all white

The world is blanketed in snow outside my studio window. Inside I am sifting through my vintage treasure box. Most of its content relates to my family. Every monogram and piece of lace has a history. I come from a line of seamstresses. Not the professional kind, but the kind who sewed, stitched, and embroidered out of necessity and out of joy. Weaving, knitting, quilting, tailoring, crocheting, mending, and altering were my grandmother's and my mother's artistry. Their passion and appreciation were passed on to me. Some of their skills (not all) were as well...


Each time I visit my mom in Sweden, I bring a few more pieces back with me. My promise to her and to myself is that they will be used for a special project, a heirloom of heirlooms of sort. I don't know what shape it will take, when it will be done, or how, but hopefully it will be worthy to pass on to a few more generations.


A few belated thank yous are in order. Gay over at I dreamed I saw, included my geranium sachets in her sweet smelling post this weekend, and Elaine at nestingblog recently featured my queen anne's lace art quilt. Tusen tack! I also want to thank Denise from Hamburg, Germany, (lieblings.weerke) who picked my market tote as one of the items in her beautiful fig post.

slow cloth

Images above courtesy of Glennis Dolce. All rights reserved.

Slow cloth is the fiber worlds equivalent of the slow food movement. Slow cloth was branded and initiated by Elaine Lipson, artist, writer, editor, and one of the supporters of the slow food idea here in the US. Slow cloth is not a project, technique, or some kind of exclusive club, but rather a philosophy and an attitude, characterized by joy, skill, contemplation, beauty, and expression. The Slow Cloth philosophy embraces teaching, community (global and local), diversity, and responsible sourcing and use of materials. You can find a more detailed outline of the slow cloth initiative here.

For me slow cloth emphasizes the fact that making things from fiber is a blissful experience, and that is is ok for things to take time, as long as we cherish the process. On a larger scale slow cloth takes on issues such as sustainable, and fair manufacturing of fashion and home goods, respect for the environment, the importance of making things that last and doing more with less.

The slow cloth group on facebook, spearheaded by Elaine, with the help of Jude Hill, and Glennis Dolce, now has close to 600 members from all over the world, all sharing a love for fabric, fibers, stitching, and handcraft. The slow cloth group has ongoing discussions about varied topics such as artistic process, books for fiber makers, favorite needels, and "ugly" work. There is an adjacent flicker group where members can post photos of their work, and all members are encouraged to post links and comments on topics related to the slow cloth philosophy. I find this to be an increadible inspiring place and I encourage everybody who work with textiles, and who embraces the slow cloth ideas to join the group. Thank you Kit for helping me find the way, and thank you Elaine, Jude, and Glennis for setting things in motion!

Images above courtesy of Jude Hill. All rights reserved.

bundles of joy

I am a sucker for vintage fabrics. Remnants (or even better yardage) of cotton prints from the 50's or the 60's makes me weak in the knees. I spend lots of time tracking these treasures down, and sometimes end up in an online bidding war that forces me to pay way to much for a piece of orange floral print. By now I have stacks piled up in my studio, but there is always room for more...

When my friend Jenny Mitchell of Frecklewonder started offering some of her fabric remnants in her shop I knew I was in luck. I love these prints. They are delightful and whimsical, just waiting to line a purse or partake in my next quilting project.

Jenny's store is a treasure trove for many other things as well. She specializes in vintage clothing, shoes, household items, and children's books, mixed up with some of her own hand crafted work. Her Frecklewonder blog was my inspiration when I first started blogging. She is a skilled photographer and writes about children, work, and daily activities with a great sense of humor and life affirming spunk. To top it all off, her equally wonderful husband Matt is my web guru, who has helped me with my website for ages and never tires of my silly questions about order reports, RedCloth, and slices.

