Cute and retro rompers for toddlers and babies.
by Dream Spun.
Shopping blog featuring products made by people not factories.
Cute and retro rompers for toddlers and babies.
by Dream Spun.
Print above is from The Big Harumph
As I write this, the New Year is just days away… Every year for as many years as I can remember I have had more resolutions than I could count: Eat less candy, workout more, save more money, be more tidy, and on and on the list goes. How about you? What kind of resolutions do you set each year?
This year I won’t set a single resolution. It’s not that I don’t think resolutions are valuable, I know they are! For me they’ve never lasted long, but I’m still glad that I kept each one for a week or two or three.
Image above is from The Wheatfield
This year I’m allowing myself to dream new dreams. Always a pragmatist, I’ll let you know that this is because I feel the time is right for me to try different things and to redefine what I value and what I would like my future to look like. So this means shifting my work focus, and spending more time doing things I love: decorating our family home, hiking, and hanging out with family and friends. It sounds simple, but something in me knows that this will fuel my creativity and my perspective.
Life’s disappointments often ask us to become jaded and to be fearful of trying new things. We so easily tell ourselves that we cannot accomplish the wonderful things we would like to do. This will be a year where my own voice grows stronger and as I work and rest and play I will remind myself that with diligence and persistence that I can accomplish new things.
Image above is from Valentina Design
I have heard experts suggest every year as we set resolutions that we be careful not to set too many, that we write them down and revisit them weekly. I am certain this is good advice, but this year – I’m choosing to dream and to believe that I will find growth both personally and artistically and that my life will continue to spring forth more beautifully than each year before it.
I want to hear your dreams and resolutions for the year ahead of us. It’s the perfect time of year for us to sweep away old disappointments and to look ahead with expectation!
I may be rebellious. I may despise conformity. But I am also, in some things, a creature of habit. During the holidays, for instance, I adore tradition. Until just last year I eschewed the idea of any deviation from what I considered a traditional holiday feast. Especially when the feast was to be had on Thanksgiving.
Turkey, mashed potatoes — in my defense I had deferred many years earlier to the advent of smashed potatoes as a time-saving substitute on this count — green beans, corn, biscuits, gravy, squash, cranberry relish, stuffing. It’s unclear whether or not (most likely not!) those who celebrated the real first Thanksgiving would have considered even a portion of my meal traditional, but my opinions have always stood nonetheless.
Image above is from Simply Hue
One thing I really appreciate about blogging is that it has brought me more in touch with my own dreams. What do I mean by that? I think it’s because with blogging I’m almost forced to write on a daily basis, even if it’s just a sentence or two. It gives me a chance to reflect in a different way than I ever have before. It gives me a gauge of how I’m feeling about life and in the long run allows me to work through certain emotions in a different way.
Image above is from Magalerie
Wait a minute. It almost sounds like I’m calling blogging therapy? Hah. Well I’m not certain that’s where I intended to go with this post – but I will say that there is something very cathartic about blogging, no matter how little or how much I write on a daily basis, or even if what I have written is particularly personal. And with so many people blogging these days there is absolutely no shortage of community and inspiration to be found and I’m very thankful for that.
Image above is from 23rd and 1st
But before I take myself so far beyond the intention of this post I’ll bring it back on track. Dreams. I’m finding that as I get older my dreams are constantly changing. And not just changing, but coming into a sharper focus, and with a more long range perspective. To be honest, for a few years – when I was working a corporate job (which I did enjoy for the most part – don’t get me wrong), I didn’t dream too much. I found the day to day water cooler time at the office fun and enjoyed nurturing a team of employees, but a lot of the work was repetitive and overall it left me drained. No energy left to dream.
Image above is from Funkyshique
Sometimes now – I have to rein myself in as I’m prone to daydreaming about all sorts of things, related to work and life and the far off future. Today the dream I’m sharing – my hope to one day visit Europe, including Paris of course! Both Europe, and more specifically Paris – have been influencing design and many of the makers in the handmade sphere lately it seems. As a lover of art, design, and good food I know that I must go at some point. It may be in the next year or two – or maybe longer – until then I’ll continue dreaming about it!
Susan Sanders has always been an artist. Ever since she was old enough to think about such things, she knew that one day her job would be to make things, with her own hands, and sell them. She was right. Susan Sanders is now the experienced and accomplished designer of three distinctive jewelry lines: one in gold and precious stones, one in stone inlay, and one in fabric. Being a sewer and a hoarder of fabric, I couldn’t help but be drawn to her fiber work.
I visited with Susan in her Torpedo Factory studio while she was in the middle of creating one of her “silkworm” necklaces. She starts out with narrow strips of hand-painted silk that she sews into tubes, and fills with a certain kind of cording. Then, depending on the look of the final necklace, she gathers the silken cords together unadorned, or first embellishes them with ribbon, yarn, or anything pretty and colorful from her stash of notions.
Her collection includes all kinds of fabric trims from fiber artist friends of hers, shiny and textured bits she finds at local fabric stores, and a treasury of unique velvet and satin trims she found during a trip to Korea.
The result is a soft, lightweight, textured piece that can be worn a number of ways. The cords can be twisted or worn flat. The necklace can be left long, wrapped double around the neck like a choker, or tied into a knot. Susan also makes the unique magnetic clasps out of cast resin, and paints them to match each necklace individually. Every single necklace is one-of-a-kind; it would be impossible to replicate any of them exactly.
Susan’s fiber jewelry is an evolving line among her jewelry collections. The latest incarnation utilizes hand-cut ultrasuede in rich, saturated color. The unusual texture and three demensional quality of these necklaces speak for themselves! When I asked if she planned on adding embellishment to the ultrasuede necklaces as well, Susan merely shrugged and said: “Who knows?” Considering the idea for her fiber necklaces came to her in a dream, who can say what she will dream up next?
As the daughter of an accomplished seamstress and a graphic designer, Susan has been making things her whole life. Her mother passed on her sewing skills to her at a young age, and her father gave her an appreciation and an eye for architectural lines. She ended up studying architectural design in college, knowing she wanted to end up making something three demensional with her hands, but not knowing exactly what that would be. Upon graduation, she was offered a job designing refrigeration components in a remote town in Kentucky. At the same time, the Torpedo Factory was just opening in Alexandria, Virginia as a newly renovated haven for artists, complete with studio and gallery space. Susan was faced with an interesting (if not difficult…) choice: move to the middle of nowhere and make refrigerator parts, or move to Washington, DC and make jewelry?
Her fellow graduates had found jobs that utilized their design skills very well, but hardly engaged their imaginations: diagramming linoleum floors; constructing the weave of plastic chairs; designing tire tread. Nobody was terribly excited about entering the professional world, except for Susan. She knew she was lucky to have found the Torpedo Factory, and jumped at the chance! She has maintained her studio there since the Art Center opened in September 1974.
You can find all of Susan’s jewelry (not just her fiber work) at her Torpedo Factory studio, at local galleries, and at juried craft shows in the DC area.