Hello Voyager

Textile Tours at Home: Embroidering Maps, Shopping Handmade, & Choosing Love

Happy Holidays, Voyagers! 

Though Carnaby Street doesn’t swing quite as much as it did in the 1960s, it’s still one of my favorite places to visit in London. It’s particularly fun when decorated for the holidays. Each year the decorations are themed so that you might do your holiday shopping under glowing jellyfish, giant holly leaves, or even a rainbow of levitating lyrics from Queen songs.

This year, in partnership with a wonderful organization called Choose Love, the street is bedecked in neon purple signs reminding shoppers below that there is hope for the future. Choose Love is an organization that I’ve followed for a few years, and they have a great way to help during the holidays, which you will learn about below.

As ever, we have a variety of online happenings listed below for you to enjoy. Settle down with a warm drink and read/shop/watch your way through them. Enjoy your holiday season and we’ll be back next month!


Give: Choose Love

Choose Love is an organization that makes helping refugees as fun as going shopping. You can purchase actual products – tents, winter clothes, legal support – that will go straight to those in need. Shop Choose Love ➔

Shop: Emily Blodgett-Panos

While textiles are my first love, Emily Blodgett-Panos prefers metals. Since we’re sisters, we look past these differences. Fortunately, textiles happen to be Emily’s second love. And this year – as part of her annual holiday collection – she has created pieces inspired by her love of knitting – a perfect gift for your fellow textile lover. Shop Emily Blodgett-Panos Jewelry ➔

Listen: Interview with artist Kathy Liao

Artist Kathy Liao’s work often revolves around the concepts of relationships and communication, which seems especially applicable in a year in which we’ve had to re-think how we spend time with one another. A few years ago I interviewed Kathy for my podcast Hello Atelier. We talked about how her family influences her work, the importance of learning new techniques, and how painting self-portraits grounds her in a space. Listen here ➔

Stitch: Embroider with Ekta Kaul

I’ve been looking longingly at artist Ekta Kaul’s embroidery workshops for ages but was never in London at the right time. Now I don’t have to be! Now I can learn how to recreate her exquisitely stitched maps through her online workshops. While she has a variety from which to choose, there is a kantha embroidery class in February that I have my eye on. See her work and class list here ➔

Discover: Artist Gabo Martini

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point I turned into a ceramics collector. I’ve got little artistic surprises all though the house – everything from colorful mugs to a life-size cactus. I may need to add a piece from artist Gabo Martini, who makes gorgeous, colorful vessels. I love her use of contrast – the colorful patterns against the natural terra cotta. Check out Gabo’s portfolio on her website and shop her pieces here ➔

Read: More Men Reach for Sewing Machines

I was thrilled to read an article in The New York Times about the resurgence in men sewing their own clothes. While sewing has been marketed to women for the last century, anyone should be able to enjoy the satisfaction of creating their own garments. After all, I’ve always thought the sewing machine should be considered a power tool. Read the article ➔