Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How We Got the Idea for This Stole

Do you ever look at Carrot Top Studio stoles and think "what were they thinking?" Our newest Ordinary Time design has a little back story. So it goes that my husband has just concluded his fiftieth year of life. At the beginning of this year I suggested we celebrate in small ways along the way and then conclude with a trip to a destination of his choice (that fit in my budget-of course:)). 

So one thing led to another and we found ourselves in AZ for a long weekend. I loved the drama of Sedona and the red rocks and Gary could hardly speak when first viewing the magnificence of the Grand Canyon. We departed this wonderful time of hiking and exploring a variety of creation that we'd not ever seen before simply in awe of how the earth was formed and how it has then transformed over time. 

Consequently I started envisioning creation images to place on a stole.When I think of creation I often turn to the beautiful words the Psalmists have handed down to us. Landing upon Psalm 95:1-6 my thoughts started to come together for how I would wield the scissors on the cloth and make the sewing machine work its magic. We think the result would be lovely for a Thanksgiving Eve worship service if you are one of our American clients. But it is a good buy because it's also fitting for the entirety of Ordinary Time. This stole is available in several lengths and is on the website here.
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Worship Can Be Foreign

I've always enjoyed worshiping in communities and churches that were not my home base. As you may know, my family (and studio)  moved from Pittsburgh to the Detroit area this summer. This has allowed a "season" of such visiting. There is much goodwill in Michigan and every single church we have worshiped in we have felt welcomed. Despite that through this process I've once again realized that sometimes you are a foreigner to the special rhythm, ritual, and even language of worship. We have experienced several things that have stood out in mind:

  • a parishioner patting my hand when I did something out of order in worship. It was the type of touch that reminded me that I was welcomed.
  • explanations as to how Communion elements would be served and why it was done that way.
  • description of the worship music printed in the bulletin prior to the order of worship....enlightening the reader to the history, meaning of the music and words and why they were relevant to this day.
  • lastly, yesterday prior to worship we experienced a verbal explanation of the music that would be included in worship. The anthem was later referred to in the sermon as to why it enhanced the meaning of the message. (BTW this is the song that was used and it was not only pleasing musically but the visual that it conjured up made it more powerful...."Stained Glass" by Joseph Martin and Heather Sorenson may be read about and heard here.).
Why do we write about this today? It makes me wonder how and when the visual messages of things like ministry stoles are included. Sometimes the message is very clear. But there are other instances when if you don't know the meaning of the symbol or for example why the sanctuary is decked in blue during Advent it's not going to help make an association to deepen our worshiping of the Lord.  I encourage you to incorporate the how and why of the visual cues of worship via the written or the spoken word. May the visual connection not be foreign!

Thursday, October 02, 2014


Maybe these frequently asked questions and their answers will better help you to get to know Carrot Top Studio, the way we work, and our products! 

How long does it take to receive a stole?
  • If you see it on the website it is in stock unless otherwise noted. We ship via USPS
    A new Advent limited
    edition stole. See it here.
    Priority mail within 24 hrs. of receiving your order. Delivery takes 2-3 business days.You will be notified of the tracking information so you can follow your shipment!
What if I need the stole sooner than that?
  • Email us or call (412-480-4193) and we'll invoice you if overnight shipping is available to your address. And then we'll get the shipment on its way!
Who makes these unique ministry stoles?
  • Jenny Gallo is the artist/designer/seamstress. It's basically a one woman show with occasional assistance from another person that sews or assists with shipping. 
Can I change something about a stole I see on the website?
  • We usually don't modify our in stock inventory. At times we can hem a stole to make it shorter if needed. This is dependent upon the stole's design and there is a small fee for this service.
How do I measure for a stole?
  • We measure from the middle back of the neck to the edge of the hem. 
  • If this is a gift think about the height of the person receiving the stole and about whether they will wear a robe or not. The stole looks best if it doesn't hang below the hem of the robe. Lastly, if the pastor, priest, minister, or wedding officiant will be walking up and down steps in the place that they lead in (like from the sanctuary floor up steps to the chancel) then a too long stole can be tripped upon.
Why can't I find the stole I saw on your website last week?
  • Our work is created in limited editions of 1-10 stoles per design. If we are selling a prototype we try to make note that this is one-of-a-kind. Therefore if you're interested you should know not to hesitate too long. Our busiest months are generally October, February, and May....these are times you shouldn't hesitate either as the inventory can change swiftly. With that said if you are seriously interested but your finances aren't ready please let us know and we'd be willing to hold a stole for you for a reasonable amount of time.
Do you accept commissions?
  • Occasionally we do accept commissions. It is mostly dependent upon the schedule if this is possible. Don't hesitate to float an idea past us. Sometimes your ideas can translate well into a limited edition. We find that you have good ideas and if you're willing to share the idea then we will put it into the limited edition line up when possible. 
Why are you called Carrot Top Studio?
  • Orange hair since birth + being called a "carrot top" during school years = the name for the studio. We've learned to embrace the teasing that used to make us blush!