Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Misako Mimoko

I like this spoon doll and collection of soft characters by Misako Mimoko. She has some nice fake watch bracelets in her shop as well that are perfect for holding time.

The Shop

Matt and I have been working non stop the last few days getting the shop in order and ready for launch. There is still a bit more work to be done, but it should be up and ready by next weekend at the latest. I think it's coming together very well...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Around the corner

I like this photo pair of the Baltimore Free Farm, by Matthew.

Drawing Coner: Sarah Nishiura

My mom just shared the work of Sarah Nishiura with me. Her quilts are like wonderful landscapes where fields of color mingle with bits of pattern. She donated a beautiful small quilt for Etsy's, Handmade For Japan, where all the profits go to benefit Japan in their time of great need.

Do check it out...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

At Swim-Two-Birds

Always such beautiful things from Renilde De Peuter. I was browsing her Flicker today, where I found piles of lovely things. Renilde's work makes me feel so pleased. I also like seeing her work space.

mini grocery

cushion, as seen on her flicker

work table

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Oooh so beautiful, from Christine's blog. Someone imagined it and then it was real.

A cutting board

I like these cutting boards from Fine Little Day. I think they are interesting objects for the wall as well.


I like this photograph of breakfast by Sabine Timm, which was lovingly prepared by her son. It's flatness, thoughtful composition, and geometric background remind me of Grandma Moses' painting The Quilting Bee.

I think these two works make a lovely pair. They illustrate a homemade way of life, the act of coming together, a pleasurable union, something shared and the art of homemaking. I often feel life moves by much too quickly and I think these works are nice reminders to slow down and be more present. What pleasant things to look at in the morning...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Space Spots

I'm fond of these photos I found on Lena Corwin's blog of her friend June's home. I like to believe details define a space and kitchens are characters.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Drawing Corner: Adam Wolpa

Here are a few photos of Adam Wolpa's new work in the Calvin College faculty show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can see more on Erika Jane's blog, KOTOA. Adam's drawings and sculpture are always bewildering and beautiful. It's like he has his own language and we have to listen very carefully to pick out bits and pieces of words, even though we know what he's talking about. Making as a medium, a means of sharing intimate information, story telling through symbols, re-imagining tradition, this is just some of what Adam does so beautifully.

Matt is busy designing Adam's new website. It's very simple and fresh, and should be up within the next few months, so check back soon.

Nano-Felted Pillow

Annika's nano-felted pillow is one of my favorite objects. It pops up quite a bit in the Specks & Keepings photoshoot. It's nano-felted wool sewn into German dishtowels and then made into a pillow. She has it featured on her blog, Repurpose, along with images of her other new work. I also love Annika's new drawings, which are like still lives on paper with small bits of collage. Annika has a very special touch. She makes lost and forgotten things seem like treasures.

Specks & Keepings, branding

I find designing a logo very difficult. No matter how clearly I feel I know and understand a brand, I find it hard to sum up so much information in such a small symbol. I think you have to be very aware when designing a logo as every choice you make says something about your company, whether you like it or not.

With that said, I have been playing around with the brand identity for Specks & Keepings for a bit now. I think I prefer the logo with the two parallel gray rectangles and the little brown rectangle above. They remind me of a chimney collection, a person sitting at a table, and woven fabric. I've been thinking about the stitched cross on the Dutch Darning Sampler, small collections, soft goods, memorable symbols, whispered stories, special objects, the idea of home, and quiet moments.

I'd love to hear what you think as I've been working on this alone in a small dark room with very little input...and that usually doesn't make for the best work. Maybe one day I will be able to afford to hire a graphic designer. That would be wonderful.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Handmade for Japan

Artists from around the world are donating their work for an Ebay auction called Handmade for Japan. All the proceeds will go to Japan in their time of need. The auction begins on Thursday, March 24th at 8pm.There are lots of wonderful ceramics and other handmade goods for sale. To preview some of the items before the auction, visit their Facebook page.

The bowl pictured above was made by Jana Evans. She has some lovely cups on her site as well. I like the pieces with her delicate drawn lines.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Handmade Turkish Socks

Our dear friend Annika just got back from visiting her sister, Christina, in Turkey. She and her family visited nearly all the same places as me and Matt during their stay in Istanbul and Cappadocia. We even stayed at the same hotel in Goreme, the Kelebek Cave Hotel.

During our stay in Turkey, I hadn't yet imagined opening a Specks & Keepings shop, but if I had I would have come back with a bounty of handmade treasures. So, I asked Annika if she could gather me up a bundle of wonderful knit Turkish socks from Cappadocia for the shop. She brought back such a beautiful collection, it's almost hard to part with them!

So pop into Specks & Keepings come the Fall and treat yourself or your little one to a lovely pair of handmade Turkish socks...I have lots of childrens sizes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Drawing Corner:Christine Buckton Tillman & Sabine Timm

Above is a picture of Christine in her studio, taken by Matthew Yake. Christine is a very inspiring maker, I think she must make a drawing nearly everyday. Her drawings are filled with floral forms dancing atop organic rainbowed shapes. She often re-imagines everyday objects flattening them into fields of color. Christine's work reminds me of my favorite rainbow cake layered with jam and sandwiched between chocolate, it's joyful.

Sabine Timm keeps a wonderful Flicker. She is a German artist who makes drawings, small still lives, and little sculptures from found, used, and re-imagined bits. She breathes life into small, lost, and discarded objects through play. It's beautiful.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Presents from Adam & Erika Jane of KOTOA

I have been such a bad blogger lately, although who am I kidding, I've never really been very good at posting something new everyday. This reminds me of when I complain about being out of shape and then I take a moment to think of the last time I was in shape, which was never...my favorite sport as a child was swinging at the park and as an adult I have come to love long walks.

It is funny to me how our idea of self fits in with our expectations for ourselves and ultimately reality. Mine never seem to match up. I think life must be a continual journey of learning and acceptance, and it's up to us to make it a beautiful one. Matt's mom, Harriet, once said in passing that she is a student of life. I've always loved and remembered that.

On another note, here are photos I was hoping to share a while back. My cousin, Erika Jane from KOTOA, made me this beautiful afghan for Christmas, which I snuggle up with every night. She and Adam also made me this fantastic set of plaid pillow cases for my birthday last month. They are actually a gift to Matt as well as they have little cluster of m's & h's on them. I sleep on the m's and Matt sleeps on the h's. We thought it was more loving that way. Eleanor loves nesting on mine! Erika and Adam might make some sets with z's for the Specks & Keepings shop. I think Erika might also make another large patchwork afghan for Specks & Keepings come winter.

Just an update: The Specks & Keepings store is on it's way...I promise. I am working on descriptions this weekend and Matt is working on photos.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Drawing Corner: Ana Botezatu

I stumbled upon Romanian artist, Ana Botezatu in Papier Mache Magazine. She makes exciting small embroideries and illustrates many children's books.

I am also hoping to work on a children's book sometime soon as I spend much of my days reading to the children I look after. It is so wonderful watching small children fall in love with stories over and over again. I think when you read to a child, you are helping nourish their imagination and instill a forever love of reading. It's a very beautiful gift to be able to give someone.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Photograph Corner: Sam Falls

Matt just shared the work of photographer Sam Falls. The picture above reminds me a bit of my embroidered women.