Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sensitive Creativity

Creative, crafty, artsy people gather beneath canopies, set up their tables, and prepare for an onslaught of art minded kindred to explore the plethora of handmade goodies. But, what is this? People on bikes, people loitering, people bargaining? Could it be?

It is!

The dreaded Art Festival!

I went to one this past weekend, and I must admit, I wasn't impressed. When I say I went to one, I mean I was a vendor, with a table full of my handmade goods. And when I say handmade goods, I mean hand crafted blankets, shawls, dyed wool, jewelry, and paintings which took months to make, and years of practice to master a skill to make said objects.

So why, oh why, is everyone passing my table?

I shouldn't say everyone...there were many children who visited. Their curiosity nourishing my need to talk about my passions! I taught a young girl how to draw and highlight eyes. I showed her my small box of water color crayons and markers. I showed her how to break the face down into four portions. Two sisters came to touch my braided wool, and when I quizzed them about what it might come from, one of them shouted "Sheep!". I explained how I draft the thick roving out into smaller rovings and spin them on my spinning wheel.

However, I lost the adults. They looked, they complimented, but they seemed preoccupied by the free wine, free music, free pamphlets, and free zumba classes.

One of my booth mates (Melanie Sinclair~ a wonderfully talented, beautiful, smart, and hard working woman) was actually asked "What are you?". As if she were some creature from another planet. As if the art on the table in front of her wasn't an extension of her being...

Many times, during the only four hours I could stand to be there, I felt like quoting Tech N9ne: "I'm an artist and I'm sensitive about my shit!"

One thing is for sure: People would not create if it weren't important to them; if it wasn't something they felt, and wanted to share that feeling or expression with another person. You don't hear famous photographers or other artists saying, "Meh, just some paint on the canvas. Just a boring black and white of Mt. Rainier while hanging upside down from ropes..."

Ya just DON'T.

If we're lucky, we do things we are passionate about. All of us. Artists tend to be more sensitive because we try to articulate a feeling, an expression, an experience through paint and canvas. (Or finish that sentence with your medium: photography, music, rockets, etc.) It is our way of coming out into the world; exposing our feelings through paintbrushes.

I consider myself more of a knitter than anything else, but my knitting MEANS something to fills me with a sense of joy and comfort, and I do my best to show that in the careful stitches, the colors, the shape. It is my personal ambition to make the wearer of these garments feel that joy and comfort I feel, or to bring to them colors from nature that they may not get to experience where they live. I consider my knitting needles, cables, markers, and patterns as tools. They are not whims, they are not money blown. They allow me to create something from nothing. (And I can't call it "nothing" without cringing because I make my own yarn from scratch.) To present my skill, my talent, and my passion to passersby.

Into my handmade goods flows compassion, love, joy, happiness, sadness, comfort, silliness, forgiveness. I think about the person who may one day buy my shawl, and imagine her wearing it while strolling in the cool night air with her beloved. I imagine one of my blankets tucked snuggly under someone's lap, keeping them warm.

Our art is an extension of ourselves.

So, next time there is an art festival in your area, consider all these things. Make your choices wisely, and please don't lead an artist on. Some expamples of being insensitive are: "I only have five dollars, but I can come back later with more, if that's not a problem", or "What are you?", or "You shouldn't be selling these for so much". ( We are actually very good at taking constructive critisism, but please don't give it unless we ask.) If the artist has "Do Not Touch" displayed, please don't touch. If all you want are the free things, then hit up those booths. Please do not ask the artist to lower the price of something they have made.

Instead, use the following suggestions of tact: Admire, compliment, take a business card. If an artist offers to let you try something on, please accept. Sometimes all we want is to see it on someone, and most times, if we ask, it is because we imagined someone like you wearing our art!! :) Most artists love to talk to children about their creations. We like the idea that maybe something unique we do may pass on to a child who will grow up with an appreciation of that unique something.

 We are not asking you to buy what we make (although we hope against hope that you will!). We are simply asking to be respected. If you don't "get" the art we're selling, then definitely don't buy it, and definitely don't sneer and ask her/him what she it... However, if you do "get" it, admire it, appreciate it, and let the artist know you think she's talented. And buy it as long as you know you can afford it. :)

*I do not speak for all artists. I speak mostly for myself and others I know. There are artists out there who will definitely disagree with me!*




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

25 Things You May Not Know About Me

We know that what is just on the surface is never all there is...We are multifaceted beings, and there is something special and unique about all of us! Here are 25 things you may not know about me!

