7 Questions with Cina of Camp Cirrus

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I’ve mentioned before that I curate a Great.ly shop, through which I try to support wonderful creative independent makers who sell unique, stylish items. Camp Cirrus is one of those makers and today I’ve got an interview with Cina to learn more about what Camp Cirrus is all about.

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Camp Cirrus on Great.ly

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I have included several of the beautiful Camp Cirrus items in my Great.ly curated collections. For example, you can find at least one of the brand’s beautiful tea towels in my textiles section. Or you can find a beautifully-colored soft bucket bag in my soft goods section. Learn more about this great brand and why I support them from the interview …

7 Questions with Cina of Camp Cirrus

Q: How did Camp Cirrus begin?

After working as a freelance designer for more than ten years I felt an urge to be more intricately involved in each part of the whole creative process – from inspiration and ideas to the ready-to-sell prodcut. We started very small in 2010 and the company has grown slowly but steadily since then. We are very happy to have resellers both in our home town Helsingborg (in the southern part of Sweden) and in other places as far away as South Korea.

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Q: What colors are your own personal favorites?

That’s a tricky one. I use to say that I like all colours; it’s all a matter of how you put them together. I personally like when they are put together so that there is a little tension. If I really needed to choose, though, I’d say white indoors, green outdoors and accents of olive green and pink.

cushionsGREENlisawikstrand 7 Questions with Cina of Camp Cirrus

Q: That makes sense and I adore those color choices. I see a lot of polka dots and florals in your collection … what draws you to these graphics?

The Swedish/ Nordic/ Scandinavian design tradition is what I lean on and there you have this kind of graphic simplicity. I love the basic patterns – dots, stripes, checks and plain florals. That’s mainly what I work with and I find that the possibilities to vary these themes are endless. However I do also like other more complex design, and I like when my strict shapes are combined with other styles.

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Q: This reminds me of something that you say on your site: “we like when a space or place is nice but not perfect” … Can you tell us a little bit more about what this means?

I like to think that textiles, other small stuff, art, etc. are the things that make a home nice to be in. To me it’s more important what kind of life you live in your home than how it looks in a picture. A home should be a place where all the people living there are represented in the style and I like when you see unexpected items on display beacuse they reflect the indivdiuality of the space. Colour and patterns, books and flowers and the smell of good food all combine to make a nice home if you ask me. That and a few nice people to chat with in the space are all a home really needs!

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Q: What tips do you have for people who are looking to make sure that their homes really do reflect their personal style in this way?

  • Listen to your heart.
  • Use as much colour as you dare; at least some colour is good for you!
  • Keep it simple.
  • Decorate your home for the people who live there, not to impress the guests.

A good practical tip is to make a colour scheme for the home (or a room): base colours (and woods etc.), additional colours and accents. If you are a bit uncertain about colours this is a trick that you can work with to never “choose wrong”.

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Q: How is Great.ly working out for you so far?

It has been a good thing both for sales and exposure. And I have found some new nice blogs and bloggers. It’s a charming and growing community of creative people.

Q: What else should we know?!

That the company is run by me and my husband Matts. We also have an office dog, Morris, who creates a laidback atmosphere at work (when he’s not barking at something!)

Want to find out more?

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Camp Cirrus is on Facebook and Cina is on Instagram as @cinakjellsson for those who want news and a peek at Camp Cirrus everyday life. And of course you can look for their items in my Great.ly Boutique.

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Humanthology Site Description (Video)

My beaux used to be involved on the tech end of a startup company called Humanthology that interested me a lot in its mission to share people’s stories. That’s something that’s part of my own commitment as a writer.

The site isn’t currently activity but they collected an amazing number of powerful personal stories. I thought I’d share a video he created about how the site worked:

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Planning to Volunteer with SPCA

spca Planning to Volunteer with SPCA

I just started the process of applying to be a Pet Therapy volunteer at SF SPCA. I’m planning to be a pet/person team with Lucy. I went to the initial orientation yesterday and am really excited about it.

