Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easter gift ideas

Gift-giving is easy this Easter at Larkmartin & Co. with prepackaged gift baskets for the honey bunny in your life. (They also make great gifts for teachers, co-workers and friends!) Baskets include assorted soaps, or a variety of bath & beauty products of the same scent. Or let Briana whip up a specialized basket with the products of your choice! In addition to our regular 4.5-oz bars of soap, we have egg-shaped soaps, and "cupcakes soaps" topped with Easter-inspired erasers - great for kids! Be sure to also check out the French Peat Pot Easter Baskets by Wren Ludwig. They are super cute and, at just $5, super affordable! Wren also has a variety of spring-inspired, handcrafted paper angels - great for hanging on your Easter tree or for sprucing up your home or office. Of course, we also have a number of items great for gift-giving year round, with locally-made artwork and jewelry, one-of-a-kind aprons, re-usable shopping bags and more. So hop on in and have a Happy Easter! Leslie

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Some friends were recently making fun of me for all the different trash cans at my house: one for cans, one for bottles, one for plastic, one for kitchen scraps.

"Oh, and bottle caps go over here," I told them.

That's when the "hoarder" jokes began. But, I'm not the only one who feels recycling is important. In fact, several of the items for sale at Larkmartin are made from recycled materials.

Those bottle caps I was saving, for example, weren't for me, but for my friend, Lucy Bright, who makes really cute bottle cap magnets that she sells in the store for $3 each. Heather Montgomery's postage stamp pendants, which start at $16, are made from vintage poker chips, Scrabble tiles and dominoes. Then there is the upcycle extraordinaire, Lisa Danger James, who turns everyday trash into treasure with journals made from scrap paper; wallets and cardholders from milk and juice cartons; and floppy-disk desk organizers.

So even if recycling isn't your bag, you can do your part by buying some upcycled art at Larkmartin!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Valley of the Vapors

Over 30 bands from across the coutnry and around the world are about to descend on Hot Springs for your listening enjoyment with the Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival.

The week-long event kicks off Saturday, March 19 at Star Gallery with the opening reception and unveiling of the VOV 2011 poster by Print Factory. It is followed with an all-day band blitz on Sunday, featuring 11 bands, including Big Smith, Theodore, Laura Stevenson & The Cans, A Place to Bury Strangers and Hot Springs' own Blue Screen Skyline.

Daily performances representing a variety of genres will continue through Saturday, March 26 at Low Key Arts, with Listening Room Performances Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 at the Art Church.

What Bill Solleder and Shea Childs started in 2005 as a small, "do-it-yourself" rock show has grown over the past several years, garnering support from the community and respect from the independent music scene along the way. Shows are all ages and $5 or less. For a complete schedule of events visit http://www.valleyofthevapors.com/. The VOV is a program of Low Key Arts, a nonprofit arts organization.

See you there! Leslie

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Runs Like A Girl" by local author/artist Jayne

Local artist/author Jayne has written a delightful book about working hard and achieving goals. It just happens to be about a horse! The illustrations are fun and whimsical. The message is one every one needs to hear, boys or girls! My son enjoyed it because he recognized it as part of the horse races and that is unique to our area! If you love the races and need a sweet gift, check out "Runs like a Girl".


Thursday, March 10, 2011

A non-traditional portfolio at the shop

As you may already know, Shannon LaDuke is a photography rockstar! She has put up an adorable portfolio at the shop, you can read her blog here and all about the portfolio!
She came to our house last Sunday to take some pictures of our family in our house. You see, after nine years of living in our cottage, we are moving. Adam and I purchased this house as real "handy man" special and we have literally touched every part of that house. We made it into our home and as excited as I am to be starting a new chapter in our lives, I'll miss that house. She has captured some of my favorite places, especially the living room with the windows on three sides that lets in light like magic. I'm so happy that Shannon has a portfolio at the shop, I'm hoping she will be able to share her ability in capturing families and those special moments.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chico Bags have arrived!

