Thursday, January 31, 2013

One Thousand Love Letters

This project is about love and love letters.
Love letters are an endangered species and it’s one that we can save.
Let’s write our hearts out… 

One Thousand Love Letters
Project by Brattleboro Area Artists, Spearheaded by Dalia Shevin

Hello fine folks! This post is directed at all you LOVERS in Brattleboro, Vermont. Are you out there?? 

I found this amazing event via a friend on Facebook and was impressed by two things. ONE, we've had some pretty bad stuff happen in our town, we've had floods, murders and most recently threats of possible violence in our sweet schools, BUT this project focuses on LOVE. Aren't you ready for a little news related to LOVE?

TWO, I'm impressed because a lot of people are using Kickstarter to fund projects- some get funded and some don't. But, this one got super dooper OVER funded. Watch the video and you'll see what their original goal was and how much they actually got. AMAZING.

“One Thousand Love Letters” is a project conceived by local artists to create a participatory community art installation that is both an invitation and a challenge. Beginning during Gallery Walk on Friday, February 1st and culminating two weeks later on the Friday after Valentine’s Day, the public is invited to a temporary space in downtown Brattleboro, to write one thousand love letters. Participants can define a love letter as broadly as they like. Letters may be written to people living or dead, people known or unknown to them, to animals, places, or even objects—anyone or anything to whom they wish to express their love.


The letters will be written and some displayed in the Letter Lab, a studio and gallery located in the storefront of the former Sanel Auto Parts building at 47 Flat Street. The space has been transformed by local artists into a beautiful environment that will provide a warm spot to sit and relax into the tactile experience of handwriting or typing a love letter. Side by side with neighbors and strangers, participants will have the opportunity to write their hearts out. Visitors will also be able to view some of the love letters on display during the run of the project. Materials will be supplied, and writing prompts and ideas will be available to help you get started. All you need to bring is a desire to express your love.


Following Gallery Walk night, the Letter Lab will be open daily from 12 pm to 7 pm, and hot tea and cocoa will be available to help warm participants’ hearts. There will also be a late night love letter writing marathon beginning at Noon on February 9th, and ending at 1 a.m. the next day. The One Thousand Love Letters project will end with an evening performance of letter reading and music on Friday, February 15th. 

Learn more on Facebook

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Meet Artist Rob Cartelli

This week on My Little Brattleboro...

Do you know Rob Cartelli? If not, you should! I’m in love with his gorgeous porcelain pottery and siked to talk with him about how he manages his creative business with being a new daddy to the sweetest newborn babe. 

There’s an online explosion around the topic of work/life balance but it’s very geared towards mothers and their work. Today, we’ll hear from Rob about his love of pottery and how he makes each hour count.

What do you love about making pottery
  1.  Lots. All the steps along the way, from throwing, trimming, decorating, firing, glazing and firing again.
  2. The people in the clay community both locally and farther afield whom I call friends and respected colleagues.
  3. The look of 25 freshly thrown mugs lined up on a board.
  4. When I throw a pot, lift it off the wheel and get the feeling that I know it's going to be a great piece.
  5. The way folk pottery looks sloppy at first glance, but after study you realize that what makes it "sloppy" is what makes it interesting.
  6. The way a truly well designed factory produced pot can make me feel just as inspired as #5.
  7. When a mistake or flaw turns into the thing I like most about a piece.
  8. When a customer who bought a bowl of mine two years ago tells me they still use it everyday.
  9. I honestly like the way the clay smells.

As a new daddy, how are you finding being a pop has affected your creative life, if at all?
I think it's made me more focused.  At the moment, my studio is not where I live so being in the studio requires physical distance from my family.  As a new dad, my time in the studio is precious but it has to be as productive as possible.  I love being at home with my wife and our baby Cooper so I have to make all the hours of the day count.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a marine biologist after reading a book about dolphins.  Then I read a book about baseball and decided I wanted to be a baseball player that researched marine biology in the off-season.  I still think that may have been the way to go!

What's been the most challenging part of making a living as an artist? Most rewarding?
Again, my biggest challenge right now is the 24-hour clock.  That's just not enough time.  We need to up that to like, 30 at least. I keep meaning to call Senator Bernie's office about introducing legislation for an increase. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I devote a great deal of energy to exploring and improving my designs. I work a lot. I'm not at a point where I can support my family on my pottery alone so I have a wonderful day job at Laura Zindel Design and I teach at the Brattleboro Clayworks. I have found teaching very rewarding.  I enjoyed seeing many of my students fall in love with making pottery and develop real skill in clay. In term of my own work, I love getting to use my brain and hands creatively. I enjoy interacting with my customers and hearing their appreciation for my work. Respect and encouragement from my peers and teachers always feels good, too.

