Monday, July 17, 2017

"it comes through me"

Recently I attended a business meeting at the Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen, MA. One of those places I have driven by for many many years. Always meaning to stop but it is so close. So convenient. I never made the effort. Still I was curious. Finally I had the perfect excuse.

The place was even more fantastic and imaginative than I thought. So many great spaces with dragons and butterflies,

butterfly--Three Sisters Sanctuary--Ann Brauer
ladies waiting,

lady--Three Sisters Sanctuary--Ann Brauer
 dancing children

Dancing girl--Three Sisters Sanctuary--Ann Brauer


And the rocks.  So hard to capture on camera but they were the stars. Set around spaces for meditation and celebration. I wanted to just wander quietly and revisit them one at a time. Run my hands over them. Pause and commune with them. Then examine all the wonderful mementos that had been left by others. Absorb the space.

Memento--Three Sisters Sanctuary--Ann Brauer


It became even more special when the creator of this space explained his vision. How it kept growing. Each new addition flowing out of him. The rocks that positioned themselves just right to create the perfect feeling. One place where he said he could feel the push pull of two rocks interacting with each other.  The stories. Even the sorrow that inspired the initial vision and that grew as others added their stories and their sorrows and joy to the whole.

Isn't that in part what art is? Something that comes from beyond ourselves and can communicate to others. That taps into the universal and lets us all get a bit of a glimpse of the larger story that is beyond words.

And now that I have stopped by once, I know I must return and absorb it in my own way and with my own vision. Have you been to the Three Sisters Sanctuary? Do you have a space like this near you? Have you stopped and learned some of its mysteries and voices? Does the art come through you?  For more info on Three Sisters:threesisterssanctuary.com



Forest person--Three Sisters Sanctuary--Ann Brauer





Friday, July 14, 2017

it's always something

Just when I thought I had my Etsy shop organized and humming along getting ready for the holidays (yes, I do think ahead or at least I try to) Etsy comes along and makes a change. Instead of the five photos that I am accustomed to, I can now show my buyers TEN!!!!  I am sure they did it with the best of reasons. After all, the buyer can't really see the item except in the listing and so the buyer probably does want more information. At least that is their rationalization.

But TEN!!! images. What can I show? I have realized that I don't have any more of these wonderful green place mats. If I don't have them, it must be because they are popular so I make more. They are a wonderful color, aren't they?  Front. Back. Two placemats. Placemats with a plate. For me these are standard.

two green placemats--Ann Brauer 2017


I read the helpful tips. OK--maybe buyers want to see the inside of my studio. That works. I love my studio. I can also show them the outside. After all, it is a wonderful shade of green itself. That also works. Now if I had a nice table I could set it and show the mats in use but the truth is that I don't yet. So I read more suggestions. A work in progress. I do hand stitch the bindings. I can show that. Maybe next time I can show another detail of the construction. Who knows.

green placemats--Ann Brauer 2017


Customers do like to mix and match. That would be a nice image. Let them see what else they could order. Maybe I should do more of these pictures. That could be fun.

two green placemats--Ann Brauer 2017


But for now that will have to do. After all, I also need to make some more placemats. This time I think I will try burgundy. Another  color I don't have. They will look good with the green. I will have to see what other sellers are doing for images. More to think about. More to learn. It is after all, always something, isn't it? If you want to see my finished listing, it is here. https://www.etsy.com/listing/542491075/quilted-green-placemats-washable-table?ref=shop_home_active_1

What images would you add? I do welcome suggestions.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

finishing the quilt

I don't know about you but sometimes I find it hard to finish a quilt, especially if it is a custom order which means I must send it off to its rightful home. After all, I have spent a lot of time working on the piece--I have to figure out how I am going to make it. What tweaks will make the quilt just right for its location. After all, the customer usually wants specific colors and sizes. They have honored me by wanting me to create their vision for their home. Think about it for a moment.

Sometimes as is the case with this quilt, the customer the customer liked the colors of an existing quilt but it was not the right size. Since I was going to be remaking the piece, they also wanted me to change the bottom of the quilt to incorporate a design element from another quilt of mine.

OK--I could do this. Of course this meant I had to think about just the right colors and proportion for the new size and design element. I wanted the quilt to sing and be more than the sum of its parts. And I did learn something when I made it. That is the fun of custom orders. They push me to see my work in just a slightly new direction. Now I want to make another in this series--different colors, different feeling. But a quilt that I am curious to see. I should start it as soon as I get to the studio today. That is the best way to get the quilt done.

another fine day--24x60"--quilt--Ann Brauer 2017