<![CDATA[Bohemian Pearl - BLOG]]>Mon, 28 Dec 2015 08:38:42 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Another Journey, Another New Chapter...]]>Mon, 28 Dec 2015 15:17:04 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/another-journey-another-new-chapter...AKA: On the Road Again.

It seems that our time here has been cut short and we find ourselves starting that daunting, tedious and dreaded process of planning another international move.  All of this comes at a reflective time of year, which is somewhat fitting I guess.  And it's hard not to look back with some regret, some pride and a host of other muddled feelings to process.  There are times when I think about our future back in England and I get excited and really look forward to being back in the fold of family and friends who mean so much.  But as is the case with most international couples, there are plenty of family and friends we'll be leaving behind.  And it's hard to look at the window onto this cute little New England seaside town - sunshine dripping with golden light - and not prematurely pine for the place that we've called home for the last 18 months.  A place where our daughter celebrated her first and second birthday.  Where she learned to walk.  And then talk.  Where she's made friends and grown from a baby into a little girl.  A place where we've played host to visiting family and made great friends of our own.  There is a tangible pain in my heart; a palpable, sour sadness.

Of course this is the start of a new chapter in the book of our lives which has already been filled with many chapters.  And no doubt this will not be the last.  What is exciting is that even though we'll be entering into familiar territory, the
<![CDATA[Inspirational insight...]]>Fri, 22 May 2015 17:10:03 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/inspirational-insight
Creative "treasures" found during my revelation-ary walk.
It may come as no surprise to hear me say that my creativity seems to have plummeted since giving birth.  Some days I feel like it was torn out of me when they extracted my placenta.  I find it a real struggle to balance being a mother and being an artist, a challenge I'm sure many mamas identify with.  And while I'm not really all that surprised at the revelation that it's difficult to maintain all of these compartmentalized parts of oneself whilst rearing a child, I am sort of shocked that it's taken me nearly two years to understand why: I've neglected creativity.   Duh.
When I look reflect on my history of making things I realize that my most intense creative bursts coincided with times that were rich in time to think.  Whether engaged in "mindless" tasks or walking the dog, I realize that there used to be times when my mind was free to wander and it was during those times that the creative side of my brain had the freedom to explore.  It wasn't distracted by my phone or obsessed with checking for texts, emails or notifications on Facebook.  It wasn't filled with the cries of a newborn or of a grumpy toddler.  It was just quiet.  And I had the time to allow for my mind to be quiet.  It's a privilege I no longer seem to allow myself and then I wonder why I find it so difficult to turn on that creativity switch when I do manage to find the spare time to work in my studio.  And that's a real problem when I land commissions, as I have done recently, because panic sets in.  It's so daunting to face that blank surface when you feel like you've got nothing to fill it with.  But yesterday when I was out with Maisie I had an epiphany.  

I took Maisie for a walk down a familiar path and, as usual, was busy filling silences with "Look at that birdie!" and "What colors do you see?".   Then we had to change course unexpectedly and along the way I found some treasures (trash) that I thought would be great to incorporate into a collage at some point.  I picked them up and put them in the basket under the stroller.  It was as if the simple act of picking this stuff up made me mute.  Immediately, I stopped filling the silences; I allowed my mind to think of how I might use these found objects, which had been wonderfully distressed by nature.  I could imagine how I'd attach them to them to a surface and how I would build layers on top of the objects and then how I'd sand those layers back and add more layers and sand them back and what objects I'd put on top of those layers and...

I was lost in creative thought for at least half an hour.  Which, let me tell you, feels like an eternity when you're not used to it!  It felt so invigorating to allow my mind to create artwork while my toddler was happily and quietly enjoying nature.  It was then that I realized that this is how my ideas for projects have always been born: by walking quietly in nature and allowing my mind to wander.  Oftentimes, I'll have created a complete piece of art in my head from the ground up, so to speak.  I'll have come home so inspired that I'll either jot my ideas down in a sketchbook or immediately sit down to my table and start working.  But in my attempt to help my child discover the world around her, I fill silences which inhibits my own creative thought and possibly hers. 

