A message from a former Lars intern: Do We Deserve?

Do We Deserve?

It took me too long to write this essay. Nearly an entire day passed that consisted of me typing, deleting and starting over. The pressure pounced on my shoulders every time I tried to write. How would I write a great essay that would somehow END centuries of racism? How would I be able to explain every single prejudice I’d ever faced in a way that’s easy to consume for others? What philosophical truth could I possibly have to share?

This is what it’s like to be Black in America.

To prove your life has value, you have to offer something spectacular. When given a platform, you have to make it quick but say something profound. “Black excellence,” they call it. To be Black in America, you have to do something extraordinary to be a life that matters. In a recent Instyle Instagram livestream, writer and activist Rachel Cargle made a point that I furiously typed into my phone. When discussing Chris Cooper, the Black bird watcher in Central Park who had a white woman sinisterly threaten to call the police on him, Rachel said, “People say things like ‘oh he went to Harvard, he watches birds, etc’ to justify why a Black person should be alive. You don’t have to be an exceptional black person to remain alive.”

When you say “Black Lives Matter,” you need to make sure you mean every single Black life. Not just your favorite actor, not just that professor you took a class from, and not just the few Black people you know. We are fighting for so many people we don’t know, and may never know personally.

In all honesty, we are currently fighting for the bare minimum. It boggles my mind that people are just now realizing that Black lives “matter.” It took too many Black people being killed for people to screw in the light bulb all the way. But then again, I shouldn’t be so surprised. This country wasn’t built for people like me. It was built by people like me, for people who would rather fight an entire war on their own soil than think about people like me. Things like plantations and segregated drinking fountains have been condemned, but since then, this country has relied on its sneakier forms of prejudice. It found new, cunning ways to make people like me feel othered for their entire lives.

This country made makeup products suitable for darker skin tones a rare find rather than the norm. It made media about crime or slavery the only places we could see ourselves on TV or on the big screen.  It made us quietly accept racist jokes, or even make them ourselves, because we felt like doing this was the only way to keep our “friends,” entertained. It made me ensure my phone case always faces outwards, so the black screen isn’t mistaken for a gun in my hand. This country quietly slipped drugs into Black communities to hinder them for generations. It made it risky to wear the hood on our jackets. It made people question a Black victim’s lifestyle rather than that of the police officer or white supremacist (or oftentimes, both) that killed them. “They’re Black, so they must have something in their past that proves they deserved to die. They weren’t a scholar, so they probably deserved to die. They weren’t ‘excellent,’ so they probably deserved to die.”

You don’t have to be excellent to keep your life. The non-Black majority of America is proof of this! I shouldn’t have to justify why my life and lives like mine, matter. You shouldn’t be seeking reasons why our lives matter, you should just know. The time has come to fight for, listen to, and protect Black people, whether you know them or not. You’re a little late, but nevertheless we’re glad to have you.

Thank you, Eliza, for taking the time to share your words with us. Yes, we’re a little late–thank you for helping us along.

Love the Land

We asked Eliza if she’d be interested in sharing a charity of her choice and she has chosen The Loveland Foundation, a non-profit that provides financial assistance to hundreds of Black women and girls to go to therapy. We are placing a donation today and encourage you to do the same.

You can find Eliza on Instagram @e_lizardd

Eliza Jackson is a marketing copywriter and freelance editorial writer based in Utah.

New art collection from Adriana Picker and interview

We are lucky to get 4 prints inspired by her book that are now in the Shop. I think they’d be so lovely in a girl’s room or basically any spot that needs a dose of beautiful pastel flowers. I can even imagination it as a beautiful punctuation point in a bathroom!

Today we are sharing an interview with the Australian author and illustrator. Her background is so interesting! Petal book by Adriana Picker

Interview with Adriana Picker

1. What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person etc.?

I mostly like to refer to myself as a botanical illustrator now days!

2. Who helped you “become” who you are?

I am very blessed to be surrounded and supported by many wonderful, fiercely intelligent, inspiring women. The women in my family are responsible for the genesis of my creativity and are a constant source of strength. Particularly my grandmother Emma, who instilled in me a passion for flowers at a very young age, my incredible Aunt Margo who taught me to be self-reliant and make anything conceivable and of course my mother, Sally, who is a wonderful artist. She is a constant inspiration to me.

The friendship of other women has been so important to me personally and professionally. I have a circle of very generous and talented creative women that I rely on heavily for support. I certainly would not be who I am today with out them. I am so lucky to count amongst my close friends Peptalker founder Meggie Palmer, incredible artists Gemma O’brien, Amber Vittoria and Georgia Hill. Designer and founder of the incredible homewares studio House of Heras – Silvana Azzi Heras has been a mentor and incredibly close friend of mine for over ten years. And I’ve recently had the great privilege to work with Uli Beutter Cohen, founder of Subway book review on the promotion of my new book Petal. Her support has been invaluable to me through what has become a rather unusual book launch!Petal book by Adriana Picker

3. Do you feel like you’ve arrived at what you set out to do?

I don’t think there will ever be a great sense of arrival for me. Or of completion.

I think one of the great joys of truly loving the work you do, is that it if your work is a calling not just a means of making money, there is always something to be done. Always something I feel compelled to do! Even when am I working on a project, I am thinking of what I want to create next, looking for inspiration and making plans. This is probably the most magical part of the creative process for me, that dreamy phase were ideas are swirling around in your head in a luxurious, hazy mix, just before they solidify. The possibility is intoxicating.
4. What more would you like to “become”? 
Kind. Compassionate. Generous. Understanding. Self-assured. Self-aware. Financially literate. Able to articulate my emotional needs. Grateful. Joyous. Lead a life with a closer connection to nature. Adaptable.
It is a lovely thing to think that we will always be a work in progress and there is always a chance for betterment.Petal book by Adriana Picker

5. Why flowers?

My whole life has been punctuated by flowers. Flowers for me are still so strongly linked to family, in particular my grandmother and mother. Flowers have become the vessels of my fondest memories, connections to the places where I find the most joy and reminders of the people I most cherish. No wonder flowers have been a constant and enduring love in my life. So many years later, the flowers I first encountered in my grandmother’s garden are my favourites to draw. I think she would be so very thrilled if she could see the work I do today.Petal book by Adriana Picker

