I'm feeling like I need to get real for a moment - this is not regarding any specific event or person
I'm not trying to make any kind of statement - I just want to tell you how I feel sometimes things happen and you feel a certain way already and then something makes it surface. I don't know if it's age or life itself, but I feel that people in general forget about kindness the kind of kindness that comes out of you even if you don't get anything in return - like helping a mom with a stroller on the bus or holding the door open or treating others the way you want to be treated or respected
I'm not a perfect person, I'm not the most talented, I'm not the most beautiful
but I give - like you couldn't imagine how I give, I give to strangers, I give to my family, I give to friends - I give so much that sometimes it hurts my heart. when I write on this blog - I don't show all facets of myself - because it's so public and your subjected to praise and criticism
I am sure of who I am and not afraid of criticism - I think it makes me a better maker.
I just don't like criticism that is meant to hurt - that is meant to harm - I don't know all of you out there and always enjoy meeting you at the craft shows and in the shop, but most of you remain anonymous to me - that's what makes the blogging thing a bit weird - it's one sided.
I remember a question I was asked at my grad school interview in 1996 "tell us about yourself?" I said with a big smile "there are things that I need to discover about myself, that's why I want to be here, what I know about myself is that I'm a really hard worker and love what I do and want to spend the rest of life putting what I feel on the inside in some kind of form - being it sculpture, printing or drawing....." the above image is one of the first images I posted on the blog - a blog I started as a record of my journey and a journey I enjoy sharing with you everyday. hope this not too much real for you - I forget sometime that the internet is like the real world - I guess - I wish it's a different kind of world. thanks for reading - it made me feel better to write this - I just had to mention that a little bit of kindness goes a long way. much love xxa


  1. I don't know you, but I too hope you're okay. The reminder to be kind, even when shrouded in the anonymity of the internet, is a good one. May we all spread a little more kindness because of it.

  2. Hi Arounna; You have such a sweet spirit and you clearly give so much of yourself. I don't know what has happened to cause this blog-post but please know that from the day I first met you, your love for your family and your art have been the "why" in our relationship. Stay being Arounna.

  3. Arounna you brighten my day every day with what you give on this one sided blog. Unfortunately sometimes there is a reason for the old saying "it only takes one rotten apple to spoil the barrel." I hope you keep creating with the fervor you always do! You are one of the hardest working, talented, prolific artists I have ever some across and you truly inspire me.

  4. Hi Arounna,

    I overheard a mom I know saying to her child, who was about to tell on her brother, "Are you trying to get him into trouble or out of trouble?" It struck me as an interesting way to categorize things. It sounds like you may have come in contact with an into trouble sort, sorry to hear that.

    Nice to meet you. I'm Jenny, the out of trouble sort. I love checking your blog, Thank you for sharing .
    If you'd like to "meet" a reader www.jenniferblaauw.com

  5. Dear Arounna,
    To an amazing creative and giving person, who met me with open arms- Hugs and best wishes,

  6. I rarely comment on people's work, because I do not see what I can offer often... but given this, and the posts the other day about the bag... bah!

    I like coming here, and seeing your beautiful things. They make me smile (esp because I've usually snatched a peek in a moment of distraction/procrastination at work :) It is a Very Nice moment to steal).


  7. Dear Arounna, I'm sorry that someone has hurt your heart and taken something from you that has caused you to have to ask for kindness when you give so much.

    Please know this - you are such an inspiration to me, your work and your insightful words give so much even through 'cyberspace'. I'm always delighted to check in and see you have a new post up showing your amazing work and the work of other makers like yourself, and I love to use my Bookhou pieces daily.
    Having an open, giving heart can sometimes be a bittersweet thing - we get so much back from giving but sometimes that openness makes us vulnerable to the mean spirited takers too. It's a difficult balance sometimes.

    Find comfort in the cocoon of your loved ones and be kind to yourself.

