Category Archives: reflect

read stories I want to share just to share

StoryCraft : the adventure begins

In my last post, I hinted at a new adventure. A few weeks ago, the adventure officially began with StoryCraft, my new business focused on your story, better. I wanted to take an opportunity here to ramble on a bit about it all.

My childhood dream, the real fantasy that may or may not come true one day, was to become a writer. After reading Harriet the Spy, I was sold on the idea of writing, writing a lot, writing what I saw. My piles and piles of journals, even after losing ten years of them, attest to that. I’ve read many books about writing: Writing Down the Bones, Bird by Bird, and The Artist’s Way have all had their turn. You’d expect a novel to be hiding somewhere….

But there isn’t one. I’m one of those people who feels they don’t have much to write about, just an urgent need to write. So I write what I’d freely describe as nonsense. Although lately I’ve tried to write far more entertaining nonsense. That can be a skill, too.

Those who aren’t going to write will certainly read and I read a lot. A couple years ago I started a book club with a friend and have found joy in discussing books with friends again. While the kids were young and mobile, reading was harder, but nursing was great reading time and now I’m working hard to turn them both into just as voracious readers as I am. Ironically, my son’s now the one who could end up grounded from books because he tries to do everything with a book nearby – getting dressed in the morning, putting on pajamas, staying up until 10pm reading in bed. I read a lot of literary fiction. I love classics and have been known to return to Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontë when life is more than I can bear. Over the past five years or so, I’ve tried to read more non-fiction.

Non-fiction surprised me with its pure readability at times. Malcom Gladwell is great. Siddartha Muckherjee’s book on cancer is long, intense, and an immersive read. Reading more non-fiction broadened my horizons in terms of knowledge and interest. The surprising side effect was that I demand more of my fiction now. If I’m not going to learn anything factual, then the writing had better be top notch or I’m much more likely to put a book aside.

Through all this, I’ve had to rewrite my story time and time again. Every few years, I seem to be living a different life. The country changes, the language changes, I got married, I had kids, I had one job, I had another. In every situation, there are new people who want to know who I am. While I worked at the University talking to new international staff, I saw that my story made a stronger impression on people than my CV. 20 years living abroad mattered less than a story about how I made sure my daughter could see a doctor in the Netherlands on the weekend. After hearing that, they believed I knew what I was talking about.

There is tremendous power in knowing how to tell your story and tell it well. It gives you control of your own past. It gives you a stronger hand in shaping your future. I want to share that. I want people to be able to communicate with each other across cultural, academic, and personal gaps large and small. Often, doing this requires finding the structure, the right language, and the right details to make a story work. That I can do. I want to do it.

So far, I’ve given a few workshops at the University and worked with a couple people one-on-one. I’m in a phase of figuring out who I am in this story and building a foundation for StoryCraft. I’m looking for clients. It requires putting myself out in the world in a way I’m not used to. It’s scary. It’s discouraging. It’s tempting to stop.

Last night it occurred to me that putting my personal story out there here would help me. I’ve found a lot of support in readers and comments here. It also feels good to put my story out there. So here you go. I hope you’ll visit StoryCraft at StoryCraft.nl. If you like what you see and can think of someone who might be interested, please share it. If you have tips for me, please let me know. It’s tempting to not embark on this right now, to turn my little around and sail right back into a safe harbor. But I think it’s better to keep going, better to keep writing this story.

Back in the Saddle

Surpise! That's me and Pumpkin at the Open Air Museum in May 2016.
Surpise! That’s me and Pumpkin at the Open Air Museum in May 2016.

In the way that life is full of big and little surprises, it is entirely possible to look up one day and realize you have not written a blog post in over a year. It’s entirely possible that you are unable to recount or even really understand all the little turns life has taken in the time since that last post. So I’m setting all that aside. I love writing, I miss writing, and I’m getting back into it starting… now.

Earth Apple Studio as a one-lady late-night fabric-loving free-for-all is effectively on hiatus. In January 2015, I started a full-time job that has taken a lot of my energy, both with regards to working for someone else again and trying to learn to manage a household and work. Both have proven to be very challenging (no surprise there). While I’m sure it’s fascinating to hear about how I’m balancing those things (or not), frankly I think it’s boring.

