Thursday, December 11, 2008

Finding Inspiration

By Colleen of Tactile Baby

"Where did you get the idea to make that?"

It's a question crafters hear a lot, we expect to hear it, but it often leaves us speechless.

Sometimes it's difficult to articulate, sometimes it's too personal, sometimes too strange - but most of the time it's just too long of a story.

I recently had this question posed to me with regard to a line of onsies I debuted in my etsy shop this summer. This tale combines all my aforementioned reasons for speechlessness. I thought it might be an interesting exercise for met to tell the store here. So, here goes.

I've been living far from home for over a decade now, having left just days after graduating from college. I left for the coast, the plan was to live on a friends couch until I found work. I took only a suitcase of essentials, leaving the bulk of my measly possessions in my mother's pantry, promising to send for them once I had settled in to my new life.

A year after leaving home I had an apartment, a decent job and no interest in reclaiming my worn pots, pans, bedding or high school year books.

At first my mother was happy enough to see me land on my feet and so the boxes were rarely mentioned aside from the gentle reminder of their existence when I returned home for holidays, "You should take that box of sweaters that you left in the basement dear, no need to spend good money on sweaters when you already have a whole box full... in my basement...."

It took a couple of years, but my mother eventually realized that she would need to take matters into her own hands if she had any hope of ridding herself of my junk. And so, each subsequent visit became a short window of opportunity for her to rid herself of no more, no less than 50 lbs (the airline limit on baggage weight), of my stuff.

It took the better part of a decade but at last she had rid herself of all the boxes to both her relief and mine and so I was surprised when she reached into her bag on her last visit for "one last thing".

"I thought you might be able to find a use for this towel", began my mother as she unfolded what appeared to be a household rag. As she shook it out I immediately recognized it as having been used as a guest towel at my grandmother's house and a million wonderful memories came flooding back into focus.

"It's beat up, but it has this pretty chenille pattern on it that's still in great shape. I thought you could maybe cut it out and use it somehow; it was always hanging in Grandma's guest bathroom, do you remember?"

"Yes, of course I do," and I chocked up at the memory.

Chenille, with it's simplicity and vintage charm, is a texture and a tecnique I've always wanted to incorporate into my designs. As I held the towel the ideas began to flood into my head. So, although I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the towel yet, but I was inspired to create some fun infant onsies.

And there you have it.

1 comment :

  1. I loved reading this post. What wonderful inspiration!


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