Tuesday, March 24, 2009

beautiful blue ridge

This past weekend I took my youngest son to his soccer game in the valley. It was a perfect day, sunny, clear, and crisp. On the way back we stopped briefly at the overlook just as we crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains, and once again it hit me what a beautiful region we live in.

Sorry about the brief absence from the blog - unintentional as usual. Things picked up with a few orders to ship out and some major work on my website. It is almost there. I am excited to soon have a new look, and an easy to manage, functional site. Stay tuned...

Thank you Sophie, for featuring my work on your blog. So sweet. Please check out her etsy shop as well, filled with her stunning textile art, ceramics, and origami. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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.

Monday, March 16, 2009

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.

Friday, March 13, 2009

fresh stationery

Inleaf's business correspondence has a new look this spring thanks to sweet Martina of  blossom stamps  who transformed some of my leaf prints into beautiful polymer stamps. The intricate details of the prints are well preserved and the tiny type on the address stamp prints crisp and clear. I am inspired and can imagine more of my imagery transfered onto tags, note cards, and stickers. 

There are still a few days left to enter the give-away. The drawing will happen Monday morning. I am grateful for all the nice comments you have left so far.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

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. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

mass producing the handmade

Ever since founding inleaf six years ago, I have been conflicted by the rigor required when making handcrafted work for a larger market, and the spontaneity that I normally crave when creating my art. I am often approached by store owners who want to purchase my work for resale and I am always flattered by these propositions. The idea that my pieces are available in shops throughout the country is exciting and over the years I have developed wonderful relationships with many of my retail customers.

But the reality of selling work wholesale is complicated. My fabrics are hand dyed and I print with real leaves, some of which are available only part of the year. I often use vintage fabrics and components in my work. None of these methods lend themselves easily to mass production. The dye batch of my favorite aqua blue color will inevitable be slightly different each time, the shape of the geranium leaf will vary, and the pretty cotton print used for purse linings will run out. Then there is the price discount that is expected for wholesale orders, which doesn't always take into account the amount of work or cost of materials required to complete each piece.

I love what I do, and I am fortunate, especially in these difficult financial times, to create work that is still in demand. My solution, for now, is to offer a limited wholesale line, consisting of items that are still handcrafted, but more easily reproduced and multiplied. I am also exploring possibilities to expand, by hiring a seamstress and developing screen printing techniques for some of my designs.

The reason for this post is not to complain and whine, but rather to start a discussion and share ideas. I don't think I am the only one harboring these thoughts. How do we create a viable market for handmade goods, without loosing the handmade touch? How do we sell handcrafted objects in a way that works for everyone – the store owner, the maker, and the consumer? I would love to hear from all of you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Joan Baez

What a pleasure and privilege it was to see this classy lady live at Paramount Theatre last night. She offered a mix of nostalgia, residual Dylan love, and delightful songs from her most recent album "Day After tomorrow".  Still with so much beatuy in her voice. Thank you Ms. Baez. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

more snow

White fluffy snow. Two delighted dogs. No school. Fire crackling in the wood stove. Sledding and hot cocoa in the works. Happy Monday!

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