100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
For my 50th birthday (Nov 2018) my bonus mom (Trudy) asked me how I wanted to celebrate. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice (aka The Lynching Museum) had recently opened and I felt compelled to visit it in person. To me, learning about and confronting the ugly parts of our past is and important part of our move forward. Many of Trudy's family perished in the holocaust and she has been a long supporter of Southern Poverty Law Center - I knew out of all my friends she would be the perfect person to take the trip with. It took some planning but a year later in Nov. 2019 we made our civil rights pilgrimage to the south - Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, Atlanta. We went to 8 museums and saw many monuments.
We walked across the Edward Pettis Bridge and explored the Selma Interpretive Center. Tucked in the back of that one small museum was a pin display that has been haunting me ever since:
So, fast forward several months and the murder of George Floyd (and many many other unnecessary losses of life) - it seemed like it was about time an ALWAYS pin should be produced. An easy simple way to communicate the wearer's commitment to anti-racism. I knew I wanted to use a USA pin company owned by a person of color. I had 1,000 made by a black woman-owned company in Detroit, and my friend (and writer) Nigelle helped me finalize the text:
As of today, I have given away about 400. What I LOVE about my ALWAYS pin is that when I put it on each day it is a reminder that I (a white woman of privilege) need to keep this topic and commitment front and center.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not making any money off these pins. If people are inspired to make a donation to EJI or any other like-minded organization that is appreciated.
PS We had timed the trip to hear Jimmy Carter preach Sunday School but due to his health that was canceled so we went to the Carter Library instead.
Those of you who have been following this blog for awhile know I am NOT a fan of single-use plastic. My feeling is that solving one simple problem (getting something home from the store or restaurant) and creating a much more difficult problem (polluted air, water, land!) is really insane. Last week my friend George sent me a link to this NPR episode:
How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled
I highly recommend reading or listening to the entire thing but the sad takeaway is summarized in this quote from the segment: "Yet the industry spent millions telling people to recycle, because, as one former top industry insider told NPR, selling recycling sold plastic, even if it wasn't true."
If you are like me you have been watching in horror as the Pandemic has brought a resurgence of single-use plastic. (My own local grocery store still won't let me use a reusable fabric bag.) Then today I read this article:
Reusables Can Be Safe to Use During a Pandemic
and once again it is the oil industry shoveling misinformation for their gain and our collective loss. It makes me very sad. Sorry. I just needed to vent.
It's been a long time since I have posted here (OVER A YEAR!). I guess I have been waiting for something that felt worthy to share. The creation of this monkey has been a bright spot in a rather dark (and smoky) summer.
This is a true story. It involves 6 people in various places. It's a bit like that old telephone game but instead of gibberish at the end something special was created.
It began a few weeks ago when Maria (author and founder of Bear Mountain Books) asked me if I knew where she could buy an organic cotton monkey. See, Maria's friend LeAnn had recently become a grandmother and wanted to get her grandson an organic cotton monkey. My first response was, "no," but then I remembered there was a local sewer who specialized in stuffed animals. I reached out to my friend Gail who was in close contact with her (Sylvia) and she found out that indeed Sylvia could make an organic cotton monkey if we provided her with the material and (organic) stuffing. Sylvia is older and not tech savvy, so Gail put me in touch with Sylvia's daughter Barbara. Maria shipped me the organic stuffing, I added the organic material from my studio and dropped it off on Sylvia's porch.
Within days Barbara contacted me and told me that Sylvia had finished the monkey AND made a Bear. We had included extra fabric and stuffing since Sylvia was in need of fabric and preferred that to payment. Sylvia had NO WAY of knowing that Maria's company is BEAR Mountain Books! I picked up the animals and mailed them off to Maria who now has a new bear mascot and LeAnn's grandson will soon have the monkey.
The way this all unfolded felt magical. LeAnn contacted Maria, Maria contacted me, I contacted Gail, who put me in touch with Barbara who was in contact with Sylvia!
When I sent photos to Gail of the finished friends and thanked her for her participation she responded: "She (Sylvia) is awesome! Your friend can feel good about helping a 98 1/2 year old lady keep active. (She'll be 99 in December, God willing.) Sylvia is a blessing. She has macular degeneration, and serious hearing loss. But she keeps sewing. Thanks for helping out with the fabric. I'm always looking for animal-friendly fabric for her to use."
I knew Sylvia was older but I had no idea she was 98 1/2! It felt like this gift just kept giving in a circular way that touched my heart and made me happy to play a small part in bringing joy and smiles to ALL of us!
PS: Maria is the author of several books including the Moon Shadow Urban Fantasy series and the Sedona O'Hala cozy mystery series. I am looking forward to diving into the books she sent me and since I am trapped in my house (air quality issues) at the moment the timing couldn't be more perfect! THANK YOU MARIA! THANK YOU GAIL! THANK YOU BARBARA! THANK YOU SYLVIA!!!
This is a picture of me - 50 years ago. Recently my mother gave me the little red velvet dress I was wearing in this picture. . . but what I want you to really look at is the chair in the background.
What do you think? Should I stage the same picture with me sitting on the floor in front of a newly reupholstered chair?
YES, the main inspiration for my designs come from the time I spend in nature. Our newest fabric release is a 7 oz organic cotton twill called "Lichen It" - based on this photo I took in what we call "the magic forest". Turkey Tail lichen grows on dead wood and here you can see it has set up a whole city.
Seeing a fabric for the first time is always one of my favorite things - but an even bigger thrill is seeing what people turn it into. Let the sewing begin! This fabric is now available for purchase (wholesale directly through Harmony Art) and retail yardage through our friends at Organic Cotton Plus.
A Brand Ambassador is a grass roots way to get the word out about our fabrics. In exchange for FREE fabric the Brand Ambassador brings the fabric to life and shares it on social media to help you promote Harmony Art organic fabrics.
brand ambassador wish list:
social media Profile Do you have an Instagram account, Facebook page and/or sewing blog?
proficiency with use of hashtags
Excellent photographic skills
Sewing Abilities We are looking for a seamstress who can show how Harmony Art fabrics can be brought to life in a variety of ways and applications. The Adventurous Quilter is our first brand ambassador and will be focused on quilting so we are looking for someone who sews things other than quilts.
ANY OTHER WAY TO SHARE Example: Newsletter, sewing club, facebook group
Email your one page application to: adventurousquilter@gmail(dot)com - be sure to put the actual dot not the word! (Please include instagram account, blog, facebook page, web address, etc)
Applications will be open until July 19, 2019 (June 30th deadline has been extended)
I am pleased and excited to announce my very first Brand Ambassador - Marianne Jeffery aka the Adventurous Quilter! I just shipped her first delivery off today and we will be announcing more details in the coming weeks. Don't know what a Brand Ambassador is? I didn't either! A Brand Ambassador is a grass roots way to get the word out about your products. In exchange for FREE fabric the Brand Ambassador brings the fabric to life and shares it on social media to help you promote your business.
Harmony Art has teamed up with Pauline of Funky Friend Factory to bring you this great opportunity to make your very own organic cotton toy!
What can you win?
You can win some organic fabric AND and a FREE Funky Friends Factory pattern of YOUR CHOICE – it doesn’t HAVE to be Raff the Giraffe but what a great combo it would make with?!
How do you enter?
All you need to do is pop over to the Funky Friends Factory and check out her adorable Funky Friends toy patterns, then pop back here and leave your comment below to let us know WHICH Funky Friends Factory toy pattern you think would look great made up in WHICH Harmony Art organic fabric?
That’s it! That’s all you need to do to win some organic fabric and a FREE Funky Friends Factory pattern! There’s nothing to buy and EVERYONE is welcome to enter. So check out all the fabulous toy patterns and enter NOW!
*** The winner’s will be drawn on Tuesday 4th of May 2019 using random.org and notified by email/Facebook Messenger.***
(and Happy Birthday Harmony Art)
If I am being honest -- I am actually kind of freaking out about this anniversary/birthday. I turned 50 late last year and now my company is 14! It seems impossible. So much has happened both personally and professionally. I have given over 19 lectures on organic cotton around the USA. We've printed over 100 different organic cotton fabrics. We have worked with over 250 companies. We've watched 3 USA printers close shop, GOTS certification come to life. Customers have launched businesses, closed businesses, sold businesses, been featured on Shark Tank. People have died, married, been born, moved and moved again. I've made life long friends and had people fade away. I've been through my own personal tragedies of my brother dying, my father passing away, my mother-in-law's near fatal car accident, my own cancer diagnosis and treatment.
I am not sure why but anniversaries make you reevaluate or give you pause to reflect. What have I learned? Some days it feels like A LOT. Other days it feels like nothing at all. . . but since I am feeling reflective here's what pops into my head today:
1. Ignorance and confidence are what start most businesses. Fourteen years ago I had buckets of both.
2. Success is short changed if you only think in terms of money.
3. Your business will always want more of you but if you give it everything every day you won't have any of you left. It's better to own the business not have the business own you.
4. Enjoy the journey there is no destination.
5. Having your life's work reflect your values not only personally rewarding but I believe is how real change happens.
Cheers to co-creating a future we can not only live with but be proud of. . . and THANK YOU for your love and support along the way.
Yes, The Green Bag Lady has done it! She has reached 50,000 bags GIVEN away! Harmony Art is honored to play a part in this grassroots eco-adventure. In honor of this BIG milestone there is a truly wonderful giveaway going on RIGHT NOW! You will need to click over to the Green Bag Lady's post and enter no later than 10/22 by 7pm PST to be eligible to win. Good luck and HAPPY 50,000!
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.