Chew On this

I ordered 100 organic wood teething rings in March. I thought they would last me a whole season. I didn't list them on the website because they are still in the introductory experimental phase. I reached into the box, and they were only 2 left! Whaaaaat! I've only had 3 shows this season so far! Time to reorder already. I purchased some cool food themed fabric I found HERE.

There are so many to choose from, and that's just ONE fabric site. My Gawd, I'm addicted to buying fabric.

I'm sure you get why it's so funny to hand a crying, fussy, teething baby a snickers printed teething ring. "Hey baby, you're not yourself....have a Snickers."

There's a lot of kids literally chewing on a piece of Fawn right now.

I Will

I will not compromise the quality of my work for what is popular or trending.
Sewing 2 pieces of fabric together is not quilting.
Importing cheap materials is irresponsible.

I choose to set trends, not follow them.
I choose to work continuously on my craft.
I choose to research, and explore, and innovate.

Reselling something that someone else made does not make you an artist.
Take the time to invest in yourself.

If you do not value, or cannot afford handmade, you are not my customer. And that's ok with me.

Overnight success never happens overnight.
I have achieved small successes, but my dream is so much bigger.
I maneuver around "No's."
I will not stop.

I wrote that as a response to looking at some Insta posts with the hashtag #quilt. I swiped through dozens of images. Most of us troll the internet, loose hours of life on Pinterest, and gossip for days on Facebook. I, however, was doing important market research, lol. Looking for direction, and inspiration from my fellow makers.  I was seeing popular fabric prints, mostly monochromatic patterns. Black and white is very popular. Following the trend of gender neutral, and the "we're not finding out" craze. It started ok. Then the deeper I ventured into the rabbit hole, the more ridiculous it became. Baby nurseries with no babies. Fluffy white rugs. Not little area rugs, but white rugs on the WHOLE floor. Clean, whitewashed, spotless and completely and totally unrealistic. Can we just be honest for a sec. I mean, lets keep it really real. Children are mostly little whirlwinds of disaster. Poopy, relentlessly awake, steal your soul disasters. They are also adorable, take your breath away beautiful. But mostly they are messy maniacal, tiny humans with no motor skills.

I also want a white rug, but not in a toddler room. Or any room that people will go in. It's cool if you want to curate a museum. But last time I checked, you can't actually live in one. That's why everything I make is purposed for USE. It's beautiful to see a quilt unfurled to be played on in the green green grass of a summer day. After hours of crawling, playing and napping, just shake the cheerios free, and roll it up to be used at the beach the next day. It will last. I will be washed, and used, and loved. I am committed to creating sustainable functional pieces. Thoughtful. Useful. Purposeful.

It's beautiful. It's fabric. To be used. To be lived with, not stared at.

New Year


Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the big one, New Years are all past. 2015 is gone and I am leaning hard into 2016 already. Thinking about new projects and adventures. Expanding the Secret Sewing Society, and including a traveling resource library, and monthly events/field trips to strengthen the bond between the creative sisters that surround me. Applying to new shows, and expanding Fawn into some new shops is also on the list.

What I am most excited about though, is to be teaching. I will be getting 2 new students for 4 lessons each this spring, and I can't wait!

Dear Future Mother

I buy stuff for the baby I don't have.

Seriously, all the time. Shiny blue plastic vintage hair clips shaped like whales. Fabric with the letter B for my last name Brown. A chenille blanket with a fawn on it from a church yardsale. Mostly though I buy books, and art. This baby already has a library and an art gallery to rival any museum. I choose books that have off-beat illustrations, or books with just pictures. Most of the Miffy books by Dick Bruna are in my collection. Plan on getting some for yourself here. The author/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg is another favorite.  His books can be found here. I imagine hours of reading on blankets in parks on summer days. You will find us snuggled up in a quilt when it's cold and rainy with a new treasure of characters. There is a small room underneath the stairs in our home (yes, exactly like Harry Potter) that will be a reading nook one day. The nursery is planned in my head. The theme chosen. Wallpaper pinned on my Pinterest board. If you like, you can take a look here I have funny prints of animals in suits purchased from amazing artists I have met at art shows. There is a cute and tiny frame with two ladybugs holding hands I just bought this weekend I am excited to place on the wall. 

We imagine our child's personality. Funny like Ethan, or moody like me? Quiet or shy? Will they be a Doctor, an Artist? What will we do when they act like a brat, or when they break a bone, or leave home for college? We recall stories we will tell about our grandparents gardens, the wars they fought in, the trials they overcame. We will welcome them into this family, into this world with excitement and expectation.