Having this revelation was much needed and I feel so grateful that I stumbled it upon it.  But now comes the challenge of finding the time to actualize these thoughts in the studio.  Maybe it will be like my notion of lost thinking time: it's just sitting there waiting for me to use it. 
<![CDATA[No Doubt, the Universe is Unfolding as it Should...]]>Sun, 29 Mar 2015 02:13:43 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/no-doubt-the-universe-is-unfolding-as-it-shouldFor several years I've been hanging on to the idea of creating a "coincidence sketchbook."  This would be like a journal which would record all of those life "coincidences" and would house found objects and sketches to help tell the story of my lifeline.  This sketchbook still just lives in my head.  And all of the time there is a situation that occurs that makes me think, "this would be perfect for my coincidence book!", a thought which is, without fail, always proceeded by, "I really need to start that project."  Tonight I had another one of those moments and in an attempt to actualize this idea, I've decided to write a blog about it.  At least then I'll have written something down that I can refer to later, even if it's only with wistful regret for not having pursued it further.  And as my husband likes to quote: "a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

So here's a bit of backstory, just to get the ball rolling and to put this into perspective.  When I was in high school the only thing I wanted to be more than an artist, was a writer.  I loved English and Literature classes.  I really wanted to go to college and come out as a journalist.  Life events got in the way and although I managed to make it to art school, the furthest I ever went with writing was to keep inconsistent diaries and and intention to get to it someday.  Yet, I continue to let life get the way.  Or maybe it's not that at all; maybe I've just been allowing life to happen, to provide me with fodder to draw on for my future writer self.  And I guess in some ways, writing my blog is a way of me practicing a craft that I have such a strong desire to delve into..."someday".  Anyway, the biggest moment of "coincidence" took place several years ago when my husband and I took a trip to Malta.  I packed a big, thick novel to take on the trip; it was before I'd had a child and could actually had an attention span that enabled me to make it to the end of a novel!  So the novel was called "Last Night in Twisted River" by one of my favorite authors of all time: John Irving.  There are so many things about that book that touched me deeply which are probably best reserved for that novel I'm going to write someday, but the thing that really stood out was the reference to Chief Wahoo - mascot of the Cleveland Indians.  I'd just read a section of the novel that was about luck and chance and the mascot was like a talisman of sorts.  I was sitting on a bus - enjoying the brief reprieve from the heat, but suffering the torturous and terrifying ride that comes with the territory of riding a bus in that country - reflecting on the scene I'd just read when we passed by some derelict buildings which had been defaced with graffiti of all sorts.  If you know nothing of Malta, it's important to know at least this much: in the height of summer it's landscape is a dusty, monochromatic khaki.  So anything of color - like its striking flowers, for example - really stand out.  As does graffiti.  Especially when it's a four-foot image of Chief Wahoo grinning wildly from the side of a building.  I couldn't believe it.  If this wasn't a sign, I don't what was.  I took a picture.  I just kept thinking about my coincidence book, my desire to be a writer, and John Irving.  Much like the oppressive heat, these thoughts lingered through the rest of the holiday and absolutely devoured that novel, reading with a furver I haven't had since God knows when.  When I got home I still couldn't shake it.  So like any self-respecting nerd, I wrote a letter to Mr. Irving.  I know.  Pathetic.  Teenager heart-throb kind of shit.  But I had to do it.  I posted my letter from England to New England thinking it would end up in some pile on somebody's desk - someday - never to be read.  Or read by some bored and careless intern.  So you can imagine my excitement and shock when I got a letter in the mail several weeks later from none other than my literary hero, Mr. Irving himself!  It was typed, but hand-signed.  And maybe one of his minions wrote it, but it felt like it was in the voice I've come to associate with the author.  I smiled for weeks.  I got a pang of excitement in my heart that wasn't unlike finding out a boy in school liked you, too.  