The orientation went really well. The main woman who is my coordinator seems to be really skilled at finding the right matches for the people/pets and the facilities for volunteering. She assured us that there are all types of dogs with all types of demeanors and that she’s able to get a good sense of environments where the dog will do best. Some places want big dogs, some small, some playful, some calm so it seems like there’s a place for every dog. She did note that we shouldn’t come in with too many assumptions about what’s going to be right for the dog because even a very playful dog can sometimes take on a much calmer demeanor in certain settings. She said that they really seem to all know that they are there to do a job.
sf spca Planning to Volunteer with SPCA
That said, as I work with my coordinator over the next couple of months, we’ll be trying to figure out the different settings that are best for both Lucy and I. There are SO many different choices: Hospitals of all kinds including pediatric, psychiatric and end-of-life care, shelters for battered women, group homes for foster youth, transitional housing, after school programs … it’s a big list. One of the things I’m personally interested in is their therapy groups where the dog can play different roles ranging from sitting by people and getting pet as they talk to getting involved in playtime as a way to bond the group (playing ball with her, etc) but we’ll see as we move forward what the best places end up being.
Lucy will be going to an evaluation and then some classes with me to make sure that we’re a good match for this type of work. I have no doubt that she will really enjoy doing this and will make a lot of people really happy. In the meantime, I’ll be doing some shadow visits with other volunteers to get a sense of what the locations are like, what the dogs do when they are there and see if I have any more questions about the volunteer work.
I think that this is going to be a great new way for me to help my community while enjoying my own puppy time.
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The Single Story

I’m still kind of recovering from my long weekend back to school. Those weekends are intense and they just wipe me out. I’m in class from 9-8 on Friday and Saturday and then 9-4 on Sunday. The classes this semester are family dynamics, psychopathology and trauma – not light material. So when I woke up on Monday I just felt completely beat up from the inside out and I’ve been mostly recuperating since.

That said, the weekend was truly inspiring. We pack a lot of amazing information into these weekends and I always leave with so, so much to think about. The favorite thing that stands out from this past weekend is a short TED talk that we watched in family dynamics about “the single story”. I have lots of thoughts but for now I’ll let the video speak for itself:

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Top 10 Things I Learned from Gestalt Class

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Yesterday I wrote about my graduate school intensive retreat week in which I took a Gestalt course. I’ve written a full paper about what I really learned in the class but I’ve also written this top ten list of things I learned, which I thought I’d share here on the blog today:
  1. Oh, wow, I live inside a body, not just a head.
  2. Beware of the word “should”; it signifies an introject that might be worth giving back to its owner.
  3. If you want to still look youthful after years of being a therapist then you should probably consider being a Gestalt therapist.
  4. Confluence isn’t always bad. There are orgasms, after all.
  5. All of those times that I’ve tuned out the world around me in order to rejuvenate were actually excellent self-care practices using the technique of shuttling.
  6. My ears still glaze over when someone starts talking about their dreams.
  7. How I eat may reflect the way that I take in information.
  8. The only dogma of Gestalt is that we work in the here-and-now.
  9. I am in a constant process of imploding and exploding in order to become self-actualized.
  10. I am not the same me that I was a moment ago.


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A Week of Retreat, Then A Week of Rest

beauty amethyst A Week of Retreat, Then A Week of Rest

It’s been about two weeks since I said that I’d be gone from the blog for a week because I was going on a week-long retreat intensive for school. I should have known it would take time to acclimate again to normal life including blogging and dog walking and seeing friends and basically anything else except napping. School is wonderful and this retreat wasn’t nearly as emotionally tough on me as last year’s retreat but it’s still draining and it seems that when I return I always need to just sleep and sleep and sleep to integrate everything that happened while I was there.

The Annual Retreat

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Interview, Cover Reveal & Giveaway with Fantasy Author, Melissa McPhail

Welcome to an interview with Melissa McPhail, the author of Cephrael’s Hand. Below that you can see the newly-revealed book cover and check out the info to enter the book giveaway.

Author Interview

1. How important do you think cover art is to selling your books?

I think cover art is essential to book sales. A well-crafted cover will tell the reader in which genre the book is classified, represent in some way the story’s theme, and give an overall impression of the world. Fantasy book covers are vital to presenting a sense and feeling of the world. In many cases, the cover is the only visual representation a reader gets.

And of course, we all know that a book cover done well will catch a potential reader’s attention. It’s your best and sometimes only chance to make that memorable first impression.

2. For self-published and small house published authors, what do think is important to remember when deciding on the final cover for your work?

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