Energy is Energy.

Nothing can begin without the ending of something else. As an old, musty year's kinetic energy gives way to the new one's potential energy, I question this premise.
Perhaps a better way of seeing the world is as a series of beautifully stitched together moments that neither end nor begin anything. As someone who tries to live in full color, it occurs to me that seeing endings as giving way to beginnings leave us with a colorless, static life. Then again, what do I know?
But, either way, I won't wish you anything tonight but a Happy Next Moment...it is, after all, all there is!
Luckily, my next moment involves a lovely glass of champagne!
Cheer, Friends! Thanks you for all the lovely moments!
(Photo by: Ramsey Bakhoum)


Back to the business of design

It must be the holidays. The last few posts have been of a much more personal nature.
But, alas, a new year is upon us and it's back to the business of design. So, what is this business of design anyway? On most days it's me at a sewing machine or a drafting table. But on the really good days it's a process that happens primarily in my thoughts.
Someone said to me once that it seems to them that design thinking is in everything I do. Yes, in fact it must be. I had never thought about this before, naively assuming that of course this was the case with everyone. Turns out it's not, but as a designer I have never know any other way of seeing the world. Everything is a study in proportion, scale, color, light, line, placement, and all those thing's relationship to each other. The list goes on and on and it's as automatic to me (and all designers I assume) as breathing.
So...a new year means a new calendar and an opportunity to add something beautiful to my work space and keep the design brain designing.
Here are a few of my favorites; none short on design. Which is your favorite?

The Chair Calendar by this lovely lady. There is a nice sweet story behind it's existence.

Who doesn't love letter press!!! This is a pretty, pretty one.

Simple and perfect! Find it here.

Oh, I'm in love! Find this one here.
Not entirely sure how this one works...but I'm intrigued!

Typography lovers, this one is for you!


My "new" corner of the world.

In anticipation of the arrival of my beloved cousin Juliana, I have been reorganizing the 1200 sq. ft that I call home. Working, living and sleeping have been thrown up in the air and landed in new places; all good.

But, humor aside, let me tell you a little about my cousin... Juliana is one of the beautiful people. She's not just beautiful on the outside, but much more importantly, beautiful on the inside.
She is genuine, kind, loving, smart, and a pediatrician which (obviously) means she cares for all the little beings that, to so many of us, remain a mystery.
Juliana is an angel; a woman I have known my whole life and never once felt anything but kindness from and toward.  I feel lucky to have the opportunity to have her in my home for the next three months... my hope is that we will learn from each other. As children we concocted dances and languages only known to us, but as adults, we have had few opportunities to spend much time together. Well...this is our chance. Prima, I can't wait!
...and we both have awesome (giant) front teeth!!!!


My Dad

Last year my dad retired. He was a sea captain his whole life, going off for weeks and months at a time to sail the seas. It's just how it was. We'd see him off at the dock or the airport, kiss his cheek, hug him tightly and know that for the foreseeable future he would be where he loved to be, on the sea. 
Time would go by and he would return home. We were so happy to see him and have him around to play with for a time. And then, inevitable, the cycle would begin all over again.
Until recently it never occurred to me that this is not how most kids grow up. I suppose it is because I never felt like I had less of a dad than anyone else. In truth, I always felt like I had the best dad in the world...I still do.
This past weekend my dad turned 67.  We took him to lunch to celebrate, and to our surprise hear stories about his youth. Somewhere between the appetizers and the main course, my dad started telling us stories about his teenage years. He told us how he would skip his violin lessons to run off to the beach to hang out with his friends. He relived the days when he was a young man with a guitar slung over his shoulder serenading the girls. And then he told us of how he fell in love with my mom, his best friend's sister, the first time they danced.
We took in every word with fascination. You see, we have always know there is this whole other side to my dad that none of us really knows. Not just the youthful man part, but also the part that lived his whole live floating on a vast ocean under a broad sky with all the stars in the world to keep him company.  I can only imagine what that may have been like, but knowing my dad confirms that it makes you a thoughtful, loving, caring, wonderfully soulful human being...and a great father; not measured by amount of time spent with his children, but by the quality of every moment.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! Now that we have you around all the time, we can't wait to hear ALL your stories.