In my letter to John, I'd told him about going to Malta and reading his novel there and stumbling across a painting of old Chief Wahoo and how it was like fate's way of telling me I was on the right path.  He wished me luck.  Fast-forward three or four years and I've yet to make strides in my literary pursuits.  But coincidences seem to follow - like the film I watched tonight which was just about "signs" and being open to those "signs" - whatever they are - and following them.  Which moved me at least this far.  And I've also made friends recently with an author, and that in itself is probably one for the coincidence book.  But it's getting to be my bed-time and my little alarm clock of a 19 month old doesn't understand the sleeping needs of her mama, so I'll get little repreive if I don't follow my instincts to go to bed.  And I had a whole other direction I was going to go with this blog about realizing dreams and all that.  But maybe that's part of my journey and something that life wants me to write about on another day, as a way of giving me plenty of fodder to draw upon in the future.  And with that I bid you good night and adeiu, until next time.  Maybe then I'll actually have started that "coincidence journal."  :)  
<![CDATA[Rediscovering the Creative Muse]]>Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:39:41 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/rediscovering-the-creative-musePicturePicture by Wednesdays in Marblehead
The Bohemian Pearl studio is situated in the lovely little town of Marblehead, Massachusetts and lies about 16 miles north of Boston.  I was excited when we moved here because after several years of living England where you basically experience two seasons - fall and spring - I was finally going to experience all four seasons again.  I lived a great portion of my life in the Midwest so I'm familiar with what it means to survive tough winters and because I'd been away from that for so long I knew I had to mentally prepare myself for what this winter was bound to bring.  And at first, it was OK.  It was cold, but nothing I couldn't handle.  There were threats of snow, but for the longest time it just never seemed to fall.  And I remember saying to myself, "I wish the sky would get this over with and just dump some snow on us already, instead of teasing us with that stupid grey sky!".  There are times in life when we regret the words we shout out to the universe.  This is one of those times.

As if granting my wish the sky did, indeed, open up.  It snowed.  And snowed.  And it just kept coming.  In a period of about three weeks we were bombarded with about seven feet of snow.  Having so much snow fall in such a short space of time was even astonishing to this native Iowan.  Needless to say it's been a long winter.  So when the temperatures reached 60 degrees yesterday, it was as if we were handed a gift from the tropic gods.  I was in heaven!  Finally, I was able to resume working from my studio.  Bliss!  Now, I realize that there's part of the story you're missing here so let me fill you in.  All through the fall and winter I was happily working from said studio, which is actually a three-season room.  I put an electric heater in the space which kept it reasonably toasty.   But then the ice dams starting forming on the roof.  And the leaking began.  In the most awkward of places - it was basically seeping through the top of the window frame which means that it would just slide down the window and splash on the windowsill which sprayed all over anything within a three-foot radius.  Not good when you work with paper, like I do.  And because this leak was in such an awkward and horrible place I couldn't just catch it in a bucket and work around it.  I had to shut off the heat which was warming up the ice, contributing to the melting effect, remove quite a bit of my stuff and just shut up the studio.  There it lay dormant for the next several weeks, inhibiting any creative output.  And dampening my creative muse. 

I relayed the sad news of our leaky windows to our landlady and after a few days a wonderful, magical man came and removed the snow from the roof and chipped the ice away.  The incredibly warm temperatures quickly melted away what he was unable to remove from the gutters and - presto! - I again had a usable studio!  Oh glorious day!  So I spent a good portion of our unseasonably warm day clearing out my studio of all of the crap we dumped there as its time as an unusable abyss, returned some items to their appropriate places, and did a little re-arranging of supplies and I have to tell you, it filled me with so much loveliness and inspiration inside!  So good was this feeling that it gave me pause to reflect on how important spaces are to us as humans and I think especially to those with a creative pulse.  I was beginning to think that maybe my creative instincts had left me and that maybe I would cease to be an artist.  After all, I had absolutely ZERO motivation, inspiration or desire inside to draw from.  I just stopped caring and was about to write a eulogy to my departed muse.  Funny how one warm day can change everything.

So I'm happy to report that, with my energy restored, I'm writing this blog from my renewed space and it feels great.  And I feel like I can tackle some projects which have been laying on the backburner for quite some time now - namely, a bespoke piece of artwork which was requested by a friend as a birthday present to her husband.  Thankfully, I was able to tide him over with a mini piece of artwork in the meantime.  I can't wait to get started! 

<![CDATA[Living Small and Defining Home...]]>Mon, 05 Jan 2015 21:57:02 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/defining-homePicture
The other day I started watching Tiny: A Story About Living Small - a documentary that follows a man's journey to build a tiny house that will fit on a flat-bed trailer.  When completed the structure, an abode he hopes to call home for the next 30 years, will take up less than 200 square feet of space.  A bit ironic considering that he's going to plop it down in a wide open expanse of space in Colorado.  I guess when you have beautiful mountain views encircling you and a whole big meadow to spend time in, a big house is a bit superfluous - if you're the kind of person who enjoys being outside, that is.  Anyway, this documentary got me thinking about two topics that are nearly always at the forefront of my mind, and issues which are a source of inner conflict for me: home and consumerism.

