Harmony
founder, creative director

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© harmony art 2005-2013


BOOKS:

currently reading


The 80/20 Principle
by Richard Koch



study and research
The Environmental Justice Foundation
www.ejfoundation.org

The Organic Exchange
www.organicexchange.org

The Organic Trade Association
www.ota.com

The Pesticide Action Network
www.panna.org

Cradle to Cradle,
by William McDonough & Michael Braungart

The Travels of a T-Shirt in a Global Economy,
by Pietra Rivoli

Big Cotton,
by Stephen Yafa

Eco-Textile labelling,
from the publishers of ECOTEXTILE NEWS


life changing books
Healthy at 100,
by John Robbins

The Seven Mysteries of Life,
by Guy Murchie

The I Ching,
by Brian Browne Walker

Getting Things DONE,
by David Allen

Omnivore's Dilemma,
by Michael Pollan


the child inside
Lorax,
by Dr. Seuss

Above All Be Kind,
by Zoe Weil

stories of harmony
(unwritten)

In Pursuit of Weasure,
the launching of Harmony Art organic design

Trees Talk,
conversations with a
redwood tree




Co-op America's Business Seal of Approval
Organic Trade Association logo
HarmonyArt logo




the journey is the prize......


April 20, 2010
End of an Era

This will be my last post (hopefully) for this page of my website. As of tomorrow, you will be able to find all new posts (and most of 2010's) at: harmonyartblog.weebly.com. It's a bit sad to see this era of pseudo blogging end. The new platform is a much more traditional blog with larger pictures, a way to comment publicly, categories to skip to topics of interest and it even has an rss feed, for those of you tech savvy folk.

I HIGHLY recommend checking it out on Earth Day (April 22) for a VERY special giveaway surprise.

Pictured is our true blue Mazda 626. I traveled to 32 states in 1992 in this car. Last week, it went to a new home with the proceeds going to the Red Cross of Mendocino County. Funny how one can get so attached to a car. . . or a web page. . . sniff.




April 12, 2010
Zenergy House

April 2nd was the grand opening of the Zenergy House, a 3 bedroom, 3 bath home in Studio City that has been remodeled into an example of green excellence. We were honored to be included in the project. The home was recently featured on ABC news and also on Discovery Channel's Renovation Nation. If you watch the ABC video to the end, you will catch a glimpse of our organic Evelyn sateen. We weren't able to attend the grand opening with Ed Begley Jr. but we do plan to visit it when we are in LA in June.

In the not too distant future, public tours led by students from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts will begin. The students have been trained to be docents for this eco-friendly remodeled home. If you aren't in the LA area, you can take a virtual tour.




April 7, 2010
Cool Tool

Our fabrics are a bit odd. They are MUCH wider width than most standard fabrics. Many of our fabrics are 110" or 90" wide. Most standard fabrics are 45" - 60" wide. We have chosen to keep the wide-width fabrics because we see them as a better value with more versatility.

However, having a wider width than most makes figuring out the conversion/cost somewhat challenging. Not anymore ! There is a new iphone app called Fabric Calc that helps calculate the yardage needed when purchasing fabric of different widths and it also compares prices to see what is the better buy.

What a cool tool! We found out about it through the always informative Fashion-Incubator site. If you have an iphone, I highly recommend this $15 investment. Think of time you can save.




April 5, 2010
My newest goal...

After being inspired by Edward Norton and The Green Bag Lady, my new goal is to turn my home town of Gualala into a plastic bag free zone. This post by Treehugger is the perfect example of how to turn the serious, ugly problem of plastic bags into a huge win for not only the planet but the effort to clean up our watersheds as well. The 5 cent plastic bag tax has reduced the average number of bags handed out per month in Washington DC from 22.5 million to 3 million! It has also generated $150,000 in revenue to help clean up the Anacostia River.

My first step is to meet with our local grocery store owners and see if I can get them "on board". I already have The Green Bag Lady agreeing to do events in Gualala in July when she is visiting, and a radio interview with her set up with our local radio station. Stay tuned and wish me luck! Any suggestions and encouragement are welcome.




March 31, 2010
They're here!

40 Ginkgos and Evelyn & Janette have arrived at our warehouse! I am happy to report that both NearSea Naturals and Organic Cotton Plus have both ordered 40 Ginkgos and it should be on its way to them tomorrow. The first company to order a roll of Evelyn & Janette twill will get a surprise. . . place an order and find out what it is!



March 25, 2010
Fabric Update

40 Ginkgos and Evelyn & Janette are through customs! We expect the fabric to arrive at our warehouse any day now. If you would like a swatch sent to you of either (or both) just send me an email with your mailing address.

Whispering Grass B/W and Chocolate Brown are in transit. I have seen production yardage of both and the colors are perfect. These 2 fabrics have seen more than their share of delays so I am happy to say the end is in site. Stay tuned!




March 20, 2010
What is making us FAT?!

Recent studies and reports are showing that the chemicals in our food are making us fat! It isn't what you eat as much as what is in and has been sprayed on what you eat that may be leading to the obesity epidemic. There's a link to a recent article if you want to learn more.

The best way to avoid these endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), or as researchers have begun to call them, obesogens is to eat organic foods. My husband recently lost about 50+ pounds and I have to think that some of it has to do with our embracing stricter organic food purchasing, our reduction in processed food eating, and our vegetarian diet. Reading this recent article only reinforced our food choices. I don't mind paying more for real, pesticide free, healthy food. It's good for me and the planet. The alternative just doesn't make sense.

Photo is of hubby and me with our hula instructor. Note the skirt made by Hamakua Homegrown out of our Fields of Honey organic sateen fabric.




March 12, 2010
Ganesh is Fresh

Elephant Power! My dear friend Mary (also mother of little Harmony) is an elephant lover/collector so when I came across Maiden Love, I knew I had to have a Harmony Art organic elephant made for her/little Harmony. Check out this adorable set using Vein and Fields of Honey. I am loving them so much I am having a hard time parting with them... maybe I will wait until Harmony's birthday in November....

On the subject of Elephants, I have recently become enamored with Ganesh, the destroyer of all obstacles. My current go-to CD is titled Elephant Power by MC Yogi.

UPDATE: I began writing this entry on March 12th and discovered MC Yogi was playing in Pt. Reyes Station the very next day! We drove the 2 hours to the show and had a BLAST! I will definitely be making it a point to catch more MC Yogi shows. If he is in your area, I highly recommend checking him out!




March 6, 2010
Retrowear

Check out these prints! The shirt and dress were purchased in Hawaii in the 50's by my grandfather (shirt for himself) and grandmother (dress was a gift for my then teenaged mother). We believe they had it made to my mom's measurements.

I have had the dress and shirt in my closet for - oh - at least 15 years. I had never worn the dress, until NOW. It just seemed right to bring it back to its birthplace and amazingly IT FIT me perfectly (well, I was a little scared to sneeze).




March 4, 2010
Super Stardove

We headed up the coast to meet Stardove the founder and creator of the Hamakua Homegrown apparel line at Symbiosis. Stardove has been using Harmony Art fabrics in her line since ... well a long time. Those first few customers will always hold a special spot in my heart. When we found out a year ago we were going to Hawaii, the question became, "which island?". I have to admit that Stardove's being on the big island definitely had a lot to do with our decision. We were not disappointed in the island OR meeting Stardove. She is as charming in person as she is in cyberspace. I wore my Hamakua Homegrown skirt for the occasion. What fun it was to tell her about seeing her dress in the window of Moonsprout the day before.

I feel SOOOOOOO lucky/blessed/grateful to have such an amazing group of customers/friends/supporters. Life is indeed very good. I promised Stardove I would work on a Hawaii inspired design... so stay tuned!




March 3, 2010
Hello Hilo

Today, we went into Hilo to see the much raved about farmers market. On the walk from the car to the market, this was in the VERY FIRST window we passed! What a fabulous and fun surprise to see Garden on display at the adorable and lovely Moonsprout store. Geana (the owner) was there and we had a great time meeting her and looking at all of the Harmony Art products she had in her store. We saw things from Hamakua Homegrown, Rogelito's Closet, and New Native. I felt like a proud mama myself.

If you ever get to Hilo I highly recommend a stop at Moonsprout and be sure to give Geana a big hug from me!




February 27, 2010
Tsunami Drami

Tomorrow, we are boarding a plane bound for Hawaii. There was a major earthquake in Chile and a tsunami threatened to cancel our BIG trip to Hawaii. Thankfully the warning was just that and all is well.

Since we are traveling by plane I thought I would take the opportunity to share with you an article about the recent report by Green America on the state of recycling and airlines. It is not a very pretty picture. The highest grade was a B- going to Delta and Virgin America and the worst grades (F) went to United and US Airways.

I make it a point to travel with my stainless steel water bottle (empty through security and filled at a waterfountain on the other side) so I can avoid those noxious plastic cups. For "sanitary" reasons most airline attendents even refuse to refill the same plastic cup. It makes me crazy so I have become a pro at avoiding the "free now, planet pays later" liquid on flights.

UPDATE: We flew Alaska who was not rated in the above report but I did see the attendants sorting bottles, cans and cardboard (from those waste heavy snack boxes) which warmed my heart. Next time I fly I will be sure to complete this form to help Green America stay informed on this topic.




February 23, 2010
Important News

Please note Harmony Art will be closed Feb. 27 - March 8 for a long overdue holiday. Any inquiries and orders received during this time will be processed when we return. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Fabric update: Evelyn is now in stock and it is BEAUTIFUL! The first retailers to order the fabric are NearSea Naturals, Eden Fabrics, and Stitch Simple. All of these retailers should receive the fabric next week. 40 Ginkgos and Evelyn & Janette are both on a boat heading this way from India. If you would like me to mail you a swatch of either, just ask! Whispering Grass Black/White and Chocolate Brown have been printed/dyed and will be making their journey our direction soon. Cheers to things worth waiting for!




February 22, 2010
Olympic Flame

Have you been watching the Olympics? I have been catching some of it. My absolute favorite sport to watch is the snowboarding halfpipe. Their grace, strength, fearlessness and athleticism totally impresses me. Shaun White is truly amazing and I have fallen in love with Torah Bright, the women's gold medal winner from Australia. I couldn't help but think of our friends down under when watching her ride.

Did you know that this year's Olympic medals are partially made from recycled materials salvaged from old electronics including cathode ray tube glass, circuit boards, and other computer parts? You can read more about it here. One small step worth celebrating.




February 14, 2010
It's in the cards!

My husband and I started dating on Valentine's Day 18 years ago. That fateful day, we exchanged hand-made cards. Since then, it has been a tradition to make each other a Valentine's card (No gifts, but a HAND-MADE card is a requirement!)

Here's a peak at the one I made him this year. I love my jumbo playing cards. They came with about 5 extra cards that promoted their other products. I decided to re-purpose two of these extras into this year's Valentine. I designed it in the computer, printed it out and then used my handy Xyron machine to turn the printouts into giant stickers that went right over the advertisements. I thought it came out pretty cute.

After the cards have been out on display for a week or so, I will put them away in strange locations: in cook books, random drawers, under things, etc. I like happening upon them later... it's like hiding reminders of love around the house. Some I haven't seen in years, but when I do there is always that "awwwww I remember that one" moment. No two are ever alike, and it is a fun time capsule of our friendship.

Wishing each of you the opportunity to express and receive love this day and every day!




February 12, 2010
On a roll. . .

Some of the creative problem solving inventions these days really are unique! I recently stumbled across this amazing new office product. It takes your used office paper and turns it into toilet paper! Check out the video to see for yourself. Thanks Rachel, at Interior Revolution for pointing this one out to me. NOTE: Rachel is running a give-away at the moment so go check out her very cool blog!

While we are on the topic of creative solutions... here's one just in time for that romantic holiday from Ask Umbra: eco lube and/or hair gel! My goofy husband has been asking for eco-jerry-curl for honkies. I think this just might be the answer to his odd request.




January 31, 2010
Pacific Gyre

I have been avoiding (like the plague) using plastic water bottles and plastic grocery bags for a few years now, ever since I learned about the Pacific Gyre.

On January 9th, I was watching the sunset from our favorite local beach and noticed a lot of tiny plastic fragments in the line where the tide and the beach meet (see photo). Was this the first signs of the Pacific Garbage Patch making its way to my home town? Three weeks and a couple of storms later, virtually all of the sand from the beach was washed out to sea and what remains is a rocky landscape formerly hidden below the sand. My friend Lizzy thinks the beach looks "cleansed" since all plastic shards (and most of the sand) are now gone. I am told the waves will slowly bring our beach sand back. It will be interesting to observe this phenomena. I have started a personal Secular Sabbath Sunset Series blog and will document what I observe there.

Meanwhile, The Green Bag Lady and I think 5Gyres is the best web site for explaining the trash that is collecting in our oceans around the globe. I highly recommend you take a few minutes and check it out. Everyone should know about this important topic and 5Gyres is a fabulous resource for learning more.




January 27, 2010
Harmony Art organic design turns 5!

Happy Birthday to US! January 2010 marks Harmony Art's 5th anniversary! What started as a wild idea/dream, has blossomed into almost 40 colorful organic cotton fabrics.

To mark the occasion, for the entire year (or while supplies last), order 5 wholesale rolls of Harmony Art fabrics (at one time) and receive a FREE roll of any of our limited release or clearance fabrics.

Thank you VERY much for your continued support and loyalty over the last 5 years! Cheers to us -- All of us!




January 26, 2010
GMO Update

As a follow up to yesterday's post, this article (with help from the non- profit Organic Exchange) hits the nail on the head and clears up some of the misinformation being spread. Here is the the last paragraph from the article:

"Ultimately the problem comes down to one of intent. The brands and retailers that are leading the way in ensuring the minimization of environmental impact of their sourcing programmes should not be censured if there is some degree of accidental contamination in their product. The beneficial impact of organic farming techniques still applies. Organic farming brings many social and environmental benefits; eliminating the use of harmful and toxic chemicals, reducing the cycles of debt that farmers, particularly marginalized ones in countries such as India, find themselves in, and contributing to healthy ecosystems that benefit farmers and their communities. While GMO contamination is a serious issue that must be addressed, it is important that the majority of farmers who are operating honestly continue to receive support and encouragement."

Well said. In case you are wondering, the picture is of a huge pile of cotton seeds taken while we were on the Sustainable Cotton Project farm tour in October of 2005.




January 25, 2010
GM-Oh NO, take 2

You may have read some of the news reports about H & M organic cotton from India being found to contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). I find this both disturbing and heartening. Disturbing because organic cotton seeds are NOT allowed to have GMOs -- my personal opposition to GMOs is part of the reason that I have embraced organics (in food and fiber) so vehemently. For a great in depth post on GMOs visit our friends at Oecotextiles.

So why am I am encouraged by this disturbing report? Well, it means there are checks and balances and that they are working. The publicity of this discovery will no doubt serve to ensure there is better care in avoiding GMO seeds in the future. GMO drift is indeed real and also a serious threat to all organic crops. I hope this brings the attention needed to the problem so that moving forward we can ensure "organic" indeed means GMO free!

Rest assured, we are most certainly looking into our own "organic" fiber from India. According to my manufacturing partner:

"As far as we can see, there isn't any direct link to the farms they were buying from and where our production is-as you know I've gone through the farms where our fiber comes from and there is very meticulous paperwork and controls. However, I do understand that with GM/non-GM crops, tracking can be difficult."

I do want to point out that although a very important part of the organic story, GMOs are in no way the end of the story! Please visit our conventional vs organic page which shows many of the other improvements that organic fabric production address. I am hopeful this issue will help ensure better transparency and record keeping in India and all over the globe moving forward. Stay tuned... the journey (albeit bumpy sometimes) continues.




January 20, 2010
Meeting Harmony Grace

I spent the last week in Albany, NY getting to know my sweet little name- sake: Harmony Grace. (In case you were wondering, my middle name is Joy.) I am in love. She is such a sweet, alert, fun baby! She is pictured here wearing a hooded towel from Itty Bitty Spitty. A gift made by the incredibly talented Green Bag Lady.

In the next picture, note the Eyes of the World booties I commissioned from SK Naturals. Harmony also has been enjoying a Blessed Nest nursing pillow and an Alphabet Soup hat from Handmade Naturals. Oh, and her mother wore a Garden print Hot Mama Gown when she was in the hospital. If I can't be there to hold her every day, at least she will be surrounded by Harmony Art organic fabrics! I am smitten..... sigh...

There is nothing like a wee little one to put life into perspective. Thanks Harmony! I miss you already.




January 14, 2010
Albany, NY Airport

I met Harmony Grace for the first time in the Albany airport. Did you know the Albany airport has an art gallery in it? The first thing Big Harmony & Little Harmony (and Mary!) did together was check out the current display called Material Witness. It is all about discarded materials being reused to create art. So, Harmony's first art show at 9 weeks old was recycled art. How cool is that! It couldn't have been more perfect. Here's a photo I took of one of the sections. Sorry, I don't have the name of the artist to give credit to but the show was produced in cooperation with the Rensselaer Schools of Architecture, and Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.



January 5, 2010
Evelyn & Janette

Well, the latest news is that Evelyn has been printed on the sateen and Evelyn & Janette is still in process. Meanwhile, over the holidays, my mother found and gave to me a box of old pictures. Almost every picture is of my dad's side of the family. Many of the people I cannot identify, but there is one picture from my parent's wedding and in the photo are my two grandmothers standing next to each other! Evelyn (mom's mom) is on the left and Janette (dad's mom) on the right. I love the synchronicity of this photo coming into my life at the same time my fabric tribute to them is being completed.

Evelyn sample production yardage arrived yesterday via FedEx. The rest of the rolls are traveling by boat and it will be a few more weeks before we have them in hand. If you would like me to send you a swatch of Evelyn, just ask.




January 4, 2010
Rate Increases

With the new year, comes new pricing for UPS shipping. If you haven't already heard, UPS has increased its rates 4.9%. One suggestion would be to ship using a trucking company. We have had good luck with both FreightQuote.com and also Boxer Freight. That said, it seems like using a trucking line is most advantageous when you are shipping 5 rolls or more at one time. We are happy to palletize for you when going this route.



January 2, 2010
Fabric Sighting

Twofish Bakery is one of our local gems. Hilla and Margaret serve up fresh baked goods that are irresistible. My typical Saturday routine is to meet the "Hikers for Lunch" group at Twofish bakery at 9:00am. We hike for 3 hours and end with lunch at Two Fish. When we got back from our hike today I was greeted by Hilla wearing an apron made out of our Let it Grow Brown/Aqua fabric! How fun!

What a great surprise to start the hiking year. Sewing credit goes to Carrie Krieger. Thanks Carrie! Thanks Twofish!




January 1, 2010
New Year's Resolutions

It is said that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. My friend Kai told me about this tool for breaking/ making habits so I decided to give it a try. I created this "21 days and counting" card from Kai's description. Here's how it works: you write on the card whatever it is you want to do (or not do). Then, each day that you are successful you punch (or mark) off a number until you have completed the card. It's a lot like those customer cards where you earn a free cup of coffee or sandwich after purchasing a set number.

With this habit making/breaking card, the trick is that if you miss a day, you have to throw out (recycle) the card and start all over again with a new card!

I have never used this tool before but right now I have 5 different ones going! I suggest you start with those easy to do/easy not to do habits. One of mine is to drink 3 pints of water a day. In case you want to join in on the fun, click here to download a pdf you can print and cut out. I would love to hear your reactions/experiences if you are willing to share. CHEERS TO THE NEW YEAR and NEW HABITS!




December 11, 2009
Genetically Modified (GM) -- OH NO!

I have been suspicious of Genetic Engineering since I first became aware of it. Easy, quick answers tend to have temporary positive results with lasting negative consequences. This is exactly what a recent report by the Organic Center titled "Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Thirteen Years" confirms. The report focuses on GE corn, soybean and cotton since these comprise the most acreage. According to the report:

"This report explores the impact of the adoption of genetically engineered (GE) corn, soybean, and cotton on pesticide use in the United States, drawing principally on data from the United States Department of Agriculture. The most striking finding is that GE crops have been responsible for an increase of 383 million pounds of herbicide use in the U.S. over the first 13 years of commercial use of GE crops (1996- 2008).

This dramatic increase in the volume of herbicides applied swamps the decrease in insecticide use attributable to GE corn and cotton, making the overall chemical footprint of today's GE crops decidedly negative. The report identifies, and discusses in detail, the primary cause of the increase -- the emergence of herbicide-resistant weeds.

The steep rise in the pounds of herbicides applied with respect to most GE crop acres is not news to farmers. Weed control is now widely acknowledged as a serious management problem within GE cropping systems. Farmers and weed scientists across the heartland and cotton belt are now struggling to devise affordable and effective strategies to deal with the resistant weeds emerging in the wake of herbicide-tolerant crops.

But skyrocketing herbicide use is news to the public at large, which still harbors the illusion, fed by misleading industry claims and advertising,that biotechnology crops are reducing pesticide use. Such a claim was valid for the first few years of commercial use of GE corn, soybeans, and cotton. But, as this report shows, it is no longer."

Lovely. Better living through chemistry certainly doesn't seem to be delivering. The myth of GE crops being the answer must be exposed. The link above will take you to the Executive Summary and the entire report for those interested in the nitty gritty. The good news is that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are not permitted under the USDA National Organic Program. Sadly, the USA (unlike many other countries) does not require the that products that use GMOs be labeled as such. GMOs are now thought to be in the majority of processed food in stores. The only way to be sure to avoid them (right now) is to buy certified organic foods and fibers! Someday, hopefully there will be GM labeling laws. If you want to get involved -- here's a link.




December 10, 2009
Keepin' ya in the Loop

I am happy to share with you the most recent organic cotton prints from my friend Elissa Barbieri of Loop. Aren't they just wonderful?! I am a big fan of Elissa's thoughtful note cards so it is really fun to see her move into the organic textile arena. Talk about organic goodness!

Other fun news to share: I received the strike off of Evelyn and it should be printed in the next week or so! I hope you love it as much as I do. Thanks for all of your continuous love and support. I feel SO lucky, blessed, honored to have this job.




December 4, 2009
Welcome to the team!

It is with much happiness that I announce the launch of the Pure Fabricz web site -- our European Union distributor. In addition to helping make Harmony Art fabric available throughout the EU, Monique also runs a Dutch web site, Pure Coverz, that sells a collection of lovely bedding, table cloths, napkins and pillowcases made of organic fabrics and fabrics by the meter to consumers.

Please make her feel welcome! I have to say that meeting like-minded thoughtful people around the globe is the highlight of this journey. It has been a pleasure working with Monique and I think Pure Fabricz is going to be a GREAT addition to our team!




December 3, 2009
India

As you may know, we source much of our cotton from India. You can read about why we made this decision here. Recently I stumbled across this video: Farmers in India convert to organic cotton on euronews.com. It is 6 minutes long and does a good job of explaining the situation and where organic cotton fits into the solution. So, grab a cup of fair trade coffee or tea and watch.

Also, we are planning a trip to India for Feb/March 2010 so we can see our own production first hand and meet the people behind our fabrics. Should be an adventure! Stay tuned.




December 1, 2009
Phone Home

Cell Phones for Soldiers is a non-profit organization that turns your old cell phones into useable minutes of prepaid calling cards for U.S. soldiers stationed overseas. With the holiday season right around the corner, our troops deserve to be able to call their families.

This is a great way to recycle and share some love with those in the armed forces. It's simple and FREE! Every phone you donate will help increase the amount of talk time they are able to provide to our troops! With people in the USA retiring 426,000 cell phone every day it just makes sense to have them be put to some good use. (Statistic from Chris Jordan's running the numbers series.) I just mailed two old cell phones off today.




November 27, 2009
Festival of Trees

If Thanksgiving for 42 wasn't exciting enough, the day after was the Festival of the Trees at the Gualala Arts Center. I was personally in charge of the kid's craft booth this year. Here's a photo of one of the crazy critter ornaments that was created out of all natural materials plus some hot glue and googlie eyes. Huge thanks to Mary Sue and Bob for their materials donations and Sue and Holly for helping me with the kids. Fun stuff!



November 26, 2009
Thanksgiving!

What a celebration we had this year! I believe the final count was 42 people, mostly relatives, some I had never met before. With a group that large the location was a bit of a challenge. I am sincerely grateful to our long time neighbors Lynn and Carol Glocker for so lovingly donating their (currently empty) house for our festivities! It was a beautiful day, in a beautiful location with an abundance of food and love. It was definitely a team project and I am exceptionally thankful to my sister-in-law Wendy for her help in pulling it off!

As I have done in the past, Thanksgiving kicks off my annual gratitude list to ring in the new year. This year I will be coming up with 2,010 things to be grateful for by midnight December 31st. As I have offered in previous years, the first person to send me a list of 2,010 thoughtful, unique things they are thankful for will win a FULL ROLL of the limited release or clearance fabric of their choice. All you pay for is the cost of shipping! Let the gratitude begin!




November 21, 2009
International Ice Cream Social Day

Ten days after Lil Harmony's birthday (see yesterday's entry) is my birthday! I am really enjoying being referred to as "Big Harmony" for the first time in my life!

Remember: November 21st is International Ice Cream Social Day -- as decreed by me! Please, enjoy your favorite flavor at your favorite ice cream parlor and think of me. Feel free to send me a photo of your own indulgence if you are so inclined... and join the virtual celebration!




November 20, 2009
Harmony Grace Caron

It is with much delight that I announce the arrival of Harmony Grace Caron, born 11/11/09 in Albany, New York. Her parents are Mary Forest Caron and Dale Caron. Her big brother is Joshua Caron. Mary is one of my oldest and dearest friends and a bigger honor I can not imagine...

I can hardly wait to get to NY to meet her in person.




November 11, 2009
Ode to Atlantis

My husband found him at a junk yard covered in fleas. He had worms. He could fit in the palm of your hand. We cleaned him up... we took him in.

Last night, seventeen and half years later, we said goodbye.... to the Lost Kitty of Atlantis. I will miss his cries, cuddles and company.... sniff....




November 9, 2009
Feeling Spacey... and Freebie ALERT

The tough decision was made to not reprint Space Cowboy. We reserve the right to bring it back at some other space and time but for now we plan to concentrate on adding new designs to the collection. We still have wholesale yardage of both colorways available, but supplies are limited.

Visit GreenBagLady.org and enter their fabric giveaway. This week they are offering 3 yards of Harmony Art fabric - your choice of our Vein, pale aqua (a sold out fabric!) or pastel pink. Giveaway ends November 13th so act soon if you are interested.

Note: Pictured is a BrittaWear robe in our Space Cowboy fabric. Isn't it lovely?!




October 16, 2009
Bye Bye Bag

Thanks Mary Sue for sharing this FABULOUS news with me! The Press Democrat yesterday released an article: Ukiah Wal-Mart is kicking the plastic bag habit. Excerpts:

"The giant retailer this month quietly stopped stocking plastic bags in its stores in Ukiah, Citrus Heights and Folsom. The pilot programs will continue through 2010 and determine whether Wal-Mart expands the program to all of its U.S. stores.

"We're committed to reducing the plastic bag waste by one-third by the end of 2013. This test could help," said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amelia Neufeld.

When the bags in the three pilot stores run out, shoppers who don't carry their own shopping bags will have the option of buying one of several reusable Wal-Mart bags, which sell for 15 cents, 50 cents and $1.

That's already the case at some of the Ukiah store's checkstands and the store anticipates phasing the disposable bags out entirely by Oct. 25.

Wal-Mart's goal of reducing its plastic bag waste around the world by 33 percent by 2013 would eliminate 135 million pounds of plastic bag waste and reduce oil consumption by 678,000 barrels of oil every year, Neufeld said."

THIS MAKES MY DAY/WEEK/MONTH! WooHoo! LOVE IT!




October 15, 2009
Climate Change Solution

In honor of Blog Action Day:

We picked organic cotton because we knew it was part of the solution... but just how big a part continues to amaze me. According to the Rodale Institute, organic agriculture (in general) uses less energy, reduces water pollution by 75%, avoids toxic, cancer causing chemicals, and increases health both locally and globally. Organic agriculture also combats global warming by taking CO2 out of the atmosphere rather than adding to it. The Rodale Institute estimates that: Organic Agriculture Could Sequester 40% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions! Click the link to learn more.

Think about it... this is existing technology. I don't mean to preach but please use your buying power and support organic agriculture. It's easy. It works. It's available now. The more who buy it the more it will become the norm. You are part of the solution.




October 10, 2009
Computer Recycling

If you are like us, you have 2 or 3 or 4 dead computers living out their days in your house. Wanna finally dispose of them in a thoughtful way? Go to the electronics take back site and find a good/responsible recycle.

I am happy to report that Garden, Fields of Honey and Moonless Night Black are back in stock! These are our first fabrics to be certified fair trade all the way back to the farmers of the cotton!




September 30, 2009
Road Trip!

For the next week or so I will be on a road trip heading to Medford, Oregon to visit my aunt. It's a pilgrimage of sorts... I plan to leave my laptop behind and be present for the adventure. I haven't been on a real solo road trip in years and I am looking forward to driving along the Pacific Ocean, through redwood groves, along rivers and eventually landing at the home of my father's sister. Since my father's passing last year, I have been full of questions about his life and I am hopeful that visiting my aunt will answer some of them. My aunt is going through treatment for breast cancer so I also plan to be of service to her in whatever way I can/she lets me. Prayers and patience are appreciated.

I expect to be back in Gualala on the 7th or 8th or 9th... I am leaving the exact time to the winds that blow me. Contrary to my own past dramas, I don't really believe there is such a thing as a "fabric emergency"-- so I look forward to catching up when I return.

Photo credit: Dale Elliott




September 25, 2009
New Retailer Joins the Team!

I am happy to announce that another retailer has joined our team! Please welcome Modern Organic Fabrics! This company, in addition to selling the fabrics by the yard, also sells fat quarters of the sateen and 1/2 yards of the flannel and knits. You can even purchase sets of Harmony Art fabrics paired together or with Cloud 9's organic prints. It is fabulous to see more organic fabric companies emerging on the scene.



September 24, 2009
Natural vs Synthetic

Well, they have done it again... O Ecotextiles never ceases to amaze me with their thorough knowledge, understanding and generosity in sharing what they know/learn with the rest of us. For an in depth comparison of natural vs synthetic dyes check out their 2 part blog post on the topic. And while you are there, you might like their post about GMO cotton too. Thank you again, Leigh Anne and Patty!



September 23, 2009
Quilting for Environmental Awareness

I was recently told about the 350 Reason Quilt. To quote the blog:

"The 350 reasons quilt is a community art project to raise awareness about keeping our atmosphere here on planet Earth safe for life. Last year, the world's leading climate scientists determined that 350 parts per million CO2 is the most that our atmosphere can hold and still sustain life as we know it. Currently, the atmosphere holds 390-- way too much. The quilt is part of a global movement (see 350.org) to make October 24, 2009 a global day of action to raise awareness of this most important number on Earth. In December, 2009, the world's leaders are meeting to create new agreements about how to work together on the climate crisis, and 350 needs to be the number they are working for. Each panel of the 350 Reasons Quilt is a tribute to something that the person who created it loves about life on Earth. All sewn together, the quilt will represent 350 reasons to dedicate our energy, time and creativity to keep Earth's atmosphere below 350! We are gong to be sewing the panels together and displaying the quilt on Oct 24th in San Francisco at a location to be announced. Please participate by creating your own panel and bringing it or mailing it to the quilt project!"

I absolutely love this sort of grassroots activism. I will definitely be donating fabric and a square of my own. If you feel inspired to participate click here for more details and mailing instructions.




September 22, 2009
I like dirt.

Last Saturday, I went hiking at Fort Ross with my friend Trudy Armer. She is 77 and one of the wisest people I know. We were discussing the current (and in our opinion counterproductive) fear of dirt that seems to obsess parents and children these days. We both also have an aversion to those chemical hand "cleaners". On Monday she emailed me this article: Is Dirt the New Prozac? Don't you love synchronicity?!

When I was a little girl, my mother use to tell me, "God made the dirt, so the dirt can't hurt." I think she was on to something. So, go outside and don't be afraid to get dirty!!




September 11, 2009
Wisdom of the Wizard

I have been S L O W L Y reading the book A Splendid Exchange for about... oh, 4 months. It is really interesting but not an easy read. This week I took a break from the heavy, historical book and read, in one sitting, Wisdom of the Wizard written by my friend and public speaking mentor, Holly Stiel. It is insightful, playful, and sweet just like Holly.

If you have a few minutes, check out this cool tv show Business with Passion that was done on Holly. She is one amazing woman!




September 10, 2009
Giveaway!

Take a trip to Sheree's Alchemy and get a chance to win some Harmony Art fabrics! Sheree is an amazing person with a great sense of style and a passion for sewing. On her blog, you will find an interview with yours truly and and instructions on how to qualify for her generous organic fabric giveaway. Don't wait too long... the contest ends Sept. 18th.

If you are attending Quilt Festival or Quilt Market next month in Houston, be sure to stop by and visit Sheree's booth.

Note: pictured is Sheree's daughter, Leah, wearing one of her creations out of our Graceland fabric.




September 9, 2009
People's Choice Award recommendation

In 2006, Harmony Art made it into the finals for the People's Choice Awards. This year one of Harmony Art's customers has made it into the running. Let's help them win this award! The company is Lunapads and they manufacture and sell non-disposable (reusable) feminine products. Their newest addition is a 100% organic cotton "Magenta Mandala" Lunapad that you just might recognize.

Lunapads has once again proven that I HAVE THE BEST CUSTOMERS IN THE WORLD! It is an honor and previledge to work with so many passionate, kind, thoughtful and loving people. Please take a minute and vote for Lunapads before Oct 8th.




September 4, 2009
BIG NEWS! Eden Fabrics now open for business

It is with great pleasure that I announce a new online fabric store specializing in organic and "earth-friendly" fabrics. Eden Fabrics is the brain child of Rebeca Caro-Nolan who I had the great pleasure of meeting in Kansas City at the SDA conference.

Rebeca has worked tirelessly for the last several months creating her vision and bringing it to life. She has thoughtfully selected her fabrics from several suppliers.

Cheers to Eden Fabrics! We are happy to have them as a part of the Harmony Art family. Please make her feel welcome.




September 2, 2009
Celebrities, Politicians and People

Several weeks ago we sent fabric to one of my favorite interior designers, Rachel Hulan of Path Design to use in the Teen Choice Awards backstage lounge. We participated last year and were happy when we were asked to do so again. Check out the pictures of the area and read about the celebrities that were there on Rachel's post about the event.

Another VERY cool person we are working with is Jen from Stitch Simple. Today's Precut Quilt Kit du Jour features our two Whispering Grass fabrics. If you get a minute, check it out! Jen is also our current featured designer on our Services Page where you can read more about her and Stitch Simple.

OK, this last blog entry is old (from last November!)... but I JUST saw it for the first time today. The blogger is Annie Elliott of bossy color blog and in this post she suggests the Obama's decorate Sasha and Malia's room using our Sweet Jane fabric! Although our company is referred to as "Harmony Organics" in her post, there is no real mention of our fabrics being made from organic cotton. I love organic being the back story bonus addition. It means the design stands on its own.




August 25, 2009
Things you might find interesting

Modish Biz Tips is a wealth of information and inspiration for any business. Last week's guest post by Caroline Devoy is one that made me smile and laugh out loud. Every one of her lessons ring true with my experience in business.

Another blog that my local quilt guild emailed me about is sending fabric to Iraqi women. I love this project and will be sending out my APO USPS box this week. If you want to be a part of this grassroots collective movement, act quickly. Your box of fabric needs to be post marked by Sept. 7th. I love this concrete example of how our lives around the globe are truly woven together.




August 24, 2009
Paradise Lost?

I've only been to Hawaii once. It was beautiful. This article about how some beaches in Hawaii are feet deep in plastic that washes up from the ocean makes my stomach hurt. Unless we STOP using plastic this will be a continuous problem. Reding the article is really disturbing.

Here are two videos also worth watching. One is by Captain Charles Moore about the Pacific plastic gyre and the other is by Chris Jordan, one of my favorite photographic artists.

As much as I hate being the bearer of bad news I think it is only through awareness that we will change our habits and fix the situation.




August 18, 2009
Fields of Honey Update

A couple of days ago I received the production sample for the new run of Fields of Honey. It is perfect!!! They even got the selvage right this time. (The last batch was mistakenly labeled as Alphabet Soup.) So with the printing done and the production sample approved, it is on its way. We hope to have it back in stock by the end of September. Big thanks for your patience. I think you will be very happy with this new run. I am!



August 17, 2009
Sage Advice

My dear friend Teresa (aka The Green Bag Lady) sent me a link to this Oprah.com article: When and How to Say "Enough!" By Martha Beck. I thought is was worthy of sharing with you. I personally subscribe to this way of thinking in most of my life but reading the article gave me more courage and incentive to bring the philosophy into those areas which need it most. I especially like the exercises at the end of the article. I think I will start a separate journal for recording the "wonderful things that entered your life just at the right time, with no effort on your part".

My husband is the king of JIT (just-in-time) thinking. Having watched it work so well for him, so often I have definitely adopted more of this way of living. I have to say, in general it is a lot more fun!

Note: picture of Teresa fishing an old plastic bag out of our local pond. Thanks Teresa!




August 13, 2009
Recommended Reading and Watching

I was flattered last week to be asked by Bonnie to do a blog interview for her wonderful site: Going Home to Roost. It's sort of long.... but has some never seen before photos of my home studio space (as well as my ramblings). If you have several minutes, take a look and let me know what you think!

This week, I watched the movie Food, Inc. at our local movie theatre. Most of the information contained it in was not a surprise to me. I read about factory farming in the early 90's when I read "Diet for a New America". However, the photos, statistics and images were as disturbing as the first time I read about them.

PLEASE support this movie. PLEASE bring a friend who probably wouldn't go on their own. PLEASE remember EVERYTIME YOU MAKE A PURCHASE YOU ARE VOTING. Whether it is food or fabric your daily decisions are what drive the machine.

If you are the crafty type, check out today's how-to by Jen Madsen... and learn how to make a lovely French Memo Board with our Whispering Grass fabric. Jen is the ultra-talented owner of Stitch Simple, where you can purchase Whispering Grass pre-washed, pre-ironed and ready to go!




August 12, 2009
Legal News: Bamboo update

I guess we should call this Legal Week!

As those of you who have read our faq page know, I am not a huge fan of bamboo. Well, it appears the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) isn't either. In fact, they have begun targeting companies selling bamboo as part of a growing fight against "greenwashing" - making an environmental claim about a product or service without adequate scientific evidence. You can read an article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer about the "crack down".

If you are a company using bamboo in your line, I highly recommend immediately labeling it "rayon from bamboo" or better yet, switch to organic cotton. For the full FTC release click here.




August 11, 2009
Legal News: CPSIA Update

I am happy to report that the CPSIA has released a final rule (94 pages!) which effectively would exempt our fabrics from lead and phthalates testing. You can download the document here. The ballot vote for this rule is due August 13th.

Although here at Harmony Art we are breathing a big sigh of relief, if you are in the business of making children's products there are still things (other than our fabric) that you may still need to worry about.

As always, Kathleen of Fashion Incubator has done a thorough and understandable write up. I highly suggest you visit her blog post for the details. Another site that has lots of info you might find useful is What is the CPSIA?.




August 10, 2009
Legal News: Hemp in Oregon

The Oregon Hemp Farming Bill became law last week. It passed the House by a vote of 46 to 11 and the Senate by a vote of 27 to 2. The bill permits the production, trade and possession of industrial hemp commodities and products. Visit Vote Hemp for the full press release.

The ability to reintroduce industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in Oregon is one step towards reforming our insane federal laws against growing hemp in the USA. I am hopeful that bold steps like this from more and more states will eventually lead to the rewriting of our current federal policies and some day we may actually be able to produce domestic (organic) hemp fabrics again. When George Washington was president every farmer was required to grow a certain amount of hemp. That's how important this misunderstood crop is.

Did you know that during World War II American farmers who grew hemp were exempt from military duty. A 1942 U.S. Department of Agriculture film called "Hemp For Victory" called for hundreds of thousands of acres to be planted for the war effort. If you have the time, it's a great educational and ironic 14 minute movie.




August 6, 2009
Happy Birthday Cara

Today is my dear friend Cara's birthday! I won't mention how old she is, but I will be the same age in another few months. (I met Cara when I was 14!) In honor of my birthday last year, I hosted a virtual ice cream social, requesting friends far and wide to indulge in ice cream in honor of yours truly and to send a picture documenting the indulgence. Cara participated and somehow I managed to overlook posting her picture. SO, I decided today, HER birthday, would be the perfect time to do so.

Rest assured, I will be having ice cream in her honor today too. Cara is a true gem. She is definitely one of those people who will tell you how she feels, no guessing necessary. As I get older, I find this quality increasingly attractive! Not only is she a great friend, she also is a MOST excellent professional proofreader/editor. So, if you are in need of those sorts of services, I highly recommend you contact her.

Cara I wish you a fabulous birthday and great year ahead! LOVE YOU! Humm... what flavor should I have?




August 5, 2009
Kickin' Myself

Have you ever been invited somewhere and decided not to go, only to later regret that decision? Well, today I have just been kicking myself that I didn't fly to Vermont in June to attend my friend Jim's wedding. Jim and I went to boarding school together... eons ago.

He called and told me he wanted to use my fabric in his wedding and I was of course flattered and touched and immediately obliged! Well, today I finally got to see the pictures from the big event. In a word WOW! The setting (his parent's farm) looks like something out of a dream. I just want to back up time and beam myself into the pictures. sigh.

