Growing pains are rough, and not just the kind that you get when you’re 13 years old and wake up feeling like someone put you on a medieval stretcher. Though, that is sort of similar to what I’m talking about. The past couple of weeks have been pretty tough for multiple reasons. Those reasons have compelled me to look at my life, at who I am, and evaluate if I am living as the best version of me. The answer came quickly, not in a demeaning way, but in a “you could do better, you SHOULD do better” sort of way. I realized that I have been failing to cultivate the relationships around me. I have been taking the people in my life for granted, all the while keeping them at a distance because that is much easier for me to control than to let someone in. Have you ever noticed that when you try to control everything around you it suddenly becomes less fun? Well. My art began to lack passion. My relationships became boring and surface level. I fought with my family. I was miserable at work. Nothing was going MY way, so in my mind that meant it was a failure. Not only was I trying to control everything around me, but I was comparing myself to everyone around me. My heart became bitter and sour because I was fixing my eyes on the wrong thing. I was in church this week and our pastor brought up the subject of comparison: “God has made us and created us to be ourselves. We aren’t supposed to be a version of somebody else; we are supposed to be the best versions of ourselves. Comparison fades away when we begin to seek the Lord and be known by Him.” It can sound cheesy, but man oh man, is it the truth. Not a week before that sermon, I was getting dinner with a new friend after a particularly rough day and she spoke similar words. We get so scared of being ourselves, turning out like our parents, or repeating our past that we forget that there are beautiful parts of ourselves that are so worth loving and embracing. I would rather be the very best version of myself than continue to fight to be someone else. I want to trust and love the people around me, not continuously push them away.
I have decided to push forward and spend more time with the people I love while doing the things that I am passionate about. All of this is going to look very different than it did before, with one of those differences being that Woolgather is going to be heading in a different direction. I will be creating art on an absolute one-of-a-kind basis under my own name. This means that I will no longer be offering wholesale/consignment agreements and will be shutting down my online shop for the time being. This may sound strange and counterproductive, but I assure you, creating art and not just a product is something I feel very strongly about. These changes are going to allow me to spend more time with my friends and family, creating thoughtful pieces, and getting to practice some of my other hobbies (taking ballet in your mid-twenties is hard, you guys).
I am so incredibly thankful for the friends, family, businesses, customers, and complete strangers that have supported me these past few years. You guys mean everything to me and I love this insanely creative and caring community that I get to be a part of. I will continue to post inspiration and life happenings on this blog from time to time, so I hope you continue to follow along.
Sometimes we wake up and life hands us the opposite day than what we were expecting. Sometimes, life keeps throwing those days at us one right after the other. The past few weeks have been a winding road full of bumps and breaks. Even as I’m writing this my phone is humming with two completely separate, yet heart wrenching, text messages. The thing is, these last couple of weeks have also been overflowing with friendship, kindness, and the kind of laughter that makes your stomach hurt. In these moments of both good and bad we discover ourselves and what we are capable of. We remember the community that supports us, the family that will never leave, and the friends who promise to stand by our side. We push on through the bad days because they make us stronger. We remember that all moments are worth living because without them there is no growth or change, and they make us exactly who we are today.
“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.” – Alice Walker; Living by the Word
Winter has thawed and melted away and we are currently making way for thunder storms and warmer days. I’ve always taken this season for granted, but after thinking more deeply on it, I think it is one of my favorites. Spring is always a very whimsical time bringing with it green and bloom with warm days and crisp nights. I look forward to spending the coming weeks taking it all in.
You don’t want to read this. Well, there is at least one person out there who probably doesn’t. I’ve been reading a lot of articles on minimalism becoming mainstream and how it’s the next “hipster phase.” The funny thing is that these are the same people who once bought into some other trend at one point or another, though they aren’t going to be the first to admit to it. I’m here to say it’s okay. You are allowed to like whatever the hell you want to like, and if you ever stop liking it, move on. Beauty can be found in change, and I for one am very glad I have steadily progressed and evolved in my interests over the years. There is a type of “honing in” that is made possible as we mature and age. There are so many different definitions to a word like “minimal” or “folk” or “punk” or whatever word you are being defined by. Everything becomes a trend sooner or later, it’s one of the main ingredients in irony. You just have to stay true to yourself and keep on living your life. There are a lot of people who don’t want to read this. There are some people who do. But you know what? You are entitled to be you, definition or no definition. As far as the minimalism debate goes, there are many sides to this story. I’ve walked into a room filled to the rim with “minimalist” junk that probably costs more than mine and my siblings tuition combined. I’ve also seen someone purge their home with the exception of their most prized possessions in order to live a more minimal lifestyle. I don’t know about you, but I relate more with the latter. That’s just my life though, and if you are into something different, that’s okay too.
Did you guys watch the Oscars this year? I know that a lot of negative comments can be aimed at these sorts of events, but in the end I love watching them and love it even more when a truly great film is recognized for it’s hard work and talent. It’s also inspiring to see a celebrity get up and advocate for something that is meaningful and important to ALL of us (let’s hear it for Patricia Arquette and Graham Moore, yeah?)