Where can we find your work?
My work is for sale locally at The Brattleboro Clayworks showroom which is open Fridays and Saturdays 10-5 and at Pinch in Northampton.  I host a couple of sales at my home in South Newfane during the year, including on The Rock River Artist Tour. I exhibit at a number of craft shows in New England such as the Sunapee Craft Show and Craft Boston. I'm also quite honored to be part of the Smithsonian Craft Show this April in DC. There are more details at my website.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


January 20, 2013. Fire Starter Sessions. My living room.

Worrying is like praying for bad things.
Worrying is the opposite of manifesting miracles.

Acceptance is the opposite of worrying.
Acceptance does NOT mean that you are not moving forward.

Gaining Abudnance starts with Gratitude.

You can still be grateful for and accept the present situation, while still manifesting your delicious dreams. In fact, you have to.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Make your Biz PR ready.

Hi friends! If you have, or are thinking of starting your own business you really need to learn the nuts and bolts of PR to be successful. I'll be the first to admit it, I need help! The problem is most small business owners don't have a lot of extra cash to hire a professional, that's why I'm siked to be taking part in this FREE 5 day Irresistible Business Challenge via PR expert Melissa Cassera. It will be more fun if you join me. 
Come on! 

The challenge kicks off Monday, January 21st and ends Friday, January 25th. Each day you’ll get a mini-lesson delivered to your inbox filled with totally hot tips n’ tricks to create your irresistible business along with an action step you’ll take immediately.
Melissa will be wooing you along the way with inspirational prompts + virtual java jolts + super sweet prizes.

Here’s a breakdown of what we’ll be working on:

  • Day 1:  Make your business hot + trendy
  • Day 2:  Tell page-turning business stories
  • Day 3:  Craft your impressive bio
  • Day 4:  Write compelling headlines
  • Day 5:  Create your fame page
If you haven't joined the private Irresistible Business Challenge Facebook group yet, pop on over and join by clicking this link (you'll see a little "Join Group" button in the upper right hand corner).There are already over 100 smart + sassy entrepreneurs connecting there, so be sure to pop in and introduce yourself. See ya there!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What's on my Shelf...

Hello fine readers and how are you today? I've been partaking in one my guilty little pleasures, which is sitting by the fireplace, sipping tea with something sinfully sweet and reading home decor books - one after the other. So, I thought I'd share a few of them with you today.

I've always loved to look at pretty pictures for inspiration and a little dreamy getaway, but lately I've found myself wondering, "who are the people being featured in these glossy books??" We are starting to see the personal story trickle into home decor books and it makes for a more interesting read, in my humble opinion!
I love the handwritten style of the text throughout A Perfectly Kept House
One of my favorites is A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life: How to live creatively with collections, clutter, work, kids, pets, art, etc... and stop worrying about everything being perfectly in its place by Mary Randolph Carter.  Even the title is unconventional!

I love this book because, in an age where there are whole magazines, books and stores dedicated to organizing, Carter shows us the positive side of the C word. Yep, that's right: Clutter.

Carter shows us how living with a bit of clutter is OK, and can actually make a home feel more cozy and personal. Who wants to walk into a completely sterile home that is so perfect that you are positively sure you'll f@c! it up, some how, some way. You want to feel you can put your feet up, call the dog to the couch and not die of shame (heaven forbid) if you spilled a few cookies crumbs.
Perfectly Kept House Case Study 
In Perfectly Kept, there are also chapters on living with pets, children and unmade beds. So real life! And speaking of real life, the reader gets to meet the owners through the case studies and learn a bit about the homeowner's story and what makes them live the way they do. I love that.

Make sure and check out my other favorite design books such as  Domino: The Book of Decorating by Deborah Needleman and Decorate  & Decorate Workshop by my favorite blogger ever, Holly Becker of Decor8.

Do you purchase Home Decor books? If so, what do you love about them? If not, why not??
Leave your comment below and feel me smile when I read it :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 Fire Starter Themes

Sending LOVE, GRATITUDE, HOPE,  STRENGTH, & VITALITY to my new 2013 Fire Starter Group. Once again, it's a full house with an awesome group of creative and smart ladies.

It's a great time of year to get together around supporting each other with goals and so we started by exploring our themes for the year. You might recall mine is LUCKY!

And yes, I feel LUCKY today to be with such a great group. BTW-most dedicated Fire Starter Award goes to  Stasia, who is 9 months pregnant and possibly in labor today- she's such a trooper, she did not want to miss the first session. We are all pulling for you Stasia!  XO Desha

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's Your Theme for 2013?

