My dear friend Sandy Baker (seamstress, steampunk, cosplayer, model, burlesque dancer and more!) is teaching her first class on silk painting at our store early next month!
Today is your last day to register for our first Nia Class!
Don’t let yourself be afraid of this class. As someone who’s been reluctant to do group ‘workout’ classes in the past, I can tell you from personal experience that Nia is a joyful time filled with laughs, screams (of the good kind) , and lots of fun and dancing. You dance barefoot…feeling the ground beneath you. There are no mirrors, just yourself. Wear loose, comfortable clothing (if you wish) or tight dance clothing, as long as it’s comfortable. Bring an open mind, and be ready to just . . . free yourself when the music starts.
We’re so excited to be able to offer classes IN our new space! Our first class is Painting I with Lisa Wilson.
You can find all the nitty gritty details about the class by clicking the class link on the photo or above in the title. With this class Lisa is exploring the notion of home and guiding the class through a layered creation of painting and discovery. The painting on the right, above, is the painting you will be creating in this class, only your own version. Through this piece, you will explore the concepts of HOME. You’ll sink into feelings of ease, playfulness, and belonging, and walk away with a piece that can remind you of being right in those feelings no matter where you are. As you apply different layers, you’ll write your story of home, your story of the present moment, and create a final, “breath spot” that can serve as a focal point to return you home to your ease of breath.
We welcome all into this class and also welcome deviations from the norm. This process of painting is about coming together, having a good time, and creating a piece of art that reflects you!
It’s official! We’re hosting our very first Last Minute Gift Fair!!
The Details: Sunday, Dec 14, 2014 from 12-6 in the Fountain Square Mall Ballroom (101 W Kirkwood)
This past weekend was . . . something akin to getting married, or having your first child. You’ve planned and planned, organized and written out every last detail. The tables are set, the bags are packed, and you’re ready to enjoy the moment, like everyone tells you to. Sit back, relax, and take it all in. And then, like that – it’s over. And it’s amazing. And there it is.
This past weekend was . . . amazing. We opened our doors promptly at 10 on Saturday morning to a few rain-soaked fans there to be the first to pick out their handmade goodies from the over 3,000 we have on the floor. Yes, that’s right, over 3,000 hand-crafted pieces of art and craft grace our shelves, our tables, our jewelry cases and slat walls, from over 80 different artists, from all over the Midwest and some even as far as Austin, TX.
This past weekend was . . . wet. Our hearts went out to our friends selling their artwork out on 4th St in the famous Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts. We remember (sometimes fondly) what it’s like to set up our tents in the rain, in the heat, in the humidity and sell our work to passersby in weather we can’t control. But, the weather cleared, and with that came more foot traffic for both them and us. A win-win situation. And, in the end, it broke our late August heat-wave and cooled things down just a tiny bit for a respite we all needed.
This past weekend was . . . meant to be. We feel so very welcomed into our new permanent home. It seems each hour, each day we met a new neighbor from the building, or an old neighbor that used to reside on our building. Did you know our building has much history!? We can’t wait to continue learning about the rich history and culture we’re becoming a part of. But it’s not just the building that welcomed us, or the people inside – it was our entire community, and then some. It was so encouraging to have you walk in the door to tell us, ‘we’re so glad you’re back, and for good,’ or ‘we couldn’t wait until your next event’ or ‘this is the coolest shop’ or ‘this is just what Bloomington needed.’ These are all such supportive words of encouragement for us, and we want you to know, we do not take them for granted. We will work hard for you. We will work long days and nights, tenaciously bringing you new artists, new wares – showcasing handmade and makers to make you proud – to make us proud. We promise you that.
With that – we thank you. From the bottoms of our hearts. For coming out in the rain to visit. For sticking around and sharing your stories with us. For being you.
We also want to thank . . .
. . . our local singer songwriter Gloria Bangiola who came out mid-afternoon to grace us with her beautiful voice and sultry guitar.
. . . our kindred spirits and friends with Bea’s Soda Bar for coming out and slinging sodas and puppy bark all morning long.
. . . our super fun friends from up North with Bearmojo for christening our trunk show table and entertaining us with monsters all afternoon.
. . . our friends who came out to visit, to support, and SMILE big from behind the crowd to show us just how proud they are and how proud we are to be their friends. You know who you are.
. . . our artists and makers, for believing in us since the beginning and standing by us through it all. Your support is immeasurable and we Love you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
We simply can’t wait to continue doing this.
That’s right! Our new space will have a Gallery wall, set aside specifically for two-month long exhibitions of 2-D and 3-D work! Are you interested in displaying? Check out our Gallery page where we have an open call for those interested in participating in either a Gallery Exhibition or a Trunk Show! We also have two group show submission pages open right now! Tell your friends!
Our Kickstarter was funded, and now we’re set with the task of filling our store with all the handmade goodness we’re known for in our pop-ups! Our submission page has been live for awhile, but we wanted to put it out there again to just remind anyone who might be interested in having their work carried in the new brick and mortar – Gather! You can find the submission page here. We’re especially looking for Men’s Items, Textiles, Housewares, & Clothing (both adults and child). Read the FAQ if you have any questions and, well, we hope to see you, or your submission, around sometime! ;)
And so, Tuesday the 13th of May is when our Kickstarter finally went live. After about two months of editing, tweaking, recording and generally freaking out, I pushed the publish button after counting when the 30 days would pass and I could breathe again.
See, that’s the thing about Kickstarter. You might not know this. Maybe you do. You choose how long you want your project to run. It can be as little as a day (I assume) and as long as 60. They recommend about 30, which is what I did. I’m all about taking good advice. But here’s the catch. Once you set your goal (ours is $2,500) and your time (30 days) if you don’t meet your goal ($2,500) in your time frame (30 days) you DO NOT get your money. Zilch. Nada. Zero. But, if you do, or if you go over . . .well, it’s yours!
And so I guess after all that, telling you that long-winded story and about my excitement in this venture – I’m asking for your help. Please don’t wait until June 11 to donate if you plan on donating. Heck, please don’t wait until May 24 to donate. Donate now. Save my heart from the palpitations of worry and anxiety over whether you like me. I mean, I know you like me, you’re still reading this, but dang it all – if you think this project is worth just about anything – think seriously about supporting it, would you? Even $5 gets me closer to the goal. Even $1. I’m not desperate, just passionate. That’s the truth. :)
and you know, share it with your friends, because that would be awesome!
Yes, I’m still rambling on about our Kickstarter. Hey folks, it’s a big deal. It’s kind of a make or break moment. . .
And so, once the video was finalized and my kids and my husband dealt with all the technical dealios of editing and uploading and all that jazz, it was onto the rewards and the risks and challenges….really, what wasn’t a risk or challenge?!
They weren’t too difficult to come up with. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wracked my brain to try and come up with original material that you the people would actually want to recieve in return for supporting this project, but the store itself isn’t creating much in the way of art and so my options were limited. I tried to think of all the cool things our AWESOME new logo could be printed on. From there, I started thinking about what else the store was going to offer, aside from a storefront obviously. And that’s where the workshops came from, and then, ultimately the gallery wall namesake. It just all flowed from there. Easy peasy…right?
Again I say, what isn’t a risk or challenge these days when it comes to opening a new business? Our economy, while looking up, is not where it used to be, but I have faith in our community that we’ll pull through. Not just my local community, which I have a lot of faith in, but also our maker community. It’s the joining of these two that makes this venture even remotely possible! And so, with that the biggest challenge for us, here in Bloomington, became real estate. And I’m happy to say, that hopefully by the end of this week I will have a signed lease in hand and I can reveal to my backers an update of the utmost proportions. I can’t wait!
So, is that it? Is it over? Well, yes. Sort of. At this point the Kickstarter went live. And that part of the story ends. (to be continued . . . )
That Kickstarter. Man! I thought I had it figured out. I’d written up a project before for a store I once volunteered for years ago . . . a store close to my heart and similar to the one I plan on opening. But things are different now. This store is different. I’m different. And so, when it came time to create the Kickstarter, I had to start from scratch.
First, I had to figure out my ‘angle’. I mean, what was I asking for here? Why are people going to give ME money to open a store? Seriously. I really had to ask myself that. And what it came down to was the people. The makers. The artists. The community. And so I wrote the text for what would eventually be my video and it very much revolved around the people, the stories, the community I want to serve with this store.
But that wasn’t it. That was just the VOICE OVER for the video. What about the actual visual component? What about rewards? What about the financials? How much money did I need? How much did I want to ask for? These two things weren’t necessarily synonymous. Slow down, slow down, let’s start at the beginning.
I decided I wanted the video to primarily focus on my makers. Why? Because, remember, that’s what this is about. It’s not about ME. It’s never been about ME. BUT, people want a face to their project. They want a human being. And so, I am that human being (I think!). So, I decided to frame the video with myself speaking at the beginning and end, and have the brunt of the middle be photos from all of our awesome pop-ups, to illustrate just what the shop would look like in the end, and who this was benefiting. And that was that. Well, sort of. Then there was that pesky little thing called music. You can’t have a Kickstarter video without music. You just can’t. Why? Because Kickstarter is an arts based project – and music . . . well, it just completes the circle. And so, I knew immediately who I wanted to ask for permission to use their music: Follies. I’d had Kate play at a pop-up event in August and I adored her work. I knew it would fit perfectly with my aesthetic and the video, and so it did. And that was that. Oh wait, just kidding. My favorite part!!
Our Logo Reveal
Months ago I knew I wanted the remainder of our events posters to be consistent, by a single voice and I knew I wanted our logo to be a wreath to represent a bajillion things that wreaths can represent: community, healing, health, wealth, art, family, growth . . . and so I sought out my friend Katie Vernon to design our store logo and the event posters that would come before. She came up with an AMAZING cohesive idea that I was just . . . blown away by. Basically, (to make it short) our first event was at an event sponsored by Bloom Magazine. And so, our event was called Gathering in Bloom. She would illustrate a line of flowers just blooming out of the ground. Then, our second event was to be the Bloomington Open Studios Tour wherein artists would show how their work was made/demonstrate so to speak in their studios. The poster then would be those same flowers all mixed up and being cut up into pieces in preparation for something later. THEN (are you ready!!) the final reveal would be those SAME FLOWERS (I know right?!) being transformed into the wreath that would then be our store logo. And so, it came to pass, that this video was made from our posters and the joy of Flipagram. And after I made it I just couldn’t not include it in our Kickstarter because I just thought it was awesome. Maybe I’m a bit biased though. (there’s more . . . to be continued…)
I’ve never been one that *needs* motivation. There’s just something innate there, something gnawing at my soul that is always saying “Go!” “Do!” or “Make!”. And I do. And it’s been a great 34 years living life that way. Last February, something happened – a conversation, a request over dinner and drinks, a slight suggestion, and this idea, this mere thought, this dream – of Gathering was born. And 2013 was an amazing year for Gathering – our handmade pop-up shop. It pushed me to want to go Further, Do More, and support our Makers! And so, I jumped off the cliff of opening a brick and mortar and never looked back. Well, sorta.
See, I’m also a planner by nature. So, Dec 26, 2013 as we were packing up the pop-up in Fountain Square Mall, I already knew I wanted Gathering to be permanent. I knew I wanted Gathering to grow into Gather and I knew exactly where I wanted it to be, who I wanted to be involved, and when I wanted to make it happen. My mind was racing. All through Christmas ‘break’ I schemed about the coming year, 2014. How we would have pop-ups at the beginning of the year to stay fresh in the minds of our friends, our supporters, our family, and how we would ultimately open the grandest weekend Bloomington has to offer: Labor Day Weekend (the best arts’ weekend in Indiana if you ask me!).
Once the events started happening I started to realize (somehow I forgot this in the planning stages) that we would need actual start-up cash to get this off the ground. Because, let’s be brutally honest here, one day pop-ups don’t make money for the organizer, so we weren’t putting any money in the bank to open up the permanent store – to buy fixtures, point of sale software, display items, etc etc. And so, our Kickstarter was born. (to be continued…)
We LOVE you!!
The Machinist Shop
is a Bloomington, Indiana business. They “create hand-made metal jewelry, cut and etched with a modern, industrial style. Each piece retains the look of the careful hand work that went into it. Each shear, burnish brush, file, and chisel leaves a trace on the materials, so every piece takes on a life of its own.”
is a unique line of lightweight acrylic jewelry, spanning a range of accessories for both men and women. Alicia Kravitz, a trained Architect, is the designer behind the Dulcet Design collection. Using the talents and eye developed in Architectural training, Alicia creates all of the durable, streamlined, extremely wearable designs. These pieces are suitable for all people, in all walks of life that are modern, colorful, wearable, and affordable.
Lily Alyssa Boutique
is owned and operated by Katy Rudzinski in her cozy, Seymour, Indiana home. She began her business in the fall of 2012 and has since branched out in terms of product. Now she handcrafts crocheted hats, boot warmers, scarves, and ear warmers as well as clutches, hair clips, diaper bags, and cute things for little kids to wear. Check out some of her stuff! We love her infinity scarves. You never know what you’ll find at Gathering in Bloom.
I hope you’ve all heard of, or seen, Rachael’s Cafe at 3rd and Lincoln.