6. Why did you create this book?

I love flowers. I love EVERY type of flower. This book is my love letter to these ephemeral jewels of nature: a celebration of the floral world. Within the pages lie a collection that spans priceless hothouse gems and unapologetic roadside survivors. The world of flowering plants – otherwise known as angiosperms – is so vast, varied and alluring, that narrowing down the selection has been an excruciating process. I want this book to not only highlight our most loved blooms, but also to shine new light on those plant families considered unfashionable or not highly valued. The humble geranium, for example, has long been a favourite of mine; anything that boasts a variegated leaf, with its painterly stripes or swirls and contrast of colours, catches my breath and sets my heart a’flutter. Even something as ubiquitous as a corner-store tulip, swaddled in plastic, can still bring brightness to a kitchen table. Through this book, I want to share my vast passion for flowers, with the hope the viewer can gaze with a fresh lens, perhaps inspiring exploration of a certain plant previously off the radar. Petal book by Adriana Picker

You can find Adriana here:

Adriana’s portfolio
@AdrianaPicker
You can find her book, Petal, here

Adriana Picker for Lars Print Shop

There are four to choose from: dahlia, tulip, rose, and cosmo. Some of my favorites!
Dahlia art print by Adriana PickerDahlia art print by Adriana Picker
Book photos by Bridget Badore

Black Creatives to Follow and Support

black creatives to follow and support

Each name on this list is a person that excites my creativity, and by intentionally including black voices into your library, you support the beauty of black lives.

The Quilts of Gee’s Bend – showcases handmade quilts made by African-American women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Women in this area have been making quilts together from the 19th century until present day. What certainly began as a means to create warmth became an innovative form of abstract creative expression. If you’re looking for quilting inspiration, look no further! 

Ron Finley – is a self proclaimed gangsta gardener. The short film about his efforts was a festival favorite in 2015! He teaches that a garden can change a person’s life, and then, can change a community. If you’re wondering how to grow food in a limited, urban space, Ron’s your guy. Dig in.

Jen Hewett – is one of our collaborators on the Picture Hope coloring book and we can’t get enough of her prints!! Her block-making patterns on fabric are perfect on everything from clothing to bags to tea towels. 

Sebastian Curi – is also featured in our coloring book, Picture Hope! His graphic designs and illustrations are bright, playful, and full of movement! We’re proud to be included in his list of collaborators, which includes names like Warby Parker and Apple.  

Janna Morton – is another one of our illustrators in Picture Hope. I LOVE her colorful, vibrant style.

Jade Purple Brown – her work is everything my technicolor dreams are made of!! The brilliant colors, the chic yet joyful designs, I just can’t get enough of it! Give her a follow instagram for an infusion of fun into your feed. For instance, check out this rug she designed below 

Asiyami Gold – curates the most beautiful stories. She is the founder and designer of shop.au and truly has impeccable taste. If you enjoy airy interiors and tropical locales, visit her shop online! Did I mention that she is stunning? 

Christina Moreland – has a vintage-inspired style that is laid-back and serious at the same time. She has the cutest posters with messages on how to be a better, healthier person. If you ever wonder how art and activism go together, then check this artist out!

Freya Bramble-Carter – is an incredible ceramicist who incorporates natural themes with contemporary design. Her pieces showcase skill and beautiful color choices.

Justina Blakeney – is a fellow blogging friend (you can read more about her here) and has been so supportive of us over the years. She has nailed the bohemian vibe under The Jungalow label with her shop and blog.

Andrea Pippins – wrote and illustrated the book “I Love My Hair,” she created an interactive artistic journal for young women, and more! Her work covers topics like empowerment, grief, self-love, and parenthood.

Frédérique Harrel – can be summed up in one word: powerhouse. Freya has a long history in fashion, is a parent to some cute kids. She was named Cosmopolitan’s 2018 “Influencer of the Year,” and is an inspirational speaker. In addition to following her on Instagram, listen to her TedTalks and learn something!

If you just can’t get enough and love learning about creative people, check out our expanded list that includes more than sixty artists! This list is in no way exhaustive, but it if full of amazing and inspiring people! Many of this artists also have stunning work for purchase, and we encourage you to buy their work if possible. That is an important way both to support that person and fill your home with diverse artwork. 

Over 60 Black Creatives to Support

Artists

Christa David, Freya Bramble-Carter, Ronni Nicole, Malene Barnett, Lorna Simpson, Lina Iris Viktor, Kehinde Wiley, Kerry James Marshall, Kenesha Sneed, Mark Bradford, Arcmanoro Niles, Kenturah Davis, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Derek Fordjou, Derrick Adams

Work for purchase by these artists

black creatives to follow and supportblack creatives to follow and supportblack creatives to follow and supportblack creatives to follow and supportblack creatives to follow and support

Authors

Luvvia Ajayi Jones, James Baldwin, La Tonya Yvette, Gene Roberts, Cleo Wade, Angie Thomas, Ibram X. Kendi, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison

Books by these authors

Designers

Dionna Dorsey, Sugar Taylor, Annika Izora, Morgan Harper Nichols, Laci Jordan, Hello Yowie

Work for purchase by these designers

black creatives to follow and support

Fashion

Kerby Jean-Raymond, Courtney Quinn, Freddie Harrell, Musemo Handahu, Owen Cain, Micaéla Verrelien, Cynthia Andrew

Illustrators

Andrea Pippins, Bianca Xunise, Jen Hewett, Justina Blakeney, Mia Saine, Sebastian Curi, Nicole Miles, Reyna Noriega, Lo Harris, Jade Purple Brown, Christina Moreland

Work for purchase by these illustrators

black creatives to follow and supportblack creatives to follow and support

Business owners and Shops

Asiyami Gold, Brother Vellies, Femme Fatale DC, Check Alma, Jungalow, Tactile Matter, Oma the Label, HarperIman Dolls, Tree Fairfax, Linoto, Aliya Wanek, Oui the People, Actually Curious, UNWRP, Oat Cinnamon

Products for purchase from these shops

black creatives to follow and support

Black Owned Bookstores

Brave and Kind Books, Semicolon, Brian Lair Books, Afriware, Detroit Book City, Mahogany Books, Uncle Bobbie’s, Ashay by the Bay, Frugal Bookstore, Sister’s Uptown

Books to teach children about anti-racism

 

Other resources

In addition to exploring the work of the creatives above, here are some more resources. All Black Creatives, Podcast by Alexandra Elle. This blog post also contains additional resources and thoughts.

This list is just the beginning of some of our favorite black creatives and their inspiring work. Please help us continue to support by commenting any other people whose work you love! We would love to support them as well. 