Girl Evolving

I believe you can tell a lot about a girl by what she does with her hair.
This belief may come from my own lifelong fascination and experimentation with hair styles. I'm the type who never holds on to a particular style, or color for that matter, for very long. I get bored. What does that say about me? Hmmm, years of therapy and I still don't really know. 
But let's speculate, shall we.

1.  I get bored. (I think I just said that)
2.  My hair is the outward expression of where I am in life
3. My hair in no way defines me, it's more like an accessory, changes with my mood.
4. I'm an undercover agent and always need to be evolving my look as to not get "made" (this one is not likely, by the way :)
5. I like to annoy my mom.
6. I have multiple personality disorder (my therapist has ruled this one out)
7. I'm incredibly impulsive
8. I'm a dedicated fashionista. (,or I like using the word fashionista as often as possible)
9. I long to be someone else (hmmm....therapist input here _____________________)
10. "Why the hell not, it's only hair, it will grow back!" (that's the one I tell my girlfriends when they are considering a drastic change)

Anyway, those of you out there who know me may have your own thoughts on why I'm always changing my hair...I'd love to hear them!!! After all, it is only hair, right?
OH, and if any of you have photos of some of my more drastic styles...please share! 


A girl, some bags, a camera, and her dog.

Good morning dear readers.  If you have been wondering where I have been, wonder no longer. I'm back!
It has been a hectic couple of weeks with Holiday Markets to attend, student work to grade and a giant pile of laundry to wash...oops, that one still needs work, but it's on the list for this afternoon. But, first things, first. Blogging!
I had planned to blog about all the markets from these past weeks and showing you yet another photo of my lovely, ever evolving booth. But I decided you may have had enough of that.
So instead, as the title suggests, I'm taking you behind the scenes to my latest photo shoot.
After all the selling was done this past weekend at SOWA Holiday Market I had a few lovely bags still hanging on the rack. A photo shoot was in order.
Now, understand, during daylight hours on most days it's just me and the dog working away in my little home studio. So when I decide it's a good day to shoot some photos of bags, I have an instant problem on my hands. Who will model? Well, the dog isn't much help in that category, nor is she particularly agile with a camera. No opposable thumbs, you know. So, it's all me. I'm the photographer, the stylist, the model, the editor, the lighting director, wardrobe coordinator, the caterer, and yes even the one in charge of lint brushing the bags so they don't appear all speckled in the photos.
You are starting to get the picture. (Pun intended).
You will find the refined fruit of my labor on my updated website and online shop. But, I thought I would share a few of the more humorous moments of the day. Enjoy!
 I'm not entirely sure what happened in the shot above, but I suspect the next two shots may explain something...

 This one was getting close...
And, finally, this sums up the day. Lot's of shots where the timer went off before I was able to reach the designated location. Ugh, models, they just don't move fast enough.


Color and Line

Yesterday, as I scrambled around trying to find some good quality drawing paper for a project I was midway thorough, I stumbled across long forgotten drawings and paintings. They were neatly tucked away precisely where I had stored them a while back. I pulled them out, one by one, and to my surprise, time and distance has somehow made them better.
I had painted them two summers ago at a class I took at Mass College of Art. It reviewed the technique of layering drawing and painting to achieve a hybrid image that was neither drawing nor painting, but something in between. I recalled the professor, Patrick, a sandy haired older gentleman that never sat down, walking energetically from easel to easel passionately talking about how the line and the paint work together to build the drawing. He would pick up one of my pencils and show me how it was done, but in a way that never made me feel inadequate or that I was doing it wrong. The nude model stood silently, lit by the sun as our eyes and minds learned the line of her figure and the tone of her skin.
It was an electrifying week! For five days, 8 hours a day we drew and we painted, and we listened to Patrick knowing that if we were distracted only for a moment we would miss it.
Yesterday, when I pulled out those drawings, it all came back to me. I remembered the way it felt to just draw all day and think of nothing else, to be immersed in line and color for so long that when I went to sleep that night I sill saw the image imprinted in my mind.
I also don't remember thinking my drawings has turned out great. But, yesterday as I scanned them with my eyes and my memory I felt differently. Regardless of their technical merit, they are so honest and free. I see them now and know they are exactly what they should be.

