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Entries in Melissa Oesch (19)


Ky Crafted 2016

Ky Crafted: The Market is such a fun show and tends to kick off my festival season each year.  I love being able to share new designs and get feedback.  Because we've just finished up the winter, its a great place to see everyone again and meet new folks as well.  The first day is always for wholesale, and I met some new buyers this year as well as saw ones that I've been working with for awhile.  You can view the stores that my work is available in under "retailers".  Saturday and Sunday is retail.  There were around 200 artists, KY Proud food, and a stage with music.  If you missed it this year, mark your calendar for next year.  Thanks to everyone who came out!!

These girls were so excited to each have their own journal.  They were delightful!

This little one is a daughter of a regular customer who has quite a collection of journals, including one that his wife had me make him for their anniversary.  His daughter seem to take notice for the first time and was pretty enchanted with them all.


Baby Books, Guestbooks, Address Books, Music Composition Notebook, and more

I've been having too much fun playing with new designs.  I've added some new sizes, new closures, and speciality books which come with certain insides. 

Below are the new sizes in handmade paper.  They are for a limited time only.  You can use them for writing, sketching, photos, watercolors, and more.  This also shows two of the new closures that I've started using more of: the bronze latch and the knotted leather.  The knot looks complicated, but it is literally a knot and is a whole different look.

This is a sample page from the Baby Book.  Makes a great gift for a baby shower and has all the typical places for notes that you will want to keep as your baby is growing.

The guestbook is nice for a wedding gift or is even good for a wedding shower where you can easily keep track of guests.

The address book is small (about 4 x 6) and is great for those of us who are old school and still write down addresses.

The dated diary has one page per day and would make it easy to do a little daily journaling or would be a good place to keep notes that you need to be dated and organized (for example, a food journal/diary).

The music composition notebook is a unique place to write your music.  It is simply pages full of the staff for your composing pleasure.

New photo albums come in three sizes.  These also have the inside pages shown below.  They have a glassine (a glossy, transparent paper) separating the pages so your photos are protected.


Chattanooga 2013

My first outside show of the year was at the 4 Bridges Art Festival in Chattanooga, TN.  I fell in love with that place--the people were so friendly, there were local businesses everywhere, and fun art was all over.  I had just enough extra time to fit in some tasty restaurants and check out some cute, new boutiques. I stayed at a hostel, Crashpad, and was able to walk to and from the show.  It was all so fabulous!



Teachings from Horses

Any time I become intrigued with a particular animal, I like to explore what Native Americans, Shamans, and Healers associate with that animal.  This can be called an animal totem or animal medicine.  It’s fascinating as each animal has different characteristics to teach us.  Horses are no different.  Horses are one of the few animals that is said to have made alliance with humans early on.  They set us free to travel and transport and work the ground in ways that people had not been able to do before.  It is interesting to note that engines are still measured in “horsepower”.   They have often been associated with mystical powers, especially in various mythologies.  Part of this mystical power is intuition.  With this knowing comes a deep sense of knowing themselves.  There are many references to a horse’s dignity whether it is running wild and free or pulling a plow and the heaviest of burdens.  A horse knows that regardless of its domestication it can quickly become once again the untamed spirit it always was.  This is part of the horse’s teachings: to walk through difficult circumstances with ease and dignity, knowing that deep down we are always free.  This goes along with personal empowerment and tapping into your own inner power.  Horses demonstrate this whether they are racing or running wild or pulling a plow.   They are continually tapping into their power.  They teach us that what we need to access is right there within us.  Think about a horse galloping.  When you allow the horse to set its own pace, riding quickly becomes a pleasure.  It is teaching us to get in touch with our own spirit, allowing this part of ourselves to discover our distinct rhythm.  Doing so sets us free to really enjoy life.  Everything has a bit more ease in it.  Another aspect worth noting is the mother horse.  She gives herself fully to supporting her colts, which can be seen in the sway of her back when she is suckled.  However, she knows when enough is enough.  She does not allow more to be taken from her than is necessary.  We can learn a lot about self-care from the mother horse.  She knows when it is time to take care of herself and teaches her little ones when it is time to take care of themselves.  This is mostly done by example.  The lessons we can learn from horses goes on and on.  They have much to offer us if only we will listen a little more deeply.  The Kentucky’s state logo is “unbridled spirit”.   I love this!  It brings to mind a horse in its natural habitat, without the conditionings we’ve put on it.  That phrase “unbridled spirit” calls out to my gypsy soul…the part of me that continues to learn how to be untangled and free.  I am reminded that, regardless of what things may seem, I am free.


