it off and won, so here they are. Each consists of silverware and melted bead sun catchers. I made the discs at the end of 2014, and they sat in my work shop waiting for me to figure out what to do with them. I decided to try something new, and I am really pleased with how cute they are. They are available in my Etsy shop for $24 each. Broncos Silverware Wind Chimes


The Moon and Stars

Published February 4, 2016 by 1leftofcenter

A phrase that has always been very meaningful and comforting to me is “No matter how far apart we are, we are always under the same moon and same stars.”  I remember first thinking about it when I saw An American Tale. Fievel was lost, searching for his family, and he and his sister each sang Somewhere Out There while they looked at the night sky, longing to find each other again. That scene really stuck with me throughout my life. It was the inspiration this sun catcher; a little reminder that no matter how far apart you are from someone you love, you are always under the same moon and same stars.



Processing Wind Chimes

Published January 18, 2016 by 1leftofcenter

I’ve spent most of the last couple of weeks working on new products. Once I kicked the flu, and felt like a human being again, I got back to work, capitalizing on a huge creative spark. I am very excited about the new ideas I have for this year. There will be many new products, along with new processes. While you will mostly see bits of my creative process in photos, there are many new things going on “behind the scenes.” I’m learning about which tools I need, alternate ways to make things, and how to make completely new products I’ve never attempted. Right now, though, I’m focused on wind chimes.

New Wind Chimes

I started making wind chimes about 13 years ago. I am known Read the rest of this entry →

New Year, Take II

Published January 8, 2016 by 1leftofcenter

I had big plans for this year, from finally writing up a detailed business plan, to maximizing online marketing, production and listing goals, defining my market, and creating new product lines. I have been researching and reading through tons of material on how to effectively use a blog to drive business, using Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram, for business, time management, and several other things. I wanted this year to be the year I really broke out and had great sales. I wanted this year to surpass the previous five years combined. I still do.

I’ve been doing this research for several weeks, and was ready for everything to take off on the first, when all three kids and the Hubs got sick. The man child and the girl got sick on the 31st, him with the Flu and her with a respiratory infection. Then the man and the boy got sick. Pops with the respiratory infection, and the boy with the Flu. Everyone is finally on the upswing, and now I have the flu. So, everything I have wanted to have done for the last eight or nine days has been on hold and will remain on hold until I stop feeling like I might die.

That being said, I had a choice. I could leave my plan in place and bust my butt to get caught up once I feel better, or I could rearrange my time line so that everything starts on the 14th (roughly). While there are benefits to both options, I have chosen to push everything back to when I feel better, and when I have the opportunity to get a little extra done, I will.

And now that I’ve used this little burst of energy on this update, I’m going back to bed. See you soon!

Easy Craft Show Display

Published December 29, 2015 by 1leftofcenter

I have had trouble displaying the ornaments I sell. I wanted something versatile, appealing, with height to maximize my space, and that I could use to display other things later on.  What ever I was to use had to be easy to set up and take apart quickly. It’s embarrassing to be the last one at a show because you are still taking apart your display 30 minutes after everyone else left. It also had to be light weight and easy to transport.

I searched the interwebz for quite a while before I saw an idea that would work. I had to adapt it to completely fit my needs, but a few minutes with paper and pencil, and the idea came to life.

These PVC pipe table top risers are perfect for what I needed. They fit every Read the rest of this entry →

%d bloggers like this: