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art creativity design happiness

omg! so happy!

If you’ve read much of this blog, you’ll realize that until 2018 I was a college professor, lost in the whirlwind of conflicting thoughts… I was a complete novice at business, though I took a great course and do know how to sew and design pretty things. But still… even the MBA in a Box (which still sits on my shelf) was intimidating, and I felt like a failure–or completely INSANE to be doing what I do–quite often. And if you’ve ever tried to create anything or start a small business, you’ll also empathize and feel a surge of joy right now, on hearing that I JUST MADE MY FIRST BIG SALE today! The All Star Seattle Quilt (above) sold after just one day on Etsy!

So now, I’m riding on the wind, as I look forward to a wonderful session of T’ai chi, after the exhilarating Water Taxi ride to the waterfront… and it’s not even raining (right now).

All Star Seattle Quilts nos. 2 and 3 are underway and will feature the T-shirts of more local favorites! No. 2 will feature Pegasus Books, Easy Street Records, and Beanfish Tayaki; No. 3 will feature Elliott Bay Books, Easy Street Records, and Communion Restaurant. preorders available now! (6-8 weeks)

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Uncategorized

approved! by C. Mazloomi, no less

You heard it here first! The eminent scholar, author, curator, and expert quilter, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, supports the “Respect” quilts I’m making; in fact she considers it “a very meaningful project.” Thank you Dr. Mazloomi!

***

The “Respect” quilt project: Post-election Update and Jubilation!

The “Respect” quilt is a result of Black and white creators working together to honor Black women’s beauty, history, and resilience. It is also a timely product for this moment, when we celebrate that a Black woman, Kamala Harris, has become VP-Elect of the USA!

ORIGINS: The first “Respect” quilt was created by a former teacher, a white woman, for a former student of hers, a Black woman in South Bend, Indiana. When in her class at age 15, the young woman wrote and illustrated a short story, Overcoming Adversity, which stayed in the mind of her teacher all these years. (Discussions are afoot about revising it and publishing it with Honey Girl Books and Gifts LLC.) “Respect” quilt no. 1 was delivered in October 2020; she loves it!

MATERIALS and IMAGERY:  The “Respect” quilts tell little stories, each one different, through fabrics such as the historical vignettes of antebellum Blacks in “Harlem Toile de Jouy” designed by Sheila Bridges, and the stunning black on white AphroChic silhouettes (both of Brooklyn, NY), African fabrics from Cultured Expressions (Rahway, NJ) and other fabrics purchased from African-American business women across the USA, including Our Fabric Stash in the Pike Place Market (Seattle).  The quilt backs are more overtly political: the red fabric is decorated with a swath of denim with a pocket, and three patches: a portrait in yellow and black of Malcolm X, “One Love,” and “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.”

TIMELINE and COMMITMENT: “Respect” quilt no. 3 is now available! No. 4 is already reserved. Nos. 5 and 6 are coming along nicely. The series will continue indefinitely. After an abrupt realization of my own many privileges (again) this past summer, as I remembered that Grandma D. was born and raised in Rhodesia–a British colony, what is now Zimbabwe–and Grandpa D.’s family emigrated from England to South Africa, yet I no one ever told us why, or whose lives they impacted, I have vowed to make “Respect” quilts a part of my legacy. Maybe someday others will join, and “Respect” quilts will cover the country! This is meant as a way to give back to Black women and girls the love and admiration they deserve, now, and from this generation forward.

TWO WAYS WE GIVE BACK:

1. Retail sales (online). At $779.99 each, the “Respect” quilts sold on the HGBG Etsy website (below) are a fund-raiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs of St Joseph County, IN & King County, WA. For every “Respect” quilt sold, 50% of the proceeds, minus materials, are donated to the BGCA. 

2. Inner circle & non-profit offer (by invitation): At $250 each (cost of materials), a “Respect” quilt can be made for a church benefit, political fund-raiser or given to a well-deserving person of your choice.

Warm wishes,

Julia, Honey Girl Books and Gifts

https://www.etsy.com/shop/HoneyGirlBooksGifts

https://www.honeygirlbooks.com/

Seattle, WA

Categories
art generosity happiness humor nature wisdom

day 71, laugh with the kookaburra!

One good thing about this pandemic is the creativity released around the world, when people have had time to do… well, whatever. People I know have been baking and planting gardens. Others have been making music. I’ve been sewing. But the best creation I’ve seen yet came to light today thanks to the New York Times  article about the giant laughing kookaburra created in Brisbane, Australia by Dr. Farvardin Daliri.

I love Dr. Daliri’s thoughts on creativity: “My way of art is to worship what’s in front of me and appreciate with gratitude.” Noticing how people were growing depressed and anxious as the pandemic took hold, he says, “I think this is a time we need to reach out to each other. We may not meet all the requirements of people’s material happiness, but spiritually we can make them happy.”  The article ends by noting that the kookaburra’s laugh is so infectious that it encourages real birds to join in.  Check out the video; you will laugh too!

I’m smiling still…  Thank you, Dr. Farvardin Daliri. You are making the world a better place, one smile at a time.

yesterday’s face mask production, fyi:

Face masks made on May 28 2020 for No Seattle College 7

Categories
generosity meditation work

day 25: it took a pandemic …

… for us to learn to appreciate each other.

Despite all the interesting and dire news circulating today, I’m drawn back to the New York Times magazine’s “Exposed. Afraid. Determined.” feature from last week, because it brings together so many voices we usually ignore and it confers dignity on so many jobs we usually disdain, jobs which have suddenly been vaulted into the news by dint of being classified as “essential”.

True, some of the people are accustomed to being honored: the firefighter mentions how people “want to shake our hands and thank us” and the mail carrier says “My customers are like my friends and family. They buy my kids Christmas presents, or I give them birthday cards.” But what many others say reveals their sense of being disrespected, day after day, by us the uncaring public. And that makes me mad.

In homage to these hard-working people, I reprint some of their words here. We need to read these testimonials and hear what they are telling us. And it needs to be remembered. It should not take a pandemic for us to learn to respect each other as equal citizens, equal people, united as humans by our kinship of intelligence.

“The public sees us as dumb flight attendants, but we are the silent first responders.”

“We are always talking to patients. … That can be a waste of time, but we do it anyway.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m frightened.”

“As a woman of color, I am used to being second-guessed or having patients ask me, ‘When am I going to see a doctor?’”

“I would be lying to say I’m not worried about exposure to Covid-19. But when I’m in the field, the first thing I’m thinking about is helping our people cope. … That’s the first tenet of social work. We show up. We show up. That’s it.”

“I’ve jokingly told customers that I’ve never been so glad that I decided to not only get into pumping gas but also to come back to the station. I’m glad I did.”

“To say that I’m terrified would be an understatement. I decided to do this interview because I’m hoping that it will literally save someone’s life, that companies will take measures to do everything they can to protect their employees.”

“I don’t think that I’m actively worried, but I feel that I am subconsciously.”

“We are doing this to help relieve stress on the parents, because this is a tough time for everyone.”

***

And here for the record is a photo of the masks produced yesterday, and my own testimonial: “I have never felt more alive.  Or stressed, worried about the collective fate of humanity. So thank you, neighbors, for allowing me to help.”

Masks produced April 12 2020

 

 

Categories
art creativity design friendship generosity happiness

Tonight’s the night!

Tranquility Pillow Xmas tree Dec 2018.jpgHello!

Dec. 18 is a very exciting date. It is the day that kicks off the “caring profession thank-you week”: a tradition I created last year as CEO of my own business, Honey Girl Books and Gifts (est. 2017).

Each year in the week before Christmas (beginning Dec. 18), Honey Girl Books and Gifts gives away a Tranquility Pillow ($80 value plus free shipping in the USA) to the first five “caring professionals” who request one (with a scanned ID or other proof of profession). Caring professions include K-12 teachers and counselors, nurses, midwives, doulas, fire and police officers, and day care providers. In return, we’d like a little feedback about the product’s therapeutic effects and permission to share those anecdotes.

Want to join the contest?  email juliawsea@gmail.com beginning on 12/18 (that is, for the eager, at midnight tonight)

Don’t delay!  inquiries have already arrived from teachers and nannies in cities ranging from Seattle and New Orleans to South Bend, Indiana!

Thank you for your service to humanity; we could not survive without you!

This year’s winners will receive a Night model in the Moonrise design, as seen below.