Virtual Workshop + Giveaway With Hello!Lucky

Since our big move, all of our schedules have been thrown off a little. It doesn’t help that I am still losing everything (thanks pregnancy brain!) Jasper has been the most affected by the move though. It’s a big change for my little boo! It has helped to get back our sense of normalcy by taking any chance I can to spend some time with Jasper, doing something he is familiar with.

One of Jasper’s favorite activities is reading and, of course, that makes me so happy. Recently I shared “What Children’s Books I am Reading to my Toddler Right Now” and I am happy to share our latest find with you today! It is the perfect addition to your kid’s book collection just in time for Thanksgiving.

My friends at Hello!Lucky – a women-owned and fun shop in San Francisco – offer the most amazing letterpress cards, stationery, and more recently, children’s books! I have read many of them with Jasper and he LOVES them.

With their bold style and side-splitting humor, Hello!Lucky is excited to introduce their latest picture book that’s all about gratitude. Thanks A Ton! 

Thanks a Ton! Is a pun-derful picture book celebrating gratitude! Offering tons of ideas for how to say “thanks” when words just aren’t enough. Written and illustrated by Eunice and Sabrina Moyle from Hello!Lucky. Eunice and Sabrina have created over 15 children’s books selling more than 1 million copies. Their books support children’s social and emotional development, and let them (and their parents) know that they are amazing exactly as they are. Their titles include My Mom is Magical! (my personal favorite ;), a book celebrating moms,  Kindness Rules!, a book about kindness, Thanks a Ton!, a book about gratitude, and I Believe in You, a book about unconditional love. A full list of their amazing books can be found here.

And! Hello!Lucky will donate $5 for every copy of Thanks a Ton! purchased on raredevice.com to Love For Our Elders, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring joy into the lives of the elderly and you guessed it, writing letters to them is one of those ways!

Enter to Win a Copy of Our Picture Hope Coloring Book + A Copy of Thanks A Ton!

We are jumping on board with Hello!Lucky in the name of gratitude and hope this season. So, we are excited to announce we now offer hardcopies of our Picture Hope Coloring Book!

Picture Hope: The Social Distancing Coloring Book, is a compilation of coloring pages designed by 64 of your favorite artists from around the world. It is meant to lift spirits and calm anxious minds with its bold message of hope. Each artist has contributed a drawing of what hope means to them along with a few of their own words. The pages are designed for all skill levels and ages, kids and adults. It’s a perfect activity for staying at home and practicing mindfulness and meditation while filling in your hope through color. The profits of the book go to seasonal charities, which are announced here. Through downloads of Picture Hope, over $8000 has already donated!

The idea is that the artists provide the blank canvas and YOU add the hope through color. And you know what? It works! I can’t even tell you the goose bumps I got while I was working on it! COVID-19 has indeed changed so much of our routine, yet in the confusion and uncertainty we’ve also witnessed countless moments of compassion and the strength of the human spirit.

I’ve spent my career developing The House That Lars Built, whose mission is to encourage people to make things with their hands. We believe that the act of making has the power to heal and improve your well-being. The goal of this book is the same and it’s needed now more than ever. Coloring is a simple yet profound act that allows for meditation and mindfulness and this coloring book is even more profound because of the many voices of support behind it.

A new version of Picture Hope is available now!

Up until now, Picture Hope has only been available for download to be printed at home. We have been working hard (read: months!) to create this physical copy, so that you can order it totally ready to color! This version is also ideal to gift to others this season. Click here to order your hardcopy of Picture Hope!

This high-quality coloring book includes varying levels of intricacy keeping you inspired to color! There are plenty of beautiful motifs to choose from: including botanicals, flowers, animals, cities, people, decorative, quotes. We designed this book for every skill level and age to enjoy! Each page is it’s own unique art piece from one of the 64 contributing artists. 

For the next month, ALL proceeds from the Picture Hope Coloring Book go to the nonprofit Love For Our Elders. This comforting nonprofit fights loneliness with love in senior communities and has spread to over 70 countries, all 50 states, and hundreds of schools. Keep reading for more info about the impact of this nonprofit! 

How to Enter Our Giveaway

Enter to win your own copy of Picture Hope + Hello!Lucky’s best-selling latest picture book, Thanks A Ton!

To enter, head to our Instagram post here to let us know what you’re grateful for in the comments below, and join the virtual THANKS A TON launch event on November 14th. The winner will be announced live. Click here to RSVP for the virtual event!

Write Gratitude Letters With Us At Our Virtual Party With Hello!Lucky

I (Brittany!) will be hosting this event along with Eunice & Sabrina Moyle founders of Hello!Lucky, Jacob Cramer founder of Love For Our Elders, and Giselle Gyalzen owner of Rare Device.

Letters are especially wonderful during times when physical barriers are keeping us apart. A hand-written and a handmade card is a thoughtful, personal expression of care and kindness and can keep us connected to those we love, and to help everyone feel like they matter. During this event we want to share ways your family can help more people receive hand-written letters and cards during the Thanksgiving season.

Our virtual event will take place on Saturday November 14th at 11 am PST. During this event you will have access to these exclusive free printables created by Hello!Lucky and The House That Lars Built – including printable gratitude cards and a template for a fun DIY card! Download the free printables here and print them out to get ready for the event!

What will happen during the virtual event?

I will be leading a DIY craft tutorial that your whole family can recreate this Thanksgiving season. Plus I will share some of my top tips for holiday card making!

During this event you will also learn more about Love For Our Elders, the charity that proceeds from Picture Hope and Thanks a Ton! will be donated to. The founder of this nonprofit, Jacob Kramer, will be joining the event to share stories of the people your gratitude letters and donations can affect. He will also share tips on how your family can write to people who need it this season!

There will also be a live reading of Thanks a Ton! so this is a virtual event the entire family can log on for. RSVP here and make it a family activity.

At this time we will also announce the winner of our giveaway! (Details above.) 

RSVP here for a creative afternoon full of conversation and crafts on Saturday November 14th at 11 am PST.  All ages welcome! 

 

Why I feel called to craft: Part 2

Why I feel called to craft

The stories my mom would tell me about my grandparents and great grandparents, etc, shaped my narrative and formed my identity. My great-grandmother, Marilla Zatelle, painted porcelain, sewed her own clothes, and was truly a force of nature–it probably helped that she was 6′ tall. I remember visiting her in the hospital before she passed away at age 97 and knowing that I was Danish stock like she was.

From left to right: Dorothy, me, Carl, Zatelle, my mom Kim

Her daughter, Dorothy, my grandmother, even though she has passed on continues to be my artistic muse and great human being icon. She was pretty much an angel on earth with a wicked sewing room in Los Angeles, California. I dedicated my book, Craft the Rainbow, to her and even wrote an entire article about her and Carl, my grandfather, in volume 3 of Kinfolk Magazine about their wellness routine. They are legendary for their subdued natures, gentle kindness, endless generosity, and health regimen (no sugar! though I remember Grape Nuts in all natural apple juice as a real treat).

Dorothy at her piano. This was definitely in the 90s.

This is Dorothy and my sister, Caitlin. 

Going back to the beginning

But let’s get back to that sewing room. Dorothy and Carl built their house in 1951 in Bel-Air. That’s Bel-Air before Fresh Prince, so the houses weren’t Kardashian proportioned or bedazzled. Dorothy was infamous for protecting her newly done hair with a grocery bag when it rained and other such resourceful tricks that come when you’re a product of the Depression. She taught me to sew and whenever we’d come up to visit from Orange County, sometimes for days at a time, I’d churn out all sorts of doll clothes for her Shirley Temple dolls. For one Christmas I sewed her a green drawstring bag with lace tied at the ends and filled it with all sorts of nuts…because that’s what I could get my hands on. She said she loved it, but I still cringe at the thought of nuts from who knows where.

Her sewing room consisted of fabrics that she had collected from all around the world piled in a beautiful yet simple armoire. I remember feeling in awe of her collection. And her ribbons! Gah! And buttons?! They were extraordinary. Thinking about her sewing room now, I can see how it’s MUCH easier to make thing when you have a designated place to create. I’m working on that concept for my own house.

Dorothy sitting on the first platform.

My mother

Now, let’s talk about Dorothy’s daughter, my mom, Kim. She and her two sisters and brother grew up in LA, but the way she describes it seems much more of a quaint village than a major city that happened to make movie magic. For example, Dorothy played the violin for Hollywood music scores, my aunt and uncle were in TV shows and films, and their friends were in this show and that. My mom attended the Academy Awards with a friend. You know, stories like that that I only find out as an adult.

But their real talent was dancing. My mom and her sisters all left home when they were 16 to go dance at the School for American Ballet and the subsequently, in the New York City Ballet. The long story short is that my mom got injured after about a year and moved back to LA where she started a modeling. She says she walked into Seventeen Magazine and walked out on the cover of the January 1969 issue. Again, quaint neighborhood vibe? I don’t know. It’s hard for us to understand that mentality now that everyone and literally their dog aspires for fame.

Fast forward to her career in interior design, calligraphy, music and more to when she becomes a mother of four in five years. I’ve mentioned it before, but this magnet on our fridge growing up really does describe my mom the best: “A creative mess is better than tidy idleness”. And thus, we grew up in constant messes. My mom let us try all the things and would encourage us to think differently. How is everyone else doing something? Then do something else.

My childhood

Our school reports were pretty epic. There wasn’t a three ring binder in sight. We figured out clever ways of binding the books according to what the subject was. For example, for my report on Claude Monet (another artistic hero to this day), I made a cover out of cardboard and cut it out to make it look like a painter’s palette and secured it together with a paintbrush. I mean, it did get to the point where I was jealous of those three ring binders, but I see the magic of it all now.

When I was in kindergarten or first grade, Mom opened a beautiful shop called En Provence on Pacific Coast Highway in Corona del Mar and it was one of my first experiences off all encompassing magic. A true wonderland. Like old houses in Provence, she plastered straw into the walls and hand painted everything! It was a gift and furnishings shop and I think it must have been the most well-curated experience. The furniture was made and painted by my uncle, Dean Bradshaw. You can see a glimpse of it in the picture above of my grandmother. That bed was created by him as well as the paintings. But life became a bit much with four kids and so she closed up shop after 4 years.

My first Craft Club

When I was about 10 or 11 and I started a club called Crafts for Holidays. I’m not so much proud of the name, but what can you do. The club was modeled after my mom’s church group where they would get together monthly and make or do something. So, for Halloween we made can tin pumpkins. We sponged on paint in a variety of oranges and painted on faces. Then for Thanksgiving we appliquéd  turkeys onto corduroy pillows. For Christmas we turned a string of pinecones into reindeer complete with a red pom for Rudolph. I don’t know if my friends were into crafting, well I know they weren’t because the club didn’t last too much longer.

ANYWHO, I tell all this because it makes more sense how I arrived at what I do now knowing who I come from. I mean, I wasn’t aching to start a craft-based business at first. In fact, I never would have entered my brain. I was much more involved in music (I played the cello growing up) and tennis (I was on my high school tennis team) than I was in the arts. I wouldn’t even say that I did it as a hobby at that point because I was really into getting good grades. But because my childhood foundation was laid out in making, just like that industrious lot who came before me, I can see NOW how it happened.

This is my grandfather Harvey Sessions, who I didn’t mention at all here, but the photo is so good I had to include it. 

And because of that I’m very interested in continuing my grandmother’s legacy and carrying out the mission that I’ve identified along the way. I’m compelled to do it and I find a great need to do so, especially since we are more addicted to screens than ever. There is power in handmaking. It connects us to our bodies and souls and for me, my family.

Stay tuned for part 3 next week! 

Women Who Work: Lulie Wallace

Painter and textile artist Lulie Wallace

When did you know that art was your jam? 

As early as I can remember, I have always loved arts and crafts.  I wanted to be drawing, sewing, pasting, creating a lot more than I wanted to do homework. I loved the piano as a child and feel like I have always been somewhat of a creative problem solver.

Why is it important to you to create? 

This answer has really changed since becoming a mother. I consider painting and the ability to paint a giant gift. I used to just paint because I enjoy it and because it was my job and way to make money, now it really is an outlet for me as a mom to go to my studio and make art. There is still so much for me to explore in painting and I love that.

Painter and textile artist Lulie Wallace

Was there anyone along the way who helped shape you and your work?

A lot of people! The first people to come to mind are my boss, Beth, in college and my favorite professor at College of Charleston, Professor Peacock. I worked in a gift store that carried paper products, bags, jewelry from so many neat artists and graphic designers and I know that was pretty influential in what my eyes were taking in. My professor in college was also hugely encouraging, not just to me, but I feel to all of his students. He pushed you, but also could find something positive to say about anything you created. It is wild how gigantic just encouraging someone in their field of interest can be. I heard of different colleges where art students were criticized by professors and that hurt to hear because with a little encouragement, people can make/do some amazing things!

