Tuesday, December 29, 2009

rumination and dreams, part 1

I am surely not alone spending these quiet days after the holidays thinking about life, aspirations, and dreams. I still have lots of immediate work to do - preparing for two upcoming group shows with Fiber Transformed, finishing up the end-of-year book keeping, and readying the online shop for a hopefully busy spring. Yet there is a subtle restlessness setting in, with an urge to clarify an spell out what I want to achieve this upcoming year.

I am 48 years old, with one son ready to leave the nest and the other one well on his way on the slippery road of teenagehood. For the last couple of years I am pursuing my art full time, which makes me feel privileged and lucky. But the truth is that I still work way to much, often on things that I don't feel that passionate about, and that my house, garden, pets, and sometimes my family suffer because of it. Also, despite the long hours, I am nowhere near making a substantial contribution to our family finances. My business is self sustained, but there is not much else to spread around.

In an ideal world I would be in my studio from 9 - 3 every day, delving into one creative project after another. Buyers would be ready to snatch up my work as soon as it was finished, and pay me handsomely for it... The rest of my days would be spent with my boys, cooking scrumptious meals, cleaning, weeding, and organizing my linen closet... My weekends would be devoted to family time, long walks, and dinner with friends.

To off-set this unrealistic vision, I am working on some baby steps that hopefully will bring me a bit closer to a meaningful, productive and more prosperous existence, such as less wholesale orders, gallery representation for my art, more and better marketing, and hired help. Details to come...

The images are from my studio – where happiness continue to happen. Best wishes for the new year. Happy new decade!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

winter wonder

Things are crazily busy over here with holiday orders to complete, my son's college applications to finish up, gift gathering, wrapping, tree decorating, cookie making, and so on... I will take a hiatus until after Christmas. I leave you with these wonderful images by UK based photographer Ania Wawrzkowicz. She captured the frozen beauty of her homeland Poland while visiting there last winter. Thank you Ania, for letting me share them. Happy holidays and warm winter wishes to all of you!

© copyright Ania Wawrzkowicz

Sunday, December 6, 2009

first snow

The first snow of the season arrived this weekend, coating everything in fluff and ice. It will not stay for long as temperatures are rising, but it left this Sunday morning feeling especially serene. I want to send big thanks to Jan over at poppytalk, who wrote so nicely about my work this week, and a belated greeting of gratitude goes to Rachel of elephantine who also featured my work recently. Tack!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

craft talent

Meeting other artists and discussing their work was one of the highlights for me at the Craft + Design show in Richmond. I was impressed with the high quality of craftsmanship represented overall, but a few of the makers truly stood out in the crowd, starting with Dan Mirer, a young glass artist living and working in Corning, New York. I love the simplicity of his designs and the subtle but still radiant colors he use.

Eric Burris, is a metalsmith who's jewelry is created with an old Japanese technique called Mokume Gane. He often incorporates pieces of wood into his sparse but elegant pieces. I am enthralled with his work, admiring the intricate details and clean lines.

Korean born fiber artist Jeung-Hwa Park creates incredible soft and alluring knitted and felted shawls. Each piece is complex in detail and color, yet simple and utilitarian. This is wearable art at its finest.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

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!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Miles from the nearest shopping mall, surrounded by loved ones and crisp cool air — we took a nice post thanksgiving family walk this morning at Sugar Hollow at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Everyone had a chance to romp, splash, crash, and converse. So much to be thankful for...

patterns, and textures hiding everywhere

my lovely family

neither Freja the dog nor cousin Liam have time to touch the ground

branches, searching for images for a future project

sword fighting, the stick way

Monday, November 23, 2009

craft + design

The car is unpacked, and I am catching my breath after this weekends craft + design show in Richmond, Virginia. I did have a wonderful time, despite the stress, long hours, and tidious preparations. My booth came together nicely, and my sales exceeded expectations, but most importantly I made numerous new connections with visitors, craft and art supporters, and other artists (some of them produce amazing work which I will feature in another post later this week). A few lesson's learned - bring more inventory, lighting is super important, and not accepting credit card payments at your booth can be an issue. Will do better on all fronts next time. I am grateful for my fun and helpful booth neighbors Robyn and Marc from iron design company and potter Robert Hessler. My lovely husband deserves big thanks (he already got plenty of hugs and kisses) for his patience with me while designing and constructing the displays, and I am also indebted to my fantastic friends Julie, Virginia, and Lauren who's sales skills far surpasses mine. Thank you! Now it is time to reclaim my house and my family, and gear up for the upcoming turkey feast. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I wish you a relaxing time with friends, relatives, and loved ones.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

and the show will go on...

