Monday, June 28, 2010

Early Harvest

Summer is finally making an appearance in this mossy little seaside town. It makes it all the more satisfying to be able to pull the first vegetables from the garden.

And some, like these radishes, are put into the visual inspiration file. Their roundish, squat shape and their color variation — along with their long and crooked root — make me want to draw and play with paint and color, to top off red with green: which are, consistently, my two favorite colors together.

~ Kata Golda

Look for Kata Golda's collection at two
RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR events this summer:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

2 New Kata Golda Books from Chronicle Books

I've been fairly busy lately — which is a bit of an understatement. I recently converted my living room into a temporary work studio, making it the third room in the house that's overrun with felt scraps and bits of thread.

I'm also getting ready to teach a bookbinding workshop in Seattle the weekend of July 24-25, 2010. And then in my "spare" time, I'm selecting items from my 2010 collection that will be sold at the Renegade Craft Fairs in L.A. and San Francisco. Look for them at a booth shared with OhMa Felt, who supplies my lovely hand-dyed wool felt.

Which is why it brings such great pleasure to take a moment to sit, relax, and enjoy the fruits of my labors — in this case two new children's book projects published by Chronicle Books, now available for pre-order before coming out in bookstores in Spring 2011.

Tooth Fairy Keepsake: Under-the Pillow Pocket & Memory Book, for ages 3–6, is a soft felt pocket that makes an extra-special occasion out of every lost tooth. It features a lovable bunny character wearing overalls with a pocket where children can tuck away their teeth, plus a pocket where the tooth fairy can slip in a treat. Inside, a sewn-spine journal includes a log for keeping track of lost teeth—and for the tooth fairy to write notes back! (Pre-order Tooth Fairy Keepsake)

Stories for Bedtime: A Keepsake Pocket & Seven Tales to Cherish, also for ages 3–6, is a perfect gift for baby showers and celebrating the little one. This sweet, one-of-a-kind story collection features seven classic bedtime rhymes, each displayed on a folded card embellished with a charming felt appliqué and adorable illustrations. The cards are housed in a super-soft felt pocket decorated with a little lamb ready for bed. (Pre-order Stories for Bedtime)

Prior to these 2 projects, I always kept my line-drawing style, which I use in my letterpress projects, very separate from my felt cutting and stitching projects. Here, they merged. I felt very excited by the challenge of painting on paper in the same manner that I cut and create with wool felt.

[ABOVE] Working on the end sheets for the tooth fairy booklet.

I enjoyed the process of thinking carefully about all of the small details, carefully working and reworking them: How dense should these little stars be on the page? and Yes, they must be irregular.

[ABOVE] Cutting stars for Stories for Bedtime.

I've had very positive relationships with the publishers I've worked with, my first being with STC/Melanie Falick Books, the division of Abrams that published Kata Golda's Hand-stitched Felt. The collaborative nature of working with a publisher—in this case Chronicle's Julie Romeis (my editor) and Kristine Brogno (my design director)—provided constructive feedback, new perspectives, and great direction, all while making sure the projects continued to have my vision. I'm used to working on my own, and this gave me the refreshing opportunity to be accountable to someone else.

As we progressed through these two books, I came to realize that I'm quite fond of receiving constructive feedback—even if it's not exactly what I want to hear after working long hours. It challenged me take a step back from the work, consider the dialogue, and rethink the reason I chose to execute an idea a certain way.

[ABOVE] A little tired bunny...I know all too well how this little guy feels.

So thank you, Chronicle Books, for giving me this opportunity to grow and create. I'm looking forward to seeing these on bookshelves next Spring.

~ Kata Golda

Sign up for Kata Golda's bookbinding workshop in Seattle:
And look for Kata Golda's collection at two RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR events this summer:

Monday, June 14, 2010

In the Window

The seemingly endless lack of sunshine in the northwest causes me to spend quite a bit of time indoors, even in June. Having an indoor life in the months that I consider to be summer makes me pine for the kind of days where I can walk, coffee in hand, through the gardens in the early morning without rain protection or a parka... days when I can sit in the sun on my greyish-blue mohair blanket and stitch, getting up only to re-position my blanket as the sun moves.

Instead, when I raise my head from my work, I spend a lot of time looking out the window, studying the weather and hoping summer decides to visit for longer than a weekend. Even some of my plant starts needed to be moved inside due to cold temperature and too much moisture. If I ever want my cucumber seeds to grow, they need a much warmer beginning. It seems that I, too, am in need of that same warmth to keep me flourishing.

~ Kata Golda

Look for Kata Golda's collection at two RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR events this summer:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Making Pies

It is June (nearly officially summer), but here in the Pacific Northwest we call June "June-uary." We are cold and craving comfort foods just like it is mid-winter. And a perfect way to spend a "winter" day that's thick with clouds, rain showers, and temperatures that require a rain-worthy jacket is making pies.

I was able to fill these savory pies with a few things picked from my garden, including scallions and greens (of the sauteable sort). I made enough for dinner plus many extras to keep in the freezer and pull out on days like today.

Making pies always makes me happy...even on Day 24 in a series of days with barely a glimpse of sunshine. Now I'm feeling accomplished and ready to stitch.

~ Kata Golda

Look for Kata Golda's collection at two RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR events this summer: