1.26.2015

Fun News: Book Signing & A Craft Party!



Friends,

I'm so excited to announce that I've scheduled two upcoming book events in the East Bay for my new book, The Paper Playhouse. On Saturday, February 7 from 3-5pm I'll be signing books at the adorable women & children's boutique, Bella Vita, at their new location at 5511 College Avenue in Oakland--less than one block from the Rockridge BART.

This is one of my absolute favorite independent shops in Oakland and I'm thrilled to co-host this event in their beautiful space. I'll have books to buy, you can bring your books for me to sign, and I'll also have goodie bags for the first ten books sold. I'll bring a few original projects from the books too so folks can see the projects in-person. Drop by just to say hello if you're in the neighborhood--I'd love to see you.



I'll also be co-hosting a craft party on Sunday, February 8 from 2-4:30pm at the wonderful and welcoming Handcraft Studio School in Emeryville. I'm SO excited about this craft party. We'll make two projects from the book, we'll talk about sourcing and using up-cycled paper materials to make art, I'll answer any questions about the book, and each registered participant will also receive one signed copy of the book and a goodie bag filled with creative inspiration. This feels like such a wonderful way to celebrate the launch of my book and I'm thrilled that Handcraft Studio offered to host. This craft party is open to adults and kids over age 8. More details on the Handcraft website.


Oh my goodness--book launches and craft parties? Is this really happening now? It's been so wonderful to see some images of my book in fellow artists and parents houses and hands. Such a dream come true to watch the book make its way through the world and to hear feedback on how creative families are using the projects to make crafts. One mother even emailed to tell me that she couldn't get her little girl to bed the night the book arrived because she was so excited to make the projects the next morning. That might just be my favorite email ever. Of all time.
 


But it's a special level of excitement to host events that share the book with my local San Francisco Bay Area community. These are the only two book events currently scheduled until after May when I resurface from a brief maternity leave. So please join me if you can, my friends, I would be so honored to share these afternoons with you and my new book. 

xoxo,
k

1.19.2015

Workshops, Events, and Save-the-Dates


 Friends,

There are some fun dates coming up on my studio calendar and I want to share them with you. I'll be teaching two workshops in the next few weeks: Fundraising for Artists at the Kala Art Institute on Saturday, January 31 and Sashiko Mending at Handcraft Studio School on Sunday, January 25. (Unfortunately, the Sashiko Mending class is already sold out but I'll be teaching another this summer AND I'll be adding Sashiko mending kits to my Etsy shop in just a few weeks--stay tuned! The Sashiko classes fill up very quickly, so it's best to join my mailing list to be first in line.)



The Fundraising for Artists class is my only public professional arts practice class scheduled for 2015! So join me if you are interested. There are a few private classes scheduled for the summer but no other public classes as of yet. So if you're interested in talking grantwriting, Kickstarter campaigns, fundraising, project budgets, artist statements, work samples, and all the ins and outs of receiving grants and awards then come join me on January 31. Kala is a wonderful art institution in Berkeley, CA and I'm thrilled to be teaching with them again.


I'm also still lining up some book events for the first two weeks of February so stay tuned for the official news. (Psst... save the dates of February 7 in the afternoon for a book signing in Oakland and February 8 from 2-4:30 for a super special book party class in Emeryville! There's also a chance that Feb 15 might be another book event in the Bay Area but all of this is still unofficial until all the details are confirmed and I can publicly announce. Just save-the-dates for now, especially Feb 7 and Feb 8. So excited to share this book with my local Bay Area community!)



Lastly, I'm thrilled to be teaching in these first few months of the year before I welcome this new baby into the world in early March. I'll be offering classes online and in-person again after June 1 but will only be working from home and taking some quiet time with this new baby from March 1- June 1 so my classes and events will be scarce for a few months. I must admit, instead of teaching and organizing art events I plan to spend this spring falling madly and completely in love with a new human.

xoxo,
k

1.12.2015

My Book Launch & A Special Giveaway!



