Monday, August 22, 2011

Garden Inspiration: Beets

This is the second installment in a short series about the influence my garden has had on the new items I'm creating for my 2012-2013 catalog. The first post was about pea pods; this week's is about beets.


GARDEN INSPIRATION: BEETS

I volunteer each Thursday at a local farm, helping out in the garden where needed. Little kids always seem to enjoy picking radishes because they are often the first things ready in the garden. Later, as the garden grows, their preference shifts to carrots because they are not only familiar, but also so utterly amazing — all that color coming out from the dark, rich soil like a rabbit out of a hat.

Between the two, I prefer to pick beets, and at home I get to pick them all. Now that my daughter is older, I have no competition! 


This year my beet greens are red, planted between the tall, green leafy foliage of the potatoes and the tall, thick, grass-like sticks of the onions — a placement that seems sort of perfect to me. Although it may seem like an odd source of inspiration, the beet has managed to find its way into my work time and time again.

Last year it made an appearance on the custom sign I made for Port Townsend's Colinwood Farm



…and it currently appears in my card line, held by a sweet little lamb dressed in overalls.
The current design for my "I picked this for you" card is available in the 2010-2011 Kata Golda collection. The lamb and beet, made from felt, are adorned with stitching and framed on a sheet of delicate rice paper mounted on a cotton card. The words are typed on the paper by hand using a vintage typewriter that has a unique typeface.

I've always been smitten by the facial expressions of goats and lambs, so this design will continue to live on in the 2012-2013 catalog, with a few updates. The message is the same, but instead of being typed, the words are letterpress printed directly onto the card. The letter forms were originally handwritten, inspired by the unusual typeface found on my trusty little red vintage typewriter.

Updated for the 2012-2013 Kata Golda catalog, my new "I picked this for you" card combines letterpress printing with wool felt and hand-stitching. The card, made from cotton paper, measures about 5x7" and comes with a matching envelope.

I encourage you to go out and pick something for yourself from the garden — whether it's at a local farm, your neighborhood pea patch, or your own backyard. Just make sure to ask first if you plan on picking it from someone else's garden!

~Kata Golda


NOW AVAILABLE IN KATA GOLDA's ETSY BOUTIQUE

The Kata Golda Good News Bear DIY Kit contains the sewing pattern and materials needed to create your very own wool felt Good News Bear. This small wall hanging holds a collection of cards upon which kids, parents or teachers can write the "good news" they have to look forward to that day.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Garden Inspiration: Pea Pods

With the recent increase of sunny days in the Pacific Northwest, my garden is growing by leaps and bounds. Each day — morning, noon and evening — we wander through it to collect ingredients for our next meal. As my family enjoys the fruits of our labors, it seems to be the perfect time to reflect on how influential the garden has been on the new items I've created for the 2012-2013 Kata Golda collection. So for the next few weeks, I'll focus on different items from my garden and give a sneak peak at the work they've inspired.


GARDEN INSPIRATION: PEA PODS

The plentiful pods in my pea patch have a great ability to hide. I always need to walk through the pea patch two or three times to make sure I did not miss any of the perfectly plump pods. Yet inevitably I do, because when I return the next morning I find it hard to believe how the engorged pods I find could have possibly grown that big overnight.




As someone who handcrafts a lot of items for babies, the pea pod is a real favorite image of mine. The pods act as the momma, protecting the little baby peas inside as they mature and grow sweetly plump.

The felt "Peapod" Heirloom pocket comes with a letterpress printed baby record, with a place to record a name, birthdate, and other details of your baby's milestones, including a place to paste a photo. The pocket gives you a place to store other memorabilia, and can be personalized with a hand-stitched message.
Studies of a pea pod for the 2012–2013 Kata Golda catalog. On the left is a hand-stitched design; on the right are the pieces to a design I cut from felt, which I will then stitch together.

A detail shot of the pea pod design I "drew" with needle and thread.

The connection to make between these studies of my garden and my new plush Pea Pod toy is an easy one. Three cheerful round pea pods, each a different size and made from hand-dyed wool felt, sleep soundly in the belly of their pod case. The faces are hand-stitched, and the pod stays shut with the help of a hook-and-loop closure, making it friendly for your little ones.


The material for the pod is a 50% organic cotton / 50% organic hemp blend that is new to the Kata Golda collection. Look for this and other new items inspired by the pea pod in late 2011.

~ Kata Golda


NOW AVAILABLE IN KATA GOLDA's ETSY BOUTIQUE

The Kata Golda Good News Bear DIY Kit contains the sewing pattern and materials needed to create your very own wool felt Good News Bear. This small wall hanging holds a collection of cards upon which kids, parents or teachers can write the "good news" they have to look forward to that day.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Slow is Fast

Friendly starfish at low tide.

By nature I am a go-go-go person, but when I make the effort to be still, I am able to see the beauty in the details of the world around me. So easily I can be distracted by big pictures, losing sight of the small parts that create these inspirational scenes and inform my work.

I am most successful at focusing on the small parts when I'm outdoors, away from my studio. And since I haven't found a way to bottle up stillness, I guess I'll just have to make the effort to enjoy it fresh each day.

A close-up view of barnacles on a rock.
It's not easy, especially with deadlines now growing close for the new 2012-2013 Kata Golda catalog. However this is exactly the time — as all the "small parts" are beginning to form the big picture — that it is most important for me to step away and escape to the outdoors, rain or shine.

Finding color in the ocean on a gray, rainy day.
This step away from the catalog gives me some great perspective and reassures me that each item I create, even if it gets cut from the final list, plays a significant role in the success of my body of work. It also reminds me of the great joy I feel while creating each part.

An army ranger once said, "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast." In order to keep the joy, I need to get out of my "Kata Golda world" and slow down long enough to look in from the outside. When I do, I re-enter with fresh eyes and clarity about what I need to do next in order to keep moving forward.

In other words, slow is fast.

~ Kata Golda


NOW AVAILABLE IN KATA GOLDA's ETSY BOUTIQUE

The Kata Golda Good News Bear DIY Kit contains the sewing pattern and materials needed to create your very own wool felt Good News Bear. This small wall hanging holds a collection of cards upon which kids, parents or teachers can write the "good news" they have to look forward to that day.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Bottle of Stillness

With most of the country going through extensive heat ways, it's hard for most of you to imagine that it could be cold, gray and rainy elsewhere in the US. But our summer here in the Pacific Northwest has been a cool and gray one, and there is still so much snow pack (as in 6 – 10 feet deep!) in the mountains that many of my hiking adventures have had to be moved to lower elevations.

For one backpacking trip this meant that instead of a mountain adventure, we had a rainforest and beach adventure. Rain is not, understandably, my favorite weather to camp in, but even a grey and quiet beach brings great surprises.

A beach walk along the Pacific in Olympic National Park.
During one afternoon walk we were surprised by a small, lone doe that emerged from the fog along the coastline and trotted across the sand — the endless movement of waves providing a perfect soundtrack to this peaceful scene.


In that moment everything stopped — and my presence in that exact moment, the attentiveness to my surroundings, the stillness it all created in my mind…I wanted to bottle it all up and keep it in my pocket, to pull out later when the busy-ness of life starts to overwhelm me.

Exploring the calm of the tide pools.
If only I could figure out how to do that. Any ideas?
~ Kata Golda

NOW AVAILABLE IN KATA GOLDA's ETSY BOUTIQUE

The Kata Golda Good News Bear DIY Kit contains the sewing pattern and materials needed to create your very own wool felt Good News Bear. This small wall hanging holds a collection of cards upon which kids, parents or teachers can write the "good news" they have to look forward to that day.