Yet another week plus has past since the last post. I have one more event to get ready for before I can catch my breath. Next weekend I will be in Richmond, for the Craft + Design show at the Science Museum of Virginia, along with over 70 talented artists and artisans from all over the country. Many of you are pros when it comes to shows of this caliber, but this is only the second time in my career that I am participating in a juried event like this. I am grateful to have been accepted and invited, but I have to admit that I am terrified. I am feverishly working on new inventory, as well as booth design, and promotional materials. I want everything to be perfect, and I am fretting over every little detail which drives both me and my lovely family crazy. It is the bane of being a perfectionist, an overachiever, and slightly neurotic when it comes to quality control... I'll bring along these new appliqued pillows, created entirely from soft vintage linens, with the raw edges left to be touched. I will also have new wall pieces on display and a series of table runners. I wish all of you could join me. If you are in Richmond, VA this weekend I would love to see you. Thank you for all your encouraging comments about the studio tour! It was a great success. We had lots of visitors and good sales. Thanks to everyone who came to visit. It made the weekend very special.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

joining the tour

Frantic preparations are underway as I am getting ready for the annual Artisans Studio Tour this weekend. 15 studios in the Charlottesville area will open their doors and a total of 30 artists will showcase their work and craft. I will be at The Barn Swallow along with potters Janice Arone and Mary Ann Burk, and textile artist Enid Adams. I'll bring a stack of fresh leaves to demonstrate my leaf printing technique and I am introducing new bags, art quilts, and pillows. The fun fig market totes are also available in the shop. The studios are open from 10 - 5 both days. For more information, directions, and other details visit the tour website. The weather is supposed to be glorious and I hope you will join us if you are in the area!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

imogene + willie

If it was not so far, I would take my lovely husband by the hand jump in the car and head over to imogene + willie. We would get there in time for some shopping, and I would finally find that perfect pair of jeans I have been searching for. Then we would stay for supper and song by the bonfire in the back yard, hanging out with other imogene + willie friends and Lalai the lab.

Imogene + willie is a boutique/design studio/manufacturing center housed in an old gas station in Nashville, TN. The company was founded by husband and wife team Matt and Carrie Eddmenson, who after working for years developing denim wear for big brand names wanted to branch out on their own. Imogene + willie is a unique concept where creativity, craftsmanship, and authenticity is flourishing under one roof. Person to person interaction is at the core of their business model, as is utilizing local talent for production, marketing, and photo shoots. The store is filled with their jeans, dresses, and t-shirts, mixed in with vintage finds and other expertly crafted goods. If you can't make it to Nashville I encourage you to visit their website (don't miss the fantastic introductory video by John Moessner), browse their look book, or contact them to find out how to get your hands on those perfect cuffed jeans.

Friday, October 30, 2009

happy all hallows' even

Halloween is around the corner. None of my big boys will be out there tricking or being treated. We are focusing on decorations, and stocking up on candy for all those scary little creatures who are planning to come by our house. Have a fun, fright filled weekend.

Monday, October 26, 2009

lovely leaves and cat sickness

The leaves are coming down in droves here in our little town. They pile up everywhere. I love this season and I am even looking forward to some leaf raking. On a sad note, our 19 year old kitty is ailing. She has received a grim cancer diagnosis and we now nurture her along day by day. I usually don't let our pets into my studio, but have made an exception for her lately. She just wants to be nearby, ands sleeps quietly most of the time. Having animals is sometimes nothing but heartache and sorrow...

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