Life in Photos, Poetry & Words, Theology

When she draws, she flies

Old table in corner near window with knotted curtain



This is Aveline’s little art space — our old 1940s table, tucked into the corner of our apartment, with big windows all around it. At any given time, the table is covered with large pieces of paper, spiral-bound sketch pads, tiny blank books, stickers, markers sorted by color, bits of crayons broken in half, and a few plastic animals scattered across the table. There’s almost always a fedora and a hula hoop hanging off the back of one of the wooden chairs.  There’s a pendant from her baby shower and stars from when she turned two.

And there’s a view, too, because if you duck down and look through the windows at just the right angle, you see a tree instead of a toll booth, an exit ramp, a chain link fence, or other apartment buildings.

When she sits here, wearing an old gingham pinafore which used to be mine, she counts to thirteen skipping five, and she draws letter A’s and numby 2’s and letter Z’s and circles and faces and eyes and airplanes.

When she draws, she flies to a world far, far from here.

I hope she can always get lost this way.



INSPIRATION :: How Holly Becker’s Post “Trends + Exclusive Content” is Changing the Way I Blog

How Holly Becker's Post on Trends + Exclusive Content is Changing the Way I Blog

This post by Holly Becker of decor8 has absolutely re-energized the way I look at blogging.

Too often lately, I’ve had a misplaced sense of pressure to produce 100% original content for this space. I’ve pulled back from sharing the incredible creativity of others, because of the incorrect notion that I’d be perceived as a copycat for showing you something amazing someone else has already made (despite the fact it would be attributed to the original source, credited, and linked).

Holly writes, “Some blogs only accept exclusive content. Other blogs won’t share what another blogger posted no matter how much they loved it because they are scared to upset someone or appear like a copycat. I’ve been teaching blogging classes online and workshops for over 4 years and most of my students are terrified to blog about something if another blogger already covered it. This can ultimately lead to the death of blogs as influencers and early adopters. Really gang. While I’m all for columns, exclusive stuff, taking your own photos, etc. I think balance and caution is needed.

How can we influence something or adopt it if we fear writing about it because another blogger already covered it?  How can we discuss trends if no one has images to share supporting those discussions unless they take these images themselves – and because they don’t have the images they clam up?…If we all become fearful or run our blogs like they are magazines where only exclusive content is featured and we refuse to share something another blogger covered, what will that mean for blogging?”

To me, what Holly says is even more impactful and powerful because she’s an incredibly creative individual who has loads of original content to her name. I mean, she’s the author of two books (both of which are in my living room at this very moment) and has a terrific blog with an active and engaged community of readers.

If you blog, or are any other sort of content creator, I highly urge you to read the entire article, as well as her responses in the comments section.  It will challenge you and free you, I think.

As for me, I’m done being scared to blog about a trend, a photograph, a brand, or another creative just because a big-name blogger has already pinned it to Pinterest. This space should be where I can share what I love, without fear.

I have a feeling you might be seeing a lot more of inspiration here in the coming weeks.

Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: On Creative Burnout, or, Sometimes, I miss life before the Internet

Silencio del Mar - Watercolor by Oaxacaborn
Sometimes, I miss life before the internet, when a girl could just get lost in an old National Geographic, without knowing it was trendy to like Reykjavik.

Or geometric shapes, or the colors coral and mint, or hand-drawn arrows, or chevrons.

A girl can get swallowed by this handmade world. There is talent and inspiration yes, but there is so much repetition so much repetition.

I want to get back to reading The Joy of Cooking, not the “OMG. Need recipe.” comments on pictures of a stranger’s lunch.

I need more actual fabric swatches, and fewer repins of photos of fabric swatches. I need fewer “One gazillion places to go in 2013” websites and more discovering the sidewalks around my own house.

I want to stitch together more projects for my daughter and our home, and not as many for listings on Etsy. I need more torn paper and splashes of watercolor, and fewer Pinterest boards. More dirt under my fingernails, more glue on the palms of my hands, more paint  on the table around the edges of the canvas, more spontaneous midnight cookie-baking.

I’m tired. And I don’t think I’m going to find my lost creativity if I just keep looking inside this screen.

Do any of you ever feel like this?

Conversations with Designers, Little Style

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT :: A conversation with Swedish children’s clothing designer Anna Nordqvist of Lobilo

Today (Happy Friday!) I’m delighted to share a chat I recently had with Anna Nordqvist, the designer behind the Swedish children’s brand Lobilo.

A conversation with designer Anna Lundqvist of Lobilo, a Swedish children's brand - as seen on Oaxacaborn dot com

Anna, I’m so happy to talk to you about your clothing brand! When did you first get the idea to start Lobilo?
Anna: The idea started when my daughter was about two years old. She, as many other children, was very decisive with what she wanted to wear: only clothes with prints. I did not really liked the ones I found in stores, so I started at first to hand paint on some of her clothes. She liked them, and so did many others, and that is how Lobilo was born.
Lobilo jersey shirt with bird printI’m curious, is there a story behind the name Lobilo? What does it mean?
Anna: It´s actually a secret…but I guess I can tell ;) I tried to teach my husband to say “I love you” in Russian. But he could not say it correctly, instead he said “Lobilo”, and it become our way to say “I love you”.

Swedish children's brand Lobilo as seen on Oaxacaborn dot com

That’s so great! I always enjoy hearing what goes into a name. 

You describe Lobilo as “play, love, and a lot of fantasy”. I see the playfulness — how did the concept of fantasy influence the autumn collection?
Anna: I guess fantasy is in everything I do. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been very imaginative and I think I still am. Children’s imagination is so fantastic and it is something that should be encouraged. The autumn collection is called “Secret Friend”; the influence is from the children’s book and movie The Secret Garden (written by Frances Hodgson Burnett). The children in this story keep a lot of secrets and the story is very inspiring for your imagination. I hope that the prints on my clothes can do the same: inspire children to fantasize more.

A conversation with the designer of Lobilo, Swedish children's clothing - as seen on Oaxacaborn dot com

Can you share your design process? What inspires you as you design clothes, and where do you get your ideas?
Anna: Before I start to design a collection I go and think about it for weeks, but the time to sit down and draw it never seems to come. So when I do have the time, the collection is almost already finished. In this collection, the shapes on the designs are inspired from the clothes that are worn in the movie mentioned above. The one thing that takes the most time is the prints…I do them over and over again.

I get inspired of a lot of things that I see around me like art, movies and sometimes even things like dust ;) You never know when the inspiration will hit you. But something that is very important for me in the process and that inspires me are feelings. What I mean by that, is, for example — for this collection secrets are a main issue, and how it makes you feel to keep a secret, and share a secret with someone.

Handprinted clothing inspired by the Secret Garden from Swedish brand Lobilo - as seen on Oaxacaborn dot com

Oh, it’s been so fun getting to know more about Lobilo. Where can readers purchase your clothes?
Anna: At Lilla Mode. They ship worldwide, and soon Lobilo will open its own web shop.

Thanks, Anna! Readers, check out these links — and head over to Lobilo’s Facebook page to leave Anna a comment!| Shop Lobilo at Lilla Mode | Lobilo on Facebook