    My best to you,
    Belinda. x

  8. This isn't going to be very eloquent as it's late and I should be sleeping.. but after reading that post about the bag, I was really disturbed at the thought of someone criticizing you/your work. There's so much I want to say about it but quite simply, I think you are an amazing person (even without ever meeting you, some things you just know..) with an incredible talent. I love your art, your shop 'products' and especially your blog. It's a mix between something so real and honest, and something a little magical with the art and images your share. It makes me really happy to visit this space. xo

  9. Ooh yes, people can be very nasty in blog comments, can't they? They say things that they would never say to someone's face. I think it is easy to forget that there is a person on the receiving end because it can feel a bit anonymous sometimes.

    I know giving is good, but remember to keep something good for yourself too.

    If it makes any difference, it gives me joy to read your words and see your work and the things that inspire you in this space. I think sometimes we have no idea how perfect, talented or beautiful we really are, nor how much of an impact we can have on other people.

  10. thanks for being so open about this natural need for kindness and giving... your openess might trigger those people who might be hurt in any way and are afraid to be so 'open' and give them a chance to reconnect with this state of being that we all need. It feels so good to give when this is a natural state of being. I often feel more love giving something special to someone than receiving something... but I guess that's ok ;-) Keep on being such a lovely person Arounna! x x x

  11. Hi Arounna! I found your blog through the lovely Adrienne K. we studied abroad together in Italy over 10 years ago.
    Your hard work and gentle spirit come across so clearly, and it makes me want to work harder on my own endeavors everyday.
    I often don't comment because I don't know what I can add to the conversation, but I really enjoy stopping by here to read your thoughts and see what you have been working on.
    This is a wonderful space you've made!

  12. You make a beautiful work,Arounna!
    Your bags have your signature, your taste, your skill. And all your bags are beautifull.
    It's all be done but some are better done than others!
    Go ahead with your fantastic work!
    (sorry my bad English)

  13. Hi Arounna, just know that most of us come here beacause we love the beautiful things you make. I feel as you do about forming your feelings into something tangible, but I don't think I've ever heard it put that well before!

    I don't know what was said but I've found that often people who express themselves in unkind ways are hurting on the inside more than they hurt others so, in a way, you should just feel sorry for them.

    As Jenny suggests: just click on our profile links if you want to get to know us better :)

    All the best, warm regards, Cally xx

  14. i can vouch for the clear undeniable fact that you are a giver, a helper, a teacher , a mentor, a mother, a wife, a sister and one of the very best friends in the world. If anyone thinks otherwise , they really don't know you and are speaking out of ignorance and darkness.
    big hug

  15. I write a blog about inspiration too, so I understand the strangeness of putting these thoughts out into the world, but I try to remember that they are what make us human, and connect us, and inspire us. Thank you for your lovely blog. I always enjoy reading it and seeing your thoughtful, beautiful work.

  16. Sorry to hear if you've had some undeserved negative feedback. Your work and blog are amazing. I don't usually comment, but you are one of the bloggers who are providing me the inspiration to hopefully start one soon! Thank you!!

  17. i feel like i missed something...

    i think about you everyday (and try to visit virtually (maybe that's not the best way))

    hope you are o.k.
    deep down, i know you are; as we've had those talks in snowy Montreal, at the white squirrel, and through pissing rain driving on a hi-way at 4:00a.m.
    talk with you soon

  18. Hi Arounna,

    We met at Geninne's workshop at your store. I know from meeting you in person that you radiate kindness and gentleness. I love your blog and think you are open and generous in what you post. I used to do a lot of trade shows when I had my card company and most people were lovely and amazing which made the experience uplifting but every now and then someone would come into my booth (which was my personal space) and say something negative-- forgetting or not knowing that I was the artist standing right there. I don't mind that not everyone likes my work (that's perfectly normal) but it does hurt to hear it out loud in harsh, graceless terms. Maybe it's a lack of kindness. Or maybe it's a lack of manners. Or maybe it's both.

    I wondered why the post of the new bag disappeared. I loved the way the straps started lower than the top and the top could fold over. If I hadn't just bought two of your bags, I would buy another! I use your bags and think of you every day.

    People like you make the world a better place and make up for the occasional boor. Don't change because of them.


  19. Arounna, a touching post. As you know, I'm a frequent poster. You were the first blog I ever followed ... way back when when I didn't even understand what a blog was. Your lifestyle awes me, something I strive for. Always challenging yourself in your work, maintaining a healthy life/work balance, giving so much through your blog by inpsiring us and most importantly, just being you. It's so rare to find people who so truly know who they are and practice it every day. Stay strong and be true to yourself, I know you will!

  20. Hi Arounna,
    Let's face it, you are amazing and some people just can't handle that. I think they call it Tall Poppy Syndrome. Keep on being your awesome self, regardless of those who are thoughtless. =)

  21. Hi Arounna,
    I read ur blog everyday and I am so happy to own one of ur creations :) If out there were more people like you the World will be a different place. You are who you! Don't let anybody to crush ur spirit,
    Much love]

  22. Arounna, I am so happy you share your journey, in the short time I have been following your blog I have felt very inspired to create. Goodness and kindness will always prevail which is evident in how you have chosen to live your life.

  23. Arounna, I am always eager to enter your blog and your magazine and soak up your beautiful, inspiring creations. I am glad to say that I missed the hurtful comment. This morning I received an e-mail from Barbara Cawthorne Crafton who writes meditations from the site GeraniumFarm dot org. Here's an excerpt:

    "...who decides that? Who gets to say what's rude and what's polite?"

    "It's sort of a cultural consensus. About what makes people feel treasured and what doesn't."

    I certainly treasure the opportunity to glimpse these parts of you. May you heal quickly from this person's negativity!

  24. You have no need to explain yourself, I think our blogs speak for us and yours shows what a positive and talented and unique person you are.
    Don't let negative people spoil that for you. Easier said than done I know, but I've been so sad to see mean comments and undeserved criticism upset a few talented generous designers recently.
    Just chiming in with my support here :-)

  25. I feel like Barb - like I missed something.

    Don't forget to keep a little something for yourself

    the anonymity of the internet is sure a hard one to deal with sometimes - I hope you're feeling better [custard tarts help!].

    xoxo ro

  26. I was remiss in blog reading, as I often am during the weekend, but saw the posts still in my blog reader. It's unfortunate that the immediacy of the internet has the effect of not only bringing people closer together, but in a manner that is so precarious, almost like we are a pile of matches. It's all too easy to press enter or send and not think through the repercussions of that comment or response. Add to that, the fact we are in an age that the snarky is celebrated and encouraged. I always felt so insulated from that in the craft and knit blog world.

    I am a reader and not too frequent commenter who so admires your work. As an artist and mother, what you are able to make and create alongside and with your family is truly inspirational to me. You share so much of yourself through your work and your photos. And it is beautiful, it is kind and giving. It shows. I hope that it won't remain one-sided and that I will one day make it up to visit your beautiful store.

  27. I wanted to tell you all that your words warms my heart. I am fortunate to have you out there, reading and supporting - your kindness will keep this place growing and flourishing.

  28. Kindness is contagious, Arounna & yours reaches a long way for sure. Don't be sad if it's not accepted by some as they probably don't know how to... I love your blog, your warmth and your honesty! XO Mitsy

  29. I don't know if someone said or made something that hurt you, but I'm not very happy about that. The internet has it downside for sure, I also had to taste that bitter taste myself. But I think it makes you stronger. I had to let it run on my skin like a water drop on a duck's feather.
    I can also testimony, for the short amount of time I spent by your side, that you exhale sweetness, kindness, generosity, inspiration, positive vibes, love and patience too. And I'm sure I only got to know the surface !
    Please be strong & let this negativity (or harmful words or actions) feed your own positivity & be proud of who you are, because you are someone exceptional.
    I love you very much. oxoxox

  30. hi arounna, thanks for sharing these peronal thoughts. Sometimes it feels that kindness does not come a long way, but in the end it always wins!


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