Tis the season for reflecting over the past year and thinking about the next one. I did a bit of that on New Year's Eve here. How about you?  Do you make New Year's Resolutions? How does that go for you? Mine don't usually go so well. I'll write stuff like "exercise" and guess what? I'm still a sloth.  I like the idea of coming up with a theme based on feelings instead of particular goals. It's the feeling I'd like to conjure- because in the end that's what we're all after anyway, right? So why not just cut to the chase and go for the feeling.

My theme this year is lucky.

I want to feel super dooper lucky in 2013. It might be the year of misnomers as 13 is usually unlucky, no? Not for me, I'm going to be one lucky hefa! I think I'll write it down and keep track, too. For example, my bro sent me this awesome x-mas package that came late so it felt like a big surprise and inside was a box full of my favorite brand of lotions, potions and girly stuff plus a gift cert to my absolute favorite store. Did I feel lucky? Hell yes!

I'd like to know, how do you want to feel in 2013? I asked a few of you on Facebook for your themes and you said...
Original image from Laurent Photography

Leave a comment below and tell me:
What's YOUR theme for 2013?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 In Review

You know what's great about having a blog? It's like having a little digital library to help you remember what was on your mind and trace how your passions and dreams progress. It's New Year's Eve, the last day of 2012 and a perfect time to reflect giving gratitude for all the blessings and also letting go of anything that's keeping me from my higher purpose. To help with the process, I have my mission statement, my journal, my BIG idea book, my blog/ iPhone/ and macbook. But perhaps the most important tool on my table is cup of hot tea and white chocolate cheesecake!

Ok, now that I'm pumped up on sugar and caffeine, let's take a look- shall we?

Instead of making a big ole' list of all my successes and lessons learned (AKA: failures!), I'm taking a different approach this year, based on the work of Danielle LaPorte, author of the Fire Starter Sessions and The Desire Map. Danielle encourages us to stop making goals and skip to the chase by asking what our CORE DESIRED FEELINGS are and go from there.

What were my core desired feelings for 2012 and how have I experienced those feelings this year?
  • Abundant/Prosperous
  • Freedom
  • Creative
  • Fulfilled
  • Inspired
1. Walking my daughter to school each day makes me feel ABUNDANT, PROSPEROUS and FREE. It means I have the luxury of flexibility in my job to work around the school schedule. It's important to my child, and it's important to me. 

2. Traveling to Mexico with my daughter and best friend in Jan 2012 allowed me to feel PROSPEROUS, INSPIRED and FREE. Beach. Sunshine. Lovely condo. Being abroad fills my soul. We documented the trip, making the first international version of The Desha Show. I realized making a travel show would be a dream job for me. More of this, please!!

3. I found my calling facilitating groups of women using Danielle LaPorte's Fire Starter Sessions, which made me feel CREATIVE, FULFILLED and INSPIRED. I'll be starting the next session on Jan 6, 2013- a great way to start the new year!

4. Writing this blog and my new column on Brattleborology has left me feeling CREATIVE, FULFILLED, and INSPIRED by meeting so many awesome people and sharing their homes and stories. Publishing a weekly post feels good b/c it gives me a sense of accomplishment which I need b/c some of my bigger dreams take time and I can get a wee bit impatient. If you want to learn more about how to blog, take BYW, next class starts in March!

5. The DESHA SHOW- Ah, I've grown quite a bit since that first show. Making Life In Nantucket, episode 7 makes me feel CREATIVE, FREE, FULFILLED, and INSPIRED. More, please!!

6. My Day Job has provided me with a sense of grounding, and stability as I gain clarity in dreamland. It's given me a sense of ABUNDANCE of time and flexibility to be with my daughter, travel, and do work I love with those embarking on their next journey, which is FULFILLING.

Things I felt that weren't on my "list" and that I might have taken for granted:
1. A healthy body (kind of important, right?)
2. A dedicated and reliable husband (who cleans like a maniac).
3. A stable, secure job that pays the bills and then some.
4. The beauty and wonder of my daughter and the way she makes me feel such an indescribable sense of LOVE.
5. The feeling of connection with my friends, family and Fire Starter tribe.

Things to let go of in 2013: the big question marks. Go forth with strength and confidence knowing that everything I'm doing know will impact the future for the best b/c my intentions are genuine and come from a good place. There will always be things (goals) I'm striving for, so in the meantime I might as well enjoy the process, because the process is LIFE, isn't it?

Bless you for coming along on the ride with me.
I'd love to hear about your year, if you've written about it, please leave a link in the comments below and stay tuned for what's coming in 2013, I'll be thinking about that with my Fire Starter Starter sisters in Jan.

xo Desha

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