Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An Ode...

A little something pretty, just because. Photo credit Kandy M. Christensen
I mentioned awhile back that I've become a glass half-full type of girl and that in part is thanks to Janice. I was at a Crave event last June and Janice introduced herself as someone who helps people through periods of loss and transition. That, my friends, was where I was at. I was stuck in grief and could not find a path out. I met with Janice, who is a life coach, and that apparently was what I needed to become unstuck. I worked with Janice for three months and by the end of our sessions I figured out my true purpose in life, which is to be an artisan and to teach others about craft, artisans and the history of handmade. I also learned that I love to make the world a beautiful place, that I'm intelligent, I'm an individualist, I like to research things before I act, I tend to get stuck in the past, I rely heavily on my feelings or gut, I am artistic, and sometimes prone to depression. Some of you who are reading and know me well may be saying, duh, we knew that, but while I may have seen those traits within myself, it took working with Janice to really own them. There was a significant shift within myself and how I view the world. Also, from those sessions Meandering Design started to become so much more then just an online shop and I'm excited to see the path it takes.  

A side effect of determining what is my path in life is I want to help others find their path. Now when I meet people I want to talk to them about their passion, or help them find their passion. I have met some wonderful people with amazing ideas, talents and skills and they are, sadly, not sharing their gifts with the world. I now find myself encouraging people, connecting them to others who can possibly help them, or providing any advice that may be useful.

What passion or dream are you hiding? 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Signing off

We wish you all a very happy holiday season. Since I have so many Christmas presents to finish making (ha- who am I kidding-to start making!) and I'll be heading out to the one place that still has a dial up modem for internet, things may be a little bit quiet over here until mid next week. I hope your stocking is filled with crafty delight.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Crave-ings

A couple of weeks ago Meandering Design was at the Holiday Crave-ings event. It was like a mini party.
I was very impressed that I wrote this sign legibly!
I shared a table with Heidi Tehilla Sculpture whose work is evocative of her spirit-strong, beautiful, warm and supportive. You can see some of her sculptures in the picture below.

Dana Frost, of capim santo alchemy, was there spreading peace and joy through her magical concoctions. I have her Soar blend as a roll on and Suspend as a spray and I use them daily! Bright Endeavors candles were being sold and I highly recommend them. The candles are made using essential oils and burn beautifully. I'm very scent sensitive and I just love how these smell. They also support a wonderful organization called New Moms, Inc. Behind me is Lara LaPratt of Shopping Girl XoXo and she had some lovely things to wear and style you with. There were so many fabulous vendors that it was hard not to spend my time shopping.

I also finally met Tania Rodamilans whose artwork is stunning and her jewelry is like pieces of art to treasure. She took the photo below for our mutual friend Julie Kramer of Shift (gorgeous wearable dresses) because Julie kindly donated her scrap fabric to me and I made the green and grey scarf below.

My final shout out goes to Iwona who makes iPad and iPhone covers out of upcycled materials. We are kindred spirits and I'm so glad we got a chance to meet. You can see her iPad covers in the left hand corner of the picture she was kind enough to snap of Meandering Design below.

The amount of support from the vendors and visitors alike was overwhelming. It was also wonderful that so many people from Fear Experiment came to visit. I am grateful to Crave and Saya for the opportunity to be a part of the Crave holiday party. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like....

You may have noticed that it has been relatively quiet over here at Meandering Design in regards to the upcoming holiday. I would say a big part of the reason is because 99.9999999999% of everything I read regarding the holidays is about buying stuff (more stuff!!) and, well, I don't want to buy more stuff for myself or for my loved ones.Also, I am royally peeved at all of the gift guides for "men" or for "women". Especially the ones that assume that women don't like tech or that men don't like to knit. I have some choice words regarding that, but I will attempt to refrain from spouting them.

*Edited to add-Sheska pointed out that my prior statement was a bit contradictory. What I meant to say is I do buy Christmas presents for people and I do receive Christmas presents. I try to buy from local vendors, or handmade or I make presents. Operative word on try. In fact I have yet to start making presents. Don't worry I'll get them done (maybe!). I understand that not everyone has the option to buy handmade or local. I also have to admit that I kind of want this holiday season over and done with because I miss Poppy. I'll miss seeing his excitement when the train is set up and running under the tree. So what I meant to say is enjoy this holiday season with your family. 

I am in the holiday spirit though and I even put up my Christmas tree.Yes, I'll take pictures and post them later this week.

Then, today I saw on Apartment Therapy the most fabulous beautiful tree in Belgium via Design Boom and I just had to share-

It is made out of  plates that members of the community contributed.

It is simply gorgeous and the photographs are amazing. I couldn't find the photographer but the project was designed by mooz.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Love the project... enjoy the process

As soon as an idea for a new project comes to mind I get all excited- my smile gets bigger and people point out that I look like I am day dreaming (more than usual).

What is really happening is that my brain and well, my whole body, is getting into hyper crafting mode.  I start to see the project in my head, lists of required materials and tools start to get compared in my brain's database with the lists of materials and tools that I already posses, step by step images start developing, and oh, so much more.

For an introvert like me, working on crafts/projects is a great outlet.  It allows me to spend time thinking and creating on my own and also to share the process with others.  I enjoy exchaging ideas about crafting and although I do not always do it in person, there are other ways... other fun ways.

