Friday, December 24, 2010


I am experiencing a strangeness in letting Bronwyn go.  I know that her soul is free of her body and that the two are no longer connected.  Yet I don't quite fully understand the concept.  I still think of her as having a body, as needing bodily comforts.  I wonder if she's getting enough hugs and kisses.  If she's eating well.  If she's being taken care of.  Does she miss me?  Is she scared?  To help myself feel some easing in this physical department, I created a treasury collection of things that I would send with her on her journey, if I could.  Just some silly things to comfort her, and remind her that she is loved.

Here it is:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Darkest Night

It is here.  The longest night.  The word solstice is derived from the latin sol, which means, "Sun" and sistere, which means, "to stand still."  This year, I feel in equilibrium with the darkness, and one of my favorite poems comes to mind: 

To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.

To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,

and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,

and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.”

- Wendell Berry

from “To Know the Dark”, Farming: A Handbook

(Harcourt Brace, 1970)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Seams for Comfort

I find myself in a mystical place of joy and sorrow.  It is difficult to explain and I'm not sure that the explaining will be clarifying anyhow.  So I will tell you what comforts me,  what I've been doing. 

My community has been amazing for the support that I've received.  Flowers, food, cards, hugs, cups of tea, company, and space (when requested) have all been generously and lovingly given. 

Walking and exercise have been invaluable for clearing my head.

The ritual of lighting a candle for Bronwyn reminds me that her flame is alive and with me always.  Someday, that reminder will be present without the physical presence of the candle, but for now the presence of the light helps me.

Also, I have been sewing again.  Not designing, that takes too much creative energy.  But sewing what I know provides a meditative experience, and something for my always figity hands to do.  When we left for the hospital over a month ago, I had been right in the middle of production for the holiday.  So I've finished what I started and my inventory is quite impressive (it looks like I've been busier than I actually have been).  Now I need to photograph everything and get it listed.  I also participated in two local craft fairs with my business partner.  I wasn't sure how it would feel, but it was lovely to get out and be distracted.

The clutch pictured is designed by the talented Keykalou, who has a shop on Etsy.  I purchased the pattern (and the rights to sell my handmade work from her pattern) so that I could just sew without having to think.  I love the shape and feel of this clutch and the way it features the fabric so nicely.

I raise my mug of tea to the day, and let the tears come when they will.  Smiles and hugs follow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Solitude Standing

Here I am.  At the beginning.  At the end.  A re-birth of sorts. 

I am a vagabond in my own life at the moment, but a vagabond with potential.  What that will look like, I don't know, but I am open to finding out.

 It has been raining buckets this past week, and two days ago I went to one of our local watersheds, McLane Creek, for a few hours of dripping silence.  The chum salmon run had just finished, and their bodies were strewn about the banks of the creek, effort and passion spent.  New Hemlocks grew up from rotting stumps, and moss and lichens re-claimed old branches. 

I reflected on the cycle of life, and felt the reason in it; the peace of it. 

It was a healing walk.

And so it begins.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What She Gave Me

It has been a long while since I've posted, and I wish I could tell you that it has been so long because of normal busy reasons.  The past month and a half have been difficult because my beautiful daughter suffered from seizures terribly, and the day before Thanksgiving, Bronwyn passed away in the Pediatric ICU in Seattle after all attempts to gain control of her seizures failed. 

I ache with missing her.

I know that grief is a process, and I'm only just beginning.  But I re-read this post that I wrote late in October, and realize how much Bronwyn has taught me about living my life thoughtfully.  Bronwyn has given me so much in her short life, and I realize that she continues to give even now after she's gone.  I take comfort in the knowledge that her flame can burn brightly through my actions, and that her flame can be shared with others.  That is so healing all by itself.

What Bronwyn Gave Me:

An understanding of selfless giving
The ability to listen
How to listen to my heart
The ability to be a strong advocate
The importance of receiving: this is something she's teaching me now.

Thank-You my sweet daughter.  I love you forever; you are always with me. 
Until we meet again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mercy Me!

I am prone to exciteable exclaimations, and right now I'm feeling all aflutter about the newest Mercy Me creations.  Suzanne worked hard to perfect our raglan sleeve design and we're about to have inventory of this beautiful shirt in three neckline styles: Scoop, Cowl, and Hoodie.  Head on over to our clothing blog to see more photos!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I do love making little zippered things, they make me smile. 

 A couple of days ago I got a special request for a pencil case made from Amy Butler's Imperial Fans print (from her Nigella collection).  I love the way it turned out, and it's now in transit, on it's way to her new owner.  Hope she loves it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hold Gently

Yesterday Bronwyn had a terrible day with seizures and we spent the majority of the day cuddling on the couch.  It was very windy and rainy outside and our couch is situated in such a way that we have a nice view of our front yard.  We've positioned bird feeders strategically so that we can see lots of little birdie activity while we snuggle. 

As we sat there, I thought about how challenging it is to be a Mom.  We want to hold our little ones tightly, so that we keep them safe, but our job is to help our babies become independent and not need us so much.  

I pulled out my sketchbook as Bronwyn snoozed and I doodled this little bird in the hand.  This is what I hope: I am always there for my girl to love and support her, but my hand is open for her to fly free when she can.  That way, we both feel loved and needed! 

