Catnap Dress Contest Winners!!!!

Oh you guys. This was hard. Hard for me, hard for the judges. Thank you to Amanda and Dennis. I could not have made these decisions on my own.

I can't tell you though how much joy this has brought me, and hopefully you. I hope that you'll keep wearing and loving your cat dresses and that you will also continue to make beautiful clothing. 

I'm taking the liberty to add a couple of awards. Because I can do that. It's my contest. And I love prizes. We'll start with the kitties. 

The winner of the kitten dress contest is!!!!!!!!

Very Shannon. We were all charmed by that sweetheart back and that doll face.  

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I am adding prizes for our two kittens who sewed their own dresses!!!!!

Little E!!!!!!! From Gather Here

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and Helen Branch!!!!!!!!! 

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These cool kittens made their own Catnap dresses, and I am so proud of them. 

Next we have the lady Cat prizes!

This was so hard. I just want you to know that it was really really difficult. 

Here it goes. 

Our third place winner is 

SquidKnits!!!

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Each of the judges independently picked their winners, and we all picked you. You look great, and your dress is adorable. 

In Second place!!!!!!!!!!

Jenna Brand!!!!!

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You made a dress, borrowed children, and helped throw a Catnap Tea party. Cats off to you! 

Our First Place winner is!!!!!!

Carrie Adams

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You did such a fantastic job! You look fantastic. Your dress is fantastic. You have cats for days... Congratulations. You make beautiful things and everyone should know it. 

I would also like to name a few honorable mentions to whom I will also be sending prizes!

Caitlin of Spools and Sparrows

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and Jen Hall of RedCurlsJen

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Thank you all sooooooo much for participating. I cried every time you posted a new pic. And that's because I'm so grateful you let me be a part of your lives. I love making beautiful things and I'm so glad that you do to, and in a small way I get to be a part of that. 

prize winners, send me an email and we'll get your winnings heading your way. 

And with that I officially sign off from being a judge of anything. Until the next dress contest of course. 

I love love love you all. Thanks for playing and filling my life with joys, and too many good tears to count. xoxoxoxoxoxo

Catnap Dress Contest Update!!!

I'm granting an extension for the Catnap Dress Contest! 

You now have until the 21st. I know that some peeps have been waiting for fabric from their local shops, and some prints have been sold out! But now, you've got until the 21st. All the same rules apply!

Here I am wearing a Catnap dress, as you all will be. 

Here I am wearing a Catnap dress, as you all will be. 


Paul Klee

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So I'm a terrible travel writer. Not in that I am a poor writer, but that I have a hard time stopping to write. I'm going to get better though. I pretty much have to. 

I'm not sure where to start. A lot has happened since England. All fill in where I can, and keep the rest for myself for now. 

So I'll start with Paul. 

One of the best things that I did while I was in London was see the Paul Klee exhibit at the Tate Modern. It was one of the finest curated exhibits I have ever seen. It was in every way a retrospective, and did an excellent job of displaying his work in the way that he personally catalogued it. Meticulously. But the thing that was so interesting and moving to me, was not only the immense volume of work, seventeen galleries filled with about a dozen pieces each, but the amount of work that I had never seen. It was shocking. And what was even cooler, was that it didn't all work. But by displaying this vast body in chronological order, you were able to see how he got from point A to Z. I guess that's the point of a retrospective, but this felt different. Or it just spoke to me as something different. It was enlightening, and one of the greatest things I gained from my time in London. 

Just as a quick note. I'm telling you about this experience, not explain myself, or justify my thoughts or actions to you, but on the chance that you've gone through similar struggles as a creator of things. 

Going from room to room, his work changed drastically. It was all so different, and that's what spoke to me. It's something that I have fought myself about for a long time.

If I do this, than I can't do this.

If I'm this, than I can't be this.

And I can tell myself all day long that those things aren't true: I can create whatever I want. Again and again, I would say it, and try to believe it, but I would shut myself down and go back to the idea of basically, if I am a graphic commercial textile designer, how can I be a fine art printmaker? Is something lost. Is one more valuable than the other? Am I wrong for blah blah blah? Am I less of an fine artist because I blah blah blah? And even though everyone would tell me no, and I would tell me no, and I knew the answer was no, I couldn't proceed without something suffering. I was afraid that the one would hurt the other. I was also afraid that they were too different, and that you wouldn't be able to see me in both, that I had to choose. But it hit me, and Paul Klee gave me the power and permission. I don't need to choose. I don't have to choose printmaking over fabric, or visa-versa. And I don't have to be a printmaker over painter, or a sculptor, or installation artist, or a seamstress. Why can't they all inform each other? I get to be everything. 

