Sundry Blossoms Studio is operated by me, Renée Hodges.
Fiddling with designing, sewing, and binding quirky leather book covers and jewelry began in 2011, when a good friend taught me how to long stitch. I feel in love. Around the the same time, I started back to school to earn a B.A. in Communication and Fine Arts. I thoroughly enjoyed explorations of interpersonal communications and became fascinated in visual communication research. I pursued interests in art practice, visual language, mandalas, and neuropsychology, really embracing the idea of art as communication. Moreover, art-work as a tool to achieve communication. After graduating in the Spring of 2014, I began the process of trying to discover what my new skills and knowledge meant for my life and career, hoping to build upon this and my prior studio arts focus.
Being a heartfelt artist comes with it's challenges. I struggled for the longest time trying to balance my own fire to create with a real need to encourage and inspire others. Everyone to be allowed to access the creative, be given opportunities to reflect, and have outlets for expressing living, breathing, life. Did I want to teach? Did I want to become an art therapist? Was it selfish to want to hole-up in my studio and make random floral-themed pretties for aesthetic pleasure? Soon after the book making began, I realized that the little blank books and planners I was making were art in themselves, but they were also useful tools to help others access their creativity. Individuality, utility and beauty comprised neatly in tangible package. I find great satisfaction in making books that are not simply for consumption, but knowing that I am providing ample space and opportunities to unleash whatever may be festering inside theses crazy brains of ours. We all have songs, stories, prayers, wounds, images, diagrams, memories and thoughts that are ready to be ex-pressed, just waiting for the space (or page) to do so.
Writing takes a level of commitment, and oft times the courage to do so. Digital text can be edited and deleted with ease, and only exists when plugged in and electrified. Spoken word can both move and amaze (or be clumsy and flippant), but often morphs as quickly as it is carried off by the wind. Making a mark on a physical object requires intention AND ability. The act of putting a pen or pencil down to paper provides it's own dimension, depth, and meaning. I journal in sketches and drawings, mostly mandalas that exhibit radial symmetry and heavy pattern repetition. There is no one right way to journal! I encourage you to gain and explore many outlets for your own chosen forms of expression. I know not everyone is interested in tactile journaling. Sometimes I'm not. But I do like making things, having fun, and accessorizing life. So I also lend my talents to making other quirky leather creations to keep my product offerings interesting and relevant to all of my customers.
Load this life up with healthy heaps of fun, aesthetic pleasures, and bushels of flowers, shall we?!