I have heard and read the words of many strong, powerful, transparent women out there….but I have also experienced the cruel, harsh, degrading words of others. I think strength can be easy to define yet difficult to live. We all have bad days where we feel like less that nothing, but we also have amazing days where no one or no thing can bring us down. As a creative it is especially hard, and I feel like I don’t bear the weight of those bad days as well. It’s easy for me to see people who are living their dream full-time and immediately feel a little let down with myself. That is dumb. So dumb. I am sure many others struggle with the same thing regardless of what field or career path you are in. These same feelings can attack us in all areas of life whether it be friendships, marriage, health, etc. I have so many dreams and aspirations and there is so much I want to achieve in life, but those same aspirations can be crippling. I think it is important to approach those dreams on a daily basis, to not get let down when something doesn’t work out, and to not walk away unless you feel completely at peace with your decision. Most of all, don’t give up because of something someone else did or said. It is a cut-throat world out there and many people are willing to take shortcuts and use harsh words to get their way. I don’t want to be known as the woman who cheated her way to the top, I want to be known for my loyalty and integrity. You don’t have to fake a smile, you don’t have to be someone else, you don’t have to please everyone. You can be both unique and strong and I guarantee that version of you will be the best version you’ve ever known. 1/2/3/4/5
I wandered across these photos a while back and was entirely too inspired by them not to post them. They are from a Vogue/Valentino spread a while back and I find them hauntingly beautiful. While I am forever a fan of the simple, minimal aesthetic I can’t help but be drawn in by the design and focus of such designers as Valentino. In honor of a new year I’ve decided to do a little recap of what I have been up to recently….because I can.
one// read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and then saw the film directed by Angelina Jolie. I thought it was an amazing movie and will forever be inspired by the life of Louis Zamperini.
two// began and finished a major Woolgather order which I am excited to see in a very special shop soon.
three// decided that I want to go back to school and complete a Masters in History…something I never thought I would willingly decide to do but am now eager and excited for.
four// purged my room of a lot of clothes and belongings in hopes of creating a less cluttered and free space.
five// for the first time in years stayed in on new years eve sipping spiked cider and watching 3D movies with my brother and his wife…& I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve been arguing with myself steadily over the past few months on what it is to be an artist and why I do it. It’s difficult for me to grasp certain ideas and customs in the industry I am in because I don’t want to be another person out there pushing a product on you that you most definitely don’t need but maybe want. Consumer culture is what it is and it’s got me feeling all types of ways, and none of them are really all that great. When it comes down to it we really don’t need much to survive, the rest is what makes us up one by one, culture by culture. I create because it’s what I love to do, it makes my heart beat faster and my face shine a little brighter. We don’t need music, art, or design….but we enjoy it, struggle with it, and it’s what we use to find meaning and definition. So there it is. Don’t buy my art. You can if you want, but only if it makes your face shine a little brighter and your heart beat a little faster.
Here are some (not so great quality) photos I took on my phone last night from a show I went to in Dallas. If you haven’t heard of Noah Gundersen, you should go change that. The entire night was magic.
I’ve been contemplating a lot lately. Sometimes that can be bad, but in this case I believe is good. I’ve just been thinking about this blog, my shop, traveling, and life. I had a really in depth conversation with a friend the other day about blogs and the internet. My blog is officially a year old, and while I’ve learned so much over the past year, I’ve also seen how much this corner of the internet has changed. I know most people are well aware of that, so I won’t dwell too much on the subject. I just want to touch a bit on how impersonal a lot of social media has become. Which on occasion is totally okay, and I understand, sometimes we just want to look at nice pictures and let that be it. Right? But other times I want substance. I want to learn, grow, and KNOW things. It’s that age old lesson of quality over quantity. This has led me down a path to try and rework some of the content on my blog, to include more of my passions and interests. I’m a real person, I do real things. I go camping. I go running. I go to church. My room reaches a state of catastrophe sometimes. I use paper plates. I have a life and friends and a job. But I also love fashion, art, design, architecture, traveling, and culture. The thing about blogs is that people share what they want to share. If I only want you to see the glamorous side of life then that’s what you get. But I don’t want you to only get that. I want you to see the trips I go on, hear the things that matter to me, and experience all of what inspires me. I think that there has been a huge awakening in our society as far as local and handmade products goes, and the desire to travel and document our lives. It’s amazing! I want to celebrate that instead of covering it up with completely false ideals that everything has to be and look perfect all of the time. I want those things to be transparent here and I am going to work very hard to make that so. It also doesn’t mean I’m going to stop posting content like I’ve been posting, because those are the things that inspire me. Go ahead, stage some pictures or style a photo, just make sure you know that it’s not going to be like that EVERY time. I’ve also come across the fact that original content is hard to come by. I recently found out that there are most definitely other people who make art similar to mine, and are probably way more successful than me..but you know what? That won’t stop me. I am going to keep on living my life, doing what I love, and hoping and praying other people appreciate it as well. Maybe I won’t be doing the same thing forever, but that’s okay. Art evolves. Content changes. It’s a growing and learning process, because who want’s to remain the same forever? Not me.