founder, creative director
the journey is the prize...... 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006
December 21, 2005
Today is the shortest day of the year. It marks the changing of the seasons from darkness to light. I feel inspired to share how ready I am for the light to emerge. Like the redwood trees, I feel like all the growth is happening beneath the surface and I am ready for the new growth to be visible.
December 19, 2005
Martha Stewart would be jealous...
For big holiday events my mother pushes 2 tables together to accommodate the entire family. For years she has complained that she can't find a tablecloth long enough. Well....this year she did! I commissioned Jennifer Woodruff to create a 186" x 60" tablecloth out of the Eyes of the World print and 16 napkins out of the solid coordinating lime green. Jennifer did a beautiful job! The quality and craftsmanship was great. She was quick and a pleasure to work with. I will definitely use her again for custom sewing jobs. If you are in need of a great seamstress you can contact Jennifer at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My mom was thrilled and we had a great feast! Big thanks to my mother, Carolyn Herman, who is an amazing hostess! The care and love that goes into her parties is truly rare and beautiful.
December 8, 2005
Vein has been printed and it looks awesome! Once again I want to thank the colorist Sondra who did a phenomenal job. The printed fabric is in the process of making its way to the finishing plant where a soybean softener will be added and it will be folded and rolled onto 50 yard bolts. I am excited to feel how the soybean softener improves the hand of the fabric. I look forward to hearing your feedback too!
December 3, 2005
For weeks, no months, Sus had been bothering me to have a dress shirt made for him. He mentioned this to Anna and Sarah when we were on the Sustainable Cotton Tour and they volunteered to make his wish a reality. Sarah and Anna both attend the Art Institute of California.
They did an awesome job making an Eyes of the World shirt! I believe these young designers (and their enlightened teachers) will help propel sustainable fashion forward. Thanks Anna! Thanks Sarah! (Thanks Terry!)
November 21, 2005
37 things I am thankful for: 1. Hikers for Health 2. Thursday Ramblers 3. Redwood trees 4. patience 5. the warmth of the sun 6. clean closets 7. trail maps 8. peaceful transitions 9. fall colors 10. silence 11. supportive family and friends 12. acceptance 13. joy 14. a warm bed 15. laughter 16. music 17. ice cream 18. Jeff and Jim 19. shooting stars 20. wise women of strength 21. mentors 22. opportunities to grow and learn 23. abundance 24. email 25. chocolate 26. the organic movement 27. books that teach 28. being able to laugh at myself 29. love 30. opportunity 31. brothers 32. sisters 33. people who have faith in me 34. gratitude 35. tears 36. comfort 37. lessons learned.
November 16, 2005
On Nov. 5-6th I attended the Greenfest in SF. There I got to see, for the first time in person, products created using my fabric. Michelle Meyer has created an amazing line of organic baby bedding. Her company is Cotton Monkey. I feel honored that she is using my fabric in her collection. Not only do I love her sense of style, she is a super nice person too!
It was a year ago at Greenfest SF that the seeds of Harmony Art organic prints were planted and it is amazing to see where and what those seeds have grown into. I wonder what things will look like a year from now....
November 14, 2005
I am happy to announce the arrival of Harmony Art prints to its first brick and mortar fabric store. Molly De Vries is now carrying my prints at Ambatalia Fabrics in Mill Valley, CA.
Molly has a huge selection of organic and vintage fabrics. Her collection is a feast for the eyes. Thanks Molly!
November 1, 2005
Today is exciting indeed. The first products, available online, using Harmony Art designs have arrived! You can check them out at www.citygirldesigns.ca Ariane has designed some fabulous items including a grocery tote and a book bag to name a few.
I am excited to bring you these products and there are more on their way. I will be posting my "products" page soon to highlight the rest of these amazing companies.
October 24, 2005
Fair Trade Update
After several attempts to get an update on the approval of the Global Textile Standards by the OTA I have been informed that the approval has been delayed and is not expected until Sept. 2006. Apparently there are some details they are trying to work out. I promise to keep you posted. I am sincerely grateful to all the many people who have worked for years to create and synthesis fiber processing standards. I have posted the fair trade section of the Global Standards if you are interested in reading them.