Although I currently paint in my studio alone, for about 10 years I worked right next to other artists. I think this was incredibly influential on my work ethic and style of painting. It is so much fun and motivating to paint right next to other artists. They were also amazing people to live life with on a daily basis…win/win!!

What’s your advice to women wanting to pursue the same thing?

One of my greatest pieces of advice (that is almost the hardest to achieve) is to hone in on your style…work, work, work, work, and work on it some more! People say, “I could never be a painter” but my mentality really is if you wanted to do it so bad that you worked your butt off at it, then you could do it!! My other piece of advice is to find a mentor/apprenticeship/job of someone who is already successful in their craft. I think that is huge!

bright and happy home design

You can find Lulie here:

@luliewallace on Instagram

luliewallace.com 

(All photos were found on her site)

Women Who Work Interview Series

This interview series was inspired by our Women Who Work print by Libby VanderPloeg, found in the Lars Print Shop!Artist art print Women Who Work

Women who Work art print by Libby Vanderploeg

You can see our previous interviews:

Featured Artist: Abby Clawson Low

Get to know Abby Clawson Low

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, art director, designer, illustrator, maker, business person etc.?
So, I went to school for and worked in the art direction / graphic design world, but over the years I have done illustration work, artwork, product design, run a business, and made a whole lot of stuff. I wear many hats!

Who helped you “become” who you are?
Definitely my parents and grandparents get credit for planting the creative seed. They all had a hand in some sort of creative pursuit, so it was just a matter of time before some of it rubbed off on me. Especially my mom—she is a type of creative super-hero / MacGyver character—she can make/do anything with any available materials. She helped my siblings and I paint our own rooms bright colors on a whim when I was a kid, she refinished and reupholstered furniture, sewed clothes and costumes, did watercolor painting, took stained glass classes, floral arranging, worked in interior design, etc. So I was always watching her and learning from her.

And when I was in grade school, my dad bought an Apple Macintosh computer (the first retail model). Each Saturday, I would sit at his desk at the computer and draw and paint using those early computer programs (MacDraw and MacPaint). I loved that you could create anything on screen and then print it onto a piece of paper. It was incredible and completely addicting. My dad noticed that I loved drawing and creating on the computer and told me I should be a graphic designer. I was eight years old. I thought that sounded cool, but didn’t really do anything with that until much later.

Do you feel like you’ve arrived at what you set out to do?
I feel like my career and experience in design is in a constant state of evolution, so no, not really! I’ve seen big and little changes in the 20+ years I’ve been working in the creative industry—with each job change, each child we’ve added to our family, each move, and each big project and life experience I’ve had to modify how I design and make art, and approach my work. And this is good for me. I like change. I want to keep learning and seeing things in a new light.

Where did you study, and what did you study?
I attended Brigham Young University’s Visual Arts Department where I received a BFA in Graphic Design. I think my education really helped in producing work from a broad array of assignments similar to those that one might find in an advertising agency or a small design studio. The BYU design program also has a field trip to New York City that every junior class takes in the winter. It was during this field trip that I was able to meet with some of the nation’s most notable designers and art directors, tour their studios, and most important, set up an internship for the following summer. This was where my career in New York City began.

What’s your dream job? What’s your goal with your work?
I think I’m doing it! With the way things have worked out so far, I have been able to be selective about the projects I work on—I am also a mother of three young sons—so my free time is valuable to me—I only take on work that I really want to do and feel is a good challenge. Lately, I have been doing a good mix of pro bono work in the community and at large along with some paid projects that come in organically. I like that. And I love working with organizations that are doing good in the world and making a positive and meaningful difference in peoples’ lives. I feel good about the charitable work and am happy to be involved in it. I also loved working on my book This is Mexico City while we were living abroad in Mexico. It was such an intense project that really pushed me out of my comfort zone as a designer—since my role was threefold: author, photographer, and designer. I’d definitely love to do another book project in the future. We’ll see! I do thrive with a flow of varied and interesting work!

What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m proud of the talented and generous people I’ve been able to connect with through my work. That has been the biggest gift of what I do.

[Brittany’s note: I had the immense honor to attend Abby’s book signing in Mexico City in October of 2018 and she brought together a wonderful group of creatives. It was such a treat for me!]

How did your childhood influence what you have become? 
I had a lot of freedom and independence as a kid. Back then, kids would walk to and from school at a young age, on weekends play outside from morning until night with no one hovering over them. I could explore the neighborhood, build forts, start clubs, make and sell stuff, and figure the world out. And my mom was very resourceful and made everything. Watching her make and create through my childhood it was evident that I could make or do anything, too with some practice and creativity. So, I think I learned to approach life with that same creative confidence.

Did you have anyone along the way that was instrumental in the trajectory of your life? What’s a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from?
Design MW, where I got my start, was a fantastic learning environment. I often refer to the time at my first job as a type of grad school because JP and Allison Williams were great teachers as well as being amazing designers and art directors. They travelled quite a bit. And when they returned from a trip they would bestow us with amazing finds (unusual office supplies, beautiful papers, and obscure examples of design from distant places: books, magazines, ephemera). Needless to say, they were very generous and loved sharing what they saw and found.

One thing my first boss, JP Williams, always said was, “You’re only as good as the obscurity of your sources.” I think this is some of the best advice. Almost everything has been done already, yet, there are resources out there that aren’t known, that haven’t been used, that inspire, that are fresh and new – it is important to be constantly looking at new, old, and different things. and not necessarily items that fall within a designer’s world. Visit an office supply store, go to a hardware store, peruse flea markets, travel, look for different ways of using everyday objects and apply that knowledge into your design solutions – this is where great design can happen.

As far as advice for designers starting out, I would recommend being very wise about how you choose your first job. As I found, sometimes the better paying jobs aren’t the ones with the best experiences or work. The best choice will be one where you will walk away with a great book of work you did which will allow you to work almost anywhere.

Having grown up in a large family, there was nothing I wanted more than independence. However, when I started working at Design MW, I quickly learned that collaboration was the best way to creatively solve design problems. Whether it was through shared pieces of inspiration (a book, a vintage magazine, a piece of art) or through a a brainstorming meeting, the best solutions always came through some kind of collaboration. We all have our strengths, but one of the greatest strengths is the ability to recognize that others have strengths and viewpoints that we can also benefit and learn from.

I think it is important to surround yourself with people who challenge and inspire you; people who can teach you how to approach your work and solve problems in new and different ways. It is vital to always be open to learning from others. Everyone has something to teach and share that can make you a better designer. There is always something new to learn, see, do, hear, etc. Many of my favorite projects were ones that evolved over time, that came together as I was designing them. I also recommend not being afraid to step away from the computer. And enjoy the process.