My new book, The Paper Playhouse: Awesome Art Projects for Kids Using Paper, Boxes, and Books, is officially out in the world as of January 1st. Hooray! To celebrate its official launch I'm hosting a giveaway. That's right, I'm giving one book away. I'm hosting this giveaway here on my blog and over on my Instagram account so you can enter twice--once here in the comment section and once over on Instagram.


I'm coordinating this giveaway celebration with a handful of the contributors from the gallery section of the book--a selection of super talented women artists working with paper, boxes, or books that have generously shared their inspiring work in my book pages. If you follow some of these contributors you'll also get a chance to win a copy through their blogs or Instagram feeds, so be sure to check these ladies out. They are truly amazing, every one of them, and I'm honored to share their work with my readers.


How do you enter to win? Good question. On this blog simply:

1. Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. One winner will be selected next Monday, January 19, 2015 by noon Pacific Time. I'll announce the winner on this blog post and on the IG post so be sure to check back next Monday to see if you won.

That's it! You're entered. One more detail: For shipping reasons the winner will need to provide a valid mailing address in the US, Canada, or the UK. Apologies to my international friends and readers as international shipping costs are just too prohibitive for my publisher. Thanks for understanding.


To enter on Instagram:

1. Follow my IG account.
2. Leave a comment on the giveaway photo and tag a friend who might also be interested.

That's it! You're entered. If you follow the guidelines and enter on this post and on IG you will be entered twice. Double the luck. One winner will be chosen from the entries on this blog post and on the IG giveaway post. Again, the winner will need to provide a valid mailing address in the US, Canada, or the UK.


I'll be announcing some exciting book events soon--they'll be in the Bay Area in the beginning of February and I'm very excited. Stay tuned. To celebrate this giveaway with the contributors I wanted to share a few sneak peeks into the gallery section in today's images. The gallery was one of my favorite parts of coordinating the book. I love these artists so much and it was wonderful to curate their work in these pages. I've tagged the contributors on this Instagram post so check out their feeds for endless inspiration. And keep an eye on their accounts for additional book giveaways in January or February.

Happy New Year, friends! Be sure to enter before 9am next Monday. My book is finally out in the world--what joy.

xoxo,
k.

1.05.2015

New Year, New Baby: Motherhood, Bravery, and Embrace



Happy New Year, my dear friends--

Do you want to know my biggest secret about 2015? We're expecting another baby boy on March 7! My goodness, yes. These photos are from our recent trip to Point Reyes just after Christmas. Another baby boy will enter our lives sometime in the early spring and we are over-the-moon excited to welcome this little life. Another boy. Two boys. Double the trains and trucks and trips to the playground. But, of course, I'm going to teach these little boys to knit and bake and sew when they are old enough too. My goodness, two little magical boys.


Life feels full. Physically and emotionally. If you had told me three years ago when I left my day job that I'd be sitting here in the first week of the New Year sharing my news of a second baby boy, thrilled with the announcement of my very first book, and with a stack of studio opportunities on my desk, well, I wouldn't believe you. I just wouldn't believe you. Because I was too afraid to admit that these are the things I wanted most.

But motherhood has made me braver. It's made me focus. It's made me realize that time is finite and nobody is going to come along and tap my head with a magical wand and suddenly make my dreams shift to reality. That's up to me. With heaps of hard work and rigorous focus. That's my job. And it's my job to dare to try. Like it's my job to dare to parent in the way I find most satisfying. Big things that keep all parents up at night and little things like making sure my boys know how to sew. It's up to me. I'm growing into this new version of myself where I'm actually in charge of my own life and the homestead for my little boy/s. It's a wonder. I didn't think I had it in me but it turns out... I do.


