Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Survey Says....

We recently began collecting data from our clients because they know best!  We're seeking insight regarding ideas for expanding our product line. New products would be created out of fabrics and symbols similar to our stoles but wouldn't be stoles. These might be purchased by clergy for their own use or be purchased by or for non-clergy as gifts. 

The current Carrot Top Studio survey only has one question and if you'd like to participle it will be open until August 12th. Complete the survey here. Thanks for your input!
detail of a table runner with the theme of 'dayenu'

Thursday, July 10, 2014

This Is Where We Create

If you've been reading along, you know that seven weeks ago my family relocated from Pittsburgh to the Detroit area. There have been many blessings surrounding our move. One of them is the new space that has become Carrot Top Studio. Here's a glimpse of the new studio and how we will use it--
This is where I sit to answer your emails, receive orders and blog. The morning sun shines in this window and by mid afternoon a wild, grey cat usually slinks by outside.
Sketching new designs will happen at this table.
The cutting and painting table is next to this. It is conveniently at standing height.
Small bits of fabric and yarn are gathered from these shelves. I love a bargain just like the next person and this shelving unit was a steal at the local thrift store!
Thread is stored where I can easily reach it on the wall shelves left of the sewing machine. To the right of the sewing machine is the ironing station that can be used while sitting at the machine or while standing on the opposite side. Larger pieces of fabric are stored on the bolt below the ironing table or folded in bins in the cube case. The art to the left of the window are pieces from my children's early explorations into creating.
Job tickets, inspiring images, words of good cheer and
our pattern pieces all hang out together.
Keeping order helps keep us productive!
On the left, our mannequin (Stella) kindly models works in progress. And on the right, photography for the website happens with the use of the design wall. Interesting to note that I made the fabric plant on the coffee table many years ago in a three dimensional design class in college. Even though I didn't recognize it at the time the fiber artist was obviously percolating within me!
The in stock inventory is stored in this armoire.
As the work day draws to an end you might find me here in one of these seats contemplating what is currently pinned on the white design wall, with a favorite book, or chatting about the day with a family member or friend. The art above the chair was created by one of my first students who was four years old and spoke only Japanese. We bonded over creating. Young Masumi was one of the first people to teach me that you don't need words to communicate. I like to think that the stoles we create for pastors, ministers, clergy, chaplains, and wedding officiants work like that also....they are a visual connection to the Word or the ministry that can be interpreted, appreciated and applied without the spoken word. Thanks for your patience while we've been in transition during this move.

Signing off to go draw, paint, sew, and more and more...

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Going Green

I recently moved into a new house and fiber arts studio. This has led me to be doing an unusual amount of surfing through decorating, organizing, and house maintenance websites. Today one thing led to another and I was reading about the color green being the new neutral in home decor. Even though I felt this came across as a bit of a marketing ploy to buy new paint for the walls I do agree with the article's claims that this hue has life, vitality and even joy and there are simply no rules to mixing the great variety of yellow greens, blue greens, light greens, olive greens, etc. etc.
Waterlilies and Japanese Bridge, Claude Monet, 1897
Historically green dates back at least to the Egyptians who obtained the pigment from Malachite. The Greeks introduced the first artificial version of green called verdigris.Thanks to strides in chemistry in the 18th century artists had a more complete range of green pigments to work with. This led to the Impressionists being able to paint all of those works outdoors while they were studying how atmospheric conditions touched their natural world.
A selection of our Ordinary Time ministry stoles
Given that professionally my art is centered on the church year calendar I think of the variety of greens we appreciate being able to explore while creating clergy stoles for Ordinary Time at Carrot Top Studio. I'd like to think that we don't do it for decorating reasons but that in the church we use this great variety of green as a symbol and visual connection to growth in our Christian lives and faith during these days between Pentecost and Advent. Along this line of thinking it is interesting to note that in Hebrew in the Old Testament, the same word for the color green also means young. I have many days I feel very young in trying to comprehend the mysteries of faith. Maybe I'm not the only one? So bring on the many greens! Make a visual connection to the Word. Honor Ordinary Time by making it extra-ordinary with a plethora of green.