Today is blustery still, but we are well rested and ready for what the day brings.  I hope the same for you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dyed in the Wool

I have been perfecting my hand-dyeing techniques for my clothing business, Mercy Me Designs.  Check out my blog post here to see what's happening!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Blog!

I feel like I have a million and one things going on right now, and I guess maybe that's the way I function best; I started a new blog for my new business, Mercy Me Designs; Check out our new blog here!

I'm so excited about my new venture, but I'm still passionate about my first love; BCharmer.  Right now I'm working on a full set of pillow covers for a customer's two couches.  They are coming out SO beautifully!  I'll make sure to take pictures when they're all done to share with you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Art of Journaling

I have to confess that I am a terrible journal keeper.  But since I've started this blog, I've really come to love the process of writing down my thoughts and sharing my activities. 

Recently, I made internet friends with a lovely woman from Brazil, who is a talented bookbinder.  Last week she suprised me by sending a beautiful handbound journal just because!  WOW!  And can I say that I adore my journal?  The paper that she uses is thick and nice; it makes me want to doodle, write, and mark it up.  And the fabric that she used for the covers is right up my alley.  Also, I love the way the pages lie flat; it makes it easier for me to think freely because I'm not fighting the book to stay open.  The binding thread is a waxed linen in aqua blue.  YUM!  Gabi has a shop on Etsy called vivamadiera.  You should check it out if you're in the market for a nice gift for yourself or an artsy friend.  Her prices are very reasonable, and she's one of the nicest people.  And if you want to see more examples of her work, you can look at her photos on Flickr here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Little Funnel Neck

I'm so excited to reveal to you one of Mercy Me's newest designs: a funnel neck sweatshirt!  This one is sized for a child, but we plan to offer the same style for adults as well.   This design is very kid friendly because it's easy to get on and off, but at the same time I think it offers a touch of sophistication that appeals to adults, too.  The neck can be worn down or buttoned up, depending on the weather and your mood.

The sweatshirt pictured  is made from cotton knit, but we plan to make this out of organic wool and other yummy fabrics.  Stay tuned!
It feels great to have our designs coming along, although I'm impatient for lots of inventory!  To help with this feeling, we recently purchased an industrial Singer Serger from the '4o's, and it's beautiful!!  And talk about fast; the thing is finished sewing before our fingers can move the fabric.  Suzanne has pretty much mastered the thing, while I remain terrified of it.  For now, I'll stick with the home serger...

Industrial Singer Serger from the 1940's

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

For The Love of Indigo

I recently got an order for a custom Tomboy wallet, and I loved the way it came out.  The fabric is distributed by Marcus Brothers and it's been in my stash forever.  Now only scraps remain, and I'm sorry to see it go!

I'm really enjoying the process of dyeing my fabric!  It's like a little mystery.  Most recently I dyed a batch in a color called, "Gunmetal" and I was expecting a grey/blue color.  As I put the wool into the pot, it turned a lilac purple and then gradually became more blue.  When all was said and done, it was a rich and lovely denim/indigo blue; not at all what I was expecting, but gorgeous nonetheless.  Next up: Cayenne Red.  And my other business, "Mercy Me! Designs" now has massage table face cradle covers for sale in the Artfire Shop.  These are great for massage practitioners, chiropractors, or acupuncturists.  Check them out and tell your therapists!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A New Adventure

Well, it's been a long long time since I've had time to sit down and write; thanks for sticking by me anyhow!  There's a lot that's new, and I'm so excited to share.

There's a new boutique carrying my line, and they're just about to open shop.  They're called Circa. and they're located in Jackson, Mississippi.  If you're near there, check them out; they plan to be open late in October.  The address is 2771 Old Canton Road.  They have a unique and fun layout, and are planning to offer a "Scent Bar" where one can go to design one's own fragrance.  How cool! 

Here are some of the wallets that I sent them:
And also, I am starting another business with a close girlfriend, Suzanne Wenner, who is an excellent seamstress of clothing.  We're going to be making clothes out of organic wool and cotton knits, as well as with some nice linens and other natural fibers.  We're in the process of getting our patterns drafted and our fabrics stocked.  Last week, our first shipment of 100% organic merino wool knits arrived and it is beautiful!  We are getting together in the evening to dye the fabric into lucious colors; a process that is interesting and fun!  Here's what the wool looked like before and after dyeing:
I will definitely keep you posted with each color that we add!  So fun!     

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sweet Friends

I have been hard at work getting Bronwyn all ready for school, and I have also been sewing a lot because BCharmer recently got picked up by another boutique; HOORAY!  I will share more details about that soon.

Yesterday, in the mail, I got a little package all the way from Budapest, Hungary.  My good friend Judit of Vadjutka sent me this stunning necklace and also the sweetest little hair clips for Bronwyn (which she wore to her first day of school).  This necklace is made from a lovely combination of fabrics and is hung on twisted silk cord.  I feel ever so fancy wearing it and have received many compliments already!  If you haven't checked out Judit's blog, you should; she's ever so talented in everything she endevours. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's the Journey

Happy Anniversary, my darling. 16 years strong. I look forward to many more years on the trail. I love you.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday's Finds

I know it's been a while since I've shown you anything from my studio, but my garden has been taking up a lot of time lately.  We're in the thick of cucumbers, raspberries, squash, beans, tomatoes and basil.  A heavenly chore, if you ask me!  So in honor of other people who have been steadily working on their handmade lovelies, I curated a collection of linen wares that I covet on  Check it out!