julfrid


Slowly but surely I am getting into the holiday spirit. I am cleaning the house, listening to Christmas songs from my lovely husband's eclectic collection. The sweet smelling tree is ready to be brought in and tomorrow my mom and sister arrive from Sweden. There is still much left to be done - gift gathering/making, cooking, and some last minute work to finish up. But I am getting ready to relax and celebrate the joy of the season.

As always I am already thinking ahead, planning new things for the upcoming year. One of the main things on my mind is to revive this blog. I am so grateful for all my readers and followers, and I am eager to make this experience worthwhile for you. Sometimes it is hard to keep up the pace in this world of instant news report, facebook posts, and tweets. What do you like to see more of? What can you do without? How can the blog become more interactive? I have some ideas of my own, but I would love to hear yours as well.



There are a few goodies left in the store. Notebooks, sachets, and small art pieces all make lovely gifts. Last day to order for Christmas delivery within the US is next Tuesday, December 18.

Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season! May it be filled with friendship and cheers!







random ramblings


The past two weeks have gone by in a blur as I finished up a large order for Terrain. Even though I am excited about the work and love how everything turned out, it was an enormous undertaking for me, and it left me feeling a bit guilty for abandoning other aspects of my life.

In the meantime I realized that over 5000 kind individuals now favor my shop on etsy. No. 5000 was MonkiVintage, which is a great little vintage store with beautiful well priced items, stunningly photographed. 5000 is a big number. Thanks to all of you!


large metal L, from MonkiVintage

Lastly, I have a blogger question. Everyday I run across new wonderful blogs, and I have a long list of old time favorites, but I have yet to come up with a good way to keep up with everyone. I know I can seek out blogs I follow through my dashboard, but it still requires logging in and I just don't do it often enough. Do you have ideas for how to easily get updated when there are new posts on your favorite blogs?

I wish everyone a wonderful week ahead!

arrival

A few birds landed in my mailbox, along with a sweet note from their creator Elaine. A simple message and a gift, that caused me to pause, smile, and think in the midst of the frantic work activities that dominate my life. Thank you!

I have been dreadfully absent on my favorite blogs lately. There has been no time for visits, and even less time for comments. I will return. I promise. Staying in touch with my creative friends, and sharing your experiences feed my soul. I miss you.

soft hues and gratitude



This past week I finally did some more dye pot experiments. I simmered black walnuts, in various stages of decay, and added pieces of whole cloth linen as well as some bundles. One of the bundles incorporated architectural iron stars that I have collected over the years, another included large mimosa leaves. The overall result did not yield the dark brown color I had anticipated, but I am still pleased. The softness of the hues achieved with natural dyes is fascinating.

My work was featured in three different blogs this week. I am grateful for the attention. Thank you Illana for the interview (don't miss the giveaway), and Jenya for the beautiful photo collage and kind words, and last but not least Erin for including my towel in her Canadian Thanksgiving inspiration.  Happy weekend everyone!

daily inspiration




A picture says more than a 1000 words. The saying may seem cliche, but it often holds true. Almost every day this year artist and photographer Elaine Kean has published one photo and one word on her blog red or gray black and white. The black and white images are random reflections of her life, small beautiful glimpses that inspire pause and contemplation. It is a lovely place to visit. Elaine is a talented multi media artists and you can fine her wonderful collages, mobiles, and garlands in her etsy shop.





Photos courtesy of Elaine Kean. All rights reserved.

Photo no. 10

Last week I was tagged by Hannah with the challenge to post and tell the story behind the tenth photo in my first picture folder. Here it is. This picture of the back of our house was published in Metropolitan Home's January 2002 issue as part of their reader's house renovation competition. We had finished a major kitchen redo the summer before, and were so happy with the result and to have survived the project (3 months with a microwave and a hotplate, dishes done in the bathroom sink), that we decided to enter the competition. We did not win the grand prize, but we were finalists and our kitchen and the house was featured in the magazine. The kitchen still looks good, and the bad renovation memories have faded by now.

I am supposed to pass on the honor. Here are the rules for this fun tag:
1. open your first folder of pictures
2. scroll to the tenth picture
3. post the photo and the story behind it
5. tag 5 more people

and here are the friends now on the line:

winter green

I just finished piecing this together this morning. The freshness of these leaf prints echoes the steady snowfall (yet again) outside. The leaves are printed on vintage linen, crisp yet smooth to the touch. I imagine layering it with soft flannel, and backing with dyed cotton. The piece will be hand quilted in white on the white cloth. There will be some kind of edging too, maybe in the palest, faintest shade of green, with more stitching in the same hue... Thinking, planning, and scheming is fun. The final work hardly ever turns out the way first envisioned. But that is fine too...