Mi casa es su casa
Like the man featured in this documentary, I have moved a lot during my 37 years on the planet.  I've lost the exact count, but it's something like 35 times.  The longest I lived in any one house was five years and that was when I was a teenager.  The first time I moved I was four years old and my family loaded up our '57 Chevy pickup, clad with temporary plywood walls with "Montana or Bust!" spray-painted on the side.  We would drive nearly 1,200 miles away from the only home I'd known: the beautiful rolling prairieland of Iowa.  We would live in two more states and three more houses before returning to Iowa by the time I was 9.  We'd only live there for another year before making the long trek to live on the East Coast.  And the trend would continue indefinitely and, in fact, continues to this day.  It may come as little surprise to learn that Little House on the Prairie was one of my favorite books to read as a little girl. 

Moving around like that has a profound effect on one's life: you're in a constant state of saying hello, struggling to find your place, before waving your hand once again to say goodbye to those you'd only just started to know.  And it becomes increasingly difficult to answer questions like "Where are you from?" and "What is home?"  As I get older, wanting to define what home is for me becomes more important, especially now that I have a child of my own.  I've moved my daughter from her birthplace of England to America and we're likely to move her again within the next two years.  The cycle is being repeated.

This may all sound like a hardship and, granted, in many ways it is.  But while parts of me are sad that I've not lived geographically close to my family and have had to leave friends behind, I'm lucky in that I've made new friends everywhere I've gone.  And although I feel like the consummate "outsider", I've also developed a strong resiliency which has been of great benefit to me throughout my life.  Plus, it's given me the great opportunity to see a lot of America (and Europe) and experience new places in a way that I don't think people tend to do when they live in one place for most of their life. 

I could ramble on about this topic for ages and am not sure where I want to go with my train of thought.  So I guess a good endpoint would be to say that not too long ago I explored the theme of "home" is a series of artwork.  Working on the series didn't really do much to provide me with a resolution, so to speak, but it did give me comfort in a way: maybe "home" for me will be where I am at any given time; maybe I was destined to be a nomad.  Either way one thing is certain: I've always managed to land on my feet everywhere I've lived and that's a huge accomplishment.
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!
Probably a greater conflict in my life than defining "home" is that of consumerism; like most of the rest of us, I'm a victim of advertising who sell the idea that the more we have, the happier we'll be.  If you get that new pair of jeans, wear such-and-such perfume, and decorate your house with a bunch of stuff, no doubt made in China, you'll be fulfilled.  So we buy and feel a temporary sense of euphoria and when that wears off we got off an another shopping therapy trip.  I'm guilty of this; I like acquiring new things just as much as the next person.  But I also hate it.  I hate the heavy burden of having too much stuff.  So I go through phases of intentionally not buying and, in general, try to purchase used or recycled items.  I shop at thrift stores a lot and always have an eye on the curb for things that people are throwing away.  And I go through phases of purging - and as I sort through all of my "stuff" I am made painfully aware of the ridiculousness of acquiring a thing and then getting rid of that thing.  Which is maybe I'm drawn to vintage wares and to the era when things were made to serve a purpose and to last - like old cars or radios where you can see how they work and can fix them.  I used to have a 1970 VW Beetle and one of the things I loved most about that car was that it was so straight forward; I regularly changed the oil and transmission fluid on my own.  And if I was equipped the proper equipment, could have changed the V-belt  and a lot of other things on my own.  You simply can't do this with modern cars.  It really fills me with rage. 

So when I was watching this documentary, I asked myself whether or not I could live in such a small space - certainly, the temptation of limited the material possessions around me is tempting. But I don't think I could.  And I don't think it's because it would require me to possess less but because I would soon feel cooped up.  Maybe I could do it if it were in a warm climate. And while I say that it would be tempting to live without "stuff" I also realize that as a mixed media artist who frequently works with collage and assemblage, it's in my nature to collect "stuff" - and most of the time it's discarded items that catch my eye so it's not like I'm consuming new material goods, but even still it adds up to a lot of volume.  So unless I completely changed the way I work, living the tiny life isn't for me whether I like it or not.  And so the conflict continues...