This little love will certainly turn our worlds upside down. And it's only through the past three years of motherhood that I can actually understand that I actually can NOT understand exactly what this will mean. That's right. It's only through the process of parenting a tiny human and witnessing and experiencing the changes in my own life that I can be humble and honest enough to admit that I have no idea how we are going to do this again. I will be changed in ways I cannot anticipate or yet understand.


The night feedings, the limited daycare, the lack of boundaries in home and work, the two parent freelance artist schedules, the meals, the budget, the naps, the tiny apartment we call home--it will all be pushed to the edges and then we will find our way through again. Somehow it will all settle in the way that it should. In the way that we need it to. It will shape us and shift us and expand us and shatter us and humble us and humor us and ultimately inspire us in ways I cannot currently comprehend. This much I am certain. This much fills my heart with such a swell that it nearly brings me to tears each time I imagine it. We will grow. We will expand. We will let even more love inside.



So I'm working furiously during every nap, every preschool day, making to do lists and checking them twice, filling my schedule as much as possible before the middle of February when I'll suddenly be full term. And I'll be heavy with a new baby. And I'll be physically slow. And full of anticipation. Oh my goodness. Baby number two.

I can only dream of the way this will change my life. I can only fantasize about the ways I will be chiseled and shaped and the ways in which my familiar heart will soon give sway. Truthfully, I'm sure I'll initially long for these days when it was just the three of us. When my little one was finally potty trained and sleeping through the night and bounding into preschool with his other tiny friends. When it felt familiar and ordinary and predictable too.

When I had time to sit down and make a to-do list and create new projects, new classes, new publications. But the difference is that this time I know those newborn days are fleeting. They are limited. They are tender. They are vulnerable and new. They will subside to infant days and toddler days and I imagine these toddler days subside to school kid days and then I can't imagine much further than that. I tip my hat to all the mamas and papas with children much older than mine. Good grief, how do we let them grow? How can we do anything else? I'm convinced our hearts just swell and swell and swell again. Parenthood, it's fierce.


We can only know what we know and we can only act on so much calculation before instinct and heart begin to steer. I'm sure this new human will coil around my cells with all the magic and promise and newness and complete and utter love that only comes with a new child. Of course, there are things I sometimes miss about my life before I was a mother: Long and leisurely weekend mornings, fancy cocktails in nice restaurants, leather shoes with actual heels, or long and complicated conversations over slow dinners. But mostly, I just miss having time to waste.

But these are just things. They are fleeting. They are passing. They did not ever define me or alter me or motivate me from the very deepest inside out. I wouldn't trade motherhood for anything in the world. I'm not sure I even need to say that but it's worth stating. I wouldn't trade motherhood for anything. Nothing. I can't even imagine. As a friend said to me about her daughter, "I couldn't image my life without her from the moment she was born." So true. And I can only imagine how this feeling will intensify with two. And I welcome that shift with open arms. Excited, nervous, busy, art mama arms. But open arms, nonetheless.


Welcome, 2015, I'm ready to embrace you. In all the magical and mystifying and maddening ways humanly possible. That's my word for 2015: Embrace. It seems this embracing will begin with a new book, a new baby, and a new silhouette of gratitude. Do you have a word or a guide or a mantra for 2015? I find it much simpler than an entire resolution. One word, one thought, one focus to carry me all the 365 days through.

Happy New Year, friends. Thanks for sharing this time with me. I look forward to new adventures in 2015.

xoxo,
k

12.15.2014

The Conundrum of Christmas and Making Time to Craft


 
Dear friends,

Is it just me or does it seem like each year the messaging around Christmas gets a little more... out-of-hand? This year I noticed Christmas displays the moment after Halloween decorations came down. Didn't we used to have an unwritten rule in the states that Thanksgiving came before Christmas?

I'm not sure if it's a result of my recent Make Thrift Mend fast, delving deeper into the many complicated issues around factory made goods, or if it's because I'm a new mom with a three-year-old and I'm hyper aware of the messages I send to him around any holiday. But this year feels particularly aggressive on the marketing front. Some stores are even emailing me every day with a new offer. Good grief! Time to get off their mailing lists.