October 17, 2005
Earlier this month I walked into one of those giant book stores in search for a book to read on a plane ride I was taking the next day. I strolled through the aisle and found myself in some section (don't ask me which) and the 5th book title I read was Big Cotton. Ummm...that sounds interesting. The subtitle was: How a Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, and Put America on the Map.
As I approached the checkout, I looked inside to see when it was written....to my delight I found it was published in 2005 and happened to be an autographed copy! I haven't gotten through the whole book yet but I am finding it totally fascinating to learn the history of the fiber I have committed my life to.
When I returned from my trip my mom picked me up from the airport and told me she had a present for me. It was a cotton boll a friend had brought back from a visit to Utah.
October 15, 2005
Mark your calendars
It's official. I will be speaking at the newly reopened
de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park March 18, 2006. The title of the lecture I will be giving is: The organic (r)evolution: inspiring environmental & social change through creative, sustainable fabrics.
I am honored and excited to be speaking at such an amazing place. If you are in the area you are very much invited to attend. This is big. Many thanks to Suzan Friedland for making this a reality.
October 1, 2005
Today marks the completion of 9 months of this journey. We are in the season when the redwood trees start to drop their leaves. To some they look like they are dying, but in reality the redwoods lose 1/3 of their foliage every year. A big wind comes and the brown leaves come floating down. They remind me to let go of what is no longer useful... to be willing to let go of things to make room and energy for new growth to emerge. Some leaves will hang on until next year but most will either gently release or a wind storm will blow them off in the next month or two.
September 20, 2005
AHA Dolls by haikujane
These dolls were lovingly made and given to me by my dear friend Jane Reichhold, also known as Haiku Jane. Jane's brave gentle spirit is a source of inspiration for me. Each doll has an original haiku written inside its head. One doll reads:
covers the whole earth
Jane is an amazing potter whose haiku mugs grace every morning cup of tea I drink. My current favorite says:
She is a treasured friend full of wisdom and art.
September 18, 2005
RCLC Sit-upon Fundraiser
The Redwood Coast Land Conservancy (RCLC) works to preserve for future generations the natural environment and sustainable land use of coastal watersheds from the Navarro to the Russian Rivers, to provide public access to scenic land, and to educate the public regarding the value of our natural heritage.
What is a sit-upon? A sit-upon is a multi-use product most commonly used for picnicking outdoors. Its plastic backing keeps dirt and dampness away from your backside while you enjoy your lunch. It also works well as an outdoor tablecloth.
I donated the fabric, and they were sewn together by volunteers (Mary Sue Ittner, Mary Hunter & Michelle Marshall).
Suggested donation $20-$100. All proceeds go to the RCLC and are tax deductible. Sit-upons are available in Eyes of the World (shown), Sweet Jane and Whispering Grass prints. Contact RCLC for more information.
September 16, 2005
How do you thank the people in your life who appear out of no where and give you so much so graciously? I feel overwhelmed with the love and support I have been given by so many people from so many directions. It is humbling. Hansine Pedersen Goran//Current Carpets is one such person. She is an amazing custom rug designer who offered to house my fabrics in her beautiful show room. The fact that someone I admire as much as Hansine would want my fabrics in her space has been a HUGE honor. If I could have dreamed for a local outlet destination, I wouldn't have been bold enough to imagine Current Carpets. On this Sunday, Hansine and I are hosting an Open House to share with our friends, neighbors and community my journey and vision. Thank you Hansine.
September 14, 2005
Environmental Art Show Opening
Yesterday I had the pleasure of appearing on "Universal Perspectives" with Chris Skyhawk on public radio station KZYX to promote the Environmental Art Show that is opening at the Gualala Art Center this Saturday. I have 2 pieces in the show. One is an ottoman made of sustainably harvested maple that my good friend Michael Anderson//Laughing Moon Design + Build made the base of and then had a cushion covered in my Whispering Grass fabric. The other piece (Trees Talk Too) is more of an interpretive guide to the Gualala Arts natural trail. My goal with that piece was to encourage people to get outside and walk among the trees and to share some of the wisdom I have gained from them. My good friend Da'vid Sipos//Beyond Time helped with the cutting and drilling of the Redwood disks and my amazing husband helped me hang them. Neither project would have happened without their help. What a pleasure it has been to work with these 3 incredible guys. I feel so very blessed!
