New leaf(s) in 2015

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So I haven’t really been the best at keeping up with this page since I began just about a year ago, but a a new year brings new beginnings, so I shall begin again.
Also, it doesn’t hurt that I have exciting news to share!
As an avid tree lover (yes I hug them often) I have thought from the beginning that Forage should do more for trees than just celebrate their lovely appearances. I have been a tree planter and tree advocate since I can remember, and I thought it would be great to share that experience with my truly awesome customers. So new for 2015, we will plant trees together! For every sale made in my Etsy shop this year, a tree will be planted in our National Forests though a contribution to the Arbor Day Foundation. This fills my heart will such joy! I hope you will feel part of that as you enjoy your completely sustainable Forage Workshop treasure AND know that we are not only never cutting down trees to make our gifts, but together, we are planting new ones for the benefit of every living thing on earth.

Last thoughts for the year

I suppose it can’t be helped that a little reflection for the year past creeps up on you on New Year’s Eve. Looking back to what has transpired over the last 12 months just fills me with gratitude. I have learned so much, Forage has grown and changed so much! I look forward to the year ahead with wonder and excitement. What’s next for us?! I have some ideas…

But really, before I get ahead of myself and into 2015, I just want to say Thank You. Forage has been so well received by so many (I literally have the best customers on earth) and of course without you, I’m just some lady who hangs out with her cat all day making stuff out of wood. Which I suppose would still be fun, but I appreciate the purpose you all give me.  So Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! and I’ll see y’all next year!

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The beauty in the damage

The beauty in the damage

I have been a wood lover for far longer than I have been a woodworker. I often admired (still do) the beautiful patterns in the wood, the colors , the rings, the stories. But when I first started making my items I was always looking for “clean” wood. I thought my wood burning designs had to stand out against a stark white maple background, but, being a forager, this was not often what I was given. Gathering fallen wood from my property or my friends wood piles or the side of the road, often I get soggy wood that needs to be dried out a bit before I can work with it. This wetness seeps into the wood often creating irregularities and patterns. My frustration has evolved into fascination with these “damaged” pieces of wood that I work with. “Mother Nature’s watercolors” is how I have come to think of it. It turns out that not surprisingly, I am not the only one who has found beauty in the damage. The term for it is spalted, and many a woodworker has come to value these pieces highly.
Perfection is boring, give me your discards any day.

a week of words

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This week, my wood burning has strayed from my norm. Usually I do all nature inspired, organic, designs, but this has been the week of words and numbers. It started with a few custom requests from friends and acquaintances. A date on a baseball bat, a pet food reminder magnet, a note for the delivery guy, and a clean/dirty dishwasher magnet. After the response I got to a picture I posted of the dishwasher magnet, I was pondering whether I should add it to my store, when I got a definitive sign that I should. So I made more. And the words just kept tumbling on after that. New nature slogan magnets, “take a hike” “stay wild” and “go explore” are a few in the new line up (coming soon)

What do you think of this direction?

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I’ve been daydreaming of summer during these cold, seemingly endless, snowy, winter days. You can see where my mind is going in the subject matter of my latest projects. I’ve bee making a lot of landscape and camping scenes and new botanical studies, including these wood burned fern coasters. Hopefully spring will be here soon, here’s to hoping that the groundhog was wrong. These coasters, along with other designs are now available in my etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/ForageWorkshop

what is etsy anyway?

I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately. What IS Etsy? I’ve been selling online with Etsy for the last couple of months and have been so immersed in it, that I’ve forgotten that there are still a lot of people out there (I’m looking at you, Dad) that have no clue what it is or how it works. Before I was a seller, or really even a buyer, I thought, like many others, that it was just Ebay for crafters. Not so. Ebay is Etsy’s rough and tumble older brother. Years ago, I was an avid eBayer, buying, selling, the whole bit. And while it is a wonderful platform, and you can literally find ANYTHING there, Etsy is well…more refined. There is no bidding on Etsy, so no wars with strangers or cursing at your computer in the middle of the night when there is 1 minute left in the auction and you have just been outbid. On Etsy, there are many lovely “shops” which are like mini websites with amazingly talented and kind people who will do there best to help you have the best shopping experience out there. There are no “wars”, just sellers helping customers, sellers helping sellers and even customers helping customers! It blows my mind what is possible and how creative people are. Things you never dreamed were out in the world suddenly, you can’t live without. If you didn’t really know what Etsy was about, I hope I’ve shed some light. Go take a look, find something you never knew was exactly what you wanted.