<![CDATA[Modern-day Pilgrimage]]>Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:57:22 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/modern-day-pilgrimagePrologue
My new studio
So we've moved yet again, digging up the roots we'd firmly established in England so that we could start a new chapter in America.  In August we touched down in Boston, a city heaped in history; having soaked up so much of it while we were there, I feel more like I'm about to write the story of our journey long-hand in some pilgrim's annal rather than typing on a laptop.  While our journey can in no way compare with the challenges faced by early-day pilgrims, it feels like a minor epic.  An epic-ette. 
When we got to Boston we stayed for about a week in a studio hotel suite then moved into a furnished apartment in a high rise downtown.  It felt like an out-of-body experience for a family of outdoor lovers to be right in the heart of a city, which is relatively small when compared with the likes of London or New York City but still big enough to warrant an incessant cacophony of honking horns, sirens and shouting humans.  We lived there for six weeks.  It was novel at first, with the amazing view of the Charles River in the background; waking up to see the bright sun shining on that beautiful river and the golden dome of the State House in the foreground was stunning.  But no matter how novel or nice a place is, when you're living in a place with very few of your belongings and generic "artwork" adorning the walls, it just feels like a shell.  A nice shell, but a shell none-the-less.  So it was nice when we managed to find a place well outside of the city that we could call home.  We moved to Marblehead about a month ago and I think we're now feeling settled in enough to relax and I'm ecstatic because I once again have a studio, which is my creativity haven.  It's still a shared space like I had in England; I share it with the little whirl-wind of energy who is my daughter - and I love it!

In the Studio...

Not only did we move to a new house.  Across a pond.  In a different country.  We've also done a bit of travelling to see family and have had family come to visit us.  So while we've been in our house for a month, we've not really had much time to relax.  Still, I've managed to get a little bit of creativity time in; that's the nice thing about working in crochet - you can do a little bit, put it away, pull it out, work a bit and put it back again...  A necessity when you've got a new toddler on the run (or stumble!).  And as per usual, my creative endeavors were inspired by this little ball of delight - and balls of yarn - and from my visit with my mom.  During that trip to visit family I saw my mom, who lovingly shared some cool patterns with me for these vintage-inspired doilies; I suck at following patterns but I'm really good at free-form crocheting so I used that experience as my inspiration to create some doilies to decorate Maisie's room.  It's a work in process - I envision lots more of these little doilies and eventually some other funky bits of vintage styled art.  Stay tuned to see how it develops! 

They say necessity is the mother of invention; the change of seasons drove me to my next creative project: a beanie for my little bean.  I've been making these since I was pregnant, so the concept is nothing new, but the designs always are.  I just love this little hat!!

From the Library...

I read once that a book finds you when you're ready for it.  I was so excited when I read about this book being released and my mother-in-law, who is so amazing at remembering such things, kindly gave it to me for Christmas last year.  I've stared at it on my shelf over the last year, longing to read it but somehow not feeling quite ready.  I can't really explain why.  I just finished reading a great book and was ready for a new read, but hadn't really settled on what that might be.  Then it was Halloween and my husband gave me the great idea that I should dress up as Rosie the Riveter.  This inspired me to do a bit of research into Rosie which I'm glad that I did; I learned that the much-loved image that we associate with this propagandist icon turned symbol of feminism was based on a painting by Norman Rockwell; Rockwell based his depiction of Rosie on Michelangelo's painting of the prophet Isaiah, which adorns the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Not long after the release of the Saturday Evening Post which used Rockwell's illustration for its cover, a marketing company was hired to create an image which could be used as a recruitment tool to encourage women to do their part to support the country during WWII.  Because of copyright issues, the company came up with the image that is now popularly associated with Rosie the Riveter.  All of this made me reflect on the women of the 40s who were called to duty and how this shaped the workforce of the 50s.  Naturally, I had no choice by to grab this book from the shelf.  It's riveting, to say the least.  Pardon the pun.
<![CDATA[Nostalgia]]>Fri, 04 Jul 2014 10:04:01 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/nostalgia
An old photograph from my archive of northeastern Iowa.
The other day I took the baby out for a walk in the meadow by our house.  It offers a beautiful view: softly rolling hills peppered with cows happily munching on grass, bordered by trees that make beautiful music as their branches gently sway in the breeze.  It's been a pretty nice summer so far with weather that's the been dry and warm, for the most part which, which is a welcome change to a girl who pines for the hot summer days of the American Midwest. 