And that's what this show did for me. I realized as I took in his work, and the great variation of it, that the thread that tied all of it together was him. I am the thread that ties all of my work together. I can't touch something without it looking like I did so. You can see my work from a mile away. Its always been this way. And seeing the progression, the changes, the motifs that carry on throughout his lifetime of work, I felt a peace about my own work and where it will go, and what I am capable of achieving for the first time maybe ever and I was able to discard a burden that had encumbered me for far too long. 

I'm free, and things are going to get weird. 

Next Up: The V&A. 

 

I'm off to jolly England.

Where bulldogs all wear pants!  

All day as I've been packing and getting ready to leave the country I've been singing the Burl Ives song, Watch the Donut, Not the Hole.  

I actually listen to Burl Ives a lot. I listen to this particular album while I work. It lifts my spirits, and warms my heart. True story.  

Anyway I just got done with Quilt Market. I realized a lot of things. I have a lot of writing to do, and a lot of thinking to do, which really, is why I'm taking this trip. I'm going to draw, I'm going to write, and I am going to glean all of the inspiration I can. Thank goodness I get to check bags!  

Woo Icelandair! 

I will be taking my computer with me, and I will be attempting to blog my travels. I want to share with you my experience as it happens. Also, maybe I'll get a new job as a travel blogger... who knows??? My posts will probably be bite sized, but maybe that's just what we need. Little bits of courage, and support, and love, and art, and candy... or whatever.  

I do want to share something that I thought a lot about while I was walking the floor of quilt market, seeing my friends, meeting my peeps, people showing me the Pearl Bracelets on their finger nails, and so on. I was getting weepy. I tend to be a little weepy, as a rule. I'm tender hearted and it easily surfaces. I just kept thinking about how grateful I am. Grateful for my life. Grateful for the work that I get to do, and the people that I get to meet. I'm grateful for the dearest people that I've met through this work that are now some of my best and closest friends. I am overwhelmed by it. 

I have now been a part of this industry for 7 years. I kept thinking about the people at Andover, and how they have known me for my entire adult life, and again I am overwhelmed by time, and care, and work, and dinners, and what that kind of relationship means. And how they have been a part of my growing up. 

I guess what I'm saying is that I could never have seen it. I could never have planned these things, in all of my idealistic lists and schemes. No amount of planning could have predicted or allowed me to understand the kind of joy that I would have in my life from knowing all of these people and being connected to so much goodness through being an artist. It's all so beautiful. 

Ok. The point. I want more. We all want more. But what's that quote, "gratitude is knowing that everything I have is enough?" I write to you all today to tell you that it is enough. Things can always be better, and it would be great if things were easier. But when we are constantly seeking what we don't have we loose sight of the good we do have. I have so much good. I don't have my own family, and my garden is dead, BUT, I have a faith that lifts me up, and I am healthy, and loved. I also get to make art as my living. I am also getting on a plane in 4 hours to go spend 2 weeks drawing in one of the most beloved museums in the world. I have enough. And as more comes, I will allow it in. And then my love and gratitude will grow and I will cry 30% of every day, but in a good way. But if I focus or lose energy or sleep over the things that I don't have, then what I do have will never be enough. That's no way to live I tells ya. 

I will never stop working and pushing for things to be better, but mostly I get distracted easy, and I don't want to lose sight of the great things that make up my little life. 

A couple of business notes. I will be shipping all items purchased from October 23-December 1 on December 2nd. Also, no Christmas cards will be available this year! I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but I'm just a singular sensation. But! if you ordered an iPhone case, it will be shipped to you when I get to Boston that third week in November. So keep an eye out for those!  

Ok. I love you all. Stay tuned for drawings and thoughts as I galavant through London, a new city for me.   

"As you go through life make this your goal: watch the donut, not the hole."

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Sew Down Philadelphia

GOSH! I really love the events that the Modern Quilt Guild puts on. Man they are good. Quilt Con was so fantastic, and so was this event. The Sew Downs are smaller events held in different cities around the country. The first of which was in Philadelphia and it was great, and I was so happy to be a part of it. 

There were a couple highlights for me.  

  • I loved my classes. We had to fly though! Getting a Meadow block down in 3 hours is a real challenge, and I'm grateful to everyone for really plowing through. I can't wait to see your versions of The Meadow. Remember to hashtag your Meadows with #themeadowbee and add your pictures and progress to the flickr group! 
  • I love seeing and getting to spend time with my friends that I only get to see once MAYBE twice a year. This leads to late night conversations where we discuss and solve the mysteries of the universe. I've mentioned it before, and I'll say it my whole life. We are better together. We can help and uplift and solve and support each other better when we are together. The internet has connected so many of us, but it is pale in comparison to sitting in a dining room until 10:30 when dinner ended at 7:00 with 5+ old and new friends. 
  • Philadelphia was cool! What a neat city. We took a field trip to the flagship Anthropologie on the first night, and we ended up in the old Wanamaker's building, which now houses Macy's. There is an organ... I don't know, maybe you've heard of it. It was literally breath taking. The city has a really interesting feel... I think because some of the architecture is so old, it almost feels like some European cities I've spent time in. Also, when you are in the old part of town, where our country was literally born, you can actually feel an energetic shift. Like you are standing on sacred ground. I don't know maybe that's just me. I'm really sensitive to that sort of stuff. But it felt measurable, and palatable, and tangible... like you could cut it with a spiritual butter knife. That walk through the old part of town lead to one of the best dinners I can ever remember at a place called, Zahav. I was in vegetarian gluten free heaven. Potato high fives all around! We sat and talked and ate for nearly 3 hours, and I finagled me and Jen a pretty sweet gluten free desert that wasn't a fruit plate. The whole thing was fantastic. That dinner was followed by a late night city tour. Jay and Matt are great tour guides, they are also great dancers. 
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The whole weekend was fantastic, and I'm glad that I got to be a part of it! I especially want to thank Alissa, Jen, Elizabeth, and Janome. Thank you all so much for doing such a fantastic and thoughtful job. If you aren't planning on it already, you should definitely go to a Sew Down. You'll have a blast, learn a bunch of cool stuff, eat some great food, and get to be with some really great people in real life for a couple of days. And that's pretty sweet action. 

Also, I made this during our late night Sew Down throw down, and I'm obsessed with it. Improve Quilting... who knew??

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In Gratitude. Kimm Branch.

Turns out Mondays are hard for me to get a post up. I'm getting better at writing posts before hand that post themselves... amazing right?

Late one night, while sewing in Denver at Fancy Tiger, Jaime, Amber, and me were discussing what the Sewing Factory was. We were talking about my favorite people to sew with, and why I love them so much. We talked about my Toronto peeps, and Virginia at Gather Here. Then Jaime asked a question that made me literally giggle, and get teary eyed, simultaneously. 

Who is Kimm Branch? 

She shows up in my tweets, and I am constantly tagging her on instagram. She leaves comments there, and on facebook. She doesn't own a shop, or design fabric, but she's ever present in what I do, so they were curious about who she is. 

I met Kimm Branch my first year of Squam. She was in that hallow place, Nirvana. And I don't know what it was... I was so young, and tired, and trying to stay above water, and she just scooped me up. She was also in my very first Block Printing on Fabric class. I just immediately loved her. She was so happy and loving. She needed to be there at Squam just like the rest of us. 

She is a rock. She is a sage. She cares because she cares. She has chosen happiness and joy through life threatening adversity, and devastating heartache, and continues to promote happiness and joy. She is gifted, and generous. She is FUNNNY. She loves and serves her family. She is a giver. She helps other people find joy. She lifts where she stands. And I am so grateful to know her. I am so privileged and blessed that she is in my life, and that she lets me be in hers. She is amazing. I am overwhelmed with gratitude by how wonderful she is. 

And that's pretty much what I told Jaime and Amber. I summed it up with this:

You want Kimm Branch on your team, and I'm so grateful she's on mine.  

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#gardentalk

some of my favorite talks I've had with people have been while I am, or we are, working in the garden. Or sometimes the talks just take place at the garden or in a garden. Tonights garden talk was one of my all time favorites.  

A boy about 11 or 12 walks into the garden. He starts walking up to plants, specifically tomatoes, and starts pulling them off. Arbitrarily. I've never seen this boy before, and I know those aren't his tomatoes. He walks over by my boxes and I ask him if he wants some cherry tomatoes. 

yeah, those are what I'm looking for!  

well, technically you aren't really supposed to take them if they aren't yours

oh, these belong to people?  

yeah, but these are my boxes, and if you ever see any red cherry tomatoes, you can have all you want.  

He said thank you, and he started picking them and eating them. Which was actually really great because not 10 minutes earlier I was trying to figure out a way to get them all cleaned off the plant. Sweet 100's are hard to transport on a bike without planning ahead and bringing a container for them. I had also just wanted to share them. Then this sweet boy, wanting cherry tomatoes, walks into the garden. We talked mostly tomatoes and how to tell when they are ripe and about the different kinds I have growing. When he'd filled up he said goodnight. 

It was surprisingly momentous for me. It was one of those moments when you realize that you are on the path to being the kind of person that you want to be when you grow up.  

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