I recently shared the creative journey of Bryony Shearmur – a musician-turned-photographer-turned-author-turned-designer (are you as exhausted by that title as I?), and she mentioned something that has reverberated in my ears ever since – the idea of a creative ecosystem. The realization that our creative lives and passions and dream jobs are the sum of little more than our past experiences or failures or experiments. That our creative life isn’t necessarily linear, but spiraling closer and closer to our core – the point where each interest overlaps and meshes together, creating the ultimate nucleus of passion. And although I haven’t yet reached my core center (although I like to think I’m rounding a close corner!), I was thrilled to read that England-based artisan Becky Kemp is happily crafting in her own passion-fueled nucleus of a kid’s shop, Sketch Inc:
Ever since I covered Lenka Clayton’s amazing Motherhood in Residency project, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how I view the relationship between work and parenting and creativity and all things good and perfect, Amen. Although I’m a big believer of compartmentalizing my work and home life (which is increasingly difficult as it’s a work-from-home life), I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t concede that Bee is endlessly inspiring to me. So it only makes sense that her play area and my office be one in the same, yes?
When I lived in Los Angeles, visiting the farmer’s market was a huge highlight of my weekend. The sights and sounds and smells and flavors were the perfect way to kick-start two days of rest, relaxation and quality time with Ken and the pups. And now that we’re in the Midwest, the changing seasons make me all the more appreciative of our town’s small farmer’s market every Wednesday morning. Sure, we can’t visit year-round, but we can certainly enjoy the experience for a few giddy months. The good news, of course, is that our sweet minis can soak up their own farmer’s market fun at home (all year long!) with these delightfully delicious goodies from a few of my favorite shops (Hint: you’re not going to believe how inexpensive that market stand is!):
Now that Bee’s on the move, I’ve been taking greater measures to ensure her safety in our home (I’ll be sharing a few peeks soon!). I won’t lie – it’s been a bit hard to make a few design sacrifices in the spirit of baby-proofing, but I’ve also found it easier than I thought it would be in a lot of cases. Exhibit A: Bean bags, which can make excellent stand-ins for ottomans and also provide a comfy spot for the mini in your life. (If you can get past the attached memories of college dorm rooms and childhood basements, that is!) Here are 10 of my faves (2 of which were just released last week!):
Now that Bee’s eight months, I’m slowly updating my registry guide to share which products made our lives easier and which fell flat. Today’s update is the nursery, where I totally missed the mark in SO many ways (but fared surprisingly well in a few departments!):
Raising Bee to have a respect and fascination for cultures other than our own is of utmost importance to me. Our world is small, indeed, and we have much to learn from those that walk this great Earth among us – whether they’re poets hiking aimlessly through the mountains of Austria or, in this case, artisans settling into the dry foothills of West Africa. And until Ken and I gain enough confidence to travel the world with an infant, we’re making efforts to surround her with objects that tell the stories of those living elsewhere. Exhibit A: charming baskets handwoven in Senegal.
I mentioned last week that I’ve been noticing a resurgence of artistic, design-driven parents that are inspired by – not despite – their children. It’s been a refreshing trend to watch as I’ve been experiencing my own personal spark of creativity after Bee’s birth. Parenting is demanding, yes, but it also has a way of granting perspective and flexibility and focus – all necessary tools that any creative should be so lucky to find in their proverbial tool box. And perhaps if this trend is here to stay, designer Lucas Maassen can be awarded the title of grandfathering in the movement with his latest ground-breaking project…
When I first launched Design for MiniKind, I had assumed it would be a pint-sized version of what my other blog was at the time – a place to catalog great products, inspired artists and creative ideas from around the web. Yet the more I delve deeper into my favorite makers and projects and gifts, I’m realizing that there’s a new theme emerging: children are awakening a serious creative spark in their parents. It’s true with Lenka. With these photographers. With Bianca. With Michaela. Gone are the days of believing we were in our prime, creatively-speaking, before our kids came along. Now it seems (and this rings very true with the following artist), the best is yet to come.
Bee officially turned seven months old this week and her obsession with fabric continues to grow stronger than ever, so my thoughts keep turning to security blankets and such. Of course, a forever blanket is a big deal (I can’t help but think of how many future photos it will be in, or if she’ll want to pass it on to her own children?), so I’ve been shopping around with a very selective eye. Here are some lovely options I’ve spotted (31 of them!) – just in case your little ones are in the market for a few of their own!:
According to a recent study, a third of today’s parents think that playing with their children is boring. So boring, in fact, that many of us are succumbing to technology to occupy our time. The Tumblr Parents on Phones features dozens of moms and dads checking their phone during picnics, school programs – even birthday parties. But perhaps the most disconcerting illustration of our modern day neglect isn’t technology-related at all; it’s a chair.