Collected Desktop Ephemera

I feel like most of the artists I have met (including myself) have an affinity for natural collections of things. That by having an assorted collection of things at hand it helps to inspire us and ground us to the world around us.

Photograph by Marta Xochilt Perez for the maryn. Discovered via SFGirlByBay
Photography via Bradley Tolbert
Photography by the book dream decor for Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar. Discovered via SFGirlByBay
Photography by abigail ahern. Discovered via SFGirlByBay

Mug Cake Recipes, Microwave Desserts in A Mug

Have you heard of a mug cake? It’s basically a single portion cake where you put all the ingredients in the mug that you will eat from and then microwave them together. It’s the perfect remedy for when you have a sweets craving but don’t want to keep lots of leftovers around. Below I’ve rounded up some recipes I’ve found online:

Banana Bread Mug Muffin (image and recipe via The Local Sprout)

Cinnamon Roll Microwave Mug Cake Recipe (image and recipe via Kim’s Cravings

Mocha Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe (image and recipe via The Recipe Rebel)

Cinnamon Nut Swirl Mug Cake (image and recipe via Budget Bytes)

Which one are you inspired to make? I think our cool gray latte mugs in the online shop would be perfect for one of these…

Discover & Create A More Fulfilled Life, A 12 Month Course at Gather

“Do you know where you are going?” This coming year, starting in January, I am excited to lead a year long course at Gather aimed at helping you to find clarity, accountability, momentum and community. Through this intimate, hands-on course you’ll discover what you value, what to aim for, how to cut through the noise and when to give yourself grace when plans change. You will create a clear path outlining where you are going and want to go. This small group class will happen every other month at Gather in downtown Cary with at home exercises for each of the twelve months in 2020 as well.

Whether you are looking to pivot, go in a new direction, feel stuck or are just looking to renew and refresh your perspective you’ll find value in this class. You don’t need to be a business owner, just someone seeking positive personal growth and the willingness to put in the time and effort toward that. I’ll be there every step of the way and I can’t wait to encourage, help and guide you on your journey.

Space is limited to a small number of attendees and is of course a year long commitment. The cost is $20/month if you sign up before this Friday November 1st (or $220 if you pay all at once), and after it goes up to $25/month (or $275 if you pay all at once). You can register here.

Hope to see you there!

Class Meeting Dates:

– Thursday January 9, 6:30-9pm
– Thursday March 9, 6:30-9pm
– Thursday May 7, 6:30-9pm
– Thursday July 9, 6:30-9pm
– Thursday Sept 10, 6:30-9pm
– Thursday Nov 12, 6:30-9pm

Introducing Gather Goods Co Soy Wax Candles

For about five years I have been working on creating a Gather Goods Co candle line and I am happy to say that after a thoughtful process, they are available for sale in the online shop here. The candles are made with clean burning soy wax and come in a handsome 8 ounce frosted glass jar with a textured linen label that I designed especially for them. They are hand blended and poured here in North Carolina and all of the scents are phthalate free. ⁠Available in the following scents:

  • Happy Place – An uplifting blend of Citrus & Grapefruit
  • Cloud Gazing – A botanical blend of Green Grass & Bamboo
  • Wooded Walk – A refreshing scent of White Pine
  • Peaceful Pause – A serene blend of Green Tea & Lemongrass
  • Cozy Home – a magical blend of Balsam & Evergreen

I hope you love them as much as I do and if you know of any stores where you think they’d be a great fit, please let me know. For now, you can purchase them in the online shop here.

Maker Profile: Illustrator, Kristen Solecki

On Thursday November 7th at 6:30pm artist Kristen Solecki will be teaching an illustration class at Gather Goods Co in downtown Cary, NC. Together, we’ll make a set of 4 postcards to swap & keep of favorite feminist women in a loose portrait style that Kristen is known for. You can sign up for the class here.