See all the color and line drawings here.


Napkins everywhere!

The title of this post says it all. There are, literally, napkins all over the studio. They make great christmas gifts, so I'm making as many as I can to have at the SOWA Holiday Market in a couple of weeks. Thought I would try some new bold colors to brighten up the collection a bit. They still need the finishing touches, but do you have a favorite?


Hingham Holiday Market

The Hingham Holiday Market this weekend was a great time! Met some wonderful customers as well as  other artists. Thank you everyone who stopped by.
If you are in Worcester tomorrow, stop by Assumption College Hagan Hall 10-5 for their annual Holiday Bazzaar. MAKE.GOOD studio will be there!

Hanging out with my neighboring vendor, Kirsten of It's Sew You... She is adorable and so are her lovely textile goods.


Little plates, little plates.

It's the season for being home, staying in, and cuddling up to cozy things. Nesting, we call it; the phenomenon that comes when summer ends, bikes get put away and the fire place once again becomes the center of the home.  It's the season for holiday celebrations with family, eating well, and eating plenty.
I love designing and making handbags, but as an architect I have a soft spot for anything home related. And about a month ago I realized the shift in my customers from wanting bags to wanting things to make their nesting time more beautiful. They are no longer wanting to buy hip bags and totes that remind them of how far away next summer is, but instead are searching for pillows and linens in tactile fabrics and warm colors. And so I happily shifted my focus to the HOME COLLECTION. There are pillows and linen napkins. But the latest addition is my favorite, adorable 5" dessert plates, hand painted some with dots others with branches! They are perfect for winter parties and make any food feel extra special. Which color is your favorite?


Hingham bound.

After the turkey has been devoured and the mashed potatoes are gone (I do make amazing mashed potatoes thanks to Thomas Keller), it's on to HINGHAM SHIPYARD HOLIDAY MARKET !
I'll be there with new totes, great pieces for the home, and an amazing little over the shoulder bag. I'm in love with it's simple design, sturdy construction and handy (fuchsia!) exterior pocket.
See you at the market!


And the winner is...

Thanks everyone who participated in the giveaway yesterday! It was so much fun reading about how you would use your Envelope Zipper Pouch. But only one can win. Congratulations Lori!

UPDATE: Lori was so excited to win the Zipper Pouch she blogged about it. Read her beautiful words here and here. Thanks Lori! I hope you are enjoying your voyage to Laos and Cambodia



Today I'm doing a giveaway!
You may remember the Envelope Bag recently added to the winter collection at MAKE.GOOD studio. Everyone is loving this bag, so I created a companion piece to go with it! The Envelope Zipper Pouch is a structured pouch to carry all your loose ends: laptop, chords, keys, even your phone fits in one of the roomy pockets inside. It's 12"x14", made of charcoal Felted Wool and lined with gray and white Ticking fabric. Perfect for winter!!

For a chance to win, please leave a comment below about how you would use your zipper pouch. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck!
(please also leave an email address where you can be notified if you are the winner!)


