Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I'm moving, which is why things have been so quiet here lately. I'm in the middle of packing up everything and then on Saturday I move. The landlord gave me the keys a bit early so I'm going to pop over tonight and try to figure out where everything is going to go. It is kind of cool because I have two floors now. My bedroom is in the basement and there is a wee spiral staircase up to the second floor. I have a living room and dining room and another bedroom on the main floor, along with the kitchen, bathroom and a deck (squee!). I'll be turning the dining room and extra bedroom, which are adjacent to each other, into a studio space. Stay tuned for pictures.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

A few years back I took a course on leadership in Ireland. There I met some amazing friends and the seed was planted to follow my dreams. Our professor said have BHAGs (pronounced bags)- Big Hairy Audacious Goals. That phrase has stuck with me all these years, but I did not know what my BHAG was. At a Crave event a couple of months ago as part of our introductions we always do an ask, something you need help with or desire, and at that time I worked from home and I was lonely. Considering I'm an only child that says a lot. I asked if there were any crafty co-working spaces in Chicago and while people had some awesome co-working spaces, there wasn't a place that I could bring my sewing machine.

My friend Christina and I went for a horseback ride on the beach in Cleggan, Ireland.
Then I realized that I wanted to create a crafty co-working space. I wanted a huge loft to convert into a space that would have room for trainings on screen printing, sewing, wood working or whatever skill someone wanted to share. I wanted there to be a space for movie night and gatherings. I dreamed that people would come to work and there would be a gravitation towards collaboration. I even mocked up the lay out of my dream space! At the same time I read on San Francisco Girl by the Bay (highly recommend her blog) that they were creating a clubhouse for creative people called Makeshift Society. If I was in San Francisco I'd  join in a heartbeat.

The clubhouse is a beautiful mix of vintage warmth, mid-century modern and industrial, but with wood tones, old leather and textiles to cozy up the space.

Image via DesignSponge originally created by Victoria Smith.

I pull sheets out of magazines and have done so for years (the precursor to Pinterest!), and many many years ago I pulled out a picture of a light filled bay window that had two French bistro chairs and a small round table. When I made a mood board for Meandering Design that picture went front and center. So, when I saw two French bistro chairs for sale I had to have them. They are chipped and worn and just beautiful. They will go out on my new deck with a very rusty round table that I found at Josie's in DeKalb.

I am leaning towards white with pops of color. I want to have a space that is restful on the eyes so people feel comfortable to create. I was inspired by this home that was showcased on DesignSponge because the light streams in and it is filled with warm textures and that perfect pop of color.

Via DesignSponge
I pin things that I covet for Meandering Designs space, or that inspire me on Pinterest.

*I was struggling with this post because I am referencing sources that are not my own. I wish there was an MLA or Chicago Style Manual for the internet! I want to note that I hope you go and visit the sites that I have referenced and please know that I am inspired daily by these talented designers and design afficianados.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What do you Crave?

Meandering Design grew out of my passion for sewing and my desire to live a sustainable handmade life. I think that statement alone deserves its own blog post, but today I want to talk about an organization called Crave. Last year I needed a way to connect with people, especially since I was spending my time home alone sewing. I checked out Mac 'n Cheese Productions (which also deserves its own blog post) and I stumbled across Crave.

The first event I went to we made vision boards. I got to spend a Saturday afternoon on a dreary January day sitting around a table chatting with a group of women who had done, and continue to do, amazing things in their life while cutting up magazines and making a collage to represent what I want in my life. Seriously- how cool is that.

I notice that there is a definite international influence...

I kept going to events and sharing Meandering Design with people and I always got such a positive response and people kept connecting me to people they either thought I should know or, who could help me with my business. I've found a life coach, an insurance agent and even someone to help me with my finances. Each one of these people has helped me in immeasurable ways. Most importantly I have found a group of people who inspire and support me.

This is Saya who runs Mac 'n Cheese and our Crave chapter and is just all around amazing*

The last Crave event was held at Shop 1021 in Logan Square and it was difficult to concentrate while surrounded by so many fabulous goods for sale. We were lucky to have Sarah Neukom who is the Producer of Positivity at Red Frog Events and Sheila O'Grady who is a consultant at Spencer Stuart to talk about leadership. I was amazed at their insight regarding leadership and the things that they have accomplished.

This is my friend Christina who was overjoyed to find a room of creative entrepreneurs*
Christina and I rode our bikes home and for just a moment all you could hear was the whir of our tires as we both happily peddled away. Then at the same moment we both excitedly started talking about all of the phenomenal women that we had talked to over the course of the evening and our plans for the future. I can't wait to see tomorrow brings.

*I have to commend Amy Boyle who took the gorgeous photos for July's Crave event and also the photos of Meandering Design. The Crave staff designed a beautiful write up on Meandering Design, but her photos take center stage.