Kristen is a recent transplant to the Triangle. Prior to living here she was based in Charleston, South Carolina and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a professional illustrator she has created work for NPR, St. Martin’s Press, Cup of Jo & the tv show Mad Men among others.⁠

I asked a few questions to Kristen about her process and what’s inspiring here, see below:

What is inspiring you currently? Being outdoors, hiking,  and traveling. 

What is a recent great book you’ve read or podcast that you’ve listened to? Syllabus by Lynda Barry is really excellent, and Normal People by Sally Rooney.

What are your favorite Triangle go-tos? I go to Flyleaf Books on an almost weekly basis, love their selection and staff recs. 

What other illustrators or artists do you like? There are so many but Margaret Kilgallen, and Edward Gorey are two artists whose work I go back to again and again.

What are you listening to lately (music wise)? Loving the new album from the band Better Oblivion Community Center, an awesome collaboration between Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers.

Why illustration? How did you get into it and what did going to school for it teach you?

I chose illustration because I love drawing and storytelling. I also really love the variety of work in the field, each project is different. I didn’t know Illustration was something you could study when I was in high school. I was first introduced to it as a career through an open house lecture. Going to art school taught me a lot of technical skills as well as allowed me to explore a lot of mediums and creative works I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.

Any daily rituals or routines that help with working freelance?

I stick to a pretty tight routine during the work week, especially when I am on deadline. I try to keep normal work hours daily but it usually goes over that. 

You can sign up for Kristen’s class at Gather Goods Co on Thursday November 7th here.

“Brown Girls Meditate & Do Yoga”

One of the current studio tenants at Gather Goods Co is Gretchen Campbell of Grow, Encourage, Empower. She is a therapist who specializes in teens, tweens and millenials.

One area that she feels is underserved but that she often prescribes to her clients is yoga and meditation, specifically geared toward people who identify as a “brown girl” themselves. She wanted to offer something here in the downtown Cary area, where though the population is diverse, there is a perception that you have to find events like this elsewhere. She wanted to create something like this in her own backyard, (or Gather Goods Co’s more specifically where her office is based), so every Friday in October she is hosting a yoga and meditation session aimed at “brown girls” and with a “brown girl” yoga instructor.

Here are pictures I snapped from the first event last Friday. If you’d like to stay in the loop for future events you can contact Gretchen on her website here.

Photos by Michelle Smith for Gather Goods Co

And here is the playlist from that event:

Studio Tour: Katie Berman Textiles

Katie Berman, Textile & Fiber Artist, Durham, North Carolina | Photography by Michelle Smith for Gather Goods Co

A few weeks ago I visited Katie Berman at her home studio in Durham, North Carolina. Katie is a textile artist who will be teaching the upcoming Punch Needle Embroidery Class at Gather Goods Co. in downtown Cary, North Carolina. The first class sold out so we added a second date on Saturday November 9th at 10am. You can sign up for it here.

Katie went to ECU for college and studied graphic design but somewhere along the line her passion for art turned toward more tactile fiber work. A talented seamstress, her leftover fabric scraps inspired her to repurpose and reuse them into art, and this exploring lead her down the path toward more textured fiber fine art.

In addition to fiber art, Katie also has a part-time job. One of the things we discussed when I went to her studio is finding value in ourselves outside of the traditional expectations of “full time artist” or the idea of wearing just one hat. So often, we see examples of people who seem to have it all doing something aspirational and we don’t seem to recognize that that is just one perspective of a person, and that also, we all have different paths that are most fulfilling to us. Some seasons, it is fully focused on one thing, some seasons, it isn’t, and both can feel equally gratifying and rewarding.⁠

Katie’s goal is to one day have a shared community space focused on fiber arts, until then, you can learn more about Katie as well as create a super fun craft with us in our Punch Needle Embroidery Class at Gather Goods Co. on Saturday November 9th at 10am. You can register for the class here.

Photos by Michelle Smith for Gather Goods Co