Intentions for the New Year

I dreamt about wings last night.  Large, gorgeous butterfly wings.  I was walking down a gravel lane in the woods along a creek, and there were two stacks of them.  Of course, I gathered them all up as carefully as I could.  Upon waking, I knew I wanted to share about wings today.  I've been interested in winged creatures since I was young.  Angels in particular. I recall a couple of years ago complaining about my shoulders hurting and saying that my wings were coming in.  When I was 18, I wanted wings tattooed on my back. I wanted big wings.  I had medium-sized wings my freshman year in college.  I wore them to dances, Halloween parties, and random get-togethers for years.  Last month, I found myself creating fabric cocoons, hanging from a branch.  Beautifully fragile.  Potential.  Waiting.  That was December.  Then on New Year’s Eve, I found myself desiring wings again.  I wanted to bring in the New Year wearing them.  While that did not happen physically, I did find that I wore them energetically.  If you were there, you probably saw them.  They were real in their own way.  What I didn't realize at the time was that they were setting the tone for my New Year's intentions.  Let me just say that New Year's is my favorite holiday. I love the symbolism of starting fresh and recreating who you want to be, letting the parts of you go that did not serve you well.  Usually, I reflect a lot going into January, and it's not that I didn't this year.  However, it was different.  I was quieter within myself.  I didn't rush into figuring out how I wanted to change.  I realized that what I wanted was intentions, and I meditatively waited for those to come.  Several came in soft whispers throughout the first few weeks of January.  Here are a couple that I want to share...


Transform: This brings to mind the image of a cocoon as well as the wings that emerge from it and all the capabilities they offer.  This year, I want to give birth (and transform) into an even truer version of myself, embracing my own power and "bigness".  

Be gentle with yourself: I have a tendency to be a bit of a slave-driver towards myself and be too harsh a critic.  With this, I want to give permission to life being easier and not always something I have to fight through.  I continue to also become aware that I don't have to suffer anymore.

What are your intentions for 2012?


In Process

New work is in process (on all levels).


A Collaborative Project:

These particular inside planners are a local, collaborative effort. The layout design was created by Rebecca Wheat of Lily of the Valley. She is awesome...just so you know. They were then printed by a local printing shop (Beaugraphics-these guys rock). I then created these covers, and some of the glass beads are made by an artist friend, Cee Thompson of Illume Jewelry Design. While they've been a work in progress for quite some time, I'm excited with how they've turned out. Also, they are a limited series so get them while you can. They are 4.5 x 6.75 inches. Oh, yes-and refillable!


And some are even created from coffee bags!  Go here to see more examples.


Cyber Sale!

 I am doing an online sale today only.  Since many of us will shopping online today anyway given that it's Cyber Monday, stop by my online shop for 25% off your purchases.  It will end at 10pm tonight.  Just put in the code CyberMondaySale2011 when you get ready to check out.


Trees in the Storm

"The trees in the storm don't try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Learn the power of the trees. Let it flow. Let it go. That is the way you are going to make it through the storms."

-from The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill


Award Winner at Madison Chautauqua!

I had a gorgeous drive this past weekend to Madison, IN.  GPS took me along backroads the whole way there.  It was incredibly tempting to pull over and go exploring.  Instead, I soaked it up from my car window and appreciated the sunshine and crisp fall air.  After several bridges and a scenic view of the river, I arrived in Madison.  Being there was delightful.  The town is quaint and surrounded by beautiful countryside, and the people were so warm and inviting.  We did have some rain on Saturday, but people came out regardless.  These folks obviously come year after year as I was repeatedly told, "You're new here, aren't you?"  They are quite the dedicated crowd.  That Sunday morning, a volunteer came up and asked what my booth number was.  She had a piece of paper in hand, and my first thought was that I must have parked in the wrong place or something.  Actually, I was up for an award and was suppose to attend the award ceremony at 11.  What a fun way to start the day!  I went to the ceromony and received First Place in Fine Craft.  The mayor of Madison presented the awards, and I was given a handmade wooden box that a local artist had made from cherry wood.  Between the award and the sunshine making an unexpected day-long appearance, it was a fabulous day.  And now, a long deep breath....and I'm back to the studio.


*group picture courtesy of Madison Chautauqua Art Festival