More interesting to me these days are the challenging of dealing with my first ever weekly organic farm vegetable delivery. It’s from the Lijsterbes in Beek and I am thoroughly overwhelmed by it and loving it. They have introduced me to green garlic (awesome). They challenge me to find ways for our family to consume a full head of lettuce every week. Once, there were two. It’s harder than it sounds and also tough on a girl who is into her menu planning (me). Now, the main ingredients arrive on Thursday, looking at me and sometimes, I swear, laughing. It’s also a wonderful challenge. It sends me to my cookbooks and the internet, alternatively searching for inspiration or searching for a recipe that fits an idea. The kids are excited to have a big bag of veg every week but also less than impressed with some of the new recipes. It’s a little drama all its own, this veggie package.

As they always are, things are shifting. Lately, I have found myself thinking about this blog and writing and all the things it gives me. Writing has always been an way to work through things – cheap therapy perhaps. It’s a way to clarify and distill thoughts. So I’ve been thinking about what to write. The problem there is that trying to figure out how to do it right got in the way of doing it at all. The result? A decision to just write again. The rest will follow (it usually does).

Sound interesting to you? I hope it does. Drop me a note in the comments. Any encouragement, requests, or bad jokes (I love them!) are greatly appreciated!

Friday Check-In

Littles at the Dam Square, Amsterdam

As I’ve gotten more serious about my writing and my work, I feel a need to be more accountable for maintaining balance in my life and for working on long-term projects. In order to do that, I’ve decided to transform my Friday Moment into a Friday Check-in. Here’s the plan. Every Friday, I’ll post a picture and answer five questions. They will be about my work, my home, myself, my project or goal, and the picture. I’ll try it for a season and see how things go!


1. How are you moving forward at work?

A get together with a friend to work on making shirts from our boys (she has awesome fabric, I have a great pattern) turned into a mini-workshop experience for me as a teacher. Not so much in the sense that I felt I was teaching. Going through the motions of getting ready for our work session felt like the kind of preparation I would want to do for workshops in my home. Pumpkin joined us. We were able to get quite a bit done with her around and the whole experience inspires me to reconsider giving workshops at home.


2. How did you improve your home?

Things were looking a bit helpless for a while there, but the house is back to tidy today. Yesterday, I found my perfect birthday calendar while we were out running errands. I’ve been wanting to replace ours (great for poop jokes, not so nice for kids) but resolved not to get one until I found one I was over the moon about. Waiting was worth it and it reinforces all the principles I’m trying to learn and follow about careful acquisition.


3. How did you take care of yourself?

This week, someone else took care of me. Rather, six ladies surprised me with the sweetest dinner I can remember. They gave me the gift of letting me know how they see me. They said some incredibly nice things. It was moving and an evening I’ll never forget.


4. How are things going with the daily writing project?

I missed another day. What is going on with me?! On the upside, it was a day I felt so low I barely made it out of bed. Wait, that’s not an upside. I missed a day. Better next time. Sigh.


5. Talk about the picture.

The kids and I spent a couple hours wandering around downtown Amsterdam this afternoon. It was crazy busy. I’ve forgotten how many people are wandering down the Damrak, say, any time of the day. The masses of people, the different languages everywhere, the traffic, and then doing it all on my own with two littles for the first time. It was an experience. They did great. We “looked our eyes out” as they’d say in Dutch.

In My Kitchen: Reality Check

Reality Check in my kitchen

Reality Check in my kitchen

Reality Check in my kitchen

Reality Check in my kitchen

Reality Check in my kitchen


I’m playing along with Heather over at Beauty that Moves. Here’s a look at what’s going on in my kitchen!

It has been quite the week in our house. We’ve had a bit of illness, a bit of last minute birthday parties in Germany, and a bit of getting ready for a long trip to grandma and grandpa. I’m feeling worn out and excited all at the same time. I’m taking a break from my meal planning series. Now’s a great time to catch up on soup, pantry, and fish days. I’ll do pasta next week.

As much as I’d love to be sharing pictures of yummy food, the fact is that most of our meals came together in a blur this week. Soup never happened, I think we ate leftovers. On Tuesday I made Indian food that only the adults liked. Last night I walked in the door at six, cooked like crazy for 45 minutes, and then at dinner Peanut told us he’d eaten fries and frikandel at the birthday party. In other words, Pumpkin wasn’t hungry after a roll late in the afternoon and Peanut had already had dinner. We could have eaten those Indian leftovers at least half an hour earlier. I could only laugh.

