I am a sucker for totes. I find them to be most practical - they carry my books and groceries, and are super useful when traveling because I can just roll them up or stuff them silly - and just aesthetically interesting because they're a blank canvas! I confess that I have many, many totes - I have three alone from The Strand Bookstore from our NYC trip, and TWO Shakespeare & Co ones from Paris, one from our honeymoon and the other from my sister - yet there's no hurt in having more, right...???
Which is why I made some.
I knew I had wanted to make totes for a while, but I wasn't sure what to put on them. There's a lot of really great tote bags out there, so what was I going to say in the sea of all of them? At the end of it, I realized that I wanted to put something on it that would be encouraging and truthful not only for the person toting it around (pun intended!), but also for those who see it worn, whether it's on the metro or on the street or wherever.
what is done in love is done well
I have always loved Van Gogh, but even more so after I read Irving Stone's biography of Van Gogh, Lust for Life. He strikes me as someone who really wrestled with what it meant to love well, and I think learning to love well is a worthy thing to struggle with and figure out. One of the things that I'd really wanted to do with Olive Branch & Co was to love people through it, whether it meant communicating in love or creating with love - and that to me is still one of the big goals, to do all this in love. So in some ways, this quote feels like a mantra for what I hope to do.
be not in hospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise
I first saw this quote while visiting Shakespeare & Co in Paris (is it clear yet how much I love bookstores???), and immediately thought, how beautiful, the expectation of having angels in our midst! The bookstore made their own totes with a picture of the second floor with this quote written across a post, but I wanted to write it out for myself because I love it so much! When I made this one, I thought of people walking around town with it, and others kind of reading it from afar to themselves and getting to the last word and thinking, ahh, yes.
So there you go, my first foray into totes! They're up in the shop - so feel free to snag one for yourself and a friend!
Next post: what I'm soaking up, featuring one of my great loves: BOOKS!