Our severe winter weather made me think of my wonderful illustrator and artist friend Charlotta from Sydney, Australia, where they right now are in the midst of summer. She recently honored me with the honest scrap award, in which you are supposed to reveal ten things about yourself. Since I received the same award in September (thank you Molly) I will refer back to that post if you want to learn about my secrets. Please visit Charlotta's beutiful blog to find out about hers.

flower power

Photos courtesy of Bornay © Bornay

Through the beautiful blog world I have discovered two remarkable floral designers. Both of them have their own distinct style, with simplistic design and striking color combinations as a common theme.

Fàtima, and her design company Bornay creates scrumptious arrangements and event concepts in Barcelona, Spain. The images she uses to promote her work, as sampled above, are equally delicious. They make me want to grab her bouquets by the armful and linger in their freshness and earthy scent. Unfortunately that is not possible for most of us, so I suggest following Fàtima's artistic endeavors through her blog.

Denise Fasanello is a floral designer from Brooklyn, New York, who specializes in wedding arrangements with a modern twist, beautifully illustrated below. Simplicity and unusual plant materials signifies her work. I would love to surround myself with her stylish compositions as well... Denise also has a wonderful blog, where she shares samples of her work mixded with her inspirations, finds, and musings.

Thank you Fàtima and Denise for brightening my life from afar...

Photos courtesy of Denise Fasanello © Denise Fasanello

fall pillows


The weather is getting cooler in my part of the world. I am always looking forward to fall, with its crisp air and beautiful colors. The next few months will be busy in the inleaf studio. I have three big events lined up, starting with a solo show at the Barn Swallow in October. More details will be posted shortly. In the meantime new work is gradually listed in the inleaf shop. The seedpods + seams pillow is now available in natural linen and dark brown, as well as the original sea foam blue. I love the texture of the linen used for this pillow and the way the pin tuck seams mirrors the stems of the seedpods.

A warm thank you to Sandra of Pepperberry & Co who posted a long interview with me today. There is a giveaway as well, so I encourage you to head over for a visit.

self revelations

I was tagged by sweet Ms. Molly with the honest scrap award. Here are the rules:

I should share 10 true things about myself, pass the award on to 10 other bloggers, let them know about it, and they link back to me when accepted.

Here are the truths:

1. I hate to have my picture taken. I tried to do some self portraits this morning, since I need a headshot for an upcoming show. Obviously I could not even get my whole face into the frame and it felt surreal to sit there in my empty house staring at the lens. I don't like photos even if there is a real person behind the camera.

2. I cry at the drop of a hat – when watching old movies, listening to the radio, or reading blogs, especially if the story involves dogs, lost love, or small children. My boys are used to my sobbing. They just shake their heads. I hope it means I have a big heart.

3. Old fashioned bicycles bring me joy. They are pieces of art and I am lucky enough to have one myself.

4. I like things simple, neat, and clean, but my house is almost always a mess. Tidying up is time consuming, and there are so many other things I rather do.

5. I love soccer, especially watching my kids play. For some parents the soccer circuit is a chore, but I am always ready to go. And if the boys don't play I'll watch our college team (go cavaliers), or an occasional MLS game if I can find it on the tube.

6. My studio holds more fabric stacks than I will ever be able to use. Sometimes I don't want them to be used. They are my treasure trove.

7. I collect craft books. Other people's creativity is inspirational and I am always eager to learn about new printing methods or sewing techniques. Secretly I wish I could write a craft book.

8. I get up at 5 every other morning to run with my girlfriends Amoret, Lynn, and Virginia. It is the best time for relaxation, gossiping, and political discussions.

9. Mystery novels are my favorite reading materials, preferably substantial ones with lots of intricate details, and intriguing personalities. I love authors like Henning Mankell, Johan Theorin, Elizabeth George, and Maj Sjöwall/Per Wahlöö.

10. The first thing I read in the Sunday edition of Washintong Post is date lab, the blind date story facilitated by the paper. It makes me happy when it works out.

And my honest scrap award goes to:


Run with it if you like, but no pressure if you dont. You will always be on my blog roll whether you spill your secrets or not.

blogging reflections take two

My pondering about blogging continues. Right after my last post I learned that my friend Leah Hennen is discontinuing her blog More Ways to Waste Time. She will leave many sad souls behind. Leah is a stylish decorator, and expert ebay treasure hunter, and she has compiled the most amazing list of galleries, stores, and museums to visit, mainly on the west coast, but also online and abroad. Leah you and your stories will be missed.

This past weekend our local paper ran an associated press story about blogging, focusing on Julie Powell's writings about cooking her way through Julia Child's recipes in Mastering the art of French cooking. Her blog led to two books and now a movie Julie & Julia. The article discusses what a makes a blog successful and how success is measured. Of course this varies from blogger to blogger, for some it is number of visits, for others the amount of comments, and sometimes it is all about self expression. The key still seems to be passion for the topic you write about. If your heart is there it will resonate with others.