September 7, 2005
Last week we learned that there was an oversight in one of the pigments used in our Eyes of the World print and coordinating solid. The yellow pigment in Eyes of the World does not conform to the OTA Fiber Processing Standards. The printing process does, the inks are water based, and the fabric is organic, but there was an oversight on the yellow pigment. We were very disappointed to discover this, but we are pleased to report that the colorist has already located and secured a new, approved, yellow which we will be able to use for all future runs. The other two prints and their coordinating solids are not affected and do completely conform to the OTA Fiber Processing Standards. This is indeed a journey and we plan on learning with each step forward.
As much as this has been a disappointment, I am encouraged the honesty and integrity it took to acknowledge this oversight. We chose to work with this printing plant because of their "clean" water based facility. I don't think they had ever had their pigments questioned before. This "oversight" has brought our needs to the surface of their awareness. Raising awareness isn't easy but I am glad to be contributing to the new paradigm.
September 5, 2005
My local quilt guild (Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild) is spending tomorrow creating comfort quilts for the victims of Katrina who lost everything. Harmony Art is donating fabric to help create the quilts. I hope that they provide some comfort to those in such desperate need.
August 29, 2005
Almost Nine Months
This is the hardest time thus far. I am seriously at a turning point in my life. The kind that hurts....that pushes you...that force you to close your eyes and feel the breeze through your hair.
Meanwhile the country is being hit by Hurricane Katrina. Life seems like a hurricane, out of control. Learning what to focus on and what to let go of is something thousands of people just went through. I am learning that lesson very slowly...painfully slow at the moment.
The first release of prints will not be perfect. All sorts of learning is taking place...both professionally and personally. Thanks for all the kind words of support.
August 14, 2005
It's all about me.
It sounds self-centered and egotistical but I believe that the very best way to effect change is to concentrate on yourself...the thoughts you indulge, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, what you ingest, suggest, digest, manifest...is it all the very best? the highest quality? Are they all optimally expressing who you want to be? Gandhi put it beautifully when he said, "be the change you wish to see in the world." Is your work life reflective of what you want your life's work to be?
August 12, 2005
Grateful to the Guru
I would like to take this opportunity to thank someone who has been behind the scenes helping me, encouraging me, inspiring me.....my web site developer: Dave Jordan. Despite a death in his family and major life transitions, he has been consistently there for me. Dave has been my hero since I met him. He only works on sites that resonate with him. It is more than a job. He designed the sites for
North Coast Water Network,
just to name a few. I was honored when he agreed to bring to life the Harmony Art web site. Big Thanks Dave!
August 10, 2005
Something to Celebrate
After much hard work and years of debate and discussion, the Organic Trade Association, is about to endorse the Global Textile Standards. Why am I so excited about this? Well....in addition to addressing the environmental impact of the textile production, these new standards also include Fair Trade guidelines. These standards bring together the US, England, Japan and Germany and hopefully the rest of the world. As one individual trying to make a difference, it is guidelines like these that make it possible for me to require standards be met. One voice is small but collectively we can impact the lives of millions.
July 29, 2005
It's Really Happening!
I am writing this from South Carolina. I just watched the first print (Sweet Jane) come to life. I can't seem to wipe the grin off my face. This could be the most exciting day of my life thus far. I am stunned by the number of people, care and time that goes into making one printed piece of fabric. I am especially grateful to Sondra who was here from 3:00am to 6:00am this morning coping with an electrical storm and was back here this morning to manually mix the colors for my prints. The machine that typically mixes the colors was damaged in the storm so she had to do all the calculations the "old way". She is amazing. The whole team here is like an experienced pit crew....everyone doing their part with speed, precision and incredible accuracy.
July 24, 2005
Earth, Fire, Air, Water
Well, I am writing this from Mackinac City Michigan. I am here visiting my mother-in-law. Last night we had a ceremony in honor of my father-in-law who passed away in January. It was beautiful and intimate. I think he would be proud of the send off we gave him. It is easy to get caught up in work and to lose sight of what is really important. Paul's commitment to family continues to inspire me.
