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Archive for April, 2011

feeling grateful

It’s been a full house in the studio. Full enough that some mornings, upon entering, I can be rendered momentarily paralyzed. But only for a moment! I look at my list of things to do, process in my head how most efficiently to proceed, and then I dive right in. There is a nice momentum that is gained when there is a lot of work to be done. Sometimes it becomes like a meditation and hours can go by uninterrupted. When I click into my groove it is really satisfying to work through a stack of bags.

Every now and then I come here to say thank you to my customers, and this is one of those times. I have been feeling so incredibly grateful for the support and understanding I have received from my customers. My turnaround time has been longer than ever in infusion history, and longer than was predicted even 2 weeks ago, and that’s hard for me sometimes – but I am just one person wearing all the hats, and this little business is growing. The amazing patience and support I have had from my customers has been hugely appreciated, and it makes this all so much easier and allows me to keep loving what I do. Sometimes I worry that my customers think I am dinking around (like, how could it POSSIBLY take 3 WEEKS (or 4!) to make my bag???), but what comes back to me is simply understanding and appreciation for what they know is handmade, and made by a real, live person.

It’s radical, and I love it, and I thank you!

Believe me (and I think you do), I am working super hard to get your orders out as efficiently as I can. I need to sleep a little and eat once in a while and get outside sometimes, but my primary focus is my work these days. I work a lot. More and harder than I have ever worked in my life. I love my work. Thank you for allowing me to work for myself, and to keep loving what I do.

xo

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I love this illustration, done by a sweet  i n f u s i o n  customer. It has me thinking about sunny, warm-weather, outdoor adventures.

This illustration is by Natalie Nikulina – illustrator and translator – who recently received her rucksack, which made a journey from Oregon all the way to Russia. Thank you Nat!

You can see more of her work here.

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a part of the whole

There is nothing quite like the wild beauty of nature to bring out the life and joy in all of us. The earth sustains us, nurtures us, we breathe the air, drink the waters, eat from the soil. It’s the clearest, simplest concept I can think of, yet has become one that is remote and complex for people to understand deeply. My 5 year old nephew and I had some little discussions about what the earth is, where it is (wow!), and how we need to be gentle with it and protect it in everything we do. We talked about the importance of saving, instead of wasting (“what’s waste?”) and the difference between natural and synthetic, and why it makes sense to eat things that are natural, derived directly from the earth, and doesn’t make sense to eat those neon orange tic tacs he was sure he wanted in the checkout aisle.

Making a change here depends on each of our desire to educate ourselves, and come to an understanding of the real consequences of our actions. Children need to be provided with information – which they are always seeking – so they can develop an awareness of the bigger picture. As adults we need to consider our actions carefully and make thoughtful choices based on relativities greater than ourselves and the narrow view that is so easy to get caught in. It’s too easy to get stuck in the “everything is everything” mentality – which is a phrase we use here to describe when people have lost the ability to discern, and end up going along with what ever is happening just because it is happening. It takes a sustained effort to live conscientiously, but as we make choices that are relative to the earth, and relative to all life, we become part of life again. We become stronger and more vibrant, we remember in a deep way that we are part of this planet. When we become an integrated part of the whole of life again, is when change and healing can happen.

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scaredy dog

These photos were taken before the scaredy cat event that unfolded…

Ever since I got bit by a dog this past winter (he did not break my skin, but he did bruise it,  and really scared the heck out of me) I have been kind of a scaredy cat about any dogs that come toward me. And being a scaredy cat only seems to make it worse. Today I went for a bike ride, and wasn’t up for much but simply moving my body, enjoying some sunshine, and the sights of springtime blooming. Wouldn’t you know, one of my first encounters was a little dachshund. It seemed to come out of nowhere and it was going to let me know (although what it was letting me know, I am still not sure). It wasn’t going to let up and was not going to listen to it’s person and decided it was going to chase me as fast as it could. In a near panic I finally screamed “GO AWAY!! STOP!!” It sort of backed off a little, surprised at my outburst, and then I got up enough speed, and that was the end of it. My limbs were rubbery in that adrenaline nervous kind of way and I stopped in a sunny spot with a peek of the lake to relax for a few before continuing further. In hindsight, it probably looked pretty silly – big ol’ me on a giant bicycle, and that tiny little thing (yes, it was a miniature dachshund).. and me being the one in fear… Some of these dogs are not so small though, like the one that bit me, which was actually rather huge and mean. What do you do about this kind of thing? Run away? Stand still and try to say calming things (that one got me bit)? Yell? Carry mace? I have had dogs, and known lots of dogs, and encountered lots of dogs that are strangers to me, all without incident. Maybe there are just more dogs in the world all the sudden, or maybe the dogs in our area are tweaked. I don’t want to be afraid to hit the streets on my bike. In all my previous years of cycling, even when it was my only means of transportation, I never encountered this sort of predicament. Have any of you dealt with this sort of thing?