If not, you’re missing out. This local comfy spot has great coffee, great food (including vegan and GF options), and a warm atmosphere. Rachael is there most days and couldn’t be more helpful and polite to her patrons. I spent an hour studying there with a cup of coffee and a friend, but I could have spent more. Highly recommended. Check out the omelet bar on Saturdays and Sundays and live music schedule!
There’s SomeTHING in My Basement
is the title of a book written by Nicole Osborne. Nicole was diagnosed with an ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm when she was six months pregnant. She feared never getting to meet her daughter. The book is her journey through that experience and how she overcame her fears.
At Gathering in Bloom we’ll be featuring her jewelry that is also inspired by the incredible journey she’s taken. Take a look at some of her awesome work! What in inspiring story!
“Seekers of wonder and whimsy, we welcome you!”
The tagline for Starsprinkle Supercollider is enticing enough. The two artists, Joshua and Cecily, each have a different creative talent. Cecily makes silver jewelry and Joshua does illustrations. Both will be featured at Gathering in Bloom on February 22nd! Check them out!
Katie Vernon is an artist/illustrator living in Bloomington, Indiana.
She sells prints online and in stores across the globe. Her work has been commissioned by The Land of Nod, Ikea, Chronicle Books, and other local and national businesses and publications. Katie has also been featured on a number of prominent blogs including Design*Sponge.
What’s so cool about Lit Knits?
It couldn’t be that the warm winter gear is incredibly fashionable and comes in awesome colors. It also couldn’t be the fact that they’re handmade in Bloomington. It’s probably that each piece is inspired by or named after a literary character or element of some sort.
Check some of these Lit Knits out and come find yours at Gathering in Bloom on February 22nd!
What’s for dinner?
Try Juannita’s Mexican Restaurant!
They bring local, authentic, family recipes to Bloomington. The fajitas are delicious! Located on W. Kirkwood.
Mr. Sogs are uniquely handmade plush creatures. Joelle Medici, the mastermind behind Mr. Sogs, does a ton of custom work, too! Find these creatures and their friends at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MrSogs. Maggie Lil Slugger Kenzie the Platypus Gretchen Oddvark
Sadly Harmless is a product of Sally Harless’ creative mind. She’s a full-time artist working and living in Bloomington, IN but traveling all over the place. She says this about her work:
“My drawings are reminiscent of children’s book illustrations and are a mixture of reverie and autobiography. I love simplicity, muted colors and inserting elements of subtle humor into my drawings. I like to think that all of my characters are having quiet moments of reflection.”
Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse has two locations in Bloomington plus a gourmet cafe. Every Wednesday is Burger Wednesday and all burgers are $3.00. Mondays are Big Salad Mondays and all salads are only $4.50. Visit this Bloomington staple next week for lunch! I recommend the California Burger.
Tactile Melodies is unique jewelry hand-crafted right here in Indiana by Chelsea Jones. Check out their constellation jewelry in particular because it will be featured in our Gathering in Bloom show on February 22nd!
In 1999, Anya Pany moved to Ukraine to the United States. As she’s matured as an artist, the use of primary colors, geometric shapes and whimsical subjects have become a staple of her work. One can recognize influences of East … Continue reading
Martina Celerin, an expat from the Czech Republic, has been making beautiful dimensional weavings in fiber and natural materials for years. After earning a doctoral degree in plant sciences from the University of Western Ontario, Celerin accepted a postdoctoral position as a … Continue reading
JO Designs aims to provide handmade, quality books such as baby books, photo books, journals, notebooks as well as unique, hand crocheted jewelry and accessories. Check out some of there wares below! Related articles Crocheted woven loveliness (guywhocrochets.wordpress.com) Crochet and Tatting … Continue reading
Vince is a freelance illustrator living in Bloomington, IN, who loves vintage things. These Holiday cards are perfect to send to your friends who are into the mid-century look, retro design or children’s book art. The cards are blank inside so you can … Continue reading
purpleandlime is a line of super-fun and luxurious womenswear, jewelry, and accessories created by Rebecca George. Rebecca is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and she graduated from the University of Michigan in Art History and Geology. She went on to earn … Continue reading
With Gathering’s Family Fun Night quickly approaching we thought it would be great to feature an artist that had something special for the precious little ones in your life! Based out of Indianapolis, Elms and Cedars offers one of a kind … Continue reading
Megan Martin Artisan creates modern, eco friendly jewelry made from recycled sterling silver. Other materials used are semi precious gemstones and natural minerals. Megan has been visually creative for as long as she can remember. So much of her life is chaotic, and she … Continue reading