Oh well, I guess I was there in fabric. Jim and Myra I wish you a lifetime of happiness, joy, laughter and beauty. It looks like your off to a grand start. Thanks for letting me be a small part of it. I am truly honored.




July 30, 2009
New Organic Fabrics from Betz White!

Betz and I began speaking about organic fabrics... oh... years ago, when she was working on her Sewing Green book. I am SUPER EXCITED to announce that she now has her very own line of organic cotton printed fabrics!

Check out her "Family Cottage" collection. It's beautiful, cheery, and inspiring, just like Betz herself is. I LOVE seeing new organic printed fabrics released. It makes me SO HAPPY! Congrats, Betz!




July 29, 2009
What did the Zero say to the Eight?

NICE BELT! Get it? I know it's corny, but I love that joke and it is one of only a handful I can ever remember. I believe I have a brain deficiency when it comes to remembering jokes.

All joking aside, I wanted to tell you about a small and lovely independent designer who is making fabric belts (among other things). Her name is Laura Zambarano and her company is laura z. Here's a picture of me sporting my new laura z Space Cowboy belt. I am now fanaticizing about having a belt made out of all of my organic prints. Wouldn't that be fun! You won't find Harmony Art organic fabrics on her site... yet... but stay tuned.




July 28, 2009
The good, the bad and the ugly

The Good: The newest print runs of Fields of Honey and Garden are exciting because they are our very first prints to be certified fair trade from seed to selvage!

The Bad: Jeff (manufacturing partner) was in India a couple of weeks ago and instead of packaging and approving the new print runs, he rejected them as "not right"... due to color and line weight. It still mystifies me how a print run can change so drastically from one run to the next. Consistency with runs does not seem to be India's strength. That said, rest assured the rejected fabric will not go to waste. Most likely it will be over dyed and sold off to another customer.

The Ugly: Fields of Honey isn't yet printed, so hopefully it will be here by late September. I am told Garden is leaving by boat shortly so we expect to have it by late August. I apologize for the delays... Thanks for your patience and understanding. The journey is a patience tester sometimes.




July 27, 2009
Sew EASY!

I am SUPER excited to tell you about a new company that is offering Harmony Art fabrics: Stitch Simple. Why is this so exciting? Well, they offer a service that (as far as I know) no one else is offering. Stitch Simple takes the tediousness out of fabric prep by washing, ironing and cutting the fabric for you! The other ulta-cool thing they offer is a conversion calculator so you can convert your fabric needs from the standard 45" to our extra-wide 110". Also, if you want the fabric cut to 55" they will do that too! Talk about service.

I think you will LOVE working with Jen and Stitch Simple. I welcome your feedback. Oh, and if that weren't enough, Jen also was written a tutorial on how to sew your own duvet cover (see picture). Want to learn more? Read the press release.




July 17, 2009
Evil-Empire to Eco-Empire (update)

In 2004, more than a year before Walmart announced its sustainability initiative, I predicted and pitched the idea of the "Evil Empire" becoming the "Eco Empire". This week there are even more signs of this very thing happening! Check out ABC News and the Wall Street Journal's articles on the latest movement in this direction. Coming up with the index for sustainability labeling will be complex and take time. I wish them luck. In the meantime, people, just use some common sense. . . ask yourself: 1. Do I need it? 2. What is is made of/where does it come from? 3. What happens when I am done with it?

Love 'em or hate 'em... they ARE making a difference. Now... if we could just get them to STOP using plastic bags altogether.

PS HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUS (and Bob)! You're the best!!!!




July 16, 2009
Plastic Bags Make Me (and cows) Sick!

As you know, plastic bags (and bottles) drive me crazy. Having The Green Bag Lady (and family) here only fuels my passion for the cause. Yesterday, I learned about yet another ugly result of our insane addiction to plastic bags: they are killing sacred cows in India. You can read or listen to the NPR story here.

Another informative and provocative site I recently discovered is Less Plastic More Life which was created by a polymer engineer! The blog associated with the site is also a wealth of international info about the global plastic bag situation and progress.




July 15, 2009
The truth about recycled polyester

Today I read another informative post on Oecotextiles blog. Leigh Anne and Patty are two of the most educated and science minded textile pioneers I have had the pleasure of encountering. This post: Why is recycled polyester considered a sustainable textile? explains in a comprehensive way the challenges and truth behind recycled polyester. Did you know: "the majority of the world's PET production - about 60% - is used to make fibers for textiles; about 30% is used to make bottles"? I am a ferocious avoider of plastic water bottles but was shocked to read that the majority of PET is used in fiber production! Interested in more stats and facts? Visit Oecotexiles blog and learn more. While you are at it, check out their eco-fabric collection too. Thanks Patty and Leigh Anne for sharing your knowledge with us!

Note: picture was taken yesterday at Schooner Gulch... sigh.. the plastic bottle is now in a recycleing bin and no longer polluting our ocean and beaches.




July 13, 2009
End of an Era!

Today, we sold our last 7.5 yards of Pink Moon 2nds. Why is this an end of an era? Well, it's the very last of our pigment printed fabrics. You may still be able to find a few yards through one of our retailers but Harmony Art is officially ALL SOLD OUT of pigment printed organic fabrics.

Now, all of our fabrics are printed and dyed using fiber-reactive dyes. What's the difference? Well, pigments lay on top of the fabric and dyes sink into the fabric. How can you tell the difference? The hand of the fiber-reactive dyes is much softer. We have been very pleased with the decision to move to fiber-reactive (GOTS approved, of course) dyes.

On personal note, today marks the 8th year we have lived in the remote town of Gualala, CA. It certainly isn't convenient when traveling (just ask the Green Bag Lady, who arrived last night from Tennessee with her 3 kids!) but we still LOVE it here.

If I am slower to respond over the next 9 days, know that I am most likely at the beach or the river playing "name that animal" with the Green Bag Lady and her entourage. Sometimes it feels really good to be your own boss. I hope everyone is enjoying summer as much as I am. By the way, I do a great monkey impression. ;)




July 6, 2009
Pallet update

For the last few years, our warehouse in South Carolina has pulled rolls and sent fabric all over the country and world for us. I have to say that out of all of the different pieces of the Harmony Art puzzle, our warehouse has been the simplest, easiest and most trouble free. SO... when I found out today that they are now charging for palletizing shipments for us, although disappointed, I am not complaining.

Historically,I have found that 4 rolls is the break even point for the cost of shipping via pallet and truck vs individual rolls via UPS. With the new charge of $20/pallet, I am guessing the break even point will now be closer to 5 or 6 rolls. So, I have decide to offer the following shipping perk: For palletized orders of 6 rolls or more Harmony Art will absorb the pallet charge. For less than 6 rolls we will pass the charge on to you ($20/pallet).

My hope is that this new program will encourage you to plan your orders so as to cut down on your carbon footprint and ship more rolls at the same time. Yes, it will take more planning, but in the long run I think it will be a win-win for all of us and the planet.




July 4, 2009
Power to the People OR The Hairspray Effect

What better day to do a post about our untapped collective power?

Some of you may have heard me talk about the hairspray effect or already know the story, but for those of you who haven't heard it: Years ago there was talk about the effects of CFCs in hairspray creating a hole in the ozone layer. While industries debated the reality of the situation, and our government attempted to draft regulations to phase out the use of CFCs, consumers took matters into their own hands.

Once women knew the risk (our world's protective ozone layer), they made a simple but dramatic change. They stopped buying aresol hairspray! Simple? Yes. Effective? Yes. As a direct result of the staggering loss of sales, hairspray manufacturers stopped using CFC aerosol propellents almost immediately, years ahead of the proposed phase outs! (If you are interested, click here to read more details.)

Sound familiar? WE ARE WAY MORE POWERFUL THAN WE KNOW! We vote with our dollars every day. What we choose to spend our money on radically and dramatically impacts what is made and how it is made. What if we were to all suddenly boycot bottled water or conventionally grown tomatoes? Simple acts repeated day after day by large numbers of people in my opinion is the key to solving... well, almost everything.




July 3, 2009
What's on my food?!

I guess it goes without saying that I am a supporter of organic farming practices... be it cotton or corn, lawns or lettuce. I believe that spraying our planet with dangerous chemicals is a bad thing.

"An average America child gets 5+ servings of pesticies residues in their food and water each day." - What's On My Food.

Thankfully there are ngo's like the Pesticide Action Network who are working everyday, around the globe, to help reduce the use of pesticides. Recently, I learned about a new online tool from PAN called What's On My Food that lets you see just what pesticides are typically being sprayed on your conventionally grown fruits and vegetables as well as the health consequences. Being an educated consumer takes some time... but if you are going to cut corners at your grocery store and not buy organic I suggest you take a couple of minutes and at least look up your most favorite produce purchases so you know what you are really getting. Another option is to support your local organic CSA and sleep well knowing you are part of the solution and not poisoning your family inadvertantly. Dramatic? Maybe, but it's the scary truth.




June 23, 2009
I like grass!

The recent article in the Kansas City Star: Mounting evidence shows native grasses could destroy explosives pollution definitely gives me hope. Three Missouri researchers have discovered that by planting the right kind of native grasses they can clean up some of the most toxic and water polluting places in our country! Evidence has shown that certain native grasses, and the microbes that thrive around their roots, convert the toxic leftovers from atrazine, TNT and othe explosives into harmless carbon dioxide! With over 538 toxic locations in the US identified (including 20 superfund sites), this is big! Traditional methods of "clean up" are to haul away and incinerate which cost $100,000 - $1,000,000 an acre! Using native grasses... the cost is estimated to be less tha $3,000 an acre. I like that grass!

I love cheap, simple solutions to tough expensive problems. Cheers to the three researchers in Missouri! Keep up the good work!




June 19, 2009
Let's get digital... digital

I am HAPPY to report that Spoonflower now is offering organic base fabric as one of its options for its digital printing! Digital printing (for those of you not already in the know) allows you to print fabric on demand... thereby allowing people to print their own designs without the huge minimums that traditional printing requires. There is less waste involved and because only what is ordered is printed, there is next to no "wasted" yardage or effluent to dispose of. It also allows you to print unlimited colors without the high cost of individual screens.

It does cost significantly more per yard so it isn't yet an option for the stock Harmony Art organic fabrics but we do some digital printing for customers on special request. You may remember the digital printing we did for Modern Bride magazine last year. That digital print run was done with our friends at Adaptive Textiles who have been offering organic base fabrics for years now. Digital is a great alternative when you are looking for something specific that you can't find in our existing line.

