Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why am I Awake at 4:30 a.m.? Featuring Istria Design

Well, sometimes we, as humans, can't sleep.  Right?  Right.  So I thought I would get up and write.  That is what I have been advised to do, from those that know how to do this thing called life.  So here I am.  Well, what to my wandering eyes should appear...I took some photos of new work and logged on to Etsy, and I had a message.

For a couple weeks or more, I've been carrying around these receipts and wrinkly papers with phone numbers of women.  I've been living this new way of life for "a few 24 hours" and it's really the best way of life, for me.  I have immense gratitude.  I was sad to move away from my Franklin, Tennessee group of women, but I am warming up to the Owensboro, Kentucky group.  Anyway, these wrinkly pieces of paper I began to fear I would lose by throwing them into the trashcan by mistake.

Back in high school and college I had this cute tiny address book and it was filled to the brim with numbers of all my friends, then maybe people I would just meet and hang out with for a minute or two (this was before this new way of life).   Well, over time, I didn't have the need to carry such a book, since I really only call my mom or my sister, and cell phones store their numbers.

 In life, things change and this is good, the way it should be.  The need for a phone book is a good thing, and that is what started to roll around in my mind's eye-this pretty little phone book to stash in my pocketbook.  A beautiful place to safely store my precious numbers of the women I meet in the rooms that save many lives.

I am an artist, so I could have just made my own phone book...but I happen to know someone who actually makes such things in a professional manner.  So look what I found in my virtual mailbox this early morning:

Those are photos of my new phone book!  I couldn't have imagined it, better.  Don't you love the little pocket with tags for notes and whatnot?  Yes, you do; you want my phone book.  The artist who made this is Ivana Watkins.  She grew up in Croatia and now lives in the United States.  

 Map of Istria.  See the little plane?  That means go visit!
 After reading about Istria, the beautiful place, now I want to go there.  I want to go see Green Istria and you will just have to do some research to find the difference between Blue and Green.  It definitely peaked my interest to research more.  My favorite thing, one of them, to read about places and people.  I can understand how Ivana might be homesick, sometimes.  I can see that making her romantic products keeps her connected in heart to her past history.  

Map of Europe-Can you find Croatia?

This is Washington; Ivana is here.  Washington is way up and over on the globe in comparison to Istria.

You can read more about Ivana on her blog "Handmade Is Better."  Here is the link: http://handmadeisbetter.blogspot.com/.  

I ran into Ivana's work on Etsy in these little things called Teams.  It's a place to get help with your store, meet other sellers, see other's work and gain exposure for your own work.  Well, I'd explain why I really just love her products, but it would be better if you just looked at them yourself, but you can't have my little phone book.  It was custom built for moi.  BUY YOUR OWN!  She has a store on Etsy called Istria Design and you can find something you want there or just ask her to make what you are dreaming.  Here is the link to Ivana's store on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Istriadesign.  You better hurry, though, because I think her work is a very hot commodity.  

I've pulled some pictures of items from Ivana's shop-just a small handful of what you might find should you go browsing around.  Sure, I could have found some kind of phone book at T.J Maxx or Big Box Blah Blah, but how brainless is that?  Ivana writes in her blog about why Handmade Is Better.  There are too many reasons swimming in my head that explain why Handmade Is Better.  So I'm going to go all Zen for a minute.  Tangible Spirit is shared when a conscious connection is made, simply speaking.  People working in factories in countries where company wages barely feed a soul are real people that exist...


I hear it said that life is exactly how it is supposed to be.  It is said that "Life is Good."  That is probably true.  My life if good.  I am excited for change, which is also part of the weave.  


  1. Wendi, I cannot thank you enough for this post. In the lines you wrote, you didn't just capture my work and where my inspiration comes from, but also me as a person... which is amazing, considering we never met in person. If you look at the map of Istria, you'll see Pazin - that's my home :). And if you ever decide to go visit, please let me know, I'll be your tourist guide. Thank you so much, this means so much to me. Knowing that you like your new phone book just makes me so happy :). Have a wonderful day, I'll be visiting your shop on payday, I'm keeping my eyes on one of your listings.

  2. Wendi, I would like to thank you as well for this wonderful blog post on my wife and her work. I've been supporting her through this and will continue to do so. But knowing that someone else appreciates my wife's passion and work almost as much as I do is a very great feeling. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart :)

    1. David,
      This really makes my day! What you say here is so important! Happiness is the richest of all.