Katie Vernon is an artist/illustrator living in Bloomington, Indiana. She sells prints online and in stores across the globe, and her work has been commissioned by The Land of Nod, Ikea, Chronicle Books, and other local and national businesses and publications. … Continue reading
Joanne’s work is influenced by the Chinese style of painting, and she paints with bamboo brush on rice paper. She has studied with Chinese artist Xing Bai Li, and is a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her works include … Continue reading
For the holiday season Gathering has a selection of Creative Art by Me Christmas ornaments in store. They are made with wire, glass beads, ribbon, and of course, love. The ornaments are around 4 to 5″ from tip to tip, … Continue reading
Hold It specializes in kanzashi and satin flower hair accessories that embody class, elegance, and simple beauty. Each flower is available as a headband, elastic headband, ponytail holder, hair clip, bobby pin and badge reel. Each flower is handcrafted, using top designer … Continue reading
Owlette was started in 2010 by two ambitious friends, Jessica and Brittney. They decided it was time to start putting their skills to use making some seriously adorable products. Shortly after, they started designing, making products and booking craft shows. … Continue reading
I know that the rule is to use ‘we’ and be ‘personable but not personal’ but on days like these, it’s hard to not yell from the rooftops of my beautifully well-lit city and scream at the top of my lungs, “I Love you Bloomington!” because, you know what? This IS personal. This is (sometimes) about me, and mine. And I’m thankful for that. I’m so amazingly overjoyed, ecstatic, and blessed to have such support in this amazing community I live in, WE live in, and I wanted to share that with you. I am so thankful.
Eight long (and yet so very short) days ago we slowly opened the door to our 500 sq foot store in Fountain Square Mall. We pulled up the blinds, turned on the Christmas lights, plugged in the register, and held our breath. But not for very long, because our first customer strolled in nonchalantly, as though we’d been there all along, as though we belonged, a staple in a mall with history, and they walked around pondering the handmade goods on our shelves . . . they picked up jewelry and turned over pillows; they unfolded t-shirts and smiled; they giggled at beards and one-eyed monsters and cooed over the kids’ section in the back. And then, as though on cue, they bought the first item (credit card or I’d have the $ bill framed) and we breathed a sigh of relief. We did it. We were for real, and they . . . you really like us.
It’s only been 6 short days since then and we . . . I am so overwhelmed at the kindness I’ve seen walk through the door. The smiles, the laughs, the singing along to Christmas music playing loudly across a room full of strangers . . . the silly “What does the Fox say” concert had on Plaid Friday . . . the trying on of amazing handmade goodies and the adoration of such items. These items might not all be mine (99% of them are not) but I hold them so dearly to my heart, I consider them to be mine. These are my best friends – not these things, no – these PEOPLE.
When you shop at Gathering you’re buying from real people – in your community. When you purchased that Knit Turban Headwarmer today, know that you’re supporting an amazing woman who’s working on her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, who has style and sass you wouldn’t believe, who can talk circles around any literary genius and whose smile warms the room. When you decided to buy that wee little one-eyed monster today for your niece in Florida, know that you’re supporting one of the funniest/funnest couples I’ve ever met, who happen to not be able to stand the smell of fish and whose airways might close up if one of them gets too close to a cat. The better half of the couple can also sew a mean bear costume (and did for her the all male school she teaches at). When you tried on that awesome shirt today that stands for something we should all stand up for (“We Like You Here”) know that you’re not just supporting a cause (which is an amazing cause by the way) you’re also supporting a working artist, who is also a teacher, who is also an amazing friend, artist advocate, and business person. When you bought that Buckle Beanie and matching Scarflette . . . know that you’re supporting an entire family – yes, that’s right – you’re supporting a single mother and her two little girls and you’re making their Christmas and know that those two little girls have the best smiles and the most amazing giggles of any little girls I’ve met, and I’ve met a few. And when you bought on a whim those everyday saints at the counter, the cards you’ll be sending to favorite gals across the states – know that you’re encouraging a young mother of three to be what she really is – an artist! You’re telling all of us that we’re doing it right, that we’re talented, that we’re worth something, that we belong.
You’re buying from real people. Not just me. It’s not about me – it’s about these amazing people that I get to share with you, EVER DAY (for at least a month!) and I’m just so excited to get to share them with you, and you with them. Please, continue to help me do that. Continue to be the amazing, supportive, blessed community you’ve been thus far Bloomington. I will never forget you for this chance, we will never forget. We Love you. I Love you.