You guessed it - Harmony Art turns 12 this month! I am so incredibly blessed and amazed - My HEART is overflowing with gratitude for the freedom, creativity and flexibility Harmony Art has afforded me the last 3 years. The kind, thoughtful, caring people I have met along the journey have been inspiring and encouraging. What more could a gal ask for? THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
My very first textile job was designing pajamas for Karen Neuburger (KN). One of my first assignments was to create an "election print" for the 2000 election. I was told that they wanted 3 prints that were identical except that the color and the animal would change. They wanted a donkey, elephant and eagle (for the reform party). It ended up being a huge PR campaign with all the candidates and their wives getting complimentary pajamas of their parties. KN also sent pjs to our local female Senators. I was told that Barbara Boxer liked them so much she purchased a pair for every woman in the Senate! They even were worn in Chicago down Michigan Ave in a "get out the female vote" parade. I don't know if the President of the United States ever slept in his pjs or not.
It's hard to believe that was 17 years ago (design was done in 1999)! What a wild and crazy journey this has been.
I hope EVERYONE reading this will vote in next month's election!
Eyes of the World was one of the three original designs we printed back in 2008. Originally we printed it in shades of green. Years later we decided to reprint it in a new colorway. After polling our facebook fans and talking with out current customers we decided to go with this fresh yellow and grey version. Originally the yellow was a lighter lemony color but our distributor in the EU (Pure Fabricz) suggested a more mustard shade. I LOVE co-creating and am so grateful for Monique's suggestion.
I am always open to ideas and requests. I can't always deliver on them, but I do my best to make decisions collectively and with YOU in mind.
The title "Eyes of the World" is another Grateful Dead tune and here's a few of the lyrics to ponder:
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the mornin' brings
But the heart has its seasons, its evenin's and songs of its own
The latest edition to the Harmony Art organic fabric line is Franklin's Tower. This design was inspired by one lonely leaf -- actually it was this very leaf (pictured above). Almost all of my designs start from a walk in nature. I LOVE to hike and being around the natural world somehow grounds and inspires me.
So a sharpie pen and many months later Franklin's Tower was created (see below for grey on natural 300tc organic sateen version).
You may be asking, why that title? Well, just as my designs are typically inspired by nature, my titles are typically inspired by music. Franklin's Tower is a song by the Grateful Dead. One of my favorite lines in the song is, "when you get confused, listen to the music play." The last 2+ years of my life have been -- in a word -- CONFUSING. Like nature grounds me, music soothes my soul. I am SOOOO very grateful for both! Can you imagine life without music or nature?! Yikes!
This version (below) of Franklin's Tower on organic canvas in Black and White was a direct result of a request from our customers and friends at All Natural Dog. They wanted a heavier fabric and a black and white design. Together we decided on this.
We love helping our customers find the organic fabrics they need and sometimes if they don't exist, we work together to MAKE IT HAPPEN. That's how this fabric came to life. For me, collaborating is the most enjoyable way to work.
So if you can't find what you need, please don't hesitate to contact me and we'll put our heads together and see what we can do! Often I have to direct you to others but sometimes we can collaborate to create your vision!
As my dad would say, "The answer is no if you don't ask!". Thanks for those wise words, Pops. Even though your days on this planet have ended, your influence and sense of 'right' encourage me to live up to your high standards.
Some years we have had winners respond early in the year.
Some years we have had zero participants but in 2015 we had our first last minute winner. . . Jane!
She completed the 2015 challenge with just 1 day left in the year!
The good news is a new annual challenge has begun and this opens up the opportunity for another grateful soul to win a full roll of organic cotton fabric (a value up to $750!)
For more details read our previous blog post.
On December 30th 2015 I received and email from Jane stating, "as of just now I have 2,132 thankful thoughts, but I do want to continue on through the end of the year for a final count. The count is not nearly as important as the whole work but I do want to do it up right. You are so right; it changes lives; all in a good way."
Yesterday I delivered the winning roll (she picked Vein) to Jane. She is using the fabric to make Therapy Dolls. You read more about Jane's work on her site - Reborn Therapy Dolls and at the moment she is the featured designer on our Service Professionals page. Thank you Jane for ALL you do! I am grateful for YOU!
Earlier this month Harmony Art turned 11 years old! It's hard for me to believe it. The number of wonderful, thoughtful people I have met on this journey has been awe inspiring. Last year (2015) was a rough year for me personally and my business was definitely neglected. I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you who stuck with me through my prolonged absences and had patience when orders were delayed because of it. THANK YOU!