Today’s a reality check, because after dropping kids off at school, this is what I came home to. A kitchen in need of a attention that mirrors pretty much every other part of the house and, to a certain extent, my life just now. There were shoes left on the mat from Pumpkin playing shoe store yesterday morning. There were dirty dishes in the sink and clean dishes in the dishwasher. Our breakfast tray was still on the table (this is how we try to be efficient with getting bread toppings to the table in the morning).

My first move on entering this mess was to make a cup of coffee and attack the situation the only way I know how: make a plan. I used the last of the milk and managed a half-a-cappuccino. The lists have been made and I do believe I’m ready to tackle this day. Wish me luck!


Let me know how things are going in your kitchen, then click that link and go see more kitchens at Beauty that Moves.

Friday Check-In

Bubbles and paint

Bubbles and paint

As I’ve gotten more serious about my writing and my work, I feel a need to be more accountable for maintaining balance in my life and for working on long-term projects. In order to do that, I’ve decided to transform my Friday Moment into a Friday Check-in. Here’s the plan. Every Friday, I’ll post a picture and answer five questions. They will be about my work, my home, myself, my project or goal, and the picture. I’ll try it for a season and see how things go!

Things are toodling along around here. School goes on and fall is slowly but surely coming on. We’ve been spending a lot more time at home these days. Empty weekend days seem to invite a day of crafting and working on projects around the house instead of forays into museums or wilderness. It feels good. I think we’re all loading up on togetherness and quiet time before moving into the next week. The feeling that this won’t last is starting to build. We have a trip back to North Carolina planned and the holidays are also coming faster every year. It’s nice to be building a reflection habit now when there’s a bit of space. I’m going to need it a little more every week.


1. How are you moving forward at work?

It turns out that my production plan has fallen nearly entirely to the side. I should revise it. This has been in part to a bit of laziness and in part because of a change of plans. I’m going to have a stand at our school’s Fall Market and decided to make a couple new things and to do some fall colors as well. There are five patchwork bags in brilliant fall colors ready to go now. I’m going to sell them with vintage games, which should be fantastic!

I’ve been waiting for a Moo.com sale to order Earth Apple stickers. The sale came by last week and I designed and ordered the stickers right away. I’m a bit nervous how they will turn out as this will be my first design (I’m using paint.net, it’s a free photoshop baby sister). They should arrive this week, so fingers crossed for great results!


2. How did you improve your home?

Last weekend I finished a knitting project and discovered a little universe of unfinished projects and notes at the bottom of my basket. Getting that cleared out was a good feeling. Now Peanut has a new monster hat, my knitting notes are up to date, and I have a great plan for Sinterklaas gifts using some socks I made that didn’t work out so well.

Yesterday I put a few pictures up on the wall in our living room. We have been living with bare walls in there for a year and a half. None of the pictures are new, but it took me quite a while to decide on what I wanted to do there. I didn’t want to buy anything new and big, it’s just not my style. An arrangement sounded nice, but then it took time to decide which pieces to use and how to arrange them. After finally getting that far, another two weeks went by while the idea marinated for the last time. Did I mention it takes me a while to make up my mind about things? Anyway, here’s the result. I’m feeling pretty good about it!

Living Room

We’ve done another furniture shift. At the end of the summer we shifted furniture in my workroom and the dining room and got an amazing free make-over. This time, we stacked two Besta units from the IKEA and put away a side table. Like magic, our living room expanded. Back in the dining room, we pushed the short end of our table right up against the bookshelves. It’s a gigantic table, so we’re not losing any eating space, but again, the room opened right up. I’m loving squished furniture just now!


3. How did you take care of yourself?

I haven’t taken very good care of myself this week. It’s been a lot of late nights for no good reason. Staying up late is a bad, bad habit of mine and one that I have the hardest time trying to break. What I am trying to do is to give myself a break and to stop being my own hardest task master. Setting your life up as a constant improvement project is exhausting. Learning to just be for a while and accept myself for what I am would be a good thing.


4. How are things going with the daily writing project?

I missed a day. In the middle of staying up too late and a head full of thoughts, I completely forgot to write on Wednesday. So there’s a gap in my dots. I felt pretty upset for a while (see task master comment above). Then I forgave myself. There will be more dots. Today, there are two.


5. Talk about the pictures.

Peanut received Art in a Box for his birthday. It’s a box of twenty A5 cards. On the front, there’s a piece of art. On the back, there’s information about the artist, discussion questions, and an art project. He picked an abstract art project to start with. We added some dish detergent to watery paint, blew bubbles, and put paper over the bubbles to make prints. They’re drying now so we can do more with them over the weekend!