 1. I have no formal art experience. I dabbled in high school, but I never took courses for art outside of that.

2. I'm an introvert. I like to hide. In my house, behind my art table, on my couch, and in my bed. I make nests, and surround myself with pillows and blankets, and curl up there with good books, my knitting, and my kids. I can attend fairs, meetings, parties, etc, but I need to replenish afterwards. I need space to breathe and process everything.

3. I used to be an extremely negative person.

4. I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto Thyroiditis. My body attacks my thyroid and makes it nearly impossible to convert T4 to T3, which is absolutely essential to the body's ability to function.

5. I had a miscarriage in 2009. It was heartbreaking.

6. I'm terrified of water, but I love to swim, and I'm a very strong swimmer.

7. I am obsessed with vampires. I have been since I first read Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire.

8. I owed a three legged sheep. Her name was Love. She was headed for the butcher's, when I asked if I could have her instead.

9. I have bipolar disorder, but I live a very functional life.

10. My husband to be and I write love letters to each other. On parchment paper. With calligraphy nibs and ink. And then we seal the letters with wax and special wax stamps. I have a tiny mailbox on my art table, and that's how we exchange letters!

11. Our house is full of oil lamps. We use them to light and heat our house instead of electricity. It's really cozy!!

12. I hate wearing watched on my wrist. So, I never do.

13. I don't know how to walk in heels. I feel like I'm trying on stilts for the first time.

14. I have three tattoos and I plan on getting more.

15. I once had my eyebrow and my belly button pierced. I won't be doing that again.

16. I have two different feet. One is narrow and fits nicely into a size 7.5. The other is very wide (even after having surgery to fix it), and fits nicely into a size  8.5. Since I was a child, I've had to buy 2 pairs of the same shoe in two different sizes. I used to hate it, but I don't anymore. It's just the way my body is!

17. I fell down a tree. I didn't fall out of it, I literally fell down the trunk and my sweet Grammie had to dig bark out from under my skin with a hot needle.

18. If I could get away with it, I'd be an animal hoarder.

19. I have a perfect driving record.

20. I love the smell of gesso.

21. I purchase raw fleece, clean it, comb it, dye it, and spin it. And then I knit with it.

22. I lived in Mexico for two months. The entire time I was there, the sun never came out for a full day, and it rained so much that workers were digging ditches along side the roads to deal with the flooding. It really sucked, because our laundry machine was outside, underneath the steps of the top balcony, and I didn't have a dryer.

23. I still watch My Little Ponies with my girls. My favorite is Pinkie Pie. She shoots confetti out of a canon and says things like "Nervouexcited", which is how I am most of the time!

24. I am a pluviophile. I recently found out that someone who finds comfort and peace of mind when it rains is called that.

25. I believe in reincarnation. I think that God is not always done with us once our physical life is over.

That was FUN!!! I've never done anything like that before...What about you? What are some things that no one really knows about? Do you play the piano with your toes? Do you write under a pseudonym? Share them with me! Or the world! I would love to hear about you!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Busy Little Bee

Who's been a busy little bee? I have! Anyone else??

Between creating and weddings, children and new jobs, I've been having a BLAST!

I have been making my own wedding goodies. Bouquets, cupcake and wedding cake tiers, favors, ring pillows, soaps, and I'll be making some fudge later on! (Definitely a post on FUDGE, because who doesn't like FUDGE? And if you say you don't, I won't believe you. So there.)

Cupcake tiers, wedding cake plate, ring pillow, garter belts, guest book, cake toppers, and bouquets!

Hand Knit Ring Pillow, and Pretty Dove cake toppers!

Hand Made Soaps and Sparklers!

I made every single little flower out of ribbon, lace, canvas, and burlap. <3

I also have a new line of body yummies!! Bossy Bee is the name, and you won't want to forget it! There's Cutie Cream, and Lip Gloss~completely irresistible! I kept one of each so that I could spoil myself with all naturalness!

The Cutie Cream is no joke. It will change your life! It's 100% organic, too! And it's made with only three simple ingredients: 100% Organic Chamomile, 100% Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, and 100% Pure Beeswax. (Please don't ask me why I capitalized all that...I kinda feel those amazing ingredients need some serious respect!) What is it used for, you ask? Well, I'm slightly abusive to my hands. I clean with them, forget to put lotion on, I burn them (not on purpose, sheesh!), I crush them in car doors, catch them in the attachments on my mixer. I use them to clean other people's houses, my own house, and in my garden.

I also use them to do very delicate work, such as knitting and spinning wool. This is why it's so important to take care of those hands! They work so hard so that you have the time to relax and work on something you're passionate about. I notice that my beat up fingers catch my beautiful lace yarn, and it's irritating and painful. So, I came up with Cutie Cream. It's absolutely wonderful for your cuticles! It immediately softens. It goes on slightly greasy, but it absorbs into the skin quickly. And, a little goes a long, long way! I gently massage it into my cuticles and finger nails, and Cutie Cream does the rest. And, it's perfectly fine to use on already healthy cuticles and nails! It heals, and nourishes, and helps maintain healthy finger tips.

And don't spare your other dry areas! You can definitely use this delicious cream on your knees, elbows, heels, and toes!

Now, the Bossy Bee Lip Gloss is so yummy smelling, you'll want to eat it, but I encourage you not to! It's strictly for lips only! (However, I'm not against rubbing some onto my wrists for some summery-fruity perfume!) Once again, a little goes a long way. If your lips are cracked, chapped, or dry, take the time to rub this gloss in. It's not goopy like store bought gloss; it's smooth and silky. It's made using 100% Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 100% Pure Beeswax, Petroleum Jelly, and a smidgen of either Peach candy oil or Cantaloupe candy oil. We all know you're kissable already, but Bossy Bee Lip Gloss will increase your kissability. Just sayin'.

Okay, I'm off to pamper myself and paint.

Much Love,

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Welcome to the new In The Bee Tree blog!! I'm so happy you're here!! I'm taking this blog entry to re-introduce myself, and tell you a bit about who I am.

I recently took a very long hiatus from blogging because I really wanted to focus on creating. And, I have been BUSY as a BEE! If you visit In The Bee Tree on Etsy, you'll notice about five new additions. I love them all, and I had so much fun making them! I have plenty more to list, but as of right now, I lack a model. No worries! I'll find someone (other than me) soon enough, and those other beauties will be up on Etsy soon enough!

Wildberry Wine Blanket

Skykomish Shawl

Plum Smoke Shawl

Cinnamon Spice Shawlette

Heart Scroll Circle Shawl

I am so grateful to have had the time to create...I feel at peace when knitting and painting. I'm hoping one day I will be able to create for a living. I mean a real living!

A few years ago, I planted my studio in a tiny 2 foot by 4 foot space in my bedroom, and made jewelry, painted, and worked on a wonderful year long art course (Life Book 2013). I'm currently doing Life Book 2014! You can find more info here. My studio has moved into an extra dining room we have at our new house! It's a whole 10 feet by 12 feet!! I have built in cabinets, shelves, and drawers. I also bought a six foot long table so I can set up stations! Right now it's kind of messy, but I promise to post pictures very soon! I'll give you a studio tour!

I hang out with my awesome family. I have three amazing kids, and a wonderful husband to be. Between the two of us, we have 7 kids...No kidding. Ranging from ages 5 to 28. They are all amazing people, and I absolutely love spending time with them. I also have a guinea pig named Penny. She's pretty cool, too. She hangs out and eats carrots. A lot of carrots.

We live in a part of the country that begs you to come out and enjoy and explore. I absolutely love living in this small town, at the base of the Cascades. There's fishing, hiking, kayaking, skiing, shindigs, logging competitions, and the fiber community is huge!

Creek at Nordic Center

We live simple. And I love it. In the near future, I will begin jarring all our food, and we hope to get some chickens for the backyard. Slowly, but surely, we are learning how to live off the land as much as we can. We even have a house full of oil lamps! In the winter, our home is always cozy and warm; a safe haven from the rainy months. In the summer, we have plenty of sunshine, tons of humidity, and a beautiful garden.

As I said, this year has been a busy one. I've been ill for a while, and I'm just now getting back onto my feet, but I have a long road ahead of me. I hope by this time next year, I will be as healthy as I can be!

Let me tell you some of the things you'll find here at In The Bee Tree. I plan on writing heavily on a few topics, such as knitting, spinning wool, and painting. There will be tutorials, videos, and TONS of pictures!! I will probably also touch on other creative topics, like: jarring, simple/frugal living, nature, parenting, love/marriage, and jewelry.

I hope you come back often! Feel free to leave comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions!! I'd love to hear from you!

Jenny Kaye