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


May I introduce Madelaine. She is standing guard in our family room, and I just can't take my eyes off her. I have wanted a vintage dress form for ages. Not that I actually sew clothes that often anymore, but I love the dress form's shape and life size presence. I spotted Madelaine on ebay and fell in love. Not only did she look flawless and had all parts intact, but she was made the year I was born! After some intense bidding, possibly involving a little too much money, she became mine.

I think she is even more gracious in person. The linen covered bodice is slightly worn in places, but that only adds to her charm. I wish she could tell me her story. Where has she been? What beautiful clothes was created with her help? There are traces of threads and fabric stuck in her iron wheels, so I know she has been used for real.

Her measurements are 35, 29, 38, and while our chest circumference is almost identical, I am sad to report that my waist and hip measurements are a few inches larger. I look at her and realize that since she has the figure I wish for, she may be the motivation I need to get back into shape.


I am working on an art quilt, that requires a large image of the Queen Ann's lace seedpod. Rather than going through the expense of creating a screen for the printing, I had the fabric done through spoonflower, an online digital custom fabric printer. I choose their new organic cotton sateen as a base, and in a few easy steps I uploaded my image, sized it, chose my colors, and picked a repeat pattern that worked for the large format. I am thrilled with the result and the possibilities this printing method brings. Next I think I will design a small scale pattern that I can use for purse linings. I can also imagine additional large leaf images, and practical things like custom fabric labels. The options are endless, and the spoonflower site is easy to use even for non computer savvy customers. The prices range from $18 - $32 per yard, and they currently have three different base fabrics to choose from. They also have an inspirational and informative blog, weekly fabric contests, and an etsy store where a selection of their customers' fabrics are available for sale.

Thank you for the nice comments I received on my last two posts. I truly appreciate your encouragement and kindness. I have some belated thanks to pass along. Thank you Alysia of blue hour design for featuring my apron on your blog. Alysia is a talented jewelry designer, make sure to check out her etsy shop. Merci beaucoup Nat for your post about inleaf and my work! Last but not least thanks to Hayley of Ruby Wren Boutique, who used my queen ann's lace pillow as a starting point for her colour scheme finds post.

swedish delights

Great design, art, and functionality are embedded in Swedish society. It is evident whether you visit a public park, a local restaurant, or someones home. While I am visiting I want to introduce a few of my favorite Swedish artists and designers, starting with Signe Persson-Melin a fantastic ceramist, and designer. Now in her eighties, she is still active in her studio in my family's hometown Malmö. Most recently she has a designed a series of beautiful garden pots and birdbaths in collaboration with Byarums Bruk. Throughout her long career she has created an array of alluring objects, from glass storage containers and rustic tea pots, to silverware and altar decorations. Signe Persson-Melin's work is on display at Kulturen in Lund until August 16, if you are in the neighborhood...

G.A.D is a swedish design company founded and based on the island Gotland, east of the Swedish mainland. G.A.D is renowned for their high quality furniture and use of native woods and natural materials. I love the simplicity, clean lines, and muted colors. Too bad most of their goods are too large for my suitcases...

fiber transformed

I am honored to be a member of fiber transformed, a group of remarkable Virginia textile and quilt artists. Each woman in this group has her own renowned style with a contemporary feel and amazing technical skills. Several of them are award winning quilt artists and have shown their work nationally as well as abroad. The current group consists of Mary Beth Bellah, Cynthia Harrison, Jill Jensen, Judy Loope, Peggy Printz, Diane Siebels, Susan Skalak, and me. We meet once a month to plan, chat, and share each others work. Currently we are working on a theme called starting point where each piece includes a black dot, period, or circle. Two of my pieces are shown here; spotted (above) and odd ball (below). I feel so privileged to be part of all this talent. I am learning and flourishing in their midst. 

french inspiration

I recently introduced a new collection of sachets, thanks to Isabelle of Lou & Tom. She encouraged me to make a sachet with ribbons that can be hung wherever its soothing scent is needed. Isabelle's inspiration led to these sweet smelling, queen ann's lace printed mini pillows. They are available in several color combinations both in the webshop and the etsy store. Merci, Isabelle. 

