explore create connect

in visiting my site (and my shop, and my instagram) you may notice a new logo. this was created for me recently by my guy, and i can’t tell you how happy i am to have a logo (finally! after 20+ years of creating) that encompasses what my work/life is about. building a brand is not really something i thought i’d ever bother to do, as i just create what i love and what i’m inspired to make, but i knew eventually it would be an inevitable part of having a business.

explore create connect is the simplified way to explain the way that i gather inspiration from my travels and relationships to tell my stories through my quilt work. you can read more about this in a previous blog post here.

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the logo is a restructuring on a tattoo of three triangles that i have on my chest that each stand for explore create connect. i got the tattoo over two years ago as a reminder of a) what i do and b) why. at the time i didn’t know that i’d be heading into the hardest two years of my life filled with grief and change and a complete spiritual epiphany, but i was starting to feel a shift in my work – to create based solely on my experiences and the landscapes surrounding me, and less on what just looked “pretty”. i’d been creating like this for a while but i knew that it was the path i was heading down and would stay there. i was starting to recognize that my work was a direct reflection of what i was feeling at any given moment and that i could really use it to tell my stories and truths outwardly.

i have been lucky that since moving across the country from maine to the AZ/CA deserts in 2014 to have been able to travel quite a bit, mostly solo, and within my travels i’ve interacted with many people who have participated on different levels in my life. it seems that i often don’t meet people by chance – it most often happens that they end up being major catalysts for some sort of change within myself, both for good and bad. i’ve experienced loss (as i spoke of above), emotional/verbal abuse, love, and many quiet nights filled with conversation and emotional expanding. it is rare that i meet anyone or visit a place that does not have an impact on me.

i’ve not been afraid, mostly, to tell these stories, though often they have been told after the fact, as it has not always been a safe place to tell the stories in the moment as they were happening. often i’ve needed time to heal or reflect on what they’ve actually meant to me. i’ve gone through more growth and work in the last few years than ever in my life. i am not the same person i was before i moved, thats for sure. but in all of the change within myself, i can say that one of the most important outcomes has been that my work has become stronger, more defined, more inspired and more me than its ever been. often it has been my therapy or a way to push through moments where i had no other appropriate coping skill. this has been a hard road, but also one that has yielded beautiful results.

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navigating the desert alone can be harsh. for everything it gives, it also takes away. it takes a very strong but soft heart. it can be isolating and the silence can be quieter than any other silence; but it is beautiful and life-giving. only the toughest plants and people survive here. the storms are big and move quickly, the sun is severe, the landscape is desolate. but the greatest thing that the desert has taught me is how to be with myself – in all of my ways, through all of my feelings. this has taken a lot of getting used to, but once i understood how to move through it i learned how to see the beauty here. and i know its where my heart belongs.

i work through the past few years on a daily basis, but i am lucky enough right now to be headed in a direction of security and safety, emotional rest, and happiness. after battling depression and anxiety and relationships that did nothing but steal my joy, i am now in a place where i am able to offer and receive all of the things i have always wanted. after all of the searching and back-breaking trying, i am able to connect in a way that feels natural. this does not mean there are no bumps ahead, as it will be a lesson in learning from afar for a while, with many travels back and forth and a lot of four hour phone calls. but i have faith that in the end we will be where we want to be, together. this is scary, but also freeing – to be able to rest amidst the work.

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it can be vulnerable to be constantly living and creating from this heartspace, but i’ve realized that there is no other way for me to do it. i am proud to create from this place in a way that opens doors for others to tell their stories or be inspired to travel. every single one of us lives a life that carries our own truths, and those truths deserve to be recognized. for me it comes out in color and shape and design. it comes out in the way i dye my fabrics. it comes out in the ways that i love. it comes out in walks through the desert where the only sound is my own mind and my own heart.

i urge you to look around. whether its where you live or where you travel or right in your own home, and notice what you feel. be aware. take stock in your heart and talk about what you really want in life. i often say that i am “lucky” but i know that i always have had choices. some of my choices have been wrong, but in the wrongness of them i have always seen light. i’ve learned the hard way that there is more to life and love than simply taking what you are given. i find uniqueness in a rundown abandoned cabin, magic in a sunset, beauty in a sharp and dangerous cactus, freedom in a long dirt road.

exploring, creating, connecting : that is what my life is built on, and now my brand. my business is one of the most important things to me, since it is where i am able to put myself out into the world, but without it i am still experiencing these things all of the time. i’ve worked hard to structure a business, to create something that helps make my life easier both monetarily and emotionally. my business is more than a business to me – it is one of the things that i need to feel complete.

this new logo will be featured on linen/cotton quilt labels attached to the back of each new quilt i make. it will be featured on business cards that i’ll be making later this spring summer. and in the meantime you can find it online. but it is more than a logo. its a representation of what i strive for and the life goals i’ve set for myself. all it took was someone who understood me enough to create exactly what i was looking for, who cares enough to see me for who i am. i can’t return that favor in a logo, but i can return it everyday by being present and in helping plan the future. explore create connect isn’t just a logo for me, but also the key ingredients for what i hope to be able to give back, in a supportive caring and very real way.

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