If you know me, you probably know that I have resisted putting my goods online for sale. Mostly, this has been because I really prefer face to face sales at markets and fairs. But all that has changed with the pandemic and I’ve got to roll with the changes, at least somewhat. So little by little, over the next few weeks I will be adding items to the “My Shop” part of this site, especially to highlight some of my new work. I have started with some fabric “fat quarters” for all you seamstresses out there and will next add the silk scarves that were a collaboration with my friend Jennifer Johnson at Plant Spirit Fibers. http://www.plantspiritfibers.com
I hope we are soon able to get to a new normal in which face to face sales are possible again. Until then, please check in to see what’s new in My Shop.
This past fall, a friend of mine looked at this website and said something like, ” Are you actually trying to sell anything, because I can’t find it.” After my initial shock, I realized he was right. This site is more about explaining what I’m doing and how I’m doing it than getting my product into customers’ hands in an efficient way. So I began to think about what I needed to to to fix that. Make “My Little Shop” more visible. List more items for sale and spend more time taking better pictures and posting them. Use a totally different platform like Etsy or Shopify. None of these solutions appealed to me and I started to rethink the whole proposition of selling online.
I have really enjoyed the personal contact I have with customers when I sell at craft fairs or farmers markets. I get to explain a bit about my work, and they get to tell me what they want. A lot of time this leads to special orders or new ideas for me of products I should develop. I love the back and forth and I look forward to fairs and market days. But selling online, though it seems like a more time efficient way to move products, doesn’t appeal to me so much. I find nothing exciting about receiving an order, packing it and sending it through the mail to a person I will probably never meet. So I got to wondering if somehow there was a middle ground. A way people could see what I have to offer online, but also have some contact with me as part of their order.
This photo Gallery is my attempt at what I’m thinking of as “Slow Shopping, ” kind of like the Slow Food movement, but in retail. The idea is that if you find your way to this website, you can check out these pictures of things I have made, then contact me to tell me what you’re interested in. If I have it in stock, I’ll send it right out. But if not, then we get to have some back and forth about what you want, what color, who it’s for, if I have something similar, etc. The process forces both of us to interact just a bit, and I think that’s a good thing.
So take a look, take your time, and let me know what catches your eye. Then hopefully I’ll be able to put my work in your hands and give it a little personal touch along the way.
We all have our stories about how we are getting by during this time of social distancing. Some are cooking a lot. Some are binge watching. Most of us spend a lot of time reading about this virus and how it is changing our world and what we need to do protect ourselves and loved ones. I’ve been doing all that, plus more walks in the woods with my dog, a bit of cleaning, sewing face masks, and lots of dreaming of what I will do when we are able to get back to normal life again.
We are taking the social distancing seriously in my household, which isn’t too hard for me since after retiring from commuting and teaching for 25 years, I’m pretty happy hanging out at home. But what is different right now is that my business of creating fabric designs went into a bit of a pause. I have been selling most of my goods at local farmers markets and craft fairs. But the winter markets came to an abrupt halt in March, and I’m not sure about summer markets or fairs. So the pressure to keep printing and producing is off right now.
That has given me time to assess and play around with projects that I didn’t have time for earlier. I created a new blouse design in lightweight gauzy linen that I’m pretty happy with. And I’m piecing together some new pillows. But I’ve also made some brand new blocks that I can’t wait to get out there. The only problem is I can’t get out there right now, because of the cursed virus!
So here’s a sampling of my new stuff.
My sister in law Judith Secco is an amazing photographer and she and I thought it would be fun to do some craft shows together this summer. I had the idea of taking some cues from her photographs and translating them into blocks that I could print on fabric, and that’s how these crows were created. If you search ” Seven Crows of San Simeon – Judith Secco Photography,” you can see where I got the inspiration. I’m finding these crows to be quite addicting. You can expect to see them on totes like the one above, but also on napkins, tea towels, pillows and clothing.
My newest designs started with plain linen fabric. Sometime back in the fall I ordered some really nice linen in a burnt orange color. I didn’t get around to making anything out of it, but recently the color made me think of Indian designs. I looked at many traditional Indian block prints and made lots of sketches of paisley shapes. Finally I settled on a border design and a larger lotus -like block. Here it is on the fabric that first inspired me.
I hope you’ll check back in often in the next month as I will continue to add new material.