So... get your design on and print you own or feel free to contact me and I would be happy to help you with that unique digital fabric project.




June 18, 2009
LOVE LIFE

I recently heard a story on NPR about a man who is spending his life walking the United States with a sign on his head "LOVE LIFE". The sign is a tribute to his son who committed suicide and his daughter who accidentally overdosed. You can read about his story online.They are making a documentary out of his story and you can view clips at the Love Life Film website. I was brought to tears by his story and have reached out to him.

He tells me his biggest need is a shower. Sadly, he has already been through California, so I missed being able to open my home and heart to him, but I told him I know lots of amazing people around the country so he gave me his tentative travel plans. He is in Washington now and is heading to Florida. If you go to google maps and put in Blaine, WA. to Key West, FL and driving directions (select no tolls or highways) you will get an idea of where he is heading right now (although he does follow the winds too...).

I told Steve I would ask if anyone is willing to open their homes/shower to him.... to quote Steve: "Those who allow me to take a shower in their homes... have a friend for life!!!!!" Here's what Steve said, "If they are up for it, they can email me their approximate location and then if I get close to it, I'll email or call them and ask if it is still a go?"

I know it is a strange request,so please do not feel pressured to help, but if you are inspired and want to help... I know he would really appreciate it.




June 17, 2009
hugs and kisses

Check out the blog post by my dear friend Victoria Thomas titled: moral fiber. Victoria is one of those people who always looks amazing with an outfit for every occasion. I will not forget her pin striped suit and hat for the premier of Ain't Misbehavin'. In addition to being beautiful and glamorous, Victoria is an extremely talented writer. If any of you are in need of PR help, I highly recommend her. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, she is also an amazing cook!

PS If you missed the SDA conference and want to read a brief recap of my lecture... visit Tegan Ford's blog.




June 16, 2009
Serious and Light

Here is a link to a LONG and thoughtful report on the state of farming in rural India and some of the bigger issues which are contributing to the desperate situation there. Included is a fascinating case study of Basmati rice and also Bt cotton. It is not a very fun read but I found it very enlightening with lots of good references.

On a MUCH lighter note, I was recently turned on to Tim Minchin's work.... and I have to say I LOVE this song. It makes me laugh out loud. Enjoy the song and video here.




June 15, 2009
Progress report

Although we are sold out of wholesale yardage of Garden at the moment, a new batch of it and Fields of Honey has been printed and will soon be making its way to us. Barring any unforeseen delays, we should have Garden back in stock sometime in July.

The BIG news about these two reprints is: the fiber is Fair Trade Certified, and the fabric is produced in a Fair Trade certified facility. This is in addition to being 3rd party certified to GOTS. So from seed to selvage the fabric is 3rd party certified organic (NOP + GOTS) and Fair Trade! How cool is that!!!

We have been on this journey for 4.5 years and I am amazed at how far we have come. Now, if we could just get our US printers to embrace 3rd party certification too...




June 14, 2009
New prints update

Some of you may have noticed that the Plum version of Eyes of the World has disappeared from our Planted Seeds page. What's up? Well, the company that we were working on the fabric with decided last week that they wanted to upgrade from a custom to an exclusive print run. I apologize for any disappointment this may have caused.

However, the good news is... we are working on finalizing a couple of new stock fabrics so stay tuned!




June 10, 2009
Sea of Terror

I have written about this topic before, but I realize there are still lots of people in the world who have not heard about the floating plastic island the size of Texas sitting in the Pacific. It was finding out about this plastic disaster that launched me into my personal commitment to eradicate my own use of plastic bags and plastic water bottles. To solve a temporary problem by creating an even bigger permanent problem seems so ridiculous to me. I vote for drinking fountains, fabric bags and metal or glass water bottles!

I recently stumbled upon a web site that shows how the currents create the plastic trash vortex. Click on The journey of trash for the re-enactment. Greenpeace also has a good article on the topic. Today's image is from our annual pilgrimage to Bowling Ball Beach on June 6th... Yes, I hauled the offensive plastic off the beach and into our recycling bin at home.... but how much ends up circling in the vortex and is slowly poisoning our oceans makes my stomach hurt. Sigh.




June 9, 2009
Home Sweet Home

I figured out I was on 12 different planes in 25 days in May! Yikes! Talk about carbon footprint nightmare month. The good news is that I had a great time and am HAPPY to be home for awhile.

Kansas City is an amazing city! Who knew it was so full of art?! The conference was incredible... I have to say I was humbled to be on the same bill as people like Gerhardt Knodel, Victoria K. Rivers and Jane Dunnewold just to name a few. With so many incredible fine artists there, it was a bit intimidating. I am grateful I spoke first or I am not sure I would have had the confidence to follow them. I had the pleasure of hanging out a bit with my friend Elaine Lipson of Red Thread Studio and spent far too little time getting to know Deidre Adams.

I had the sincere pleasure of having dinner with Ray Materson and Jennifer Angus (insect lady). I find their work to be compelling, intriguing and inspiring. I have been a fan of Ray's work since I saw it at UC Davis in 2007 but to meet and hear Ray speak about his journey and work was so cool! If you aren't aware of this heroin addict/convict turned embroider extraordinary, I highly recommend you spend some time on his site.

Another highlight of the event was that Sus (hubby) came with me. He is the unsung hero of Harmony Art for sure! It was definitely a weasure (work + pleasure) trip. We even found a few hours to explore the Nelson-Atkins museum... wow!

Big thanks to Carolyn Kallenborn, the SDA and its members for the warm and wonderful reception. I sincerely enjoyed meeting each and every one of you. Please keep in touch.

PS if you missed the conference but want to feel like you were there... you can pre-order the DVD which I am told will include my lecture.




June 6, 2009
11 years!

This post is dedicated to David "Sus" Susalla, my husband of 11 years. Instead of gushing on about how much I LOVE this man... I thought I would just share some of his favorite things:
Family
Cooking
Art
Detroit Red Wings
Lou Reed
Jerry Garcia
The Food Network
The Speed Channel
Sound/Video equipment
The Gualala Arts Center
Me.
photo credit: Sus




May 25, 2009
What a doll!

One of the highlights of Quilt Market in Pittsburgh earlier this month was having a chance meeting with Ellen Lumpkin Brown of The Doll Loft. We both had snuck outside to get some fresh air and enjoy the lovely spring weather. I am SO glad I did. Ellen is AMAZING! She just released her book Doll Fashionistas which shows you how to make your own one-of-a-kind personalized doll and then she also gives instructions on how to make your own fashionable clothes for your doll. If you order the book from Ellen's own website you will receive a signed copy! We completely hit it off as the conversation rambled from consumerism to slow-time to fabrics and back again. I couldn't leave Ellen without giving her a wee piece of Harmony Art fabric to "play with"... well... check out the stylish new outfit she made using our black/white Whispering Grass fabric.

I have to tell you that seeing Ellen's dolls in person later that day on the trade show floor was an incredible experience. They look great in pictures, but there is a spirit to her dolls that gave me goose bumps when I actually saw them in person. Thanks Ellen. Keep up the great and thoughtful work.




May 20, 2009
Organic Idol

It's not too late to enter the first-ever Organic Idol contest being held by the Organic Trade Association. They are looking for a consumer ambassador to serve as spokes- person. No celebs allowed.

Just submit a YouTube video (under 45 sec) explaining why you feel organic products are worth it. In addition to serving as the Organic Institute's official spokesperson, the star of the winning video will receive a trip for two in late summer/early fall 2009 to Washington, DC. There, the winner and a guest will be given a tour of the USDA's organic People's Garden, visit Capitol Hill and dine in DC's finest organic restaurant. Click here for the full contest details.

Don't delay... the deadline is May 30th. As of today, there are only 24 entries... so your odds are a lot better than some of the other "Idol" contests! If you do enter, let me know. I would love to lend my support.




May 13, 2009
BIG THANKS!!!

The Paper nOr Plastic show is on display at the Gualala Arts Center through June 7th. I wanted to send out a BIG thank you to the following people: Jan Carter (aka Misses Stitches) for being the most excellent co-curator a girl could ask for. (Watch out, she is a wild scissor lift driver!) Krystal at Chris Jordan's studio for helping arrange for the two amazing pieces to be on loan. The Gualala Arts Center for being the kind of place that embraces this sort of show and their staff for their support and help - extra shout out to Scott for his help with "the hanging" and Karen for making the title cards. Jane Reichhold for the loan of the S hooks and hang tags. Our local Gualala Supermarket, Anchor Bay Market, and Surf Super for their generous "checker's choice" gift certificate awards. Josée and Simon from Québec Canada for making the trek for the show. (It was wonderful to meet you in person!) Sue Friedland for picking up from the airport and transporting The Green Bag Lady to Gualala. Teresa VanHatten-Granath aka The Green Bag Lady for bringing and giving away 100 handmade fabric bags to our community. All of the creative, inspiring, participants, the attendees and supporters.

Last but not least, everyone who chooses paper NOR plastic when shopping! One bag at a time, we are making a difference. It was a great opening and if you get to Gualala before June 7th you can still experience the show. THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!! (Photo Credit: The Green Bag Lady)




May 10, 2009
Mother + Daughter

Happy Mother's Day! In honor of those who brought us into the world, I wanted to do a post about a unique and inspiring mother - daughter project: Doolespark by Loop.

"mailed back and forth for many years, these drawings have grown with time. reflecting a process of changing + adding to each other's artwork, doodlespark is the project of a mother - daughter duo who use the drawings to keep in touch, to spark their creativity, to cultivate their friendship."

How cool is that? Elissa is the designer/business woman behind loop. It is her style, aesthetic and commitment to sustainable production that make me a HUGE fan. The problem with Elissa's cards is that I love them so much I have a very hard time parting with them... they are treasures. I guess I should just order more! (hint: several of her cards are on sale right now!)




May 5, 2009
Midwestern May

Next week I am heading to Pittsburgh, PA to meet my dear friend Amy and hang out for a day at Quilt Market. I am looking forward to her bright spirit and delightful designs. After that, I head to St. Louis for a wedding of my friend Janita who I went to boarding school with back in the 80s! There will be a few of us "Prinos" there which will be fun!

Towards the end of the month, I will be traveling to Kansas City to be a featured speaker for the Surface Design Association: Off the Grid conference. If you are attending the event, please email me so we can, at the very least, meet. The lecture will be recorded and may be part of the DVD the SDA is creating from the big event. I will also be reviewing portfolios on Saturday as part of a new program the SDA is trying out.

I am personally really looking forward to hearing Ray Materson speak at the conference. I saw his work several years ago when I was talking at UC Davis and was simply blown away by it. It isn't too late to register for the conference... hope to see you there!