If I could just get pregnant.

Sometimes it seems like my life is consumed by seeing those two pink lines.  They have become a symbol of womanhood, of worthiness. I live in half agony, half hope. My friends and family all have multiple children. I see others get pregnant by "accident."  I scroll through Facebook posts full of sonogram pictures. I attend baby showers with increasing frequency. I do share in the excitement, and joy, but carry the tiniest tinge of pain. I have to be honest.  I wish it was me. I want that. I want the bump, the need to pee all the time. I wouldn't even mind morning sickness. When I hear mothers complaining about a crying toddler, in my head I whisper: "I wish I had a crying toddler."

Why, you may ask, do I have a child-based business? How sad, how tragic, you may be thinking, that the woman who surrounds herself with baby related products, that spends so much time sewing for others babies can't even have one herself. Well, I started Fawn before we even started trying to have a baby. I never thought this would be my path, but now that it is, I am choosing to walk it boldly and honestly. I believe we are given tasks to make us stronger, and to be able to make it easier for someone else. Only by sharing and opening yourself up can you be truly helpful. I will be writing more about it as I walk through this journey to motherhood. I will be a mother. I will stand in my decorated nursery with all my plans, and brain full of parenting book knowledge, and listen to the small inhales of breath from my child. One day I will be able to exhale knowing that they are here, with me. Finally.

You may, like me, have been waiting for years to see those two pink lines. To hear the sleeping sighs and morning cries. You are not alone. Many women wait with you. I wait with you. Do not be ashamed, or sad, or scared to tell your story. You have no idea who you may be helping. Get a journal, write it down. Work through your emotions and feelings. There is strength in your struggle, and your heartache can be someone else's hope. Read this.  Pray. Pray all the time.  Follow this blog for support, inspiration and encouragement. Start your own blog. Just find a way to empty your full heart.

And do not feel sad for me, I am not sad, I am not broken. I am not less of a woman. I am just a dear future mother, waiting. Collecting books, collecting art. Collecting hair clips shaped like whales. Waiting for curls to pin them into.

Fawn Photoshoot

Here is a glimpse from behind the scenes at the Fawn photoshoot this Spring.

I met Johanna ( mom holding spoon in bottom right of photo)  when we worked together in a boutique hotel in the city years ago. We were both young, and newly married. Two spring chickens. Between checking guests in, and running around the hotel answering all types of ridiculous requests, we would talk about life, family, school, and marriage. We formed a friendship, bonding over the shared misery of working basically as a servants for very demanding company, and equally outrageous guests. There were a few who were congenial, but mostly we laughed at the people who wanted us to get different ice because the ice they had was not cold enough.  True story.  But Johanna and I soldiered on. We would cover each others shifts. Give each other rides. Go out after work with other girls from the front desk. 

And then she had a baby. The most squishy, smiley baby ever. Dark hair, and dark eyes. Thick thighs and wiggly toes you wanted to chew on. I had to get her in to pose for Fawn. In the Spring I had the pleasure of working with little Miss. Ayanna. She posed like a pro and did not fuss at all during the long shoot. Johanna and her husband Carlos entertained her, and got her to smile and laugh. It was amazing to see them together as parents with this raven-haired beauty. Five short years ago we were two blushing brides, discussing our future plans. Now we have businesses, and families.

I have been contracting photographer Nola Hood of Nobleshots for about a year now. Her work speaks for itself. She always arrives on time, and prepared to get creative to achieve my visions for photo sessions. I can trust her professionalism and skill. Plus, the greatest thing is: she's a mom, so she knows how to interact with the children models I use, getting them to smile and moving quickly to capture those special moments.

Always willing to jump in and be supportive is my husband Ethan (holding the light). It was a stormy day, so my hopes of shooting outside on the grass with the birds and butterflies like a sleeping beauty fairytale had to be altered. I handed him a light and he had no problem becoming the lighting technician for the afternoon.  Fawn would not exist without his consistent assistance. He is the logistics/muscle/security/car tetris-er/coffee deliverer behind Fawn. He believes in me. He's pretty awesome.

Those yeas in hospitality propelled me to work harder to achieve my dreams. Conversations behind a front desk with no chairs to sit in at 11pm became goals. Goals became reality. Working hard through misery equals perseverance. Maybe you are sitting at a desk at your crappy job right now. Do not give up on your aspirations. It will happen. Just keep checking people in. One day it will be your turn.