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To Market


A few months ago I began taking my handmade wares to local craft shows. It's something that I'm familiar with, having done the same about ten years ago, with a different craft, however. I do enjoy the process of puttering around the studio on my own schedule, and the "going to work" part being only one full day. Years ago it worked beautifully, the economy was very strong, times were different.


It seemed then that if you made lovely things, people would simply adore them and buy them. It is such a different state of affairs today. I've talked with many artisans over the summer months and it seems I am not alone in my observations. Crafters and artists are struggling a bit out there, some shows just making their entrance fee back. It didn't take many misses for me to begin reconsidering my options. I closed my yoga studio here last spring when I began homeschooling Emily and was hoping to replace that income. But these efforts just weren't proving to be worth the many hours and precious weekend time for my family. What's a girl to do?


It was getting to the point where I was wondering if all the things I make are unappealing. Though some people did not seem to appreciate my use of recycled textiles... oh, they're used fabrics... friends and of course Adam assured me I was not spending all my time sewing up piles and piles of ugliness. So I got over that possibility and just started watching people, walk up and down the rows of crafters with few if any packages in their hands. Nobody was buying. People seem to be holding those purse strings pretty tight these days.


I contacted a kind and generous soapmaker I met at the very first show I did back in May, she had invited me to join a few truly local crafters that were featured at the Coventry Farmers Market each Sunday. She told me she really thought my “customer” would be there, that people would appreciate what I do. And the entry fee? Well, let’s just say they barely charge a thing! The hours were wonderful too, 11-2 pm, three hours! I agreed to give it a try… and it was exactly right for me. Plus, I get to see many of my friends and other folks I know as it seems to be where my tribe congregates on Sunday afternoon. The people shopping at a farmers market aren’t interested in a tote bag for less money from a big box store. They want one lovingly and fairly made, one with a local story. I have found my customer, indeed.Dsc05621

I asked Winter if she had any other dates available, she said yes and guess what? I cleared all other show plans from my agenda and will be doing the market exclusively for the next five Sundays. I'm truly happy, working in all spare moments each day. It'll be worth it though. You know why? Because the two times I have been there already, each person I spoke to appreciates the fact that at least half (if not more) of each bag I make is from repurposed fabric. This tribe gets it. My family loves hanging out with me here too. A quick three hours, during which we get to enjoy great bands, countless demonstrations, yummy samplings, and good times. All the while being surrounded by some of the most important people in the community, our farmers.


So sometime over the next five weeks, starting this Sunday, if you are in the area be sure to stop by. This group is truly the rock stars of Farmers Markets, we are so lucky to have such a treasure right here. The Boston Globe says it is one of the top ten things to do in New England on the weekend. Check out this weeks newsletter, thank you Winter for your great photo of my bags in there, wow!

Okay, back to work. But first, see the stack in the first photo? I tend to design... embroider... patchwork... then cut, cut, cut... make pockets, linings, and straps, then some more straps... days go buy and nothing will look finished, then it all comes together in the final hours. That'll be my afternoon today, and hopefully morning only tomorrow.  And finally, I do hope you noticed the incredibly sweet loopy, cotton, vintage trim on the pocket above and in this last photo here, oh my. After a dry spell for a few weeks, my flea market is back in the game.

May your weekends be filled with autumn hikes, bonfires, simmering soups, and farmers markets.



The only thing that can top the first afternoon of autumn spent in an apple orchard...


... is the first evening of autumn spent wrapped in a lovely vintage quilt thrifted on the way home from the orchard. A very happy Equinox to you all.

It's all in the Details


I love this scene. I was in the kitchen straightening up and smiled to myself as I noticed this. It captures our weekend, a visual reminder for me. The bottles left from dinner with friends on Friday night, the titanium dishes (spork!) washed and waiting to be put away after a quick but greatly needed camping trip. It's caused me to reflect on a few of the things I love about blogging. The practice of noticing more, the joy of people and experiences that I hold dear, and the habit of picking up the camera and capturing what my eyes have found. Blogging has encouraged me to see the little moments through a different lens, to search for the right words to wrap around an experience, to let that become an almost daily practice, and then part of an archive. This all means so much to me at the end of the day, even those days when I feel life's grand plan has eluded me yet again, that I do at least pay attention to the details. The details of our history in the making.