What’s your work space like?
I work from home in a home office. I’ve had the same desk chair since I went out on my own in 2007 — a vintage Herman Miller desk chair with an emerald green upholstered seat. I think it came from the IBM offices. My desk is one that I had custom made by a local metal worker while we were living in Mexico City. I use the same model desk lamp I had at my first design job at Design MW — a Tolomeo Mini Table Lamp. I keep my desk pretty tidy or else I get distracted and cannot focus. I am proud of my office supplies: stapler, tape dispenser, etc.—all are sturdy workhorses! I definitely nerd out on office supplies. I like working in this particular space because it has three tall windows and gets great natural light with a street view. I can always see what’s going on in the neighborhood while listening to tunes or a podcast and jamming away on a project.

What does your dream retirement look like?
I don’t think I’ll ever want to stop designing or making things. As long as my hands still work I want to be involved in great projects that keep me challenged and engaged in the creative world.

 

What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to? Both historical or present.
I love the work of Mexican architect Luis Barragán — his use of color, light, texture is sublime and incredibly inspiring. Seeing and experiencing spaces he designed for the first time changed how I see everything. I also really look up to the body of work Fredun Shapur designed for Creative Playthings. I’m a big fan of Canadian designer Don Watt and the branding work he did for Loblaw’s generic product line “NoName” or “SansNom.” Some present design icons I look to for inspiration are friends and designers: Alex Lin Blair Richardson, Erin Jang, Fabien Cappello, Mary Matson.

How has social media influenced your work?
I know a lot of people are down on social media—I mean there are some pretty compelling reasons to dislike it. But, for me, it has been a lifeline during a time in my life where I have been in the trenches as a mom with young kids—with nap times and schedules that don’t permit a ton of cross-pollinating with other creatives. Especially through Instagram, I have been able to connect with people whom I would have never met otherwise and have made good good friends through those online connections. Once I started my blog and studio (Hi + Low), almost all of my press and work opportunities came exclusively through people finding me through some kind of internet portal. So, I am grateful for these technologies. I do wonder where I would be in my career or what work I would be doing if I didn’t have this instant access to so many creative and like-minded individuals and work through the internet world.

What’s inspiring you lately?
It’s ever-changing, but now that we live in Texas I have become completely fascinated by this part of the United States since I have spent the majority of my life on the two coasts and in or near big cities. As a family, we’ve done some long weekend road trips visiting the surrounding states like Oklahoma and Arkansas and New Mexico. There’s so much to learn about and see. I also am a sucker for 1950s and 1960s brutalist buildings, churches, and homes. I think living in Mexico City really gave me a taste for the unconventional and interesting architecture that is so abundant there and now I’m hooked. I also get really excited about books and have a good number of them! A few recent favorites: “Rosey Grier’s Needlepoint for Men” by Rosey Grier, “A Final Compilation of Books from the Simpsons” by Yellow Pages, “What Do You Mean, I Still Don’t Have Equal Rights??!” By Cathy Guisewite, and “Playgrounds del México Moderno” by Aldo Solano Rojas.

You can find Abby

Instagram @abbyclawsonlow

Website of Abby

Thank you, Abby, for this wonderful interview! And stay tuned for her collection in our Print Shop soon! 

Our favorite Gee’s Bend Quilts

I’m excited to share the Gee’s Bend Quilts with you because it’s old news that I’m obsessed with quilted things and the rich heritage related to quilting. You’ve seen my quilted coat fascination (on more than one occasion), the coat that I enlisted Romy of Sew Like Romy to make for me last year, the quilted eye mask that I made from some of the extra pieces, and you’ve found out about the big feelings people have about repurposing quilts. I even quilted a patchwork bandana and scrunchie this spring. I know, I know, we get it! Lars loves quilts!

Gee’s Bend History

Gee’s Bend is a small, Black community surrounded by the Alabama River where families have been passing down a quilting tradition since their enslaved foremothers, who lived on the local Pettway Plantation. repurposed whatever material they had access to into colorful quilts. At different points in history the Gee’s Bend quilters have used deadstock corduroy and discarded work clothes in their work.

Gee’s Bend quilts have gained a reputation for being some of the most vibrant, artistically boundary-bending quilts in the American art tradition. They remind me of some of the best Modernist paintings in that the Gee’s Bend quilts are full of color, geometry, and an acknowledgement of the human hand.

 

Even though the Gee’s Bend quilts are now acknowledged as a vital part of American art history, many of the quilters aren’t consistently paid their worth. When I realized that you can buy Gee’s Bend Quilts directly from the artists on Etsy I knew I had to share! So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite Gee’s Bend quilts and quiltmakers!

Quiltmakers

You can read about lots of the individual quiltmakers here. I love reading up on each artist’s story and seeing the ways that their families have passed on quilting traditions. For example, here’s a quilt by Amelia Bennett, who used to quilt with her neighbors and passed her legacy on to her daughter Sally Bennett Jones.

A multicolored quilt made of concentric squares and rectangles.
Amelia Bennet, Housetop 12-Block Variation, photo by Stephen Pitkin

Many of the living Gee’s Bend artists have work available on Etsy. I’ve linked to each individual artist’s shop, so click on their names for more!

Sharon Williams

Katie Mae

Doris Pettway Moseley

Doris Pettway Hackets

Caster Pettway

Lou Ida

Emma Pettway

Claudia Pettway Charley

Stella Mae

Delia

Mary Margaret Pettway

Kristin Pettway

Loretta Pettway Bennett

I love the ingenuity of these Gee’s Bend quilted masks!

I would love to hear about your favorite artists, especially Black artists whose work you’re loving! Let me know in the comments!

And if you’re interested in supporting women makers around the world like those of Gee’s Bend, consider donating to Nest.

Two art prints for coronavirus relief charities

Art for Coronavirus Charities

First off, we are thrilled to introduce a new artist to Lars Print Shop, Erin Jang. Remember when we interviewed her last year? Big fans! Erin Jang is the graphic designer and illustrator behind the creative studio, The Indigo Bunting. Her clients include The New York Times, Apple, Bon Appétit, Urban Outfitters, and Chronicle Books. Her books include You, Me, We! (A 2-in-1 activity book set for parents and kids to fill in together available here) and the craft book, Make & Give. She lives in New York City with her husband and two young boys.Art for coronavirus

I’ve loved following Erin as she shares a daily activity to do with your children during social distancing. She’s always so good at showing how to do things with your children. And guess what? This art print is no exception! Here’s what she had to say about the print:

I created a version of this print many years ago, part of an effort to raise money for charity. I was a new mother at the time, and I wanted to make something that would help give me encouragement and ground me.