March 3, 2009
Beautiful Bags

Check out this great bag by my dear friend Sheree. You gotta love the coincidence of this give away timed with this week's opening of the Paper nOr Plastic show at the Gualala Arts Center. Sheree is giving away two of these bags, I am not sure how long you have to comment for the give away... so I suggest acting soon.

On another bag coincidence, I was just asked by my friend Ann Savageau to participate in her project: BAG (Bags Around the Globe). I am very honored. There are SO many cool women educating others and committed to making a difference in our bag consumption. I foresee that soon those noxious plastic bags will be a thing of our past.




May 1, 2009
It must be spring!

I am VERY happy to tell you about a couple of new organic fabric companies on the horizon. The first is Cloud9 designed by Michelle Engel Bencsko of Cicada Studio. Cloud9's first collection is titled My Happy Garden and is scheduled to be available Sept. 1st. These fabrics are being released in the standard 45" quilting width.

The second is Birch fabrics designed by Monaluna and is due out this December. I probably have a better idea of what is in store for these brave designers than most... and am sending both companies buckets of patience, perseverance and good wishes!

Nancy Mims (of Mod Green Pod) and I have been offering organic fabrics since 2005. We both knew the day would come when others would "catch on"... and I am happy to report that day seems to be emerging on the horizon at last. Oh... I don't want to forget to mention our dear friends at Oliveira Textiles and Jan at Daisy Jane!

I strongly believe in collaboration vs competition.... as my mom use to drill into me, "what blesses one, blesses all." Not to mention it is SOOOOO much more enjoyable to work together rather than against each other. Cheers to all the thoughtful eco-fabric designers who are blazing new ground, the manufacturers who make it possible, and last but definitely not least all people who support us with your purchases! Together we are making a difference.




April 28, 2009
every day is earth day

I have to admit, I don't like earth day. Don't get me wrong... I LOVE our blue planet, but to have one day to celebrate it seems...well, wrong. I want to pick up trash at the beach every time I see it. I want to carry a fabric bag every time I go shopping. I want to eat organic, healthy, csa veggies that are in season as long as I can. I want to spend "slow time..." with people I care about.

I am tired of this rushing. I think we have been on the consumer treadmill for the last 50+ years and the speed setting has been slowly creeping higher to the point were we are destine to crash and burn... which is exactly the point I think we are at.

With virtually all businesses being hurt by the economy right now, with unemployment rising every month, with all of our closets (and often storage units) full, the time is perfect for a new speed setting. I predict that the result of the current economic crisis is that we will slowly shift to a more balanced life style. The days of multi-mulit-tasking are numbered.

What and where we focus our time and energy on will profoundly change. Instead of two incomes, families will be forced (due to a lack of jobs) to get by with one income or possibly two part time jobs. Men will not be the default breadwinner that existed in the 50s but rather whoever has the better/more stable job will work. We will get by with less stuff. We will re-learn the old adage that LESS IS MORE.

I am hopeful and excited about the impending "slow time..." paradigm: to be present with friends (not text-ing under the table), to enjoy a glass of lemonade on a neighbor's porch (without a cell phone attached to your ear), or to play ball with a child (without having to schedule it). Moments don't clutter; things do.

CHEERS to our Father/Mother Earth! Instead of fearing the economic crisis, I suggest we all welcome the reemergence of "slow time..."




April 27, 2009
Yummy

You have to love the way the Internet can connect you with people you wouldn't normally know. I was honored a couple of weeks ago to have the super talented Béatrice Peltre contact me about utilizing some of our organic fabrics in her photo shoots. For all you foodies out there.... check out her amazing blog and photography and styling site.

Her photo of our fabric now graces our home page too. Thanks Béatrice!




April 25, 2009
meet me in Miami

I spent the majority of last week in Miami attending the Material World trade show. Fox-Rich had a booth and offered to have me join them for the show. It was great to spend some quality time with Jeff and finally meet Justin. Jeff and Justin represent the 4th generation of Fox-Rich Textiles Inc.. We have been working together since early 2005 and I can honestly say Harmony Art would not exist without Jeff's help, advice, education, and hard work. We have had our fair share of bumps along the way, but we have both been committed to making things work and it has definitely been a good partnership.

While in Miami I had the pleasure of having dinner with a dear friend (we attended high school together in St. Louis, MO). I also was able to have lunch with my husband's aunt Norma and uncle Frank - fabulous people! Another highlight of the trip was being handed a flyer for Tammy Apóstol and discovering our fabric being used in a lovely couture collection.




April 10, 2009
Feeling Very Grateful!

I have posted about the upcoming Paper nOr Plastic show a few times already... but there is some exciting news to share with you...drum roll... THE GREEN BAG LADY is making a guest appearance at the show opening! Teresa VanHatten-Granath aka The Green Bag Lady is flying in from Nashville for the event. She will be there talking about her web site and also giving away her numbered bags. At last count, this inspiring woman has given away over 3,300 handmade fabric bags, the catch is you have to promise to use the fabric bag instead of paper or plastic. How cool is that? This special treat and the arrival of Chris Jordan's work make this a show to remember. All I can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I feel so incredibly humbled by this whole project and the way it is coming together. Check out the new blog that my friend and co-curator Jan Carter (aka Misses Stitches) just started!

PS I also found out today that Josee St-Aman of LilyEcolo from Quebec Canada will be sending one of her lovely creations in for the show! I couldn't be more grateful.




April 3, 2009
Living Crafts

What a fun last few weeks. Today in the mail, I received a copy of the spring 2009 edition of Living Crafts magazine. There is a great, lengthy article written by NearSea Naturals founders Tara Bloyd and Winnie Culp which does an excellent job of explaining the intricacies of organic fabric and brings up many things to consider when making your own fabric choices. (Note: I am quoted in the article and I took the photograph on page 67.)

Also in this issue are full instructions to create this cute doll quilt which features our own Sweet Jane and Pastel Pink sateens as well as Mod Green Pod's ladybug aka Ticked Pink design. What fun to see our two designs working so well together.

Another reason to buy this issue is the comprehensive Organic Fabric Directory on pages 66-67. Thanks Pardis (editor) for another great issue.




April 2, 2009
Almost famous

Yesterday, I received in the mail a signed copy of Sewing Green by the wonderful and talented Betz White. The subtitle of the book is: 25 projects made with repurposed and organic materials. I highly recommend this thoughtful book for all the crafty people you know. You can even learn how to make an Eyes of the World lunch tote on page 86.

Check out pages 84-85 for an "Eco Innovator" spotlight on yours truly. It's really a trip to read about yourself in a book. Thanks Betz, I am honored and touched to be a small part of your beautiful book. To purchase a copy visit Betz's etsy shop. (Also available through Borders or Amazon.)




March 30, 2009
CPSIA Rally Reminder

Wednesday is the CPSIA rally in Washington DC. Please take a moment to send in your own written testimony even if you can't be there for the event. The good news is that it is going to be broadcast online live.

I am disheartened to read this blog that explains how this has turned into a bipartisan issue with the Democrats not even showing up to hear the concerns of their constituents. Very disappointing. I have been calling and emailing my own congressman but have yet to hear back. This nonsense has to stop. Just when I was beginning to have some faith in our democracy and the direction of our country...

Big Hugs to everyone who is going to be in DC, with an extra one for Jennifer Murphy of Chapter One Organics. Here's a link to her letter to Commissioner Moore. Well said!




March 26, 2009
You know your old when... part 2

I have come to the conclusion that I like living in a place where cell phones don't work. Sure, I find them handy, especially when we make trips to the "big city" (aka San Francisco). I remember when meeting someone in a busy, public place required promptness and the stars being aligned. Now, no planning is required and being caught "in traffic" has never been so stress-free, truly... think about it.

If you live in a place without cell phone coverage, you know you live somewhere remote. Why do I like remote? Remote means things evolve more slowly. Where I live, they call it "Gualala Time" and I am surviving with out a cell phone quite nicely...

However, after being thoroughly perplexed by Twitter and Tweets, I discovered the technology required a cell phone/blackberry, etc. so I hereby decree I will NO LONGER PRETEND TO PARTICIPATE IN TWITTER. I do promise that if you come to Gualala I will chirp like a bird for you. (wink)

Ceramic Raven pitcher created by Dan Hennig whose work can be experienced at the lovely Stewart - Kummer Gallery in Gualala.




March 20, 2009
de-facebooked

I feel like I am beginning down that road of, "You know your old when..."

Ever since the facebook upgrade, I can't log in, comment, respond, make new friends, return messages. You get the point. The page says "done" at the bottom... things sometimes spin, but nothing happens. I have to admit that I am about equal parts frustrated and elated. Yes, I have found people I haven't spoken to in years, which is great fun, but I guess I am just not a facebook sort of gal. I like face to face. I like email. I am not wild about the phone. Cell phones don't work where I live.

This is my public announcement that I am NO LONGER PARTICIPATING IN FACEBOOK. I can't. So, don't think I don't like you, that I am a snob or bad friend or ignoring you. I am here. You've found me. Feel free to come visit. (Just leave your cell phone behind, and I recommend bringing your hiking boots.)




March 19, 2009
Stonewalled - Call to Action!

April 1st, Jennifer of Chapter One Organics is heading to Washington DC to participate in the CPSIA Protest Rally. This is an excellent example of our democracy in action. If you live in the DC area or can make the trip, please contact Jennifer. For more details, visit Fashion-Incubator which provides contact info and links. HUGE GRATITUDE to Jennifer for once again proving my theory that I have THE BEST CUSTOMERS in the world!

Don't have a clue what CPSIA is? You can read the full text... or see my posts earlier in the year which have lots of other links for your reading enjoyment.




March 17, 2009
coastin' right along

I just thought I would share with you these super cool coasters by Liesl Maertens. I love it that they absorb moisture and don't stick to the bottom of the glass when you go to take a sip. I also think the quilting is very nice. Liesl Made has lots of other wonderful handmade items worth checking out.

As some of you know... I don't sew... (shhhhhh.... it's my not so little secret). I think because of this personal deficiency, it is extra fun to see people bring the fabric to life in such a variety of creative, thoughtful and gorgeous ways! BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!!




March 13, 2009
Met Home: Special Issue

You gotta love it when a magazine magically appears in an envelope in your PO Box. The last 4+ years has taught me that most magazines if they feature you will send you a copy in an envelope (not stickered with your address as subscriptions come). Very kind of them I think!

Metropolitan Home asked to borrow 3 yards of Eyes of the World back in December. They politely sent it back... so I had an idea I might be in an upcoming issue but no idea which or when.