I am welcoming 2016 with open arms and a happy heart. ALSO . . . I want to launch this year of posts with another Gratitude Challenge! As in pervious years: Be the first person to send me a list of 2,016 thoughtful things you are thankful for and win a FREE roll of organic cotton fabric. The fine print: the free roll must be chosen from my "limited release" fabrics (scroll down for list) and although the entire roll (approx. 50 yards) is FREE, the recipient is responsible for the shipping (UPS ground) charges. You are only eligible to win this giveaway one time.
We had a winner of last year's challenge sneak in at the last days of 2015. I will post about them in the very near future. Meanwhile . . . let the gratitude begin!
Cheers to ALL OF US!
I am offering the Gratitude Challenge again this year! Be the first person to send me a list of 2,015 thoughtful things you are thankful for and win a FREE roll of organic cotton fabric. The fine print: the free roll must be chosen from my "limited release" fabrics (scroll down for list) and although the entire roll (approx. 50 yards) is FREE, the recipient is responsible for the shipping (UPS ground) charges. You are only eligible to win this giveaway one time.
What are YOU grateful for?
If you want to read more you can look at a couple of our past posts/winners here: 2013 and 2012.
Yes. This week marks the 10th anniversary of Harmony Art Organic Design. It seems impossible but we have been at this since January 2005. When we started down the path of colorful organic cotton printed fabrics we were an anomaly. I can confidently say that back in early 2005 we personally contacted EVERY SINGLE company that had anything to do with printed organic materials. We knew them all -- there weren't that many. NOW... there are so many we definitely have lost track.
Some milestones we have witnessed are:
Harmony Art has developed over 60 different organic cotton fabrics. We have assisted over 200 companies in finding organic cotton fabrics to fit their needs. Harmony has given over 20 lectures on organic cotton and her journey in creating Harmony Art. We followed the organic fiber certification process and are fully GOTS certified. We've made friends. We've watched businesses come, go, flourish and flounder. We've seen births, deaths, anniversary, marriages and a plethora of personal experiences and challenges. As this blog is titled: The Journey is the Prize. Thank you for being on the journey with me.
PS On a personal note today is also my friend Mary Sue's birthday. She and her husband's belief in my vision of Harmony Art helped spur my leap of faith. Her love and support over the last 10 years can not be understated. THANK YOU MARY SUE!
I'm happy to say Whispering Grass is back and in a new colorway. This time it's orchid and comes with a coordinating solid Orchid color. Of course I love all of my fabrics but this one is nearer and dearer to me than any other. Why? Well, it is one of the first organic cotton fabrics we ever printed. Back in 2005, our first print run was done in South Carolina and we printed 3 designs: Whispering Grass (aqua), Sweet Jane (pink) and Eyes of the World.
My husband and I flew to South Carolina to oversee and take some film footage of the printing. I remember it was SUPER hot and humid at the plant. I was young and naive. My husband still had long hair and so did I.
I remember being stunned by the size of the machinery. Pictured above is just ONE part of the process. I remember the colorist was a gem. The plant manager. . . a good ole boy. I'm sad to report this plant and the second USA printer we used have closed down. This print run pre-dated GOTS. When we did this printing we were truly the first company to bring color and design to organic fabrics and offer it to home sewers and small businesses. Now, I can't keep track of all the new organic fabric lines there are so many. Now, we have GOTS which keeps the standards high and consistent. Now, we have an Orchid colorway of THE original Harmony Art design. I hope you enjoy it. It's been some journey. . . and so it continues. . .
We've all heard the following statements over and over and over again. . .
That's nice and all, but what no one talks about or teaches you is HOW to love yourself. What does that mean?? I use to think it was spa days, pedicures, and saying "no" -- ya know, putting yourself first. It always sounded over indulgent and selfish. Over the last few years I have been trying (sometimes desperately) to define and then live from a space of loving myself. It has not been easy. There is a reason the word "practice" often follows the word spiritual.
What I think* I have learned:
1. Loving Yourself is more about what you feed your head than anything else. If you really listen to yourself talk is it kind? To you? To others?
*Truth is I am not 100% sure of anything. I tend to try things on and then test them. They either fit or they don't. If they don't I discard. If they ring true after testing I usually enlist a few friends to test them too and report back. Feel free to report back by commenting in this blog post.
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.