A custom bag coming to life

A few weeks ago a friend from long ago contacted me wanting a custom bag. A few idea emails were exchanged and before long a custom tote was in the works.
My primary goal for writing this blog is to give you insight into the process of designing and making. How do things come to be the way they are? It's no easy task, but I hope you at least get a peak into my world and the way I think. Enjoy the images, and Sara, enjoy your new tote!
The handle for the tote is a reclaimed leather belt I found. I chose it because I felt the natural leather works well with with the Gray Felted Wool. My favorite feature is the 02115 zip code stencil. It's the zip code where Sara and I went to college. It's moments like this that help me remember why I love what I do. It's intensely personal, always.

So-Not-Russian Nesting Gourds

I have a confession to make. I have always wanted a set of Russian Nesting Dolls. Why, you ask? Well, I can't remember when the obsession started, but I do know it goes way back. I can't remember a time when I didn't love these cute little pieces of carved wood that, when opened, revealed a smaller replica of itself inside. I think it's the genius design that gets me. The adage "form follows function" comes to mind, except they are completely useless aside from being decorative. None the less, I have lusted after what I see as an object that still stands today as an example of great design.
So why I have never bought myself a set is perplexing. Perhaps I have been waiting for a trip to Russian to treat myself to an "authentic" one.
Well, my wait ended when my girlfriend Rebecca, upon discovering this obsession, took it upon herself to end my wait. Brilliantly, she opted for a modern, abstracted version of the classics. I call them my So-Not-Russian Nesting Gourds. My favorite is No.2, with it's pretty little polka dots. Which is your favorite?


Independent Designer's Market Boston

This sunday, November 7th, I will be at the Independent Designer's Market! This is a relatively new market that promises to showcase a great group of local, and yet unknown artists. I'm so happy to be among them. Stop by this sunday and say hello!


A day at the Open Market.

Market day began at 6:30 this morning. It was still dark outside, and I was still half asleep. But as soon as people arrived the rush of excitement took over. It was a good day for MAKE.GOOD studio. Tonight I'm home and tired and happy. Another day of knowing that everyday is a new and amazing experience!


Sometimes, it takes a friend.

It has been a week filled with mistakes and mishaps. Fortunately, from them came a few successes. Yesterday I finally finished the Envelope Bag which has been in the making for some time. Today, the Cuff Bracelet was born.
A few days ago by amazing friend Rebecca called to share with me her thoughts on a new accessory. It came to her one morning that I should do a cuff bracelet, something pretty, but modern and inexpensive so that every girl could have a fabulous accessory from the MAKE.GOOD collection. It was brilliant! And so I took the idea back to the studio to work out the details.
The Felted Wool Cuff Bracelet is my version of pretty, just enough detail to catch the eye, yet understated and unabashedly modern.
The Cuff also works perfectly with the new Envelope Bag! I can't wait to debut them both at the SOWA Open Market this sunday, October 24th!!! Let me know if your coming by.


A new bag in the making.

It's always fun and challenging to develop a new bag. The ideas usually brews for a while in my brain before materializing into what, at first, is a rough version of what I intended. But with refinement and detail and a lot of patience, something does eventually emerge.
In the case of the Envelope Bag it has been in the works for awhile. It started a couple of years ago when a coworker and friend moved away to Seattle. I wanted to make something unique as a gift for her. How to capture the personality and character of a person in a bag?
Katie is bright and spirited, but at heart a workaholic and super organized. The Envelope Bag was born from the idea that a fun carry-all in bright summer colors could double as a corporate envelope to carry papers or go along on an interview.
Then last year another friend, Alyson, saw a photo (above) of the Envelope and wanted one. So a bit of refining and reworking, the second iteration of the bag emerged. Very similar to the first, but the proportions got refined a bit and the materials also changed to work for winter.
The result is an elegant, but still fun bag that seems more appropriate for that interview I mentioned. We are in Boston after all and not the beach, so Charcoal Felted Wool accented with a pretty bright orange detail is just perfect! The final step will be the custom stencil to complete the bag. I'm struggling with this decision. I love the leaf pattern, but keep wondering if it will still work with the more stark, serious fabric. Maybe the contrast is just what it needs... After all, life often is a lovely combination of both.
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