stitching slowly

Lots of time is spent stitching lately. Slowly, methodically, and deliberately. It is hard not to feel rushed with looming deadlines, but I am trying. Taking deep breaths, concentrating on the needle penetrating the cloth, creating lines and texture as we go. I am enamored with tone on tone stitching, without much contrast, except the sheen of the thread agains the matt linen.

I am featured in a new book called Mastering the art of fabric printing and design by Laurie Wisbrun. It is a great book that covers a wide range of techniques and aspects of textile design and printing, and it includes profiles and interviews with many wonderful textile makers from around the world. The first edition is released in the UK. The book will be available in the US in the spring under a slightly different title. I'll keep you posted.

self image

This post is out of character. Most of you know me as a quiet, relatively shy person not eager to bang my chest or loudly brag about my work. So a post filled with images of myself may seem a bit odd.

Recently I have had a few requests for portraits and images of my work, which explains why I decided to have some professional photos taken of me, my studio, and most importantly my work process. Charlottesville photographer Sarah Cramer Shields was the perfect person for the job. Within minutes most of my self awareness and nervousness vanished and the session turned into fun chatting about life, work, dogs, and art. Sarah is a wonderful photographer, probably most known for her imaginative wedding shoots and portraits. Her documentary photo style makes all of her assignments shine. As evident here. Thank you Sarah! 

self promotion

Maketing, publicity, and pr are concepts that I struggle with. I am just not good at beating my own drum or tooting my own horn. But I do like to present myself and my work in a way that reflect who I am and what I create. Recently I decided to make some larger format cards instead of standard buisness cards. They were printed at my favorite local press in black ink on recycled card stock, and each of them will be adorned with a leaf print on the front. Even though more time consuming, it feels important to leave behind a small sample of my work for prospective customers to look at and consider.

Speaking of promotion... I recently listed a new piece in the etsy shop that I really like. It is a textile collage of eco printed linen and silk, hand stitched and mounted on a small stretched canvas. I call it whisper, because the imagery is barely there, it seems to be floating under the fabric surface.

Lastly, my garden blog is revived. The garden is such a huge inspiration in my life and my work, and I am glad I finally got back to documenting the exciting things that always happens there. Happy spring!

time to tour

The Artisans Studio Tour is coming up this weekend. 16 studios in the Charlottesville, Virginia area will showcase 33 artists and their work. This is a fun event, a great chance to support handmade and find gifts for the holidays. I will be at the Barn Swallow, along with my dear friends Mary Ann Burk, Janice Arone, and Enid Adams. I love this video made by local photographer Billy Hunt. We hope to see you on the Tour.

My new website launched this week. Much of the content is the same, but with more focus on my art pieces. Check it out if you have a chance – I would love to hear what you think.

holiday sale

It is time for our first annual pre-holiday sale starting at midnight and continuing through Wednesday, December 2. Everything in the inleaf shop, is 15 percent off. Just enter inleafholiday in the box on the checkout page. All sales orders will ship by the end of the week and I will gladly provide gift wrapping upon request. Wishing all of you a happy and handmade holiday season!

art promotion

I had promised myself not to delve into another heavy topic, but after talking with my friend Monika over at splendid willow recently, I began to reflect on promotion and marketing. Or in my case the lack thereof. I readily admit that self promotion is the hardest part of being an independent artist (and business owner).

To my own ears, I just don't sound sincere when telling someone about my talent, skills, and general goodness. I am a little better at the behind-the-scenes stuff like maintaining an email list, sending out newsletters, and promoting events, but only to a small degree. I still have a hard time imposing my work and wares on other people. It seems like there must be a better, more organized, and less intrusive way of handling promotion through new media. Maybe not.
I am not spying, prying, or looking to steal your creative marketing ideas, but I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. If you are interested I'll be glad to share more of mine in future posts.

Speaking of self promotion, inleaf now has a page on facebook and I would love for you to become fans. It is not my intention to duplicate the blog over there. Instead I envision the facebook page to be a place where I will feature new work and publicize shows and other events. No pressure to join though – I know that the world is divided about "social networking" and its merits.