A few days ago an envelope with the magazine inside arrived showing Harmony Art as one of the Editor's Pick for their April special issue: "Going Green Made Easy". Unfortunately, they have us listed as a New Mexico based company. I have contacted Metropolitan Home and they promise they will do a correction in their next issue. The reason why they thought we were a New Mexico based company is that they list our fabulous distributor NearSea Naturals as where to find the fabric. They are based in New Mexico. Harmony Art is definitely a northern coast California company. Regardless of this detail, we are thrill to be part of their Editor's Picks!




March 10, 2009
We're on TV...well, web video!

Months and months ago, I was approached by Bunny Rose to participate in The Quilt Show's "Quilting in the Green" episode. Bunny is their "Treasure Chest" guest who brings treasures she has found to share on the show. My friend Jan and I came this close to flying to Colorado for the taping last September, but alas we didn't make it. Last week the episode went "live" and can viewed online at The Quilt Show. It is episode 405, but you must have a paid membership to be able to watch it.

Big thanks to Bunny for doing an excellent job of sharing the Harmony Art organic fabrics!




March 6, 2009
Paper nOr Plastic - Reminder

I am co-curating a show at the Gualala Art Center in May. It's titled Paper nOr Plastic and it is designed to challenge the notion of the shopping bag as disposable landfill-fodder. For me, one of the highlights of the exhibit is that two pieces by renowned artist Chris Jordan will be on display. These provocative pieces illustrate disturbing environmental findings. "Paper Bags, 2007" depicts the 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags used in the US every hour. "Plastic Bags, 2007" depicts 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in the US every five seconds.

If you are interested in participating, you can download a registration form from the Gualala Art's web site and to make it even easier for those of you who are out of town/state, I will personally deliver your piece for you. Please email me if you want to take me up on this offer. (Bag pictured here by Lu Arenson.)




March 2, 2009
Beyond Fashion

We may not be seeing these yet on the red carpet but they certainly qualify for my personal green carpet award. First up is Nancy Judd, creator of Recycle Runway whose latest project: The Campaign for Change Couture Collection is a series of three garments (pictured here) made of left over Obama campaign materials.

Two other designers deserving of mention are Carolyn Kallenborn whose Wearable Art collection is currently on display at the Quincy Art Center in Quincy, Illinois and the always inspiring Natalie "Alabama" Chanin whose group of artisans sew by hand the most exquisite and thoughtful creations.




February 12, 2009
CPSIA...again...and again

Here's a link to another release titled: Guidance on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for Small Businesses, Resellers, Crafters and Charities. I think you will find it helpful in sorting through the maze of this new legislation.

Also, Fox-Rich and Harmony Art have prepared a Certificate of Compliance so that you can have written documentation of the fact that our fabrics meet/and or exceed the lead limits imposed by CPSIA. I hope this is helpful. Your feedback is always welcome.

PS The giveaway challenge has yet to be completed... see Jan 5th entry for details.




February 6, 2009
CPSIA... again...

Here's a link to the latest CPSIA release. I am personally still trying to absorb exactly what it all means. In the meantime, feel free to read it for yourself. I will be traveling for the next few days, so I apologize in advance for any delays in responding.



February 4, 2009
to do..

Help Likas celebrate its one year anniversary of blogging! Just by making a "green" comment on their blog, you will be eligible to win this reversible Graceland apron and dish towel set. While I am in a bossy, tell you what to do mood... check out Fashion Incubators advice on how to move forward with CPSIA legislation. Thanks again Kathleen for your leadership on this important topic!

PS Sweet Jane is back in stock! The color shifted with this run (as we expected it to) and in my opinion is the best run yet!




January 30, 2009
CPSIA - BIG NEWS!

I am happy to report: CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirements for Certain Products. It looks like sanity has prevailed, or at least for now we have some more time to get an exemption on redundant, costly testing for organic GOTS fabrics!

Note: I will be in and out of my studio for most of the next 2 weeks so I apologize in advance for any delays in responding to your inquires and emails.




January 29, 2009
CPSIA clarification. . . sigh

Okay... I know MANY of us are frustrated and stressed out about the impending CPSIA ruling which applies to all products which are made for children under 13. The was a glimmer of hope that cotton would be exempted from the testing requirements. However, as it stands right now this cotton exemption only would apply to natural (un-dyed, un-printed) fabrics.

I have been receiving daily requests from many of you to supply "certificates" for our fabrics in order to meet the CPSIA requirements. Sadly, this is not acceptable by law... at least not yet. We could in good conscious (knowing our fabrics do not contain lead) create such a document (as many other companies are doing) but we do not feel like it would be the "right" thing to do. PLEASE, if you are reading this and don't understand, visit this page and this page of fashion incubator for a thorough explanation.

Until vendor supplied documents are acceptable by law, we will not be issuing them! If you are looking to have your products tested may I suggest working together and participating in a "testing party". For guidance and a wealth of information on planning and organizing such a "party" visit CPSIA Cheerleader.




January 26, 2009
EcoFabulous

It's always fun to see our customers highlighted on blogs and magazine! We believe strongly in the power of cross promotions and education and love it when you share the good news with us.

Check out The Undercover Baby's write up on the ecofabulous blog and note their sale is on through Jan 31st! Thanks Jenette for keeping us in the loop. Keep up the great work!




January 25, 2009
World's Best Customers Part 2

Check out the cover of the February issue of Kiwi magazine! Recognize that design? The fabulous EcoBonkie (in our Whispering Grass black/white) is featured on the cover!

Big thanks to Elise the creator of BabyBonkie for giving us the head's up and also to the lovely and thoughtful Michelle of Cotton Monkey for mailing me a copy! You guys rock!




January 22, 2009
World's Best Customers

I am so honored to work with such an amazing group of committed, caring, thoughtful, kind people (95% women!). One of the latest examples of your wonderfulness comes from Jennifer at Turtle Park Tots. She has been very diligent and active on the whole CPSIA issue. She as gone through the XRF testing on the following Harmony Art fabrics: Sweet Jane, Moon, Eyes of the World, Alphabet Soup, Ohio, Whispering Grass (aqua), Uncomplicated and Let it Grow (green). She reports, "All components tested were negative for lead." Not that we are surprised, but it is very nice of her to share the test results with the rest of us.

Jennifer also had this very helpful testing tips to share: "It's difficult to find labs with the XRF guns but home and environmental testers often use this technology for testing lead in homes and yards since it's portable. The state or fed EPA may be another place to look for information about XRF. I know the State of Colorado owns an XRF gun. Also, we were able to keep the costs waaaay down ($50) for each company by banding together with other manufacturers and contracting with the inspectors to test at one of the manufacturer's studios. I highly recommend that. I met some great people while waiting to be tested. The tests themselves are quick...maybe 1 minute per component."

Thanks Jennifer!!! You are a gem. Here's a recent article in
Forbes which explains the situation well.




January 21, 2009
Prayers for Bobby

I don't normally advertise TV shows on my "blog" but I highly recommend that you take the time to watch Prayers for Bobby. It will premiere on Lifetime January 24 at 9 pm et/pt so plan to watch or set your DVRs. This is a true story of a family that endures tragedy and is transformed through the healing process. My dear, dear friend, Joy, is Bobby's sister. She will be in my thoughts on Saturday night... may her brother's death be honored by the understanding and acceptance that his story inspires.



January 19, 2008
CPSIA

I have had a few customers contact me for our testing certificates. All of the Harmony Art organic fabrics conform or are 3rd party certified to the Global Organic Textile Standards. The GOTS limits for lead are well below the CPSIA requirements. That said, our understanding is that the law does not yet allow for vendor supplied test results to meet the new CPSIA rules.

We are hopeful that sanity will ultimately prevail and that fabrics which have already been produced in a thoughtful and safe manner will ultimately be exempted. However, rest assured, if test results supplied by Harmony Art are sufficient and necessary we will certainly go through the process and expense. In the meantime, we are holding off partly because we do not want to give the false impression of conformance which could possibly get you into trouble. We are watching (and getting involved) on this subject!

For the best source of info on CPSIA and to connect with others, visit the Fashion Incubator forum page. Kathleen has been tirelessly working on not only understanding but also educating and changing the upcoming CPSIA law. For the motherload of resources go to her forum which she has graciously opened up to the public for this topic.




January 18, 2009
curtain call

Check out these lovely new curtains that our dear friend Mary Rothenmaier of ShadeTree Custom Design created for us. They feature our white sateen, white denim, Moonless Night black sateen and Evelyn. Evelyn we digitally printed on our organic white denim for this project. If you ever need custom curtains, I would highly recommend Mary's work! These even are lined with organic flannel so that they keep the heat in and sun out. THANK YOU MARY!



January 12, 2009
and the beat goes on...

Well, the CPSIA law is certainly sucking a lot of energy and time from many of us these days. Here's a link to help vote for the topic to be part of the ideas presented to the Obama administration. It is currently in 3rd place. Please take a minute to vote for this topic so that we can regain sanity and avoid further small business distress.

Here's another link to some valuable testing information and another site dedicated to CPSIA information. Heather of Blessed Nest has a great post too. Thank you to all of you who are tirelessly and diligently staying on top of this piece of misguided legislation. I am still hopeful sanity will prevail... soon.




January 7, 2009
good news and good friends

For the latest on the CPSIA testing requirements, check out this news breaking article at Bloomberg. Looks like it is time for us to comment and cross our fingers.

These pictures are late additions to my Nov. 21st virtual ice cream social from both sides of the country. The picture with the doggies is from my friend Mary in New York and the other is of Connie and Bryan in LA at my favorite SoCal ice cream parlor, MILK. Thanks again to everyone who participated (with or without pictures) including Janette in Australia, Martje in the Netherlands and many points in between. Mark your calendars for Nov. 21, 2009 - we plan to do it again!




January 5, 2009
New Year's Challenge - giveaway!

As some of you may know, I always welcomed the new year with a gratitude list. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's day I work on a list of things to be thankful for equal to the year number approaching. So, this year's list consisted of 2,009 things. I take contributions from those around me and in particular my good friend Mary Sue who has been helping me with the list for several years. The goal is to complete the list by midnight before the new year begins.

To ring in 2009, I thought I would offer a challenge. The first person to send me a list of 2,009 thoughtful, unique things they are thankful for will win a FULL ROLL of the limited release or clearance fabric of their choice. All you pay for is the cost of shipping! You will be amazed with what 2,009 things to be grateful for can do to your outlook. So... let the gratitude begin. Please email me your entry list. First person to complete the list and send it to me wins!








the journey continues... 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008