Here are a few of the items currently in the Frecklewonder shop. If you see something you like, hurry over because these finds never last very long.

signs of spring

Slowly but surely spring is emerging. The star magnolia buds are unfolding and the maple flowers makes the tree aglow. To celebrate the season I invite you to visit the poppytalk handmade green spring market. An amazing array of artists are showing off their goods at this virtual market place. This is my debut as a poppytalk handmade seller, and I am impressed with the quality and beauty the market represents. You can find the inleaf table here, along with talented friends such as periwinkle bloom, enhabiten, and jewelweeds.


periwinklebloom

Periwinklebloom is one of my favorite blogs. I love the way Tyler writes about simple but wondrous things in life while stressing the importance of caring for the world we live in, and each other. Now she has launched an online shop where she sells her beautiful eco-friendly, locally made children's wares. The clothing is exquisite and the site photography, by Greg Rannells, is breath taking.
 
Many of us grownups wish that some of these garments were available in different sizes, like a maybe a 10... But for now, if you have a toddler somewhere in your midst, I recommend scooping up some of these goodies. A letter press paper line is in the works as well. I can't wait to see this endeavor take off and flourish. 


random delights

Dutch graphic designer Karin's wonderful etsy shop stiksel is brimming with alluring objects such as the upcycled canvas postal bag complete with original printing and straps and the gocco printed patchwork patch that can be used to fix that favorite well worn pair of blue jeans as well as for pure adornment, anywhere. You will also find fun luggage tags, travel pouches, and wallets. Make sure to visit Karin's blog to learn more about her creative life in Rotterdam.

if you like mid-century modern scandinavian furniture my friends dorthe and pelle ekelin's swedish company moderna möbelklassiker should be your destination. Their carefully selected pieces are available through their website, where you also can find images of pelle's vast plastic furniture collection. I know the dollar is low, these rarities are quite pricey, and then there is the freight... but lusting for beauty is always free and allowed.

metalsmith julie schumaker hand crafts her jewelry in her Manhattan, Montana studio. Sterling silver is soldered, engraved, hammered, twisted, brushed, and finally embellished with freshwarer pearls, recycled glass, petrified wood or precious stones. The result is a collection of simple, organic, and very elegant rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. These masterpieces are available through sterling jules website and you can also find Julie's work at The Barn Swallow.

random delights

Back in the ambitious days I thought I could do one post a week featuring a few of the many people, places, and objects that delight my heart. Reality caught up with me, and therefor my reoccurring collection of inspirations now have a new name; random delights. They may still happen weekly, but the pressure is off...

Washington based graphic designer Saima Says specializes in exquisite custom invitations for weddings, baby arrivals, and other joyous events. Her designs are modern, elegant, and playful, while reflecting the style and personality of the people the special celebration is for.
Surface designer, screen printer, and embroidery whiz alison tauber is one of my etsy favorites. Her reasonably priced objects are both pretty and functional and her designs are simple yet fun and colorful. Her etsy shop is always well stocked – I have been wearing this t-shirt all summer long. You can find her lovely fabric patterns and beautiful custom pillows on her website.

This freshly founded website is a destination that looks and feel unlike any other web retailer or blog. It is a place for stylish green shopping and beautiful design, but also for eco-friendly ideas, information, and sharing. You will find work from independent artists such as dovetail, studio 1am, and inleaf along  with well known brand names like eva solo, amenity, and thomas paul. The site also feature articles like the one about an organic school lunch project in Chicago, a new electric motorcycle, and do good resources.  

inleaf on craft synergy

I am thrilled to be part of Patricia Zapata's interview series on craft synergy this week. Through thoughtful question and answers craft synergy feature artists and artisans while showcasing their work.  It is an honor to be in such talented company as Michelle Engel Bencsko of Cicada Studio, Erin Lang Norris of Yellow Canoe, Lisa Solomon, and many more. Make sure to visit Patricia's other blog a little hut where she highlights her own beautiful work and artistic reflections.

pillow talk

The pillows for Juno & Jove are out the door, waiting for the friendly ups driver to take them on their journey south. They turned out great. All of them are stuffed with my new organic wool inserts from Holy Lamb Organics, which are incredible soft and cushy while holding their shape nicely. The photos show a small, but representative part of the order prior to shipment. I look forward to collaborating with Juno & Jove and I appreciate their effort to combine the importance of people, planet, and craftsmanship.