Forgive me for being presumptuous but I think most of us feel a little too much pressure around the gift-giving side of Christmas and a little too much scarcity around the merriment. Am I right? Where's the time for decorating, baking, crafting, and (gasp) taking a walk in the snow or rain maybe even singing some Christmas carols a little off key when we are keeping up with all that shopping?

I'm calling it the conundrum of Christmas. I think it's at odds with a slow and intentional DIY life but I also think there are SO many opportunities to do it differently. (Don't give up, we can do it!) I've been making a list with my three-year-old about what Christmas means. Yes, it means gifts. But what else?

I keep nudging him to identify the other changes in our home, neighborhood, and weekly routines: The tree, decorations, baking, special foods, songs, handmade stockings, and holiday stories. Also the meals we've planned with friends. The gifts we're making for relatives. And the plate of cookies that showed up yesterday from my dear neighbor in her Sunday sweatpants. Our short list grows until I have convinced him, and myself, that Christmas is more than receiving gifts.


Growing up my family was crazy for Christmas. My father loved the spectacle of it all. But, of course, some of the things I remember most from my own childhood holidays aren't just the presents but specific shifts from the everyday routines like my father made breakfast Christmas morning instead of my mom, we cut the tree down ourselves and dragged it across the front yard, and it was the one time each year my mother would play records and we could listen to her beautiful singing voice while she baked all those delicious cookies.


I've come to the realization that Christmas doesn't have to be an assault on my personal values. It doesn't have to be completely at odds with the way I spend my money or my time the other eleven months of the year. Instead, it's an opportunity to dig deeper. It's an opportunity to challenge myself to stay aligned with my values and make the time to select gifts or make gifts that feel aligned with my ideals.

This year I am making 50% of the gifts. No, I didn't suddenly come into unlimited hours of daycare or a complete lack of freelance deadlines. Not at all. I just made the commitment to making 50% of the gifts because that feels important this year. Then I streamlined the process as much as humanly possible to make the creating and packaging more manageable. I'm making soaps for the first time and so far, so good. Lavender, oatmeal, and black tea are my secret ingredients this year. We're also making some specialty foods and a few other crafty creations that I can't give away quite yet.


I'm reminding myself I can choose handmade. I can choose to buy less. I can choose to buy from our local, independent shops instead of the mega chains. I can close my computer and walk away from the advertisements and make special foods or hot chocolate instead. Put on some holiday music and make something crafty with my hands. Even if it's one Christmas ornament or one handmade gift--it's a shift on the horizon that makes a huge difference over time. And it allows us another recreational activity aside from shopping even though my email inbox might tell me differently.

So I wish you the most beautiful and slow and intentional and lovely winter holidays that are imaginable. I wish you hot toddies, peanut butter balls, handmade ornaments, a houseful of holiday tunes sung proudly off key, and ample gatherings with family and friends. A walk in the woods or a jaunt in the rain. I'll be taking a break from this blog to indulge in some crafting, baking, and merriment making with my own little family over the next two weeks. I'll see you back here on Monday, January 5 with some fun news.

Happy New Year, you radiant souls! May your holidays be merry and bright.

xoxo,
k

PS--Do you have favorite holiday traditions you'd be willing to share? Any crafty creations or favorite recipes you can't go without each December? I'd love to know your secrets to a handmade holiday. Please leave any thoughts or ideas in the comment section. Thank you for sharing!

12.08.2014

Free Pattern: Easy Knit Infinity Scarf, DIY Tutorial


 
Friends,

A new DIY project for you today! This is an easy knitting in the round infinity scarf pattern using a seed stitch. I just created this scarf pattern and I wanted to share it with you today. I'm a novice knitter, intermediate at best, but as many of you know I often edit or create patterns when I'm working in my studio. It's an imperfect approach to crafting and art but it best fits my studio practice and wabi sabi approach while allowing for a little innovation and creativity along the way. Innovation and creativity, that's the fun part, right?

