Growing up I heard the expression “Waste not, want not” countless times from my parents. Both were the eldest of large families and reached adolescence just as the nation was plunging into the Great Depression. My dad was from a farming family who also had to deal with the challenges of the Dust Bowl during that time.
Both my parents left school early to work in support of the rest of their families. Even with that sacrifice and extra income, my father spoke of times he went to bed hungry during those difficult years.
In their adult life, my parents carefully purchased, maintained and then reused whenever possible. In the process, they valued creativity and resourcefulness. My dad once built a barn from recycled wood and my mom sewed stuffed animals from remnants for her kids and grandchildren.
Those values must have gone in deeply. I 'm always delighted to see what friends and neighbors fashion from the scraps I pass on from making the Sympatico collection. Projects run the gamut from strip quilting to children’s clothing to three-dimensional crafts.
A long-time customer, Rhonda, stopped by my booth recently to show me the quilt she pieced using my scraps and some other, well-chosen fabrics. She was a little shy about having her picture taken so you can just see her eyes in some of the shots. Such a beautiful piece! That she used Sympatico scraps to make this artwork warms my heart!
Anyone who’s had to return ill-fitting clothes bought online or struggled to understand sizing schemes in stores, join the club! The reality is apparel makers' size schemes vary wildly. One brand’s medium may have little to do with another’s. A recent New York Times story found such vast disparities in what constitutes a size 8 [...]
This year over a billion people in 192 countries will celebrate our 47th Earth Day, the largest secular holiday in the world. Earth Day is about adopting behaviors that respect our environment and to do so often involves getting over our resistance to change.Recognizing the incredible challenges the Earth faces can be daunting, but our actions all add up. If [...]
In my show booth recently, I heard a husband tell his wife, “You could wear this against your skin.” She then turned to me and asked, “Linens are usually hard and scratchy; why is this fabric so soft?”What she mistook for an unusually soft linen is actually Sympatico’s 55% hemp - 45% Tencel (lyocell) blend. It has a [...]
Today on my daily walk, I skirted the vernal pond in our back yard to allow the three mallards swimming there some peace on the water. I suspect they are finding lots of tadpoles to eat and am happy to welcome them back. One of the things I love about the change of seasons is anticipating the good [...]
Many days selling my clothing in an outdoor booth have given me an appreciation for the entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and independence required to set up business on the street. In celebration of those impulses, I present a series of photos I took of outdoor vendors on a recent trip to SE Asia. Me in My Outdoor [...]
Why would anyone steal my site, you ask? Probably so that they could resell the url to some unsuspecting buyer. Fraudsters sometimes set up imitation sites, but that is unlikely because of the unique nature of my products.It was Christmas day, the day I left for the Far East for a highly anticipated month-long vacation. I was waiting for [...]
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you focus on your flaws or do you see what you like about yourself? Finding balance between seeing imperfections such as wrinkles or saggy skin and outer beauty, say a nice smile, is part of my recipe for poise. [...]
I had the honor of attending the birth of my second grandchild this week, a girl named Shasta. Though I live almost a 6-hour drive from my son and his family, I booked a room nearby for the due date plus a few days after. My daughter is a trained photographer and came along to [...]
In a time when there's been a lot of (perhaps justified) talk about how bad things are, it's really nice to turn my attention to Thanksgiving! My daughter's visiting for a few weeks from out of town, and she and I started the holiday off helping deliver boxes of food to needy families in our [...]