Years later, I am revisiting these virtues, and this print, with the help of my now 8-year-old son (his handwriting is on the right side of the print). We are sheltering in place here in our small apartment in the middle of NYC, with our two boys, and I feel the heaviness of all that is happening in our city, in the world. Our city is turned upside down, and there is so much deep loss in every way. These virtues appear basic, but they are so hard to live out, especially in times like this. But I am seeing how much I need to return to these small, simple things — to hold on to them, to relearn them myself, to teach them to my boys, to try to practice them together in small measures (and fail, then start anew the next day). Now more than ever, these small, good things matter, and they help us rebuild.

If you’d like to help in a small way, the proceeds of every purchase of this print will be donated to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund which helps provide relief and support to health care workers, local small businesses, displaced hourly workers including immigrant workers, families, youth and other vulnerable New Yorkers.

Art for coronavirus

The print comes in white OR black. You can find them here.

You can follow more of Erin’s work at @theindigobunting. 

Amanda Jane Jones Art for Charity

You should be familiar with Amanda Jane Jones by now (we’ve been talking about her for months!) Her collection of prints is inspired by her children’s book, Yum, Yummy, Yuck. There’s the banana, apple, cherries, pear, ice cream, and booger (ha!). You can see the full collection here. They are AMAZING as oversized prints. I love what she did here:

Amanda is giving the profits from her collection all to No Kid Hungry. As the coronavirus crisis bars kids from the school meals they depend on, everyday people, celebrities, corporations and others are stepping up to ensure these kids can eat. They are using donations large and small, from individuals just like us, to support kids who are struggling.

Amanda is also providing wonderful resources for children this time. You can follow her at @amandajanejones

We are thrilled to share Amanda and Erin’s quest to support these charities by purchasing their art. You can shop the collections here

Becoming interview: French Papercut Artist Julie Marabelle

French papercut artist Julie Marabelle

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person etc.? 

I guess all of the above. 

My background is in visual art and stage design. Over the years my work has evolved towards a mix of illustration, painting, craft and design. 

I started my career in London as a stage and costume designer for the theatre. I have been working with lots of different media from making small scale models in the conception of a stage design to orchestrating large sets with carpenters. 

For over 10 years, I have been running my own business Famille Summerbelle where I design a line of illustrated products for the home. I love the creative diversity involved in my work, from paper cutting illustrated maps, researching and sketching, to handling the production, styling, shooting and editing the images of a new product and finally bringing it to market. 

Who helped you “become” who you are? 

It’s a combination of how I was brought up, my life experiences, and inspirational people I have worked with along the way. Most of all though, I would say that my family has shaped me most. 

I have inherited the creative side of my mother. As a child, if I liked a piece of clothing that I saw in a shop my mum would say “you can make it yourself, it’s so much better!” So we would go to buy fabric and then design and create it together. 

My parents were doers, very hands on, always renovating homes, and many creative side projects. 

I am the second of five children and I am very close to my siblings. Family means so much to me and how I have developed creatively. As kids we were very resourceful and independent. There were too many of us to have the full attention of our parents! Also I wouldn’t be doing what I do today without my three children. Famille Summerbelle started as we started our own family. Making art with my children is what I enjoy most. It’s a constant work in progress. 

collage art with kids

What more would you like to “become”? 

So much more, I don’t think that ever finishes. I like to see it as a lifelong journey! There are so many skills I would like to improve and new things to learn. 

Becoming better at painting, learning new languages, being better organized, more patient, better at running a business, those are all goals of mine. 

I am often juggling too many balls at once! I have three children that are still young so my days seem often too short for all the things I would like to do on the side of running my business. 

Where did you study, and what did you study? 

I’ve always been lucky enough to be educated in a creative environment. All my primary years were spent in a Waldorf school so thinking creatively and using my hands to make things was very much part of my upbringing. 

I studied Visual Arts in Paris at l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d’Art. In my graduation year I saw a play by Robert Lepage ‘The Far Side of the Moon’ that blew me away. I then wanted to become a stage designer, so I moved to London to study a BA in Stage and Costume design at Central Saint Martins. My time there was amazing. Being in London was incredibly stimulating creatively. I was seeing the best art exhibitions, fringe to West Ends plays and Operas to underground art installations. While studying I was assisting set designers like Es Devlin, who had a big impact on me. I loved my life in London so much that I ended up staying for 10 years. 

Was it an easy decision to begin working as an artist? 

Yes, it was an easy decision. I was working straight after I graduated designing for the stage in various theatres in London. Also I worked on many TV commercials and film sets which was very exciting. 

How did you get started doing art/design? 

I always loved drawing and I knew from an early age that I wanted to do something related to art and design. As a teenager I would take the train to Paris every Saturday to take life drawing classes. We would go to the Rodin or Louvre museums to draw sculptures and study the masters. I was passionate about art in general. Studying in art school gave me a solid base in art in general, to think creatively and solve problems. However it doesn’t really prepare you for being a professional artist and working with clients. This is something I have had to learn along the way. 

Famille Summerbelle papercut art prints in the Lars Print Shop

When did you discover your love for art/design? 

As I mentioned above, I had a very creative education. We would study music, dance, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, wood work as much as the other more classical subjects. This is where I realized that art was a great way for me to express myself freely. 

Were you scared when you first started looking for jobs? How did you overcome this? 

Of course! I was dreading contacting people and selling myself. I still do. This is not something you learn in art school. I learned it while assisting art directors and set designers. Also by making errors and asking for help. You get more confident as you gain experience. 

What’s your dream job? 

Bit boring as an answer but honestly it’s my current job. I’m very happy with it and as much as I challenge myself I can never come up with something I could imagine more fulfilling. 

What are you most proud of in your career? 

As a general point I would say that I am most proud to have created and maintained a developing business over the last 12 years while having lived in four different countries and juggling the chaos of having three children. 

If there is one project that I am most proud of, it’s difficult, but perhaps I would say the collaboration that I did with Issey Miyake and my world map papercut. I have a really deep affection for Japan, visiting many times and working with great Japanese partners. To see my designs in Issey Miyake boutiques across the world was something really special, somehow cementing my relationship with this country and culture. 

Papercut world map by Julie Summerbelle

How did your childhood influence what you have become?