When I started searching for infinity scarf patterns I couldn't find anything that really matched the scarf I imagined. Several were close but just not exact so I started this scarf four times (and took it apart four times) until it started to look like the one I had imagined. Now, here it is finished! Then I posted this scarf on Instagram last week and it was well received--somebody asked for the pattern and I thought it would be a nice winter DIY project to offer here on my blog. A new pattern for you.

I had three main goals for this infinity scarf: Over-sized, super soft, and minimal design. My secondary goals were also brief: No seams, no fancy stitches, and one single color. I did decide to add just one row of color around the top edge but this was a last minute whim. Next time I'd stay with my instinct for monochromatic. This is my very first knitting pattern so please let me know if anything is unclear or needs more detail. Eep! Exciting.


Katrina's Improvised Winter Infinity Scarf

Materials: 
Instructions:
  • Cast on 91 stitches. If you alter this pattern, be sure to cast on an uneven number of stitches.
  • Use the seed stitch (knit 1, purl 1 alternating stitches) to end of first row.
  • Continue every row with seed stitch (alternating k1, p1) until desired width or until you've used 200 grams of yarn--be sure to leave enough yarn to bind off.
  • Note: My scarf measures approximately 9" wide and 47" long (or 47" around).
  • Bind off. Weave in any loose ends. 
  • Wrap around your neck twice and wear with glee. 
  • Enjoy!*

This scarf is knit on the round so there are no seams and because the first row of stitches and the bind off stitches are the same as the entirety of the scarf (seed stitch) there is no noticeable edge, the back and front sides are reversible, and the edges do not curl. These were also priorities in finding a pattern that was suitable for an infinity scarf--the seed stitch is perfect for this scarf.

There are several free patterns online so do be sure to identify your favorite. This seed stitch on the round is really a perfect stitch for a beginner infinity scarf. Voila! I worked on this scarf for several nights when my toddler was in bed but also found it was simple enough to pick up for a few minutes here and there when he was busy with his trains. Win, win.


Now, go make some hot chocolate and sit by the fire while you work on your new infinity scarf. Never mind that holiday to do list, it will still be there when you're done knitting. I promise. Or better yet, make this scarf for somebody on your list and give handmade! I dare you.

xoxo,
k

*Note: Mind you, I am not an advanced knitter, so I can't promise you that the gauge and techniques in this pattern are up to industry standards. But industry standards aren't really my concern as an independent artist, so I'm simply sharing the pattern that worked for me--if you have any questions leave them in the comment section and I'll do my best to clarify. Happy Holidays!

12.01.2014

10 Favorite Indie Shops for the Holidays

 (Image found via Pinterest from Frolic Blog with cute wreath tutorial.)

Dear Friends,

It's December. That means the winter holidays have officially arrived. Let the crafting, baking, decorating, and indie gift shopping begin. While we try to make many of our gifts by hand, cook the best sugary treats, and decorate with thoughtful or handmade items, most of us will also turn to the shops and makers to complete our holiday shopping list. This is a huge opportunity to support independent artists and small businesses at local craft fairs, local shops, and through their online stores.

Last winter I posted my first list of 10 favorite indie shops for the holidays and I've created a new list for this year. Hip, hip, hooray! Because if nothing else I hope all the extra spending over the holiday season might be a good excuse to support independent makers, artists, artisans, and your favorite local shops too.

So...here's my 2014 list of 10 indie shops to note this holiday season. I worked hard not to repeat any favorite shops from last winter's list but some of my all-time favorites are over there so you can see this post for 10 more recommendations:

My 10 Favorite Indie Shops for 2014 Holiday Shopping: 



1. I'm in love with everything Sojourn makes. Her simple, thoughtful, and beautiful ceramic accessories just make me swoon. My husband gifted me the small moon phase necklace and it's one of my absolute favorites. I have another necklace of hers on my wish list this year. Simple, thoughtful, and stunning. I'm sold. She also has a lovely Instagram feed if you're on IG.