July 11, 2005
Well today is one of those days when there is "nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile". I have been patiently waiting for weeks (possibly months) to find out when to schedule my trip to South Carolina to witness the first designs being printed. Just when a date seemed near... my incredible partner (Jeff) at Fox-Rich went on vacation, followed by the engraving mill, which closed for 4th of July week, and today I found out the PFP (prepare for printing) plant is closed until tomorrow. I had to laugh. This business has been an incredible exercise in patience and acceptance. I should find out tomorrow when the "real" date is. The good news is, despite all the set backs, I am still smiling. The less I try to control things the better they typically are. "All good things in all good time."
July 4, 2005
At the end of 2004, I wrote a series of goals. I thought I would share them with you:
To create an organic print line.
To be paid exclusively on a royalty basis.
To hike every week at least once.
To do yoga at least 2 times a week.
To write a book, even if it is just for me.
To work exclusively on products that align with my
To live each moment of each day as if it is all there is....because it is.
To be profitable and be able to repay all loans by 2007.
To be able to donate 5% of all profits by 2008.
To write and submit at least one article to a magazine or newspaper.
To set the trend rather than follow it.
Wish me luck. Good thoughts are always welcome.
July 1, 2005
It has been exactly 6 months since this journey began. As I look back, I am filled with so much joy. No, there are no prints yet, and not everything has gone smoothly, but I couldn't be happier. I realize that I have been able to connect with so many committed passionate people.....that has been priceless. The opportunity to create solutions I find incredibly rewarding.
I also have been humbled by the support that has been offered to me as I embark on this journey. Friends and family have blown me away with their generosity. Their unwavering faith in me is a constant source of strength. Thank you. It means the world to me. (The picture is of my niece, Emma.)
June 17, 2005
Time to get honest
My goal is to one day be able to say we make a completely sustainable
product. I have partnered with a manufacturer I feel really good about.
Their experience (4th generation textile company) and understanding of
textiles is critical to our success.
Life (and this business) is a journey and not a destination. The labor
practices of the people who make the fiber in India I don't know much
about (I am trying to get more information). I am still using synthetic
dyes (albeit low-impact), shipping the fabric uses petroleum (a
non-renewable resource). For today, I am grateful to be able to use
organic cotton which is improving the health and saving the lives of
farmers around the world. My promise to you, and myself, is to keep
striving to do better for all people and the planet.
Thanks for joining this journey with me.... I am committed to raising
the bar as we build the strength and power to be able to help hold it up.
June 6, 2005
Bowling Ball Beach
Today was my wedding anniversary. We were married 7 years ago on Bowling
Ball Beach at low tide (the only time the "Bowling Balls" are exposed).
This year (like the last 6), we made the pilgrimage back to the same
beach at low tide and renewed our wedding vows. I believe it is
important to take the time to tell those in our lives how important they
are to us. I am very blessed to have a loving supportive husband. I
can't imagine starting this business venture without his encouragement
and unwaivering faith in me. I am sincerely grateful.
May 31, 2005
What's in a name?
Harmony Art... I love the name....but I worry that it may come off as
egotistical. To me, Harmony Art isn't a person but rather a concept or
purpose. If my vision is successful, people won't associate it with me
but rather with the organic fiber movement. I want to create the
Marimekko of organic textiles. Marimekko wasn't an individual but it was
founded by one woman, Armi Ratia, who had a vision. I don't know where
this journey will lead, but it is definitely doing the leading, not me.
May 24, 2005
Beginning to Blog
Well, I have been thinking and talking about starting a blog for a
couple of months now. It seems like the right time to jump into this form of
communication. Spring is here, flowers are blooming on the coast. My
first 3 organic prints
are in the hands of the manufacturer. I am
anxious, excited, scared but most of all honored. Honored to be able to
align my heart and my hands. Style with substance is my latest mantra
and I love seeing all the evidences of it emerging. It feels like I am a
small part of something exceedingly bigger than me.
the journey continues...
2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009