Packed Up and Shipped Out

Good Morning! I first must say thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes and kind words about the song Emily wrote last week, you were all super nice. Thank you, thank you.

Do you remember a few weeks back I mentioned that I received my first wholesale order? Well, it's finally packed up and shipped out, of course I had to take a smattering of photos before it left my little hands. Would you like to see? I must forewarn you, the photos are terribly lit as it was the cloudiest of days, and therefore a little painful to look at. Please be sure to pop over to this page for true fabric colors. I love the new pages feature on typepad, it made visual communication with the shop owner (1 1/2 hours away) easy breezy.

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The shop, Emily Clare's Boutique is owned and operated by the most lovely, sharp, patient, and young business woman I've ever met. Emily is a twenty year old lady with extraordinary vision. I say this openly as her youth seems to be a bit of a niche for her, she's received positive press that highlighted her uniquely fresh and young approach to retail. She markets to a younger demographic, which many shops attempt and some are successful, but she nails everything about her line selections perfectly. She knows exactly what her customers are looking for because she is one.

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She has quite an eye and was drawn to the Amy Butler choices without knowing previously of her fabric or that she was a hot designer. She gave me complete freedom in design and supported my desire to use vintage and repurposed fabric as lining, pockets, and beads. It was such a fun line to create. The bags in the two photos below are actually huge tote bags, apparently that's "in" this fall. They are about 20" x 16" and are interfaced with cotton batting (can't stand regular interfacing), the bottom is gusseted for depth, they have a large, divided interior pocket and a cute exterior pocket for cell phone and keys. I want one!!


Okay, so that's that. If you find your self on a weekend foliage drive in the hills of Litchfield, CT, do stop into Emily Clare's, you will ooh and ahhh over everything in the shop, but a little extra ooh and ahhh over these bags would be appreciated, and in the direction of the lovely young lady behind the counter. Thanks, that'll be great. 



Sorry I've been a little scarce around here this week, I hope to return more fully on Monday. We've been busy sneaking in final dinners al fresco, Farmer's Market is in full swing, noticing and pointing out to each other every. single. tree. that is changing color, fall semester of guitar and watercolor getting underway, and lot's of swooning over beauty in the mail. These fabrics are going to be truly perfect for using this time of year. They have a great weight to them, I'm excited to share some finished projects next week! Have you all noticed the vintage fabric to be found on Etsy? Thrifting locally has been pretty slim pickings this last month, Etsy thrifting is my new found love. Isn't this fabric incredible?! Have a wonderful weekend everyone, any apple picking plans?




Hello friends, I am here. My internet connection finally decided to show up as well. Hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend and are rolling along into September. Oh, and the title of this post? Yes, I am 35 as of yesterday. Can somebody please tell me when this happened? Because I swear I was just 19. 35 puts me in a new demographic... 35 means the next birthday I'll be blinking twice at will be 40... 35 also affords me the wisdom to know this is as good as it'll likely get and so I cherish a healthy body and decent physical strength... 35 means I am old enough to have a brilliant and kind nine year old daughter who wrote me a song for my birthday, music and lyrics... 35 is old enough to know that my husband truly appreciates a sticky note left on the computer screen that says "I love these!", and the window is open to this page... 35 let's me know the importance of simplifying more and more each day...35...yeah, it'll be fine. Dsc05277

We went up to Northampton for the day and had dinner at Paul and Elizabeth's, which serves wonderful, clean food.  I had the best tabbouleh with garden salad and honey miso dressing, so very good.


There are several metaphors in Emily's song that she and Adam explained to me, some may be obvious, others were surprising. I'll just let it be and share the words she wrote, whatever you understand them to be is perfect.

this is my mommyDsc05281
she likes the sunny
with love she sews
and the fabric grows

when she takes a picture
she's developing literature
with beauty that flows
the fabric grows

do you like this song
i wrote it for you
it's not always clear
but it's something I knew

beauty that moves
with love she sews
developing literature
fabric grows

beauty that moves
i love you so
painting a picture
of a happy home




Thank you love, I'll treasure it always. 35 is good, really good.

(I know this outfit on her shows up A LOT, the girl really does have other clothes, I swear... oh well, I think all you Moms out there understand this...)