I am chuckling a little at this point. That was nice to get off my chest : ) But really! Any dog wisdom would be welcome.

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transmute

***

Transmute often; let go of energy

binding experiences from your past.

Transmuting liberates energy by

reviewing your experiences while

being in touch with your breath.

Transmuting always begins with

inner stillness and inner silence.

Breathe deep, yet relaxed, as you

review the experiences of your life;

this will liberate energy.

Open your heart and fully inmerse

yourself in your experiences, yet stay

in touch with your breath.

It is time to transmute when energy

becomes an issue.

Transmutation extends life.

***

I wanted to share this card, because I really got a lot from it it this week. I  was feeling overwhelmed the other night, with the amount of work I have before me right now. I usually have a lot of work to do, but I don’t usually feel overwhelmed. I really needed to shift (and since working was what I needed to be doing, taking a long break wasn’t an option). Before heading downstairs to get something to eat, I decided to shuffle through a deck of Insight Cards – with my situation in mind – and this is the card that came out.

These cards were created by my partner many years ago, and while I have looked at them countless times, they are always like new, with each new situation.

Letting go, being still and liberating energy is something I try to practice daily, but sometimes the demands of life seem to go against all of that completely, and then I find myself wound up or overly invested in the details. That’s the time to let go of what’s binding, but it would be even better not to get bound up in the first place.

What helps you shift or release, when you are overwhelmed or caught up on something? Or what helps you stay fluid and free?

.

Have a great start to a new week everyone.

(And if you needed a new perspective today, go ahead and read that card again.)

.

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indigo

Another new tote, available here, in Indigo Hemp/Organic cotton denim and indigo ticking stripe. Tough morning for photographs. It is gray and super rainy. So so so much rain! I hope my little garden starts are okay with all this rain. Peas are coming up and radishes too. Do beans usually take a while to sprout? This is my first year growing beans and it seems like they are taking forever to appear.

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An old favorite tote is back - available here. There will be a limited number of these available, made to order. I have only a small amount of this vintage golden yellow corduroy left, so if you missed one during their debut last summer, now is your chance! : ) Happy weekend friends! I hope it brings some sunshine!

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A few of the things that made my Wednesday.

I found this bumble bee on the floor in our living room, covered in fuzz and looking disoriented so I brought it outside and set it in a calendula flower. It wallowed in that flower for the longest time, sticking it’s beak in each little pollen filled anther, going around and around the flower, over and over again. Amazing. I watched it through the live view of my camera, zoomed way in. Wish I could transfer that to video to show you (you can click that first photo and it will get big). For any other nature nerds out there, this diagram is really nice http://www.naturegrid.org.uk/qca/flowerparts.html.

On nice days I like to bike my orders to the post office, but there are many days when there are too many packages to fit in my rucksack and on my puny little bike rack. So yesterday, we built a better rack! As soon as we finished, and strapped everything on, the sky turned dark and there was a MAJOR deluge… But now I am ready for all the nice days ahead.

Crossing our fingers that the chickadee who has been pecking a hole in the rotten trim board on our house, will decide to use this little cabin that my guy built for it instead.

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The Rucksack in dark olive will be appearing in the shop soon is now available here. I have had a couple of special requests for this bag already, and a few requests to see it in the shop. It’s always a fun surprise for me to see something new sewn up, even if it’s as simple as the same bag in a new color. And even though I am always sewing, I’m always excited to finish something new. Sometimes it feels like there is the part of me that is the thinker, and the part that is the maker, and when the maker makes something, the thinker is entertained. It’s a fun collaboration. And it never gets old! Can you relate to that?

I think the dark olive suits this bag really well. I have also imagined this bag in turquoise, pure hemp, and chocolate brown. If anyone has a color in mind that they would love to see, feel free to let me know.

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at home

Happy weekend! It has been a full one here, with the sore muscles to take with me. Had an exciting first of the year, and was able to work outside in shorts, bare arms and flip flops. Oh my, I think I was born for sunshine. My body feels so happy. Many loads of dirt and compost were moved, a shoulder load of golden plum tree branches were bicycled home – and starts from those branches planted, lots of seeds were planted, furniture was moved in and moved out, bread was baked and yummy food prepared, glasses of wine shared. I used to get stir crazy, feeling housebound working at home for days on end, but  there is so much to do and experience right here close to home. It is really satisfying to feel content with where I am.

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