So much of my business has been changing and growing. I've been expanding my wholesale and am in lots of fun galleries and boutiques around the U.S. It is not only my business that has changed this year. There has been a lot of growth within myself. One goal this year was to not slip into a “work trance” and to stay more balanced. Do you know what I mean by this? It is so easy since I work from home and have a lot to do to simply work constantly…like all the time. I made this a habit for years. I would literally get up in the morning and begin work within half an hour and work non-stop until I would collapse into bed. Sometimes, this is necessary. However, I don’t want making books to be my whole life. I want to be more balanced than that. Annie Dillard wrote,
“How we live our days is of course how we live our life”.
I love this. Making books and filling orders is definitely a large part of my life…but it is not all of me. I’m learning balance and the continued importance of rest and play and dance and reading and simply being with people. It has made it all so much more fun, including the “work”. I’ve even begun to look at “work” as more “play”. It lightens up the load and the pressure…it lightens me up. When I feel the stress of deadlines and upcoming shows, I’ve found myself saying “I have all the right problems”. I am so thankful for continued work and support and creative opportunities. All of these slight changes in perspective allow me to take deeper breaths and relax into my days so much more.
These are custom leather tags that I created for a toolman to use to identify which tool box contains which tools. This type of item could also be used as a unique luggage tag. They are hand-stitched letters on remant leather with beads and stone to accent.
These are toothfair book necklaces that I made as custom orders as a couple of birthday presents for young girls. They have a tooth and fairy wand stitched on the front and a little pocket on the back cover for the money to go in. There are a few pages inside where they can keep track of when and where they lost their teeth. All of this comes packaged as a bitty book that they can wear as a necklace. Pretty fun, huh?!
My first outside show of the year was at the 4 Bridges Art Festival in Chattanooga, TN. I fell in love with that place--the people were so friendly, there were local businesses everywhere, and fun art was all over. I had just enough extra time to fit in some tasty restaurants and check out some cute, new boutiques. I stayed at a hostel, Crashpad, and was able to walk to and from the show. It was all so fabulous!
"Unless its mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it's a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn't be one of them." -Dreams for an Insomniac
I recently created a custom leather sleeve for a customer in California to give to her boyfriend for their anniversary. Here is what she had to say about it:
"This is one of the best purchases I have ever made! I was looking for a certain portfolio that I couldn't find anywhere, and this seller was able to accomplish all the customizations I desired perfectly. She has one of the best prices in terms of genuine leather products out there. So glad I ordered from this shop! :)"
This notebook is a perfect companion for all tooth fairies! You can record and save each little tooth as they come out, making notes and storing memories. It is a 4.5 x 3 inches hand-bound book with 72 pages (front and back) that has a small pocket on the front inside cover. The cover was made from remnant mint leather, and it closes with a hand-made glass bead. The inside pages are also recycled and acid-free. You can even have your wee one draw pictures of what happened when they lost their tooth. The ideas are endless! To order one, go here.
I was invited to do a demonstration at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. If you have never visited the Artisan Center, you should. They always have a fabulous art exhibit on various themes and feature so many KY artists. I really love having my work for sell there as well as working with them. So, I was delighted to be able to to a demo. I took my paper cutter, sewing tools, paper, and book covers and bascially sewed and chatted with folks about book binding all day. It was really fun as well as relaxing. I focused on repurposed book covers, namely old Reader's Digest, and showed how I use those to create a new book. One important thing to remember is that all book covers get thrown away...only the insides of books can be recycled. This is a way to re-use those book covers. Check out the video and pics...all of them are courtesy of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea!