Has this year been rough or what?! We don't know about you, but we have to say that crafting, color and creativity have really been a life line for us over the last six months. (Along with being hermits a bit - not going to lie!) When the world gets heavy, it's important to make tangible connections to life, love and hope. One of the most valuable aspects of the work we do here at Created by Elsie B is the opportunity to build community, and we just wouldn't be half what we are without all of you. Today we're thrilled to showcase the lovely and talented Casey Hudson. She's a regular contributor to our Facebook group, lighting up the world with her friendly face and stunning work. She makes the world a better place, and we're so glad to share in that just a little bit.
It's been a while, no? Summer is in full swing at Created by Elsie B headquarters, and we hope you are all doing well and finding plenty of time to spin, knit and create. We've had a lot going on behind the scenes, including our continued focus on diversity education. In our search for resources in this area, we came across one that we just love and wanted to share it with all of you. BIPOC in Fiber is a centralized resource that offers easy access to a wide variety of black and indigenous artists around the world. While there are dozens of ways you can reach out to and promote black voices in the fiber arts, purchasing from diverse makers is one of the very best ways to magnify their reach and appreciate their work. We've found so much to love about this website, and we think you will, too!
You may have noticed that it's been quiet around here. We've spent the last few weeks following what's happening on the public stage, listening and learning about the experiences of the Black community. Created by Elsie B strives to be an inclusive company, and that has always been a part of our values. However, we haven't always been involved and aware of the issue of diversity in fiber. In fact, it really only came on to our radar within the last year. But, we want our customers and readers to know that we're focusing our energy in this area and are sorry that we haven't been more involved. The issue of the lack of diversity in our space has hit us hard, and our eyes are open. We have committed to doing better and being part of the solution. We will miss the mark. We will make mistakes. And, we will listen and learn and take accountability when that happens. If you follow Created by Elsie B on Instagram, that has been our main platform over the last few weeks to highlight the various resources that we have found invaluable to our education. If you are struggling with where to start, we have book lists, educational resources and blog posts there that we have found helpful. In addition, today's blog highlights a very personal and actionable step that any fiber artist can take to encourage, support and promote Black voices in fiber.
It's no secret that we love our customers! It really brings us a lot of joy and fulfillment to see our fibers going into the wild and being used, loved and coming to new life with your creativity. We are crazy excited today to give you inside look into our Created by Elsie B community and learn more about one of our much-loved customers, Kathleen McConnell, shown here exploring a stunning park in Maine last September. Kathleen has been an active participant in our Elsie B Facebook group for some time, and she is so encouraging, wise and creative! We have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Kathleen's spinning journey, and we hope you find it as inspiring and interesting as we have.
This has been a strange and challenging couple of months! While we are blessed here at Created by Elsie B to still be able to operate our small business, we're also distinctly aware that the world is a bit upside down. I'm sure that most of you have heard this quote attributed to Mr. Rogers many times, but it is such a good reminder for all of us. "When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." We have been amazed in our area at how we've seen this play out. People are reaching out, stepping up and giving back, and it is downright inspiring. Maybe we're biased, but it really seems that creative people are showing up to the table in a big way, and it makes our hearts swell. Today, we'd like to highlight a few hands-on ways that you can contribute to your local communities in a very immediate and actionable way. Reach out! We can all make a difference in the world!
Playing with fiber is what we do here at Created by Elsie B. From picking palettes to dyeing to braiding and packaging, it's kind of our thing. And, while LeAndra definitely does her fair share of spinning and creating finished projects, we don't always get to see all our colorways in their full glory, so to speak. A few months ago, we did a colorway roundup and, on a whim, I searched in our Facebook group to see if anyone had spun up some of our featured braids. (They had!) Suffice it to say that I was blown away. While we linked to the group and encouraged you to all go take a look, it didn't work to actually include the spun yarns in the post. (Boo!) So, today, we're going to rectify that. We put out a call in our Facebook group for spun yarns from Elsie B fibers and were, frankly, a bit overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response. You guys are ridiculously talented! I wish I could include everyone's beautiful work, but there just isn't enough room. I've tried to select a broad variety and include as many people as I can in this feature. Settle in and enjoy - you're sure to be inspired by these stunning transformations!
Wow, what an absolutely change-filled week this has been! Just seven days ago, we were gearing up for the March Year of Fiber orders (they're coming and are SO good!) and reminiscing about how awesome Alt. Summit was. Today, we're all fully versed in quarantine, virtual schooling, social distancing and how to navigate toilet paper shortages. (I'm looking at you, Costco shoppers!) On top of all that, northern Utah experienced an earthquake. (Wait. Are we supposed to shelter in place or run outside? Sheesh!) Still, we're holding it together here at Created by Elsie B and practicing self care, largely due to the perks of being creative people. While the cliche about idle hands is distinctly old fashioned, it comes from a place of truth - keeping yourself busy, occupied and productive is good for you. If you find yourself peeking out from between your blinds and seeing a whole lot of loopy out there, take a deep breath and grab your knitting needles; creative people have measurable advantages - we've got this!