Joining Meandering Design which teams me up with my long time friend Kandy, has been one of those two ways, plus, I have joined the Instructables community.  The huge number of creative people in this world does not just amazes me, it inspires me!  It delights me that introverts and extroverts alike share the love for their projects and the enjoyment that the process brings about.

I know that I am not the only one daydreaming and in love.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Today's post is brought to you by...

I've got nothing for today because I'm busy rehearsing for this-

That is the Park West billboard and December 15th Fear Experiment, yup, that's me. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

On being an introvert

There is an odd stigma in our society against people who are introverts. The workplace and education system today place an emphasis on group projects. Let me describe how a group project typically goes...I sit quietly waiting for someone to take the lead. Crickets chirp and then I take the lead and tell people what to do and oh yes, I'm the bossy one. I would love to be the one who doesn't have to herd sheep. Sorry, I digress.

When I was younger I was painfully shy and did not know how to interact with people. Yet, over the years I watched others and I learned how to smile, how to listen, how to offer an opinion, how to chit chat, and how to connect with other people or engage them in conversation. Give me a topic that I love to talk about, oh like Meandering Design, and I can talk your ear off and I will gladly hear your suggestions and input into how to grow the business. I sometimes tell people that I'm an introvert masquerading as an extrovert.

Except, while I can go to parties, networking events, work events, and walk into a room of strangers and strike up a conversation, it is something I can only do in limited doses. There are some people that need to have constant contact with people. They thrive off of that and it gives them energy. It does the exact opposite to me. I feel my energy draining and I get worn down.

Last week was rough. I started out the week feeling tired and like I had not recharged my batteries and then I spent almost every evening with groups of people. By the time Friday hit I was done and while I really wanted to go to a party I knew the best thing for me (and the people around me) was to go home and recharge my batteries.

I think the key difference between introverts and extroverts is we can be social (sometimes we just don't want to), we can be engaging, gregarious and charming, we can make connections and network and chit chat, but we need time to regroup. Last week I did not give myself enough time to regroup.

Sheska posted this to my facebook page and I think it very accurately sums up what being an introvert is about. 

I'm okay.


Friday, December 7, 2012

What I really want for Christmas

It is our first Christmas without Poppy and it is hard to get into the spirit of thing. I was looking through photos and I stumbled over this one. Grammie and Poppy would put up a tree and decorate the house. My cousins and I would always fight to see who would put the angel on top of the tree.

This photo was on a roll that was in my Grandfather's camera. He had mentioned years ago that the camera was giving him trouble. I took the camera into Central Camera on Wabash (love this place) and a very kind older gentleman spent a good half hour with me getting the film out. When I got it developed I found shots from Christmas in 2003 or so (I could tell by my hair cut and the boyfriend in the picture!).

Tonight I am going to go home, turn on the Christmas carols and put up my Christmas tree. Maybe I'll crack open a beer in memory of Poppy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A dream is a wish your heart makes

When I was a child I had a record player and I think I had almost all of the Disney movie sound tracks to date, oh and Pete's Dragon (Pasama-what?) I actually had not seen the movies. This was back in the day when there was no VHS, DVD, or BlueRay. The only Disney movie I remember seeing in the movie theater was Bambi. Oh, and don't tell my cousin Tracy, but Bambi's mom dies. Even though I had not seen the film, I knew the soundtracks not just by heart, but down to my wee tippy toes.

In those days I had so many dreams, most of which I have forgotten, and I think somewhere along the way I forgot how to dream. Or I simply stopped allowing myself to dream. I was reading a blog post by Danielle LaPorte, the author of 'The Firestarter Sessions' and she said "You are capable of holding two states of consciousness at once: presence and longing, gratitude and desire, contentment and hunger. This is what it means to become whole". I highly suggest you read the whole post here (still longing for an internet Chicago Manual of Style!). 

I'm not sure if this is the response she was looking for but I had a huge slap my forehead moment- holy crap people buy stuff I make. Duh! I created Meandering Design to make things and then sell them, but I do not think that I recognized how overwhelming the feeling is that someone bought a skirt I made for their mother for Christmas. Or that a friend bought a scarf that I made out of fabrics I love and lined with a men's dress shirt that I had upcycled. Or that there are people in far flung places who are taking picnics on a Meandering Design picnic blanket.

Yet, at the same time, there is that tension of living life and living a dream, and still wanting more. And you know what, it is a wicked great place to be.KMC

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Focus: aesthetically beautiful utilitarian crafts

In my opinion, the driving force of many local businesses devoted to upcycling, such as us here at Meandering Design, is the mixing of beautiful aesthetics with utilitarian elements.

When mass production of poorly made “stuff” took hold of the market, aesthetically beautiful utilitarian crafts, which last for a long time, got more and more expensive and less approachable to the larger part of the population. However, more designers and craft people are bringing back their creations to their community. This is mostly possible because of the refocus of a set of awesome concepts including reusing and upcycling.

As many individuals, advocates, environmentalists, and common sense thinkers have pointed out, it would be very beneficial to our lives on this planet if we lay off the disposable mentality and find more and more ways to reuse what many, sadly, consider trash. The more ways we find to reuse those discarded products to make aesthetically beautiful utilitarian crafts, the more we will close the cycle of consumption which in turn, helps our communities and the people in those communities in a very big way.

That is my dream and my inspiration.