Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rainbows on the Horizon (Trend Spotting)

So part of the whole goodness that is my life right now is that I get to scout trends. My pics? Granny chic of course is on it's way, I'm loving Zakka (as any of you who have seen my pinterest board know), and I'm going to go with rabbits for the next big forest animal. It's huge in Japan I guess and really there's just so many dang cute things you can do with bunnies. So hedgehogs and dachsunds- maybe. But bunnies-definitely.

Today though, one of my predictions of a few years ago found some personal vindication in this post. Personal because I don't think I told too many people about it. But anyways, two or three years ago I found some rainbow fabric and it hit me. Rainbows are due for a comeback. Not only were they big when I was a girl (and all good trends come round more then once), but they really speak to an optimism that we all need right now.

From Riley Construction on Etsy
So here's how trends work in my mind. First of all, there's historical precedent that you can factor in (what goes around comes around and nostalgia play a big part). Second, there's geographical location. What's big in the trendiest places now? Check the UK, Europe and Japan and you'll get some pretty good hints. Next, look at fashion. What's big in fashion will usually filter down to home decor and crafting before too long. Lace is a great example of that. Colors seem to run their own course and there are lots of blogs devoted to colors. My friend Shelley from SingleStone Studios has a great color combination post that goes up once a week featuring different trendy color combos. 

From Wise Social Ties on Etsy
From Block Party Press on Etsy
But here's the biggest thing to my mind and it's why I believe that birds and butterflies have had such a great run of it. A truly big trend is usually indicative of the emotional state of the populace at large. Which is why so many people embrace it. Think about it, it's a time of uncertainty, we're feeling tethered to our homes because of the poor housing market, we're losing our jobs, and maybe our homes. We're seeing life get really really hard for a lot of families and we read daily about some new instability in finance, business, or the world. Birds denote flight and thus freedom. We're grounded now but we all want the chance to fly. And many many people are taking that chance now- in the midst of instability. There are more baby boomers starting businesses now than any other group. I think they realize that if they're going to stretch their wings, and reach for the dreams now is the time to do it. Everyday I look at Etsy and realize how many people have decided to make the big decision to make a business from their art. For some it's a can't lose philosophy- they lost their job and have nothing to lose by taking a leap now. But that mentality is catchy. Why not me? Is the question that starts many a business. So in the midst of economic instability there is a longing to fly. Another thing about birds is that they are part of the natural world and the more we become disconnected from nature the more the creative soul reaches for a way to regain what's lost. Thus we have birch branches in our offices, and stumps in our living rooms.

I truly believe that birds will stay until our societal problems give at least the illusion of or promise of stability. But here's where we get to the rainbow, and why I think it's taken it's own sweet time arriving as a full blown trend. Rainbows are optimistic but I think they belong to a world that hopes to see the end of the chaos. The end of the storm needs to be in sight before we begin to truly look for the rainbow in our lives. Not to say that some of us won't jump the gun and start making rainbow art now (yup-did it). There are always a group of crazy optimists among creatives and I have to admit to being one of them. But when we start to see rainbows- lots and lots of rainbows that will say a lot about how we as a world perceive life then. So stick around- I bet it won't be too long....
My Fabric and Wire take on the Rainbow

Friday, June 1, 2012

And It's a GO!!!

Last night I was up til 1:30 loading videos to vimeo from imovie. First, I was amazed at how long it took. Who knew 7 videos would take all night? Second, I was kind of secretly impressed that I could do it. I'm not too techie and the fact that imovie made the editing process easy enough for me to work is seriously amazing.

How To Make A Patchwork Sun and How to Paint Wire
I finally went to bed and finished loading the last video this morning. JUNE 1st. That was my deadline and I JUST made it. Yay! The videos really did turn out great and I had a ton of fun making them. As always I wanted to make sure there was a ton of technique heavy content so in addition to the things you need to know to make the mobile I added in extra's wherever I could. I even pulled out the beads and show you how to wrap your wire butterfly with beads (a technique I used to make the cool pendants in my shop). I really want you to know what the possibilities are when combining wire and fabric to make mixed media art. I also get REALLY in depth on how to make and shape wire flowers. If  you've ever wanted to try making flowers like the one's I've published in Cloth Paper Scissors and Sew Somerset this walks you through step by step.

Layering fabrics, adding embellishments
Just now I was looking at the workshop site and realized that I did something I would have told you a year or two ago there was no way I could. Sometimes God sends us those very opportunities that we say "never" to and points and says "go". And we go. And wonder of wonder's it turns out REALLY COOL! So I'm grateful today that Alma Stoller gave me this opportunity and I'm grateful to those of you who have taken the leap with me and signed up for what I know will be an experience you'll really enjoy. 

Wire Flower 101
Always when I do something I want to inspire. Thinking today about all the things on my to do list, the things that allow me to hang out with cool people like you, whether online or in person, and encourage you- those things are at the top of my want to do list as well. Teaching, writing for magazines, this blog, all give me this chance. I hope that you do feel encouraged to try something new, to do something you never thought you could, to dare to dream audaciously. All these things I wish for you. 

BUT- now I get to make the official announcement...

part of STITCHED 2012 group of video workshops