Friday, June 11, 2010

{Fabric Friday} Sweet Snippets...

Ah, my pile of lovely fabric snippets from Umbrella Prints caught my attention for this short and sweet {Fabric Friday}. My official introduction to this wonderful fabric house, was during the Earth Day Organic Fabric Giveaway blog hop. Each participating blog had their own rules and when I cruised through the Umbrella Fabric blog , I decided to participate. My description of their fabric won me a little packet of whimsical and "lush" fabric samples. I was tickled to receive this thoughtful parcel -particularly when they made the extra effort of sending it to the US (they are based in Australia). I was so smitten by these fabrics that I bought some more to add to my snippet collection.

Now that we have established that their fabrics are gorgeous, I want to tell you what struck me just as equally. Gratitude, something that you don't find everyday, but when you do, it is extra special. One of the things that I love about buying handmade, is that little touch of human kindness. I can say the same thing about selling things that are handmade too. I adore the words and pictures that I receive from people that own something that I made. 

Umbrella fabrics are stunning enough to make you want a bunch of each design made. But, it is the kindness and handwritten note snuck in the package of fabric that makes opening it all that much sweeter. So, thanks for the beautiful fabric Amy & Carly! Your extra effort and kindness didn't go unnoticed. I will definitely be back for more. Happy Fabric Friday!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

{Slugs!} The Double Conk

Slugs on the doorstep, on the sidewalk, in the peonies- they are everywhere! It is June and seeing slugs around every corner is a little strange. Although, I am used to seeing a lot of slugs, I live in the northwest and there is always a pile of them keeping me company in my studio. But the slugs that hang out in the klt:studio are sweet and soft - not gooey and gross. 

The klt:slug lovey was designed and created when Sayer was about 6 months old. It is the first plushie that I made for klt:works as a new mom. I watched what Sayer gravitated to, what he liked to feel, the shapes that fit nicely in his arms, and what seemed to comfort him. When thinking about what the critter should be, the shape and the area that we live in suggested strongly that it should be a slug. The slug lovies, or the "Gunks" as Sayer called them at first, have organic antennae with a knotted base -perfect for chewing. They are super soft and made with durable polartec fleece that those of us in the northwest, commonly wear year round. Sayer's "Gunk"- now called "Conk", has been washed hundreds of times. Sayer doesn't really go anywhere without it. While his antennae are a bit lackluster now, they are still just as effective for chewing, sticking in his nose, putting between his toes, or as a general handle.

I was sort of getting a little grossed out by Conk and on Valentine's Day, encouraged Sayer to pick out a shiny new friend for his Conk. I took him to the studio and let him pick from a big bin of slugs that I had recently made. He wanted nothing to do with it. He said that is Conk was all he wanted. Well, a few weeks ago, Sayer was in the studio with me and saw a new slug in the bin that he immediately snatched up and walked out with. It was a slug that I had made for a new project that I am working on. I was grateful that he wanted it actually- it gives me a chance to sneak Conk in for a bath (laundry) a little more often. Now Sayer takes both with him everywhere. He calls them "Double Conks". I thought that one lovey was hard enough to keep track of - but now we have two to wrangle up before bed. 

Yes, story time is a little crowded these days but I don't mind one bit. It warms my heart to see how Sayer loves his little critters. It is a pretty gratifying feeling knowing that I made something that he loves and enjoys so much. He often lets me borrow the green double Conk and I have to say, I might just have to make an adult size soon. They are nice to sleep with - but Chris isn't bad either.  Did you have a favorite lovey from when you were a child? Do you still have it?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

{Everyday Inspiration} Stop Motion Awe...

Her Morning Elegance music video by Oren Lavie, has been circulating on the web for over a year now. I remember posting it on my FB page when I first saw it because I liked it so much. I find that I keep coming back to it for one reason or another. I dove in a little bit to learn more about how it was made and was surprised to learn that there is a Her Morning Elegance Etsy Shop. The still photos by Eyal Landesman that were used in the video can be purchased. The 2096 photos that made up the stop motion video have been broken back down to still form and have been exhibited in galleries worldwide. {Image via here}

I'm so intrigued by the stop motion process and completely in awe of the work that goes into a video like this. This video fit my mood today- it's calming and inspiring all at once. Hope you enjoy it too. Now I am ready to go to the studio... 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

{Everyday Inspiration} Perspective...

Have you ever had a day (or a week) where you felt overwhelmed and the balance between being a small business owner and a mom was a little out of whack? Well, that was me in a nutshell last week. While I enjoy the challenges that both motherhood & a small business can bring, the combination can sometimes leave me questioning my ability to maintain a healthy balance which can bring on momentary self-doubt. Funny though, I received an email that changed all of those feeling in a split second.  

I really can't mention enough, how many wonderful people that I have met through klt:works and how many great emails and pictures that collect in my inbox. I have been working with a store called Natursutten, in Denmark for over a year now (maybe even two, come to think of it). Anne-Dorthe is the owner and I have gotten to know her a bit through emails and she has a son a about a year older than Sayer. Natursutten has carried all of my organic and eco-tees and her son has owned many as well. Anne-Dorthe emailed me last week with a little note that said, "Your owls are doing very well in Africa!". Attached were   photos of two little, smiling girls, Hadija and Faidha. Her daughter had just been visiting a friend in Africa who volunteers at a "childhome" called, "The Baobab Home" (for kids without parents). She had taken a bunch of clothing with her to donate (the Baobab Home is run on donations) and there happened to be a few outgrown klt:works owl tees in the mix. While I know that Anne-Dorthe thought I would like these photos - I am sure she didn't anticipate what it all would mean to me. I still don't have words for the emotions that I feel, myself. 

I don't want to drone on and on about my inner thoughts and what makes me tick. But one thing I will share is that I am a bleeding heart. When I was in graduate school, studying for my MFA, I really struggled with how selfish it felt. I used to watch "ER" and feel like I should be helping people rather than just making art. My wise thesis advisor told me to just watch "Friends" instead. After graduation, I had many jobs in the social/special services fields (working with at risk youth, teaching in detention facilities, working with people with disabilities). It wasn't until I started klt:works that I really had the revelation that I could still "help" and make people happy by doing what I love- by making things. I still struggle with the fact that my little donations to various organizations can't really change the world, but I guess I will leave that to Oprah, and those that can really afford to do so. In the meanwhile, it makes me happy to have a connection to the Boabab Home and I look forward to sending off a box of some of Sayer's outgrown clothes and toys along with some klt:tees. Now, when I have those overwhelming days, I can look at the pictures of Hadija and Faidha and gain a little perspective on everything.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

{Music Monday} A drummer & puppets...

I just recently saw a Josh Ritter video premiere on NPR- All Songs Considered that was really interesting and definitely worth passing on. Josh Ritter has a new cd out called So Runs the World Away. The song, The Curse, is a beautiful love song about an archeologist and her mummy. The video for The Curse is extremely unique and I love the story behind it, which can be read here.  Josh Ritters drummer, Liam Hurley, was the creator of the video. Not only is he a drummer, but he is also a puppeteer. {images via here

There is no question that I am a sucker for videos that feature puppetry. But combine it with a really lovely song and a multitalented film maker, then you've really got my attention. Some songs are just meant to be seen through the eyes of a puppeteer. Happy Music Monday!


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