I was given a personalized Chico Bag from one of the film makers of "Bag it" last October and my oldest son practically ripped it from my arms and claimed ownership before I knew it! He is becoming aware of the environment and that the choices we make can impact the world around us. He has proudly taken it to school for his "reduce, recycle, reuse" lesson in kindergarten and will tote it around, brimming with action figures and whatever else he picks up along the way. (Which can be alot). My son has given me first hand experience that Chico Bags can stand up to the demands of a six year old! We have been bringing reusable bags to the grocery for awhile now and as bans on plastic bags become increasingly popular, it makes sense to carry these in the shop. We are carrying the 'Vita" Bags, they have shoulder length handles and can hold forty pounds! Also, water bottle slings are 99% recycled and has pockets for your phone, keys, lip balm or chopsticks! Lastly, we have the Produce Stand Collection- a group of three reusable produce bags to eliminate the single use plastic bags for your fruit and vegetables! These would make a perfect companion to your farmer's market outing!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Soy Candles

I've always wanted to make candles, ever since my bestfriend got me a craft book full of different projects. I finally got the opportunity, last week at Larkmartin & Co., where I've been working once a week.

I made some yummy smelling soy candles, which not only last longer, but burn much cleaner than paraffin candles, with no petrol-carbon soot and little smoke - making them better for the environment and better for you! Soy candles are also made from a renewable resource, unlike paraffin candles which are made from petroleum. The soy wax we use is made from soybeans grown right here in the United States!

So put a little light in your life with Larkmartin & Co.'s new handpoured, pure soy candles. They come in a variety of fragrances, like vanilla almond, white tea and ginger, and mango papaya.


Friday, March 4, 2011

And the winner is......

Who won the $50 giveaway in the shop? www.random.org chose the lucky number....... 16
which is Heba! Congratulations Heba! I know you'll put it to good use!

The Giveaway closes at 3:00!

I'll be posting the winner at 3:00 today! Did you leave a comment yet?

New Display Cabinets

I've been dying to show off my display cabinets! These beauties pull double duty; more display space and a sun blocker! The sun comes in with a vengeance and can blind an unsuspecting customer! William "Bill" Hart with Hart Woodworks took my ideas and created these two lovelies. They are in the color "Cream" from Farrell-Calhoun. The bottom part provides much needed storage and the top allows plenty of display space. The back is beadboard, one of my favorite materials. He was a pleasure to work with and I can't wait to be able to work with him in the future. He would love to make custom furniture pieces, as well. You can reach him at hartwoodworks@yahoo.com. Tell him Briana sent you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

graphic fun!

Do you know Shannon Laduke? You should. Not only is she super funny and always has a smile on her face, she is a fantastic photographer. She loves to photograph children and families, especially and her love shines through each beautiful child she captures on camera. I had the opportunity to create a new logo for her flourishing photography business. You can also see the blog banner here. She also has a great display of her work at the shop if you'd like to some of her work in person. If you are looking for a family photographer in the Hot Springs area, consider Shannon, you'll be happy!

{Disclaimer: I do not consider myself a graphic designer, but an enthusiastic student. I learned Photoshop while working at the architecture firm.}

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Handcrafted vs. Commercial Soaps

What you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your body and you can feel good about sudsing up with soaps from Larkmartin & Co.

Commercial soaps are often made with synthetic detergents which can irritate the skin and leave it feeling dry, but our soaps are handcrafted from an all-natural vegetable base, with the glycerin still intact.

Glycerin is a natural moisturizer and a byproduct of the soap-making process. Commercial soap manufacturers often remove the glycerin and sell it to other industries, where it is used in skin-care products, pharmaceuticals and even foods.

And unlike commercial soaps, handcrafted soaps, like ours, are made in small batches to ensure quality in each bar. Best of all they make great, inexpensive gifts that not only smell good but are good for you! Stop by and pick up a bar or two for yourself or someone else.

Happy bathing!