Travel

Field of tulips in bloom with words on top that read The Netherlands Collection.

Introducing The Netherlands Collection

In the spring of 2022, I went on a creative trip to the Netherlands. While this was technically a vacation, life as a creative entrepreneur means that even my vacations usually influence my work. Planning for inspiration, I made sure to pack my new camera. Last year, I treated myself to a new camera so I could take better photos for Design Pool in between professional photo shoots. I’m still getting to know the camera, but how much better...

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Canisters of natural dye powder in a row lined up on a windowsill.

Heading to Convergence 2022?

The Handweavers Guild of America is hosting Convergence, its International Fiber Arts Conference, in Knoxville, Tennessee, July 15 – 21, 2022. Convergence 2022 is an event hosted every other year full of workshops, lectures, tours, exhibits, competitions, and more. It is also a place for the fiber arts community to come together. Attendees build community while learning and inspiring each other. At this year’s event, Kristen has one piece of original artwork on view in the juried exhibit, Symphony of the...

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Tulip field with words overlaying reading A Creative Week in Holland

A Creative Week in Holland

In the spring of 2022, I joined a group of thirteen women on a Local Flora Field Guides trip to Holland. The trip was led by Kimberly Becker, Lauren Pignatello, and Susan Becker with the goal of experiencing the country while learning about the local flora and creating field guides. Each of the three hosts had something different to offer. Kimberly, an artist and designer, taught watercolors and embroidery. Lauren, a farmer and herbalist, taught all about the local...

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View of table with woman making punch needle art.

My Snow Farm Art Residency

This spring, I had the opportunity to participate as an artist in residence at Snow Farm, The New England Craft Program in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, for two weeks. It was the first time since graduate school that I had an extended period devoted solely to being creative. There were no limitations or requirements. I spent two weeks completely free, exploring new concepts and ideas. Often with running Design Pool, I move from one task to the next without a break or...

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Kauai Inspiration: Flowers, Pattern & Color

How do you turn your inspiration into something tangible? Of course, sometimes you don't need to. Inspiration for the sake of it fuels our creativity whether or not there is a direct line to a piece of art or project for work. But, it's also helpful to save inspiration to use as resources when you need them. When I travel, in addition to keeping a travel journal, I'm constantly snapping photos of beautiful colors and patterns. When I get...

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Travel Journal Prompts to Bring Inspiration Home

For a lot of creative people, traveling can be a huge source of inspiration. Different scenes, smells, sounds, all heighten your senses and seem to open a door to new ideas. Once home, how can we take that inspiration and use it in our work? I recently got back from two weeks on Kauai, and all I kept thinking while there was that everything seemed more intense, brighter somehow. It was more than just the sunshine. After so much...

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Alphonse Mucha at NC Museum of Art

On a recent visit to North Carolina, I visited the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh to see their exhibit Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary. This exhibit is on display through January 23, 2022. When I lived in North Carolina in the 1990s, this museum was one of my favorite spots to visit for inspiration. In fact, during that time there was an exhibit of Mucha’s work. I loved the show so much, I bought a small poster...

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The Arts and Crafts of Cranbrook

I recently attended a reunion for graduates of Cranbrook Academy of Arts who studied under Gerhardt Knodel in the fiber program. I graduated in the class of 1993 and attended the reunion with one of my classmates and good friend, Paula Stebbins Becker. Paula and I decided to use the reunion as an excuse to have a road trip and drove to Detroit together from New England. We enjoyed seeing a bit of the country from the road while...

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International Folk Art Market, Tips & Finds

Some time around 2013, I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and was sucked into a feature on the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico. By the time they went to a commercial break, Santa Fe was on my bucket list. There are many reasons to go to New Mexico, but there was something about this market that finally got me to buy a plane ticket. What is the International Folk Art Market? ...

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Traveling in Italy; Food, Art & Family History

Growing up one of three girls, time alone with my mom was not something that came in big doses; but was always savored. Our interests didn't always align perfectly, but browsing through dusty antique stores or wandering through museums were always activities we could count on doing together. So when we first started thinking about traveling somewhere together, Italy felt like the natural choice. Traveling with my mom in Italy would have history and culture, as well as family...

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