Archive for July, 2009

DSCF5415By finding beauty in the blighted, we discover the magic of the neighborhood

About the Photo: I snapped a quick shot of this building that sits decaying along the waterfront – Abandoned and rusted, bruised by mother nature and worn by time, yet full of history and quite picturesque.


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littletorchWoohoo!  Ive’ done it – I’ve ordered my soldering supplies!  I am quite excited!

By mid August, I should have my workshop all set up and ready to go.  We have this great little shed on our property that is going to serve as my new studio.

I can’t wait to get everything set up and to start experimenting!  I have so many ideas in mind, and I am quite excited about how the new equipment will allow me to expand my skills and my collection!

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get_convo_imageI just love getting a peak behind the scenes and into the lives of other artists!  This week, I am excited to introduce you to Carol Gilbert of yorktown road! Carol does some amazing things with fabric!  The texture and lines she uses in her designs are striking!

Carol was wonderful enough to be in the spotlight and share a little about her work and herself:

I just love your designs! Where do you find your inspiration?
everywhere. it’s usually something ugly, plain or often overlooked but somehow it will draw my attention and lead me to think about shape and form and color. my kids will often describe things in a manner that i would never consider which will lead me to look further at something. think about it differently, whatever “it” may be.

il_430xN.80735614il_430xN.80735544il_430xN.80740984Share with us a little about your creative process.
i’m very plain, simple and nondescript in many ways. we lead a very simple lifestyle here at yorktown road. our mid-century home is quite simple in structure and form. i wear the same basic thing every day. i have the same top in 4 neutral colors. i only have a few pieces of color in my entire wardrobe. most everything is grey, black, brown or dark blue. some think it is so funny that my work involves so much intense color. the truth is, i do love color, particularly when it is just an accent. I love to find ways to combine the simplest of forms with beautiful color and make them interesting without bringing in a lot of other elements, fabrications or hardware. i hand-dye my linens using fiber-reactive dyes and make many samples mixing and testing to come up with colors that i love. i will often sit with a piece of fabric for hours, folding it, twisting it, sewing it and studying how the color and movement of the design work together on the fabric. then i usually set it aside for weeks until i figure out how i want to work it into my collection.

il_430xN.53178927What do you find most challenging about your craft?
time. my business has really expanded this past year into some new, unexpected venues and there are several opportunities that have opened up to me that I would like to explore. however, i have 3 young children and they need to come first. i tend to work a few hours each morning and then many hours at night once the kids have settled. it’s amazing what i can accomplish between 10 pm and 3 am when there are no interruptions.

What do you find most rewarding about it?
i love what i do and it makes me happy. it allows me to express so much about me as a person, without having to use actual words.

You’ve been selling on etsy for a few years now. Do you have any advice for those who are newer to the etsy scene?
find your own voice, your own vision. don’t worry so much about what others are doing. let your work express who you are.

bagHow do you enjoy a day off?
sleep in. go to peet’s coffee. exercise. do something fun with my kids. whoop my husband at scrabble.

What four things could you never live without?
jackson, audrey, vivien and jeff. ok, they aren’t things, but they are my family and I can live without things as long as I have my family.

If money and time were not an issue, where would you travel and what would you do while you’re there?
the scandinavian region. i would love to explore the countries, their textiles, their landmarks and architecture. it’s something i have wanted to do for many years. plus, everyone i have met from that regions is so nice and down to earth.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned within the past year?
that you have to enjoy life. enjoy the little things that are present in your life every day.

How would you like to be remembered by future generations?
really, my only concern is that my kids remember me as someone who loved them greatly. that i was a strong vital person. although, i am sure they will only remember all the many crazy quirky things i do and say.il_430xN.79389763n40048936447_1578379_519045pillow

Thank you Carol for opening up and giving us a little glimpse into your world at yorktown road!  You can find Carol’s work here and here!

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My jewelers hammer and I have gotten to be good friends lately!  I just love bending, shaping, and hammering pieces.  These are a few of my latest designs.  On top, you can see one of my new favorite necklaces – I’ve made one for myself, and I wear it all the time.  I’m working on making a few for the shop now.  On the bottom you can see a bright and bold pair of earrings with coral and turquoise – perfect for summer!

While my jewelers hammer and I have been spending time together, I’ve been avoiding my camera… I need to work on my photography skills, especially when it comes to taking photos of my jewelry.  Hopefully over the next few weeks, I’ll be able to carve out a little time to play around and get to know my camera a little better.

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For myself I hold no preferences among flowers,
so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.”
~Edward Abbey

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Scan0003You cannot force creativity – but you can do things to help urge your creativity along…
… feed the brain, rest the brain, let your mind wander

Scan0004Last week’s challenge was to take some time to doodle – to open the door to creative freedom and get over my need for perfection.  It was a wonderful exercise for me – I am not great at drawing, but I enjoyed the task.   I found myself doodling flowers quite often, but I also had a little fun with patterns.  This was definitely a worthwhile exercise for me – one I’ll have to keep up (I need to keep working on my perfectionistic tendencies!).

A Walk through Nature.
Wherever you live, I hope you have somewhere you can go to experience nature.  Where we live, we are quite close to a national forest, and there are a few spots that I love to go to get alone, to think, to be refreshed.  While we live quite close, I have not found myself enjoying the benefits lately.  This week, I will make it a priority to get out there – and when I go I will be sure to bring along my sketch book and camera – I will allow myself to be inspired!

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UntitledI just love ceramic – the cool feel of each piece, the texture of the glaze, the functional/artful duality … I especially love ceramics with character like these pieces from Catherine Reece at Village Clayworks.  Catherine’s designs are delightfully whimsical, hand-drawn, and quite colorful!


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