Monday, April 1, 2013


"It's time I finished this piece," I said today.

I had begun work on it a little over three years ago for a beautiful bride.
She knew exactly what she wanted and she was really good at asking for it.
I didn't know how to set boundaries as a business owner
and so I said 'ok' to things that didn't sit well.

I undercharged, too.

Leather has ways in which it works best and I didn't know how to be firm.
I didn't know how to say 'not that' or "creative decisions are ultimately mine"
because I was scared to be controversial, scared to disappoint.

As the communication wore on I felt pinched and micro-managed: these are both things no one wants to experience as a maker. They kill the passion and mute the beauty of the resultant piece.

None of this was her fault, mind you. If I'd had the presence of mind to indicate my edges early on there would have been no issues. In my young-businesswoman naivete I let us both down terribly.

By the time I declined the half-finished order we were both very frustrated and 
the experience changed my business model:

no more custom orders.

In January I broke that rule and made several custom listings in the Metal Shop
after announcing my intention to do so here.
The result was so beautiful and affirming:

I have come so far.
I have so far to go.

In the closet under a pile of elk hide lay this gorgeous piece, so badly needing to be finished.
Maybe it's this time of life...
Orion makes my heart so big and open
and brave.

Motherhood makes me see the infant everyone once was and before I can harden again love creeps in and makes a home.

In the cut-out blank center section where I removed the custom text there will be a nest in layers.
I've never done anything like this before. I am having a leather rebirth.

I am thinking in hides again after several years of heaviness that started in the heart, started in a fear of not having enough..started with the moment a gifted girlfriend danced across my toes while trying to find her voice and resulted in the end of that bond.

I forgot about abundance.
I declared the world a limited thing with a place one could claim and defend like a stronghold.

Piece by piece I've worked to forgive everything; to see my hand in all of my own suffering.
When the pastel peeked out from underneath the huge and heavy mustard hide I had to chuckle...
and I had to do something with it.

After three years 
I could finally look at the sadness and separate it from the leather.

I could see how this failure was the beginning of cocooning myself away to safety.

Like many other situations of late
I could forgive it all with ease
and move on.


I prayed a prayer for the woman who would have set this down next to her
ever-bubbling champagne glass,
filled with her lip gloss and powder and the room key
for her wedding night.

I reached back to that previous version of myself who was fearful and small of heart and I blessed her confusion.

I saw everyone in their best light and wished good things all around. I breathed and let go of what felt tight.

Steaming mug by my side
and heavy rainclouds over our cottage
I picked up my favorite brush
and got back to work
on a ghost.



Brooke said...

This piece is GORGEOUS, Allison.

Cat said...

you are so awesome and i love your spirit dearly
how I wish to one day have face to face time with the lovely you
and chat about such things as growing hearts and soul transformations
it is such a journey learning boundaries
I still have to remind myself of such things in business
but in the end they are healthy for all involved

that peice is a beautiful as you dear A
I love you

love and light

ps and would it not be the grandest if Miss Dove was there along side with us for that convo???
ahhhhhh one can dream!♥

Joanne said...

A steaming mug always eases the way. :-)

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

I love your clarity and your kindness. I am charmed by you. Not everyone learns from their stumbles and fumbles. Kudos to you for learning and owning them.

The piece is beautiful, as everything you do is.

Brandi said...

I know I say this a lot, and I do not wish it to sound trite, but Thank You. So often your words help me to step through my own fear, to allow myself to fail, and forgive myself when I do, and ultimately to improve.
Thank you.

gallerydarrow said...

Beautifully said.....

I've been to this same place btw.


Violet Cadburry said...

I have many unfinished pieces. Today I will pick just one to see through to completion. Thanks for the inspiration!

Kelly Z. said...

I have been visiting you regularly with a warm cup in hand, and just had to say Thank you for this delightfully inspirational and relatable post you fine gal Sunny!
Now to finish some unfinished business.

Dee said...

{I feel it too...}
Much Love.

pencilfox said...

life is an on-going process.
door that are closed may never open again, but the past can always re-visit us.

i am always amazed at how i say "never again" and then my spirit breaks, my heart changes, and my soul says "you can do this."

sending you love and lots of it.


Allisunny S. said...

Thank you all so so so so much for taking the time to come and say such kindness to me. I am touched and warmed. Life is good and tough lately, perfect actually. I hope it is likewise moving through you with passion and power. xoxox