so grateful

Recently Kristel over at Vlijtig held a drawing to celebrate her 50th post. The winner was selected among visitors who left a comment on her blog during the month of April and the price was one of her beautiful fabric baskets. Guess what – her daughter pulled my name out of the pile! I usually never win anything but I am so happy that I got lucky this time. The basket is just exquisite. My linen threads and favorite embroidery floss nestles just perfect within and it is such a bright addition to my studio decor. Tusen tack, Kristel.    

weekly delights

ladak
The Dutch design duo Jantien de Wilde and Jane Stroink makes these beautiful blankets from recycled sweaters, jeans, bedding materials, and other textiles. They are then creatively embellished with ribbons, lace and threads. Each blanket is named after a homeless person or a hero and 15% of the proceeds are donated to a shelter in Amsterdam. Ladak means warmth, comfort, and protection, and like people in need each of these blankets is unique.

Several years ago I discovered Canadian artist Sharilyn Wright and Lovely Design. Sharilyn makes the most delightful paper goods. Her books are made from reclaimed paper scraps, enhanced with hidden treasures such as old stamps and glassine envelopes for special keepsakes. The handprinted posters celebrate the Canadian nature and her thoughtful note cards, and clever address files are equally enchanted. Everything is created in an eco-friendly manner including clever packaging which eliminates the need for plastic. You can find out more about Sharilyn and her work on her blog
Jai and Lauren Soloy's woodworking studio sleeping forest is located in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. They make exquisite furniture, cabinetry, albums, boxes, business card holders, and spinning tops.  I have picked out a few pieces that I find especially irresistible from their etsy shop. The cedar waxwing pair is my favorite - made from carefully selected hardwood pieces to match the birds' actual colors. You can find out more about Jai and Lauren's life and work by visiting their blog.

modern fabrics

Ewa and James Powell has turned fabric recycling into a genius business model. The couple salvages discarded fabric remnants from furniture and upholstery industries and resells the high end fabrics to the public on their website Modern Fabrics. Not only do they keep these beautiful textiles out of the landfill, but they also enable artists, interior designers, and other creative people to buy them for a fraction of the original price. Above are examples of two fabrics that I have purchased. To the left is a wonderful wool fabric from Knoll, it is a lustrous shade of green and has fantastic drape. It is still on the roll waiting for the perfect purpose. To the right is an old office chair that we reupholstered in a striped green fabric made from recycled polyester – both durable and attractive.
Modern Fabrics is featured in the april/may issue of Ready Made magazine in a lovely article that applauds Ewa and James' efforts. Pick up a copy or check out Ready Made online for more information. Below are a few of my favorite fabrics currently for sale at Modern Fabrics.
  

weekly delights

Susan Benarcik
I love New York based artist Susan Benarcik's work! She reuses, recycles, and rearranges objects discarded by nature or humanity. Her wonderful installations, sculptures, photographs and designs raise an awareness and appreciation of our natural resources. Her solo exhibition Collected Response is currently on display at Maiden Lane Exhibition Space in New York (call 212.206.6061 for more information). She is will also participate in the Surtex show in New York on May 18-20, where she will exhibit new textiles and other surface designs.

The design and artist cooperative Trunkt is a wonderful resource for anything creative and hand made. Here you will find an array of amazing portfolios with links to the artists websites if you are in the mood for shopping...

Talented potter and ceramist Diana Fayt creates beautiful bowls, plates, mugs and other vessels out of stoneware clay. Visit her etsy shop and her lovely blog for more information.

weekly delights


Jennifer Anderson
I first met Jennifer and saw her work at the ACC show in Baltimore in February where she participated in the Searchlight exhibit which celebrates emerging artists and designers. Jennifer creates one-of-a-kind furniture pieces that combine tradition with experimentation. She encourages people to reconsider their relationship with familiar objects, such as Danish designer Hans Wegner's classic Y-chair which she re-created out of mud. I love her masterfully crafted screens, which could be used as room dividers or sophisticated shelving systems.

Talented designer Julia at Red Otter makes these exquisite journals and other paper goods. They are available in her etsy store and she also writes about her work and other beautiful things on her blog.

This London-based Finnish designer manipulates and constructs felted wool into beautiful cushions, bags, wall hangings, throws, and other objects that just begs to be touched.