While visiting miss Molly's blog, I learned about the nie nie dialogues, written by Stephanie Nielsen. Almost a year ago she and her husband Christian, was in a plane crash that nearly took their lives. Stephanie was a devoted blogger before the accident, and now continues to share her thoughts about her burn injury recovery, her adorable children, her love for her husband, and living a life that is no longer what it used to be. Her writing is warm, funny, engaging, heart wrenching, and very inspirational. This is blogging in its most powerful way. I encourage you to visit the nie nie dialogues, and to support the Nielsen family in any way you can.

It is time to put my blogging anxieties to rest. I truly love what I do, and my life is rich and fulfilled in so many ways. With that in mind I will follow my heart and continue my musings about work, life, nature, creative people, and all the beauty that surround us.

blogging blues

Why? How interesting is it really for others to learn about my likes, dislikes, work tidbits, and habits? Is the world always as beautiful and perfect as I want it to appear in my blog? Is it just self promoting hoopla?

The meaning of blogging is a huge subject and I know that there are no simple answers. After a year plus of doing this I still feel like I am struggling to find my voice and purpose. I wish that blogging was more effortless. I always labor with my writing, even when I know what I want to say. I feel stressed if I don't post often enough, and even more stressed when I can't keep up with the many blogs that I love to read. The pressure is of course internal, nobody ever leaves comments like "nice blog, but you should post more often..."

Despite the difficulties I know I am hooked. Blogging has brought me tremendous joy and connected me with the most wonderful people. I can't imagine not blogging. But I want to do it better and differently, in a way that is truly mine and not just mimicking something else.

I will snap out of my blogging doldrums, do some thinking, and figure out which path to take. In the meantime I want to celebrate a few of my favorite blogger friends, all of them have a clear voice of their own. Visits to their blogs always makes my heart sing.

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.

and the winner is...

By old fashioned random selection, the inleaf gift of appreciation goes to cindy of quaint handmade. Cindy is one of my earliest blogger friends, and I love to read her posts, learn about her life in the big city, and admire her beautiful photography. Thank you Cindy! Thanks to all of you who commented and showered me with kindness. I appreciate every word and hope that you will be back to visit. I will make sure to say hello to all of you in the next few days.

celebrating 100

100 posts an counting... I am still amazed how this blog is thriving, how much joy it brings me, and how it encourages me to think, discover, and see things differently. Most of all I am grateful that it has led me to kindred spirits all over the world, like Isabelle, Julia, Tyler, Colleen, Sharon, Cindy, Molly, Hannah, and many, many more. To celebrate the occasion and to give thanks, I will send an inleaf care package to one of you. It includes a fern sachet, stamped gift tags, and a $20 gift certificate to my etsy shop. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post sometime this week. I'll draw one of your names next Monday.

A few more things. This Friday, March 13, we will be at shecky's girls night out in New York. Regretfully, I will not be there in person, but my goods will. If you are planning to attend this fun event, make sure to find the show:room table, where our group of emerging eco-friendly designers will offer up work at discounted prices. Inleaf will also be represented at the Nature Conservancy's Young Professionals Group's annual benefit at the Bowery Hotel in New York, on Thursday, March 19. One of my pillows is included in the evening's silent auction, among many other wonderful objects and services. A great opportunity to do good for the environment, while getting something fun in return. 

gratitude

This weekend I received this beautiful leaf garland in the mail from Isabelle of Lou & Tom. Her generous gift is now hanging by the window in my studio, slowly twirling, reminding me of kindred creative spirits and friendship. Thank you Isabelle! I am also grateful for Mrs. French's wonderful post about my work this past week on bliss. So thankful my friend.

waiting

This branch, which was rescued from the freezing cold temperatures outside, seems to hesitate to unfurl. It, just like me, is eagerly awaiting spring... 

I want to send heartfelt thanks to some special blogger friends for their nice posts this week; jewels & jules and hanna's life is cool for highlighting the etsy tea towel article, dear Mrs. French at bliss for praising periwinklebloom and our little collaboration, and Isabelle of sweet Lou & Tom, for featuring my work. Tusen tack!

winter wonder

We woke up to more snow this morning. Wet and heavy, engulfing the neighborhood. Everything seems so pristine after a snowfall. This month I am starting two new partnerships. I am collaborating with Karen Young and her newly launched show:room, where she will promote independent artists and designers. Karen's own line Hammocks & High Tea is part of this small but talented group of eco conscious creative businesses. I have also placed my first ever sponsor ad on bliss. I can't imagine a better venue than Mrs. French's lovely blog, and I am proud to be a bliss supporter.

art journey with misty mawn

My friend Misty Mawn is spearheading 31 days of art journaling on her wonderful blog. She will feature a new journal entry daily through-out the month of January. Sometimes her posts are accompanied by her magical photography, some days she will include a tutorial or creative idea, and then there is the music, and the poetry... I encourage you to follow her journey — it will awaken your senses and leave you with something new to admire every day.

Several other artists are joining Misty by posting their own daily art journals. You can find links to all of them here, and if  you like you can join the fun...