So inspired are our staff that some of them have taken to creating their own blogs or starting their own product lines. One such person, that I'd very much like to introduce you all to is Barb Burwell. Barb is an associate at our Portland store (5 years and counting!) and has created the most lovely, whimsical line of cards, journals, and magnets called Ciao Birdie Designs. Barb has a Fine Arts degree and background in ceramics and jewelry making. When I asked Barb how she came to work in her current mediums of paper, paint, graphite, ink, fabric and ephemera in a collage format and create an entire line of products, she said that it all started with a Christmas card she created a couple of years ago over which she got a lot of applause. From this card, Barb expanded into other cards, journals, and magnets, opened an Etsy shop, and introduced her line to us here at the office, which we immediately picked up. Amazing how great things can come from small beginnings, no?!
Asked what inspires her, Barb responded that it's the little details in life, her garden, her collection of heart-shaped rocks, and, of course birds, with which she has had a fascination since childhood, that give her pause and inspire her make her pieces.
I just love the reflective, sweet, and nostalgic nature of Barb's pieces and I am excited that we are carrying her line in the stores. As we begin to move past the hustle and bustle of the holidays and into the quiet of the just-beginnings of a brand new year, I am eager to sit in a corner with one of Barb's journals to work out my dreams and ruminations or write a card to a faraway friend.
I am also envisioning posting my to do and wish lists on my fridge with a few of her pretty magnets.
Ciao Birdie Designs are sold at all nine Paper Zone stores, so come on into one of our stores and check them out. You can also hear more from Barb at her blog at ciaobirdie.wordpress.com. Best wishes for happy and inspired days ahead! Tiffany