It's our birthday and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you!
Seven years ago, I started Moop in my living room. What started as a studio practice of one has since grown into an artist driven studio practice of five, with a cat. I never could have imagined how important the making of bags would be to me, to my assistants Drew, Gena, Jessica and Jesse and to each of you! We love getting to intellectualize the process of making, experiencing and growing during our days of sewing durable canvas bags (while also sharing a few cocktail recipes and cat photos along the way) and we wholeheartedly love knowing how something we made...like, made completely, start to finish, in our studio...gets to play a tiny part in joining each of you on your daily adventures. I don't have a glamorous life traveling the world and I imagine the majority of you are a lot like me...your daily life brings you happiness and craziness and fulfillment and heartache and elation and smiles and daydreams and the adventures you have are not too far from home. I embrace that fully and want our bags to join you on your process of building an exciting life, whatever it may look like.
So, from the bottom of my daily adventuring heart: THANK YOU for carrying Moop while you do amazing things! It means the whole entire world to me!
Let's celebrate with a sale!
Use the code: HAPPYMOOPDAY for 10% off from now through March 11th.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
p.s. if you’re super wholesome (like my mom) and don’t want the booze, simply sub the vodka with seltzer. This is what I do for Parker…this is one of her favorites.
p.p.s. I found these cocktail glasses at an antique store this weekend..route 19, north of Zeli all the way up to Mercer, has a great stash of antique stores! I’m slowly growing my cocktail glass collection.
by moop! at 7:52 PM
Last week we had a wood stove installed. When we purchased our house last year and had it inspected we were told the chimney was unlined and thus not safe to burn fires in the fireplace. So, we had planned, down the line, to have a wood stove installed, thinking it was a luxury we would save up for and when the time was right, put one in.
This was our first winter in our house, which has oil heat. We have since learned how expensive oil heat is and the wood stove we thought was a luxury, suddenly became the most cost effective way to heat our house. We live rurally, gas heat is not available and installing a new electric furnace is expensive. So, we moved the wood stove up on the list of things we would like to have at our house, called Black Knight Chimney (who I would recommend to anyone in the Pittsburgh metro area…they are fantastic!) and it was installed on Monday.
We spent all last week learning how to season a new stove, how to light an efficient fire, how to get it to produce heat and how to move that heat through the house. Our goal is to ultimately be able to heat our house entirely with the wood stove (which we have estimated should save us about $1500 next winter, paying for itself pretty quickly). The house is an open floor plan and not very big so, we should be able to do so but, at the current moment, we are accepting that there is a learning curve before this will happen. Today, we have finally reached a comfortable heat through the whole house without the use of the furnace. So, this snowy March morning has become super cozy with a fire burning, magazines and books to read, music to listen to, cookies baking in the oven and no where to be but here.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Good Morning, Tuesday!
It has been snowing for four months here! I woke early, hiked through our piece of earth (the snow was taller than my tall boots ) and photographed our trees. Enjoy your day! I love where I live.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Do you think art school was worthwhile?
Last weekend I was invited back to my alma mater to speak about this topic (this is an excerpt).
It is easy to feel discouraged as a newly minted art graduate. Your degree feels worthless and will not help you get a job. The thing no one tells you is, you will have to use your art degree to create your job and your job will be creating. I firmly believe art school is a place to learn a broad range of skills and has helped me in everything I have taken on since. Yes, it was frustrating and demoralizing at times and perhaps brings out the conflict of the best and the worst in people but, it is because most are doing the hard work of figuring out who they are.
During my time in art school, I studied sculpture and photography. Two areas that for me were very intertwined. And two fields I had no idea I would be using the way I currently am.
I completed my undergraduate work in 2003 so, I’ve had a decade or so to reflect on this. The art department where I attended school was a pretty bare bones operation. There were no flashy facilities or state of the art equipment. It was the kind of place that relied on people who wanted to make things. People who wanted to learn and build a community and foster a creative practice. It meant that if there was anything you wanted to do, you had to find a way to do it. That drive is present in many places but, many are missing the key element - a support system to help you do it. For me, it was the faculty and community where I did my undergraduate work. While earning my BFA, I was a single parent, working my way through school and trying to find my life’s work. I had experimented with many areas and ideas but, it was not until I found my way back into the art program, that I started to make sense of who I was and where I wanted to go. I was lucky to have ended up in Tom’s sculpture studio and Peggy’s darkrooms. These two places and people formed me into who I would become and who I am today. The space they each gave me to experiment, to fail, to explore, to yell, to cry, to build, to tear down and to grow is like nothing I have ever experienced since.
After graduate school, I had moved with my husband and daughter from Columbus, Ohio to western Massachusetts. A place rich with beauty and history and an amazing landscape but, no jobs. I was left completely on my own to figure out how I was going to make my way in the world, how we were going to pay rent, eat, keep the lights on. During this time I channeled everything I had learned from art school. There were two key things: work makes work and repetition.
Darkroom photography is a process of doing things over and over and over, obsessing about the tiniest of details. Peggy taught me to see details, to see and understand the subtle things that make something great. To obsess over those details to make your own greatness. You are quite literally, manipulating molecules to make something magical. This was very formative.
When I am feeling frustrated or being lazy, I inevitably hear one of Tom’s many insightful phrases float up into the forefront of my thoughts. One is, work makes work. This is something I never understood until the work I was doing started to produce the work that was paying me. Which made me very self aware that the work that was paying me never would have happened had the work I was doing, not been done. So, I better keep working.
Moop would never have existed had I not learned how to see the magic of molecules, or how to make something twenty times or twenty hundred times. I learned to pay attention to tiny stitches. To pull them out and do them over. To specify 5/32 of an inch. To adjust a proportion half an inch to not just get it right but, to get it perfect. To write about what I had made. To start a conversation about what I do and what you do and how we do it in order to build a community. To care about the reasons why something exists, to love why it is made a certain way. To commit to a lifestyle that will make you a better participant in the world at large. No, I never learned how to do bookkeeping. But, it didn’t matter, because I learned how to do things. And, that translates into everything (including accounting). I might not have known right away how to run a business but, I learned by doing because that was the process I knew. Understanding and learning that everything around you is made will make you better able to make things. anything.
The culture of art school exposed me to those who were living what they taught and empowered me to build what I have.
So, Moop began with, and is informed by, a foundation in art school. And, it is with this acknowledgment and love for the experience that I want to remind you to take a moment to think about the life you have chosen and wish it a Happy Valentine's Day!
To celebrate Valentine's and everything we love, we've created a special bag that will help to fund a new project we're creating. We're accepting pre-orders now to get things underway. Without you, we could not do any of the things we do so, thanks for helping us build this crazy fun hard working life! These will ship soon and will be perfect for your upcoming spring adventures.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
We recently added an exciting person to the Moop team - a Moop Doodler! He's been drawing all sorts of fantastic fun things for the last few months. He's been screen printing walls, illustrating newsletters, drawing all of our bags and overall adding more smiles to our day. His name is Jesse and he's officially the Moop Doodler. We've had several conversations over the last few weeks about whose job it is to do the daily Google drawings and then I saw this post on DesignSponge introducing her, the Google Doodler! So, we can't claim ownership over coining the phrase but, that's surely what Jesse does here. There are lots of fun things that will come from this...one of which is our February heart print! Drawn and screen printed in our studio. All Moop orders shipping in February will get one in their box as a special thank you for helping us do what we love.