I also want to send thanks to a few other friends for featuring my work lately. Suzannah, from my favorite Charlottesville store O'Suzannah picked me for this month's love feature on her blog , Monika included my sachets in her mothers day special on the delightful splendid willow, and Tracey of Life in Sugar Hollow wrote so kindly about my wall art. All is much appreciated!

the boss

Yesterday evening we spent three rocking and hopping hours with this distinguished gentleman (and a few other people...) Last time I had the honor was during his "born in the U.S.A." tour in Göteborg, Sweden in 1985. It feels like a long time ago, and still there is so much energy, heart, spunk, and beautiful music to be shared. It was a privilege to be part of the enthusiastic Charlottesville crowd last night. Thank you Mr. Springsteen, Mr. Clemons, and the rest of the E street band!

reclaiming the garden

Gardening has always been a big part of my life, but for the past few years my own garden has been woefully neglected. Family, work, art, and life has gradually encroached on my precious gardening time and lately I have been too embarrassed to face the weeds and the decline.

This is about to change. This weekend I met with Tracey, (blogger friend, horticulturist, garden consultant, artist, and almost neighbor). We had a wonderful time walking around my yard in the warm morning sun, discussing options, admiring the good, noting the bad. Tracey's positive attitude and practical advise, made me see the garden and the practice of gardening with new eyes. I am truly inspired! The daunting job of caring for our acre of our overgrown land, will be broken down in small manageable projects. I have promised myself to stay on task and to rediscover the joy of digging in the dirt and stopping to smell the roses...

off to new york

New York City is the destination for our spring break family trip in early April. I am so excited. It was a long, long time since my last visit, and the boys have never seen this fantastic city. If you are a New York native, or a just a frequent visitor, I would love to hear about that favorite restaurant, fabric store, diner, consignment shop, art gallery, or hidden garden. The more ideas the better...

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. 

sunday wander

A few snapshots from today's neighborhood walk. Starting with my friend, NiNi Baeckstrom's whimsical sculptures outside McGuffey Art center.

The sparkling winter jasmine, always eager to flower despite cold and grayness.

One of my favorite neighborhood houses – an arts and crafts style bungalow, restored to its full former glory.

His and hers vespa – I imagine... Have a happy week.

the homestead

My lovely husband and I snuck away for a 24-hour visit to the homestead this weekend. This historic, and breathtakingly beautiful resort is nestled between mountain ranges in western virginia, a few hours drive from where we live. It is almost decadently vast and luxurious, with delicious food, warm spring fed pools and baths, thick terry robes, and an abundance of friendliness and hospitality. It was a treat for us to just be together, hike in the snow, sip wine, and relax without any distractions, besides the stunning setting.

puppy love

... a dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smell of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
almost nothing...
— Mary Oliver
from the poem "her grave"

I love our two dogs.  Freja, the labrador, steals food, doesn't come when called, and can't walk properly on a leash. Kajsa, the hound mix, is terrified of everything, especially fireworks, thunder, and hot air balloons. With all their faults, there is something honest and unconditional about dogs, their devotion, endearment, and companionship. I can't imagine life without them. Charlottesville is covered in ice and snow today. School is closed and we are all, including the pups, setting up camp in front of the wood stove. Lovely...

all mine

I recently discovered book artist Jean Potter's work on etsy's front page. I fell in love with her work and especially this little book, which is actually two books bound into one, called dos-a-dos. One side is a screen printed weekly planner, the other is a blank journal. The book is beautifully made, with unique papers, decorative details, and impeccable craftsmanship. And it is only 3.5" x 5", small enough to come along wherever I go... You can find similar books and many other beautiful pieces in Jean's etsy shop TheAyBeeCees.

A special thank you to Julia for featuring my self portrait on red otter yesterday, and to Carolyn for writing so beautifully about my sachets on serendipity & spark today. I am thrilled and honored!

winter walks

We frequently take walks with the dogs through our neighborhood. Last weekend we went to the trail along the creek by the high school. It is secluded and quiet despite being in the midst of the city. Everything is bare and stark this time of year, yet alluring. Today we visited the cemetery near our house. It is small, just over an acre, and dates back to the pre-civil-war-era. This resting place is peaceful and hauntingly beautiful. I love the simplicity and artfulness of the headstones and monuments marking the graves.

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...

star power

I love stars, with their angels and outward focus, and their symbolism of warmth, light, and strength. Here are a few samples of stars scattered around my house and wintery garden. Sorry about the blog absence. I have been enjoying my mother's and sister's company, while things have been hectic around the studio with holiday orders and inquiries trickling in. I'll return soon...