These past few weeks have been a flurry of activity around the old studio- A.K.A. kitchen table- yes I have been forcing my family to have many picnics in the living room- scrambled eggs and toast have become a regular occurrence. I am in the final throws of prepping for the Urban Market at Highstreet that is happening this Friday and Saturday! Put on by those clever ladies from Spruce Collective this market is sure to be full of treasure- of course I had to really knock it out of the park with a few new Plain Jane goodies!
I had such an amazing response to my hand embroidered pillows from the Plain Jane Heritage Collection I have decided to run with it- not only am I loving the new direction my work is taking aesthetically but the actual process has totally inspired me. To make a long story short- I am falling back in love with embroidery- a skill my Mom taught me many years ago that I thought was akin to torture. I'm not sure how many other twelve year olds spent the summer of 1989 sweating over a piece of cotton and a wooden hoop.
Drawing with thread has become kind of addictive- bringing together my two loves- sewing and drawing- I get to work with lovely products like linen from Belgium and silk threads from France. There is something romantic and old fashioned about this method of working- I feel like I am making something that will last and be a special part of someones life. Of course the images are all drawn from my own history- how could I not create an ode to this amazing Province we live in!
These days my work really seems to be clicking for me- I am excited to keep working and find it difficult to sit down and "relax"- if an idea is brewing my hands are itching. Working from home is not with out it's challenges- peers do not seem to realise what I do is not a hobby- this is my job- this is what I am doing to make money to buy milk and shoes for my kids- this is how I contribute to the family income. I think there seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding that artists who work from home are not just sitting around- while I do have the luxury of a flexible schedule that I set myself- I am at work by 6:30 am and often do not finish my work day until after 10:00pm. Still I am loving the synchronicity that seems to be happening these days- good things are happening and for that I am extremely grateful!
The Urban Market at Highstreet is just one of those good things that are happening- I have long admired Spruce Collective and am so excited to be a part of something so fantastic! I love the group of vendors Spruce has lined up- everything from fun playtime accessories for children to beautiful scarves and loads of vintage items. Of course Plain Jane will have lots of cards- possibly Holiday 2013 will even sneak it's way in there- a selection of Heritage Collection pillows, notebooks, zipper totes and these sturdy bucket totes with handles- perfect for storage or transporting!
I am loving the feeling of freedom and independence that is rising up in the Maker community- folks are no longer content with poor quality goods mass produced over seas- I think the public is starting to raise their consciousness and understand the importance of buying locally. When you buy from an artisan or crafter you are supporting a family- you are buying time for an artist to keep working at their passion. A world with out passion would surely be a very dull place. With the Holidays quickly approaching think about where you are doing your shopping- does it involve a big box store or Etsy? Are you supporting some big Fat Cat corporation or a Stay At Home Parent?
One final thought- artisans sales, craft shows and art shows are not bargain basements- Makers have worked hard and poured not only their time but a great deal of heart into what they have proudly displayed for you. Please don't expect discounted prices- this is art- this is craftsmanship-in many cases these are very well educated people- please consider this!
If you are out in the valley this weekend I hope you take a moment and swing by Highstreet for the Urban Market- sure to not disappoint! Friday evening is a sneak peek and tickets can be purchased through Spruce Collective- Saturday is open to all 9am-4pm.