If you are looking for our Seasonal Contributor Giveaway from Rhythm of the Home, you can find it here.
Today we welcome Rhythm of the Home sponsor Willodel to the blog! A small business run by artist Lucinda Macy, Willodel specializes in beautifully handcrafted fairy homes and gnome houses. Read on to find out more about Lucinda and her unique shop as well as to enter a very special giveaway!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
I was fortunate enough to be brought up in an artistic household and was encouraged to “make & do” since early childhood. Big messes with paper mache and wood shavings were never frowned upon and I my passion for artistic expression and creativity grew wild, free & strong. I lived in a rural setting, immersed in the flora, fauna & geology around me. All my work reflects my great love and respect for the natural world and my passion for creativity. I do many things….from map making, graphic design and painting ….to woodworking, soap making, landscaping and house design. I have published one book commercially and two others myself. I believe that living in harmony with Nature brings peace to the Earth and joy to the soul~ …and that making beautiful things is a self-fulfilling process that benefits all mankind, the natural world and ourselves. I very much hope that the things I do inspire others along the way to embrace nature and creativity.
What inspired you to begin your work, and what keeps you motivated today?
My simple answer to this would be Mother Nature, as we called it when I was young. My parents love of the natural world was something I saw and felt everyday. I also spent a lot of time alone in meadows, woods, creeks and the garden. I played with violets, forget-me-nots and maiden hair fern and saw them as the fairies and elementals in my world. I had pet toads, frogs and water dogs and raised dragon fly larvae until they rose to the top of the water and flew away. I made little houses out of sticks and mud for hours and hours. As I grew into adolescence I was impassioned with a desire to do artwork and make things and spent most of my free time doing this. I visited places like art museums in San Francisco and the galleries in Carmel as often as I could. I was so enchanted with the architecture that I found in Carmel that it has been a life long influence on me. I also became a great fan of William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement and their goals to bring great beauty and art to the common man. What inspired me in the beginning still inspires me today and my sense of beauty, of the natural world and my desire to share and create with these things is still strong, it is who I am! To share with and inspire others makes me feel that my work is complete.
What is most rewarding about running a small business?
Running a small business gives you that sense of freedom and independence that allows us to live life on our own terms. When children were young it allowed me to adjust my schedule to fit their needs and be home when they needed to be home. The other very important part of it for me is the one to one contact with the people that I sell to, these are “my” people, we have a connection and every exchange with them is meaningful and important to me. The happiness and joy people find in what I make and the positive impact on their lives is a great incentive for me to go the shop and make more!
How do you balance being an artist, business owner and parent?
Now that my children are grown I actually can work as much as I want, without interruption for the most part. We all know as parents and family, how much of our time and energy we give for others, so I am blessed at this point to largely be in a position of doing what I love most. When my children were young, I worked a lot late into the night. It was passion to do the work that kept me doing it, plus I always needed extra money! I will always thank financial pressure for driving me to higher levels of creativity and productivity! And really that is as true today as it was then, I turned to my art because that is what I knew best and did best.
What are your hopes for Willowdel for the future?
Since my work is handmade and one of a kind, my production will not expand much beyond it’s present pace, I do not have visions of Willodel growing larger and larger in that way. I do want to see more diversity, which I have started doing. From the wood bird houses and gnome houses I started with, I expanded to include felt houses, play mats and have made some gnome dolls and animals. I have also started making learning sets, that teach about nature while they hold the pieces and put them in their homes. Also I have been making items for nature tables or nature display, which I really love doing. I also want to do more utilitarian house hold things that are designed using natural materials and whimsical themes I use, such as the Gnome coat hooks. In the past I designed and made prototypes for Montessori educational materials. I would be interested in this again, in the design aspect of it. I also would like to work in more time to do painting and more of my real artwork. The artwork is my greatest love, that often has given way to the little houses. On my art blog you can see samples of my artwork. I also hope to work on books or booklets with themes in line with my present work.
How do you make time to nurture yourself?
I consider what I do in my shop and studio as very nurturing to myself. I also take time to garden, cook and do other things that I enjoy. I try to fit them into the schedule to keep things balanced. This does not always work!
What is one special object in your home that makes you smile, pause, or reflect?
My “Sophie Girl”, my dear dog!
What is one of your biggest challenges in your everyday life and how are you coping?
This would be coping with problems with family or friends, problems of well being, with health, that sort of thing. Problems that cannot be easily solved, problems that seem to have no solution, that you live with a day at a time, you hope for the best but never know. Problems with others that you cannot change because it is not in your power to do so. I believe that we respect other’s free will and trying to do otherwise will only lead to poor results. I cope with such things by letting go. I try to let go and let the universe mend and heal, I try to infuse such situations with the energy of peace and love and work on my patience and a broader vision of it all.
Anything else that you would like to share with us today?
The last thing that I want add is about gratitude, how grateful I am to be able to do what I love doing most. Every day I am grateful for the renewed opportunity to go to my shop and studio and work. And, that through the use of technology, to reach all those people with whom I can do business, who buy my work and whom complete the circle of creation by their thank you’s and their love of the work. Every day I am grateful for these things.
Thank you to Lucinda for sharing a bit about her life and business with us here today!
Lucinda has also offered one of her lovely handmade fairy houses to a lucky Rhythm of the Home reader! In Lucinda’s words:
“A charming and unusual Fairy abode befitting a lovely Fairy Maiden, Sprite or Elf. A tiny mail box and curvy door give this house it’s character, it is made of natural Aspen wood with a hand shaped Aspen roof. A winding branch, seedpod window and acorn light also decorate the front. This special house has gentle, non-toxic color washes on it that were inspired by all the beauty of Spring all around us. The wood is hand gathered from wind fall trees and hand shaped for each house. The home stands 11.5 tall and 4.5″ wide with a door opening height of 2.8″. The house is sealed with beeswax and natural oils.”
To enter the giveaway, use the widget below. We will choose a winner next Friday, September 14th. To visit the Willodel shop, click here. You can also find Willodel on Facebook and visit the Willodel blog too!