Friday Check-In

Koekhappen

As I’ve gotten more serious about my writing and my work, I feel a need to be more accountable for maintaining balance in my life and for working on long-term projects. In order to do that, I’ve decided to transform my Friday Moment into a Friday Check-in. Here’s the plan. Every Friday, I’ll post a picture and answer five questions. They will be about my work, my home, myself, my project or goal, and the picture. I’ll try it for a season and see how things go!

It has been a long and exhausting week. It started slow enough with crafting afternoons and putting together a fall nature table, but Thursday and Friday kicked into high gear and have ended with a kiddy birthday party. I’m ready for a nice quiet weekend!


1. How are you moving forward at work?

It feels like I’m doing a lot more writing and blogging than sewing lately and that leaves me with the feeling that there isn’t much work getting done. But in fact, this week I added a market to the calendar [link], made ten nine-patch squares to be transformed into bags, and have hit an all-time high for blog traffic (thank you so much for stopping by), so let’s call that progress.


2. How did you improve your home?

We shifted our dining room table this week. We had to find room for a table we bought a few weeks ago and in the process ended up shifting our dining room table. The move made the space feel significantly bigger. It was strange and wonderful. In the garden, I’ve been doing some cleaning up and planting some things that will hopefully keep it a bit green through the fall and winter: hardy lettuces, beets, and chard. I’m not sure how hopeful to be, but it would be nice if it works out even a little bit.


3. How did you take care of yourself?

I’ve embarked on a mission to go to bed at a decent hour much more often. After seeing how well I respond to all those little dots in my notebook, I took a page in my journal, marked it with a month of days, and am writing down my “in bed” times there. The goal is 11:00 on weeknights and 12:00 on the weekends. I’m a serious night owl and need to reform. Those bed times seriously shortened my computer time and have created a couple special challenges. This week I also gave myself a break. The thought of making pizza dough and fresh pizzas after the birthday party this afternoon was too much for me, so I didn’t. We ate frozen pizza. It wasn’t grand, but it filled, potentially nourished, and kept me sane.


4. How are things going with the daily writing project?

It’s getting harder to remember to write on busy days. The new has most certainly worn off and I need to come up with more solid strategies for getting my writing done. Turning the computer off at 10 and getting to bed by 11 isn’t making it easier. On Wednesday night, I didn’t get to write during the daytime and then went out for dinner with some lovely ladies. Only when I was in bed did I realize I hadn’t written yet. It was a good time to adjust my writing project to include blog-purposed journal writing when computer access is difficult. 38 dots and hoping to make it to 50.

5. Talk about the picture.

We played games at Peanut’s birthday party this afternoon. This is a Dutch game that the kids love. It’s called koekhappen, best translated as eating cake. A piece of cake is threaded onto a string and suspended at about nose level. The player eats the cake without using their hands. Blindfolds optional but quite entertaining. The kids had a blast playing and we had a great time watching!

Quiet Time

Quiet time in the workroom.

I like my quiet time. Time when my mind can pick a direction and follow it for more than, say, 30 seconds and I can start to feel my body and mind rest and open. As a stay-at-home mom with two littles, there isn’t a lot of quiet in my life. My most important category of parenting tricks is quiet time. Quiet time as we understand it is not play time. Instead, it’s time in which everyone in the house is happily doing quiet, individual activities. Everyone in our family needs quiet time during the day and we do our best to make sure it’s part of our daily rhythm, usually just after lunch.

Peanut is five. He’ll be six soon and just started the first grade. At the moment he is going through what one of my books (yes, I’m that kind of mom) accurately described as mini-puberty. We’re toggling between flinging accusations and utterly sweet on a moment to moment basis. He is a sensitive kid who needs to turn off once in a while in order to recover and re-energize. Pumpkin is three and wants to play or help. Helping is a great alternative to play because she gets to be right next you and continue to ask a question every 30 seconds. To illustrate, when she gets her little chair to stand next to me at the counter, she explains, “If you need help you can say it.” That’s the sign that she intends to plant herself right there until I need help. She hasn’t napped in at least a year and is on the go from 7:00 in the morning until 7:30 at night. Without some quiet time to add a real break to our day, things just fall apart.

