Saturday, May 1, 2010

Art and Beauty

I read something very thought provoking today that made me wonder....

Is it art because its beautiful....or is it beautiful because its art.

Many artists look at 'beautiful' as a dirty word as it relates to their work. They want their pieces to be edgy, provocative or sensual. Beautiful seems almost a criticism. WHY?

Honestly, I have to think beautiful is what we all strive for in one form or another. Maybe it is in how you define beauty. I look at beauty as the emotional response a piece evokes in you. Something must pull your heart in some way. I don't believe that beauty is defined in terms of how "pretty" something is, but rather in your response to it.

Have you ever seen something so intensely ugly or wrong...that it is beautiful? Some of the photographs taken during hurricane Katrina have this intense beauty. You know that it caused extreme hardship, death and destruction and yet...the photos of the storm itself had a strength and intensity and darkness that pull at you.

I am going to keep thinking on this and would love to hear your comments.


Sunday, February 14, 2010


Back by popular Steampunk Collage Pendants! Out of the studio and listed on etsy.

I'm trying to work on them in small batches, as we've had a very fussy little man lately. Sam's been diagnosed, at 6 weeks old, with reflux. He hasn't been sleeping well so that means very little studio time for me!

I will spend the next two weeks finishing up my spring line and getting ready for our first show. Maternity leave ends on 3/1, so I'm trying to get a jump on everything!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Blues

Feeling a little blue this cold Michigan Monday...Thought i'd cheer myself up a bit by taking a look around etsy. Hope you enjoy these Etsy finds as much as I do!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gotta love that Michigan weather!

Its cold here in rural Michigan today with a chill that goes straight down to your bones. But, the weather forecasts are suggesting that we could see temperatures of 40 degrees or higher by this weekend.

What is that old adage? If you don't like the weather in Michigan, wait a minute --- it will change!

Until the temperature does warm, my studio surrounded by all of my new steampunk jewelry bits and bobs seems like the perfect place to hibernate.

Ghiradelli creamy hot chocolate, anyone?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In the studio....

With some help from our new baby, Sam....I was able to get all of my orders out today and spend some much needed time in the studio. Ok, he slept peacefully, allowing me some studio time, but he's definitely earning his title of "Mommy's Little Helper".

My new best friend - our postal carrier - delivered some wonderful new silver filigree and stones. Soon, many of our most popular designs will be available in silver, as well as aged brass. With some additional assistance from my new little helper, hopefully I will have the new pieces posted to the shop yet this week!

The yummy Valentines treats for my orders came today too. I had to try them out, of course :-)

Monday, January 18, 2010


While working on my 2010 business plan, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my goals for this year - expand my line, blog regularly, do more shows, sell 2 new wholesale accounts a month, spend more time in the studio.... At first glance, my goals are a little daunting and enough to put me off for an entire year lol. But, I'm convinced that they are achievable. If i think it, i can do I printed off some of my favourite inspirations to put up around the studio....

***You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do -Eleanor Roosevelt

***To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose one's self. -Soren Kierkegaard

***Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful -Joshua J Marine

***Unless a man undertakes more than he can possibly do, he will never do all that he can - Henry Drummond

***Go ahead and play the blues if it makes you happy -Homer Simpson (ok, this one might not be applicable to my 2010 goals, but i had to throw in the Simpsons, eh???)

As I move forward through this new year, my goal is to embrace the challenges and all of the new designs and creative moments that 2010 has in store for Simply Willow. Steampunk Airship TeleController Doomahicky anyone????

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Simply Willow in the News!

While i was away...a wonderful thing happened! I was contacted by a reporter for the local newspaper -- the Kalamazoo Gazette. He was doing a series of features on local artists, would I be interested?

WOULD I? It took about 5 seconds to decide that yes, of course, I was interested!

The interview was done over the phone, a photographer came out to the house the following week. The result? "Steampunk Jewelry reflect "Dark Romance" of Victorian Era"

A huge thank you to Simon Thalman and the Kalamazoo Gazette!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our New Addition

Over the past couple of years, exciting things have happened for us here at Simply Willow -- Paul and I were married in May 08, bought our first home in October 09 and on December 27, 09...we welcomed Samuel Padraig Cartwright into our family. Our beautiful baby boy was born 5 weeks early and spent 12 days in the neo-natal intensive care unit at our hospital, where he was treated for a breathing problem, heart murmur, jaundice and a lack of eating skills. But on Friday of last week, he came home to us....
He joins our large combined family with many brothers - Shawn, 22 Steffan, 22 Nathaniel, 19 Nicholas, 17 Zac, 14 ***His oldest brother and only sister left us way too early -- Michelle would have been 20 and Anthony would have been 26. Both are greatly missed.***

Amazing that such a little boy could change our life in such a huge way in a very short time...