As kids we would spend our summers in the South of France with our cousins in the small village where our grandparents lived. As long as we were back for lunches and dinners we had a lot of freedom to run errands on our bikes in the village, build cabins in the woods, dress up and organise a new show every evening for the grown-ups. This family bond with my siblings and my cousins is still very strong. None of us would miss our annual summer trip to see each other. It is so fun now to watch our kids following in our footsteps. 

Did you feel pressured in any way to pursue a certain career path? 

Not by anyone else but me. From an early age I knew that I wanted to do something in the creative field. We were lucky to have open minded and supportive parents who encouraged us to be independent and pursue our dreams. I knew I had to work hard to get to where I wanted to be but as it was something I was passionate about I was always putting in the hours. I quickly realized that I wanted to be my own boss and create the work instead of waiting that it would come up to me. 

Did you have anyone along the way that was instrumental in the trajectory of your life? 

My husband Simon always supported me in my career choices and he played a big role in the making of Famille Summerbelle. He helped me turn my creativity into a real business. Famille Summerbelle has been and remains a family affair! 

What’s your work space like? 

Since we moved to Germany 2 years ago, I work from home. We are lucky to live in a beautiful house from the early 19th century with very high ceilings and big windows. My studio is located on the first floor in a large room with a balcony. I have the sun pouring in all day which is a blessing – I couldn’t work without natural light!

I have three desks in my studio: two along a wall, one for my computer work, another higher table for packing the orders and a third very long table in the middle of the room where I draw, paint and do all my paper cutting. Hanging on this long and high wall are colourful cutouts, postcards, paper samples and paintings that I am working on. On the other side of the two desks, I have all the Famille Summerbelle stock with my prints, paper cuts, trays, wallpaper and so on. 

Papercut art studio and home office of Julie Summerbelle

What’s a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from? 

I can never remember or attribute quotes or specific advice. Somehow everything I have absorbed, all the advice I have received, manifests in a few key thoughts: I strive to be present, be open to changes, trust my feelings, stay focussed, stay true to myself and enjoy the process. Whether in my personal or professional life. 

What does your dream retirement look like? 

I don’t feel that I ever want to retire, I will keep on making things for as long as I can! I would love to have a big studio in the South of France so I can paint all day with the windows open with a view of a blue sky and the smell of the eucalyptus trees. Of course I would have a big kitchen table for long family lunches! 

Floral papercut art prints

What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to? 

Makoto Kagoshima, Ulla Johnson, Jonas Wood, David Hockney, Picasso, Matisse, Es Devlin, Sanna Hannukka, Erin O’Keefe, Anna Kovesces, Ilse Crawford, Hella Jongerius, Mizuki Goto, Alexander Girard, Ellsworth Kelly, Miroslav Šašek, Sempé. 

You were one of the first artists I ever followed on social media. How has social media influenced your work? 

Oh thank you and it is reciprocal! Lars was one of the first blogs I read that inspired me to start my own creative business and my blog back in 2008. 

Living abroad, I am delighted to be part of this creative online community and to interact with people interested in my work. Of course, as an artist with an online shop, being on social media is essential. I love Pinterest and Instagram to discover the work of talented designers, artists and photographers that I could never have found elsewhere. It is an amazing tool for all creatives but which also has its limits.

Personally I am much more creative and efficient in my work when I am not connected. My inspiration comes from my daily experiences, my travels, my books and especially my imagination. 

Who is your work intended for? 

Honestly I would say that I first make everything for me and for my family home. I made the House Boxes for my kids bedroom and my studio as I wanted a fun box to store away all of our small objects and toys. The first city map I made was of London, a city I love and where I lived for 10 years. I designed it as we were returning from our long world travels settling in France. It was designed as first for us as a souvenir of our time there. I make and test all my products in our home first and of course I always just hope that other people will be inspired by what I make and would want to have it in their home as well! 

Colorful home boxes by Famille Summerbelle

What’s inspiring you lately? 

Most things Japanese! I am currently designing a map of Tokyo after just launching a map of Berlin. For the 11th anniversary of Famille Summerbelle, I did an exhibition of my work  in Tokyo last year at the Galerie Doux Dimanche and while I was there I made lots of sketches and took photos of the different places I wanted to feature in my paper cut map. It makes me so happy to dive back into my research. I still have lots of drawings to make before I will start cutting the map. 

Whimsical store front window art

What did you want to be when you were young versus when it was time to decide what to actually do? 

I tried fencing, ballet and the violin. None for more than a few weeks! Boring as it perhaps sounds I have always loved drawing. It’s still my favourite hobby even when it’s my work and income.

Where to find Julie’s work

Her collection in our print shop!
On Instagram
On Pinterest

They ship worldwide from www.famillesummerbelle.com

Portfolio site: www.juliemarabelle.com

Photos by A.Lecuyer and Julie Marabelle

How to make Pysanky Eggs with Betsy Croft

How to do Psyanky

What isa Pysanky Egg? Simply put, it is an Easter egg decorated using a wax resist method. It literally means “to write” as you’ll soon learn in the video.

But, it is so much more than that. Ukrainians have been decorating eggs, creating these miniature jewels, for countless generations. The design motifs on pysanky date back to pre-Christian times and many date to early Slavic cultures making these eggs incredibly meaningful and full of rich history!

Pysanky Eggs

You can find the Pysanky instructions in our e-book here.

You may feel daunted looking at these but Betsy breaks it down easy as can be so that you and I can get started making them. Download the E-book now so you can get started!

And in case you need something special to display those beautiful Pysanky eggs in that you are about to make, checkout these incredible Ceramic Totem Egg Cups that we collaborated on found in The House Lars Built Shop plus so many other projects to keep yo occupied during these hard times.

Be sure to tag us with #Larsmakes so we can see how your eggs turn out!

New artwork by Alejandra García y Gutiérrez

Bold modern artwork print

Artwork to inspire well being

Did you read the book? I LOVED it. Craftfulness shared so many thoughts I’d been thinking about for ages, namely how when we make things with our hands we are brought into a new state of being, one that touches our soul. As we’ve been sharing throughout the months, this is precisely the mission of Lars!

There’s no better way to cope with the stress of what’s going on in the world right now than to make things with your hands. Alejandra’s beautiful artwork is a reminder of that. In addition, her bold colors and shapes are such a breath of fresh air right now. It has been a strange adjustment spending more time at home than ever before. However, having a new art print on my wall cheered me right up! Updating the artwork around your home will can make it feel new without any major changes needed.

I encourage you to follow Alejandra’s work over on Instagram where you will be drawn in by her playful palette.

You can find the print over in Lars Print Shop.