Quiet time started when Peanut was two and refused to nap. I once spent three hours trying to get him to sleep. After that, we needed new approach. We started with a pile of books nearly a foot high. I put Peanut and the books in his bed, and left him to it. Reference or art books with lots of pictures were the best and most engaging. He would sit and look through all the books before coming out 45 minutes to an hour, happy and calm. In all the years he sat with books for quiet time, I think he fell asleep once. These days he still likes looking at books but also uses quiet time to draw or listen to audiobooks. We have quite a few audiobooks (the Roald Dahl collection is amazing) but limit his time with them.

Pumpkin is a different story. She doesn’t enjoy books as much and thrives on being around people. We’ve try to find ways to do quiet time together. When I wrote the first draft of this post, she sat next to me at the table imitating my typing on her Fisher-Price cash register. A notebook and stickers are also great at the table. She might get out her little ironing board and “iron” scraps while I work in the workroom. Sometimes, I will lay on the couch and she will snuggle up between me and the back of the couch with a book or two. Other times, she will invent silent games to play while I take my quiet time.

We’re finding our way as the kids get older and quiet time changes. What’s important is that it’s a part of the routine in our home that we all participate in. If we’ve had some busy days or if they’re tired, the kids will ask for quiet time and we know how to give it to them. I like that they learn to listen to their bodies and feel when they need a break. As a family, it’s also a good and powerful thing that we’ve found ways to give ourselves a break in a way that maintains peace and energizes us for more fun later! Clearly, this isn’t the only way and I’d love to have more tricks up my sleeve, so tell me, how do you manage breaks in your home?

Friday Check-in

Pile of mending - done!

As I’ve gotten more serious about my writing and my work, I feel a need to be more accountable for maintaining balance in my life and for working on long-term projects. In order to do that, I’ve decided to transform my Friday Moment into a Friday Check-in. Here’s the plan. Every Friday, I’ll post a picture and answer five questions. They will be about my work, my home, myself, my project or goal, and the picture. I’ll try it for a season and see how things go!

The sun has been shining like crazy this week. Pumpkin and I had lunch outside on Wednesday. We go to the market on Wednesday mornings and are developing a serious and wonderful flat bread and olives lunch habit. Afterward lunch, I found myself doing some work in the garden. It’s been a while. Our damp, wet August didn’t motivate. But now we’ve got some volunteer nasturiums and winter lettuce on the front edge ready to take on the fall. Fingers crossed! Now, on to questions.


1. How are you moving forward at work?

It was hard to feel like I was making progress at work this week. A study day for Peanut on my dedicated sewing morning had me throwing up my hands in despair. Yeah, I over-react sometimes. But I also adjust. I went back over my blog schedule and made sure there are no more than three posts scheduled per week until the end of the year. Accomplish-able goals [link to planning] is where it’s at, I tell you. I also remembered that my production plan is a plan. When something gets in the way, the thing to do is ask myself the one question (thanks dad), “What’s really important?” Getting my bag design to version two took priority this week, so I did that instead. I did it gleefully with music and singing and dancing the my workroom. Felt like a good choice!


2. How did you improve your home?

Pumpkin and I spent a good sunny hour reorganizing the shed this week. It’s one of those things that needs to be done once in a while. Now the garden things are all together, the painting things are all together and guess what – we have an empty shelf! Hoorah. Space on the shelves equals space in my mind. Does it work like that for you, too?


3. How did you take care of yourself?

I’ve been allowing myself to be sucked into the internet in the evenings lately. This is not good for a person who’s just now emerging from half a decade of sleep-deprivation. I’m finally starting to understand and feel the link between sleep and my moods. Letting something as immaterial (literally) as the internet get in my way seems plain silly. My solution: an alarm on my iPod set for every weeknight. Around 10 pm, it crickets and gives me instructions, “Get off the internet. Do something useful or joyful instead.” So far, I’m being obedient.


4. How are things going with the daily writing project?

Daily writing is going better. This week, I tried doing just a wee bit of planning before I started to write. It helped. For example, for this post I had a couple notes from earlier in the week of things I wanted to include. It makes for more focused and enjoyable writing time. The one time I didn’t have a plan I mind-dumped into a file that is going to be frightening to read when I get back to it. There are now 30 dots plus one after I finish this. Holy cow – I made it to a month! Yippee!


5. Talk about the picture.

Last weekend I plowed through a pile of mending and unfinished projects. Some of these have been sitting around for more than a year, but mending piles are like that. There was an unexpected satisfaction in getting this work done. Part of that was related to crossing something off my list. But it was more than that. Mending requires a combination of skill and creativity. I’ve been working hard on both this past year and it was rewarding to use both better than I would have a year ago. Mending is also a realization of values I am trying to live, particularly trying to limit consumption and to value what we have. So there you have it. My celebratory messy pile of mending done!

