It happens to be Faith's birthday today and I can't think of a more fitting way to celebrate her than to offer a glimpse into her creative life and share a bit about how much she means to me. In previous artist features, I've asked some questions and encouraged the artists to share their stories in their own words, about their creative pursuits. I didn't ask Faith any questions for her feature because I wanted to surprise her! She's been creating art all of her life, has taught art classes and sold her items in a variety of shops and galleries. My aunt Faith is the second oldest of six children in the Karlsson family and she's endlessly creative as you'll see in the following images.
(Pillows created using vintage men's ties with hand-sewn details. Faith's freehand embroidery is the best we've seen.)
When I was 14 years old, I took a flight (on my own... I felt so grown up) to see aunt Faith and uncle Aaron when they lived in New Jersey. There are many things I remember fondly about the trip, but one of the clearest memories I treasure is how beautiful and comfortable their home was. I recently told her how much the trip meant to me and reminded her about me tagging along when she got her nails done... I thought she was sooo fancy!
Faith and Aaron now live in Tennessee along with their adult children and grandchildren. It's on my bucket list to visit them and to see the place they call home. My cousin Eric, Faith and Aaron's son, has just opened his own pottery studio and gallery in Tennessee and is one of the many artists in our family. If you're curious, you can check out Eric's incredible work and gallery here.
(Grapevine baskets in a variety of sizes woven by Faith.)
It seems that there's little Faith can't do. Her cooking is fabulous, her personal style is something I refer to as "Boho Chic" and she is someone I adore very much. She's always ready for a hug and has kind and supportive words available whenever I need to hear them.
(Tomtes! Faith's Tomtes are very popular; their beards and hats are full of character. Find the legend of the Tomte/Tomten here.)
(Scandinavian inspired felt birds with Swedish braid and hand-stitched details.)
For the last several summers, Faith and her husband Aaron have travelled to Roseau for the better part of the month of July to spend time with friends and family. Every year, Faith selflessly cares for her father, my grandfather, Enar Karlsson, at the family farm. My grandpa loves the farm and all it symbolizes in terms of his life's work. It's clear that Faith, along with all of the Karlsson children, recognize the value of these visits. And when she has a bit of down-time, Faith will create beautiful, authentic Scandinavian inspired items for the Shoppe.
(Bracelets created from Swedish braid, adorned with pewter buttons.)
The other day, Aunt Faith said to me, "Thank you for being you." And I have to say it brought tears to my eyes because it meant so much.
Today, on her birthday and all year long, I also want to say thank you Aunt Faith, for being you.