On this given day I was filled with such a strong sense of nostalgia and could almost imagine that I was home.  It was hot enough that I could smell the dryness of the earth, which is a sensory sensation that really sparks vivid memories from a particular year from my childhood when we lived on my grandmother's farm.  My use of that word has probably given you a false image of the setting as it was no longer a working farm; in fact, it hadn't been used as a functioning farm in a great many years.  We lived in the big, white farmhouse that sat a bit higher than the rest of the land.  The yard was littered with old barns filled with disused relics of a more glorious past, a silo that had long ago lost its lid, a well and a very simple and rather sweet chicken coupe.  In all actuality we didn't live far from town and the nearest neighbor lived on just the other side of an electric fence.  But as a child, we might as well have been 100 miles from anywhere.  And although I often played with my cousins or had friends around to keep me company, I was often on my own.  I entertained myself with inventing exciting adventures and discoveries.  I played close to the earth and the smell of dirt, dust, grass and years-old machine oil pervaded my olfactory senses.  The oppressive heat smothered my skin and loved to feel the dry breeze brush over my face and ears as it gently found its way through my hair, occasionally whipping it across my face. 

When I walk in this meadow near my present-day house, I look out at those cows roaming the fields in the distance, relishing in the sounds so reminiscent of home, and a warm peace and sublime happiness fills my whole being.  In those moments I can imagine that I'm back in the beautiful prairies of Iowa - a place that will always be home to me, no matter where in the world I might live. 

<![CDATA[From start to finish...]]>Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:26:18 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/from-start-to-finishDuring the last excruciating days of my pregnancy, I started making stuffed toys for my little bundle of joy.  I had several sketches for these cuddly critters, but once the baby came, I had little time, energy, focus, time or freedom to work on such frivolous things.  Did I mention that I also just didn't have the time?  Now that Maisie is nearing a year old, I feel a lot more confident in my parenting skills and have started to figure out how to manage my time to do stuff I want to do and still look after the baby - despite the fact that she's crawling and climbing on everything! 

To get to the point, I've started making more cuddly critters and here's my latest creation for your viewing pleasure.  Below is the photo gallery showing the project from concept to completion.

<![CDATA[While I was out walking one day...]]>Tue, 24 Jun 2014 19:58:43 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/while-i-was-out-walking-one-dayPicture
Actually I was driving through Chipping Norton on my way to see an exhibition by my friend, Cleo Carruthers, when I saw out of the corner of my eye this weird and wonderful site.  It's some sort of disused storefront filled the brim with wonderful goodies that I'd LOVE to get my hands on...if only I had a studio to house it in and weren't about to embark on an international move.  Stupid life getting the way of cool stuff.  Anyway, I was just intrigued by this image and my wonderful husband obliged me by turning around in busy traffic and stopping so I could get out and snap a pic.   

I don't know if I'll ever do anything with these images, but I just can't resist sharing.  And even if I can't get my greedy paws on these wonderful objets d'art, I have tucked the imagery away in my memory - I'm confident they'll resurface when the time is right and they'll be find new life in some sort of creative output down the line.  In the meantime, enjoy the imagery for yourselves my lovely readers and let your imagination do with them what it will!

<![CDATA[Some new(ish) products that I've been working on...]]>Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:22:01 GMThttp://www.bohemianpearl.com/blog/some-newish-products-that-ive-been-working-onPicture
While most of my new work has been - surprise! - baby related, not all of it is.  One of the new additions to the Bohemian Pearl collection is the crocheted coaster.  They're made from 100% fine merino wool and backed with felt which has been attached with hand-stitching.  My followers will know how much I love to incorporate recycled materials into my work...the button and ribbon are examples of that.  The buttons were a great score from my local charity shop (a bargain at 3p each!) and I have no idea where the ribbon came from, but I just love it!  

vintage crochet, vintage, crochet, coaster, bohemian pearl, erin singleton
The crocheted coaster was inspired by the vintage bunting you see here.  I came up with the idea for the bunting when wanting to create something special for my daughter's nursery.  I just couldn't shake the idea of yarn pom-poms - remember those?  Anyway, I abhorred the idea of spending so much time (and wool!) wrapping and wrapping and wrapping just to have it go wrong when I had a lightbulb moment - why not crochet yarn circles instead!  I love how it's a unique take on bunting, which is so popular right now.  I just love it!  And the best part - the bunting looks great in adult bedrooms, too!

baby beanies, vintage hats for babies, funky baby hats, bohemian pearl, erin singleton
I'm a bit late in getting this one up with winter is behind us.  But then today when the temperature plummeted and I was shocked in having to turn the heat on, I thought to myself, 'you can never put your wooly hats away in England!'  This is a my daughter wearing the beanie I made for her out of merino wool, which I think is just stinkin' cute!  I make them in adult-sizes too and while they are cool, I don't know if they're quite as cute as this!