Friday Check-In

Voice Command Sewing Machine


1. How are you moving forward at work?

Last week I took a bag from my sketch book to reality and this week I’ve been carrying it. It’s always interesting to figure out what works and what doesn’t. It might be the size or the placement of straps or the type or interfacing. Next week, there will be time to adjust the pattern and hopefully make another version.


2. How did you improve your home?

I tried prepping dinner in the morning or just after lunch instead of waiting until 5 in the afternoon. Pumpkin loves to help in the kitchen and together we have a nice time. When five o’clock comes around, instead of me leaving the kids to their own devices while I try to cook, I can sit down with them and play a game or read a book or draw. One little change has the potential to add a lot of breathing space to our day. Love it.


3. How did you take care of yourself?

I’ve missed out on a lot of art, music, and cultural events since becoming a mom. It happens and that’s OK, but now it’s time to work on that part of my life again. On Tuesday night, I went to a video mapping organ concert event at the St. Stevens church with a couple girlfriends. The organ was built in 1776. It’s as old as the United States. The concert was beautiful and moving. The chit chat with the ladies after the show was wonderful. I’ve got a couple ideas for more outings this year and it’s going to be fun!


4. How are things going with the daily writing project?

Writing every day is not getting easier as much as it’s getting harder. It’s not a new and exciting project any more and sometimes it frankly feels like a pain. It gets to the end of the day and then suddenly I remember that there’s writing to be done. I’m also having a hard time with figuring out what to write, which blog or other writing project to work on. But that said, I’ve got 24 dots now and that’s not nothing!


5. Talk about the picture.

Did you know that my sewing machine has a voice activated function? When I say “push” it back stitches. Does your sewing machine have any special functions?

As I’ve gotten more serious about my writing and my work, I feel a need to be more accountable for maintaining balance in my life and for working on long-term projects. In order to do that, I’ve decided to transform my Friday Moment into a Friday Check-in. Here’s the plan. Every Friday, I’ll post a picture and answer five questions. They will be about my work, my home, myself, my project or goal, and the picture. We’ll try it for a season and see how things go!

Beauty. Simplicity. Utility. Quality.

MacBook Air cover

MacBook Air cover

MacBook Air cover

iPhone 5 cover

iPhone 5 cover

One of the wonderful things about starting a making business is that people ask you to make things for them. Every time someone asks me to make something, especially folks who ask me to make something they’ve never seen or trust me to dream up a design, I’m honored, deeply flattered, and terrified they’re going to figure out that every once in a while, I have no idea what I’m doing. So far, things have worked out and the special orders are one of my favorite parts of this business.

In August, I made a special order iPhone cover , and a MacbookAir cover. As with all special orders, I took advantage of the project to think about whether I want to make more. They would be a logical extension to the Earth Apple Studio shop and are in demand, especially Apple coming out with a new iPhone every time I turn around.

Debating whether or not I want to make the covers got me thinking. A couple of timely posts also reminded me of the importance of not taking on too much, of pruning as Eve Fairbanks put it. It’s tempting to start making lots of different things just to see what takes off. It’s also important for me to remember that my goal is to design and make beautiful bags. Every product I decide to develop or make along the way takes time away from achieving the bag making goal and those decisions should be made carefully.

To help myself along, I came up with a couple questions to answer before I move forward with developing or making new products. In addition to some basic market research questions about what’s available, pricing, costs, and audience, I found myself returning to two key questions.

  • How will my product be an improvement on what’s already available?
  • How well will the product represent beauty, simplicity, utility, and quality?
  • I only want to make a product if it improves upon what’s already available. If I can’t do that, then it’s better to leave it to folks who are already making them and making them well. In the case of the Apple product sleeves, it came down to a material choice. In all the sleeves and covers I’ve seen, felt seems to be the best fabric for making durable and beautiful sleeves. Check out Westerman Bags if you’re not sure. She makes gorgeous Apple product sleeves right here in the Netherlands.

    The second questions keeps me working to meet my own standards. If I can’t make something that is extra beautiful, extra simple, extra useful, or extra quality, I don’t want to be making it. It’s as simple as that.

    So there you have it, some new things I made and how I decided to not make any more. How do you decide which projects you want to work on? Are there more questions I should be asking myself?