2. Tamar Mogendorff just might be one of the most inspired and inspiring soft sculptors I've ever come across. Her fabric sculptures are divine. I have a long list of favorite artists and crafters making 3-dimensional work with fabric but her work is certainly near the top of that long list. Gorgeous creations. If you're looking for something extra special, wanting to add more sculpture to your own home, or just need some textile inspiration check out her gorgeous work.

3. Hand-carved wooden objects and furniture seem to be popping up all over the design world. I admit I'm smitten by the idea of making my own wooden bowls and spoons. Artist, Ariel Alasko, is leading this trend with her incredible and design-savvy work. Her work and studio space have been featured in numerous craft magazines and websites and all for good reason. Her Instagram feed is like a small gallery of gorgeous objects, beautiful photographs, and swoon-worthy wood creations. Her work sells out quickly so be sure to be in the front of the line if you find something you love.

4. Jess Brown's dolls are close to perfection. I first noticed her work in a local Oakland shop when two of her original dolls were peering down from the top of a toy display. But then I started to notice her clothing design, her books, and then her beautiful range of work with textiles. If I had an unlimited budget I would add her simple well-designed clothing to my regular rotation. Check out this gorgeous blouse.


5. I met Erin of Cotton & Flax at a Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco a few years ago. We were vendors on the same aisle and wandered over to check out each other's goods. I was struck by her simple straight-forward designs and thoughtful color palette on tea towels, pillows, and more. Since that meeting her work has skyrocketed through the craft and design world and I cheer every time I see her featured. It's such good design--that always looks deceivingly simple but we all know it takes great talent, vision, and amazing editing skills to pull off "simple". Hooray, Erin.


6. Mazama Ceramics: Oh, so pretty. I love how I can just imagine all of their household ceramics slipping right into my own cupboards. With a Heath Ceramic style simplicity and timelessness not to mention rich colors, pretty textures, and lovely shapes Mazama Ceramics has launched a gorgeous collection in not very much time. I'm loving their tumblers, mugs, and small cups in a simple, earthy palette of gray, white, green, and blue.


7. I've been loving Ariel Clute's jewelry for awhile now. I first saw it in a local boutique in Oakland and then swooned at her collections last year at West Coast Craft. I love her use of mixed media including beads, tassels, and leather, and the way she uses bright and neutral colors in combination. My husband gifted me one of her original necklaces and, truth be told, I wear it in near constant rotation with the Sojourn necklace mentioned above. And, I just happened to notice, she's having a sale over on her site so be sure to get there soon.


8. I've mentioned Folk Fibers work here on my blog before. Her quilts are simply stunning. And her use of natural dyes in her quilt work is just double stunning in my book. In addition to her gorgeous, heirloom quilts she also offers scarves and pillows too. Her quilts are on my wish list--one day I'd like to have one of her originals gracing my own bedroom decor. Perhaps when my toddler is no longer prone to sticky fingers. In the meantime her pillows and scarves might fit a wider range of budgets. Her Instagram feed is also a lovely dose of inspiration in the digital world.


9. I have a true love for independent publishers and indie magazines. I love their perspective of the craft and design world and how they feature independent artisans and makers. My newest love is the publication by the Textile Arts Center in NYC. I've only received the first issue but it was so beautiful I am anxiously awaiting the second. Everything about this magazine is gorgeous: The content, the photographs, the texture of the paper, the overall design, the artists and artisans featured, you name it. If you have any fiber lovers in your life, I would highly suggest a subscription to this lovely new read.


10. My list of artist-run letterpress shops is also quite long, but Kathryn Hunter at Blackbird Letterpress is always on my favorite list. I love her approach to printing and graphic design and how she really succeeds at offering inspired, original, and also artful cards, calendars, wedding invitations, custom work, and even 3-d paper sculpture. I met Kathryn at Second Storie Indie Market and I was instantly charmed by her work and her person. She's a true artist in the indie craft world balancing that difficult job of making original work and running a successful business. Check out her holiday cards that transform into paper ornaments. Genius.

Phew!

It's so hard to narrow my list of favorites down to just 10. But I did it. I think I could name 10 favorites in each category: textiles, wood, ceramics, paper, fashion, publications, home goods, kids, and then we didn't even get to handcrafted beauty products like dreamy handmade organic soaps, lotions, and salves. Maybe one day I'll have a small shop and curate a selection of favorite handmade goods for my customers.  You know, in my spare time.

Happy Holidays, friends! Make it indie, make it yours.

xoxo,
k

Note: All images are courtesy of the artists and bloggers, please visit their websites and shops for more information about the range of their offerings and their truly beautiful work. Enjoy.

11.24.2014

Gratitude, Re-Charging, and New Beginnings



Friends,

This week I am finding time to return to my roots: Making things with my own two hands. In the midst of much bigger studio events like launching my first book, planning and teaching several workshops, and continuing with the Make Thrift Mend project I have also taken a few hours here and there to creatively recharge. Yes, recharge. Because I've learned that when my work hours become a series of spreadsheets, unanswered emails, and computer to-do lists my energy for all this work starts to shift.



I try to remember the incentive I had three-years-ago when I made the leap into freelance with a newborn at my side. I wanted a flexible schedule, I wanted to be able to work from home with only part-time daycare for my son, and I wanted to work towards a sustainable career based in my studio practice. As businesses grow and work expands the demands for organization, planning, and communication increase. This feels like a natural progression.

But when our career is dependent on a creative practice it's all too easy to spend less and less time creating work while spending more and more time managing the work. This too seems like a natural progression, not particular to being a freelance artist but to managing any career that continues to expand.

But how do we stay centered in our original goals while managing the day-to-day operations? I think that's the million dollar question, right? My latest answer is about balance and diversifying my work day. Not the balance we imagine as perfection but balance that simply feels good. Sometimes this just means closing my computer for the last 30 minutes of the day and turning to my needles and threads.


I ask myself, "Why do I do this work?" and my answer is always about meaning and connection. Because there's a meaning derived from creative work that I want to hold onto. There's a connection to my surroundings, community, family, friends, and to myself that I try to keep in focus. There's an inspiration, a connection, a satisfaction that comes from making things with my own two hands. This connection cannot be recreated by maintaining spreadsheets, emails, and calendars. Of course, it cannot expand without them. So, it's about achieving balance between the two.



But as I head into the Thanksgiving holiday and consider the food and people and place where our holiday will be hosted I also try to stop and think about gratitude. About thankfulness. About intention. And mindfulness. But mostly about connection. I try to transfer this thinking about my studio life into this intention with my personal life. I reflect on the last year in my studio and also clarify my vision about what I want the next year to bring. After all, the New Year is somehow just around the corner.


I'm also simply insisting on finding more time to make things. To try new techniques. To make things with my own two hands. Creatively recharge and stay inspired. I attended a weaving class this weekend and I'm trying my hand at my first weaving; I took an infinity scarf apart four times (yes, four) before I created a knitting pattern that I actually liked; and I found minutes and hours in a busy work week to finish these linen throw pillows for my living room. I loved the Japanese printed linen fabrics so much and promised myself that I would finish these pillow covers. 



I'm giving myself permission to insist on joy being infused into my work life. That's right, joy. And to allow myself to be a beginner at things like weaving and creating basic knitting patterns to stay inspired. But I'm mostly finding a few hours here and there to recharge. So that I might have the energy to continue expanding my studio life to include more than I could have ever imagined. It feels like the only way forward.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. May your holiday be filled with gratitude, joy, maybe a little extra time for crafting, and also respite.

xoxo,
k